March 2019
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[op-ed snap]India could save trillions in healthcare costs if Paris climate goals are met: Global Environmental Outlook

Note4students

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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Global Environment Outlook, Lancet Health Report

Mains level: The news-card analyses the issues of steps needed to be taken to deal with challenge of Climate Change


NEWS

CONTEXT

India could save at least $3 trillion (₹210 trillion approx.) in healthcare costs if it implemented policy initiatives consistent with ensuring that the globe didn’t heat up beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century, says the sixth edition of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO), prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme.

India’s Record in Environment programme

  • India’s stated commitment is to lower emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% compared to 2005 levels by 2030; increase total cumulative electricity generation from fossil free energy sources to 40% by 2030, and create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons through additional forest and tree cover.
  • India is on track to achieve two of these goals — of emissions intensity and electricity generation — according to independent climate-watch site Climate Tracker.

Need for Further steps to be taken

  • However these actions are only enough — and provided other countries too live up to their commitments — to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees.
  • For India to leapfrog onto a 1.5-degree pathway it would have to “abandon plans to build new coal-fired power plants.
  • The landmark Paris Agreement of 2015 aims to keeping a global temperature rise this century well to “…below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
  • However there has been limited progress by countries since then in committing to greenhouse gas emissions cut since then.

Suggestion by Reports

  • The GEO report, made public Wednesday, for its assessment on health benefits to India relied on a modelling study by group of scientists and published by Lancet Planetary Health in March 2018.
  • The report advises adopting less-meat intensive diets, and reducing food waste in both developed and developing countries, would reduce the need to increase food production by 50% to feed the projected 9-10 billion people on the planet in 2050. At present, 33% of global edible food is wasted, and 56% of waste happens in industrialised countries.

 

 

 

Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

[op-ed snap] A model policy for women in the police

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Role of women & women’s organization

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Nothing Much

Mains level:Facilitating womes’s representation and safety at workplace in Police Services.


NEWS

CONTEXT

  • Women constitute about 7% of the police strength in India. This number is expected to rise, with many States and Union Territories providing for 30% (and more) reservation for women in the police in specific ranks. However, this is not enough.
  • The discourse on mainstreaming women in the police by making policing inclusive, non-discriminatory and efficient in India is missing in policy circles.

Need for policies

  • One way to mainstream women in the police is to develop a model policy that will challenge the deep-rooted patriarchy in the institution.
  • Unfortunately, till now, not a single State police department has attempted to even draft such a policy.
  • Thus, neither the Central nor State governments can get very far by merely adopting reservation to increase gender diversity without considering the need for policymaking.
  • A model policy, while laying the foundation for equal opportunities for women in every aspect of policing, should also strive to create a safe and enabling work environment. Without this, all other efforts will remain piecemeal.

Steps needed to be taken

  • One of the first steps to ensure a level playing field for women in the police is to increase their numbers.
  • Merely providing reservation is not enough; police departments should develop an action plan to achieve the target of 30% or more in a time-bound manner.
  • Departments should also undertake special recruitment drives in every district to ensure geographical diversity.
  • To achieve the target, the police should reach out to the media and educational institutions to spread awareness about opportunities for women in the police.
  • Current data reveal that most women in the police are concentrated in the lower ranks. Efforts should be made to change this. The impulse to create women-only battalions for the sake of augmenting numbers should be eliminated.
  • Second, the model policy should strive to ensure that decisions on deployment of women are free of gender stereotyping to facilitate bringing women into leading operational positions.
  • At present, there appears to be a tendency to sideline women, or give them policing tasks that are physically less demanding, or relegate them to desk duty, or make them work on crimes against women alone.
  • Women police officers should be encouraged to take on public order and investigative crimes of all types, and should be given duties beyond the minimum mandated by special laws.
  • Desk work too must be allocated evenly among men and women.
  • Police departments still lack proper internal childcare support systems. Departments need to be mindful of this social reality and exercise sensitivity in making decisions on transfers and posting of women personnel.
  • Women should be posted in their home districts in consultation with supervising officers.

Preventing Sexual Harassment at Work Place

  • Police departments must also ensure safe working spaces for women and adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination and harassment, in order to make policing a viable career option for women.
  • Departments are legally bound to set up Internal Complaints Committees to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • Departments must operationalise the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.

Conclusion

  • Some of these suggestions have already been made by the National Conference of Women in Police. However, Central and State governments have not yet developed or adopted a comprehensive framework towards achieving substantive gender equality.
Women empowerment issues: Jobs,Reservation and education

Global Environmental Outlook Report 2019

Note4students

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

From UPSC perspectives, the following things are important

Prelims Level: GEO Report

Mains Level: Read the attached story 


News

  • Human activities are degrading the global environment at a pace that could endanger the “ecological foundations of society” and human health, according to a landmark United Nations report.

Global Environment Outlook (GEO) 2019

  1. The GEO is often referred to as UN Environment’s flagship environmental assessment.
  2. The first publication was in 1997 and was originally requested by Member States.
  3. It is a flagship report because it fulfills the core functions of the organization, which date back to the UN General Assembly resolution that established the UNEP in 1972.
  4. The report is the sixth and is the UN’s most comprehensive report on the state of the global environment since the fifth edition in 2012.
  5. It is a consultative and participatory process to:
  • prepare an independent assessment of the state of the environment,
  • effectiveness of the policy response to address these environmental challenges and
  • possible pathways to be achieve various internationally agreed environmental goals.

Highlights of the report

Child Mortality

  • Air pollution remains a major public health problem as the main environmental contributor to disease around the globe.
  • It results in 6 million to 7 million premature deaths and losses of $5 trillion each year.

Species Extinction

  • Species extinction rates also continue to increase at a pace that could compromise Earth’s ability to meet human needs, the report says.
  • Among invertebrates, 42% of land dwellers, 34% of freshwater species and 25% of marine species are at risk of extinction.

Health emergencies

  • The GEO compiles a litany of pollution-related health emergencies.
  • It said that poor environmental conditions “cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality” — around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
  • Lacking access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation.

Food Waste

  • Thirty-three percent of edible food is wasted worldwide, with more than half thrown out in industrialized nations, the report says.
  • Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed.
  • The report depicts a growing chasm between rich and poor countries as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

India gets first TIR shipment via Chabahar Port from Afghanistan

Note4students

Mains Paper 2:IR| Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  TIR Convention

Mains level: Significance of trade through Chabahar Port


News

  • The first shipment under the United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention arrived in India from Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar Port.

Transports Internationaux Routiers

  • India had joined the TIR Convention (the United Nations Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets) on June 15, 2017.
  • The convention is adopted under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
  • The convention allows goods to be outlined in a TIR carnet and sealed in load compartments.
  • Customs officials verify the carnet and check the seals, with no need for physical checking of the contents, enabling shipments to pass through countries without being opened at borders.
  • Reciprocal recognition of customs controls is at the heart of the Convention.
  • This enables a facilitative and non-intrusive environment for multi-modal transport of goods through several countries.

Benefits of TIR

  • The TIR convention will help in fast and easy movement of goods across multiple countries under a common customs document and guarantee.
  • It will help boost India’s exports and enable greater participation in the global value chains.
  • TIR will play a pivotal role in improving ease of doing business and pave the way for smoother and safer transport of goods across international borders.
  • It will help boost trade between India, Central Asia, Europe and Russia.
Foreign Policy Watch: India – EU

WHO strategy to fight flu pandemics

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important International institutions

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims Level: Highlights of the Strategy

Mains level: Enhancing preparedness against influenza


News

  • The World Health Organization has launched a strategy to protect people worldwide over the next decade against the threat of influenza, warning that new pandemics are “inevitable”.

Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030

It aims to:

  • Build stronger country capacities for disease surveillance and response, prevention and control, and preparedness.
  • To achieve this, it calls for every country to have a tailored influenza programme that contributes to national and global preparedness and health security.
  • Develop better tools to prevent, detect, control and treat influenza, such as more effective vaccines, antivirals, and treatments, with the goal of making these accessible for all countries.

Influenza epidemics

  • WHO’s new strategy, for 2019 through 2030, aims to prevent seasonal influenza, control the virus’s spread from animals to humans and prepare for the next pandemic.
  • The new strategy called for every country to strengthen routine health programmes and to develop tailor-made influenza programmes that strengthen disease surveillance, response, prevention, control, and preparedness.
  • Influenza epidemics, largely seasonal, affect around one billion people and kill hundreds of thousands annually.

Who recommends

  • WHO recommends annual flu vaccines as the most effective way to prevent the spread of the disease, especially for healthcare workers and people at higher risk of influenza complications.
  • It also called for the development of more effective and more accessible vaccines and antiviral treatments.
  • Due to its mutating strains, vaccine formulas must be regularly updated and only offer limited protection currently.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Combat Casualty Drugs

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Combat casualty drugs

Mains level: Utility of CCDs for soldiers on battleground


News

  • DRDO’s medical laboratory has come up with a range of ‘combat casualty drugs’ that can extend the golden hour till the trooper is shifted to hospital.
  • These indigenously made medicines will be a boon for paramilitary and defence personnel during warfare.

Combat Casualty Drugs

  • These drugs are developed at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a laboratory of the DRDO.
  • The main battlefield emergencies are excess bleeding, sepsis, shock, hypovolemia (decreased blood volume) and pain.
  • The spectrum includes bleeding wound sealants, super absorptive dressings, and glycerated salines, all of which can save lives in the event of warfare in a jungle and high altitude areas as well as in terror attacks.

Why such move?

  • There is only one medical person and limited equipment to take care of soldiers during combat in most cases.
  • This is compounded by battlefield conditions such as forests, hilly terrain, and inaccessibility of vehicles, experts said.
  • Chances of survival and minimum disability are highest when effective first aid care is given within the golden hour.

Take a look of few CCDs

I. Glycerated Salines

  • Among the drugs developed is glycerated saline, a battlefield intravenous fluid that does not freeze till -18C and is useful in handling trauma cases in high altitude areas.
  • The glycerated saline, unlike normal saline, reduces inflammation.
  • The drug can be life-saving, particularly if the traumatic edema(the collection of fluid in tissues and cavities of the body) is in the brain or lungs.
  • It has life-saving capacities as it gives more time to the medical personnel to shift the wounded patient to a higher care facility.

II. Special Medicated Dressing

  • INMAS has also developed a special medicated dressing material which is 200 times more absorptive than normal dressings during bleeding wounds.
  • The cellulose fibre-based dressings are more effective in stopping bleeding and keeping the wound clean.
  • Additionally, antiseptics, antibiotics and curcumin can be impregnated in the dressing which acts as a slow drug release system.

III. Chitosan gel

  • INMAS has developed a chitosan gel which helps in preventing blood loss by forming a film over the wound.
  • Coupled with platelets and red blood cells aggregation, it stops the bleeding.
  • Its antibacterial and wound health properties are of added benefit.

IV. Hypocholorous acid disinfectant

  • Part of the range is hypocholorous acid (HOCL), a disinfectant for troopers involved in jungle warfare.
  • It is helpful in treating necrotising fascitis, a rapidly progressing bacterial infection of soft tissues.
  • Bacterial toxins cause local tissue damage and necrosis, as well as blunt immune system responses.
  • In such cases, pure 0.01% HOCL which has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity can rapidly neutralise bacterial toxins.

V. Nalbuphine injection

  • INMAS scientists have also discovered a new route for administering the Nalbuphine injection to reduce pain during mutilating war injuries.
  • The 10 mg injection of Nalbuphine hydrochloride is more effective for an injured trooper if it is given through the submental/sublingual route instead of intra-muscular or intravenous route.
Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc.

[pib] Cabinet approves accession to three new agreements for IPR

Note4students

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

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: All three agreements mentioned

Mains level: IPR protection in India


News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for accession of India to:

The Nice Agreement concerned with the International classification of Goods and Services for the purposes of registration of marks

The Vienna Agreement establishing an International Classification of the figurative elements of marks

The Locarno Agreement establishing an International classification for industrial designs.

About these agreements

  1. These are open to States party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883).
  2. Instruments of ratification or accession must be deposited with the Director General of WIPO.

Impact

  • Accession to these will help the Intellectual Property Office in India to harmonize the classification systems for examinational of trademark and design applications, in line with the classification systems followed globally.
  • It would give an opportunity to include Indian designs, figurative elements and goods in the international classification systems.
  • The accession is expected to instill confidence in foreign investors in relation to protection of IPs in India.
  • The accession would also facilitate in exercising rights in decision making processes regarding review and revision of the classifications under the agreement.
Intellectual Property Rights in India

[pib] Exercise Al Nagah III 2019

Note4students

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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Ex Al Nagah

Mains level:  India-Oman strategic relationship


News

Exercise Al Nagah III 2019

  • It is a joint military exercise between Indian and Royal Army of Oman (RAO) held in Oman.
  • The Indian side was represented by troops of Tenth Battalion The Garhwal Rifles Regiment.
  • The exercise will see them hone their tactical and technical skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in semi-urban scenario in mountainous terrain under UN mandate.
  • It will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s military as also facilitate in tackling the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism.
  • Due emphasis will be laid on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries which is crucial for success of any joint operation.
Indian Army Updates