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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 18 September 2023

CONTENTS

  1. Moral compass in education is a must
  2. India is at a pivotal moment in its health-care journey

Moral Compass in Education is a Must


Context:

Each year, we observe Teachers’ Day to honor the memory of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a renowned philosopher, scholar, and the second President of India. Dr. Radhakrishnan was not only a prominent educator but also a firm believer in the importance of education. Teachers’ Day holds great importance as it serves as a tribute to the substantial impact teachers make on society. Teachers are the cornerstone of our nation’s progress, as they not only impart knowledge to students but also nurture the future generation of responsible citizens.

Relevance:

GS4- Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values.

Mains Question:

Highlighting Dr. Radhakrishnan’s educational philosophy, discuss the changing roles and responsibilities of teachers in Indian society. (10 marks, 150 words).

Dr. Radhakrishnan’s educational philosophy

  • Dr. Radhakrishnan’s educational philosophy was firmly grounded in the idea that education goes beyond mere knowledge acquisition; it serves as a vehicle for fostering a well-rounded and enlightened individual.
  • He championed the holistic development of individuals, highlighting that education should not solely focus on intellectual advancement but should also encompass moral, emotional, and spiritual growth.
  • Radhakrishnan stressed the pivotal role of teachers in molding both the intellectual and ethical aspects of students’ characters. His educational vision centered on the significant role of character building in the educational process.

Role of teacher in earlier times:

  • Regrettably, in modern education, teachers have assumed a less prominent role in imparting moral values to students.
  • The personal connection between teachers and students is seldom evident in their interactions.
  • There was a time when a teacher’s responsibilities extended beyond being a mere purveyor of knowledge; they also played a parental role and could even recall details about their students’ family members.
  • In cases where a student skipped class, teachers would track them down at movie theaters and parks. However, this tradition has significantly waned over time, largely due to a shift in parental attitudes.
  • In a similar vein, in earlier eras, teachers didn’t limit their discussions to the curriculum; they also delved into various topics related to life values.
  • Most often, these values became ingrained in the subconscious minds of students, contributing to the development of responsible future citizens. The values instilled by teachers remained etched in the memories of students throughout their lives.

Status today:

  • Due to the proliferation of private educational institutions, both the administration and educators often lose sight of the significance of imparting values.
  • These institutions tend to prioritize two main objectives: ensuring students’ success in competitive exams and generating profits. This narrow focus has, unfortunately, led some teachers to compromise their ethical principles. They tend to align themselves with the interests of the institution in order to safeguard their employment, resulting in a lack of independence.
  • These teachers find themselves constrained by the institution’s policies, no longer enjoying the academic freedom that their predecessors had a couple of decades ago.
  • The rising number of crimes involving educated individuals and the growing prevalence of unethical practices across various sectors, both perpetrated by educated individuals, underscore the deficiencies in our education system.

Conclusion:

When allegations of corruption emerge within society, whether they involve a politician or a government worker, they ultimately reflect on the teacher who influenced their development. The pressing requirement of our time is an education system infused with values. Education, when combined with moral principles, equips individuals to make ethical choices, even in intricate or uncertain circumstances, all aimed at advancing society’s well-being.


India is at a Pivotal Moment in its Health-Care Journey


Context:

Over the recent years, India has progressively emerged as a significant advocate for a variety of vital concerns. Whether it pertains to topics like climate change, electrification, advanced manufacturing, or space exploration, India is actively engaged and often assumes a leadership role. This has been particularly evident in recent times, exemplified by India’s groundbreaking achievement as the first nation to achieve a successful lunar mission near the moon’s south pole. Additionally, India’s highly effective stewardship of the G20 presidency resulted in the facilitation of global consensus on a diverse array of important matters.

Relevance:

GS2-Health

Mains Question:

“India is at a Pivotal Moment in its Health-Care Journey.” Critically analyse. (15 marks, 250 words).

Recent Developments in India’s Health-care Journey:

  • The nation has made significant strides since 1983, when we initiated the Apollo program, and has achieved remarkable progress in critical health indicators.
  • Infant mortality has reduced by a factor of four, maternal mortality has declined by a factor of seven, and the average life expectancy of an Indian has increased by almost 30%, rising from 55 years to over 70 years today.
  • India boasts a world-class healthcare infrastructure complemented by exceptional clinical expertise, delivering top-notch clinical outcomes on a vast scale and at a fraction of the global cost. India’s proficiency in highly specialized fields like organ transplants, cardiology, oncology, and more has positioned the country as a rapidly growing hub for medical value travel (MVT).
  • A notable milestone in this journey is the introduction of proton beam therapy technology, establishing India as a regional leader in cancer treatment.
  • Orthopedic procedures, encompassing joint replacements and spinal surgeries, are performed by highly skilled surgeons using minimally invasive techniques, attracting patients seeking top-tier orthopedic care at competitive prices.
  • Robotic surgery has also gained popularity, with Indian hospitals adopting robotic-assisted methods for precise and expeditious recovery. The nation’s proficiency in this domain appeals to international patients seeking minimally invasive, high-precision surgical interventions.

Non-communicable Diseases:

  • However, it’s important to acknowledge that this is the same India currently facing the unfortunate distinction of being the global leader in non-communicable diseases. Additionally, millions of its population suffer from hypertension, while the younger generation is increasingly affected by heart attacks, cancer, respiratory problems, depression, and various other health issues.
  • If these trends go unaddressed, India’s burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is projected to reach nearly $4 trillion by 2030. This represents one of the most significant obstacles to India’s progress and will essentially impose an ‘age tax’ on the country’s demographic potential.

Way Forward:

  • Public-private partnerships play a vital role in creating a favorable environment for medical value travel (MVT) through shared investments in infrastructure, the promotion of medical tourism, and the establishment of international healthcare accreditation organizations.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly reshaping the healthcare landscape worldwide, and India has the potential to lead this transformative wave.
  • The nation possesses an abundant reservoir of skilled data scientists, engineers, and healthcare professionals capable of spearheading innovation in AI-driven healthcare solutions.
  • One of the key domains where AI can have a profound impact is in the realm of diagnostics. AI-driven tools have the potential to elevate the precision and efficiency of medical diagnoses, resulting in swifter treatment decisions and improved patient outcomes.
  • Furthermore, AI can assist in predicting disease outbreaks, analyzing healthcare data, optimizing treatment plans, streamlining healthcare processes, and revolutionizing drug discovery, ultimately rendering healthcare more personalized and effective.
  • Medical value travel holds strategic significance as it generates employment opportunities and foreign exchange earnings. While India is already a leading destination for patients seeking healthcare abroad, there is ample room for further growth and development in this sector.
  • India must persist in dedicating resources to research and development, encourage collaborations between academic institutions and industry, and establish an environment that fosters innovation. Such efforts can position India as a global frontrunner in AI-driven healthcare solutions, allowing it to export its expertise for the benefit of healthcare systems worldwide. Projections suggest that AI spending in India will reach $11.78 billion by 2025 and contribute an estimated $1 trillion to India’s economy by 2035.

Conclusion:

India currently finds itself at a crucial juncture in its healthcare journey. By reimagining its healthcare model, the nation has the opportunity to become a worldwide hub for medical value travel, a powerhouse in AI-driven healthcare solutions, and a leader in the fight against noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). To realize this vision, India must prioritize community health, nurture public-private partnerships, and make substantial investments in innovation and research. With determined efforts and a commitment to excellence, India can build a healthier and more prosperous future for generations to come.


March 2024
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