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BY D.C. PATHAK
Diplomacy primarily is an instrument for advancing the cause of the nation’s economic and security policy — foreign policy quite simply is the product of the country’s economic and security concerns. The government of the day formulates a policy accordingly and our envoys implement it with all the suavity they can bring to bear in the handling of foreign entities. Sometimes a doctrinaire approach could override the national security angle — Prime Minister I.K. Gujral adopted a Pak policy that ignored the available Intelligence to the effect that Pak ISI had planned to replicate the success of Afghan Jehad in Kashmir by pumping in Mujahideen into the Valley. The ‘covert’ offensive of Pakistan later developed into the Kargil invasion.
Normally speaking, however, our foreign policy — even though it has inputs from abroad — is formulated at home taking into account what is good or adverse for the nation. Our diplomats also, therefore, would do well not only to have a total picture of India’s security threat scenario but also a well grounded knowledge of domestic developments that impinged on India’s national integration, internal security and domestic stability in a strategic sense. The course of events in sensitive areas like Kashmir, North East and Sikkim — apart from happenings on our borders — that could attract international attention have to be closely tracked by them in an ongoing fashion. Diplomacy has to fully grasp the wider bearings of these domestic episodes to be able to measure up to the task of handling the perceptions of the world community on them — wherever it became necessary.
‘Mission and delivery’ — the words used by Prime Minister Modi in his recent address to the Probationers of Indian Civil Services including the IFS, at Kevadia in Gujarat on the National Unity Day, are significant both for the members of the foreign policy establishment as well as the bureaucracy working on the home turf. A correct understanding of the objective that a diplomat or a bureaucrat was to serve in any position and do it in the best possible way, is crucial for success.
The system of updating our diplomats on the readings of our external and internal situation is already in existence and it includes, among other things, regular briefings provided to them by our National Security set-up and the ministries concerned. It is in this context that the reported remarks of a senior Indian diplomat at Washington on the situation in Kashmir — as it prevailed after the abrogation of Art 370 of the Constitution by Parliament — have raised eyebrows within and outside the government. At a dinner meeting with people connected with a forthcoming Indian film on Kashmir that focused on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, he is said to have held out an assurance that the latter could return to the Valley soon adding that ‘if the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it’ and that ‘it has happened in the Middle East’. The audience had many Kashmiri Pandits who complemented Prime Minister Modi for showing the courage to declare that ‘we don’t need Art 370 and 35A’.
Now, by no stretch of imagination, can Jammu and Kashmir, which is a state of India, invite comparison with Israel and Palestine — two countries carved out of a common land. Even if the Valley is preponderantly Muslim and Jammu is dominated by Hindus, they are parts of the same integral state that belongs to India. The ouster of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley is known to have been caused by the Pak ISI-controlled militants at a time when Pakistan had called for Jehad in Kashmir. The democratic leadership elected to rule the state of J&K was complicit with the Pak agents and separatists in permitting the atrocities on the Kashmiri Pandits who had to migrate to another part of the state for shelter — not to another country across the borders. They became refugees in their own state because of the government’s failure to give them protection — they were not like the Jews ousted by the Palestinian authority from its country. In the case of Kashmiri Pandits, it is now a question of the government of J&K as well as the Centre correcting a grave wrong of the past and ensuring — in the post-370 environ — that they felt free to come back to the Valley and resettle there in total protection. This, in turn, is connected with the success of counter-terror operations and elimination of Pak agents from the state. The sovereign Indian State has to do this — regardless of whatever it takes to accomplish the task.
The Indian diplomat probably intended to only convey that strongest measures will be taken to resettle the Kashmiri Pandits in the face of a continuing threat of terrorism in the Valley. The unintended parallel with the Israel-Palestine scenario that he drew tended to give an international dimension to Kashmir — this is the whole point about understanding the strategic import of an issue at home. The democratic world led by US had already accepted the integration of J&K with the rest of the country as an internal matter of India. J&K is not divided in a Hindu part and a Muslim territory and is an integral state housing many faiths. A communally-based outcome of the ‘Kashmir issue’ as propagated by Pakistan can never be accepted by democratic India.
There is no damage done but the takeaway from all of this is that Indian diplomats have to remain constantly grounded in what was happening within the country. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the Centre has enriched the content of the Foundation Course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Mussoorie in terms of the inclusion of presentations on strategic affairs and India’s national security.
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This course is the common initial phase of training for all Civil Services, including the IFS, and gives them a lasting base of knowledge of all that was happening in the country as well as the outside world, in these spheres. Subsequent interactions between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs, if held in a more organised way — possibly under the aegis of National Security Council Secretariat(NSCS) — should help to keep our diplomatic establishment abreast of all the internal developments here that could have a bearing on our foreign policy. (IANS)
Have you ever faced eye redness? Or have witnessed blurry or foggy vision? Or experiencing halos around lights? Or nausea and vomiting are very common for you. You may well be suffering from Glaucoma which needs immediate attention.
Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). Typically, it occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age. It is also estimated that globally 79.6 million people are affected with glaucoma, half of them being Asian population. While in India, around 11.9 million people suffer vision impairment and out of which 1.2 million cases are due to Glaucoma. It is a growing concern for the population in India. Even after these high numbers, the enormous majority remains undiagnosed, and untreated. More than 90 percent of cases of Glaucoma remain undiagnosed.
Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). | Wikimedia Commons
Glaucoma is a condition that damages the nerve of the eye. The increased pressure in the eye, which is known as intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve which is responsible for sending images to the brain. If the damage worsens, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even total blindness within a few years. According to WHO, there are different kinds of glaucoma, though, the two most common are, primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), having a slow and slow and asymptomatic onset, and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG), which is less common, yet more acute. Hence, it is important for everybody over the age of 40 years to have a regular eye check-up.
The eye disorder may be treated with the help of eye drops prescribed by Ophthalmologist. There are various options available to lower intraocular pressure to the desired level. Depending upon the need of the patient, doctor may recommend combinations of eye drops, but it is of utmost importance to use the drops on a regular basis. However, consulting a specialist should be the first priority if diagnosed with glaucoma, but most of the population will first opt for home remedies then will consult chemists' shops for medicines and if the issue is still not resolved then will they think of a specialist. There is a need to modify the mindset of the people and when it comes to sensory organs zero negligence rule should be followed.
The eye disorder may be treated with the help of eye drops prescribed by Ophthalmologist. | Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Awareness is the key to managing Glaucoma better. The need of the hour is to include eye care as part of the health check-up. Timely detection of Glaucoma will lead to proper medication and diagnosis by an Ophthalmologist. Talking about prevention, early detection will help in managing glaucoma before significant damage occurs. Glaucoma can be because of genetics as well hence knowing the family's eye history is important. Regular and moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure also eye drops can significantly reduce the risk that high pressure will progress to glaucoma.
Also, there are few home remedies that anyone can follow to avoid glaucoma. Consuming healthy food, using eyewear, avoiding head-down position, keeping oral hygienic, and protecting eyes from sunlight are a few of such remedies. One should be mindful of the fact that Glaucoma is irreversible blindness and awareness can help us in fighting it. Depending on the condition an Ophthalmologist may prescribe an oral medication or may suggest therapies. In severe conditions, doctors can also recommend surgeries like Laser therapy, Filtering surgery, Drainage tubes, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: eye disorder, eye, India, World Health Organisation, blindness , foggy vision, eye redness, Glaucoma, Ophthalmologist
By Sakshi BakshiThe wedding season is in its full bloom, and almost every one of us has plans. In the spirit of celebration, it feels wrong to turn down our favourite appetizers, meals, and desserts! Our workout schedule and physical activities take a back seat. When it comes to maintaining your weight during wedding season, it can be challenging at times, but with the right amount of food intake and smart choices, it can all be kept in place. Sharing her personal insights on keeping our weight in place during the winter wedding season, Sakshi Bakshi, Founder of Nucros, has a few tips for all those health freaks out there!
- Keep your diet in check: Always make sure keep it light in the day before a heavy night out. This means incorporating as many complex carbohydrates as possible, to keep the hunger in check for a long time while still being low in calories. Fruit and vegetables in the form of salads, soups, smoothies, etc. should be the priority. Stay away from high-fat soups consisting of thick cream and instead indulging in soups with a lot of vegetable content in them.
Incorporate as many complex carbohydrates as possible, to keep the hunger in check for a long time while still being low in calories. | Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash
- Choose lean proteins: While eating out, one should try to consume as much warm and heated food as possible in the winter season. An intake of lean protein, e.g., paneer, soya, dal, etc., for vegetarians and fish, chicken, etc., for non-vegetarians is advised.
- Balance calories: Stick to an easy breakfast and lunch which includes lots of fruit and vegetables. So even if dinner is heavy, the calorie intake for the whole day is maintained because breakfast and lunch balance it out. Eat a small meal before going out so that you don't binge.
- Eat in small quantities: At parties or if you are having a buffet, use a small quarter plate, which allows you to control the quantity better. So, even if you make 2-3 trips to the buffet, it helps in controlling the portions you consume.
- Stay Hydrated: One very important tip she shares is to stay during the dry winter season. Often one does not realise their thirst level in this dry season, which can negatively affect our health and cause problems such as headaches, gut issues, skin issues, etc. Drink at least one glass of water per hour -- around 12 to 16 glasses of water a day. If you are going out and consuming alcohol, she recommends drinking one glass of water alternately with a drink and having only 2-3 drinks of clear spirits with water to keep calories in check. (IANS/ MBI)
An intake of lean protein, e.g., paneer, soya, dal, etc., for vegetarians and fish, chicken, etc., for non-vegetarians is advised. | Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash
Stick to an easy breakfast and lunch which includes lots of fruit and vegetables. | Photo by Tangerine Newt on Unsplash
At parties or if you are having a buffet, use a small quarter plate, which allows you to control the quantity better. | Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash
Drink at least one glass of water per hour -- around 12 to 16 glasses of water a day. | Photo by Pratik Gupta on Unsplash
Keywords: eat, smart, wedding, season, hydrated, small quantities, calories, lean proteins, diet
Every year on December 1st, the world observes World AIDS Day. The purpose of the day, as the name implies, is to show support for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infected People and those who have died as a result of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV continues to be a serious health concern that affects millions of individuals throughout the world. Despite the fact that the world has progressed significantly in recent decades, critical global objectives for 2020 have not been fulfilled.
“End inequalities. End AIDS” is the theme of World AIDS Day 2021. WHO and its partners are emphasizing the rising imbalances in access to essential HIV care, with a specific focus on those who have been left behind. The first World AIDS Day was observed in 1988, and it was also the first international day dedicated to global health. Every year on this day, organizations and individuals worldwide raise awareness about HIV, work to promote HIV information and awareness, speak out against HIV stigma, and push for a more aggressive attitude in the fight to end HIV.
AIDS is a protracted illness caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The immune system of the individual suffering from the condition is harmed, and the body’s ability to fight infections is reduced.
AIDS is a protracted illness caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). | Wikimedia Commons
Various reasons through which a person can get infected with AIDS:
- AIDS can be transmitted by blood, sperm, pre-seminal fluid, vaginal and rectal fluids, and infected women’s breast milk.
- Unprotected intercourse with an infected individual can potentially spread the disease to another person.
- Sharing syringes, blades, and knives with an infected individual can lead to disease transmission.
- Consuming food that has been pre-chewed by an HIV-positive individual. When infectious blood from a caregiver's lips combines with the food during chewing, contamination develops. Infants are the only ones who have been affected with this type of contamination so far.
Sharing syringes, blades, and knives with an infected individual can lead to disease transmission. | Wikimedia Commons
Is AIDS curable?
Although the condition is not totally curable, several preventative steps may be taken in everyday life to avoid contracting it. To lower the risk of transmission, Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) and HIV medications are used. Using protection during sexual intercourse, avoiding sharing needles, blades, and other items with other individuals, and maintaining body immunity are some prevention strategies against HIV/AIDS.
What can I do to observe World AIDS Day?
- Buy a red ribbon: World AIDS Day provides an opportunity to express solidarity with the millions of HIV-positive people across the globe; the majority of individuals do this by wearing a red HIV awareness ribbon on that particular day.
World AIDS Day provides a chance to express solidarity with the millions of HIV-positive people throughout the world. | Flickr
- Fundraise: Seek financial support for the cause either online or by organizing offline campaigns. HIV AIDS patients are often mistreated or bullied by people; a little help from anyone can change their life around. Many NGOs are battling HIV and assisting those living with the disease; you may contact one of these organizations and assist them in various ways.
Many NGOs are battling HIV and assisting those living with the disease; you may contact one of these organizations and assist them in various ways. | Pixabay
We can work together to end HIV by empowering communities, partners, and healthcare professionals to encourage HIV testing, prevention, and treatment and eradicate HIV stigma.
(Keywords: HIV/AIDS, World AIDS Day, December 1, HIV, Stigma, Awareness)