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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 18 June 2021

NEWS

  • PM Modi to launch Customized Crash Course programme for COVID-19 Frontline Workers today
  • Home Ministry operationalises National Helpline for preventing financial loss due to cyber fraud
  • IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad emphasises govt not in favour of banning any digital social platform but they have to follow law
  • Govt aims to reduce road accident deaths by 50 percent by 2024: Nitin Gadkari
  • PM Modi’s vision of Tuberculosis-Free India will be achieved by 2025: Dr Harsh Vardhan
  • RBI reiterates vaccination will shape economic recovery of country
  • National Covid Recovery Rate further improves to 95.93 %
  • Over 26.86 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in country so far
  • India calls upon Pak to address shortcomings in ICJ (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020 and comply with ICJ judgments
  • Oxygen Expresses cross milestone of 32,000 MTs of Medical Oxygen delivery in service to nation
  • Courts cannot appoint PM, says Nepal PM KP Oli as he defends dissolution of House of Representatives
  • China sends astronauts to its new space station: Tiangong
  • Kim Jong-un acknowledges 'tense' food situation in North Korea
  • US, Russia agree to resume arms control talks and to return ambassadors to each other's capitals
  • Bangladesh records highest COVID death toll since May 3

New Delhi’s Trilemma

  • Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin Summit in Geneva
  • US-Russia relations are at bottom
  • Russia is getting closer to China
  • Relation of US and China is also getting worse
  • US-China-Russia game
  • This situation is going to be one of India’s toughest foreign policy challenges
  • India is potentially a significant ally of the West in any move to contain China.
  • The question is, can India fully depend on US in bad times?
  • Russia is not happy with India’s inclination towards USA
  • If America-led West and Beijing-Moscow become two clear geostrategic poles, India’s space for manoeuvre may shrink, and China won’t at all mind exploiting that.
  • India-US economic relations won’t be on a solid footing till there is a trade pact, on which there is little movement.
  • India’s best case scenario is that America and Russia feel better about each other, so that Moscow has less reason to court Beijing.
  • Indeed, for Washington, too, a Beijing-Moscow combo is something to be avoided.
  • Russia isn’t strong enough to be a global disruptor, China is.
  • If India can grow at 8% annually over the next 10 years, the trilemma will wither away.

Pick The Right Fuel |

  • Complex challenges require a whole system approach to make sure the solution doesn’t trigger unforeseen consequences.
  • In keeping with this philosophy, climate change scientists recently joined hands with biodiversity researchers to call for a global policy approach that takes an integrated view of measures to mitigate climate change.
  • The crux of their argument is the problem cannot be dealt with by treating emissions and biodiversity as discrete subjects.
  • They are interrelated and human activities that undermine the climate and lead to biodiversity loss are mutually reinforcing.
  • This lesson needs to be internalised by GoI in dealing with the challenge of simultaneously improving India’s abysmal air quality and phasing out environmentally damaging agricultural policies.
  • To illustrate, the national policy on fuels aims to blend petrol with ethanol.
  • The target is to increase the ethanol blend from the current level of about 5% to 10% and push it even higher in the second half of the decade.
  • Niti Aayog this month produced a report on the subject.
  • It’s an avoidable idea as ethanol production is heavily reliant on sugarcane, a highly water-intensive crop unsuited to large tracts where it’s grown.
  • Sugarcane and paddy are two crops that together use 70% of the country’s irrigation water.
  • Policy distortions here have led to rapid depletion of water tables in vast tracts.
  • Instead, it will make more sense to focus on incentivising R&D in green hydrogen, which is produced from renewable energy and is a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.
  • In India, a coalition of industrial and energy firms, India H2 Alliance, is working on a transition blueprint.
  • A litre of ethanol from sugar requires 3,000 litres of water

Disruptive Technology in Health I TH

  • As frontline warriors fighting COVID-19, the medical community has been selfless, but also losing a number of staff in the process.
  • Nurses and attendants, on full-time duty, donning mainly masks and gloves as the only protective gear have been exposed to great risk.
  • There are reports in the global media of established innovative field hospitals using robots to care for COVID-19 affected patients.
  • There are hospitals, in China, that use 5G-powered temperature measurement devices at the entrance to flag patients who have fever/fever-like symptoms.
  • Other robots measure heart rates and blood oxygen levels through smart bracelets and rings that patients wear; they even sanitise wards.
  • Last year, in India, the Sawai Man Singh government hospital in Jaipur held trials with a humanoid robot to deliver medicines and food to COVID-19 patients admitted there.
  • The critical aspect is how new technologies can improve the welfare of societies and reduce the impact of communicable diseases, spotlighting the importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems, blockchain, cloud and quantum computing, data analytics, 5G.
  • Blockchain technology can help in addressing the interoperability challenges that health information and technology systems face.
  • The health blockchain would contain a complete indexed history of all medical data, including formal medical records and health data from mobile applications and wearable sensors.
  • This can also be stored in a secure network and authenticated, besides helping in seamless medical attention.
  • Big data analytics can help improve patient-based services tremendously such as early disease detection.
  • Even hospital health-care facilities can be improved to a great extent.
  • AI and the Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT (which is defined as a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications, and health systems and services) are shaping health-care applications.
  • This system may also include autonomous critical care system, autonomous intubation, autonomous cricothyrotomy and other autonomous interventional procedures.
  • Cloud computing is another application facilitating collaboration and data exchanges between doctors, departments, and even institutions and medical providers to enable best treatment.
  • According to the World Health Organization Universal health coverage (UHC) is the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer. It is a powerful social equalizer and the ultimate expression of fairness.”
  • The question is about how UHC can be achieved through the application of digital technologies, led by a robust strategy integrating human, financial, organisational and technological resources.
  • India needs to own its digital health strategy that works and leads towards universal health coverage and person-centred care.
  • Such a strategy should emphasise the ethical appropriateness of digital technologies, cross the digital divide, and ensure inclusion across the economy.
  • Ayushman Bharat’ and tools such as Information and Communication Technology could be be fine-tuned with this strategy to promote ways to protect populations.
  • Online consultation through video conferencing should be a key part of such a strategy, especially in times when there is transmission of communicable diseases.
  • In addition to effective national policies and robust health systems, an effective national response must also draw upon local knowledge.
  • Community nurses, doctors, and health workers in developing countries do act as frontline sentinels.
  • An example is the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa, where communities proactively helped curtail the spread much before government health teams arrived.
  • Another example is from Indonesia, where the experience of backyard poultry farmers was used to tackle bird flu.
  • Primary health centres in India could examine local/traditional knowledge and experience and then use it along with modern technology.
  • In the developing world, and this includes India, initial efforts in this direction should involve synchronisation and integration, developing a template for sharing data, and reengineering many of the institutional and structural arrangements in the medical sector.
  • Big data applications in the health sector should help hospitals provide the best facilities and at less cost, provide a level playing field for all sectors, and foster competition.
  • The possible constraints in this effort are a standardisation of health data, organisational silos, data security and data privacy, and also high investments.

Recovery takes more than reforms | TH

  • The most recent growth estimates of the National Statistical Office show that after a steep contraction in the first quarter of last year, growth accelerated steadily afterwards.
  • This would have assured a recovery had we not experienced the second wave of the pandemic that came with the current financial year.
  • When the issue of economic recovery was raised in public, a minister asserted that the economy will recover due to the reforms planned or already implemented by the government.
  • Since 1991, the term ‘reforms’ has been used to mean both policy changes that remove restrictions on private sector activity in certain areas and those that increase profits in existing lines of production.
  • Recent examples of these are allowing greater private sector participation in defence as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan launched in 2020 and the significant lowering of corporate tax in 2019, respectively.
  • Presently for the private sector, entry into a new area or undertaking investment in an existing activity may not appear profitable given their expectation of the state of the economy in the near future, upon which their revenue will depend.
  • Right now, raising public spending is the only game in town left to the policymaker serious about bringing on a recovery.
  • If we are to have it, though, we should accept a higher than budgeted deficit.
  • The objective is to revive the economy, public spending is the instrument and the funding must be found. It need not involve money creation.
  • However, studies do show that any economic expansion would be inflationary if the production of food does not respond adequately.
  • How the expansion is financed is less relevant for inflation at least in the near term.
  • In any serious attempt at economic recovery, the focus must be on the food supply and not the money supply.

MCQ

Q.) Around 28 Chinese air force aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, entered the air defence identification zone (ADIZ) of ______, in what was the largest incursion till date.

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Taiwan
  3. Vietnam
  4. Myanmar