Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – May 15

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1. What is Augmented reality? Discuss its applications in the real world.(GS 3)

The Hindu

Augmented reality:-

  • Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time.
  • Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.
  • Augmented reality applicationsare written in special 3D programs that allow the developer to tie animation or contextual digital information in the computer program to an augmented reality “marker” in the real world.
  • Researchers and engineers are pulling graphics out of television screen or computer display and integrating them into real-world environments. This new technology, called augmented reality, blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell.
  • Augmented reality is actually a mixture of real life and virtual reality, somewhere in between the two, so it’s often referred to as mixed reality. The key point is that the extra information it gives you is highly topical and relevant to what you want to do or know in a certain place and time.


  • Augmented reality is closer to the real world. Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists.
  • Both video games and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality.
  • The military uses augmented reality to assist men and women making repairs in the field.
    • The Heads-Up Display (HUD) is the typical example of augmented reality when it comes to military applications of the technology. A transparent display is positioned directly in the fighter pilots view.
    • The Head-Mounted Display (HMD) is used by ground troops. Critical data such as enemy location can be presented to the soldier within their line of sight. This technology is also used for simulations for training purposes.
  • There are a number of applications for augmented reality in the sightseeing and tourism industries. The ability to augment a live view of displays in a museum with facts and figures is a natural use of the technology.
  • Medical:
    • There have been really interesting advances in the medical application of augmented reality.
    • Medical students use the technology to practice surgery in a controlled environment. Visualizations aid in explaining complex medical conditions to patients. Augmented reality can reduce the risk of an operation by giving the surgeon improved sensory perception.
  • Gaming:
    • With recent advances in computing power and technology, gaming applications in augmented reality are on the upswing.
    • The gaming industry is moving games outside like the old days equipped with the wearable head gear of course.


The Hindu


  • Once patents have expired, companies other than the original manufacturer can produce and sell the drug. This usually results in significant reduction in costs. These off-patent drugs are called generics internationally.
  • However, the term ‘generic’ has a different meaning in India’s pharma trade. Medicines marketed exclusively with INN names are called generics or generic medicine.
  • The WHO advocates generic prescribing as part of an overall strategy to ensure rational medical treatment and prescribing tailored to local conditions.

Arguements against generics:-

  • In India, there are many barriers to rational prescribing. For example, there are a bewildering number of fixed-dose combinations (FDCs), the vast majority of which have no therapeutic justification. These FDCs account for about 45% of the market (about Rs. 45,000 crore).
  • Of the total domestic pharmaceutical formulations, a market of over Rs. 1 lakh crore, generic medicines, as understood by the pharma trade, account for not more than 10%, or Rs. 10,000 crore. Therefore, even if a doctor prescribes a drug by generic name, the patient will generally end up buying a branded product.
  • Some argue that bioavailability and bioequivalence (BA and BE) of generics may not be equal to the original brand.
  • it is believed that not more than 1% of generic drugs sold in India undergo quality tests as practiced in USA or Europe.
  • If a doctor prescribes a drug with just the pharmaceutical salt name, then in all probability, the chemist will dispense it with another branded generic or worse, with a generic drug of doubtful quality.
  • In the absence of an international standard drug regulatory mechanism like the USFDA, Indian doctors have to rely on the reputation of companies like Cipla, Sun and hundreds of others who have demonstrated their commitment to quality over time.

What can be done?

  • Ensuring availability of uniform quality of generic drugs would facilitate doctors to prescribe them with confidence.

3. The selection process that led to Justice Karnan becoming a judge needs revisiting. Do you agree?(GS 2)

Indian Express


  • Recently the supreme courtsentenced justice Karnan to six months for contempt.


  • Need to re-evaluate the selection process that led to the appointment of Justice Karnan.
  • Clearly, the selection process omitted effective consideration of his fitness to act as a judge.
    • This failure is not of the collegium alone that recommended him but it appears that no red flags were raised by the agencies that are tasked with background checks and security clearance.
  • Finding that there needs to be action against judges who do not follow “universally accepted values”, the Supreme Court in 1999 adopted the Report of the Committee on In-House Procedure to take suitable remedial action against erring judges. This procedure was created to deal with allegations against a judge pertaining to the discharge of his judicial functions.
    • In Justice Karnan’s case, this in-house procedure appears not to have been resorted to..
  • India needs serious contemplation from all limbs of its democracy to prevent such a situation and to ensure that only those of “sterling quality, character and courage” occupy the high constitutional office of a judge.
  • There is no procedure to discipline a judge before impeachment.Impeachment by Parliament is a long-drawn-out and difficult process.
  • Even admitting that sometimes a poor appointment might have been made, there has been no effort to create a transparent mechanism to discipline judges who overstep the lines of propriety.
  • Like with appointments, the whole process is shrouded in secrecy with corridor gossip substituting for facts and informed debates.
  • Those with legitimate grievances against a judge have little recourse from the judiciary itself, or for that matter, any other institution.
  • The contempt case is still sub judice but it’s not clear what the Supreme Court’s endgame in these proceedings is. Its powers under the contempt jurisdiction are vast but do not extend to removing a High Court judge, something that can only be done through impeachment by the President.


  • The merit of initiating suo motu contempt proceedings by the Supreme Court and the orders, issuing warrants and directions for medical examination, have been debated enough.


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