Editorial Simplified : 30th May

Editorial Simplified : 30th 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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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Business Standard”]

Editorial : Avoiding reform

Context:

Two years of the Govt, major reforms seem off the table

What is the news?

Appraisal of two years of Modi Govt.

What is the issue?

There is a mismatch between the over-the-top tone of the publicity blitz and the relatively limited ambitions of the government with regard to future policy reforms.

What are the achievements?

Signs of green shoots in the economy.

Policy areas that stand out and should be addressed:

  • Labour law reform
  • Land acquisition law
  • Privatisation of Govt Sector Enterprises.

Conclusion

 Recognition of how many major reforms have been actually effective in past two years.


Editorial : Only a price controller

Context:

Pharmaceuticals department has achieved little.

What is the news?

Department of pharmaceuticals has released the list of its achievements in the past 2 years.

Achievements as per the govt

Government‘s greatest achievement in the sector: expanding the scope of price control.

Issues to be addresses

  • Quality medicines at affordable prices to all.
  • Drug quality control in India: Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) under the Union health ministry and the state-level drug authorities that have to address the issue of substandard drugs in India
  • Merely placing price caps on drugs can be counterproductive as this deters the drug industry to produce more to meet demand and encourages it to find clever ways of dodging the system.
  • Efficient public procurement system under which the state negotiates for bulk discounts with the producers of drugs of adequate quality.
  • To have an approved list of quality drug manufacturers.
  • Inability to revive prosperity in public sector pharmaceutical companies.
  • Expanding the footprint of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.

Has there been any committee on the issue yet?

Pronab Sen committee recommended “malpractices” be curbed in bulk purchase mechanisms but little has been done since then.

Health care in other countries

One reason why European health care costs are lower than the US’ is that the former negotiates bulk procurement of drugs for the public health care system whereas the latter does not.

Way forward

  • As for the robust private pharma sector, it can only keep growing fast if there is greater ease of doing business.
  • For this it is critical to have a smooth, transparent and predictable approval procedure for new drugs.
  • It may be a good idea to disband the pharmaceuticals department and consider options such as placing drug price control under the Tariff Commission into which the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices has already been merged.

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”Indian Express”]

Editorial : Task undone

Context:

Even after coming out with new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), India’s armed forces are still ill equipped.

Requirements galore

  • The Indian Air Force has only 33 fighter squadrons while it needs 45.
  • The navy has only 14 submarines, half the number it wants.
  • The army doesn’t have equipment for the new strike corps being raised on the China border

DPP

  • The new DPP is still not out in its entirety.
  • A major chapter on the strategic partnership model is still pending, as are the details on other new models that have been proposed.
  • Both foreign and domestic defence manufacturers are thus awaiting clarity on the business models they need to build for the future

New committees

  • After Dhirendra Singh Committee report on defence procurement, two more expert committees are formed by Defence Minister.
  • One of them, headed by Vivek Rae, has been tasked to reform the organisation, system and process of acquisition in the ministry.
  • Another committee, headed by Lt General (retd) D.B. Shekatkar, has been tasked with rationalizing expenditure

Editorial : A grim reality

Context:

Masunda Kitada Oliver, who was beaten to death in the capital following an altercation, has let face of prevalent racism in India come out in open.

Response

  • Incident has stirred diplomats from the African nations to anguished action, and had caused them to consider boycotting Africa Day
  • Citizens of Kinshasa capital of Congo, had retaliated, targeting shops and establishments owned by Indians in the city
  • Government is of view that the issue of racism would go away if it was ignored with sufficient obstinacy

Racism in India

  • People of African origin are being baited and attacked in India with shocking regularity
  • Racism is a social affliction which cannot be cured overnight, but the government and social organisations must acknowledge the gravity of the problem and act on it
  • India hopes to compete with China for land, resources and markets in the African continent, but it does not stand a chance if its citizens’ view of humanity is coloured by racist ideas

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[accordion_content accordion_label=”The Hindu”]

Editorial : Enter the superbug?

Context:

SUPERBUG

WHAT IS THE NEWS?

A woman in the U.S. was detected with bacteria resistant to a last-resort antibiotic.

Details:

The 49-year-old was carrying E. coli bearing a new gene, mcr-1.

What is the worry all about?

This new gene is resistant to even colistin, which is last available antibiotic that works against strains that have acquired protection against all other medication.

Has there been such cases before this?

First reported case of the mcr-1 gene in an E. coli strain found in a person living in America, but it raises worries about how far it may have spread.

Has there been any study on this particular issue?

The results of mcr-1 gene identification were published recently in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

When was the gene first identified?

The mcr-1 gene was first identified in China in November 2015, following which there were similar reports from Europe and Canada.

What are the issues to be addressd?

  • In this case a small piece of DNA (plasmid) found outside the chromosome carries a gene responsible for antibiotic resistance.
  • But were the gene to spread to bugs treatable by only last-resort antibiotics, we could be facing the dreaded — and indeed, long-anticipated — superbug.
  • Thus, the discovery of mcr-1 in more countries and settings increases the chances of the emergence and spread of resistance against all available antibiotics.
  • It could well lead to an era without effective drugs to treat bacterial infections .

Effect on animals

  • Unchecked use of antibiotics in livestock is a major reason for the development of drug resistance.
  • Given the widespread use of colistin in animals, the connection to the drug-resistant mcr-1 gene appears quite clear.
  • A November 2015 paper in The Lancet noted that a significantly higher proportion of mcr-1 positive samples was found in animals compared with humans, suggesting that the mcr-1 gene had emerged in animals before spreading to humans.

NOTE:

Besides being administered for veterinary purposes, colistin is used in agriculture.

Is it communicable?

Since the gene is found outside the chromosome, it can spread easily among different types of bacteria, as well as among patients.

Conclusion

Global community needs to urgently address the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in an actionable manner, and fast-track research on the next generation of drugs.


Editorial : Awash in red ink

Context:

NON PERFORMING ASSESTS

What is the news?

It’s been a year since the RBI came up with norm that allowed banks to avoid treating restructured loans as substandard.

Facts about the NPA issue:

  • Forced by the central bank’s time-bound Asset Quality Review to classify troubled loans correctly and make appropriate provisions for them, lender after lender has reported sizeable losses or dramatic declines in profit in recent quarters.
  • The SBI, has said that while gross NPAs (as a percentage of the entire Rs.15 lakh crore it has advanced to borrowers) jumped to 6.5 per cent, or Rs.98,173 crore, at the end of March, it was placing loans amounting to another Rs.31,000 crore on a watch list for ‘exposure under stress’.

What does this reflect?

  • Disclosures of bad and stressed loans reflect the extent of distress its borrowers representing various sectors of the real economy are experiencing.
  • Iron and steel, engineering, power and construction are some of these key industries that undergird the economy.

Way forward

  • An autonomous Banks Board Bureau is now in place, tasked with the specific brief of ensuring that state-owned lenders will hereafter be ring-fenced from political interference in the selection of top management and on business strategy.
  • A Bankruptcy Code intended to improve the legal framework for assisting creditors in taking defaulters’ assets through liquidation and recovery process has won parliamentary backing and could soon be in operation.

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