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25 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

1. India's Antibiotic Policy and AMR: A Look at Kerala's Initiative

Background:

  • In 2011, the H1 rule was introduced to restrict over-the-counter (OTC) sale of antibiotics without a prescription.

  • Aim: Address growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), where bacteria become resistant to commonly used antibiotics.

  • Implementation challenged due to variations in healthcare systems.

  • In 2013, modified to limit restrictions to second and third-line antibiotics.

  • First-line antibiotics still available OTC, especially in remote areas.

Understanding the H1 rule:

  • Requires a doctor's prescription for all antibiotics in its original form.

  • No antibiotic purchase without written authorization at pharmacies.

  • Pharmacists legally obligated to verify prescriptions.

How to find out more:

  • Visit the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) website: https://cdsco.gov.in/

  • Look under "Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945" for "Schedule H1".

  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for clarification.

Kerala's Initiative:

Positive aspects:

  • High doctor-patient ratio facilitates enforcement.

  • High literacy rate promotes understanding and compliance.

  • Fosters responsible antibiotic use culture.

Limitations:

  • Impact on AMR unlikely to be immediate.

  • Needs to address unnecessary prescriptions and hospital-acquired infections.

Key Challenges for AMR Control:

Unnecessary Prescriptions:

  • Over 50% deemed unnecessary or irrational.

  • Lack of affordable diagnostic tests contributes.

  • Patient pressure and doctor behavior play a role.

Hospital-Acquired Infections:

  • Data transparency and accountability crucial.

  • Stricter infection prevention standards and reporting needed.

Other Drivers:

  • Ban growth-promotion antibiotic use in agriculture.

  • Develop new antibiotics, diagnostics, and vaccines.

Conclusion:

  • Kerala's initiative is a step in the right direction.

  • Addressing major drivers like irrational prescriptions and hospital infections is essential.

  • A multi-pronged approach involving policy, education, and healthcare reform is needed.

  • Enforcing H1 rule alone won't be enough.


2. Ancient Chromosomal Disorders Discovered in Prehistoric Skeletons

Summary:

  • Researchers discovered evidence of chromosomal disorders in prehistoric skeletal remains:

  • Oldest known case of Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18)

  • Six cases of Down syndrome (trisomy 21)

  • Individuals lived up to 5,500 years ago in various European locations.

Details on the Diseases:

  • Down syndrome:

  • Extra copy of chromosome 21

  • Intellectual disability, characteristic facial features, and other health problems

  • Edwards syndrome:

  • Extra copy of chromosome 18

  • Severe developmental delays, organ malformations, and early death

Most individuals died young, but received:

  • Ritualistic burials

  • Grave goods

Suggesting acceptance by their communities.

Additional Details:

  • Identification method: Analysis of ancient DNA from skeletal remains

  • Prevalence:

  • Higher concentration of trisomy cases found in specific burial sites in Spain

  • Raises questions about potential cultural factors

  • Significance:

  • Sheds light on presence and acceptance of genetic disorders in ancient societies

  • Improves our understanding of human health history.

3. India's Stand on Israel-Gaza Conundrum:


  1. Voting Patterns:

  • India consistently supports UN resolutions critical of Israel's occupation and annexation of Palestinian territory.

  • Abstained in one vote for a ceasefire in October 2023.

  1. Public Comments and ICJ Silence:

  • Modi government keeps public comments on the issue minimal.

  • Decision not to speak at the ICJ aligns with India's low-key approach.

  1. Complex Factors Influencing Indian Position:

  • Balancing act due to expectations from the Arab world, especially UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, for solidarity with Palestine.

  • India's strategic defense cooperation and equipment purchases from Israel add another layer of complexity.

  1. Defence and Surveillance Ties with Israel:

  • Despite political stances, India engages in defense and surveillance equipment cooperation with Israel.

  • Recent shipment of drones from Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems to aid Israeli operations.

  1. Economic Cooperation:

  • Indian government allows the recruitment of Indian workers by Israeli companies facing labor shortages after Palestinian job expulsions.

  • Balancing economic interests adds nuance to India's position.

  1. Concerns for Indian Diplomacy:

  • Risks being seen as an outlier within the Global South, which largely criticizes Israel's actions.

  • Potential challenge to India's leadership aspirations within the Global South, emphasizing the need for a cohesive stance.


4. Ladakh wants entry into sixth schedule

Union Government's Decision on Ladakh's Constitutional Status:

  • Agreement to examine implementation of Sixth Schedule in Ladakh.

  • Understanding reached between civil society leaders and Ministry of Home Affairs officials.

Upcoming Legal and Constitutional Discussions:

  • Next meeting to involve legal and constitutional experts.

  • Focus on the legality and context of granting Statehood to Ladakh and its inclusion under the Sixth Schedule.

The Significance of the Sixth Schedule:

  • Sixth Schedule, outlined in Article 244, safeguards tribal populations.

  • Allows for the creation of autonomous development councils with legislative powers.

  • Currently, 10 such councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

Advocacy by Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA):

  • LAB and KDA demand Statehood for Ladakh.

  • Push for inclusion in the Sixth Schedule to gain tribal status, job reservations, and parliamentary seats for Leh and Kargil.

Transformation of Ladakh into a Union Territory:

  • Ladakh became a Union Territory in 2019.

  • Resulted from the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370.


5. Centre discloses key consumption expenditure survey findings after 11-year gap.

Summary of All India Household Consumption Expenditure Survey:

Key findings:

  • Increased consumption: Average monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE) rose significantly in both rural and urban India since 2011-12.

  • Shifting priorities: Spending on food decreased as a proportion of total expenditure in both rural and urban areas.

  • Data used for key indicators: Survey data will be used to inform calculations of GDP, poverty levels, and inflation.

Additional details:

  • Survey conducted between August 2022 and July 2023.

  • Data collected from over 260,000 households across India.

  • Significant disparities exist between states and income levels.

Possible implications:

  • Lower food prices may influence inflation calculations.

  • Survey data can inform policy decisions on economic development and social welfare programs.


consumption expenditure


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25 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

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