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17 August, 2019

4 Min Read

Paper Topics Subject
GS-I A Jan andolan of Water
Population Anxiety.
GS-II India gets its first national essential diagnostics list.
Transgender Bill.
GS-III India’s doctrine of Nuclear No First Use
Making CSR work On Companies Act amendments. Economic Issues
GS-I :
A Jan andolan of Water

GS-III:  A Jan andolan of Water

Context

PM Modi  announced  this Independence Day the Jal Jeevan Mission which plans to suplly water to all households by 2024.

Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • A New Ministry-“Jal Shakti Mantralaya”  to manage water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner with the State Governments has been created.
  • Jal Jeevan  Mission is to ensure  HarGharJal  (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024.
  • The Jal Jeevan  Mission will converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.

Implementation status of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme:

  • The National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) aims at assisting states in providing adequate and safe drinking water to the rural population in the country.
  • As of February 2018, 74% habitations are fully covered (receiving 55 litres per capita per day), and 22% habitations are partially covered (receiving less than 55 litres per capita per day).
  • The Ministry aims to cover 90% rural households with piped water supply and 80% rural households with tap connections by 2022.

Need of Piped water:

  • The World Bank estimates that 21 percent of communicable diseases in India are linked to unsafe water and the lack of hygiene practices.
  • According to World Bank, more than 500 children under the age of five die each day from diarrhoea in India alone.
  • By 2020, India will be formally categorized as a “water stressed” country, one where per capita availability of water is less than 1,000 cubic metres or less.
  • A June 2018 Niti Ayog report grimly forecasts water demand will be twice the present supply and India could lose up to 6 per cent of its GDP.
  • In 2017, his government launched the Har Ghar Jal programme with the same objective. It was to ensure safe drinking water to all household with piped supply being the main mode.
  • Contamination of drinking water it has been noted that NRDWP is over-dependant on ground water.  However, ground water is contaminated in over 20 states.  According to NITI Aayog, nearly 70 per cent of all of the country’s fresh water sources are contaminated.
  • For instance, high arsenic contamination has been found in 68 districts of 10 states.  These states are Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, and Karnataka.

Challenges

  • The proposed Jal Jeevan Mission will make source sustainability measures mandatory prior to pumping and distributing water to households.
  • In the traditional approach, the provision of drinking water was viewed primarily as an engineering solution, with schemes being planned and executed by the public health and engineering departments.

Conclusion

Water is an ideal sector for the applicability of the principle of subsidiary that is the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. The ongoing Jal Shakti Abhiyan will help in creating awareness about the importance of integrating source sustainability and water reuse with the provision of household water supply.

Source: Indian Express

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GS-I :
Population Anxiety.

GS-I: Population Anxiety

Context

Prime Minister called “population explosion” a challenge in his Independence Day speech.

Facts

  1. India’s headcount is over 1.3 billion. It is headed even higher.
  2. The number might stabilize in a few years ahead. From data between 2013 to 2016, the country’s total fertility rate has fallen to an estimated 2.2. This figure is only marginally higher than 2.1, the replacement rate of the existing population.

Challenges

  • Failure to arrest and reverse a trend in population: the gender gap. India has approximately 930 females per 1,000 males.
  • The ratio is even worse if we look at new births. The country’s sex ratio at birth declined from 900 females per 1,000 males in 2013-15 to 896 in 2015-17.
  • Male preference among parents is not unique to India. Of the 201 countries listed on the United Nations Human Sex Ratio chart for 2018, India is at No. 191. There exist worse performers.

Conclusion

We are heading for a gender crisis if a balance is not restored.

 

 

 

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
India gets its first national essential diagnostics list.

GS-II: India gets its first national essential diagnostics list

Context

National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL)

  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has finalised India’s first National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL). With this, India has become the first country to have such a list.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a first edition of its essential diagnostics list (EDL) in May, 2018. This has acted as a reference for ICMR’s NEDL.
  • The NEDL is on the lines of the essential drugs list, the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) which was first released in 1996. It was last updated in 2015.
  • The NEDL has recommended that at least 159 tests should be made available for patients in even primary government health facilities.
  • The diagnostics list mentions 105 general laboratory tests for a broad range of common conditions. It also mentions 30 disease-specific tests such as for HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and 24 imaging tests including X-rays, CT and MRI scans and ultrasound sonography.
  • The NEDL has been based on the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of the Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system.

How are diagnostics regulated?

  • In India, diagnostics (medical devices and in vitro diagnostics) follow a regulatory framework based on the drug regulations under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945.
  • Diagnostics are regulated under the regulatory provisions of the Medical Device Rules, 2017.

Why need NEDL?

  • Diagnostics serve a key role in improving health and quality of life.
  • While affordability of diagnostics is a prime concern in low, middle-income countries like India, low cost, inaccurate diagnostics have made their way into the Indian market which has no place in the quality health care system.
  • NEDL builds upon the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of the Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system.

Importance

  • Availability of quality assured diagnostics would be helpful in optimal utilization of Essential Medicine List (EML).
  • It will help India in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.8 i.e. Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • Implementation of NEDL will enable improved health care delivery through evidence-based care, improved patient outcomes and reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure effective utilization of public health facilities effective assessment of disease burden, disease trends, surveillance, and outbreak identification and address antimicrobial resistance crisis.
  • It will also enable standardization of technology services and will aid in the promotion of R&D for new appropriate and effective diagnostics which in turn will lead to reduction in costs.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-II :
Transgender Bill.

GS-II: Transgender Bill

Context

The community is unhappy with the transgender Bill passed in Lok Sabha .

Definition of a transgender person

 The Bill defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth.  It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.  Intersex variations is defined to mean a person who at birth shows variation in his or her primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes, or hormones from the normative standard of male or female body.

Aim

  • The Bill aims to stop discrimination against a transgender person in various sectors such as education, employment, and healthcare.
  • It directs the central and state governments to provide welfare schemes for them.
  • The Bill states that a person will be recognised as transgender on the basis of a certificate of identity issued through the district screening committee. This certificate will be a proof of identity as transgender and confer rights under this Bill.
  • Going by the bill, a person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy.
  • It also requires transgender persons to go through a district magistrate and “district screening committee” to get certified as a transperson.

Need of the hour:

The Bill must recognise that gender identity must go beyond biological  gender identity is an individual’s deep and personal experience. It need not correspond to the sex assigned at birth. It includes the personal sense of the body and other expressions such as one’s own personal inducing proceeds.

Source: Indian Express

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GS-III :
India’s doctrine of Nuclear No First Use

GS-III: India’s doctrine of Nuclear No First Use

Context

India’s ‘No First Use’ doctrine (NFU) on the use of nuclear weapons is open for change in the future, defence minister has indicated, reflecting thinking within the establishment that no policy is writ in stone and could be modified to deal with current realities.

No First Use doctrine

  • A commitment to not be the first to use a nuclear weapon in a conflict has long been India’s stated policy.
  • Pakistan, by contrast, has openly threatened India with the use of nuclear weapons on multiple occasions beginning from the time the two nations were not even acknowledged nuclear powers.
  • After the 1998 nuclear test when India declared itself a nuclear weapon state, it also enunciated a doctrine of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons.
  • Indian decision-makers categorically rejected the idea of initiating the use of nuclear weapons in any conflict scenario. India’s nuclear doctrine was purely retaliatory in nature.
  • On January 4, 2003, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met to review the progress in operationalizing the country’s nuclear doctrine.
  • Among the major points in the doctrine was “a posture of No First Use”, which was described as follows: “Nuclear weapons will only be used in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere”.
  • However, the doctrine made it clear that India’s “nuclear retaliation to a nuclear attack strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage”.

Why in news?

  • The successive governments are following Vajpayee’s doctrine and have directly or indirectly reaffirmed their commitment to NFU.
  • The doctrine has been questioned at various times by strategic experts in domestic policy debates, and the idea that India should revisit this position has been put forward at various high-level fora.

Source: The Hindu

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GS-III : Economic Issues Terminology
Making CSR work On Companies Act amendments.

GS-III: Making CSR work On Companies Act amendments

Context

Amendments to the relevant sections of the Companies Act in the last session of Parliament have now made non-compliance with CSR norms a jailable offence for key officers of the company, apart from hefty fines up to ?25 lakh on the company and ?5 lakh on the officer in default.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):

Corporate Social Responsibility is defined as the voluntary integration of company’s social and ecological concerns into their business activities and their relationships with their stakeholders. Being socially responsible means not only fully satisfying the applicable legal obligations but also going beyond and investing ‘more’ in human capital, the environment, and stakeholder relations.

The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and CSR:

  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which amends the Companies Act, 2013 was passed in monsoon session have made non-compliance with CSR norms a jailable offence.
  • Under the Act, if companies which have to provide for CSR, do not fully spent the funds, they must disclose the reasons for non-spending in their annual report.  However, under the Bill, any unspent annual CSR funds must be transferred to one of the funds under Schedule 7 of the Act (e.g., PM Relief Fund) within six months of the financial year.

High level committee

Recommenations of CSR:

  1. Making CSR expenditure tax deductible
  2. Provision for carry forward of unspent balance for a period of 3 – 5 years
  3. Aigning Schedule 7 with the SDGs by adopting a SDG plus framework (which would additionally include sports promotion, Senior Citizens’  welfare, welfare of differently abled persons, disaster management and heritage protection
  4. Balancing local area preferences with national priorities
  5. The Committee has emphasized on not treating CSR as a means of resource gap funding for government schemes. 
  6. The Committee discourages passive contribution of CSR into different funds included in Schedule VII of the Act. 
  7. It has emphasized on CSR spending as a board driven process to provide innovative technology based solutions for social problems. 

Conclusion

CSR is not the main business of a company they should rightly be focusing their energies on the business rather than on social spending.

Source: Indian Express

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