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Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination


News Analysis: 18-12-2018

National News


General Studies-II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Transgender Bill passed in Lok Sabha

  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, which aims at defining transgender people and prohibiting discrimination against them, was passed with 27 amendments in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

  • The Bill was introduced in the House two years ago.

  • The amendments moved by the government and those by some Opposition members were considered.

  • The objectives ofi Bill include protecting the interests of transgender people, giving them recognition and setting up a national transgender council.

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill defines a transgender person as one who is partly female or male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male. In addition, the person’s gender must not match the gender assigned at birth, and includes trans-men, trans-women, persons with intersex variations and gender-queers.

  • A transgender person must obtain a certificate of identity as proof of recognition of identity as a transgender person and to invoke rights under the Bill.

  • Such a certificate would be granted by the District Magistrate on the recommendation of a Screening Committee. The Committee would comprise a medical officer, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a district welfare officer, a government official, and a transgender person.

  • The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person in areas such as education, employment, and healthcare. It directs the central and state governments to provide welfare schemes in these areas.

  • Offences like compelling a transgender person to beg, denial of access to a public place, physical and sexual abuse, etc. would attract up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine.


Source: The Hindu,PRS









General Studies-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


HC ban: E-pharmacies mull legal recourse

  • The next step for the online drug industry, in the light of the Madras High Court judgment banning the sale of medicines online, would clearly be legal – an appeal against the verdict.

  • The attraction of the online pharmacy, for many, is the fancy discounts that are available, up to 60%, besides free home delivery and sometimes, other value-added services.

  • It is the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, that regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of medicines in the country.

  • While it regulates sales of drugs, it was not clear, as the online pharmacy trade emerged, whether the existing rules under the Act would be applicable to the portals selling medicines.

  • It was in order to address this specific issue, that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare published draft rules in September, seeking to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics rules regarding the distribution or sale, stock, exhibit or offer for sale of drugs through e-pharmacies.

  • While currently no provisions exist for the registration of any of these online pharmacies, the new rules mandate all e-pharmacy holders be registered with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), and the State drug regulator. Periodic inspection of the premises too will be on the cards.

  • Online portals cannot sell narcotic drugs, tranquillisers and Schedule X drugs, and cannot advertise their services, as under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

  • Under the new rules, complete information on the medicines will have to be provided by the e-pharmacy holders, and a 24/7 helpline should be made available.

  • The top-level Drugs Technical Advisory Board also recently approved the draft rules to allow the operation of e-pharmacies.

  • Meanwhile, DCGI S. Easwara Reddy had said late last week on television that the draft rules have nearly been finalised and would be “published within the next couple of weeks.” Soon, a list might be available of all registered online pharmacists.

Source: The Hindu


General Studies-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Right prescription

  • The Delhi High Court restores the retail sale and private manufacture of a life-saving drug

  • In a crucial development that exposes the flaws in health policy-making in the country, the Delhi High Court quashed a government ban on the retail sale and private manufacture of oxytocin.

  • Notified by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in April, the ban referred to a 2016 Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment, which discussed oxytocin’s misuse in dairy cattle, fruits and vegetables. However, soon after the order was issued, health experts pointed to the absurdity of it.

  • Oxytocin is a life-saving drug used to stem post-partum bleeding among new mothers. Because of this it had been listed by both the World Health Organization and the Health Ministry as an essential medicine

  • . Around 45,000 women die from post-partum complications in India each year, and in 38% of the cases the reason is haemorrhaging.

  • Without the easy availability of inexpensive oxytocin, efforts to stem the maternal mortality epidemic could have suffered a costly setback.

  • These worries led to the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), a patient-rights group, to challenge the order in the Delhi High Court.

  • In its judgment on December 14, in response to AIDAN’s and drug manufacturers’ petitions, the court struck down the ban, calling it “unreasonable and arbitrary”.

  • The court found that the government had failed to weigh the danger the ban posed to thousands of young mothers.

  • What is more, it had failed to show that the drug was widely misused for veterinary purposes, the purported reason behind the order. Several bits of evidence cited in the judgment support this analysis.

  • Even though the Centre claims to have made 25 illegal drug seizures across India in a three-year period, 12 of them didn’t actually find oxytocin. Among those that did, none involved licensed drugmakers.

  • Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Limited, the only authorised oxytocin producer after the ban, did not have the capability to manufacture it until mid-2017.

  • It is mystifying why the Centre clamped down on licensed manufacturers with a proven track record, while roping in a state firm with no real experience.

  • The most damning observation in the judgment is that the Centre focussed on the health of milch animals, without considering the well-being of women.

  • This was despite the fact that all statutory bodies, including the Drugs Technical Advisory Board, had advised against a ban.

  • This episode ought to compel policy-makers to reflect on the process that led to the ill-conceived order. Several questions must be answered. On what basis did the Centre overrule the advice of multiple statutory bodies?

  • What led to its acceptance of sporadic reports of the drug’s misuse, without clinching proof? It is time for a post-mortem of how health policy is made, because that is the only way to safeguard the right to health of Indian citizens.


Source: The Hindu


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