18.07.2019

Indian dailies have welcomed the move of setting up of database of Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries, this is a good step. Indian Press have commented that the International Court of Justice’s verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case is a substantial victory for India. The River Brahmaputra spill its banks year after year, so both humans and animals need a new rescue act, has been discussed by the newspapers.

THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS in an editorial THE RIGHT PRESCRIPTION writes setting up a health data repository of Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries especially with Aadhaar linkage- a health ministry panel recently recommended this as per the Indian Express is a significant step forward towards not just better public health management and fraud prevention in the government’s flagship health insurance scheme but also nurturing an ecosystem of health related enterprises creating jobs. The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) that the panel proposes mirrors the goals of the National Health Stack that the NITI Aayog had talked about last year; data collected from Ayushman Bharat will be managed and analysed digitally, and a system of personal health related detail is entered into a beneficiary’s record even if she avails of the healthcare coverage at different places; but given the committee notes, Aadhaar can’t be used in every context as per existing regulations linking an element of the PHI to Aadhaar–name of patient and that of her immediate family along with personal details like gender date of birth or mobile number or e-mail ID etc- will be a must if the mission goals are to be realised. With the appropriate privacy safeguards data mined from such a wide pool of patients as the one Ayushman Bharat serves presents an enormous advantage to medical research in the country.

THE TIMES OF INDIA in an editorial REPRIEVE FOR JADHAV says the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is in Pakistani custody, has the right to consular access and that Islamabad should review its death sentence against him. It will be recalled that in 2016 Jadhav was abducted from Iran and sentenced to death by a secretive Pakistani military court for alleged espionage and subversive activities. But the proceedings of the Pakistani trial were opaque and no concrete evidence was provided by Islamabad to establish the charges against Jadhav. On the contrary, Pakistan has consistently denied consular access to Jadhav despite India repeatedly asking for this. But the ICJ has called Pakistan’s bluff. It has charged Pakistan with violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

THE PIONEER in an editorial FLOOD FURY observed the floods in the Brahmaputra are an annual dirge, bringing with them untold misery to humans and animals alike besides the massive battering of farmlands and crops. Of course, the usual questions can always be asked as to why corrective mechanisms, evacuation drills and riverine overflows are never factored in annual disaster preparedness plans. But fact of the matter is, with years of climate change intensifying rainfall patterns in the Northeast and given the geographical lay of the land, any preparedness falls short. Successive floods have been pushing embankments and boundaries inward with hundreds of acres of land destroyed forever. The fragile hills in the Brahmaputra basin are prone to major landslides, further aggravated by deforestation and mining. The spate of dam construction in Arunachal Pradesh has not made it any easier on Assam either. The changing course of rivers and their tributaries have meant that lakhs of villagers live in unpredictable scenarios as riverine refugees, shifting to higher ground or moving to temporary camps, losing standing crops, giving up their traditional livelihood and economic activities. The rains and floods have significantly impacted the State’s GDP.

Script: Padam Singh, AIR: News Analyst