Insights into Editorial: India needs a renewed health-care system

      Context: India has a new Union Health Minister after the recent cabinet reshuffle. So, what does the new Health Minister need to learn from previous experience, and what unfinished tasks need to be taken forward? As citizens, how should we expect the Government to perform better on the public health front, given …

Insights into Editorial: A collage of laws that leaves the worker out in the cold

    Context: As COVID-19 destroys lives and livelihoods, an unprepared government has rendered low-paid, informal workers, who constitute 91% of the workforce, totally hapless, pushing them further into poverty. Imagine if these same informal workers had social security (including free basic curative care in public clinics and hospitals, the elderly had old age pensions, …

Insights into Editorial: Pandemic impact: Necessary to stop reverse migration  

    Introduction: India has been recording lakhs of fresh Covid-19 cases every day over the last few days. Most major cities and growth centres—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Surat, etc continue to witness rising cases at an alarming rate. Although the governments, both at the Centre and states, are trying to address the emergency, the …

Insights into Editorial: A case for judicial federalism

  Introduction: ‘Federalism’ is one of those good echo words that evoke a positive response toward many concepts as democracy, progress, constitution, etc. The term has been seen to be applied to many successful combinations of unity with diversity, pluralism and cooperation within and among nations. Judicial behaviour is another important factor that affects the …

Insights into Editorial: New questions: On COVID-19 infecting one-fifth of Indian population

    Context: With its 1.3 billion population, India has the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus infections more than 10.8 million but new cases and deaths have fallen sharply in recent weeks. The results of the ICMR’s third serological survey to ascertain the spread of COVID-19 show that nearly one in five Indians about 270 …

Insights into Editorial: Whatever it takes: On govt. powers to combat vaccine hesitancy

    Context: India started its massive vaccination campaign aiming to inoculate 3 crore health and other frontline workers to start with. With the highest number of coronavirus infections after the US, India plans to vaccinate around 30 crore people with two doses in the first six to eight months of this year. Frontline workers …

Insights into Editorial: This is how we prevent future pandemics, say 22 leading scientists

Context: The emergence of COVID-19 in late 2019 as a major global pandemic is part of a pattern of disease emergence that highlights linkages among biodiversity, global environmental change and human health. COVID-19 and other pandemics are rooted in biodiversity. They are caused by micro-organisms that are themselves a critical part of biodiversity and are …

Insights into Editorial: Public Health Act Needed to Keep Private Hospitals in Check: Parliamentary Panel

  Context: Any vaccine against COVID-19 should be granted emergency use authorisation only after proper consideration and conducting its trials on a sufficient sample size, a parliamentary panel has recommended to the government. In a report submitted to Rajya Sabha chairman and vice-president, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs also said there was a …

Insights into Editorial: Can Covid-19 be an opportunity to boost electric mobility in India?

  Context: The sudden drop in air pollution levels in metropolitan cities due to the lockdown was one of the few positive impacts of the early days of the pandemic. Emissions fell drastically, skies cleared, and residents of New York, London, Shanghai, Mumbai and other major metro cities enjoyed clean air for the first time …

Dry Swab-Direct RT-PCR method

Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology. Dry Swab-Direct RT-PCR method: Context: To ramp up COVID-19 testing, ICMR approves dry swab-direct RT-PCR method. It has been Developed by CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). First, let us understand how the conventional method works? In the conventional testing method, nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab samples collected are generally placed …

Experimental drug given to Trump to treat covid-19 wins FDA clearance:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health. Experimental drug given to Trump to treat covid-19 wins FDA clearance: Context: Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency authorization to the experimental antibody treatment given to President Trump last month when he developed covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. About the drug: The drug is made …

Insights into Editorial: The message in the Peace Nobel — multilateralism

  Context: It is a paradox that precisely at a time when the salience of cross-national and global challenges has significantly increased, nation states are less willing to cooperate and collaborate in tackling them. COVID-19 recognises no national or regional boundaries as it rages across the world. One would have expected that countries, particularly those …

Insights into Editorial: Weighing the costs: On COVID-19 vaccine

  Context: Union Health Minister, on multiple occasions has said that an India-made vaccine was likely to be available in “early 2021”. The government already has an expert committee on vaccine distribution. With over 6 million cases and the death toll from COVID-19 approaching 100,000, India is entering the first winter of the pandemic. Viral …

Insights into Editorial: Mind the gaps in India’s health care digital push

  Introduction: The Independence Day address of the Prime Minister launching the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) during an unprecedented novel coronavirus pandemic crisis, caught everyone’s attention. Yet, despite all his eloquence it was not clear to many what to expect in substantial terms. ‘Going Digital’ has no doubt been a magic phrase that has …

Insights into Editorial: During pandemic, we must keep older people engaged, not isolate them

Introduction: The most vulnerable persons during the COVID pandemic are the elderly. If infected, their odds of survival are the lowest. When shut away to save them from infection, they are likely to suffer from neglect from lack of care for other ailments, and loneliness. The pandemic has highlighted humanity’s dilemma of what to do …

Insights into Editorial: Differential impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown

  Introduction: In book, The Great Leveler, Walter Scheidel, the Austrian economic historian, argues that throughout human history, there have been four types of catastrophic events that have led to greater economic equality: pandemic, war, revolution and state collapse. Currently, the world is going through one of them: a massive COVID-19 pandemic. In Scheidel’s analysis, …

Insights into Editorial: Re-imagining and reinventing the Indian economy

Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global economy and India is no different. The significant reduction in domestic demand caused by the nationwide lockdown has pushed the economy towards contraction in the first quarter of 2020-21, and the impact is likely to be felt in subsequent months as well. In this regard, PM Shri …

Insights into Editorial: Rebuild India’s confidence, revive the economy

Context: These are extraordinarily difficult times for our nation and the world. People are gripped with the fear of disease and death from COVID-19. This fear is ubiquitous and transcends geography, religion and class. The inability of nations to control the spread of the novel coronavirus and the lack of a confirmed cure for the …

Insights into Editorial: How the pandemic strengthens patriarchy

  Context: Domestic maintenance work and care, much of which are done largely by women within the confines of the home, have become the pillars of post-COVID life and coping strategies. Though central to the survival, well-being and flourishing of human beings, such work has historically been viewed with disdain. This is especially so in …