The Hindu Daily Editorial Discussion 26/3/19 By - Ashish Singh
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Page 8 Page 9 The point of having democracy .Public policy must launch an assault on capability Learning love from New Zealand Hate has curdled the capacity for compassion in India. Will Indians take a leaf out of New Zealand's book? deprivation and rising unemployment Paradigm shift for TB control decline is in the realm of reality Delaying bad news likely not resolve them Ending TB by 2025 is impossible but sustaining itsEncouraging secret donations The electoral bonds scheme needs to recognise the complementary nature of the rights to privacy and information . .Banks that do not recognise their problems will Balancing work More women can be a part of the workforce only if men share the burden of unpaid care work .Out of the frying pan . But it's too early for the U.S. President to put the Mueller investigation behind him
Paradigm shift for TB control GS PAPER 2 Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) remains the biggest killer disease in India, outnumbering all other infectious diseases put together - this despite our battle against it from 1962, when the National TB Programme (NTP) was launched. All hope was pinned on mass BCG vaccination to prevent TB In 1978, the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) began, giving BCG to all babies soon after birth and achieving more than 90% coverage. . Yet, when evaluated in 1990, the NTP and the EPI had not reduced India's TB burden.
In 1993, the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) was launched, offering free diagnosis and treatment for patients, rescuing them from otherwise sure death. However, treatment is not prevention. Prevention is essential for control.
Short on control Why did the NTP and the EPI fail? Visionary leaders had initiated a BCG vaccine clinical trial in 1964 in Chingelpet district, Tamil Nadu. Its final report (published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in 1999) was: BCG did not protect against TB infection or adult pulmonary TB, the 'infectious' form. By then, the RNTCP was in expansion mode; experts hoped that curing pulmonary TB might control TB by preventing new infections. That assumption was without validation in high prevalence countries.
In countries with 5-10 cases in a lakh people annually, curing TB sustains the low disease burden. In India, with 200-300 cases in a lakh in a year, curing TB is essential to reduce mortality, but is not sufficient to prevent transmission. By 2014-15, the RNTCP was found to be very successful in reducing mortality, but failing to control TB. Why? From when a person becomes infectious to when he/she turns non infectious by treatment, there is a gap of several weeks during which the infection saturates contacts in the vicinity. Delays in care seeking and diagnosis are the result of lack of universal primary health care.
The way forward to control TB and to monitor its trajectory was proposed in 2009, in an editorial in Tropical Medicine & International Health titled "Paradigm shift for tuberculosis control in high prevalence countries". According to the editorial, an innovative strategy was necessary.
Tamil Nadu pilot model True to its reputation as being one of the most progressive in health management, Tamil Nadu is planning to implement this new strategy in one revenue district, Tiruvannamalai .If successful, it will be replicated in all other districts. To ensure public participation - a missing element in the RNTCP the new model will be in public-private participation mode. The Rotary movement, having demonstrated its social mobilisation strengths in polio eradication, will partner with the State government in the TB control demonstration project.
Last year we wrote in these columns that TB control requires the slowing down of infection, progression and transmission. Pulmonary TB causes transmission, resulting in infection which leads to progression as TB disease. To transform this vicious cycle into a virtuous cycle of TB control, spiralling down TB prevalence continuously, transmission, infection and progression must be addressed simultaneously.- this is the Tiruvannamalai TB mantra.
World TB Day is observed on March 24. In 2019 the slogan was "It's Time." to take TB control seriously. . On March 13, 2018, the Prime Minister, who was inaugurating the End TB Summit, declared that India would end TB by 2025 . On September 26, 2018, the first ever United Nations High Level Meeting on TB declared the urgent agenda "United to end TB-an urgent global response to a global epidemic". Rhetoric and declarations cannot control TB; a strategy of simultaneously using all biomedical and socio-behavioural interventions can.
Ind AS or Indian Accounting Standards govern the accounting and recording of financial transactions as well as the presentation of statements such as profit and loss account and balance sheet of a company. Ind AS has been evolved as a compromise formula that tries to harmonise Indian accounting rules with the IFRS.
For now, Indian banks burdened by sour loans will not have to admit the true size of their likely losses. On Friday, the Reserve Bank of India postponed the implementation of the Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) norms for banks indefinitely, citing the need for amendments to be made by the government to the relevant banking laws. The RBI had initially planned to implement the norms starting April 1, 2018 in order to bring Indian accounting standards in line with international standards, but the Centre's delay in enacting the necessary amendments had given breathing space for banks for another year
It is believed that the adoption of the accounting standard could cause significant credit losses to banks, which will be forced to prematurely recognise losses on their loans and build up the necessary underlying capital required to overcome the impact of such losses. Under the proposed norms, financial institutions like banks will have to calculate expected credit losses (ECL) on their loans during each reporting period and make necessary adiustments to their profit-and-loss account even before a borrower may default on a certain loan. This is in contrast to the present accounting norms wherein banks incur credit losses in their books only after outstanding loans have been in a state of default over a certain number of days as stated in the rules laid down by the RBI.
. For the new norms will cause more outstanding loans to be added to the huge existing pile of bad loans and cause further headaches to the government. According to estimates made by India Ratings & Research, public sector banks would have to make additional provision of over a trillion rupees if the norms are adopted right away. The Centre may not be able to foot the bill, and may instead prefer to help public sector banks to hide the true size of their bad loans. This does not bode well for the health of the banking system as banks that do not recognise their problems might not resolve them.
Encouraging secret donations GS PAPER2 Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. DONATE
Despite massive campaign spending in India, there is barely any public scrutiny of such spending because of the opaque nature of the transactions. The electoral bonds scheme amplifies such opacity by not disclosing the identity of the donor. Recently, in an affidavit countering the CPI(M)'s petition challenging the scheme, the Central government argued that the scheme has a two-fold purpose: one, it enhances transparency in political funding; two, it protects the right to privacy of donors.
Dismantling previous restrictions However, the terms of the scheme appear to have disastrous consequences for political transparency. Under the scheme, both the purchaser of the bond and the political party receiving the money have a right to not disclose the identity of the donor Also, the policy dismantles several restrictions that checked illegal corporate sponsoring previously - for example, by removing a cap on corporate sponsorship. Donations can now be made by any "artificial iuridical person". This means that even foreign donations are now allowed. The requirement that a company has to be in existence for three years for it to make political donations has also been removed.
These changes show that access to the paper trails will be outside the scope of public scrutiny as it will lie exclusively with the banks. As bonds can be issued only by public sector banks, the only entity with full knowledge of the transactions will be the Central government. History has shown that money laundering often takes place through banks, so the government's argument that the use of banks will reduce under-the-table transactions does not hold
Two rights, many wrongs The Centre informed the Supreme Court that protecting the privacy of electoral bond buyers is vital. While the right to privacy in India safeguards the individual's autonomy and dignity, it is subject to restriction on the basis of "compelling public interest" If the information pertains to matters which affect the lives of others, or is closely linked to a public person, it must be disclosed. The policy choices and decisions of public officials have to be brought under public scrutiny to ensure that they have not acted in a manner that unfairly benefits them or their benefactors.
The same logic can then be extended to the funding of political parties, where the funder's actions are bound to have an influence on the policy decisions of the party, if the party wins. A clear conflict of interest would likely arise if important policy decisions are taken that could affect the donors to the party. Let's imagine that an Indian company decides to make a huge political donation through the electoral bonds scheme and the political party it donates to emerges victorious. What if the government decides to provide favourable deals to the sector in question?
IB ACIO II- 2017(Mains Qualified), Verified Exam cleared- SSC CPO (2014), SSC CGL Tier (2016 - Qualified for Mains), DSSSB (Mains)