IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB: 24th NOVEMBER
Madhya Pradesh mohalla clinics to be paperless, hi-tech
WHY IN NEWS?
Unlike Delhi model, clinics will offer preventive care too
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:2:Healthcare institutions:delivery of health services
For PRELIMS for facts revolving around Mohalla clinic.
For MAINS look for essential ingredients in the article to feed the notes of GS 2 and 1 ; healthcare sector
- Mohalla Clinics are primary health centres in the union territory of New Delhi in India, that offer a basic package of essential health services including medicines, diagnostics, and consultation free of cost.
- In a bid to assess the delivery of health services, and study disease patterns and demographic profiles of patients, the mohalla clinics to be set up in Madhya Pradesh will be the country’s first health centres to be entirely paperless.
- Registration, consultation, diagnosis recording and drug prescription — all will be done free through a mobile application on tablets. And medical records can be retrieved online.
- “Artificial intelligence will help analyse patient health records on multiple metrics such as symptoms, diagnosis, consultations and administration of medicines and help define health-seeking behaviours. SMS and WhatsApp alerts will be sent to patients to remind them of follow-up consultation date,” .
- Three systems will be fed into the application for registration, consultation and drug distribution. “Since the app will have an inventory of generic medicines available from the 120 mandated types at the clinic, the doctor can choose which ones to prescribe.
- Besides medical officers, one at every clinic, each field volunteer will carry tablets to monitor pregnant women, mothers and newborns, record the incidence of non-communicable diseases and conduct awareness programmes as part of preventive care.
- For the maintenance of the software, developed by LEHS Wish Foundation, ₹4,000 per month had been set aside. “It will help establish the existing community-based health need gaps and measure the impact of the intervention,” .
Suggested reading : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohalla_Clinics
SOURCES: THE HINDU
Lysosomal storage disease
Patients with rare diseases wait for support
WHY IN NEWS?
Applications of about 190 patients seeking treatment aid await the approval of Health Ministry
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Rare diseases
For PRELIMS you have to look for what is LSD (Causes ,prevention ,treatment)
For MAINS you to analyse what should be a viable policy framework for Treatment of Rare Diseases
- The wait for financial support for treatment is getting longer for patients with rare diseases. The applications of about 190 patients — a majority of them children suffering from Lysosomal Storage Disorders — seeking treatment support has been pending with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for several months.
- And a National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases is yet to be finalised.
- Patient advocacy groups including the Lysosomal Storage Disorders Support Society (LSDSS) and the Organisation for Rare Diseases in India (ORDI) have been repeatedly representing the case of patients with rare diseases with the Union Health Ministry. There are about 50 Lysosomal Storage Disorders.
About Lysosomal storage disease:
- Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs; are a group of about 50 rare inherited metabolic disorders that result from defects in lysosomal function.
- Lysosomes are sacs of enzymes within cells that digest large molecules and pass the fragments on to other parts of the cell for recycling.
- This process requires several critical enzymes. If one of these enzymes is defective, because of a mutation, the large molecules accumulate within the cell, eventually killing it.
LSDs affect mostly children and they often die at a young age, many within a few months or years of birth.
Suggested reading :
SOURCES: THE HINDU
Governors’ role vital for healthy federalism
Governors’ role vital for healthy federalism: Kovind
WHY IN NEWS?
President, PM stress role in bringing administration closer to the people
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:Government organisations:government bodies
For PRELIMS nothing much here.
For MAINS we have taken some key points for balancing federalism.
PIC CREDIT : PTI
High-level meet: President Ram Nath Kovind with Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah at the Governors’ meet.
- President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said Governors had a very important role in the country’s constitutional system, particularly in the context of cooperative and healthy competitive federalism.
- In his inaugural address at the two-day Conference of Governors and Lieutenant Governors, the President said Governors could use their constitutional powers to improve the lives of tribal people.
- He said the development and empowerment of tribal people was linked to inclusive growth and internal security.
- Governor’s role was not only limited to the protection and preservation of the Constitution but was also to remain persistent in the service and welfare of people of their States.
- The Union Territories could emerge as a role model in terms of development.
- “As we celebrate 70 years of the framing of the Indian Constitution, Governors and State governments should also work towards highlighting the service aspects of the Indian Constitution, in particular the duties and responsibilities of the citizens. This will help to bring about participatory governance in the truest sense.
- For tribal welfare “As we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Governors and Lt. Governors can utilise this occasion to project the abiding relevance of Gandhian thoughts and values, an important bedrock of our Constitution,
- Adding that in their roles as Chancellors of universities, Governors could help inculcate the values of nation-building among the youth and inspire them towards greater achievements.
- The Prime Minister urged the Governors to work towards the uplift of under-privileged sections, including the Scheduled Tribes, minority communities, women and the youth. Mr. Modi said the 50th edition of the Conference would see innovative and detailed discussions on tribal issues, reforms in agriculture, Jal Jeevan Mission, New Education Policy and Governance for ‘Ease of Living’.
SOURCES: THE HINDU
India, U.S. to sign industrial security pact
India, U.S. to sign industrial security pact
WHY IN NEWS?
At 2+2, agreement to facilitate encrypted communications will be reviewed
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence procurements
For PRELIMS understand and revise COMCASA/BECA/LEMOA
For MAINS these will serve good examples in your answers.
For synergy: The Navies of India and the U.S. set up CENTRIXS systems at the Indian Navy headquarters.
- The next 2+2 dialogue between India and the U.S. is likely to be held on December 18 in Washington, D.C., during which the two countries are expected to sign the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) and review the steps being taken to operationalise the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).
- But the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA), which is under discussion, is unlikely to be concluded.
- There are differences over the issue of reciprocity in the exchange of geo-spatial information and both sides are trying to resolve them.
- The ISA is part of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which India had signed with the U.S. many years ago.
- The ISA is crucial for U.S. companies bidding for big-ticket Indian deals to partner Indian private companies.
- In the past two months, there were a series of high-level visits to take forward several bilateral initiatives. However, with the dialogue a month away, the final agenda is still being worked out.
- A major movement over the last year has been steps to operationalise the COMCASA, which will facilitate encrypted communications between the two armed forces.
- USA actually moved forward and in some cases actually put together some CENTRIXS [Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System] kits. These kits facilitate encrypted communications between the navies.
The U.S. Navy and the Indian Navy signed a loan agreement and installed two Pacific fleet- provided CENTRIXS systems at the Indian Navy headquarters. India has also created a common account of $5 million to pay for services or information sought from the U.S. under the COMCASA. In addition, a tactical data link, Sealink Advanced Analysis (S2A), is to be set up to analyse large volumes of data that are received as part of Maritime Domain Awareness.
SOURCES: THE HINDU
Tea — an industry trapped in its legacy
Tea — an industry trapped in its legacy
WHY IN NEWS?
The sector is undergoing churn and the factors at play are more structural than cyclical
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Plantation industry
For PRELIMS we have covered everything here.
For MAINS look for pros and cons of tea board of India.
Quality is affected by the ageing of tea bushes in this centuries-old industry. Till September, about 3,325.7 hectares have been replanted under the Medium Term Framework 2017-20.
- The Indian tea industry closed 2018 with a crop of 1,339 million kg. Production is on an upswing this year too. Earlier, this would have gladdened the industry and the Tea Board of India alike.
- In today’s context, there may only be two cheers for a rising crop in India — the second-largest tea producer after China.
- The Indian tea industry is going through a churn and the factors at play are more structural in nature than cyclical, changing the industry construct. Some of the world’s best teas are grown in Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiris, Sikkim and Kangra.
- The labour-intensive industry, employs over 11 lakh workers in the organised sector, half of whom are women.
- The emergence of the small tea-growers as a dominant force in the industry, along with the scarcity of labour and its cost (65% of cost) in the organised industry, are two of the major threats before the organised industry — also known as the estate segment.
- Prices have not moved in tandem with inflation, causing financial stress. The industry too has been found wanting. Lately the organised sector’s production has shown a declining trend and small tea-growers now have a larger share of the pie.Between January and September 2019, the estate segment’s share in total crop fell to 50.9% against 52% a year ago.
- Consumption Contrary to the popular imagery of India being a tea-drinking nation, its per capita tea consumption is low at 786 gm.
- A burgeoning population has ensured that 80% of the crop is consumed domestically, but per capita consumption remains a pain-point for the industry and the regulator. said Mudit Kumar, President, Tea Association of India. According to him, demand-supply mismatch has led to stagnant prices. Overall tea prices remained soft in the first half of fiscal 2020. According to a report by ICRA, while higher production will help absorb costs, the overall soft price trends will impact on the tea companies’ bottomline. The All India Tea Auction price in the first half of 2019-20 has risen by 3.02% to ₹148.8 per kg. This is not enough according to the industry, which says that while wages (in Assam and West Bengal which account for 75% of the output) have risen by 12% since 2009, along with prices of other inputs, all of which have risen at a faster clip than the 3% rise in tea prices. “A majority of the estates are losing money and if prices do not increase, operations will not be sustainable,” said Vivek Goenka, Indian Tea Association Chairman. Aware of the need to put in place a mechanism for fair price-discovery, the Tea Board has taken some measures. These included actions like foreclosing the tea season in December to curb production of indifferent qualities of teas and initiating auction reforms. To keep abreast of technology, the Tea Board has upgraded the e-auction infrastructure which includes cloud hosting and making the software compatible with the latest technology. An e-auction platform for Jorhat in Assam, with value-added services, is being developed.
TEA BOARD OF INDIA:
- Tea is one of the industries, which by an Act of Parliament comes under the control of the Union Govt.
- The genesis of the Tea Board India dates back to 1903 when the Indian Tea Cess Bill was passed.
- The Bill provided for levying a cess on tea exports – the proceeds of which were to be used for the promotion of Indian tea both within and outside India.
- The present Tea Board set up under section 4 of the Tea Act 1953 was constituted on 1st April 1954.
- It has succeeded the Central Tea Board and the Indian Tea Licencing Committee which functioned respectively under the Central Tea Board Act,1949 and the Indian Tea Control Act, 1938 which were repealed.
- The activities of the two previous bodies had been confined largely to regulation of tea cultivation and export of tea as required by the International Tea Agreement then in force, and promotion of tea Consumption.
TEA BOARD ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONS:
- Organisation of the Board: The present Tea Board is functioning as a statutory body of the Central Government under the Ministry of Commerce.
- The Board is constituted of 31 members (including Chairman) drawn from Members of Parliament, tea producers, tea traders, tea brokers, consumers, and representatives of Governments from the principal tea producing states, and trade unions .
- The Board is reconstituted every three years.
The Tea Board has wide functions and responsibilities under the direction of the Central Government. Briefly the primary functions of the Tea Board are as under :
a) Rendering financial and technical assistance for cultivation, manufacture and marketing of tea.
b) Export Promotion
c) Aiding Research and Development activities for augmentation of tea production and improvement of tea quality.
d) Extend financial assistance in a limited way to the plantation workers and their wards through labour welfare schemes.
e) To encourage and assist both financially and technically the unorganised small growers sector.
f) Collection and maintenance of Statistical data and publication
g) Such other activities as are assigned from time to time by the Central Government.
- “Not only do more Indians need to consume tea, but more Indians need to consume more teas,”.
- The industry has to gear up to face its challenges. Whether that be through adopting mechanisation or by adapting to new ways of doing business. “There is no way out but to increasingly adopt machine harvesting,”
- Industry has adopted a laid-back way of functioning whether that be in replanting and rejuvenating the tea-bushes (most are over 50 years old) or innovating ways of marketing tea and adding value or by unleashing alternative revenue streams.
- “The industry is unable to look beyond its legacy.” The traditional industry, perhaps, would do well to listen and find ways to sell a produce that is the world’s second-most consumed beverage after water.
Suggested reading :
SOURCES: THE HINDU
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:Public health:DiseasesLEARNING:
Lower protection: Infants born to mothers in countries where measles virus has been eliminated have lower maternal antibodies to start with.
- Currently, as per the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, children in countries like India with ongoing transmission of measles are vaccinated only at 9-12 months of age.
- In countries with no ongoing transmission, the first dose is administered when the baby is 12-15 months of age.
- This would mean that babies would remain susceptible to measles infection for a longer period of time before they get vaccinated with the first dose.
WHAT IS MEASLES:
- Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.
- Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020. WHO is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunization and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve this goal.
- Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.
- Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases.
- The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration, and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
- Routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunization campaigns in countries with low routine coverage, are key public health strategies to reduce global measles deaths.
- While global measles deaths have decreased by 84 percent worldwide in recent years — from 550,100 deaths in 2000 to 89,780 in 2016 — measles is still common in many developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. An estimated 7 million people were affected by measles in 2016. The overwhelming majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.
- The measles vaccine has been in use since the 1960s. It is safe, effective and inexpensive. WHO recommends immunization for all susceptible children and adults for whom measles vaccination is not contraindicated. Reaching all children with 2 doses of measles vaccine, either alone, or in a measles-rubella (MR), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) combination, should be the standard for all national immunization programmes.
Pesticide exposure affects DNAHEADLINES:
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:Public health:pesticidesLEARNING:
Sans protection: The workers were not wearing protective gear such as masks, gloves and boots.
- Two reports recently published by the team points out that chronic exposure to the mixture of pesticides has led to changes in the DNA and also decreased certain enzyme activity.
- Enzyme activity :The team collected blood samples from over 200 individuals which included estate workers, controls who didn’t smoke or drink and two more control groups who either smoked or consumed alcohol.
- Detailed analysis showed that the estate workers both men and women, irrespective of whether they smoked or consumed alcohol, showed decrease in enzyme activity, especially enzymes AChE and BuChE.
- “AChE is known to be target of most organophosphates. AChE terminates synaptic (neuron to neuron) transmission, preventing continuous nerve firings at nerve endings.
- Organophosphorous pesticides bind to this site and inactivate the enzymes. In the long run, these may even cause other neurological complications.
- Some studies have pointed out that herbicide and fungicide exposure is associated with Parkinson’s disease too,” explains Dr. Dutta, the first author of the paper published in Biomarkers. Another paper published by the team in Mutation Research – Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, shows that pesticide exposure led to DNA damage.
- Comet assay The team used a special study called comet assay which helps assess DNA damage and found that individuals exposed to pesticides had significantly higher value of certain parameters which suggest damage compared to control subjects.
- The paper notes that the damage might be the due to single strand DNA breaks, or any disorder of the DNA or DNA-DNA or DNA-protein cross-links.
- This damage was found to be independent of sex, age, or duration of exposure.
- The researchers note that the workers were not wearing any protective gear such as masks, gloves and boots. The men who were mostly sprayers inhaled and also contacted the pesticide through their skin.
- The female workers also came into direct skin contact and has residues on their clothes.
- The workers don’t clean up properly before going home.
- This problem is prevalent in all plantations across the country and to prevent further health problems for this workforce they need to be educated to take safety precautions.
Why India’s children are anaemic?;LANCET reportHEADLINES:
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:2:3:Malnutrition:Anaemic:Public healthLEARNING:
Nutrition imbalance: Overall, vitamin A and iron intake was lower than the recommended level.
Lancet Global Health report:
- Lancet Global Health report noted that 23% of Indian men suffered from anaemia.
- Scientific Reports points out that about 58.5% of children below five years of age in India are anaemic.
- Factors at play The team from Havard TH Chan School of Public Health analysed over one lakh children using the National Fertility and Health Survey (2015-16) data.
- They write that socio-demographic factors including wealth of the family, maternal education, maternal age, type of residence are the main reasons behind the incidence of childhood anaemia.
- The report notes that even the richest households had anaemic children.
- While 52.9% of children in the rich households were marked anaemic, the number was 63.2% in the poorest households.
- Overall, vitamin A and iron intake was also lower than the recommended level.
- The study showed that children of younger mothers are more anaemic. “While one may understand the powerlessness of mothers 15-19 years [old] in ensuring the children get the right food.
- It also reveals the power dimension in the household allocation and use of resources.” The team has now planned to study gender power relations in household and how it influences childhood anaemia in India.
- The paper notes that though India has an anaemia control programme which recommends iron intake and folic acid supplements, the results show that the programme has not been a success.
Global Bio-India SummitHEADLINES:
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:Government organisations:government bodiesLEARNING:
India’s first largest biotechnology stakeholders conglomerate, – the Global Bio-India (GBI) Summit, 2019 concluded .
- The three-day event was organized by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India along with its Public Sector Undertaking, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
- The associated partners for this event were Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Invest India.
- Biotechnology is recognized as the sunrise sector– a key driver for contributing to India’s USD 5 Trillion economy target by 2025.
- The Summit provided an opportunity to showcase the potential of India’s biotech sector to the international community, identify, create opportunities and deliberate on the key challenges in the areas of Bio-pharma, Bio-Agri, Bio-Industrial, Bio-Energy and Bio-Services and allied sectors.