The recent decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to quash the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020. The court held that the Act was violative of the equality guaranteed under Article 14 and freedom under Article 19 of the Constitution. It argued that the Act imposed unreasonable restrictions on workers' right to move freely throughout India.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has quashed the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020.
The Act provided for 75% reservation to State domiciles in the private sector for jobs with a monthly salary of less than ₹30,000.
The court stated that the Act was beyond the purview of the State and violated the equality guaranteed under Article 14 and freedom under Article 19 of the Constitution.
The court argued that the Act militates against the rights of citizens from other states and could lead to similar enactments in other states, creating "artificial walls" throughout India.
The Act was seen as imposing unreasonable restrictions on workers' right to move freely within India.
The court compared the requirements on private employers in the Act to those under "Inspector Raj".
Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand have enacted similar legislation.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has observed that the State's Bill may be unconstitutional.
Workers move to other States for job opportunities.
Building walls and imposing restrictions on job seekers from other States will affect the economy.
Resentment among locals in better-off States over their jobs being taken up by migrant workers has led to protectionist measures.
Exploitation of migrant workers by private employers creates a segmentation in the labour market.
States should ensure that migrant workers enjoy basic labour rights to create a level playing field.
Protectionism in the labour market is not the answer.
It is important to understand how it affects the country's health systems. This article discusses the direct and indirect ways in which climate change affects health, such as causing more sickness and death, impacting nutrition and working hours, and increasing climate-induced stress. It also highlights the double burden of morbidity in India from communicable and non-communicable diseases, which is worsened by climate change.
India's inadequate health systems make the population vulnerable to the impact of climate risks on health.
Climate change directly causes more sickness and death, and indirectly affects nutrition, working hours, and increases climate-induced stress.
If global temperature rises by 2°C, many parts of India would become uninhabitable.
The year 2023 saw the highest temperatures and heat waves in recorded history.
Climate emergencies such as extreme heat, cyclones, and floods are expected to occur more frequently, interfering with food security, livelihoods, and health challenges.
Climate change worsens the double burden of morbidity in India from communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Climate change could facilitate the growth of vectors and change the seasonality of infection.
It could also introduce vectors and pathogens into new areas.
Heat alters the virulence of pathogens.
Reduced availability of food and water and decreased nutritional value increase vulnerability to diseases.
Epidemics commonly occur after floods, but extended warm periods also promote the proliferation of water and food-borne pathogens and diseases.
Climate change has an impact on non-communicable diseases and mental health in India.
Heat, physical exertion, and dehydration can lead to kidney injuries, which are rising in India due to uncontrolled diabetes.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases are worsened by increased air pollution.
The risk of dying from pulmonary disease increases during a heat wave and hospitalization rates increase with higher temperatures.
Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are often associated with climate emergencies but are rarely recognized or addressed in India.
Urban areas in India, lacking green spaces and filled with heat-retaining buildings, are particularly affected by the urban heat island effect.
Climate change adds pressure to the already weak urban primary health system, air pollution, and work-related and cultural stress.
Health information systems in India are not currently modified to gather data on the impact of climate change on health.
Social support and health services can help reduce the impact of climate change on health.
Upstream interventions such as better urban planning, green cover, water conservation, and public health interventions can have larger benefits for health and its determinants.
Action to control climate change needs to happen at global, regional, and local levels
India needs to recognize climate change and its impact on health as a problem that can be addressed
Researchers need to come up with policy options for action
National, State, and local governments need to decide to act on the policy options generated by research
Meaningful change is likely to happen when problematisation, policy options, and political decision-making come together
It is important to examine if these necessary conditions have been satisfied before expecting a change in the status quo on climate change and its impact on health.
The latest report from the United Nations on greenhouse gas emissions and the progress made since the Paris Agreement.
The United Nations' latest report, titled "Broken Record," highlights that previous warnings about the consequences of rising greenhouse gas emissions are being ignored.
The report emphasizes that progress in reducing emissions since the Paris Agreement of 2015 has been slow.
The goal of the Paris Agreement was to keep temperatures from rising over 2°C, and preferably below 1.5°C, of pre-industrial levels.
However, the report suggests that even with all the commitments made by countries to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, temperatures are projected to exceed 2.5°C-2.9°C by the end of the century.
To keep temperatures below 2°C, emissions must be cut by 28% by 2030, and for 1.5°C, they need to be reduced by 42%.
The report doubts the credibility of countries' promises to achieve "net zero" carbon emissions, and even in the most optimistic scenarios, the likelihood of keeping emissions below 1.5°C is only 14%.
The Paris Agreement (PA) has been somewhat effective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
GHG emissions in 2030 were projected to increase by 16% at the time of the adoption of the PA, but now the projected increase is only 3%.
To keep temperatures below 1.5°C, annual emissions must reduce every year by 8.7% until 2030.
The world collectively emitted 57.4 billion tonnes of GHGs in 2022, a 1.2% increase from 2021.
The pandemic caused a 4.7% drop in emissions, but projections for 2023 suggest that emissions are almost back to pre-pandemic levels.
The consequences of the world's slow progress in reducing emissions are evident, with record-breaking temperatures and increased frequency of extreme weather events.
The report emphasizes the need for the richest countries and those historically responsible for high carbon emissions to commit to greater and faster reductions.
Time is running out for the world to take decisive action on climate change.