ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Through the Lens of a Constitutional Republic

The textbook controversy is an opportunity for us to explore some of our core constitutional principles, especially the relationship between Parliament and freedom of expression. Parliament is certainly the space to discuss complaints of "offensive material" but should exercise its option of withdrawal of the textbooks in the "last instance" not in the "fi rst instance" as has been done in this case.

The Constitution, Cartoons and Controversies

A close reading of the Political Science textbook shows that it is complex, moves beyond pat answers, and treats the Constitution as a living document. It was produced in the light of the National Curriculum Framework 2005, which in itself was a major attempt to democratise education, and reverse the National Curriculum Framework 2000 which was casteist and sexist.

Third Assembly Elections in Uttarakhand

seats since the previous election. How- Third Assembly Elections Uever in terms of vote share, both the parties ended up adding votes. The in Uttarakhand Congress

Sixth Assembly Elections in Goa

failed to open its account. Five inde- Sixth Assembly Elections in Goa pendent candidates were elected to the Asingle day poll for 40 assembly seats in Goa was held on 3 March 2012. At nearly 83%, the voters

Tenth Assembly Elections in Manipur

vote share secured by all the PDF con sti- Tenth Assembly Elections tuents (MPP, RJD, NCP, JD(U) and CPI(M)) in Manipur Asingle day poll for 60 assembly seats in Manipur was held on 28 January 2012. This 10th general election to the State Legislative Assembly witnessed a lower turnout compared to previous elections. At 80%, the voters

Fourteenth Assembly Elections in Punjab

SPECIAL STATISTICS: 2012 STATE ELECTIONS SPECIAL STATISTICS: 2012 STATE ELECTIONS contestants, from 1,045 last time to 1,078 Fourteenth Assembly Elections candidates in this election (Table 1A). As always, the main contest in this in Punjab Aelection was between the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD+/ SAD-BJP) alliance and the Indian National single day poll to elect the 14th women voters at 79% exceeded that of Congress (INC/Congress) which contested Assembly in Punjab was held on men voters by 1 percentage point. There the elections on its own fi elding candi30 January 2012. The election was also an increase in the number of dates in all 117 seats. The Bahujan Samaj witnessed high participation. A record Table 1B: Summary Results: Seats Contested, Won and Votes Secured by Major Parties and Alliances, 79% of a total of 1,76,82,363 registered Compared to the Assembly Election (2007) Seats Seats Won Gain/Loss Vote Share Vote % Per Vote Swing voters turned out to vote, the highest Contested of Seats (%) Seat Contested since 2007ever, and up by 3 percentage points since since 2007 (% Points) the last assembly election. Turnout of Shiromani Akali Dal + (SAD+) 117 68 0 41.91 41.91 -3.46 Table 1A: Summary Electoral Participation: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) 94 56 +7 34.73 42.40 -2.36 Electorate, Turnout and Number of Candidates Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 23 12 -7 7.18 39.73 -1.10 Compared to the Assembly Election (2007) Indian National Congress (INC) 117 46 +2 40.09 40.09 -0.81 Assembly Election Change from

Political Challenges to Universal Access to Healthcare

While welcoming the report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India for its comprehensive vision and many well-conceived recommendations, this article focuses on the conditions needed for its promise to bear fruit. Towards this, it explores the political dimension, which comprises the forces and interests that come into play to shape and reconfigure administrative policy and its implementation.

Human Resources in Health

A close look at the major recommendations on human resources in the report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India shows that most of them are timely and have been made in the right spirit. Some lacunae do exist, especially on medical education and specialisation. But the most important issue is whether the recommendations can and will be efficiently implemented to give shape to a non-competitive, high quality medical system that provides all possible preventive and curative services to every citizen in the country.

In Pursuit of an Effective UHC

There are certain bold directions outlined by the High Level Expert Group in its recommendations, which, if acted on, will have a great impact on the health status of the population. The key as always is in implementation, which has not been clearly spelt out.

Thailand's Universal Health Coverage Scheme

Thailand achieved universal health coverage by 2002 with three public health insurance schemes covering the entire population. Of these, the Social Health Insurance scheme for private sector employees has been run on a capitation contract model since 1991. The Universal Coverage Scheme followed its example, with capitation payments for outpatient services and a global budget with diagnosis-related group-based payments for inpatient care. There are several arguments in favour of this closed-end payment system such as administrative simplicity, efficiency, prevention of supplier-induced demand and long-term cost containment.

Medicines for All

The recommendations on access to medicines, vaccines and technology made in the report of the Planning Commission's High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage for India are welcome and should go a long way towards rectifying many existing problems. Yet, it would have been reassuring if a few more details had been spelled out. Given the array of vested interests that stand to lose out if they are implemented, it also remains to be seen if they will be accepted in full.

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