Insights Daily Current Affairs, 11 October 2017
Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Telangana launches IoT, e-waste management policy
The Telangana government has announced two new policies focussing on Internet of things and e-waste, which are part of the 10 major focus areas of the state’s IT policy launched last year.
The IoT policy is designed to attract Rs 10,000 crore worth of investments and the creation of five clusters each in three districts.
- The IoT policy is focussed on developing smart city solutions, medicalhealth IoT, smart logistics and agri-tech.
- These will be propelled by TWorks, a hardware prototyping centre being developed by the state government.
- The centre will partner with corporates and laboratories to access testing tools and other prototyping equipment specific to IoT.
E waste policy:
E-Waste generation in India is rising at an alarming annual rate of 25%, with Hyderabad currently recording 25,000 MT per annum, the 6th largest generator in the country. The state’s e-waste policy calls for earmarking industrial space or sheds for dismantling and recycling e-waste in existing and upcoming industrial parks, estates and industrial clusters.
- The government aims to promote management of ewaste through collaborations with bulk consumers of electronic products, major industry organisations and other stakeholders.
- The government would also provide incentives to boost refurbishing and recycling centres. A subsidy of Rs 1 crore will be provided for a minimum investment of Rs 5 crore for the first five recyclers and refurbishers.
- Apart from that, it also plans to give 25% subsidy on lease rentals for every company for the first three years of operation and provide Rs 1,000 as training subsidy per person every month for 1,000 people.
- With this, the government aims to provide employment for 50,000 people in five years.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
WHO releases guidelines to address overweight and obesity in children
As part of its response to the global epidemic of obesity, WHO has released guidelines to support primary healthcare workers identify and help children who are overweight or obese.
Need for intervention:
Assessing and managing children at primary health-care facilities to prevent overweight and obesity in the context of the double burden of malnutrition is part of a concerted effort to tackle the global epidemic in obesity including among children. This global epidemic affects all world regions. It is rising most rapidly in low- and middle-income countries.
- In 2016 an estimated 41 million children under 5 were affected by overweight or obesity. Of this, one half of all children overweight or obese lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa. Paradoxically, overweight and obesity is found in populations where undernutrition remains common – the term ‘double-burden of malnutrition’ is sometimes used to describe these settings.
- Without effective treatment, they are very likely to remain overweight and obese throughout their lives, putting them at risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature death, as well as suffering physical and psychological consequences in childhood.
- WHO recommends that all infants and children aged less than 5 years presenting to primary health-care facilities should have both weight and height measured in order to determine their weight-for-height and their nutritional status according to WHO child growth standards. Comparing a child’s weight with norms for its length or height is an effective way to assess for both wasting and overweight.
- Where infants and children are identified as overweight, WHO recommends providing counselling to parents and caregivers on nutrition and physical activity including promotion and support for exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding until 24 months or beyond.
- If children are obese, they should be further assessed and an appropriate management plan should be developed. This can be done by a health worker at primary health-care level, if adequately trained, or at a referral clinic or local hospital.
- Additionally, moderate wasting and stunting are potential risk factors for children becoming overweight or obese. Within these populations, and until there is a more definitive evidence base, to avoid increasing the risk of overweight and obesity WHO recommends not to provide formulated supplementary foods on a routine basis to children who are moderately wasted or stunted.
Significance of this move:
As well as helping Member States and their partners in their efforts to make evidence-informed decisions on assessing and managing children at primary health-care facilities, the guideline aims to support their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the global targets set by the Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, and the Global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health 2016–2030.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Passive euthanasia already a law, says govt.
More than six years after sanctioning passive euthanasia as a legitimate option to end lives of people in a permanent vegetative state, the Supreme Court has decided to examine the more complex concept of a “living will” where removal of life support is authorised in case of an irreversible coma.
SC was hearing a plea by NGO Common Cause to declare ‘right to die with dignity’ as a fundamental right within the fold of right to live with dignity, which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
What is a “Living Will”?
A “living will” is a document prepared by a person in a healthy state of mind specifying that if s/he slides into a vegetative state because of an irreversible terminal illness, the debilitated existence should not be prolonged with the help of life support systems or other medical interventions.
In such a case, relatives will be spared the agonising decision of removing life support and doctors will be guided solely by the “living will”. In several cases, the reluctance to pull the plug on a loved one even when s/he is in a vegetative state prolongs the pain of the patient.
Active and passive euthanasia:
Active euthanasia, the intentional act of causing the death of a patient in great suffering, is illegal in India. It entails deliberately causing the patient’s death through injections or overdose.
- But passive euthanasia, the withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten a terminally ill patient’s death is “partially” allowed.
- The patient, family, friends and legal guardians can’t take the decision on their own, but need a high court’s approval bill for stopping treatment.
Euthanasia in law:
The government told the court on Tuesday there was already a law on passive euthanasia and it had drafted a ‘management of patients with terminal illness-withdrawal of medical life support bill’.
The issue of euthanasia was first examined by the health ministry in consultation with the experts in 2006, based on the 196th Law Commission of India report. However, it was decided to not make any laws on euthanasia.
Aruna Shanbaug case:
In 2011, the Supreme Court, while hearing the case of Aruna Shanbaug, who was in a vegetative state for nearly 30 years, had legalised passive euthanasia partially.
- A nurse at KEM Hospital in Mumbai, Shanbaug was in a vegetative state since 1973 after a brutal sodomisation and strangling with a dog-chain during a sexual assault. She died in 2015 while on a ventilator for several days after suffering from pneumonia.
- SC gave patients living in a vegetative state the right to have treatment or food withdrawn, and laid down guidelines to process passive euthanasia in the case of incompetent patients. The guidelines include seeking a declaration from a high court, after getting clearance from a medical board and state government.
Medical experts on euthanasia:
Doctors have a mixed reaction to legalising euthanasia. They say the government needs to take a careful approach before legalising passive euthanasia when the measures to prolong the life of the patient are withdrawn.
- Most doctors, however, agree that euthanasia should be made legal in cases where there is no scope of a patient recovering. But many feel that India is not yet ready for a decision like this which requires a mix of sensitivity and maturity.
- A major concern is the misuse of the law. If it is legal to passively allow or actively hasten death, what’s to say an aged parent won’t be hastened in favour of an inheritance, or a spouse have treatment withdrawn for the sake of a hefty insurance payout?
Euthanasia in other countries:
Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide have been legal in The Netherlands and Belgium since 2001 and 2002. In the US, Switzerland and Germany, euthanasia is illegal but physician-assisted suicide is legal. Euthanasia remains illegal in the UK, France, Canada and Australia.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
India invited to join SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan
India following its rising profile in Afghanistan for the first time ever has been invited to join Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) contact group meeting on Afghanistan to discuss prevailing security situation and economic potential of the landlocked country.
- The meeting is being is held in Moscow and comes as a feather in the cap for India’s Afghan strategy after successful US backed Indo-Afghan trade and investment show in Delhi. The development is viewed as acknowledgement of India’s stake in the war-torn country.
The SCO contact group on Afghanistan that became defunct in 2009 has been revived following intervention by Russian President Vladimir Putin from this year. India was invited to join maiden SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan after it became a SCO member this June.
India’s increasing engagement with Afghanistan:
India is working with both US and Russia to contribute to stability of Afghanistan. SCO membership that put India into the heart of Eurasian geo-politics enabling a larger say in Afghanistan that has direct bearing on security situation here. However, India’s deeper engagement with Afghanistan has been opposed by Pakistan and its Army.
Pak-backed Taliban and Haqqani network continue to target Indian interests and assets in the landlocked country as it strives to achieve “strategic depth”.
The SCO was established on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai by six countries. At the 2016 summit held in Uzbekistan, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
India Water Week (IWW)-2017
The India Water Week 2017 is going to be held between October 10 – 14, 2017 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. Various conferences and exhibitions involving stakeholders will be held during this week.
Based on the theme “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth,” India Water Week-2017 is a platform to elicit ideas and opinions from global-level decision makers, politicians, researchers and entrepreneurs in the field of water resources development and management for mutual benefit and goodwill.
Need for conservation of water:
Water is the harbinger and sustainer of all life on the planet, especially the humankind. With the growing population and improvement in economic status, the demand for available water resources is also increasing. As a result, there is an urgency to conserve and utilize the limited availability of water resources in an optimum and efficient manner to satisfy larger needs.
India water week is a unique platform for deliberating all the related issues and better management of water resources created by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- The government has involved all stakeholders including decision makers, politicians, researchers and entrepreneurs of water resources from India as well as abroad to discuss strategies for managing the demands and supplies in the right manner.
- The first event was organised in New Delhi in 2012 and the theme was ‘Water, Energy and Food Security: Call for Solutions’.