Ashish Singh is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
The Hindu Daily Editorial DiScussion 14/2/19 By - Ashish Singh
Page 8 Page 9 Dealing with the thought police A clarion call to combat climate change It is vitally important that the courts remain free of The Green New Deal acknowledges the responsibility of the U.S. for its historical emissions the discourse on 'urban Naxals' and 'anti-nationals The PM-KISAN challenge Every drop matters . The top-down, rushed approach of the . The regulatory framework must be reformed to ensure access to safe and sufficient blood government in reaching out to farmers is likely to end in failure The ABC of sustainable consumption It will necessarily draw in producers and government agencies through their goods and services Bad call The BJP's impatience to return to power in Karnataka might send it down a slippery slope Well oiled It is easy to see why the Saudi Crown Prince has chosen to include India in his Asia tour
Every drop matters GS PAPER 2 Health
Discarded blood and dire need of blood A ready supply of safe blood in sufficient quantities is a vital component of modern health care. . In 2015-16, India was 1.1 million units short of its blood requirements. . Here too, there were considerable regional disparities, . with 81 districts in the country not having a blood bank at all In 2016, a hospital in Chhattisgarh turned away a woman in dire need of blood as it was unavailable She died on the way to the nearest blood bank which was several hours away Yet, in April 2017, . it was reported that blood banks in India had in the last five years discarded a total of 2.8 million units of expired, unused blood (more than 6 lakh litres).
Vigil after collection To prevent transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) .collected blood needs to be safe as well. . Due to practical constraints, tests are only conducted post-collection. Thus blood donor selection relies on donors filling in health questionnaires truthfully. .The collected blood is tested for certain TTls such as HIV and if the blood tests positive, it has to be discarded. .However, these tests are not foolproof as there is a window period after a person first becomes infected with a virus during which the infection may not be detectable. This makes it crucial to minimise the risk in the first instance of collection. Collecting healthy blood will also result in less blood being discarded later. . .Blood that is donated voluntarily and without remuneration is considered to be the safest. Unfortunately, professional donors (who accept remuneration) and replacement donation (which is not voluntary) are both common in India. In the case of professional donors there is a higher chance of there being TTIs in their blood, as these donors may not provide full disclosure.
In the case of replacement donation, relatives of patients in need of blood are asked by hospitals to arrange for the same expeditiously This blood is not used for the patient herself, but is intended as a replacement for the blood that is actually used. In this way, hospitals shift the burden of maintaining their blood bank stock to the patient and her family. Here again, there could be a higher chance of TTI's because replacement donors, being under pressure, may be less truthful about diseases.
Blood Transfusion Infrastructure .The regulatory framework which governs the blood transfusion infrastructure in India is scattered across different laws, policies, guidelines and authorities. Blood is considered to be a 'drug' under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940. . Therefore, just like any other manufacturer or storer of drugs, blood banks need to be licensed by the Drug Controller-General of India (DCGI) For this, they need to meet a series of requirements with respect to the collection, storage, processing and distribution of blood, as specified under the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945. .
.Blood banks are inspected by drug inspectors who are expected to check not only the premises and equipment but also various quality and medical aspects such as processing and testing facilities. . Their findings lead to the 1. issuance, 2. suspension or 3. cancellation of a licence. .In 1996, the Supreme Court directed the government to establish the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC)and State Blood Transfusion Councils (SBTCS) The NBTC functions as the apex policy-formulating and expert body for blood transfusion services and includes representation from blood banks. However, it lacks statutory backing (unlike the DCGI-Drugs Standard Control Organization), and as such, . 'the standards and requirements recommended by it are only in the form of guidelines
This gives rise to a peculiar situation - the expert blood transfusion body can only issue non- binding guidelines whereas the general pharmaceutical regulator has the power to license blood banks. This regulatory dissonance exacerbates the serious issues on the ground and results in poor coordination and monitoring.
Towards a solution The present scenario under the DCGl is far from desirable, especially given how It is especially incongruous given the existence of expert bodies such as the NBTC regulating blood involves distinct considerations when compared to most commercial drugs. and National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), which are more naturally suited for this role. The DCGI does not include any experts in the field of blood transfusion, and drug inspectors do not undergo any special training for inspecting blood banks. In order to ensure the involvement of technical experts who can complement the DCGI the rules should be amended to involve the NBTC and SBTCs in the licensing process. Given the wide range of responsibilities the DCGI has to handle, its licensing role with respect to blood banks can even be delegated to the NBTC under the rules. This would go a long way towards ensuring that the regulatory scheme is up to date and accommodates medical and technological advances.
More power-National Blood Transfusion Council NBTC and State Blood Transfusion Councils (SBTCs) between blood banks, .Despite a 2017 amendment to the rules which enabled transfer of blood the overall system is still not sufficiently integrated. .A collaborative regulator can, more effectively, take the lead in facilitating coordination, planning and management. This may reduce the regional disparities in blood supply as well as ensure that the quality of blood does not vary between private, corporate, international, hospital-based, non-governmental organisations and government blood banks. . .The aim of the National Blood Policy formulated by the government back in 2002 was to "ensure easily accessible and adequate supply of safe and quality blood". To achieve this goal, India should look to reforming its regulatory approach at the earliest. .
Dealing with the thought police Gs Paper 2 . Judiciary
Of speech and association The first-and most glaring- aspect of the judgment is its apparent disregard for At the heart of the Constitution's fundamental rights chapter is Article 19, which the freedom of speech and association. the Constitution. guarantees, among other things, Of course, the state may impose "reasonable restrictions" upon these fundamental freedoms, in the interests of, for example, the security of the state. . In a series of careful decisions over five decades, the Supreme Court has articulated the precise circumstances under which a restriction on the freedom of speech or association is "reasonable". After the famous 2015 iudgment in Shreva Singhal in which Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was struck down, the position of law has been clear: . speech can be punished only if it amounts to direct incitement to violence. Everything short of that including "advocacy" of any kind, is protected by the Constitution.
.In fact, not only did the Additional Sessions Judge ignore Gandhi, Supreme Court precedent on free speech and association and Supreme Court precedent on the interpretation of anti-terror legislation, he also .staggeringly . managed to ignore categorical precedent on the issue of pro-Khalistani speech! In Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab (1995), the Supreme Court had set aside the sedition convictions of two men who had raised pro-Khalistan slogans outside a cinema hall in Punjab, in the immediate aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination. . Even a situation like that was deemed insufficient to meet the high "incitement" threshold, while here the Additional Sessions Judge managed to hold that Facebook posts amounted to "direct incitement". '
Case for care .There is little doubt that the life sentence of Arwinder Singh, Surjit Singh .However, when an appeals court considers the issue, it should take the ' a democracy does not jail people simply for reading books, painting .And in adjudicating cases involving the life and Ranjit Singh cannot stand the test of law. opportunity to reiterate a hoary truth: posters, or posting on Facebook. and personal liberties of citizens, courts must take special care to ensure that the temptation to get carried away and forget what the Constitution commands is held firmly in check. That reminder may come when the three men have already lost some years of their lives to prison - but it could not come soon enough
A clarion call to combat climate change GS Paper Climate change Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29 Greta Thunberg, 16 STREJK FoR
.When almost all news about climate change concerns catastrophic events, there are a few shining lights in the U.S. and Europe. One is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, the newly elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The other is Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swede whose school strike outside the Swedish Parliament, in a clear-minded effort to force politicians to act on climate change, has inspired students in many countries to walk out of their classrooms and make similar demands. If Ms. Thunberg's voice is inspiring for the way it has roused the youth, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is daring in her imagination and policies.
.These goals entail dramatic changes in manufacturing, electricity generation, education, .livelihoods, sustainable farming, .food systems, .an overhaul of transportation, waste management, . health care, .and strong pollution-control measures. . The resolution also calls for international action by the U.S. on climate change. .It recognises that public funds would be needed for these changes and need to be leveraged It states that the federal government needs to take the full social . and environmental costs of climate change into consideration through new laws, policies and programmes. Importantly, the Green New Deal calls for a federal jobs guarantee for all.
The future .It should be noted that until now no U.S. agency or civil society group has publicly acknowledged the responsibility of the country for its historical emissions. The Green New Deal is the sort of resolution the U.S. should have passed after the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. . Instead, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, according to which the U.S. ought not to be a signatory to any protocol or agreement regarding the United Nations Climate Convention that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Annex- 1 Parties, the wealthy countries, unless developing countries were also similarly required to limit their emissions. .