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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 09 July 2024

  1. Transforming Healthcare with Digital Technologies
  2. Paving the Way for India’s Own Green Silicon Valley


Digital technologies are expected to deliver rapid and personalized clinical services to patients through their handheld devices. Modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile tech, cloud computing, Big Data, and 5G are becoming crucial tools in the domain of “Smart Health.” This concept refers to an interconnected healthcare system that leverages these technologies for clinical analysis, treatment, medical setups, and hospital management.


GS2- Health

Mains Question:

The health-tech sector in India is poised for exponential growth, reshaping the future of healthcare for all its citizens. Discuss. (10 Marks, 150 Words).

Smart Healthcare Systems:

  • Examples of Smart Healthcare systems include surgical robots, RFID-based supply chains, and integrated health management platforms or Health-stacks.
  • These systems provide real-time connectivity to doctors, reduce treatment costs, and offer predictive, personalized information to patients.
  • For instance, IoT-based wearable smart devices can monitor patients’ progress, assist in managing medical emergencies, and promptly notify healthcare providers.

Initiatives Taken:

  • India’s National Health Policy 2017 aims for “Universal Health Coverage for all citizens,” progressively shifting from fragmented healthcare systems to a comprehensive approach using digital technologies.
  • The Ayushman Bharat scheme, introduced in September 2018, is a major nationwide public health insurance program providing health coverage of up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization through the ‘Abha-ID’ for each patient.
  • Additionally, the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), launched on August 15, 2020, aims to establish an integrated healthcare system that digitally connects practitioners and patients, allowing real-time access to health records.

Expansion of the Health-tech Sector in India:

  • Fueled by these national initiatives, the growth of health startups, increased healthcare spending, and rising demand for high-quality healthcare services, the health-tech sector in India is rapidly expanding.
  • Recent reports indicate that the health-tech industry in India is projected to reach $6.5 billion by 2024 and $78.4 billion by 2033, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.67% during this period.
  • India has already launched initiatives like the National Health Portal and the Health Management Information System (HMIS), along with various state-level programs.
  • Notable programs include the CoWIN Vaccine Platform, the Aarogya Setu contact tracing app, and the eSanjeevini National Telemedicine Service Platform. Post-COVID-19, private equity firms have been increasingly investing in health tech companies.
  • The health startup ecosystem in India comprises six main segments: telemedicine, pharmacy, fitness, wellness, IT healthcare, and home healthcare.

Associated Challenges:

  • Legal and Regulatory Framework: The health-tech domain lacks a cohesive and robust legal and regulatory framework.
  • Security: Smart healthcare systems are vulnerable to attacks or infiltration by hackers or malicious individuals.
  • Access and Adaptability: Healthcare specialists face challenges with limited access to and adaptability to digital technologies.
  • Logistical and Workforce Issues: These challenges are compounded by inadequate logistical support, a shortage of skilled personnel, and resistance to technology among various stakeholders.

Way Forward:

  • Data Privacy: Patients’ sensitive health data requires additional protection beyond what is currently provided by India’s Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act.
  • Interoperability and Connectivity: Ensuring seamless exchange of health data through data interoperability and digital connectivity is crucial. The emerging 5G network in India can help bridge this gap, but technological constraints currently hinder the widespread adoption of in-home health monitoring services.
  • Digital Public Infrastructure: Inspired by the success of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), a digital public infrastructure (DPI) for healthcare should be made universally accessible.
  • Support for Anganwadi Workers: Special attention should be given to supporting anganwadi workers with additional tech-savvy staff.
  • Capacity Building: It is essential to prioritize capacity building for healthcare providers and ensure their access to digital devices and connectivity through common service centers (CSCs) and Public Health Centers (PHCs).


In addition to the above steps, India should expand the scope of its Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act, 2023, to include specific provisions for managing sensitive health data. With these measures, every Indian will have easy access to and trust in the “Digital Doctor in their pocket.”


Growth, employment, and climate change—these three modern economic challenges—have reignited policymakers’ interest in bringing industrial policy back to the forefront of discussions. Alarming estimates suggest that climate change could significantly harm growth and employment, potentially reducing GDP by 18% and resulting in a loss of productivity equivalent to 72 million jobs.



  • Environmental Conservation
  • Industry and Infrastructure         

Mains Question:

Climate change offers an opportunity to create an international market for green products, capital and goods through cooperation and collaboration. Analyse. (10 Marks, 150 Words).

Green Industrial Policy:

  • This renewed focus has led to the development of Green Industrial Policy, which involves a series of government interventions—such as subsidies, regulations, incentives, and standards—that aim to achieve economic development while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Leading nations are combining various elements of Green Industrial Policy to build national competitive advantages, stimulate economic growth, increase skilled employment, and promote climate action:


  • The country has introduced five policy tools, including grant funding, tax incentives, guidance policies on transition finance, regulatory reforms, and international collaboration.
  • These measures target over 18 trillion yen for fourteen green growth sectors such as wind power, nuclear power, and mobility & battery technologies.

United States:

  • The US is focusing on manufacturing, strengthening national security through supply chain resilience, and accelerating the energy transition with approximately $400 billion in supply and demand-side spending and tax cuts.
  • This initiative aims to create around 1.5 million jobs.


  • India has made significant strides toward a green future by focusing on domestic market formation and localizing component production.
  • The country’s Long Term-Low Emission Development Strategy, submitted at COP27, outlines seven transitions to low-carbon development, including transformations in electricity systems, transport systems, and sustainable urbanization.

About Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy:

  • The 2015 Paris Agreement mandates that all parties develop long-term low greenhouse gas emissions development strategies (LT-LEDS) based on their respective responsibilities and capabilities, considering their national circumstances.
  • At COP26 in Glasgow (November 2021), parties that had not yet submitted their LT-LEDS were required to do so by COP27.
  • India’s LT-LEDS was formulated through extensive consultations with government entities, state governments, research institutes, and civil society organizations.

Key Pillars of India’s Strategy:

  • Low-Carbon Electricity Systems: Aligning with developmental goals.
  • Efficient, Inclusive Low-Carbon Transport Systems: Integrating and improving transportation.
  • Energy and Material Efficiency in Buildings: Enhancing efficiency.
  • Decoupling Growth from Emissions: Developing a low-emission industrial system.
  • CO2 Removal and Engineering Solutions: Implementing innovative solutions.
  • Enhancing Forest Cover: Considering socioeconomic and ecological factors.
  • Increasing Climate Resilience: Focusing on poverty eradication and employment creation.

Salient Features of India’s LT-LEDS:

Forest Cover:

  • India has successfully increased forest and tree cover over the past three decades, even amid significant economic growth.
  • Forest fire incidents are below global levels, and forest and tree cover absorbed 15% of CO2 emissions in 2016.
  • India is on track to meet its NDC commitment of an additional 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon sequestration in forest and tree cover by 2030.

Transition from Fossil Fuels: The transition will be conducted in a just, smooth, sustainable, and inclusive manner.

Transportation Sector: The low-carbon development of transportation will be driven by increased biofuel use (especially ethanol blending in petrol), electric vehicle penetration, and green hydrogen fuel use.

Sustainable Urbanization: Future urban development will be driven by smart city initiatives, integrated city planning, effective green building codes, and advancements in solid and liquid waste management.

Industrial Sector: Under the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives, the industrial sector will focus on energy efficiency (e.g., Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme), electrification, material efficiency, and recycling to promote a circular economy.

Transition to Low-Carbon Development: This transition will incur costs for developing new technologies, infrastructure, and other transactions. Climate finance from developed countries will be crucial to support these efforts.

Way Forward:

  • These examples illustrate how different countries are integrating Green Industrial Policy to address the intertwined challenges of growth, employment, and climate change, aiming for a sustainable and prosperous future.
  • Production-linked incentive schemes in the renewable energy equipment sector and technology-focused national missions on hydrogen and energy storage are promising steps toward a broader green industrialization policy for India.
  • Such a comprehensive green industrialization policy, by catalyzing investments in the manufacturing of decarbonization technologies, can initiate the Schumpeterian process of innovation and discovery. This would drive high-carbon growth and employment in the medium term.
  • Emphasizing clean energy entrepreneurship through industrial policy and a green R&D policy can foster groundbreaking innovations and patents, leading to new solutions that can be monetized.
  • Japan and Korea have recognized the potential of startups as sources of open innovation and have implemented industrial policies that encourage partnerships between startups and larger conglomerates.
  • This approach enhances the overall innovativeness of their economies and helps them compete with European, Chinese, and American counterparts.
  • Green startups, with their agility, and conglomerates, with their market power and experience, could create an Indian equivalent of Silicon Valley for green technology.


Climate change presents an opportunity to establish an international market for green products, capital, and goods through global cooperation and collaboration. These initiatives can spark a virtuous cycle of growth, employment, and carbon neutrality.

July 2024