ArdorComm Media Group


80% of Public Health Facilities in India Are Substandard, Reveals Government Survey

News on Health 1 ArdorComm Media Group 80% of Public Health Facilities in India Are Substandard, Reveals Government Survey

A recent government survey under the National Health Mission (NHM) has revealed that nearly 80% of public health facilities in India fail to meet the minimum standards for infrastructure, manpower, and equipment. This self-assessment exercise involved over 200,000 facilities, out of which only 8,089 scored 80% or higher for compliance. The government aims to make 70,000 facilities compliant within 100 days and will conduct surprise inspections to ensure standards are met. Public health facilities from states and Union Territories were asked to provide details on the number of doctors, nurses, and basic medical equipment available. The data shared on the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) dashboard showed that 40,451 facilities submitted key statistics through the Open Data Kit, a digital tool developed by the health ministry. The results were alarming, with only 20% of facilities qualifying as IPHS compliant, meaning they had the necessary infrastructure, human resources, drugs, diagnostics, and equipment to provide essential services. Approximately 42% of the facilities scored less than 50%, while the remaining scored between 50% and 80%. A senior health ministry official emphasized that the self-assessment and real-time monitoring are crucial to ensure health facilities maintain required standards, leading to better health outcomes and a more equitable society. The Centre is pushing states and UTs to address the identified gaps with full support to improve service quality. In addition to the IPHS, the National Quality Assurance Standards (NQAS) will continue to physically evaluate district hospitals, sub-district hospitals, community health centres, and primary health centres on best practices such as availability of essential medicines, equipment, waste management, infection control, support services, and patient rights. A new provision of virtual assessment has been introduced for Ayushman Arogya Mandir, the most numerous public health facilities under NHM. The NHM covers 60% of the costs for public health facilities, with the remaining expenses borne by the states.  

ADB Approves $170 Million Loan to Strengthen Health Sector in India

Article on Health ArdorComm Media Group ADB Approves $170 Million Loan to Strengthen Health Sector in India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $170 million policy-based loan to enhance India’s readiness and capability in the health sector to address future pandemics. This funding, under the Strengthened and Measurable Actions for Resilient and Transformative Health Systems (Subprogramme 1), will support the implementation of the government’s National Health Policy 2017. The policy aims to ensure universal access to high-quality healthcare services across the country. Sonalini Khetrapal, a senior health specialist at ADB, stated, “The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us valuable lessons and the adoption of several innovative practices that would significantly strengthen pandemic preparedness and response capacities if consolidated, sustained, and institutionalised. ADB has been working with the Government of India to strengthen its health system and adopt transformative solutions.” This loan will address deficiencies in governance, legislation, and institutional structures, advancing India’s objective of achieving universal access to quality and affordable healthcare services, Khetrapal added. Work Towards Disease Surveillance Systems The programme aims to enhance disease surveillance systems to promptly address public health threats. It will establish laboratory networks for monitoring infectious diseases across states, union territories, and metropolitan areas. Additionally, it will assist in developing reliable data systems to oversee and align national health initiatives targeting disadvantaged populations such as the poor and women. “The programme will improve the governance and coordination of India’s One Health approach, its multisector response to emerging infectious diseases,” the press release stated. Efforts to Implement Policy Reforms ADB will assist in implementing policy reforms aimed at ensuring sufficient and skilled healthcare professionals. This effort includes legislation to oversee and uphold educational standards, service quality, and professional ethics among nurses, midwives, allied healthcare workers, and doctors. “The programme will help public health and health management teams deployed in some states to support public health functions and improve service delivery,” the release said. The programme aims to oversee integrated public health laboratories in five states and district critical care hospital units to enhance services for infectious diseases and critical illnesses. It will aid the intersectoral governing body and multisector task force in establishing environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient healthcare facilities. Furthermore, it will promote innovative approaches to service delivery.

Finance Says No to Health Request for $10-Million Fund to Meet G20 Pledge

News on Health 1 2 ArdorComm Media Group Finance Says No to Health Request for $10-Million Fund to Meet G20 Pledge

The Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH), launched during India’s G20 Presidency, remains unfunded by India despite a $10-million pledge. This initiative, a key deliverable from the Health Ministers’ meeting in Gujarat on August 19 last year, was part of the New Delhi declaration. The GIDH, formally initiated on February 20, 2024, by then Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, is still awaiting India’s promised contribution. The delay stems from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the Ministry of Finance, which has not approved the contribution despite India’s commitment. The GIDH, managed by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to support national digital health transformations within a framework that respects data protection regulations. A source from the Health Ministry indicated the proposal is “under consideration,” but the DEA had previously rejected the request in July 2023 without specifying reasons. The DEA suggested that India should offer technical support instead of financial contributions to avoid creating “committed liabilities.” Despite this setback, the Permanent Mission of India (PMI) to the UN recommended making a “substantial financial commitment” to the GIDH in November 2023. Highlighting India’s role as a leader in digital health, the Health Ministry, with approval from the Health Minister, reconsidered the contribution. In comparison, Indonesia contributed $50 million to establish the Presidency Prevention, Preparedness Response (PPR) Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) during its G20 Presidency. As Brazil currently heads the G20 Presidency, the GIDH remains a priority within the health sector.

India Considering Lowering Personal Tax Rates to Boost Consumption

News on Governance 2 1 ArdorComm Media Group India Considering Lowering Personal Tax Rates to Boost Consumption

The Indian government is contemplating lowering personal tax rates for certain categories of individuals in the upcoming Budget 2024, potentially boosting consumption in Asia’s third-largest economy. This plan might be announced in July when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government presents its first federal budget after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to secure a majority on its own. A post-poll survey revealed voter concerns about inflation, unemployment, and declining incomes. Despite the Indian economy growing at an impressive 8.2% in 2023-24, consumption only grew at half that rate. Prime Minister Modi, while claiming to form the National Democratic Alliance government, emphasized focusing on raising middle-class savings and improving their quality of life. A reduction in personal tax could enhance consumption and increase middle-class savings, according to sources, who spoke anonymously due to the confidentiality of budget discussions. The finance ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The tax relief may target individuals earning over Rs 15 lakh annually, with specifics yet to be determined. The changes might affect a tax scheme introduced in 2020, where income up to Rs 15 lakh is taxed at 5%-20%, and earnings over Rs 15 lakh are taxed at 30%. The government may also consider lowering rates for annual incomes of Rs 10 lakh and discussing a new threshold for the highest tax rate of 30%. Any loss of tax revenue from these cuts could be partially offset by increased consumption among higher income earners. The federal government aims for a fiscal deficit of 5.1% of GDP by March 2025. Strong tax collections and a substantial dividend from the central bank will provide the government flexibility in planning the new budget.

Pakistan May Face T20 World Cup Elimination Due to “State of Emergency”

News on MEA 2 ArdorComm Media Group Pakistan May Face T20 World Cup Elimination Due to "State of Emergency"

Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the T20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight stage hinge on their match against Ireland on Sunday. Even a narrow win could secure their spot, provided the USA loses to Ireland on Friday. However, the situation is complicated by the state of emergency declared in Fort Lauderdale due to life-threatening flash floods in Florida. The severe weather has disrupted many aspects of life in Fort Lauderdale, including the grounding of hundreds of flights. The Sri Lankan cricket team, participating in the T20 World Cup, is currently stranded in the city. Fort Lauderdale, one of the three venues in the USA scheduled to host the T20 World Cup matches, has already seen one game washed out due to heavy rain. “Preliminary reports indicate that the rainfall and flooding has affected and may continue to impact the operational capability of critical infrastructure, including major interstates, state and county roadways, airports, schools, and other critical infrastructure throughout these counties,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the emergency declaration. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis also declared a state of emergency. The Sri Lankan team was scheduled to fly to the Caribbean islands on Wednesday, but their departure was delayed due to the adverse weather. Sri Lanka is set to play the Netherlands in their final group game on Monday, June 17, in St. Lucia. Why Pakistan Might Get Knocked Out Due to “State of Emergency”? The Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale is scheduled to host key games this week, including matches involving Pakistan and the USA, both vying for a place in the next round from Group A. If the USA beats Ireland or if their match gets washed out, they will advance to the Super 8 along with India, knocking Pakistan out of contention. India currently leads Group A with six points from three games (NRR +1.137) and is assured of a Super 8 berth. The USA, with four points from three games, holds the second spot, but their NRR has dropped to +0.127, which is good news for Pakistan as their NRR is now better than the USA’s. This means that Pakistan can still qualify for the Super Eight stage even with a narrow win against Ireland on Sunday, but only if the USA loses to Ireland on Friday.  

India vs. Pakistan T20 World Cup Match at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium

News on MEA 1 ArdorComm Media Group India vs. Pakistan T20 World Cup Match at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium

India faces Pakistan in a highly anticipated T20 World Cup match at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, Eisenhower Park, New York. The pitch conditions and security measures are crucial for the event. When the old rivals square off on Sunday, a confident and well-adjusted India will attempt to exploit Pakistan’s unpredictability and lack of familiarity with the challenging conditions in New York. The flagship match is expected to draw the tournament’s largest crowd at the recently constructed 34,000-seat stadium. The stadium’s 22-yard pitch has been a hot topic due to its unpredictability, which the ICC has acknowledged. In the three games played so far, teams have struggled to score more than 100 runs in six innings. Concerns have been raised about whether the low-scoring format can help promote cricket in the United States. Damian Hough, the Adelaide Oval groundskeeper, oversaw the installation of the venue’s four drop-in pitches in April, but they have not yet fully settled. The uneven bounce of the pitch has raised safety concerns, particularly after Indian captain Rohit Sharma had to stop batting during the opening match against Ireland due to a shoulder injury. “I don’t know what to expect from the pitch, to be honest. We will prepare as if the conditions are going to be like this (for the Pakistan game). This is going to be a game where all XI of us will need to contribute,” Rohit said after the match against Ireland. The ICC issued a statement acknowledging the issues with the pitches: “The ICC recognises that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted.” Pakistan has not yet adjusted to the stadium’s conditions. After losing to tournament newcomers USA, they flew into New York and took a rest day. Babar Azam and his team have had little time to adapt, which could be a disadvantage in this crucial match. A loss to India could severely impact their chances of qualifying. India may maintain their strategy of including an additional specialist fast bowler, but they might consider including Kuldeep Yadav due to his recent performance and favorable matchups against Pakistani batters. If included, one of Ravindra Jadeja or Axar Patel might miss out. The batting order is expected to remain with Rohit and Virat Kohli as openers and Rishabh Pant at No. 3. Pakistan will aim to recover from their loss to the USA. Babar Azam will need to improve his performance, as his 43 runs from 44 deliveries were below the expected strike rate for T20 cricket. The team will hope for a strong performance from their bowling attack, led by Shaheen Afridi.  

India Showcases Educational Strength at 76th NAFSA Conference in New Orleans

Blog on Education ArdorComm Media Group India Showcases Educational Strength at 76th NAFSA Conference in New Orleans

Educational exchanges build crucial bridges for mutual understanding, learning, and friendships, said DC Manjunath, the Consul General of India in Houston, as he inaugurated two Indian pavilions at the 76th NAFSA 2024 Conference & Expo — the world’s largest international annual education event — in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Indian delegation, consisting of over 40 major academic institutions, both public and private, had a significant presence at the conference held from May 28-31. This participation highlighted the potential of Indian education and fostered international and India-US collaboration. The event, which promotes international education and exchange, brought together 10,000 delegates from more than 110 countries under the theme “Resilience. Renewal. Community.” It positioned NAFSA as a platform for global communities working together to foster resilience in the post-pandemic era, support education renewal, and build stronger local and global communities. Consul General Manjunath inaugurated the Study in India pavilion and the India Pavilion booths at the expo. The Study in India pavilion was hosted by Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL), under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Education, and comprised the National Book Trust and public higher education institutions. The India Pavilion, under the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI), featured 28 reputable private higher education institutes, represented by 62 delegates led by Prof. Rajive Kumar, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) member secretary, and Dr. Prashant Bhalla, senior vice-president of EPSI. Attendees at the Study in India pavilion explored diverse academic opportunities in India and discussed academic cooperation between India and the US. Manjunath emphasized that India has a robust education system equipped with high-quality research facilities and that Indian institutions are broadening their global footprint. He noted that India has become a one-stop destination for technologies such as data science and cybersecurity. “Both Study in India and the India Pavilion are a reflection of India’s commitment to becoming a global education hub and attracting international students to pursue higher education opportunities in the country,” Manjunath said. “Educational exchanges build crucial bridges for mutual understanding, learning, and friendship, which are more important than ever,” he added. On the sidelines of the conference, the consulate, in association with the education ministry and SVVS Temple Society, New Orleans, organized “India’s Higher Education Partnership & Dialogue,” highlighting India’s economic growth, educational system development, new opportunities in universities under India’s new National Education Policy 2020, and the empowerment of women in education. The event was attended by Ministry of Education Joint Secretary Sanjog Kapoor, Ministry of Education Director Varun Bhardwaj, and EdCIL Executive Director Dr. B Chandrasekar, among others. Several other Indian universities and academic institutions also participated independently, exploring diverse educational opportunities, connecting with representatives of elite institutions, and discovering a world of educational possibilities in India. The participating institutions signed MoUs with universities in the US, Europe, Canada, Japan, with a focus on STEM and management programs. They also shared ideas for mutual academic collaboration and partnership for student exchange and faculty mobility to enhance curriculum and teaching in graduate and postgraduate programs. “NAFSA 2024 showcased their academic programs and research opportunities, fostering international collaborations and partnerships, enhancing global reputation, attracting international students, and promoting cross-cultural exchanges,” a delegate said. “Additionally, it offers opportunities for faculty and student exchange programs, collaborative research projects, and sharing of best practices in education, thereby enriching the educational experience and global perspective of Indian students and educators,” the delegate added. The Study in India delegates met with the academic leadership of the Louisiana School of Health Sciences and Tulane University to design and develop postgraduate programs in frontier areas such as climate science finance, sustainability, bioinformatics, public health, tropical medicine, and AI applications in healthcare.

Varun Bharadwaj, Vice President – Edtech Solutions, Intercell emphasised upon upcoming technology of Intercell

image 2024 05 29T05 12 15 504Z ArdorComm Media Group Varun Bharadwaj, Vice President – Edtech Solutions, Intercell emphasised upon upcoming technology of Intercell

“we plan to launch more initiatives to provide end-to-end solutions for students, from their undergraduate studies to their professional careers.” Said Varun Bharadwaj Can you tell us about the initiatives and product line of Intercell? Certainly! Intercell is an online mentoring platform that bridges the gap between mentees and mentors. For instance, if a student is pursuing engineering and seeks mentorship in AI, we provide mentors on our platform who offer guidance on cracking interviews and preparing for job opportunities. Our mentors have extensive industry experience, ensuring that mentees receive practical insights and guidance. Which market or region in higher education has been more supportive of Intercell ‘s initiatives, and which do you find more dynamic and approachable? We have clients across South and North India, and we aim to cover the entire country. Additionally, we have mentors from India and abroad, spanning 18 different career fields. Our goal is to provide comprehensive support to students nationwide. What are your takeaways from this event, and how do you find it? This event has been absolutely fantastic! The speakers, veterans from the industry, provide invaluable coaching and guidance. The event effectively connects industry professionals with academia. Regarding skilling programs, our initiative spans six months, ensuring ongoing support through live sessions, chat, and email. It’s not just a one-time session but a comprehensive program to address mentees’ needs over an extended period. What should educators consider before partnering with a tech company like yours? Educators often face challenges during student placements. Intercell addresses this by providing mentorship from industry veterans, enhancing students’ chances of securing placements. Educators should consider how such partnerships can improve student outcomes and enhance their overall educational experience. Can you share any special initiatives that Intercell is currently running or planning to launch? We have already introduced job recommendations and internship recommendations. Additionally, we plan to launch more initiatives to provide end-to-end solutions for students, from their undergraduate studies to their professional careers. We’re also working with schools to ensure comprehensive grooming opportunities for students.

India to Showcase Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission at World Health Assembly

New on Health ArdorComm Media Group India to Showcase Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission at World Health Assembly

India will highlight its universal health coverage through Ayushman Bharat, public health emergency preparedness, and digital health transformations at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva from May 27 to June 1. Official sources confirmed on Wednesday that India will also present the Arogya Maitri Disaster Management Cube, an indigenous portable hospital equipped with innovative tools designed to enhance disaster response and medical support. The 77th session of the WHA, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), will feature representatives from 194 countries aiming to structure the global health ecosystem. This year’s theme is “All for Health, Health for All.” The Indian delegation, led by Union Health Secretary Apurva Chandra, will participate in various sessions and discussions. The WHA includes sessions in three main committees: Plenary, Committee A, and Committee B. The plenary session, attended by health ministers and heads of delegations from 194 nations, will open the Health Assembly. India will chair Committee A, which will facilitate discussions on universal health coverage, public health emergency preparedness and response, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, and sustainable financing for WHO. Committee B will focus on internal and external audit, budget, and financing matters concerning the WHO secretariat. In addition to the main sessions, at least 14 side events and multiple strategic roundtables will take place on the sidelines of the WHA, focusing on diverse health topics. These events will provide a platform for participants to share their thoughts on the future of the global health architecture. India’s presence at the WHA also includes leading and supporting the Regional One Voice initiative for the Southeast Asia region. This initiative advocates for well-being and health promotion, addressing social determinants of health, improving maternal, infant, and young child nutrition, and promoting the economics of health for all. India’s contributions to the WHA, including the showcase of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and the Arogya Maitri Disaster Management Cube, emphasize the country’s commitment to enhancing global health and disaster response capabilities. The participation aims to foster international collaboration and share India’s innovative health solutions with the global community.

ISB Ranks Number One in India, 26 Globally in FT Executive Education Custom Ranking 2024

News on Education 10 ArdorComm Media Group ISB Ranks Number One in India, 26 Globally in FT Executive Education Custom Ranking 2024

The Indian School of Business (ISB) has been ranked first in India and 26th globally in the Financial Times (FT) Executive Education Custom Ranking 2024. The institution also secured the second spot in Asia. Among the other institutions featured in the ranking are EMLyon Business School, York University, IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, and IIM Indore. These institutions were evaluated based on parameters such as Program Design, Value for Money, Future Use, and Preparation. ISB particularly excelled in the Future Use parameter, achieving the top spot globally. Indian Institutions in FT Executive Education Custom Ranking 2024: Name Program Design Value For Money Future Use Preparation Indian School of Business 28 15 1 27 EMLyon Business School 33 40 75 36 York University: Schulich 38 38 42 39 IIM Bangalore 44 37 29 41 IIM Ahmedabad 74 58 34 71 IIM Indore 86 86 80 73 ISB issued a press release celebrating this achievement, highlighting its extensive range of programs for enterprises and public sector organizations across various domains and leadership levels. ISB’s association with central and state government entities involves capacity-building measures, customized learning solutions, skill development at scale, and research and impact assessments that inform policymaking. Deepa Mani, Deputy Dean and Professor of Information Systems at ISB, remarked that the FT Ranking reflects ISB Executive Education’s dedication to equipping learners with essential knowledge and behaviors for transformative change in global businesses and society. Mani emphasized ISB’s commitment to integrating advanced learning pedagogies, leveraging world-class faculty expertise, and utilizing cutting-edge research and comprehensive market insights to achieve learner-focused outcomes. Sujatha Kumaraswamy, Executive Director of Executive Education and Digital Learning at ISB, noted that over 60,000 learners globally have benefited from ISB’s 1,300+ programs in 260 Indian and global entities. Kumaraswamy stated that ISB aims to create a broader impact by continuing to provide innovative offerings backed by cutting-edge research and industry-relevant outcomes for India and other emerging economies.