Daily Current Affairs: 30th November 2021

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics covered

  1. Suspension of MPs
  2.  National Health Accounts (NHA) estimates
  3. Central Bank Digital Currency
  4. Facts for Prelims

1. National Health Accounts estimates: 2017-18

Context: Out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) as a share of total health expenditure and foreign aid for health has both come down as per the findings of the National Health Accounts (NHA) estimates for India for 2017-18 released on Monday by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

About Health Accounts?

  • Health Accounts describe health expenditures and flow of funds in the country’s health system over a financial year of India.
  • It answers important policy questions such as what are the sources of healthcare expenditures, who manages these, who provides health care services, and which services are utilized.
  • It is a practice to describe the health expenditure estimates according to a global standard framework, System of Health Accounts 2011 (SHA 2011), to facilitate comparison of estimates across countries.
  • SHA 2011 framework presents expenditures disaggregated as Current and Capital expenditures.
  • Focus is on describing Current Health Expenditures (CHE) and their details presented according to
    1. Revenues of healthcare financing schemes – entities that provide resources to spend for health goods and services in the health system;
    2. Healthcare financing schemes – entities receiving and managing funds from financing sources to pay for or to purchase health goods and services;
    3. Healthcare providers – entities receiving finances to produce/ provide health goods and services;
    4. Healthcare Functions – describe the use of funds across various health care services.

About NHA: 2017-2018

  • It is released by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.  
  • This is the fifth consecutive NHA report produced by National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), designated as National Health Accounts Technical Secretariat (NHATS) in 2014 by the Union Health Ministry.
  • The NHA estimates are prepared by using an accounting framework based on internationally accepted System of Health Accounts 2011, provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The 2017-18 NHA estimates not only show government expenditure on health exhibiting an increasing trend but also growing trust in public health care system.
  • With the present estimate of NHA 2017-18, India has a continuous Time Series on NHA estimates for both government and private sources for five years since 2013-14.
  • These estimates are not only comparable internationally, but also enable the policy makers to monitor progress towards universal health coverage as envisaged in the National Health Policy, 2017.

Key Highlights

  • The NHA estimates for 2017-18 clearly show that there has been an increase in the share of government health expenditure in the total GDP of the country. It has increased from 1.15% in 2013-14 to 1.35% in 2017-18.
  • Additionally, the share of Government Health Expenditure in total health expenditure has also increased overtime. In 2017-18, the share of government expenditure was 40.8%, which is much higher than 28.6% in 2013-14.
  • In per capita terms, the government health expenditure has increased from Rs 1042 to Rs.1753 between 2013-14 to 2017-18.
  • The nature of the increase in the Government’s health sector is also moving in the right direction as more emphasis has been given to primary healthcare. The share of primary healthcare in current government health expenditure has increased from 51.1% in 2013-14 to 54.7% in 2017-18.
  • The primary and secondary care accounts for more than 80% of the current Government health expenditure.
  • There has been an increase in share of primary and secondary care in case of Government health expenditure.
  • In case of private sector, share of tertiary care has increased but primary and secondary care show a declining trend. Between 2016-17 and 2017-18 in government the share of primary and secondary care has increased from 75% to 86%. In private sector, the share of primary and secondary care has declined from 84% to 74%.
  • The share of social security expenditure on health, which includes the social health insurance program, Government financed health insurance schemes, and medical reimbursements made to Government employees, has increased. As a percent of total health expenditure, the increase is from 6% in 2013-14 to around 9 % in 2017-18.
  • The findings also depict that the foreign aid for health has come down to 0.5%, showcasing India’s economic self-reliance.
  • The government’s efforts to improve public health care are evident with out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) as a share of total health expenditure coming down to 48.8% in 2017-18 from 64.2% in 2013-14.
  • Even in case of per capita OOPE there has been decline from Rs.2336 to Rs. 2097 between 2013-14 to 2017-18.
  • One of the factors attributing to this decline is the increase utilisation and reduction in cost of services in government health facilities. If we compare NHA 2014-15 and 2017-18 there has been a decline in OOPE for government hospitals in the tune of 50%.
  • Of the Current Health Expenditures (CHE), the Union Government’s share is Rs. 60,442 crores (12% of CHE) and the State Governments’ share is Rs. 90,872 crores (18.1% of CHE). Local bodies’ share is Rs. 4,965 crores (1% of CHE), Households’ share (including insurance contributions) is about Rs. 3,08,255 crores (61.4 % of 28 CHE, OOPE being 55.1 % of CHE).
  • Contribution by enterprises (including insurance contributions) is Rs. 26,335 crores (5.3 % of CHE) and NGOs is Rs. 7,936 crores (1.6 % of CHE). External/donor funding contributes to about Rs. 2,955 crores (0.6 % of CHE).

2. Suspension of MPs

Context: Twelve Opposition members of the Rajya Sabha were suspended for the entire winter session on Monday for “unprecedented acts of misconduct”, and “unruly and violent behaviour” on August 11, the last day of the previous monsoon session. This is the first time RS members have been suspended for misconduct during the previous session.

Powers of presiding officers to deal with MPs disrupting proceedings

  • MPs are required to adhere to certain rules of parliamentary etiquette. For example the Lok Sabha rulebook specifies that MPs are not to interrupt the speech of others, maintain silence and not obstruct proceedings by hissing or making running commentaries during debates.
  • Newer forms of protest led to these rules being updated in 1989. Now, members should not shout slogans, display placards, tear up documents in protest, and play a cassette or a tape recorder in the House. Rajya Sabha has similar rules.
  • To conduct the proceedings smoothly, the rulebook also gives certain, similar powers to the presiding officers of both Houses.
  • The presiding officer of each House can direct an MP to withdraw from the legislative chamber for grossly disorderly conduct. The MP then has to remain absent from the proceedings of the House for the remainder of the day.
  • The presiding officers can also “name” an MP for “persistently and willfully obstructing the business” of the House. In such a case, usually, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister moves a motion for suspending the offending MP from the service of the House. The suspension can last until the end of the session.
  • In 2001, the Lok Sabha rule was amended to give the Speaker one additional power. A new rule, 374A, empowers the Speaker to automatically suspend an MP for a maximum of five days for disrupting the business of the House.

3 . Central Bank Digital Currency

Context : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed amendments to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, which would enable it to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The move comes amid the government’s plans to introduce a Bill on cryptocurrencies in the current Parliament session that seeks to prohibit “all private cryptocurrencies in India” with “certain exceptions”.


  • “Government has received a proposal from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in October, 2021 for amendment to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to enhance the scope of the definition of ‘bank note’ to include currency in digital form.
  • RBI has been examining use cases and working out a phased implementation strategy for introduction of CBDC with little or no disruption,” Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in reply to a query in Lok Sabha.

About Central Bank Digital Currency

  • The CBDC is a digital form of fiat currency which can be transacted using wallets backed by blockchain and is regulated by the central bank.
  • It is issued and regulated by the nation’s monetary authority or central bank and they are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing government.
  • Though the concept of CBDCs was directly inspired by bitcoin, it is different from decentralised virtual currencies and crypto assets, which are not issued by the state and lack the ‘legal tender’ status.
  • CBDCs enable the user to conduct both domestic and cross border transactions which do not require a third party or a bank.
  • CBDCs are in various stages of development around the world. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is working on a plan to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), given its benefits.

Features and Benefits

  • It has potential to offer significant benefits, including reduced dependence on cash, higher seigniorage (government profit from issuing currency) due to lower transaction costs and reduced settlement risk.
  • Introduction of CBDC would also possibly lead to a more robust, efficient, trusted, regulated and legal tender-based payments option.
  • A digital version of the fiat currency, CBDC has some advantages of cryptocurrency but is regulated by the central bank and, hence, less prone to volatility.
  •  For CBDC transactions between two parties, there is no need for settlement or approval by a financial intermediary, which enables fund transfers to take place on a real-time basis. “CBDC also does not require the kind of investment needed in physical infrastructure for minting fiat money and is very cost-effective.
  • Financial literacy of the users and a robust IT system to withstand potential cyberattacks are two imperatives for a CBDC.

4 . Facts for Prelims

Krishna River

  • The Krishna River is the fourth-largest river in terms of water inflows and river basin area in India, after the Ganga, Godavari and Brahmaputra.
  • The Krishna river originates in the Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar at an elevation of about 1,300 metres, in the state of Maharashtra in central India. 
  • It empties into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi (near Koduru) in Andhra Pradesh on the east coast.
  • The two largest tributaries are the Bhima (north) and the Tungabhadra (south).
  •  Other tributaries of the Krishna River include the following:
    • Koyna River
    • Venna River
    • Malaprabha River
    • Yerla River
    • Ghataprabha River
    • Dindi River
    • Warna River
    • Musi River
    • Paleru River
    • Dudhganga River
  • The catchment area covers parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
  • Almatti Dam, Srisailam Dam, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, and Prakasham Barrage are some of the important dams constructed on the river.
  • A dispute over the sharing of Krishna waters has been ongoing for many decades, beginning with the erstwhile Hyderabad and Mysore states, and later continuing between successors Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

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