Monkeypox in Delhi; IITs, IIMs & Social justice; Caring old India

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Opinion Watch

Delhi has reported fourth case of monkeypox, which already accounts for 18000 cases worldwide.

The Times of India and Deccan Herald have carried Edits on monkeypox, and argued that lessons learnt for the Covid-19 pandemic be deployed to deal with the new virus in the country.

DH has noted that the Delhi case has no foreign travel history but he had attended a party in Himachal Pradesh.

It may be recalled that we had earlier noted the manner of the spread of monkeypox in Europe, particularly Spain through rave parties, which have become super spreaders.

ToI has suggested that the frontline workers be given the smallpox vaccines, which are known to provide defence against monkeypox, while also cautioning the government not to repeat the mistake of not placing the bulk order for the Covid-19 vaccines until the delta wave struck. The daily reminds that the US already has placed orders for seven million doses of Jynneos vaccine for delivery in 2022 and 2023.

DH has underlined that the children are more vulnerable than adults, while calling for caution.

We know that monkeypox has been in circulation since 1970s, with origin in Congo and 13 African countries, but it has just blasted off the roof since May, 2022 after the UK reported its first case.

Since the European countries have early exposure to monkeypox, it demands that the know-how be shared immediately and the possible vaccines be jointly developed on the lines of Covishield.

IITs, IIMs & Social Justice      

The Indian Express has commented on the government informing the Parliament that India’s premier institutions, including the Indian Institute of Management and Indian Institute of Technology, are way short in fulfilling the mandate of adequate representations to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the other backward castes to the extent of 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in their doctoral programmes.

The daily also informs of the government data from 2019 which states that dropout rates from the reserved categories were 48 per cent for IITs and 62 per cent for the IIMs. In the backdrop of the dropout data, the explanations of the higher institutions that they don’t have enough candidates to choose from may not be without basis.

The daily shies away from examining the merit of the issue and leaves it midway.

The political parties have already made a mockery of the reservation policy in the country by keeping the creamy layer criteria so high that the benefits remain with those who have already benefited.

Additionally, the stage of the positive discrimination intervention is the school and not the higher institutions.

Health Cost

The health sector in India has always been in a sorry state of affairs.

The Economic Times in its Edit, while quoting a study on the public funded health insurance based on 2017-18 data, has rued the burden of the healthcare cost on the elderly population of the country.

We have already informed our readers that India’s elderly population is steadily rising, while there exists policy vacuum.

The daily rightly states that 25 per cent or more annual spending on healthcare by an individual is catastrophic, and it will be just overwhelming for the senior citizens, who don’t have the benefits of incomes, while returns on their savings don’t even meet the inflation rate.

Tamil Cinema

The Hindu has carried an Edit on the National Films Award, and lauded the Tamil Cinema for bagging the top honours. The daily particularly appreciated the Tamil Cinema for tapping the online streaming and the OTT platforms for their creative works when the country was in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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