Polity: Booklet-C  

National medical commission bill

National medical commission bill

Why in news?

Recently, National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha.

Background

  • In the past various committees and panels have recommended to replace medical council of India and restructure medical education and practices. These committees are:
    • Prof. Ranjit Roy Chaudhary committee (2015)
    • Lodha Panel, constituted in 2016 by Supreme Court
    • Committee headed by Dr. Arvind Panagariya.

Highlights of the bill :

  • Establishing National Medical Commission (NMC):
    • Bill aims to repeals the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and dissolves the current Medical Council of India (MCI).
    • It will be an Umbrella body which will subsume the Medical council of India (MCI) and regulate the medical education and practice in India.
    • Four Autonomous Boards under supervision of NMC:
      • Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB)
      • Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB)
      • Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB)
      • Ethics and Medical Registration Board
  • State Medical Councils (SMC): Each state will establish their respective SMC within three years which will have a role similar to the NMC, at the state level.
  • Medical Advisory Council (MAC):
    • It will provide platform to states/union territories to express their views and concerns before the NMC and help in shaping the overall agenda, policy and action relating to medical education and training.
    • It will advise the NMC on measures to maintain minimum standards of medical education and research and enable equitable access to medical education.
  • Ease of regulation:
    • Medical colleges will need permission only once for establishment and recognition, with no need for annual renewal.
    • Colleges can also increase the number of undergraduate seats and start postgraduate courses on their own.
  • Bridge course- It allows practitioners of homoeopathy and Indian systems of medicine to prescribe allopathic medicine upon completion of a course.
  • Uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) will be conducted for admission to under-graduate medical education in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.
  • National Licentiate Examination for the students graduating from medical institutions to obtain the license for practice and admission into post-graduate courses at medical institutions.

About Medical council of India(MCI) :

  • It is a statutory body, established under Indian Medical Council Act 1956.
  • It regulates-
    • standards of medical education
    • permission to start colleges, courses or increase the number of seats.
    • standards of professional conduct of medical practitioners such as registration of doctors etc.
India ratifies child labour law and ILO rules

India ratifies child labour law and ILO rules

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for ratification of two fundamental conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning with Child Labour. They are
    • Minimum Age Convention (No 138) or Convention 138: It is concerned with minimum age for admission to employment. So far, it has been ratified by 169 countries.
    • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182) or Convention 182: It is concerned with the prohibition and immediate action for elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour. It has been ratified by 180 countries.
  • Now these conventions will be legally binding.
  • Significance
    • It is a step ahead in direction of achieving goal of eradication of child labour from country as it would be legally binding to comply with the provisions of the Conventions
    • India has joined majority of the countries who have adopted the legislation to prohibit and place severe restrictions on the employment and work of children.

About International Labour Organisation (ILO) :

  • The ILO is a United Nations agency dealing with
    • labour issues, particularly international labour standard
    • social protection
    • work opportunities for all.
  • It was established in 1919 as an agency of the League of Nations
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • India is a founder member of the ILO.
  • At present, it has 187 members.
  • The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up of International standards in the form of Conventions, Recommendations and Protocol.
Right to privacy

Right to privacy

Context :

In a landmark judgement in Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (retd.) vs Union of India, a nine-judge Supreme Court Constitutional bench ruled that right to privacy is an intrinsic part of life and liberty under Article 21.

Background :

  • Earlier M.P. Sharma (8-judge Bench) and Kharak Singh (6-judge Bench) cases delivered in 1954 and 1961, respectively, held that privacy is not protected under the Constitution.
  • It was the Aadhar push by the Central government, which made many citizens file petitions before the Supreme Court – to declare Privacy as Fundamental Right. The petitioners wanted Supreme Court to recognize, among other things, a fundamental right to privacy under the Constitution.

Implications of judgment :

  • Now right to privacy cannot be curtailed or abrogated only by enacting a statute but can be done only by a constitutional amendment.
  • By guaranteeing it in Article 21 and including freedom from intrusion into one’s home Supreme court has expanded the individual’s fundamental right.
  • Increased responsibility of state to protect data.

Related facts :

  • Nine principles of privacy given by A.P. Shah Panel for Data Controllers
    • Notice, Choice & consent, Collection limitation, Purpose limitation, Access & correction, Disclosure of information, Security and Openness and Accountability.
  • The judgment finally reconcile Indian laws with the spirit of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966, which legally protects persons against the arbitrary interference with one’s privacy, honour and reputation, family, home and correspondence.
Collegiums and NJAC

Collegiums and NJAC

Why in news?

  • There is a turf war going on between executives and judiciary regarding appointment and transfer of judges in judiciary.
  • Executives want to abolish collegiums system and increase role of executives in appointment and transfer of judges to bring in transparency in judges appointment and transfers.
  • Whereas judiciary is against it so as to ensure its independency.

What is collegiums system?

  • It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges
  • It has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprises four other seniormost judges of the court.
  • A High Court collegium is led by its Chief Justice and four other seniormost judges of that court.
  • Names recommended for appointment by a High Court collegium reaches the government only after approval by the CJI and the Supreme Court collegium.

About National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) :

  • The Commission was established by amending the Constitution of India through the ninety-ninth constitution amendment vide the Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014.
  • Composition: A new article, Article 124A, (which provides for the composition of the NJAC) has been inserted into the Constitution.
    As per the amended provisions of the constitution, the Commission would have consisted of the following six persons:
    • Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)
    • Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India - ex officio.
    • The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio.
    • Two eminent persons.
  • These (two) eminent persons would have been nominated by a committee consisting of the
    • Chief Justice of India,
    • Prime Minister of India, and
    • Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha
  • Provided that of the two eminent persons, one person would be from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBC or minority communities or a woman.
    • The eminent persons shall be nominated for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination.
National register of citizen and Assam

National register of citizen and Assam
accord provision

Why in news?

The first draft of an updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam was published recently by the Assam government.

Why has it been done?

This exercise is undertaken to distinguish between Indian citizens and illegal migrants in Assam.

Assam accord(1985)

  • It was signed by the Centre and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
  • Accordingly, those foreigners who had entered Assam between 1951 and 1961 were to be given full citizenship, including the right to vote.
  • The entrants between 1961 and 1971 were to be denied voting rights for ten years but would enjoy all other rights of citizenship.
  • Anyone who entered the state without documents after March 24, 1971 will be declared a foreigner and were to be deported.
  • The Accord had a package for the economic development of Assam.
  • It also had assurance to provide safeguards to protect the cultural, social, and linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

What are the possible challenges?

  • Conflict with citizenship bill
    • Government is mulling to pass Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis, who have entered Assam illegally post-1971.
    • But once NRC exercise will be completed, a lot of Hindu Bangladeshi might not appear in the list, thus, will be designated as illegal migrants.
    • Thus, it will lead to confusion and moreover harden the resolve of people not to assimilate Hindu Bangladeshi in Assam according to NRC.Various groups have opposed identification of illegal migrants on the basis of religion.
  • Exclusion of people
    • Draft NRC could lead to exclusion and inclusion errors and consequently large number of legitimate Indian citizens could end up being denied their voting and other rights.
  • Create fault lines
    • There is already lot of tension in Assam between Hindus and Muslims. Exclusion of some people might raise apprehensions of exclusion of a particular community creating new fault lines leading to social unrest and further communal tensions.
  • No deportation treaty
    • India does not have any deportation treaty with Bangladesh which will lead to further complexities.

About National Register of Citizen :

  • NRC contains the names of bona fide Indian Citizens (of Assam) that distinguish them from the foreigners.
  • The National Register of Citizens (NRC) contains names of Indian citizens of Assam
  • It is updated periodically.
  • The NRC was prepared in 1951,after the Census of 1951.
Demand for a hybrid electoral system

Demand for a hybrid electoral system

Why in news?

  • The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by MP Anand Sharma is deliberating on electoral reforms and has sought the views of all political parties regarding the ‘hybrid electoral system’.
  • Some of the national parties such as Congress, NCP, CPI and CPI (M) have submitted to the committee that the existing first-past-the-post-system (FPTP) should be replaced with a hybrid format.

What is hybrid electoral system?

  • A hybrid system refers to an electoral system in which two systems are merged into one.
  • In such a system both proportional representation (PR) and First past the post (FPTP) is utilized.

Why such view of parties?

  • This is mainly because of demerits of first past the post system (FPTP) which are as follows
    • Representatives can get elected with small amounts of public support, as the size of the winning margin is irrelevant: what matters is only that they get more votes than other candidates.
    • FPTP encourages tactical voting, as voters often vote not for the candidate they most prefer, but against the candidate they most dislike.
    • FPTP is regarded as wasteful, as votes cast in a constituency for losing candidates, or for the winning candidate above the level they need to win that seat, count for nothing.
    • The representation of minorities and women suffers in FPTP sysstem as the ‘safest’ looking candidate is the one most likely to be offered the chance to stand for election.
    • In the 2009 elections, the BJP had 18.1% votes and could manage 116 seats in the Lok Sabha. While, in the 2014 elections, the Congress got 19.35% votes but could secure only 44 seats. Moreover, Parties together polling almost 50% of the votes were totally excluded from the legislature..
    • In fact, no ruling party has ever got 51% of the votes polled in general elections. In a way “minority democracy” has been ruling the country since independence.

What is first-past-the-post system?

  • A first-past-the-post voting method is one of several plurality voting methods in which voters indicate on a ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives most votes wins.
  • It is a very common feature of electoral systems with single-member electoral divisions and is widely practiced in close to one third of the world’s nations.
Special court for trying politicians

Special court for trying politicians

Why in news?

The Supreme Court gave the green signal for the Centre’s scheme to set up 12 fast track courts to exclusively prosecute and dispose 1,581 criminal cases pending against Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies within a year.

Important facts about 2014 Lok Sabha (By Association for Democratic Reforms)

  • Out of the 542 winners analysed, 185(34%) winners have declared criminal cases against themselves.
  • 112 (21%) winners have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.
  • The chances of winning for a candidate with criminal cases in the elections are 13% whereas for a candidate with a clean record it is 5%.

What is Criminalization in Politics?

When politics or political power is used by self-interest seeking persons for pecuniary gains or various other advantages such as to get special position in administration or to rise to the higher stage of administration which is normally not feasible.

Mission Antyodaya

Mission Antyodaya

Context:

The ranking of Gram Panchayats under Mission Antyodaya was released by dept. of rural development.

Constitutional backup and decentralized governance:

  • Article 243G of constitution mandates the panchayats to prepare socio-economic plans for ensuring development and justice and through this process Panchayats are expected to evolve into institutions of local self-governance.

ISSUES:

  • There are issues with regard to planning, implementation and deliverance process which then hinders with final outcome and efforts are thus not measurable on real outcomes and impacts the effectiveness of policies and benefits.
  • The real problem which has been observed is the multiciplity of efforts and lags at spatial and temporal scale due to multiple layers of planning, administration and resource allocation to tackle deprivations, the efforts are often dispersed in time and space, leading to suboptimal results.
  • Variance in selection criteria across schemes as well as spatial and temporal mismatch in supporting the same individual/household through government scheme results in different schemes targeting different individuals/households resulting in under-utilization of capacity and sub-optimal outcomes.
  • Further it has been observed, as stated above, that despite being putting up greater investment in creation of livelihood, opportunities for catalyzing changes and efforts for strengthening the rural economy, no substantial improvement have been recorded. Besides there is a need to tackle the multidimensional aspects of poverty for creating robust social capital and removing barriers to growth.
  • Thus there is a need to optimize efforts through inter-sectoral approach thus necessity was felt to develop a model framework-along with enhanced financial allocation- based on convergence, accountability and measurable outcomes to ensure that the resources are effectively spent in providing ‘sustainable livelihoods for every deprived household’.

Mission Antyodaya -envisaged for making good improvement in planning, identification, allocation and measuring growths.
The mission is an accountability and convergence framework for transforming lives and livelihoods on measurable outcomes.

Mission Antyodaya -envisaged for making good improvement in planning, identification, allocation and measuring growths.

The mission is an accountability and convergence framework for transforming lives and livelihoods on measurable outcomes.

Framework for Implementation for Mission Antyodaya

  • The framework makes use of Information & Communication Technology to ensure that the benefits reach those who are most deserving as per SECC Data.
  • A robust Management Information System linked to schemes data bases; it would be possible to ensure end-to-end targeting against defined set of indicators to measure progress against the base line.
  • The data from different schemes would be put in public domain for complete transparency.

The states have selected Gram Panchayats (GPs)/clusters which are either GPs with achievements like ODF, crime/dispute free GPs award winning GPs, or are covered under other schemes.

Ranking of Gram Panchayats

The broad parameters used are-

  • Infrastructure Parameters
  • Economic development and Livelihood
  • Health, nutrition and sanitation
  • Women Empowerment
  • Financial Inclusion
Farmers Zone

Farmers Zone

DBT’s Smart Agriculture Conclave sets the stage for Farmer Zone: The future of agriculture 

  • Announced by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of Ministry of S & T, at Smart Agriculture Conclave in New Delhi
  • It was organised by DBT in partnership with UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Research Councils UK (RCUK).

Objectives:

  • The objective of this conclave was to set the stage for “FarmerZone” - a collective open-source data platform for smart agriculture which will use biological research and data to improve the lives of small and marginal farmers. It is envisaged that “FarmerZone” will help cater to all needs of the farmer, from dealing with climate change, weather predictions and soil, water, and seed requirements to providing market intelligence.
  • FarmerZone has been envisioned by the DBT and aligns with the Indian Prime Minister, call for effective decision-making in agriculture that integrates science, technology, innovation and the farm ecosystem.
  • Farmer Zone will be a multi-purpose window.The information can be accessed by the farmers throughout the world.
  • It also includes Market Zone where farmers can directly sell their produce and the produce can also be directly picked from their farms.
  • It will also help to reduce technological gap in data acquisition & transfer from farm to cloud and vice versa.
  • This also ensure localised technology based solutions and develop PPP based service delivery mechanism.

Analysis: Need

  • The conclave identified the challenges faced in each agro-climatic region, and discussed possible solutions through scientific interventions. The Farmer Zone platform will connect farmers and scientists, government officials, thought leaders in agriculture, economists and representatives from global companies who work in the big-data and e-commerce space to bring about technology-based localised agri-solutions.
  • Food security is a global concern and the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of families depend on small-scale agriculture. The conclave worked to address this challenge collectively and showcased the enormous research strength of India and its international partners in a global context, to achieve impact and build strong and sustainable research and innovation partnerships.
  • Vision of “Farmer Zone” a reality that will benefit India and other areas in the world. This partnership demonstrates the vital role that research and innovation has in delivering prosperity and addressing shared global challenges.
KHELO INDIA Ministry of Youth Affairs

KHELO INDIA: Ministry of Youth Affairs

Khelo India Programme The Khelo India programme was introduced by Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs to revive sports culture in India at grass-root level.

Objective

  • To build strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as great sporting nation. It is expected to help spot young talent from schools in various disciplines and arenas and in turn groom them as future sports champions. Talented players will be identified under it in priority sports disciplines at various levels by High-Powered Committee.
  • Mainstream sport as tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development.
  • Impact entire sports ecosystem including infrastructure, community sports, talent identification, coaching for excellence, competition structure and sports economy.
  • Engage youth living in disturbed and deprived areas, in sporting activities, to wean them away from unproductive and disruptive activities and mainstream them in nation-building.

Khelo India School Games

The first KISG were held under the Khelo India Programme to highlight India’s young sporting talent and showcase India’s sports potential. It was held across 16 disciplines in Under-17 age category. 5,000 school children from 29 states and seven union territories participated.

;