The Centre approved the proposal for closure of Autonomous Bodies, namely, Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK). Their functions are proposed to be vested in the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW). The rationalisation of these autonomous bodies will involve inter-ministerial consultations and review of existing bye laws of these bodies.
The time frame for the implementation is one year. Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) was set up as a registered society to provide financial medical assistance to poor patients receiving treatment in designated central government hospitals. An advance is placed with the Medical Superintendents of such hospitals who will then provide assistance on a case to case basis.
Since the DoHFW provides funds to the hospitals, the grants can be given from the Department to the hospital directly. RAN functions can, therefore, be vested in DoHFW. The managing committee of RAN Society will meet to dissolve the Autonomous Body (AB) as per the provisions of Societies Registration Act, 1860 (SRA). In addition to this, Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund (HMCPF) shall also be transferred to the Department. The timeline required for this is one year as well.
Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) was set up with a corpus grant of Rs 100 crore in 2003 to raise awareness for population stabilization strategies. It organizes various activities with target population as a part of its mandate. There has been no continuous funding to JSK from the Ministry.
Population stabilization strategies require private and corporate funding, which can be accessed through JSK. Although, JSK will continue to play a significant role in population stabilization strategies, its existence as an Autonomous Body is not necessary. Hence, JSK as an Autonomous Body can be closed as it can be administered by the Department as a fund.