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In news:

Indian Railways has invited interested parties to submit a Request for Qualification (RFQ) document by January 17 for selection of private parties to operate 150 passenger trains on 100 routes.

In brief:

  • As per the draft proposal, the Ministry has grouped routes into 12 clusters that are to be operated through Public Private Partnership (PPP) on design, build, finance and operate basis, with a concession period of 35 years.
  • The project work includes designing, procurement, financing and operation and maintenance of passenger trains comprising a minimum of 16 coaches with the right to collect market-linked fares.
  • Mumbai-New Delhi, Chennai-Okhla, Howrah-Chennai, New Delhi-Howrah, Shalimar-Pune and New Delhi-Patna are some of the routes private trains will operate.

About PPP Model:

  • PPP is a mode of providing public infrastructure and services by Government in partnership with private sector.
  • It is a long term arrangement between Government and private sector entity for provision of public utilities and services.

SBI Ecowrap Report

In news:

India will create 16 lakh fewer govt jobs in FY20- SBI Ecowrap report.

Highlights of the SBI Ecowrap Report:

  • As per Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data, in FY19 India had created 89.7 lakh new payroll. In FY20, as per current projections, this number could be at least 15.8 lakh lower.
  • It leading to at least 16 lakh fewer government and low-paying jobs in the financial year.
  • The slow pace of growth has a direct impact on payroll creation as labour remittances are declining.
  • Even in the NPS category, State and central governments are expected to create close to 39,000 jobs less in FY20, as per current trends.
  • The remittance data shows a decline in remittances in states like Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan Odisha & UP

Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi Scheme

In News:

Government plans to provide Rs 15 lakh under Rashtriya Arogaya Nidhi scheme- National draft policy on Rare Disease.

In Brief:

  • Under the draft National Policy for Rare Diseases, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would proposed to fund one-time treatment cost to the tune of Rs.15 lakh for certain treatable rare diseases.
  • It provided the patient was eligible under its flagship health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
  • The scheme benefit is limited to people below Poverty Line (BPL) and also 40% of the population eligible as per Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB-PMJAY) norms for treatment in government tertiary hospitals only.
  • Under the policy, the government plans to notify certain medical institutes as Centers of Excellence for Rare Diseases.
  • A few rare diseases categorised under Group 1, like osteopetrosis and certain immune deficiency disorders that can be cured with treatment, and certain diseases Tyrosinemia, Fabry’s disease and Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which require kidney or liver transplants.

Retail Inflation

  • Retail inflation has surged to over 5-year high of 7.35% in December 2019.
  • According to information released by the National Statistical Office on
  • Monday, retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index was only 2.11%
  • in December 2018 and 5.54% in November 2019

Retail Inflation:

  • It is the increase in price of goods sold at retail market.
  • In India retail price is measured by consumer price index.

Fuel Upgradation for Indian Navy

  • The Ministry of Defence announced new fuel upgradation for Indian Navy with revised technical specifications known as the High Flash High Speed Diesel (HFHSD) in collaboration with Indian Oil Corporation.
  • The fuel upgradation will help in reducing carbon footprint, equipment reliability, increased performance and will help Navy achieve its Mission based deployment.