The Hindu Editorial Topic-1 : Shaping India’s path to inclusive health care

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GS-2 Mains Exam

Question :  Discuss the concept of health equity and its significance in achieving social justice and well-being for all. How does it address the root causes of health issues?

World Health Day 2024: Focus on Health Equity

Theme: My Health, My Right

Key Points:

  • Health Equity:Everyone deserves a fair shot at achieving their best health.
  • Disparities:Unequal access to healthcare due to social, economic, environmental factors.
  • Global Problem:Over half the world lacks access to essential health services.

Why Health Equity Matters:

  • Promotes social justice and well-being for millions.
  • Addresses root causes of health issues, not just symptoms (poverty, discrimination, etc.).
  • Essential for achieving full health potential.


  • Child in rural poverty lacks access to clean water, food, sanitation, leading to health problems.
  • Pandemics, climate change, social unrest worsen these disparities.

India and Health Equity:

  • Significant socioeconomic gaps create unequal access to healthcare, especially in rural areas.

The Road to Equity:

  • Requires a comprehensive approach beyond just healthcare access.
  • Needs combined efforts from governments, communities, individuals.
  • Must address social determinants of health.


  • Deeply rooted social injustices.
  • Global health issues like pandemics.
  • Climate change disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations.
  • Conflicts disrupting healthcare access.

Health Equity Challenges in India

  • Unequal Access:Rural areas have less access to healthcare compared to cities.
    • 17% of India’s urban population lives in slums with poor sanitation and clean water access.
    • Infectious diseases like tuberculosis are 1.5 times more common in slums.
  • Disparities by Caste and Gender:
    • Scheduled Castes/Tribes have higher child mortality and lower immunization rates (NFHS-5 data).
    • Anaemia rate among women in the lowest wealth bracket is almost double the highest.
  • Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs):
    • Over 60% of deaths in India are due to NCDs.
    • Unequal access to treatment and preventive healthcare can worsen outcomes.
  • Doctor Shortage:
    • WHO data shows only 0.8 doctors per 1,000 people in India.
    • Over 75% of healthcare professionals work in cities (27% of population).

Solutions for Health Equity in India

  • Comprehensive Approach: Address social determinants of health beyond healthcare facilities.
  • Government Initiatives:
    • Ayushman Bharat: Free health coverage for the bottom 40% economically.
    • National Health Mission (NHM): Improves access in rural areas and strengthens infrastructure.
    • Health education as part of NHM to raise health literacy.
  • Collaboration:
    • Public & private healthcare sectors: Provide services to underprivileged communities.
    • NGOs & Civil Societies: Raise awareness and address regional health issues.
    • International organizations: Support health initiatives and share resources.
    • Research institutions: Provide data for evidence-based practices.
  • Empowering Communities: Local organizations are crucial for program success.
  • Shared Goals: Open communication, mutual respect, and collaboration are essential.


The Hindu Editorial Topic-2 : Gone too soon — the subject of youth suicide in India

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GS-2 Mains Exam

Question : Analyze the alarming suicide rate in India, highlighting its status as the global leader in suicides. What are the major challenges in accurately reporting suicide cases?

High Suicide Rate:

  • India has the highest number of suicides globally (1.71 lakh in 2022).
  • Rate of 12.4 per 100,000 – highest ever recorded.
  • Underreported due to stigma and registration issues.
  • Leading cause of death for young Indian women.
  • Young person dies by suicide every 8 minutes.

Complex Causative Factors:

  • No single cause – biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors interact.
  • Risk factors for youth suicide (per review):
    • Mental health problems (54%)
    • Family issues (36%)
    • Academic stress (23%)
    • Social factors (20%)
    • Violence (22%)
    • Economic distress (9.1%)
    • Relationship problems (9%)
    • Physical/sexual abuse, exam failure, parental pressure, caste discrimination

Specific Issues for Young Women:

  • Arranged marriage, early motherhood, low social status, domestic violence, economic dependence.
  • Rigid gender roles and discrimination.

Examination Pressure:

  • 2,095 suicides linked to exam failure in 2022.
  • Emphasis on marks, high expectations, competitive colleges.
  • Media hype, shame of failure lead to emotional strain.

Cyberbullying and Social Media:

  • 20% of college students are internet addicts.
  • 1/3 of young people cyberbullied, 1/3 of them suicidal.
  • Teens using social media for 2+ hours daily at higher suicide risk.

Media Influence:

  • Sensational reporting of celebrity suicides linked to increased suicidal behavior.

Solutions for Youth Suicide Prevention in India

Moving Beyond the Myth:

  • Suicidal behavior is often due to solvable problems, not a single factor.
  • Young people can learn coping skills and seek help.

Protective Strategies:

  • Mental health services: Early identification and youth-friendly care.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Good diet, exercise, social connections, relaxation techniques.
  • Supportive family environment: Reduced violence, improved communication.
  • Educational reforms: Alternative assessments, explore individual potential.
  • Societal changes: Reduced stigma around mental health, caste, religion, sexuality.

National Suicide Prevention Strategy (2022):

  • Goal: Reduce suicides by 10% by 2030.
  • Collaboration: Ministries of Health, Education, Information & Broadcasting, Social Welfare.
  • Focus:
    • Mental health promotion in schools and youth organizations.
    • Reduce substance abuse and risky online behavior.
  • Next Steps:
    • Disseminate strategy across all levels (state, district, community).
    • Secure funding and implement programs effectively.


The Hindu Editorial Topic-3 : Implementing universal health coverage

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GS-2 Mains Exam

Question : Discuss the concept of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and its significance in ensuring access to quality healthcare without financial burden. How does it relate to India’s healthcare system?

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in India

What is UHC?

  • Universal access to quality healthcare, without financial burden.
  • Covers entire spectrum of care: prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, palliation.
  • Requires strong, equitable health systems focused on primary care.

India’s UHC Journey:

  • UN General Assembly endorsed UHC in 2012.
  • India aims to increase public health funding to 2.5% of GDP (2011).
  • National Health Policy, 2017 aims for UHC.

Right to Health in India:

  • No constitutional right to basic health, but directive principles provide a base (Articles 39e, 42, 47).
  • Panchayats and municipalities have a role in strengthening public health (Article 243G).


  • Large migrant population (41 million inter-state workers in 2011).
  • 49% of population lives in urban slums (UN-Habitat/World Bank).

UHC and Freedom:

  • UHC is about “freedom to” achieve health and wellness, not just “freedom from” illness.
  • Constitutional right to health is crucial for breaking poverty-ill health cycle.

Key UHC Strategies:

  • Strengthen primary healthcare.
  • Reduce out-of-pocket expenditures.

UHC Policy in India: Four Key Suggestions

Addressing Migrant Needs:

  • Revise primary healthcare to address mobile population (41 million inter-state migrant workers in 2011).
  • Ensure continuity of care through portable health access.

Reducing Out-of-Pocket Costs:

  • Simplify reimbursement processes for migrants and marginalized communities.
  • Adapt cash transfer and reimbursement designs for public healthcare.

Inclusive Health Systems:

  • Integrate health management information systems across public and private sectors.
  • Address language barriers and urban context diversities.

Community-Based Primary Care:

  • Implement primary healthcare in urban and peri-urban areas.
  • Create seamless referral systems for follow-up and adherence.


The Hindu Editorial Topic-4 : Private healthcare needs reform in public interest

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

GS-2 Mains Exam

Question : Examine the need for protecting patient rights in India’s healthcare system. Discuss the existing national guidelines and enforcement mechanisms, along with suggestions for enhancing grievance redressal mechanisms.

Reforming Private Healthcare in India

The Problem:

  • Millions faced difficulties during COVID-19 highlighting weak public health and unregulated private sector.
  • Private healthcare dominates (70% usage) but has high, non-transparent costs.
  • Need for reforms as outlined in Jan Swasthya Abhiyan’s People’s Health Manifesto.

Key Measures:

  • Transparency and Standard Pricing:
    • Currently, rates are not publicly available and vary widely.
    • Legal requirements for standard rates exist (Clinical Establishments Rules, 2012) but are not enforced.
    • Supreme Court recently directed action on standardization.
    • Hospitals already accept standard rates for government programs, proving feasibility.
    • Implementation can occur through existing rules or improved state acts.
  • Standardizing Medical Practices:
    • Private hospitals perform excessive procedures (e.g., C-sections) due to financial incentives.
    • This inflates costs and can harm patients.
    • Implementing standard protocols can reduce unnecessary interventions and improve outcomes.

Strengthening Patient Rights in India

The Need for Patient Rights:

  • Knowledge and power imbalance between patients and hospitals necessitates protection.
  • Patients deserve basic information about condition, treatment costs, and itemized bills.
  • Right to second opinion, informed consent, confidentiality, and choice of providers exist.
  • Hospitals cannot detain bodies due to unpaid bills.

National Guidelines and Enforcement:

  • National Human Rights Commission formulated a Patient Rights Charter in 2018.
  • Union Health Ministry circulated a shorter version in 2019, a comprehensive one in 2021.
  • Need for effective enforcement of the complete charter in all healthcare facilities.

Grievance Redressal Mechanisms:

  • Current Medical Council mechanisms are failing patients.
  • User-friendly grievance redressal systems needed at district level with multi-stakeholder oversight.

Medical Education Reforms:

  • Control commercialization of private medical colleges:
    • Cap fees to government college levels.
    • Focus expansion on public colleges.
  • Review and reform National Medical Commission:
    • Address lack of diverse representation.
    • Reduce centralization and commercialization tendencies.
  • Restructure National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) to:
    • Reduce disadvantage for underprivileged students.
    • Respect state autonomy in medical admissions.


  • Reforms must be part of a larger shift towards universal healthcare.
  • Public healthcare system with regulated private providers is the goal.
  • Model successful systems like Thailand’s rights-based healthcare.
  • Political parties and citizens must demand these transformations for a healthier India.



The Hindu Editorial Topic-5 : Prioritising health for a sustainable future

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GS-2 Mains


Why Healthcare is Crucial for a Sustainable Future

Health and Development:

  • Healthy population is essential for economic and social well-being.
  • Good healthcare improves productivity, lifestyles, and workforce quality.

Rise of Health Technology:

  • Growing use of technology in healthcare (fitness trackers, telemedicine).
  • Benefits:
    • Improved access and affordability of care.
    • Better chronic disease management.
    • Increased efficiency and accuracy in medical processes.
    • Promotion of preventive care through data analysis.
  • Advancements in medical technology:
    • Improved diagnostics (MRI, CT scans).
    • Minimally invasive robotic surgeries.

Strong Healthcare Infrastructure:

  • Needed for a sustainable future:
    • State-of-the-art hospitals.
    • Expanded healthcare networks.
    • Accessible services for all socioeconomic groups.
    • Skilled workforce and cutting-edge technology.

Preventive Care and Public Health:

  • Crucial for reducing disease burden and promoting wellness.
  • Examples:
    • Vaccination drives.
    • Disease surveillance.
    • Health education campaigns.
  • Empowers individuals for better health choices.


  • Prioritizing health is key to achieving sustainable development goals.
  • Importance of global collaboration in healthcare for a sustainable future.



The Hindu Editorial Topic-6 : Beat the heat

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

GS-1 Mains Exam

Heatwaves in India: Danger During Elections

More Heatwaves Expected This Summer:

  • IMD warns of increased heatwaves compared to last year.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra most vulnerable.
  • Heatwave definition:
    • Day temperatures 4.5°C above normal or exceed 45°C for 2 days.


  • El Niño + Global Warming
    • Reduces rainfall, elevates temperatures.
    • Melting Arctic + drier winds = less cloud cover = hotter ground.

Heatwave Risks During Elections:

  • Millions to queue in polling stations during April-May heat.
  • Public health risks: Dehydration, heatstroke (e.g., 12 deaths in Navi Mumbai event).
  • Election Commission advisories lack specifics:
    • Offer basic suggestions (oral rehydration) but don’t mandate cooling measures at polling stations.

Possible Solutions:

  • Shift election months to cooler periods (Feb-Mar or Oct-Nov) – currently a non-starter.
  • Electoral innovation needed to adapt to heatwaves:
    • Following multi-phase polling and electronic ballot examples.
    • Considering creative solutions to protect voters during extreme heat.


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