- No policy for rare diseases, govt declares
- Recently the Union health minister announced a ‘one-time financial assistance’ in Parliament after withdrawing the national policy for treatment of rare diseases (NPTRD).
- The central government has filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court stressing the need to re-frame the policy for rare diseases which was finalised and approved last year.
- There are several challenges regarding the policy under the National Health Mission (NHM) which only mandates primary and secondary care, and does not cover the management of the tertiary care.
What are Rare diseases?
- A rare disease is a health condition of low prevalence that affects a small number of people as compared to the prevalent diseases in the general population.
- It is estimated that globally around 6,000 to 8,000 rare diseases like Neurosyphilis, Ochronosis, Ovarian cancer and many more exist with new rare diseases being reported in the medical literature regularly.
- However, 80 per cent of all rare disease patients is affected by approximately 350 rare diseases.
- The most common rare diseases recorded in India are Haemophilia, Thalassemia, sickle-cell anaemia and primary immuno deficiency in children, auto-immune diseases, Lysosomal storage disorders such as Pompe disease, Hirschsprung disease, Gaucher’s disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Hemangiomas and certain forms of muscular dystrophies.
About National Health Mission
- The National Health Mission (NHM) was launched by the government of India in 2013 subsuming the National Rural Health Mission and National Urban Health Mission.
- It is an initiative undertaken by the government of India to address the health needs of under-served rural areas.
- It was further extended in March 2018, to continue until March 2020.
- MPs’ panel proposes legal status for SSC
- A Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) headed by Bhupender Yadav has recommended that the Centre accord statutory status to the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).
Issue with SSC
- The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and all State Public Service Commissions either have constitutional or legal status.
- The SSC is the only such organisation that performs similar functions on a much larger scale, but does not enjoy statutory status.
- SSC currently functions as an autonomous body that is mainly engaged in conducting competitive exams for recruitment to various posts in the SSC departments, organizations.
- This commission is an attached office of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) which consists of Chairman, two Members and a Secretary-cum-Controller of Examinations.
Note : In the previous years, SSC has conducted various exams as given below
- SSC Combined Graduate Level Examination (SSC CGL)
- SSC Combined Higher Secondary Level Exam (SSC CHSL)
- Junior Engineer
- Hindi Translator
- SSC GD Constable
- SSC Multitasking
- Scientific Assistant Post
- Selection Post
- Central Police Organization
- Assam Accord Clause 6: Centre forms panel on quota for Assamese in government jobs
- The Centre has set up a high-level committee headed by former IAS officer M.P. Bezbaruah to assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in the Assam Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people, besides providing employment opportunities.
The Terms of Reference for the Committee are as under:-
- The Committee will examine the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
- The Committee will hold discussions with various stakeholders including social organizations, legal and constitutional experts, eminent persons from the field of art, culture and literature, conservationists, economists, linguists and sociologists.
- The Committee will assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people.
- The Committee will also suggest measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam.
- The Committee will recommend the appropriate level of reservations in employment under the Government of Assam for the Assamese people.
- The Committee may suggest any other measures as may be necessary to protect, preserve and promote cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
Note: The HLC has been constituted as per Clause 6 of the Memorandum of Settlement, known as the Assam Accord, signed on 15th August, 1985.
Clause 6 of the Accord states that:
- “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”
- India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway
- Recently Government released fund for India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway.
- The 1360 kms long India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is an initiative pertaining to India, Myanmar and Thailand. India is undertaking construction of two sections of the Trilateral Highway in Myanmar namely ,
- Construction of 120.74 km Kalewa-Yagyi road section, and
- Construction of 69 bridges along with the approach road on the 149.70 km Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section.
- The India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway is a highway under construction under India’s Look East policy that will connect Moreh, India with Mae Sot, Thailand via Myanmar.
- The road is expected to boost trade and commerce in the ASEAN–India Free Trade Area, as well as with the rest of Southeast Asia.
- India has also proposed extending the highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
- This highway will connect to the river ports being developed along the way at Kale (also called Kalemyo) and Monywa on Chindwin River.
National Highway Authority Of India
- National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) NHAI is an autonomous statutory agency of Central Government.
- It is responsible for management of national highways in India.
- It was established through NHAI Act, 1988. In February 1995, it was formally made an autonomous body.
- It is nodal agency of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
- It is responsible for the development, management, operation and maintenance of National Highways.
- Pakistan declares ancient Hindu religious site Panj Tirath to be national heritage
- The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has declared the ancient Hindu religious site of Panj Tirath in Peshawar as national heritage
- The site’s name has its origins in the five pools of water that are part of the property, which also has a temple.
- Devotees believe that mythical king Pandu from the epic Mahabharata bathed in the pools during the month of Kartik and worshipped under the date palm trees in the area for two days.
- The site was allegedly damaged during the Afghan Durrani dynasty era in 1747 and was restored by local Hindus during the Sikh era in 1834.
- The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announced a fine of 2 million Pakistani rupees and five years’ imprisonment for anyone found guilty of damaging the historic site.