The Government has launched the ‘Test and Treat Policy for HIV patients’ in April 2017. As per this policy all people living with HIV (PLHIV) are to be treated with Antiretro Viral Therapy regardless of CD4 count, clinical stage, age or population. The National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and STI 2017-2024 has been approved in June 2017.
- Accelerating HIV prevention in key population and ‘at risk group’.
- Expanding quality assured HIV testing with universal access to comprehensive HIV care.
- Elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
- Addressing the critical enablers in HIV programming.
- Restructuring the strategic information system to be efficient and patient-centric.
Facts and figures –
- As per HIV estimation 2015, India is estimated to have 21 lakhs people infected with HIV and 15.2 lakhs PLHIV know their HIV status through the strategy of scaling up of HIV counselling & testing services in 23,019 health facilities.
- A total of 536 Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) centres are providing ART treatment across the country.
- The National Guidelines on HIV Counselling & Testing Services (revised in Dec 2016) include the HIV screening through trained ancillary health care provider in community based setting for priority population including High Risk Groups, TB suspect & patients, STI/RTI attendees, sexual partners/ spouses of PLHIV, prison inmates, pregnant women, adolescent age group etc.
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As per latest data, IMR has reduced by 58% in India during the period of 1990-2015 which is more than to Global decline of 49% during the same period. The full immunization coverage also improved from 43.5% in 2005 to 62.0% in 2015 and mortality due to Tuberculosis has reduced from 76 per 1,00,000 in 1990 to 32 per 1,00,000 in 2015.
Steps taken to combat IMR and increasing vaccine coverage under National Health Mission –
- Promotion of Institutional deliveries through cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free ante-natal check-ups, delivery including Caesarean section, post-natal care and treatment of sick infants till one year of age.
- Strengthening of delivery points for providing comprehensive and quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Services.
- Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSU) and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) units for care of sick and small babies.
- Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are promoted in convergence with Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is being supported to provide vaccination to children against many life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Measles.
- Name based tracking of mothers and children till two years of age (Mother and Child Tracking System) is done to ensure complete antenatal, intranatal, postnatal care and complete immunization as per schedule.
- Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) for health screening, early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability and early intervention services has been Operationalized to provide comprehensive care to all the children in the age group of 0-18 years in the community.
- Iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation is being done for the prevention of anaemia among the vulnerable age groups, home visits by ASHAs to promote exclusive breast feeding and promote use of ORS and Zinc for management of diarrhoea in children.
- Capacity building of health care providers – Various trainings are being conducted under National Health Mission (NHM) to build and upgrade the skills of health care providers in basic and comprehensive obstetric care of mother during pregnancy, delivery and essential newborn care.
- Low performing districts have been identified as High Priority Districts (HPDs) which entitles them to receive high per capita funding, relaxed norms, enhanced monitoring and focused supportive supervisions and encouragement to adopt innovative approaches to address their peculiar health challenges.
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In 2017, India ASEAN would observe 25 years of their dialogue partnership, 15 years of Summit Level Interaction and 5 years of strategic partnership.
India ASEAN | Background
- As an important regional power, India had contacts with most of the South-East Asian countries from the earliest periods of history.
- The earliest attempts at building an Asian unity was first made in 1947 during the Asian Relations Conference which was held in New Delhi in 1947.
- One of the main objectives, as highlighted by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was to discuss various problems which are of common concern to all the Asian countries.
- The ASEAN was established in 1967 with the objective of promoting intergovernmental cooperation and facilitating economic integration among its members. India had good bilateral relations with most of the ASEAN countries. It supported the Indonesian struggle for independence in the 1950s and also signed friendship treaties with Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines.
India ASEAN | The Journey
- Both India and ASEAN are influential actors in Asia and as such, both of them share similar political and security interests. India became a sect oral dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992 and was upgraded to full dialogue partner in 1996.
- In 2012, ASEAN-India celebrated the 10th anniversary of Summit-level partnership with a Commemorative Summit in New Delhi under the theme “ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity”. The summit endorsed elevating the partnership to a “Strategic Partnership”.
- The ASEAN-India Plan of Action 2010-15 envisaged cooperation in a range of sectors in politics, economic, socio-culture sphere for deepening and intensifying ASEAN-India cooperation.
India ASEAN | India’s Act East Policy
- The Narendra Modi government has emphasized on the Act East Policy (following on from the Look East Policy which was introduced in the 1990s) which is more pragmatic and proactive and seeks to highlight the importance of continuous engagement with the countries of the Asia-Pacific by addressing key strategic, economic and cultural opportunities.
- As ASEAN looks to mark 50 years of its existence as a grouping, India is looking to commemorate 25 years of dialogue partnership with the bloc this year. Within the parameters of interests and actions of regional and great powers and security perceptions and interests within ASEAN, India and ASEAN need to shape the larger architecture of the regional environment.
India ASEAN | Security cooperation
- In the new regional security configuration, there is the necessity to develop a common approach to regional security which would foster regionalism beyond the sub-ASEAN focus to include the broader region of the Asia-Pacific.
- In the regional security architecture, the prospects of ASEAN-India collaboration to tackle threats like poverty, transnational health threats, environmental degradation, natural disasters and transnational crimes like terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, people trafficking, money laundering, arms smuggling, sea piracy, international economic crime and cybercrimes cannot be downplayed.
- Security-oriented ocean governance architecture is also all the more necessary as the region has issues of piracy, terrorism, drug and human trafficking, territorial claims and overlapping disputes as well as issues of resource management and environmental degradation.
India ASEAN | Economic ties
- Establishing better connectivity will help in increasing trade ties and business potential between India and the ASEAN countries. Today, India and ASEAN share deep economic ties. ASEAN is India’s 4th largest trading partner, accounting for 10.2% of India’s total trade. For a more robust economic engagement, complementarities must be realised between the two regions.
- The role of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) in further strengthening cooperation and economic integration in the region can be highlighted as also the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (FTA) which provides a great opportunity to expand trade and economic ties.
- They can exploit opportunities in emerging marine industries like marine biotechnology, minerals, marine ICT, development of new drugs, cosmetics etc. Development of joint projects on ocean tourism presents huge potential for jobs and economic growth.
India ASEAN | Way forward
- For the deepening of India ASEAN relations, there needs to be an arrangement of programmes and mechanisms to promote cross-cultural dialogue and people-to-people contacts.
- More attention towards educational and cultural exchanges, development of science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship would take the relationship to a qualitatively different level.
- Given the fact that both are major players in the regional and global economy and are important contributors to the future development of Asian regionalism, cooperation would help in the creation of a more stable, peaceful and prosperous Asia. This requires seizing key opportunities with vision and dexterity.
India ASEAN | Conclusion
ASEAN, unlike the EU, is politically diverse. Its members range from one-party communist-ruled Vietnam to quasi-military ruled Myanmar, the increasingly Islamist-leaning kingdom of Brunei and the raucously democratic The Philippines. To be successful, the community also requires a tremendous amount of political backing from both internal and external sources. India is exploring collective as well as bilateral engagements with the ASEAN members which is a sign of pragmatic and proactive approach towards diplomacy.
India UAE relations took a major boost with the recent visit of the crown prince of United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan as the chief guest on India’s Republic Day.
India UAE | Indian Diaspora
According to the latest figures the remittances which the Indian Diaspora in UAE send back to India is around $13.6 billion which helps India to tackle its Current Account Deficit. Indian Diaspora is the important representatives of India and they act as a strong and binding factor between the two countries (India UAE). There are about 2.6 million Indian Diaspora in UAE which accounts for 12% of the total Diaspora. They are making huge contribution towards economic prosperity, stability and success of UAE.
India UAE Bilateral Relations
- UAE is a very important area and strategically very significant. The rapid exchange of visits, conversations and dialogue between the top leaders of India UAE is a welcome development.
- Through this building of relationship, the Bilateral relationship is now upgraded to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and even few defence MOUs were signed during this visit. Maritime cooperation was mentioned as one of the potential areas of cooperation between India UAE.
- UAE has been identified by India as a key partner in the very volatile region and an important region because of India’s energy imports and large segment of India’s Diaspora lives there. So India is trying to expand and enhance its partnership and defence ties.
- UAE’s state owned ADNOC company has agreed to store crude oil in India’s maiden strategic storage and will give 2/3rd of its oil for free to India.
- India is a large country, large economy and a large market. With the international economy going down over the last few years all these countries are looking for big markets and also big destination for their energy exports and India is an excellent candidate in this regard.
- Security has not been a significant aspect of our relationship so far with countries in the West Asian region. The countries in have also started feeling anxious because of the rise and expansion of Islamic State. Therefore, India is developing security and defence ties with UAE.
- Both countries held bilateral exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAE AF) called Desert Eagle II.
- During the Republic day parade an armed forces contingent of around 200 soldiers from the UAE took part in the parade. This is a new trend which started last year when the French President was here. This is display of India’s generosity of welcoming our chief guest and is part of India’s soft power. They act as a bonding between the services of the two countries and send a positive message to people. They are an important element in strengthening and expanding our partnership with these countries.
- There is huge sovereign wealth fund in UAE of more than $800 billion. India needs $1.5 trillion of investment over the next 5 years to improve our infrastructure. We could tap this potential through the already signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to mobilise up to $75 billion long-term investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). But there seems to be little progress on it due to technical issues about the NIIF.
Pakistan and the n region
- Historically UAE was regarded as an ally of Pakistan, now UAE is making overtures and gestures indicating its willingness to leave that traditional spot and develop closer ties with India.
- For UAE terrorism is a challenge that they need to confront with and for that they find India to be an effective partner.
India should not weigh its relationship with West Asia only in terms of their stance on Pakistan and Kashmir. When it comes to Kashmir issue we find that India usually does not get the support it would be looking at from West Asian nations because of the Islamic bondage they have with Pakistan. It is difficult to change the view point at the multilateral level in the organisations like Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). On a bilateral level we can expect a greater support for the Indian position on Kashmir issue. This growing relationship with West Asia may reap huge dividends for India in both geo-economic and geostrategic terms.