India’s Supreme Court Orders Tobacco Companies to Comply with Health Warning Rules

May 4, 2016–The Wall Street Journal

“India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered tobacco companies to comply with a new government rule requiring that graphic health warnings cover 85% of all cigarette packs, even as the industry pursues a legal battle against it.

Cigarette makers have filed more than two dozen lawsuits against the measure, arguing, among other things, that it infringes their trademark rights. Those lawsuits are ongoing. Public-health officials say the new labels will discourage smoking in a country where tobacco-related illnesses kill a million people a year.”

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International Health Policy Issue 341–Indian Focus

Articles by Mridula Shankar, Upendra Bhojani, and Pietro Dionisio.

Medicine in India: ‘Qualified Quacks’ and a Baffling Drug Landscape

August 24, 2015–Vice News

“Medical errors happen everywhere. But in the world’s largest democracy, stories of doctors being drunk, using rusty instruments or bicycle pumps during surgery, or ordering unjustified procedures are increasingly common.

Now hard data is emerging that show how dismal medical care is for many in India, with providers routinely failing to diagnose common disease and frequently prescribing useless and hazardous drugs.”

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Fraud and Corruption in Medical Education in India

August 14, 2015–The Indian Express

“A recent Reuters investigation revisited the fraud and corruption in medical education in India, and the threatening comeback of the man commonly blamed for this decline: Ketan Desai. Desai, a former president of the Medical Council of India (MCI), faces charges of receiving bribes in return for approvals from private medical colleges. But the Indian Medical Association has backed his bid for leadership of the World Medical Association (WMA), which set ethical standards for physicians all over the world.”

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Bare Branches, Redundant Males

April 18, 2015–The Economist

“Distorted sex ratios at birth a generation ago are changing marriage and damaging societies in Asia’s twin giants

KHAPs are informal local councils in north-western India. They meet to lay down the law on questions of marriage and caste, and are among India’s most unflinchingly conservative institutions. They have banned marriage between people of different castes, restricted it between people from the same village and stand accused of ordering honour killings to enforce their rulings, which have no legal force. India’s Supreme Court once called for khaps to be “ruthlessly stamped out”. In April 2014, however, the Satrol khap, the largest in Haryana, one of India’s richest states, relaxed its ban on inter-caste marriage and made it easier for villagers to marry among their neighbours. “This will bring revolutionary change to Haryana,” said Inder Singh, president of the khap.

The cause of the decision, he admitted, was ‘the declining male-female sex ratio in the state’. After years of sex-selective abortions in favour of boys, Haryana has India’s most distorted sex ratio: 114 males of all ages for every 100 females. In their search for brides, young men are increasingly looking out of caste, out of district and out of state. ‘This is the only way out to keep our old traditions alive,’ said Mr Singh. ‘Instead of getting a bride from outside the state who takes time to adjust, we preferred to prune the jurisdiction of prohibited areas.'”

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India’s 2015-16 Health Budget Released–Slightly Lower than Last Year

February 28, 2015–Reuters

“India’s Finance minister presented the Union Budget 2015-16 in New Delhi, and the amount that is allocated to health is slightly lower than last year. On the plus side, it does include plans to set up five AIIMS  institutes in Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal, Assam, and another AIIMS-like institution to be set up in Bihar.

AIIMS–All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi–is a medical college and medical research public university based in New Delhi, India. The Institute was established in 1956 and operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. AIIMS. There are currently six AIIMS, plus the original in Delhi.”

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India struggles with deadly swine flu outbreak

January 20, 2015–BBC News

“Indian health officials are struggling to contain a swine flu outbreak that has killed more than 700 people since it took hold in mid-December.”

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