The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Constitution states “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It is essential to understand that ‘mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.’ For a person to strive and thrive in today’s society, his mental health needs to be in harmony with his surroundings. Otherwise, it can cause a whole load of problems to the individual.
Determinants of Mental Health
According to the findings by WHO, there are three kinds of factors which affect a person’s mental health:-
- Social factors: A weak mental health could be caused by rapid social change, stressful work conditions, unhealthy lifestyle, physical illness, violation of human rights, gender discrimination and social exclusion;
- Psychological factors: Here, the possible reasons could be specific in nature. The presence of certain psychological and personality aspects could put an individual’s mental health at risk;
- Biological factors: Genetics is one such element in this category which makes an individual vulnerable to poor mental health.
KNOW THE FACTS!
Dr Sagar Mundada, a recognized psychiatrist, had once stated that, “The most common mental health and related issues like depression, anxiety and addiction are the highest contributors to productivity loss. It might not cause immediate death but it leads to morbidity.” Morbidity refers to the amount of any disease within a population.
- Over 90 million Indians, or 7.5 per cent of the country’s population of 1.37 billion are suffering from some form of mental disorder (reports by WHO – March 2020);
- As per a study conducted by India’s National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), nearly 150 million Indians need active intervention, while fewer than 30 million are actually getting it;
- Study carried out by Mental Health Research UK, a British charity, in 2019, revealed that 42.5 per cent of India’s corporate employees suffer from either anxiety disorder or depression, which is almost every second employee;
- According to Lancet Global Health Study, ‘suicide’ is the leading cause of deaths amongst Indians primarily belonging to the age group of 15 to 39;
- Due to the lack of awareness, only 2 out of 10 people seeks medical help in India;
- In the current situation, more than 200 million Indians may have mental illnesses, and the condition can grow worse.
The Mental Health Care Act, 2017 is a Health Act which ensures that every affected person will have access to mental healthcare and treatment from services run or funded by the Government. In turn, the Government shall provide the requirements for a range of services.
According to a study by the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, “The conservative annual estimated cost on the Government to implement the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 would be Rs 94,073 crore.” It is ‘depressing’ to note that the current spending towards this does not even amount to a fraction of the stated figure.
How has India responded to red flag?
There is an immense gap in the Budget allocation and the actual spending on the sector.
- There is a shortage of funds allocated for mental health in India. In the Financial Year (FY) 2019, the funds available with the National Mental Health Programme (NHMP) was reduced to Rs. 40 crore from Rs. 50 crore of FY 2018;
- It is sad to note that India, being a developing country, has spent only 0.05 per cent of the annual health budget on this issue of mental illness over the last few years. This is even lower than the average spending of low-income countries in the same area which is 5 per cent;
- Dr. Devraj Sinha once expressed that the authorities ignore the psychiatry department’s requests for medication and other needs;
- There is a lack of medical staff to cater to the needs of the Mental Health sector, and no one has even bothered to highlight this;
- According to WHO, the Indian economy will get hit by a mental health crisis amounting to more than 1 trillion dollars between 2012 and 2030;
In short, there is no progress in this sector. This answers why people hesitate even approach the medical institutes for assistance. Dr Mundada added that, “A change of attitude towards mental health, an investment push, Government-backed awareness campaigns, primary mental health treatment in Government’s wellness centres and sanctioning of more psychiatry seats in Government colleges are some of the immediate steps that can be taken to start solving the issue.
Studies shockingly show that 71 per cent of Indians still use terminology associated with stigma and prejudice to describe mental illnesses.
Why mental health gets affected in today’s Techno Era?
Over the years, upon interaction with people, it was found out that the following elements are the key reasons why people succumb to poor mental health:
- Unrealistic expectations of people;
- Peer pressure;
- Exposure to uncontrolled aspects, both online and offline;
- Inferiority complex.
How to extend a helping hand to an affected person?
- Ask the individual how he/she is doing. Studies have shown that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal or depressed, does not increase suicides or adverse thoughts;
- Listen to people and avoid putting labels. Do not judge anyone; you will also be judged. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce, rather than increase suicidal thoughts;
- Consult a doctor/psychiatrist/professional therapist for counselling and therapy, if required. Slowly implement useful changes to medication, lifestyle and the circle you interact with;
- Stay connected, even after the crisis. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.
Prevention is better than cure
- Keep a positive attitude and an optimistic mind to overcome the challenges;
- Avoid negativity and degrading aspects of the world around us;
- Take time out from the fast-paced world;
- Face your fears boldly;
- Confront anxiety with confidence;
- Avoid harmful and destructive addictions;
- Have a healthy and supportive system.
LLP Amendment Bill Passed
The Limited Liability Partnership(Amendment) Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha(Upper House) on July 29, 2021, after the approval of the Union Cabinet on July 28, 2021. Before understanding the LLP Amendment Bill let’s first understand what is LLP.
What is LLP?
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is an alternative corporate business form that gives the benefits of limited liability of a company and the flexibility in a partnership. It is a separate legal entity, which is liable to the full extent of its assets but the liability of the partners is limited to their agreed contribution in Limited Liability Partnership. One of the advantages of LLP is that it can continue its validity irrespective of changes in partners. It is capable of joining into new contracts and holding equity in its name.
In this corporate business form, no partner is liable on account of the independent or unauthorised actions of other partners, thus individual partners are shielded from joint liability created by another partner’s illicit business decisions or misbehaviour. Common rights and duties of the partners within a Limited Liability Partnership are governed by an agreement between the partners. However, the LLP is not reassured of the liability for its other obligations as a separate entity. As it contains components of both a ‘corporate structure’ as well as a ‘partnership firm structure’, LLP is called a hybrid between a company and a partnership.
Which are the countries where the LLP form is functional?
Countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, various Gulf countries and Singapore are the nations where the LLP structure is functional. As per the advice of experts who have studied LLP legislations in various countries, the LLP Act is extensively based on the UK LLP Act of 2000 and the Singapore LLP Act 2005. Both the Acts allow the creation of LLP in a corporate body form which means as a separate legal entity, separate from its partners.
What is the LLP Amendment Bill & what are the key highlights of the bill?
Limited Liability Partnership Amendment Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on August 4, 2021. All the members of the Upper House had agreed to pass this bill and have been working towards it since July 29, 2021. The Amendment Bill aims to boost greater ease of living to law-abiding corporates and to legitimize certain provisions of the Act.
Some of the important highlights of the bill are:
- Decriminalize certain offences: As per the Bill, it defines the way of operating the LLP’s provided that violation of these requirements will lead to punishment with a fine varying from 25,000 INR to five lakh INR. The requirements consist of changes in partners of the LLP, change in registered office, filing declaration of account and annual returns & agreement between the partners and an LLP. The bill exacts a monetary fine.
- Punishment on fraud: Under the Act, if a partner or an LLP carry out any forgery activities to their creditors and every individual who is involved in the hoax will be punished with up to two years of imprisonment, along with the 50,000 INR to five lakh INR of fine. The Bill increases the term of imprisonment from two to five years.
- Compounding of offences: The bill amends to provide an officer who will be appointed by the central government, may compound the offences and impose a punishable fine. If the offence was compounded by an LLP or its partners, then in this case a similar offence cannot be compounded within three years.
- Institution of Special Court: This bill enables the central government to establish special courts for assuring active trail of offences under the Act. The special court consists of a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge. They will adjudicate offences punishable with three or more years of imprisonment and a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate for other offences. They will be selected with the accord of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
- Opening of Small LLP’s: This Bill contributes to the formation of small LLP’s in which the partners contribute up to 25 lakh INR, turnover for the coming year is up to 40 lakh INR. The government can declare certain LLP as start-up LLP.
- Non-compliance with tribunal orders: As per the Act, non-compliance with an ordinance of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a punishable offence of up to six months imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 INR. This bill removes such offences.
- Adjudicating Officers: As per the bill, the central government may assign adjudicating officers for allotting penalties under the Act. These officers will be central government officers only. Appeals against the orders of the Adjudicating officer will lie in the hand of the Regional Director.
- Institution of Appellate Tribunal: As per the bill, the appeals cannot be made against an order that he’s passed along with the permission of the parties. The Appeals should be filed within the time frame of 60 days of order.
- Standards of accounting: According to the bill, the central government may specify the criteria of accounting and auditing for groups of LLP in meeting with the National Financial Reporting Authority.
These are the salient parts of the amended bill.
India-Bangladesh: Reopen Cross-Border Rail Lines After 56 years
On August 1, 2021, Indian Railways sent the first stone-filled freight train to Bangladesh from Damdim Station of the Northeast Frontier Railway, resuming activity on the Haldibari Chilahati route. The network between Bangladesh and India will improve due to the continuing rail course that snapped in 1965.
After the partition in 1947, seven rail joins were functional among India and then East Pakistan till 1965. The Haldibari-Chilahati rail interface is one of those courses. As indicated by the railway authorities, the main products train to convey stone chips left from Damdim station of Jalpaiguri area in West Bengal on Sunday morning.
It came to a halt at Chilahati station in the Nilphamari region in the early evening. Aside from the Haldibari-Chilahati rail connect, at present, there are four working rail routes between India and Bangladesh. The current operational rail routes are – Petrapole (India)- Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India)– Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)- Rohanpur (Bangladesh) and Radhikapur (India)– Birol (Bangladesh).
This railway interface between Haldibari (India) and Chilahati (Bangladesh) was initiated by the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh during the PM level virtual summit on December 17, 2020. Things that can be transported from India to Bangladesh via this railway combining rocks and boulders, food grains, fresh fruits, chemical fertilizers, onions, chilli, garlic, ginger, fly ash, clay, limestone, wood, and lumber, etcetera. From Bangladesh to India, everything is allowed which exported.
“The commissioning of this rail interface will establish the India-Bangladesh rail connection and future trade. Likewise, the revamped rail network to key ports and dry docks will help boost neighbourhood trade and improve the monetary and social well-being of the space,” the high commission said.
The Government of India gave over ten-wide-measure diesel trains as an aid to help Bangladesh Railways. The virtual event was attended by External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and their Bangladeshi accomplices Md Nurul Islam Sujon and Dr A K Abdul Momen on July 27, 2020. Feni Bridge (Maitree Setu) interfacing LCS Sub room (Tripura) and LCS Ramgarh (Bangladesh) have been introduced on a virtual stage by both the Prime Ministers on March 09, 2021.
This will fundamentally further develop availability with Bangladesh. The preliminary attempt of the parcel of Indian merchandise from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram had led in July 2020, notwithstanding the pandemic. Bangladesh – India, the connection is presently supposed to be at its best.
The year 2021, regardless of the continuous COVID-19 pandemic, has been seeing a significant level of commitment at political and official levels. Prime Minister Modi paid a state visit to Bangladesh from March 26 – 27. He participated in the Golden Jubilee celebration of Independence of Bangladesh, the centenary of the birth of the founding father Benjabandu Sheikh Mujipur Rahman, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of peaceful relations between India and Bangladesh. Both governments are trying different measures to rebuild the railway hub before 1965 and, another connection network existed between India and Bangladesh.
During the visit of PM Hasina to New Delhi in October 2019, the two governments chose to initiate Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka and Dhaka-Siliguri-Darjeeling-Dhaka transport administration to upgrade people to people contact between both the nations. The path run of Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka was likewise held in December 2019.
In May 2020, the second appendix of the Inland Waters Transit and Trade Protocol (PIWTT) approved two new routes in the India-Bangladesh Protocol (Sonamura Daudkandi on the Gomti waterway, and from Dhulia to Godagiri to Aricha in the current Padma), five new ports of call and two extended ports of call. Sonamura-Daudkandi Protocol Route had also operationalized in September 2020.
Haldibari-Chilahati Rail Link – Connectivity benefits:
The Haldibari-Chilahati route will give travel association with Bangladesh from Assam and West Bengal in India. The rail network will connect the prime ports, dry ports, to help the development. It will boost the financial and social advancement of the area.
Businesses and everyday citizens of the two nations will want to receive the rewards of the two merchandise and traveller train administrations when all trains are anticipated procedure on the course. With the new rail route, individuals from Bangladesh can visit tourist destinations like Darjeeling, Sikkim, Dooars in India.
Also, the Karimganj and Mahisashan rail connection between Assam and Bangladesh is to be functional from 2022. The other rail connection between Akhaura (Bangladesh) and Agartala (India) will be operational by the end of the year.
Assam Issues Travel Advisory Due To Safety Concerns
Assam Government on Thursday issued a travel advisory asking its residents not to travel to Mizoram due to safety concerns and asked those already in the state to exercise caution. The travel advisory came after the tension between the neighbouring states, days after the violent border clashes erupted in which seven people were killed.
Advisory issued by MS Manivannan, Commissioner and secretary in Assam’s home and the political department said, “Given the critical prevailing situation, the people of Assam advised not to travel to Mizoram as any threat to the personal safety of people of Assam cannot be accepted”.
A day before the Assam travel advisory, Mizoram issued a public notice stating that “It is hereby notified that there shall be no restrictions on the movement of non-residents of Mizoram traveling through Kolasib district”, followed by the phone numbers of the officers if any problem arises.
Mizoram Police has filed an FIR against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and four police officers, along with two officials connected with the clashes at the inter-state border. On charges of Attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with the violent border clashes.
On the other hand, Assam police Summoned Mizoram Rajya Sabha member K Vanlalvena And six top officials over the alleged role in border tension. K Vanlalvena told reporters on Wednesday, “More than 200 policemen entered a territory and they pushed back our policeman from our own post and they gave firing orders first before we fired. They are lucky that we didn’t kill them all. If they come again, we shall kill them all.”
Assam and Mizoram share a 164.6-km-long border, which has long been a cause of dispute. Three districts in the south of Assam Hailakandi, Cachar, and Karimganj share the border with Mizoram’s Kolasib, Aizawl and Mamit districts.
On 26 July, border tensions erupted between Both the neighbouring States Assam and Mizoram, in which 6 Assam police personnel and a civilian were dead. Both states are blaming each other for the violence on Twitter, asking the centre to intervene and resolve the situation amicably.
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