11, October 2017

1.India Water Week (IWW)-2017

Source: PIB

The India Water Week 2017 is going to be held between October 10 – 14, 2017 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. Various conferences and exhibitions involving stakeholders will be held during this week.

  • Based on the theme “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth,” India Water Week-2017 is a platform to elicit ideas and opinions from global-level decision makers, politicians, researchers and entrepreneurs in the field of water resources development and management for mutual benefit and goodwill.

Need for conservation of water:

  • Water is the harbinger and sustainer of all life on the planet, especially the humankind. With the growing population and improvement in economic status, the demand for available water resources is also increasing. As a result, there is an urgency to conserve and utilize the limited availability of water resources in an optimum and efficient manner to satisfy larger needs.

Background:

  • India water week is a unique platform for deliberating all the related issues and better management of water resources created by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • The government has involved all stakeholders including decision makers, politicians, researchers and entrepreneurs of water resources from India as well as abroad to discuss strategies for managing the demands and supplies in the right manner.
  • The first event was organised in New Delhi in 2012 and the theme was ‘Water, Energy and Food Security: Call for Solutions’.

2.India invited to join SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan

Source: The Hindu

India following its rising profile in Afghanistan for the first time ever has been invited to join Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) contact group meeting on Afghanistan to discuss prevailing security situation and economic potential of the landlocked country.

  • The meeting is being is held in Moscow and comes as a feather in the cap for India’s Afghan strategy after successful US backed Indo-Afghan trade and investment show in Delhi. The development is viewed as acknowledgement of India’s stake in the war-torn country.

Background:

  • The SCO contact group on Afghanistan that became defunct in 2009 has been revived following intervention by Russian President Vladimir Putin from this year. India was invited to join maiden SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan after it became a SCO member this June.

India’s increasing engagement with Afghanistan:

  • India is working with both US and Russia to contribute to stability of Afghanistan. SCO membership that put India into the heart of Eurasian geo-politics enabling a larger say in Afghanistan that has direct bearing on security situation here. However, India’s deeper engagement with Afghanistan has been opposed by Pakistan and its Army.
  • Pak-backed Taliban and Haqqani network continue to target Indian interests and assets in the landlocked country as it strives to achieve “strategic depth”.

SCO:

  • The SCO was established on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai by six countries. At the 2016 summit held in Uzbekistan, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization.

3.Passive euthanasia already a law, says govt.

Source: The Hindu

More than six years after sanctioning passive euthanasia as a legitimate option to end lives of people in a permanent vegetative state, the Supreme Court has decided to examine the more complex concept of a “living will” where removal of life support is authorised in case of an irreversible coma.

  • SC was hearing a plea by NGO Common Cause to declare ‘right to die with dignity’ as a fundamental right within the fold of right to live with dignity, which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

What is a “Living Will”?

  • A “living will” is a document prepared by a person in a healthy state of mind specifying that if s/he slides into a vegetative state because of an irreversible terminal illness, the debilitated existence should not be prolonged with the help of life support systems or other medical interventions.
  • In such a case, relatives will be spared the agonising decision of removing life support and doctors will be guided solely by the “living will”. In several cases, the reluctance to pull the plug on a loved one even when s/he is in a vegetative state prolongs the pain of the patient.

Active and passive euthanasia:

  • Active euthanasia, the intentional act of causing the death of a patient in great suffering, is illegal in India. It entails deliberately causing the patient’s death through injections or overdose.
  • But passive euthanasia, the withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten a terminally ill patient’s death is “partially” allowed.
  • The patient, family, friends and legal guardians can’t take the decision on their own, but need a high court’s approval bill for stopping treatment.

Euthanasia in law:

  • The government told the court on Tuesday there was already a law on passive euthanasia and it had drafted a ‘management of patients with terminal illness-withdrawal of medical life support bill’.
  • The issue of euthanasia was first examined by the health ministry in consultation with the experts in 2006, based on the 196th Law Commission of India report. However, it was decided to not make any laws on euthanasia.

Medical experts on euthanasia:

  • Doctors have a mixed reaction to legalising euthanasia. They say the government needs to take a careful approach before legalising passive euthanasia when the measures to prolong the life of the patient are withdrawn.
  • Most doctors, however, agree that euthanasia should be made legal in cases where there is no scope of a patient recovering. But many feel that India is not yet ready for a decision like this which requires a mix of sensitivity and maturity.
  • A major concern is the misuse of the law. If it is legal to passively allow or actively hasten death, what’s to say an aged parent won’t be hastened in favour of an inheritance, or a spouse have treatment withdrawn for the sake of a hefty insurance payout

Euthanasia in other countries:

  • Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide have been legal in The Netherlands and Belgium since 2001 and 2002. In the US, Switzerland and Germany, euthanasia is illegal but physician-assisted suicide is legal. Euthanasia remains illegal in the UK, France, Canada and Australia.



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