Government initiative Current Affairs - 2019

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Union Government announces names of 98 cities for Smart Cities Project

Union Government has declared the names of 98 cities for its ambitious Smart Cities Project.

These cities were selected by the respective States and Union Territories on the parameters set by the Union Government.

Of the total 98 cities, 13 were selected from Uttar Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, 10 from Maharashtra, 7 from Madhya Pradesh, 3 each from Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

These 98 cities has around 13 crore population and constitute around 35 per cent of urban population of India which will be covered under the mission.

All other remaining states in India also have got one or two cities for the purpose Smart Cities Project except Jammu and Kashmir which has sought more time for selecting cities for the project.

These selected cities will get two crore rupees each for the preparation of the smart city plan with the prime motive to enhance urban life with very practical and realistic approach.

Union Government has proposed to provide financial support of 48,000 crore rupees to this project over next five years. Of this amount, 200 crore rupees will be released during the first year.  It should be noted this project will be implemented by states, union territories and urban local bodies as they have an important role to play in the implementation.

Union Government launches ‘Sehat’ to provide healthcare facilities in rural areas

Union Government has launched a telemedicine initiative dubbed as Sehat to provide healthcare facilities in rural areas in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals.

This telemedicine initiative was launched by Union Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a function held in New Delhi.

Key facts

  • It will seek to provide quality and affordable healthcare services as it is one of the emerging needs of citizens in rural areas.
  • Under the Sehat initiative people will be able to consult doctors through video link i.e. Vice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and also order generic drugs.
  • It will use Common Service Centres (CSCs) for delivering tele-consultation services with support from Medanta and Apollo Hospitals in some areas.
  • CSCs will promote sale of generic drugs through collaboration with Union Health Ministry by setting up Jan Aushadhi Stores and also provide diagnostic services.
  • This initiative has been extended to 60,000 centres across the country for the telemedicine consultation services in the rural areas.