The good doctors | IndExp
- In India’s overwhelmed hospitals and wards, doctors, nurses and health-workers have turned up every day, double-masked, sleep-deprived and almost burnt out, to save lives and outfox a canny virus.
- They have watched scenes of helplessness and mortality unprecedented in memory, as cities ran out of oxygen and life-saving drugs.
- They have also been witness to the intimate, lonely grief of those in Covid-19 isolation wards, to whom they provided a rare human connection.
- They have stoically stood in for near and dear ones in the last moments of many patients.
- If the pandemic has sometimes brought out the worst of human prejudice and systemic inequalities, it has also seen the triumph of science and the spirit of service.
- In the last year and more, the medical community has exemplified the best of that spirit.
- That explains the spontaneous standing ovation for NHS workers at Wimbledon recently; and the many tributes, including from PM Narendra Modi, on National Doctors’ Day, observed in India on Thursday.
- According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), over 1,500 doctors have died of Covid-19, of which 800 lives were lost in the second wave.
- The toll on doctors’ mental health after a year of serving in high-stress environments is bound to be alarming.
- It makes them vulnerable to violence and rage of patients’ families; several of them have had to go on strike to demand timely payment of salaries.
- Despite the lessons of the pandemic, hospitals continue to hire health workers on temporary contracts and for a pittance.
- To honour their service would not only mean a substantial pledge of national resources to health, but also a disavowal of misinformation and a renewed commitment to science.
- PM Modi hails services of Doctors during COVID pandemic; Says, government committed to safety and security of Doctors.
- Prime Minister says peoples' lives have been transformed tremendously with Digital India in the last six years
- India's COVID Vaccination Coverage crosses 34 crore mark
- Union Minister Nitin Gadkari says, India will be an example to the world for e-vehicles; Asserts, priority of the government is to fight pollution
- National Covid Recovery Rate improves further to 96.97 per cent
- Recently announced monetary policy measures will help in economic recovery: RBI
- Issues including food security, humanitarian logistics discussed at G20 meet, says EAM S Jaishankar
- FM Nirmala Sitharaman says enhanced revenue collection in recent months should now be the new normal
- Covid-19 vaccination drive is proceeding rapidly across country: Piyush Goyal
- Home Minister Amit Shah interacts with Probationary Officers of 72nd Batch of IPS
- India, Pak exchange lists of civilian prisoners, fishermen in their custody
- Thailand welcomes its first quarantine-free tourists back to island of Phuket
- Chinese President warns foreign forces to desist from bullying China
- Philippine seismological agency calls for evacuation of people near Taal volcano
- 17 injured in blast after Los Angeles police seized fireworks
- Indian Navy’s athlete MP Jabir qualifies for Tokyo Olympics in 400m hurdles; He would be first Indian male to participate in 400m hurdles in Olympics
Relief and recompense | TH
- It is a matter of relief and satisfaction that the Supreme Court has prodded the Union government to perform its statutory duty of fixing a compensation for the families of those who lost their kin to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The order comes close on the heels of a slew of directions on registering the country”s vast unorganised workforce and its army of inter-State labourers on a national database and ensuring that none of them went hungry.
- On the issue of making an ex gratia payment to those affected by the pandemic, a notified disaster under the Disaster Management Act, the Centre initially took the untenable stand that it lacked the financial resources to compensate for every COVID-19 death.
- However, it later admitted that it was not the adequacy of resources that made it avoid any compensation, but rather its decision to prioritise expenditure in response to the pandemic.
- It is indeed true that unlike more frequent disasters such as cyclones, earthquakes and floods, a pandemic that has hit every country is not a one-time calamity, but an ongoing and prolonged phenomenon.
- However, the Court has rightly found that this was not reason enough for the Government to evade its duty to include ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life in its guidelines for “minimum standards of relief” to those hit by the disaster.
- The Court correctly did not fix a compensation amount for each death, leaving it to a policy decision by the National Disaster Management Authority and the Centre.
- In an earlier order, the Court dealt with the need for comprehensive registration of all inter-State and unorganised workers in the country.
- The Supreme Court, while disposing of suo motu proceedings on the miseries of migrant labourers, has now fixed a deadline of December 31 this year for all States and Union Territories to complete the process.
- The Centre has been given a deadline of July 31 to make available a portal for its National Database for Unorganised Workers (NDUW) project so that it may be used for registering unorganised workers across the country.
- However, the Union government, which was directed to make such a common module available to the States as far back as in August 2018, claimed the work on developing the portal was affected due to the fallout of the pandemic.
- The Court has pulled up the Union Labour Ministry for its “apathy and lackadaisical attitude” and directed that the process of registration should begin by July 31.
Our Vote, Our Laws | ToI
- Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has warned that the right to change governments through elections “by itself, need not be a guarantee against tyranny”.
- He underscored that recognising citizens as the ultimate sovereign and qualifying as a “properly functioning democracy” necessitated public discourse that is “both reasoned and reasonable”.
- To elections and public discourse, he tagged “criticisms and voicing of protests” too as integral to the democratic process.
- Executive and legislature too must “assume responsibilities of upholding constitutional values and ensuring justice in the first place” so that judiciary can act as an important check later.
- Post-electoral exercises of political power by elected governments have been a mixed bag, not just in India, but democracies everywhere.
- A government’s exercise and interpretation of its popular mandate can foment opposition.
- From ramming its intent past dissenters, or entering into a vigorous discourse through parliamentary debate and direct political messaging, to facing scrutiny from courts, democracy and its countervailing checks and balances operate through many modes.
- Laws like sedition, a remnant of British Raj’s “rule by law” mentality, enjoying currency in national and state capitals buttress CJI Ramana’s warning about tyranny.
- The 1973 Kesavananda Bharati judgment enunciating the basic structure doctrine to prevent wayward constitutional amendments had recognised the danger of an elected government turning rogue.
- The Emergency two years later vindicated SC.
- The antidote is for both elected and unelected bodies – all the hallowed democratic institutions with constitutional sanctity – to recognise their limits and act energetically and creatively within the due process and procedure.
- This would demand governments enact laws that uphold equality and aren’t arbitrary; all sides allow legislatures to function without disruption or short shrift to procedures; judiciary refraining from policymaking; and independent public platforms like media, academic spaces, and NGOs having freedom to question the state.
- Let no one stop judiciary from enjoying complete freedom to check governmental power, as CJI Ramana wanted.
Slight Objection, Milord | ToI
- “The masses have performed their duties reasonably well,” and it was “the turn of those who are manning the key organs of the state to ponder if they are living up to the Constitutional mandate.”
- The judiciary has a role to play in preventing executive excesses but the thing that should concern us is not what judges say, but what they do.
- When two judges recuse themselves from hearing cases involving post-poll violence in West Bengal, one wonders if this is not an abdication of duty in a case where life and liberty are directly at stake.
- In a democracy, people’s participation cannot be limited to one day at the polling booth. It has to involve regular engagement – which is what the CJI was hinting at.
- On the other hand, the judiciary has been slow in delivering judgments in cases with a larger social and political impact.
- Why did it take the SC nine years after the Allahabad HC judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi case to deliver a final verdict?
- Why is it fighting shy of speeding up important constitutional cases, including the CAA, the nullification of Article 370, Sabarimala, et al?
- Equally questionable is the judiciary’s tendency to overreach in matters that should be in the executive’s domain.
- Some years back, the apex court, while dealing with hearings related to pollution in Delhi, actually directed the levy of a tax on SUVs entering the capital. Taxation is definitely not the judiciary’s domain.
- More recently, it has decided to sit in judgment on the vaccine pricing policy, the method of allotment of oxygen cylinders etc.
Q.) The G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting was held in which city?
Q.) Which State will start Door-to-Door vaccination for aged on an experimental basis?
- Tamil Nadu
- West Bengal