DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 03 MAY 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

03 May 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

Clear and distinct

The Hindu

2

Virus in the system

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

India-UK Virtual Summit

Syllabus– GS2: International Relations

Analysis: –

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will hold a Virtual Summit with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson on 4 May 2021.
  • India and UK enjoy a Strategic Partnership since 2004. It has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing convergences in diverse areas.
  • The Summit will be an important opportunity to elevate our multi-faceted strategic ties and enhance cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  • Both leaders will also discuss Covid19 cooperation and the global efforts to fight the pandemic.
  • A comprehensive Roadmap 2030 will be launched during the Summit, which will pave the way for further expanding and deepening India-UK cooperation over the next decade across five key areas, namely people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare.

How India has failed to budget for health in the past 75 years

GS 2: Health, Governance

Analysis: –

  • Shortage of ICU beds, oxygen, ventilators, vaccines, doctors, nurses and crematorium sp­a­ce in India has dominated headlines around the world in the past two weeks with Covid-19 cases surging beyond control and the government failing to deliver.
  • Yes, election rallies, Kumbh Mela, blatant flouting of social distancing and mask protoc­ols coupled with a messy vac­c­ina­tion process are said to be responsible for the health crisis of colossal proportions that India is facing today.

Mains Analysis

Clear and distinct

Why in News?

The verdicts in the Assembly elections hold different lessons for different parties

Syllabus– GS 2: Elections

  • Assembly polls conducted in three states and one union territory i.e. the states which went to elections were West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry.
  • The election results are out despite the ongoing health crisis of COVID-19.
  • Elections present an opportunity for political change and also continuity what is seen from the results is Assam, West Bengal and Kerala have voted for the incumbents, while Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have voted for change.
  • There is no one theme that can explain how the voters responded to the myriad political choices before them.
  • Major national ruling  party was able to sweep victory in Assam but unable to  garner enough support in other states like Kerela, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
  • What’s evident from the election results that the leaders of the regional parties offered “ideological alternative” to the major political party ruling at centre.
  • The results have exposed more chinks in its armour, while regional parties offered robust resistance to the ruling party at centre.

West Bengal

  • In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee mobilised “Bengali
    sub­nationalism”that stopped the ruling party’s victory.
  • With the Left and the Congress nearly obliterated, the BJP is now a force to reckon with in the State.
  • West Bengal is staring at an explosion in COVID­19 infections, and Ms. Banerjee has her task cut out, entering into her third term as Chief Minister.
  • What’s needed is  taking serious note of the public resentment against the Trinamool party rather than read this victory as public approval of its high­handedness and corruption. The style and substance of the Trinamool’s politics and governance must change for the better.

Assam

  • In Assam, the central ruling party reaped the benefits of its government’s proactive measures to provide relief to people badly impacted by the lockdown last year, and of a slew of welfare schemes.
  • While the opposition partnership failed to live up to its promise.
  • As the party’s key strategist in the victory, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will likely make a claim for the top post,and the ruling party will have an internal power tussle to handle.

Tamil Nadu

  • Stalin led the DMK to power in Tamil Nadu after a hiatus of 10 years. With his son also now MLA.This victory is not aided by any strident public resentment against the AIADMK government, and therefore can be considered a positive verdict in his favour. Moreover, the results also prove the resilience of Dravidian politics, modified to new challenges.
  • AIADMK is in the Opposition,
    and its leadership still in a flux, it will have toadapt to survive.
  • There are other aspirants at play, and outgoing Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami might have to again beat off challenges from within the party to his leadership.

Kerala

  • In Kerala, the second consecutive victory of the Left Democratic Front led by the CPI(M)
    marks a departure from the ant incumbency verdictssince the 1980s.
  • With weak opposition this was an easy victory for the ruling party of the state. But victory was aided by other factors like mixture of political acumen and administrative measures. Management of two major floods and
    pandemic with considerable efficiency,and daring moves in social engineering brought the victory.
  • All that paid rich dividends for, but the path ahead is going to be tougher as Kerala faces
    a fresh surge in COVID­19 infections. Finances are also
    challenging for the State.
  • Vijayan’s complete command over the party has eclipsed other leaders, a situation that can turn out to be a crisis in the future.

Way Forward: –

  • These results also hold some messages for national politics. Congress had lost Assam and Kerela where it had considerable chances to win.
  • Major ruling central party failed to woo muslim voters thus lost the lone seat it had in Kerela.
  • The notion that there can be a nationalist straitjacket into which the diversity of India will fit is irresponsible.
  • They must consider a softer pursuit of power. The Left tasted historic victory in Kerala but faces extinction in Bengal.
  • Ruling party at centre might have lost more than it won, but Sunday’s verdicts are no indication that a national level alternative to it is in the making. That is still some distance away in time and effort.

Question: –

Describe the Party system in India. Explain the merits and demerits associated with the two- party system.

Virus in the system

Why in News?

On the backdrop of COVID resurgence, the authors discuss what has really tripped up India’s COVID efforts.

Syllabus– GS2: Issues related to Health & Public Policies.

  • Government spending on health has always been shockingly low. In the villages of UP, the needs of hundreds of thousands of people might be filled by just five health centres—and no qualified doctor.
  • And citizens need more than the basics. In Delhi, the local government often talks up its expenditure on primary health centres, which are indeed vital.
  • For years, many Indians believed the private sector could make up for the government’s shortcomings.
  • Indians mostly pay in advance and in cash when a calamity hits and hospitalization is needed.
  • We run down our savings, or we look to personal networks for help: As much as 60% of healthcare spending in India is out-of-pocket expenditure by households.
  • That’s where Indians have turned in this crisis as well—to friends, family and Facebook.
  • Underfunded and understaffed governments such as India’s simply have no spare capacity to serve their citizens when disaster strikes.
  • You can’t hope for the private sector to do so; only the state can afford to carry this vital excess capacity or build it up at short notice.
  • It does not have to be this way. India’s southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have, for decades, been better run than their northern counterparts.
  • In recent weeks, they’ve set up elaborate systems of online triage to sort out covid cases and minimize the burden on hospitals.

Reasons for India’s Current state of Crisis:

  • Though the second wave expected & prepared by the planning was confounded by two factors:
  • A more infectious mutation of the virus
  • The people became ignorant & stopped following COVID discipline & guidelines.
  • The cases surge were inflated due to the untimed elections & their rallies and also religious mass congruence.
  • But most of it, the recurrent failure of India’s Centralized scientific & administrative bureaucracy.
  • In most cities, the great demand for ICUs & critical care beds, shortage of oxygen & hoarding of key medicines have been aggravated the situation further.
  • In India, scientific agencies failed to come out with key parameters & a planning approach that reveal the geography of the epidemic & helps predict shortage.
  • It also failed to come up with any quantitative norm for state-specific preparedness or guidelines to follow.
  • The usual problem of poor design of empirical & scientific systems.
  • Excessive centralization & a failure of execution, which is compounded with the absence of research.

Case Study of Maharashtra:

  • Reference for Comparison: Centre for Disease Control (CDC), US.
    • It developed a system that provides the public & states with
    • State-wise facts about the epidemic spread.
    • Current Hospitalization demand= 15/1Lakh Population
    • Mortality = 6%
    • Median hospital Stay = 5 days.

 

 

Different Factors in Maharashtra Case:

  • Though India lacks the above clinical facts based that is crucial for managing the epidemic, the authors made up a study to analyze the Maharashtra case;
    • In Maharashtra, the hierarchy of hospitals in dealing COVID as follows:
  • Tier 1 consists of large private hospitals & well-equipped public hospitals in main cities that are used for only critical care.
  • Tier 2 consists of Smaller Private & Public hospitals dotted across the state used for mild care & to some extent critical care.
  • Tier 3 is Community or Home Care.

Quality-of-Care Multiplier to find the relation of mortality with the availability of critical care beds.

  • A 250-bed tier 1 critical care hospital should expect 1 death/ day.
  • A 250-bed tier 2 hospital should expect 3 deaths/ day.
  • Tier 3 is essentially a denial of service for a severe COVID patient.
  • For any hospital/state, recording the mortality & duration of care along with the number of beds in each tier defines the preparedness of the district/state.
  • In this respect, Maharashtra has been both transparent about preparedness & responsive to rising demand.
  • Daily Death Rate (DDR) to estimate hospital utilization & classify the stress levels in a district.
  • The districts as the virus spread progressed, degraded from Tier 1 critical service to Tier 3 denial service to the critical patients.
  • Though Maharashtra dis increase tier 1 & tier 2 capacities by 18% & 24% respectively, but the faster epidemic spread resulted in more deaths even in advantaged Pune & Mumbai.
  • Rural districts are continued to be poorly provisioned.
  • The current state of Maharashtra is:
  • Tier 1 capacity is exhausted & increases anxiety as only poorer quality tier 2 hospitals available.
  • Supply chains of tier 2 hospitals are weak leading to oxygen & drugs shortage.
  • Hoarding of services becomes endemic & mortality rises.
  • In the case of oxygen availability, at a peak rate of 5 deaths/ million/ day needs more than 7000 MT oxygen/day nationwide.

Solutions:-

  • India needs a National Plan for the epidemic.
  • India needs to have comprehensive research on the lines of Oxford University.
  • India has to focus more and more on micro-containment zones strategy.
  • India taking a cue from Kerala’s approach of managing a low death rate, it needs to be emulate throughout the country.
  • India needs to develop a vibrant administrative system that is decentralized & responsive to any crisis.
  • It also needs to focus on better & workable empirical & scientific systems.

Way Forward:-

  • The need of the hour is not to play a blame game on people’s anxieties or solely politicians.
  • The current situation is the manifestation of ignorance &failure of all stakeholders.
  • The actual need of the hour is to decentralize the COVID tackling strategies with only effective monitoring at the top.

Question: –

  • To overcome a crisis like COVID, the approach has to be organic & dynamic moreover it has to be transparent & responsive. Discuss.

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