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24 December Current Affairs

‘Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India’

In News:

NITI Aayog has released a white paper: Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India with the vision:

To make India’s public health surveillance system more responsive and predictive to enhance preparedness for action at all levels.

Citizen-friendly public health surveillance system will ensure individual privacy and confidentiality, enabled with a client feedback mechanism.

Improved data-sharing mechanism between Centre and states for better disease detection, prevention, and control.

India aims to provide regional and global leadership in managing events that constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

Focus of the paper and Significance:

It contributes by suggesting mainstreaming of surveillance by making individual electronic health records the basis for surveillance.

Public health surveillance (PHS) is an important function that cuts across primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of care. Surveillance is ‘Information for Action’.

It envisions a citizen-friendly public health system, which will involve stakeholders at all levels, be it individual, community, health care facilities or laboratories, all while protecting the individual’s privacy and confidentiality.’

The white paper lays out India’s vision 2035 for public health surveillance through the integration of the three-tiered public health system into Ayushman Bharat.

It also spells out the need for expanded referral networks and enhanced laboratory capacity.

The building blocks for this vision are:

An interdependent federated system of governance between the Centre and states, a new data-sharing mechanism that involves the use of new analytics, health informatics, and data science including innovative ways of disseminating ‘information for action’.

How did China go about reforming its agriculture and reducing poverty?

In News:

Learning from agricultural reforms in China.

Differences in approach between India and China:

Despite similar trends in the growth rates, the two countries- India and China- have taken different reform paths;

China started off with reforms in the agriculture sector and in rural areas, while India started by liberalising and reforming the manufacturing sector.

These differences have led to different growth rates and, more importantly, different rates of poverty reduction

Chinese Reforms:

By making agriculture the starting point of market-oriented reforms, a sector which gave majority of the people their livelihood, China could ensure widespread distribution of gains and build consensus and political support for the continuation of reforms.

Reform of incentives resulted in greater returns to the farmers and in more efficient resource allocation, which in turn strengthened the domestic production base and made it more competitive.

Besides, prosperity in agriculture favoured the development of a dynamic rural non-farm (RNF) sector, regarded as one of the main causes for rapid poverty reduction in China as it provided additional sources of income outside farming.

What is causing the dip in Delhi’s temperature?

In News:

Recently, a rapid decline in minimum temperature in Delhi was noted from 14.4 degrees Celsius to 4.1 degrees.

The dip was five degrees below the normal temperature for this time of the year.

What is causing the dip in Delhi’s temperature?

There has been a significant amount of snowfall over the past few days in states falling in the western Himalayan range Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand under the influence of a Western Disturbance.

Snowfall in the western Himalayan range means cold, north-westerly winds blowing over Delhi from the direction of this high altitude area, and clearing of cloud cover with the passing of Western Disturbance, and leads to a fall in temperatures.

The lack of cloud cover also leads to higher radiation from the Earth’s surface into the atmosphere at night time, which also cools the ground.

Moreover, under the influence of an active La Niña climate pattern, temperatures across the globe have been dipping.

Background:

A Western Disturbance, labelled as an extra-tropical storm originating in the Mediterranean, is an area of low pressure that brings sudden showers, snow and fog in northwest India.

What is a review petition?

In News:

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction that his two pleas, in which he has sought review of the orders convicting and sentencing him for contempt of court, be heard after adjudication of his separate petition raising the issue of right to appeal in such matter.

What is a review petition and when can it be filed?

A judgment of the Supreme Court becomes the law of the land, according to the Constitution. It is final because it provides certainty for deciding future cases.

However, the Constitution itself gives, under Article 137, the Supreme Court the power to review any of its judgments or orders. This departure from the Supreme Court’s final authority is entertained under specific, narrow grounds.

So, when a review takes place, the law is that it is allowed not to take fresh stock of the case but to correct grave errors that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

When can a review petition be accepted?

In a 1975 ruling, Justice Krishna Iyer said a review can be accepted “only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility”.

A review is by no means an appeal in disguise. That means the Court is allowed not to take fresh stock of the case but to correct grave errors that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

Filing Review Petition:

As per the Civil Procedure Code and the Supreme Court Rules, any person aggrieved by a ruling can seek a review. This implies that it is not necessary that only parties to a case can seek a review of the judgment.

A Review Petition has to be filed within 30 days of the date of judgment or order.

In certain circumstances, the court can condone the delay in filing the review petition if the petitioner can establish strong reasons that justify the delay.

The procedure to be followed:

The rules state that review petitions would ordinarily be entertained without oral arguments by lawyers. It is heard “through circulation” by the judges in their chambers.

Review petitions are also heard, as far as practicable, by the same combination of judges who delivered the order or judgment that is sought to be reviewed.

If a judge has retired or is unavailable, a replacement is made keeping in mind the seniority of judges.

In exceptional cases, the court allows an oral hearing. In a 2014 case, the Supreme Court held that review petitions in all death penalty cases will be heard in open court by a Bench of three judges.

Option after Review Petition Fails:

In Roopa Hurra v Ashok Hurra case (2002), the Court evolved the concept of a curative petition, which can be heard after a review petition is dismissed.

A curative petition is also entertained on very narrow grounds like a review petition and is generally not granted an oral hearing.

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)

Recently, the High Court of Karnataka held that:

Students under the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) category are to be considered as “citizens of India” for admission to professional courses.

Background:

An appeal was filed by Karnataka state government against the April 2019 single- judge verdict, which had also allowed OCI students to seek admission to professional courses in the regular quota of seats. The state government wants to restrict their admission only under the NRI quota.

Who are OCI cardholders?

Government of India launched the ‘Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme’ by making amendments to Citizenship Act, 1955 in 2005.

On 09 January 2015, the Government of India discontinued the PIO card and merged it with OCI card.

Eligibility:

Government of India allows the following categories of foreign nationals to apply for OCI Card.

Exceptions:

Anyone who is applying for OCI card should hold a valid Passport of another country.

Individuals who do not have citizenship of any other country are not eligible to gain an OCI status.

Individuals whose parents or grandparents hold citizenship of Pakistan and Bangladesh are not eligible to apply.

Benefits for OCI cardholders:

Lifelong Visa to visit India multiple times. (special permission needed for research work in India).

No need to register with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay.

Except for acquisition of agricultural and plantation properties, OCI card holders have similar facilities that are extended to NRIs in economic, financial and educational fields.

Same treatment as of NRIs in respect to Inter-country adoption of Indian children.

Also treated at par with NRIs regarding – entry fees for national monuments, practice of professions like doctors, dentists, nurses, advocates, architects, Chartered Accountants & Pharmacists.

At par with NRIs to participate in All India Pre-medical tests and such.

Treated at par with Indian citizens in matters of traffic in airfares in Indian domestic sectors.

Same entry fee as for Indians for entry into India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

OCI booklet can be used as identification to avail services. An affidavit can be attached with local address as residential proof.

There are certain restrictions placed on OCI card holders:

Do not have right to vote.

Do not have right to any public service/government jobs

Cannot hold offices of – Prime Minister, President, Vice -President, Judge of Supreme Court and High Court, member of Parliament or Member of state legislative assembly or council.

Cannot own agricultural property.