UN Report on Privatization and Human Rights

Why in discussion
Recently, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has developed a hybrid maize which is being claimed that it is rich in Pro-Vitamin-A along with lysine and Tryptophan, the world’s first maize.
Important point
  • After wheat and rice, maize is India’s third most important foodstuff. It is used for making foods such as chips, flakes, popcorn etc.
  • The amount of carbohydrate in maize grains is high (65-75%) and protein is low (7-12%), and this protein contains very low amounts of essential amino acids like lysine and tryptophhen.
  • Lysine and Tryptophan are essential amino acids (protein blocks of proteins) which can not be synthesized by the body. They should be supplied only by diet.
Developed maize
  • This hybrid maize (Pusa Vivek QPM 9) is the world’s first maize, rich in lysine and tryptophan as well as pro-vitamin-A.
  • Although Vitamin-A rich maize has been developed in some other places, this new variety is important as it is not only rich in Vitamin-A but also other two essential amino acids.
  • This modified maize contains two genes. First, the opaque-2 genes increase the amount of lysine and tryptophen and the second, CRTRB1 genes, which results in high amounts of carotenoid (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptocyananthin) Which are converted into vitamin A in the body.
  • In general maize, lutein and zaxanthin are high. These are carotenoid which can not be converted to Vitamin-A.
  • Bio-fortified hybrid is not genetically modified, because OPEC-2 and CRTRB-1 genes have been obtained from maize instead of any different / unrelated plants or micro-organisms.
Importance of developed maize
  • This maize, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), can prove to be an effective weapon to fight hunger.
  • It is able to rid the wider population of malnutrition. At the same time, it can improve the ranking of India in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) (India ranked 103 in the list of 119 countries in 2018).
  • Why in the discussion?
    According to a new report released by the United Nations (UN), the widespread privatization of public goods in many societies is systematically eliminating human rights and taking people living in poverty more marginalized. United Nations Special Representative Philip Elston presented his report in the United Nations General Assembly
    • Privatization is a process through which the private sector is traditionally responsible for the activities done by the government, quickly or completely, in which many measures are taken to ensure human rights.
    The effect of privatization on human rights
    • Personalization is therefore supported because private sector is seen as more efficient, more capable in organizing finance, more innovative and capable of building capital on economy scale and reducing costs.
    • However, a study conducted by the National Audit Office of the United Kingdom concluded that private finance models proved to be more costly and less effective in providing hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure than public financing.
    • Privatization is based on beliefs that are fundamentally different from those who respect human rights such as dignity and equality.
    • Benefits are its paramount purpose and thoughts like equality and non-discrimination have been removed.
    • The privatization system has hardly been beneficial for human rights. People with poverty or low income can be negatively affected by privatization in the following ways.
    • The criminal justice system has been privatized, so many different charges and penalties are imposed on the poor.
    • The quality of those services which they can get, decreases, and also reduces their chances of getting justice. 
    • As a result of the privatization of social security, poor people are often subjected to a new and financially vulnerable public sector.
    • To find a solution to the problems of workers in society, a model format is replaced by another model to identify the social, psychological, economic challenges faced by individuals, which is inspired by economic efficiency concerns.
    • Infrastructure projects are most attractive to private providers where important user fees can be charged and construction costs are relatively low.
    • But the poor can not afford to pay this type of fee, so they can not use many services like water, sanitation, electricity, roads, transport, education, health care, social and financial services.
    • The social security system is being privately privatized, which is leading in service outsourcing, social insurance, commercialization of administrative discretion and providing favorable results.
    • This approach empowers private beneficiaries to make people’s determinations about the needs and abilities of the people.
    • It has been recommended in the report that the privatization theory is neither good nor in the way, but the way in which privatization has been done in recent decades should be examined. For this, the following steps should be taken: 
      द्वारा Proper standards should be determined by public and private sector partners associated with privatization to collect and publish data on human rights influences. 
      का Systematic study of the impact of privatization on specific areas and human rights of poor and marginalized communities should be included. 
      ♦ Treaties, special procedures, regional mechanisms and new methods of national institutions should be explored, which can be responsive to states and private sector responsible for privatization.
    In the Indian context
    • There are several such government projects in India which are based on public-private partnership.
    • Recently, the Policy Commission has issued guidelines for public-private partnership (PPP) to deal with non-communicable diseases (NCD) in district-run district hospitals.
    • This UN report can help the Policy Commission to reconsider its guidelines.

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