Q.1) The National Medical Commission Bill seeks to make structural changes in India’s exploitative health-care system. In this context discuss the factors responsible for health crisis in India. What measures can be adopted in improving India’s healthcare system?(GS 3)
The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill seeks to make structural changes in India’s exploitative health-care system. The Bill proposes weeping changes for medical education and regulation in the country.
Factors responsible for health crisis in India:
Article 47 of the Constitution makes it clear that the state is duty-bound to improve public health, but India continues to face a health crisis. The factors responsible for health crisis in India are given below:
- An Absolute shortage and an inequitable presence of doctors and over-burdened hospitals.
- Although India has 10 lakh medical doctors, it needs 3, 00,000 more in order to meet the World Health Organisation standard of the ideal doctor-population ratio.
- There is an 81% shortage of specialists in community health centres (CHC), the first point of contact for a patient with a specialist doctor.
- Another fact is that 82.2% of providers of “modern medicine” in rural areas do not have a medical qualification.
- Shortfall in the number of medical practitioners.
- High capitation fees charged by private colleges can have a negative effect in terms of affordability of medical services.
- The regulatory authority has been unable to act despite the fact that over half the 60,000 medical students graduating every year are from private medical colleges.
- Corruption in the issuing of licences and regulatory requirements, many such academic institutions have a faculty of questionable standards, with obvious repercussions on the quality of education imparted.
- Low funding for health sector in the budget.
- Health-services inequality between urban and rural India.
- Disconnect between the public-health and medical-education systems
- Low level of public investments in preventive health facilities.
- India spends very low percentage of its GDP on health sector.
Measures can be adopted:
- Strengthening primary centres.
- To address the urgent need for better access to medicines India should embark on the necessary regulatory and other mechanisms for pharmacy reform that will ensure the procurement prescribing and dispensing of low cost generics and eliminate the abuses of prescriber mark-ups.
- India needs to make the commitment to provide the level of public funding for medicines that is expected of a country that is becoming a growing economic power.
- Increase health system capacity through adequate funding.
- Training informal healthcare workers
The quality of the health-care system needs attention. It is ironic that, while India is a hub for medical tourism (in 2016, India issued 1.78 lakh medical visas), it is a common sight in government hospitals to have patients sleep in corridors waiting for their outpatient department appointments. The Bill seeks to make structural changes in a stagnant and increasingly exploitative health-care system. This is a step in right direction.
Q.2) India is taking tentative steps towards restarting research into Cold fusion, following global criticism heaped on the idea. In this context critically discuss the rationale behind restarting research into Cold fusion(GS 3)
Low Energy Nuclear Reaction(LENR) or cold fusion has been again in the news as India is taking tentative steps towards restarting research into Cold fusion, some 25 years after it was shut down at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) following global criticism heaped on the idea.
Cold fusion describes a form of energy generated when hydrogen interacts with various metals like nickel and palladium.Cold fusion is a field of condensed matter nuclear science CMNS, and is also called low-energy nuclear reactions LENR, lattice-assisted nuclear reactions LANR, low energy nanoscale reactions LENR, among others.Cold fusion is also referred to as the Anomalous Heat Effect AHE, reflecting the fact that there is no definitive theory of the elusive reaction.
Advantages of cold fusion:
- No radioactive materials are used in cold fusion.
- It occurs as the tiny protons, neutrons and electrons of hydrogen interact, releasing energy slowly, through heat and photons, without the dangerous radiation associated with conventional nuclear reactions, and cold fusion makes no radioactive waste.
- Cold fusion seeks to produce nuclear energy without harmful radiation, complex equipment and the application of very high temperatures and pressures. But it has no conclusive theory explaining it and flies in the face of a well-established physics law that goes against easy fusion of nuclei.
- There is no guarantee that every time a cold fusion or LENR experiment is done, energy will be produced.
Q.3) Recently the Union Cabinet has approved an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between India and Iran. In this context discuss the significance of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAAs) (GS-3)
Recently the Union Cabinet has approved an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between India and Iran.
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAAs):
- A DTAA is a tax treaty signed between two or more countries.
- Its key objective is that tax-payers in these countries can avoid being taxed twice for the same income.
- A DTAA applies in cases where a tax-payer resides in one country and earns income in another.
- India has DTAAs with more than eighty countries, of which comprehensive agreements include those with Australia, Canada, Germany, Mauritius, Singapore, UAE, the UK and US.
- DTAAs are intended to make a country an attractive investment destination by providing relief on dual taxation.
- Such relief is provided by exempting income earned abroad from tax in the resident country or providing credit to the extent taxes have already been paid abroad.
- DTAAs also provide for concessional rates of tax in some cases.