UPSC Online Editorial Analysis
Editorial – 1
Title of the editorial: Countdown to greater India-Canada convergence
Written by: Rajiv Bhatia – He is a former Ambassador, isDistinguished Fellow, Gateway House. Healso served as Consul General in Torontofrom 1994 to 1998
Topic in syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting
India’s interests. India and its neighbourhood- relations. (GS-2)
Analysis about: This editorial talks about how India & Canada were divided by several issues earlier but how our interests are converging on recent developments in global arena.
- On November 17 the third round of India-Canada track 1.5 dialogue comprising senior diplomats, officials and independent experts will be addressed by Canadian Foreign Minister François Philippe Champagne and India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on a virtual platform.
What will be the important areas of conversation?
- The Ministers will deliberate on and define the role of India and Canada in the postCOVID19
- This will be followed by a round table of scholars and experts who will go into various facets of the strategic partnership linking the two countries, the new geo economics of the Indo-Pacific and digital cooperation, particularly in the areas of fin-tech and artificial intelligence.
- The major focal point will be the economic and technological cooperation between the two countries.
- The principal areas of bilateral cooperation are best defined by five Es: Economy, Energy, Education, Entertainment and Empowerment of women.
- In particular, the digital domain holds immense potential, given Canada’s proven assets in technology — especially its large investment in Artificial Intelligence, innovation and capital resources, and India’s IT achievements, expanding digital payment architecture and policy modernisation
Why this dialogue is important?
- It demonstrates how far the two governments have progressed in just two years, following the setback caused by the differences over the Khalistan issue that surfaced both before and during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s weeklong visit to India in February 2018.
How our interests are converging?
- Canada’s travails with China, starting with the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada in December 2018 and the ‘hostage diplomacy’ practised by Beijing which arrested two Canadian nationals, has caused huge stress in Canada-China relations, turning Canadian public opinion against China.
- This opened the door to a closer relationship with India, with Canadian sympathy for India’s summer of troubles with China’s aggressive intrusions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since April 2020.
- In this backdrop, developments concerning the Indo-Pacific — escalating discontent against Beijing’s aggressive behaviour, strengthening of the Quad and the growing interest of France, Netherlands and Germany to be active players in the region — are of immense relevance to Ottawa.
What are positive trends in our relation?
- Canada-India merchandise trade exceeded C$10 billion in 2019; Canada’s cumulative investment, including foreign direct investment and by Canadian pension funds, is a substantive C$55 billion, according to diplomatic sources.
- Addressing virtually the ‘Invest India’ conference in Canada on October Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out that mature Canadian investors have been present in India for many years and assured them that no barriers would come in their way.
- Indian students are increasingly being educated in Canada, and a quarter million of them spent an estimated $5 billion in tuition fees and other expenses last year, a solid contribution to the Canadian economy.
- Of 330,000 new immigrants accepted by Canada last year, 85,000 i.e. nearly 25%, were from India.
- The Indian diaspora in Canada is now 1.6 million strong, representing over 4% of the country’s total population.
- Divided by geographical distance but united through clear common interests and shared values, India and Canada will begin their steady journey of progress, this time with a laser like focus on common goals as well.
Explained – 1
Explained: Delinking a vaccine from intestine disorder
Topic in syllabus: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life (GS-3)
- In a number of countries, studies have associated vaccination against rotavirus with a small risk of an intestinal disorder, called intussusception. A new study has now found that the rotavirus vaccine Rotavac, produced in India, was not associated with intussusception in Indian infants.
- Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools or a frequent need to have a bowel movement.
- Diarrhoea is usually caused by a virus (Rotavirus), or sometimes, contaminated food.
- Most cases clear on their own. Some infections may need antibiotics. Severe cases can cause enough dehydration
- Antibiotics can be used if the symptoms are caused by bacterial or parasitic infections.
- Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoeal disease in children worldwide.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, diarrhoea-related diseases account for more than 1 in 10 under-five deaths.
- Rotavirus accounts for 37% of diarrhoea-related deaths, and 5% of all deaths in under-five children globally.
- In India, Rotavac vaccine was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology.
- It was introduced in phases in the National Immunisation Programme started in 2016.
- Rotavac is an oral, live attenuated vaccine that contains a naturally occurring strain of rotavirus. It is administered in a three-dose series at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age.
- Intussusception is a sliding of one part of the intestine into another, and is common in children (1 in 300 in Vietnam; 1 in 2,000 in the US) without a cause.
- In adults, there is usually a reason like a tumour or other intestinal condition.
- Intussusception is considered a common surgical emergency in children, sometimes involving obstruction of the intestine which can be fatal if not treated.
Intussusception in India:
- There is not enough background data about how common this disorder is in India.
- There are studies that show it happens in 1 in about 5,000 children normally without the vaccine but these are based on a very small number of cases.
- The Rotavac vaccine was not proven in terms of its association with intussusception when it went into the programme because the vaccine was only evaluated in 4,500 vaccinated children, which is not enough to give a signal for safety.
Importance of the finding:
- · The results of our postmarketing active surveillance study, which studied children vaccinated after the vaccine was introduced into the National Immunisation Programme, provide evidence that there was no adverse safety signal associated with this vaccine in the Indian population.