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29th February – Editorials/Opinions Analyses


  1. A flat Economy: Present Concerns and Way Forward
  2. State Lethargy Amidst Cough Syrup Poisoning
  3. Regional Bonding: On Sri Lanka’s Prescription of Peace


Why in news?

India’s economy doesn’t appear to be getting much better. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.7% in the October-December quarter of 2019-20 over the previous year.


  • NSO has released the GDP growth rate for 3rd quarter of fiscal year 2019-20
  • Manufacturing output contracted 0.2%, while utilities output fell 0.7%. What supported growth was a 9.7% increase in the output of public administration, defence and other services which could be a result of high government spending
  • However, some economic indicators have lately pointed to a pick-up in economic activity.
  • To be sure of speaking of an uptrend we need to see at least three successive quarters of inclines on growth parameters

International concerns and impact?

  • This incipient recovery can face challenges from the disruption of covid-19, which is currently the big scare across the world.
  • International analysts have warned that the world could see its worst downturn since the Great Recession of 2008-09

Way out?

  • Sustained effort to increase private investment to pick up economic activities
  • Government incentivizing the rural economy to increase consumption
  • Focus on technical development by skilling missions
  • Managing loopholes by using JAM and constant vigilance
  • Increasing Investors’ confidence by providing  policy stability related to investment and tax structures


Why in news?

Coldbest-PC: the medicine behind the death of 12 children in Jammu


  • 12 children died in Udhampur district of Jammu due to poisoned cough syrup (Coldbest-PC).
  • A team of doctors at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, attributed the deaths to the presence of diethylene glycol in the cough syrup which was consumed by all the dead children.
  • Diethylene glycol is an anti-freezing agent that causes acute renal failure in the human body followed by paralysis, breathing difficulties and ultimately death

Previous instances

  • This is the fourth mass glycol poisoning event in India that has been caused due to a pharmaceutical drug
  • In 1973, there was a similar incident at the Children’s Hospital, Egmore in Chennai that caused the deaths of 14 children.
  • In 1986, similar poisoning at Mumbai’s J.J. Hospital caused the deaths of 14 patients who were otherwise on the path to recovery.
  • In 1998, 33 children died in two hospitals located in New Delhi due to similar poisoning. In all three cases, the manufacturer of the suspect cough syrup, due to negligence or human error, failed to detect and contain the level of diethylene glycol in the syrup

Short term solution

  • To account for each and every bottle of the poisoned syrup that has ever been sold in the Indian market and stop patients from consuming this drug any further.
  • Any patient who has consumed even a spoon of the syrup should then immediately be referred to a hospital for treatment.
  • Even if a patient claimed to have thrown out the bottle, the investigators should find the discarded bottle.

Need for a recall policy

  • India has not notified any binding guidelines or rules on recalling dangerous drugs from the market
  • The 59th report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health as well as the World Health Organization (in its national regulatory assessment) had warned the DCGI on the lack of a national recall framework in India.


Why in news?

Speaking at The Hindu’s Huddle conclave last week, Sri Lanka’s EX PM Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe set out a number of suggestions


  • India-Pakistan tensions has brought economic integration within the SAARC region to a “standstill”
  • Original purpose of the South Asian group was to build a platform where bilateral issues could be set aside in the interest of regional growth

Trade potentials

  • Mr. Wickremesinghe suggested an even smaller sub-grouping of four countries with complementary economies: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand, to begin the process of reducing tariffs and demolishing non-tariff barrier regimes.
  • With India’s leadership, a more integrated South Asian region would be better equipped to negotiate for better terms with RCEP so as not to be cut out of the “productivity network” in Asia
  • India needs to be more accommodative for the realisation of its ambitions.
April 2024