IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd July, 2020


Can alternative medicine be subject to modern rigour?


- Patanjali Ayurveda’s claimed cure for COVID-19 has been criticised for making unsubstantiated claims of efficacy.

Process of testing new drug in Ayurveda:

- Drugs, which are prescribed in drugs and cosmetic act and has been working since ages, if they are to be used for any other conditions, they can be used straightforward.

- For drugs with new formulations, has to follow the same path of toxicity, pre-clinical efficacy and subsequent clinical trials.

Application of standard for clinical trials:

- For evaluating safety and efficacy, there is no difference in testing standards.

- There is a very clear-cut flowchart or diagram given by the CCRS (Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences) guidelines.

- They say that the drug must not ignore the parameters on which it is judged by modern medicine.

Challenges with Ayurveda:

- Ayurveda research publications do not appear as frequently in high-impact journals.

- It is not practised and publicised as the standard of modern medicine.

- Practicing doctors of Ayurveda lacks the detailed knowledge of Ayurveda to make the critical impact on patient.

- Raw material used in ayurvedic medicine has not been tested to signify their strength for the prescribed usage.

- Patanjali medicine was tested only on asymptomatic patients and not on the patient admitted in the ICU. There is lack of trust among science community over working of Ayurveda in severe conditions.

Ayurveda and modern medical equipment’s:

- It usage the modern medical equipment’s like Ventilators and pulse oximeters.

- There is no allergy to modern technological devices being integrated in the clinical protocols of ayurveda.

- But, it also monitors the natural parameters like sleep and diet pattern to evaluate the impact of virus.

Integration of Modern medicine and Ayurveda:                                 

Modern medicine:

- Rational, structured and analytical

- Looks at the piecemeal approach of diagnosis where focus is on individual cell, organ or disease.

-  A strength of modern medicine is that it looks very strongly at these endpoints (saving lives and recovery).

- Rigorous scientific trails have brought ethics in modern medicine where the researchers had the humility to accept that hydroxychloroquine does not work.


- More intuitive and experience based approach

- It takes into consideration the person as a whole.

- It believes that the whole is more important than some of the parts that it is composed of.

About Ayurveda:

- Its Basic philosophy gels well with the Eastern approach of health and disease, in sharp contrast to the Western approach.

- Ayurvedic knowledge does not just come from experience but also relies on extensive documentation.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/can-alternative-medicine-be-subject-to-modern-rigour/article31975596.ece


Live streaming of court proceedings is part of the right to access justice


- Indian courts have initiated the process of hearing cases through virtual courts.

- Earlier, physical infrastructure provided an opportunity for people to witness the court proceeding.

Need for the live streaming:

- Space crunch in the courtroom made it difficult for the law students to attend the live session of court.

- Virtual hearing of the court has made it completely impossible for others to listen.

- In the earlier verdict in Swapnil Tripathi vs. Supreme Court of India, the Court recommended that proceedings be broadcast live.

- The public has a right to know, about court proceedings in constitutional courts as well as trial and appellate courts.

Benefits of Live Streaming:

- Live streaming proceedings are part of the right to access justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.

- Publishing court proceedings is an aspect of Article 129, per which the Supreme Court is a court of record.

- Journalists, young lawyers, civil society activists and academics would all benefit from live streaming.

- Open courts help foster public confidence in the judiciary.

International Experience:

-  Internationally, constitutional court proceedings are recorded in some form or the other.

- In Australia, proceedings are recorded and posted on the high court’s website.

- Proceedings of the Supreme Courts of Brazil, Canada, England and Germany are broadcast live.

- The Supreme Court of the US does not permit video recording, but oral arguments are recorded, transcribed, and available publicly.

-  In China, court proceedings are live streamed from trial courts up to the Supreme People’s Court of China.

Issues arising due to non-recording of court transaction process:

- Court hearings can be turning points in the life of a nation: ADM Jabalpur comes readily to mind.

- The court craft of legal stalwarts like HM Seervai, Ram Jethmalani, or Ashok Desai is already lost to future generations for want of recording.

- Documentation is essential to preserve our history.

Supreme Court steps to make Hearing available:

-  The Court started providing vernacular translations of its judgments.

- Non-accredited journalists were permitted to live-tweet court proceedings.

- During the lockdown, journalists have been permitted to view virtual court proceedings in real time.

Government steps:

- Government is developing the modalities and rules to make it accessible to all.

- Supreme Court has said that CJI will decide the administrative side of live streaming of cases.

- Recently, High court of Calcutta has permitted live streaming of a case.


Openness and transparency reinforce the public’s faith in the judicial system. As Swapnil Tripathi noted, “sunlight is the best disinfectant” — more important during a pandemic.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/live-streaming-supreme-court-proceedings-coronavirus-6487482/



India’s trade deficit with China dips to $48.66 billion in FY20


- India’s trade deficit with China fell to $48.66 billion in 2019-20 because of the decline in imports from the neighbouring country.


- Exports to China in last financial year: $16.6 billion

- Imports: $65.26 billion.

- FDI from China: $163.78 million in 2019-20 compared to $229 million in the previous fiscal.

- During the period from April 2000 to March 2020, India attracted FDI worth $2.38 billion from China.


Government steps:

- Anti dumping duty on more than 50 products.

- Technical regulations for import of more than 47 billion dollars.

- 50 quality control orders (QCOs) and other technical regulations have been notified in the past one year, including those on electronic goods, toys, air conditioners, bicycle parts, chemicals, safety glass, pressure cooker and steel and electrical items.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/indias-trade-deficit-with-china-dips-to-4866-billion-in-fy20/article31973598.ece#:~:text=India's%20trade%20deficit%20with%20China%20fell%20to%20%2448.66%20billion%20in,%2465.26%20billion%2C%20the%20data%20showed.


Italian marines case | India loses jurisdiction


- In a setback to India, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague has decided that in a dispute between India and Italy, India is precluded from exercising its jurisdiction to try two Italian marines.


- Two marines were charged with killing of two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.

- Marine argued that they took them as pirates in their defence.

- The two marines were released from India and sent to Italy through orders passed by the Supreme Court.

- In the meantime, the dispute between the two countries as regards which country will try the two marines was before the PCA.

Details at the PCA:

-  The PCA went on to rule that Italy would have jurisdiction to decide on the question of immunity for the marines.

- Thus, the tribunal held that India is precluded from exercising its jurisdiction.

- PCA decided, by three votes to two, in respect of Italy’s Submission (2)(f), that the Marines are entitled to immunity in relation to the acts that they committed during the incident of 15 February 2012, and that India is precluded from exercising its jurisdiction over the Marines.

- The PCA also ruled that while India’s conduct has not been in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

- Italy is liable to pay compensation to India.

- The two nations are required to hold consultations in order to arrive at the amount of compensation to be paid to India.

About Permanent court of Arbitration:

- The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an intergovernmental organization located at The Hague in the Netherlands.

- The PCA is not a court in the traditional sense but provides services of arbitral tribunal to resolve disputes that arise out of international agreements between member states, international organizations or private parties.

- The cases span a range of legal issues involving territorial and maritime boundaries, sovereignty, human rights, international investment, and international and regional trade.

- The organization is not a United Nations agency, but the PCA is an official United Nations Observer.

- The PCA is the oldest institution for international dispute resolutions.

- It was established in 1899 by the first Hague Peace Conference under Articles 20 to 29 of the 1899 Hague Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes.


- The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is an international agreement that was signed on 10th December 1982.

- UNCLOS also is known as the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty defines the rights and responsibilities of the nation towards the use of the world’s oceans.

Institutions under UNCLOS:

- International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS): Established by the UNCLOS, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body that adjudicates disputes arising out of the convention.

- International Seabed Authority: It was formed in 1994 under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) for regulating the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters.

- Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS): CLCS is responsible for facilitating the implementation of UNCLOS with respect to the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/italian-marines-case-india-loses-jurisdiction/article31973247.ece#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Italian%20government,State%20officials%20exercising%20official%20functions%E2%80%9D.&text=As%20a%20result%2C%20Italy%20will,its%20jurisdiction%20on%20the%20marines.


No final decision on India’s involvement in Colombo terminal: Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka Government comment:

- Sri Lankan government has not taken a decision on East Container Terminal as yet.

Controversy around East Container Terminal:

- Sri Lanka, Japan and India entered a memorandum of cooperation in May 2019, agreeing to jointly develop the terminal at an estimated cost of $700 million.

- While the Sri Lanka Ports Authority was to retain 100% ownership, a jointly owned Terminal Operations Company — 51% stake with Sri Lanka, and 49% with India and Japan — was to run the terminal.

- Over 70% of the transhipment business at the strategically located ECT comes from India.

- Nationalist groups in Sri Lanka are objecting to any “foreign involvement” in running “national assets”.

Strategic Importance and Concerns:

- Already china is having a huge presence in Sri Lanka with a strategic port in Colombo.

- It will affect Indian neighbourhood first policy.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-final-decision-on-indias-involvement-in-colombo-terminal-rajapaksa/article31974433.ece



MoD approves 33 new fighter jets for IAF in deals worth ₹38,900 crores



The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved deals worth ₹38,900 crores.

Details of the deals:

- Procurement of 21 MiG-29 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF),

- Upgrade of 59 of 21 MiG-29 fighter jets

- Acquirement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.

- Pinaka ammunition, armoured vehicle BMP armament upgrades and Software Defined Radio (SDR) for the Army.

- Long range land attack missile (LRLAM) systems of over 1000 km range and Astra Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air to air missiles for the Navy and Air Force.


- The MIG-29 procurement and upgrade from Russia is estimated to cost ₹7,418 crores.

- The Su-30 MKI will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of ₹10,730 crores.


 - Strengthening the Squadron capacity of Air force.

- Acquisition of the Pinaka missile systems would enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted by the Army.

- Will give an edge over the ongoing escalation in LAC.

- Addition of LRLAMS to the existing arsenal would bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force.

- Deals other than fighters would be manufactured in India involving indigenous industry, with the several Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) as prime tier vendors for a large number of the projects involving transfer of technology by the DRDO.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mod-approves-33-new-fighter-jets-for-iaf-in-deals-worth-38900-crore/article31971510.ece


Prelims Facts:

Shivalik Forest:

Context: Proposal to convert Shivalik forest into a tiger reserve.

Location of forest: Forest is located at the foothills of the Shivalik range, connects four States — Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Significance in movement of tiger from Rajaji National Park in Uttrakhand to Corbett national park.

The three tiger reserves in Uttar Pradesh are Amangarh in Bijnor, Pilibhit and Dudhwa in Lakhimpur-Kheri.