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The Medical Students’ Stress

Tags: GS 2, Issues Relating to Development Management of Social Sector Health

In Context

  • According to a recent answer to a Right to Information (RTI) request from the National Medical Commission (NMC), 64 MBBS and 55 postgraduate physicians committed suicide during the past five years.


  • According to a study, between 2010 and 2019, 358 medical students (125), residents (105), and physicians (128) died by suicide.
  • Worried about the prevalence of suicide and suicidal thoughts among medical students, the NMC, India’s apex medical education regulating body, issued a directive to all medical colleges in the country late in 2022 to accumulate information on suicides.
  • The risk of suicide among physicians is over two-and-a-half times that of the general population.

Self-harm and suicide are serious health and societal issues globally, with the highest burden happening in low- and middle-income nations.

Reasons for Suicide among Medicals

  • Suicide is a complex, multidimensional issue. Student doctors face arduous 24×7 shifts, untimely working hours, distance from family, hostile work environment and unsupportive administration, sleep deprivation, financial hardships, examination stress, and sometimes inhumane ragging, which is compounded by caste-based discrimination and regionalism.
  • Nearly all medical schools lack implementation of regulations, safeguards, and support mechanisms.
  • For example, the NMC has an anti-ragging committee that monitors complaints; yet, the absence of effective execution is a cause for worry.
  • The move to university coincides with a crucial developmental period characterised by individuation and separation from family, the formation of new social ties, and the acquisition of greater autonomy and responsibility. Simultaneously, the brain is undergoing faster growth and heightened sensitivity to risk exposures often faced by college students, such as psychological stressors, recreational substances, binge drinking, and sleep disruption.

What is Suicide?

  • Suicide is the intentional self-infliction of bodily harm with the intent of ending one’s life, resulting in death.
  • A suicide attempt occurs when a person injures themself with the intention of terminating their life, but does not succeed.

Data on suicide deaths in India

  • In India, more than one lakh lives are lost every year to suicide, and it is the top killer in the 15-29 years category.
  • In the past three years, the suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 population, the document records.
  • The most common reasons for suicide include family problems and illnesses, which account for 34% and 18% of all suicide-related deaths.

Rise in Suicide cases

  • The rate of suicide attempts in India has been increased in this pandemic situation, people lost their jobs, many are stuck somewhere alone for months and the emotional and psychological factors of a pandemic leads to the risk of suicide by feelings of hopelessness.

Reasons for Suicide

  • Family Issues (other than marriage related problems)
  • Relationship-related Issues
  • Sickness

Legal status of Suicide in India

  • Section 309 IPC: Section 309 of the Indian penal code states, “Anyone attempts suicide and commits any act towards the commission of such an offence shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a period of up to one year.”
  • In India, attempting suicide is no longer a felony under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. Article 21 of the United States Constitution declares, “No individual shall be deprived of life or liberty except in accordance with established legal procedure.” Article 21 addresses the right to life, however no article addresses the “Right to die.”
  • The Law Commission has twice recommended the abolition of IPC Section 309, in 1971 and 2008.

Government of India Initiatives 

  • Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: It was enacted in 2017, went into effect in May of 2018, and succeeded the Mental Health Act of 1987. In India, the act decriminalised suicide attempts. It also featured WHO classification rules for mental diseases. In addition, it restricted the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and prohibited its use on minors, as well as enacted efforts to combat stigma in Indian society.
  • Manodarpan Initiative: It is an initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It aims to provide psyho-social support to students for their mental health and well-being.
  • National Suicide Prevention Strategy: A national suicide prevention strategy was recently established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The suicide prevention policy includes time-bound action plans and cross-sectoral partnerships to reduce suicide mortality by 10% by 2030.
  • Way Ahead 
  • Considering that suicide is a complicated problem, addressing it will necessitate cross-sector cooperation. Moreover, intervention from students and parents must be explored.
  • Universities should take the lead in building a “integrated system of mental health care for students.”

Source: TH

Reusable Launch Vehicle of ISRO

Tags: GS 2, Government Policies & Interventions, GS 3, Space Defence

In News

  • ISRO recently conducted the landing experiment for the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) programme with success.

More about the news

  • Location of the experiment:
  • The Reusable Launch Vehicle Autonomous Landing Mission (RLV LEX) was undertaken by the space agency at the Aeronautical Test Range of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Challakere, Chitradurga district, Karnataka.

Course of landing experiment:

  • An Indian Air Forces (IAF) Chinook helicopter dropped the RLV-TD from a height of 4.5 kilometres, and ISRO executed the RLV-TD landing experiment as anticipated.
  •  The release of the RLV was autonomous because it performed approach and landing manoeuvres utilising an integrated navigation, guidance, and control system and landed autonomously on the airstrip.


  • According to the space agency ISRO, in a world first, a winged body was lifted to an altitude of 4.5 kilometres by helicopter and then released for an autonomous landing on a runway.

More about Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD):


  • One of the primary goals of perfecting RLV technology is to provide inexpensive access to space.


  • According to ISRO, RLV-design TD’s resembles that of an aeroplane and blends the complexity of launch vehicles and aircraft.
  •  RLV-TD consists of a fuselage (body), a nose cap, double delta wings, and twin vertical tails.
  •  RLV-TD is configured to serve as a flying test bed for evaluating multiple technologies, including hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, and powered cruise flight. Elevons and Rudder are active control surfaces that are symmetrically arranged.
  • Previous experiment:
  •  On May 23, 2016, RLV-TD was successfully flight tested from Sriharikota, confirming crucial technologies including autonomous navigation, guidance and control, reusable thermal protection system, and re-entry mission management.
  • Throughout this operation, the vehicle landed on a fictitious runway above the Gulf of Bengal.
  • The most recent landing experiment is the second in the program’s series of experimental flights.
  • ifference in the two tests?
  • According to ISRO, the first RLV-TD (HEX1) test entailed the vehicle landing on a fictitious runway over the Bay of Bengal, whereas the most recent LEX experiment involved a precise landing on a runway.

Future Potential:

  • This spacecraft will be scaled up in the future to become the first stage of India’s two-stage reusable orbital launch vehicle.


  • Boost to other operational launch vehicles of ISRO:
  • • ISRO has created Localized Navigation systems based on pseudolite systems, instrumentation and sensor systems, etc. Adaptation of contemporary technology established for RLV LEX reduces the cost of ISRO’s other operational launch vehicles.
  • • ISRO wants to cut the cost of the process by 80 percent, which necessitates additional experiments to confirm the RLV’s success in delivering payloads to low earth orbit.
  • • The Return Flight Experiment and more RLV-related tests are being planned.

Cost factor:

  • A reusable launch vehicle is considered a low-cost, dependable, and on-demand method of accessing space, given that the high cost of space exploration is a key impediment.
  • Eighty to eighty-seven percent of the cost of a space launch vehicle is allocated to the vehicle’s structure.
  • Costs associated with propellants are negligible in comparison.
  • By utilising RLVs, the cost of a launch might be cut by roughly 80 percent.

Global advancement of RLV technologies

  • NASA:
  • Reusable space vehicles have been in existence for a long time with NASA space shuttles carrying out dozens of human space flight missions.
  • Space X:
  • Since 2017, Space X, a private space launch services provider, has demonstrated partially reusable launch systems with its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, reviving the use case for reusable space launch vehicles. S
  • tarship is a totally reusable launch vehicle system being developed by SpaceX.
  • Others:
  • In addition to ISRO, several private launch service providers and government space organisations are developing reusable launch systems around the world.

Source: TH


Tags: GS 2, Governance

In News

  • India and Malaysia have recently decided to settle their trade in Indian rupees.


  • De-dollarisation is the process of exchanging U.S. dollars for another currency in order to conduct international commerce transactions. It is a strategy for diminishing the dollar’s dominance on the global markets. It is a strategy to mitigate the effects of the dollar’s weaponization.


  • Reducing Dependence on the US Dollar: By adopting other currencies or a basket of currencies, countries can lessen their reliance on the US dollar and the US economy, mitigating the impact of economic and political developments in the United States on their own economies.
  • Improving Economic Stability: By diversifying their reserves, countries can reduce their exposure to currency fluctuations and interest rate changes, which can help to improve economic stability and reduce the risk of financial crises.
  • Increasing Trade and Investment: By employing other currencies, nations can enhance commerce and investment with nations that may not have a strong relationship with the United States, so creating new markets and economic prospects.
  • Direct Trading in a nation’s national currency reduces currency conversion margins.
  • Reducing US monetary Policy Influence: By reducing the use of the US dollar, countries can reduce the influence of US monetary policy on their own economies.


  • Not Fully Convertible: The difficulty with national currencies is that they are not completely convertible. Hence, despite the growth of alternative trade networks and different currency circulation systems, the dollar continues to be the dominant currency.
  • Currency Fluctuations: National currencies can fluctuate in value relative to the dollar, which can make it difficult for countries to plan their economic policies and for businesses to make long-term investments.
  • Limited Use of National Currencies in International Trade: International trade is dominated by the dollar, making it harder for national currencies to compete. This can make it more difficult for nations to engage in commerce and for firms to expand abroad.
  • Dependence on the Dollar: Many countries are heavily dependent on the dollar for trade and financial transactions, which can make them vulnerable to changes in the value of the dollar and to the policies of the US government.
  • Financial Instability: The dominance of the dollar in the international financial system can contribute to financial instability in other nations, which may be more prone to financial crises.
  • Monetary Sovereignty: The hegemonic role of the dollar limits the monetary sovereignty of other countries by making it difficult for them to use monetary policy to stabilise their economies.


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unveiled a rupee settlement system for international trade as a step towards internationalising the rupee.
  • Banks from eighteen countries were allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) to settle payments in Indian rupees.
  •  India and Russia are  considering the use of a third currency or inclusion of a third country like UAE to facilitate oil trade between the two countries.

Way Forward:

  • India can further look forward to inclusion of BRICS countries or use of a common digital currency to protect the countries trade from Dollar risks.
Indo -Malaysian Trade

  •  Malaysia is India’s third largest trade partner in the ASEAN area, following Singapore and Indonesia.
  •  India-Malaysia bilateral trade in 2021-22 reached $19.4 billion
  •  India exported $6.63 billion to Malaysia in 2021. India’s top exports to Malaysia are refined petroleum ($1.8 billion), frozen bovine meat ($420 million), and raw aluminium ($362 million). Since 1995, India’s exports to Malaysia have expanded at an annualised pace of 10.4%, from $504 million to $6.63 billion by 2021.

·          Malaysia exported $11.4 billion to India in 2021. The top exports of Malaysia to India were Palm Oil ($3.75 billion), Crude Petroleum ($751 million), and Computers ($447 million). Since 1995, Malaysian exports to India have expanded at an annualised rate of 10.3%, from $887 million to $11.4 billion by 2021.



Country’s Responsibility for Climate Change

Tags: GS 3, Conservation

In News

  • The United Nations has requested an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on whether governments have legal responsibility to safeguard people from climate extremes.


  • An advisory opinion is non-binding legal guidance made by the International Court of Justice to the United Nations or a specialised body under Article 96 of the UN Charter.
  • The General Assembly and the Security Council have the ability to solicit advisory views on “any legal problem.”
  • Other organs and specialised agencies may request advisory views on “legal issues emerging in the context of their work.”
  • The proposed resolution requests that the ICJ reflect on two issues:
  • What responsibility do governments have under international law to protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations?
  • What are the legal implications under these duties for governments that, via their actions and omissions, have caused considerable harm to the climate system, especially for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and affected individuals?
  • The resolution cites other international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement (2015), the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Significance of the resolution

  • It is anticipated that a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice, the highest global court recognised by all 193 UN members, will reinforce efforts under the UNFCCC to ensure that all countries strive towards limiting climate change and global warming to the specified 1.5-2°C limit.
  • The Decision might spur action on difficult issues like as climate reparations by the developed world, legal liability for nations that fail to meet their NDC commitments, and climate help for the most vulnerable regions of the world combating the effects of global warming.
  • The ICJ’s legal opinion is broader than those of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

Indian Stand :

  • Although India is largely supportive of the need for climate justice and making the rich world accountable for global warming, there are several exceptions to this position. India is unsure if “launching a legal process” is the best method to achieve “agreed objectives.”
  • The PARIS AGREEMENT represents a significant move towards a “bottom-up” approach, in which individual states assess their capacity to combat climate change.

India is less optimistic regarding “top-down” attempts to impose an opinion.



Tags: GS 3, Indian Economy & Related Issues

In News

  • Recent Restoration efforts have resulted in substantial cultural trauma for the region’s Especially Fragile Tribal Peoples.


  • Polavaram is a National multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It will facilitate an inter-basin water transfer from the Godavari River to the Krishna river through its Right canal.
  • Its reservoir extends into parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa.
  • The project is a multipurpose major terminal reservoir project for the development of Irrigation, Hydropower, and drinking water facilities. The project was initiated in 2008, and the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act granted it national status in 2014. Even though the Andhra Pradesh government extended the completion timetable to the Kharif season of 2022, the project is still not complete.

The necessity of the project 

  • Creation of Irrigation potential : Domestic & Industrial Water supply to the cities, towns & villages en route and Steel Plant and other industries in the vicinity.
  • Utilisation of Hydroelectric Power.: Growth of pisciculture, navigation for mineral and forest products, and urbanisation in addition to the creation of new picnic areas for tourists.
  • Flood Control: The floods in the Godavari are causing damage to standing crops and loss of property and cattle-worth several crores in the plains, with the help of the Polavaram Irrigation Project flow of the river can be regulated.
  • Navigation: The Polavaram Project enables inexpensive and expedient conveyance of forest products and food grains to distribution centres.
  • Concerns 
  • Rehabilitation: It can have a significant impact on the social, cultural, and economic structure of the region. The psychological effects of forcing people whose settlement sites and lands stay submerged to migrate are especially detrimental.
  •  It could result in the inundation of a significant portion of its territory, including tribally protected areas.
  •  Several PVTGs, like as Konda Reddis, have entwined lives with the river.
  • Restoration of these tribes further from the river causes irreparable damage to their culture.
  • Destruction of Habitat : As a result of the degradation of nature, the water regime may shift, unexpected floods may occur, and vegetation and natural riverbank structures may be harmed.
  • Affects Fauna: Territorial animals’ normal passageways can be impeded.
  • Way Forward:
  • The implementing authorities should take into consideration the cultural dependence of the tribal people on the river while considering their rehabilitation.

Source: TH

A fernarium is added to Eravikulam National Park.

Tags: GS 3, Conservation Places in News

In News

  • Inside Eravikulam National Park (ENP), the native home of the Nilgiri tahr in Munnar, a Fernarium has been established as a new attraction.

About Ferns

  • Ferns belong to the family of Epiphytes. They thrive in a soilless environment. The trees provide water and nutrients to the plants through leaching.
  • Ferns are a varied group of plants that reproduce by spores rather than flowers or seeds.
  • Uses: Ferns are not as economically significant as seed plants, but they are extremely vital to some communities. Certain ferns can be consumed as food.

Eravikulam National Park (ENP)

The Eravikulam National Park is situated near the peak of the Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala’s high ranges. This is also the home of the once-every-twelve-years-blooming “Neelakurinji” flower.

The Anamudi, the highest peak south of the Himalayas, is found here. Also known as the Rajamalai National Park.

It was formed in 1975 as a sanctuary with the goal of safeguarding the indigenous population of Nilgiri Tahr (the most endangered mountain goat) and was elevated to a national park in 1978.

Source: TH

A Project Tiger Reserve for fifty years

Tags: GS 3, Biodiversity and Environment

In News

  • Recently, Bandipur completed 50 years as Project Tiger Reserve.


  • Bandipur was among the first nine reserves to be brought under the flagship programme of Project Tiger in 1973; it included most areas that were already a protected area as Venugopal Wildlife Park.
  • It is located in two contiguous districts (Mysore and Chamarajanagar) of Karnataka, at the tri-junction area of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.
  • The Bandipur Tiger Reserve is an integral part of the country’s first biosphere reserve, the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, and the landscape encompassing the Bandipur, Nagarahole, Mudumalai, and Wayanad complex is not only home to the country’s largest population of tigers but also the largest population of Asian elephants.
  • It is located in one of the country’s most biodiverse regions. The Kabini Reservoir separates the Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves in the north-west.

Project Tiger :

  • The government passed the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 for the protection and preservation of different species of flora and fauna.
  • The Project Tiger was launched by the Indira Gandhi government in 1973 from the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand with an ambitious aim of increasing the population of the tiger  in the country.
  • The initial reserves covered under Project Tiger were the Jim Corbett, Manas, Ranthambore, Simlipal, Bandipur, Palamau, Sundarbans, Melghta and Kanha national parks.

Tiger reserves:

  • Since its inception, Project Tiger has expanded from 9 tiger reserves to 54 tiger reserves distributed across 18 of our tiger range states.
  • Tiger reserves are organised according to a core/buffer plan.
  • Core areas are designated as national parks or sanctuaries.
  • Nevertheless, buffer or periphery zones are a mixture of forest and non-forest land that is managed for different uses.

Indian Initiatives:

  • The government has established a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and has supported the evacuation of villages in an effort to reduce human-tiger conflicts.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority was founded in 2005 in response to a request from the Tiger Task Force to restructure the management of Project Tiger and India’s several Tiger Reserves. It is the governing authority for tiger conservation in India.
  • Several Centrally Sponsored Programmes, including as Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats, offer states with financial and technical support.
  • The 54 Tiger Reserves in India create roughly 4.3 million man-days of employment, and money from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are used to promote the voluntary displacement of villages from core regions of the Tiger Reserves.
  • Higher penalties for crimes committed within a tiger reserve or its core region.
  • Enhanced anti-poaching efforts, including a monsoon-specific patrolling plan.
  • State-level steering committees presided over by Chief Ministers and the foundation of the Tiger Conservation Foundation.

Way Forward

  • Although India has achieved achievement on the level of protected areas, we continue to fall short on the level of ecosystem protection. Going forward, India must prioritise the creation of tiger corridors and the interconnectedness of different ecosystems.