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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 MAY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 MAY 2019


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.


Topic: Salient features of Indian Society.

1) Increase in life expectancy, though desirable, has posed new challenges to the modern world, the problem of ageing populations has become a matter of great concern. Discuss the challenges faced by elderly population.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The problem of ageing populations has become a matter of great concern for many countries today. Provisions for pensions and healthcare are straining budgets, leaving very little space for creating new employment opportunities for younger people. Home to over 100 million elderly people and with numbers further expected to increase threefold in the next three decades India has many challenges to be addressed.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must briefly discuss the challenges owing to increased life expectancy, what are the issues being faced by the elderly population and what needs to be done to overcome this challenge.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

In a few introductory lines explain the background of the question in brief.

Body

The body of the answer has to capture the following aspects:

  • Quote facts showing the changing patterns of life expectancy.
  • Discuss what are the issues associated with the elderly population in terms of dependence – economically, socially. abuse by the society, failing health conditions, emotional dependence etc.
  • Suggest what needs to be done?

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

India’s progress in improving the lives of its citizens can be seen in a single statistic, namely, the increase in life expectancy at birth. In 1950-55, life expectancy at birth in India was 36.6 years, whereas the average in the world was 46.8 years. By 2010-15, life expectancy in India had almost caught up with the global average: 67.5 years in India, compared with 70.5 years globally.

Body:

Challenges to countries because of ageing:

Economic challenges:

  • Increase in the dependency ratio: If the retirement age remains fixed, and the life expectancy increases, there will be relatively more people claiming pension benefits and less people working and paying income taxes. The fear is that it will require high tax rates on the current, shrinking workforce.
  • Increased government spending on healthcare and pensions. Also, those in retirement tend to pay lower income taxes because they are not working. This combination of higher spending commitments and lower tax revenue is a source of concern for Western governments – especially those with existing debt issues and unfunded pension schemes.
  • Shortage of workers: An ageing population could lead to a shortage of workers and hence push up wages causing wage inflation. Alternatively, firms may have to respond by encouraging more people to enter the workforce, through offering flexible working practices.
  • Changing sectors within the economy: An increase in the numbers of retired people will create a bigger market for goods and services linked to older people (e.g. retirement homes)
  • Higher savings for pensions may reduce capital investment. If society is putting a higher % of income into pension funds, it could reduce the amount of savings available for more productive investment, leading to lower rates of economic growth.
  • Because of ageing and increasing life expectancy western countries share in the global GDP is reducing in relative terms.
  • Especially during economic crisis they get affected even more as unemployment rises and they don’t have the necessary skill and population to work.
  • Without international migration, the working-age population (persons in age group 20-64 years, as per UN classification) in the developed countries would decline by 77 million or about 11 per cent – which could increase the dependence of the developed countries on international migrants or on outsourcing of work.
  • In developing countries like India the needs of increasing numbers of elderly persons are to be provided for when the demands of India’s youthful population are not yet creates an economic challenge.

Health challenges:

  • A rise in age-related chronic illness: Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are expected to almost double every 20 years, as life expectancy increases.
  • Special challenges for less developed nations: Poorer countries will carry the double burden of caring for older people with chronic diseases, as well as dealing with continued high rates of infectious diseases.
  • Increasing need for specialized health care workers: With millions more older people needing health care, specialized doctors, like geriatricians, will be necessary to help seniors worldwide. By 2030, it is estimated that 36,000 geriatricians will be needed in the United States alone
  • Increasing need for long-term care: The number of sick and frail elderly needing affordable nursing homes or assisted living centers will likely increase.
  • Health care costs increase: As older people stop working and their health care needs increase, they might be pushed to poverty without government support. In the United States, another baby boomer turns 60 every eight seconds.
  • As generally live longer than men most of them will end up being widows and might have acquired less education with fewer years at work and therefore more restricted access to social security.

Advantages of using Aged people as a resource:

  • Increased longevity may also boost labour supply and saving rates. In addition, a decline in fertility increases female labour supply (Bailey, 2006) and the resources available to invest in children’s health and education
  • It is likely that older communities will become more law abiding, since older people are less inclined to commit crimes.

Community benefits:

  • Older people tend to play a role in supporting and maintaining informal social networks, which in turn bind communities and families together and can make a substantial contribution to improving social conditions.
  • In Vietnam, Old People’s Associations (OPAs) .government uses them to reach the communities for popularising the government programmes. A great benefit of these ‘inter-generational self-help groups’ (as the OPAs are called) is the social capital they accumulate and the cohesion they enable within communities.
  • Women in self-help groups are improving the quality of lives of people in many countries. especially SEWA (the self-employed women’s association) in India

Conclusion:

The elderly are the fastest growing, underutilized resource that humanity has to address many other problems. Re-integration of the elderly into communities may save humanity from mindlessly changing into a technology driven ‘Industry 4.0’ which futurists are projecting: an economy of robots producing things for each other. Healthy elderly citizens can share their wealth of knowledge with younger generations, help with child care, and volunteer or hold jobs in their communities.


Topic:   Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

2) “With the US trying to derail China’s development and contain its rise, and China aggressively projecting its power in Asia and around the world—a full-scale cold war is not far from reality”.  Critically Analyse the statement in the light of recent trade turfs between Sino-American relationship.(250 words)

Livemint

 

Why this question:

The article captures a detailed discussion on the global consequences of a possible Sino-American cold war.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the current turf between China and America and the possible near future consequences on the world.

Directive word:

Critically analyzeWhen 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with elaboration on the concept of ‘Thucydides Trap’.

Body:

Discussion should include the following aspects –

  • Narrate how the current Sino – American relations reflect in a possible Thucydides Trap.
  • Discuss the causes and consequences of the current conditions of trade wars.
  • Explain what could be the possible outcomes of such war?
  • What needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward signifying importance to curb such a turf in the larger good of the world.

Introduction:

The phrase “Thucydides’ trap,” in the foreign policy context is used to explain the likelihood of conflict between a rising power and a currently dominant one. Despite the mutual awareness of the Thucydides Trap, China and the US seem to be falling into it anyway. Though a hot war between the world’s two major powers still seems far-fetched, a cold war is becoming more likely.

Body:

US-China Trade war:

  • Trade tensions are a manifestation of the strategic competition between the two countries China and USA.
  • According to the US, China has gained an unfair advantage through intellectual-property theft, forced technology transfers, subsidies for domestic firms, and other instruments of state capitalism. At the same time, its government is becoming increasingly authoritarian, transforming China into an Orwellian surveillance state.
  • The Chinese suspect that the US’s real goal is to prevent them from rising any further or projecting legitimate power and influence abroad.
  • US had imposed tariffs on as much as 25 percent on $34 billion in Chinese imports.
  • China responded with retaliatory tariffs of 25% on US goods worth an equivalent $34 billion, including soybean, automobiles, and marine products such as lobsters.
  • The U.S.-China trade war has flared up again after a deceptive lull over the last few months, when both sides were trying to negotiate a deal.
  • The US has imposed sanctions on ZTE and Huawei, China will be scrambling to ensure that its tech giants can source essential inputs domestically, or at least from friendly trade partners that are not dependent on the US.
  • Regardless of which side has the stronger argument, the escalation of economic, trade, technological, and geopolitical tensions may have been inevitable.

Current Impacts:

  • The US is sharply restricting Chinese foreign direct investment in sensitive sectors, and pursuing other actions to ensure Western dominance in strategic industries such as artificial intelligence and 5G.
  • It is pressuring partners and allies not to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s massive programme of infrastructure projects across the Eurasian landmass.
  • And it is increasing US Navy patrols in the East and South China Seas, where China has grown more aggressive in asserting its dubious territorial claims.

The possible outcomes of cold war:

  • The global consequences of a Sino-American cold war would be even more severe than those of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union.
  • Whereas the Soviet Union was a declining power with a failing economic model, China will soon become the world’s largest economy, and will continue to grow from there.
  • China is fully integrated in the global trading and investment system, and deeply intertwined with the US, in particular.
  • A full-scale cold war thus could trigger a new stage of de-globalization, or at least a division of the global economy into two incompatible economic blocs.
  • In either scenario, trade in goods, services, capital, labour, technology and data would be severely restricted, and the digital realm would become a “splinternet,” wherein Western and Chinese nodes would not connect to one another.
  • In this balkanized world, China and the US will both expect all other countries to pick a side, while most governments will try to thread the needle of maintaining good economic ties with both.
  • After all, many US allies now do more business (in terms of trade and investment) with China than they do with the US.
  • Yet in a future economy where China and the US separately control access to crucial technologies such as AI and 5G, the middle ground will most likely become uninhabitable.
  • Everyone will have to choose, and the world may well enter a long process of de-globalization.
  • In effect, China and the US would create a new international order, based on the recognition that the (inevitably) rising new power should be granted a role in shaping global rules and institutions.

Way forward:

  • US and China need to negotiate the issue amicably and not put the free trade under threat.
  • India needs to be cautious. Its strategic relationship with both the countries needs to be nurtured.

Conclusion:

In today’s globalized world, any threats to global trade will impact all the countries to various extents. In such tensed atmosphere, a small irritant could turn the cold war into a hot one. Countries must introspect and learn from the lessons of the past cold war to avert a new one.


TopicBilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

3) Discuss how far the IBSA endeavor has succeeded in proving to be unique a voice for the Global South. (250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail Why the unique grouping of India, Brazil and South Africa must be revitalised. It explains the achievements and way ahead for the platform IBSA.

Demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the attempts of IBSA to become the voice of global south.

Directive word:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with brief introduction of IBSA.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

  • IBSA – International tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among three countries, represents three important poles for galvanizing South-South cooperation.
  • Discuss its evolution from the Brasilia declaration.
  • Discuss its significance.

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

IBSA is a unique forum which brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents, facing similar challenges. All three countries are developing, pluralistic, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious nations.

Body:

Cooperation in IBSA is on three fronts:

  • first, as a forum for consultation and coordination on global and regional political issues, such as, the reform of the global institutions of political and economic governance, WTO/Doha Development Agenda, climate change, terrorism etc.;
  • second, trilateral collaboration on concrete areas/projects, through fourteen working groups and six People-to-People Forums, for the common benefit of three countries; and
  • Third, assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.

Significance of IBSA:

  • The success of IBSA reflects an important demonstration effect.
  • It is the champion of South-South Co-operation and the advocate of a coordinated response by developing economies to secure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The glue that binds IBSA countries together is their faith in democracy, diversity, plurality, inclusivity, human rights and rule of law.
  • IBSA success in contributing to discourse on global issues also shows the importance of engaging with the countries of the South.

Successes so far:

  • The three Foreign Ministers have been meeting regularly to provide a coordinated leadership to the grouping.
  • While the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Fund) is small in monetary terms, it has succeeded in implementing 31 development projects in diverse countries: Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, State of Palestine, Cambodia and Vietnam, among others.
  • India has been running an innovative IBSA Visiting Fellows Programme through the Delhi-based think tank, RIS or Research and Information System for Developing Countries.
  • A strong case exists for expanding its reach. Both South Africa and Brazil should initiate their own editions of this programme, as an investment in building intellectual capital.

Challenges aplenty:

  • Post 2011, BRICS, the larger group comprising IBSA countries, China and Russia, started to overshadow IBSA. IBSA has been unable, until now, to hold its sixth summit.
  • The fact is that the political leadership of both Russia and China have shown greater commitment to the idea of BRICS, and pushing their anti-West agenda through it, than have the political leadership of Brazil, India and South Africa to IBSA, and to its pro-democracy agenda.
  • BRICS accounts for 26 per cent of the world’s area, 40 per cent of its population, and 22 per cent of global GDP. Therefore, when BRICS speaks, its views are bound to receive much greater notice than those of IBSA.
  • It also helps that those drafting BRICS declarations are far more concise and self-disciplined than their colleagues in IBSA who still seem to be driven by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)-style urge to be long-winded.

Way forward:

  • The idea of IBSA remains valid. The grouping has its tasks cut out. The special responsibilities it bears cannot be discharged by BRICS.
  • In fact, strengthening IBSA could increase the effectiveness of BRICS and encourage it to follow a more balanced approach on key issues of interest to India, Brazil and South Africa.
  • Hence, the current endeavours to infuse greater dynamism in IBSA are well-timed.
  • They would need buy-in by the government that comes to power in India.
  • Support by Brazil and South Africa’s heads, who have just won re-election as President, would be crucial.

Topic: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

4) What is the central ideology of Maoist insurgents in India? Critically analyse also suggest solutions to address the issues associated.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the backdrop of recent attacks witnessed in Arunachal Pradesh where Tirong Aboh, the sitting MLA from Khonsa West assembly constituency, along with 10 others have been  killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen in Tirap District

Demand of the question:

The answer must explain how the decades-old insurgency is a major internal threat facing the world’s largest democracy and one must narrate in detail the central ideology of such Insurgency.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Known in India as the Naxalites or Naxals, the Maoists are considered to be left-wing extremists who broke away from mainstream communism on ideological issues like the decision by the main parties to join the electoral process.

Body:

Body of the answer should capture:

  • What is their central idea ?
  • When was the movement formed?
  • Who do the Naxalites represent?
  • What attracts the population to the movement?
  • Who is their target?
  • What steps has the government taken so far to fight the Naxalites?
  • What measures are required still to curb the menace of Maoism.
  • Discuss some specific case studies – North East region to justify better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way ahead.

Introduction:

The Naxalite–Maoist insurgency is an ongoing conflict between Maoist groups known as Naxalites or Naxals and the Indian government. Maoism is a form of communism developed by Mao Tse Tung.   It is  a  doctrine  to  capture  State  power  through  a  combination  of  armed  insurgency, mass mobilization and strategic alliances. Since its inception at Telangana in the 1930s, the insurgent movement has become one of the major threats to the democratic structure of the Indian nation.

Recently, Tirong Aboh, the sitting MLA from Khonsa West assembly constituency, along with 10 others were killed in an ambush by unidentified Maoist gunmen in Tirap District.

Body:

The central theme of Maoist ideology:

  • The central  theme  of  Maoist  ideology  is  the  use  of  violence  and  armed insurrection as a means to capture State power.
  • ‘Bearing of arms is non-negotiable’ as per the Maoist insurgency doctrine.
  • The Maoist  ideology  glorifies  violence  and  the  ‘Peoples  Liberation  Guerrilla  Army’  (PLGA)  cadres  are  trained  specifically  in  the  worst  forms  of  violence  to  evoke  terror  among  the population under their domination.
  • However, they also use the subterfuge of mobilizing  people  over  issues  of  purported    inadequacies  of  the  existing  system, so that they can be indoctrinated to take recourse to violence as the only means of redressal.
  • The Maoists also use propaganda and disinformation against State institutions as other components of their insurgency doctrine.

Spread:

The  States  of  Chhattisgarh,  Jharkhand,  Orissa  and  Bihar  are  considered  severely  affected.  The  States  of  West  Bengal,  Maharashtra  and  Andhra  Pradesh  are  considered  partially  affected.  The States of UP and MP are considered slightly affected. Together, the affected area is called ‘Red Corridor’.

Strategy: The Maoists wish to keep the population in their strongholds cut-off from the mainstream milieu. The  schools  are  attacked  because  education  promotes  a  spirit  of  enquiry  among  the  local  population  and  also  equips  children  with  skills  for  alternative  sources  of  livelihood.  These developments are looked upon by the Maoists as potential threats to their very existence and their outdated ideology. The Maoists also destroy infrastructure like roads and telecom network to keep populations isolated from mainstream India.

Government’s current measures:

  • After identifying the Naxalites as the most serious threat to the Indian state, the central government has set up a special 10,000-strong Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (Cobra) to fight them.
  • The government of India’s National Policy and Action Plan, with its emphasis on security and development, is making an impact. Under this plan, as many as 307 fortified police stations were constructed in Naxal-hit areas in last three years.
  • Besides, 1,391 km roads were constructed in some of the most difficult areas under the road requirement plan phase-I. Additional roads were approved for construction in nine Naxal-hit areas as well
  • The reduction in Naxalite activity is mainly attributable to Operation Green Hunt, which was launched in 2009 and is undertaken jointly by the security forces of the central and state governments to eliminate Naxalites.
  • Operation ‘SAMADHAN’ stands for Smart leadership, Aggressive strategy, Motivation and training, Actionable intelligence, Dashboard Based KPIs (key performance indicators) and KRAs (key result areas), Harnessing technology, Action plan for each theatre, and No access to financing.
  • The MHA has suggested the use of trackers for weapons, and bio-metrics in smart guns.
  • Unique Identification number (UID) for Gelatine sticks and explosives.
  • At least one UAV or Mini UAV for each of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) battalions deployed in the Maoist hotbed.
  • More helicopter support for operations. Helicopters to be used to rush in supplies and reinforcement. Increased number of flying hours.
  • Joint Task Forces for operations along inter-State boundaries to be set up. Better inter-state coordination and intelligence sharing.
  • 400 fortified police stations to be set up in Naxal belt.
  • Resumption of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) – specific schemes such as SRE, SIS, IAP/ACA, CIAT schools.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to be reviewed to ensure effective choking of fund flow to LWE groups.
  • Fast tracking building infrastructure, with a focus on solar lights, mobile towers with 3G connectivity, and road-rail connectivity.
  • Indian Army or specialized forces – such as Greyhounds – to train forces to take on Naxals.
  • Forces should be more proactive and aggressive in owning operations, rather than being reactive.
  • Apart from the construction of roads, mobile towers, setting up of banks, post offices, Kendriya Vidyalayas, etc, the most significant achievement has been in poverty reduction. A recent study published in a Brookings blog says that by 2022, less than 3 per cent of Indians will be poor and that extreme poverty could be eliminated altogether by 2030.
  • Choking the financial funding of Naxals forms the foundation of the new strategy. Evidence shows that demonetisation curbed naxal funding
  • The security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme, special infrastructure scheme (SIS), integrated action plan (IAP) and a few other schemes will be extended for a few more years if the finance ministry’s approval is received.

Approach which India can follow in future:

  • One of such promising avenues can be bringing the rebels to the negotiation table by creating a holistic process of disarming the rebels, integrating them into society, and ensuring that the socio-economic conditions are improved.
  • International experience: The Colombia peace deal can provide a skeleton for developing such an approach. The Colombia peace process was signed between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP), which ended the approximately five-decade-old civil war
  • Comprehensive rural reforms would be a positive step toward addressing the socioeconomic issues behind Naxalism.
  • Comprehensive rural reform for India would include land access and use reform such as proper implementation of Schedule 5 and 9, a special rural land legal system to resolve land conflicts between government officials and tribals, and improving laws for equitable access to forest produce
  • There is a need to empower local governments giving adequate powers to Gram Sabha and building confidence in the people of government’s developmental agenda

Conclusion:

It is imperative that government instead of being reactionary goes after them proactively. But it has herculean challenge of doing it in democratic way. It is obvious that there is and should be two pronged approach to counter it, one at ideological level and other at physical level. In former case, good governance by government and delivering good results in fields of Education, Health and overall standard of living will be instrumental.


Topic:    Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5) Evaluate the coming of Faster diagnostic tests for tuberculosis in India. How far has India gone from conventional methods to more efficient and effective methods? Analyse. (250 words)

Thehindubuisnessline

 

Why this question:

Scientists have developed highly sensitive and rapid tests for detection of tuberculosis infection in lungs and surrounding membranes. Unlike current tests that use antibodies for detection of bacterial proteins in sputum samples, new tests use Aptamer Linked Immobilized Sorbent Assay (ALISA) and Electrochemical Sensor (ECS) for detection of a bacterial protein in the sputum.

Key demand of the question:

Answer is straightforward and is about discussing the evolution of science in the field of Tuberculosis Diagnosis.

Directive word:

AnalyzeWhen 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines highlight the context of the question.

Body:

In brief discuss the following points:

  • Explain the significance of coming of Faster diagnostic tests for tuberculosis in India.
  • How has the evolution in diagnostics changed the landscape of Helath issues specifically the TB burden?
  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health concern for both developing and developed countries and has recently become more complex due to persistence in aging populations and the rise of drug-resistant strains, recent advances allow better and earlier diagnosis of active pulmonary TB – Conventional diagnostic tests use antibodies for detection of bacterial proteins in sputum samples. However, such tests suffer with limitations including batch-to-batch variability, limited shelf-life, and cost.
  • To address these problems, the researchers have now developed two DNA aptamer-based tests – Aptamer Linked Immobilized Sorbent Assay (ALISA) and Electrochemical Sensor (ECS) for detection of a bacterial protein in the sputum.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Tuberculosis (TB) remains the biggest killer disease in India, outnumbering all other infectious diseases put together — this despite our battle against it from 1962, when the National TB Programme (NTP) was launched. According to the World Health Organization’sGlobal Tuberculosis Report 2018“, India accounted for 27% of the 10 million people, who had developed TB in 2017, besides making up 32% of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people, and 27% of combined TB deaths. The Lancet report says that India’s goal to end the epidemic by 2025 was too “ambitious”, “unrealistic”, and, therefore, unattainable.

Body:

According to WHO 2018 Global TB Report,

  • India accounted for 27% of the total new TB infections in 2017- the highest in the world
  • There has been a 1.7% reduction in tuberculosis cases and 3% reduction in deaths from 2016
  • India has 24% of the world’s drug-resistant TB burden- the highest in the world
  • There was also 8% reduction in rifampicin–first-line TB drug–resistant tuberculosis (RR TB) and MDR-TB

Diagnosis techniques:

  • Conventional diagnostic tests use antibodies for detection of bacterial proteins in sputum samples. However, such tests suffer with limitations including batch-to-batch variability, limited shelf-life, and cost.
  • To address these problems, the researchers have now developed two DNA aptamer-based tests – Aptamer Linked Immobilized Sorbent Assay (ALISA) and Electrochemical Sensor (ECS) for detection of a bacterial protein in the sputum.
  • Aptamers are DNA, RNA or peptide molecules that bind to specific molecular targets. They are known to bind the right target (which defines sensitivity) and at the same time rule out any non-specific binding to other targets (specificity).
  • The performance of the newly developed tests was compared with antibody-based tests in 314 sputum samples. ALISA showed 92% sensitivity while the antibody-based method was 68% sensitive.
  • The ECS test can be used for screening of samples in the field as it takes as less as 30 minutes to deliver results.
  • It is highly sensitive and could detect HspX protein in 91% of the samples tested in this study.
  • In addition, there is no need for sputum sample preparation which is a complex and time-consuming process.

Significance of new Diagnostic techniques:

  • The aptamer-based screening tests for pulmonary TB, pleural TB, and TB meningitis hold immense promise for a country like India, where the disease burden in high and primary health care is only a dream for many.
  • The ECS platform could be used in a mobile screening van at the point-of-care, which could help in remote rural and tribal areas.
  • The group used aptamer-based test also for detection of pleural TB, the second most prevalent form of extrapulmonary TB.
  • Early diagnosis of pleural TB is limited by availability of a sensitive and rapid test. The performance of existing DNA-based tests varies widely due to low bacterial load in pleural fluid sample.
  • Aptamer-based test for pleural TB has showed 93% sensitivity and is cost-effective.

Way forward:

  • It is important to address the social conditions and factors which contribute to and increase vulnerability to tuberculosis. Concerted efforts should be made to address the issues of undernourishment, diabetes, alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Increased political will, financial resources and increasing research to develop new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent TB will help achieve the goal.
  • Private sector engagement in combating TB needs to be strengthened. The private sector should also be incentivised to report TB cases. Example: The Kochi Model– Increasing TB cases reporting from private sector
  • There is an urgent need for cost-effective point-of-care devices that can be deployed for TB diagnosis in different settings across India.
  • Universal access to drug, susceptibility testing at diagnosis to ensure that all patients are given appropriate treatment, including access to second-line treatment for drug-resistant TB.
  • To ensure public participation — a missing element in the RNTCP —in public-private participation mode.
  • Mass awareness campaigns like ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ can play an important role in breaking social taboos regarding TB.

Conclusion:

India has the highest TB burden in the world. Given our inter-connected world and the airborne spread of TB, we need collective global action. Ending TB in India will have massive global impact in addition to saving the lives of tens of millions of India’s people over the next 25 years. Even if ending TB by 2025 is not complete, pulling the TB curve down by 2025 and sustaining the decline ever after is a possibility.


Topic :Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

6) With RISAT-2B, India has resumed its course back on radar imaging space fleet, discuss its significance elucidating upon its application across the domains.(250 words)

Economictimes

 

Why this question:

In a pre-dawn launch on Wednesday, Indian space agency ISRO scripted history by successfully launching earth observation satellite RISAT-2B that would enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities among others.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail significant features of RISAT- 2B and importance it brings to India in terms of radar imaging space fleet. One must list out in detail the application aspects of such a mission.

Directive word:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

write a few introductory lines on RISAT – 2B.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects :

  • The salient features of the satellite launch – RISAT -2B
  • What are its capabilities?
  • Why is the mission important to India?
  • What are the applications it brings – in the fields of – agriculture; crop estimation, forestry, soil, land use, geology and during floods and cyclone.
  • Its significance to security forces and disaster relief agencies etc.

Conclusion –

Conclude with significance of such a mission to India.

Introduction:

RISAT-2B, the country’s newest microwave Earth observation satellite, rode to its orbit 557 km above the ground. Dubbed as a ‘spy’ satellite, RISAT-2B (Radar Imaging Satellite-2B) will replace its predecessor RISAT-2 which has been actively used by India to monitor activities in terror camps across the border in Pakistan to thwart infiltration bids by terrorists.

Body:

Significance of RISAT-2B:

  • RISAT-2B adds to India’s capability to observe the earth in all weathers and all conditions.
  • Regular remote-sensing or optical imaging satellites work like a light-dependent camera that cannot perceive hidden or surreptitious objects in cloudy or dark conditions.
  • Satellites that are equipped with an active sensor, the synthetic aperture radar (SAR), can sense or ‘observe’ Earth in a special way from space day and night, rain or cloud.
  • A radar imaging satellite is complex to assemble. Interpreting its images is equally complex.
  • It will mark the resumption of a vital ring of Indian all-seeing radar imaging satellites after seven years.
  • It will add to the reconnaissance capability from about 500 km in space. A constellation of such space-based radars means a comprehensive vigil over the country.
  • It will enhance India’s monitoring capabilities for civil and military purposes.

Applications of RISAT-2B:

  • Radar imaging is important for surveillance applications, as it does not require sunlight or clear skies to be able to observe its target.
  • Providing data for national security agencies.
  • crop monitoring during the monsoon season
  • forestry mapping for forest fires and deforestation
  • flood mapping as part of the national disaster management programme

Conclusion:

The satellite will enhance India’s capability in crop monitoring during the monsoon season, forestry mapping for forest fires and deforestation, and flood mapping as part of the national disaster management programme. The biggest advantage is that ground imageries can be collected during rains and despite dust, clouds or darkness and during all seasons, thus ensuring continuous and reliable data.


Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.

7) Define the terms – Sympathy, Empathy and compassion. How are they different from each other? Justify with suitable examples.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

 

Why this question:

The question is based upon the conceptual aspects of paper IV.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must define the terms sympathy, empathy and compassion and must elaborate on the key differences between them using suitable examples/case studies.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines define the terms – sympathy, empathy and compassion.

Body:

  • Sympathy is a feeling and expression of concern for someone, often accompanied by a wish for them to be happier or better off. In general, sympathy implies a deeper, more personal, level of concern than pity, a simple expression of sorrow.
  • Empathy It involves, first, seeing someone else’s situation from his/ her perspective, and, second, sharing that person’s emotions, including, if any, his distress. Empathy, is the act of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It occurs when you are truly trying to understand or experience someone else’s emotions, as if they were your own.
  • Compassion is a deeper level of empathy, demonstrating an actual desire to help the suffering person. It is a unique feeling of sympathy for the suffering of others that involves emotions and empathy towards others, a sense of understanding, and the drive to protect.
  • Then move on to differentiate them – in terms of defining characteristics, how the three differ in terms of a response to suffering etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with their relevance to civil servants as key values necessary for successful administration which is ethical and fair.

Introduction:

Sympathy, empathy and Compassion are separate terms with some very important distinctions. Empathy means that you feel what a person is feeling. Sympathy means you can understand what the person is feeling. Compassion is the willingness to relieve the suffering of another.

Body:

Sympathy:

  • Sympathy refers to acknowledging another person’s emotional hardships and providing comfort and assurance. Sympathy is when you are able to understand what the person is feeling.
  • For example, if someone’s father has passed away, you may not be able to viscerally feel that person’s pain. However, you can employ your cognitive skills to understand that your friend is sad.
  • It makes sense, then, to send sympathy cards when you understand that someone is suffering. You are not feeling that person’s pain, but you want them to know you are aware of their suffering.

Empathy:

  • Empathy refers to understanding what others are feeling. This may be because we ourselves have felt so or we can put ourselves in their shoes. It is viscerally feeling what another feels. Empathy may arise automatically when you witness someone in pain.
  • For example, if you saw me slam a car door on my fingers, you may feel pain in your fingers as well. That feeling means your mirror neurons have kicked in.
  • Empathy isn’t just for unpleasant feelings. You can feel empathy when you see someone happy, too.

Compassion:

  • Compassion takes empathy and sympathy a step further. When you are compassionate, you feel the pain of another (i.e., empathy) or you recognize that the person is in pain (i.e., sympathy), and then you do your best to alleviate the person’s suffering from that situation. Thus, the emphasis here is on action and wanting to help.
  • When you’re compassionate, you’re not running away from suffering, you’re not feeling overwhelmed by suffering, and you’re not pretending the suffering doesn’t exist. When you are practicing compassion, you can stay present with suffering.
  • For example, has anyone ever truly listened to you as you share a problem? This person listened without trying to fix your problem, and this person wasn’t relating it back to his/her own life or emotions. He/she listened without judgment.
  • An important distinction between feeling empathy and compassion is how they can affect your overall well-being. If you are frequently feeling the pain of another, you may experience overwhelm or burnout. This is a common problem for caregivers and health care providers, and it’s been labelled “empathy fatigue.”

Conclusion:

A public servant must possess all the three qualities depending on situation. Public servants are meant to serve and this requires developing a humanistic outlook and to go out-of-the way. These qualities ensure that the public servants act sensitively and interpret the rules so as to advance public interest. This is all the more important in a country like India where most the citizens are not aware of their rights and obligations owing to their socio-economic conditions rather than out of ignorance. In their absence, the administration will become mechanistic, rigid and ineffective.