[op-ed snap] More global R&D is needed to tackle TB


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: India TB Research Consortium (ITRC), BRICS TB Research Network, Bedaquiline

Mains level: Global efforts to curb TB and need for more R&D for its cure and elimination


UN special meeting on TB

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) has drawn unprecedented attention in recent times
  2. A growing sense of urgency in dealing with this global threat made the United Nations (UN) schedule its first-ever high-level meeting on TB in New York on 26 September
  3. The meeting offered participating nations the potential to energize the discourse on TB and chart a roadmap for global action on TB
  4. One of the major discussion points focused on accelerating research and development (R&D) efforts to end TB

Gaps in research in TB cure

  1. The lack of advancement in TB R&D is one of the major reasons why the disease continues to thrive and exact a heavy toll on human life
  2. Until 2016, we used a century-old microscopy test that detects only 50% of cases and treated TB patients with long drug regimens that have severe side effects
  3. We are also yet to discover an effective vaccine against the disease

Efforts by India

  1. India has established the India TB Research Consortium (ITRC)
  2. Since its inception, ITRC has raised the profile of TB research, attracted investments in TB product development and conducted several validation studies on new TB tools
  3. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also recently taken steps to initiate trials for two new TB vaccine candidates
  4. Recognizing this, the ICMR, under which the ITRC was formed, was awarded the prestigious Stop TB Kochon Prize for 2017

Intercountry cooperation

  1. An example of such a partnership is the BRICS TB Research Network through which the five nations are working together on multiple research projects covering TB diagnostics, vaccines, new drugs, and infection control
  2. While this is encouraging, more countries must come together not just to collaborate on future research, but to also facilitate cross-learning by sharing the results of their ongoing efforts
  3. By doing so, they would spend less time reinventing the wheel and are likely to get faster results

What else can be done?

  1. It is equally important for countries to quickly adopt new and emerging drugs, therapies, and devices within their borders
  2. This can be done by agreeing to standardize regulatory processes
  3. For example, the ASEAN countries have accepted a set of uniform standards for medical equipment in the region which helps in the easy registration of these devices
  4. Along the same lines, it is vital for countries to update their existing tools based on the latest scientific evidence
  5. The World Health Organization’s new guidelines on the treatment of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB needs to be adopted swiftly
  6. These guidelines, which recommend the use of Bedaquiline as a frontline medicine to treat MDR TB, will revolutionize TB treatment by minimizing the use of painful injectable drugs that are known to cause serious side effects
  7. We also need to focus more research efforts on developing biomarkers to determine those who are predisposed to develop active TB among the close contacts of TB patients so that efficient preventive therapy can be provided
  8. Shorter and more efficient anti-TB regimens need to be developed to improve the adherence to treatment and decrease the failure and relapse rates
  9. Research for the prevention of transmission of drug sensitive and drug-resistant tuberculosis in the healthcare setting is critical

Way Forward

  1. In the age of globalization, the containment of an infectious disease like TB within borders poses a considerable challenge
  2. The recently concluded meeting saw the endorsement of a political declaration that underscored the criticality of research in our common goal of eliminating TB
  3. Hopefully, this will act as a starting point for countries’ efforts to advance future TB research built on the foundations of a collaborative spirit and a willingness to share individual strengths
Tuberculosis Elimination Strategy

[op-ed snap] What we talk about when we talk about crime


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: NCRB data reporting and changes required in it for better outcomes


Crime data reporting 

  1. Intelligent administration of the criminal justice system (CJS) thrives on how crime data is reported, analysed and disaggregated
  2. Not merely CJS but safety and development of the entire social order depends on the state of criminal records
  3. But there is a recent concern with the “politicisation” of data
  4. Regimes in power may interfere with established official data-gathering channels and even manipulate these

Changes proposed by NCRB in crime data collection

  1. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has put forward proposals to improve from 2019 onwards the collection and classification of criminal data on several dimensions
  2. These include crimes against media persons, RTI and social activists, whistle-blowers and witnesses, senior citizens, persons belonging to Northeast states and by saints, khap panchayats, servants, guards, proclaimed offenders, parolees, cadres of political parties, illegal immigrants and organised groups
  3. Cybercrimes feature conspicuously among additional new reporting categories
  4. There will also be data related to complaints against police personnel, human rights violations by police, custodial deaths and escape from police custody

Filing of crimes essential

  1. Criminologists tell us that the “dark figure of crime” looms large over a society where criminal records are ill-kept
  2. If the FIRs are not filed despite the Supreme Court’s insistence that such filing is mandatory, the dark figure expands
  3. It becomes even sinister as in the case of lynching, social boycott, or stripping and parading

Law vs Economic wisdom

  1. Law reform wisdom says that the certainty of punishment matters more than severity and so do state investment on policing and associated administrative costs
  2. The economic approach to crime and punishment says that severity is better than certainty (or high probability) because it saves on these costs
  3. In the long run, more policing, by signalling a high probability of arrest, should bring down crime and associated social costs
  4. The “broken windows theory” has empirically maintained that in place of large social narratives of crime causation (such as impoverishment, patriarchy), policing will be effective when concentrated on a chain of events where small incidents of a breakdown in civic order were effectively prosecuted and punished
  5. The New York police in the 1990s contributed to crime reduction by taking in offenders for the pettiest of crimes

Making police more efficient

  1. To examine the deterrence effect of police visibility in marginalised neighbourhoods in India, data enrichment is required
  2. The NCRB provides state-level data for police density (by area and population)
  3. But this is neither disaggregated by district nor by the nature of duty (patrolling, clerical) to correctly gauge “visibility”
  4. Thus, it is not useful for the efficient allocation of police by a state among its districts

Further disaggregation of data

  1. The data for crimes against women or SC/STs is only disaggregated by age and sex but it should extend to religion and educational background as well
  2. This is currently done for convicts, it is not very useful without information about the crimes they have committed
  3. One may also consider data for the economic background or nature of the regular job of both offenders and victims
  4. Data should also be disaggregated according to gang or lone-wolf crime
  5. Data concerning the socioeconomic characteristics of repeat offenders or “hardened criminals” or about “crime schooling” in prisons leading to “career criminalisation”, should be provided
  6. In this regard, longitudinal surveys, conducted for most societies of the world, will be useful
  7. These capture time-varying attributes of the same offenders, like relationship with family, beliefs about their future, substance use and risk perception
  8. Disaggregation should reflect the extent to which a cost-benefit approach rather than impulse or the influence of drugs or alcohol (as is the case with juveniles but not only there) drives crime, which will have crucial policy implications

Way Forward

  1. Social conditions and structures shape individuals, which show that those designated as criminals are not born but made so by society
  2. An accurate record of perpetrators and victims concerning the nature of crime and punishment is rightly recognised as an attribute of a civilised state
  3. Better crime control statistics will not only be a tool for effecient policing but also an instrument of efficacious social policy and constitutional transformation of the Indian criminal justice system
Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

[op-ed snap] Oldest friends: India and Russia


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Testing times for India-Russia bilateral relations and options available with India


Russian President’s India Visit

  1. India-Russia summits have traditionally been short on time and ceremony and big on productivity
  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 22-hour visit to Delhi last week was no exception
  3. The two countries announced a number of agreements, including a $5.43 billion S-400 Triumf missile system deal, a space cooperation arrangement to put an Indian in space, and an action plan for a new nuclear plant

Exploring new avenues

  1. PM Modi and Mr. Putin also addressed a business summit, in an attempt to diversify ties and increase bilateral trade, currently below $10 billion
  2. Much of the fresh momentum in bilateral engagement will come from the energy sector
  3. Several billions of dollars worth of investment and energy deals are in the pipeline

Geopolitical implications of agreements done

  1. The signing of the S-400 air defence system deal is of far greater consequence than its size
  2. It denotes India’s desire to deepen defence cooperation with Russia which is prepared to do this despite U.S. warnings that the deal could attract sanctions
  3. This deal comes just a month after India signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) for better interoperability with the U.S. military is a sign that India will not be forced or even persuaded into putting all its eggs in one strategic basket

Difficulties ahead for India

  1. India chose to sign the S-400 deal but resisted concluding other major defence deals with Russia on helicopters, stealth frigates and assault rifles
  2. More defence deals with Russia will make it increasingly difficult for the U.S. to give India a waiver from sanctions under CAATSA, its legislation aimed at curtailing defence and energy dealings with Russia, Iran and North Korea
  3. Washington has already reacted to the S-400 deal, making it clear that any waiver will not be on a “country” basis, but on a “transaction-by-transaction” basis
  4. Accepting a waiver will implicitly commit India to reducing its intake of Russian military hardware

Way Forward

  1. New Delhi’s assertion of “strategic autonomy” and desire for multipolarity will be seriously tested in the coming months
  2. The situation can be much more complex when friends expect you to choose between them
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Russia

Explained: How to reach a 1.5-degree world


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Highlights of the Report

Mains level:  Impacts of Global Warming


IPCC Report on Climate Change

  1. Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet.
  2. The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its gloomy report at a meeting in Incheon, South Korea.
  3. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate, the report states.

Quick recap of IPCC

  1. IPCC  is a scientific government body under the UN established in 1988 by two UN organizations, the WMO and the UNEP and later endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.
  2. The IPCC produces reports that support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is the main international treaty on climate change.
  3. IPCC reports cover the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.
  4. Membership of the IPCC is open to all members of the WMO and the UNEP.

Findings of the Report

  1. Half as many people would suffer from lack of water.
  2. There would be fewer deaths and illnesses from heat, smog and infectious diseases.
  3. Seas would rise nearly 4 inches (0.1 meters) less.
  4. Half as many animals with back bones and plants would lose the majority of their habitats.
  5. There would be substantially fewer heat waves, downpours and droughts.
  6. The West Antarctic ice sheet might not kick into irreversible melting.
  7. And it just may be enough to save most of the world’s coral reefs from dying.

The 1.5℃ Goal

  1. In 2010, international negotiators adopted a goal of limiting warming to 2°C since pre-industrial times. It’s called the 2° goal.
  2. In 2015, when the nations of the world agreed to the Paris climate agreement, they set dual goals — 2°C and a more demanding target of 1.5°C from pre-industrial times.
  3. The 1.5° was at the urging of vulnerable countries that called 2°C a death sentence.
  4. The world has already warmed 1°C since pre-industrial times, so the talk is really about the difference of another half-degree C from now.
  5. There is no definitive way to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels.

Advantages of warming below 2

  1. The IPCC studies have looked at the physical impact on the land and ocean, as well as at the socio-economic impact, like health, malnutrition, food security and employment.
  2. Some examples:
  • Limiting global warming to 1.5°C could prevent around 3.3 million cases of dengue every year in Latin America and the Caribbean alone.
  • A World Bank report on Climate Change and Health, 2015 said that an additional 150 million people could be at risk from malaria if the temperature was allowed to increase beyond 2°C.
  • A study in the journal Climate Change in 2016 claimed that the world could have 25 million fewer undernourished people by the end of the century, if the 1.5°C goal was achieved.
  • A study published in PNAS in March 2017 said about 350 million additional people could be exposed to deadly heat waves if the warming increased to 2°C as compared to 1.5°C.
  • A study in Nature Climate Change in March 2018 said the 1.5°C could prevent 153 million premature deaths due to air pollution by 2100, as compared to the 2°C scenario.
  • A UNDP report in 2016 claimed that a 1.5°C strategy could create double the number of jobs in the energy sector by 2050.
  • Also, compared to the 1.5°C scenario, extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and heat waves are likely to become more severe and frequent, and freshwater supply could fall sharply, in a 2°C world.

How to reach the 0.5 ℃ target?

  1. As of now, the world is striving to prevent the temperature rise beyond 2 degrees Celsius, in accordance with the stated objective of the Paris Agreement of 2015.
  2. To meet that target, the aim is to reduce greenhouse gases by only 20 per cent, from 2010 levels, by the year 2030 and achieve a net-zero emission level by the year 2075.
  3. Net-zero is achieved when the total emissions is balanced by the amount of absorption or removal of carbon dioxide through natural sinks or technological interventions.

Is the 1.5°C target attainable?

  1. The IPCC report suggests possible pathways to attain the 1.5°C objective.
  2. Any such path would involve much sharper and quicker emission cuts by big emitters like China, the US, the European Union and India, than what these countries currently plan to do.
  3. However, their publicly declared planned actions currently are not big enough to achieve even the 2°C target.
  4. In Paris in 2015, the countries had acknowledged that if they failed to do more, annual emissions of carbon dioxide could touch 55 billion tonnes in 2030.

Problem of CO2

  1. Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming, stays in the atmosphere for 100-150 years.
  2. That means even if all greenhouse gas emissions were to somehow miraculously stop all of a sudden, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would remain at the current levels for many years to come.
  3. That is why there is a significant interest these days in technologies that can physically remove the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and store it somewhere, either temporarily or permanently.
  4. Caron Dioxide Removal (CDR) would be used to compensate for residual emissions.
  5. CDR is a reference to physical removal of the stock of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to reduce its concentrations.
  6. But the technologies for CDR are still undeveloped and untested.

Way Forward: Nothing is Impossible

  1. Limiting warming to the lower goal is not impossible but will require unprecedented changes
  2. To limit warming to the lower temperature goal, the world needs “rapid and far-reaching” changes in energy systems, land use, city and industrial design, transportation and building use, the report said.
  3. Meeting the more ambitious goal would require immediate, draconian cuts in emissions of heat-trapping gases and dramatic changes in the energy field.
  4. It is up to governments to decide whether those unprecedented changes are acted upon.
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Govt panel set to probe e-commerce firms’ big discounts


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Changes in industrial policy & their effects on industrial growth

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Analysis of principles of fair competition



  1. A review of the competition law is set to find out if the steep discounts offered by online retailers promotes competition or stifles it as alleged by their old school rivals.
  2. A 10-member panel set up by the corporate affairs ministry will examine the trends in digital economy, including steep discounts in online retailing.
  3. It will enquire whether the e-tailers are subject to any restrictions in their access to dealerships from manufacturers.

Tasks of the Panel

  1. Discounting creates an uneven playing field and is detrimental to traditional retailers as well as manufacturers.
  2. Practices in the digital economy, backlog of competition cases to be resolved and the fee structure followed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) will be reviewed by the panel.
  3. The panel will also comb through central and state government policies that do not foster principles of competition in letter and spirit.
  4. Conventional traders are now readying their recommendations to the panel suggesting ways to put an end to discounted online sale of goods.
  5. Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has requested to impose a blanket ban on discounted sales by online sellers.

Upholding Principles of fair Competition

  1. Competition law experts said that industry practices, such as manufacturers imposing certain restrictions on online sellers in order to protect a large number of conventional dealers, who also compete among themselves, have been a subject of dispute.
  2. In cases where certain brands face intense competition from rival brands, restrictions imposed by a producer on online dealers to protect its conventional dealers may not be seen by the competition watchdog as anti-competitive.
  3. This, however, enables producers to control the retail price and may not be in the interest of consumers.
  4. Online retailers have a transformational capacity in terms of reach, variety and price. And their discounting is followed after predatory pricing.

Problem of FDI Shield

  1. E-commerce companies had undue advantage as they were allowed to access foreign direct investment (FDI), through which they could provide deep discounts that traditional retailers would not be able to match.
  2. To legitimize existing businesses of e-commerce companies operating in India, the government in March 2016 allowed 100% FDI in online retailing of goods and services.
  3. This is under the so-called “marketplace model” through the automatic route.
  4. The earlier notified new rules through Press note 3 (of 2016 series), which promised to end the discount wars, prohibiting e-commerce marketplaces from offering discounts and capping total sales originating from a group company or one vendor at 25%.
  5. However, this only remained on paper, while e-commerce companies continued to offer heavy discounts, much to the anger of offline retailers.

Way Forward

  1. The draft e-commerce policy under consideration effectively seeks to regulate all aspects of online retail and recommends strict restrictions, including curbs on discounts.
  2. However, the government is currently going slow on finalizing this policy after opposition from major online retailers.
  3. The competition law review panel will also examine if the fee prescribed for the petitioners to approach the anti-trust regulator is high.
  4. It will also assess if a scheme to reduce backlog of competition-related cases be required.
  5. These considerations will further strengthen the draft e-commerce policy.
e-Commerce: The New Boom

ISRO & ROSCOSMOS to work together for first Indian manned mission


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Gaganyaan

Mains level: India’s aspiration for a manned mission in Space.



  1. India hopes to send its first manned mission Gaganyaan in 2022.
  2. The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be working together on the Gaganyaan mission.
  3. A MoU was inked between ISRO and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ for joint activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme.

Russian Courtesy

  1. The Russian side has offered a ride to Indian astronaut a short visit to International Space Station (ISS) on board a Soyuz spacecraft for a short training mission in 2022.
  2. Russia had agreed to supply ISRO with the Rover for the second moon mission but this has not come through and now ISRO is building its own Rover.
  3. It was also decided to set up measurement data collection ground stations of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System NavIC and the Russian Navigation Satellite System GLONASS in both countries.
  4. India-Russia space cooperation was very strong, with the Soviet Union being one of the three partners who helped India get off the ground with its space programme.
  5. The China factor has been a determining factor to the extent where India’s Chandrayaan 2 mission has been delayed significantly.

Training the Astronauts

  1. There have been debates about where India should train its astronauts.
  2. The options are of course the US and Russia and both have offered India all assistance in this regard.
  3. The ISS is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit.
  4. If successful, India would be the fourth nation to send a human in space after the US, Russia and China.
ISRO Missions and Discoveries

India’s first dolphin research centre to come up soon in Patna


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Gangetic Dolphin and its Habitat

Mains level: Conservation status of Gangetic Dolphins


National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC)

  1. The much-awaited National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC), India’s and Asia’s first is set to be established in Patna.
  2. It will play an important role in strengthening conservation efforts and research to save the endangered mammal.
  3. University will shift it to Bhagalpur where the number of dolphins is higher.


  1. The water level has been decreasing and the flow has slowed down. Besides, siltation is increasing in the river. All this is not favorable for dolphins.
  2. The Gangetic river dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal but frequently falls prey to poachers and is sometimes killed inadvertently after being trapped in plastic fishing nets and hit by mechanized boats.
  3. The mammals are being killed at an alarming rate with wildlife officials saying poachers covet them for their flesh, fat and oil.

Habitat of Gangetic Dolphins

  1. The mammal’s presence signals a healthy river ecosystem.
  2. Dolphins prefer water that is at least 5-8 feet deep. They are usually found in turbulent waters where there is enough fish for them to feed on.
  3. Gangetic dolphins prefer deep water with adjoining shallow water.
  4. They live in a zone where there is little or no current that helps them save energy. If they sense danger, they can go into deep waters.
  5. The dolphins swim from the no-current zone to the edges to hunt for fish and return.
  6. The Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, India’s only dolphin sanctuary, spread over 50 km along the Ganges, is located in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district.
  7. Bihar is home to around half of the country’s estimated 3,000 dolphin population.


Gangetic Dolphin

  1. Gangetic river dolphins fall under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.
  2. It has been declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  3. The Gangetic river species found in India, Bangladesh and Nepal is almost completely blind.
  4. It finds its way and prey using echoes with sound being everything for them to navigate, feed, escape danger, find mates, breed, nurse babies and play.
  5. The Gangetic river dolphin is one of the four freshwater dolphin species in the world.
  6. The other three are found in the Yangtze river, the Indus river in Pakistan and the Amazon river.


Wildlife Conservation Efforts

[pib] Beyond Dispute: The SBM Facts


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Stats related to SBM- Grameen

Mains level: The stats mentioned in the newscard highlights the success of SBM in rural India.



  1. The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) recently launched the 150th birth year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, as the Mission enters its fifth and final year of implementation.
  2. The SBM has transformed into a massive Jan Andolan.
  3. However, some recent reports have sought to undermine the progress made by the SBM on the ground, with incorrect claims.
  4. In this regard, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation presents the following clarifications highlighting the success of the mission.

Imbibing Behaviour Change

  1. The SBM has shown tremendous progress these last 4 years leading to massive behaviour change campaign and people’s movement underway on the ground.
  2. Since the inception of the program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 95% today.
  3. Nearly 8.7 crore household toilets have been constructed under the Mission.
  4. As a result, 25 States/Union Territories, 529 districts, and 5,09,067 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.

Flagged by World Bank

  1. The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) conducted under the World Bank support project found that 93.4% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it.
  2. It confirmed that behaviour change is happening on the ground.
  3. The survey covered 92040 households in 6136 villages across States and UTs in India.

Seamless Funding

  1. The Swachh Bharat Mission is the world’s largest public funded sanitation program.
  2. Between the Centre and State, over Rs. 1 lakh crore would have been allocated for the Mission in 2019.
  3. In addition to the budget allocation of ₹15,000 crore this year (FY 2018-2019), ₹15,000 crore has been further allocated through Extra Budgetary Resources.

Communication strategy

  1. Behaviour Change Communication is undertaken under the SBM at the ground level and is complemented with mass media at the national level as well.
  2. For example, mass media campaigns such as Darwaza Band communicates the messages of women empowerment, promotion of twin pit toilets and usage of toilets.
  3. While the SBM foot soldiers, Swachhagrahis, participate in the triggering of communities for behaviour change and sustaining improved behaviors through Inter-Personal Communication.
  4. There are currently over 5 lakh Swachhagrahis across the country undertaking behaviour change interventions at the grassroots.

Water for ODF

  1. A policy decision has been taken under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to prioritize the provision of piped water supply (PWS) for villages that become ODF.
  2. Of the 5 lakh plus ODF villages, translating to 14.13 lakh habitations, 6.16 habitations have PWS through public stand posts. The remaining are being covered on priority.
  3. At a technical level, the SBM promotes the use of the rural pan, a steep slope pan, which requires no more than 1-1.5 liters of water for every use of the toilet, addressing challenges related to scarcity of water.


  1. A strong parallel focus is being maintained on the quality of the work on the ground and sustaining progress much after the program reaches its goal in 2019.
  2. Verification of all ODF declared villages is very unique to SBM as multiple rounds of verification are carried out for the village by the districts and States.
  3. Within 90 days of declaration, verification is done for each household in the village.
  4. Another round of sustainability verification is done 180 days after the first round.

Impact of SBM

  1. A recent WHO study reports that SBM would have led to saving of 300,000 lives by 2019 and around 150,000 lives would be saved annually thereafter.
  2. In a report titled ‘The Financial and Economic Impact of SBM in India (2017)’ UNICEF estimated that a household in an ODF village in rural India saves Rs. 50,000 every year.
  3. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has released a study that shows significant improvements in diarrhoea prevalence and stunting among children in ODF villages, compared to nearby non-ODF villages.
  4. The Swachh Bharat model of sanitation has led India into a sanitation revolution, and the country is on track for an ODF India by October 2019.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Bilateral Maritime Exercise JIMEX 18


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: JIMEX 2018

Mains level: Importance of such bilateral exercises


Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) 2018

  1. Japan and India would be participating in the third edition of Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) with the ships of Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy (IN) from 07 to 15 October 18.
  2. JIMEX-18 is aimed to enhance interoperability, improve understanding and imbibe the best practices of each other.
  3. The ships participating are INS Satpura, multipurpose stealth frigate, INS Kadmatt, Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette, Missile Corvette and INS Shakti, the Fleet Tanker.
  4. In addition, one submarine, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a number of integral helicopters would also be participating in the exercise.

Details of JIMEX 18

  1. JIMEX 18, spread over eight days, will comprise a Harbour Phase and a Sea Phase of four days each.
  2. The Harbour Phase will include professional and social interactions between ship’s crews, sports fixtures and operational planning for the Sea Phase.
  3. The Sea Phase would include Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercises, VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure) Drills, Gun Firings, Cross Deck Helo Operations and coordinated operations in Anti-Submarine/ Anti-Air threat scenarios.
  4. The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in Dec 2013 off Chennai.

Importance of the exercise

  1. The conduct of JIMEX-18 after five years is indicative of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defence relations and the continued efforts to work closely to enhance safety and security of the global commons.
  2. It will help establishing rule based order on the IOR.
Indian Navy Updates