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New rural cover scheme does away with health checks

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People living in rural parts of the country will soon be able to avail insurance cover without being subject to mandatory health check-ups as is the norm for life insurance policies.

The department of posts is set to launch a major micro life insurance policy which will no more require the insurees to disclose their present health condition or diseases at the time of buying the policy, a move aimed at expanding the coverage in rural India.

The proposed insurance scheme, which can be availed by economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society and particularly women, will provide a risk cover up to Rs 25,000, said an official in the ministry of communication and information technology. The aim is to cover around one-tenth of Indians and become one of the potent players in the Indian insurance sector by easing out the procedural formalities that precedes purchase of any life insurance scheme.

While the new scheme has been made customer friendly, the postal department will put in place system and process to address the issue of fake claims. To ensure that relaxation over disclosing the insuree’s health condition does not lead to wrong claims, the claimant has to file a death certificate issued by a government doctor on the deceased’s cause of death, the official said. If the medical report says that the insuree was suffering from any ailment that existed prior to the purchase of the insurance policy, the postal department has an option not to honour the insurance claim. The policy premium will vary according to the age of the insuree and the duration of the policy.

India Post expects to cover around 100 million Indians by the end of 2011 under the scheme, this policy is assumed to play a major role in attaining this objective. The move is a part of the initiative taken by India post to put a major thrust on its insurance services and have a strong presence in the insurance sector specially in rural areas,” the official added.

Eight million lives and a sum of Rs 40,000 crore have been insured, since the launch of rural postal life insurance scheme launched in 1995, under various policies offered by India Post under the rural postal life insurance. The department also plans to align its investment norms for life insurance policies to pump in part of its daily collections in revenue-generating instruments including stocks, a move which is likely to start from October 1, 2009.

With a huge presence in the country with around 1.55 lakh post offices, the postal department is slowly developing itself as a centre for distributing diversified services like National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), life insurance and financial solutions to its customers apart from its mail delivery system.
Source: Economic Times

Govt against teachers' training in distant mode

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The government is considering to discourage offering pre-service training in distant mode for students looking forward to taking up teaching jobs.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal held a roundtable on teachers' education here on Monday where majority of the participants said teachers' education should be given on face-to-face mode in view of the importance of such education.

The government will convene a meeting of the vice chancellors soon to discuss the issue.

The members, which includes principals of many city schools, however, said the in-service teachers could be allowed to pursue teachers' training in distant mode.

The round table also discussed about the differential pattern of school education in states. While in some states, the primary schooling is up to class IV, a few other states have primary schools offering education up to class three.

The differential pattern also creates problem in planning teachers' training in the country.

All-India Consumer Price Index - September, 2009

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All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural and Rural Labourers on Base 1986-87=100 – September, 2009

The All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Agricultural Labourers and Rural Labourers (Base: 1986-87=100) for September, 2009 increased by 7 points each to stand at 515 (Five hundred and fifteen) points for Agricultural Labourers and 514 (Five hundred and fourteen) points for Rural Labourers.

The rise in index varied from State to State. In case of Agricultural Labourers, 8 States reflected an increase in index between 9 to 13 points; 8 States between 5 to 8 points and 4 States between 1 to 4 points. Punjab with 569 points topped the index table whereas Manipur with the index level of 444 points stood at the bottom.

In case of Rural Labourers, the increase in index ranged between 9 to 14 points in 8 States, between 5 to 8 points in 7 States and between 1 to 4 points in 5 States. Punjab with 568 points topped the index table whereas Manipur with the index level of 445 points stood at the bottom.

The Consumer Price Index Numbers of West Bengal State for Agricultural Labourers registered the highest increase of 13 points mainly due to increase in the prices of rice,wheat atta, Khesari dal, vegetables & fruits, sugar, gur and bidi while for Rural Labourers, the index of Punjab State recorded the maximum increase of 14 points mainly due to increase in the prices of rice, wheat/maize atta, turmeric, vegetables & fruits, sugar, gur, tea readymade, firewood and leather/ plastic shoes.

Point to point rate of inflation based on the CPI-AL and CPI-RL increased from 12.89% and 12.67% in August, 2009 to 13.19% and 12.97% respectively in September, 2009. The rates of inflation during September, 2008 were 10.98% for both the series.

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