Stress Among the Medical Students

In Context

  • A recent Right to Information (RTI) response from the National Medical Commission (NMC) said that 64 MBBS and 55 postgraduate medicos died by suicide in the last five years.


  • According to a study, 358 suicide deaths among medical students (125), residents (105) and physicians (128) were reported between 2010 and 2019. 
  • Concerned over the incidents of suicide and suicidal ideation among medical students, the NMC, India’s apex medical education regulatory authority, late in 2022 asked all medical colleges in the country to compile data on suicides.
  • The risk of suicide among doctors is almost 2.5 times more than the general population.
  • Suicide and self-harm are a major health and societal issue worldwide, with the greatest burden occurring in low-income and middle-income countries.

Reasons for Suicide among Medicals

  • Suicide is a complex, multifactorial issue. The gruelling 24×7 shifts, untimely working hours, distance from family, hostile work environment and unsupportive administration, sleep deprivation, financial hardships, examination stress, inhumane ragging sometimes, confounded by caste-based discrimination and regionalism are some of the hardships that student doctors face.
  • Lack of implementations of rules, safeguards, and support systems  in almost all medical colleges.
    • For instance, the NMC has an anti-ragging committee that monitors complaints, still lack of effective implementation is a concern.
  • The transition to university coincides with a critical developmental period characterised by individuation and separation from family, development of new social connections, and increased autonomy and responsibility. At the same time, the brain is undergoing accelerated development and is at heightened sensitivity to risk exposures commonly encountered by university students including psychosocial stressors, recreational drugs, alcohol binging, and sleep disruption.

What is Suicide?

  • Suicide is when people harm themselves with the goal of ending their life, and they die as a result.
  • A suicide attempt is when people harm themselves with the goal of ending their life, but they do not die.

Data on suicide deaths in India

  • In India, more than one lakh lives are lost every year to suicide, and it is the top killer in the 15-29 years category. 
  • In the past three years, the suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 population, the document records. 
  • The most common reasons for suicide include family problems and illnesses, which account for 34% and 18% of all suicide-related deaths.

Rise in Suicide cases

  • The rate of suicide attempts in India has been increased in this pandemic situation, people lost their jobs, many are stuck somewhere alone for months and the emotional and psychological factors of a pandemic leads to the risk of suicide by feelings of hopelessness.

Reasons for Suicide

  • Family Problems (other than marriage related problems)
  • Marriage Related Problems
  • Illness

Legal status of Suicide in India

  • Section 309 IPC:  Section 309 of Indian penal code states that the “Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a period which may extend to one year”.
    • Attempt to commit suicide is no more a crime under section 309 of IPC in IndiaArticle 21 of the constitution states that to quote “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. Article 21 does talk about the right to life but no article talks about “Right to die”.
  • The Law Commission has twice, in 1971 and 2008, recommended the repeal of IPC Section 309.

Government of India Initiatives 

  • Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: It was passed in 2017, came into effect in May 2018 and replaced the Mental Health Act of 1987. The act decriminalised suicide attempts in India.  It also included WHO guidelines in the categorisation of mental illnesses.  It also restricted the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and banned its use on minors, finally introducing measures to tackle stigma in Indian society.
  • Manodarpan Initiative: It is an initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It aims to provide psyho-social support to students for their mental health and well-being.
  • National Suicide Prevention Strategy: Recently the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced a National Suicide Prevention Strategy. The suicide prevention policy comes with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 10% 2030.

Way Ahead 

  • Given that suicide is a complex issue, tackling it will necessarily require inter-sectoral collaboration. Intervention from students and parents also need to be considered. 
  • The universities should take a lead role in developing an “integrated system of student mental health care”.


In News

  • Recently, India and Malaysia have agreed to settle trade in the Indian rupees.


  • De-dollarisation is a process of substituting the US dollars with another  agreed currency to carry out international trade transactions. It is a method of  reducing the dollar’s dominance of global markets.
  • It is a way to reduce the effects of weaponization of the US dollar..


  • Reducing Dependence on the US Dollar: By using other currencies or a basket of currencies, countries can reduce their dependence on the US dollar and the US economy, which can help to mitigate the impact of economic and political changes in the US on their own economies.
  • Improving Economic Stability: By diversifying their reserves, countries can reduce their exposure to currency fluctuations and interest rate changes, which can help to improve economic stability and reduce the risk of financial crises.
  • Increasing Trade and Investment: By using other currencies, countries can increase trade and investment with other countries that may not have a strong relationship with the US, which can open up new markets and opportunities for growth.
    • Direct Trade in country’s national currency  leads to saving on currency conversion spreads,
  • Reducing US monetary Policy Influence: By reducing the use of the US dollar, countries can reduce the influence of US monetary policy on their own economies.


  • Not Fully Convertible: The challenge for national currencies is that these are not fully convertible. Thus, despite the rise of alternate systems of trade, and multiple currency circulation systems, the dollar still dominates.
  • Currency Fluctuations: National currencies can fluctuate in value relative to the dollar, which can make it difficult for countries to plan their economic policies and for businesses to make long-term investments.
  • Limited Use of National Currencies in International Trade: The dollar is widely used in international trade, making it difficult for national currencies to compete. This can make it harder for countries to conduct trade with one another and for businesses to expand internationally.
  • Dependence on the Dollar: Many countries are heavily dependent on the dollar for trade and financial transactions, which can make them vulnerable to changes in the value of the dollar and to the policies of the US government.
  • Financial Instability: The dollar’s dominance in the international financial system can contribute to financial instability in other countries, as they may be more susceptible to financial crises.
  • Monetary Sovereignty: The hegemonic role of the dollar limits the monetary sovereignty of other countries by making it difficult for them to use monetary policy to stabilise their economies.


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unveiled a rupee settlement system for international trade as a step towards internationalising the rupee.
  • Banks from eighteen countries were allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) to settle payments in Indian rupees.
  •  India and Russia are  considering the use of a third currency or inclusion of a third country like UAE to facilitate oil trade between the two countries. 

Way Forward:

  • India can further look forward to inclusion of BRICS countries or use of a common digital currency to protect the countries trade from Dollar risks.
Indo -Malaysian TradeMalaysia is the third largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region, after Singapore and Indonesia.India-Malaysia bilateral trade touched $19.4 billion during 2021-22 In 2021, India exported $6.63B to Malaysia. The main products that India exported to Malaysia are Refined Petroleum ($1.8B), Frozen Bovine Meat ($420M), and Raw Aluminium ($362M). During the last 26 years the exports of India to Malaysia have increased at an annualised rate of 10.4%, from $504M in 1995 to $6.63B in 2021.In 2021, Malaysia exported $11.4B to India. The main products that Malaysia exported to India were Palm Oil ($3.75B), Crude Petroleum ($752M), and Computers ($447M). During the last 26 years the exports of Malaysia to India have increased at an annualised rate of 10.3%, from $887M in 1995 to $11.4B in 2021.

Country’s Climate Change Liability

In News

  • Recently, U.N. asked the International Court of Justice to give an ‘advisory opinion’ on whether countries have legal obligations to protect people from climate extremities


  • An advisory opinion is non-binding legal advice provided to the United Nations or a specialised agency by the International Court of Justice, in accordance with Article 96 of the UN Charter.
    • The General Assembly and the Security Council may request advisory opinions on “any legal matter”. 
    • Other organs and the specialised agencies may request advisory opinions on “legal questions arising within the scope of their activities”
  • The draft resolution asks the ICJ to deliberate on two questions:
    • What are the obligations of states under international law to ensure the protection of the climate system for present and future generations? 
    • What are the legal consequences under these obligations for states where they, by their acts and omissions, have caused significant harm to the climate system, particularly for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and for people who are harmed.
  • The resolution refers to several international protocols including the Paris Agreement (2015), the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Significance of the resolution

  • A legal opinion from the ICJ, the highest global court recognised by all 193 UN members, is expected to strengthen the efforts under the UNFCCC to ensure all countries work towards mitigating climate change and global warming to the suggested 1.5-2°C limit.
  • The Judgement could precipitate movement on contentious  issues such as climate reparations by the developed world, legal culpability for countries that don’t achieve their NDC promises, and climate support to the most vulnerable parts of the world battling the effects of global warming.
  • ICJ’s Legal opinion is more inclusive than previous two attempts at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea  and at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) .

Indian Stand :

  • Although India  is generally supportive of the need for climate justice, and holding the developed world accountable for global warming.India is concerned  whether “launching a judicial process” was the best way to reach “shared goals”. 
  • As PARIS AGREEMENT is a landmark shift towards a “bottom-up” approach, where states themselves determine their ability to mitigate climate change.India is less optimistic about any attempt to impose an opinion in a “top-down” manner 


In News

  • Recent Rehabilitation efforts have caused significant cultural Trauma for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in the region.


  • Polavaram is a  National multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It will facilitate an inter-basin water transfer from the Godavari River to the Krishna river through its Right canal.
  • Its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States also.
  • The project is a multipurpose major terminal reservoir project for the development of Irrigation, Hydropower and drinking water facilities.
  • The project was started in 2008, accorded national status in 2014 in the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act.
  • Although The Andhra Pradesh government extended the completion date to the 2022 Kharif season, work is still pending on the project.

The necessity of the project 

  • Creation of Irrigation potential : Domestic & Industrial Water supply to the cities, towns & villages en route and Steel Plant and other industries in the vicinity.
  • Utilisation of Hydroelectric Power.: Development of Pisciculture, Navigation for Mineral & Forest produce and urbanisation besides tourism with new picnic spots.
  • Flood Control: The floods in the Godavari are causing damage to standing crops and loss of property and cattle-worth several crores in the plains, with the help of the Polavaram Irrigation Project flow of the river can be regulated. 
  • Navigation: The Polavaram Project facilitates cheap and quick transport of forest produce and food grains to the marketing centres 


  • Rehabilitation: It can affect the social, cultural and economical structure of the region considerably. Especially forcing people, whose settlement areas and lands remain underwater to migrate, affect their psychology negatively.
    • It could result in the submergence of a considerable amount of its territory, including protected tribal areas. 
    • Many PVTG’s like  Konda Reddis have their life intertwined with the river.Rehabilitation of such groups far away from the river causes unbearable harm to their Tribal culture.
  • Destruction of Habitat : The water regime may change as a result of the destruction of nature, unexpected floods may occur and consequently vegetation and natural structures in the riverbanks can be damaged.
  • Affects Fauna: Normal passing ways of territorial animals can be hindered.

Way Forward:

  • The implementing authorities should take into consideration the cultural dependence of the tribal people on the river while considering their rehabilitation.

ISRO’s Reusable Launch Vehicle

In News

  • Recently, ISRO successfully carried out the landing experiment of the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD) programme.

More about the news

  • Location of the experiment:
    • The space agency conducted the ‘Reusable Launch Vehicle Autonomous Landing Mission (RLV LEX)’ at the Aeronautical Test Range of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Karnataka’s Challakere, in Chitradurga district.
  • Course of landing experiment:
    • An Indian Air Forces (IAF) Chinook helicopter was used to drop the RLV-TD from a 4.5 km altitude and ISRO executed the landing experiment of the RLV-TD as planned.
    • The release of the RLV was autonomous as it performed approach and landing maneuvers using Integrated Navigation, Guidance, and control system and completed an autonomous landing on the airstrip
  • Significance:
    • The space agency ISRO has said that in a first in the world, a winged body has been carried to an altitude of 4.5 km by helicopter and released for carrying an autonomous landing on a runway.

More about Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD):

  • Objective:
    • One of the key objectives of mastering the RLV technology is to achieve low cost access to space.
  • Configuration: 
    • According to ISRO the configuration of RLV-TD is similar to that of an aircraft and combines the complexity of both launch vehicles and aircraft.
    • The winged RLV-TD has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, namely, hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, and powered cruise flight
    • RLV-TD consists of a fuselage (body), a nose cap, double delta wings, and twin vertical tails. It also features symmetrically placed active control surfaces called Elevons and Rudder.
  • Previous experiment:
    • RLV-TD was successfully flight tested on May 23, 2016, from Sriharikota validating the critical technologies such as autonomous navigation, guidance and control, reusable thermal protection system, and re-entry mission management.
    • During this mission the vehicle landed on a hypothetical runway over the Bay of Bengal.
      • The recent landing experiment is the second in the series of experimental flights of the programme.
  • Difference in the two tests?
    • According to ISRO, the first test with RLV-TD (HEX1) involved the vehicle landing on a hypothetical runway over the Bay of Bengal while the recent LEX experiment involved a precise landing on a runway.
  • Future Potential:
    • In the future, this vehicle will be scaled up to become the first stage of India’s reusable two-stage orbital launch vehicle.


  • Boost to other operational launch vehicles of ISRO:
    • Localized Navigation systems based on pseudolite systems, instrumentation and sensor systems, etc were developed by ISRO, adaptation of contemporary technologies developed for RLV LEX makes other operational launch vehicles of ISRO more cost-effective.
      • More experiments are in the pipeline to ensure that the RLV succeeds in payload delivery to low earth orbit, as ISRO plans to reduce the cost of the process by 80 per cent. 
      • The Return Flight Experiment and other related tests of the RLV are also being planned.
  • Cost factor:
    • With the costs acting as a major deterrent to space exploration, a reusable launch vehicle is considered a low-cost, reliable, and on-demand mode of accessing space.
    • Nearly 80 to 87 percent of the cost in a space launch vehicle goes into the structure of the vehicle. 
    • The costs of propellants are minimal in comparison
    • By using RLVs the cost of a launch can be reduced by nearly 80 percent of the present cost.

Global advancement of RLV technologies 

  • NASA:
    • Reusable space vehicles have been in existence for a long time with NASA space shuttles carrying out dozens of human space flight missions.
  • Space X:
    • The use case for reusable space launch vehicles has revived with the private space launch services provider Space X demonstrating partially reusable launch systems with its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets since 2017.
      • SpaceX is also working on a fully reusable launch vehicle system called Starship.
  • Others:
    • Several private launch service providers and government space agencies are working on developing reusable launch systems in the world alongside ISRO.

Source: TH

Eravikulam National Park gets a Fernarium

In News

  • Eravikulam National Park (ENP), the natural habitat of Nilgiri tahr in Munnar, has a new attraction — a Fernarium setup inside the park.

About Ferns

  • Ferns are part of the Epiphytic family. They grow naturally in a soilless condition. The plants obtain water and nutrients through leaching from trees. 
  • Ferns are a diverse group of plants that do not produce flowers or seeds but instead reproduce through spores.
  • Uses: Ferns are not as important economically as seed plants, but have considerable importance in some societies. Some ferns are used for food.

Eravikulam National Park (ENP)

  • Eravikulam National Park situated along the summit of the Western Ghats in the high ranges of Idukki district of Kerala.
  • This is also the land of “Neelakurinji”, a flower that blooms once in twelve years. The highest peak south of the Himalayas – the Anamudi is located here.
  • The park is also known as Rajamalai National Park.  Iwas declared as a sanctuary with an objective of protecting the indigenous population of Nilgiri Tahr (most endangered mountain goat) when founded in the year 1975 and was then upgraded as the national park in 1978.

50 years as Project Tiger Reserve

In News

  • Recently, Bandipur completed 50 years as Project Tiger Reserve.


  • Bandipur was among the first nine reserves to be brought under the flagship programme of Project Tiger in 1973,  it included most areas that were already a protected area as Venugopal Wildlife Park.
  • It is situated in two contiguous districts (Mysore and Chamarajanagar) of Karnataka and is located at the tri-junction area of the States Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. 
  • The Bandipur Tiger Reserve is an important component of the country’s first biosphere reserve – Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and the landscape spanning Bandipur, Nagarahole, Mudumalai, and Wayanad complex is home not only to the large  number of tigers in the country but is also to the largest Asian Elephant population.
  • It lies in one of the richest biodiversity areas of the country. It is surrounded by
    • Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) in the South,
    • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the South-west &
    • The Kabini Reservoir separates the Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserve on the North-west.

Project Tiger :

  • The government passed the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 for the protection and preservation of different species of flora and fauna.
  • The Project Tiger was launched by the Indira Gandhi government in 1973 from the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand with an ambitious aim of increasing the population of the tiger  in the country.
  • The initial reserves covered under Project Tiger were the Jim Corbett, Manas, Ranthambore, Simlipal, Bandipur, Palamau, Sundarbans, Melghta and Kanha national parks.

Tiger reserves:

  • From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 54  at present, spread out in 18 of our tiger range states.
  • The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy.
    • Core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary.
    • Whereas, buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.

Indian Initiatives:

  • The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimise human-tiger conflicts.
  • National Tiger Conservation Authority was established in 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, to reorganise management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India. It is the overarching body for conservation of tigers in India.
  • Various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, such as Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats, provide financial and technical assistance to states.
  • 54 Tiger Reserves in India generate approximately 4.3 million man-days of employment, and funds from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are being used to promote voluntary village resettlement from core areas of the Tiger Reserves.
  • Increased punishment for offences involving a tiger reserve or its core area.
  • Increased anti-poaching activity, including a special strategy for monsoon patrolling.
  • State-level steering committees chaired by Chief Ministers, as well as the establishment of the Tiger Conservation Foundation.

Way Forward

  • Although India  has achieved success at protected area level ,we are still lacking in conservation at the ecosystem level.Going forward india needs to concentrate on development of tiger corridors and interconnection between various ecosystems.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *