InstaLinks : help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically
Table of Contents:
1. Set up a new regulator for medical devices
GS Paper 3:
1. Growing water crisis and One water Approach (OWA)
Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)
1. Inclusive Workspace
2. Cognitive Dissonance
Facts for Prelims:
1. Hindi Diwas
2. Sea cucumbers
3. Cabinet approves addition of four tribes
4. No specific law against hate speech
5. The lowdown on the essential medicines list
6. Damodaran to head the committee to boost PE/VC investments
7. Global Framework for Safe use of Life science
8. United in Science Report 2021
9. Nuclear Fusion
10. ISRO and Hughes launch India’s first commercial satellite broadband service
Note: You can download the compilation of Content for Mains Enrichment (CME) from June till September 10th here. This is a short 20 pages compilation and can be highly used for those giving Mains this time.
GS paper 2
Syllabus: Issues related to the development of the social sector involving healthcare etc
Directions: Go through it once.
- The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is falling short in effectively regulating the medical devices industry, observed the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health.
- Therefore, it recommended a new regulator for Medical Devices in the country
- Committee presented Report on the subject “Medical Devices: Regulations and Control” to Rajya Sabha.
- New regulators: New legislation should set up a new set of regulators at different levels for regulating the medical devices industry.
- New regulator to involve institutions: such as IISC, CSIR, DRDO and network of IITs to test medical devices for safety and efficacy.
- Ministry to work in synergy with State governments: To impart the necessary skills to the local medical device officers.
- Mechanism to regularly designate State Medical personnel: Designate them as Medical Device/Medical Device Testing Officers so that the mandate of the legislation can be implemented effectively.
- Department to start a Research Linked Incentive (RLI) Scheme: In Line with the PLI scheme.
- The Department should facilitate academia-industry partnerships for undertaking research projects.
- Other recommendations:
- More certified medical devices testing laboratories
- Robust IT enabled feedback driven post-market surveillance system
- Medical device registry, particularly for implants
Measures suggested by the committee:
- Having adequate common infrastructure including accredited laboratories: For standard testing in various regions of the country.
- It would significantly encourage local manufacturers to get their products tested for standards
- Reducing the cost of production: which ultimately will improve the availability and affordability of medical devices in the domestic market.
- Need for developing a robust IT enabled feedback driven post-market surveillance system: For Medical Devices to evaluate the efficiency of specific Medical Devices.
- Medical device registry: Particularly for implants should also be made to ensure traceability of patient who has received the implant in order to assess the performance of the implant
- Single window clearing platform: For the application of the license for manufacturing, export, and import shall also integrate all these bodies involved in the regulation of medical devices.
- Having adequate common infrastructure including accredited laboratories: For standard testing in various regions of the country.
Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in March this year released an Approach Paper for the Draft National Policy for the Medical Devices, 2022.
Targets by 2047:
- Set up National Institutes of Medical Devices Education and Research (NIMERs) along the lines of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPERs).
- India will be the home & originator of 25 high-end futuristic technologies in MedTech (Medical Technology).
- Will have a MedTech Industry of USD100-300 Bn size with 10-12% of Global Market Share
Also, a few months back, Drug, Medical Devices, and Cosmetics Bill-2022’ which separately defines medical devices and regulates online pharma was put for public comments.
Related news: National Medical Devices Promotion Council (which takes up important issues of the MedTech Industry) was reconstituted recently. It comes under the Department of Pharmaceuticals.
Q. How is the Government of India protecting traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies? (UPSC 2019)
Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940
Medical professional board
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Economy: Water/Agriculture
Direction: Similar to the ‘One Health Approach’, the One water approach is very important. We have also combined points from the Hindu editorial article on India’s growing water crisis. Those giving mains this time, do remember a few points on OWA.
Context: In view of the water crisis and the issue of management, OWA has been formulated.
Status of Water Crisis:
- UN has estimated that by the year 2050, four billion people will be seriously affected by water shortages, which might lead to multiple conflicts between countries over water sharing.
- 31 countries are already facing a shortage of water and by 2025, there will be 48 countries facing serious water shortages.
- Global Drought Risk and Water Stress map (2019) shows that major parts of India, particularly west, central and parts of peninsular India are highly water-stressed and experience water scarcity.
- NITI Aayog report, ‘Composite Water Management Index’ (2018): more than 600 million people facing acute water shortages.
Impact of water crisis:
- Rural-urban water disputes are very likely to occur as scarcity grows, exacerbated by climate change
- Triggers sectoral and regional competitiong. water disputes between countries.
- Silent crisis of a global dimension, with millions of people being deprived of water to live and sustain their livelihood.
Need for One Water Approach (OWA):
- Failure to value water in all its forms is considered a prime cause of the mismanagement of water ( UN World Water Development Report 2021, published by UNESCO on behalf of the UN-Water)
Characteristics of OWA:
- The mindset that all water has value — from the water resources in our ecosystems to our drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.
- A multi-faceted approach meaning that our water-related investments should provide economic, environmental, and societal returns.
- Utilising watershed-scale thinking and action that respects and responds to the natural ecosystem, geology, and hydrology of an area.
- Partnerships and inclusion: all stakeholders come forward and together will take a decision.
- Reliable, secure, clean water supplies
- Aquifer recharge
- Flood protection
- Minimising environmental pollution
- Efficient use and reuse of natural resources
- Resiliency to climate
- Long-term sustainability
- Equity, affordability and accessibility to safe drinking water
- Economic growth and prosperity
- A ‘One Water’ approach is key to combating urban challenges, managing resources
- Shift needed from single-minded, linear water management to multi-dimensional integrated water management technique
OWA (also known as Integrated Water Resource Management) is superior to the conventional water management approach:
|Conventional Water Management Approach||One Water Approach|
|Drinking water, wastewater and stormwater are managed separately||All the water systems, regardless of their source, are managed in a connected way and given equal worth|
|One-way route from supply to use, treatment and disposal.|
|Water is recycled and reused several times|
|Use of Stormwater not considered.||Stormwater is utilised as a valuable resource to fight against water scarcity, recharge groundwater and support natural vegetation|
|Grey infrastructure in conventional water management||Mix of grey and green infrastructure that form a hybrid system|
|Collaboration is need-based||Active collaborations with all stakeholders, including communities.|
- Singapore: It is working towards becoming a zero waste nation by reducing our consumption of water, materials, and reusing and recycling them to give them a second lease of life. It has been following OWA for decades now.
- Los Angeles: One Water Los Angeles has formulated a LA 2040 Plan through a “Three legged stool approach” that ensures water quality improvement, water supply augmentation and flood risk mitigation, using recycling and reuse.
Water is one of the most important topics having multi-subject linkages in UPSC. Do have your notes prepared for it covering multiple dimensions.
Q. Analyse the availability and usage of water in India. In the context of ‘One Water Approch’, discuss the measures that are needed for effective management of water in India. (250 Words)
Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay)
Accenture believes the ‘Magic of Pride’ is that it pushes the boundaries to make us perceive people beyond stereotypes.
The company’s inclusive policies helped Shoaib, a transgender woman, always feel supported at the workplace.
Top-five cultural issues that employers should address to create a gender-inclusive workplace:
- It all starts at the top:
- True acceptance begins with the organisation’s top leaders.
- Training employees to be non-judgemental:
- “Sensitising people right at the start as they are becoming part of the organisation, is crucial to avoid unconscious bias that may be prevalent”.
- No one should feel left out:
- No matter their background, or gender, all employees should feel welcome.
- It all starts with a changed mindset:
- Leaning towards 40 years of unlearning: changing the traditional mindset of the leaders and making them more vocal
- Speak out:
- Employees should feel safe raising concerns with (and about) leaders, especially when it comes to harassment and discrimination.
- It all starts at the top:
It is only when these things are done, and steps are taken in this direction that a workplace will be able to achieve its goal of inclusivity.
Facts for Prelims
Source: Indian Express
The annual celebration of Hindi Diwas commemorates September 14, 1949, the day when the Constituent Assembly of India took the decision to make Hindi the official language of the Union government, while English was to hold the status of associate language for 15 years through the Munshi-Ayyangar formula, named after the drafting committee members K M Munshi and N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar.
Since Hindi was the spoken language of large parts of North India, it was seen as a safe option for the national linguistic unification of the country. However, large parts of the non-Hindi-speaking regions of the country were unhappy with the idea.
Status of Hindi:
- Article 351 of the Constitution asked for the promotion and development of the Hindi language in a way that it could serve as a means of expression in all matters.
- According to the 2011 linguistic census, Hindi is the most widely spoken, with 52.8 crore individuals, or 43.6% of the population, declaring it as their mother tongue.
World Hindi Day: January 10 (to commemorate the 1st Hindi conference in Nagpur, 1975)
Context: Sea cucumbers were the most frequently trafficked marine species in India between 2015 and 2021, a new analysis by the Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS-India) has shown.
Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of marine wildlife seizures during this period, the analysis added.
The analysis, titled Illegal trade in marine species in India 2015-2021 is based on the assessment of 187 media reports about marine wildlife seizures in India between 2015 and 2021. It recorded illegal marine trade in seven species groups — sea cucumber, coral, seahorse and pipefish, shark and ray, seashell, sea fan and sea turtle.
About Sea Cucumber:
Sea cucumbers are part of a larger animal group called echinoderms, which also contain starfish and sea urchins. Their body shape is similar to a cucumber, but they have small tentacle-like tube feet that are used for locomotion and feeding.
Protection: IUCN Red List: Brown Sea Cucumber (Endangered), Blackspotted Sea Cucumber (Least Concern); Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.
Cabinet approves addition of four tribes
Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, can be asked directly in prelims.
- The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister has approved the addition of four tribes to the list of Scheduled Tribes.
- Hatti tribe(Trans-Giri area of Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh)
- Narikoravar(hill tribe of Tamil Nadu)
- Kuruvikaran(hill tribe of Tamil Nadu)
- Gond in ST list: Cabinet approved bringing the Gond community residing in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, under the ST list from the Scheduled Caste list.
- Five subcategories of the Gond community:
The process to include tribes in the ST list:
No specific law against hate speech
Directions: Can be used as an example in issues associated with hate speech
- The Election Commission of India (ECI) in the Supreme Court has said that due to the lack of a specific law against hate speech and rumour-mongering during polls, it has to resort to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Representation of People (RP) Act.
Measures taken by EC under Model Code of Conduct:
- Issuing advisories cautioning candidates
- Prohibiting them from campaigning for a specified period of time
- Initiation of a criminal complaint in the case of repeat offenders
Section 295A of the IPC: Deals with punishing acts which deliberately or with malicious intention outrage the religious feelings of a class of persons.
Sections 123(3A) and 125 of the RPA: Bar the promotion of animosity on the grounds of race, religion, community, caste, or language in reference to elections and include it under corrupt electoral practices.
The lowdown on the essential medicines list
- National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), 2022, was released, with 384 drugs in it across 27 categories.
Drugs still under patent on the list:
- Bedaquiline and delamanid(for multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis)
- Dolutegravir(for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Daclatasvir(for infections like Hepatitis C)
Purpose of having a list:
- Promote rational use of medicines: Considering three important aspects which are cost, safety and efficacy.
- Optimum utilization of healthcare resources: For budget, drug procurement policies, health insurance, improving prescribing habits, medical education
- Pharmaceutical policies: For training and drafting pharmaceutical policies.
How are drugs eliminated and added to the list?
- Usefulness: The drugs have to be useful in treating diseases which are a public health problem in India.
- Licensed: They have to be licensed/approved by the Drugs Controller General (DCGI)
- Proven efficacy: a safety profile based on scientific evidence)
- Cost-effective: Comparatively cost-effective
- Treatment guidelines: Aligned with the current treatment guidelines.
- NHPI: Recommended under the National Health Programs of India (for instance, ivermectin is part of the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, 2018).
- Prototype: that is the best-suited medicine that is included(When more than one medicine is available from the same therapeutic class)
- Total Price: The price of the total treatment is considered and not the unit price of a medicine.
- Dose: Fixed dose combinations are usually not included.
How drugs are deleted from the list:
- Banned: If it is banned in India
- Reports of concern: If there are reports of concerns on the safety profile and medicine with better efficacy and is cheaper is available.
- National health concern: If the disease, for which a particular medicine is recommended, is no longer a national health concern
- Drug resistance: If the resistance pattern has rendered an antimicrobial ineffective.
National List of Essential Medicines(NLEM):
- It is an independent Standing National Committee on Medicines (SNCM)
- It was constituted by the Union Health Ministry in 2018.
Damodaran to head the committee to boost PE/VC investments
Source: Economic Times
Context: The Finance Ministry constituted an expert committee headed by former SEBI chief M. Damodaran to examine and suggest appropriate measures to address regulatory issues to scale up investments by venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE).
Private equity and venture capital invested more than Rs 5.5 lakh crore last year facilitating one of the largest start-up and growth ecosystems.
Private equity is an alternative investment class that invests in or acquires private companies that are not listed on a public stock exchange.
Venture capital (VC) is a form of private equity and a type of financing that investors provide to startup companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential.
- Venture capital generally comes from well-off investors, investment banks, and any other financial institutions.
Global Framework for Safe use of Life science
Source: Hindu Business Line
Context: In order to prevent bio-risks and regulate the dual-use research (peaceful + military use), World Health Organization (WHO) has come out with a global framework for the safe use of Life sciences.
Aims: To develop new and improved ways of addressing global health concerns without fear of research being misused.
- g. Genomic editing was used by a Chinese scientist for creating ‘Designer Baby’. Similarly, countries have been using research to make bioweapons. The framework aims to curb such practices.
WHO is a specialized agency of the UN responsible for international public health
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and established on 7 April 1948. Its main objective is “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”.
United in Science Report 2021
Source: World Metrological Organization
Direction: It is not humanly possible to remember who releases each and every report (low Effort/Benefit Ratio). Go through some of the findings once and know what each report is about.
Context: The report, United in Science, shows that greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record highs.
- Climate science is clear: countries are heading in the wrong direction
- The ambition of emissions reduction pledges for 2030 needs to be seven times higher to be in line with the 1.5 °C goals of the Paris Agreement
- Many of the extreme weather events that we are experiencing have become more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change.
- WMO is spearheading a drive to ensure Early Warnings for All in the next five years
About the report:
- It is a new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- It provides an overview of the most recent science related to climate change, its impacts and responses.
Source: The Print
Direction: You should know the basics of fusion reaction and initiatives in making it possible.
Context: Researchers have said that South Korea’s nuclear fusion (KSTAR) reactor has reached the temperature of over 100mn degrees Celcius (nearly 7 times that of the core of the Sun)
- The reactor achieved simultaneous sustainability of heat & plasma stability for 30 seconds of the reaction. This promises a viable fusion reactor that can be scaled up in the future.
- One kilogram(kg) of fusion fuel contains about 10 million times as much energy as a kg of coal, oil or gas
Other International Initiatives on Nuclear Fusion Energy:
- International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Assembly (France): It aims to build the world’s largest tokamak to enable the commercial fusion reaction. Its members include China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.
- China’s Artificial Sun: The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) device designed by China replicates the nuclear fusion process carried out by the sun.
- JET (Joint European Torus facility) (UK)
Basics: Nuclear fusion is a reaction through which two or more light nuclei collide to form a heavier nucleus. The nuclear fusion process occurs in elements that have a low atomic number, such as hydrogen.
- Nuclear Fusion is the opposite of nuclear fission reaction, in which heavy elements diffuse and form lighter elements.
ISRO and Hughes launch India’s first commercial satellite broadband service
Context: Hughes Communications India (HCI) in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) officially launched its first high throughput satellite (HTS) broadband internet service in the country.
From northeast to desolate parts of Leh and Ladakh, the company, using ISRO’s Ku-band capacity of GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites has promised to deliver high-speed satellite broadband services to remote locations across India.
High-throughput Satellite differs from a conventional satellite in the sense that it increases capacity when using the same amount of orbital spectrum while simultaneously reducing the cost per bit.
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