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China: An unconventional communist state

China is manipulating the global media to cover up its culpability in the spread of the Wuhan virus.

Hari K. Sharma

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A few months ago, noted scholar Brahma Chellaney in one of his articles for Washington Times referred to China as the world’s “strongest and richest dictatorship”. On a closer scrutiny, one can easily determine that the statement carries a lot of weight. Currently, the world is facing two crises simultaneously — Covid-19 and China’s growing assertiveness and interventionist policies that have added fuel to the speculations that the world is heading towards World War III. There can be various explanations to this erroneous and unpredictable behaviour of China. Other than China’s current compulsions of how to tackle the post-Covid wrath of the world, it is also facing domestic problems of growing unrest in mainland China, protests in Hong Kong and its mounting desire to “reunify” Taiwan.

China is an unconventional state in the history of communism and socialism. It can’t be compared with any other communist state, particularly with the former Soviet Union. Unlike any other existing communist country, China is not small in size and population, isolationist, inwardlooking, economically weak and socially fragile. China is a homogenous state with approximately 92% of its population is Han Chinese and it is dealing with the rest of its ethnic diversity and religious minorities with a policy that was historically referred as “thought remolding” or “brainwashing”. More than a million Muslims in China’s concentration camps is a testimony to how China deals with multiculturalism.

Despite having a politically closed authoritarian system it took active interest in world politics, its regional and global dynamics and institutions of global governance. China is neither economically dependent nor technically primitive; rather, it is the world’s second largest economy and one of most technologically advanced states that has emerged as a counterweight to the US in almost every possible sense. China has the largest share in global trade and has huge bilateral trading relations with almost each of its competitors or perceived enemies. By 2018, its total trade in goods had jumped to $4.6 trillion or 12.4% of global trade. It has hugely invested around the world and initiated some of the world’s most ambitious projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Many countries have already fallen in the debt trap of China and are now reeling under its growing pressure to compromise their sovereignty and become a subsidiary partner in China’s grand designs. Over the years, particularly after 1970, China has used every opportunity that comes its way to increase its power and wealth. The Chinese state has slowly and steadily climbed the ladders of power through deftly calculated and meticulously executed policies.

“Peaceful rise of China” that was part of the new security concept formulated by Chinese think tanks in the mid-1990s became an official policy of China under Xi Jinping’s predecessor, Hu Jintao. It allowed China to grow its economic and military power, increase its global penetration in every possible sense without giving any impression that China is actually preparing itself for a revisionist role in future. Now, this peaceful rise of China became a headache for the world and threatening global security and stability like never before. Most of the former communist states were ideologically constrained, socially delicate and economically dependable. During the entire cold war phase the former Soviet Union was actually no match to the US’s economic and technological superiority. Soviet Union’s communist allies were also largely dependent on its political, economic and military support and possibly none could sustain and flourish without its constant support. To some scholars, Cuba here was an exception.

“Modern” China is a politically closed system and the Communist Party of China (CPC) is ruling the roost since Mao’s proletariat revolution in 1949. There are no political freedoms and liberties. Press freedom is still unknown in an era of social media and interconnected world. The state controls the flow of information in China and literally nothing could go against the Chinese state and the CPC. Yet, there is one remarkable change in its strategy that makes it different from all other communist states including the former USSR. China has invested heavily in its academic institutions of higher learning, gave liberal funding to its modern think tanks and focused on technological innovation. According to a report, China’s budgetary spending on education remains above 4% of GDP in 2018, successively for the seventh year. In 2018 China spent nearly 3.7 trillion yuan (about $520 billion), accounting for 4.11% of its GDP. Unlike any other former communist states, it has liberalised its economic policies under Deng Xiaoping, adopted a flexible and more pragmatic approach towards economy and that’s the reason that despite being an authoritarian state it did wonders on the economic front. Some of its modernday critics even called China’s economic model “statecontrolled capitalism”. China tapped the actors, forces and institutions of globalisation in its interest. It trained its workforce and liberally exported them to Western democracies to exploit the economic opportunities offered by free societies. Needless to say that China receives the second highest remittances from its people residing abroad.

 It would be interesting to note that according to the US’s Department of Homeland Security there were 272,470 undergraduate and graduate students from China enrolled at US universities in the academic year 2018- 19. China is the number one source of international students to the US.In addition to this, according to the revised estimates of the US census bureau, the US was hosting around 5.08 million people of Chinese origin in 2016, making it the largest group of Asian Americans. There are also examples of some other prominent countries that are flooded with people of Chinese origin. It is important to note that they have greatly contributed to China’s soft power, helping the Chinese state to penetrate their system economically, politically, culturally and strategically. China has created a deep state in almost each of its competitor and potential enemies’ territory by using its ideological allies, money power, pan-national nexus of dispossessed or disgruntled groups and other people with vested interests.

Sometimes we wonder as to how come China was able to wield so much influence across countries that even the mightiest are finding it hard to counter it effectively. The answer probably is that an authoritarian state or a prolonged dictatorship has a comparative edge over democracies and free and open societies. Democracies or democratic values, processes and institutions can be used against itself. Democratic systems are transparent, accountable, open and rule based; but less stable and consistent in comparison to authoritarian regimes or dictatorships. For example, China has no liability, answerability or accountability towards its people. Its policies are more consistent, coherent and its political system is apparently stable. The state has a strong control over public opinion via direct control over the means of information and communication. The Chinese state can divert its economic resources at will, at any point of time and without any opposition. It is a huge leverage for China particularly when it is referred to as the richest and most powerful dictatorships of the world. Currently, China is manipulating the global media to cover up its culpability in the spread of the Wuhan virus and provided generous funding to different giants that shape up the public opinion.

Any modern democracy, however mighty it is supposed to be, can’t counter China unilaterally as there can’t be a fair competition due to the authoritarian nature of the Chinese state. Over the years it has penetrated almost every global institution, manipulated and controlled the flow of information, created a fifth column in competing democracies and bought subsidiary alliance partners. China’s policies and posturing can’t be separated from some of the harsh realities of its socio-political system. ‘Sooner the better’ it would be for the international community to realise this, and act accordingly.

The writer is Assistant Professor, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi

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India is poised to become one of the biggest fashion countries in the world: Naeem Khan, Fashion Designer

Naeem Khan recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, he shared his incredible journey to become one of most successful Fashion designers in the industry.

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Naeem Khan is an Indian-American fashion designer renowned for his ornate and intricately detailed gowns. His designs have been worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Rachel McAdams, First Lady Michelle Obama, Queen Noor of Jordan, and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Naeem Khan  recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In this exclusive conversation, he shared his incredible journey to become one of most successful fashion designers in the industry.

Naeem Khan started his introductory remarks by sharing his incredible journey to become one of the most successful designers and said, “It’s been a very interesting journey. It has not been just a super smooth journey where you just become famous right from day one. I started from ground zero. I came to America in 1978 on the basis of going to school. My parents have a business in India where we make embroideries, so I grew up in that business in India and through embroideries, I learned about how to create beautiful things by hand because I used to watch my grandfather and my father make them. My father was expanding his business, he was coming to America for an appointment with some designers and I was coming here to get admission to the school. It happened to be luck And God be with me, I was offered a job to work for this very famous designer called Halston, who was at that time, the biggest designer, not only in the sense of the visibility of who he designed for, but he had the most successful business, it was a billion-dollar business. So for me to be part of a business like this and to learn from the master himself to be his right hand and coming from India, where you grew up with having a guru and the guru asks you for your right thumb, you get it. I grew up with that philosophy and for me, whatever it took I dedicated my life to fashion.”

When asked how it feels to be a fashion icon in India, he said, “It feels great, but I do feel that I need to get back. I need to do certain things more for India, that I have actually not paid attention to. Because living in America and running a business, it becomes very hard to focus on yourself. About being an icon, I don’t know, but I do love what I do and to me, I have always followed my passion with every cell in my body. I have spent every moment, from morning noon and night, I wake up thinking of fashion, I sleep thinking Fashion. To me, it’s my soul and to be Indian, it’s like giving back to India. I’m working on projects in America, where education is a big part of it. I’ve just written a book, a table book, which has come out in January and is available on Amazon. I want to do more and I want to pay attention to education and fashion is a big part of everyone’s life. India is poised to become one of the biggest fashion countries in the world. Because we have style and all the necessary elements to make the most beautiful things”

When it comes to the development of the Indian fashion industry, Naeem described, “My grandfather, who was the pioneer of embroideries in his days was the chairman of the entire Indian Embroidery Union. I grew up with amazing men who gave their lives for the craft. And I saw the beauty in what we do. To me, I carry the burden and the thing in my heart that I cannot let my grandfather and my father down because we are masters of that field of textile making in India. I take the core, that’s my core, and I modernize it to the new woman of today.  In the 1930s, and 1920s, when my grandfather was making these beautiful things, it’s the same, it’s you who take that craft, and if you change it to your aesthetics for the modern woman of today, it’s all very relevant. You can say yes, India makes things that are different but that’s catering to that lifestyle in India. And I think that Indian fashion is also changing. We need to just tweak that like what I did for America and it could all relate to India for the new generation. India for me is the core of my fashion life. And whatever I do, India 100% is in it is and just that it’s a tribute to the women of today.”

Speaking about his plan to expand his business in India, the designer said, “I would love to be part of India, but India is something that you have to have a partner with. I haven’t found the right partnership in India to do what I do. This could be apart from beautiful prints that we do, to the embroideries that we do, to different lifestyle things that we do in the house or any of the other products that we are working on cosmetics for example. So hopefully we’ll find the right partner but it is my dream and my intention to be part of India very very soon. But coming soon, I would say”

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The word “opportunity” has always stood out for ISACA: R.V. Raghu

R.V. Raghu is spokesperson of ISACA, an international professional association focused on IT governance. Raghu joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of the NewsX India A-List and discussed ISACA and its importance in India.

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R.V. Raghu is the spokesperson of ISACA, an international professional association focused on IT governance. Raghu has over a decade of hands-on global expertise in engineering, manufacturing, information technology, chemicals, mining, and telecommunications. He recently joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of the NewsX India A-List and discussed ISACA and its importance in India.

“One of the most fascinating aspects of today’s world is the rise of technology. Technology has been similar to energy or water in that we use it without considering what is behind it. This is where an organisation like ISACA and what ISACA does in the Indian context is very important because we are very good at implementing innovations but only later do we find out about cyber protection problems or any other obstacles that are behind the technology. As a result, ISACA provides experts with the resources they need to ensure that technology risks are identified and handled effectively,” he said.

In terms of ISACA certifications, Raghu elaborated, “We provide four kinds of certifications in India – CISA, Certified Information System Auditor, which is the oldest certification that we offer. It is really popular because it helps you to help inspect technologies and anything related to it. The other qualification is the CISM, which stands for Certified Information System Manager. CRISC and CGEIT are two new ISACA certifications that have piqued my interest. Each of them is the Information Technology certified for something that fits with someone who is new in the industry and wants to demonstrate that they grasp the basics.”

He explained ISACA’s background, saying, “ISACA is a multinational, not-for-profit organisation. The firm has been in operation for 50 years. It all began with a group of experts in the United States deciding that we needed to work together to provide a better mechanism for auditing, and the great thing about ISACA is that it is entirely motivated by desire. ISACA has approximately 220 chapters in 188 countries and 150,000 members. We’ve been in India since 1968, with the first chapter set in Chennai, and we now have chapters in almost every corner of the country. As a result, once an individual becomes a member, he or she has access to all of the services that ISACA provides at both the national and local levels.”

“One of the things that ISACA has recognised is innovative learning methodologies,” he said when asked about the organization’s current offerings. Traditional pedagogical approaches are no longer effective. Not only have methodologies evolved as a result of the pandemic, but also as a result of the Internet. We have the ITCA (Information Technology Certified Associate) certification. It aids in the comprehension of foundational concepts in fields such as networking, basic cyber defence, and artificial intelligence. CET (Certification of Emerging Technologies) is another certificate we have. It allows professionals to keep up with the latest developments in technology.”

He clarified the philanthropic aspect of the organisation by saying, “ISACA recognises that, while we are a volunteer-driven organisation, there are segments of society that are under-represented that need access to all of these resources. The word “opportunity” has always stood out for ISACA. We’re attempting to address three issues: young adults, the shield stick, and inclusivity. If someone wants to become a member then they have to go to isaca.org to get access to all member-related information, or they can contact one of the several chapters in India or around the world.”

On being asked what sets this organization apart from the others, he replied, “The one thing that ISACA has always known is that we are just as strong as the way we allow our members and constituents to keep up with what is going on. The second reality is that our participants are practitioners and professionals, which means that anytime ISACA contacts them to inquire what’s going on and what needs to be understood, you’re having access to cutting-edge information that’s really happening. It’s not just about the theory. Since the internet is so strong now, objects easily become obsolete.”

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For a choreographer, it is very important to be a performer first: Shabina Khan

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Having choreographed songs like Hud Hud Dabangg to Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Shabina Khan’s songs have went on to become a rage around the country. Ahead of her latest film Radhe, in which she has choreographed the song ‘Dil De Diya’,  she joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List and spoke to us, not only about her journey so far, but also the secret mantra behind her hook steps, her upcoming project ‘Radhe’, close association with Salman Khan and much more.

“I am a performer myself. For a choreographer, it is very important to be a performer yourself. You cannot just compose a song on somebody else and then create the steps. I believe that my background has been acting. I have been to a acting institute, i come from a classical acting background and I am very fond of dancing. I think, being a performer, is my key to come up with different hook steps. Hook steps are something that everyone should be able to do. They should be easy going. When your hook steps are done by none other than Salman Khan, then you know how it is. When you know you are choreographing Salman Khan, you are lucky to work with him for so many songs, it becomes your duty to come up with something that is easy to do yet fun. Anytime, anywhere- you can just do the step. That’s how I started and it started coming out so well. Till today, I get DMs and messages about songs like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. I keep it very simple so that it becomes a part of daily routine,” she said.

Speaking about her upcoming project Radhe, Shabina shared, “In Radhe, I went a step higher. The steps are not so easy but they are unique. I thought that nowadays people are actually smart because of social media and everything, so I should go a little higher and that’s how I choreographed Radhe. It is a little difficult but people love it.”

When asked about her favourite project with Salman Khan so far, she responded, “All my songs with him have been my favourite. All the songs that I have done with him, I have taken very seriously. But, I think Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, the film as well as the song, is very close to my heart. It gave me recognition. People started knowing Shabina Khan, The Chereographer, because of that film. That film is very close to my heart because of Salman sir and Sooraj Barjatya sir. But, Radhe has taken that place now because we have really worked hard on it and so has Jacqueline. In those 8 to 10 days of rehearsal, we really worked hard. With all the forces going to Radhe, it is also really dear to me. This journey with Salman Khan has been amazing. He always had confidence in me, always displayed so much trust on me. In every song, I feel like I have to prove myself to him first and then the audience because he is the one who trusts me every time. He comes up with difficult songs for me. He has other choreographers as well but he gives really situational songs to me, which allows me to do something different. That’s how the journey has been so beautiful with him.”

Sharing a piece of advise for young choreographers who want to make it big in Bollywood, Shabina expressed, “There are so many dancers coming up everyday, because of reality shows, Instagram and so many other platforms, where they are showcasing their talent but somewhere we are losing out on the grace. We are going too much into the west. We are doing all this hardcore dancing, making faces and everything. I’m saying do that but don’t forget that we have the powerful dancing style, which is called graceful dancing style. Even the west cannot do what we do. Don’t lose out on this. Legacy of choreography,

Legacy of dancing is that we maintain the grace. If you catch that and then you do other steps also, then you are a perfect choreographer. If you tell me to do hardcore dancing with western moves, I can do that because I’m a choreographer but I will not lose grace. I will include it in those steps as well. I would like to say that please come, we have so many new chereographers coming in but don’t lose grace.”

Finally, talking about her foundation, “The Shabina Khan Foundation”, which has been helping people by distributing essentials, primarily to dancers and junior artists, she said, “I started the foundation last year during the lockdown. That phase gave me time to think about a lot of things. Charity has been a part of my family. We have been doing it every year during Ramzan month. My mother taught me to remove 2% from my payment every time and keep it aside. My siblings and me, we do this every year. We do charity from that amount. Last year, we arranged ration and other essentials during the pandemic and sent it to people with full precautions. We tried helping pregnant ladies, who didn’t have bus fare to go to Cooper hospital. It started last year and then became a part of my life. This year again, when we are in this situation, I thought let’s take it further. Let’s make it big so that we can help more people. Dancers and junior artists started sending me messages for help and the news started spreading. Till now, I was doing it all alone with my brothers and my husband. This time, we thought let’s take it forward and make it big. Then, I started this foundation, where I am going to help everyone with whatever they need.”

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US EXIT FROM AFG PUTS CPEC PROJECTS AT RISK: REPORT

Experts believe the uncertainty in Afghanistan has provided TTP with a window to attack Pakistan, including the projects of CPEC worth around USD 50 billion.

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There is a looming sense of fear in Pakistan that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will increase instability in its neighbourhood, and add security threats in the region while putting China’s Belt and Road projects at risk, Nikkei Asia reports.

As the September 11 deadline of complete withdrawal is approaching, instability in Pakistan has steadily increased, and outlawed groups like Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have increased cross-border attacks in the country.

According to the analyst Fakhar Kakakhel, the US pull-back, along with a weak Afghan government will seriously destabilize the region.

“In the future, TTP will have more safe pockets in regions close to Pakistani borders,” Kakakhel told Nikkei Asia.

The report by the Japanese newspaper said that Taliban members from Afghanistan and Pakistan allegedly use the border region as a sanctuary.

Furthermore, experts believe the uncertainty in Afghanistan has provided TTP with a window to attack Pakistan, including the projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) worth around USD 50 billion.

As per the analysts, after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, TTP can more easily attack targets that are key for Pakistan’s economy.

“Some (Chinese) investments are located near the traditional areas of TTP’s activities, so it makes them natural targets,” said Przemyslaw Lesinski, an Afghanistan expert at the War Studies Academy in Warsaw.

Michael Kugelman, the deputy director of the Asia Program at Wilson Center, told Nikkei that CPEC has not traditionally been a top target of TTP in Pakistan.

“But in recent months, anti-China rhetoric has [surfaced] in TTP propaganda, especially because of China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims,” Kugelman told Nikkei.

Kugelman said that Pakistan, which has built a fence worth millions of dollars, will not get a 100 per cent deterrent against TTP cross-border attacks.

“Pakistan has genuine reasons to be concerned (of TTP),” he added.

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HOW TO TACKLE HEALTHCARE RESOURCE SHORTAGE AND EXPANSION STRATEGY

The current situation demands quick identification of areas in clinical care that health workers with varied qualifications and experience would be able to perform with hands-on training as we can’t create enough doctors in a couple of weeks, months or even years.

Suravi Sharma Kumar

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In healthcare, there is no equivalency between a doctor and someone who isn’t one, as patient safety requires doctors to step in when a complex problem or uncertainty arises over the given treatment. But considering the current shortage of doctors (and nurses and paramedics and assistants and so on) amid a pandemic that is intruding into the hinterland, optimum usage of doctors and medical staff is the immediate prudent thing that can be done to try salvaging the situation. Setting up centres that somewhat look like primary health care centres is now a must in every unit of a district to triage the cases and provide preliminary care.

The everlasting shortage of healthcare professionals has had fatal consequences for Covid-19 patients, who are now dying gasping for air despite the presence of brand new ventilators lying in district hospitals, as there aren’t trained staff to operate the machines. 

Primary care needs to be moving forth and towards small teams of healthcare workers with one supervising physician or even without one where there’s none. There are lots of things that require high skill and knowledge that only doctors can do, and there’re other things that nurses can manage and there’re still others that social workers /health coaches are adept at.

The pandemic demands acceleration of this restructuring of primary care, which has been gathering steam in recent decades. The higher prevalence of poorly controlled comorbidities in a population make the ageing population, and even the young more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 and most of such conditions can be controlled with a few blood tests, physical examinations, and medication adjustments. 

The current situation demands quick identification of areas in clinical care that health workers with varied qualifications and experience would be able to perform with hands-on training what otherwise doctors do; we can’t create enough doctors in a span of a couple of weeks, months or even years. Nurse practitioners (and physician assistants) who graduate after four to six yrs of education, can be permitted to do or trained/ guided to triage the sick patients as Covid/ non-Covid cases, or as mild, moderate or severely sick Covid cases. They can give initial care/advice, inform authorities of the need for oxygen or doctor consultation or transport to hospitals. This will save a lot of time of the golden hour of treatment for the patient as well as reducing a lot of confusion and crowd in hospitals. 

Hospitals in much of America are triaging Covid-19 patients because of a shortage of professionals, especially doctors trained in emergency care and anesthesiology. Another way to make available a good number of doctors for Covid care is by training doctors of other specialities (like dermatology, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, general surgeons, laparoscopic surgeons etc.) in critical care of the respiratory system in Covid patients who would be able to acquire the expertise in a small period. 

Final year UG and PG students who are yet to complete degrees and acquire experience should be left untouched in their academic pursuits to acquire their skills. It is likely to be detrimental for future generations if the current doctors-in-the-making are disturbed. Authorities can on the other hand help organise examinations at the right time so that the batches trapped in the pandemic can complete the degrees in the stipulated time without delay.

Another solution model that I believe is worth considering is developing a telemedicine web model that is closely linked to the primary care centres under a public health system. Such telemedicine units can be manned by nurse practitioner’s/ physician assistants with or without a supervising doctor present physically. The telemedicine room can be installed in the pharmacy/ chemist stores in villages /small towns equipped with the right Telemedicine kits (like digital stethoscope, thermometer, BP machines, oximeter, glucometer, audiometer etc.) in addition to a good quality video screen and audio system under good internet connectivity. Telemedicine is mostly ideal for follow-up patients or management of chronically ill patient that a doctor on the screen has already once seen/examined physically. But from our current experiences we’ve seen that Telemedicine consultations/ supervisions work as good in emergency care also where a specialist doctor can guide and direct the nurse practitioner or even a general practitioner/medical officer; and it also works in first-time consultations and even management of a critical care unit in a smaller centre from a higher distant centre.

For first time consultations, besides the working doctors, it’s possible to hire from the pool of retired doctors with their wealth of experience, or even the newly licensed doctors after some training in Covid care. The fresh doctors can even avail support from technology-enabled clinical support systems that are now available in the healthcare digital sphere.

Covid-19 has accelerated retirements of ageing doctors as many such physicians who are at higher risk of dying from Covid have reduced or stopped seeing patients; we see that most of the aged doctors tend to practice with a reduced practice load which now is further cut down in size so much so that these are literally erased off the scene. 

As we know that the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model has worked in all other industries/sectors in our country, the authorities should implement Telemedicine solutions through a viable PPP model reaching out to nooks and corners of the country enabling the right network connectivity, availability of medicines and patient transfer facilities whenever need be,

Other smaller wellness models may also work around the telehealth units where a patient can himself or with aid from a trained health worker, can upload data from his home blood pressure monitor, oximeter, glucometer and electronic scale, and he/she gets a visit/call from the local health coach/health worker to talk about his health data and required changes to lifestyle etc., or/and, get scheduled for a teleconsultation with a medical officer or a specialist when necessary. To help with mental health issues, one can schedule a virtual visit with a mental health worker or even a psychiatrist located in a nearby city/ hospital. 

It’s common knowledge that in India health has been a completely neglected area in the public sector and the poor health infrastructure and incentives for professional/ financial growth under a pitiable GDP to the health sector is the bottleneck of our health system. I have known doctor couples joining government services and leaving the same for issues like lack of toilet facility, insecurity and disgraceful behaviour from raging attendants. These affect the female doctor more than the male doctor. Every year girls outnumber boys in securing medical seats and graduating from college, but this is only to disappear from the world of medicine or practice in a few years of practicing. 

In India, girls have been constituting more than 55% of the students joining medical colleges for years together (as per NEET UG 2020, women cornered 427943 seats compared to 343556 men). However, there is a serious shortage of female doctors in India. According to a paper (Prof Mohan Rao, 2011) titled Human Resources for Health in India, published in The Lancet (Placeholder1), only 17% of all allopathic doctors and 6% of those in rural areas are women. This is less than one female allopathic doctor per 10,000 populations in rural areas (0.5), whereas the ratio is 6.5 in urban areas. According to a paper on women in medicine (Bhadra M., 2011) published in the journal Indian Anthropologist, the gender gap increases at the post-graduation and doctoral levels–the percentage of female doctors here is around one-third of male doctors.  

Another paper on women in medicine by the psychiatry department AIIMS (Mamta Sood) in the Indian journal of gender studies, noted that medicine has been a male-dominated profession considering long demanding hours of service and inflexible work hours, and this is in addition to disproportionate wages against the demands of the services, make female doctors with young families decide against practising creating a dent in our health system. It’s time, government find out the missing lady doctors that will uncover a huge pool of qualified medical graduates ready to be trained for Covid care and critical care services in a short period.

The writer is a medical doctor (pathologist) and holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of London. The views expressed are personal.

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Three held for black marketing Remdesivir in Delhi

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NEW DELHI: Three persons have been arrested in Delhi for allegedly black marketing Remdesivir injections and six vials of the drug being used in the treatment of Covid-19 patients have also been recovered from them, the police said on Monday.

According to the Delhi police, the accused have been identified as Anshul Aggarwal, Sunil Kumar and Rahul Paul. “Kumar works as a nursing assistant at NKS Hospital in Delhi’s Gulabi Bagh area, while Paul works as a nursing assistant at Gayatri Hospital in Gaziabad,” the police informed.

The police further informed that they acted on a tip received.

“The team used a decoy to finalise the deal. Accused Anshul confirmed the availability of the vials at Rs 32,000. He was apprehended when he came to deliver the promised order. On his lead other two accused were also arrested,” the police added.

A case has been registered under the various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Epidemic Act and the Disaster Management Act.

With ANI inputs

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