CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 11th-January, 2018

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


11th Jan, 2018

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Prescription for the future {Health Policy}

(The Hindu)


Context

The National Medical Commission Bill has to be fine-tuned, especially in planning for rural health care.

Questions National Medical Commission Bill seeks to address 

  • How can India produce enough competent doctors to meet its evolving health-care challenges?
  • How can it minimise opportunities for rent-seeking in medical education and practice?

MCI’s (Medical Council of India) failures

For years, it was mired in allegations of bribery and going soft on unethical doctors. Under its stewardship, the medical curriculum grew obsolete, resulting in a cadre of MBBS doctors who frequently couldn’t perform basic procedures. This led to a rush among MBBS doctors to specialise, competing for a small number of post-graduation seats. Today, India neither has enough basic doctors, nor specialists.

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

  • It 2017 was introduced by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. J. P. Nadda in Lok Sabha on December 29, 2017.

  The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and provide for a medical education system which ensures

  • Availability of adequate and high quality medical professionals,
  • Adoption of the latest medical research by medical professionals,
  • Periodic assessment of medical institutions, and
  • An effective grievance redressal mechanism.  Key features of the Bill include:
  • Constitution of the National Medical Commission:  The Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC).  Within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments will establish State Medical Councils at the state level.  The NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by the central government.  A Search Committee will recommend names to the central government for the post of Chairperson, and the part time members.  These posts will have a maximum term of four years.  The Search Committee will consist of seven members including the Cabinet Secretary and three experts nominated by the central government (of which two will have experience in the medical field).
  • Members of the NMC will include:

     (i) the Chairperson,
    (ii) the President of the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board,
    (iii) the President of the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board,
    (iv) the Director General of Health Services, Directorate General of Health Services,
    (v) the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, and
    (vi) five members (part-time) to be elected by the registered medical practitioners from amongst themselves from the prescribed regional constituencies under the Bill.

  • Functions of the National Medical Commission

     (i) Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals,
    (ii) Assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure,
    (iii) Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of the regulations made under the Bill,
    (iv) Framing guidelines for determination of fees for up to 40% of the seats in the private medical institutions and deemed universities which are regulated as per the Bill.

  • Medical Advisory Council:  Under the Bill, the central government will constitute a Medical Advisory Council.  The Council will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NMC.  Further, the Council will advise the NMC on measures to enable equitable access to medical education.
  • Autonomous boards:  The Bill sets up certain autonomous boards under the supervision of the NMC.  Each autonomous board will consist of a President and two members, appointed by the central government.

    These boards are
    (i) The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) and the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB):  These Boards will be responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the undergraduate and post graduate levels respectively,
    (ii) The Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB):  The MARB will have the power to levy monetary penalties on medical institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and the PGMEB.  The MARB will also grant permission for establishing a new medical college, and
    (iii) The Ethics and Medical Registration Board:  This Board will maintain a National Register of all licensed medical practitioners, and regulate professional conduct.  Only those included in the Register will be allowed to practice medicine.

  • Entrance examinations:  There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate medical education in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.  The NMC will specify the manner of conducting common counselling for admission in all such medical institutions.

There will be a National Licentiate Examination for the students graduating from medical institutions to obtain the license for practice.  The National Licentiate Examination will also serve as the basis for admission into post-graduate courses at medical institutions 


Not a criminal act {Social Justice}

(The Hindu)


Similarities between the offence of ‘theft’ and ‘adultery’ under the Indian Penal Code.

 Adultery is, after homicide, the most punishable of all crimes, because it is the cruellest of all thefts.”

In 1707, English Lord Chief Justice John Holt stated that a man having sexual relations with another man’s wife amounted to “the highest invasion of property.”

Our Supreme Court too held that breaking a matrimonial home is no less serious a crime than breaking into a house and refused to strike down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), under which men can be prosecuted for adultery.

The gender argument

Under Section 497, a wife cannot prosecute her husband or his lover for violating the so-called sanctity of a matrimonial home as the husband is not her exclusive property but a husband and only a husband can prosecute his wife’s paramour under Section 198(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Section 497 of the IPC punishes only the man for stealing another man’s property, i.e. his wife. The court treated Section 497 as a special provision made by the state in favour of women in exercise of its powers under Article 15(3) of the Constitution.

Across the world

  • Adultery is no more a criminal offence in most European countries. In the U.S., adultery is generally punished in some states only if committed habitually or with public notoriety. But in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan, adultery continues to be a capital offence.
  • The 42nd report of the Law Commission (1971), with some hesitation, recommended retention of adultery provision as in its view, the time was not yet ripe to repeal it but it did recommend making the law gender neutral and reduction of punishment of imprisonment from five years to two years.
  • In its 156th report, the Law Commission (1997) favoured the legislative initiative in reforming adultery law but, surprisingly, the commission preferred retention of five years imprisonment.

 

 

 

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