Role of Parliament During The Pandemic
Since March 23, according to PRS Legislative Research, the central government has issued about 850 COVID-related notifications and 11 ordinances.
- These range from international travel restrictions to board exam dos and don’ts, from prohibitions on exports of ventilators to mandating of the use of the Aarogya Setu.
- Many of the measures were needed, but many have also sparked questions and controversy about the nature of government response to the pandemic.
- Governments across the world have used the crisis to extend and enlarge their own powers, impose stricter, even draconian laws, restrict freedoms, short-circuit privacy concerns, or simply resort to a technocratic solutionism that isn’t mindful enough of human costs and unintended consequences of policy responses.
- It is all the more important, therefore, that spaces and forums for the scrutiny of executive decisions, and for enforcing accountability, remain alive and kicking — especially in crisis.
Source: Indian Express Editorial (Open the House)
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US’ Withdrawal From The WHO
The capricious decision to withdraw from WHO will have dire consequences for global public health. The departure of the U.S. will be a significant blow to the WHO in terms of loss of technical expertise and, according to Mr. Trump, an annual funding of about $450 million.
The pandemic has clearly brought to the fore several shortcomings and weaknesses in the global health body. For instance, the 2005 revision of the International Health Regulations made it mandatory for countries to notify the WHO of all events that may constitute an international public health emergency and to “respond to requests for verification of information regarding such events”. Yet, the WHO has limited power to ensure compliance by member States, including limitations in independently verifying member states’ official reports.
Source: The Hindu Editorial
Green Carpenter Bee
The green carpenter bee (Xylocopa aerata) is an iconic, beautiful native species described as a ‘jewel of nature’ for its metallic green and gold colouring. Carpenter bees are so named because they excavate their own nests in wood, as opposed to using existing holes.
- The green carpenter bee is a buzz-pollinating species. Buzz pollinators are specialist bees that vibrate the pollen out of the flowers of buzz-pollinated plants.
- The green carpenter bee went extinct on mainland South Australia in 1906 and in Victoria in 1938. It still occurs on the relatively uncleared western half of Kangaroo Island in South Australia, in conservation areas around Sydney and in the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales.
Source: Down To Earth
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