True Net Machine
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently approved the use of TrueNat machines, manufactured by a Goa-based company, for carrying out confirmatory tests for Covid-19 disease.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, does not have a DNA, but an RNA molecule. The reverse transcription process (the RT in RT-PCR) converts the RNA into the DNA molecule before the gene can be captured in the test.
- TrueNat is a chip-based, battery-operated RT-PCR kit. Initially, it could only identify the E-gene in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is the gene that helps the virus build a spherical envelope around it.
- At this point, TrueNat machines were used as a screening test. Samples that were detected with the E-gene could be sent for confirmatory RT-PCR tests in laboratories. But the new machines are now equipped to detect the RdRp enzyme found in the virus RNA.
Source: Indian Express (June 19) Explained: How TrueNat test works
Attack On Indian Soldiers At Galwan Valley: How Prepared India Is
India’s resounding success in the Kargil War set the pace for continued capability development in the country.
- Today, Indian armed forces are battle-hardened, with experienced leadership and adequate resources.
- The continued involvement in suppressing the Pakistan-supported “proxy war” and border skirmishes on the LoC are a constant “on-job training” for soldiers.
- In comparison, the PLA has been in flux due to the reorganisation and restructuring it has been undergoing since 2017. Its capability development is largely in the maritime domain or for strategic weapons.
- The focus has been directed towards the Pacific and primarily to counter the US challenge. Its assertiveness in the SCS is more bullying and less of military prowess.
- Its weapons and soldiers are not combat-tested. China’s last major military conflict was against Vietnam, over three decades ago, and that was not a feather in its cap. China’s resilience against a well-matched adversary is questionable.
Source: Indian Express (The road from Galwan: India’s response must be mature and resolute)
Good neighbourhood relations are crucial for national stability and well-being
India’s leverage and balancing power within the Indo-Pacific and the world beyond stems from its strong democratic credentials, the dynamism of its economy, its leading role in multilateral institutions, and the strategic advantage of its maritime geography — an asset possessed by few other nations, and which must be deployed much more effectively to counterbalance the Chinese ingress into this oceanic space that surrounds us. The events in Galwan Valley should be a wake-up call to many of India’s Asian friends and partners enabling a high-resolution envisioning of Chinese aggressiveness.
The time has also come for India to reconsider its stand on joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. If India is to disengage from economic involvement with China, and build the capacities and capabilities it needs in manufacturing, and in supply chains networks closer home, it cannot be a prisoner of the short term. It is time to boldly take the long view in this area as also on its South Asia policy. Good neighbourhood relations are crucial for national stability and well-being.
Source: The Hindu Galwan: Postscript to a tragedy
India’s Election to the UN Security Council
India’s election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member is a significant diplomatic victory for the country.
- India secured the seat with 184 votes in the 193-strong General Assembly.
- Mexico, Norway and Ireland were also elected as non-permanent members.
- India sought the support of member countries by highlighting its commitment to multilateralism and reforms.
- India demanded for transparency in mandates for UN peacekeeping missions and push for the India-led Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and called for joint efforts for UN reform and expansion of the Security Council.
- India has long been of the view that the structure of the UN Security Council doesn’t reflect the realities of the 21st century.
- In this context, the challenges before India are many. The Security Council is one of the most important multilateral decision-making bodies where the contours of global geopolitics are often drawn. India should avoid the temptation of taking sides at a time when the Security Council is getting more and more polarised.
Source: The Hindu Editorial (At the high table)