By- DEEPA M
February 09, 2014
Disability Bill proposed amendments
- New definition of persons with disability ‘high support’ and ‘rehabilitation’
- Persons with disabilities to enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects
- All educational institution funded or recognized by the government to provide inclusive education.
- Ensuring reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities
- Government will identify posts in the establishment to be held by respective category of benchmark disabilities.
- The bill has a provision for increasing quota in government jobs from 3% to 5% and enables accountability in private sector and educational institutions. It also has particular focus on psycho-social disability and developmental disorders
- The legislation will replace Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995. India signed and ratified the UNCRPD in 2007 by which it was bound to modify the domestic laws and harmonize the four different legislations for the disabled.
- It also mandates local governments to provide appropriate incentives to employers in the private sector to ensure that at least 5% of their work force comprises people with disabilities. Of the additional quota 1% is for people with mental disabilities and people with multiple disabilities.
- Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, provides for the constitution of a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities which will have statutory powers besides establishing a dedicated National Fund for Persons with Disabilities and broadens the ambit of disability to 19 conditions from the existing seven.
- The new Bill, if passed by the Parliament, will extend the quota by 2%, covering two new additional categories – mentally disabled and people with multiple disabilities
- The proposed legislation divides the broad categories into various sub-categories, seeking to include as many types of disabilities as possible. It includes sickle cell disease, thalassemia and muscular dystrophy besides autism, spectrum disorder, blindness, cerebral palsy, chronic neurological conditions, mental illness and multiple disabilities
- The proposed legislation is expected to bring more clarity in defining disability. Anyone suffering 40% disability or more will continue to be defined as a ‘person with disability’.
- Besides making provisions to prevent people with disabilities from harassment while getting disability certificates, the proposal legislation also provides for stringent punitive measures under which anyone violating the provisions could face from six months to five years of imprisonment and a fine from Rs 10,000 to five lakhs.
Vaccination must for visitors
From March 1, polio vaccination will be mandatory for all international travelers coming to India from polio-infected countries.
- The Health Ministry has also made OPV (oral polio vaccine) compulsory for those travelling from India to polio-endemic countries and countries with poliovirus circulation to prevent virus importation.
- The polio-endemic countries are Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Countries with poliovirus circulation are Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Syria.
- OPV vaccination certificates, valid for one year, will be issued by the government.
- Resident nationals of the seven infected countries are required to receive an OPV dose, regardless of age and vaccination status, at least four weeks prior to departure for India. The vaccination certificate will have to be produced while applying for visa and during travel in India.
- OPV is not mandatory for foreign nationals residing in the seven infected countries or India before their travel.
- Travelers can contact local health authorities in their countries for vaccination and certificates.
- Travelers from India to countries with poliovirus transmission should receive a dose of OPV at least four weeks prior to departure.
- Each district has designated at least one centre where OPV vaccination will be given and certificate issued. The District Immunization Officer is the designated official for issue of certificates.
Oral Polio Vaccine– OPV produces antibodies in the blood to all three types of poliovirus. In the event of infection, these antibodies protect against paralysis by preventing the spread of wild poliovirus to the nervous system
OPV produces antibodies in the blood to all three types of poliovirus. In the event of infection, these antibodies protect against paralysis by preventing the spread of wild poliovirus to the nervous system
OPV also produces a local, mucosal immune response in the mucous membrane of the intestines. In the event of infection, these mucosal antibodies limit the replication of the wild poliovirus inside the intestine. This intestinal immune response to OPV is thought to be the main reason why mass campaigns with OPV can rapidly stop person-to-person transmission of wild poliovirus
- OPV is administered orally. It can be given by volunteers and does not require trained health workers or sterile injection equipment
- The vaccine is relatively inexpensive
- OPV is safe, effective, and induces long-lasting immunity to all three types of poliovirus
- For several weeks after vaccination, the vaccine virus replicates in the intestine, is excreted in the faeces, and can be spread to others in close contact. This means that in areas where hygiene and sanitation are poor, immunization with OPV can result in the “passive” immunization of people who have not been directly vaccinated
- Although OPV is safe and effective, in extremely rare cases (approx. 1 in every 2.7 million first doses of the vaccine) the live attenuated vaccine virus in OPV can cause paralysis. In some cases it is believed that this vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) may be triggered by immune deficiency. The extremely low risk of VAPP is well known and accepted by most public health programmes in the world because without OPV, hundreds of thousands of children would be crippled every year.
- A second disadvantage is that very rarely the virus in the vaccine may genetically change and start to circulate among a population. These viruses are known as circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV).
Sikkim achieves over 100 per cent sanitation
The Himalayan state has constructed 98,043 individual household latrines against the target of 87,014 till January, thus achieving 112.67 per cent target under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme implemented by Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- The state has also sensitized people to adopt a holistic approach to improve sanitation and hygiene in a clean environment while accelerating its overall development.
- It has been made mandatory for all gram sabhas to take up sanitation as a top priority on their agenda.
- So far, 163 panchayats in the state have been conferred monetary rewards ‘Nirmal Gram Puruskar’ for developing sufficient sanitation facilities of adequate quality in their respective areas.
- According to a survey conducted in 20 gram panchayats by Planning Commission, 17 village councils of Sikkim were declared as ‘best performance panchayats’, which is highest in the country. Sikkim also topped the list among all states of the country in net performance indicators.
Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan
The objective is to accelerate the sanitation coverage in the rural areas so as to comprehensively cover the rural community through renewed strategies and saturation approach. Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) envisages covering the entire community for saturated outcomes with a view to create Nirmal Gram Panchayats with following priorities:
- Provision of Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) of both Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Identified Above Poverty Line (APL) households within a Gram Panchayat (GP).
- Gram Panchayats where all habitations have access to water to be taken up. Priority may be given to Gram Panchayats having functional piped water supply.
- Provision of sanitation facilities in Government Schools and Anganwadis in Government buildings within these GPs.
- Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) for proposed and existing Nirmal Grams.
- Extensive capacity building of the stake holders like Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) and field functionaries for sustainable sanitation.
- Appropriate convergence with MNREGS with unskilled man-days and skilled man-days
Code of conduct for all in south china sea
- India wants code of conduct for all in South China Sea to build capabilities and capacities to safeguard its interests
- Human trafficking is major concern for India.
- Four coastal security sensors would be activated along the islands to further bolster surveillance.
- Military infrastructure, with more jetties and airstrips, including extension and strengthening of the existing ones, was being provided.
- Measures adopted by the command to beef up security of the region and conducted periodic joint patrols with Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar
- Surveillance of the northern and southern groups of the island chain was ensured by way of regular patrol by ships and deployment of maritime reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters.
- Freedom of navigation in the area should be in line with international maritime guidelines
Black day– The black day for Indian aviation dawned when the Federal Aviation Administration downgraded India to Category 2 on safety
The implications of the downgrade are serious. Air India and Jet Airways cannot increase their operations to the U.S. until the status is restored. All code shares with American carriers get cancelled. Both carriers will be subjected to inspections for safety compliance. Other aviation authorities may opt to increase the surveillance and safety audits of Indian carriers
FAA- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the organization under the name Federal Aviation Agency. The agency adopted its current name in 1966 when it became a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
- A hormone drug which is misused by dairy owners and farmers to boost milk production and plump up the size of vegetables and fruits
- It is believed that those consuming such dairy products and vegetables and fruits are hit by irreversible hormonal imbalance.
- Under Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, 1954, the drug can be distributed on the prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner only. Further, to avoid its bulk sale, Oxytocin injections are packed only in single unit blister packs. The alleged abundant availability of the drug through traders and use of drugs by dairy owners, in a clandestine way, has been a matter of great concern for public health, officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.