24th Aug 2018 THE HINDU Editorial Analysis ha ii
Get over the superpower syndrome e t was the United Progressive Alliance government that decided lief from foreign not to seek external assistance for clisaster re countries or even the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross India's superpower dream The context of that decision was e It was felt that India should demonstrate that it had the strength to withstand and counter calamities and also help its neighbours, as it did in the case of the December 2004 tsunami and piracy attacks in the Indian Ocean. India had felt that this would strengthen its case for seeking to be a permanent member of the
...United Nations Security Council and also hasten the prospect of superpower status by 2020 Since permanent membership of the Security Council entails additional financial commitment on itshdia' contribution to the UN, calculated based on its capacity to pay, was also a matter of concern at that time. India thought it would be beneficial for it if it were to show that it was spending money abroad over and above the mandatory contribution s low level of mandatory But the policy of not accepting foreign assistance has not taken India even one step towards lling s ambitions. It has been given admission into the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement it did not want, and the Missile Technology Control Regime because its system of missile contro unmatchable, but not membership of the Nuclear Suppliers.
...Group or even the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation The other concern was the old fear of the foreign hand, the spies who would come with the package interfere in the country's internal affairs, and also take away valuable information. The development of technology is such that foreigners do not eed to come in hordes to India to know what is happening or to influen e decision-making here. Google and Facebook know more about us an we do The assistance from the UN and Red Cross are of less concern. India has been the biggest contributor to the UN Development Programme and the biggest recipient of assistance. It is a party to the regulations of the UN and its conditionalities for assistame India s for technologvand best practices can be obtained from the ..
....UN by careful planning and consultations. India will also be able to choose the nationalities of the people it deploys. Nothing should stop it rom getting what it needs from the UN, as they can raise the funds and source them from anywhere This rejection by India may also have a negative impact on India's relations with the UAE, whose authorities were directly involved in raising the funds and in conveying the offer to the Prime Minister T KtergaPAffairs s kesperson said that "in line with the existing policy", the Central government would meet requirements in Kerala thiough "dmestic eforts Various governments have made specific offers to Kerala, from about 700 crore from the UAE to about t35 lakh from the Maldives. The
...spokesperson added that only PIOs, NRis or international foundations could send money from overseas to the Prime Minister's or Chief Minister's relief fund But as Chief Minister Pinarayl Vijayan indicated, this clarity about existing policy is missing in the Central government's National Disaster Management Plan. Put out in 2016, the Plan states that India will not appeal for foreign aid in the walke of a disaster. But it goes on to say: "... if the national government of another country voluntarily offers assistance as a goodwill gesture in solidarity with the disaster victims, the Central Goverhment may accept the offa of adisaste But it goes on osistance The condition applies that the Union Home MEA and assess the requirements "that the foreign teams can provide" Ministry would consult the
. India has a longstanding tradition of rushing help elsewhere. Leaving Centre-State politics, if any, aside, the government should not just racefully accept the assistance for Kerala, it should junk the 2004 ae p precedent
Another step in the battle against leprosy Over 110 Central and State laws discriminate against leprosy patients. The biased provisions in these statutes were introduced prior to medical advancements; now, modern medicine (specifically, multi-drug therapy) completely cures the disease These laws stigmatise and isolate leprosy patients and, coupled with age- old beliefs about leprosy, cause the patients untold suffering. The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018, seeks to make a start in amending these statutes. It attempts to end the discrimination against leprosy persons in various central laws. the Divorce Act, 1869; the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939; the Special Marriage Act, 1954; the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956
....the Divorce Act, 1869; the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939; the Special Marriage Act, 1954; the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956 e The Bill eliminates leprosy as a ground for dissolution of marriage or divorce. The condition under Section 18 (2) (c) of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, that a Hindu wife is entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance if the latter is "suffering from a virulent form of leprosy", has been omitted. The amendments introduced in the Bill omit the provisions which stigmatise and discriminate against leprosy-affected persons The Bill is meant to provide for the integration of leprosy patients into the mainstream. It is in keeping with the UN General Assembly Resolution of 2010 on the 'Elimination of discrimination against persons affected by
..leprosy and their family members' that it was introduced. India has signed and ratified the Resolution . The proposed law follows a National Human Rights Commission recommendation a decade ago to introduce amendments in personal laws and other statutes Further, the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions, in its 131st Report on Petition praying for integration and empowerment of leprosy-affected persons', had examined various statutes and desired that concerned Ministries and State governments urgently wipe clean the anachronistic and discriminatory provisions in prevalent statutes The Law Commission of India, in its 256th Report, 'Eliminating discrimination against persons affected by leprosy', had also
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