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TOPIC : GS 3 Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.
What is the news?
The decision of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, to support the India-South Africa proposal, seeking a waiver of patent protection for technologies needed to combat and contain COVID­19, comes as a shot in the arm for global health.
Predictable Response
While many low and middle income countries supported it
Norway, which usually supports initiatives that promote global health equity. On this occasion it chose to shield patent rights.
WTO operates on consensus rather than by voting, the proposal did not advance despite drawing support of over 60 countries.
Predictably, the pharmaceutical industry fiercely opposed it and vigorously lobbied many governments.
Reasons
It was argued that the capacity for producing vaccines of assured quality and safety was limited to some laboratories
It would be hazardous to permit manufacturers in low and middle income countries to play with technologies they cannot handle.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have no reservations about contracting industries in those countries to manufacture their patent­protected vaccines for the global market.
The low labour costs in those countries are obviously so attractive that confidence in the quality and the safety of their products is high, so long as patents and profits are protected.
Duplicity has been done when multinational firms have subcontracted manufacture of patented products to industries with low production costs in developing countries.
The terms of those agreements are opaque and offer no assurance of equity in access to the products at affordable prices, either to the country of An argument put forth by multi-
National pharmaceutical firms is that a breach in the patent barricade will allow China to steal their technologies, now and in the future manufacture
Need for protection
The perennial argument offered for defending patent protection is
Innovation and investment by industry need to be
Financially rewarded to incentivize
Develop new products.
Way forward
Developing countries must take decision from his gesture and start issuing compulsory licences.
The Doha declaration on TRIPS flexibilities permits their use in a public health emergency.
National governments must be trusted to promote credible companies and not permit fly­by­night operators.
High income countries and multilateral agencies should provide financial and technical support to enable expansion of global production capacity.
Mains Question
The U.S.­supported patent waiver in the COVID fight has the potential to bring in much needed global health equity. Examine
Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-fig-leaf-of-patent-protection-has-to-drop/article34510005.ece

PRELIMS PUNCHERS
1. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
It is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization. It establishes minimum standards for the regulation by national governments of different forms of intellectual property as applied to nationals of other WTO member nations. TRIPS was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) between 1989 and 1990 and is administered by the WTO.
It requires WTO members to provide copyright rights, covering authors and other copyright holders, as well as holders of related rights, namely performers, sound recording producers and broadcasting organisations, geographical indications, industrial designs. It integrated circuit layout-designs, patents, new plant varieties, trademarks, trade names and undisclosed or confidential information.
Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/explained-what-the-easing-of-ip-norms-on-covid-vaccines-means-for-india/article34499807.ece

2. Nangal Wildlife sanctuary
Located in the Shiwalik foothills of Punjab is the highly eco-sensitive Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary, which supports abundant flora and fauna including threatened species, such as the endangered Indian pangolin and Egyptian vulture and the vulnerable leopard . It occupies a human-made reservoir constructed as part of the Bhakra-Nangal Project in 1961.
The site is of historic importance as the Indian and Chinese Prime Ministers formalized the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” there in 1954. More than half a million people downstream benefit from the reservoir as the flow of water is regulated, reducing the risks to both people and property from floods. The Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation , Punjab is responsible for managing the Sanctuary.
Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/37-indian-wetlands-declared-sites-of-international-importance-under-ramsar-javadekar/article30675881.ece

3. Oxygen concentrators
They are simple devices that take in ambient air and increase the oxygen concentration, by filtering out and throwing away nitrogen. Patients with moderate pneumonia induced by COVID-19 – with oxygen saturation less than 94 -can take supplemental oxygen given through oxygen concentrator, until they get hospital admission.
While the cylinders need to be refilled, the Oxygen Concentrators can work 24x 7. They work the same way in supplying oxygen needed by the body such as oxygen tanks or cylinders, with the use of a cannula, oxygen masks or nasal tubes. They are a safer, less expensive, and more convenient alternative to tanks of cryogenic oxygen or pressurised cylinders. They can be used in various industries including medical, pharmaceutical production, water treatment and glass manufacture. Two methods in common use are pressure swing adsorption and membrane gas separation.
Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-to-retain-gst-on-oxygen-concentrators/article34502171.ece

4. Super Pink Moon
Full moon in the month of April is called Super Pink Moon. While rotating around the earth in its elliptical orbit, when moon comes closer to the earth, it appears larger when viewed from earth. These full moons are the biggest and brightest full moons than usual
Moon doesn’t orbit Earth in a circle, Due to various gravitational forces like the Earth and the Sun, it moves in an elliptical shape. Its closeness to Earth varies month by month. At a certain point in its orbit, called perigee, the Moon reaches its closest to Earth. At another point, apogee, it is far away from Earth. Super moon occurs when full moon and perigee of moon coincides. It makes the moon appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a full Moon at apogee
Sources : https://www.hindustantimes.com/science/pink-moon-2021-all-you-need-to-know-about-year-s-first-supermoon-101619458451845.html

5. Trachoma
A bacterial eye infection that damages the eyelids and causes the eyelashes to turn inwards. Leads to blindness or visual impairment which is irreversible. Children are most vulnerable to Trachoma than adults
It is one of 20 neglected tropical diseases. Contagious (spreads through personal contact) and flies act as vectors to transmit the disease. It is caused by poor environmental and personal hygiene and also by inadequate access to water and sanitation

PRELIMS QUESTION
1. Consider the following statement with reference to Oxygen Concentrators
a. It increase the oxygen concentration, by filtering out and throwing away carbon dioxide
b. The concentrators need to be refilled every time
Select the correct statement using code given below.
(a). 1only (b) 2 only
(c). Both of them (d). None of the above
Answer : D
Oxygen concentrators are simple devices that take in ambient air and increase the oxygen concentration, by filtering out and throwing away nitrogen. Patients with moderate pneumonia induced by COVID-19 – with oxygen saturation less than 94 -can take supplemental oxygen given through oxygen concentrator, until they get hospital admission.
While the cylinders need to be refilled, the Oxygen Concentrators can work 24x 7. They work the same way in supplying oxygen needed by the body such as oxygen tanks or cylinders, with the use of a cannula, oxygen masks or nasal tubes
2. Consider the following statement with reference to Trachoma
a. A viral eye infection that damages the eyelids and causes the eyelashes to turn inwards
b. It is one of 20 neglected tropical diseases
Select the correct statement using code given below.
(a). 1only (b) 2 only
(c). Both of them (d). None of the above
Answer : B
A bacterial eye infection that damages the eyelids and causes the eyelashes to turn inwards. Leads to blindness or visual impairment which is irreversible. Children are most vulnerable to Trachoma than adults
It is one of 20 neglected tropical diseases. Contagious (spreads through personal contact) and flies act as vectors to transmit the disease. It is caused by poor environmental and personal hygiene and also by inadequate access to water and sanitation

 

 

 

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