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Indigenous Development of UAV





Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be taking up indigenous development of Medium Altitude Long Endurance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) against confirmed Qualitative Requirements (QRs) to meet Tri-Services requirements. The UAV has been named RUSTOM-H. Indian Industry would be the development-cum-production partner for this programme. The project is proposed to be completed in 78 months after formal sanction.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Prabodh Panda and Shri MB Rajesh in Lok Sabha today.

Cash less health care under ESIC



The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is providing cashless comprehensive health care services including advance super speciality and tertiary care benefits to ESI beneficiaries. To further fine tune delivery of advance health benefits i.e. super speciality and tertiary care, ESIC has taken the following steps:-

ESI Corporation is bearing the total expenditure on provisions of super speciality services including diagnostic services directly w.e.f. 01.08.2008.

Tie up arrangements for super speciality and advanced tertiary care services are made directly by ESI Corporation in the States with reputed Government and private medical institutions.

While making tie up arrangement, it is ensured that all areas where Insured Persons (IPs) are concentrated are covered and they are not required to travel long distances and advanced health facilities are available at the nearest possible location.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Shri Harish Rawat in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

Returning awards and medals



In protest against non-acceptance of their demand of One Rank One Pension, some of the ex-servicemen surrendered their medals. Nine cardboard boxes full of medals have been received.

A Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of One Rank One Pension and other related issues. After considering all aspects of the issue, the Committee did not find it administratively feasible to recommend One Rank One Pension, as such. However, keeping in mind the spirit of the demand several other recommendations to substantially improve pensionary benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) and Commissioned Officers have been made, which have been accepted by the Government:-

i) Bringing parity between pension of pre and post October 10, 1997 PBOR pensioners.
ii) Inclusion of Classification Allowance of PBOR from January 01, 2006.
iii) Further improving PBOR pensions based on award of GOM, 2006.
iv) Removal of linkage of full pension with 33 years from January 01, 2006 in respect of Commissioned Officers.
v) Revision of pension of Lt. General pension after carving out a separate pay scale of Rs. 69000 - 79000.
vi) Broad banding of percentage of disability/war injury pension for pre January 01, 1996 disability/war injury pensioners.
vii) Removal of the cap on war injury element of pension in the case of disabled pensioners belonging to Category E, which have also been accepted by the Government.

Two of the recommendations at SI. No. (ii) and (iv) have since been implemented through a Govt. letter dated October 10, 2009. Other recommendations are at different stages of implementation. Since the issue on which ex-servicemen have been protesting has been substantially addressed by the Committee, the Government expects them to honour their hard earned medals.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju in a written reply to Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Shri Rajiv Ranjan Singh Alias Lalan Singh in Lok Sabha today.

CGHS pensioners seek a lasting solution



Scores of pensioners covered under Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) in the capital are seeking a lasting solution to their travails concerning frequent denial of medical treatment by corporate hospitals. Many believe that a system of extending advance to private hospitals during the time of admission is the only way to address their problems.

With corporate hospitals denying admissions to retired CGHS beneficiaries, retired employees are forced to spend hard earned money from their pockets. The CGHS authorities are delaying payment of medical bills to private hospitals, which in turn refuse to admit CGHS pensioners till their bills are cleared.

In the tussle between CGHS and corporate hospitals, hapless pensioners are sufferers. “Government has to pay medical bills in advance to private hospitals like they do to employees who are still actively working in various departments,” demands Vice-president of A.G Office Pensioners Association G. S. Vittal. Working employees in Government Departments receive 80 per cent of their medical bills in advance during the time of admission to any corporate hospital. Usually, an estimate of the medical bill is sent from the private hospital to the employee’s department and 80 per cent of the estimated medical bill is released to the hospital immediately.

“When authorities can pay advance medical bills for working employees then why can’t they do the same for us?” Mr. Vittal asks. Every year, since 2007, the 30,000 pensioners and their families, covered under CGHS scheme, are facing the problem of denial of admissions by corporate hospitals because of non-payment of medical bills.

Pensioners suggest that authorities could also reserve few beds for them at private or even government hospitals. “We are not demanding that we get treatment only at private hospitals. We are open to get admitted to Gandhi or even Osmania General Hospitals if CGHS authorities reserve some beds exclusively for CGHS beneficiaries,” points out General Secretary of All Pensioners and Retired Persons Association Laxmi Narayana.
Source:The Hindu

Rs 6 lakh worth of drugs seized



The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) scam is getting bigger with each passing day. The scam — which already runs into several crores — saw an important development late on Friday night when the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of

crime branch arrested Navin Uppal, the owner of two medicine stores at Bhagirath Place. The scam, say officials, is already worth Rs 8 crore. ‘‘Ever since the crime branch raided his stores, Navin has been absconding. With his arrest, we hope to know the names of others involved in this racket. Total seizures so far have been over Rs 12 lakh, many more will follow,’’ said Neeraj Thakur, additional commissioner of police (crime).

Cops had earlier sealed the two shops. ‘‘We took the court’s permission and raided the store. We have confiscated drugs worth over Rs 6 lakh in this raid. The drugs were for poor government servants under the CGHS scheme,’’ said an SIT official.

Crime branch sources indicated this was just the tip of the iceberg. ‘‘What began as an investigation into irregularities at Ambedkar Hospital has now spread across other city hospitals. We will look into the role of a number of shopkeepers, doctors and senior CGHS officials. Some of them have sent their children abroad for education which they wouldn’t have been able to afford normally,’’ added the officer.

The crime branch had earlier arrested four persons on charges of pilfering medicines and equipment meant for CGHS dispensaries and selling them on the open market. Two of the arrested were CGHS employees.

Sources said police have already seized pilfered items worth over Rs 8 lakh. On a tip-off that various top-end, life-saving medicines and other equipment meant for CGHS dispensaries in east Delhi were being pilfered and disposed of in connivance with some private medical shop owners, SIT had registered a case of pilfering on December 5.

‘‘The team arrested two CGHS employees after they were found supplying drugs to the racket. The accused have been identified as Revati Prasad Sharma, a storekeeper at Vivek Vihar CGHS dispensary and Mithun Tyagi, a computer operator from Ghaziabad who handled stock data at the Yamuna Vihar dispensary. Cops suspect Mithun tampered with the records to conceal the pilferage,’’ said an investigating officer.

Sources added crime branch conducted raids at two medical stores and arrested their owners. While Mukesh Sharma runs a store in Ghaziabad, Devender Tiwari owns a store in Karawal Nagar. Joint commissioner (crime) Amulya Patnaik said: ‘‘We are expecting more seizures and arrests soon.’’
Source:Times of India

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