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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 26 October 2022


Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 26 October 2022


Contents

  1. Heat-linked deaths among 65+ increasing: Lancet
  2. Can State Governments Broadcast on their Own?

Heat-linked deaths among 65+ increasing: Lancet


Context

According to the latest Lancet Countdown report 2022, continued reliance on fossil fuels is exacerbating the health effects of the world’s multiple crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war, and climate change. This report comes ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) this year, which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Relevance

GS Paper 1: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

GS paper 3: Climate Change

Mains Question

What exactly is a heat wave? Explain its occurrence in India and how long it can last. (250 words)


The Lancet Countdown to Climate Change and Health:

  • Climate change is the world’s most serious global health threat in the twenty-first century, but it is also the greatest opportunity to rethink the social and environmental determinants of health.
  • In 2015, countries committed to limiting global warming to “well below 2°C” as part of the historic Paris Agreement to limit the harm caused by climate change.
    • The Paris Agreement is a global treaty in which over 200 countries agreed to collaborate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change.
    • The agreement aims to limit global warming to less than 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, when compared to pre-industry levels.

Concerning the report:

  • The Lancet Countdown report, which is published annually, was established following the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change.
  • The Lancet publishes the report after independent peer review.
    • The Lancet is the world’s highest-impact general medical journal, published weekly by peer review, and one of the oldest (founded in England in 1823).
  • It is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration (including UN agencies such as WHO, WMO, and the World Bank) dedicated to monitoring the changing health profile of climate change.
  • It provides an independent assessment of how governments around the world are carrying out their commitments under the Paris Agreement.
  • It monitors 43 indicators in five key domains: climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerability; health adaptation, planning, and resilience; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; economics and finance; and public and political engagement.

Highlights of the Lancet Countdown Report 2022 (8th edition):

  • The report demonstrates that the negative impact of climate change is multifaceted.
  • Globally, heat-related deaths increased 68% between 2017 and 21, reaching 3,10,000 deaths per year. The Covid-19 pandemic’s confluence significantly increased the death toll.
    • In India, the number of heat-related deaths among those over 65 increased by 55% between 2000-04 and 2017-21, from an annual average of about 20,000 to around 31,000 deaths.
  • The report also emphasised how fossil fuel subsidies in many countries are causing global problems, such as deterioration of air quality, decline in food output, and increased risk of infectious disease linked to higher carbon emissions.
    • By 2021, 80% of the countries examined provided some form of fossil fuel subsidy, amounting to $400 billion.
    • India spent $34 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2019, accounting for 5% of total national health spending.
    • According to the report, over 3,30,000 people died in India in 2020 as a result of exposure to pollutants emitted by fossil fuels.
  • The report also looked at how rising temperatures and extreme heat affect infants (under 1 year old).
    • Compared to 1985 to 2005, such vulnerable groups in India experienced 72 million more person-days of heatwaves per year from 2012 to 21.
      • In India, adults over the age of 65 had 301 million more person-days during the same time period.

• As countries prepare for the COP27, the report urges them to develop climate solutions that are proportionate to the magnitude of the problem.

o The climate crisis is endangering not only the health of the planet, but also the health of people all over the world, due to toxic air pollution, decreased food security, increased risks of infectious disease outbreaks, extreme heat, drought, and flooding, among other things.

o As a result, the report reaffirms why governments should prioritise and invest in environmental protection.


Can State Governments Broadcast on their Own?


Context

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued an advisory stating that no Ministry or Department of the Centre, States, or Union Territories, or their associated entities, should engage in broadcasting or distribution of broadcasting activities in the future.

Relevance

GS Paper 2: Constitutional and other statutory dimensions

Mains Question

How is broadcasting is managed in India? Which is the prime authority to manage the broadcasts ? (150 Words)


About the News

  • According to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s most recent advisory, the Centre, States, UTs, and their related entities will need to “extract themselves” from existing broadcast distribution activities.
  • This procedure must be completed by December 31, 2023.
    • Government universities, colleges, schools, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, certain autonomous bodies, and agricultural universities are eligible to establish community radio stations under current policy guidelines.
  • The move may have political ramifications, as the advisory could affect Kerala’s KITE VICTERS and KITE VICTERS Plus, Tamil Nadu’s Kalvi TV and Arasu Cable, and the Andhra Pradesh government’s IPTV.
  • Furthermore, entry of Central/State/UT Governments into the business of broadcast for educational purposes should be done through the Prasar Bharati route only.
  • The Ministry issued this advisory based primarily on the TRAI’s recommendations (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).

What recommendations did TRAI make?

  • The TRAI had recommended to the I&B Ministry that the Centre, States, UTs, and their related entities be barred from broadcasting and/or distributing TV channels.
  • Because Prasar Bharati is an independent statutory body, TRAI has recommended that, while it should fulfil the legitimate broadcasting aspirations of government entities, it should also maintain an arm’s length relationship with governments.
  • In its recommendations, TRAI relied on the spirit of the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations as well as the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Cricket Association of Bengal (1995).
  • Recommendation of the Sarkaria Commission – o The Sarkaria Commission was established in 1983 by the central government to examine the central-state relationship on various portfolios.
    • The commission had recommended that, in order to control “centrifugal” tendencies, the demand for either concurrent or exclusive power to the states over broadcasting be rejected.
  • Cricket Association of Bengal case (1995) – In this case, the Supreme Court held that state control really meant governmental control, which meant control of the political party or parties in power at the time.
    • It had also stated that public service broadcasting should be in the hands of a corporation (such as Prasar Bharati) established by statute, and that the constitution of such a corporation should be such that it ensures impartiality in political, economic, and social matters, as well as other public issues.
  • Broadcasting in the Indian Constitution’s Union List
  • Posts and telegraphs; telephones, wireless, broadcasting, and other similar forms of communication are mentioned in Entry 31 of the Union list, which is mentioned in the Seventh Schedule.

About Prasar Bharti

  • Prasar Bharati is India’s largest public broadcasting agency, and it is a statutory autonomous body established by the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990.
    • The Act placed DD (Dur Darshan) and AIR (All-India Radio) under the purview of the Prasar Bharati Corporation.
  • Functions of Prasar Bharati o To preserve the country’s unity and integrity as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
    • Ensuring citizens’ right to be informed about national and international events and news.
    • To promote literacy, agricultural development, health, and the environment.
    • Cover sporting events in order to instil a sense of sportsmanship in citizens.
    • To protect and spread the country’s diversity.
    • To serve rural and underserved communities, including children and the disabled.
    • To conduct research and development in order to keep television and radio broadcasts up to date.
  • The chairman and other members of the organisation are appointed by the President of India.
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