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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 4 May 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:  Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. What is a Magnetosphere? How it is formed? Discuss the significance of studying it.(250 words)

Reference:  pib.gov.in

Why this question:

The question is based on the development of new computer simulation Code to study the Earth’s Magnetosphere that’s making news these days.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what Magnetosphere is, how it is formed, and what are the advantages and importance of studying 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:

Define in short what a Magnetosphere is. The magnetosphere is the region of space surrounding Earth where the dominant magnetic field is the magnetic field of Earth, rather than the magnetic field of interplanetary space. It is generated by the interaction of the solar wind with Earth’s magnetic field.

Body:

To start with explain the fact that world across scientists have been trying to study the Magnetosphere owing to its importance. Explain then, the key features of it. Discuss in detail its formation. Explain the importance and significance of studying it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of studying it.

Introduction:

The Magnetosphere is the region around a planet dominated by the planet’s magnetic field. Other planets in our solar system have magnetospheres, but Earth has the strongest one of all the rocky planets. Earth’s magnetosphere is part of a dynamic, interconnected system that responds to solar, planetary, and interstellar conditions.

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology have developed a generalized one-dimensional fluid simulation code capable of studying a wide spectrum of coherent electric field structures in near-earth plasma environment or earth’s magnetosphere which can be useful in planning of future space missions.

Body:

Magnetosphere of earth:

magnetospheer

  • The magnetosphere is the region above the ionosphere that is defined by the extent of the Earth’s magnetic field in space.
  • It extends several tens of thousands of kilometres into space, protecting the Earth from the charged particles of the solar wind and cosmic rays that would otherwise strip away the upper atmosphere, including the ozone layer that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
  • The shape of the Earth’s magnetosphere is the direct result of being blasted by solar wind. The solar wind compresses its sunward side to a distance of only 6 to 10 times the radius of the Earth.
  • A supersonic shock wave is created sunward of Earth called the Bow Shock.
  • Most of the solar wind particles are heated and slowed at the bow shock and detour around the Earth in the Magnetosheath.
  • The solar wind drags out the night-side magnetosphere to possibly 1000 times Earth’s radius; its exact length is not known. This extension of the magnetosphere is known as the Magnetotail.
  • The outer boundary of Earth’s confined geomagnetic field is called the Magnetopause.
  • The Earth’s magnetosphere is a highly dynamic structure that responds dramatically to solar variations.

Formation of the magnetosphere:

  • It is generated by the convective motion of charged, molten iron, far below the surface in Earth’s outer core.
  • Constant bombardment by the solar wind compresses the sun-facing side of our magnetic field.
  • The sun-facing side, or dayside, extends a distance of about six to 10 times the radius of the Earth.
  • The side of the magnetosphere facing away from the sun – the nightside – stretches out into an immense magnetotail, which fluctuates in length and can measure hundreds of Earth radii, far past the moon’s orbit at 60 Earth radii.
  • Almost 99% of matter in the universe is in the form of plasma, Earth’s magnetosphere, too, contains this material and the plasma processes have the ability to hamper the working of a number of satellites that have been placed in orbit in the magnetospheric region.

Significance of Magnetosphere:

The magnetosphere shields our home planet from solar and cosmic particle radiation, as well as erosion of the atmosphere by the solar wind – the constant flow of charged particles streaming off the sun.

Importance of studying magnetosphere:

  • To better understand its role in our space environment.
  • It will unravel the fundamental physics of space, which is dominated by complex electromagnetic interactions unlike what we experience day-to-day on Earth.
  • By studying this space environment close to home, we can better understand the nature of space throughout the universe.
  • Additionally, space weather within the magnetosphere – where many of our spacecraft reside – can sometimes have adverse effects on space technology as well as communications systems.
  • Better understanding of the science of the magnetosphere helps improve our space weather models.
  • The study will help advance the knowledge of plasma waves, instabilities, and coherent effects associated with wave-particle interactions that are useful in planning future space missions.
  • It can also lead to precisely controlled fusion laboratory experiments for ever-expanding energy needs of humanity.

Conclusion:

Several interesting phenomena like the Aurorae, i.e. the luminous glow in the upper atmosphere of the Earth which is produced by charged particles (solar wind) descending from the planet’s magnetosphere also add to the tourism revenue of certain countries.

 

Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

2.  U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has downgraded India to the lowest ranking, “countries of particular concern” (CPC) in its 2020 Report. How effective can these recommendations be? Suggest the measures to protect freedom of religion in the country.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The US Commission of International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) latest report places India in the “Countries of Particular Concern” list.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the impact of these recommendations and their effectiveness; also suggest measures to protect freedom of religion in the country.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly set the context of the question.

Body:

To start with explain the concerns posed by the report. Highlight the reasons responsible for this downgrade; Concerns about the Citizenship Amendment Act, the proposed National Register for Citizens, anti-conversion laws and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir etc.  Explain how effective can these recommendations be. Highlight the response meted out by the Indian government.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward while suggesting measures as to what needs to be done to address the issues.

Introduction:

India is a pluralist and diverse nation. The groups and communities with their diverse religious or cultural practices need to be protected, given that they have played an important role in society. The Constitution of India in an effort to protect the diverse practices recognizes both the freedom of religion as an individual right (Article 25), as well as the right of religious denominations to manage their own affairs in matters of religion (Article 26).

The characterization by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) of India as a country of particular concern, in its annual report, is not entirely surprising, considering its dim and known views about sectarian violence and aggravating governmental measures over the last year.

Body:

Concerns posed by the findings of the report:

  • The government has unequivocally dismissed the US Commission of International Religious Freedom’s latest report citing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register for Citizens, both of which were announced by the government in the past year.
  • The bigger worry this year is the fact that the USCIRF has recommended that India be put on the CPC list by the State Department, which is due to publish its annual report on religious freedom in a few weeks, most likely in May or June.
  • There is a reputational issue involved, for India, as the world’s largest democracy that draws strength from the protection of diversity, as cited by a former diplomat.
  • It is also a matter of concern as the report could not be “ignored outright”.
  • Further, to be clubbed with China and Burma, Pakistan and North Korea as a country of particular concern is unfortunate.
  • The decision before U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (who will act on behalf of President Donald Trump) on whether to designate India as a CPC is significant, as it could bring other punitive actions.
  • According to the US IRF Act, the President is obligated to take one of 15 possible actions, ranging from a demarche to cancellation of bilateral exchanges, to travel sanctions against specified officials, within 3-6 months.
  • It was under this determination that the U.S. had banned travel visas for PM Narendra Modi (then Gujarat Chief Minister) in 2005.
  • Diplomats point out the State department hasn’t always followed the USCIRF’s recommendations.

India’s stand on the report findings:

  • The External Affairs Ministry hit back at the USCIRF directly, calling it an “Organization of Particular Concern”, with no “locus standi” or official standing.
  • The government’s stand is consistent with its policy on the USCIRF, which it has refused to cooperate with, and has disallowed its officials to visit India since 2009.

Measures needed to protect the freedom of religion in India:

  • Economic:
    • Poverty is one of the major factors for communal violence. Poverty alleviation measures are thus important for promoting communal harmony.
    • Eradicating the problem of unemployment among the youths, illiteracy and poverty and that too with honesty and without any discrimination.
    • Reducing educational and economic backwardness of minorities like Muslims.
    • This can uplift their socio economic status and reduce their deprivation compared to Hindus
  • Social:
    • The religious leaders and preachers should promote rational and practical things through religion promoting peace and security.
    • Children in schools must be taught through textbooks and pamphlets to maintain brotherhood and respect for all religions
    • Creating awareness in the society about the ill effects of communism through mass media
  • Political:
    • Political communism should be avoided recent Supreme court’s directives
    • Identification and mapping of riot prone areas. For Example, Delhi police used drones to monitor to maintain vigil during communal festivals
    • Media, movies and other cultural platforms can be influential in promoting peace and harmony.
    • Social Media should be monitored for violent and repulsive content and taken off immediately.
  • Recommendations of Committee on National Integration
    • Joint celebration of community festivals
    • Observing restraint by Hindus while taking processions before the mosques
    • Formation of peace and brotherhood communities at local level to prevent anti-social elements from engaging in communal riots
    • Respect for religious customs, rituals and practices

Way forward:

Utmost care and attention requires to be given to the planning and implementation of a range of measures to alleviate the sufferings of those affected by any incidents of communal violence, including the provision of relief and rehabilitation assistance to the victims of such violence.

 

Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

3.  Deliberate upon the possible concerns associated with India’s Diaspora and its effect amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Suggest measures to address the same. (250 words)

Reference:  Live Mint 

Why this question:

The question is based on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic upon the Indian diaspora.

Key demand of the question:

Explain possible concerns associated with India’s Diaspora and its effect amidst the COVID-19 crisis also suggest solutions to address the same.

Directive:

Deliberate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Present brief overview of the Indian diaspora.

Body:

Explain the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian diaspora on various fronts. Discuss the unprecedented situation that the country is witnessing; explain specific issues and concerns Indian diaspora is facing away from homeland. Also highlight the positive side that an opportunity for the Indian diaspora to make a collective impact toward helping marginalized communities which have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing crisis.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

“Diaspora” is an omnibus phrase which brackets people of Indian origin who have emigrated since the 19th century to all corners of the world. The Indian diaspora has been a source of remittances, technology and intellectual power. Ever since the Indian economy was liberalized and began to grow at a rapid pace, the prosperous diaspora in the developed countries and the massive number of migrant workers in the Gulf became the back bone of the Indian economy.

Today, the India-diaspora relations are on the verge of an unprecedented crisis because of the Coronavirus, which threatens the world, particularly the very countries where the people of Indian origin have worked and prospered.

Body:

Possible concerns associated with India’s Diaspora:

  • There are around 30 million Indian citizens abroad. As a matter of policy, India had decided not to bring back the stranded Indians from abroad till the nation-wide lockdown ends.
  • In the Gulf countries alone, 300,000 Indians have registered to return, and an estimated 10,000 have contracted the virus. This poses an unprecedented challenge, one that no other country has faced so far.
  • India naturally will have to move mountains to bring them back from the Middle East and the United States, where the situation is deteriorating. One shudders to think of the great humanitarian crisis it will create if all Indians were to come back from the far corners of the globe.
  • Some Indian workers in Middle East might face job losses, which will dent the annual remittances that India receives from them.
  • The real danger of loss of lives among the diaspora, resulting in cases of deprivation and misery. Unless the spread of Coronavirus is halted and the world economy recovers, India will have a gigantic burden on its hands.
  • Further immigration restrictions could have particularly acute consequences for India, which sends thousands of highly skilled workers to the United States every year and counts a four million strong diaspora in the country, representing one of the largest contingents of immigrants to the United States.
  • The Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom has emerged as being among the worst affected minority groups in the coronavirus pandemic, according to official data on the deaths in hospitals across England.
  • With the growth of nationalism in different parts of the world and diminishing international cooperation, India cannot count much on external help. The United Nations itself remains paralysed on account of the arrogant approach of China.
  • Kerala will be particularly affected as many of the people who are likely to be affected will be from the state.
  • A reversal of roles is likely if the majority of the 30 million people scattered all over the world turn to India for support, instead of giving generously to India.

Measures needed:

  • Indian prime minister personally requested the leaders of nations to ensure wellbeing of the Indian community there
  • It is necessary to request the nations to extend the validity of visa of Indian nationals who are stranded in the other countries on a quid-pro-quo basis.
  • The Indian missions in the regions have to extend all possible assistance to the Indians in distress in the wake of the pandemic.
  • The Indian mission could engage with some of the bigger companies to ascertain the condition of Indian employees working for such firms, who are living in labour camps.
  • The mission should provide food and medicines from the Indian Community Welfare Fund for the “destitute Indians” living there.
  • In a struggling Indian economy, the authorities will also have to ensure that returnees are able to reintegrate with minimum disruption.
  • The economy may lose a significant amount of critical remittances, around 2% of GDP, but the return of skilled migrants may also be leveraged as an opportunity for several sectors.
  • Financial instruments like diaspora bonds could generate about $50 billion a year in total for developing countries, potentially helping to offset a sharp drop in foreign direct investment that is slated to fall by 37% this year.
  • The Vande Bharat Mission, coordinated by the ministry of external affairs (MEA), is likely to be the largest and most complex repatriation mission ever conducted by India, and possibly worldwide. The efforts of Indian diplomats on the ground, serving at the forefront in over 100 countries, which will determine the success of the mission.

Conclusion:

While India can take advantage of the drop in oil prices, New Delhi and the state governments will need to work closely to ensure the longer-term safety and well-being of workers. For long, the remittances of such workers have benefitted India; they cannot now be ignored. Unlike the diaspora in other countries that offer citizenship and are reasonably secure, workers in the Gulf do not have those facilities.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

4. The great strides made by the developing countries in reducing poverty in the last two decades will be affected badly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. comment.(250 words)

Reference:  Economic Times 

Why this question:

The question is based on the impact of the present COVID crisis on the poverty aspects of the entire world.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the effects of pandemic on Global poverty.

Directive:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by quoting World Bank; It says, that the gains achieved in the last two decades in fighting poverty across the world, especially in developing countries are now at grave risk due to pandemic.

Body:

Explain the impact across the countries – developed, developing etc. The progress made by South Asian countries, especially India and Bangladesh will be reversed and funding for anti-poverty programmes may be cut as governments struggle with low economic growth rates. Discuss the impact across the sector and highlight the concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting both long term and short term measures to address the issue at hand.

Introduction:

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a crisis like no other the world has faced in recent decades in terms of its potential economic and social impacts. The world bank estimates that the pandemic could push about 49 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. It also reports that for the first time since 1998, global poverty rates are forecast to rise. According to the United Nations estimates, by the end of the year, 8% of the world’s population, a half-billion people, may be pushed into destitution largely because of the pandemic.

Body:

Previous efforts across to globe to fight poverty:

  • In 1990, 36% of the world’s population, or 1.9 billion people, lived on less than $1.90 a day. By 2016, that number had dropped to 734 million people, or 10% of the world’s population, largely because of progress in South Asia and China.
  • Some of the biggest gains were made in India, where 210 million people were lifted out of poverty from 2006 to 2016, according to the U.N.
  • Since 2000, Bangladesh brought 33 million people — 20% of its population — out of poverty while funding programs that provided education to girls, increased life expectancy and improved literacy.
  • Famines that once plagued South Asia are now vanishingly rare, and the population is less susceptible to disease and starvation.

Impacts across globe:

  • It is feared that this progress may be reversed, experts worry, and funding for anti-poverty programs may be cut as governments struggle with stagnant growth rates or economic contractions as the world heads for a recession.
  • While everyone will suffer, the developing world will be hardest hit.
  • The World Bank estimates that sub-Saharan Africa will see its first recession in 25 years, with nearly half of all jobs lost across the continent. South Asia will most likely experience its worst economic performance in 40 years.
  • Most at risk are people working in the informal sector, which employs 2 billion people who have no access to benefits like unemployment assistance or health care.
  • In Bangladesh, 1 million garment workers — 7% of the country’s workforce, many of them informally employed — lost their jobs because of the lockdown.
  • Countries like India, Bangladesh, which spent heavily on programs to improve education and provide health care, may no longer be able to fund them.
  • There will be groups of people who climbed up the ladder and will now fall back into vicious cycle of poverty.
  • In India, millions of migrant laborers were left unemployed and homeless overnight after the government there announced a lockdown. In parts of Africa, millions may go hungry after losing their jobs and as lockdowns snarl food aid distribution networks.
  • In Mexico and the Philippines, remittances that families relied on have dried up as primary breadwinners lose their jobs and can no longer send money home.
  • A resolution that committed the U.N. to eliminating poverty and hunger and providing access to education for all by 2030 may now be a pipe dream.

Measures needed: Policies needed to mitigate poverty and distributional impacts will have to respond to each country’s context and circumstances. Having said that, the numbers above suggest that across affected countries:

  • Multilateral global institutions must support the developing nations:
    • Oxfam is calling on world leaders to agree on an Emergency Rescue Package of 2.5 trillion USD paid for through the immediate cancellation or postponement of 1 trillion in debt repayments, a 1 trillion increase in IMF Special Drawing Rights (international financial reserves), and an additional 500 billion in aid.
  • An effective response in support of poor and vulnerable households will require significant additional fiscal resources.
    • Providing all the existing and new extreme poor with a cash transfer of $1/day (about half the value of the international extreme poverty line) for a month would amount to $20 billion —or $665 million per day over 30 days.
    • Given that impacts are likely to be felt by many non-poor households as well and that many households are likely to need support for much longer than a month, the sum needed for effective protection could be far higher.
  • Any support package will need to quickly reach both the existing and new poor.
    • While existing safety net programs can be mobilized to get cash into the pockets of some of the existing poor relatively quickly, this is not the case for the new poor.
    • In fact, the new poor are likely to look different from the existing poor, particularly in their location (mostly urban) and employment (mostly informal services, construction, and manufacturing).
  • Decision-makers need timely and policy-relevant information on impacts and the effectiveness of policy responses.
    • This can be done using existing, publicly available data to monitor the unfolding economic and social impacts of the crisis, including prices, service delivery, and economic activity, as well as social sentiment and behaviors.
    • In addition, governments can use mobile technology to safely gather information from a representative sample of households or individuals.
    • Phone surveys can collect information on health and employment status, food security, coping strategies, access to basic services and safety nets and other outcomes closely related to the risk of falling (further) into poverty.

Conclusion:

This pandemic is as much a social and economic crisis as it is a humanitarian one. Considering the uncertain path that lies ahead, helping the country’s poor become self-sufficient and better prepared can prove to be the best weapon against the deadly virus, and such a DBT can go a long way in that.

 

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

5. Discuss the importance of mental health and explain the various reasons for degenerating mental health of-late.(250 words)

Reference:  pib.gov.in 

Why this question:

The question is amidst the efforts to introduce new and cheap drugs for the Alzheimer’s disease, the component called Berberine of traditional medicine, have been modified necessarily for introduction to for commercial purpose.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the importance of sound mental health and explain the various reasons for degenerating mental health of-late.

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 the context of the question by presenting key facts that justify it.

Body:

To start with explain what you understand by sound mental health; “ a state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of  disease or infirmity”. Then explain why it is important – Physical health and mental health are closely associated and it is proved beyond doubt that depression leads to heart and vascular diseases, Mental disorders also affect persons health behavior like eating sensibly, regular exercise, adequate sleep, engaging in safe sexual practices, alcohol and tobacco use, adhering to medical therapies thus increasing the risk of physical illness etc.  Discuss the different issues and concerns that challenge mental health in general. Highlight the difficulties in implementation of mental health programmers. Discuss the efforts being made by the GOI in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. (WHO) With over 18% of India’s population aged 10-17, the future of the country will be driven by this segment.

The isolation and fear in this lockdown era is driving an escalating nervousness among many people. Not just those with pre-existing conditions like anxiety, depression and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), but also the elderly who are struggling with new levels of loneliness and helplessness.

Body:

Status of Mental health in India

  • According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness makes about 15% of the total disease conditions around the world.
  • The same estimate also suggests that India has one of the largest populations affected from mental illness.
  • As a result, WHO has labelled India as the world’s ‘most depressing country’.
  • Moreover, between 1990 to 2017, one in seven people from India have suffered from mental illness ranging from depression, anxiety to severe conditions such as schizophrenia, according to a study. It is no exaggeration to suggest that the country is under a mental health epidemic.
  • More than 450 million people suffer from mental disorders. According to WHO, by the year 2020, depression will constitute the second largest disease burden worldwide (Murray & Lopez, 1996).

Importance of mental health:

  • Emotional and mental health is important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors and emotions.
  • Being healthy emotionally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school or caregiving.
  • It plays an important part in the health of your relationships, and allows you to adapt to changes in your life and cope with adversity.
  • Our mental health encompasses our psychological, emotional and social well-being. This means it impacts how we feel, think and behave each day.
  • Our mental health also contributes to our decision making process, how we cope with stress and how we relate to others in our lives.
  • Global burden of mental health will be well beyond the treatment capacities of developed and developing countries.
  • The social and economic costs associated with growing burden of mental ill health focused the possibilities for promoting mental health as well as preventing and treating mental illness.

Reasons for degenerating mental health of late:

  • The first and foremost reason for India to lose its mental health is the lack of awareness and sensitivity about the issue.
  • There is a big stigma around people suffering from any kind of mental health issues.
  • They are often tagged as ‘lunatics’ by the society. This leads to a vicious cycle of shame, suffering and isolation of the patients.
  • Issues with Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:
    • The Act neglects the prevention and promotion of mental well-being and recognizes mental illness as a clinical issue which can only be treated by medicines and clinical procedures.
    • The Act does not provide a clear procedure for preparing the Advance Directive. Further, doctors are of the opinion that they are in the best position to take decisions on aspects of treatment since patients or their nominated representatives may have limited knowledge on mental health and mental illness.
    • The Act provides a narrow and restricted definition of mental health professionals and does not include psychotherapists, counsellors and psychoanalysts.
    • Further, given the infrastructural and human resource constraints, the implementation of the Act poses a huge challenge.
  • Also, there is a serious shortage of mental healthcare workforce in India.
  • According to WHO, in 2011, there were 0·301 psychiatrists and 0·047 psychologists for every 100,000 patients suffering from a mental health disorder in India.
  • Treatment gap: According to estimates nearly 92% of the people who need mental health care and treatment do not have access to any form of mental health care.
  • The economic burden of mental illness contributes significantly to the treatment gap in India. There are both direct (cost of long-term treatment) and indirect costs (the inability of the patient and caregiver to work, social isolation, psychological stress) contribute significantly to the economic burden.
  • Violations of human rights have been reported in mental asylums and also at homes and places of traditional healing. In India, mental hospitals still practice certain obscure practices that violate human rights. Further poor infrastructure such as closed structures, a lack of maintenance, unclean toilets and sleeping areas etc clearly violate the basic human right to a life with dignity.

Way Forward:

  • Mental health situation in India demands active policy interventions and resource allocation by the government.
  • To reduce the stigma around mental health, we need measure to train and sensitize the community/society.
  • This can happen only when we have persistent nationwide effort to educate the society about mental diseases.
  • We also need steps to connect the patients with each other by forming a peer network, so that they could listen and support each other.
  • Moreover, people experiencing mental health problems should get the same access to safe and effective care as those with physical health problems.
  • Additionally, mental illness must mandatorily be put under the ambit of life insurance. This will help people to see mental illness with the same lens as they use for physical diseases.
  • When it comes to providing the right care to patients with mental illness, we need mental healthcare intervention to the patients, we need innovative models to deepen the penetration of services and staff. One such model is accredited social health activist (ASHA) by the ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India. Under this model, community health workers not only educate and sensitize women and children about mental diseases but also guide them to reach the right expert in their locality.
  • We need a constant stream of funds for educating and creating awareness about mental health and chronic issues around it.
  • The need of the hour is to provoke masses to learn about mental health through campaigns like Swachh Mansikta Abhiyan. This will help them address mental issues in a timely and effective manner and live a stress-free life.
  • The campaign will also encourage people to talk about their mental well-being and reach out to a therapist or psychiatrist, in case they need to do so.

Conclusion:

Timely intervention, awareness about the issue, availability of professional help and appropriate policies is the only way to improve the situation. It is thus imperative to believe and propagate that people with mental illness deserve to live their lives with dignity and confidence. It requires a collaborative public-private-social partnership to change things considerably.

 

Topic:  issues relating to intellectual property rights

6.  Examine the idea of creation of the ‘PPP pandemic patent pool’ at a global level, to pool all innovations, also analyse if it is necessary to ensure Intellectual Protection regimes do not outweigh public health interests of the world. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The question is based on the premise of Vaccine and medicine for COVID-19, and need for a PPP pandemic patent pool.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the significance of ‘PPP pandemic patent pool’  and in what way it is time to reflect upon the role of intellectual property (IP) in the ongoing health crisis and dedicate IP to finding a solution.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Present briefly the background of the question.

Body:

To start with discuss what the idea of patent pool implies. Then explain the fact that creating a patent pool will give all countries the right to implement innovations without further permission from patent holders. Explain how it becomes important to ensure Intellectual Protection regimes do not outweigh public health interests.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the idea of the ‘PPP pandemic patent pool’ and its relevance.

Introduction:

World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated every April 26, provided us an opportunity to reflect upon the role of intellectual property (IP) in the ongoing health crisis and dedicate IP to finding a solution. The purpose of creating and recognising patent rights is for the common public good, i.e., innovation should be made public in exchange for a limited monopoly. Thus, patents need to be disclosed to the public in order to enable further research.

Body:

mpp_work

Patent rights are detrimental to society:

  • With the outbreak of COVID-19, there are several innovations. All these innovations may be the subject matter of patent applications around the world.
  • It will be a few years before patents are even granted. However, friction already exists among various stakeholders.
  • For instance, one country made attempts to obtain exclusive rights to a vaccine being developed. On the other hand, there are also collaborations taking place.
  • However, the spirit of collaborative solutions is only on the anvil. The question that arises is whether the exclusivity that is recognised by patent rights will be detrimental to society.

Covid-19 and patent rights – a use case:

  • For human life to become normal again, vaccines or medicines are the only permanent solutions.
  • However, even by conservative estimates, it will take at least 6-10 months for any vaccine/drug to be available.
  • Even when approval for marketing of a vaccine/drug is granted, it will be impossible for it to be made instantly available across the world.
  • This is because even after approval for commercial production is granted, say, in one country, in order for the product to be available to the rest of the world, approvals will be required in each and every country.
  • Then countries will have to gear up for instant manufacturing and marketing of the drug.
  • For this to happen, continuous dialogue has to take place among innovators, manufacturers and supply chains. This requires massive efforts by private players, governments and international organisations.

Patents – roadblocks or solutions:

  • Pandemics need disruptive solutions. Governments and international organisations need to arrive at a consensus in advance to ensure that the system is ready. Procrastination would be disastrous.
  • Creating hindrances through exclusivity claims, in the wake of a pandemic, will result in dividing countries, corporations and international organisations.
  • This will not benefit patients and the world as a whole. If patent owners create impediments on the strength of patent rights, the world will start despising patents and that is not a situation IP owner ought to be in.
  • Under the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) regime, there are several tools such as compulsory licensing that are available to ensure access to medicines.
  • However, beyond the laws, society needs to respect innovation. To protect the sanctity and integrity of patent systems, and in order to ensure that an anti-IP sentiment is not generated globally, answers need to be found within the existing regime.
  • In exceptional circumstances such as these, there is a likelihood that societies may resort to extreme steps to protect themselves. Before such ideas are floated, solutions should be created.

Way forward:

  • The purpose of creating and recognizing patent rights is for the common public good, i.e., innovation should be made public in exchange for a limited monopoly.
  • Thus, patents need to be disclosed to the public in order to enable further research.
  • Public-private partnerships (PPP) need to be scaled up. Creation of the ‘PPP-pandemic patent pool’ at a global level, to pool all innovations, is the way forward. Let us not wait any longer.
  • Pooling of patent resources is also in line with the Doha Declaration on Public Health which is a part of the TRIPS agreement.
  • This declaration recognizes the need for taking measures to ‘protect public health’ and ‘promote access to medicines’.

Conclusion:

Creation of a pool and immediate licensing will ensure that there are hundreds of manufacturers across the world. As a result, vaccines and medicines will be quickly available. Such a pool needs the cooperation of not just countries and international organizations but also the hundreds of researchers, innovators, companies and universities involved. Concerns relating to patents and profits to be earned therefrom should be put aside. The world has to come out of this crisis quickly and patents ought to accelerate rather than impede the path. Combating the crisis and earning collectively is the need of the hour.

 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7.  What do you understand by International ethics? Does Nationalism sometimes stand against international ethics? Explain and give examples.(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics by Lexicon Publications, carnegiecouncil.org

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

Explain the concept of International ethics and discuss the possibilities of nationalism as a roadblock in achieving the goals of international ethics.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what you understand by International ethics.

Body:

International Ethics means ethical obligations between States in an era of globalization. Nationalism, on the other hand, is a feeling of oneness among people living in a geographical area. People from one nation are generally considered to have common goals. Explain the Relation: Nationalism always demands that states should always represent national interest in any international platform. In most of the situations, these interests are not in sync with other nations. Highlight the fact that extreme nationalism, not only goes against international ethics but also against value of humanity. From the humane perspective international ethics represent humanism. It protects human wellbeing at large. Quote examples such as the refugee crisis etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to strike the balance between the two.

Introduction:

International ethics is described as the good that international interactions, exchanges, relations which can bring to all life forms and which can be harmed by unfriendly, hostile, uncooperative behaviours. In simple terms, international ethics is an area of international relations theory which concerns the extent and scope of ethical obligations between states in an epoch of globalization.

In today’s borderless world, there are a lot of interactions at various levels (country, professional, personal). The difference in the value systems and diversity makes Ethics in International relations imperative. Ethics provides guidance to the people in their international affairs.

Body:

Nationalism and international ethics:

  • Nationalism and patriotism as they played, and still play, have advanced role when it`s connected to the actual liberation movements directed against the oppressive power.
  • The distinction between patriotism and nationalism exists because of the existence of ethnically homogeneous nation-states in which the notion of nationalism and patriotism is quite similar.
  • Nationalism has no place in our modern, globalized society.
  • Its continued presence only serves to weaken the nations that it once supported; again and again, we have seen it encourage conflict and strife, hindering the advancement of our society.
  • Nationalism has almost torn modern Germany apart, for instance, as its citizens protest the influx of foreigners and refugees from the Middle East, the same nationalism that enabled Germany (then Prussia) to defeat France and Austria in the late nineteenth century.
  • The modern world is far removed from the old world in which nationalism flourished: it is now one of constantly fluctuating populations, of interconnected races and ethnicities, and of rich cultural diversity.
  • Nationalism’s influence allows for the rise of violent, extremist political groups, as evidenced by the growth of the German Nazi party in the humiliated Weimar Republic.
  • But this occurrence was not a unique historical development. In the 1990s, the persistence of nationalism led to genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and parts of other former Yugoslav republics, where leaders like Serbian Slobodan Milosevic and General Ratko Mladic used it to justify war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • Drunk with nationalism, their followers forcibly removed thousands of ethnic Bosnians from Serbian towns and murdered thousands more. With negative side effects such as these, nationalism can only continue to drag our society down from the peaks of its achievements.
  • Less radically, increased nationalism often leads to increased nativism, a trend which devastates global trade networks and hinders the economic development of all nations.
  • In our modern, globalized world, trade between nations represents the lifeblood of the international community.
  • Exports and imports bind countries to one another, fostering cooperation and encouraging peaceful rather than antagonistic interactions.
  • But increased nationalism—and increased nativism—lend credence the misconception that nations can economically succeed independently of the international community.

Some instances where nationalist stands against international ethics are instances where ethics in IR has gone overboard:

  • The alleged just war cause where a country thinks it’s their moral responsibility to save the world. E.g.: USA and Iraq war.
  • Threat to the Rules based order of the world by side-lining of the Global bodies like UNSC, WTO etc.
  • Increasing Multilateral groupings to satisfy their personal interests.

Conclusion:

In bygone days, nationalism enabled nations to rise to unprecedented heights; in modern days, nationalism weighs down nations, dragging them into a pit of violence and economic decay. Nationalism in a globalized world can and will continue to exist, but its continued presence will only serve to hinder nations, causing unnecessary friction and hostility across the globe. As an international community, we must focus on peace and cooperation rather than competition and animosity; our greatest successes—economic, diplomatic, scientific, and otherwise—will be made possible when we work with rather than against one another. As Albert Einstein once argued, “nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.” And like the measles, nationalism will continue to plague mankind until we take actions to reduce its influence. No nation is independent of another, and the sooner we accept that fact, the sooner we will be able to thrive as an international community.