Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


July 9 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



India’s public health has recently focused on HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer. Concerns arise over the lack of competing vaccines, high costs, and overall affordability. 

Lack of Competing Vaccines 

  • The absence of other domestic HPV vaccines affects Cervavac’s pricing. 
  • At least four Indian vaccine candidates have been in development since 2010. 
  • Shantha Biotechnics, known for a low-cost Hepatitis-B vaccine, aimed for an affordable HPV vaccine by 2015. 
  • Acquisition by Sanofi Pasteur, linked to Gardasil, may have halted progress. 
  • Other companies like Indian Immunologicals, Bharat Biotech, and Zydus Cadila also announced HPV vaccines. 
  • Despite patent expirations, these vaccines are not yet available, raising concerns. 

Universal Vaccination Programme 

  • Cervavac is recommended universally for girls aged 9 to 26 in India. 
  • Government price: ₹500 for two doses, considered expensive. 
  • Many outside government coverage face a retail price of ₹2,000. 
  • India’s low insurance coverage and high out-of-pocket health costs exacerbate the issue. 

Pricing and Affordability Concerns 

  • The high price of Cervavac does not reflect true production costs. 
  • Indian infrastructure supports large-scale, low-cost vaccine production. 
  • Development of Cervavac received significant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
  • Shared production facilities with Covishield, supported by the Indian government, should lower costs. 
  • High-margin pricing strategy over low-margin, high-volume approach limits affordability. 


HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus. It’s a very common virus that can infect anyone.  In fact, nearly all sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives  

There are over 200 different types of HPV, and some can cause: 

Genital warts 

  • HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. You can also get it from touching warts on someone’s skin. 
  • Most HPV infections go away on their own within a few years. However, some types of HPV can linger and cause health problems later in life. 

Here’s some additional info  

  • The HPV vaccine: There is a safe and effective vaccine that protects against certain types of HPV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all girls and boys get vaccinated at ages 11 or 12. Vaccination is most effective if given before someone becomes sexually  
  • Protect yourself: There is no foolproof way to prevent HPV, but you can lower your risk by: 
  • Getting the HPV vaccine 
  • Limiting your number of sexual partners 
  • Using contraceptives 


  • Universal HPV vaccination’s necessity is still debated. 
  • The lack of competition and opaque pricing strategy of Cervavac demands investigation. 
  • Ensuring affordable and accessible HPV vaccines is crucial for public health in India. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about viruses:
  1. Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites. 
  1. All viruses possess an envelope. 
  1. Retroviruses have single-stranded RNA genomes. 
  1. Vaccines can be developed for all viral diseases. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. 1, 3 and 4 only 
  1. 1, 2 and 3 only 



Viruses cannot reproduce on their own and require a host cell. 

Not all viruses have an envelope. Examples of viruses without envelopes include poliovirus and adenovirus. 

Retroviruses, like HIV, have single-stranded RNA genomes. 

While vaccines exist for many viral diseases, they cannot be developed for all. 



Recent RBI data indicates a significant rise in India’s employment rate. 

The report covers various aspects of employment growth and labor force participation. 

Employment Growth 

  • Employment rate grew by 6% in FY24. 
  • Increased from 3.2% in FY23. 
  • Employment in the country rose by 4.67 crore to 64.33 crore in FY24. 

Industry Coverage 

  • The data is based on the India KLEMS database. 
  • Covers 27 industries across the Indian economy. 
  • Includes sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and services. 

Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) 

  • LFPR in urban areas increased from 48.5% in January-March 2023 to 50.2% in January-March 2024. 
  • Shows more individuals are actively participating in the labor market. 

Unemployment Trends 

  • Urban unemployment rate decreased from 6.8% to 6.7% for persons aged 15 and above. 
  • Female unemployment rate also declined from 9.2% to 8.5% in the same period. 

Worker Population Ratio (WPR) 

  • WPR for persons aged 15 and above increased from 45.2% to 46.9% in urban areas. 
  • Female WPR in urban areas rose from 20.6% to 23.4%. 

These three terms are used to understand the employment situation in India.  

  1. Employment Ratio:
  • Definition:  This represents the percentage of the working-age population (usually 15 years and above) that is currently employed. 
  • Here’s a possible way to calculate it (assuming data from PLFS): 
  • Employment Ratio = (Number of Employed Persons) / (Total Working-Age Population) * 100 
  1. Worker Population Ratio (WPR):
  • Definition: This represents the percentage of the working-age population that is either employed or actively looking for work (unemployed). 
  • WPR = ((Number of Employed Persons) + (Number of Unemployed Persons)) / (Total Working-Age Population) * 100 
  1. Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR):
  • Definition: This represents the percentage of the working-age population that is either employed or unemployed but actively looking for work. 
  • Formula (India):  The LFPR is calculated by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) based on PLFS data.  
  • LFPR = ((Number of Employed Persons) + (Number of Unemployed Persons)) / (Total Working-Age Population) * 100 

Important Notes: 

  • These formulas assume data for a specific time period (e.g., quarter, year). 


The significant rise in the employment rate and labour participation highlights positive trends in India’s labour market. 

Continuous monitoring and supportive policies are essential for sustained growth. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about employment indicators in India:
  1. The employment ratio is a more precise indicator of labour market health compared to the Worker Population Ratio (WPR). 
  1. The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is always higher than the WPR in India. 
  1. The PLFS survey is conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 
  1. The official calculation of LFPR in India might differ slightly from the formula given in the passage. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 3 and 4 only 
  1. 1 and 4 only 



Worker Population Ratio (WPR): This includes both employed and actively unemployed individuals. It provides a broader picture of the workforce participation, indicating the overall pool of people actively seeking work or already employed. 

LFPR: This represents the percentage of the working-age population that is either employed or unemployed but actively looking for work. 

WPR: As explained earlier, this includes employed and actively unemployed individuals. 

The PLFS survey is conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in India. 

The World Bank might be involved in development projects related to employment, but it doesn’t conduct the PLFS survey in India. 

Correct. The formula provided earlier is a general representation to understand the concept. The official calculation of LFPR by MoSPI might have slight variations to account for specific definitions or classifications used in the survey. 



India faces significant challenges in healthcare spending and accessibility. Despite various efforts, public health expenditure remains low, leading to high out-of-pocket expenses for households. 

Healthcare Expenditure 

  • Public health spending is only 1.35% of GDP. 
  • Total health spending is around 3.5%. 
  • High out-of-pocket expenses due to low public funding. 

Impact on Households 

  • 13.4% of rural and 8.5% of urban households borrow for medical bills. 
  • Many opt for free public care, substandard care, or forgo treatment. 

Poverty and Health 

  • 60-80 million households fell below the poverty line due to medical expenses. 
  • Health remains a non-issue in elections. 

Disease Burden 

  • Dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. 
  • Requires a balanced, robust health system. 

Public Health Infrastructure 

  • India’s spending has been around 1.12%-1.35% of GDP. 
  • Central budget allocations have improved but remain low. 
  • Loans from World Bank and ADB aim to fill infrastructure gaps. 

Doubling the health budget has the potential to significantly impact the lives of people  

  • Reduced Out-of-Pocket Expenses: A larger budget can be used to subsidize healthcare costs or expand insurance coverage. This would make medical treatment more affordable, allowing people to seek necessary care without worrying about financial strain. 
  • Improved Infrastructure: More funds can be allocated to building new hospitals and clinics, especially in rural areas. This would bring healthcare services closer to people, eliminating travel costs and wait times. 
  • Enhanced Equipment and Technology: The budget could be used to invest in modern medical equipment and technology, leading to more accurate diagnoses, effective treatments, and potentially, improved patient outcomes. 
  • Public Health Initiatives: Increased funding can support public health campaigns, vaccinations, and disease control programs. This could lead to a healthier population overall, reducing the need for expensive treatments later. 
  • Early Detection: Investments in screening programs for various illnesses can help identify health issues early on, allowing for more effective and less expensive interventions. 

Potential for Reduced Out-of-Pocket Spending: 

  • Here’s how people might spend less out of pocket with a larger health budget: 
  • Reduced Insurance Premiums: Increased government involvement in healthcare can sometimes lead to lower insurance premiums for citizens. 
  • Subsidized Medications: The government can negotiate lower drug prices or subsidize essential medications, making them more affordable for individuals. 
  • Free or Low-Cost Services: Expanded public health programs and government-run facilities can offer various services for free or at significantly reduced costs, lowering the financial burden on the public. 

Important Considerations: 

  • Transparency and Efficiency: Effective implementation is crucial. The additional funds need to be allocated efficiently and transparently to ensure they reach the intended beneficiaries. 
  • Addressing Shortages: Increased access to healthcare might create a demand that existing medical professionals can’t meet. Budgetary allocation might also need to consider training and hiring more healthcare personnel. 


For India to achieve its goal of becoming a developed country by 2047, it must significantly increase healthcare spending and reform its health system. Ensuring healthcare as a public good is essential for human development and fulfilling the social contract between the state and its citizens. 



India’s approach to international trade policy is at a crucial juncture. Active participation in global trade forums and proactive engagement in WTO negotiations are essential for India’s economic development and global integration.  

This requires a shift in strategy to embrace emerging opportunities and address new global challenges. 

Resistance to WTO Negotiation Expansion 

  • India’s reluctance to expand the WTO’s negotiation agenda on e-commerce, trade, climate change, and investment facilitation aims to preserve policy flexibility for economic development. 
  • This approach is suitable for traditional sectors but may hinder opportunities in the digital economy and high-tech manufacturing. 

Global Economic Governance and Emerging Technologies 

  • The reshaping of global economic governance is influenced by geoeconomics, emerging technologies, resilient global value chains, and environmental sustainability. 
  • India, as a rising economy, must play a constructive role in this new paradigm. 

Domestic Reforms and Global Integration 

  • Reforms aim to promote technology-driven and environmentally sustainable growth. 
  • India ranks third in attracting FDI, following the US and China. 

Ambitious Export Goals 

  • India aims to boost goods exports to $1 trillion by 2030 and expects its e-commerce market to reach $350 billion. 

Promoting Digitisation and Transparency 

  • Regulatory reforms focus on data protection, consumer rights, competition, and taxation. 
  • India aims to align its data protection regulations with global standards. 

Commitment to Environmental Goals 

  • India aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070 and has made significant progress in energy access and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Need for Policy Predictability 

  • Balancing Domestic Policies and International Engagement 
  • Emphasis on unrestricted domestic policies should shift towards policy predictability in key markets like the US, EU, and Japan. 
  • Active participation in WTO negotiations on e-commerce, trade, climate change, and investment facilitation is crucial. 


India must reset its trade policy to embrace emerging opportunities in the global economy. Active participation in WTO discussions and embracing regulatory reforms will enhance India’s position in global trade, fostering economic growth and development. This strategic shift is essential for India to achieve its vision of becoming a developed economy by 2047. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about the World Trade Organisation (WTO):
  1. The dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO is binding on member countries. 
  1. All decisions taken by the WTO are made through consensus. 
  1. The WTO promotes free trade in agricultural products. 
  1. Developing countries have greater voting rights in the WTO compared to developed countries. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. 2 and 4 only 
  1. 3 and 4 only 



The WTO dispute settlement mechanism’s rulings are binding on member countries. Countries can appeal the rulings, but ultimately, they are obligated to comply. 

While consensus is sought for decision-making at the WTO, all decisions are ultimately made by a majority vote. Some specific situations might require a supermajority vote. 

The WTO promotes free trade in various goods and services, including agricultural products. 

Voting rights in the WTO are not based on development status. Each member country has one vote. 



India is enhancing its rotary unmanned aerial system capabilities by engaging with the Austrian company Schiebel. This collaboration focuses on the renowned Camcopter S-100, an advanced UAV, as part of preparations for the Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to Austria. 


About Camcopter S-100 

  • The Camcopter S-100 is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) using a rotorcraft design. 
  • Developed by Austrian company Schiebel between 2003 and 2005. 


  • Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): 200 kg. 
  • Endurance: 6 hours. 
  • Maximum speed: 220 km/hr. 
  • Ceiling: 5,500 m. 
  • Powered by a heavy fuel engine. 

Payload Capacity 

  • Capable of carrying multiple payloads up to 50 kg. 
  • Payloads are both surveillance and tactical in nature. 

Operational Flexibility 

  • Does not require a prepared area or supporting launch/recovery equipment. 
  • Operates day and night under adverse weather conditions. 

Navigation and Control 

  • Navigates automatically via pre-programmed GPS waypoints. 
  • Can be operated directly with a pilot control unit. 
  • Missions are planned and controlled through a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. 

Technology and Real-time Data 

  • High-definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real time. 
  • Utilizes “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by redundant flight computers. 
  • Capable of operating in complex electromagnetic environments. 


The Camcopter S-100 UAV represents a significant technological advancement for India’s unmanned aerial systems. With its robust features and operational flexibility, it enhances India’s surveillance and tactical capabilities, aligning with strategic goals and international collaborations. 



The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has introduced draft rules for the Digital Bharat Nidhi (DBN), aiming to enhance telecom connectivity in rural areas. This initiative seeks to replace the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). 


About Digital Bharat Nidhi 

  • DBN replaces the Universal Service Obligation Fund. 
  • Funded by a 5% Universal Service Levy on telecom operators’ Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR). 
  • Aims to expand telecom networks in remote and rural areas. 

Working of Digital Bharat Nidhi 

  • Contributions by telecom companies are credited to the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI). 
  • Government incurs expenditures and allocates funds from the CFI to the DBN. 

Utilization of Funds 

  • Promotes access to telecom services in underserved areas. 
  • Funds research and development of telecom technologies. 
  • Supports pilot projects, consultancy, and advisory services. 
  • Targets specific underserved groups like women, persons with disabilities, and economically weaker sections. 

Role of Administrator 

  • An administrator appointed by the Centre will oversee the DBN. 
  • Selects DBN implementers through bidding or applications. 
  • Determines funding modalities on a case-by-case basis, including full, partial, co-funding, market risk mitigation, and risk capital. 


The Digital Bharat Nidhi represents a strategic move to enhance rural telecom connectivity, fostering inclusive development through targeted funding and innovative projects. This initiative underscores the government’s commitment to bridging the digital divide and empowering underserved communities. 



The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that all credit card bill payments via third-party applications must now be routed through the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). This move aims to enhance the reliability and safety of transactions for Indian consumers. 

About Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) 

  • Developed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). 
  • Created as a comprehensive payment platform for managing various bill payments. 


  • Offers “Anytime Anywhere” bill payment service with certainty and reliability. 
  • Provides multiple payment modes and instant confirmation of payment receipt. 
  • Connects banks, non-banks, billers, payment service providers, and retail bill outlets. 
  • Catalogues various utility providers on a single platform for customer convenience. 

Primary Bill Categories 

  • Electricity, telecom, mobile postpaid, DTH, gas, and water bills. 

Additional Categories 

  • School/university fees, municipal taxes, mutual funds, insurance premiums, and various government taxes as decided by the RBI. 

Payment Channels 

  • Physical Outlets 
  • Bank branches, agent collection stores, etc. 
  • Digital Channels 
  • Apps, websites, and other digital platforms. 


  • Provides instant confirmation of payment via SMS or receipt. 


The integration of credit card bill payments through BBPS reflects the RBI’s commitment to providing a secure, reliable, and accessible payment system for all bill payments in India. This initiative simplifies the bill payment process and ensures greater efficiency and customer convenience. 



The Discover Koyna group, known for its observations of rare species, recently spotted a rare brown palm civet in the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. 

About Brown Palm Civet 

  • Also known as Jerdon’s palm civets, they are endemic to the Western Ghats. 
  • Play a vital role in seed dispersal. 
  • Solitary, nocturnal, and thrive in high-altitude tropical rainforests. 


  • Found from Castle Rock in Goa to Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in the south. 
  • Inhabits rainforests at 500–1,300 m elevation. 


  • Predominantly frugivorous with a limited diet range among South Asia’s small carnivores. 
  • Conservation Status 
  • IUCN: Least Concern. 
  • CITES: Appendix III. 

Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary 

  • Location: Situated in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • Features: Associated with the Koyna Dam, a crucial water reservoir. 
  • Flora: Includes evergreen, semi-evergreen, and deciduous forests with valuable tree species like teak, shisham, and ain. 
  • Fauna: Home to Indian bison, elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and sambar deer. 


The sighting of the brown palm civet highlights the rich biodiversity of the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary and the importance of conservation efforts in the Western Ghats. 


July 9
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
error: Content is protected !!