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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Hindu Editorial : A Model Protest

mahendra Guru
The Hindu Editorial : A Model Protest

Title: A model protest

(Maharashtra’s farmers win hearts and minds; their issues must be addressed everywhere)

ü  The grueling (tiring) six-day march of nearly 200 km from Nashik to Mumbai by thousands of farmers, with the aim to gherao the Maharashtra Assembly and sensitise the government to their problems, was remarkable.

ü  The manner in which they conducted themselves — without disrupting the lives of other citizens and refraining from aggressive sloganeering — is not how India’s myriad (multitude) protesters typically behave.

ü  ‘Deeply humbled’ by the farmers’ reasonable approach, Mr. Fadnavis said he respected them and had no problem in accepting most of their demands, leading the farmers to end the stir and board special trains to go back home.

ü  While this should perhaps serve as a model for protesters and administrators across India, there is also a lesson to be learnt about how to deal with unrest of this nature, which other States such as Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have had to contend with.

ü  Demands, includes a complete farm loan waiver, implementation of the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission, providing forest rights and better compensation for land acquired by the government.

M.S. Swaminathan Commission

ü  The government of India constituted the National Commission on Farmers (NCF) on November 18, 2004. The NCF was chaired by Professor M.S. Swaminathan. It submitted five reports to the government. 

ü  The reports had suggestions for “faster and more inclusive growth” for farmers as was envisaged in the Planning Commission’s Approach to 11th Five Year Plan.

Title: An urgent prescription

ü  (India needs to shore up(support) public sector capacity for making medicines)

ü  India is rightly acclaimed(दावा) to be the pharmacy of the world, with its huge private sector capacity for producing branded and unbranded generic drugs.

ü  Much of this growth took place after India opted for process patenting over product patenting in 1970.

ü  This changed to a product patent regime in 2005, providing sufficient time for growth of the generic drug industry in the private sector.

ü  However, this period has also seen the decline and near disappearance of public sector capacity for manufacture of drugs and vaccines. That is a cause for worry.

ü  Compulsory licensing (CL) is a mechanism permitted by the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement to enable countries to issue licences to domestic drug manufacturers to produce and market affordable generic versions of life-saving drugs needed for meeting serious public health challenges that are of extreme urgency.

ü  This allows countries to overcome patent restrictions to assure availability of such drugs when the situation demands.

ü  Drugs effective against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and anti-cancer drugs are clear examples of such a need, which should be addressed through compulsory licensing.

ü  The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now invited expressions of interest from drug manufacturers to produce generic versions of two effective but expensive anti-tubercular drugs, bedaquiline and delamanid. Patients with drug-resistant TB require a combination of both these drugs.

ü  India has used the CL route previously to permit two Indian companies, Natco and Cipla, to produce a potent anti-cancer drug nexavar. This enabled a 32-fold reduction in the cost of the drug.

ü  If the domestic private sector drug manufacturers are not ready to apply for CL, for whatever reason, public sector capacity to seek and utilise such licences becomes indispensable.

ü  With the acquisition of Indian drug companies by foreign manufacturers, or ‘strategic alliances’ which place shackles on the Indian partners, public sector capacity for manufacturing life saving drugs under a CL is the much needed fall-back option.

ü  The High Level Expert Group Report on Universal Health Coverage for India (2011) clearly articulated the need for strengthening public sector units (PSUs) which have drug manufacturing capability.

Vocabulary words:
  • Gruelling (adj) = Extremely tiring and demanding (भयंकर, थकानेवाला)
  • Remarkable (adj) = Extraordinary (असाधारण) 
  • Refrain (verb) = Abstain (बचना) 
  • Myriad (noun) = Multitude (असंख्य) 
  • Stir (noun) = A slightly physical movement (हलचल) 
  • Pitch (verb) = Solidify (स्थिर करना) 
  • Unflustered (adj) = Not agitated (आत्म - संयम) 
  • Persuade (verb) = Convince (राजी) 
  • Commuters (noun) = Travelers, passengers (यात्रियों) 
  • Negotiate (verb) = Consort, converse (बातचीत करना) 
  • Contend (verb) = Struggle to a difficulty (संघर्ष करना) 
  • Caveat (noun) = Warning, caution (चेतावनी) 
  • Efficacy (noun) = The ability to produce a desired result (प्रभावोत्पादकता)

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