News & Events
in this section, we are presenting our readers/aspirants compilation of selected editorials of national daily viz. The Hindu, The live mint,The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, PIB etc. This section caters the requirement of Civil Services Mains (GS + Essay) , PCS, HAS Mains (GS + Essay) & others essay writing competition.
1.Novak Djokovic has the best claim to being the greatest tennis player of the ‘Open era’
The modern version of tennis began in 1968, when the segregation between amateurs and professionals ended to result in the so-called ‘Open era’. Tennis fans are often drawn to discuss the greatest player of this era. It’s a tricky terrain as not only has technological advancement influenced the game through racquet materials that are discernibly superior to wood, progress in other areas such as diet and fitness also makes comparisons tough.
Moreover, conversations about the greatest are tinged with romanticism which tends to overshadow the achievements of some players. Novak Djokovic is one such player who, just on the basis of his performance over the 18 years that he’s been a professional, should be considered the greatest of the ‘Open era’.
His record is staggering. With 19 Grand Slam titles and being the only player in this era to win a double career Grand Slam, this Serb tennis player should be right on top in terms of his track record alone. On top of the Grand Slam track record, he also has won 84 ATP singles tournaments, which includes everything that is considered a major tournament.
Djokovic’s misfortune is that he has achieved all of this in a period where two other truly great players captured popular imagination, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic may not have the elegance of Federer or the court presence of Nadal, but if his achievements came in an era when both were top ranked players, it means he has surpassed two all-time greats. The tennis world needs to place his achievements in proper perspective. We are lucky to be watching the best of the ‘Open era’.
2.New shot in the arm: Vax tech will get more sophisticated. What India must do to stay in the game
US FDA’s denial of emergency use authorisation for Covaxin comes on top of Bharat Biotech’s delay in submitting Phase 3 trial data to WHO. BB’s partner Ocugen is now pinning its hopes on Canada’s regulators. The setback should prod manufacturers of forthcoming domestic offerings – BB’s intranasal vaccine and Genova’s mRNA shot – to up their regulatory game, especially when entering Western markets. Not doing so does disservice to India’s strengths. Note that Hyderabad-based Biological E figured in Joe Biden’s Quad Vaccine Partnership plan to manufacture 1 billion doses. The company won a US university’s patent-free anti-Covid recombinant protein, too.
There’s another, even bigger element in India’s vaccine game: How to stay at front when the West has rediscovered the value of vaccine research, thanks to Covid. Indian companies like SII gamely shouldered the onus of inoculating developing countries against infectious diseases at affordable rates. Long stints as contract manufacturers have helped Indian firms develop indigenous research capability. Now, they need to leverage it.
The big picture reveals threats and opportunities. First, many nations without vaccine production capabilities have been starved of shots when big manufactures like India and US prioritised local populations. So, the idea of diversifying vaccine pipelines gained great traction. This suggests more competition from developing countries. Second, Big Pharma is enthusiastically developing Covid vaccines and drugs. Pre-Covid, low margins and preponderance of infectious diseases in poorer nations had reduced incentives. With Covid infecting the rich and middle class of every nation, Big Pharma’s big plays may dominate vaccine tech. To stay in this race, India must scale up R&D spending. Concurrently, GoI must plug into the technology and trade partnerships offered by the Biden administration to counter China.
Here, a fixed notion of Atmanirbharta won’t help. Isolationist streaks akin to pre-1991 saddled us with domestic mediocrity while those integrated into global value chains flourished. If a foreign mRNA vaccine finds a consumer market in India, the company may consider local manufacturing and product localisation to suit India’s cold chain needs and wallet sizes. This, in turn, could make these vaccines suitable candidates for many countries with Indian characteristics.
Let’s also admit that our inability to meet global Covid vaccine demand is a critical weakness. Thankfully, regaining lost stature by early 2022 may be possible via the Cipla-Moderna, SII-Gamaleya, Providence-Biological E tie-ups. Meeting domestic demand, making for the world, and keeping up with new technology – that sums up India’s vax challenge.
3.From Bengal, a lesson in political mobilisation
The fact is that for political strength to be sustainable, it has to be organic and bottom-up. Otherwise, when the going is not good, those who may not be committed begin looking for alternatives
On Friday, Mukul Roy — a formidable leader from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) who shifted to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and played a key role in the party’s success in the 2019 elections in the state — returned home to his original party. Mr Roy had not been very active in the assembly elections, and there were murmurs about his discontent as other leaders, including his former party colleague Suvendu Adhikari, got more prominence. There were also whispers about a behind-the-scenes understanding with TMC even before the poll results. But irrespective of when Mr Roy began entertaining ideas of returning to the TMC, his exit is a lesson to all political parties which attempt a fast track route to political power.
Political mobilisation is hard. And it is particularly hard for political forces which may not have a strong base in a particular geography. In its expansion spree post-2014, one of the ways in which the BJP has sought to offset this disadvantage is by recruiting leaders from entrenched political forces in that geography. This has succeeded in places such as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur; the party has quickly risen to power in other states such as Tripura. But in larger complex states, importing outsiders, either through persuasion or threats, comes with its own pitfalls. It adds to the challenge of accommodating these leaders and workers, at the cost of alienating others who may have been loyalists of the party for longer. This tension played out for the BJP in Bengal, where the old and new and very new collided, with an adverse impact on the party’s electoral fortunes.