Sunday, February 8, 2015

Commons to vote on mitochondrial therapy

A radical new approach developed in the United Kingdom for the treatment of a potentially wide spectrum of inherited — and hitherto incurable — diseases has run into controversial waters. The future of the technique known as ‘mitochondrial replacement therapy’ or MRT will be decided by a parliamentary vote on Tuesday, February 3.
Professor of Neurology and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre of Mitochondrial Disease Doug Turnbull and his team at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne have pioneered the method. It treats women with mitochondrial disease (a range of inherited diseases caused by defective mitochondria, the elements in the cell that generate energy), by replacing the dysfunctional mitochondria carried by a woman who wishes to conceive with the healthy mitochondria of a donor. The egg is then fertilised with the partner’s sperm through IVF. The embryo thus created is one technically cleansed of the mutated mitochondrial DNA that the mother originally carried.
Tuesday’s vote in the House of Commons will decide whether the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority can grant licences to allow the replacement therapy to be conducted in U.K. clinics.
Researchers are concerned that the vociferous opposition to the technique led by the Church of England may carry weight with Members of Parliament and public opinion at large. The Church opposes the technique on the grounds that the manipulation of the nuclear DNA of two women and a man would create three-parent babies, leading to what they warn is a “Frankenstein future”.
“We have been working on this for 15 years,” Professor Turnbull was quoted by The Observer on Sunday as saying. Calling the review process as an “exemplary example of proper consultation and evidence-based policy”, he argues that the denial of the procedure by Parliament would affect the chances of women affected by the condition to have healthy children.
Human mitochondrial disorders are among the most common genetic diseases, affecting around one in 6500 people. They are believed to be the reason behind 150 known conditions.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/commons-to-vote-on-mitochondrial-therapy/article6846340.ece

Financial inclusion by done Payment Banks

Ways in which Financial inclusion will be done Payment banks:
1) They are providing small savings accounts and payments / remittance services to migrant labor workforce, low income households, small businesses, other unorganized sector entities by enabling transactions in a technology driven environment.
2) Use of mobile phone is extensive and which will help in tapping the rural areas.
3)Payments banks will create the infrastructure which will provide access points to send and take out cash
4) As payment banks would be able to invest in government bonds, this would enable the providers to offer higher interest rates on deposits that might attract inactive money parked in savings bank accounts.
5) Payment banks need to have at least 25 per cent of physical access points, including BCs, in rural centres.
So one fully operational they will definitely increase the financial inclusion and will be helpful in bring prosperity to lower income groups.

The Commercial Courts Bill 2015

India has been ranked 142nd in ease of doing business and has slipped from the previous 140th rank,which is a matter of concern. Trade has been the lynch-pin of development since ancient times. Looking at the sluggishness of the world economy and to have a positive BoP,we need to boost the manufacturing sector in the country towards the “make in India” campaign
In this regard,the formulation of the Commercial courts bill,2015 has been a progressive step. The salirnt features of this bill include:
1. setting a time limit of 90 days for delivery of judgment after conclusion of arguments
2. setting up appellate division benches in high courts which will hear the appeals from commercial courts.
3. provides for 'training and continuous education of judges' by the national and state judicial academies.
4. These courts will have judges with expertise and experience in commercial disputes and fixed tenure of two years so that continuity is maintained
5. the commercial court will be empowered to conduct a case management hearing by amending the CPC.
6. Will have powers to fix dates for hearing, decide which issues are to be tried and witnesses to be summoned.
7. the court will be empowered to impose costs and other penalties on parties for failure to follow the directions set out in a case management hearing,
Although speed and efficiency are all but guaranteed in the Commercial Court some pitfalls are-
1. efficiency is derived primarily from strictly enforced deadlines has consequent demands and pressures on both solicitors and their clients.
2. the cost of bringing claims is significant
3. litigating before the Commercial Court can often attract far greater publicity, which is not always welcomed.
However many countries like the USA have had commercial courts from 1990s itself. Also germany,england,france,austria,new zealand,ireland etc. hence this could be seen as a welcome step in the right direction

The Commercial Courts Bill 2015

In an effort to give a boost to Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign and encourage foreign investments, the law commission on Thursday submitted a draft bill to the government on setting up of commercial courts. 

The Commercial Courts Bill 2015, likely to be introduced in the coming budget session, has proposed some key amendments that includes setting a time limit of 90 days for delivery of judgement after conclusion of arguments besides powers to the courts to impose 'exemplary costs against defaulting parties for wilful failure to disclose all documents'. 

Once the bill is passed by Parliament, it will lead to setting up of at least 60 commercial courts across the country or about two to three courts in each state, said law commission chairman Justice A P Shah. The bill also provides for appellate division benches in high courts which will hear the appeals from commercial courts. 

bureaucrat : Challenges and pblms

Lack of security of tenure for important posts in India had greatly hampered the morale and efficiency of civil service. Discuss. Suggest measures to address this issue.


The life of any bureaucrat is comprised of a wide array of activities such as decision making,
formulating plans for action, implementing them, monitoring progress, evaluating feedback etc. All of these require time which varies greatly depending upon the type of project. For the past few years there have been several instances of surprise transfers of public servants. Reasons for such transfers are sometimes vague and unacceptable.
1 Political interference : is a major cause of transfers and suspensions of civil servants. Some politicians who wish to have everything done their own way prefer to have dummy bureaucrats that they can bribe and control.
2 Corporate influence : Political parties that depend on large corporates to fund massive electorial campaigns are obliged to return the favour and when sincere officers attempt to protect interests of the common people, they are hastily relocated
Consequences
1 Impact on the Nation : Important social and economic projects begin with a vision and a change in leadership may lead to four major problems a) Distorted view of the goal that needs to be achieved b) new appointee will need time to understand and absorb the project to reach his predecessors level of efficiency c) lack of experience of the replacement officer regarding the project leads to unwanted delays and related complications d) Forceful and unexpected change in leadership creates a negative ripple effect on the efficiency of the assignment
2 Impact on the Officer : a) Officer morale is affected when he is not given an opportunity to complete the task that he has begun b) Uncertainty of tenure leads to fear and instability that may adversely impact performance at work c) Instability of tenure causes inefficiency due to de-motivation when honest officers are punished instead of being rewarded
Suggestions
1 Strict official norms need to be adhered to in situations relating to transfer of civil sevants. Detailed explainations stating reason and cause for the transfer need to be provided to the officer.
2 Unacceptable incidents of officers informed of their transfer/dismissal through government and media publications need to be legally dealt with. Every civil servant deserves to be given due notice before publishing the event to media houses.
Civil servants are the lifeline of a healthy democratic society. They are the caretakers of the peoples interests who implement ambitious political mandates. A confident, sincere and uncorrupt bureaucracy is essential for the development of India as a world power.

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