UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing - 1 November (GS 3)


1. Introduce the concept of Artificial Intelligence(AI). How does AI help clinical diagnosis? Do you perceive any threat to privacy of the individual in the use of AI in healthcare?   (10)

2. Discuss several ways in which microorganisms can help in meeting the current fuel shortage. (10)

Model Solutions

Q1. Introduce the concept of Artificial Intelligence(AI). How does AI help clinical diagnosis? Do you perceive any threat to privacy of the individual in the use of AI in healthcare? (10)
Model Structure

  • Artificial Intelligence is the intelligence shown by machines in which computers or machines as intelligent as human beings are created to undertake processes like learning, decision making, thinking and perceiving. Eg. Playing chess.
  • As per AI Healthcare Market 2019-2025 report estimates, use of Artificial Intelligence in the Indian healthcare industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 50.9% and it is time to leverage it.

Main Body

Significance/Use of AI in clinical diagnosis (Mention at least 4-5 points)

  • AI can help detect diseases even before evident symptoms appear → improved decision making. Eg. Heart related diseases.
  • Accurate Diagnosis of skin cancer, eye health, etc
  • AI can assist in reading and analyzing CT scans and X-Rays.
  • It can improve disease risk stratification and can diagnose diseases faster than at clinic level.
  • It can predict who is at greater risk due to their genetic construct and environment. eg during a pandemic.
  • Identifying patterns in population and predicting spread and intensity of a disease. Eg. during a pandemic.
  • It can model clinical trials in a better way to make them inexpensive and less exploitative of women.
  • Optimal therapies and treatments for certain demography can be designed.

(Some AI healthcare startups in India with potential to revolutionize healthcare include- Tricog for cardio services, Niramai for early breast cancer detection and HealthifyMe for personalized diets.)

Privacy issues arising from use of AI in clinical diagnosis

  • There is a risk that sensitive and personal data could be misused or stolen, leading to privacy breaches.
  • Patients are often not informed about how their data will be used for AI purposes.
  • Increased use of facial-recognition means privacy and security concerns.
  • Wearable devices like fitbands can be used to misuse data.
  • Lack of guidelines on privacy.
  • The lack of transparency in AI algorithms makes it difficult to understand how decisions are made.
  • Issues in the cybersecurity framework means potential for data breach and unauthorized access.
  • AI algorithms can be biased, leading to incorrect diagnoses or treatment recommendations.

Solutions to privacy issues caused by AI in healthcare

  • Strong legal protection framework
  • Follow data hygiene- responsible use, collect only relevant data
  • Data security or cybersecurity infrastructure should be developed
  • Define and enforce ethical standards for data usage. eg ICMR guidelines
  • Reduce algorithmic biases


AI technology in healthcare must undergo rigorous clinical and field validation before application on patients/participants. These are necessary to ensure safety and efficacy (ICMR).
AI has huge potential in diagnosis, treatment, and healthcare but for a holistic benefit, we need to pass the draft Digital India Act at the earliest to ensure liability of AI platforms.

AI is driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its responsible use has the potential to make our healthcare systems more efficient, accurate and customized for every patient (SDG-3).

Q2. Discuss several ways in which microorganisms can help in meeting the current fuel shortage. (10)

Core Demand: Major focus should be on the contribution of microorganisms in meeting fuel demand. However, it's a ‘Discuss’ question so you can write some challenges, way forward or government initiatives to make your answer holistic

Model Structure

The world is facing an acute fuel shortage in the face of increasing demand. (World Energy Outlook 2022). This can be potentially resolved by some microorganisms like bacteria.
(Give data on Fuel shortage/ Rising Prices/ news on importing coal to meet energy needs)
Around 75 million people who recently gained access to electricity are likely to lose the ability to pay for it, and 100 million people may revert to the use of traditional biomass for cooking. (IEA)
Explain the role of microorganism: Certain species of bacteria ferment carbon dioxide (CO2) gas to make their own nutrients of choice, which might be leveraged to help energise our world

Main Body:

Use of microorganisms in making fuel

  • Microbial Fuel Cells: The bacteria help break down the waste, and in the process, they make electricity.
  • Waste-to-Energy: Organic waste, such as agricultural residues and food scraps, to produce energy through processes like anaerobic digestion.
  • Bioethanol: Certain microorganisms like yeast and bacteria can ferment sugars to produce bioethanol, which can be blended with gasoline or used as a standalone fuel.
  • Biodiesel: Microbes can convert plant oils, animal fats, or even algal lipids into biodiesel through a process called transesterification.
  • Biogas Generation by using the process of bioremediation.
  • Biohydrogen Production through fermentation process for eg: Clostridia
  • Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)

Benefits of using microorganisms

  • Renewable and sustainable energy sources: Microbial energy technologies offer a renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, which are finite and non-renewable.
  • Energy security: Microbial energy technologies can help reduce dependence on foreign oil and increase energy security.
  • Economic growth: The development of microbial energy technologies can create new jobs and stimulate economic growth.
  • Cleaner air and water quality: The use of biofuels produced from microbial energy technologies can reduce air pollution and improve water quality.

Challenges in using microorganisms for making fuels

  • Lack of infrastructure
  • High Costs of production
  • Lack of skilled workforce
  • Technology still at nascent stages
  • Production process is intensive

Government initiatives in biofuel sector

  • National Biofuel Policy
  • GOBARDHAN scheme
  • Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran (JI-VAN) Scheme
  • Ethanol blending


Microorganisms can help reduce fuel shortage when complemented with other renewable energy technologies(SDG-7). Need is to encourage more research and development in the sector.
You can conclude by writing about the role of biotechnology in effectively utilising microorganisms in fuel production.

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