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9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – 24 March 2017



Front Page / NATIONAL [The Hindu]


  • TB diagnosis, treatment sub-optimal in prisons

Editorial/OPINION [The Hindu]


  • The compulsive patent hoarding disorder

Economy [The Hindu]


  • Jobs impact of ‘Make In India’ under review

Indian Express


  • Beware the rhyme of history

Live Mint


  • Making the case for India’s naval build-up

The Hindu


Front Page / NATIONAL


TB diagnosis, treatment sub-optimal in prisons


Issue – Researchers diagnosed 80 new cases by screening nearly 5,100 prisoners

The study results

  • The researchers from the Delhi-based International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) were able to diagnose 80 new TB cases by screening nearly 5,100 prisoners.
  • The study was conducted in 157 prisons — central, district and sub-district — that housed 0.2 million inmates. There were 342 inmates with TB in 92 prisons when the study was carried out.
  • The study found an association between periodic screening and TB patients but no such association between the entry-level screening and TB patients.
  • Entry-level screening helps to identify TB patients among those prisoners/inmates who are new in the prison.
  • Regular screening identifies TB patients among those who have been in the prison for certain duration and are at higher risk
  • Entry-level screening alone is not sufficient to diagnose all TB patients in prisons and needs to be supplemented with regular screening
  • Though doctors are available in 129 (89%) prisons, only 65% were trained under the national tuberculosis programme.
  • Central prisons, where inmates serve more than two years of imprisonment, had better facilities

Editorial/OPINION


The compulsive patent hoarding disorder


Context- Recently CSIR-Tech, the commercialisation arm of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) had to shut down its operations for lack of funds.

Introduction:-

  • It costs lakhs of rupees to get a patent in India
  • CSIR has filed more than 13,000 patents — 4,500 in India and 8,800 abroad — at a cost of Rs. 50 crore over the last three years.
  • CSIR claims to have licensed a percentage of its patents, but has so far failed to show any revenue earned from the licences.
  • It has been accepted that most of CSIR’s patents were “bio-data patents”, filed solely to enhance the value of a scientist’s resume
  • And that the extensive expenditure of public funds spent in filing and maintaining patents was unviable

Moral hazard and reckless Patenting

  • Reckless filing of patents using public funds may be explained by the economic concept of moral hazard
  • Moral hazard happens in “any situation in which one person makes the decision about how much risk to take, while someone else bears the cost if things go badly”.
  • Insurance companies check moral hazard by introducing copayment from the insured.
  • CSIR laboratories need to bear 25% of expenses for their patents acknowledges the moral hazard.

National IPR policy and Private IPR policies

National IPR Policy released last year does not offer any guideline on distinguishing IPR generated using public funds from private ones

Dissemination of technology to the masses, participation in nation-building and creating public goods are rarely objectives that drive the private sector.

The IPR policy of some publicly-funded research institutions allows for 30-70% of the income generated through the commercialisation of the patent to be shared with the creators of the invention

In contrast, the IPR policy of private companies does not allow for a payback on the share of royalties earned by patents.

Possible solutions:-

  • To devise an IPR policy wherein patents are initially offered on an open royalty-free licence to start-ups.
  • Once start-ups commercialise the inventions successfully, the royalty-free licence could be converted into a revenue-sharing model.
  • Putting granted patents on an open licence can be testimony to the commercial viability of the things we are patenting using public money.

 Economy


Jobs impact of ‘Make In India’ under review


Context – Centre working on report assessing compliance by agencies under ‘Make In India’ (MII) initiative

Objectives:-

The objective of the exercise, among other things, is to find out whether the government departments and agencies implementing the MII program are meeting the deadlines envisaged in the ‘MII Action Plan’ of December 2014.

Make in India Initiative

The MII initiative covers 25 focus sectors ranging from automobiles to wellness.

The ‘MII Action Plan’ had targets:-

  • To boost investments in the 25 sectors
  • To raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25% of the GDP by 2020.

At a national workshop held in December 2014 on these 25 sectors, an Action Plan was finalized.

Source of data for assessment

  • Data from the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Statistics Office
  • Inputs are being sought from the State governments

Compliance report is being monitored and evaluated at the highest level, including by the Prime Minister’s Office

India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) forecasts:-

  • India’s manufacturing sector has the potential to touch $1 trillion by 2025.
  • There is potential for the sector to account for 25-30% of the country’s GDP and create up to 90 million domestic jobs by 2025.
  • FDI inflows in India’s manufacturing sector grew by 82% year-on-year to $16.13 billion during April-November 2016.
  • And government’s ambitious plan to locally manufacture as many as 181 products could help infrastructure sectors.

Indian Express


Beware the rhyme of history


Context

India needs to start immediately the reforms of its old defense structures.

History and comparison

  • There are similarities between today’s geopolitical reality and Europe of 1914.
  • The increasing growth of trade and investment between China and US has not reduced mutual suspicion and tensions.

The Chinese dream

  • The “Chinese dream” envisages the establishment of a hegemonic Chinese Empire as the centre of world authority to which other nations must show deference.
  • The Chinese dream is to build a prosperous country and realize its national rejuvenation.

Conflicts

China has been engaged in the following conflicts:

  • Occupation of Tibet
  • Entry of China into the Korean War in 1950
  • Suppression of the Tibetan uprising in 1959
  • Sino-Indian War of 1962
  • involvement in the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1969
  • Conflict with USSR in 1969
  • Conflict with Vietnam in 1979
  • Skirmishes in the South China Sea (SCS)
  • Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have occurred with regularity all the while.

Given its growing economic and military strength, revisionist outlook and past record, China can be expected to push its influence in the region, grab territory and re-write the rules of international conduct to suit its own interests.

What should India do?

  • The choices for India in the face of Chinese hegemony are less.
  • Sino-India equation is tilted in China’s favor. But, India as a democracy, a nuclear weapon state and a significant economic and military power, it is incumbent upon it to stand as a bulwark against regional hegemony.
  • India needs space for growth and consolidation within a democratic framework.
  • India’s defense budget has also fallen very low, that is 1.6 per cent of GDP.

Way Forward

Following needs to be done:

  • Initiating urgent reform of our archaic defense structures
  • Reviving India’s military-industrial complex.

Live Mint


Making the case for India’s naval build-up


Context

Maritime power of India can achieve several political objectives.

Importance of Naval Power for India

  • We require both continental view and an appreciation of sea power.
  • Indian naval power is the military component that strategically defends India’s maritime interests in a region still suffering major geopolitical changes.
  • India’s Navy is to ensure national security and protection from external interference, fostering economic growth, security and well being.
  • Naval power can effectively protect current India’s maritime vital interests counteracting the prominence of other global powers in the region, contributing for the safety of regional critical issues, like the very crucial or maybe vital sea routes, with positive global impact.

“Sea control” and “Sea denial”

  • Maritime forces have based their combat strategy and modernization on two principal concepts of operations: “sea control” and “sea denial”.
  • A maritime power either dominates the adversary by controlling the littoral seas or denies their use to the adversary.
  • Sea control is the strategy of choice for an ascendant force but entails a higher operational commitment in dictating the tempo of operations in littoral spaces over prolonged durations.
  • In contrast, a weaker force focuses all its combat efforts in denying the adversary the use of the near-seas called “sea denial”.

Flat-top Operations

  • Apart from the ability to surveil and strike littoral targets, aircraft carriers enable crucial tactical air-cover, an operational imperative in littoral conflict.
  • Powerful navies over the world regard aircraft carriers and not submarines as the core of their war-fighting plans and power-projection strategies.
  • But the flat-top is also an article of faith with India’s naval elite because of its ability to alter the psychological balance in the Indian Ocean littorals.
  • A potent symbol of a nation’s pride and power, an aircraft carrier projects strength.
  • It could be replaced by lesser platforms that might do the job, but none can replicate its demonstrative impact. Flat -top is the “beating heart” that provides all naval combat effort with its essential vigour.
  • The suggestion that air power must substitute naval aviation is misplaced, as the air force has shown itself to be an unreliable source of tactical action at sea.
  • It does provide a measure of fleet support but is incapable of crisis response in the far littorals.

Dilemma for India’s Maritime

  • The real dilemma for India’s maritime planners is that their mission of raising fighting efficiency and interdiction potential in the near-littorals is constantly in competition with the broader strategic objective of expanding regional political influence.
  • The navy cannot discard its broader strategy in favor of an ad-hoc plan built around particular assets of relative operational superiority.
  • Indian naval power in the Indian Ocean region would be robbed of its vitality if the aircraft carrier is replaced with a few more destroyers, corvettes and shore-based air power in spite of latter’s tactical advantage in battle.

Conclusion

Deployment of maritime power for India needs to be grounded in the logic of geopolitics and long-term state interests, and not only on any contingent assessments of imminent needs.


 

 

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