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Indian Express

11- December-2023

1) FLIGHT TO WELL BEING

Context:

  • A major tactic for women’s empowerment and rural development is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s introduction of the NAMO Drone Didi initiative, which aims to supply drones for agricultural use to 15,000 women Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • The potential for economic growth that arises from women actively participating in agriculture and contributing to the prosperity of rural areas is highlighted by this programme.

Technological Innovation for Rural Empowerment

  • Through the use of cutting-edge technology, the NAMO Drone Didi programme empowers rural women and positions them at the forefront of the upcoming agricultural revolution.
  • The initiative provides women pilots from Self-Help Groups (SHGs) with state-of-the-art drone technology, addressing the need to improve production and modernise agricultural practices.
  • It sees women as agents of change in the agriculture industry and as major participants in the rapidly developing field of drone aeronautics.

Addressing Challenges in Agriculture:

  • The article recognises the difficulties facing India’s fertiliser industry, including the country’s reliance on imports because of insufficient natural resource availability.
  • Indian farmers have been shielded from the volatility of fertiliser prices abroad by government initiatives such as the reopening of closed fertiliser facilities and subsidies.
  • In order to maintain agricultural stability, the Atmanirbhar Bharat plan is essential in guaranteeing the availability of fertilisers at reasonable costs.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities:

  • Liquid nano fertilisers have been developed as a result of government support for domestic research in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and international geopolitical difficulties.
  • The search for effective fertigation systems is another area where innovation is prioritised, and drone technology shows promise in this regard.
  • The introduction of Kisan Drones, which offer effective and efficient application techniques while saving time, is hailed as a breakthrough development in agricultural practices.

Employment Opportunities and Women’s Role in Agriculture

  • The article highlights the job potential created by drone manufacturing, especially for young people.
  • In addition to increasing productivity and saving time, agri-drone automation of spraying systems opens up employment opportunities for women in rural regions as mechanics, spare-part dealers, and pilots.
  • The NAMO Drone Didi programme is billed as a revolutionary initiative that would open a new era for the empowerment of women in agriculture.

Conclusion:

  • The idea that women’s empowerment is essential to creating a developed India is reiterated in the conclusion.
  • According to projections, the NAMO Drone Didi plan will revolutionise the agricultural industry by empowering women, establishing them as the backbone of the rural economy, and fostering a more robust and egalitarian agrarian family culture.
  • It is anticipated that the programme, which has the backing of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samriddhi Kendras, will spark a contemporary agricultural revolution and promote wealth in an agrarian nation such as India.

2) Paradigm shift in medicine

Context:

  • The article highlights gene and cell therapy’s potential to drastically alter healthcare in the future and improve lives, while also introducing a quiet revolution in the global healthcare environment.
  • The restricted marketing licence for CASGEVYTM, a CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing therapy, and NexCAR19, India’s first Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, are the main topics of discussion in this field’s recent developments.

Gene and Cell Therapy for Genetic Disorders

  • In India, about 40 million people suffer from hereditary illnesses like Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anaemia.
  • The article highlights the potential of gene therapy in treating these conditions.
  • Gene therapy aims to alter the genetic code underlying many illnesses, offering a transformational approach that goes beyond symptom control.
  • To make these therapies accessible and possibly cure patients, research and infrastructure investments are essential.

Precision Medicine in Cancer Treatment

  • In light of India’s high cancer rate, the article investigates the use of gene and cell therapy in cancer treatment.
  • Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR-T therapy, is one example of precision medicine that stands out for its individualised approach because it takes into account each patient’s own genetic composition.
  • Due to India’s genetic diversity, cancer treatment is more complicated, yet gene and cell therapy offers a potential path towards individualised and successful care.

Combatting Infectious Diseases

  • The article compares the development of the revolutionary Covid-19 mRNA vaccine to the applicability of gene and cell therapy in treating infectious disorders.
  • Gene therapy is being explored as a viable treatment for conditions such as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) and viral diseases like dengue, HIV/AIDS, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
  • This shows how versatile gene therapy is in treating different infections.

Future Vision of Healthcare in India

  • The article envisions gene and cell therapies as a way forward for Indian healthcare that will lead to more individualised and precise care.
  • It draws attention to the possible financial gains that could result from treating chronic hereditary disorders with cures, which would lower long-term healthcare expenses and open the door to a more sustainable healthcare system.

Challenges and Opportunities in Integration

  • The article notes that there are obstacles in the way of incorporating gene and cell therapy into traditional Indian healthcare, despite the enormous promise.
  • Discussions are held regarding the necessity of cooperative efforts, infrastructure constraints, and ethical issues.
  • For the biopharmaceutical sector to effectively develop and commercialise innovative treatments, a paradigm shift in business structures is required.
  • It is believed that more public and healthcare professional awareness is essential for a successful integration.

Conclusion: The Future of Healthcare

  • The potential that gene and cell therapy hold for transforming healthcare is reaffirmed in the article’s conclusion.
  • With an eye towards a healthier and more resilient country, it places India at the forefront of medical innovation.
  • The need is obvious: gene and cell therapies are not merely medical remedies; rather, they are the way of the future.
  • The current revolution heralds a new era of revolutionary change in healthcare results and procedures.

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