IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


11th January, 2020


Taking a holistic approach to dengue

Recent discovery of Vaccine:

-       Recently, a new tetravalent vaccine against the dengue virus has been tested.

-       This vaccine confers about 80% protection to children vaccinated between 4 to 16 years of age without any major side effects. 

About Dengue:

-       It is a tropical disease that occurs in the countries around the Equator.

-        Aedes aegypti transmits dengue virus.

-       Aedes eggs can remain dormant for more than a year.

Reasons behind spread of Dengue:

-       Poor Urbanization

-       Poor town planning

-       Improper sanitation 

-       Dengue cases are often under-reported due to political reasons

-       Low number of skilled manpower

-       Due to this deficiency of manpower, active surveillance is not being done in India, according to National Vector Borne Disease Control Program.

-       There is a lack of coordination between the local bodies and health departments in the delivery of public health measures. 

-       Medicine practitioners often argue that a proper double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial cannot be conducted as it involves huge money and manpower. 

Holistic management of Dengue:

-       These mosquitoes bite during the daytime, so keeping the windows shut in the day hours is also useful.

-       Preventing water stagnation

-       Spreading chemicals in periodic cycles to kill the larvae.

-       Singapore uses successful model of mapping and analyzing data on dengue, using Geographical Information System (GIS). This involves mapping the streets with dengue cases for vector densities.

-       Fluid management is the cornerstone in the management of severe diseases like dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.  WHO recommends fresh whole blood or packed cell transfusion in the event of bleeding. 

-       Increase the number of personnel in the healthcare sector. Delhi government Mohalla Clinic is a successful model to engage local community in effective management of Dengue.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/taking-a-holistic-approach-to-dengue/article30539066.ece


Human rights are not solely an ‘internal matter’

The human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) following the dilution of Article 370 and the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) have brought renewed international focus on India’s human rights practice.

Government way of protection of Human rights:

-       Indian state asserted that both J&K and CAA are entirely internal matters and there cannot be any interference in such sovereign decisions.

-       Country is the largest democracy in the world with an independent judiciary, free media, and an active civil society. 

-       The Indian state always assured the international community that the judiciary, mainly its Supreme Court, would provide adequate remedies to victims of human rights violations.

-       Establishment of free media and civil society in protecting the human rights of vulnerable groups.

Evolution and Nature of Human rights:

-       Recognition of individuals as subjects. 

-       Evolution of Human rights were to protect minorities living in other states.

-       The evolution of labour standards led to the establishment of the International Labour Office (ILO). 

-       The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948 by the United Nations, was the first comprehensive international human rights document.

-       The Universal Declaration has acquired the force of law as part of the customary law of nations. 

-       It has provided the basis for binding human rights treaties.

-       It also provides non-binding guidelines/principles that constitute a distinct body of law known as international human rights law.

Challenge to Government arguments:

-       The evolution of international human rights law has led to gradual weakening of the concept of unrestricted sovereignty. 

-       By ratifying international human rights treaties and submitting periodic reports to the respective treaty bodies, it has acknowledged the principle that the treatment of its citizens is not entirely an internal matter.

-       Non–discrimination is a fundamental principle of human rights. But, CAA has led to institutionalized discrimination against a specific religion.

-       The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed its concern stating that the CAA “is fundamentally discriminatory in nature”.

-        The faith of the common people in the higher judiciary has weakened.

-        Since 2014, the government has cancelled the registration of about 14,000 NGOs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). 

-        Ruling party is increasingly seen as engaged in the intimidation of critics, attacks against minorities, and restrictions on the freedoms of artistes.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/human-rights-are-not-solely-an-internal-matter/article30539072.ece


‘State cannot deny free speech on Net’

The Supreme Court declined to express any views on whether “access to Internet” is a fundamental right.

Court observations:

-       Directed the government to “forthwith” review its orders suspending Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.

-       Confined itself to declaring that the freedoms of speech, expression and conducting business on the Internet are fundamental rights, integral to Article 19 of the Constitution and subject to reasonable restrictions.

-       State cannot restrict or deny free speech on the Internet because the medium can circulate information widely.

-       The right to free speech and expression includes the right to disseminate information.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/state-cannot-deny-free-speech-on-net/article30539128.ece

Govt. stand on total Net blockage rejected

The Supreme Court rejected the argument of the Jammu and Kashmir government that it opted for a blanket suspension of Internet services in the Valley, because it lacked the technology to allow selective online access.

Court observations:

-       If such a contention is accepted, the government would have a free pass to put a complete Internet blockage every time.

-       Such complete blocking/prohibition perpetually cannot be accepted by this court.

-       Government’s argument has merit that Internet could be used to propagate terrorism in J&K, thereby challenging the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.

-       Peace in J&K should be achieved without “excessively burdening” the fundamental right of free speech.

-       The goal behind a restriction should be legitimate.

-       The degree and scope of a restriction should be proportionate what was actually necessary to combat an emergency.

-       The State should resort to the least restrictive measure while taking into consideration the facts and circumstances.

Section 144 not a tool to suppress opinion: SC

Court observation:

-       The orders of restriction issued under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) could not be used as a tool to suppress legitimate expressions, opinions and grievances in a democracy.

-       Orders issued under Section 144 in Jammu and Kashmir did not explain that restrictions were imposed in anticipation of a threat to law and order or to prevent loss of life and property. 

-       Divergent views and disapproval of government action could not lead to imposition of Section 144.

-       The power was meant to be used only in case of public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

-       Magistrates could not apply a strait-jacket formula without assessing the objective and material facts. 

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/section-144-not-a-tool-to-suppress-opinion-sc/article30539116.ece

SC tells govt. to review orders curbing basic rights in J&K

Court observations:

-       Review “forthwith” any existing orders that restrict basic rights and free movement in Jammu and Kashmir.

-       Upheld the freedoms of free speech, expression and trade or business on the Internet as fundamental rights to be constitutionally protected.

-       Review orders suspending Internet services in the erstwhile State instantly. 

-       Any order suspending the Internet found to violate the law should be revoked at once.

-       Instructed the government to consider restoring government websites, localized/limited e-banking facilities, hospital services and other essential services in areas in the Union Territory.

-       Mandatory for the government to publish each and every one of its orders that crippled the fundamental freedoms of over seven million Kashmiris, including the suspension of telecom and Internet services in the Valley since August 5 following the abrogation of special status of the erstwhile State under Article 370.

-       Publication of these orders would now enable the affected persons to challenge their legality in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/sc-tells-govt-to-review-orders-curbing-basic-rights-in-jk/article30539200.ece


MoD approves rules of business for DMA

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the rules of business for the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA), headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Scope and administrative structure of DMA:

-       It will have two Joint Secretaries, 13 Deputy Secretaries, 25 Under Secretaries and 22 Section officers.

-       The training policy, most of the training establishments and cadre management of the Services would be under the purview of the DMA.

-       Defence diplomacy of the neighborhood countries would also be under the CDS.

-       Deputations to the training establishments, such as the National Defence Academy, the Indian Military Academy, the Officers Training Academy and the Defence Services Staff College would also be under the CDS.

Departments in Ministry of defense:

-       Department of Defence

-       Department of Defence Production

-       Department of Defence Research and Development

-       Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

-       Department of Military Affairs (DMA)

Mandate of DMA:

-       Promoting jointness in procurement

-       Training and staffing for the Services

-       Facilitating a restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands

-       Promoting the use of indigenous equipment.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/mod-approves-rules-of-business-for-dma/article30539108.ece


SC notice to Centre on plea seeking population control


HC had rejected petition calling for steps like 2-child norm. Supreme Court has sought centre’s reply on it.

Petitioner’s argument:

-       The right to clean air, drinking water, health, peaceful sleep, shelter, livelihood and education guaranteed under Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution could not be secured for all citizens without controlling the population.

-       Entry 20-A was inserted in List III of the 7th Schedule through the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976, which permits the Centre and the States to enact a law on population control and family planning.

-       National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, headed by former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, recommended on March 31, 2002, that Article 47A be inserted into the Constitution to control population explosion.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/sc-notice-to-centre-on-plea-seeking-population-control/article30539097.ece


RBI chalks out financial inclusion strategy for 2024


-       Aims to strengthen the ecosystem for various modes of digital financial services in all Tier-II to Tier VI centers to create the necessary infrastructure to move towards a less-cash society by March 2022.

-       Financial inclusion is increasingly being recognized as a key driver of economic growth and poverty alleviation the world over.

-       Increasing outreach of banking outlets in order to provide banking access to every village within a 5-km radius or a hamlet of 500 households in hilly areas by March 2020. 

-       Access to every adult a financial service provider through a mobile device by March 2024. 

-       A target has been set that every willing and eligible adult, who has been enrolled under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana, be enrolled under an insurance scheme and a pension scheme by March 2020.

-       Make the Public Credit Registry (PCR) operational by March 2022 so that authorized financial entities could leverage the same for assessing credit proposals from all citizens.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/rbi-chalks-out-financial-inclusion-strategy-for-2024/article30539052.ece