Mains Q & A 31 May 2023
Q1. What does "one health approach" mean to you? Examine how it helps to stop the spread of different illnesses. (250 words).
Paper & Topic: GS II – Health related issues
The phrase “One Health” was initially used in 2003–2004 in relation to the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 and the “Manhattan Principles,” a set of strategic objectives, as well as the early 2003 emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
A single health strategy:
It is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary strategy with the aim of obtaining optimal health outcomes while acknowledging the connections between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. It works at the local, regional, national, and global levels.
Professionals in human health (doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, epidemiologists), animal health (veterinarians, paraprofessionals, agricultural workers), environment (ecologists, wildlife experts), as well as other relevant players, including law enforcement agencies, policymakers, agriculture, communities, and even pet owners, must collaborate in order for public health interventions to be successful.
One Health concerns cover zoonotic illnesses, antibiotic resistance, food safety and security, vector-borne illnesses, environmental contamination, and other health problems that affect people, animals, and the environment all at the same time.
The One Health Approach’s Relevance:
The relationships between people, animals, plants, and our environment have altered significantly in recent years due to a variety of circumstances, which has facilitated the spread of both endemic (prevalent) and novel or emerging zoonotic diseases:
Changes in climate and land usage, including deforestation and intensive farming techniques, have occurred on earth.
Changes in ecosystems and environmental circumstances might create new opportunities for illnesses to spread to animals.
Animals are similarly susceptible to some diseases and environmental dangers as humans are. As a result, they occasionally act as early indicators of future human sickness.
For instance, the West Nile virus frequently causes the death of birds in an area before it causes illness in humans.
Expanding human habitats geographically: Human populations are increasing and moving into new regions. As a result, more people now share their homes with cattle and pets as well as wild and domestic animals.
Animals have a significant impact on human lives, whether it’s through food, fibre, employment, recreation, sport, education, or companionship.
There are greater potential for diseases to spread from animals to people when there is close contact with those animals and their environs.
According to studies, domestic or wild animals are the cause of 60% of infectious diseases that affect people.
Global interactions have increased as a result of international travel and trade, which has resulted in an unprecedented flow of goods, people, and animals. This provides a global platform for diseases of all kinds to proliferate and thrive.
Steps to Take:
Scientists have discovered that there are more than 1.7 million viruses circulating in wildlife, many of which are likely to be zoonotic, suggesting that India may see many more pandemics in the future if timely discovery is not made.
In order to meet the goals outlined in the “One Health” vision, efforts are being made to address issues like the lack of veterinary manpower, the lack of information sharing between human and animal health institutions, and the insufficient coordination of food safety at facilities used for food processing, distribution, and retail.
These problems can be resolved by combining the National Animal Disease Reporting System and the Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health, creating best-practice guidelines for abattoir and informal market operations (such as inspections and assessments of disease prevalence), and establishing mechanisms to operationalize “One Health” at every level, even at the village level.
Today, as we fight yet another outbreak of a fatal zoonotic disease (COVID-19), raising awareness and increasing financial support for achieving ‘One Health’ aims are urgently needed.
Q2. The current situation calls for a well planned and sensitively controlled gig economy with clearly defined worker rights and social security benefits. Analyse. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III – Indian Economy
A gig economy is a form of free market where businesses hire independent workers on a temporary basis and temporary positions are common. Freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers, and temporary or part-time hiring are a few examples of gig workers in the workforce.
The CEO of Zomato was recently forced to issue an explanation after making an announcement about ambitions to serve food to consumers in 10 minutes. This prompts a number of inquiries about the characteristics of delivery platforms and their effects on delivery personnel.
Companies in the gig economy are responsible for creating 56% of the country’s new jobs, which include both white-collar and blue-collar workers.
India has a 24% market share of the online labour market, according to the Oxford Internet Institute’s “Online Labour Index,” and there is a high need for software engineers, creatives, and marketers there.
Industry organisations have been studying this parallel economy and, just before the outbreak, they estimated that India’s gig economy will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 17% and reach $455 billion in the following three years.
There are currently 15 million freelancers working in India on projects in the IT, HR, and creative industries. In contrast, the US has close to 53 million independent employees.
More traditional workforces in India would be pushed towards the gig economy under the current Covid-19 environment.
As India’s population grows by approximately four million each year, the gig economy will likely be significantly impacted in the near future.
Even in India, businesses are getting smaller, which has led to a big number of start-ups that specialise in contracting out non-core services.
Millions of jobs are being created by the “gig” economy, but workers don’t see a future:
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s most recent Periodic Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate has reached a 45-year high, standing at 6.1%, with urban youth experiencing the highest rates of unemployment.
According to other sources, domestic consumption has decreased over the past two years, as has industrial growth, private investments, and market instability has hurt the factors that drive employment.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many people, even graduates and students, now view the gig economy as a temporary fix while they wait for the market to change.
According to the human resources company Team Lease, 13 lakh Indians entered the gig economy in the second half of 2018–19, representing a 30% increase over the first half of the fiscal year.
14 lakh of the 21 lakh jobs that would be created in the metros in 2019–20, according to Better Place, a digital platform that performs background checks and skill development in the unorganised sector.
According to the survey, which is based on 11 lakh profiles in more than 1,000 organisations, food and e-commerce delivery will account for 8 lakh roles, while drivers will account for approximately 6 lakh positions.
The largest drivers of this industry are anticipated to be the metropolises of Delhi, Bengaluru, and others. And this workforce will consist of two-thirds people under the age of 40.
There are little job protections available to this labour, such as minimum wages, health insurance, paid time off for illness, or even retirement benefits.
Additionally, the money is guaranteed only upon project completion, creating a sense of financial unease.
Several bright workers were discouraged from contributing to the economy due to the absence of protection.
Recently, the Central Government passed the Social Security Code, which may also apply to gig workers.
The establishment of a social security fund, equal to about 1% of the aggregators’ annual revenue, is one of the major ideas.
The main purpose of this fund would be to support the gig economy and unorganised workers.
Steps to Take:
To safeguard the gig economy’s labour, the government must introduce stronger restrictions.
Additionally, there is currently no structure in place to deal with the problem of dispute resolution.
It might also entail a grouping of nations to provide a platform for extending labour laws to workers who are engaged in part-time employment there.
In addition to their tax obligations, businesses who hire temporary workers should also be forced to pay into their insurance and social obligations.
In a nation like India, the gig economy has a huge impact. To enable and inspire many to choose this route, the government must provide detailed legislation. When discussing the workforce of the future, the gig economy cannot be disregarded.
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