IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 22nd October, 2015
TOPIC: General Studies 2
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
India Myanmar Relations: An analysis
India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties.
A large population of Indian origin (according to some estimates about 2.5 million) lives in Myanmar.
However, while attention is focused on the fragility of representative democracy in Nepal, another neighbour, Myanmar, with which India shares a 1,640-km, sensitive, insurgency-prone border, appears to be heading for another political turmoil in Indian neighbourhood.
The struggle of National League for Democracy (NLD) :
Myanmar today is governed by a military government.
With the elections for Myanmar parliament due on November 8th 2015, NLD‘s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent statement “If the National League for Democracy (NLD) wins the elections and we form the government, I am going to be the leader of that government, whether or not I am president”, has sparked row with military head and the present president of Myanmar.
Can democracy step into Myanmar with the win of NLD ?
The chances of NLD winning are very bleak, due to the following
The army constitutionally nominates 25 per cent of the members in both houses of parliament. That means elections are conducted for the rest 75 per cent of seats only.
If Suu Kyi is to fulfil her stated ambitions, her NLD will have to win 67 per cent of the seats for which elections are being held and get her nominees to head both houses.
There appears little doubt that she would succeed in wining over two-thirds the seats in both houses in Bamar (Burmese) dominated areas, that constitute 44 per cent of the country’s electorate.
But the situation is different in insurgency-affected States, dominated by the ethnic minorities.
The NLD did well even in these states in the 1990 and 2012 elections, primarily because of Suu Kyi’s image. However, there are doubts about her current popularity and standing amongst the ethnic minorities.
Why a stable Myanmar is important to India ?
Myanmar is not easy to govern, as it even now faces multiple insurgency-like situations, with over 40 armed groups operating across vast tracts of the country.
A major challenge Myanmar continues to face is to engender a countrywide ceasefire and bring the armed ethnic groups into the national mainstream.
These problems have not been made any easier with China reverting to its earlier role of providing arms, haven and training to major insurgent groups located along the Sino-Myanmar border, in the Shan and Kachin states.
A stable Myanmar is needed to realize the potential of Act East policy of India and to bring development into the North Eastern states.
If stability in Myanmar is not established, India would become an island of stability in an ocean of instability.
Major Indian Projects in Myanmar:
Development cooperation is a key in the relationship and India has been providing both technical and financial assistance for projects in Myanmar, both in infrastructural and in the areas of Human resource development and institutional capacity building.
These include centres of excellence in Myanmar- the Myanmar Institute of Information Technology (MIIT) being set up at Mandalay; an Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education (ACARE), a Rice Bio Park at Yezin Agriculture University and many other training institutes.
Important connectivity projects include: Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, building/upgrading 71 bridges on the Tamu-Kalewa-Kalemyo road; construction of Kalewa-Yargyi section of the trilateral highway which envisages seamless connectivity between India, Myanmar and Thailand by 2016.
Commercial and Economic Relations :
There has been steady expansion of bilateral trade from US$ 12.4 million in 1980-81 to US$ 1.92 million in 2012-13.
India’s imports from Myanmar are dominated by agricultural items (beans, pulses and forest based products from 90% of our imports).
India’s main exports to Myanmar are primary & semi-finished steel and pharmaceuticals.
In the past, Myanmar has helped India more effectively in dealing with cross-border terrorism and separatism, than most of our other neighbours.
In 1995, Indian and Myanmar’s forces mounted a 45-day joint preparation on Myanmar soil, code named Operation Golden Bird, to intercept and eliminate a large group of well-armed insurgents from Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.
India should carefully negotiate with Myanmar army and the NLD, to maintain peace and stability along the borders of India Myanmar.
Connecting the dots:
Critically analyse the statement “India is an ocean of stability in an island of instability”.
A stable Myanmar is very crucial in order to realize the potential of act east policy of India. Discuss.
TOPIC: General Studies 2
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Health is Expensive: When Hospitals Infect
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing serious worldwide public health problem which has a series of negative impacts such as prolonged morbidity, hospital stay and increased risk of mortality.
The ability of this deadly strain of bacterium to outwit antibiotics is expected to further claim two million lives in India by 2050. Patients infected with drug resistant bacteria demand more expensive therapy, thereby, increasing health care costs and financial burden on the families.
Development of AMR is accelerated by excessive antimicrobial prescription, as more than 50% of antibiotics purchased are without proper prescriptions or medical guidance and there exists inadequate regulation of antibiotics.
Containment of antimicrobial resistance will not be easy and it requires change in the antimicrobial prescribing behaviour of health workers as well as strict measures to be taken to stop hospitals from becoming purveyors of diseases.
Frequent Hand washing & Sanitizer usage:
Frequent hand washing is extremely necessary as the hands of the staff are the most common vehicle for the micro-organisms to be transmitted. Sanitizer also, helps in minimum time commitment and allows easy and complete compliance to clean hands.
During a surgical intervention, a high proportion of gloves become perforated and thus hands should be disinfected with a long-acting disinfectant before gloves are put on.
There is a need for continued monitoring and educational efforts to improve hand-washing habits in the hospitals.
Cleaning needs to be carried out in a standardized manner or by automated means that will guarantee an adequate level of cleanliness. Ensuring that the hospital has adequate procedures for the routine care, cleaning, and disinfection of environmental surfaces can help us go a long way towards safe health practices.
Regular cleaning of gloves, gowns, masks, white coats as well as sanitizing the stethoscopes and other machinery, prevents microorganisms from being transmitted between patients.
There is a pressing need to ensure that the reusable equipment is not used for the care of another patient until it has been cleaned and reprocessed appropriately. Even the white gown should be replaced by a plastic apron as the coat harbours potential pathogens, thereby becoming a source of cross infection.
All objects that come in contact with patients should be considered as potentially contaminated and if an object is disposable, it should be discarded as waste. But if it is reusable, it should be cleaned, disinfected or sterilized on immediate basis.
An infection-control department and a microbiology lab can carry out the survey and respond adequately to outbreaks as well as put in place proper regulations to be complied with.
Support & Compliance:
There exits lack of standardisation that leads to high variability in the response mechanisms in different hospitals.
Accreditation programs hosts standards for infection-control that which, if made mandatory, can help hospitals take some progressive steps.
Specialised air-circulation systems in OT’s, proper number of beds available, regular audits, and education amongst health care professionals about the high economic costs of infections as well as mandatory training on basic HAI will go a long way in seeking better outcomes via infection control.
The achievements of modern medicine are put at risk by antimicrobial resistance and therefore, without effective measures to prevent and treat these infections, the set of new inventions and new treatments would collapse.
The inappropriate usage of antibiotics in animal husbandry should be put an end to and coordinated action should be focussed upon vigorously to minimize emergence and spread of the resistant strains of bacteria.
Policymakers should work upon the monitoring mechanism, promotion of appropriate use of medicines, wide dissemination of knowledge and recognizing and awarding breakthrough innovations in this field.
Connecting the Dots:
Examine the current issues plaguing Public Health. Suggest various steps to be taken to mitigate these roadblocks.
Is there a need for an integrated health care information mechanism to exist in India? What will be the importance of such a move, if taken, by the Government?
Cabinet decisions: Ease of doing business gets a push; government clears two ordinances- (Nod to Arbitration & Conciliation Act, and commercial benches in high courts)