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My Notes - 02 April 2016 02-04-2016

My Notes – 02 April 2016

Editorials

Accidents and Criminal Liability – O6

The recent collapse of flyover under construction in Kolkata is a reflection of Human error, improper management of urban infrastructure. So, it is a reminder that India needs to maintain safety norms and standards in Public Infrastructure building.

Government shall perform its regulatory and monitoring responsibilities and fix the responsibility.

Pathankot paradigm – D1q1

India and Pakistan talks were majorly filled with rhetoric away from pragmatism. Now, allowing for joint investigation team to visit the Pathankot airbase is a positive step in engagement.

Today, foreign policy strategy on Pakistan is minimal engagement with a focus on practical aspects and a mutual de-emphasis on politically sensitive issues such as Kashmir.  

In spite of terror attacks, all the communication mechanisms are kept open and there is an information sharing on terror. So, dealing patiently and incrementally is a strategy forward.

Medical education

Medical education – O4q2

History of MCI

The MCI was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, as an elected body for maintaining the medical register and providing ethical oversight, with no specific role in medical education. The Amendment of 1956, however, mandated the MCI “to maintain uniform standards of medical education.

The second amendment came in 1993, at a time when there was a new-found enthusiasm for private colleges. Under this amendment, MCI became an advisory body with the three critical functions of sanctioning medical colleges, approving the student intake, and approving any expansion of the intake capacity requiring prior approval of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

So, MCI has become both the regulator of professional standards and conduct of doctors and Medical education. These extra ordinary powers have led to the widespread corruption and unaccountable power.

To change this, National commisison for human resources for health bill introduced in the parliament. It recommended that

1)      MCI to consist of nominated bodies to carry out the functions of human resource planning, curriculum development and quality assurance, with the elected body limited to register doctors and govern their practice in accordance with ethical standards.

 

In this context, Parliamentary standing committee headed by Ranjit Roy chaudhary on National commisison for human resources for health made remarkable recommendations. These include

2)      to replace the principle of election with nomination;

3)      to replace the existing MCI with an architecture consisting of four independent boards to deal with curriculum development, teacher training, and standard setting for undergraduate and postgraduate education;

4)      accreditation and assessment processes of colleges and courses for ensuring uniformity in standards;

5)      Registration of doctors, licensing and overseeing adherence to ethical standards.

Added to the above other recommendations it could have made include

1)      Rigorous assessment of all existing medical colleges for standards

2)      Prohibiting the transfer of district hospitals for private medical colleges

3)      Regulating the fee structure

Nuclear security summit and Prime Minister Modi

  • Global anti-terror framework did not grow to the requirements of terrorism. Prime Minister Modi explained the three contemporary features of terrorism.
  1. Terrorism is using extreme violence as a theatre
  2. Terrorism is getting integrated with modern developments
  3. State actors acting with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present a greatest threat

President’s rule – some case studies – P15q2

  • The question whether the Appropriation Bill can be passed by voice vote is obviously barred from judicial scrutiny by Article 212 of the Constitution.
  • According to Supreme Court, Proclamation of President’s Rule as a pre-emptive measure against a possibly manipulated vote is impermissible. Allegations of horse-trading and other unethical means do not constitute sufficient grounds for invoking Article 356.
  • Governor Buta singh decision – Bihar 2005The Supreme Court declared the dissolution unconstitutional and indicted the Governor for his hasty recommendation based on irrelevant and extraneous factors.
  • Dismissal of Rabri devi Government – 1998 - The President advised the Vajpayee government that a case of breakdown of constitutional machinery would not be made out unless the Centre had elicited explanations and sent out directives and warnings to the State government concerned.
  • The Anti Defection law – It need to be revised. Changing the adjudicating authority in matters of disqualifying defectors is a key reform that is required in law.

News

Co terminus LS and state polls – P16q8

On positive side

  • It can decrease the election expenditure
  • Administration can be saved from the halts imposed by model code of conduct.

On the other side

  1. Conduct of LS and state assembly elections simultaneously may not be feasible in our constitutional scheme.

Solution

  • Elections can be conducted in single or two phases so, operation of model code of conduct becomes shorter.
  • Two phase poll – where half the states go for elections along with LS and remaining half in the middle of the LS term.

GM Pulses – E4q4

NITI aayog recommended for introduction of GM crops in Pulses to decrease the dependency on import of pulses.

On the other hand, it is argued that GM crops will not benefit the producer or consumer in the lo9ng run and only the company that developed them.

Incentivizing the farmer through assured prices, development of sound market mechanisms for pulses can aid the farmers and lower the country’s dependence on imports.

Human Rights in India – P12q3

Human Rights watch criticized the deterioration of Human rights conditions in India.

Recent imposition of sedition charges, politically motivated intimidation on civil society, atrocities on marginalized communities are cited as the reasons.

India and NSS (Nuclear security summit) – D5

  • India is moving to safe technologies to protect radioactive material. ( Now cesium 137 is available only in vitrified form in medical equipment’s)
  • India pledged a contribution of $1mn for nuclear security fund.

Smart FabricsS8

These fabrics embed a variety of tiny semiconductors and sensors into fabrics that can see, hear, communicate, store energy, warm or cool a person or monitor the wearer’s health. They are also called as “functional fabrics,” “connected fabrics,” “textile devices” and “smart garments.”

Steel – G16q4

Many of the European and Japan steel giants are shifting towards high end steel production and tailored steel from the present intensely competitive commodity steel.

Indian Express

The American Hug (India USA Logistics Support Agreement) – D2q1

India USA are discussing on three important agreements.

1)      LSA- Logistics support agreement – It gives USA access to bases in India for logistics support and vice versa.

2)      CISMOA – Communication interoperability and security memorandum of Agreement – It promotes tactical systems interoperability and allows USA to provide for communication security equipment. It needs India to give access to its Encrypted systems. India has multi country platforms and certain information cannot be shared. USA wants its sensitive technologies to be protected under CISMOA.  For instance, C-130 Hercules, C-17 globe master are supplied without certain critical sensors on them.

3)      BECA – Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for geo spatial cooperation – It involves sharing of terrain mapping data. It can be used to identify the sensitive targets for cruise missiles.

USA refer to them as foundational agreements for defence cooperation and to take forward DTTI- Defence technology and trade initiative. They are required by USA law to supply sensitive equipment and most advanced electronics on US weapon platforms. If not, India may get defence supplies from USA without cutting edge electronics on them.

Analysis

These agreements signify a fundamental transformation in Indian foreign policy thinking. A geo political alignment with USA sets in and increases the engagement with American Military Industrial complex.

It can push India to unwittingly providing support to the USA conflicts that are not in Indian interests.

Conclusion

A sophisticated engagement with USA is in India’s interest. But, it shall not reduce our options in positioning ourselves in geopolitics.

 

Question of the day

Engagement between India and USA shall not reduce the options for India in its Geopolitical decisions. Analyze in the light of LSA, CISMOA, BECA agreements. 

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