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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 NOVEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 NOVEMBER 2018


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.


General Studies – 1


Topic -The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1) A major weakness of the 19th century peasant movements was the lack of an adequate understanding of colonialism. Discuss.(250 words)

India’s struggle for independence by Bipin Chandra Pal- Peasant Movements and uprisings after 1857

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the peasant movements witnessed during the 19th century in India, bring out their salient features and discuss the weakness of those movements in terms of lack of understanding of colonialism.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-

write a few introductory lines about the  peasant movements of 19th century India. E.g the Indigo revolt, Pabna revolt and the Deccan revolt.

Body-

Discuss the common features of such revolts and bring out why such movements lacked an adequate understanding of colonialism. E.g the peasants fought only for their own demands, centered almost wholly on economic issues, and against their immediate enemies, foreign planters and indigenous zamindars and moneylenders;  They did not make colonialism their target and their objective was not the ending of the system of their subordination and exploitation; they had little territorial reach with no mutual communication or linkages; They also lacked continuity of struggle or long-term organization. As soon as the objectives of a movement were achieved, its organization, as also peasant solidarity built around it dissolved and disappeared; These movements lacked the understanding of the economic structure and the colonial state — and of the social framework of the movements themselves; Most importantly they lacked a positive conception of an alternative society etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background :-

  • The peasant movements of the 19th century were an outcome of the economic and political lacunae due to the imposition of an alien rule over the Indian peasants. It emerged as an expression of resentment against the arbitrary and unjust taxes which were excessive in character and led to increasing land alienation and indebtedness. Thus the movement was aimed at addressing the immediate local grievances and lacked a pan India character.
  • Some of the peasant movements of 19th century India are the Indigo revolt, Pabna revolt and the Deccan revolt etc.

Weakness was due to lack of understanding of colonialism :-

  • Demands mainly economic:-
    • Peasants emerged as the main force in agrarian movements, fighting directly for their own demands. However the demands were centred almost wholly on economic issues.
  • Enemies were not British:-
    • The movements were directed against the immediate enemies of the peasant—foreign planters and indigenous zamindars and moneylenders. Colonialism was not the target of these movements.
  • Limited objectives:-
    • The struggles were directed towards specific and limited objectives and redressal of particular grievances.
    • It was not the objective of these movements to end the system of subordination or exploitation of the peasants.
    • As soon as the objectives of a movement were achieved, its organization, as also peasant solidarity built around it dissolved and disappeared.
  • Territorial reach was limited.
  • There was no continuity of struggle or long-term organisation.
  • The 19th-century peasants did not possess a new ideology and a new social, economic and political programme. These struggles, however militant, occurred within the framework of the old societal order lacking a positive conception of an alternative society.

Topic- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

2) Discuss the reasons behind the decadence of the Swadeshi movement even though it deployed the entire gamut of Gandhian techniques.(250 words)

India’s struggle for independence by Bipin Chandra Pal- The Swadeshi Movement- 1903-08

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail as to why the Swadeshi movement failed even though it deployed the entire gamut of Gandhian techniques.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  Swadeshi movement. E.g when it started and the extent of its spread, important leaders etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss the Gandhian techniques deployed by the Swadeshi movement. E.g The movement threw up the entire gamut of Gandhian techniques such as passive resistance, non-violent non-cooperation, the call to fill the British jails, social reform, constructive work, etc.
  2. Discuss why the movement fell into decadence even though it employed the entire gamut of Gandhian techniques. E.g It was, however, unable to give these techniques a centralized, disciplined focus, carry- the bulk of political – India, and convert these techniques into actual, practical political practice, as Gandhiji was able to do later; it was not able to garner the support of the mass of Muslims and especially of the Muslim peasantry; Hindus and Muslims were divided along class lines with the former being the landlords and the latter constituting the peasantry. During this period All India Muslim League was set up with the active guidance and support of the Government; the government, seeing the revolutionary potential of the movement, came down with a heavy hand; internal squabbles, and especially  the congress split, in 1907 in the Congress weakened the movement; though the Swadeshi Movement had spread outside Bengal, the rest of the country was not as yet fully prepared to adopt the new style and stage of politics; Tilak was sentenced to six years imprisonment, Ajit Singh and Lajpat Rai of Punjab were deported and Chidambaram Pillai was arrested; Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh retired from active politics etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background :-

  • The Swadeshi movement launched in the early 20th Century was a direct fallout of the decision of the British India government to partition Bengal. Use of Swadeshi goods and boycott of foreign made goods were the two main objectives of this movement.

Gandhian techniques used during Swadeshi movement :-

  • The methods adopted were petitions to the Government, public meetings, adopted were petitions to the Government, public meetings, memoranda, and propaganda through pamphlets and newspapers such as Hitabadi, Sanjibani and Bengalee.
  • Their objective was to exert sufficient pressure on the Government through an educated public opinion in India and England to prevent the unjust partition of Bengal from being implemented.
  • The movement threw up the entire gamut of Gandhian techniques such as passive resistance, non-violent non-cooperation, the call to fill the British jails, social reform, constructive work, boycott of foreign-made salt or sugar, refusal by priests to ritualize marriages involving exchange of foreign goods, refusal by washermen to wash foreign clothes
  • Crops of volunteers of ‘Samitis’:
    • Samitis such as the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti of Ashwini Kumar Dutta (in Barisal) emerged as a very popular and powerful method of mass mobilization.
  • Programme of swadeshi or national education:-
    • National school and colleges sprang up in various parts of the country.

Reasons behind the decadence of the Swadeshi movement :-

  • Government suppression :-
    • Realizing the revolutionary potential, the government came down with a heavy hand. Most of the important leaders of the movement were either imprisoned or deported between 1907 and 1908.
    • Any mass movement cannot be sustained endlessly at the same pitch of militancy and self-sacrifice, especially when faced with severe repression.
  • Congress split :-
    • The internal squabbles, and especially, the split in 1907 in the Congress, the apex all-India organization, weakened the movement.
  • Organisation structure :-
    • It lacked the effective organization and party structure.
    • The movement failed to create an effective organization or a party structure. It threw up an entire gamut of techniques that came to be associated with Gandhian politics like non-cooperation, passive resistance, filling of British jails, social reform and constructive work but failed to give these techniques a disciplined focus.
  • Reach limited :-
    • The movement largely remained confined to the upper and middle classes and zamindars, and failed to reach masses especially the peasantry.
    • It was not able to garner the support of the mass of Muslims and especially of the Muslim peasantry. Hindus and Muslims were divided along class lines with the former being the landlords and the latter constituting the peasantry.
    • Though the Swadeshi Movement had spread outside Bengal, the rest of the country was not as yet fully prepared to adopt the new style and stage of politics.
  • Ideas failed:-
    • The movement aroused the people but did not know how to tap the newly released energy or how to find new forms to give expression to popular resentment.
  • Leadership issues:-
    • The movement was rendered leaderless with most the leaders either arrested or deported by 1908 and with Aurbindo Ghosh and Bipin Chandra Pal retiring from active politics.
    • Tilak was sentenced to six years imprisonment, Ajit Singh and Lajpat Rai of Punjab were deported and Chidambaram Pillai was arrested.

Topic–  Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

3) IMD says moderate El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are currently prevalent in the equatorial Pacific Ocean region and the El Nino is likely to develop in the next two months. What do you understand by El Nino and explain its impact on India’s climate?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

IMD has forecast that El nino like conditions are likely to develop and its impact on India is going to be immense. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what El Nino is, its formation and impact. Thereafter we need to explain its impact on Indian climate.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the forecast of IMD.

Body – Explain what ElNino is, you will also have to explain southern oscillation. Draw a schematic for better explanation. Thereafter, discuss how El Nino impacts the climate of India.

Conclusion – You conclude by discussing how we can be prepared to deal with its impacts.

 

El Nino:-

  • El Nino refers to the unusual warming of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean which affects global weather. The warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean cause the winds in various regions to reverse, like the trade winds that come towards India.
  • This change of wind direction leads to warmer winters and summers and a decrease in rainfall during the monsoon. Most of the time, it also leads to drought.

Impact :-

  • Warming of the Pacific results in weakening of these winds. Moisture and the heat content thereby, gets limited and results in reduction and uneven distribution of rainfall across the Indian sub-continent.
  • In the 135 years between 1880 and 2014, around 90 per cent of all evolving El Nino years have seen below normal rainfall and 65 per cent of them experienced droughts including the recent ones in 2002 and 2009.
  • During an El Nino, monsoon never witnesses excess rainfall baring few exceptions.
  • If the El Nino continues into the spring and summer seasons, it might bring down the average rainfall during the 2019 monsoon and cause warmer than usual summer temperatures.

  • The development of an El Nino might also have been responsible for the unusually low rainfall in September and the post-monsoon months in India. While the country saw a rainfall deficit of 24 per cent in September, in the post monsoon months it has been as high as 49 percent (October 1-November 21). The situation is the worst in central India which has received 64 percent less rainfall than normal.
  • The east and north-east India and the Southern Peninsula have received 58 percent and 42 percent deficient rainfall respectively. 

General Studies – 2


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

4) Indo-German development cooperation has deepened over the six decades and the two countries today are natural partners making a joint effort for prosperity. Comment. (250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

India and Germany share several values and objectives. They are among the world’s largest economies and share a long history of a bilateral relationship. It is essential to discuss this relationship in detail.

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the Indo-German relationship, trace the relationship and highlight the  key aspects of cooperation and mutual interest and also express our opinion as to how the two nations are natural partners making joint efforts for prosperity.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  Indo-German relationship. E.g India was one of the first nations to recognise the young Federal Republic of Germany in 1951 etc.

Body

  1. Discuss the history of cooperation between the two countries. E.g In the early years and in line with the government policy of that time, their joint projects targeted industrial growth, poverty reduction and rural development. To mention one example, in the 1960s German development cooperation supported the agricultural revolution in the Nilgiris by helping small farmers to get loans and determine favourable cultivation practices for potatoes etc.
  2. Discuss the commonalities between the two countries. E.g Both share common values and constitutional principles, and the bilateral relationship has always been based on great mutual respect and understanding. Today, India is one of the biggest and fastest-growing economies, and Germany is the biggest economy in Europe. Both are natural partners making a joint effort for prosperity, while ensuring that they safeguard the environment etc.
  3. Discuss the focus of cooperation between the two countries today. E.g First, the Clean Ganga initiative in which Germany has pledged a loan of Rs 970 crore to strengthen sewage water treatment infrastructure in Uttarakhand; Second, In 2013, the Maharashtra Power Generation Corporation Limited, supported by German funds, set up a 125 Megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Sakri; Third, green mobility and development are one of the key issues for the future of  countries and Germany has pledged up to Rs 8,900 crore over five years to improve solid and liquid waste management and provide climate-friendly urban transport like the Metro in Nagpur, which is the single biggest project of German financial cooperation in India etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background :-

  • India-Germany bilateral ties date back to the 1950s. Despite Cold War considerations, West Germany contributed significantly to India’s military development, and relations only diversified between a unified Germany and an economically liberalised India after the Cold War. 
  • Today, Germany is amongst India’s most important partners both bilaterally and in the global context. 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the strategic relationship.

Indo-German cooperation over the decades :-

  • Bilateral relations between India and Germany are founded on common democratic principles and are marked by a high degree of trust and mutual respect.
  • In the early years the joint projects targeted industrial growth, poverty reduction and rural development.
  • Earlier efforts:-
    • Agriculture:-
      • In the 1960s German development cooperation supported the agricultural revolution in the Nilgiris.
    • IIT Madras and Polio immunisation programme were set up with financial contribution from Germany.
    • Parliamentary Exchanges:
      • The Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group, which was established in German Bundestag in 1971, has contributed to strengthening links between the two Parliaments.
    • Science & Technology:
      • Indo-German Science & Technology cooperation started with the signing of the Intergovernmental S&T Cooperation Agreement in 1971 and 1974. Today, Germany is one of the most important global partners for S&T cooperation.
    • India and Germany have a ‘Strategic Partnership’ since 2001, which has been further strengthened with the Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) at the level of Head of Governments which allows for a comprehensive review of cooperation and identification of fresh areas of engagement.
    • Institutional Cooperation Arrangements:
      • Several institutionalized arrangements exist between India and Germany to discuss bilateral and global issues of interest namely, Foreign Office Consultations, High Technology Partnership Group, High Defence Committee, Indo-German Energy Forum etc.
    • Both countries consult each other in G-20 on global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, etc.
      • There have been consultations between the two countries on regional and international issues such as UN issues, International Cyber Issues, Disarmament & Non-proliferation, Export Controls, East Asia, Eurasia, etc.
    • Sister City Arrangements:
      • Some of the States and Cities of both countries have entered into twinning arrangements. Karnataka and Bavaria (Germany) have Sister States arrangement since 2007. Similarly, Mumbai and Stuttgart (Germany) are sister cities since 1968.
    • Commonalities between the two Countries
      • Both share common values and constitutional principles, and our relationship has always been based on great mutual respect and understanding.
      • Today, India is one of the biggest and fastest-growing economies, and Germany is the biggest economy in Europe.
      • Both are natural partners making a joint effort for prosperity, while ensuring that they safeguard the environment etc.
      • India is Germany’s biggest development partner with a proven track record of success.
      • Economic & Commercial Relations:
        • Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe. India was ranked 24th in Germany’s global trade during 2016
      • Now, the areas of focus are renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable urban development, environment protection and resource management.
      • Culture: India and Germany have a long tradition of academic and cultural exchange.
    • Mutual Cooperation
      • Germany pledges a loan of Rs 970 crore to strengthen sewage water treatment infrastructure in Uttarakhand.
      • Germany’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) towards India, are in sync with India’s priority sectors and SDG 2030 including solar energy, smart cities, and environment.
    • Energy:-
      • India and Germany cooperate closely on energy matters.
      • In 2006, the Indo-German Energy Forum was set up to promote cooperation in this field.
      • In 2013, the Maharashtra Power Generation Cooperation Limited, supported by German funds set up a 125 Megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Sakri.
      • German development cooperation has given loans worth Rs 9,300 crore for India’s strategic Green Energy Corridors project.
      • This will ensure the supply of clean electricity to millions of Indians while reducing network losses and improving the carbon footprint.
    • Green Mobility
      • Green mobility is one of the key issues for the future of our countries.
      • Germany pledged up to Rs 8,900 crore over five years to improve solid and liquid waste management and for Metro in Nagpur, which is the single biggest project of German financial cooperation in India.
      • Germany has partnered with three smart cities Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Coimbatore to provide sustainable urban public transport.

Way Forward

  • India needs to work towards further strengthening the bilateral relations between two nations.
  • With increasing environmental degradation and adverse effects of global warming, both the countries need to actively protect our habitat and cooperate closely on this matter internationally.
  • Both countries must work as equal partners to tackle global development challenges.
  • Germany must continue to create innovative solutions with India for the future, for the benefit of both of our societies and the world at large.
  • Counter-terrorism, maritime security, and cyber security offer areas of possible cooperation going forward, but a truly strategic relationship will also require improving commercial and people-to-people relations.
  • Lessons to be learnt from Germany:-
    • Smart city project can utilize technologies to achieve water, waste and urban development objectives.
    • Germany’s achievements in the application of technology solutions to meet environmental challenges.

General Studies – 3


Topic – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

5) Analyze how use of technology enriches healthcare sector and how such technology can assist in National Health Protection Mission?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

This article discusses about the application of technology in healthcare sector and how it can help in improvement of achievement of outcomes under NHPM. This is an important application of technology and hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question firsts expects us to explain how technology is being used for reaching new frontiers in healthcare sector. Next we need to explain about NHPM in brief and thereafter analyze how technology can be helpful in better fulfilling the objectives of the mission.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that technology has progressed by leaps and bounds and its application in healthcare sector is immense.

Body

  • Explain the application of technology on healthcare sector – Telemedicine has already brought healthcare to the remotest corners of the country. The use of artificial intelligence for preventive and predictive health analytics can strongly support clinical diagnosis with evidence-based guidance, and also prevent disease. From the virtual reality (VR) of 3D-printing, we are now moving towards augmented reality (AR), by which, for example, every piece of node in a malignant melanoma can be completely removed, thereby eliminating the risk of the cancer spreading to any other part of the body. Biotechnology, cell biology and genetics are opening up whole new paradigms of understanding of human life and disease, and have made personalised medicine a way of life.
  • Explain about NHPM and discuss how technology can be useful with points such as – By leapfrogging through smart adoption of technology and using emerging platforms such as Blockchain, significant improvements are possible in healthcare operations and costs.

Conclusion – Mention that to fulfill the healthcare needs of such a large population on budget cost would make the use of technology imperative.

Background :-

  • Healthcare in India has been transformed over the last three decades. There is improved indices on life expectancy, infant mortality, maternal deaths and quality of outcomes. Technical advancements are revolutionizing the healthcare industry all around the globe and India is not far behind.

How technology enriches healthcare:-

  • Technology has been developed and applied to practices such as diagnosisprocesses, treatment protocol development, drug development, personalized medicine, and patient monitoring and care. 
  • HEALTHCARE ORGANISATION
    • Technology has the potential to be used in planning and resource allocation in health and social care  services. It is also being used with the aim of improving patient experience.
  • MEDICAL RESEARCH 
    • Technology especially artificial intelligence can be used to analyse and identify patterns in large and complex datasets faster and more precisely than has previously been possible.
    • It can also be used to search the scientific literature for relevant studies, and to combine different kinds of data for example, to aid drug discovery.
    • Researchers have developed an AI ‘robot scientist’ called Eve which is designed to make the process of drug discovery faster and more economical
  • CLINICAL CARE
    • Technologies have the potential to aid the diagnosis of disease .Using AI to analyse clinical data, research publications, and professional guidelines could also help to inform decisions about treatment.
    • Medical imaging :-
      • AI could reduce the cost and time involved in analysing scans, potentially allowing more scans to be taken to better target treatment. AI has shown promising results in detecting conditions such as pneumonia, breast and skin cancers, and eye diseases.
      • AI provides doctors the ability to interpret imaging results may allow clinicians to be aided to detect a change in an image that is minute in detail, or something that a clinician may have accidentally missed.
    • Screening for neurological conditions :-
      • New technological tools are being developed that analyse speech patterns to predict psychotic episodes and identify and monitor symptoms of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
    • PATIENT AND CONSUMER-FACING APPLICATIONS 
      • Wearable health trackers – like those from FitBit, Apple, Garmin and others – monitors heart rate and activity levels. They can send alerts to the user to get more exercise and can share this information to doctors (and AI systems) for additional data points on the needs and habits of patients.
    • PUBLIC HEALTH
      • Technology has the potential to be used to aid early detection of infectious disease outbreaks and sources of epidemics, such as water contamination.
      • Technology has also been used to predict adverse drug reactions
    • Managing Medical Records and Other Data
      • Robots collect, store, re-format, and trace data to provide faster, more consistent access.
    • Doing Repetitive Jobs
      • Analyzing tests, X-Rays, CT scans, data entry, and other mundane tasks can all be done faster and more accurately by robots.
    • Treatment Design
      • Technology systems have been created to analyze data notes and reports from a patient’s file, external research, and clinical expertise to help select the correct, individually customized treatment path.
    • Digital Consultation
      • Apps like Babylon in the UK use technology to give medical consultation based on personal medical history and common medical knowledge.
    • Precision Medicine
      • Genetics and genomics look for mutations and links to disease from the information in DNA. With the help of new technologies body scans can spot cancer and vascular diseases early and predict the health issues people might face based on their genetics.
    • Tele health
      • The ability to monitor patients using AI, may allow for the communication of information to physicians if possible disease activity may have occurred. 
    • Monitoring of Chronic Conditions
    • Low cost:-
      • With the development of more and more technology and artificial intelligence, healthcare can eventually be delivered at a lower cost because when efficiency is increased, diagnostics will be more focused.
    • Save time of doctors:-
      • AI-enabled medical care plays the role of an informative assistant that enables doctors to gain an understanding of meaningful patterns from data collection and eventually can save a lot of time, effort and costs through easy access to unbiased, consistent, good-quality diagnosis and treatment.
    • Other technology applications are smart diagnostics, multipurpose tele-consultation kiosks, remote patient monitoring, more efficient procurement, payment technology, disease surveillance, technology driven large scale trainings etc.
    • Use of ICT in the Indian Healthcare System
      • Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the ability to exchange health information electronically can help the providers to extend higher quality and safer care for patients.
      • Diagnostic accuracy, reduced waiting times, better referral management and greater satisfaction with services.
    • International Experience
      • Canada was one of the earliest to start in 2002 to lead the development and implementation of electronic health projects.
      • K., Australia and Singapore have been other prominent countries who have taken initiatives for setting up nationwide e-Health.
    • The adoption of technology in India is being propelled by the likes of Microsoft and a slew of health-tech startups. For instance, Manipal Hospitals, headquartered in Bengaluru, is using IBM Watson for Oncology, a cognitive-computing platform, to assist physicians discover personalised cancer care options, according to an Accenture report. 

National Health Protection Mission:-

  • It addresses the healthcare needs of over 500 million Indians in the first stage, what is probably the world’s largest public health-for-all insurance scheme.
  • The vast scale of the programme requires reimagining an innovative model which will transform healthcare delivery in the country.

How technology can assist in NHPM:-

  • Chronic diseases:-
    • Thus, prevention and management of chronic diseases is an area where technology led user engagement solutions can play a vital role.
  • India is extremely short in doctors at all levels, General Physicians to diagnose and help manage chronic conditions to specialist’s in Pathology and radiology. New technology especially AI can help the doctors in faster diagnosis allowing them to focus on reviewing the data given by AI algorithms and work on complicated cases that AI cannot handle.
  • Technology is capable of solving various healthcare challenges in India. The technological innovation is proving to be beneficial in diagnosis procedure, monitoring of chronic conditions, assisting in robotic surgery, drug discovery etc.
  • Tackle economic disparity:-
    • The focus of most AI-based healthcare initiatives in India has been to extend medical services to traditionally underserved populations in India such as rural areas that do not have the required infrastructure or enough primary physicians, and economically weaker sections of society who may not be able to afford certain medical facilities. Therefore, AI as it is used in healthcare in India appears to be addressing issues of economic disparity rather than widening existing gaps as feared.
  • Through smart adoption of technology and using emerging platforms such as Blockchain, significant improvements are possible in healthcare operations and costs.

Way Forward

  • India needs to rapidly adapt, embrace and drive change if it wishes to stay relevant in the global healthcare order.
  • India needs to achieve a balance between technology and innovation and continue to deliver world class care, while finding efficient ways to lower the cost of care.

Topic –  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

6) What do you understand by gene drive and examine its implications?(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

Ending Malaria via this technology is a possibility and it is currently being debated by CBD. Such debates and the underlying technology is important for preparing science and technology section.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what Gene drive technology is, how it works, discuss its applications. Thereafter we have to analyze the usage of this technology and the likely impact it can have on ecosystem, and other such issues that may arise. Finally, we need to provide our opinion for the way forward for this technology.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that this is a technology newly developed and currently under focus due to its role in potentially tackling diseases such as malaria.

Body

  • Explain about the technology – Engineered gene drives are genetic systems that circumvent traditional rules of sexual reproduction and greatly increase the odds that the drive will be passed on to offspring. This enables the spread of specified genetic alterations through targeted wild populations over many generations. They represent a potentially powerful tool to confront regional or global challenges, including control of invasive species and eradication of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue.
  • Explain that the idea is not new, but Harvard-based researchers have now outlined a technically feasible way to build gene drives that potentially could spread almost any genomic change through populations of sexually reproducing species
  • Discuss its application as potentially powerful ecosystem management tool for global sustainability, but one that carries with it new concerns, as with any emerging technology
  • Highlight the concerns as articulated in the down-to-earth article

Conclusion – Give your view on what should be the way forward for gene drive.

Background :-

  • Harvard-based researchers have now outlined a technically feasible way to build gene drives that potentially could spread almost any genomic change through populations of sexually reproducing species.

Gene drive:-

  • Gene drive is a genetic element that has a much higher chance of being inherited regardless of evolutionary fitness.
  • Gene drives work by ensuring that a higher proportion of an organism’s offspring inherit a certain, ‘selfish’ gene than would happen by chance, allowing a mutation or foreign gene to spread quickly through a population.
  • Engineered gene drives are genetic systems that circumvent traditional rules of sexual reproduction and greatly increase the odds that the drive will be passed on to offspring. This enables the spread of specified genetic alterations through targeted wild populations over many generations. 

Implications:-

  • Gene drives present potential new solutions for a variety of issues facing the global population, including eradicating or altering disease vectors (such as mosquitoes), controlling invasive species of plants, insects, or mammals, and combating pesticide resistance.
  • With the recent developments and advancements of CRISPRtechnology, the potential of gene drives has been greatly enhanced
  • The revolutionary CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing tool has led to the development of synthetic gene drives that are designed to eliminate problem species, such as malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, from the wild by, for instance, ensuring that offspring are infertile. 

Challenges:-

  • One obstacle to the practical use of gene-drives is the need for relevant regulations, or at least the application of existing laws on genetic modifications.
  • Gene-drive technologies are still some way off from the necessary environmental risk assessments for field trials and releases that would sufficiently scrutinise the risks to the environment and/or human health. 
  • A mutation could happen mid-drive, which has the potential to allow unwanted traits to ride along.
  • Cross-breeding or gene flow potentially allow a drive to move beyond its target population.
  • Even when new traits direct impact on a target is understood, the drive may have side effects on the surroundings.
  • Gene drives affect all future generations and represent the possibility of a larger change in a living species than has been possible before.
  • Gene drives are threatening food sovereignty and peasant-led agriculture. Small scale farmers don’t need synthetic biology such as gene drive organisms or genome editing to feed communities.

Way forward:-

  • There is a need for governments for broad international cooperation to assess the possible impacts on biodiversity of this technology

 


General Studies – 4


Topic– Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions;

7) What are the ethical concerns involved in gene editing technology. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the ethical issues surrounding the gene-editing technology.

Structure of the answer

Introduction: write a few introductory lines about the gene-editing technology.E.g Most of the ethical discussions related to genome editing center around human germline editing. This is because changes made in the germline would be passed down to future generations.

Body-Discuss the ethical issues surrounding the gene-editing technology E.g

  1. Safety

Due to the possibility of off-target effects (edits in the wrong place) and mosaicism (when some cells carry the edit but others do not), safety is of primary concern.

  1. Informed consent

It is impossible to obtain informed consent for germline therapy because the patients affected by the edits are the embryo and future generations; worries about the possibility of obtaining truly informed consent from prospective parents as long as the risks of germline therapy are unknown.

  1. Justice and Equity

there is concern that genome editing will only be accessible to the wealthy and will increase existing disparities in access to health care and other interventions. Some worry that taken to its extreme, germline editing could create classes of individuals defined by the quality of their engineered genome.

  1. Genome-Editing Research Involving Embryos

Many people have moral and religious objections to the use of human embryos for research. Public funds cannot be used for any research that creates or destroys embryos.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • Gene Editing is a type of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, deleted, modified or replaced in the genome of a living organism.
  • Unlike early genetic engineering techniques that randomly inserts genetic material into a host genome, genome editing targets the insertions to site specific locations.

Ethical challenges :-

  • Bioethicists expressed concern over the clinical application of such research. These are still early days in a new frontier of genome engineering. 
  • Bioethicists fear abuse of gene editing, not just by misguided governments but also by the private sector preying on a parent’s desire to create a perfect child.
  • There is growing fear that the gene-editing system is being prematurely rushed for clinical use.
  • There are various ethical and technical issues involved with gene editing.
  • It can create unforeseen changes in the genome which are undesirable.
  • It has also been ethically questioned whether editing gene to create babies that parents desires would make them more like commodities.
  • Bioethicists and researchers generally believe that human genome editing for reproductive purposes should not be attempted at this time. In addition, there are concerns with manipulating human embryos for own interest. Many people have moral and religious objections to the use of human embryos for research.
  • Safety:-
    • Due to the possibility of off-target effects (edits in the wrong place) and mosaicism (when some cells carry the edit but others do not), safety is of primary concern
  • Informed Consent
    • Some people worry that it is impossible to obtain informed consent for germline therapy because the patients affected by the edits are the embryo and future generations.
    • Researchers and bioethicists also worry about the possibility of obtaining truly informed consent from prospective parents as long as the risks of germline therapy are unknown.
  • Justice and Equity
    • As with many new technologies, there is concern that genome editing will only be accessible to the wealthy and will increase existing disparities in access to health care and other interventions.
    • Some worry that taken to its extreme, germline editing could create classes of individuals defined by the quality of their engineered genome.

Conclusion :-

A two-step model wherein the government works with industry and research groups to accelerate clinical research is recommended. This model consists of a national apex committee working in collaboration with existing institutional ethics committees and independent accreditation agencies.