The HINDU Notes – 13th April 2018 - VISION

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Friday, April 13, 2018

The HINDU Notes – 13th April 2018






📰 WHO directives call for support for breastfeeding

Health facilities requested to follow 10 important guidelines

•The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday issued a new 10-step guidance to increase support for breastfeeding in health facilities that provide maternity and newborn services, which provide the immediate health system platform to help mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour and breastfeed exclusively for six months.

•Breastfeeding all babies for the first 2 years would save the lives of more than 8,20,000 children under age 5 annually, noted a release issued by the WHO.

Fact check

•The guidelines describe how hospitals should have a written breastfeeding policy in place, required staff competencies, and antenatal and post-birth care, including breastfeeding support for mothers.

•It also recommends limited use of breast milk substitutes, rooming-in, responsive feeding, educating parents on the use of bottles and pacifiers, and support when mothers and babies are discharged from hospital.

•“Breastfeeding saves lives. Its benefits help keep babies healthy in their first days and last well into adulthood.

•“But breastfeeding requires support, encouragement and guidance. With these basic steps, implemented properly, we can significantly improve breastfeeding rates around the world and give children the best possible start in life,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore.

•WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that in many hospitals and communities across the world, the question whether a child can be breastfed or not can make the difference between life and death.

📰 Centre to snuff out ‘toxic’ e-cigarettes

•The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that it is in the process of issuing guidelines to ban the manufacture, import, sale and any kind of trade in e-cigarettes, dubbing it a “new emerging threat”.

•Terming e-cigarettes or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems “addictive” and targeted at young smokers, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the decision has been taken in the larger interest of public health. It said the flavouring agent in e-cigarettes was intended towards attracting the youth to a “new nicotine delivery product”.

An addictive product

•“The glamorising marketing techniques of ENDS as a less harmful product purely mimics the marketing techniques used by the cigarette industry for slim- or low-tar cigarettes and are youth-oriented,” it added.

•The Ministry submitted that the chief constituent of e-cigarettes was nicotine, which was addictive.

•“It also has a high level of toxicity and can lead to development of cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, have adverse effect on the immune and gastrointestinal systems, and raise the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women,” the Ministry said.

•The Ministry’s response came on a petition filed by anti-tobacco activist Seema Sehgal, through Bhuvanesh Sehgal, seeking a ban or regulating the sale and use of e-cigarettes.

•Though there are no specific guidelines to deal with e-cigarettes, several State governments and Union Territories have taken steps to prohibit it.

📰 Ruling on SC/ST Act is causing great damage, Centre tells Supreme Court

Ruling on SC/ST Act is causing great damage, Centre tells Supreme Court
In a note seeking a review, government says judgment is in conflict with the law

•The Supreme Court judgment banning immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring Dalits is causing disharmony and “great damage” to the country, the Centre said on Thursday.

•“This case dealing with an issue of very sensitive nature has caused a lot of commotion in the country and is also creating anger, unease and a sense of disharmony... the confusion created by this judgment may have to be corrected by reviewing the judgment and recalling the directions issued by the court,” the Centre submitted in a written note.

‘Correct the confusion’

•The government said the “confusion deserves to be corrected” and the March 20 judgment is “directly in conflict” with the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989.

•The judgment led to mass protests and violence on April 2, which claimed several lives across the country. The Centre filed a plea to review the judgment that day.

•The government dismissed the reasoning given by the Supreme Court that it had the power to declare the law when none exists.

Judicial legislation

•The Centre’s note said the Supreme Court is bound to uphold the written Constitution, which divides power among the government, the legislature and the judiciary. Each of the three arms of governance has to remain within its own terrain. The judgment is nothing but judicial legislation.

•The government said the Supreme Court, through its March 20 verdict, had encroached upon area reserved for Parliament and laid down a law contrary to a statute passed by Parliament.

📰 Justice Chelameswar won’t hear ‘master of roster’ plea

‘I do not want another reversal of my order in 24 hours, let the nation decide’

•A Supreme Court Bench, led by Justice Jasti Chelameswar, on Thursday turned down an urgent mentioning to list a petition for a judicial declaration that the authority of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) as ‘master of roster’ should not be reduced to an absolute, singular and arbitrary power.

•“I don’t want to hear that I am trying to grab some office. I do not want another reversal of my order in 24 hours. Let the nation decide its own course,” Justice Chelameswar said on the petition filed by former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan.

To avoid controversy

•It was then up to Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul — the puisne judge sitting with Justice Chelameswar — to indicate to advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had made the mentioning, with retirement looming for his senior brother judge, Justice Chelameswar should be spared from being dragged into controversy.

•Mr. Prashant Bhushan had made the mentioning before Justice Chelameswar’s Bench, saying he was worried about the fate of the petition following a judgment delivered by CJI Dipak Misra’s Bench on April 11, reiterating the Chief Justice’s absolute dominance as ‘master of roster’ to set up Benches and allocate cases to judges.

•After the refusal by Justice Chelameswar’s Bench, Mr. Bhushan mentioned the matter in the CJI’s court. The CJI said he would look into the matter.

•Mr. Bhushan also took the opportunity to hand over to the CJI Bench his communications of April 3 to the Supreme Court Registry. In these, he had requested the Registry not to place the petition before a Bench led by CJI Misra as it was directly concerned with the powers of the CJI.

•In his petition, Mr. Shanti Bhushan has asked the Supreme Court to “clarify the administrative authority of the Chief Justice as the ‘master of roster’ and for the laying down of the procedure and principles to be followed in preparing the roster for allocation of cases.” “Master of roster cannot be unguided and unbridled discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the Chief Justice of India...,” the petition said. “The collective opinion of a Collegium of senior judges is much safer than the opinion of the Chief Justice alone.”

•Mr. Shanti Bhushan’s plea reopens a recent chapter in the Supreme Court’s history when a five-judge Constitution Bench, presided by Chief Justice Misra declared the CJI as ‘master of roster.’ The Constitution Bench effectively nullified an order passed by a Bench led by Justice Chelameswar.

📰 Give us power to make rules, EC tells court

‘I do not want another reversal of my order in 24 hours, let the nation decide’

•A Supreme Court Bench, led by Justice Jasti Chelameswar, on Thursday turned down an urgent mentioning to list a petition for a judicial declaration that the authority of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) as ‘master of roster’ should not be reduced to an absolute, singular and arbitrary power.

•“I don’t want to hear that I am trying to grab some office. I do not want another reversal of my order in 24 hours. Let the nation decide its own course,” Justice Chelameswar said on the petition filed by former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan.

To avoid controversy

•It was then up to Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul — the puisne judge sitting with Justice Chelameswar — to indicate to advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had made the mentioning, with retirement looming for his senior brother judge, Justice Chelameswar should be spared from being dragged into controversy.

•Mr. Prashant Bhushan had made the mentioning before Justice Chelameswar’s Bench, saying he was worried about the fate of the petition following a judgment delivered by CJI Dipak Misra’s Bench on April 11, reiterating the Chief Justice’s absolute dominance as ‘master of roster’ to set up Benches and allocate cases to judges.

•After the refusal by Justice Chelameswar’s Bench, Mr. Bhushan mentioned the matter in the CJI’s court. The CJI said he would look into the matter.

•Mr. Bhushan also took the opportunity to hand over to the CJI Bench his communications of April 3 to the Supreme Court Registry. In these, he had requested the Registry not to place the petition before a Bench led by CJI Misra as it was directly concerned with the powers of the CJI.

•In his petition, Mr. Shanti Bhushan has asked the Supreme Court to “clarify the administrative authority of the Chief Justice as the ‘master of roster’ and for the laying down of the procedure and principles to be followed in preparing the roster for allocation of cases.” “Master of roster cannot be unguided and unbridled discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the Chief Justice of India...,” the petition said. “The collective opinion of a Collegium of senior judges is much safer than the opinion of the Chief Justice alone.”

•Mr. Shanti Bhushan’s plea reopens a recent chapter in the Supreme Court’s history when a five-judge Constitution Bench, presided by Chief Justice Misra declared the CJI as ‘master of roster.’ The Constitution Bench effectively nullified an order passed by a Bench led by Justice Chelameswar.

📰 Still on the starting block

The National Sports University Bill is still pending

•It may be raining medals for India in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but a law to establish India’s first full-fledged sports university of international standards has come up against a brick wall. The National Sports University Bill of 2017 is pending in Parliament since its introduction in mid-2017.

•The university is intended to fill several gaps that exist in the national sports environment, including in areas such as sports science, technology, management and high performance training.

•The legislation proposes a university with exclusive focus on the creation of a high standard of infrastructure for the development of sports sciences and the training of athletes. Apart from this, it is to facilitate bachelor’s and master’s degrees, research and training in various areas related to sports. The university is also to double up as the national training centre for select disciplines.

•The university will also be empowered to establish outlying campuses within and outside India. Apart from academic programmes and research, the university and its outlying campuses are to impart training to elite athletes, sports officials, referees and umpires and evolve as centres of excellence in various disciplines.

Foreign assistance

•To make the university a world class one, a memorandum of understanding has been signed by the Government of India with two Australian universities, the University of Canberra and Victoria University, for the development of curriculum, research facilities and laboratories.

•The university is proposed to be established within a period of two financial years, with effect from 2017-18 to 2018-19. The total expenditure towards its establishment is estimated to be Rs. 524 crore, which includes expenditure for the establishment of outlying campuses. Land for the university has been granted by the Government of Manipur free of cost.

•Section 6 of the Bill states that the university is “open to all castes, creed, race or class”. The Central government is to review the work and progress of the university.

•The university’s chancellor is to be appointed by the Centre. The chancellor should be an eminent person in the field of sports who is either a sportsperson himself or a sports administrator or sports academician. He or she would hold office for a term of five years and not be eligible for reappointment.

•The Bill cites 15 objectives for the university.

📰 Pressure on RBI to ease NPA norms

‘Resolution for a day’s default is harsh’

•The finance ministry is in discussion with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for relaxation of norms regarding stressed asset resolution that was announced in February. This follows representation by large banks to the ministry officials as they worry about pressure on profitability due to the revised guidelines.





•RBI’s mandate to implement a resolution plan even if the loan is overdue for a day, has in particular upset banks. RBI had also mandated that if the solution plan was not implemented within 180 days, bankruptcy process should be initiated. Banks have to make 50% provision for accounts that are referred to the NCLT for insolvency proceedings.

•According to bankers, the conditions of the resolution plan, as laid down by RBI, are so stringent that it will increase provisioning requirement. That is, banks have to set aside more capital. RBI had issued a circular on February 12 outlining a new mechanism for stressed asset resolution which could result in rise in provisioning requirements.

•According to bankers, the Indian Banks’ Association has made a recommendation to the central bank to revise the guidelines. Separately, a group of bank chief executives have also met finance ministry officials to highlight their concerns.

‘Concerns conveyed’

•“The finance ministry understands the challenge that we will face if the SMA 0 norms are implemented. We have requested to conveyed our concerns to the banking regulator,” said the chief executive of a public sector bank.

•According to RBI norms, if the principal or interest is overdue for one day to 30 days, the account is identified as Special Mention Account - 0 (SMA-0) category. If it is overdue for 30 to 60 days, it comes under the SMA-1 category and if it is overdue for more than 60 days, till 90 days, it falls under SMA-2 category. If a loan is not repaid for more than 90 days, it is classified as non-performing asset (NPA).

•“It is quiet possible that customers are facing some cash flow issues and it is a genuine problem. So, the directive to start resolution in one day is a bit stringent one,” said another banker.

📰 Can Ayushman Bharat make for a healthier India?

Building a robust primary health-care system will save lives and lead to a healthier India

•Ayushman Bharat, the new, flagship health initiative of the government, has two dimensions. First, it aims to roll out comprehensive primary health care with Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) serving as the people-centric nuclei. A nationwide network of 1.5 lakh HWCs will be created by transforming the existing sub-centres and primary health-care centres by 2022. This will constitute the very foundation of New India’s health care system.

•So far, the country’s primary health care has been focussing on reproductive, maternal health, newborn and child health as well as controlling priority communicable diseases. All this perhaps covers only 15% of our needs. Public health action for preventive/promotive health has also been limited. There is a huge unmet need for primary health care, namely, care for non-communicable diseases (specifically, prevention and early detection and treatment of hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease, and common cancers), mental health, care of the aged, adolescent health, palliative health care, basic eye care and dental health.

•If we build a strong, robust next generation primary health-care system, it will save lives and will lead to a healthier India. For instance, detecting and treating diabetes from the age of 35 years by a screening test would avert kidney failure at 50 years in case the condition remains undetected and untreated.

•The government has committed for two-thirds of resources to go into a comprehensive primary health care as part of the National Health Policy 2017. The HWCs are somewhat on the lines of the U.K. general practices health system, but run largely by nurse practitioners and trained health workers, which are accessible near home.

•Prevention and positive behaviours are the key to good health, productivity and a long life. Healthy families, villages and cities is the goal of the primary health-care system. HWCs will help unleash a people’s movement for a healthy India.

Providing insurance

•The second dimension of Ayushman Bharat is the National Health Protection Scheme which aims to provide health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for hospitalisation in secondary and tertiary care facilities. In one go, given the ambitious size of the package, 40% of people, neonates to young and old, will have access to facility care for almost all the medical and surgical conditions that could occur in a lifetime. The programme will cover half a billion people and would align with what the State governments are doing already, with significant resources coming from the Centre. Many State governments would extend the benefits to additional beneficiaries through their own resources so that ultimately the population covered for catastrophic expenses could be two-thirds of India’s population, if not more. This mission enables increased access to in-patient health care for the poor and lower middle class. The access to health care is cashless and nationally portable. The scheme would enable a weaver in a remote village to be able to walk into a hospital for a gall bladder stone surgery or a coronary stent without having to pay the hospital. Treatment will be provided by empanelled public and private hospitals. Private hospitals will have to agree to terms such as package rates, adherence to standards and guidelines, ethical practice, respectful care and client satisfaction, and transparency.

•Ayushman Bharat will spur increased investment in health and generate lakhs of jobs, especially for women, and will be a driver of development and growth. It is a turning point for the health sector.

📰 IRNSS-1I to enrich navigation fleet

Latest launch completes the first phase of the NavIC constellation, an indigenous navigation support

•Navigation satellite IRNSS-1I was flown into space from Sriharikota space pad in the early hours of Thursday. The 1,425-kg satellite will shortly become the eighth satellite to join the NavIC constellation of Indian regional navigation satellites.

•The launch completes the first phase of the constellation, K.Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, said after a 19-minute flight put the satellite in a precise initial orbit. It was put to orbit on the PSLV-C41 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh at 4.04 a.m.

•NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), dubbed India’s own GPS, has been designed to provide precise information on position, navigation and time related to objects or people. The eight satellites have a civilian and restricted military/security application to aid security and disaster management and fleet monitoring on land, air and sea.

Space stint

•Built for a 10-year stint in space, the IRNSS-1I is expected to be ready for work in about a month’s time, after routine orbit manoeuvres and tests, ISRO officials said after the launch at 4.04 a.m.

•“The NavIC constellation is going to create history and make innovative applications for the entire community of position-based services, especially the under- served and un-served,” Dr. Sivan said in a post-launch address. ISRO is developing many applications, and industry and institutions should take them to users.

•ISRO teams returned to launch this mission in a record 14 days after the communication satellite GSAT-6A on March 29. However, IRNSS-1I was flown from the older, first launch pad.

•ISRO launched the first seven navigation satellites — IRNSS-1A to 1G — between July 2013 and April 2016. Although 1I is the ninth to be built and launched for the NavIC fleet, the previous satellite, 1H, was lost in a faulty launch last August.

•1I and 1H were planned as backups but became necessary after all three imported rubidium atomic clocks on 1A failed in orbit. All seven satellites are required for accurate, 24-hour information from the fleet.

•Both 1I and 1H were fitted with corrected atomic clocks. ISRO involved a consortium of six Indian industries in their assembly, integration and testing at Bengaluru — an exercise that will be replicated in coming missions, Dr. Sivan said.

•Once the IRNSS-1I was ejected from the rocket, its solar panels opened out automatically. At the same time, engineers at ISRO’s facility at Hassan in Karnataka took control of the satellite.

📰 Nine more missions planned for this year

•ISRO has planned a gruelling nine missions in the next eight months, its Chairman K. Sivan said on Thursday.

•While the Chandrayaan-2 landing and rover mission is slated for late 2018, an important project is the seco- nd confirmatory launch of GSLV-MkIII heavy-lift rocket. It will carry the three-tonne-plus GSAT-29 communication satellite to space.

•If this succeeds, it will regularise the much-needed MkIII rocket to lift ISRO’s four-tonne communication satellites to orbit so that ISRO can stop hiring foreign launchers for this size of satellites in the near future.

•The very heavy 5.7-tonne GSAT-11 high-throughput or broadband satellite is getting ready here for launch on a European rocket. A host of PSLV missions with Earth observation satellites are lined up.

•A new technology used in the PSLV will enhance its lifting power, Dr. Sivan said.

📰 NASA to study how tiny sea creatures affect Earth’s climate

Tracking phytoplankton impact on climate

•NASA is conducting a study of the world’s largest phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic to see how the tiny sea algae influence the climate every season. The study will track how phytoplanktons give rise to small organic particles that leave the ocean and end up in the atmosphere, influencing cloud formation.




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