What should we do? In reality, we cannot eliminate plastic use from our day-to-day activities. However, we should not allow plastic to reach the soil or water The government should restrict plastic production and encourage recycling through appropriate policies. OThe 'Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016' need to be strictly followed. As most plastic items pass through our hands, public care, with behavioural change, is necessary. Household-wise waste segregation is the key. Every shopkeeper should go in for abd encourage the use of biodegradable packing materials while shoppers should use cloth bags. Mass public awareness on the dangers of plastic hazards is a prerequisite. Eco-friendly substitutes (cloth/paper/jute bags, leaves/areca leaf plates, paper straws) should be developed O For this, scientific and financial support (soft loans and subsidies) is required. O Charges for plastic bag use and deposit-refund for plastic bottles may be effective options. The recent decision by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on extending the mandate on packing food grains and sugar products in jute bags is welcome. Even if the intention is to promote the jute industry, it is a step that reduces plastic pollution. The Swachh Bharat Mission should emerge as a platform for plastic waste management.
TH FAQ] Right on Kashmir's rights? What prompted this human rights report? OThe first ever report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Jammu and Kashmir, including Pakistan- occupied Kashmir, published last week, has been in production since 2016. DA new wave of violence had then hit the Kashmir Valley, when protests sparked by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani were met with force by security personnel; about 51 protesters and civilians were killed in the months that followed, while more than 9,000 were injured by pellets and bullets. Consequently, the OHCRC asked India and Pakistan to allow its teams access to the State, a request that was refused.
Why is this report controversial to India? O Apart from being irked by the report's criticism of India's handling of the protests, alleged extra-judicial killings and hard tactics, the Ministry of External Affairs is also upset by the terms used to describe militants O For example, Hizbul Mujahideen, which is regarded as a terrorist organisation by India, was described in the report as an "armed group". o Wani, regarded as a terrorist by Indian security forces, was described as the o India in its official statement said the report "undermines the UN-led consensus o Finally, it makes specific recommendations aimed at India, including removing the "leader" of the organisation on zero tolerance to terrorism" Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from areas and instituting inquiries into alleged human rights violations. What was the methodology used? In the absence of direct interviews, the OHCHR used "remote monitoring" from local sources to write the report.
Is there a political or diplomatic implication of the report that can hurt India in the long run? OIndia has said that the report violates its "sovereignty and territorial integrity" as it has used terms such as "Azad Jammu and Kashmir" and "Gilgit Baltistan" to describe the part of the State under Pakistani control. India does not consider Pakistan's control over a part of Kashmir as legitimate and describes the region as Pakistan occupied Kashmir DAfter decades of delay, Pakistan, May 27, 2018, integrated Gilgit-Baltistan region into its federal structure despite strong protest from India. The OHCHR's decision to use these terms in the report can be interpreted as a sign of recognition of these regions as being part of Pakistan.
[IE Ed1] Trilateral terms Delhi's knee-jerk reaction could be explained by its intense suspicion about "third party mediation" between India and Pakistan. O It's a pity that the government was quick to dismiss the call from the Chinese ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, for a trilateral dialogue between Delhi, Islamabad and Beijing OBetween China's vague proposal and Delhi's definitive rejection, there might be interesting political space that is worth exploring in the not too distant future O What is important is not the shape of the negotiating table, but what is on it. Sceptics in the South Block say Luo's enthusiasm to advance the engagement of India with new ideas has not always been backed by Beijing. o Recall last year that Luo had suggested that Beijing could rename the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to overcome Delhi's objections to President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative. O That Beijing did not publicly back the idea does not necessarily mean it had nothing to do with it Confident powers often instruct their ambassadors to fly kites, deliberately, to test the reactions of the intended audience. Delhi has suggested Luo's views on the trilateral dialogue may be "personal" But ambassadors don't usually express their personal views in public. The fact is that Beijing has made no secret of its interest in promoting good relations between India and Pakistan, under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation banner, which now has embraced the South Asian siblings as full members. - " -
Delhi's knee-jerk reaction could be explained by its intense suspicion about "third party mediation" between India and Pakistan O The fear that big powers would impose a Kashmir solution on India may have had a reasonable political basis many decades ago. Today, it makes no sense for an emerging power like India to be so jumpy about "third parties" O If tiny Mongolia can sit down with its giant neighbours, Russia and China, on the margins of the sco, what is India so afraid oft? What India should have done? O Instead of rejecting the trilateral dialogue, Delhi should lob the ball right back into China's court O It should affirm its readiness to sit on the table for three if the agenda is right O Delhi should propose a three-fold agenda o First, connectivity cooperation between the three without prejudice to territorial disputes in Kashmir; o second, trilateral cooperation against terrorism without reference to so-called "root causes"; o third, liberal trade and transit arrangements between the three countries in India's north-west. If China can deliver Pakistan on this agenda, India should be more than happy to convene the first round of the trilateral dialogue in Delhi.
[IndianExpress Art] The state is taking healthcare The government has carried out several reforms in healthcare. It assigns the highest priority to people's health and is also alive to the country's obligation under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A series of steps have been taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reform the country's healthcare. These include the formulation of the National Health Policy, 2017, financial aid to expecting mothers and The Avushman Bharat (AB) Scheme is the most significant of these O enforcing a ceiling on the prices of cardiac stents and knee implants, D a renewed focus on nutrition. programmes.
Under the aegis of AB, the National Health Protection Mission (NHPM) is envisaged as a game-changer for India's healthcare system. Olt will add weight to the government's healthcare reforms and help it fulfill the country's SDG commitments. AB-NHPM intends to cover more than 50 crore people, which includes hospitalisation expenses for nearly 1,350 conditions over 23 clinical specialties. OThe beneficiaries are entitled to a premium of up to Rs 5 lakh per annum in any empaneled hospital OThey need not pay for pre- or post-hospitalisation expenses. India bears a triple burden of disease: 1.It has an unfinished agenda of eradicating communicable diseases, 2.it is battling a growing number of non-communicable diseases and 3.road accidents lead to large number of deaths and grievous injuries every year.
Non-communicable diseases and traffic deaths alone cost the country 6.5 per cent of The inability to afford treatment is the leading cause for people not seeking medical OCurrently, out-of-pocket expenditure constitutes 62 per cent of the healthcare its GDP a huge cost indeed. care. spending of families in the country most times, they have to dig into their savings or even take loans. OCatastrophic expenditure (when a household spends more than 40 per cent of its income on health) is a major cause of impoverishment in India and every year, this pushes around 63 million people below the poverty line OYoung lives are often lost for the want of treatment to easily curable conditions. OIn such cases, the suffering continues years after the loss. OThe treatment of severe health conditions can wreak havoc on families but even common diseases like dengue, malaria or broken bones can result in a financial shock to many households.
On an average, an Indian family spends Rs 22,000 a year on hospitalisation in a private hospital But in case of expensive treatments for diseases such as cancer, heart ailments and organ failures, most families have to borrow money. A benefit cover of Rs 5 lakh per annum, ensures that even these conditions are covered As AB-NHPM shall take care of the affordability of healthcare, the demand for such care is expected to go up The country's healthcare infrastructure is limited and is skewed towards the urban areas DAB-NHPM will procure secondary and tertiary care services from both the private and public sectors. D The role of the private sector is critical because of its size and widespread presence OAt present, 70 per cent of illness episodes are treated in private institutions. The sector can attempt to capture the opportunity in un-served rural areas. This will improve the accessibility of healthcare services for the country's rural population overcharge behave like a monopsony and as a result, control the prices and quality of healthcare. OThe hospitals shall be paid at a pre-agreed rate, leaving them no scope to raise prices or O Together with state schemes, AB-NHPM will cover a large chunk of the population. It will
Way forward AB-NHPM has evolved a structure that accommodates the unique features of state schemes while also providing flexibility to states to exercise their choice on the mode of implementation. Olt will merge the existing schemes into one large pool, remove inefficiencies and bring in economies of scale. The states must own the scheme while the Centre is committed to offer all possible help to overcome challenges. Olt has already signed MoUs with 20 states/UTs for implementation of AB- NHPM. These MoUs provide the basis for launch of the scheme in the states/UTs and also detail the roles and responsibilities of the two stakeholders. OThe government is earnestly fulfilling its health-related commitments.
B.Tech NIT Allahabad. Have written UPSC Mains 2 times with Physics. Channel "Sumant Kumar" on Youtube for Current Affairs Analysis.