Showing posts from December, 2022

Baby steps for tackling India’s malnutrition woes

By Dr K Srinath Reddy A mix of dismay and debate has been the reaction to the persistently high rates of childhood undernutrition reported by the last National Family Health Survey. Dismay because the reported prevalence of 35.5% stunting, 32.1% underweight and 19.3% wasting in children under five years of age does not bode well for their present and future health or cognitive development.   The debate centres around the question of whether the global standards by which these metrics are defined, are applicable to Indian children. Another area of concern is whether such children will be harmed by supplementary feeding because it may make them stunted and obese as an unintended consequence.   Undernourished children are highly susceptible to serious infections because of poor immunity. They are physically inactive because of low muscle mass and reduced lung capacity. They suffer cognitive impairment, which diminishes their potential for education and employment. This loss of b

MBBS students protest in Haryana: Why govt concessions failed

For the past month, MBBS students of Haryana’s government medical colleges  have been agitating  against the state’s bond policy. In face of the protests, on November 30, the government announced tweaks in the rules. However, the students have said they are not satisfied with the changes. What is the bond policy? As per the policy introduced in 2020, MBBS students have to sign a bond-cum-agreement to compulsorily serve for seven years in government hospitals after graduating from state-run medical institutions. If they join a private job before that, they have to deposit the bond amount of Rs 36.8 lakh with the government. Priya Kaushik, an MBBS student leader from Rohtak’s PGIMS, said they had been oposed to the policy since 2020, but could not launch an agitation then as gatherings were not possible amid  Covid-19 . What  triggered  the agitation this year? For the past month, students have staged protests in different forms including a chain hunger strike at PGIMS. Accordi