Editorial Simplified : 13th May

Editorial Simplified : 13th day of May 2016

This Series of posts covers the essential Editorial from prominent newspapers. The Editorial from the newspapers are compiled by the Subject Teachers form the Academy and provided in notes format so that the aspirants does not waste their precious time in sifting through the newspapers. 

The aspirants are advised to bookmark this page for future reference 

Click on the tab below to read the Editorial Simplified for each newspaper

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Editorial : Improve telecom infra

Context:

Call drop penalty was never the right solution

WHAT IS THE NEWS?

Justice Nariman, while striking down the TRAI ‘s decision asking service providers to compensate subscribers for dropped calls, called it “arbitrary, ultra vires, unreasonable and not transparent”.

WHAT IS TRAI TRYING TO DO?

Trai as the regulator, it only concerned about the quality of telecom services.

WHAT IS THE ISSUE?

But TRAI had overlooked some basic factors while asking service providers to compensate subscribers for dropped calls ; which are as follows:

  • Licence conditions allowed up to two per cent of calls to be dropped.
  • No mechanism in the world to tell whether the call dropped from voluntary disconnection or due to glitch in the service.
  • Spectrum migration: The first lot of spectrum was issued for 20 years, after which service providers had to buy it afresh. Many bought spectrum in a different frequency subsequently. This led to customers migrating from one band to another, causing unavoidable technical glitches. It takes up to a year to sort this out.
  • The dropped-call penalty would have raised the cost of doing business for the service providers.

WHAT IS THE TAKE OF SERVICE PROVIDERS ON THIS?

Service providers are now relieved.

WHAT WERE OTHER SECTORS WORRIED ABOUT?

  • They were worried that they could be penalised for faulty service delivery
  • For instance, penalising the airline need not necessarily address the issue of flight delays; instead, the problem of flight delays could be addressed more effectively by improving the airport infrastructure.

WHAT WAS THE JUSTIFICATION FOR PENALTY?

Service providers had under-invested in equipment and the penalty would bring them to book.

WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD?

  • The penalty was never the right solution
  • With number portability, and the existence of over half a dozen brands, any service provider that cuts corners and offers poor service is bound to lose customers . In case the service providers collude with fellow service providers to maintain similar levels of service, the matter should be addressed by the Competition Commission.

Editorial : The right to die

CONTEXT

Draft Bill on passive euthanasia is progressive

WHAT IS THE NEWS?

The health ministry’s draft Bill permitting passive euthanasia.

BACKGROUND

  • It has been framed on guidelines set out by the SC in 2011, drawn up following an appeal by a human rights activist to withdraw food and treatment to Aruna Shanbaug – a nurse who had been in a vegetative state for three decades .
  • Though the Supreme Court turned down that appeal, it allowed passive euthanasia in a landmark judgement.

WHAT DID THE COURT SAY?

  • Court argued that stopping treatment did not amount to a “positive step to terminate life”, as is the case with active euthanasia involving, say, the administration of a lethal injection or poison.

HAS ANY COUNTRY LEGALISED IT YET?

  • So far, two countries and five American states have legalised passive euthanasia, with Switzerland controversially allowing both kinds of assisted suicide.

OTHER DETAILS

  • The possibility of the misuse of the guidelines remains high, especially in the context of rising medical costs or the nefarious intent of relatives.
  • The bill stipulates that the doctor and the patient will be protected from criminal liability .
  • The wishes of the patients’ close relatives – spouse, child, parents – will also be considered.
  • The Bill stipulates a month for the high court to give a verdict, a time-frame that may be excessive in the context of a patient’s suffering.
  • Reference to a high court panel in each state which will refer to a committee of three reputed doctors who will examine the patient and submit its report.
  • The process for “competent” patients may also need to be made more robust to ensure that they are not being subjected to coercion from relatives or hospital staff

CONCLUSION

  • Bill not only provides a reasonably rigorous due process but is also in alignment with a humane reality often followed by doctors and hospitals in terminal cases.
  • The issue will remain controversial but as a move towards affording Indians some measure of dignity the Bill is an important step forward.

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