News & Events
In this section, we are presenting our readers/aspirants compilation of selected editorials of national daily viz. The Hindu, The live mint,The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, PIB etc. This section caters the requirement of Civil Services Mains (GS + Essay) , PCS, HAS Mains (GS + Essay) & others essay writing competition.
1.Fragile truce: Middle East still needs to resolve its Mother Conflict
After 11 days of intense fighting, Israel and Hamas have finally agreed to a ceasefire brokered by the US, Egypt, Qatar among others. The hostilities, which have claimed at least 232 Palestinian lives including 65 children with the death toll in Israel reaching 12, could have seriously gone out of hand had the Israeli armed forces launched a full-scale ground operation into Gaza. On the other hand, Hamas launching thousands of rockets into Israel in recent days was beginning to affect Israeli public mood and political calculus. Focus must now shift to the huge task of rebuilding Gaza and providing relief to its residents while ensuring that the truce holds on the ground.
That said, the latest round of Israel-Palestine hostilities once again highlighted the complex political-security issues that bedevil the region. These cannot be seen simply as a real estate problem. In fact, Israel-Palestine conflict is the ‘Mother Conflict’ in the Middle East. And the only practical way to solve it is the two-state solution that envisages sovereign Palestine and Israel living side by side in concord.
This is precisely the position India recently expressed at UN, urging both sides to resume direct talks. True, this is challenging as presently there is a political vacuum in Israel with PM Netanyahu serving as caretaker premier. Similarly, Palestinian polity is divided between Fatah and Hamas with the latter controlling Gaza. But Hamas is designated as a terror organisation by the US and EU, while many Arab states today are willing to recognise and work with Israel. Of course peace in Israel is not possible by skirting the issue of Palestinian rights. The international community must use this moment to once again push for Israel-Palestine dialogue with the clear aim of actualising the two-state solution.
2.Pregnant silence: There is a Covid data deficit for new, expectant mothers
Even as others around them line up to get vaccinated, pregnant and lactating women face doubts because they have not been part of most Covid vaccine clinical trials. Actually, women have long been afterthoughts in medical trials. In addition, pregnant women are usually excluded from such biomedical research for protective reasons. But emerging small-scale data suggests that pregnant women might be at greater risk of complications from severe Covid and therefore should have been a priority group.
Our bodies are not the same, which is why women’s experiences also have to be documented in equal numbers. Instead they have not been adequately attended to even during the Covid pandemic. Clarity is only emerging with time. In the early months of the pandemic, public health journals and experts urged sex-disaggregated analysis. But while Covid vaccine development and drug testing have lately incorporated women and other marginalised groups, there still remain big data gaps because of the traditional sidelining of women.
Their hormonal fluctuations are not factored into many tests, for the convenience of the researchers rather than on account of effects in real life. Even during the 2002-04 SARS outbreak, pregnant women’s health outcomes were not systematically tracked, leading to an information vacuum for the next epidemic. Amid India’s second wave, pregnant and lactating women are relying on experts and data that suggest they should have the choice to take the vaccine. In other countries, new mothers are even hoping that they are passing on antibodies to their babies through breastmilk.
3.Battling a new epidemic
India’s endemic health care issues have now led to a rise in black fungus cases. Both the pandemic, and now the epidemic, have shown the acute harm caused by endemic problems
India’s Covid-19 pandemic now appears to have an epidemic within it. The Union government told the Delhi High Court on Thursday that at least 7,251 people have mucormycosis. Typically, the number of people who get this disease over an entire year is a fraction of the current caseload across the country. The fungus that causes the disease is found in soil and decaying organic matter such as fruit and vegetables, and is as ubiquitous in the natural environment as the immunity to it among healthy people. But that has changed this year as Covid-19 swept the country, exposing endemic problems in how India and Indians approach health care. These are spread over a wide spectrum of issues involving hygiene, a lack of understanding of best practices, a tendency to self-medicate and even misinformation.