Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

04 May 2021


Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name



A ‘One Health’ approach that targets people, animals

The Hindu


Explained: Why a malaria vaccine candidate has raised new hope, and what went into its making

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

North Korea’s economic worries and the U.S.’s nuclearisation concerns need addressing

Syllabus– GS2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Analysis: –

  • President Joe Biden’s call for “stern deterrence” in response to North Korea’s nuclear programme and Pyongyang’s angry reaction, accusing the Biden administration of being “hostile”, suggest that both countries are headed towards a diplomatic showdown.
  • Biden said the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea posed a “serious threat to America’s security and world security” and promised to respond through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.
  • North Korea has remained an unresolved foreign policy puzzle for all post-War American Presidents.
  • In recent times, U.S. Presidents have shown a willingness to diplomatically engage with Pyongyang.
  • He then adopted a wait-and-watch approach, which came to be called “strategic patience”. Mr. Trump altered his predecessor’s North Korea policy by reaching out to the regime and meeting its leader, Kim Jong-un, thrice, but without a breakthrough.
  • In theory, the Trump administration and North Korea had agreed to a complete de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but failed to agree on its formula.
  • In the 2019 Trump-Kim summit at Hanoi, the U.S. proposed removal of sanctions for de-nuclearization, but North Korea rejected it. Pyongyang had taken a phased approach and sought sanctions removal in return.
  • The U.S.’s key goal in northeastern Asia is the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. And the only practical way to achieve this is through diplomacy as a military strike on North Korea, a nuclear power, is out of the question. Though the Trump-Kim summits did not lead to any breakthrough, they have still created a diplomatic momentum for engagement. Despite its threats to expand its nuclear programme, North Korea sticks to the self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests.

7 Myanmar refugees can approach UNHCR

SyllabusGS 2: International Institutions.

  • The High Court of Manipur on Monday allowed seven Myanmar nationals, who entered India secretly following the February military coup, to travel to New Delhi to seek protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
  • Though India is not a party to the UN Refugee Conventions, the court observed that the country is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.
  • “The far-reaching and myriad protection afforded by Article 21 of our Constitution, as interpreted and adumbrated by our Supreme Court time and again, would indubitably encompass the right of non-refoulement,” the court said.
  • Non-refoulement is the principle under international law that a person fleeing from persecution from his own country should not be forced to return.

Mains Analysis

A ‘One Health’ approach that targets people, animals

Why in News?

The verdicts in the Assembly elections hold different lessons for different parties

Syllabus– GS 2: Elections

  • The father of modern pathology, Rudolf Virchow, emphasised in 1856 that there are essentially no dividing lines between animal and human medicine.
  • This concept is ever more salient as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Discussions that took place around World Veterinary Day, on April 24, 2021, focused on acknowledging the interconnectedness of animals, humans, and the environment, an approach referred to as “One Health”.

Across the species barrier

  • Studies indicate that more than two-thirds of existing and emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, or can be transferred between animals and humans, and vice versa, when the pathogen in question originates in any life form but circumvents the species barrier.
  • Another category of diseases, “anthropozoonotic” infections, gets transferred from humans to animals.
  • The transboundary impact of viral outbreaks in recent years such as the Nipah virus, Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Avian Influenza has further reinforced the need for us to consistently document the linkages between the environment, animals, and human health.

India’s framework, plans

  • India’s ‘One Health’ vision derives its blueprint from the agreement between the tripartite-plus alliance comprising the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) — a global initiative supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank under the overarching goal of contributing to ‘One World, One Health’.
  • In keeping with the long-term objectives, India established a National Standing Committee on Zoonoses as far back as the 1980s.
  • In addition, DAHD will soon establish a ‘One Health’ unit within the Ministry.
  • Additionally, the government is working to revamp programmes that focus on capacity building for veterinarians and upgrading the animal health diagnostic system such as Assistance to States for Control of Animal Diseases (ASCAD).
  • In the revised component of assistance to States/Union Territories, there is increased focus on vaccination against livestock diseases and backyard poultry.
  • To this end, assistance will be extended to State biological production units and disease diagnostic laboratories.

WHO estimates?

  • WHO estimates that rabies (also a zoonotic disease) costs the global economy approximately $6 billion annually.
  • Considering that 97% of human rabies cases in India are attributed to dogs, interventions for disease management in dogs are considered crucial.
  • DAHD has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the National Action Plan for Eliminating Dog Mediated Rabies.
  • This initiative is geared towards sustained mass dog vaccinations and public education to render the country free of rabies.

Need for coordination

  • Scientists have observed that there are more than 1.7 million viruses circulating in wildlife, and many of them are likely to be zoonotic, which implies that unless there is timely detection, India risks facing many more pandemics in times to come.
  • To achieve targets under the ‘One Health’ vision, efforts are ongoing to address challenges pertaining to veterinary manpower shortages, the lack of information sharing between human and animal health institutions, and inadequate coordination on food safety at slaughter, distribution, and retail facilities.


Way Forward: –

  • These issues can be remedied by consolidating existing animal health and disease surveillance systems developing best-practice guidelines for informal market and slaughterhouse operation (e.g., inspections, disease prevalence assessments), and creating mechanisms to operationalise ‘One Health’ at every stage down to the village level.
  • Now, as we battle yet another wave of a deadly zoonotic disease (COVID-19), awareness generation, and increased investments toward meeting ‘One Health’ targets is the need of the hour.

Question: –

The battle against COVID-19 should also be used as an opportunity to meet India’s ‘One Health’ targets.


Explained: Why a malaria vaccine candidate has raised new hope, and what went into its making

Why in News?

A malaria vaccine candidate has shown promise in phase 2b clinical trials, with high efficacy at 77%. The results of the trial were published recently in preprints with The Lancet.

Syllabus– GS2: Issues related to Health & Public Policies.

Why it matters

  • In 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria and 409 000 malaria-related deaths in 87 countries. Children under the age of 5 in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately two-thirds of global deaths.
  • Between 2000 and 2020, 24 countries reported zero indigenous cases of malaria for 3 or more years.
  • This is the benchmark for the World Health Organization (WHO) certification of a country as malaria-free. Globally, 39 countries have achieved the milestone.
  • In 2019, India had an estimated 5.6 million cases of malaria compared to about 20 million cases in 2020 according to WHO.
  • The 2020 cases estimates (global, regional and country level) will be published later this year.


The previous version

  • The new vaccine candidate, called R21/Matrix M, is a modified version of RTS, S — another candidate against malaria that has been in development for more than 30 years by Walter Reed Institute of Research, GlaxoSmithKline and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
  • This vaccine is designed to stop the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite from entering the liver and preventing the subsequent deadly blood stages. It targets the liver stage protein of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle.
  • Thirty years in the making, RTS,S is the first, and to date the only, vaccine to reduce malaria in children. But it is not highly efficacious, according to Dr V S Chauhan, a Rhodes scholar working in the fields of genetic engineering and biotechnology and who is known for his contribution to the development of a recombinant vaccine for malaria.
  • “Its efficacy is so low that it is not widely given. Research is going on and the new one is a modified version of the previous vaccine

The new version

  • R21/Matrix M has been developed by scientists at University of Oxford, the same location where the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was developed. They’ have been working on this version for almost 6-7 years now.
  • Study author Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute and professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said in a statement that he believed the vaccine was the first to reach WHO’s goal of at least 75% efficacy.
  • This vaccine was produced in the Serum Institute of India. The fact that the Institute was chosen as a location for manufacturing shows its tremendous ability to produce good quality, said Chauhan.

The trial

  • Researchers from Oxford and partners reported findings on R21 over 12 months of follow-up of participants. The phase 2b trial in 450 children in Burkina Faso found the vaccine safe with an efficacy of 77% over this period.
  • This vaccine went into trial in 2014-15. The two-dose trial was divided into a high dose trial (three shots) and low dose trial, and both showed 77% efficacy.

Way Forward: –

  • Researchers working together with SII and US vaccine maker Novavax (which supplied the adjuvant) have now started recruitment for a phase 3 trial to assess large-scale safety and efficacy in 4,800 children aged five to 36 months across four African countries.
  • SII has said it is confident of delivering more than 200 million doses of the vaccine as soon as it is approved by regulators.

Question: –

In 2020, COVID-19 emerged as a serious challenge to malaria responses worldwide.Discuss.

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