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Current Affairs - 17 March 2018

General Affairs 

Devendra Fadnavis's Closed-Door Meeting With Sena As TDP Quits Alliance
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held a closed-door meeting this morning with Shiv Sena leader and union minister Anant Geete at a guest house in Mumbai as battle-lines are drawn in Delhi over no-confidence motions moved against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government by Andhra Pradesh parties YSR Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

    Mr Fadnavis' meeting, sources said, was a BJP outreach to its oldest ally the Shiv Sena as the TDP pulled out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) this morning. The Maharashtra chief minister and BJP state chief Raosaheb Danve, who was also present at the meeting at the Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai, reportedly attempted to convince the Shiv Sena to side with the government if the no-confidence motions are admitted and a vote held. 

    The Shiv Sena, sources said, is yet to decide whether it will support the government, which is not in danger for now. The BJP on its own has 274 lawmakers in the 543-member Lok Sabha; the majority mark is 272. Along with its allies in the NDA, the BJP now has the support of 315 lawmakers, down 16 after the TDP walked out.

    The Shiv Sena has 18 Lok Sabha members. The party declared recently that it will contest next year's national election and the Maharashtra assembly elections, also in 2019, on its own and not in partnership with the BJP. The announcement came after months of strained ties between the two allies, that have seen the Udhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena make regular jabs at the BJP and the central government, of which it continues to be a part for now.

    In an article in its mouthpiece the Saamana on Thursday, the Shiv Sena predicted a steep drop in the BJP's seats in the 2019 national election, based on the results of by-elections earlier this week in which the party lost two key parliament seats in Uttar Pradesh.

    "The twin wins by the Samajwadi Party in BJP bastions like Gorakhpur and Phulpur has created panic in the BJP camp even as they were busy celebrating the party's victory in a small state like Tripura last week," the Shiv Sena article said, pointing out that since the BJP swept the 2014 national election, it has lost nine parliament seats in by-elections, which has slashed its tally from 282 to 274, very close to the half-way mark in the 543-member strong Lower House.

    "We are confident we have the numbers," the government has said on the no-confidence motions, which will be admitted if backed by 50 lawmakers. Ahead of the 2019 elections, however, the exit of a key ally is a blow for the BJP, also coming as it did just after the setback in the UP by-elections.

    More than one BJP ally has complained that the party has neglected its partners in the NDA.

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's TDP was fulminating for weeks, complaining that the central government neglected the state in the union budget and demanding central funding under a special category status for the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Opens Indian Science Congress In Manipur
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the five-day Indian Science Congress at the Manipur University here.

    "I appeal to the scientists to spend at least 100 hours a year with 100 school students of classes 9 to 11 to teach them the aspects of science. This will go a long way in exposing the students to science," he said in his speech.

    PM Modi said this was the second Science Congress in the northeast in the last 100 years. Over 5,000 invitees are taking part, including 2,000 research scholars and scientists. 

    Stating that the WHO was planning to eradicate TB from the world in 2030, he said India would accomplish this mission by 2025. 

    PM Modi appreciated the contribution in space science and said the country would check the brain drain of its scientists.

    He urged scientists to help overcome problems like malnutrition and diseases like malaria and Japanese encephalitis.

BJP Tally May Drop By 110 Seats In 2019, Says Shiv Sena
  • The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's tally may drop by 100-110 seats in the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019, if the current trends and the results of the recent bypolls are an indicator, its ally Shiv Sena said in a gloomy prediction on Friday.

    "The twin wins by the Samajwadi Party in BJP bastions like Gorakhpur and Phulpur has created panic in the BJP camp even as they were busy celebrating the party's victory in a small state like Tripura last week," the Sena said in a tough edit in the party mouthpieces, 'Saamana' (Marathi) and 'Dopahar Ka Saamana' (Hindi).

    Though the BJP claims that by-elections do not reflect the mood of the country, ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over, the party has lost nearly nine seats in Lok Sabha by-polls, slashing its tally from 282 to around 272 - the half-way mark in the 543-strong Lower House, the editorial said.

    "It was barely a year ago that the BJP won the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, creating a record by winning 325 seats. The saffron-clad Yogi Adityanath, who has never lost the Gorakhpur seat since 1991, became the state Chief Minister. So despite the huge popularity they enjoyed, why was their citadel shattered," the Sena wondered.

    It could be said that in 2014, there was a huge "wave" of popularity and water had blocked the eyes and ears of the masses, leading to BJP's victory, but, now the wave has receded and people can "see" everything clearly, the edit said.

    The BJP is now blaming "poor voter turnout", "lack of enthusiasm" or "a deal between the Samajwadi Party with Bahujan Samaj Party" for its rout in the two critical seats in Uttar Pradesh.

    "Since 2014, how many deals has the BJP entered into for power... What about Naresh Agrawal, who was inducted in BJP with such fanfare? In Tripura, the BJP could win only after the entire Congress and Trinamool Congress 'merged' with it" the Sena pointed out.

    Referring to the polls, the Sena said the SP candidates secured big margins in both Gorakhpur and Phulpur, indicating that the people went out of the way to defeat the BJP in both seats which were won with huge margins of two-three lakh votes in 2014.

    On the winning spree of the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar's Jehanabad and Araria, the Sena said some BJP leaders were living in a fool's paradise as they attributed it to "a sympathy wave" for the jailed RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav.

    "Lalu is in jail for corruption... and that could be a politics of vendetta. Despite that if he can get 'sympathy', then it's a big blow to both Nitish Kumar and Modi... The outcome has thrown down the BJP from the sky to the ground," the Sena said.

    "Amidst all this, it is clear now, that in 2019, the BJP's numbers will not be 280, but it will plummet by at least 100-110 seats. The elections are not being fought in Russia, America, Canada, France or Israel, but in India. So they (BJP) should keep their feet on the ground here," the Sena warned.

TDP's Exit Opportunity For Us To Grow In Andhra, Says BJP
  • The BJP on Friday said the exit of Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was "inevitable after its mischievous propaganda against the Centre" and added that it presented "a timely opportunity" for the party to grow in Andhra Pradesh.

    "TDP's decision to quit was inevitable after its mischievous propaganda against the Centre," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said in a tweet.

    "People of Andhra Pradesh have now realised that the Telugu Desam Party is resorting to lies to cover up its inept and inert governance. Far from being a threat, TDP's exit is a timely opportunity for the BJP to grow in Andhra Pradesh," Mr Rao added.

    The BJP leader's remarks came soon after the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) announced its exit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's coalition over the centre's refusal to grant special status category to Andhra Pradesh.

    The TDP has also moved a no-confidence motion against the Centre in Lok Sabha.

    The TDP-BJP four-year-old alliance soured quickly after the budget, with Mr Naidu complaining that Andhra Pradesh had been severely neglected.

    Earlier this month, Mr Naidu pulled out two ministers from the centre and in a press conference said PM Modi had
    snubbed him.

    The Andhra Chief Minister said he when he called, the PM did not come on the line. He also described as  "hurtful and insulting" Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's comments as he explained why the Centre cannot give Andhra Pradesh "special category status."

    Arun Jaitley had said that the Centre was happy to give funds to Andhra Pradesh, but cannot give it special status as that scheme was scrapped by the 14th Finance Commission for all states except the north east and hill states.

Delhi Assembly Passes Resolution On Sealing, Arvind Kejriwal Demands Moratorium
  • The Delhi Assembly today passed a resolution asking the centre to take steps to stop sealing in the national capital, while Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought a moratorium on the drive to provide a relief to the city's traders.

    The chief minister termed the ongoing sealing drive a "dangerous attack" on traders and said an all party-delegation, including his cabinet colleagues, would meet the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee to resolve the issue.

    The resolution, moved by AAP lawmaker Sourabh Bharadwaj, stated that the "unjustified" sealing is a direct consequence of the "negligence and inefficiency" of the Delhi Development Authority and the municipal corporations.

    "The ongoing sealing drive in various markets has wreaked havoc among the traders and has left thousands of workers unemployed... Sealing should be immediately stopped. De-seal the already sealed shops," the resolution, passed by voice vote, stated.

    The resolution further stated that the centre should take all possible steps, including bringing a new bill or amending existing laws in the ongoing budget session of parliament to halt sealing with immediate effect.

    Countering the allegations of leader of opposition Vijender Gupta that the AAP government was not introducing a Bill to give relief to traders from sealing, Mr Kejriwal said the move will not yield any result as the DDA and municipal corporations do not come under the city administration.

    "Sealing is being carried out, but no shop of any politician has been sealed yet. Traders are facing a lot of problems. The immediate solution is that the centre bring a moratorium on sealing for two years. Meanwhile the government and other agencies can complete all formalities to amend the existing laws," the chief minister said.

    After the BJP leader refused to attend a meeting on the sealing issue at the chief minister's residence, in reference to the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by some AAP lawmaker last month, Mr Kejriwal invited Mr Gupta for a meeting at some other place to discuss the matter.

    During the discussion, Mr Gupta also accused the AAP government of not appointing prominent lawyers to effectively put up a strong case in the Supreme Court for halting the sealing drive being carried out since December.

    Responding to Mr Gupta's accusation, Mr Kejriwal said the Delhi government has appointed prominent lawyers, adding that if the leader of opposition has any other name, the government will go ahead with it.

    In the discussion, the AAP lawmaker demanded that the centre being an ordinance or amend the existing law to provide a relief to traders, while BJP legislators slammed the Delhi government, saying that it was not "serious" about traders' issues. 

Business Affairs

India's GST among the most complex globally, simplification key to its success: World Bank report
  • Multiple rates, high peak rate and a slew of exemptions have made India's Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates one of the most complex in the world, notes the World Bank. The India Development Update, the biannual publication of the World Bank released in Delhi on March 15th says that the country's 28 per cent GST rate - the highest of the four non-zero slabs - is the second highest among a sample of 115 countries that have a GST (VAT) system. India has the highest standard GST rate in Asia.

    In terms of complexity, Indian GST system currently has 5, 12, 18, and 28 per cent rates while most countries around the world have a single rate of GST. The World Bank report points out that 49 countries use a single rate, 28 use two rates, and only five countries - India, Italy, Luxembourg, Pakistan and Ghana use four rates.

    The report also says that in addition to the number of rates, the extent of exemptions and sales at a zero rate adds to the complexity. "While exemptions allow easing the tax burden on items with a high social value, such as healthcare, they also reduce the tax base and compromise the logic of the GST as they can. It reintroduces cascading where an exempted good or service is an input into another taxable good or service, create incentives for vertical integration to keep the exempt status, and raise compliance costs by making it necessary to allocate input taxes between exempt and non-exempt output when manufactured or traded together", the report says.

    The Bank also stated that in contrast to other GST design parameters, comparing the prevalence of exemptions across countries is challenging. "This is because the impact of declaring various goods as zero-rated does not only depend on the number of products exempted, but also on the revenue generated from each product. The latter figure is difficult to assess in the absence of tax revenue figures. Hence an assessment of the role of exemptions in the Indian GST system cannot be made before revenue figures have stabilized", it said. The bank also highlighted the registration threshold for GST as another important policy parameter.

    India's 'composition scheme', where businesses below a certain threshold pay a (lower) 'flat' turnover tax and are not allowed to collect tax as well as claim input tax credits is a practice that exists in several countries. "Such schemes for SMEs under the GST also exist in other countries. China and Poland use a similar 'flat' rate scheme. In other simplified schemes, businesses collect taxes on sales just like other registered GST business but can pay the tax as a 'flat' percentage of sales but the input credit is 'deemed' as a fixed percentage of sales. Such countries include the UK, Canada, Austria and Belgium", the report said.

    Calling the introduction of GST a historic reform, the report said that while teething problems on the administrative and design side persist, the development should be considered as the start of a process and not the end. "With the economy adapting to the new system, the GST council has been evaluating and evolving the tax structure and its implementation. While international experience suggests that the adjustment process can affect economic activity for multiple months, the benefits of GST are likely to outweigh its costs in the long run", it stated.

    According to the Bank, key to success of GST is a policy design that minimizes compliance burden, for example by minimizing the number of different rates and limiting exemptions with simple laws and procedures, an appropriately structured and resourced administration, compliance strategies based on a balanced mix of education and assistance programs and risk-based audit programs.

    The Bank also advocated for a nuanced communications campaign to convey the various aspects of the new system of GST amongst businesses, consumers and key intermediaries, such as tax practitioners, as well as amongst the tax administration itself and the political class.

IndiGo, SpiceJet shift over 120 flights to Delhi airport's Terminal 2 from March 25
  • After a four-month long legal battle, IndiGo Airlines and SpiceJet have finally agreed to abide by Delhi International Airport Ltd's (DIAL) directive to partially shift their operations to Terminal-2 (T2) with effect from March 25. India's largest airline in terms of market share announced on its website that from March 25, flight numbers 6E2000 to 6E2999 will operate from T2.

    A whopping 102 IndiGo flights have been shifted out, including flights connecting the capital to smaller cities like Bagdogra, Visakhapatnam, Udaipur, Vadodara and Srinagar. Basically, IndiGo has prefixed '2' to all flights that have been shifted out to make it easier for passengers. For instance, flight 6E 273 from Delhi to Bangalore has now become 6E 2273 and Chennai-Delhi flight 6E 3752 has changed to 6E 2752.

    Just a day ago, SpiceJet had announced that it will shift 22 flights serving seven domestic sectors - Cochin, Ahmedabad, Patna, Pune, Goa, Surat, and Gorakhpur - out of Terminal-1 (T1) of the Indira Gandhi International airport to T2. The airline said that all its remaining domestic flights will continue to operate from T1.

    In a statement SpiceJet explained that all the flights operating to and from T2 will boast a four-digit flight number starting with number '8', say, SG 8913, to "facilitate smooth, uninterrupted operations and easier identification for passengers". Furthermore, to minimise customer inconvenience, arrangements have been made for a regular bus service between T1 and T2 for use by transit passengers as well as those who might go to the wrong terminal to catch their flight. "All communication mediums have been activated to keep the passengers travelling from T2 informed about the change of terminal," added the release.

    To remind you, in October 2017, Delhi International Airport Ltd's (DIAL) had directed GoAir, SpiceJet and IndiGo airlines, which were operating from T1, to shift their flights connecting Delhi to Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru to T2 from the first week of the new year. This was on account of the Rs 16000 crore-upgradation in process at T1 to better handle the mushrooming traffic - DIAL plans to increase the capacity of T1 from 20 million annually to 40 million by 2021.

    While GoAir was quick to comply - it shifted its entire operations to T2 in late October last year - the other two low-cost carriers had unsuccessfully moved court accusing DIAL of acting unreasonably and claiming that such a partial move would inconvenience their passengers. SpiceJet finally yielded after the Delhi High Court last month upheld its single-judge order accepting DIAL's decision. IndiGo had continued the fight but had to capitulate after the Supreme Court denied its appeal three weeks ago.

    Not that the new terminal is any less than T1 and T3 in terms of infrastructure. Last year, T2 had been given a Rs 100 crore facelift after being mothballed since mid-2010, when international operations got shifted to the newly-built T3. Post renovations, T2 is geared to handle as many as 12 million passengers annually, up from 9 million.

    So, in the near term at least, passengers flying out from here are in for treat - fewer crowds, shorter queues, more comfort and less frustration. The bad news is that the chances of missing a flight may increase during the transition period as the distance between T1 and T2 is around seven kilometres.

Higher trade deficit pushes up Q3 current account deficit to $13.5 billion
  • The current account deficit (CAD) rose to 2 per cent of the GDP at USD 13.5 billion in the December quarter, up from USD 8 billion or 1.4 per cent in the year-ago period, on the back of higher trade deficit, shows the Reserve Bank data.

    The CAD, which shows the difference between foreign exchange earned and spent, stood at USD 7.2 billion or 1.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the preceding September quarter, according to data released by the central bank today.

    "The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year basis is primarily due to a higher trade deficit which rose to USD 44.1 billion in the reporting quarter due to a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports," the central bank said in a statement.

    On a cumulative basis, CAD more than doubled to 1.9 per cent of GDP in the April-December 2017 period from 0.7 per cent in the corresponding period of 2016-17 due to wider trade deficit, which increased to USD 118.9 billion from USD 82.7 billion.

    Net services receipts rose 17.8 per cent during the reporting quarter mainly on the back of a rise in net earnings from software services and travel receipts.

    Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances amounted to USD 17.6 billion, an increase of 16 per cent over a year ago.

    In the financial account, net foreign direct investment stood at USD 4.3 billion, almost 55 per cent less than in the year-ago period when it was at USD 9.7 billion, the apex bank data showed.

    However, net portfolio investment inflows were in the green at USD 5.3 billion in Q3, compare to an outflow of USD 11.3 billion in the year-ago period, due to net purchases in both the debt and equity markets.

    Net receipts on account of non-resident deposits amounted to USD 3.1 billion in the reporting quarter as against net repayments of USD 18.5 billion a year ago.

    During the three months to December 2017, the forex kitty swelled by USD 9.4 billion (on balance of payment basis) as against a depletion of USD 1.2 billion in Q3 of FY17.

    During this period, forex kitty saw an accretion USD 30.3 billion to the foreign exchange reserves.

    Net FDI inflows during April-December 2017 declined to USD 23.7 billion from USD 30.6 billion, while net portfolio inflows stood at USD 19.8 billion during the period as against a net outflow of USD 3.2 billion a year ago.

PNB fraud fallout: State-owned bank officials attend risk management workshop
  • In the wake of the Rs 13,000 crore PNB fraud, this week saw senior officials of all public sector banks meeting up in the capital for a three-day workshop. Attended by the chief technology officers, chief risk officers and executive directors of the state-owned banks, the workshop's agenda was to reportedly look at the existing risk management mechanism in place and figure out ways to strengthen it by adopting best practices. The meeting came about as a result of the finance ministry's February 27 directives to the public sector banks (PSBs) to come out with a pre-emptive action plan within 15 days to identify gaps and gear up in tackling operation and technological risks.

    Addressing the media after the workshop, M.S. Sastry, deputy managing director and chief risk officer, State Bank of India, said that the banks have drawn up action plans to "to further strengthen the controls in the areas of trade finance, SWIFT, credit risk, operational risk besides cyber and IT risks". He added that the formulated plans will now be submitted before the respective boards and will be implemented by all banks "in three to six months".

    For instance, according to The Business Standard, PSBs will now discourage multiple banking arrangements for large loans since the banks involved are not aware of the transactions that take place between the borrower and other lenders. "In case of multiple banking arrangements there is no discipline. There will, preferably, be consortium lending for loans above Rs 2.5 billion [Rs 250 crore]," Sastry told the daily, adding that all existing accounts with exposure of above this ceiling will also be moved to consortium lending. The latter is expected to facilitate better control and coordination since there will be common documentation and collateral, plus the cash management facility will be entrusted to one bank in the consortium.

    The report added that PSBs have decided to tighten lending to corporates by asking promoters to give equity upfront while the quality of equity will be assessed by verifying the loss absorption capacity of firms. Significantly, PSBs will also deter from funding the interest during the construction period.

    Another key decision taken at the workshop was to integrate SWIFT with the core banking system (CBS) latest by April 30 this year. CBS refers to system where all branches are inter-connected and all the transactions are updated real-time. However, the PNB officials - who fraudulently issued the LoUs - had bypassed the CBS and used a messaging system called SWIFT, which was not integrated with it. A senior bank executive told the daily that currently only 3-4 PSU banks, out of 21 in total, have fully integrated SBS with SWIFT.

    Sastry added that further controls have now been put in place that includes additional layer of approval for all outward SWIFT messages and restricting such transactions to bank business hours. Moreover, each bank will not only establish Onsite Cyber Security Operation Centre (C-SOC) to monitor all the IT systems but will also bring all software applications under the control of corporate centre of its IT department to ensure there is no misuse of system.

    Another point in the action plan is to organise branch-level risk awareness workshops at PSBs to create awareness among employees. Banks will not only henceforth strengthen their 'know your employees' systems, but reportedly also encourage whistleblowing.

    According to R.K. Gupta, executive director, Bank of Maharashtra, these revised processes are robust and will go a long way in checking fraud.

Electoral Bonds worth Rs 222 crore sold in maiden issue
  • In the maiden issue of Electoral Bonds, India sold bonds worth Rs 222 crore, the Parliament was informed on Friday. In order to increase transparency in the electoral process, the government had introduced the bonds in Union Budget 2017.

    India is the first country to introduce such a system for electoral funding. These bonds are like promissory notes, unlike other debt instruments. The system allows donors to pay political parties with banks as an intermediary. The maiden sale of these bonds started on March 1 for a period of 10 days at the four main branches of State Bank of India in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi. 

    "The amount collected from the sale of electoral bonds under the first issue of the scheme is Rs 222 crore as on March 9, 2018," said P Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Finance, in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The interest-free banking instrument were available in multiples of  Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore. 

    Donors, an Indian citizen or a body incorporated in India, can buy them with a KYC-compliant account and donate the bonds to the political party of their choice. The money can be encashed by the party through its verified account within 15 days. 

    He added that: "SBI is the only authorised bank to issue and encash the Electoral Bearer Bonds under the scheme." He further added that: "The tenor of electoral bonds is just 15 days. During this period, the amount can be donated to registered political parties, which have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha or assembly election." 

    An eligible political party can encash the bonds through a designated bank account with any authorised bank. "These Bonds are envisaged as an additional banking instrument for giving donations to registered political parties," he added.

    An electoral bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issue. The amount will be credited to the political parties' account on the same day. In case, the bond is deposited after the validity period, no payment will be made. 

    The minister said the bonds will be available for purchase for a period of 10 days each in January (this time it was done in March), April, July, and October. The Centre shall earmark an additional period of 30 days in the year of general elections.

General Awareness

Women related issues.
LaQshya programme

  • Context: The Union Health Ministry has announced the launch of LaQshya, a programme aimed at improving quality of care in labour room and maternity operation theatre.

    About the Programme:

    What is it? It is an initiative to improve the quality of care in the labour rooms, operation theatres and other mother and child areas in public health facilities across the country.

    Aim: The programme aims at implementing ‘fast-track’ interventions for achieving tangible results within 18 months.

    Strategy: Under the initiative, a multipronged strategy has been adopted, including improving infrastructure upgradation, ensuring availability of essential equipment, providing adequate human resources, capacity building of healthcare workers and improving quality processes in the labour room.

    Guidelines include: Ensuring privacy for mothers-to-be, providing a comfortable position during delivery, no-tolerance policy towards verbal or physical abuse on women and no demand of gratuitous payment by the staff.

    LaQshya certification: A healthcare facility achieving 70% score on NQAS will be declared ‘LaQshya’ certified. Facilities scoring over 90, 80 and 70% will get platinum, gold and silver badges respectively.

    Incentives: Facilities achieving NQAS certification and having 80% satisfied beneficiaries will be given monetary incentive with medical college hospitals getting Rs 6 lakh and Rs 3 lakh for district hospitals.


    India has improved maternal survival as Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) reduced from 301 maternal deaths in 2001-03 to 167 in 2011-13, an impressive decline of 45% in a decade.


    There has been a substantial increase in the number of the institutional deliveries in the last decade of implementation of the National Health Mission (NHM). However, this increase in the numbers has not translated into commensurate improvements in the key maternal and new-born indicators such as maternal mortality and morbidity, still birth rates and early initiation of breastfeeding.

    Significance of the scheme:

    The available evidence shows that the first day of birth is the day of greatest risk for mothers and newborns. The programme will improve the quality of care for pregnant women in labour rooms, maternity operation theatres, and obstetrics Intensive Care Units and High Dependency Units.

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