Mains Value Addition
Temples are not fiefdoms of the state
The Dirty Truth
Syllabus– GS 2 IR:
China’s Minister of Defence Wei Fenghe, visiting Bangladesh and Sri Lanka this week, has called on countries in the neighbourhood to resist “powers from outside the region setting up military alliances in South Asia”.
China on Tuesday also convened a six-country South Asia dialogue on COVID-19 and economic cooperation with the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The senior Chinese official’s visit to Sri Lanka coincides with mounting resistance in Sri Lanka to a Bill envisioning laws to govern the China-backed $1.4 billion Colombo Port City. The Supreme Court recently heard a case on the matter, following some 20 petitions by opposition parties and civil society organisations that challenged the Bill arguing that it “threatened” Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
Syllabus– GS 2: Health, Government Policy
During the hearing on issues related to the pandemic on Tuesday, the Supreme Court flagged differential pricing for vaccines, and directed the central government to clarify in its affidavit the basis and rationale for pricing.
How does the government regulate the pricing of drugs?
To ensure accessibility, the pricing of essential drugs is regulated centrally through The Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Under Section 3 of the Act, the government has enacted the Drugs (Prices Control) Order. The DPCO lists over 800 drugs as “essential” in its schedule, and has capped their prices.
The capping of prices is done based on a formula that is worked out in each case by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which was set up in 1997.
Can the government regulate the price of Covid-19 vaccines through DPCO?
Regulation through DPCO is not applicable for patented drugs or fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs.
This is why the price of the antiviral drug remdesivir, which is currently in great demand for the treatment of serious cases of Covid-19, is not regulated by the government. Last week, a notification by the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers said that on the intervention of the government, major manufacturers/marketers of the remdesivir injection had reported voluntary reduction in the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).
Syllabus– GS 3: Science and Technology
Why in News?
Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat on Friday, revoked the Trivendra Singh Rawat govt’s ‘Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act’, freeing 51 temples
Syllabus– GS 1: Indian Culture
Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act?
Various aspects of State and Religion:
State in religion
State Regulation of Religion and Supreme Court: –
Constitutional Obligation: –
Secular aspects and social reform.
Applicable to charities
Solutions ahead: –
Way Forward: –
The 42nd amendment to the Constitution of India inserted the word “secular” into the preamble thus making India a “secular” Republic. Critically evaluate the statement with suitable arguments.
Why in News?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dire state of rural sanitation infra (Toilet) & manifold increase in open defecation in rural India.
Syllabus– GS2: Issues related to Sanitation (Health)
Sanitation in times of Pandemic:
Challenges and Concerns:
As sanitary toilets have become hotbeds of disease that made people to construct illegal toilets.
State of sanitation crisis across “Indian States”:
With no escape from COVID-19, the toilet traditions have highlighted major loopholes in India’s Sanitation system where the focus is majorly on building new infrastructure. Discuss.