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Rajnath Singh reviews security arrangements along Indo-Nepal border

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New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday reviewed the infrastructure development projects and security arrangements along the India-Nepal border.

During a meeting here, a detailed presentation was made to the minister by the border management division of the ministry of home affairs, an official release said.

“Administrative and environmental clearances for projects in the border areas were discussed. It was decided that the home ministry will take up pending environmental issues with chief ministers concerned and with minister of environment and forests (Prakash Javadekar) for expediting these projects,” it said.

The progress on border roads in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand was also discussed, apart from connectivity and communication in border states.

The meeting was told that starting FM radio stations in the border areas has been taken up with information and broadcasting ministry and the connectivity issue with communications and information technology ministry.

The empowered committee on border infrastructure was regularly reviewing availability of electricity and water as well as mobile and road connectivity to facilitate working of border guarding force in these areas.

In the review meeting, issues of cross-border crime, fake Indian currency, smuggling of narcotics, human trafficking and anti-India propaganda in border areas were also discussed.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Secretary (border management) Anoop Kumar Srivastava, Sashastra Seema Bal Director General BD Sharma and other senior officers from the ministries of home and external affairs and security agencies participated in the meeting.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Rajnath Singh: Government is Willing to Double The Healthcare Budget

Government may soon double the healthcare budget, says Rajnath Singh

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh
FILE IMAGE- Rajnath Singh.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the government is willing to more than double the share of healthcare sector to 2.5 per cent of the country’s GDP.

“Currently, the government spends 1.16 per cent of the country’s GDP on the healthcare sector. However, the Prime Minister has said the budget for healthcare can increase up to 2.5 per cent of the GDP,” Rajnath Singh said at the 64th Founder’s Day celebrations of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here.

He said providing healthcare facility for the population of 125 crore “is not easy”. Challenges relate to both medical infrastructure and services including severe shortages of doctors, nurses and hospitals, he said, giving out comparative statistics of healthcare in India and the world.

Budget of Healthcare for 2018
Healthcare Budget 2018.

In India, for every 1,000 persons, there are 0.6 doctors, 0.8 nurses and 1.5 beds, whereas the world average is 1.2 doctors, 0.8 nurses and four beds, said the minister.

Citing Ayushman Bharat that promises to provide health coverage to 10 crore vulnerable families with an insurance of Rs 5 lakh per family per year, Rajnath Singh said: “This would require infrastructure. The government is working towards it so as to ensure affordable and universal healthcare.”

“Heavy investment would be required. The government will increase its investment in both preventive and promotive healthcare. But it is not possible for the government to do this alone. We are encouraging the private sector. We see them as strategic partners,” he said.

Also Read: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh approves use of chilli-based PAVA shells as alternative to Pellet Guns for Crowd Controlling

Stressing that a “Healthy India” is a must to build a strong and prosperous India, he said that the Narendra Modi government is trying to provide free diagnosis and free emergency care at all government hospitals, even as it is planning big on medical tourism for people coming to India for treatment.

The Minister said several steps have been taken towards boosting medical tourism such as extending e-Visa to 161 countries and extending the duration of stay on e-Visa from 30 to 60 days allowing for triple entry in e-Medical Visa cases.

On Sir Ganga Ram and his hospital that was first established in Lahore in 1921 and later in Delhi in 1954, Rajnath Singh said: “He had a big heart. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is the only institution that exists by the same name in our country and neighbouring Pakistan.”  IANS

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