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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 14 September 2020

 

 

Shift Strategy

  • India’s daily Covid-19 caseload: 98,000 last Friday
  • India’s public health infrastructure and efforts have been thoroughly exposed.
  • First 12 days of September: we recorded more than a million Covid cases and 13,082 deaths from the disease in the
  • Second-highest number of total Covid cases at 4.7 million
  • Covid positivity rate of around 8%
  • Lower numbers of the gold standard RT-PCR tests.
  • Delhi: RT-PCR tests have remained between 14% and 20% of total tests.
  • This could explain why 29% of Delhi’s population is Covid antibody positive.
  • Rajiv Bajaj: stringent lockdowns imposed in India flattened the wrong curve
  • Quickly ramp up quality RT-PCR testing to detect and isolate cases, and emphasise masking.
  • New hypothesis: masking not only reduces the spread of Covid but also builds immunity against the disease, much like variolation.
  • New England Journal of Medicine, masks reduce the viral load that a person is exposed to, thereby conferring a degree of immunity.
  • This could explain the vast difference in infection rates between east Asian societies where universal masking is the norm (Vietnam, Thailand, Japan) and those where there is resistance to masking (India, the US).

Coronavirus fears and preconception advice

  • Women in the reproductive age group
    1. Medical management of pregnancy and newborn care
    2. Is there a need for exercising a choice of timing of pregnancy?
  • COVID-19 has a special predilection for the cells that form the inner lining of blood vessels.
  • Therefore, organs that have a large number of blood vessels are particularly at risk.
  • The placenta, a unique organ in pregnancy — the source of nourishment for the growing foetus — is highly vascular.
  • New born babies: rare neurologic problems
  • 8-10 % of mothers - infected by SARS CoV-2
  • If congenital abnormality/ies is/are a florid abnormality/ies it would be known by now, but if subtle, by the time the effects on the foetus are recognised, it may be too late.
  • If women adopt contraception, they will not need antenatal clinic visits which.
  • Widespread community transmission is ON
  • Women who happen to conceive in spite of the advice may have to cocoon (reverse quarantine) themselves at least for the first trimester of pregnancy in order to avoid infection.

In LAC talks, from peace to conflict prevention

  • What will be the future relevance of various agreements that were signed between the two countries?
  • Some experts argue: root problem is in 1993 agreement
  • India should not have accepted the term ‘LAC
  • After the 1962 war, the India-China border was loosely controlled by both sides, with a fairly sparse deployment of troops.
  • Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, signed in 1993

  • The China Study Group, established in 1976, gave clarity to India’s claims by laying down the patrolling points and guiding the scope of military activity along the LAC.
  • A significant change in border management occurred after the Chinese occupation of a post in the Sumdorong Chu Valley in 1986.
  • The massive response by the Indian Army sparked realisation on both sides that the boundary issue needed to be brought to the fore, and pending a settlement, some mechanism must be evolved to keep peace along the LAC.
  • The agreement eschewed the use of force to settle the boundary issue and, as part of confidence-building measures, restricted military exercises and air activity close to the LAC.
  • 1996 Agreement: It called for reducing or limiting military forces to minimum levels and limiting the deployment of major armaments such as tanks, artillery guns, and missiles to mutually agreed levels.
  • 2005 protocol: added more confidence-building measures outlining the procedure to be adopted when soldiers of the two sides came to a face-to-face situation while patrolling areas where there was a differing perception of the LAC.
  • The protocol also agreed to expand the mechanism of border meeting points and exchanges between the two militaries.
  • Interestingly, there was no mention of a reduction in military forces.
  • There is also a mistaken notion that the LAC is some fuzzy and unclear line.
  • India’s perception of the LAC is clearly marked on its military maps, and while the soldiers understand that there are areas of differing perception, there is no ambiguity about the line that they are tasked to defend.
  • As face-offs between the two armies became more frequent, protocols weakened.
  • The first manifestation of this came in the Depsang intrusion in 2013, and the attempted intrusion at Chumar in 2014.
  • In between Depsang and Chumar, both countries signed the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, or the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Border Defence Cooperation (https://bit.ly/3c5yBaN), but it had little impact on the ground.
  • Even after Chumar, although protocols had weakened, they were still holding, and held out till the Doklam incident of 2017.
  • It was after Doklam that we saw greater aggression by both sides.
  • Can we go back to a situation where both sides revert to respecting the past agreements?
  • I think it is no longer possible because two fundamentals of the agreements — resolution of the differing perceptions of the LAC and reduction of military forces — which have been ignored over the years stand unimplemented.

Listen To Ribeiro | ToI

  • Julio Ribeiro has written to Delhi police commissioner SN Shrivastava demanding a fair probe in the northeast Delhi riots.
  • “Delhi police has taken action against peaceful protesters, but deliberately failed to register cognisable offences against those who made hate speeches that triggered the riots in NE Delhi.”
  • Ribeiro must not be cast aside as a political or ideological voice.
  • Riots recur in India because of the impunity accorded to one section by the political establishment of the day.
  • Police must clearly distinguish between peaceful anti-CAA protesters and those who actively instigate violence.
  • As CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said: “It’s my fundamental right and duty to stand up for peaceful protest in defence of constitutional rights.”
  • This democratic right must be permitted, while those actively instigating violence must be hauled up.
  • Proximity to the ruling party shouldn’t be an answer.
  • Ribeiro reminds IPS officers of their vow to uphold the Constitution.
  • This also means not judging citizens by their political or religious beliefs.

Exploiting the Chinese exit

  • Great Internet Wall of China
  • January 2010: Google announced that it would pull out of the China completely.
  • The Great Internet Wall did not filter and screen Western content so much as it insulated Chinese entrepreneurs from Big Tech in Silicon Valley.
  • According to the 2016 White House report, the Chinese have leapfrogged even the U.S. in AI research, especially in the components of “neural networks” and “deep learning”. In this case, the intellectual property being produced actually belongs to China and is not a faithful duplicate of someone else’s product or technology.
  • India has the lowest Internet data costs in the world.
  • The Chinese Internet industry desperately needs India’s freshly minted 500-plus million netizens to continue to act as a training ground for the AI algorithms they put together.
  • Banning these Chinese websites and applications to the Indian public effectively allows our home-grown IT talent to focus on the newly arrived Internet user.
  • Most alarmingly, while we have spent the last two decades exporting the bulk of our technology services to developed countries in the West, the vacuum created as the Indian Internet grew has been filled by American Big Tech and by the Chinese.
  • The primary Indian IT objective must shift from servicing others to providing for ourselves.
  • The fundamental focus of the new digital products that plan to emerge in the growing market should be to provide for hyper-regional necessities and preferences.
  • Indians are savvy enough to know what a world class app is.
  • If we create hyper-local and hyper-regional services of high quality and great accessibility that are also portable across our linguistic diversity, we are far more likely to succeed in creating one of the strongest Internet markets in the world, rather than creating copycat apps or apps that only cater to English speakers.
  • We can export our “India stack” to other countries in the “south”, such as those in Africa and Latin America.