Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh today approved the enhancement of the monetary ceiling for purchase of Not Available (NA), emergent, lifesavings and essential drugs by 100% in all categories of polyclinics from Authorised Local Chemists (ALC). This will ensure easy & timely availability of medicines for ECHS beneficiaries. (Type A & B from Rs 2.5 lakh to 5 Lakh, Type C from Rs 1.5 lakh to 3 Lakh, Type D from Rs 1 lakh to 2 Lakh).
There have been various representations from the veterans regarding supply of medicines. The Government has already undertaken a series of modifications to procedures of procurement of medicines for ECHS beneficiaries. In all stations with ECHS Polyclinics, local medical stores/chemists are empanelled for supply of Not Available (NA), emergent, life-saving and essential drugs on as required basis. The empanelled local medical stores/chemists are being done by a Board of Officers constituted by the Station Commander. Any expenditure above this limit will be approved by MD, ECHS. The CO, ECHS may re-appropriate the required funds from other ECHS Polyclinics, if required.
It may be seen that the Government on 25.03.2022 had already conveyed the sanction for reimbursement of cost of medicines and consumables, purchased from open market, not Available at ECHS Polyclinic/Authorized Local Chemist for a maximum period of 30 days from earlier 15 days at a time subject to the maximum value of medicines and consumables not exceeding Rs. 25,000/- each time under the general conditions and Rs. 75,000/- each time under the special conditions except in the case of Cancer Medicines where the maximum value of medicines and consumable would be Rs.5 lakhs each time from the earlier Rs.2 lakhs each time. This will be a big move towards making essential medicines available to the Veterans.
(Release ID: 1838285)
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The Army Commanders’ Conference, an apex level biannual event, is being held in New Delhi from 18 to 22 April 2022. During the event, Indian Army’s apex leadership is comprehensively deliberating upon all aspects of existing security scenarios, situation along the borders, in the hinterland and challenges for the present security apparatus. In addition, the conference is also focusing on issues pertaining to organisational restructuring, logistics, administration, human resource management, modernisation through indigenisation, induction of Niche technologies and assessment of impact of the Russia – Ukraine war. The main highlight of the fourth day of the conference was the address by the Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, to the senior leadership of the Indian Army, which was preceded by a brief on the “Modernisation through Indigenisation” plans of the Indian Army.
The Raksha Mantri reaffirmed the faith of the billion-plus citizens in the Indian Army as one of the most trusted and inspiring organisations in the country. He highlighted the stellar role played by the Army in guarding our borders and fighting terrorism apart from providing assistance to the civil administration whenever called for. The Raksha Mantri also remarked “The Army is present in every domain from Security, HADR, Medical Assistance to maintaining the stable internal situation in the country. The role of Indian Army is very important in Nation building as also in the overall national development”. He reiterated his happiness to be present in the Army Commander’s conference and complimented the Army leadership for successfully taking ahead the ‘Defence and Security’ vision of the Nation and the Hon’ble Prime Minister. He also complimented the COAS, General MM Naravane of having successfully led the Army in last two and half years of his tenure as COAS, Indian Army.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri stressed upon the present complex world situation which effects everyone globally. He stated that “Unconventional and asymmetric warfare, including hybrid war will be part of the future conventional wars. Cyber, information, communication, trade and finance have all become an inseparable part of future conflicts. This necessitates that Armed Forces will have to keep all these facets in consideration while planning and formulating strategies”.
Commenting on the current situation along the Northern borders, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri expressed full confidence that while troops are standing firm, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution will continue and disengagement and de-escalation, is the way forward. Expressing his gratitude, he remarked “It is our ‘Whole of Government’ approach to ensure availability of best weapons, equipment and clothing to our troops braving extreme weather and hostile forces to defend our territorial integrity”. The Raksha Mantri complimented the efforts of BRO, which has led to the quantum improvement of road communication in the borders both Western and Northern, while working under difficult conditions.
Referring to the situation along the Western borders, he complimented the Indian Army’s response to cross border terrorism, however the proxy war by the adversary continues. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri said “I compliment the excellent synergy between the CAPF/ Police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The synergised operations in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are contributing to increased stability in the region and the same should continue”.
The Raksha Mantri complimented the forces for the high standard of operational preparedness and capabilities which he has always been experiencing first hand during his visits to forward areas. He also paid tributes to all the brave hearts for making the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of the motherland. He complimented the significant contributions made by the Army in military diplomacy to further our national security interests by creating sustainable cooperative relationships with foreign Armies. He also complimented the Armed Forces for the recent evacuation of Indian Nationals from Ukraine in ‘Operation Ganga’.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri stressed upon the technological advancement taking place in every sphere of our life and applauded the Armed Forces for aptly incorporating them. He appreciated the Army’s efforts to develop niche technologies in collaboration with civil industries, including premier educational institutions and thereby progressing towards the aim of ‘ Modernisation through Indigenisation’ or ‘Atam Nirbharta’.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri highlighted that “the Government is focused on enhancing combat capability and ensuring welfare of soldiers”. He also remarked that “the Policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat is a big step towards self-reliance in defence which offers great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to meet the future requirements of the Armed Forces”. He applauded the Indian Army for working towards this goal and remarked that in 2021-2022, in keeping with the Atamnirbhar Bharat, Rs 40,000 crores worth of contracts by the Army are being awarded to Indian Vendors, which is commendable.
The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri also brought out that the recent corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is proving as a successful step and all 7 x DPSUs are working towards capability development of Armed Forces. He remarked that the government is committed in every manner towards the welfare of our Veterans and the Next of Kin of all categories of Battle Casualties. He also announced that Government is aware of the Risk and Hardship the defence personnel faces in the field areas, apropos, Government has decided to enhance the Risk and Hardship allowance for the Army personnel posted in such areas.
He concluded by saying that issues related to “Defence diplomacy, indigenisation, information warfare, defence infrastructure and force modernisation should always be deliberated upon in such a forum. The formalisation of Integrated Theatre Command is the need of hour and I am happy with the progress being made towards the same. I have full confidence in the senior Military leadership. The Nation is proud of its Army and the Government is committed to facilitate the Army in their forward movement, on the road to reforms and capability modernisation”.
(Release ID: 1818743)
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Key Highlights of RM’s speech:
· Effective response mechanism to address humanitarian crises & natural disasters one of the most important pillars of SAGAR
· Our Armed Forces have always stood for the country’s partners in times of need
· Need for collective solution to deal with global challenges in post-COVID world
· Benefits of emerging cutting-edge technologies must be shared with all
· Need for new ideas in global & national strategies for implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals post COVID
“Our Armed Forces have time and again demonstrated that they care for and stand by the country’s partners in times of need without distinguishing between natural or man-made disasters,” said Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh while virtually inaugurating the 5th World Congress on Disaster Management on November 24, 2021. He reiterated India’s vision for the Indian Ocean encapsulated by the concept of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) as articulated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Raksha Mantri underlined that SAGAR has both distinct and inter-related elements such as deepening economic and security cooperation among the littoral states; enhancing capacities to safeguard land and maritime territories; working towards sustainable regional development; Blue Economy and promoting collective action to deal with non-traditional threats like natural disasters, piracy and terrorism.
Shri Rajnath Singh maintained that while each of these elements requires equal attention, developing an effective response mechanism to address humanitarian crises and natural disasters is one of the most important pillars of SAGAR. India’s engagement with the world and especially the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has been robustly strong, he said, lauding the Armed Forces for being the first responders in the region for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. He said, India’s unique position in the IOR, complemented by a capability of the Armed Forces, enables it to contribute significantly in HADR situations.
The Raksha Mantri made special mention of some notable HADR missions in the IOR undertaken by India in recent years, including Operation Rahat in Yemen in 2015 when India rescued and evacuated over 6,700 persons, including over 1,940 citizens of more than 40 other countries; cyclone in Sri Lanka in 2016; earthquake in Indonesia in 2019; Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and flooding and landslides in Madagascar in January 2020 where Indian assistance was promptly provided. He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has not dented India’s commitment, which was demonstrated by India’s response during the Oil Spill in Mauritius in August 2020 and Oil tanker fire in Sri Lanka in September 2020.
India taking lead and offering expertise of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) to its friendly countries was also highlighted by Shri Rajnath Singh. “Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) was first proposed by India during the 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in New Delhi. It is today an international coalition of countries, United Nations (UN) agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector and academic institutions, that aim to promote disaster-resilient infrastructure,” he said. The Raksha Mantri added that India has been regularly conducting exercises to deepen the HADR co-operation and co-ordination with its neighbours and friendly countries with a focus on sharing expertise and building capabilities.
The Raksha Mantri shared his views on the challenging geo-political landscape and the traditional and non-traditional threats including natural calamities like COVID-19 faced by the world. He said, to deal with the pandemic, India has developed a large capacity for production of COVID-19 vaccines and is extending help to many countries. He emphasised on the need for a collective solution to deal with global challenges in the post-pandemic world. He said, the pandemic has reaffirmed the centrality of multilateralism in the interconnected world for matters not only related to international security but also disaster management.
Shri Rajnath Singh also spoke about the emerging cutting-edge technologies in the fields of space, communication, bio-engineering, bio-medics and artificial intelligence. He said, these include precision tools and sensors which can revolutionise the way the risks of disasters are assessed and communicated through early warning. He also shed light on the smart technologies for post disaster recovery and reconstructions. The Raksha Mantri stressed on sharing the benefits of these technologies with all along with funding initiatives for capacity development for better application and use of these technologies.
The Raksha Mantri called for cooperating more closely to strengthen international architecture for building structures to prevent and manage future disasters. He also suggested a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, emphasising on the need to incorporate new ideas in global and national strategies for the implementation of the goals.
The 5th World Congress on Disaster Management (WCDM) is being organised in New Delhi between November 24-27, 2021 at the campus of IIT Delhi on the overarching theme of ‘Technology, Finance and Capacity for Building Resilience to Disasters in the context of COVID-19’. It is an initiative of Disaster Management Initiatives and Convergence Society (DMICS) having its headquarter in Hyderabad to bring researchers, policy makers and practitioners from around the world on the same platform to discuss various challenging issues of disaster risk management. The aim is to promote interaction of science, policy and practices to enhance understanding of risks and advance actions for reducing risks and building resilience to disasters.
Director General, India Council of Medical Research & Secretary, Department of Health Research Dr Balram Bhargava delivered the keynote address, while Convener 5th WCDM Dr S Anandababu gave the welcome address. Special Representative of UN Secretary General on Disaster Reduction Ms Mami Mizutori also spoke during the inaugural session.
(Release ID: 1774611)
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