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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 JUNE 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 JUNE 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


TOPIC: Political philosophies like communism, Capitalism, socialism etc, their forms and
effect on the society.

1) In Russia, Lenin was the father of socialism, organiser of the revolution and the founder of the new Russian society. Examine.(250 words) 

Reference

Key demand of the question

The question basically asks us to examine the role played by Lenin during the course of the Russian revolution, post the Russian revolution in laying down the foundation of Russia society and polity. in terms of his political philosophy, how he turned implemented his interpretation of Marxism in his country and what it entailed.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention the situation in Russia prior to revolution and that Lenin channeled the anger prevailing amongst the people of USSR.

Body

  • Highlight how Lenin organised the Bolshevik Party and played a key role in Russian revolution
  • Thereafter focus on his political philosophy. Highlight that like Marx he denigrated private property and took steps to abolish it, believed that state should be at the forefront of economic activity and ensure equality of outcomes – highlight how.
  • Post analyzing, Lenin’s version of socialism, highlight the changes he brought in Russian society. Here your points should encompass all dimensions like changes brought in economy, society, education, award of Mother Heroine which reflected his view on women etc

Conclusion – Discuss the overall impact Lenin had on Russian history.

 

Background:-

  • Vladimir Lenin was a very important figure in the history of Russia’s return from ruins. After being obliterated by German forces during WWI, Russia was in total chaos. The economy was severely crippled, and the citizens were furious. As a revolution came forth, the Bolshevik party chose Vladimir Lenin to be the new leader of Russia. Lenin’s efforts would lead him to become the architect of the new Soviet Union .

Lenin was father of socialism in Russia and his impact :-

  • Lenin was against the notion that the full industrialization is a necessary prerequisite for commencement of communist revolution. He wanted the revolution immediately by compensating for lack of workers majority by including peasants. Lenin used state and its institutions for promoting communism.
  • So from the above explanation Marxism and Leninism are slightly different but one notion is same where both believe that capitalism was the real cause of imperialism and colonialism.
  • Even though Lenin got influenced by Marx, Lenin made Marxist thinking revolutionary and well known all around the world as Russian revolution
  • Impact of Lenin on Russian society:-
    • To bring economic and political stability to the country new economic policy was framed which had the following provisions:
      • Peasants were now allowed to keep surplus produce after payment of a tax representing the certain portion of the surplus
      • Private trade was reintroduced and food production increased. Small industries and trade in their products is also restored to private ownership.
      • Incentives such as higher wages for improved production were offered to the labourers.
      • Strikes in factories were banned and strict discipline was imposed.
      • A new currency was introduced on the basis of gold standard.
      • Individuals could buy and sell goods for profit
      • Government kept control of major businesses but small ones were given to private ownership.
      • Lenin also tried to encourage foreign investment
      • Special concession to small scale industries
      • Nationalisation of agriculture
      • Factories producing same goods are brought under one organization called “Syndicates”
      • Better labour and trade union policy
      • He brought back old managers who were removed after the revolution of 1917.This was done to improve factory output
      • Introduced capitalist measures like piece wage rates, bonus etc

He was organiser of the revolution:-

  • Bolsheviks under Lenin wanted a small, disciplined party of professional revolutionaries who would work full time to bring about revolution.
  • They believed they have to work with peasants and get them involved in the revolutionary activity
  • Lenin persuaded the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolshevik Party to agree to a socialist seizure of power.
  • A Military Revolutionary Committee was appointed by the Soviet under Leon Trotskii to organise the seizure.
    • The Military Revolutionary Committee ordered its supporters to seize government offices and arrest ministers. Lenin with his tactics and courage lead the october revolution to success within an overnight, thus surely he was organizer of revolution.
  • Trotsky, leader of the Petrograd soviet urged on by Lenin took the crucial decision to attempt to seize power. Bolshevik red guards occupied all key points and later arrested the provisional government ministers.
  • The Bolsheviks were in control in Petrograd as a result of their coup.
  • Growing economic chaos with inflation, rising bread prices
    • Bolsheviks efficient leadership and clear cut policies to end war and demand for transfer of land to peasants attracted people.
  • Lenin presented Bolsheviks as a nationalist government fighting against foreigners.
  • Lenin took decisive measures known as war communism to control state economic resources.
    • All factories were nationalized with no private trade
    • Food and grain seized from peasants to feed the troops so this was successful for short term

However there were some who criticized Lenin:-

  • He expelled almost one third of the party members when members tried to put forward their views.
  • Trade unions were not 100% free.
  • In 1918 armed opposition (known as whites-consisting of social revolutionaries, Mensheviks, Ex-czarist officers etc) to the Bolsheviks was breaking out in many areas leading to civil war. Even soldiers were discontented with the way Bolsheviks treated the soviets.
  • After the elections post 1917 revolution, Bolsheviks disbanded a constituent assembly preventing democracy from taking root
  • During red terror many of his opponents were killed
  • He left in precedents which were misused by Stalin like:
    • One party state
    • Ban on factionalism which implied curbing dissent in the party
    • Use of secret police against opponents
    • Decreasing the voice of trade unions.

General Studies – 2


TopicWelfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

2) Instead of the present penalizing approach, there is a need to build the social and economic capacities of the state, which would care for its poor and marginalised citizens. Discuss, in the light of anti-begging laws in India.(250 words)

Epw

 

Why this question

Begging is viewed as an unwanted social phenomenon and most of the Indian states have anti-begging laws in place. However, the problem of begging is not well interpreted by the society and the government. Begging(by large) is not a result of syndicates or organised gangs but of many socio-economic realities, neglected by us. The question is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the inadequacies/ limitations of the present legal mechanism in place to deal with the problem of begging in India.  The question wants us to write at length about the need to build the social and economic capacity of the state to eradicate begging.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive, which commands us to write in detail about the limitations of the prevalent legal mechanism aimed at eradicating begging. We have to bring out the need for building the social and economic capacity of the state in order to handle the problem.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention that around 20 States and union territories in India have put in place anti-begging laws.

Body

  1. Discuss in points the limitations/ negative points about the present mechanism to deal with begging. ( e.g they go against the grain of due process rights and are specifically in violation of Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution, summary punishments are given without any recourse to legal help or capacity building, arrests are made arbitrarily and affect the social and economic capacity of not only the arrested person but also his family/ dependents which are forced into begging, leaving school, sexual exploitation etc.).
  2. Discuss why there is a need for an alternate strategy and for building the social and economic capacity of the state to deal with the problem. ( e.g the present mechanism does not try to understand the reasons behind begging but penalises a person for being who they are and not what they have done, Article 38 of the Constitution provides that the state shall secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people. Entry nine in the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution makes “the relief of the disabled and unemployable” a state subject; the phenomena of begging to be mainly a result of  large gangs of syndicates, earning huge money are misplaced, those involved in begging are in a highly vulnerable state and need protection and state’s as well as society’s support etc.)

Conclusion– briefly discuss the way forward (e.g understanding the problem better, improving beggars homes, reducing threshold for arrest and providing legal support to the accused, involving NGOs in this direction, sensitising the society about the problem , addressing inequalities in our society etc.).

 

Background:-

  • Begging as a phenomenon involves many layers, and it is critical to identify and understand the reasons that lead a person to beg for a living.

Present approach is penalising :-

  • Colonial hangover:-
    • The vagrancy and beggary laws in India are a colonial hangover, promoting unequal labour relations and used as a tool of social control over the unruly.
  • The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959 :-
    • It is a comprehensive piece of legislation that criminalises begging in the country.
    • Many states (such as Delhi and Gujarat) have adopted this act, either in toto or with minor changes.
    • This act criminalises people for being homeless or without regular employment (who they are) rather than for their actions (what they do).
    • It does not only criminalise destitute persons but violates their right to live with dignity, affecting all aspects of their lives.
    • This act provides for the detention of not only those who beg but also their dependents. This is possibly the only legislation, with the exception of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956,7 in which the offender’s family is punished for being dependent on their income
  • Against the constitutional provisions:-
    • As far as the constitutionality of these legislations is concerned, they go against the grain of due process rights and are specifically in violation of Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution.
    • Article 38 of the Constitution provides that the state shall secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people.
    • Entry nine in the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution makes the relief of the disabled and unemployable a state subject.
  • Presently, begging is punishable with up to 10 years of detention under most state laws, with a provision for indefinite detention under certain circumstances in some of the state legislations. 
  • Anti-beggary laws exist in more than 20 states and two union territories in the country:-
    • These legislations criminalise begging irrespective of their physical, economic, or psychological states of helplessness.
  • The anti-beggary law lacks bite when it comes to curbing organised begging:-
    • While it provides for detention of up to 10 years for a person caught for begging (in case of a repeat offence), it provides only for a three-year sentence for an offender who forces a person into begging.

Why there is a need to bring social and economic capacities of the state:-

  • People get into begging due to their extreme states of vulnerability and after every other possible support mechanism collapses.
    • Poverty, the inability to procure jobs due to illiteracy or lack of skills, disability or disease and destitution due to old age or mental illness are some of the reasons behind a person entering into begging, often reaching a state of destitution where survival becomes the only concern.
    • Begging is largely induced by poverty and is often tied to various axes of discrimination and social exclusion such as caste, class, age, gender, disability, and ethnic background
  • Detention without adequate systems for capacity-building and rehabilitation only increases vulnerability.
  • Reasons behind begging are mostly due to inefficiency of government:-
    • The movement towards an individualistic society and the breakdown of family support systems is leading to increasing neglect of the aged and disabled, pushing many of them into the streets.
    • In addition the reduced access to the welfare schemes and programmes and the lack of relevant livelihood skills in tune with emerging markets are adding to the growing problem of destitution and beggary.
  • Mostly police  bring in the homeless destitute, especially the abandoned or those with mental illness, to beggars homes in the absence of any other suitable place to take them. This clearly reflects the state’s inability to take care of its disadvantaged groups.
  • With the arrest of an individual, their family too bears the brunt of the arrest, as they may be dependents, and especially puts their children at risk.
    • The arrest of an earning member could result in a parent being forced to beg, children dropping out of school and/or being forced into begging or child labour, or the female spouse being forced to work in an exploitative situation. 
  • Role of the state as a protector of the life and well-being of its citizens underlines its responsibility to reach out to the destitute and those involved in begging as well as to understand their psychological, social, economic, and cultural contexts. As the first challenge, the custodial mindset of the state has to be replaced with a community-based approach.
  • Affected individuals largely need to be approached with sensitivity and care as they need the support of the state for their rehabilitation.
  • Criminalising approach towards the poor goes against the concept a caring state:-
  • It has to address the underlying causes by retracing the lives of the people and identifying the factors and situations which led them to their present state of destitution and dependence. 
  • Judicial pronouncement:-
    • The Delhi High Court observed that begging is an offence in a country where the government is unable to provide food or jobs

Way forward :-

  • The following interventions are needed :-
    • Tracing the victims families, providing emergency support to families and offering them legal aid and guidance
    • Submitting social investigation reports before the judiciary in the beggars courts about the person’s psychosocial situation
    • Building capacities through vocational skill training and work placement
    • Providing emotional support and counselling
    • Pre-release preparation
    • Arranging medical support
    • Training and sensitisation of the state machinery, including institutional staff and the police.
  • The community-based program includes an education programme for the children, assistance in acquiring citizenship documents, emotional support to families, support for shelter and livelihood, vocational training and so on.
  • Legislation and policy should provide for structures and an institutional framework that builds people’s capacities to move out of destitution. Instead of putting people behind closed institutions, the emphasis should be on creation of shelters and soup kitchens to provide temporary succour to people in distress.
    • Government had in 2016 told that the Ministry of Social Justice had drafted a bill to decriminalise begging and rehabilitate beggars and homeless people. But, later the proposal to amend the legislation was dropped. A law to decriminalize begging necessary.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

3) BIMSTEC is the “natural choices” for India to fulfil its foreign policy objectives in the neighbourhood towards the East. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question

India’s neighbourhood is undergoing deep consternation on account of China’s increasingly assertive stand in South Asia, South China Sea, broader Indo Pacific and Bay of Bengal littorals. At a time when South Asian integration platform SAARC is in a state of limbo, India needs to focus on BIMSTEC as an organization which will yield geoeconomic, geostrategic and geopolitical benefits.

Key demand of the question

The question asks us to critically analyze whether BIMSTEC is like a natural partner for India in achieving her foreign policy objectives. Here natural means that both have complementarities of interest that will prove beneficial to both. In order to comprehensively do a critical analysis we need to bring out the foreign policy interests and rationale of engaging more with the East, the benefits that can accrue to india, the benefits that will accrue to other members of BIMSTEC by strengthening this grouping. Since we have to do a critical analysis, we also need to bring out how focussing on this grouping will not lead to any concrete benefits for either partners. Finally we need to provide our view based on arguments made above.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. You need to conclude with  a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that regional cooperation in South Asia is abysmal. Illustrate how SAARC has failed to provide any concrete economic, infrastructural or political benefits. This should establish the need for reforging certain regional partnerships.

Body of the answer

  • Briefly provide an overview of the geopolitical realities of Asia Pacific and how different stakeholders are involved, which makes it necessary for India to showcase her skill at fast diplomacy.
  • Thereafter delve deeper into the benefits that India will get by deeper integration with its Eastern neighbours. Highlight the geoeconomic, geopolitical and geostrategic foreign policy objectives that India will be able to achieve.
  • Highlight how the relationship has mutual complementarities – trade, mutual security concerns, interest in maintaining freedom of navigation etc
  • Point out some of the weaknesses of this regional grouping which might cause issues in the future for this regional grouping.

Conclusion – provide your view on the assertion made in the question by summarising your arguments above. Mention how India should approach it’s relationship with BIMSTEC.

 

Background:

  • Recently, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has gained more favour as the preferred platform for regional cooperation in South Asia. Contrary to global patterns, South Asian countries have shown an increased interest in regional cooperation
  • One of the reasons for BIMSTEC’s popularity is that the member countries have generally cordial relationships, something patently missing among the SAARC countries.

Indian foreign policy objectives towards the east:-

  • The Look East Policy [LEP] now renamed the Act East Policy [AEP], was a course correction that began in the early 1990s. The renewed vision to seek closer relations with countries in India’s extended eastern neighbourhood was quintessentially India’s response, to domestic economic challenges and the changing international order, marked by a unipolar world.
  • It is a recognition of the fact that India’s trade has shifted eastwards over 50% now.
  • The logical pull factors include the Bay of Bengal littoral and Indo-Pacific region, comprising Australia, China, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Myanmar and the 10 ASEAN countries.
  • ASEAN :-
  • The ASEAN region along with India, together comprises combined population of 1.85 billion people and combined GDP has been estimated to be over $3.8 trillion. Investment from ASEAN into India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years, accounting for more than 17 percent of India’s total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Why is BIMSTEC the natural choice :-

  • BIMSTEC includes the countries of the Bay of Bengal region: five countries from South Asia and two from ASEAN. The organisation is a bridge between South Asia and South East Asia.
    • It includes all the major countries of South Asia, except Maldives, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Given this composition, BIMSTEC has emerged as a natural platform to test regional cooperation in the South Asian region.
  • BIMSTEC’s major strength comes from the fact that it includes two influential regional powers: Thailand and India. This adds to the comfort of smaller neighbours by reducing the fear of dominance by one big power.
  • BIMSTEC emerged out of the necessities of the member countries:-
    • India was motivated to join BIMSTEC as it wanted to enhance its connectivity with ASEAN countries
    • For Thailand, BIMSTEC helps achieve the country’s Look West Policy.
    • BIMSTEC also helps smaller countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan to develop connectivity with ASEAN countries, the hub of major economic activities globally.
    • Myanmar sees itself as a gateway for BIMSTEC to ASEAN, primarily due to its strategic location between South and Southeast Asia. 
  • The dormant status of SAARC and the changes underway in the regional and global landscape triggered India’s initiative to invite the BIMSTEC leadership . Its goals, therefore, are being redefined to add ballast to India’s “Act East Policy”.
  • Urgency of promoting regional and sub-regional cooperation via BIMSTEC and BBIN has to be seen in the context of China’s BRI/OBOR and the compelling strategic challenge posed by China’s muscular geo-economic and geo-political interventions in Asia, particularly in India’s neighbourhood. 
  • Though maritime disputes in the South China Sea attract global attention, the Bay of Bengal has moved centre stage as the next strategic and economic arena in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • BIMSTEC and ASEAN both have seminal roles, in re-integrating the Bay of Bengal as an economic hub and strategic space. The salience of BIMSTEC has, therefore, grown for India to secure its strategic space in the neighbourhood and the Bay of Bengal region.
  • The BIMSTEC countries host a population of around 1.5 billion, approximately 21% of global population, with cumulative GDP of US$ 2.5 trillion. The annual GDP growth rate has averaged around 6%. 
  • The development of the Northeastern region, by opening up to Bangladesh and Myanmar, is another incentive for India.
  • The ongoing India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the India-Myanmar Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project are expected to further augment connectivity and economic cooperation in the sub-region and beyond. 

Concerns:-

  • Both Thailand and Myanmar are criticised for having ignored BIMSTEC in favour of ASEAN.
  • BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement [MVA] is an instrument that was conceived to transform and facilitate trade. It has not yet been completely successful as Bhutan is worried about security and environmental fallout of such an agreement.
  • BIMSTEC has identified 14 priority sectors and has signed an FTA (2004) and a Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking (2009). The pace of implementation has been quite sluggish so far.
  • Infrequency of the BIMSTEC summits, the highest decision-making body of the organisation. In its 20 years of existence, the BIMSTEC summit has taken place only thrice.
  • Landmark achievement for BIMSTEC was the establishment of a permanent secretariat in Dhaka. However, the secretariat faces a severe resource crunch, both in terms of money and manpower, which has adversely affected its performance.
  • Observers of BIMSTEC consider the lack of leadership as the major drawback

 

Way forward:-

  • India’s SAGARMALA project, still at an early stage, can be integrated into the cooperation framework of BIMSTEC. 
  • While India is the lead country for four priority sectors, namely, transportation and communication, environment and disaster management, tourism, and counter-terrorism and trans-national crime, BIMSTEC has to move into areas of strategic cooperation.
  • The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor [AAGC] is another vision that can be dovetailed into BIMSTEC’s Development and Cooperation Projects, Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity, Enhancing Capacities and Skills and People-to-People partnership.
  • BIMSTEC can function as the hub for connecting Asia-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal with Africa. At some stage when tangible progress has been made, other countries in the region can be invited to join specific projects.
  • Consistency in the frequency of the summits to ensure regularity in decision-making
  • Improving the capacity of the secretariat, both in terms of manpower and funding
  • Ensuring tangible results/benefits, which will add to the motivation of the countries to concentrate on BIMSTEC (projects in the areas of tourism, digital connectivity, energy connectivity and humanitarian assistance in disaster relief should be considered)
  • Empowering BIMSTEC to be a platform for dispute resolution among member countries. This will require debates and discussions among the BIMSTEC countries to reach consensus.

Conclusion:-

  • Finally, since the BIMSTEC region is notable for its diversity, the member states need to build on the regional synergies and work towards utilising the available resources in the most optimal manner. This would help build a stronger and a more dynamic BIMSTEC.

General Studies – 3


Topic – Technology missions

4) Discuss the dispute and legal progress on the Monsanto’s patent case? Examine Delhi HC’s decision’s impact on Indian agriculture?(250 words)

Reference

Financial express

Why this question

The recent decision of the Delhi HC on Monsanto’s patent plea for Bt Cotton is a landmark decision whose details must be known to us. Also the impact of the decision is important to be studied.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to incorporate the following points in our answer.

  • Discuss the details of the case highlighting the reason behind it, the judgment, the legal provisions involved etc
  • Thereafter discuss the impact that the judgment will have on agriculture in general and seed availability in particular.

Directive word


Discuss – Here you need to provide an in depth analysis of the case from the causes, verdict to the legal provisions involved.

Examine  – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the verdict of the case and mention that it needs to be analyzed to understand the implications

Body

  • Discuss the details of the case highlighting the reason behind it, the controversy related to higher pricing , the judgment, the legal provisions involved and the impact of the verdict on patent law in India.
  • Highlight the impact that the verdict will have on India. Start off by pointing to the unfair patent practices that big seed companies like Monsanto utilize, but also highlight that seed technology in India needs to develop. Analyze how this verdict will impact that. Also examine the problems that it will cause for patent of India’s own gm seed.

Conclusion – Summarize your view and discuss what the next step of the government should be.

Background:-

  • Delhi High Court ruled that agriculture biotech giant Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton seeds are not patentable because India’s Patents Act prohibits the patenting of plants and bio-logical matter in the long-running case between Monsanto and its licensee Nuziveedu Seeds (NSL). 

Dispute and legal process on Monsanto patent case:-

  • The dispute initially arose over license and royalty of Patented seed technology BOLLGARD II, between Monsanto and Nuziveedu seeds Company(NSL) in 2015 .
  • The genesis of the current legal wrangle is a dispute between NSL, the largest hybrid seed company in the country, and Monsanto over changes in the licensing agreement and a further reduction in trait fees.
    • In 2015, NSL, sought a 10 per cent cut in royalties or trait fees levied by MMBL.
    • It was a demand which was joined by other seed firms which said it was impossible to pay the fee demanded by Monsanto because some states had fixed the total seed price. 
  • As the stand-off deepened, Monsanto terminated its agreement with NSL.
    • Monsanto then sued Nuziveedu Seeds and its subsidiaries for continuing to sell seeds using its patented technology despite termination of its sublicence agreement. Nuziveedu then filed a counter suit challenging Monsanto’s patent. 

Delhi high court decision:-

  • Delhi High Court verdict said that certain items such as seeds, plants and animals can’t be patented under Indian laws. The court rejected Monsanto’s plea to stop Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., an estranged licensee of the company, from selling Bt cotton seeds in India.
  • It overturned the decision of a single-judge bench regarding the interpretation of Section 3(j) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, holding that transgenic plants, seeds and varieties cannot be patented. 

Impact on agriculture:-

  • Negatives:-
    • Discourage research and development in agriculture.
    • Judgment could impact multiple litigations regarding seed patents and transgenic traits, in which the Centre is involved. It could adversely affect the Indian farmer and consumer.
  • Positives:-
    • Delhi High Court’s ruling which forbids Monsanto from stopping supplies to seed companies is a boost to domestic seed companies and will curb the ability of multinationals to establish a seed monopoly.
    • This could downsize the market for genetically modified seeds in India (in any life form) and pave the way for more environmentally sustainable agriculture.
    • Will help revive the native seed industry which has been undermined by the agri-MNCs and their links with public-funded agricultural institutions that never bothered to assess the impact of GM seeds on soil, animal and human health.
    • Verdict underscores the challenges faced by multinational companies in dealing with the patent laws at a time when the country of about 1.3 billion people is trying to attract foreign companies to invest in mega projects.

TopicAwareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5) Keeping the interest of the citizens in mind, it is important to firm up a blueprint for price regulation of patented medicines in India. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Epw

Why this question

Pricing of patented medicines is a hotly debated topic in India. The unaffordable prices of patented medicines compromise equitable access to them and threaten the financial sustainability not only of patients but even that of the public health system. The question is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to dig deep into the drug pricing regime in India and bring out the need and implications of pricing of patented pharmaceuticals drugs in India.

Directive word

Critically analyse- We have to identify the main aspects of the question and frame our answer accordingly. Here we have to brainstorm on the pros and cons of regulated pricing of patented medicines in India while discussing the need and implications for such a step. We have to present our personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention the National List of Essential Medicines, inserted as Schedule-I of the DPCO, which regulates (caps) the prices of essential medicines in India, and derives its powers from the essential commodities act, 1955.

Body-

  1. Bring out the need for/ pros of regulating the price of patented medicines in India (poor affordability of patients, high disease burden, exorbitant prices of patented drugs, forcing to enter into voluntary licensing, forcing to gain from economies of scale  etc.). Give examples of drugs which have entered into controversies/ litigation on account of their high prices (e.g Erlotinib, Sofosbuvir, Imatinib etc.
  2. Discuss the cons of regulating the price of patented medicines in India.

e.g high development costs of new drugs which need to be recovered, stifling of innovation, the risk of drastically reducing the supply of patented drugs etc.

  1. Mention India’s compliance to TRIPS agreement even after invoking the provision of compulsory licensing and denying evergreening of patents. Also, mention the sustainable development goals which affirm the right of developing countries to utilise the TRIPS agreement flexibilities to ensure access to new medicines for all.

Conclusion- Based on your convictions and the above-held discussion, form a fair and balanced opinion on the given issue

Background :-

  • Providing medicines to the public at affordable prices is a key goal driving the public health policy design in many countries. Medicines with valid patents generally enjoy exemption from price regulation in most countries.

Pricing of Medicines in India :-

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals is tasked with the responsibility of fixing the prices of medicines in India.
  • The NPPA implements the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO), 2013 which aims at making available essential and life-saving medicines to all at affordable prices through price control.
  • The DPCO, 2013 draws its powers from the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (EC Act).The DPCO, 2013 follows a market-based pricing methodology for fixing the ceiling prices of medicines.
  • The key principle underlying the market-based pricing methodology of the DPCO, 2013 is essentiality. This principle is satisfied by considering the list of medicines included in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) declared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and revised from time to time.
  • The Drugs (Prices Control) Order lays down the rules for regulation of prices of medicines through a National List of Essential Medicines, inserted as Schedule-I of the
  • While any medicine that is included in Schedule-I automatically qualifies for price regulation, the DPCO exempts patented medicines that have been developed indigenously from price control for a period of five years

Why there is a need to regulation price of patented medicines in India:-

  • Pharmaceutical patents grant protection to the patentee for the duration of the patent term. The patentees enjoy the liberty to determine the prices of medicines, which is time-limited to the period of monopoly, but unaffordable to the public .It puts a huge burden on the public’s purchasing power in accessing these patented medicines.
  • Public is put to much distress as most of these medicines generally do not find any place in the essential medicine list .The unsustainable high price of new anticancer medicines has become a major area of concern as cancer has become a money-maker for pharmaceutical companies.
  • Unaffordability of the medicine leaves the patient with no option but to avoid purchasing the costly medicine which would have given them an extended lease of life, rather than get caught in a veritable debt trap.
  • Some researchers, having analysed the prices of imported patented medicines to India, have observed that, while no real technology transfer has happened, higher prices are levied on the Indian consumers .
  • The unaffordable prices of patented medicines compromise equitable access to them and threaten the financial sustainability not only of patients, but even that of the public health system
  • Medicines that have a patent tag are those which are required by patients for specialised treatments, most often when the normal or first- and second-line treatments have failed. It, therefore, becomes important that new-generation medicines with better potential for treatment or cure become available at affordable prices.
  • Without price regulation market’s focus would only be to recover the fixed costs of the product from the sale of the products, during the validity period of the patent, so as to recoup the investment in R&D for discovery of the product.
  • There are no intrinsic checks and balances in the market when a patented medicine is introduced, as there is no competition from any rival pharmaceutical company for market space for the same product. 
  • There is no express provision either in the WTO or the TRIPS agreement that explicitly prohibits price regulation of patented medicines.
  • In a country where very few people have health insurance, 70% of Indians pay for healthcare expenses out of their own pockets. In this scenario there is a need to regulate prices of patented medicines.
  • Currently, only 5% of medicines used in India are said to be patent-protected. India has over three million cancer patients, which means one in every 13 of the world’s cancer patients is Indian.

Cons of Price regulation of patented medicines in India :-

  • The patent regime and price protection through a legally validated high price for the medicine during the currency of the patent provide the patentee with a legitimate mechanism to get returns on the costs incurred in innovation and research .
  • Patent protection, while incentivising the time and capital invested by the innovator, also serves to put in public domain the knowledge thus gained at the end of the patent period.
  • India is expanding this policy beyond expensive cancer drugs.
    • Indian Supreme Court refused to prevent an Indian generic manufacturer, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, from manufacturing and selling Merck’s diabetes drug, Januvia, in India.
    • While it is an important drug, Januvia does not carry an expensive price tag.
  • Indian policies can signal that intellectual property is tenuous in this country and will be granted only in those cases where it can benefit India. 

Conclusion:-

  • Price regulation of patented medicines in some form would be a win–win solution for both, patients and the pharmaceutical industry.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

6) What do you understand by Ensemble Production system. Discuss the advantages of its recent introduction in India.(250 words)

Why this question

The Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES) has commissioned two very high resolution (12 km grid scale) state-of-the-art global Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) for generating operational 10-days probabilistic forecasts of weather. The issue is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to describe in detail the newly launched ensemble production system and also mention its advantages.

Directive word

Discuss- We have to write in detail about the given term/ technology and also enumerate its advantages.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the recent launch of the ensemble production system by IMD.

Body-

  • Describe the term further. Take the help of the articles attached with the question to frame your answer.
  • Mention the advantages of the system. e.g more accuracy and precision in forecasting, better decision making in weather forecasting, advanced data processing and assimilation etc.

Conclusion- Mention the importance of the technology for Indian farmers, agriculture and economy. Also mention its limitations to predict thunderstorms.

 

Background:-

  • The Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) recently launched the Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) for generating more accurate and area specific forecast of extreme weather events like rains, heat wave and cold wave.

Ensemble prediction system:-

  • The new Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) has been touted as best available model after such a system available in Europe.
  • The new EPS system has been developed by three bodies under Ministry of Earth Sciences viz. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
  • The most salient feature of new EPS is its high resolution for short-medium range weather forecasts.
  • In its calculations, the system will use a newly procured 8 petaflops high-power computing system. The system was recently procured for Rs. 450 crore.

Advantages:-

  • These new systems, according to IMD, shall improve upon deterministic forecasts that are prone to high margins of error.
  • Under the new system, the area of spatial resolution (currently 23 km grid scale) will come down to 12 km. This would help sending out district level warning and forecast extreme weather events as before as five days.
  • The EPS will not only enable the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to give forecast five days before, but would also add the probability of occurrence of an extreme weather event with its level of intensity.
    • The new ensemble will tell the probability of rainfall according to its intensity and volume, this will be colour coded for ease of interpretation.
  • Frameworks of the new EPS are among the best weather prediction systems in the world at present and very few forecasting centres in the world use this high resolution for short-medium range probabilistic weather forecasts.
  • The EPS will enhance the weather information being provided by the current models by quantifying the uncertainties in the weather forecast and generate probabilistic forecasts.
  • It will greatly help the disaster management authorities and other users in making better emergency response decisions by explicitly accounting for the uncertainty in weather forecasts.
  • The accurate weather forecasts would help farmers to damage crops and also support administration to take disasters prevention steps beforehand.

Disadvantages :-

  • This system will not be very helpful when it comes to predicting thunderstorms, which India has seen across the country recently, as these are mesoscale weather phenomena (limited to a small geography) and not well captured even with 12km grid scale.

Conclusion:-

  • Advance prediction can help farmers and agriculture which is largely impacted due to weather changes. So the ensemble prediction system is the step in the right direction.