Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
3. Examine the legal landscape of the response to the COVID-19 threat in India with a specific focus on the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.(250 words)
Reference: Indian Express
Why this question:
The article discusses in detail the flaws associated with the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 that has been put in action to deal with the pandemic situation in the country.
Key demand of the question:
Students must examine the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, its legal landscape, relevance in today’s times.
Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.
Structure of the answer:
Recently, there have been calls to update this colonial law as it does not provide guidelines to the states to act to prevent and mitigate epidemics. On the other hand, experts with experience of working within the government seem to believe that the law is appropriate and does not require any changes.
Discuss here in detail the role of the Act within the legal framework of COVID-19 response. Explain the elements of the COVID-19 response examine the framework that the Epidemic Diseases Act provides, point out the lacunae. Discuss the pros and cons; suggest what needs to be done.
Conclude with way forward.