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Q.1) Do you think there is a need to broaden and stricken our laws against stalking in India?  Substantiate.  (GS-1)

Introduction:

  • Stalking is not a mere annoyance.
  • On the contrary, it is a crime that requires strict legal punishment.

What is Stalking?

  • Stalkingis unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person.
  • Stalking behaviours are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them.

Statistical Data:

  • A total of 674 cases of voyeurism and 4,699 cases of stalking were reported in the country during the 2014.
  • In 2015, NCRB recorded a total of 6,266 complaints under stalking.
  • According to the data from NCRB, AP and Telangana reported 504 cases of stalking in 2014 and 551 cases in 2015.

Need of strict law against stalking in India:

  • Following are the reasons for which there is a need of strict law against stalking in India:
  • Stalking is a violation of privacy.
  • It directly impacts life and can puts the victim in danger.
  • It is important for the government to understand how traumatic and inhibiting it is for a victim, especially a woman to be pursued with unwanted interest, and for such stalking to be considered as ‘normal’.
  • There are times when stalking contains the seed for a bigger, often violent crime.
  • It should not be forgotten that murders and acid attacks have had their origins in stalking.

Loopholes in the existing laws against stalking:

  • The loopholes in the existing laws against stalking are:
  • Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to stalking, is a bailable offence.
  • This has attracted the criticism that the police did not invoke more stringent provisions.
  • The existing law has been severely criticized for being gender biased.
  • According to the law, only a man can commit the offence on a woman.
  • Laws against cyber stalking merely focused on financial crimes and neglected interpersonal criminal behaviors such as cyber stalking.

Q.2) India has a plethora of public–private partnership (PPPs) in health,but how does NitiAayog’s model of privatizing district hospitals make a difference? Critically examine.  (GS-2)

Introduction:

  • The Health Ministry and the NITI Aayog have developed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework to let private hospitals run services within district hospitals, on a 30-year lease for three non-communicable diseases i.e. cardiac disease, pulmonary disease, and cancer care.

The objectives of the proposed PPP:

  • The salient features of the NITI Aayog’s proposed PPP are:
  • It pushes for PPPs focussed on cancers, heart conditions and respiratory tract diseases in non-metros.
  • It would see private healthcare service providers bid for a 30-year contract to upgrade and operate these facilities within district hospitals.
  • The scheme is designed to address the acute shortage of trained personnel and infrastructure in public hospitals, particularly those situated away from large cities and metropolitan centres.
  • The NitiAyog asserts that the scheme will lead to infusion of resources by the private sector, and will expand access to healthcare services.
  • Beneficiaries of the government insurance schemes will be able to get treatment at these hospitals but there will be no reserved beds or quota of beds for free services.
  • General patients will also be allowed to seek treatment.

The major drawbacks:

  • The major drawbacks of the PPP are:
  • It brings forward the questions that how will public and private managements coexist in the same physical space.
  • Private hospitals are also known to overcharge devices like stents and drugs that are the key revenue earning centres.
  • The model does not provide any information on the pricing strategy and its impact on public budgets.
  • Under the Aayog model, several costs are being subsidised, rates charged ought to be half of the CGHS rates.
  • An implementation of the proposal will further worsen inequity in access to healthcare services.
  • Private providers, following the money trail, will stay away from poor and remote districts, leaving these to the public sector to manage.
  • This will further weaken the ability of public hospitals to attract and retain trained doctors and other health workers, as public services will be restricted to the poorest areas where working conditions are the most difficult.

Conclusion:

The simple remedy could be to significantly enhance investment in public healthcare services, including in the training of health workers.

On a positive note, this initiative certainly provides effective diagnostic facilities at affordable cost for the life threatening diseases.

Q.3) Despite the existing medical facilities and healthcare infrastructure what proved to be largely inadequate to prevent the death of the children in Gorakhpur hospital tragedy? Suggest the immediate measures to be taken to handle the like situation.  (GS-1)

Introduction:

  • The death of over 30 children within a span of 48 hours at the government-run Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar pradesh, isn’t merely about oxygen cylinders and unpaid bills but it is a consequence of many deeper problems.

The deeper problems:

  • Gorkhapur is the worst-affected region in the state due to encephalitis.
  • Although vaccines are available, there is no such vaccine for checking Acute Encephalitis Syndrome.
  • India’s abysmally low public spending on healthcare also tops the list of drawbacks.
  • Another problem with India’s healthcare system is acute manpower shortage.
  • A vast majority of people do not have health insurance in a country.
  • India’s inability to find a workable model for taxation or insurance has left its poor particularly vulnerable.

Suggestions:

  • The Medical Council of India (MCI) will have to reform the entire medical education system if these gaps of medical facilities have to be filled.
  • In the meantime, more healthcare providers need to be brought into the system, including nurses, optometrists, anaesthetists and AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy) workers.
  • Nurses especially can and should be empowered so that they can take off some of the load from physicians.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research needs to launch a special commission for U.P., treating it as a public health emergency.
  • Such a system should be non-commercial and regulated to contain costs, giving everyone affordable access to doctors, diagnostics and treatment.
  • Strict laws should be formulated against irresponsibility and carelessness of any hospital’s administration.
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