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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 March 2020


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:  Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism

1. Rising crime against women in political and personal sphere is a major cause of concern in contemporary Indian society. Discuss and enumerate steps taken by government to address them. (250 words)

Reference: NCERT – Indian society class XI

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide specific government steps to curb violence against

Women at work and at home while bringing out the factors responsible for rising crime against them in both political and personal sphere.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Briefly provide evidence to given statement. Quote data from National Crime Records Bureau or recent incidents that support the context of the question.

Body:

Firstly bring out the grievances of women in contemporary Indian society.

Discuss and list down the factors responsible – social, cultural, economic etc.

Then move onto highlight the policies and programmes in place to protect women and the measures in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Suggesting reformative measures to prevent crime against women and need for a multi-pronged approach at all the levels of societal strata to overcome the challenge.

Introduction:

Crimes against women have been in focus, with several heinous ones being reported across the country. National Crime Record Bureau report shows stark increase in violence against women in India in the forms of dowry deaths, acts of sexual harassment, torture, rapes and domestic violence. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

Body:

Violence against women:

  • 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner.
  • Only 52% of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care.
  • Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday; while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2012; while only 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances.
  • 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited.
  • Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.

Reasons for increasing violence against women: 

  • Gender Disparity: is one of the deep rooted cause of violence against women that put women at risk of several forms of violence.
  • Discriminatory gender norms and gender stereotypes results into structural inequality.
  • Psychiatric Morbidity: Generally, refers to the incidence of both physical and psychological deterioration as a result of a mental or psychological condition, generally caused due to the consumption of alcohol.
  • Regular consumption of alcohol by the husband has been strongly associated with poor mental health of women.
  • Alcohol operates as a situational factor, increasing the likelihood of violence by reducing inhibitions, clouding judgment and impairing an individual’s ability to interpret cues.
  • Sociodemographic factors: Patriarchy has been cited as the main cause of violence against women. Where women have a higher economic status than their husbands and are seen as having sufficient power to change traditional gender roles, risk for violence is high.
  • Family factors: Exposure to harsh physical discipline during childhood and witnessing the father beating the mother during childhood is a predictor of victimization and perpetration of violence against wife in adulthood.
  • Traditional and cultural practices:
    • Female genital mutilation: Can lead to death, infertility, and long-term psychological trauma combined with increased physical suffering.
    • Acid attacks: Acid attacks have emerged as a cheap and readily accessible weapon to disfigure and sometimes kill women and girls for reasons as varied as family feuds, inability to meet dowry demands, and rejection of marriage proposals.
    • Killing in the name of family honor: In several countries of the world including Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, and India, women are killed to uphold the honor of the family due to varied reasons such as-alleged adultery, premarital relationship (with or without sexual relations), rape, falling in love with a person the family disapproves, which justify a male member of the family to kill the woman concerned.
    • Early marriages: Early marriage with or without the consent of the girl, constitutes a form of violence as it undermines the health and autonomy of millions of girls.
  • Judiciary and law enforcement machinery: An insensitive, inefficient, corrupt and unaccountable judicial system and law enforcement machinery fails to deter against various forms of crimes.
  • Sociocultural factors disfavouring women: Stereotypes of gender roles have continued over the ages.
    • The primary roles for women have been marriage and motherhood.
    • Women must marry because an unmarried, separated or divorced status is a stigma.
    • The custom of dowry is still prevalent in Indian marriages.

Steps taken by government to address them:

  • Constitutional Safeguards:
    • Fundamental Rights: It guarantees all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State on the basis of gender (Article 15(1)) and special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women (Article 15(3)).
    • Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP): It ensures equal pay for equal work (Article 39 (d)).
    • Fundamental Duties: It ensures that practices derogatory to the dignity of women are prohibited under Article 51 (A).
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961: It prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry.
  • Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) act was enacted to protect the minors. This is one of the first laws which is gender neutral.
  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act was enacted in 2013 as a comprehensive legislation to provide a safe, secure and enabling environment, free from sexual harassment, to every woman.
  • The Indian Penal Code has many stringent provisions in itself. After the Nirbhaya case, amendments were made in the code in 2013 on the recommendations of Justice Verma committee. The amendments have made the code further stringent.

Way forward:

  • We need to provide children with greater parental guidance.
  • In families, there should also be a relationship of authority and respect between parents and their children.
  • Women should be respected at home. When women are respected at home, then children also learn about the importance of respecting women. Parents cannot treat their sons and daughters differently.
  • People should be made about Zero FIR.
  • The state has to work towards making people aware of laws like POCSO Act, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act etc. The state should also make the penalties of not abiding by these laws clear to the public.
  • Gender-sensitization programmes should also be started for males of family, police personnel, medical fraternity etc. Police apathy, especially when a woman approaches the police should be worked upon.
  • Encourage and adopt family focused practices that promote equal access for both girls and boys to high quality education, and ensure opportunities to successfully complete schooling, and to making educational choices
  • Students should be taught to engage in community activities so that they understand realities and also understand how to cope up with realities. Community get-togethers should also be encouraged so that people get to know each other. Neighbours should also get to know their neighbours. Community activities should be encouraged.

 

Topic:  Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism

2. Bring out the impact of Regionalism on Indian polity. (250 words)

Reference: NCERT – Indian society class XI

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must straightforward discuss the impact of regionalism on Indian polity system.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what you understand by regionalism.

Body:

Regionalism is an ideology and political movement that seeks to advance the causes of regions. As a process it plays role within the nation as well as outside the nation i.e. at international level. Both types of regionalism have different meaning and have positive as well as negative impact on society, polity, diplomacy, economy, security, culture, development, negotiations, etc.

Explain regionalism within India discuss origin, its evolution and current state.

Discuss the causes that often lead to regionalism.

Highlight its impact on the Indian polity.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.

Introduction:

Regionalism is a feeling or an ideology among a section of people residing in a particular geographical space characterized by unique language, culture etc., that they are the sons of the soil and every opportunity in their land must be given to them first but not to the outsiders. It is a sort of Parochialism. In most of the cases it is raised for expedient political gains but not necessarily.

Body:

Regionalism in India:

  • Roots of regionalism is in India’s manifold diversity of languages, cultures, ethnic groups, communities, religions and so on, and encouraged by the regional concentration of those identity markers, and fueled by a sense of regional deprivation.
  • For many centuries, India remained the land of many lands, regions, cultures and traditions.
  • For instance, southern India (the home of Dravidian cultures), which is itself a region of many regions, is evidently different from the north, the west, the central and the north-east.
  • Even the east of India is different from the North-East of India comprising today seven constituent units of Indian federation with the largest concentration of tribal people.

Factors responsible for Regionalism: A host of factors ranging from Geographical, Historical, Linguistic, Religious, political, Economic and Ethnic factors influence the Regionalism in India.

Impact of Regionalism on Indian polity:

The politics of regionalism in India has both positive and negative aspects.

Positives:

  • it implies an intense desire for concretizing an identity based on such interest as ethnic, language, religion, etc.
  • For example, the erstwhile Jharkhand movement which covered wide regions of Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, had come together as a unified group to protect and promote their socio-economic and political interests.
  • This process involves reaffirming their identity as tribal groups.
  • The movement finally succeeded in forcing the government in reorganizing the states and the formation of Jharkhand State came about on 15th November 2000 as the 28th State of the Indian Union.
  • It has been carved out of the State of Bihar and it largely comprises forest tracks of Chhotanagpur plateau and Santhal Paragana

Negatives:

  • The feeling of regionalism:
    • the feeling of regionalism has produced the feeling of separatism among the people living in different parts of India.
  • Violent movement:
    • Regionalism has given birth to violent movements.
  • Demand of states for more autonomy:
    • Although several factors are responsible for the demand of more autonomy for the states, but one of the reasons is that with the granting of more autonomy to the states they will be able to develop their regions.
  • Demand for separate states:
    • The People living in the backward regions of India are demanding separate states.
  • Tension between centre and states:
    • The people living in different states allege that centre is not taking any special interest in the development of their state, and thus the discrimination is being made with them.
  • Formation of regional parties:
    • Due to high feeling of regionalism, several regional political parties have come into existence and they give priority to regional interests over the national interests.
  • Politics of movements:
    • The impact of politics of movements is increasing in India day by day. People living in different parts of India launch movements from time to time to attract the attention of the central government.
    • For example: theory of the sons of the soil: For example: Maharashtra for Marathis, Bengal for Bengalis etc.

Measures needed:

  • Proper organization of Regional Parties
  • Efforts for the balance progress of different states
  • Activities of the separatists should be dealt with strongly
  • Establishment of Autonomous Commissions to settle Inter-State Disputes
  • Balanced Division of Powers between Centre and the States
  • Development of Secular Politics
  • Redress of the grievance of the Minorities
  • Need to review the Federal Structure
  • More administrative and Financial Autonomy to States

Conclusion:

The need of the hour is to develop each region of India, through devolution of power to local governments and empowering people for their participation in decision-making. The governments at State level need to find out the alternative resources of energy, source of employment for local people, use of technology in governance, planning and for agriculture development.

 

Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

4. “water and climate change”, explain how the two are inextricably linked? Illustrate with examples.  (250 words)

Reference:  WorldWaterDay.org

Why this question:

March 22 (Sunday) was World Water Day. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The question aims to discuss the inextricable linkages between water and climate change, one must explain it using suitable illustrations.

Directive:

Illustrate – A similar instruction to ‘explain’ whereby you are asked to show the workings of something, making use of definite examples and statistics if appropriate to add weight to your explanation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly highlight the significance of water in general to the entire world.

Body:

Climate delay is almost as dangerous as climate denial. Every country in the world must work more quickly. Extreme weather events are making water scarcer, more unpredictable, more polluted or all three. Humans need water to survive, as do all the systems we rely on: sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry.

Explain then, how Water can help fight climate change.

Discuss how and why Climate policy makers must put water at the heart of action plans.

Present the case of health outbreak and discuss how water plays a key role in it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Climate change impacts the world’s water in complex ways. Climate change manifests itself primarily through changes in the water cycle. As climate changes, droughts, floods, melting glaciers, sea-level rise and storms intensify or alter, often with severe consequences. Climate change impacts have direct consequences for water security and conflict.

Body:

The 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR 2020) entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’ aims at helping the water community to tackle the challenges of climate change and informing the climate change community about the opportunities that improved water management offers in terms of adaptation and mitigation.

water_and_climate_ change

Interlink between climate change and water:

  • The ever increasing dependence on ground water and its continuous excessive exploitation is reducing the ground water level and adversely affecting the quality of drinking water supply, which is a complex challenge.
  • Drying of water sources, rapid depletion of ground water table, recurrence of drought and deteriorating water management in different states are presenting different types of challenges.
  • Repairs of closed bore pumps, water supply pipelines are not being done on time due to which there is a special crisis in the area.
  • Due to the pressure of industrialization and urbanization, the sources of water have been destroyed. This worrying aspect was consistently ignored by various governments.
  • Fluoride, nitrate, pesticides, etc. were found to be present in more than acceptable limits in the ground water of most cities and about 19,000 villages. Water quality is challenging in this regard.
  • Studies sponsored by the World Bank and UNICEF show that not only is drinking water inadequate in rural India but its imbalance is widespread across the country.
  • Waterborne diseases are the biggest health challenge in India. According to official statistics published in the National Health Profile of India-2018, about one quarter or four cases reported in India are due to communicable diseases and one in every five deaths is due to waterborne diseases.
  • Water crisis has become a major problem in 30 countries of the world and in the next decade about two-thirds of the global population will face extreme water shortage. In real terms water crisis has become a major challenge in India.

Measures needed:

  • Water efficiency:
    • Incentivize the wider adoption of sprinkler and drip irrigation by diverting resources otherwise used to subsidize power and surface irrigation.
    • Special emphasis should be laid on desilting of water bodies, including river, lakes, ponds and reservoirs.
  • Recycle of waste water:
    • With the country generating 140 bcm of wastewater annually, a pilot scheme to irrigate 10 lakh ha with treated waste water by 2020 may initially be taken up.
    • Industries should be encouraged to meet a major share of their demand through recycled water. Besides, programmes for smart water meters and tradable permits for use of recycled water may be launched.
  • Water harvesting
    • Watershed development:
    • The MoWR may develop specific strategies to tap water through watershed development (check dams) in rain-fed areas, expand micro irrigation coverage to 80 lakh ha, and link ground water development to aquifer mapping.
    • The timeline for watershed development projects needs to be shortened from seven to four years with special efforts by state governments. Funds available under MGNREGA and state plans may be used for watershed development projects.
    • Rainwater harvesting:
    • Model Building Bye Laws, 2016 circulated by Ministry of Urban Development includes the provision of rain water harvesting.
    • Barring the states/UTs of Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram and Lakshadweep, all states have incorporated the provision in their respective Building Bye Laws.
  • Groundwater management:
    • As on date, development of groundwater, i.e., utilization of groundwater resources vis-à-vis replenishable quantity, is 62 per cent. There is a need to develop recharging zones at identified places to make groundwater resources sustainable using check dam, farm ponds, tanks and injection wells.
    • Special focus should be placed on the quality of rural drinking water supply in arsenic and fluoride affected areas by tapping multiple sources through conjunctive use of surface water, ground water and rain water harvesting. All new, piped water supply schemes should have mandatory provisions on operation and maintenance involving local communities and stakeholders.

Way forward:

  • To mitigate conflicts and achieve equitable distribution of water, an integrated river basin management approach needs to be adopted. The setting up of river basin organisations for major basins may be expedited.
  • NITI Aayog has developed a concept note on Revitalization of Rivers, which may be implemented on a pilot basis before being expanded across major states.
  • To ensure Aviral and Nirmal Dhara in the Ganga, the river should be managed as a single system.
  • There is need for a scheme on medium term measures for flood management. This should include completion of incomplete works in the states of Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
  • A water regulatory framework should be established for water resources in all states.
  • An action plan should be drawn up to improve water use efficiency (with 2017 as the base year) by 20 per cent in all sectors by 2022.
  • The composite water management index developed by NITI Aayog may be used as a potent tool to assess and further improve the efficiency of water resources management.

 

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. Why is the Indian currency weakening? Discuss the factors contributing to it while suggesting measures to overcome it. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The Indian rupee fell sharply against the U.S. dollar to a record closing low of 75.20 as deepening concerns about the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic sent global investors hurrying to dump most assets, especially emerging market holdings, and opt for cash and the relative safety of the greenback. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain the reasons for the currency weakening in the country and factors responsible for it.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Briefly explain that as it happened in 2008 during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the widespread economic uncertainty triggered by the latest COVID-19 outbreak has forced most investors and businesses across the world to seek to conserve that most crucial asset during times of crisis: cash and more specifically the U.S. dollar.

Body:

List down the contributing factors one by one.

Explain the effect of COVID-19; The depreciation is even more worrisome as the month of March is typically good for the Indian rupee as remittances, from both individuals and companies tend to buoy the exchange rate.

The yellow metal too has been sold by investors looking to hold the most liquid and most fungible of all assets — the U.S. dollar.

Discuss the possible balancing factors available.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the outlook on the rupee will be precarious for the next few days. If there’s meaningful coordinated action from global central banks and governments, some calm could return to the markets.

Introduction:

The Indian rupee slumped on Friday to a record closing low of 75.20 against the U.S. dollar as deepening concerns about the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic sent global investors scurrying to dump most assets, especially emerging market holdings, and opt for cash and the relative safety of the greenback. The rupee has now depreciated by more than 5.3% in 2020, with the bulk of its losses, a 4.1% slide, having occurred in March.

Body:

Reasons for weakening of Indian currency:

  • During the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2008, the widespread economic uncertainty triggered by the latest COVID-19 outbreak has forced most investors and businesses across the world to seek to conserve that most crucial asset during times of crisis: cash and more specifically the U.S. dollar.
  • In 2008, the dollar strengthened about 22% against the Euro as enterprises, especially in the world’s largest economy, hoarded the U.S. currency.
  • Since the start of the month, overseas investors have dumped Indian equities and debt on a scale not seen since the taper tantrum of 2013, when news that the U.S. was going to gradually wind down its GFC-triggered quantitative easing spurred an exodus out of emerging market assets.
  • As on March 20, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) had sold a net ₹95,485 crore, or more than $12 billion, of shares and bonds.
  • This outflow has coincided with the sharp fall in the equity market’s key gauge, the 30-stock S&P BSE Sensex, which has slumped 22% so far in March.
  • The rupee’s decline in March has been part of a broad trend as most currencies across the globe have weakened against their U.S. counterpart.
  • The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, has gained almost 4% so far this month.
  • The risk aversion as a result of the pandemic triggered by the global outbreak of COVID-19 has been so intense that it has not spared most perceived safe havens including U.S. Treasuries (government bonds) and significantly even gold.
  • The yellow metal too has been sold by investors looking to hold the most liquid and most fungible of all assets — the U.S. dollar.

Measures needed to strengthen the rupee:

  • The RBI can start supplying dollars in the market to cool down the exchange rate.
  • Talk the market down: In the current situation there is a tendency for importers to rush in to buy dollars and exporters to hold back remitting their earnings on the expectation that the rupee will depreciate further. This exacerbates the demand-supply matrix for foreign currency and drives down the rupee further.
  • The RBI can ensure that export earnings come back to the country on time while importers should be urged not to rush in to buy dollars in advance.
  • The government should focus on exports and to the extent possible, especially on the tax credit/refund part, clear the coast for exporters. SMEs (small and medium enterprises) which are dominant in the export market have had tax refund issues and this needs to be sorted out.
  • As oil is the major import component, and whose prices are rising, a separate window needs to be opened for selling dollars.
  • Hedging processes must be put in place to ensure that the purchases are in order.
  • OMCs (oil marketing companies) do take forward contracts to buffer against price changes, but to the extent there are open positions hedging should be made mandatory.
  • the RBI would have to monitor the other components of demand for dollars — like it did previously, which was five years back — to ensure that there are limits to the drawal of dollars for other purposes such as travel, investment, and education.
  • the channels for external commercial borrowing should be looked at judiciously. While urging companies to explore the market makes sense, it should be noted that un-hedged positions can put on pressure on debt servicing.
  • the channel for considering a sovereign bond or any such scheme for getting expatriates to invest in such bonds should be planned in advance — which may not be required if conditions stabilise.
  • the capital flows need to be monitored proactively and this is where FPIs (foreign portfolio investments) matter. The strong inflow of FPIs has the power to rein in the rupee.
  • More zing for masala bonds: Removal of restrictions on Indian banks’ market making in masala bond, including the restriction on underwriting such bonds.
  • Steps to cut non-essential imports and increase exports. These include steps to curb the import of non-essential goods and encourage the export of domestic goods, which will help in addressing the current account deficit.
  • India still has plenty of measures left to curb like issuing NRI bonds and raising interest rates, if things don’t improve then the government can resort to other strict measures to curb rupee slide.

Conclusion:

India still has plenty of measures left to curb like issuing NRI bonds and raising interest rates, if things don’t improve then the government can resort to other strict measures to curb rupee slide. The government needs to think of a long-term plan to boost exports, through steps that remove policy barriers that are impeding the growth of export-oriented sectors (like Textiles, petrochemicals, auto-ancillaries etc).

 

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 are vaccines? How are they made? Discuss how do they function.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to explain the concept of vaccines, how they are made and their functionality.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the making of vaccines and their functions.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Briefly define what vaccines are. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to prevent diseases.

Body:

Provide for a brief overview on vaccines.

Discuss how vaccines are made; explain the multiple ways that are available.

Explain the stages of development of vaccines.

Explain immune system, effect of vaccines over it.

Discuss the scenario of India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of vaccines.

Introduction:

A vaccine is a substance that resembles the disease-causing agent (also called pathogen) but does not cause the disease. It trains the body’s immune system to recognize and kill the pathogen, and creates a memory for the future. Vaccines are available to protect us against many life-threatening diseases such as polio, influenza, meningitis, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, and certain types of cancers. Vaccines have also been responsible for eradication (or near eradication) of deadly diseases such as smallpox and polio.

Body:

According to WHO, a vaccine helps the body’s immune system to recognize and fight pathogens like viruses or bacteria, which then keeps us safe from the diseases they cause. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases. Vaccines protect against more than 25 debilitating or life-threatening diseases, including measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, influenza, tetanus, typhoid and cervical cancer. WHO estimates that at least 10 million deaths were prevented between 2010 and 2015 thanks to vaccinations delivered around the world.

Making of Vaccines:

Sars_Cov_2

  • Vaccines are made using the disease-causing virus or bacteria, but in a form that will not harm your child. Instead, the weakened, killed, or partial virus or bacteria prompts your baby’s immune system to develop antibodies, or defenders, against the disease.
  • Once it is determined how the virus and bacteria will be modified, vaccines are created through a general three-step process:
  • Antigen is generated. Viruses are grown in primary cells (i.e. chicken eggs for the influenza vaccine), or on continuous cell lines (i.e. human cultured cells for hepatitis b vaccine); bacteria is grown in bioreactors (i.e. Hib vaccine).
  • Antigen is isolated from the cells used to create it.
  • Vaccine is made by adding adjuvant, stabilizers and preservatives. Adjuvants increase immune response of the antigen; stabilizers increase the vaccine’s storage life; and preservatives allow for the use of multi-dose vials.

Functioning of Vaccines:

vaccines_work

  • A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens, either viruses or bacteria.
  • To do this, certain molecules from the pathogen must be introduced into the body to trigger an immune response.
  • These molecules are called antigens, and they are present on all viruses and bacteria.
  • By injecting these antigens into the body, the immune system can safely learn to recognize them as hostile invaders, produce antibodies, and remember them for the future.
  • If the bacteria or virus reappears, the immune system will recognize the antigens immediately and attack aggressively well before the pathogen can spread and cause sickness.

Conclusion:

According to the World Health Organization, over 40 different candidate vaccines for COVID-19 are in development. These include an inactivated vaccine being developed in China (Sinovac) using purified COVID-19 virus killed with formaldehyde (a chemical). A live attenuated vaccine being developed by Codagenix, a U.S.-based company in partnership with the Serum Institute of India (Pune), uses a genetically engineered COVID-19 virus that replicates very poorly. There are multiple other vaccine candidates under development that use DNA, RNA, viral vector and subunit protein platforms.

 

Topic:  accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. Discuss Transparency and accountability as critical aspects in managing public health and pandemics. (250 words)

Reference: NCBI

Why this question:

The question is amidst rising incidence of public health outbreaks and pandemics.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the role played by Transparency and accountability in managing public health and pandemics.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Briefly explain that effective management of public health emergencies demands open and transparent public communication. The rationale for transparency has public health, strategic and ethical dimensions. Despite this, government authorities often fail to demonstrate transparency.

Body:

Define transparency and accountability first.

Explain why they become important in public health management systems and disease outbreaks.

One can present the case of COVID-19 or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) crisis of 2003 and highlight the importance.

Explain that Information should be communicated in a transparent, accurate and timely manner.

Discuss the concerns( what if the system is not transparent and accountable) –

  • reluctance to announce a potential health threat and inform an at-risk population of appropriate precautionary measures until all information is scientifically confirmed and formally endorsed;
  • a tendency to withhold information that is potentially damaging to an economic sector – often against the recommendations of public health experts;
  • An emphasis on strict information control within organizations, making constructive engagement of potential partners in coordinated public communication difficult.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of it.

Introduction:

Transparency, in governance context, is honesty and openness. Transparency is about information. It is about the ability of the receiver to have full access to the information he wants, not just the information the sender is willing to provide. Transparency embodies honesty and open communication because to be transparent someone must be willing to share information when it is uncomfortable to do so. Transparency is also the organization being upfront and visible about the actions it takes, and whether those actions are consistent with its values.

Body:

Effective management of public health emergencies demands open and transparent public communication. The rationale for transparency has public health, strategic and ethical dimensions. Despite this, government authorities often fail to demonstrate transparency.

Importance of transparency during pandemics:

  • The first and most pressing rationale for transparency during a health emergency is the role that information plays in promoting core public health objectives.
  • When the public is at risk of a real or potential health threat, treatment options may be limited, direct interventions may take time to organize and resources may be few.
  • Communicating advice and guidance, therefore, often stands as the most important available tool in managing a risk.
  • In addition to serving core public health objectives, transparent public communication also addresses key strategic imperatives – political, economic and psychosocial – which are associated with public health emergencies.
  • Proactive announcements and ongoing transparency in this context is seen not just as an organizational responsibility but as also the most effective way of seizing control of media reports, public discourse and customer relations associated with the event.
  • Communication control is seen as a strategic tool to ensure perceptions of risk align with actual risk so as to limit negative information associated with the company and, ultimately, help to ensure that the reputation of the organization rebounds to its pre-crisis level.
  • transparency not only provides individuals and communities with information needed to survive an emergency, it is also an element of procedural fairness in decision-making and priority setting.

Challenges:

  • For countries where public trust in government and public health is low, efforts to build and maintain trust are best made in collaboration with stakeholders before a public health emergency occurs.
  • The “bunker mentality” during a crisis results in a less inclusive decision-making process because fewer stakeholders are involved. This in turn results in less transparency and accountability.
  • Without it, public trust is diminished and it is difficult to restore.
  • When this happens, the effectiveness of risk communication diminishes and public health emergency management efforts may be significantly less effective.

Conclusion:

To conclude, Information sharing and transparency are vital components for any government to enhance the living of society. Information is valuable for every citizen to participate in the life and governance of society. The greater the access of the citizen to information, the greater would be the responsiveness of government to community needs. Transparency is considered imperative to procure the support and participation of citizens in management of public services.