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16 January 2021: The Hindu Editorial Analysis

1. A fast fading promise, of growth with trust.

The present government must shed its many distractions that now grossly impinge on the values and rights of Indians.

 

GS-2:  mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

GS-1: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

GS-4:  behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

 


CONTEXT: 

1. With one of the largest populations of Muslims in the world, India needs to tread carefully in its approach towards them.

2. The Nation, of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ (‘Together, for everyone’s growth, with everyone’s trust’) must shed its many distractions that now grossly impinge on the values and rights of Indians.

Developments of issues against citizen right and values

1. To issue ordinances or bring laws against the so-called “love jihad” and the challenging.

2. The riots in Delhi  must be viewed with concern by sensitive value and right of citizens.

3. The Nizammuddin Markaz episode (in the context of the covid-19.

4. Shaheen Bagh in Delhi was the epicentre of the anti-CAA protest was primarily led by Muslims.

5. The Special Marriage Act failed to protect inter-faith couple’s human and Fundamental rights.       

6. Death penalty for slaughter of cow and for matters connected therewith or incidental this bill may be called the Cow Protection Act, 2017.

 

Repercussion of distrust in government:

1. Political unrest:  A category for riots arising from a group expressing political dissent or discontent, or arising from a political battle or dispute. This is in contrast to riots arising from simple disorder, sports riots, crowd control riots, and so on.

2. Economical repercussion: Empirical evidence shows that economic factors like poverty or educational attainment are not able to explain with statistical significance why a single person becomes violent.

3. Causes intensified religious activities: what can be done to weaken the trend toward religious violence, this brief argues that religiousness and religious violence are the consequence of specific economic, political, or social conditions but are more importantly the result of strategic goals of religious clubs and their efficiency in organizing and mobilizing their members.

4. Civil disorder: also known as civil disturbance or civil unrest is an activity arising from a mass act of civil disobedience (such as a demonstration, riot, or strike) in which the participants become hostile toward authority, and authorities incur difficulties in maintaining public safety and order.

5. Globalization and digitalization: Beyond the strategy of religious leaders, globalization and digitalization have had a huge impact on (potential) members. Contrary to political promises and theoretical expectations, globalization has widened the economic gap between the rich and the poor.

6. Internet, social media, and new telecommunication technologies: may accelerate the religious, ethnic violence  

7. Religious violence: Religious violence might be the outcome of a fight for power in a tough competition between religious clubs that has become even tougher recently.

8. Digitalization: allows information to spread quickly and pervasively. Thus, thanks to the Internet and social media, (younger) people in lower developed areas.

 

Leader of past advice still relevant?

1. Dr. Ambedkar:  the minorities in India have agreed to place their existence in the hands of the majority. It is for the majority to realize its duty not to discriminate against minorities.

PM respond: Ambedkar was” guardian of Human Values” PM added, the time has come when we must again strengthen the unity of our society and we can learn about this from Baba Saheb.

2. Sardar Vallabhai Patel: If they really have come honestly to the conclusion that in the changed conditions of this country, it is in the interest of all to lay down real and genuine foundations of a secular State.

PM respond:  It is not our intention to commit the minorities to a particular position in a hurry.

 3. Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee:

1. to create that great India, united and strong, which will be the motherland of not this community or that, not this class or that, but of every person, man, woman and child, inhabiting this great land, irrespective of race, caste, creed or community.

2. where everyone will have an equal opportunity, an equal freedom, an equal status so that he or she could develop himself or herself to the best of his or her talents and serve faithfully and fearlessly this beloved common motherland of ours.

PM respond: A devout patriot, he made exemplary contributions towards India’s development. He made courageous efforts to further India’s unity. His thoughts and ideals give strength to millions across the nation.

Solution:

1. Constitutional institutions, especially the judiciary, need to be on guard and pro-active in this regard.

 2. Legislation must be based on basic principles of human values and balance between the fundamental rights and DPSP.

3. To regulate forced conversions is not to strike at the very freedom of conscience that citizens possess.

4. The Supreme Court has decided and examines the constitutional validity and conditionality of the laws.

5. Legislator must declare the right of Parliament to abridge or take away Fundamental Rights. 

 6. Judiciary may action against whom / who takes away Fundamental Rights by a constituted Parliament even though an amendment of the Constitution can be declared void.

7. Administrator may implement law vary carefully and avoid to make controversy

 Way forward:

1. The present government has a great role to play here. It does not need such distractions, even for political mileage. The ruling party is firmly in the saddle and can continue its popularity with development and progress.

2. Let us hope and trust that we can together reaffirm “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” without any biases.

3. Try to developed religious tolerance in approach and in action.

4. Constitutionally India most remains a democratic sovereign republic where all religions are of equal status.

 

 

2. Private space

Making public notices optional under Special Marriage Act is a relief for inter-faith couples

GS 1: Society, communalism, diversity

GS 2 : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

GS 4:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions


CONTEXT:

 

  1. The Allahabad High Court judgment striking down provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 , can choose not to publicise their union with a notice 30 days in advance may not exactly be a judicial pushback against problematic anti-conversion laws, earlier its mandatory.

 

What is the new order?

  1. According to the new order, if a couple gives it in writing that they do not want the notice publicised, the Marriage Officer can solemnise the marriage. Under Section 5 of the Act.
  2. Now the couple has to give notice to the Marriage Officer; and under Sections 6 and 7, the officer has to publicise the notice and call for objections.

 

HC objection:

1. The court said that mandatorily publishing a notice of the intended marriage and calling for objections violates the right to privacy under Article 21.

2. This law may upholds fundamental rights, and may not violate them. And Laws not invade liberty and privacy.

3. It’s part of  freedom to choose for marriage without interference from state and non-state actors, of the persons concerned insure under Right to life and liberty (Article 21) and state may no intervene.

 

Interfaith marriages and the Constitution:

1. The right to marry a person of one’s choice is a guarantee under Article 21 and it is also granted in The Special Marriage Act, in 1954.

2. At the same time, freedom of conscience, the practice and propagation of a religion of one’s choice, including not following any religion, are guaranteed under Article 25.

3. The domain of matrimony is occupied by separate laws governing weddings that take place under religious traditions, and the Special Marriage Act that enables a secular marriage.

 

What is the proposed UP law on ‘love jihad’?

1. Conversion done though “misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means” would face jail term of one to 5 years, and a minimum fine of Rs 15,000.

2. Conversion of a minor, a woman from the SC or ST would have to face a jail term from three to 10 years, with a minimum fine of Rs 25,000.

3. If such conversion is found at the mass level, then those guilty would face jail term from three to 10 years, with a minimum fine of Rs 50,000.

Is Law need?

1. Inter-religious marriages may be less than 2.5% of all marriages they put state power and the law itself behind majoritarian communal biases which empower regressive social mores governing marriage and fellowship.

2. Unfairly treating all women in the same way and   Reconversion to a person’s previous religion is not illegal. It may increase communal violence. 

 

Right to privacy:

1. August 2017,a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd) Vs Union of India unanimously held that Indians have a constitutionally protected fundamental right to privacy that is an intrinsic part of life and liberty under Article 21.

2. It held that privacy is a natural right that inheres in all natural persons, and that the right may be restricted only by state action.

 

The right to choose:

1. The verdict of Allahabad High Court comes amid the debate over "love jihad". In case of Salamat Ansari-Priyanka Kharwar  The right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty (Article 21)

Way forward:

1. Under the Constitution, it is the individual citizen who has and exercises rights and obligations. But these new laws treat religious communities, instead of individual citizens, as basic entities.

2. Time to revisit the past judgement  In Rev Stainislaus v State of Madhya Pradesh (1977), the Supreme Court held that the fundamental right to “propagate” religion does not include the right to convert a person to another religion.

 

3. Vaccine optimism and the scientific uncertainty link.

Amidst the vaccine rollout, there is a critical need for a climate of transparency and data sharing for scrutiny and debate,

GS 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

 


CONTEXT:

1. India embarking on the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination programmed, on January 16, 2021. 

2. The clinical trial ongoing within the country by the firms will continue. These vaccines are thus deemed to be market ready while regulatory processes and logistic requirements are being laid out.

 

What is the process for new vacation trial?

1. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is India's national regulatory body for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

2. Within the CDSCO, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) regulates pharmaceutical and medical devices and is positioning within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

3. Clinical trials of new drugs and vaccines, and their approvals, are governed by the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019.

4. accordance with the provisions of the 2019 CTRules, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) heads CDSCO, and is responsible for granting permission for clinical trials to be conducted and for regulating the sale and importation of drugs for use in clinical trials.

5. Traditional clinical trials follow a straightforward but mandatory three-step approach: designing, conducting and analysing the collected data, according to a pre-specified analysis plan.

6. Seamless adaptive designs add a ‘review-adapt’ loop to the linear design-conduct-analysis sequence, with a pre-defined one primary endpoint and several secondary endpoints.

7. An adaptation is referred to a change made to the trial procedure, such as eligibility criteria, study dose, treatment duration or study endpoints, and/or statistical procedures such as randomisation, study design, study hypothesis or statistical analysis plan, while a clinical trial is at the design stage.

8. These are a priori planned adaptations and should be based on data collected from the study itself, and different from unplanned ad hoc modifications that are common in traditional trials.

9. Drug Controller General of India is the final approval of drug.

 

Issue in new drug:

1. Impact of modifications: The clinical trial of both vaccines shall continue, community engagement is critical to establish community acceptability of control arms, placebo, and blinding and should adhere to WHO’s guidelines on good participatory practice (GPP).

2. Need for more caution: not every trial can be rescued by adaptation and adaptive designs. these should not be a cure for poor planning”

3. Adequacy of processes: An important aspect is also the perceived motivations of policymakers making decisions about the vaccine. Given the fact that data are still awaited on the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine,

4. Needed, openness: Scientists are trained and professionalised in dealing with doubt and uncertainty, given that all scientific knowledge is uncertain.

 

Solution:

1. There is a need to gain confidence of the people in the vaccines. There is need to establish an independent team of experts under the aegis of the WHO.

2. The nationwide vaccination drive is mostly a decentralised process, where state governments are preparing the list of elderly, people with comorbidities, healthcare and frontline workers.

3. The areas could be ranked on the basis of a vulnerability index built by triangulating data sets from disease burden, caseload of COVID infections, demographic profile, health-seeking behaviour and availability of infrastructure 

4. The guidelines are ideal but do not reflect the real world of the health system that is full of flaws, defects, inconsistencies and cracks.

5. The availability of efficacy data could also impact the procurement and supply of vaccines, result in huge wastage, and can introduce scope for errors and duplication.

6. The immunisation can disrupt routine health service delivery — antenatal care, national programmes like those pertaining to TB or other immunisation drives and exhaust workers, particularly if another wave of the infection or other outbreaks like the bird flu.

 

Conclusion:

  1. 1. There must be some mechanism for allocation beyond frontline workers — that identification is presently based on age and comorbidities, regardless of place of residence.
  2. 2. Private sector organisations and PSUs can be allowed to hold vaccination drives for their own employees, relieving some burden from public health authorities
  3. 3. It is important to understand that vaccination is an incomplete solution to ending the epidemic.