Eliminating Diseases: A Regional Approach

Question : How does the concept of disease elimination differ from eradication, and why is it considered a vital step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals?


  • The Carter Center reports near eradication of guinea worm disease (99.99% reduction).
  • This success story highlights disease elimination as a key public health strategy.

Focus on Disease Elimination:

  • Different from eradication, aims at zero transmission in a defined region.
  • A vital step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals of ending epidemics by 2030.
  • Energizes public health systems, improves diagnostics, and attracts international support.

Disease Elimination vs. Eradication

  • Elimination: Zero transmission in a defined region (e.g., guinea worm disease).
  • Eradication: Permanent cessation of infection globally (e.g., smallpox).

Benefits of Disease Elimination

  • Improved public health, especially for vulnerable populations.
  • Energizes public health systems.
  • Improves primary care, diagnostics, and surveillance for certification.
  • Increased field staff and community involvement.
  • Attracts international support.

Challenges of Elimination

  • Resource-intensive: Requires strong health systems and investment.
  • Risk of neglecting other health priorities.
  • Needs careful planning and political support.

Effective Strategies

  • Strong Surveillance:Capture every case, strengthen labs, ensure supplies.
  • Regional Focus:Prioritize elimination in defined geographic areas (states, districts).
  • Multisectoral Collaboration:Encourage innovation and local solutions.
  • Regional Ownership:National/state governments oversee and support regional efforts.

The Way Forward in India

  • Eliminate diseases progressively region-by-region.
  • Leverage regional strengths for faster progress.
  • National and state governments provide technical and material support.
  • Monitor regional elimination progress.


  • India has 40% of global lymphatic filariasis cases. Elimination may be achievable regionally.

Key Takeaway: Regional elimination is a stepping stone to national elimination and a powerful tool for improving public health.



Data Marketplaces: The Next Frontier for India’s Digital Economy

Question : What role does non-personal data (NPD) play in India’s digital economy, and how can it contribute to the country’s GDP growth by 2025?

Digitization & Data: A $5 Trillion Opportunity

  • India’s digital transformation hinges on data and AI.
  • NASSCOM report: data & AI can add $450-500 billion to GDP by 2025.

Citizen Data: Personal vs. Non-Personal

  • Rapid digitization generates massive volumes of citizen data.
  • Two main categories:
    • Personal Data: Identifiable data (e.g., names, addresses).
    • Non-Personal Data (NPD): Non-identifiable data.

Non-Personal Data (NPD): A Public Good

  • NPD holds immense potential for public benefit.
  • Integration of NPD can:
    • Create synergies across government services.
    • Enable data-driven solutions for social and economic issues.
    • Improve decision-making in areas like:
      • Weather forecasting
      • Disaster management
      • Infrastructure planning
      • Mobility patterns
      • Housing trends
      • Employment trends

The Challenge: NPD Regulation

  • Unlike personal data, NPD lacks a strong regulatory framework.
  • Current efforts:
    • Expert committee led by Kris Gopalakrishnan addressed NPD governance.
    • Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) released the National Data Governance Framework Policy (NPD Framework).
  • These initiatives lack enforceability.
  • Vast NPD resources remain unregulated with limited guidance.

Data Marketplaces: A Solution

  • Data exchanges are scalable ecosystems for data sharing.
  • Benefits:
    • Advanced analytics for better decision-making.
    • Economies of scale.
    • Digitization and automation of public services.
    • Reduced administrative burden.
    • Inter-sectoral collaboration.
    • Safeguards for using/sharing NPD.
    • More participatory citizen engagement.

Examples of Data Exchanges in India

  • Telangana’s agriculture data exchange.
  • India Urban Data Exchange by MoHUA and Indian Institute of Science.
  • Department of Science & Technology’s planned data exchanges for National Geospatial Policy.

The Way Forward

  • A critical evaluation of the NPD Framework is needed.
  • Regulatory design for data exchanges is crucial.
  • This will:
    • Complement MeitY’s NPD governance efforts.
    • Facilitate interoperable NPD sharing across sectors.
    • Enable data-driven public welfare functions.
  • India needs a blueprint for governing data exchanges.
  • This aligns with the global conversation on data exchange regulation.
  • It supports NPD governance efforts in India.


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