Any high-level visit, particularly that of a U.S.President to India, is as much about the optics as it is about the outcomes.
Both leaders will be meeting for the 5th time in eight months.
This latest meeting will spur the bilateral relationship towards broader outcomes, with expectations centered at bilateral strategic ties, trade and energy relations as well as cooperation on India’s regional environment.
Military cooperation and defense purchases: $3 billion
Trade deal: laters on, not now
U.S.-Taliban deal is expected to be finalised next week.
Modi-Trump: will discuss India’s role in Afghanistan
Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium: the leaders hope to attract about 1.25 lakh people in the audience.
By choosing Gujarat as the venue, Mr. Modi too is scoring some political points with his home State.
ART of life
Union Cabinet nod: Assisted reproductive techniques (ART) Bill
Together, the ART Bill; the Surrogacy Bill; the amendment to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act; and the older Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act present a bouquet of legislation that will have a positive impact on the reproductive rights and choices of women in India.
ART measures help couples unable to conceive naturally to bear children with the aid of state-of the-art technology to achieve pregnancy, leading to safe delivery.
In the late 1970s, only months after the birth of Louise Brown, the first ‘test-tube baby’, Kolkata-based doctor Subhas Mukherjee announced the birth of the world’s second test-tube baby.
Subsequently, the industry saw phenomenal growth, as infertility rates went up.
A market projection (by Fortune Business Insights)said the size of the ART market is expected to reach $45 billion by 2026.
Among Asian countries, India’s ART market is pegged at third position.
A lack of regulation and the consequent laxity in operations drove a lot of traffic from other nations to India.
Seeks to regulate and monitor ART procedures
Mandates the establishment of a National Board and State Boards to lay down rules for implementation
Creation of a national registry, and registration authority
Recommends punishment, even jail time, for violations of the provisions
The Bill is its best chance to eliminate exploitation in the field.
Gearing up to fight the next big viral outbreak
India is ill-prepared to deal with the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that is causing worldwide panic.
The World Health Organization (WHO)’s GlobalHealth Security Index finds that no country is adequately prepared.
It assesses 195 countries across 6 categories
Global average is a low 40.2 out of 100, and India’sscore is 46.5.
For the record, the U.S. is ranked first and China51st. Prevention Early Detection Rapid Response Health System Quality Standards Risk Environment
4-point health agenda: immediate and longer-term action
Early detection and prevention
Better collaboration across health service providers
More investment in health systems, outcomes, and education
Better care of the environment and biodiversity, which directly affects people’s health safety. Thailand is ranked sixth in the Health SecurityIndex — the highest ranking for an Asian country.
When the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), also caused by a coronavirus, broke out in 2015, Thailand quickly notified the WHO of its first confirmed case and acted transparently to arrest the spread.
The influenza A (H1N1) outbreaks since 2009 in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and other States have acutely underscored the need for better detection, awareness of symptoms and quarantining.
The Pune-based National Institute of Virology has been designated as a WHO H5 reference laboratory.
Each State in India should do regular stress tests to expose crucial gaps in areas such as adequacy and supply of diagnostic equipment, health facilities, hygienic practices, and prevention and treatment protocols.
Partnerships between private and public sectors, and between countries
There could be an emergency loan facility, with a“deferred drawdown option” as the World Bank uses for disasters, natural or health, that can help augment own resources in times of a public health catastrophe.
Best defence: health and education to prepare populations and strengthen health services
Health expenditure by the government in India is less than1.5% of Gross Domestic Product, which is low for a middle-income country.
According to WHO, India has only 80 doctors per1,00,000 people. An HSBC study of 67 countries ranks India as the most climate-vulnerable one because of the impact of severe temperature increases and declines in rainfalls.
Nearly two-thirds of known pathogens and threequarters of newly emerging pathogens are spread from animals to humans.
The parliamentary elections in Iran come at a critical time for the Islamic regime.
The events of the past four months, starting with the social turmoil in cities in November 2019 until the shooting down of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 on January 8 , 2020.
The low turnout would make it impossible for the regime to pretend that it could prevail ideologically against U.S. President Donald Trump’s maximum pressure strategy.
Hardliners are expected to win big.
What distinguishes welfare measures from freebies?
Providing healthcare and education are basically the functions of the government.
Public goods/services — sewage, drinking water, water, electricity, public transport — are one set of things; education and health are what we call ‘merit goods’.
What’s important is stability of revenue in how you design your public benefits. Each of these has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
You have to take into account the religious composition,the urban-rural mix, maybe the level of the economic development, all of these things matter.
CAA will cause Muslims to face exclusion: U.S. panel
Days before U.S. President Donald Trump is due in India, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) released a fact sheet on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
However, official sources in New Delhi said the new citizenship law was an internal matter that would stay.
19 killed as container falls on Kerala-bound bus in Tiruppur
Nineteen people on board a Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus were killed when a 30-tonne truck hit thecentral median of the National Highway and the container it was carrying fell on the bus on the outskirts of Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu early on Thursday.
Shooter kills nine in German bar, café
The gunman left behind online material that suggested a terror attack motivated by “a hostile attitude to foreigners”,said Peter Beuth, the Interior Minister of the state of Hesse.
SC interlocutors examine alternative routes
Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors on Thursday examined alternative routes that could be opened to get around the traffic blockade due to the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests at Shaheen Bagh in the Capital.
On the second day of dialogue, senior lawyers Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran also requested demonstrators to meet them in smaller groups.
Nirbhaya case convict claims mental illness
A Delhi court on Thursday sought a response from the Tihar jail authorities on a plea by one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case seeking better treatment for his claimed mental illness, schizophrenia and head and arm injuries.
Two Dalits tortured in Rajasthan, seven arrested
Two Dalit youth were beaten up, stripped and tortured in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district on the suspicion of stealing money from the cash box of an automobile service agency. The police on Thursday arrested seven persons accused of committing the crime after several videos of the assault went viral on social media, leading to protests in the State Assembly and strong reactions from political leaders.
28 anti-CAA protesters issued recovery notices of ₹64 lakh
Twenty-eight persons in Lucknow have been asked to pay around ₹64 lakh as recovery for damage to private and public property during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at the Parivartan Chowk on December 19.
Army hails SC for ‘enabling judgment’
The Supreme Court judgment granting Permanent Commission to women officers inthe Army gives clarity on the issue and a road map has been prepared for its implementation, Army chief General Manoj Naravane said on Thursday.
CJI alarmed at hasty death warrants
Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde on Thursday expressed alarm about trial courts issuing death warrants in undue haste without offering condemned prisoners a chance to exhaust their efforts for commutation or clemency.
New Delhi to send medical supplies by aircraft to China
‘Historic’ pact with U.S. will be signed soon, says Taliban