- digital divide affects education : NSO report
The issue in news
National Statistical Organisation (NSO) has released the findings of the survey on household social consumption related to education, as part of the NSO’s 75th round, conducted from July 2017 to June 2018.
- The report shows just how stark the digital divide is, across States, cities and villages, and income
- Across India, only one in 10 households have a computer — whether a desktop, laptop or tablet.
- However, almost a quarter of all homes have Internet facilities, accessed via a fixed or mobile network using any device, including smartphones.
- Most of these Internet-enabled homes are located in cities, where 42% have Internet access.
- In rural India, however, only 15% are connected to the Internet.
- The national capital has the highest Internet access, with 55% of homes having such facilities.
- Himachal Pradesh and Kerala are the only other states where more than half of all households have Internet.
- Odisha has the least Internet-enabled homes.
- 40% children not fully vaccinated: NSO report
The issue in news :
‘Health in India’ report has been published by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).
- The report is based on the 75th round of the National Sample Survey (July 2017-June 2018) on household social consumption related to health.
- Across the country, only 59.2% of children under five years are fully immunised.
- This contradicts the Centre’s Health Management Information System portal data, which claimed that full immunisation coverage for 2017-18 stood at 86.7%.
- It points out that although almost all children in India are vaccinated against tuberculosis, and receive their birth dose of the polio vaccine, two out of five children do not complete their immunisation programme.
- Most of these children remain unprotected against measles, and partially protected against a range of other diseases.
- About 97% of children across the country received at least one vaccination — mostly BCG and/or the first dose of OPV at birth. This remains steady across income groups and geographies.
- However, only 67% of children are protected against measles.
- Full immunisation means that a child receives eight vaccine doses in the first year of life.
- Among the states, Manipur (75%), Andhra Pradesh (73.6%) and Mizoram (73.4%) recorded the highest rates of full immunisation.
- At the other end of the spectrum lies Nagaland, where only 12% of children received all vaccinations, followed by Puducherry (34%) and Tripura (39.6%).
Asset monetization of subsidiaries of Power Grid
The issue in news
Cabinet approves asset monetization of subsidiaries of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited through infrastructure investment trust.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the monetization of assets of POWERGRID, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Power, through the Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model.
- This is the first time any PSU in the power sector will undertake asset recycling by monetizing its assets through the InvIT model and use the proceeds to fund the new and under-construction capital projects.
- POWERGRID can now monetize transmission assets held in SPVs through InvIT model.
- The proceeds from the asset monetization would be utilized by POWERGRID for its CAPEX and the premium generated would augment the net worth of POWERGRID.
- In the first block, POWERGRID would monetize assets with a gross block of more than Rs7000 crore. Based on the experience gained, further monetization shall be carried out in the future.
Background of the issue :
- POWERGRID is a PSU under the administrative control of the Power Ministry.
- It is a Maharatna company engaged in the business of power transmission. POWERGRID started its commercial operations in 1992-93.
- Through its subsidiaries, it owns and operates a pan India transmission network.
- The company meets its fund requirement for its Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) through its internal accruals and debt.
- The Budget 2019-20 emphasized investment-led growth and indicated that new and innovative financial instruments including Infrastructure Investment Trusts (lnvITs), have been launched as part of the brownfield asset monetization strategy for augmenting infrastructure investment.
- Asset recycling is a key strategy of the Government of India to release the capital invested in operational assets and the proposed InvIT of POWERGRID would attract both domestic as well as global investors including Sovereign Wealth funds.
- Sale of assets to InvITs is a way of accessing long term, relatively cheap finance required to fund infrastructure projects in the transmission sector.
- The InvIT would provide an opportunity to the general public and institutional investors such as pension funds, mutual funds, to benefit from this investment opportunity and participate in the growth of the Indian infrastructure sector.