Categories
Weekly Important Article

Weekly Important Articles : May week 2


We have come up with Weekly Important Articles for May 2nd week.


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles May Week 2


Did you like the Compilation? Do give us suggestions/feedback to improve the same 🙂


More About the Initiative: 


  • Weekly Important Articles is an Initiative started by ForumIAS to cover important issues relevant to UPSC Civil services preparation.
  • Weekly Compilation of Important Articles will cover key current Affairs issues. It will analyze the important current affairs topics and issues of the week. We will try to keep all issues meaningful and relevant to the examination.
  • Our Editorial team would try to make preparation easier for you by presenting the analysis of important issues in a concise form. This will help you save time and identify the useful articles

Frequency: Once a week.


We recommend you to go through one newspaper daily.

Categories
Weekly Important Article

Weekly Important Articles : May Week 1



We have come up with Weekly Important Articles for May 1st Week.


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles May Week 1


Did you like the Compilation? Do give us suggestions/feedback to improve the same 🙂


More About the Initiative: 


  • Weekly Important Articles is an Initiative started by ForumIAS to cover important issues relevant to UPSC Civil services preparation.
  • Weekly Compilation of Important Articles will cover key current Affairs issues. It will analyze the important current affairs topics and issues of the week. We will try to keep all issues meaningful and relevant to the examination.
  • Our Editorial team would try to make preparation easier for you by presenting the analysis of important issues in a concise form. This will help you save time and identify the useful articles

Frequency: Once a week.


We recommend you to go through one newspaper daily.


Categories
Weekly Important Article

Weekly Important Articles : April Week 4

We have come up with Weekly Important Articles for April 4th Week.


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles April Week 4


Did you like the Compilation? Do give us suggestions/feedback to improve the same 🙂


More About the Initiative: 


  • Weekly Important Articles is an Initiative started by ForumIAS to cover important issues relevant to UPSC Civil services preparation.
  • Weekly Compilation of Important Articles will cover key current Affairs issues. It will analyze the important current affairs topics and issues of the week. We will try to keep all issues meaningful and relevant to the examination.
  • Our Editorial team would try to make preparation easier for you by presenting the analysis of important issues in a concise form. This will help you save time and identify the useful articles

Frequency: Once a week.


We recommend you to go through one newspaper daily.

Categories
Weekly Important Article

Weekly Important Articles : April week 3


We have come up with Weekly Important Articles for April 3rd Week.


 

Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles April Week 2


Did you like the Compilation? Do give us suggestions/feedback to improve the same 🙂


More About the Initiative: 


  • Weekly Important Articles is an Initiative started by ForumIAS to cover important issues relevant to UPSC Civil services preparation.
  • Weekly Compilation of Important Articles will cover key current Affairs issues. It will analyze the important current affairs topics and issues of the week. We will try to keep all issues meaningful and relevant to the examination.
  • Our Editorial team would try to make preparation easier for you by presenting the analysis of important issues in a concise form. This will help you save time and identify the useful articles

Frequency: Once a week.


We recommend you to go through one newspaper daily.

 

Categories
Weekly Important Article

Weekly Important Articles : April Week 2



We have come up with Weekly Important Articles for April 2nd Week.


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles April Week 2


Did you like the Compilation? Do give us suggestions/feedback to improve the same 🙂


More About the Initiative: 


  • Weekly Important Articles is an Initiative started by ForumIAS to cover important issues relevant to UPSC Civil services preparation.
  • Weekly Compilation of Important Articles will cover key current Affairs issues. It will analyze the important current affairs topics and issues of the week. We will try to keep all issues meaningful and relevant to the examination.
  • Our Editorial team would try to make preparation easier for you by presenting the analysis of important issues in a concise form. This will help you save time and identify the useful articles

Frequency: Once a week.


We recommend you to go through one newspaper daily.


Categories
Weekly Important Article

Weekly Important Articles : April Week 1



We have come up with Weekly Important Articles for April 1st Week.


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles April Week 1


Did you like the Compilation? Do give us suggestions/feedback to improve the same 🙂


More About the Initiative: 


  • Weekly Important Articles is an Initiative started by ForumIAS to cover important issues relevant to UPSC Civil services preparation.
  • Weekly Compilation of Important Articles will cover key current Affairs issues. It will analyze the important current affairs topics and issues of the week. We will try to keep all issues meaningful and relevant to the examination.
  • Our Editorial team would try to make preparation easier for you by presenting the analysis of important issues in a concise form. This will help you save time and identify the useful articles

Frequency: Once a week.


We recommend you to go through one newspaper daily.


Categories
Weekly Important Article

India and Pakistan Indus talks : Weekly Important Articles



The issue in News


  • India and Pakistan began discussions on the Indus Water Commission on Monday after 22 months.
  • The talks were suspended in May 2015 after the Pakistani Commissioner objected to the designs of the Kishenganga and the Ratle hydropower projects of India.
  • Last year, the secretaries of power of both countries agreed to third-party resolution through the World Bank.

But the World Bank announced late last year that Pakistan and India should hold bilateral talks.

  • Following the World Bank’s reluctance to pass an order, both sides would meet in Washington in April on the Ratle project.

Important Facts to be known about Indus River Treaty


  • The Indus Waters Treaty was signed on September 19, 1960 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan.
  • It was brokered by the World Bank.
  • The treaty administers how river Indus and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be utilised.
  • According to the treaty, Beas, Ravi and Sutlej are to be governed by India, while, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum are to be taken care by Pakistan.
  • However, since Indus flows from India, the country is allowed to use 20 per cent of its water for irrigation, power generation and transport purposes.
  • A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing.
  • The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.
  • Though Indus originates from Tibet, China has been kept out of the Treaty. If China decides to stop or change the flow of the river, it will affect both India and Pakistan.
  • Climate change is causing melting of ice in Tibetan plateau, which scientists believe will affect the river in future.
  • It maybe noted that both India and Pakistan are still at loggerheads over various issues since Partition, but there has been no fight over water after the Treaty was ratified.

The Indus River Treaty implications


  • From the rivers flowing in India, India got nearly 33 million acre feet (MAF) from eastern rivers whereas Pakistan got nearly 125 MAF from western rivers.
  • However India can use the western river waters for irrigation up to 701,000 acres with new water storage capacity not exceeding 1.25 MAF.
  • Also India can use the rivers for run of river hydro power generation with storage not exceeding 1.6 MAF and nominal flood storage capacity of 0.75 MAF.
  • These water allocations made to the J&K state of India are meagre to meet its irrigation water requirements whereas the treaty permitted enough water to irrigate 80% of the cultivated lands in the Indus river basin of Pakistan.
  • The storage capacity permitted by the treaty for hydro power generation is less than the total annual silt that would accumulate in the reservoirs if the total hydro potential of the state was to be exploited fully.
  • Ultimately, J&K state is bound to resort costly de-silting of its reservoirs to keep them operational.
  • Whereas Pakistan is planning to build multi purpose water reservoirs with massive storage for impounding multi year inflows such as 4,500 MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam, 3,600 MW Kalabagh Dam, 600 MW Akhori Dam project with huge population resettlement.
  • Pakistan is also losing additional benefits by not permitting moderate water storages in upstream J&K state whose water would be ultimately released to the Pakistan for its use and avoid few dams requirement in its territory.
  • It is totally unfounded that water deluge / flooding from the reservoirs by the upstream state would cause any appreciable damage in the Pakistan territory after passing through the steep valleys of J&K state.

Treaty under scrutiny


  • The treaty has not considered Gujarat state in India as part of the Indus river basin.
  • The Indus river is entering the Great Rann of Kutch area and feeding in to Kori Creek during floods.
  • At the time of the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960, the Great Rann of Kutch area was disputed territory between the two nations which was later settled in the year 1968 by sharing total disputed area in 9:1 ratio between India and Pakistan.
  • Without taking consent from India, Pakistan has constructed Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) project passing through the Great Rann of Kutch area with the assistance from the world bank.
  • LBOD’s purpose is to bypass the saline and polluted water which is not fit for agriculture use to reach sea via Rann of Kutch area without passing through its Indus delta.
  • Water released by the LBOD is enhancing the flooding in India and contaminating the quality of water bodies which are source of water to salt farms spread over vast area.
  • The LBOD water is planned to join the sea via disputed Sir Creek but LBOD water is entering Indian territory due to many breaches in its left bank caused by floods Gujarat state of India being the lower most riparian part of Indus basin.
  • Pakistan is bound to provide all the details of engineering works taken up by Pakistan to India as per the provisions of the treaty and shall not proceed with the project works till the disagreements are settled by arbitration process.
  • In aftermath of the 2016 Uri attack, India reviewed the treaty and its provisions and proposed several changes.
  • In September 2016, public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court of India challenging the validity of the treaty as it was signed by the Prime minister of India who is not head of the Indian republic.

The Kishenganga Project


  • The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is an $864 million dam which is part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin.
  • It is located 5 km (3 mi) north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir, India and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW.
  • Construction on the project began in 2007 and was expected to be complete in 2016.
  • Construction on the dam was temporarily halted by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in October 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga River (called the Neelum River in Pakistan).
  • In February 2013, the Hague ruled that India could divert a minimum amount of water for power generation.

Pakistan’s Contention


  • Pakistan is worried that the project will have adverse impacts on the flow of the river, which flows into their country and meets with the Jhelum River.
  • Pakistan is constructing the Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant downstream of the Kishanganga.
  • The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant operates in a similar sense as the Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant, using a dam to divert the Kishanganga (Neelum) River to a power station before it is discharged into Wular Lake which is fed by the Jhelum River.
  • The Kishanganga Project will divert a portion of the Neelum River from Pakistan which will reduce power generation at the Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant.
  • India states the project will divert 10 percent of the river’s flow while other estimates stand as high as 33 percent.
  • Nevertheless, water flow below the Neelum–Jhelum Dam, in Pakistan’s Neelum Valley, is expected to be minimal as both projects are diverting water to the Jhelum River.
  • This has the potential to have adverse impacts in the Neelum Valley.

The Legal Battle


  • In 2010, Pakistan appealed to the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (CoA).
  • Pakistan complaint that the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant violates the Indus River Treaty by increasing the catchment of the Jhelum River and depriving Pakistan of its water rights.
  • In June 2011, the CoA visited both the Kishanganga and Neelum–Jhelum Projects.
  • In August 2011, they ordered India to submit more technical data on the project.
  • India had previously reduced the height of the dam from 98 m (322 ft) to 37 m (121 ft).
  • After Pakistan’s application was first rejected, the court asked India late September to stop constructing any permanent works that would inhibit restoration of the river.
  • While India cannot construct the dam, they can continue on the tunnel and power plant in hopes that the court will allow the project.
  • In February 2013 the Hague ruled that India could divert a minimum of water for their project.
  • In this partial award, the court upheld India’s main contention that it has the right to divert waters of western rivers, in a non-consumptive manner, for optimal generation of power.
  • The International Court of Arbitration gave its “final award” on 20 December 2013, wherein it allowed India to go ahead with the construction of the Kishanganga dam in Jammu & Kashmir over which Pakistan had raised objections.

Recent Articles


http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/kishenganga-off-the-menu-in-indus-talks/article17547656.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-pakistan-hold-indus-water-commission-talks-in-islamabad/article17536328.ece

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/indiapak-to-hold-talks-on-kishanganga-project-after-us-nudge/1/909340.html


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles Week 4


Categories
Weekly Important Article

India Afghanistan relations : Weekly Important Articles



The Issue in News


  • India will soon hold talks with Afghanistan on ways to boost bilateral trade and investment.
  • This meeting is also aimed at mounting pressure on Islamabad to facilitate trouble-free transit of goods from India to Afghanistan through Pakistan (Wagah-Attari route).
  • This is to help in the development of Afghanistan which is a land-locked and Least Developed Country (LDC) as well as to boost trade and investment in South Asia through better regional connectivity.
  • It will also help India to improve trade ties with Central Asian nations.

United Nations TIR (Transports InternationauxRoutiers or International Road Transport)


  • The ‘India-Afghanistan Joint Working Group on Trade, Commerce and Investment’ meeting will discuss ways to make use of the United Nations TIR Convention to boost trade between India and Afghanistan through Pakistan.
  • The TIR Convention facilitates trade and international road transport by permitting customs-sealed vehicles and containers to transit nations without them being generally inspected at border crossings.
  • The Union Cabinet had earlier this month granted its nod for India’s accession to the TIR Convention.
  • Pakistan and Afghanistan are also ‘contracting parties’ to the TIR Convention.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA)

  • According to the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), Afghanistan can use Pakistan’s territory for transit trade while Pakistan’s goods can move through Afghanistan to nations bordering Afghanistan.
  • However, Islamabad has not agreed to allow using APTTA for goods to be transported from India to Afghanistan through Pakistan’s territory (via the Wagah-Attari route).

Situation from New Delhi’s Point of View


  • India is keen to join APTTA and Afghanistan has backed India’s readiness to be an APTTA member but Pakistan has so far rejected such a proposal.
  • The sources said while India is likely to soon make renewed efforts to be an APTTA member, it will also look at how the UN TIR Convention can help send goods to Afghanistan through Pakistan.

Transit route

  • In the absence of transit route through Pakistan, India depends on other countries, including Iran, to send goods to Afghanistan even though it increases time and costs for Indian exporters.
  • India is also planning to strengthen air cargo links with Afghanistan as well as help expedite the development of Chabahar Port in Iran to bypass the Pakistan route to increase trade relations with Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asian countries.

Current Trade Scenario


  • India-Afghanistan goods trade had jumped nearly 22% to $834.5 million in 2015-16 with India’s exports to Afghanistan being $526.6 million and its imports from Afghanistan worth $307.9 million.
  • However, it is still far below potential. During April-December 2016-17, the bilateral trade was to the tune of $590.1 million with India’s exports to Afghanistan being $377.2 million and imports from Afghanistan worth $212.9 million.
  • India’s main export items to Afghanistan are textiles, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, iron & steel and electrical machinery, while its imports from Afghanistan are fruits and nuts, gums and resins, coffee, tea and spices.

A Quick Review of India-Afghanistan ties


  • Relations between the people of Afghanistan and India traces to the Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • In 1999, India became one of the key supporters of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance.
  • India’s support and collaboration extends to rebuilding of air links, power plants and investing in health and education sectors as well as helping to train Afghan civil servants, diplomats and police.
  • In 2005, India proposed Afghanistan’s membership in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Both nations also developed strategic and military cooperation against Islamic militants.
  • Three memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for strengthening cooperation in the fields of rural development, education and standardisation during Hamid Karzai’s visit to India in April 2006.
  • During the 15th SAARC summit in Colombo, India pledged another $450 million alongside a further $750 million already pledged for ongoing and forthcoming projects.
  • India condemned the assassination of former Afghan President BurhanuddinRabbani in September 2011. India reiterated the steadfast support of the people and government of India in Afghanistan’s “quest for peace and efforts to strengthen the roots of democracy”
  • India seeks to expand its economic presence in Afghanistan as the international coalition fighting the Taliban withdraws combat forces through 2014.

Conclusion


  • A decade of democracy has opened up Afghan society and India’s cooperation programmes have helped develop sustainable links around a shared vision.
  • Dialogues with Afghanistan’s neighbours will become important as these countries start feeling nervous about the return of instability

Recent Articles


http://www.livemint.com/Politics/TJvgH5ZojdRQOpp4lHMxCL/PM-Modi-Afghan-president-Ghani-hold-bilateral-talks-in-Amri.html

https://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/Afghanistan_17_02_2016.pdf

http://www.thehindu.com/business/new-delhi-kabul-talks-soon-to-boost-trade/article17545921.ece

 


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles Week 4


Categories
Weekly Important Article

SC calls for out-of-court settlement in Ayodhya case : Weekly Important Articles



Why in News?


  • Suggesting an out-of-court rapprochement among rival parties in the 68-year-old Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar advised peace negotiations instead of a pitched court battle, even offering help to settle the fight amicably.

Brief Background of the Issue


  • The dispute, which has seen much tension and violence over the past decades, debuted in court in 1950 when GopalSimlaVisharad filed the first suit in Faizabad civil court for rights to perform pooja to Ram Lalla.
  • The same year saw ParamahansaRamachandra Das also file a suit for continuation of pooja and keeping idols in the structure.
  • Nine years later, in 1959, NirmohiAkharafloowed with a third suit for directions to hand over the charge of the disputed site.
  • P. Sunni Central Wakf Board filed the fourth suit in 1961 for declaration and possession.
  • The fifth was in 1989 in the name of Ram LallaVirajman for declaration and possession.
  • On September 2010, a three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court held that Hindus have the right to the makeshift temple under the central dome of the Babri Masjid.
  • The High Court ruled in favour of a three-part division of the disputed 2.77-acre area among Sunni Waqf Board, NirmohiAkhara and the Ram Lalla at the disputed site.
  • The Bench had relied on Hindu faith, belief and folklore.
  • The Sunni Waqf Board and other parties filed their appeals in the Supreme Court against the 2010 judgment.
  • The appeals is pending in the Supreme Court for the past six years.

Top facts in this big story:


  • The Babri Masjid was built in Ayodhya in 1528.
  • Hindu groups claim it was built after demolishing a temple.
  • In 1853, the first recorded communal clashes over the site took place.
  • In 1859, the British administration put a fence around the site marking separate areas of worship for Hindus and Muslims, and it stood that way for nearly 90 years.
  • For the first time, the property dispute went to court in 1949 after idols of Lord Ram were placed put inside the mosque.
  • In 1984, Hindu groups formed a committee to spearhead the construction of a Ram temple.
  • Three years later, a district court ordered the gates of the mosque to be opened after almost five decades and allowed Hindus to worship inside the “disputed structure.”
  • A Babri Mosque Action Committee was formed by Muslim groups.
  • In 1989, foundations of a temple were laid on land adjacent to the “disputed structure”.
  • In 1990, the then BJP president LK Advani took out a cross-country rathyatra to garner support to build a Ram temple at the site.
  • VHP volunteers partially damaged the Babri mosque.
  • On December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished by KarSevaks.
  • Communal riots across India followed. Ten days after the demolition, the Liberhan Commission was set to probe the incident.
  • The Commission submitted its report on June 2009 – naming LK Advani, AtalBihari Vajpayee and other BJP leaders — almost 17 years after it began its inquiry.
  • In September 2003, a court ruled that seven Hindu leaders, including some prominent BJP leaders, should stand trial for inciting the destruction of the Babri Mosque.
  • But no charges were brought against MrAdvani who was then the Deputy Prime Minister.
  • But a year later, an Uttar Pradesh court ruled that the order which exonerated him should be reviewed.
  • On February 27 that year, at least 58 people were killed in Godhra, Gujarat, in an attack on a train believed to be carrying Hindu volunteers from Ayodhya.
  • Riots followed in the state, in which over 1000 people were reported to have died.
  • In April 2002, a 3-judge Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court began hearings on determining who owned the site.
  • In September 2010, the Allahabad High Court pronounced the verdict.
  • The verdict said the site of Babri mosque is to be divided into three parts, each going to NirmohiAkhara, Ram Lalla and the Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Within months, Hindu groups and Muslim groups moved Supreme Court challenging the High Court verdict.
  • In 2011, the Supreme Court stayed the Allahabad High Court order.
  • Not long before, the top court had said the Allahabad High Court verdict was strange and surprising.
  • In its 2017 UP election manifesto, the BJP said it “will explore all possibilities within the purview of the Constitution to construct a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya”.
  • The BJP returned to power in UP after 15 years.

What does this mean?


The Supreme Court wants a consensual and negotiated settlement since “Ayodhya is an issue of religion and sentiment.”


Is this the first attempt for negotiated settlement?


No. At least 9 attempts have been made to arrive at a negotiated settlement on this issue. All of them have failed to yield any result.


Why this attempt is different?


This is the first time that offer of negotiation has come from the Supreme Court and the CJI himself has not only offered to work as a mediator but also offered services of the other two judges, if both parties agree.


What will happen now?


The apex court has asked Swamy to consult the parties and inform it about the decision on March 31.

He has to explore the possibilities of negotiation, names of the people who may represent both groups and mediators.


Will it yield result?


Subramanian Swamy is optimistic and said, “I am sure some resolution would come by discussion.”

But JafaryabJilani, Babri Masjid Action Committee convener was not as hopeful as Swamy.


What Babri Masjid Action Committee says?


Babri Masjid Action Committee convenerZafaryabJilani expressed his discontent over the Supreme Court’s latest observation.


Recent Articles


http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ayodhya-row-supreme-court-suggests-out-of-court-settlement/article17551285.ece

http://www.timesnow.tv/india/article/ayodhya-dispute-%E2%80%93-a-timeline-of-events/57859

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-says-ayodhya-land-dispute-a-sentimental-matter-suggests-mediation-route-ram-temple-bjp-subramanian-swamy-4578519/


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles Week 4


 

 

Categories
Weekly Important Article

National Health Policy, 2017 : Weekly Important Articles



Context


  • The Union Cabinet in its meeting has approved the National Health Policy, 2017 (NHP, 2017).
  • The Policy seeks to reach everyone in a comprehensive integrated way to move towards wellness.
  • It aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost.

Background


  • The National Health Policy, 2017 adopted an elaborate procedure for its formulation involving stakeholder consultations.
  • Accordingly, the Government of India formulated the Draft National Health Policy and placed it in public domain on 30thDecember, 2014.
  • Thereafter following detailed consultations with the stakeholders and State Governments, based on the suggestions received, the Draft National Health Policy was further fine-tuned.
  • It received the endorsement of the Central Council for Health & Family Welfare, the apex policy making body, in its Twelfth Conference held on 27th February, 2016.
  • The last health policy was formulated in 2002.
  • The socio economic and epidemiological changes since then necessitated the formulation of a New National Health Policy to address the current and emerging challenges.

Objectives and Outlook of the Policy


  • This Policy looks at problems and solutions holistically with private sector as strategic partners.
  • It seeks to promote quality of care, focus is on emerging diseases and investment in promotive and preventive healthcare.
  • The policy is patient centric and quality driven. It addresses health security and make in India for drugs and devices.
  • The main objective of the National Health Policy 2017 is to achieve the highest possible level of good health and well-being.
  • Through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and to achieve universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.

Financial Protection


  • In order to provide access and financial protection at secondary and tertiary care levels, the policy proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency care services in all public hospitals.
  • The policy envisages strategic purchase of secondary and tertiary care services as a short term measure to supplement and fill critical gaps in the health system.

Prioritizing the role of the Government and engagement with the private sector


  • The Policy recommends prioritizing the role of the Government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions.
  • The roadmap of this new policy is predicated on public spending and provisioning of a public healthcare system that is comprehensive, integrated and accessible to all.
  • The NHP, 2017 advocates a positive and proactive engagement with the private sector for critical gap filling towards achieving national goals.
  • It envisages private sector collaboration for strategic purchasing, capacity building,skill development programmes, awareness generation, developing sustainable networks for community to strengthen mental health services, and disaster management.
  • The policy also advocates financial and non-incentives for encouraging the private sector participation.

Raising public health expenditure


  • The policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP in a time bound manner.
  • Policy envisages providing larger package of assured comprehensive primary health care through the Health and Wellness Centers’.
  • This policy denotes important change from very selective to comprehensive primary health care package which includes geriatric health care, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
  • The policy advocates allocating major proportion (upto two-thirds or more) of resources to primary care followed by secondary and tertiary care.
  • The policy aspires to provide at the district level most of the secondary care which is currently provided at a medical college hospital.
  • The policy assigns specific quantitative targets aimed at reduction of disease prevalence/incidence, for health status and programme impact, health system performance and system strengthening.
  • It seeks to strengthen the health, surveillance system and establish registries for diseases of public health importance, by 2020.
  • It also seeks to align other policies for medical devices and equipment with public health goals.

Primary Aim


  • The primary aim of the National Health Policy, 2017, is to inform, clarify, strengthen and prioritize the role of the Government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions.
  • Like- investment in health, organization and financing of healthcare services, prevention of diseases and promotion of good health through cross sectoral action, access to technologies, developing human resources, encouraging medical pluralism, building the knowledge base required for better health, financial protection strategies and regulation and progressive assurance for health.
  • The policy emphasizes reorienting and strengthening the Public Health Institutions across the country, so as to provide universal access to free drugs, diagnostics and other essential healthcare.

Pluralistic Health Care


  • In order to leverage the pluralistic health care legacy, the policy recommends mainstreaming the different health systems.
  • Towards mainstreaming the potential of AYUSH the policy envisages better access to AYUSH remedies through co-location in public facilities.
  • Yoga would also be introduced much more widely in school and work places as part of promotion of good health.
  • The policy supports voluntary service in rural and under-served areas on pro-bono basis by recognized healthcare professionals under a ‘giving back to society’ initiative.
  • The policy advocates extensive deployment of digital tools for improving the efficiency and outcome of the healthcare system and proposes establishment of National Digital Health Authority (NDHA) to regulate, develop and deploy digital health across the continuum of care.

Critical Evaluation of the Policy


  • Experience with past National Health Policy documents (we have had two in the past – one in 1983 and one in 2002) have not been particularly positive.
  • In the past the policy has seldom been actually followed up by concrete actions on the ground to redeem promises made in these documents.
  • It is however important to examine the new policy not necessarily because the targets set are likely to be met.
  • But to understand how the current government is planning to roll out its priorities regarding healthcare services.
  • It may be mentioned here that while the policy primarily focuses on proposed actions on healthcare delivery, a majority of health outcomes are not a function merely of available healthcare services but are fashioned by a wide range of social, economic, and environmental determinants.
  • Thus food security, employment, education, housing, water and sanitation, gender relations, etc. all have a bearing on health outcomes.
  • Clearly the realization of the targets set in the policy, such as lowering of child and maternal mortality rates, increase in life expectance, etc. depend crucially on attending to these determinants.
  • Given that this government has been particularly aggressive in pushing a neoliberal agenda that has made savage cuts in welfare and entitlements is a cause for pessimism that the targets will be met.
  • The NHP-2017 also glosses over the fact that over two-thirds of expenditure on health are made by states and states face a squeeze on funds because of neoliberal macroeconomic pressures – essentially low collection of revenues by taxing the rich.
  • In fact right after the announcement of NHP-2017, the Parliamentary standing committee on health, in its report, has lamented that states are finding it difficult to raise allocations to health and some states have actually reduced allocation.
  • The aggregate effect of low public finances is a public sector in healthcare that is starved of resources – financial, technical and human.
  • In spite of some modest gains made through the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) public facilities in most parts of the country fall far short of need.
  • In spite of repeated claims public facilities in most parts of the country do not provide free access to medicines and diagnostics.
  • There is a huge deficit of human resources and this rises to over 80% in the case of specialists.

Market mechanisms for ‘health assurance’


  • Let us then look at what NHP-2017 tell us about how it proposes to organise healthcare services and how these proposals square up with evidence we have?
  • In the NHP says: “The health policy recognizes that there are many critical gaps in public health services which would be filled by “strategic purchasing”.
  • Such strategic purchasing would play a stewardship role in directing private investment towards those areas and those services for which currently there are no providers or few providers”.
  • While the NHP claims that the priority would be to “purchase’ services from public facilities and not-for-profit private facilities”, it also foresees purchasing from for profit private facilities “as the last preference”.
  • However past evidence with the public funded insurance schemes shows that when the concept of ‘purchasing’ is legitimized, majority of outsourcing is done to private for-profit facilities.
  • Critiques of a public sector led model for health care provision point out that universalisation of access to care needs harnessing of private providers and facilities in India given its dominance in healthcare provision.
  • What is not said is that the demise of public facilities has been brought about through deliberate neglect and now its incapacity is being used as an exercise of opening up healthcare for extraction of profits by private enterprises.
  • This is an explicitly neoliberal project that should be understood.

Recent Articles


http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=159376

http://newsclick.in/national-health-policy-2017-assurance-whom

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/zDMYPgcmTmAPxiM3jUBQ0I/Finally-a-health-policy-for-all-of-India.html


Click Here To Download Weekly Important Articles Week 4