Mains Q & A 10 JUNE 2023
Q1. Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is defined as. What are the contributing elements to AMR? Analyse how well India is equipped to handle it. Do you believe dealing with it with one health strategy is the better course of action? (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II à Health related issues
According to the WHO, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a situation in which microorganisms survive exposure to a medication that would ordinarily kill them. It is the ability that any microorganism, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc. has acquired to resist the effects of antimicrobial medications (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics), which are used to treat infections. This phenomenon is widely regarded as a serious threat to public health.
“Superbugs” are the name for microorganisms that become resistant to antibiotics. Standard treatments stop working as a result, infections linger, and they could spread to other people.
AMR’s reasons for spreading include:
Human intake of antibiotics:
The rise of bacterial strains that are resistant to several antibiotics could result from the unnecessary and careless usage of antibiotic fixed dosage combinations.
antibiotics are available without a prescription.
ignorance of the proper times to use antibiotics.
River bathing by large groups of people at religious festivals.
Consumption of Antibiotics in Food Animals
Commonly utilised for human health, antibiotics are used to promote poultry growth.
Pollution from the Pharmaceutical Industry
A significant number of antibiotics are present in the wastewater effluents from the antibiotic production facilities, which contaminates rivers and lakes.
Untreated sewage disposal causes waterways to become contaminated with antibiotic residues and bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
Practises for Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities:
Only 31.8% of nurses and doctors were found to wash their hands after coming into touch with patients, according to a report on their hand-washing habits.
AMR prevention initiatives in India:
Healthcare funding is minimal while the burden of infectious diseases (bacterial infections) is high.
Antimicrobial resistance is a problem, and the National Health Policy of 2017 demands for proactive action to address it.
One of the top 10 objectives for the ministry’s collaborative work with WHO was AMR, according to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).
The Chennai Declaration, a series of national recommendations to encourage antibiotic stewardship, was adopted by India’s medical organisations in 2012.
To prevent the selling of antibiotics over-the-counter, India’s Red Line campaign asks that prescription-only medications be marked with a red line.
Antimicrobial Resistance National Policy for Containment, 2011.
2017–2021 National Action Plan on AMR Resistance.
In efforts for tuberculosis, AIDS, vector-borne diseases, and other disorders, India has implemented surveillance of the development of treatment resistance in disease-causing bacteria.
To control the sale of antimicrobials in the nation, a distinct Schedule H-1 has been included into the Drug and Cosmetic laws since March 2014.
Antibiotics and a number of other pharmacologically active compounds have been outlawed in fisheries by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The maximum doses of medicines that can be used to promote growth in meat and meat products have also been set by the government.
Using “One Health” to manage AMR:
According to the One Health Initiative Task Force, one health is the cooperative efforts of several disciplines working locally, nationally, and internationally to achieve optimal health for people, animals, and our environment.
The one health paradigm encourages an interdisciplinary approach to disease management in order to manage both potential and current zoonotic concerns.
A global initiative backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank with the overarching goal of contributing to “One World, One Health,” the agreement between the tripartite-plus alliance consisting of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), serves as the foundation for India’s “One Health” vision.
In order to meet the goals outlined in the “One Health” vision, efforts are being made to address issues like the lack of veterinary manpower, the lack of information sharing between human and animal health institutions, and the insufficient coordination of food safety at facilities used for food processing, distribution, and retail.
The Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health, the National Animal Disease Reporting System, and other systems that already exist for monitoring animal health and disease can be combined to address these problems. They can also be used to develop best practises for abattoir and informal market operations (such as inspections and assessments of disease prevalence) as well as mechanisms to operationalize ‘One Health’ all the way down to the village level.
Infection-control strategies can lower antibiotic usage in addition to the development of novel antimicrobials.
Making sure that everyone who requires an antibiotic has access to it is crucial.
Livestock, wastewater, and agriculture run-offs must all be included in surveillance efforts to find these microorganisms in order to monitor the spread of resistance.
To continuously identify and attack new resistant strains, we require continued funding and international cooperation.
Both the formulation and execution of policy must be aligned and coordinated internationally.
Clinical medicine solutions must be combined with better AMR surveillance in agriculture, animal health, and the environment.
Anti-Microbial Resistance is a global worry that threatens the security of the world’s health, not a problem that only affects one nation. One of the main issues affecting public health is antimicrobial resistance. using efficient infection prevention and control to lower the incidence of infection. Infection control and hand hygiene should be prioritised in national policies, according to the WHO.
Q2. By enabling smarter and developing societies, 5G technology will influence Industry 4.0 and improve the quality of service delivery and innovation. Discuss. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III à Science and Technology
The fifth-generation mobile network is known as 5G. It offers a unified platform with greater capacity, reduced latency, faster data transmission rates, and better spectrum utilisation than earlier mobile services. The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is responsible for developing and directing the standards for the use of 5G.
Advantages of 5G technology:
A world that is more connected:
In order to support technologies like the Internet of Things, 5G will offer the capacity and bandwidth the customer need.
will thus make it easier to integrate artificial intelligence into our daily lives. Additionally, it can handle services like virtual reality and augmented reality.
Increasing Internet Access Throughout the World:
The 5G network’s speed will have an impact on a wide range of sectors and regions.
In order to encourage rural businesses, including farming and agriculture, to evolve, high speed internet connectivity is essential.
That innovation could be unlocked by 5G networks, but much will rely on how it is put into practise.
Greater Coverage in Highly Population Areas:
High-speed internet can help small cell deployments be more successful by enabling lightweight, easily-mounted network base stations to expand capacity and coverage in densely populated regions.
They will be able to relieve overburdened networks in cities and other heavily populated areas while having a much shorter range.
Different kinds of applications and services can run on shared infrastructure thanks to network slicing, which enables the creation of various virtual networks on top of a shared physical infrastructure.
This makes it possible for telecoms firms to offer networking on-demand in a similar fashion to how we now access other services, producing a user experience that is identical to that of a physically distinct network.
RANs (radio access networks):
This is resulting in the emergence of a new set of ecosystem actors, dominated by smaller and more creative businesses, which may pave the way for unheard-of firms from nations like India to become major global suppliers of mobile infrastructure technologies.
The potential benefits it may provide:
Digital innovation is transforming the manufacturing sector.
Manufacturers are becoming more productive within the framework of Industry 4.0 by applying automation and data sharing to their current production processes to enable more integrated workflows and smarter manufacturing.
Industrial IoT technologies are revolutionising many production processes by streamlining and simplifying them.
Applications for mixed reality (MR):
The MR Apps include both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) apps.
Interesting uses are likely to be explored outside of the consumer market (think Pokémon Go), in the industrial and medical fields.
Applications for field services, engineering, public safety, and remote medical procedures are among potential use cases for low latency 5G services.
Entertainment and sports
The way spectators interact at these events may change as a result of the combination of VR and AR with ultra-high quality made possible by 5G.
With their mobile device or VR headset, viewers might be provided information like lap or technical information on vehicles while they race on the track in a sport like Formula 1. Motorsports is great for VR in particular.
Wi-Fi access point:
Additionally, underserved rural communities could benefit from fixed wireless access by receiving high bandwidth digital services.
With additional revenue sources and a quicker return on investment, mobile operators will subsequently be able to compete with wireline, satellite, and cable businesses.
The notion that technology, rather than the driver, controls most of the car, if not all of it.
In order to achieve this, 5G is essential since it will provide the connectivity and speed necessary to simultaneously transfer massive volumes of data to various objects and one another.
In order for cars to maintain a constant connection, 5G must offer a completely smooth mobile experience.
Massive Investment Needed: To implement 5G, India will need to invest a whopping Rs 5 lakh crore ($70 billion).
Expensive spectrum: Indian spectrum prices are among the highest in the world, and the quantity allotted is significantly less than what is considered best practise globally, with 40% of the spectrum still available for sale.
Lack of a consistent policy framework has hampered the ability of telecom service providers to roll out optical fibre cables (OFC) and telecom towers due to delays caused by complicated state-by-state procedures, non-uniform levies, and administrative approvals.
municipal Regulatory Issues: Many municipal laws and ordinances make it difficult to quickly and affordably deploy small cells in urban areas, where demand for fifth generation (5G) is initially anticipated to be highest.
Situation with debt in the sector: According to ICRA, the combined debt of telecom service providers (TSPs) is Rs. 4.2 lakh crore.
India has a low optical fibre penetration rate and a weak backhaul for 5G. A backhaul network links cell tower locations to a central exchange. Currently, less than 20% of cell sites are connected by fibre, whereas 80% of sites are connected via microwave backhaul.
High Equipment Import: 90% of India’s market for telecom equipment is made up of imports. However, Indian telecom carriers are forced to buy and use 5G technologies from international suppliers due to a lack of domestic manufacturing and R&D.
Security: Only approximately half of all countries had a cybersecurity plan in place or were in the process of establishing one, according to the Global Cyber Security Index published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). India was ranked 23rd on the index, which was headed by Singapore with 0.925.
Increased digital divide a possibility: Due to commercial feasibility, the initial deployment of 5G networks in dense urban areas may leave rural areas behind, resulting in a wider digital divide.
Human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: The influence of these frequencies on both human and animal health has been a source of worry.
Steps to Take:
Spectrum policy: Significant improvements need be made to India’s spectrum allocation for public wireless services. Additionally, the cost of spectrum is high in comparison to per capita GDP and ought to decrease.
Establish a Fifth Generation (5G) Programme Office and Oversight Committee under the Department of Telecommunications.
The provision of Common Telecom Infrastructure resources like ducting and power junction boxes to support 5G infrastructure should be mandated for new civil infrastructure including motorways, roads, canals and utility (gas, electricity, water) lines.
It is necessary to make security audits, which are a requirement for equipment import before deployment in Indian networks, simpler.
Favourable Tax Policy: Reducing taxes and regulatory fees on revenues may help the tax system continue to develop.
Fifth Generation (5G) Pilot: To evaluate 5G technologies and use cases and to encourage market engagement, policymakers may choose to support 5G pilots and test sites.
Support investment in the Fifth Generation (5G): The Indian government and authorities should secure the industry’s long-term viability and its capacity to pay for the sizeable investment necessary for 5G network deployments.
To build a balanced spectrum ecosystem—one that encourages investment, makes efficient use of spectrum, and fosters competition—policymakers can take into account using licenced, unlicensed, and shared spectrum.
Governments may think about encouraging investment in fibre networks and passive assets where there has been market failure by establishing PPPs, investment funds, and providing grant monies, among other things.
According to the World Economic Forum, there will be a stunning 9.1 billion mobile subscriptions by 2023. Digital India will be sparked by 5G, marking a turning point in the digital transformation. The fifth generation of cellular technology, or 5G, is about to arrive in India. It gives businesses a chance to access international markets, while consumers benefit from the economies of scale. Better service delivery, quicker access to services, and broader adoption of digital services can all be aided by it.
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