Second national sero-survey
Results of the second national sero-survey have been released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
What are Sero-surveys?
They are conducted by drawing blood samples and checking for a specific class of antibodies called IgG that appear within two weeks of an infection. Because it is yet unclear how long antibodies detectably persist in the body, their presence only indicates past exposure to — and not presence of — the virus.
Findings of the latest survey:
Around 7% of India’s adult population may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus till the last fortnight of August.This is roughly a 10-fold jump in numbers from the first sero-survey conducted by the Council across 70 districts in 21 States that sought to estimate the likely number of infected until early May.
During the first survey, it emerged that there were 82-130 infections for every confirmed COVID-19 positive case. That number has now dropped to 26-32 infections.
However, the numbers also suggest that the country still has an overwhelming majority of its population yet to be exposed to the virus and therefore, is far from any peak or herd immunity levels.
The country wide prevalence of the virus was similar to that seen in the United States, which was around 9.3%. Brazil and Spain had a prevalence of 2.8% and 4.6%.
Maharashtra modifies Forest Rights Act
Maharashtra Governor has issued a notification modifying the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
The notification has been issued by the Governor using his powers under sub paragraph (1) of paragraph 5 of the Schedule V of the Constitution.
What are the modifications?
The changes will enable tribals and other traditional forest dwelling families to build houses in the neighbourhood forest areas.
The decision is likely to provide a major relief to Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest-dwelling families residing in the scheduled areas of the State.
The move aims to prevent the migration of forest-dwelling families outside their native villages and provide them housing areas by extending the village site into forest land in their neighbourhood.
What is 5th schedule?
The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas as well as of Scheduled Tribes residing in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
Special Provisions for Fifth Schedule Areas:
The Governor of each State having Scheduled Areas (SA) shall annually, or whenever so required by the President, make a report to the President regarding the administration of Scheduled Areas in that State.
The Union Government shall have executive powers to give directions to the States as to the administration of the Scheduled Areas.
Para 4 of the Fifth Schedule provides for establishment of a Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) in any State having Scheduled Areas.
Composition: Consisting of not more than twenty members of whom, three-fourths shall be the representatives of the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the State. If the number of representatives of the STs in the Legislative Assembly of the State is less than the number of seats in the TAC to be filled by such representatives, the remaining seats shall be filled by other members of those Tribes.
Functions: The TAC shall advise on such matters pertaining to the welfare and the advancement of the STs in the State as may be referred to them by the Governor.
The Governor may make rules prescribing or regulating:
The number of members of the Council, the mode of their appointment and the appointment of the Chairman of the Council and of the officers and servants thereof, the conduct of its meetings and its procedure in general.
The Governor may, by public notification, direct that any particular Act of Parliament or of the Legislature of the State shall or shall not apply to a SA or any part thereof in the State, subject to such exceptions and modifications, as specified.
The Governor may make regulations for the peace and good government of any area in the State which is for the time being a SA. Such regulations may prohibit or restrict the transfer of land by or among members of the Scheduled tribes in such area; regulate the allotment of land to members of the STs in such area.
In making such regulations, the Governor may repeal or amend any Act of Parliament or of Legislature of the State or any existing law after obtaining assent of the President.
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH)
Indian Health Minister recently participated in PMNCH ‘Accountability Breakfast’ through Video Conference.
The event was co-hosted by the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and Every Woman Every Child (EWEC).
Theme this year was the effort to protect hard earned gains in the field of Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health from the COVID pandemic.
About the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (The Partnership, PMNCH):
Launched in 2005, PMNCH is an alliance of more than 1000 organizations in 77 countries from the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health communities, as well as health influencing sectors.
The vision and goals of the new Partnership were outlined in “The Delhi Declaration” – a landmark statement developed by participants of “Lives in the Balance: The Partnership Meeting for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health”, held in New Delhi, India, 7-9 April 2005.
The Partnership is governed by a Board, and administered by a Secretariat hosted at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
Roles and functions:
The Partnership provides a platform for organizations to align objectives, strategies and resources, and agree on interventions to improve maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.