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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 21 February 2022

Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 21 February 2022


Contents:

  1. No slacking
  2. After the harvest

No slacking


Context:

The Lancet has recently published its global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance. It gains significance in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.

Relevance:

GS-II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  2. Policy to counter AMR
  3. Way Forward

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR):

  • Lancet Report: The Lancet’s global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance:
    • The study conducted by the Lancent, is an elaborate and studied estimate validated by using counterfactual analysis for the first time.
    • It comes at the time when the world, exhausted with battling COVID-19, seems to have lost steam to mount a robust AMR policy.
  • Key Findings:
    • It estimated that 4.95 million deaths were associated with bacterial AMR in 2019 alone.
    • The pathogens and pathogen-drug combinations are the main cause such resistance.
  • Bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when the pathogen no longer responds to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
  • Why does AMR occur?
    • Indiscriminate use of antibiotics,
    • Availability of antibiotics over the counter,
    • Poor hygiene and sanitation,
    • Antimicrobial use in the farming and poultry industry,
    • Lack of vaccines and newer antibiotics, and
    • Poor infection control practices in hospitals.
  • Effects:
    • Though the exact  number of deaths might not have been available, there was no doubt about the alarming nature of associated mortality and morbidity

Policy to counter AMR:

  • The Chennai Declaration: It was formed in 2012 to draw a road map against AMR. It included, a consortium of doctors and health-care institutions.
  • India, in 2017, released its own AMR action plan. A task force was constituted for implementation.
  • By 2019, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh had rolled out State action plans. Few other states are still framing their action plans.
  • Ban on Cloistin:
    • It was enforced in India in July 2019 as an effort to counter the AMR challenge.
    • It is one of the significant actions by the Government that aimed at banning use of Cloistin in the poultry, aqua farming and animal feeds supplements sectors.

Way forward:

  • It is important to recognise that the solution to AMR resistance are not only in the realm of science.
  • Scientific publications have established the correlation between AMR and poor hygiene, lax administrative governance and poor ratio of public-private expenditure.
  • The Government, along with regulating the sale and use of antibiotics must also focus on raising the standard of living for citizens and provide them with them accessible and affordable quality health care without any delay.
  • Failing to address these issues will significantly erode the health-care gains India has secured over the years.

-Source: The Hindu


After the harvest:


Context:

According to the data released by the Second Advance Estimates of Production of Foodgrains for 2021-22, India’s agriculture sector is all set to create an all-time high production record this year.

Relevance:

GS-III: Cropping Patterns, Food Security

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Foodgrain production in India
  2. Diverging trends in Farm production in India
  3. What are the Policy concerns emerging from this data?

Foodgrain production in India:

  • As per the Second Advance Estimates of Production of Foodgrains for 2021-22, released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, India’s total foodgrains production will cross 316 million tonnes.
  • This is 1.7 per cent higher than the total production the year before.
  • India has achieved a significant progress in foodgrains production and it has been rising consistently since 2017.
  • The increase in foodgrains production is mainly attributed to good monsoons.

Diverging trends in Farm production in India:

  • Cereals: Among cereals, coarse grains such as jowar, bajra and ragi are expected to see a decline in output while maize is expected increase.
  • Rice: In both in kharif and rabi seasons,rice production is expected to increase by almost 3 per cent.
  • Wheat: The production of Wheat is also expected to go up by 2 per cent.
  • Pulses: Pulses are expected to increase its output by 6 per cent with the exception of tur, which is likely to dip by 7 per cent.
  • Oilseeds: Oilseeds are expected to see a production growth of 3.3 per cent. The fall in groundnut production was compensated by an increased production in mustard and soybean.
  • Cash crops: Sugarcane, being a significant cash crop is expected to see an increase of 4 per cent while cotton production may decline by over 3 per cent.

What are the Policy concerns emerging from this data?

  • Domestic production has a significant impact on the prices of the commodities. Other factors that influence the prices are the minimum support prices announced by the government (pulses) as well as the international prices (oilseeds).
  • A combination of these factors can impact the price and can weaken or strengthen the competitiveness of these commodities.
  • The ironic — and troublesome — aspect of India’s sustained increase in farm production in the past 5-6 years has been the concurrent rise in farmers’ distress as the terms of trade have worsened.
  • Hence, the biggest challenge now is to transfer benefits to farmers by providing them appropriate remuneration.

-Source: The Indian Express


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