Q. As the race for seeking emergency approval for their candidate Covid-19 vaccines is going between vaccine developers, critically analyze the regulatory mechanism for clinical trials in India. (15 Marks - 250 Words)

Why this question? - Three vaccine developers have now made applications to the India’s drug regulator - Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), seeking emergency use approval for their candidate Covid-19 vaccines which are still under trials. 

Intro - What are clinical trials and their significance.

Body - 

  • Different phases of clinical trials
  • Regulatory mechanism
  • Concerns 

Way ahead - How to overcome the above issues.

Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.

Q) The future for AI looks promising but to convert the potential into reality, India will need better strategies around talent development, stronger policies for data usage and governance, and more investments in creating a technology infrastructure that can truly leverage AI. Discuss. (150 words)

Why this question?

  • The pandemic has opened our minds to new ways of doing things, including understanding the potential of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Thus the question.

Introduction: Briefly define AI. Mention the booming space for AI in India.


  • Significance of AI for India
  • Govt initiatives like NITI Aayog’s national strategy for AI, setting up startups
  • Challenges:
    • Talent development
    • Policies around data usage, governance and security
    • Low levels of digitization 
    • Availability of clean datasets

Conclusion:  Summarize by providing a way forward

Q) The Government of India has proposed the setting up of a National Research Foundation, or NRF. Discuss its relevance in improving the R and D in the country. (150 words)

Why this question?

  • Scientists at Stanford University have created a database of 1,59,683 (top 2%) scientists of the world, based on standard indicators such as information on citations, h-Index, co-authorship and a composite indicator. From India, 1,594 Indians have made it to the list of top 2% scientists in the world.

Introduction: Briefly explain the research and development status in India.


  • About National Research Foundation, objectives, divisions
  • Relevance:
    • It would boost the overall research ecosystem in the country by focusing and extending support to take up research and development in thrust areas relevant to India’s national priorities. 
    • The NRF paves the way for a self-reliant India while advocating merit-based but equitable peer-reviewed research funding, an incentivisation of research, and to usher in a new culture of research and development in the country. 

Conclusion: Conclude with benefits of research focussed policies