Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

14 May 2021


Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name



Mucormycosis risk mitigation in the COVID battle

The Hindu


Ignoring Palestine

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Some breathing space from science: Centre extends Covishield gap to 16 weeks

Syllabus -GS 2: Health, Government Policy

Analysis: –

  • The Union Health Ministry said that the decision was based on the recommendation of the seven-member Covid-19 Working Group. Covishield accounts for 90 per cent of the 17.8 crore vaccine doses administered so far.
  • Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan conveyed the revised time frame to the states in a letter and said that necessary changes are being carried out in the Co-Win platform.
  • Incidentally, just a day earlier, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan told states that “70% at a minimum ought to be allocated to meet the requirement of the second dose, while 30% ought to be reserved for the first dose”.

Actively considering plan to telecast live SC proceedings, says CJI

Syllabus -GS 2: Judiciary

Analysis: –

  • Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Thursday said he was “actively considering” the proposal to telecast live the proceedings of the Supreme Court.
  • The CJI, however, said concrete steps in this regard would be taken only after seeking a general consensus among his colleagues in the Supreme Court.
  • Chief Justice Ramana made the announcement in a virtual address while launching a mobile app which would allow media persons to view the Supreme Court’s virtual proceedings live on their mobile phones.
  • “Transparency is a time-honoured principle when it comes to the judicial process in our country. Hearing of cases has always taken place in public courtrooms, with access being allowed not only to lawyers and litigants in a particular case, but also to the general public,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

Role of media

  • The CJI said public access to court hearings was important as the rulings of courts, more particularly the Supreme Court, had an impact on the lives of people across the country.
  • “The role of the media assumes importance in the process of disseminating information,” Chief Justice Ramana underlined.
  • The CJI said the initiative to launch the mobile app for journalists came after he heard that the Press was depending on lawyers for video links of virtual hearings.
  • The CJI said media persons should remain safe while working amid the surge of infection in the second wave of pandemic.
  • The Chief Justice said he had received requests to create an independent mechanism for journalists to access court hearings without endangering their health.
  • “I was a journalist for a brief time. During that time, we did not have car or bikes. We used to travel on bus as we were directed not to avail conveyance of organisers of the event,” Chief Justice Ramana recalled.

Mains Analysis

Mucormycosis risk mitigation in the COVID battle

Why in News?

Diabetes control can lower the chances of dangerous side-effects in COVID-19 treatment such as this fungal infection.

Syllabus–GS 2: Health

  • COVID-19 has many sideeffects and affect those who are people with comorbidities such as being of an older age, obese, having uncontrolled diabetes, heart or respiratory diseases and malignancies.
  • According to a survey 70%-80% affected with COVID-19 recover without many side-effects, about 20%-30% of patients affected with symptomatic COVID-19 might require hospitalisation, a minority section can get worse and require treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU).

New worry

  • The new fear after the treatment of COVID-19, especially in an ICU setting, is contracting a severe disease known as mucormycosis.
  • It is a rare, fungal infection caused by a group of fungi known as mucormycetes. Mucormycosis usually affects people who have poor immunity, and uncontrolled diabetes have the highest risk of developing it.
  • Other risk factors of mucormycosis include steroid treatment, those who have malignancies, HIV/AIDS and those who have been treated with medicines such as deferoxamine for iron overload conditions.
  • Heavy doses of steroids to patients without diabetic conditon may be vulnerable to contract it and it substantially raise blood glucose levels in diabetic people. This sets the scene for the development of mucormycosis.

Types and diagnosis

  • The first type is rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis. This starts as a common cold or sinusitis, but soon spreads to the eyes producing redness of the eyes, and later bulging of the eyes known as proptosis. It may eventually lead to paralysis of some of the eye muscles, or even to blindness. It can also spread to the brain, and if this occurs, the prognosis is very grave.
  • Other forms of mucormycosis include the pulmonary form in which the lungs are mainly involved and less common cutaneous mucormycosis or disseminated mucormycosis, where it spreads throughout the body.
  • It can be cured if the condition is diagnosed early and aggressive treatment given. Antifungal drugs such as Amphotericin B are used, but they are quite toxic and also expensive. Sometimes if the case is grave it may need a surgery.

Sugar control, steroid use

  • It is important for diabetic people to keep their sugar levels under very good control.
  • Meticulous hygiene and care of the equipment inside the ICU including oxygen tubes and ventilators should be done in order to reduce the risk of fungal and other infections.
  • Use of the steroids does not help in the initial phase of COVID-19 and may also worsen the situation.
  • It should be used only when the cytokine storm is suspected, (which usually occurs in the second week of the COVID-19 infection) , and that too with discretion.

Monitor blood glucose

  • If proper importance is not given to monitoring of blood sugar levels while giving steroids during the treatment of COVID-19 it can lead to extremely dangerous high blood glucose levels.
  • This can also precipitate diabetic ketoacidosis — a classic situation where the more dangerous forms of mucormycosis occur.

Way Forward: –

  • Healthy diet with a lot of vegetables and less cereals (rice or chapati) by including more protein in the form of bengal gram, green gram, black gram, or mushroom will help fight covid better.
  • An active and regular exercise programme is necessary.
  • It is very important to take medicine timely and keep sugar level under control.
  • All these measures will help to effect good control of diabetes which can reduce the risk of developing COVID-19 and also its dangerous side-effects including mucormycosis.
  • Frequent monitoring of sugar levels should be done.If possible then wear a small sensor patch on the upper arm which can continuously monitor a person’s blood glucose levels and thus keep it under good control throughout the day.
  • Vaccination is also important as it will ensure that the risk of developing severe COVID-19, requiring hospitalisation and thus the risk of developing dangerous infections such as mucormycosis, can be drastically reduced.

Question: –

While COVID-19 cases continue to rise in an unproportional manner across the country and a looming fear of a third wave exists, cases of a mysterious infection, ‘black fungus’ affecting COVID patients is rising across states in India and causing many more complications.Discuss.

Ignoring Palestine

Why in News?

Syllabus– GS2: Bilateral Relations

  • The ongoing deadly riots in Israel & the war in Gaza triggered another chapter in the Israeli drive to dispossess & oppress the Palestinians.
  • There is the spectacle of civilians living on both sides of terror.
  • On one hand, Missiles raining down on Israeli cities & the other hand, the sheer brutality of Israeli defence forces operations.
  • The region is struck in the fanaticism of both regimes.
  • The recent events that unfolded can be seen as part of a long pattern of pushing out Palestinians from the territory by Israel.
  • This long chain of events began with the Nakba in 1947 when more than half a million Palestinians were evicted.
  • Although the 19th century-style total ethic expulsion not possible, so Israel using a thousand cuts to dispossess Palestinians of their homes.
  • The current situation is likely to evoke three kinds of responses:


Moral Indifference:

  • It is going to be a dominant response because the Palestinian cause has been forgotten & instead of becoming a symbol of the unfinished decolonization tasks & a human catastrophe, it became an occasion to vent cynicism.
  • Most nations are avoiding moral questions the oppression of Palestinians poses.
  • Even the marginalized Palestinians are politically used by Arabs & United States that becomes a source for questioning the moral grounds.
  • As the years’ pass, even a modest sympathy for the Palestinian cause is seized as a sign of obdurate leftism.

The Imperial Response:

  • There is a monumental injustice to the Palestinians at the heart of the problem that is often ignored which is a continuation of the “Hundred Year War on Palestine”.
  • The Israel-Palestine conflict has two aspects:
  • It is a part of two peoples who recognize themselves as peoples.
  • But it is also part of a long history of settler colonialism in which “indigenous” populations are displaced.
  • This is why Israel’s actions have an imperial tone such as
    • Dispossession of property.
    • Creation of 2nd class Citizens.
    • Maintenance of oppressively governed enclaves.
    • License for state impunity.
  • It is also important to remember that this dispossession could have sustained without the support of imperial powers.
  • This will reduce Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem & also leads to the death of US liberal internationalism.

The Humanitarian response:

  • It is the final response that strives to dig beneath the politics & find bridges in shared humanity & suffering.
  • It also aims to tack the peace movements using culture & a shared history of suffering to build bridges.
  • By relocating the conversation to culture & humanity without any serious political solutions have always yielded very modest dividends in protracted conflict.
  • Even when humanity & culture deeply internalized, they collapse quickly due to a lack of political equality.
  • The grim future of the region:
    • The moral indifference & the humanitarian response will not be sufficient to stop the imperial Israeli response.
  • Israel’s imperial violence will beget more terrorist violence with every world power fishing in the chaos.
  • In the matter of Palestinians, the right-wing-dominated Israel politics will immune its actions from human rights scrutiny.
  • For Palestinians, a sense of political hopelessness is profound because of a lack of political vehicles that can craft a credible political movement.
  • The Zionist project has no space for either for
    • Acknowledging equal rights for all citizens or,
    • Workable two-state solution or,
    • Recognizing the fact that unless Palestinians are safe, Israel will be safe.

Way Forward: –

  • The actions of Israel are destroying the moral legitimacy of its won claims.
  • It is high time for the world to acknowledge the Palestinian question not as an object of geopolitical opportunism but as a question of basic dignity & justice.


Critically evaluate the impact of Israel- Palestine conflict on India.

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