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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 June 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 : History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

1. Discuss the Korean war of 1950, why is it often called the “Forgotten war”? Explain its relevance in twentieth-century history. (250 words)

Reference: The Wire 

Why the question:

June 25th marks the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. Thus the question context.

Key Demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the Korean was of 1950 in detail and the reasons as to why it is known as the forgotten war in history as well as its relevance in twentieth century.

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:

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States liberated Korea from imperial Japanese colonial control on 15 August 1945.

Body:

The inter-Korean war lasted for three years between 1950 and 1953, which was a proxy war between USSR and the US. Although a truce was reached in 1953 through the “Armistice Agreement”, both Korean regimes never officially ended the war till recently. The agreement divided the Korean peninsula into two along the 38th Parallel (latitude) and also provided for neutral international peace patrol.

Discuss the key events of the war, explain why it is even today referred to as a “forgotten war”. Also account for its relevance in today’s times.

Conclusion:

Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Introduction:

Korean War of 1950 was the conflict between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in which at least 2.5 million persons lost their lives. The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal participant, joined the war on the side of the South Koreans, and the People’s Republic of China came to North Korea’s aid.

June 25, 2020 marks the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950.

Body:

north_korea

Korean war – ‘the Forgotten War’:

  • After three years of fighting, the war ended in a stalemate with the border between North and South Korea near where it had been at the war’s beginning.
  • This was the first hot war of the Cold War, and in it the United States demonstrated its continued commitment to containment
  • The Korean War has been called “the Forgotten War” in the United States, where coverage of the 1950s conflict was censored and its memory decades later is often overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War.

Relevance of Korean War in twentieth-century history:

  • The three-year conflict in Korea, which pitted communist and capitalist forces against each other, set the stage for decades of tension among North Korea, South Korea and the United States.
  • It also helped set the tone for Soviet-American rivalry during the Cold War, profoundly shaping the world we live in today.
  • Neither North nor South Korea had achieved its goal: the destruction of the opposing regime and reunification of the divided peninsula.
  • Since 1953 there has been an uneasy coexistence between North and South Korea, which hosts over 20,000 American troops. At one time hundreds of American nuclear weapons were based there.
  • In the decades after the war, South Korea transformed into an economic powerhouse.
  • Meanwhile, North Korea became “the world’s most amazing garrison state with the fourth largest army in the world.”
  • The Korean War gave many Western nations a reason to strengthen their military power. The U.S. increased their national defense budget by nearly 5 times from the end of WWII to the end of the Korean War.
  • The U.S. Air Force set up bases all around the world, and the U.S. Marine Corps started building ships that can carry nuclear weapons.
  • At the beginning of the Korean War, nuclear weapons numbered only about 400; this figure shot up to 1000 by the end of the war.
  • Meanwhile, Capitalist nations of the West realized that they had to come together in order to protect themselves from Communist invasions. NATO, based in Western Europe, grew in power and unity.
  • Japan also emerged from the war with added gains. The U.S. decided to develop Japan to maintain security in the Far East.  Japan was allowed to stock up on weapons, and it received aid from the U.S. to build new factories.
  • Japanese industries, which have been struggling since Japan’s defeat in WWII, now grew and flourished.
  • Japan’s vertical growth seemed to know no bounds, and this period of development played a key role in shaping Japan into the powerful country it is today.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. believed the Korean War to have been part of the Soviet’s “red conspiracy” and began the witch hunt for communist sympathizers.
  • The war had stimulated the growth of Capitalism, but at the same time, it thwarted the course of Communism.

Conclusion:

Even after the cease-fire in 1953, all was not well on the newly divided peninsula.  The R.O.K. and D.P.R.K continued to regard each other as an enemy and potential threat to the well-being of their nation. The tensions between North Korea and the United States continue to mount amid missile tests and taunts even till date.

 

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

2. The violent standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh region has thrown the spotlight on high-altitude warfare. In this backdrop discuss how is high-altitude warfare fought and to what extent is India equipped for it? (250 words)

Reference: byjus.com 

Why the question:

The violent standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh region has thrown the spotlight on high-altitude warfare and the challenges that troops face, particularly when advantageous positions on the heights are occupied by the other side.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the aspects of is high-altitude warfare, how is it fought and India’s capability vis-à-vis with respect to 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:

Start by defining what is meant by high-altitude warfare.

Body:

Discuss how high-altitude warfare fought? High-altitude warfare is fought keeping the terrain and weather in mind. The kind of infrastructure and training that the troops require for high-altitude warfare are key factors. The evolution of such warfare goes back a long way: European countries had mountain brigades in view of the kind of terrain prevalent in those countries. The harshness of the terrain calls for a specialized kind of training to prepare soldiers in terms of mindset and acclimatization. Explain India’s capabilities with respect to it. One can discuss the historical, inherent high-altitude warfare techniques Indians are equipped with.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the importance of such warfare to India owing to its territorial variations across its neighborhood.

Introduction:

High-altitude warfare refers to warfare in the mountains or similarly rough terrain. It is fought keeping the terrain and weather in mind. The kind of infrastructure and training that the troops require for high-altitude warfare are key factors. The evolution of such warfare goes back a long way: European countries had mountain brigades in view of the kind of terrain prevalent in those countries. The harshness of the terrain calls for a specialised kind of training to prepare soldiers in terms of mindset and acclimatisation.

The violent standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh region has thrown the spotlight on high-altitude warfare and the challenges that troops face, particularly when advantageous positions on the heights are occupied by the other side.

Body:

The Indian Army has deployed its specialised high altitude warfare forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to counter any transgression by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in any sector

Challenges faced by India at high-altitude warfare:

  • Relief challenges:
    • Weather constraints play a major factor.
    • The world’s highest battlefield, Siachen, can be unforgiving even for the toughest; frequent blizzards and sub-zero temperatures make it one of the most hostile places to live in, let alone fight.
    • Large parts of eastern Ladakh’s geography are well above 4,000 meters (above sea level).
  • Physiological challenges:
    • The reality is that for any altitude greater than 2,400 meters, it may take days for soldiers to acclimatize to the new conditions.
    • Poor acclimatization to high-altitudes could trigger the onset of deadly pulmonary oedema.
    • At that kind of altitude, medical problems that could quite quickly manifest include pulmonary oedema, frost bite, chilblains, snow blindness, and acute mountain sickness.
    • Shooting and targeting also grows significantly more challenging at high altitudes.
    • The load carrying capacity of individuals reduces drastically.
  • Infrastructural challenges:
    • In such a scenario, the possibility of mobilising timely reinforcements grows extremely remote especially if the health of soldiers is not to be compromised.
    • Supply of resources at these levels becomes a monumental challenge, especially since diesel engines of armored vehicles and trucks also operate at low levels of efficiency.
    • One of the lessons that the Kargil War taught the Indian Army was that artillery shells and rifle rounds fly at unusual trajectories at high altitudes.
  • Logistical challenges:
    • The warfare constraints at the LAC stem from the altitude as well as the lack of local infrastructure which is, presumably, one of the reasons why any previous dustups in the region have fizzled out relatively quickly.
    • One major challenge is that weapons jam, particularly in high-altitude areas.
    • When a soldier is at a height of 17,000 ft or above, it is very cold, and he needs to grease the weapons and clean the barrels at least once a week to ensure they function efficiently. But at the time of combat, this becomes difficult.
    • Vehicles do not start when fuel jams. If the fuel is diesel, it won’t ignite unless it is mixed with thinners or other chemicals to make them thin enough to fire the engine.
    • For communication equipment, troops need to carry more batteries because they drain very quickly at high altitude. While a battery tends to last for 24 hours in the plains, it will drain in 1-2 hours in these severely cold areas.
    • Transport animals such as mules need to be used to maintain adequate supplies, which is not an easy task.

India’s preparedness for high-altitude warfare:

  • India is considered a hub of mountain warfare skills since most of the country’s north and northeast requires such skills. Ladakh Scouts are considered the best in this kind of warfare.
  • Indo Tibetian Border police force(ITBP) is a specialized mountain force and most of the officers and men are professionally trained mountaineers and skiers
  • Mountain chop, a tactic involved in such warfare, evolved in India where the mountainous terrain is very difficult to scale.
  • When there are vertical cliffs, it is generally perceived that the enemy that has taken defensive positions will be less guarded from the side of difficult approaches.
  • The troops are trained in skilled mountaineering techniques, rock-craft as well as mountain craft.
  • Acclimatisation to avoid non-battle, cold casualties.
  • Trainers who keep troops well-equipped and efficient to meet any contingency.

Conclusion:

With more than 200,000 troops in 12 divisions, the Indian mountain division is the largest high-altitude battalion in the world. Since the 1970s, the Indian army has developed and increased the size of the mountain division battalion and is also working to a mountain strike force of more than 50,000 soldiers.

Planning has to be done in advance, with recces carried out in the mountains. There has to be a contingency plan to first identify the tactical points that need to be used in case of an assault. time and place need to be kept on top priority when deciding where the troops have to be stationed and how they have to be mobilised. Without adequate trained troops who are well-versed with the terrain and are properly acclimatised, it is not an easy game.

 

Topic : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. Discuss the key concerns associated with use of drugs without Randomized Clinical Trials and scientific evidence. Also present the role of regulatory authority in India in approving such drugs. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Covid-19 has thrown many questions and the answers are still not available. It has not only exposed the dire situation of the public health infrastructure, but also the opacity with which drug/medical device approvals are given.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail the concerns associated with use of drugs without trials and scientific backing and its impact on the health of public. One should also throw light on the role of regulatory authority in India.

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:

Start with fact that recently, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted approval to Favipiravir for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms.

Body:

Talk about evidence based medicines. Explain that It requires the testing of pharmaceutical drugs through Randomized Clinical Trials (RCT) wherein one set of patients get a placebo (or an alternate therapy) and the other set of patients gets the investigational drug. Discuss the concerns associated with it.

Discuss specific concerns associated with use of drugs without Randomized Clinical Trials and scientific evidence.

Then discuss the role of regulatory authority in India in approving such drugs present the role of regulatory authority in India in approving such drugs.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The pandemic has not only exposed the dire situation of the public health infrastructure, but also the opacity with which drug/medical device approvals are granted in India. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, an Indian pharmaceutical company, to sell generic versions of Favipiravir for the treatment of COVID-19. This drug, originally invented by a Japanese company, was meant to treat influenza. However, there is no scientific consensus on the efficacy of the drug on COVID-19.

Body:

Procedure for establishing the efficacy of drug:

  • There is no information on the DCGI’s website explaining the scientific basis of its approval of Favipiravir for COVID-19.
  • Evidence-based medicine requires the testing of pharmaceutical drugs through randomised clinical trials (RCT) wherein one set of patients get a placebo (or an alternate therapy) and the other set of patients gets the investigational drug.
  • Neither the doctors nor the patients know who gets what drug.
  • If the set of patients that gets the investigational drug shows a better outcome, it can be presumed that the drug has a demonstrable therapeutic effect on the disease in comparison to the comparator.
  • This is the gold standard for demonstrating the efficacy of a drug in treating a particular disease.
  • The data collected from such clinical trials are usually published in a peer-reviewed journal where they are subject to scientific scrutiny.
  • This system has worked during this pandemic to disprove claims that hydroxychloroquine was useful in treating COVID-19.

Key concerns associated with use of drugs without Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) and scientific evidence:

  • RCTs revolutionized how physicians thought and practiced, and greatly augmented their effectiveness in curing disease and relieving suffering. However, most medical treatments achieve much less dramatic results: some people seem to improve, some not, and some worsen.
  • To evaluate their overall benefit, sophisticated human trials are required.
  • RCTs are necessary to justify the use of new drugs for specific complaints, but most existing drugs lack such justification.
  • Unproven treatments raise false hopes and detract from better ones. Thus drugs, indeed all treatments, require scientific evaluation.
  • Drugs are costly, and almost all have side effects that offend Hippocrates’ aphorism. One harmed patient is justified only if the disease is serious and many others can expect some good.
  • Unproven treatments raise false hopes and detract from better ones. Thus drugs, indeed all treatments, require scientific evaluation.
  • If the drugs are highly priced, then the manufacturer stands to make a fortune once there are bulk orders for the drug.

Role of regulatory authority in India in approving such drugs:

  • Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) is a department of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization of the Government of India responsible for approval of licenses of specified categories of drugs such as blood and blood products, IV fluids, vaccines, and sera in India.
  • Drug Controller General of India, comes under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • DCGI lays down the standard and quality of manufacturing, selling, import and distribution of drugs in India. Its important functions are:
    • Acting as appellate authority in case of any dispute regarding the quality of drugs.
    • Preparation and maintenance of national reference standard.
    • To bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
    • Training of Drug Analysts deputed by State Drug Control Laboratories and other Institutions
    • Analysis of Cosmetics received as survey samples from CDSCO (central drug standard control organization)

Conclusion:

Vaccines, like most new drugs, are meant to follow a clinical testing process spanning four stages, starting with pre-clinical tests and ending with phase III studies conducted on thousands of patients. After approval from the regulator, the firm has to continue monitoring the use of its vaccine on patients and submit post-marketing surveillance details, which checks for any long-term unintended adverse effects of the product.

A culture of secrecy around drug approvals serves no purpose except to benefit pharmaceutical companies. However, if the drug does not work as advertised, the DCGI could end up promoting widespread misuse of this drug and a false sense of security amongst the population. The regulator would be responsible for promoting irrational medicine as it has been on previous occasions.

 

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

4. Analyse the aspects of developing our own domestic medical industry by creating a strong local ecosystem. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The article talks about how India should have a strong local system for the comprehensive development of domestic medical industry.

Key Demand of the question:

Present a detailed analysis of the aspects of developing our own domestic medical industry by creating a strong local ecosystem.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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:

Healthcare being the most critical, India has to evolve imaginative policies and usher in reforms that will accelerate its economic revival. Developing our own domestic medical industry is the best way forward.

Body:

One can start by pointing out the lacunae in the domestic health industry in the country; Lack of adequate infrastructure, supply chain and logistics; High cost of finance; inadequate availability and cost of quality power; Limited design capabilities. Suggest methods to address these concerns and explain how the best way is to develop a local ecosystem, take hints from the article and present points.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The medical device industry is a unique blend of engineering and medicine. It involves the creation of machines that are then used to support life within the human body. Medical devices include Surgical Equipment, Diagnostic equipment like Cardiac imaging, CT scans, X-ray, Molecular Imaging, MRI and Ultrasound-imaging including hand – held devices; Life Support equipment like ventilator, etc. as well as Implants and Disposables. Given the importance, it needs not only careful regulation but also the highest ethical standards.

Body:

Current scenario of Medical devices industry in India:

  • Medical devices sector in India is very small in size as compared to the rest of the manufacturing industry, though India is one of the top twenty markets for medical devices in the world and is the 4th largest market in Asia after Japan, China, and South Korea.
  • India currently imports 80-90% of medical devices of the $15 billion market, the vast majority of which are unregulated for quality and safety.
  • The government has approved setting up four medical device parks with a view to support Make in India initiative and provide world-class treatment at affordable prices.
  • The parks will be set up in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Uttarakhand and Gujarat have also approached the Centre for such parks.
  • To ensure that all medical devices meet certain standards of quality and efficacy, the Union Health Ministry notified medical equipment used on humans or animals as “drugs” under Section 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, with effect from April 1, 2020.

Challenges faced by the Medical devices industry in India:

  • Lack of adequate infrastructure, supply chain and logistics;
  • High cost of finance;
  • Inadequate availability and cost of quality power;
  • Limited design capabilities; and
  • Low focus on R&D and skill development.
  • The industry is still at a nascent stage with sub-optimal penetration and usage of medical devices. This demands innovation and R&D from the medical device industry in order to push for indigenization.
  • The lack of regulatory systems, harmonized standards, accreditation, legal requirements, proper guidance on quality and best practices are affecting the medical devices industry adversely.
  • Medical devices continue to be under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and industry representatives are pushing for a comprehensive regulation that views medical devices separately, through the entire life-cycle of the product, from design to tests on patients, incorporating doctor feedback, and surveillance of patients in whom the implants are used, etc.
  • The penal system in the Drugs Act is a disincentive for medtech investors. The Act is not appropriate for innovative engineering products like medical electronics.
  • Presently, India does not have any legal provisions to compensate patients facing health problems due to implants or the use of faulty medical devices. Under the law, companies are liable to pay compensation only when something goes wrong during a clinical trial.
  • The Johnson and Johnson’s faulty hip implant device case is symptomatic of the failure of regulatory mechanisms to counter corporate forgery, lack of administrative accountability, breach of business/medical ethics of big pharma, and the lack of consumer/patient awareness.
  • Investors shy away from an unpredictable, incomplete and incorrect regulatory environment. In the absence of norms, domestic manufacturing suffers as a surgeon is unsure of trying an unregulated device from a startup on a patient.

Measures needed:

  • Formulate “Medical Device Regulatory Act”: Medical devices should be treated distinctly from drugs and a separate chapter for medical devices should be made in the existing Drugs & Cosmetics Act.
  • Create necessary bodies to drive the policies: Set up an independent body with a permanent office and support staff to promote and facilitate the medical device industry with representatives from all related government departments as well as Industry.
  • Addressing artificial inflation where labelled MRP of medical devices, instead of protecting consumers, has become a license to charge full MRP, which may lead to profiteering at retail/hospital-end.
  • By rationalizing trade margin over import landed price, a consumer can gain and not feel exploited post-Covid-19. This will also help Make in India, as already proven in stents and knee implants, and lead to demand creation for domestic manufacturing.
  • Preferential treatment in government procurement: Preference may be given to medical devices that are being manufactured in India with an additional preference for medical devices manufactured under the MSME sector.
  • Medical device testing centers should be set up preferably in the PPP model.
  • Designate “Centers of Excellence” (CoE) for supporting product development and validation.
  • Set up a Skill development committee with representatives from the Medical devices industry, academia (NIPERs) and Healthcare Sector Skill Council (HSSC) under the National Skill Development Council (NSDC).
  • Separate price control order for medical devices.

Way forward:

  • Medical devices sector, being a critical sector dealing with human lives, needs to be given sufficient attention on an urgent basis to make the sector effective and transparent with the aim to make healthcare devices affordable and accessible to the masses.
  • India being a large market for medical devices should tap the potential generated by the Medical Devices Industry by strengthening its domestic framework that would greatly help in realizing the vision of “Make in India”.
  • The focus needs to shift from chasing investment value by foreign brands and onto creating an ecosystem for making in India.
  • Healthcare being the most critical, India has to evolve imaginative policies and usher in reforms that will accelerate its economic revival. Developing our own domestic medical industry is the best way forward.

Conclusion:

The Covid-19 crisis has shown that Indian medical device manufacturers can scale up manufacturing to tackle spiked demands for ventilators and other life-saving medical supplies. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us to be self-reliant and self-sufficient first, and not seek solutions outside the country. We are hopeful that Aatmanirbhar Bharat will strengthen the domestic medical devices industry to compete globally and make India a global medical devices manufacturing hub. It will also make India powerful enough to cope up with the challenges to its healthcare security emanating from China.

 

Topic : Awareness in the field of  Space

5. Define the key objectives of IN-SPACe; in what way would it increase the role of private sector in Space industry? Elucidate.  (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The government on Wednesday approved the creation of a new organisation to ensure greater private participation in India’s space activities, a decision which it described as “historic”, and which Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Sivan said was part of an important set of reforms to open up the space sector and make space-based applications and services more widely accessible to everyone.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and one must discuss the key objectives of IN-SPACe and explain in what way it would increase the role of private sector in Space industry.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give 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:

The new Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), which is expected to be functional within six months, will assess the needs and demands of private players, including educational and research institutions, and, explore ways to accommodate these requirements in consultation with ISRO.

Body:

State the key objectives of the IN-SPACe.

Discuss why private participation is important in space.

IN-SPACe is supposed to be a facilitator, and also a regulator. It will act as an interface between ISRO and private parties, and assess how best to utilize India’s space resources and increase space-based activities.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its importance for Indian space industry.

Introduction:

The government has decided to set up an Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) to act as a bridge for private sector players. It will be an autonomous nodal agency functioning as a facilitator and a regulator under the Department of Space. It will act as an interface between ISRO and private parties, and assess how best to utilize India’s space resources and increase space-based activities.

IN-SPACe is the second space organization created by the government in the last two years. In the 2019 Budget, the government had announced the setting up of a New Space India Limited (NSIL), a public sector company that would serve as a marketing arm of ISRO.

Body:

Key objectives:

  • IN-SPACe will act as a single-point interface between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and everyone who wants to participate in space-related activities, or use India’s space resources.
  • The newly created IN-SPACe will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
  • It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.

IN-SPACe benefits:

  • Space sector can play a major catalytic role in the technological advancement and expansion of our Industrial base.
  • The proposed reforms will enhance the socio-economic use of space assets and activities, including through improved access to space assets, data and facilities.
  • This will not only result in an accelerated growth of this sector but will enable Indian Industry to be an important player in global space economy.
  • With this, there is an opportunity for large-scale employment in the technology sector and India becoming a Global technology powerhouse.

IN-SPACe and the role of private sector in Space industry:

  • The new organization would be aiming to ensure greater private participation in India’s space activities.
  • It would provide a level-playing field for private sector participants to use Indian space infrastructure; this would allow ISRO to focus more on R&D activities.
  • Through IN-SPACe, the existing ISRO infrastructure, both ground- and space-based, scientific and technical resources, and even data are planned to be made accessible to interested parties to enable them to carry out their space-related activities.
  • Allowing industries and others like students, researchers or academic bodies greater access to space assets would lead to a much better utilization of India space resources.
  • These reforms will allow ISRO to focus more on research and development activities, new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme.
  • Some of the planetary exploration missions will also be opened up to private sector through an ‘announcement of opportunity’ mechanism.
  • A few private companies that were in the process of developing their own launch vehicles, the rockets like ISRO’s PSLV that carry the satellites and other payloads into space would be helped.
  • The private industry’s participation will also free up ISRO to concentrate on science, research and development, interplanetary exploration and strategic launches. Right now, too much of ISRO’s resources is consumed by routine activities that delay its more strategic objectives.

Way forward:

  • India should have national space activities legislation which takes on board all stakeholders.
  • A public-private partnership (PPP) model can be looked into to realise ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), with a joint venture between ISRO and the private sector.
  • In the UK, space ventures are treated as a complement to big organizations and not a competitor. This should be encouraged in India too.
  • A supportive international partner and likeminded local partners helps to set up a space business.
  • The idea should be to let the private industry build their own facilities after gaining enough expertise.
  • ISRO has built a space technology park spread over 25 acres in Bengaluru where the entire range of facilities have been set up for use by the industry.

Conclusion:

India is among a handful of countries with advanced capabilities in the space sector. With these reforms, the sector will receive new energy and dynamism, to help the country leapfrog to the next stages of space activities. To thrive in this throttling competition and be head-and-shoulders above others in the same segment, innovative research has to be fostered and dynamic players have to be brought onboard. This is not possible without engagement, collaboration, partnership and devolving some of the roles to the private industry.

 

Topic : basics of cyber security.

6. Account for the need for an updated cyber security strategy for India. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The article presents a detailed analysis of why India needs an updated Cyber security strategy.

Key Demand of the question:

One must Account for the need for an updated cyber security strategy for India.

Directive:

Account – 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 are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Although India was one of the few countries to launch a cybersecurity policy in 2013, not much has transpired in terms of a coordinated cyber approach.

Body:

Discuss why cyber-attacks are on the rise? Financial services, payments, health services, etc are all connected to digital mediums; and thanks to Corona, this is expected to increase. In India, too, attacks have been happening with increasing frequency. 

Discuss examples of recent cyber attacks. Explain the role being played currently by CERT-In.  While CERT-IN has responded to cyber threats, it has been late in conducting security checks, and often has released advisories once an attack has taken place. In the case of WhatsApp and Pegasus, CERT-IN only came in after others had warned of the possibility of individuals being compromised.  

With countries resorting to digital warfare and hackers targeting business organisations and government processes, India needs comprehensive cybersecurity guidelines and standards for checking cyber vulnerabilities and cyber responses.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Cyber Security refers to protecting cyber space including critical information infrastructure from attack, damage, misuse and economic espionage. Cyber security is a broad spectrum phrase and relates to preventing any form of unauthorized and malafide access to a personal computer, a laptop, a smartphone or a major network like the national banking system or the railway network or a national information technology asset that also has military implications.

Recently, Australia had to stave off its biggest cyber threat with the attack targeting everything from public utilities to education and health infrastructure. India has also been a victim to many such cyber-attacks in the past like WannaCry, Petya ransomware, Mirai botnet etc.

Body:

Incidences of cyber-attacks in India:

  • In India, too, attacks have been happening with increasing frequency.
  • More than 4,000 fraudulent portals emerged within two months, and on a typical day in April 2020, Google alone blocked 240 million spam messages and 18 million phishing scams.
  • In 2016, banks had reportedly announced a leak of personal information of 3.2 million debit cards.
  • In 2018, Pune-based Cosmos Bank lost Rs 94 crore in a malware attack. Last year, the Kudankulam plant was attacked using malware.
  • Criminals can defraud unsuspecting users in sharing their bank or credit card account details with the PIN and passwords, intimidate and bully others, indulge in cyberstalking or, for that matter, could be involved in cyberespionage, terror financing or child pornography.
  • Operations of critical infrastructure such as power grid or ports can come to a halt with ransomware, and fake news can flare up social tensions.

Need for an updated cyber-security strategy for India:

  • With the vision of a trillion-dollar digital component, accounting for one-fifth of the $5-trillion national economy, the importance of cyberspace in India would only keep growing as Indians have taken to mobile broadband like fish to water, driven by affordable tariffs, low-cost smartphones and a spurt in availability of audio-visual content in Indian languages.
  • Financial services, payments, health services, etc are all connected to digital mediums; and thanks to Corona, this is expected to increase.
  • CERT-IN has recently issued an advisory that there is a threat of a massive phishing attack.
  • India was one of the few countries to launch a cybersecurity policy in 2013, not much has transpired in terms of a coordinated cyber approach.
  • Unlike the US, Singapore, and the UK where there is a single umbrella organization dealing in cybersecurity, India has 36 different central bodies—most ministries have their own—that deal with cyber issues, and each has a different reporting structure; each state government has its own CERT.
  • Add to this the fact that while the National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 was to devise a cyber-readiness roadmap for organisations and the government for cyber-readiness, this is yet to be announced.
  • India is not even a signatory to some of the basic international frameworks on Cybersecurity like the Convention of Cybercrime of the Council of Europe which not only European nations but Japan, US, South Africa have become signatories to, except India.
  • Indian laws are not in tandem with the ever-changing global cyberspace.
    • The laws are old and hence need to be more dynamic in nature to deal with issues like cyber-espionage, data theft and so on.
    • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) is the sole law that deals with cyberspace in India and was passed way back in 2000.
  • Also, the Cyber Law of India has been subject to amendments on various occasions but hasn’t served the changing dynamics and the growing threats and manifestations of cyberwar.

Strategy should include the following:

  • Since a global consensus is unlikely any day soon, India should consider joining or leveraging existing frameworks like the Convention on Cybercrime and the Paris Call. After all, cybersecurity has become a geopolitical issue, as reiterated time and again by the Prime Minister.
  • Security by design, budgeting by default:
    • It is high time that 10% of every IT budget in the government be earmarked for cybersecurity, as recommended by the NASSCOM Cyber Security Task Force, just like 1-3% of every ministry’s budget was set aside for IT in 1998, as recommended by the Prime Minister’s IT Task Force in 1998.
    • The National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) 2020 and the data protection framework must be consistent with each other.
    • Exceptions and exemptions must be narrowly crafted, in compliance with the principles of lawfulness, fairness, transparency and proportionality laid down by the Supreme Court in its 2017 privacy judgment.
  • Prevention is better than cure:
    • Nine out of 10 data breaches can be mitigated if we all take care of basic cybersecurity like using licensed and updated software, using different and difficult passwords for different services and devices, multi-factor authentication and strong encryption.
    • We need innovative solutions to scale up awareness as our user base is expected to reach a billion over the next five years, compared to half a billion currently.
  • Bidirectional partnership:
    • The government should share its own assessment back with the private sector to create incentive for the latter to proactively share their intelligence on threat vectors without jeopardizing contractual obligations or intellectual property.
  • Pragmatic, predictable, flexible
    • Underlying principles must go along with the strategic objectives and provide sufficient guidance and flexibility to sector regulators within their respective ecosystem.
    • For example, the cybersecurity guidelines or frameworks issued by RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and PFRDAI can be greatly synergized under the aegis of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), thereby bringing greater sanity for the regulators as well as the regulated entities.
    • In addition, every regulation must emerge through public consultation and be backed up with a regulatory impact assessment, whether it is about cross-border data flows or restricting encryption.

Measures needed:

  • A Defence Cyber Agency could be the first step the government plans to for critical infrastructure and military networks that are increasingly becoming dependent on the Internet, thus increasing vulnerabilities.
  • The Defence Cyber Agency will work in coordination with the National Cyber Security Advisor. It will have more than 1,000 experts who will be distributed into a number of formations of the Army, Navy and IAF. According to reports, the new Defence Cyber Agency will have both offensive and defensive capacity.
  • Equally important is cyber propaganda. During the Doklam conflict, China tried its best to unleash cyber propaganda on India and indulged in complex psy-ops
  • Critical cyber infrastructure needs to be defended and the establishment of the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre(NCIIPC) is a good step in this direction
  • Individual ministries and private companies must also put procedures in place to honestly report breaches. It is only then that the NCIIPC can provide the requisite tools to secure these networks. This partnership must be transparent and not mired in the usual secrecy of intelligence organizations.
  • The upgrading of the Defence Cyber Agency to a Cyber Command must be implemented at the soonest.
  • A robust ecosystem must be built to secure India from acts of state and non-state actors, including protocol for grievance redressal in international forums.
  • Better capabilities must be built to detect and deflect attacks.
  • The computer emergency response team (CERT) must be strengthened and aligned with military and foreign affairs operations.
  • Building a joint task force between the government and key technology players will be crucial.
  • The government should push for the creation of a global charter of digital human rights.
  • A national gold standard should be created, which ensures that Indian hardware and software companies adhere to the highest safety protocols
  • Impart cybercrime investigation training and technological know-how to the various law enforcement agencies.
  • Cyber awareness must be spread and there should be multi-stakeholder approach- technological inputs, legal inputs, strengthening law enforcements, systems and then dealing with transborder crime involves lot of international cooperation.

Conclusion:

Most of the Indian banking industry and financial institutions have embraced IT to its full optimization. Reports suggest that cyber-attacks are understandably directed toward economic and financial institutions. With innovative, technology led programmes such as AADHAAR, MyGov, GeM, Digital Locker the new India is the land of technological prowess and transformation. Government and the private sector jointly have to give cyber security some priority in their security and risk management plan.

 

Topic : Ethics based case study

7. One of the scientists working in the R & D laboratory of a major pharmaceutical company discovers that one of the company’s bestselling veterinary drugs, B has the potential to cure a currently incurable liver disease that is prevalent in tribal areas. However, developing a variant of the drug suitable for human beings entailed a lot of research and development having a huge expenditure to the extent of R 50 crores. It was unlikely that the company would recover the costs as the disease was rampant only in poverty-stricken area having very little market otherwise. If you were the CEO, then—

 (a) Identify the various actions that you could take;

(b) Evaluate the pros and cons of each of your actions.

(250 words)

Reference: Case study

Why the question:

The case study is based on the ethical issues involved in the drug development suitable for human beings.

Key Demand of the question:

Evaluate the ethical issues involved in the case and address the questions following it.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In short discuss the stakeholders involved, identify the ethical concerns in the case.

Body:

As companies normally aim at profit maximization, the pharmacy firm can abandon the Proposal as unworkable. While justifiable from company’s individual economic perspective, social and humanitarian concerns militate against it. As development and production are commercially unviable, the drug can be produced under the company’s corporate social responsibility activities (CSR). Profit making companies have to spend a prescribed percentage of their profits on CSR. If the company is making enough profits, this will be an ideal solution. Suggest what are the possible solutions and alternatives available to you. Suggest the best possible way that can address all the stakeholders equally.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions.

Introduction:

The above case presents a scenario where the private drug company has developed a potential cure to an incurable liver disease, prevalent among tribals. The case presents a dilemma of a CEO who has to ensure the profitability of the drug company meanwhile being compassionate and trustee of the society in which the company is located too.

Body:

The various actions which can be taken by me as CEO are:

  1. to adhere to my obligations and professional ethics, which is to serve my company and to garner its maximum profit.
  2. Taking support of Government by the Viability gap funding.
  3. Raising money through finance market.
  4. Collaborating with foreign company
  5. appealing to public through media and NGO’s for collaboration and funds through sale of products

Evaluation of the options:

  • Option 1: to adhere to my obligations and professional ethics, which is to serve my company and to garner its maximum profit
  • Merits:
    • Professional Loyalty to the company.
    • this would not be contradictory to my personal ethics which derives from my societal obligations and my conscience.
  • Demerits:
    • Company will lose the public goodwill and do a bigger harm.
    • Against the trusteeship factor of the company.
  • Option 2: Taking support of government by the Viability gap funding.
  • Merits:
    • It will solve the funding issue.
    • Poor people will benefit. Justice will be done to them.
    • Government machinery can be utilized for better service delivery.
  • Demerits:
    • It will put Subsidy burden on government.
    • Company’s ownership of product will be diluted
  • Option 3: Raising money through finance market
  • Merits:
    • It will solve the problem temporarily.
    • Poor people will benefit
    • Corporate Social Responsibility will be fulfilled
  • Demerits:
    • Investors may lose money in future.
    • My company might come under severe financial stress.
  • Option 4: collaborating with foreign company
  • Merits:
    • Not just poor of India, but of whole world will benefit.
    • The problem can be solved in holistic manner.
  • Demerits:
    • Issues of Intellectual property rights may hamper this collaboration.
    • foreign company may sell the drug at higher prices.
  • Option 5: appealing to the public through media and NGO’s for collaboration and funds through sale of products
  • Merits:
    • Pool for social activities will be created
    • Good publicity of company will be done.
    • Increase in sales and profits which then are transfer to the project
  • Demerits:
    • It may also decrease the sale as price of company’s products will be increased.
    • may take a long time to collect necessary funds

Conclusion:

In the above scenario, I would go in for the combination of options 2 and 5 along with pitching in with some of my company’s CSR funds. This would ensure public goodwill for my company as well as ensure an easy, affordable access of the drug to the tribals. Compromises have to be struck between the profit motive of my company and the public good in a way that both benefit from each other in a complementary manner. This will also set a precedent for others to follow who are faced with such a dilemma thus increasing social capital and trust in society.


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