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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 12 August 2021

Malignant | Pioneer

  • The surest way to keep people facing serious criminal cases from entering the legislature, at the Centre or in the States, is to disqualify them from contesting elections.
  • The two separate judgments of the Supreme Court on Tuesday relate to the issue but do not tackle it directly.
  • The judgments say the State Governments cannot withdraw criminal cases against legislators without permission from the High Courts.
  • Another judgment says that political parties must make public criminal antecedents of candidates within 48 hours of their selection as candidates in an election, and not before two weeks before nomination.
  • The first order stumps the attempt by the Uttar Pradesh Government to erase the crime slate of some legislators by withdrawing all cases against them.
  • The second order is against nine political parties, including the BJP, Congress and CPI(M), which have been held in contempt for incomplete disclosure of information on candidates ahead of the 2020 Bihar elections.
  • A submission made by Supreme Court’s amicus curiae in 2018 shows that 2,556 MLAs and MPs from 22 States are accused in crimes.
  • Adding former legislators, the number stands at 4,442
  • UP has the largest number of legislators, current and former, facing charges, at 1217.
  • Bihar has 531, followed by Kerala, Odisha, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, all of whom have 300-odd cases each.
  • What is worse, most of these cases are pending for decades while many have not progressed beyond preliminary stages.
  • There is a case in Punjab pending for 39 years.
  • In Bihar and UP, cases are pending since 1991 but have not progressed beyond the arguments or appearance stages.
  • If the executive does not take up the issue of disqualifying or disallowing people facing serious criminal cases from contesting elections, and if Parliament does not attempt to debate and pass such a law, and the Supreme Court seeks protection under the separation of powers provision, who exactly will bell the cat?

The importance of the booster dose to plan ahead | TH

  • The COVID-19 vaccination is relatively new to the world, but the history of vaccination goes back a few centuries.
  • The Expanded Programme on Immunisation was launched by the World Health Organization in 1974 and since then all countries of the world have gained considerable experience in rolling out several vaccines for children and pregnant women.
  • Broadly speaking, vaccines may be classified as replicating live infectious vaccines, and, non-replicating non-infectious vaccines.
  • Currently used live virus vaccines inoculated by injection include measles, rubella, mumps and chickenpox vaccines.
  • The inoculum dose contains a few thousands of live but attenuated viruses — they replicate in body tissues without producing overt disease.
  • The final effective dose that stimulates the immune system may be billions or trillions of viruses and the stimulus sustained for days to weeks as the injected viruses continue to multiply within the human body.
  • Therefore, immune responses to replicating live virus vaccines — both antibody and T-cell immunity — are robust and long-lasting.
  • The non-replicating injected vaccines include nearly all others — the most common being diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae b, pneumococcal, human papilloma virus, inactivated poliovirus, inactivated hepatitis A vaccines.
  • For them, the dose confronted by the immune system is what is injected. What is injected is a tiny amount of antigen, measured in micrograms, plus stabilisers and preservatives in some, and adjuvants in a few, all chemicals and salts in minute quantities.
  • In order to get robust and long-lasting immunity with non-replicating vaccines, we need to give multiple doses — the initial one, two or three doses given in quick succession, at intervals of one or two months, are “priming doses” — meant to prime the immune system to the antigens in the vaccine.
  • The immune system responds well, but with relatively low levels of antibody and subdued T-cell immunity.
  • Over time, in a few months to one year, the antibody levels wane in almost all vaccinated individuals.
  • To reach and maintain high and protective levels of antibody, we need one or more injected “booster dose(s)”.
  • Every non-replicating vaccine requires priming and boosting.
  • All current COVID-19 vaccines fall in the non-replicating category and for robust and long-lasting immunity, they require, quite predictably, priming doses to induce early immunity, and booster dose(s) to sustain, long-term, high antibody titres, overcoming waning immunity.
  • The usual interval between priming and boosting is six months to one year, because protective levels of antibodies will be present for at least that duration, when the priming doses include two or three injections.
  • It is now 20 months from the first case and numerous variants have emerged, and chains of transmission continue even in countries which have achieved wide vaccination coverage such as Israel and the United Kingdom.
  • It seems inevitable the pandemic will evolve into a permanent ‘pan-endemic’ state and vaccination is here to stay for years to come, until we manage to eradicate the virus altogether using vaccines.
  • India will do well to plan a vaccination strategy for completing two priming doses in all adults and children, third dose to the special category described above, and one booster dose to everyone one year later.
  • Meticulous planning and the execution of such a vaccination campaign is what will get the country out of the stranglehold of this virus and its variants that have emerged and any that might emerge with higher transmission efficiency than even the Delta.

Quotas Solve Little | ToI

  • The Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die on Wednesday, the outcome of an unproductive monsoon session.
  • On August 10, in an extraordinary show of unanimity, the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill was passed.
  • That’s because if there is one subject that can persuade all the political parties to make common cause, it’s reservations.
  • The bill’s aim is to negate the outcome of a Supreme Court judgment in May which said that only GoI can identify OBC groups to benefit from reservation.
  • All political parties agree that states too should have the right to pick beneficiaries.
  • What started off as affirmative action to level the playing field has morphed into a populist exercise that no political party can resist.
  • Even as the drive for expanding the reserved share of jobs – be it on the basis of caste, economic vulnerability or domicile – grows, the number of jobs are shrinking.
  • GoI data shows that in 2012, 79 ministries collectively employed 3 million people.
  • By 2020, the number had shrunk to 1.8 million.
  • The story is no different in the private sector.
  • India’s youth population increased by about 72 million between 2004-05 and 2018-19.
  • During the same period, young Indians in active work declined by about 25 million to an aggregate 138 million.
  • As the young left agriculture, the other sectors were unable to create enough jobs.
  • The outcome of this populism is a weakening of the idea of common citizenship.
  • Opportunities will be determined by identity and individual rights will be relegated.
  • Relegating individual effort to group identity spawns narrower and narrower ways of looking at the world.

Animal spirits are back | ToI

  • Indian entrepreneurship is booming again.
  • Led not by old-money entrepreneurs, but new money.
  • The pandemic that caused economic damage all over the world has led most governments to provide enormous stimulus support to flagging economies, and this easy money has triggered a stock market boom and channelled a flood of ‘patient’ equity into companies, both old and new.
  • In just the past seven months, India has created more than 20 unicorns, startups that are valued by investors at more than $1 billion, and the chances are another 20 may be created before the calendar year is out.
  • As Akash Prakash, an investment manager, noted in a recent article in a business daily, a large part of the money raised is not just previous investors exiting at a profit, but new money that will be invested and spent in India, creating jobs and demand for various goods and services.
  • BharatPe, Cred, UpGrad, Urban Company, Zeta, Meesho, Groww, Droom, Gupshup, CoinDCX and MindTickle are just some of the names that have emerged as billion-dollar companies this year.
  • A Credit Suisse report last year noted that India had more than 100 unicorns, including both listed and unlisted companies, valued at more than $240 billion.
  • Given today’s high market valuation of startups receiving new funding from venture capitalists and private equity players, this is likely to be an underestimate.
  • While it is easy to credit foreign capital for this upsurge in investments, one has to credit some of the reforms legislated by the Modi government over the last few years for this change.
  • Disruptions introduced by the government, from demonetisation to goods and services tax, the insolvency code, Aadhaar-enabled financial transactions and digitisation, have been critical factors in this investment boom.
  • This government’s sustained mini-bangs are now beginning to add up to something louder than the 1991 Big Bang reforms.
  • To this list of favourable reforms and changes we must also add two other game-changing factors of the last five years.
  • One was the huge investment made by Reliance to create two new customer-facing businesses in telecom (Jio) and retail.
  • This not only democratised data usage in India, but created supportive conditions for a rapid expansion in digital businesses in India.
  • Improving bandwidth is now aiding the rise of businesses that are a combination of digital and physical – dubbed as ‘phygital’.
  • Most digital businesses now feel that a physical presence is needed as the customer now uses multiple channels to buy and browse.
  • Amazon and Reliance are shadow-boxing over Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, again for dominating the phygital space.
  • The second game-changer, which is less spoken, is the Modi government’s decision to abandon its first-term obsession with tax compliance and black money.
  • This has been crucial for reviving animal spirits, as businesses now feel more confident that legitimate money will not be targeted for tax terrorism.
  • The post-demonetisation, post-GST, and post-Covid economy is witnessing the rise of a new middle sector among Indian companies – companies that want to grow and not remain midgets forever.
  • It is a bit late in the day, but one can hope that something similar to the German Mittelstand, where tech-savvy and competitive companies drive good quality jobs and growth, can now be birthed in India.
  • States must start reforming faster;
  • The judiciary, which remains the most unreformed institution in India, has to speed up and join the party.

NEWS

  • PM Modi addresses annual meeting of CII; says major responsibility for success of self-reliant India lies on industries
  • PM asserts abolition of retrospective taxation will strengthen trust between government and Industry
  • Both Houses of Parliament adjourned sine die
  • Proceedings of House did not take place as per expectations in this session, says Speaker Om Birla
  • Over 52 crore COVID vaccine doses administered in country so far; Recovery rate stands at 97.4 pc
  • India, Singapore review entire gamut of bilateral relations
  • NHRC opens entries for its 6th annual competition for short films on human rights
  • PM Modi takes stock of information regarding flood situation in Varanasi
  • Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to confer National Youth Awards 2017-18 & 2018-19 today

ANS

Q.) A combination of Covishield and _____ elicits better immunogenicity than two doses ofthe same vaccine, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • Covaxin
  • Sputniv V
  • Janssen
  • Spikevak

MCQs

Q.) Who carried the Indian Flag for the closing ceremony at Tokyo 2020?

  1. Neeraj Chopra
  2. Bajrang Punia
  3. P.V. Sindhu
  4. Aditi Ashok