1. What are biosimilar drugs? List some differences between biosimilars and generic drugs.(GS 3) Link Biosimilars:
  • It is a biologic medical productwhich is almost an identical copy of an original product that is manufactured by a different company.
  • Biosimilars are officially approved versions of original “innovator” products, and can be manufactured when the original product’s patent
  • Reference to the innovator product is an integral component of the approval.
  • Follow-on manufacturers do not have access to the originator’s molecular clone and original cell bank, nor to the exact fermentation and purification process, nor to the active drug substance. They do have access to the commercialized innovator product.
Differences between biosimilars and generics:
  • Biologics are 200 to 1,000 times the size of a small molecule (generic) drug
  • Molecular weight of biological similars is greater than generics.
  • biosimilars are structurally more complex than the generics whose structure is simple and defined.
  • biologics and biosimilars are manufactured in living cells, then extracted and purified, whereas small molecule drugs and generics are manufactured purely via chemical synthesis.
  • Generics are relatively more stable than biosimilars as they are sensitive to handling and storage conditions
  • To get approval small clinical trials in healthy voulnteers is enough for generics against larger clinical trials required for biosimilars.
  • Manufacturing quality tests for generics is way lesser than required for biosimilars.
  • There is a higher potential for adverse immune reaction in biosimilars than generics.
  • Creating imitations is therefore, very difficult in biosimilars and many of those production details are highly-guarded intellectual property of the company that develops the initial drug
  • Unlike generic medicines in which the active ingredients are identical to the reference small–molecule drug, biosimilars will not be identical to the reference biologics.
    2. “An essential condition to eradicate poverty is to liberate the poor from deprivation.” Substantiate this statement with suitable examples. (GS 1)
Link Introduction:-
  • Deprivation is the consequence of a lack of income and other resources,which cumulatively can be seen as living in poverty.
  • Poverty is a multifaceted reality. It is not simply a lack of  adequate income; It is a cruel mix of human deprivation in knowledge, health, dignity and rights, obstacles to participation and lack of voice.Therefore, comprehensive  transformational change is needed to address the root causes  of poverty.
Yes,liberating poor from deprivation reduces poverty:-
  • Health:
    • Holistic healthcare facilities will decrease mortality and morbidity which will lead to more productive workforce ensuring higher productivity and growth with greater  prosperity.Healthy mothers would produce healthy children and provide better learning outcomes and avenues to flourish.
    • Several developed and developing economies (such as UK and Cuba respectively) have state-sponsored universal healthcare.
  • Nutrition:
    • Healthcare is intricately linked to Food security and awareness about healthy eating and balanced diet ensures that the people get enough macro and micronutrients that lead to proper overall development of body and mind, creating spill-over effects in other dimensions such as education.
  • Provision of education
    • It opens up new opportunities for the people and enables them to get gainful employment in various fields. Skilling and vocational training is an essential component of education. India has the Right to Education as a Fundamental Right under Article 21A of its constitution.
    • Getting girls to school and raising the percentage of girl literacy and ensuring women empowerment.
  • Liberating the poor from deprivation of knowledge :
    • By increasing awareness about common diseases, political awareness, and engendering behavioural change in matters such as sanitation, savings and exercising regularly will lead to better social indicators, eradication of poverty and a conscientious citizenry. “Nudge units”are being established by various governments in order to devise methods to bring about behavioural change.
  • Assisting in water and sanitation improvement:-
    • Meanwhile, unsafe water and sanitation cause about 4,000 child deaths per day.
  • Strategies to eradicate poverty require  not only economic growth and redistribution but also direct intervention  in many areas such as expanding  education, removing discrimination and  securing social injustice
  • A major component of poverty eradication is economic growth. Reduction of inequality and redistribution of the fruits of growth is the work of the State and proper mechanisms for the same ensure that the poor get a share of the newly created wealth. The trickle-down effect ensures liberation from deprivation and gives adequate choices in all aspects to the poor.
  • Skilling and education cannot aloneeradicate poverty without the presence of formal sector jobs in all the sectors of the economy. Formal sector jobs provide the people with the economic means necessary to live life with a decent standard of living.
Goal 1 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is “Ending poverty in all forms, everywhere”. However, this is not a standalone goal, since poverty is a result of deprivation, and can be eradicated only by removing that deprivation.Gender equality and women’s empowerment, democratic governance and support to transitions, prevention of crises and building back better, engagement in climate talks, adaptation and mitigation, and the elimination of stigma in HIV and AIDS are ways of fighting against poverty by another name.
3. Technology can go a long way in increasing the penetration of agricultural insurance. Enumerate the ways technology solutions can help in doing so.(GS 3) Link Introduction:-
  • India is one of the largest agriculture markets in the world today, with index-based crop insurance covering a wide variety of crops in major provinces of the country.
  • Still, there has been low penetration of agriculture insurance in India, with challenges like insufficient risk coverage, delayed and inaccurate claim assessment, and leakage.
How technology solutions help penetration. Of agricultural insurance:-
  • Introduction of new technology services into agriculture can provide a more detailed picture of risk at the farm level without the costs of collecting data manually.
  • In addition to technological intervention, it is necessary to keep time lags in publishing crop yield statistics for the cropping period to a minimal.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) promises increased yields, reduced costs and other efficiencies, with the deployment of sensors, connectivity and analytics.
  • Soil sensors as an IoT technology can also be used to broadcast real-time information on the state of the soil. This can be combined with other data to forecast crop yields.
  • Another possible solution could be to use satellite images to map the crop types, identify potential yield categories, calculate the area under each category, find locations with the maximum area .
  • Remote sensing techniques, climate and other weather parameters can be complemented with hand-held devices and smartphones to procure multiple images, which capture the heterogeneity of different field conditions in a village.
  • The use of drones to take images, recreate and analyse individual leaves from close-enough heights, assist in pest control, mid-season crop health monitoring, assess the soil-water-holding capacity and create weed maps or frost damage maps is another option.
  • In addition, mobile apps can also help provide evidence of canopy coverage or estimate the amount of fertilizer needed.
    • They can also be used to collect information on insured area, insurance coverage and farmer profiles, which can help insurers develop customized products for farmers.
  • To ensure flow of credit to small farmers, all functional primary agriculture credit societies (Pacs) will be integrated with the core banking system of district cooperative banks.
  • Easy Internet access will allow farmers to learn and implement the latest technologies available in the field of agriculture.
  • Livestock and animal rearing
    • Identification of animals by using technologies like RFID (radio frequency identification) and muzzle printing to reduce the bogus insurance claims.
    • Use of mobile phones to fasten the process and inclusion of loss incurred due to climatic variances and surgical costs.
  • Fisheries:
    • Satellite based assessment to the Fisher folks and their vessels due to mid-size capsizing and collision etc. Use of VMS (vehicle monitoring systems) to track the vessels on the real time basis and immediate deployment of security forces.
  • With the budget allocation of Rs 10,000 crore to the BharatNet Project and the set target of reaching nearly 150,000 gram panchayatswith high-speed Internet will also lay the foundation for a digital revolution in agriculture in India which will also help in insurance penetration .