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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 23rd November ’21 | PDF Download

Another Supply Chain Crisis? | ToI

  • US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell: Americans should be prepared for the global supply chain to remain in crisis through 2022
  • Lean manufacturing processes and just-in-time delivery
  • Covid-induced supply chain disruption was a wake-up call for policymakers
  • De-risking strategies will take a few years to implement
  • What the world needs right now is an interim plan for maintaining the global supply chain if China’s ‘zero-Covid strategy’ fails after the Winter Olympics in February and China goes through the pandemic like all other countries.
  • Vietnam, which was once hailed as a model, is now struggling with thousands of sick Covid patients flooding hospitals, overwhelming the health system, virtually paralysing the country.
  • Even countries like Australia, known for the longest lockdown, New Zealand and Singapore have abandoned the zero-Covid strategy and started advocating that citizens live with the virus.
  • So far, China has done very well in protecting its citizens.
  • Despite China’s economic prosperity, in 2019 there were only 6.41 public health professionals per 10,000 population, suggesting a huge shortage of skilled manpower.
  • This will impact the mortality and morbidity of Covid patients adversely.
  • Plus, though 76% of China’s population is fully vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm, these vaccines’ efficacy against the Delta variant is suboptimal.
  • According to the United Nations, China accounts for 28.7% of global manufacturing output.
  • Today, China is India’s largest trading partner; bilateral trade was at $92.68 billion in 2019.
  • Most crucially, 37% of electronic components, 45% of consumer durables as well as 70% of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and key starting materials (KSM) required to manufacture lifesaving drugs are imported from China.
  • Actually a Covid crisis in China can disrupt most industries in the world, particularly global healthcare.
  • China is a major source of APIs for antibiotics, antihypertensives and antivirals.
  • According to the US FDA, 109 drugs – including 72.5% of the 40 critical drugs for Covid patients – are facing shortages due to Covid-induced supply chain disruption.
  • China is the world’s largest producer of swine from which heparin, a drug used to prevent blood clotting, is extracted.
  • And 80% of the global supply of heparin comes from China.
  • Without heparin, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, angiograms, angioplasties of any type, organ transplantations, kidney dialysis, adequate management of heart attack and brain stroke cannot be done.
  • Without heparin, critical care will suffer due to frequent blockages of lifelines which inject vital drugs, virtually paralysing the entire global healthcare delivery system.
  • China may not do this intentionally.
  • However, if it experiences a devastating Covid wave its own requirements of life-saving drugs will increase manifold and factories will not be able keep up with increasing demand when many workers get infected.
  • This is when the Chinese government will be forced to clamp down on exports.
  • Fortunately, the government anticipated the risk some time ago and took measures to prevent it.
  • More than 80% of the world’s automobile parts are linked to Chinese manufacturing.
  • It is important for every Indian industrial body to create a checklist of vulnerable items and secure supply till the end of 2022.
  • The Indian government launched Atmanirbhar Bharat with the aim of “national self-sufficiency”.
  • It is time for India to enhance its status from being the “backoffice to the world” to being a “global manufacturing hub”.
  • India is blessed with a democracy, 1.3 billion consumers and an extremely talented pool of youngsters, who have transformed many global enterprises.

Falling short | TH

  • It has been more than three years since a draft Bill on personal data protection was crafted by the Justice Srikrishna Committee of experts and submitted to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in 2018.

  • Two years since a Joint Parliamentary Committee was set up to scrutinise another version — the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB), 2019 — it was finally adopted by it on Monday.
  • But as dissent notes submitted by some panel members from the Opposition point out, the draft falls short of the standards set by the Justice Srikrishna Committee to build a legal framework based on the landmark judgment, Justice K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India, on privacy.
  • The key divergences from the Justice Srikrishna Committee’s draft Bill are in the selection of the chairperson and members of the Data Protection Authority (DPA) which shall protect the interests of data principals and the leeway provided to the Union government to exempt its agencies from the application of the Act.
  • While the 2018 draft Bill allowed for judicial oversight, the 2019 Bill relies entirely on members of the executive government in the selection process for the DPA.
  • In contrast to the 2018 Bill that allowed for exemptions to be granted to state institutions from acquiring informed consent from data principals or to process data in the case of matters relating only to the “security of the state” and also called for a law to provide for “parliamentary oversight and judicial approval of non-consensual access to personal data”, the 2019 Bill adds “public order” as a reason to exempt an agency of the Government from the Act, besides only providing for those reasons to be recorded in writing.
  • As JPC member from the Rajya Sabha, the Congress’s Jairam Ramesh, rightly mentions in his dissent note, the “government must always comply with the Bill’s requirement of fair and reasonable processing and implementing the necessary safeguards”, which requires that the exemptions granted in writing should at least be tabled in both Houses of Parliament; but that was not accepted by the JPC.
  • His note also points out to the dangers of exemption on the grounds of “public order” as it is susceptible to misuse and not limited to “security of the state” which is recognised by other data regulations such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation as a viable reason for exemption.
  • In October 2021, the Global Privacy Assembly, featuring Privacy Commissioners from over 19 countries including those from the European Union, Japan and the U.K., came up with a clear resolution on principles for government access to personal data.
  • In its resolution, the Assembly asked for a set of principles on legal basis, the need for clear and precise rules, proportionality and transparency, data subject rights, independent oversight, and effective remedies and redress to the individuals affected.
  • As the JPC’s adoption of the draft Bill and the dissent notes appended to it suggest, it has fallen short of standards protecting privacy rights of individuals against blanket misuse by the state.
  • It is now the task of Parliament to tighten the provisions further and bring them in conformance with the 2018 Bill.

Andaman & Nicobar Is Key To Act East Policy’ | ToI

  • The strategically located Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC), the country’s only integrated military command till now, is crucial for India’s ‘Act East’ policy as well as a military outpost to counter China’s expanding footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

ANC commanderin-chief Lt-General Ajai Singh

How do you perceive the challenge posed by China’s increasing naval forays and its quest to establish more logistical bases in the IOR?

  • At the ANC, we are mandated to protect our country’s territorial interests and are prepared to do so.
  • Suffice to say that there are no surprises here
  • While all countries have a right to be concerned about the security of their respective sea lines of communication, we need to view this in perspective and also factor in the required changes occurring.

Can ANC act as a pivot to counter inimical moves and the militarisation in the IOR?

  • The Indian Ocean has always been a benign ocean where there has been tremendous scope for cooperation by everyone, and India’s central role and peninsular orientation in the IOR lends itself to supporting net maritime security in the region.
  • The A&N Islands provide an additional strategic outreach towards the same.
  • Over the years, the efforts of development have been towards security and growth for all in the region.
  • The ANC has been a pivot in India’s ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies.
  • We are witnessing more regular transit movements to and from the Gulfs of Aden and Oman.
  • The ANC’s infrastructure and military assets provide for the defence of our islands and the protection of our interests.

Set up in 2001, has the ANC largely failed to live up to its potential due to general apathy and inter-service turf wars?

  • On October 8 this year, we completed 20 years as a Quad-service integrated theatre command of the army, navy, air force and coast guard.
  • The ANC has matured greatly in its manner of integration, training, and a common approach to operations, logistics and sustenance.
  • In addition, the creation of the office of the chief of defence staff (CDS) has greatly empowered both us and the HQ Integrated Defence Staff with better control, continuity and clarity in multi-service and multi-domain operations.
  • I feel ANC has greatly lived up to its envisaged mandate and the A&N Islands have progressed from the initial outpost that they were, to a so-called springboard and now a veritable hub of activities in the region.

What is now being done to upgrade the ANC both in terms of military force levels and infrastructure?

  • With the CDS’s appointment as well as the government’s clear directions, getting the due recognition they deserve.
  • Even in the non-military domain, the Niti Aayog, as well as the Island Development Agency have already announced numerous initiatives for further development of the A&N Islands.
  • In August 2020, we already had the fast-tracking of the undersea data link putting the A&N Islands on the data backbone of digital connectivity.
  • The days of psychological separation from the mainland therefore now remain only in folklore.
  • The airport at Port Blair will also become an international one with regional connectivity by 2022.
  • The islands in the future are also to become an important transshipment hub for our mainland.

What lessons can be drawn from the ANC as India moves towards establishing integrated theatre commands?

  • There is much the services are learning from us in the larger theatrisation endeavour at hand.
  • ANC theatrisation has greatly increased our capabilities manifold over the simple sum of our individual components.
  • In so synergising, we have also saved precious government resources, and also greatly benefitted operationally from the shorter decision cycles which will make a big difference in the speedier networked battles of tomorrow.
  • India could release oil from its strategic reserves in coordination with other countries in a show of resentment against high oil prices, backing the US plan for collective buyers’ action to send a strong signal to producers that have artificially curbed supplies.
  • Top officials of the petroleum and external affairs ministries were working late on Monday to arrive at the most optimal response to the Biden administration’s call to coordinate the emergency stock release.
  • If China, Japan, India, South Korea, and the US finally agree to a coordinated release, it will be the first such instance in the history of the oil market.
  • The world’s top consumers will send a strong signal to OPEC+, the producers’ cartel that has reined in supply despite a rapid recovery in demand and a price surge.


  • President Kovind honours military officers with Gallantry awards; Abhinandan Varthaman awarded Vir Chakra
  • Construction of 65,000 km of national highways is being done under Bharatmala Phase 1 and 2, says Nitin Gadkari
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman to visit Jammu to take part in credit outreach & financial inclusion programme
  • NIA raids multiple locations in Srinagar in terror funding case
  • Andhra Pradesh govt withdraws controversial three capital law
  • India’s Covid vaccination coverage crosses 117 crore 54 lakh mark
  • Union Health Secy Rajesh Bhushan asks states, UTs to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination under Har Ghar Dastak campaign
  • India keen to continue working closely with Bangladesh for each other’s defence and security concern: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
  • Dr Jitendra Singh launches India’s first Virtual Science Lab for Children under CSIR Jigyasa Programme

Q.) Oral antivaral drug Paxlovid, is developed by which pharma company?

  • Serum Institute of India
  • Pfizer
  • Merck
  • Johnson & Johnson

Q.) What is the Bill passed by the Pakistan Parliament that allows the right of appeal to prisoners like Kulbhushan Jadhav.

  • International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2021
  • International Court of Justice Appeals Bill, 2021
  • International Court of Justice (Sentence Reconsideration) Bill, 2021
  • International Court of Justice (Review and Pardon) Bill, 2021

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