Let the Land Heal- reducing Chemical Fertilizers
Pests and diseases have developed resistance to the existing pesticide applications, requiring stronger, more toxic responses every passing year.
Considering the genetic altering impact on the human body and biodiversity loss, reduction in pesticide usage should have become a national priority.
Ways we can reduce farm chemical input:
Business model of the farm chemical input industry must transform to become a service industry: 10 per cent of farm chemical input sales of each seller could be in the form of services (spray on farms). Each following year, the seller would mandatorily increase the services by an additional 10 per cent, till the business model had become one of the services contracted, and not of farm chemical inputs sold.
Shopkeepers should report each sale of farm chemicals to the government in real time.
Mandatory QR code on each farm chemical package: Bayer, the world’s largest seed and pesticide company has started to print a QR code on every pesticide package.
An independent regulator: Safety data generated by the industry is practically taken at face value when regulatory approval is given. But volunteerism is no substitute for regulation.
Punjab Assembly passes bill to dissolve state Vigilance Commission
The Punjab Assembly passed a bill to dissolve the state Vigilance Commission.
State Vigilance Commission:
The state anti-graft body was set up under the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Act, 2020
Introduced to curb corruption among the state’s public servants.
It has been empowered to inquire into allegations against all public servants, as defined under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):
The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government in 1964 on the recommendations of Santhanam committee.
Central Vigilance Commissioner – Chairperson.
Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners – Members.
Functions: The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and recommends appropriate action.
Not an investigating agency: The CVC either gets the investigation done through the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) or through chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices.
Appointment: Appointed by the President of India after the recommendation of a three-member committee which consist:
Term: holds the office for 4 years.
By the President on the ground of misbehavior but only after the Supreme Court has held an inquiry into his case.
Proven misbehavior or incapacity if the Supreme Court inquiry finds him guilty.
Can resign by writing to the President.
Mortality higher among COVID patients with certain complications
Central Government’s National Clinical Registry for COVID-19 (NCRC) data, released recently by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR): It states that hospital mortality among COVID patients in the country was higher among those admitted with chronic kidney and liver disease, malignancy and tuberculosis.
12.9(twelve point nine)% were asymptomatic at the time of admission: They were admitted due to conditions other than COVID-19 and later diagnosed with COVID-19 or developed COVID-19 during the course of hospitalization.
Oxygen support: More than half (54%) of the admitted patients required oxygen support during their hospital course and 7.8(seven point eight)% required mechanical ventilation.
Aim: The study aims to describe the demographic and clinical profile and ascertain the determinants of outcome among hospitalized COVID-19 adult patients in India.
Vaccination saves lives: A real-time study of patients with chronic diseases and severe COVID-19 infection”, the study also highlighted the importance of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in protecting against mortality.
AFSPA extended in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland for another six months.
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958:
Sweeping powers to the armed forces: It allows them to open fire, even causing death, against any person in contravention to the law or carrying arms and ammunitio
Power to arrest: It gives them powers to arrest individuals without warrants, on the basis of “reasonable suspicion”, and search premises without warrants.
Disturbed’’ under Section 3: It can be imposed by the Center or the Governor of a state, on the state or parts of it, after areas are declared “disturbed’.
Amendment in 1972: The powers to declare an area as “disturbed” were conferred concurrently upon the Central government along with the States.
Home ministry: Currently, the Union Home Ministry issues periodic “disturbed area” notification to extend AFSPA only for Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
State government: The notification for Manipur and Assam is issued by the State governments.
Tripura: revoked the Act in 2015
Meghalaya: revoked by the MHA from 1st April 2018.
As India ages, keeping an eye on the elderly
(GS-II: Mechanism, laws and institutions for protection and betterment of vulnerable sections of society etc)
The United Nations marks today as International Day for Older Persons (October 1), as part of the organization’s efforts to draw attention to healthy ageing.
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), “World Population Prospects 2022:
People over 65 years: 16% of the world population by 2050 is expected to be made up of people over 65 years.
Most populous country: The report projects India’s population to be 7(one point seven)billion by 2050, having overtaken China to be the world’s most populous country.
The prevalence of non-communicable diseases: such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease etc is higher among the elderly.
Public health system: The change in demographic structure will increase the pressure on public health systems that are not geared to deliver universal health care.
The Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in the Elderly Study (HOMES): Over 30% of the elderly in the study had distance vision loss and over 50% had near vision impairment (they needed reading glasses).
The study also explored the many links between vision impairment and an elderly person’s mental health and confidence.
People with impaired vision: They have greater fear, and risk, of falling (a major cause of disability and hospitalization among the elderly).
Why is eye care at the forefront?
Cutting edge of imaging technologies and tele-health: Creating portable devices and apps that remove access issues for those who cannot travel far.
Cross-subsidy models: Eye health in India has many cross-subsidy models to help alleviate the financial burden on individuals.
Eye care can catalyze a model of elderly care: A package of interventions, including assistive devices for sight, hearing, and mobility, or referrals to psychiatric support for depression or other mental health issues.
Primary care to be accessible: The future of elderly care needs to be long term, comprehensive, and integrated, and must be oriented towards primary care to be accessible.
Financial status: All kinds of socio-economic realities, working to ensure that no elderly person is denied care irrespective of their financial status.