Government stands with children who lost their parents due to Covid


Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an important meeting to discuss and deliberate on steps which can be taken to support children who have lost their parents due to Covid-19. PM announced a number of benefits to children impacted by the current COVID Pandemic. While announcing these measures the Prime Minister emphasized that children represent the future of the country and the country will do everything possible to support and protect the children so that they develop as strong citizens and have a bright future. The PM said that in such trying times it is our duty, as a society, to care for our children and instil hope for a bright future. All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid 19 will be supported under PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.He also added that the measures being announced have only been possible due to the generous contributions to the PM CARES Fund which will support India’s fight against COVID-19.

 

  • Fixed Deposit in the name of the child:

PM CARESwill contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age. This corpus:

  • Will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend from 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and
  • On reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use.

 

  • School Education: For children under 10 years
  • The child will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
  • If the child is admitted in a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES.
  • PM-CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniform, text books and notebooks.

 

  • School Education: for children between 11-18 years:
  • The child will be given admission in any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc.
  • In case the child is to be continued under the care of Guardian/ grandparents/ extended family, then he or she will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
  • If the child is admitted in a private school, the fees as per the RTE norms will be given from the PM CARES.
  • PM CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniform, text books and notebooks.

 

  • Support for Higher Education:
  • The child will be assisted in obtaining education loan for Professional courses / Higher Education in India as per the existing Education Loan norms. The interest on this loan will be paid by the PM CARES.
  • As an alternative, scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees / course fees for undergraduate/ vocational courses as per Government norms will be provided to such children under Central or State Government Schemes. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.
  • Health Insurance
  • All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • The premium amount for these children till the age of 18 years will be paid by PM CARES.

Government announces further measures to help families who lost the earning member due to Covid


In addition to the measures announced under PM CARES for Children- Empowerment of Covid affected children, Government of India has announced further measures to help families who have lost the earning member due to Covid. They will provide pension to families of those who died due to Covid and an enhanced & liberalised insurance compensation.

PM said that his Government stands in solidarity with their families. He also said that through these schemes, efforts are being made to mitigate financial difficulties that may be faced by them.

  • Family Pension under Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)
  • To help family live a life of dignity and maintain a good standard of living, benefit of ESIC pension scheme for employment related death cases is being extended to even those who have died due to Covid. Dependent family members of such persons will be entitled to the benefit of pension equivalent to 90% of average daily wage drawn by the worker as per the existing norms. This benefit will be available retrospectively with effect from 24.03.2020 and for all such cases till 24.03.2022.
  • Employees Provident Fund Organization- Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI)

The insurance benefits under the EDLI scheme have been enhanced and liberalized. Apart from all other beneficiaries, this will in particular help the families of employees who have lost their lives due to COVID.

  • Amount of maximum insurance benefit has been increased from ₹ 6 lakh to ₹ 7 lakh
  • The provision of minimum insurance benefit of ₹ 2.5 lakh has been restored and will apply retrospectively from 15th February 2020 for the next three years
  • To benefit families of contractual/ casual workers, the condition of continuous employment in only one establishment has been liberalized, with benefit being made available to families of even those employees who may have changed jobs in the last 12 months preceding his death.

Detailed guidelines of these schemes are being issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Remdesivir production ramped up ten times


Minister of State  for Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya informed that the production of Remdesivir is ramped up ten times from 33,000 vials/day on 11th April 2021 to 3,50,000 vials/day today under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

The Minister further informed that the Government has also increased the number of plants producing Remdesivir from 20 to 60 plants within a month. Now the country has enough Remdesivir as the supply is much more than the demand, he added.

Shri Mandaviya said that the Government has decided to discontinue the Central Allocation of Remdesivir to States. He has directed the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Agency and CDSCO to continuously monitor the availability of Remdesivir in the country.

Government of India has also decided to procure 50 lakh vials of Remdesivir to maintain it as a strategic stock for the emergency requirement, he added.

Government launches YUVA – Prime Minister’s Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors


The Ministry of Education, Department of Higher Education today launched YUVA-  Prime Minister’s Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors, an Author Mentorship programme to train young and budding authors (below 30 years of age) in order to promote reading, writing and book culture in the country, and project India and Indian writings globally.

The launch of YUVA (Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors) is in tune with PM’s vision to encourage young writers to write about India’s freedom struggle.  It was during Mann ki Baat on 31 January 2021, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi called upon the young generation to write about freedom fighters, incidents associated with freedom, the saga of valour during the period of freedom struggle in their respective areas – as the best tribute to the heroes of India’s freedom – as we celebrate 75 years of Indian Independence.

This will also prepare a category of thought leaders that will decide the course of the future”, said PM.

YUVA is a part of India@75 Project (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav) to bring to the fore the perspectives of the young generation of writers on themes like Unsung Heroes, Freedom Fighters, Unknown and Forgotten Places and their role in National Movement, and other related themes in an innovative and creative manner. This scheme will thus help to develop a stream of writers who can write on a spectrum of subjects to promote Indian heritage, culture and knowledge system.

The National Book Trust, India under the Ministry of Education as the Implementing Agency will ensure phase-wise execution of the Scheme under well-defined stages of mentorship. ​The books prepared under this scheme will be published by National Book Trust, India; and will also be translated into other Indian languages ensuring the exchange of culture and literature, thereby promoting ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. The selected young authors will interact with some of the best authors of the world; participate in literary festivals etc.

NEP 2020 has emphasised on the empowerment of the young minds and creating a learning ecosystem that can make the young readers/learners ready for leadership roles in the future world. In this context, YUVA will go a long way in laying the foundation of the future leaders of the creative world.

Highlights of YUVA (Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors): 

  • A total of 75 authors will be selected through an All India Contest to be conducted through https://www.mygov.in/ from 1 June – 31 July 2021.
  • The winners will be announced on 15 August 2021.
  • The young authors will be trained by eminent authors/mentors.
  • Under the mentorship, the manuscripts will be readied by 15 Dec. 2021 for publication.
  • The published books will be launched on 12 January 2022 on the occasion of National Youth Day (Yuva Diwas).
  • A consolidated scholarship of Rs.50,000 per month for a period of six months per author will be paid under the Mentorship Scheme

COVID-19 related medical goods given full exemption from IGST


The 43rd GST Council met under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman through video conferencing here today. The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance & States/ UTs.

The GST Council has made the following recommendations relating to changes in GST rates on supply of goods and services and changes related to GST law and procedure:

COVID-19 RELIEF                                                                                                   

  • As a COVID-19 relief measure, a number of specified COVID-19 related goods such as medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators and other oxygen storage and transportation equipment, certain diagnostic markers test kits and COVID-19 vaccines, etc., have been recommended for full exemption from IGST, even if imported on payment basis, for donating to the government or on recommendation of state authority to any relief agency. This exemption shall be valid upto 31.08.2021. Hitherto, IGST exemption was applicable only when these goods were imported “free of cost” for free distribution. The same will also be extended till 31.8.2021. It may be mentioned that these goods are already exempted from Basic Customs duty. Further in view of rising Black Fungus cases, the above exemption from IGST has been extended to Amphotericin B.

Further relief in individual item of COVID-19 after Group of Ministers (GoM) submits report on 8th June 2021

  • As regards individual items, it was decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) to go into the need for further relief to COVID-19 related individual items immediately. The GOM shall give its report by 08.06.2021.

OTHER RELIEFS ON GOODS

  • To support the LympahticFilarisis (an endemic) elimination programme being conducted in collaboration with WHO, the GST rate on Diethylcarbamazine (DEC) tablets has been recommended for reduction to 5% (from 12%).
  • Certain clarifications/clarificatory amendments have been recommended in relation to GST rates. Major ones are, –
    • Leviability of IGST on repair value of goods re-imported after repairs
    • GST rate of 12% to apply on parts of sprinklers/ drip irrigation systems falling under tariff heading 8424 (nozzle/laterals) to apply even if these goods are sold separately.

SERVICES

  • To clarify those services supplied to an educational institution including anganwadi(which provide pre-school education also), by way of serving of food including mid- day meals under any midday meals scheme, sponsored by Government is exempt from levy of GST irrespective of funding of such supplies from government grants or corporate donations.
  • To clarify these services provided by way of examination including entrance examination, where fee is charged for such examinations, by National Board of Examination (NBE), or similar Central or StateEducational Boards, and input services relating thereto are exempt from GST.
  • To make appropriate changes in the relevant notification for an explicit provision to make it clear that land owner promoters could utilize credit of GST charged to them by developer promoters in respect of suchapartments that are subsequently sold by the land promotor and on which GST is paid. The developer promotor shall be allowed to pay GST relating to such apartments any time before or at the time of issuance of completion certificate.
  • To extend the same dispensation as provided to MRO units of aviation sector to MRO units of ships/vessels so as to provide level playing field to domestic shipping MROs vis a vis foreign MROs and accordingly, –
  • GST on MRO services in respect of ships/vessels shall be reduced to 5% (from 18%).
  • PoS of B2B supply of MRO Services in respect of ships/ vessels would be location of recipient of service
  • To clarify that supply of service by way of milling of wheat/paddy  into flour (fortified with minerals etc. by millers or otherwise )/rice to Government/ local authority etc.for distribution of such flour or rice under PDS is exempt from GST if the value of goods in such composite supply does not exceed 25%. Otherwise, such services would attract GST at the rate of 5% if supplied to any person registered in GST, including a person registered for payment of TDS.
  • To clarify that GST is payable on annuity payments received as deferred payment for construction of road. Benefit of the exemption is for such annuities which are paid for the service by way of access to a road or a bridge.
  • To clarify those services supplied to a Government Entity by way of construction of a rope-way attract GST at the rate of 18%.
  • To clarify that services supplied by Govt. to its undertaking/PSU by way of guaranteeing loans taken by such entity from banks and financial institutions is exempt from GST.

MEASURES FOR TRADE FACILITATION:

    1. Amnesty Scheme to provide relief to taxpayers regarding late fee for pending returns:

To provide relief to the taxpayers, late fee for non-furnishing FORM GSTR-3B for the tax periods from July, 2017 to April, 2021 has been reduced / waived as under: –

  1. late fee capped to a maximum of Rs 500/- (Rs. 250/- each for CGST & SGST) per return for taxpayers, who did not have any tax liability for the said tax periods;
  2. late fee capped to a maximum of Rs 1000/- (Rs. 500/- each for CGST & SGST) per return for other taxpayers;

The reduced rate of late fee would apply if GSTR-3B returns for these tax periods are furnished between 01.06.2021 to 31.08.2021.

 

    1. Rationalization of late fee imposed under section 47 of the CGST Act:

 

To reduce burden of late fee on smaller taxpayers, the upper cap of late fee is being rationalized to align late fee with tax liability/ turnover of the taxpayers, as follows:

 

A. The late fee for delay in furnishing of FORM GSTR-3B and FORM GSTR-1 to be capped, per return, as below:

(i)   For taxpayers having nil tax liability in GSTR-3B or nil outward supplies in GSTR-1, the late fee to be capped at Rs 500 (Rs 250 CGST + Rs 250 SGST)

(ii)  For other taxpayers:

          1. For taxpayers having Annual Aggregate Turnover (AATO) in preceding year upto Rs 1.5 crore, late fee to be capped to a maximum of Rs 2000 (1000 CGST+1000 SGST);
          2. For taxpayers having AATO in preceding year between Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 5 crore, late fee to be capped to a maximum of Rs 5000 (2500 CGST+2500 SGST);
          3. For taxpayers having AATO in preceding year above Rs 5 crores, late fee to be capped to a maximum of Rs 10000 (5000 CGST+5000 SGST).

B. The late fee for delay in furnishing of FORM GSTR-4 by composition taxpayers to be capped to Rs 500 (Rs 250 CGST + Rs 250 SGST) per return, if tax liability is nil in the return, and Rs 2000 (Rs 1000 CGST + Rs 1000 SGST) per return for others.

 

C. Late fee payable for delayed furnishing of FORM GSTR-7 to be reduced to Rs.50/- per day (Rs. 25 CGST + Rs 25 SGST) and to be capped to a maximum of Rs 2000/- (Rs. 1,000 CGST + Rs 1,000 SGST) per return.

All the above proposals to be made applicable for prospective tax periods.

3. COVID-19 related relief measures for taxpayers:

In addition to the relief measures already provided to the taxpayers vide the notifications issued on 01.05.2021, the following further relaxations are being provided to the taxpayers:

  1. For small taxpayers (aggregate turnover upto Rs. 5 crore)

 

    1. March & April 2021 tax periods:
  1. NIL rate of interest for first 15 days from the due date of furnishing the return in FORM GSTR-3B or filing of PMT-06 Challan, reduced rate of 9% thereafter for further 45 days and 30 days for March,2021 and April, 2021 respectively.
  2. Waiver of late fee for delay in furnishing return in FORM GSTR-3B for the tax periods March / QE March, 2021 and April 2021 for 60 days and 45 days respectively, from the due date of furnishing FORM GSTR-3B.
  3. NIL rate of interest for first 15 days from the due date of furnishing the statement in CMP-08 by composition dealers for QE March 2021, and reduced rate of 9% thereafter for further 45 days.

 

    1. For May 2021 tax period:
  1. NIL rate of interest for first 15 days from the due date of furnishing the return in FORM GSTR-3B or filing of PMT-06 Challan, and reduced rate of 9% thereafter for further 15 days.
  2. Waiver of late fee for delay in furnishing returns in FORM GSTR-3B for taxpayers filing monthly returns for 30 days from the due date of furnishing FORM GSTR-3B.
  1. For large taxpayers (aggregate turnover more than Rs. 5 crore)
  1. A lower rate of interest @ 9% for first 15 days after the due date of filing return in FORM GSTR-3B for the tax period May, 2021.
  2. Waiver of late fee for delay in furnishing returns in FORM GSTR-3B for the tax period May, 2021 for 15 days from the due date of furnishing FORM GSTR-3B.

 

C.  Certain other COVID-19 related relaxations to be provided, such as

        1. Extension of due date of filing GSTR-1/ IFF for the month of May 2021 by 15 days.
        2. Extension of due date of filing GSTR-4 for FY 2020-21 to 31.07.2021.
        3. Extension of due date of filing ITC-04 for QE March 2021 to 30.06.2021.
        4. Cumulative application of rule 36(4) for availing ITC for tax periods April, May and June, 2021 in the return for the period June, 2021.
        5. Allowing filing of returns by companies using Electronic Verification Code (EVC), instead of Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) till 31.08.2021.

 

D.  Relaxations under section 168A of the CGST Act: Time limit for completion of various actions, by any authority or by any person, under the GST Act, which falls during the period from 15th April, 2021 to 29th June, 2021, to be extended upto 30th June, 2021, subject to some exceptions.

[Wherever the timelines for actions have been extended by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the same would apply]

 

  1. Simplification of Annual Return for Financial Year 2020-21:

 

  1. Amendments in section 35 and 44 of CGST Act made through Finance Act, 2021 to be notified. This would ease the compliance requirement in furnishing reconciliation statement in FORM GSTR-9C, as taxpayers would be able to self-certify the reconciliation statement, instead of getting it certified by chartered accountants. This change will apply for Annual Return for FY 2020-21.
  2. The filing of annual return in FORM GSTR-9 / 9A for FY 2020-21 to be optional for taxpayers having aggregate annual turnover upto Rs 2 Crore;
  3. The reconciliation statement in FORM GSTR-9C for the FY 2020-21 will be required to be filed by taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover above Rs 5 Crore.

 

  1. Retrospective amendment in section 50 of the CGST Act with effect from 01.07.2017, providing for payment of interest on net cash basis, to be notified at the earliest.

OTHER MEASURES

GST Council recommended amendments in certain provisions of the Act so as to make the present system of GSTR-1/3B return filing as the default return filing system in GST.

PM reviews damage due to cyclone Yaas


On Friday, 28th May 2021, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Odisha & West Bengal to review the situation arising out of Cyclone Yaas. He undertook an aerial survey of the cyclone affected areas in Bhadrak and Baleswar districts of Odisha, and Purba Medinipur in West Bengal.

In Bhubaneswar, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting to review the relief and rehabilitation measures being undertaken.

The Prime Minister was briefed that maximum damage due to Cyclone Yaas happened in Odisha, and some parts of West Bengal and Jharkhand have also been affected.

Shri Modi announced a financial assistance of Rs 1000 crore for immediate relief activities. Rs 500 crore would be immediately given to Odisha. Another Rs 500 crores has been announced for West Bengal and Jharkhand, which will be released on the basis of the damage. The Union Government will deploy an Inter-Ministerial Team to visit the states to assess the extent of damage, based on which further assistance will be given.

Prime Minister assured the people of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand that the Union Government would closely work with the State Governments at this difficult time, extend all possible assistance for restoration and rebuilding of the infrastructure in the affected areas.

 

Prime Minister expressed his complete solidarity with all those who suffered due to the cyclone and expressed deep sorrow to the families who have lost their kin during the calamity.

He announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to the seriously injured in the cyclone.

PM said that we have to continue the focus towards more scientific management of disasters. As the frequency and impact of cyclonic systems are increasing in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, communication systems, mitigation efforts and preparedness have to undergo a major change. He also spoke about the importance of building trust among people for better cooperation in relief efforts.

PM Modi appreciated the preparedness and disaster management activities by the Government of Odisha which has resulted in minimal loss of lives. He also noted that the state has embarked on long term mitigation efforts for dealing with such natural disasters.

He also mentioned that Disaster Mitigation has been given emphasis by the Finance Commission too by provisioning for mitigation funds to the tune of Rs. 30,000 crore.

Government to Provide Monetary Assistance through DBT under MDM Scheme


The Union Minister for Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has approved the proposal to provide monetary assistance to 11.8 Crore students (118 Million Students) through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the cooking cost component of the Mid-Day-Meal Scheme, to all eligible children, as a special welfare measure. This will give a fillip to the Midday Meal programme. This is in addition to the Government of India’s announcement of distribution of free-of-cost food grains @ 5 Kg per person per month to nearly 80 Crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY).

This decision will help safeguard the nutritional levels of children and aid in protecting their immunity during the challenging pandemic times.

The Central Government will provide additional funds of about Rs 1200 crore to State Governments and UT Administrations for this purpose. This one time special welfare measure of the union Government will benefit about 11.8 crore children studying in class I to VIII in the 11.20 lakh Government and Government aided schools across the country.

Indian Navy Conducts Skill Development Training Program on Maintenance of PSA Oxygen Plants


Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command commenced ‘Skill Development Training Program’  on “Maintenance of PSA Oxygen Plants” on 27 May 21 based on discussions between the Indian Navy and Niti Ayog.  A meeting which was held earlier this week under the chairmanship of Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, Member Health Niti Ayog, was held over VC with officials from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Rear Adm Sreekumar Nair,  Admiral Superintendent(ASD), Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam, it was decided to impart Skill Development Training for the Master Trainers on the maintenance of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Generation Plants as a large number of these PSA plants were being inducted across the country to meet the increased requirement of Oxygen during the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic.

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The four-day training programme is being conducted by a team of experts from Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam over Video Conference and includes theoretical sessions and practical demonstrations on the PSA plant available at Dockyard. The training is attended by 82 Master Trainers from various institutes spread in 30 cities across the country. Professors from IIT, Kanpur and officials from the Ministry of Health And Family Welfare along with the Ministry of Skill Development also participated in the training. The DDG (DDGT), MSDE gave the welcome address for the training which was followed by an inaugural address by DG, DGT, MSDE and the ASD, Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. “Hands-On” training on the PSA plant would be held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam subsequently.

PM pays tributes to Veer Savarkar on his jayanti


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Veer Savarkar on his jayanti.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “आजादी की लड़ाई के महान सेनानी और प्रखर राष्ट्रभक्त वीर सावरकर को उनकी जयंती पर कोटि-कोटि नमन।”

Oxygen Expresses deliver more than 19408 MT of LMO


Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. So far, Indian Railways has delivered more than 19408 MT of LMO in more than 1162 tankers to various states across the country.

On Mission Mode, Till now Oxygen Expresses offloaded LMO in around 39 cities/towns in 15 states across the country namely Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Bareilly, Gorakhpur & Agra in Uttar Pradesh, Sagar, Jabalpur, Katni & Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune, Mumbai & Solapur in Maharashtra, Hyderabad in Telangana, Faridabad & Gurugram in Haryana, Tuglakabad, Delhi Cantt & Okhla in Delhi, Kota & Kanakpara in Rajasthan, Bengaluru in Karnataka, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Nellore, Guntur, Tadipatri & Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Ernakulam in Kerala, Tiruvallur, Chennai, Tuticorin, Coimbatore & Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Bhatinda & Phillaur in Punjab, Kamrup in Assam and Ranchi in Jharkhand.

Oxygen Expresses offloaded Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) at 41 stations in these 39 cities/towns.

It may be noted that 289 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

Till the time of this release, 11 loaded Oxygen Expresses on run with more than 865 MT of LMO in 50 tankers.

Amongst the Southern States, delivery of LMO to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana crossed 1000 MT each.

It is worth mentioning that Oxygen Expresses started their deliveries 34 days back on 24th April in Maharashtra with a load of 126 MT.

It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states.

Oxygen relief by Oxygen Expresses reached out to 15 states namely Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam.

Till the time of this release, 614 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3731 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 656 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 5185 MT in Delhi, 1967 MT in Haryana, 98 MT in Rajasthan, 1773 MT in Karnataka, 320 MT in Uttarakhand, 1554 MT in Tamil Nadu, 1268 MT in Andhra Pradesh, 225 MT in Punjab, 380 MT in Kerala, 1432 MT in Telangana, 38 MT in Jharkhand and 160 MT in Assam.

Indian Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the States. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO.

Criss crossing the country, Indian Railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa , Baroda, Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to States of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh & Assam in complex operational route planning scenarios.

In order to ensure that Oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, Railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of Oxygen Express Freight Trains. The average speed of these critical Freight trains is way above 55 in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority Green Corridor, with a highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock in most challenging circumstances to ensure that Oxygen reaches in fastest possible time frame. Technical stoppages have been reduced to 1 minute for crew changes over different sections.

Tracks are kept open and high alertness is maintained to ensure that Oxygen Express keeps zipping through.

All this is done in a manner that speed of other Freight Operation doesn’t get reduced as well.

Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night.

PM holds a meeting to review impact of Cyclone Yaas


PM Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the impact of cyclone Yaas. Officials made a detailed presentation on various aspects of preparedness, assessment of damages and related matters.

It was discussed that about 106 teams of NDRF were deployed with 46 teams each in West Bengal/ Odisha that rescued more than 1000 persons and removed more than 2500 trees/poles that had fallen & obstructed the roads. The Defence Forces namely Army and Coast Guard also rescued marooned persons, while Navy & Air Force were on the alert.

Though the States are engaged in the assessment of damages caused in aftermath of cyclone Yaas, from the preliminary reports available, it is seen that thanks to accurate forecasting, effectively communicating to the people in the affected areas and evacuation in a timely manner by States and Central agencies have ensured minimal loss of human life. At the same time, due to inundation, there have been damages, which are being assessed. Power and Telecom services have been restored in most of the affected areas.

Prime Minister noted the effective and proactive role played by the Central and States agencies in responding to the challenges thrown by the cyclone and advised the agencies to ensure that normal life is restored in the affected areas at the earliest and relief is appropriately disbursed to persons affected by the cyclone.

Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Secretary Power, Telecom Secretary and DG IMD & other important officials participated in the meeting.

PM Modi chairs high level meeting to review progress of NDHM


Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). On 15th Aug 2020, during his Independence Day address, Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced the launch of NDHM. Since then, the digital modules and registries have been developed and the mission has been rolled out in six Union Territories. So far, nearly 11.9 lakh Health IDs have been generated and 3106 doctors and 1490 facilities have registered on the platform.

It has been envisaged that Unified Health Interface (UHI) – an open and interoperable IT network for digital health should soon be rolled out. This interface shall enable public and private solutions and apps to plug in and be a part of National Digital Health Ecosystem. It will allow users to search, book and avail necessary healthcare services such as tele-consultations or laboratory tests. The system will ensure that only verified healthcare providers join the ecosystem. This is likely to unleash a digital health tech revolution with innovations and various services for citizens. In such a manner, healthcare infrastructure and human resources can also be utilised in a more efficient manner across the nation.

The concept of UPI e-Voucher developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) was also discussed. This digital payment option will enable financial transactions linked to specific purpose which can be used only by the intended user. It can be useful for targeted and efficient delivery of various government schemes and an immediate use cases of UPI e-Voucher could be healthcare services.

The PM directed that steps be expedited to expand operations under the NDHM. PM said that NDHM will bring ease of living for citizens to avail a large number of health services. He observed that though the technical platform and building up of registries are inevitable essential elements, the utility of the platform to the citizens will be visible only by way of enabling citizens across the country to avail of services like tele consultation with a Doctor, availing services of a lab, transferring test reports or health records digitally to the Doctor and paying digitally for any of the above services. He directed the NHA along with the Ministry of Health & the Ministry of Electronics & IT to coordinate efforts in this direction.