The Hindu Daily Editorial Discussion 5/3/19 By - Ashish Singh
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Page 8 Page 9 .The language of Pakistan The loss of intellectual autonomy India must guard against the type of politics that shaped, . To define one's identity or community in and continues to ruin, Pakistan terms of an exclusive religion is a vexed European notion A pivotal election in Thailand The system is configured to the military's advantage, but Thaksin Shinawatra may hold the key Solar powerhouse For residential consumers to see rooftop solar as a viable electricity option, building awareness is crucial Party and symbol Delhi HC order on Two Leaves' deepens TTV. Dhinakaran's . political dilemma . Kashmir conundrum Indian Muslims must not pay the price for Kashmiri transgressions Alarming spread With H1N1 now a seasonal flu strain, care workers and others at risk must be vaccinated
Alarming spread GS PAPER 2 Health emagglutinin euraminidase M2 lon Channel RNP
Immunize with one member, challenge with another Protection There are three types of flu viruses: A, B, and C Type A and B cause the annual influenza epidemics that have up to 20% of the population sniffling, aching, coughing, and running high fevers. Type C also causes flu; however, type C flu symptoms are much less severe. Strains . Flu types Heterologous No Subtypes of flu A HIN1 H3N2 H5N1 Heterosubtypic Partial 3 Often within subtype 2 Homosubtypic Type C Type A Type B Yes Single strain Homologous H1N1, H2N2 and H3N2 Other HON# subtypes
In a short span of 55 days (till February 24) this year, the number of influenza A (H1N1) cases and deaths reported from India reached an alarming 14,803 and 448, respectively. The highest numbers were from Rajasthan (3,964), Delhi (2,738) and Guiarat (2,726) Uttar Pradesh was next, with 905. While Rajasthan and Gujarat had the highest number of deaths, at 137 and 88, respectively, Delhi recorded seven deaths despite recording around the same number of cases as Gujarat.
There appears to be no let-up, with the number of cases and deaths steadily rising. What is more disturbing is that the number of cases reported till February 24 is nearly the same as that recorded in the whole of 2018 (14,992) At about 450, the number of deaths till February 24 is nearly half the total reported in 2018 (1,103) The actual number of cases and deaths this year is likely to be higher as West Bengal has not reported the data to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme.
Moreover, the IDSP data are based only on laboratory confirmed cases and deaths. The H1N1 virus, which caused a pandemic in 2009, has since become a seasonal flu strain globally, including in India, and causes fewer deaths. According to the WHO, in 2009 the number of laboratory confirmed deaths caused by the pandemic strain was at least 18,500. But a 2012 paper in Lancet Infectious Diseases mentioned 2,84,000 deaths, which was 15 times more than the number of laboratory confirmed deaths.
On February 6, the Union Health Ministry had reviewed the preparedness and action taken by States to deal with influenza cases when the number of H1N1 cases and deaths stood at 6,701 and 226, respectively. Despite the number of cases and deaths more than doubling in less than 20 days since the review, the Ministry has made no additional effort to contain the spread. It has issued a guidance "recommending" vaccines for health-care workers, and deeming them "desirable" for those above 65 years of age and children between six months and eight years.
Surprisingly, people with pre-existing chronic diseases, who are most susceptible to H1N1 complications according to the WHO, have been ignored - though its own statement released on February 6 had said more deaths were seen in people with diabetes and hypertension. With H1N1 becoming a seasonal flu virus strain in India even during summer, it is advisable that health-care workers and others at risk get themselves vaccinated. Despite the sharp increase in cases and deaths, the vaccine uptake has been low. Besides vaccination, there needs to be greater awareness so that people adopt precautionary measures such as frequent handwashing, and cough etiquette.
In February, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved phase 2 of the grid-connected rooftop solar programme, with a focus on the residential sector. India has set an ambitious target of achieving 40 GW of rooftop solar capacity by 2022. However, while there has been progress on rooftop solar installations among industries and commercial consumers, the uptake among residential consumers has been slow. Urban residential electricity consumers are still hesitant to consider rooftop solar power for their homes. This is because they don't have enough information about it, according to a 2018 study by the World Resources Institute in five cities Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur and Nagpur.
' Devising simple, well-designed and creative ways to disseminate information is important to help consumers make informed de cisions. Information must be made easily available to the consumers on the amount of shadow-free roof area needed for generating a unit of electricity and pricing; operating the system, after-sales maintenance and support; and reliable rooftop solar vendors. The local electricity linesmen, electricity inspectors, and other nodal officials in the electricity department also have key roles to play, Building their capacities to disseminate such information and handle consumer queries and concerns, and providing basic training in billing and metering for solar power can go a long way in improving consumers' experience.
Lessons to learrn Since the market for residential rooftop solar power is nascent, there are opportunities to learn from more mature consumer durable markets. nites tolearn frem more mature For example, RWAs can tie up with vendors to organise demonstration programmes, so that consumers can observe, operate and understand how the system works.
It is important to also acknowledge that enthusiasm for rooftop solar energy largely comes from those with higher disposable incomes and who live in their own houses . This is one of the several reasons that electricity utilities are not very supportive of consumers generating their own power, as this would impact their revenues. . Rooftop solar is a promising energy source for everyone, including socio-economically weaker consumers. However, awareness building sessions need to be socially inclusive and should take place during periods when consumers are likely to be at home.
The uptake of rooftop solar across economic categories is also contingent on policies that make it more accessible and affordable. Consumer groups and development organisations have a significant role in systematically following key policies and institutional procedures and ensuring that consumers' concerns in accessing reliable information are addresse Raising awareness and building consumer capacity to engage with the sector are crucial for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and for India to achieve its rooftop solar targets.
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