Oct 12, Mains Questions from today’s Hindu Paper

GS Paper 2

Topic : Representation of People’s Act

1.“Judiciary has played a very important role in de-criminalization of politics “ Examine

The Supreme Court of India has played a very important role in de-criminalization of politics in India. Applying its wisdom and jurisprudence in cases involving an interpretation of the Constitution and the Representation of People’s Act 1951, the Supreme Court has rendered far reaching Judgments that can go a long way in de-criminalization of politics in India.

Content

In 2002, the Hon’ble Supreme Court gave a historic ruling in Union of India (UOI) v. Association for Democratic Reforms  that every candidate, contesting an election to the Parliament, State Legislatures or Municipal Corporation, has to declare their criminal records, financial records and educational qualifications along with their nomination paper.

In 2005, the Supreme Court in Ramesh Dalal vs. Union of India held that a sitting Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of State Legislature (MLA) shall also be subject to disqualication from contesting elections if he is convicted and sentenced to not less than 2 years of imprisonment by a court of law.

In Lily Thomas v. Union of India 2000 , the Court held that Section 8(4) of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 is unconstitutional which allows MPs and MLAs who are convicted to continue in office till an appeal against such conviction is disposed of.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Krishnamoorthy v. Sivakumar & Ors. (2015), mandated that the candidates contesting for elections must disclose their criminal antecedents especially pertaining to heinous or serious offences.

It also opined that any attempt otherwise to conceal would amount to interference with the free exercise of the right to vote by the electorate, on the part of the candidate.

Conclusion

The institution of Judiciary has thus played a very constructive role in the upkeep of democracy in the nation by preventing criminal elements from entering into the hallowed chambers of the legislatures.

GS Paper 2

Topic : International Organizations and their mandate

2.Discuss the measures that have been taken by the Global Community and International Organizations to ensure equitable access to COVID 19 treatment ?

Covid-19 treatment keeps evolving almost on a daily basis. The socio-economy of the disease is also following the same course.
The rising call to declare Covid-19 vaccine and other treatment tools as global common good reiterates the importance of equitable access of health.


Content:

• The Covid treatment protocol had evolved a lot since the epidemic started to roll out. Hydroxycholoroquine, Remdesvir, tozulizumab, ivermectin are some of drugs which were or are used in treatment of Covid-19.


• All health experts believe a good vaccine will be the most effective tool against the pandemic. World Health Organisation assesses that an effective vaccine will be available by 2021.


• WHO, along with a few global health entities, launched the ‘Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator’, or the ACT, to boost the development and production of new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.


• Another entity into vaccine development is the COVAX, a three-way partnership of the WHO, Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) are under aegis of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


• Apart from these organisations, individual countries, health ministries and medical research wings are striving towards effective cure of the disease.


• The real success in promoting equitable access will be in developing such tools to treat covid and declare them as “global common good”. This will keep them out of any patent or intellectual property restriction of WTO or like agreements.


• The next step would be the financing agencies like the World Bank, to finance mass production of such tools and make available to the lesser privileged.


• ICMR is the nodal agency in India regarding any treatment protocol and vaccine development initiatives in India.


Conclusion:

The test of equitable access to Covid-19 treatment is yet to be completed. UN and WHO needs to play a pivotal role in achieving the same.
“Solidarity of call to action” initiative of WHO which aims at equitable global access to COVID-19 health technologies through pooling of knowledge, intellectual property and data is a step in right direction.