Recently, the Ministry of Health highlighted various measures needed to address the challenges posed by Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the country.
About Antimicrobial Resistance:
It is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite) against antimicrobial drugs (like antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, anti malarials, anthelmintics, etc) that are used to treat these infections.
Thus the standard treatments become ineffective, and the infections persist.
These microorganisms which develop antimicrobial resistance are also referred to as superbugs.
How does Antimicrobial Resistance develop?
Some bacteria due to the presence of specific resistance genes are intrinsically resistant and hence survive when exposed to antibiotics.
Some microorganisms, by genetic mutations survive antibiotic exposure.
The misuse of antimicrobials in medicine due to their easy over the counter presence.
Inappropriate use of antimicrobial substances in agriculture.
Contamination around pharmaceutical manufacturing sites where untreated waste is released, also cause AMR among nearby population.
Special Economic Zones
Why in News?
SEZs have reached new heights in terms of performance in exports, investment, and employment in the last three years.
It is a territory within a country which is typically duty-free, also having different business and commercial laws to encourage investment and create employment.
They are created to better administer these areas, enabling an increase in the ease of doing business.
SEZs in India:
Asia’s first Export Processing Zone (EPZ) was established in 1965 at Kandla, Gujarat.
These EPZs had a similar structure to SEZs. However, the GoI began establishing SEZs in 2000 under the Foreign Trade Policy to redress the infrastructural and bureaucratic challenges which were plaguing the success of EPZs.
The Special Economic Zones Act was later passed in 2005 even though SEZs were operational in India from 2000 to 2006 under the Foreign Trade Policy.
India’s SEZs were closely structured with China’s successful model.
The Board of Approval for SEZ is the apex body headed by the Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Chandra Shekahr Azad
Why in News?
Recently, India paid tribute to the freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad on his birth anniversary on July 27th.
About Chandra Sekhar Azad:
He was born on 23rd July 1906 in Alirajpur district of MP.
In his early years, he was arrested for his participation in Non-cooperation movement of 1921.
On being presented before a magistrate, he gave his name as Azad and his father’s name as Swatantrata (Independence) citing his residence as Jail.
Hence, he came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad.
Contribution to Freedom Movement:
Hindustan Republican Association: After the suspension of the NCM in 1922 by Gandhiji, Azad joined HRA.
HRA was a revolutionary organization of India established in 1924 in by SachindraNath Sanyal, Narendra Mohan Sen and PratulGanguly.
Notable Members of HRA:
Chandra Shekhar Azad,
Ram Prasad Bismil,
Rajendra Lahiri, etc.
Kakori Conspiracy: Most of the fund collection for revolutionary activities was done through robberies of government treasury. For the same they committed Kakori Train Robbery near Lucknow in 1925.
Azad died at Azad Park in Allahabad on 27th February 1931.
Art and Culture
Kathakali Dance Form
Why in News?
Kathakali was in news due to death anniversary of a notable actor Kottakkal Sivaraman who is known to redefine female role in Kathakali.
Kathakali is a classical dance form associated with Kerala.
It derives its name from ‘Katha’ meaning story and ‘kali’ meaning drama.
Koodiyattamm Chakiarkoothu, Ramanattam and Krishnattam are few of the ritual performing arts of Kerala to which the origin of Kathakali is generally attributed to.
Kathakali is a blend of dance, music and acting which dramatizes stories, mostly adapted from the Indian epics.
It is known for use of heavy make-up and stunning costumes (elaborate masks, huge skirts and big head-dresses).
Different facial and costume colours indicate different mental stages & character, e.g.:
Green – nobility,
Black – wicked,
Red patches – combining royalty & evil.
Hand gestures, facial expressions with eye movements are important aspect of this dance form.
Renowned Malayali poet Vallathol Narayana Menonis known to revive it in modern times.
Prominent Artists: Ramankutty Nair and Kalamandalam Gopi, Guru KunchuKurup, Gopi Nath, Rita Ganguly, etc.
Why in News?
On the request of the MHA, NIMHANS, an Institute of National Importance, issued a set of guidelines on the management of mental health issues of the prisoners and prison staff.
Gatekeeper Model for Identification of Mental Illness:
Under this model, selected trained inmates, will identify prisoners at risk of suicide, and would refer them to treatment or supportive services.
The step would prevent suicides due to mental health issues in prisons across the country.
There is prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorder to the order of 80% of the prison population.
For Mental Health Treatment:
Prisoners with noticed mental disorders are to be regularly assessed for severity of suicidal risk and will be put on regular and supervised medication.
To address the prisoner’s mental health needs, the prisonmay have links to community-based initiatives like the District Mental Health Programme, etc.
Buddy System for Social Intervention:
It is a type of social support through trained prisoners called buddies or listeners.
It was found to have a good impact on the well-being of such suicidal prisoners. Periodic telephone conversations with friends and family would also foster support.