IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 5th & 6th October, 2015

  • October 6, 2015
  • 10
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 5th & 6th October, 2015




Towards Universal Immunization:

India and MDG Achievement:

India has made remarkable progress in achieving the MDG health-related targets. The country has been able to substantially reduce its under-five mortality rate to 53 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013.

Important to note:

  • Of the nearly six million children under the age of five who die from preventable causes every year around the world, 21 per cent are from India.
  • Many of these children die because of malnutrition and infectious diseases.

This could be prevented by adopting a comprehensive and integrated approach to child health,

  • One that focuses on nutrition,
  • Safe water,
  • Improved sanitation,
  • Micronutrient supplements and
  • Vaccination against preventable pneumonia and diarrhoea.

What needs to be done?

India will have to focus on its most vulnerable children —

  • Children who are poor,
  • Live in rural areas or
  • Face discrimination because of ethnicity, caste, gender or disability.

Barriers in the way:

Barriers include problems such as:

  • Gender disparities,
  • Procurement and delivery challenges,
  • Too few frontline health workers and
  • Lack of information or misinformation on the benefits of immunization.

India reflects commitment to immunization efforts, multilateral institutions such as GAVI, a global vaccine alliance, the World Health Organization and UNICEF can complement the government’s efforts by providing vaccine supplies in underserved areas, and strengthening health systems, planning, monitoring, research and logistics.

Recent moves:

  • Mission Indradhanush aims to increase national immunization coverage rates and expand the reach of the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), which is already the world’s largest immunization initiative.
  • By 2020, Mission Indradhanush aims to immunize at least 90 per cent of the children and women.
  • It focuses on 201 high-priority districts and marginalized population groups

Way Forward:

India has made significant progress in child survival in the last decade.

Smart initiatives, such as the Call to Action, India’s Newborn Action Plan and the Integrated Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea, have paid tremendous health dividends. But there is still a long way to go.

By focusing on those who are traditionally left out of the public health system, such as children from tribal communities, child laborers, street children and children living in informal settlements, the Mission Indradhanush programme offers a model of how investment and interventions can serve the children who most need the help.

Connecting the dots:

  • How can India achieve target of universal immunization? What needs to be done in order to overcome the barriers in the way?
  • ‘Mission Indradhanush programme offers a model of how investment and interventions can serve the children who most need the help.’ In light of the statement, explain how can Mission Indradhanush help India in achieving the universal immunization target?


‘Intelligent’ operations- Around the Globe 

MI5 — United Kingdom’s domestic intelligence outfit

  • Described the ‘ongoing’ terror scenario + Possible outcomes + Steps being taken + Various Obstacles
  • Served as the ‘moment of truth’ departing from the ‘secret’ and thus, ‘dangerous’ strategies implementation to a more pro-active and citizen-centric approach
  • Education of the common man and the reminder to do his bit by being vigil and lending out a helping hand to the forces to save his/her country from such dangers

Openness for National Interest ? Compromise on the Secrecyà Need of the hour

  • Increased Vigil
  • Awareness
  • Higher rate of Participation
  • Success Rate higher
  • Check on the fearful religious fanaticism + Anti-Nationalist tendency

To fight terror: More teeth to the Intelligence Agencies

  • Greater latitude: Surveillance + Legal Formalities + Exercise of Discretion + Operational Freedom
  • Increased sensitivity towards threat-issues
  • Awareness of the limits
  • Proper delegation of powers
  • Trust on the Functionaries
  • Greater cooperation with the technology companies:
    • Sharing of ‘suspicious’ information
    • Easy and timely ‘encryption’
    • Proactive role
    • Set of obligatory rules


IASbaba’s views:

  • The present global scenario requires more operational freedom for the intelligence agencies to swiftly and accurately warrant safety, even if at the cost of stepped-up intrusion into the lives of law-abiding citizens. More so, to secure our lives, we as citizens, should comply and be a part of the operation.
  • This will also help citizen-centric legislations to take place with an increased participation of the citizens due to sensitisation leading to a greater understanding of the security threats amongst the governed.
  • On the other hand, our policy makers and law makers should also make sure that with this empowerment, a greater responsibility lies on the shoulders of the intelligence officials. There is thus, a need to strengthen the ‘oversight’ by a body especially designed to guarantee objectivity, moderation and elimination of any scenario leading to ‘trust-deficit’.


Connecting the Dots:

  • ‘Intelligence agencies should make the public understand the national security threats better’.Discuss.
  • Examine the need for empowerment of the Intelligence agencies.

Mental Health:


  • Having healthy relationships
  • Making good life choices
  • Maintaining physical health and well-being
  • Handling the natural ups and downs of life

WHO: 20% of India’s population will suffer from some form of mental illness by the year 2020

Reality Check:

  • 06% of spending from its health budget on mental health in India
  • Depression, one of the biggest triggers of suicide in India, which accounts for more than 258,000 of the 804,000 suicide deaths worldwide in 2012
  • National Crime Records Bureau report 2013: Maharashtra has one of the highest suicide rates
  • 3 per cent of India’s population, an estimated 40 million people, suffers from Severe Mental Disorders


Mental Health-min

India’s Efforts: National Mental Health Policy


  • More allocation of Funds for modernization and allocation of space in hospitals
  • Setting up of Small Mental Health-care facilities in various communities
  • Opening up of hospitals to safeguard women, children and the elderly


  • Facilitation of Medical Insurance to ensure medical help
  • Pro-poor approach
  • Caretakers will be supported financially

Treatment& Manpower:

  • Distinction between ‘mental illness’ caused Chemically or Attitudinally
  • New Cadre: Mental Healthcare Providers
  • Auxiliary Midwivesà Training to take care of mentally ill patients
  • Introduction of new courses (MOOCs can be helpful)
  • Inclusion in Mental Illnesses in Universal Health Assurance Mission (UHAM)
  • Lack of recognition/awards in this field

Social Support:

  • Rehabilitation + Recovery + Reintegration
  • Spread awareness about the importance of Mental Health + Highlight Symptoms + Remedies/Treatment available
  • Suicide isn’t a criminal act, but a patient seeking helpà Decriminalization of it
  • Invoking a sense of responsibility in the people to embrace differences and display social responsibility

IASbaba’s Views:

  • The convergence site of social welfare and heath proves to be a fertile ground to initiate effective delivery and formulations of various policy initiatives that will mark a departure from ineffective delivery of promises.
  • States need to take initiative to establish ‘Center of Excellence’ on the lines of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore and take up campaigns to counter the expanding culture of alcoholism and drug consumption.
  • Institutionalization has to be effectively complemented with humane conditions of survival, good health and security for the ‘Action Plan 365’ (Important roles to be played by the Centre + States + Local bodies + Civil Society/Organisations) to be a success.

Connecting the Dots:

  • List down the salient features of the National Mental Health Policy 2014.
  • Examine the detrimental effects of alcohol and drugs on healthy thinking. Can India’s decadal shadow of policy paralysis break its image and emerge as a winner in the form of its new ‘Health Policy”?

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