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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 24 July 2019
  • The Lahore Declaration was a bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan. The treaty was signed on 21 February 1999, at the conclusion of a historic summit in Lahore, and ratified by the parliaments of both countries the same year.
  • Under the terms of the treaty, a mutual understanding was reached towards the development of atomic arsenals and to avoid accidental and unauthorised operational use of nuclear weapons. The Lahore Declaration brought added responsibility to both nations' leadership towards avoiding nuclear race, as well as both non-conventional and conventional conflicts. This event was significant in the history of Pakistan and it provided both countries an environment of mutual confidence. In a much-covered televised press conference in both countries, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee signed the treaty. It was the second nuclear control treaty signed by both countries and pledged to continue the use of the first treaty, NNAA, was signed in 1988. The Lahore treaty was quickly ratified by the parliaments of India and Pakistan and came into force the same year.
  • The Lahore Declaration signalled a major breakthrough in overcoming the historically strained bilateral relations between the two nations in the aftermath of the publicly performed atomic tests carried out by both nations in May 1998. Widely popular in the public circles in Pakistan and hailed by the international community, the relations would soon lose impetus with the outbreak of the controversial Kargil debacle in May 1999
  •  MainsQuestion
  • What possibilities and challenges kartarpur corridor holds at present in the times of massive disturbances between Indo-Pak relations ?
  •  In which way we can realize the goal of overcoming tensions by focusing on spirituality ? (600 words)
  • A retrovirus is a type of RNA virus that inserts a copy of its genome into the DNA of a host cell that it invades, thus changing the genome of that cell.
  • Once inside the host cell's cytoplasm, the virus uses its own reverse transcriptase enzyme to produce DNA from its RNA genome, the reverse of the usual pattern, thus retro (backwards). The new DNA is then incorporated into the host cell genome by an integrase enzyme, at which point the retroviral DNA is referred to as a provirus. The host cell then treats the viral DNA as part of its own genome, transcribing and translating the viral genes along with the cell's own genes, producing the proteins required to assemble new copies of the virus. It is difficult to detect the virus until it has infected the host. At that point, the infection will persist indefinitely.
  • In most viruses, DNA is transcribed into RNA, and then RNA is translated into protein. However, retroviruses function differently, as their RNA is reverse-transcribed into DNA, which is integrated into the host cell's genome (when it becomes a provirus), and then undergoes the usual transcription and translational processes to express the genes carried by the virus. The information contained in a retroviral gene is thus used to generate the corresponding protein via the sequence: RNA → DNA → RNA → polypeptide. This extends the fundamental process identified by Francis Crick (one gene-one peptide) in which the sequence is DNA → RNA → peptide (proteins are made of one or more polypeptide chains; for example, haemoglobin is a four-chain peptide).
  • Retroviruses are valuable research tools in molecular biology, and they have been used successfully in gene delivery systems
  • SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages (including universal access to HIV prevention services, sexual and reproductive health services and drug dependence treatment and harm reduction services)
  • SDG 3 contains the following targets:
  • Target 3.3: end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030
  • Target 3.8: achieve universal health coverage, access to quality health care services, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
  • However, a number of other SDGs also relate to the HIV response. These are
  • SDG 4: Quality education, including targets on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education and life skills
  • SDG 5: Gender equality, including targets on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and the elimination of violence, harmful gender norms and practices
  • SDG 10: Reduced inequalities, including targets on protection against discrimination, and the empowerment of people to claim their rights and enhance access to HIV services
  • SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions, including reduced violence against key populations and people living with HIV.

UNAIDS Fast-Track strategy

  • Launched in 2014, the UNAIDS FastTrack strategy outlined plans to step up the HIV response in low- and middle-income countries to meet the SDG 3 target to end AIDS by 2030.
  • The strategy acknowledges that, without rapid scale-up, the HIV epidemic will continue to outrun the response. To prevent this, it outlines the need to reduce new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths by 90% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. To achieve this, the Fast Track strategy sets out targets for prevention and treatment, known as the 90-90-90 targets. This includes, reducing new annual HIV infections to fewer than 500,000 by 2020 and to fewer than 200,000 by 2030 – ending AIDS as a public health threat

  • MainsQuestion
  • AIDS is still an incurable disease but all parts of the world don’t seem to manage it in an efficient way. WHY ?
  • Talk about Indian context and prevailing challenges in tackling the menace of AIDS. (300 words)