03 Mar 2024: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

03 March 2024 CNA
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. The resolutions against Centre’s border plan
HEALTH
1. Why did the Court penalise Patanjali?
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. What will Gaganyaan change for India?
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
F. Prelims Facts
1. Chinese ‘nuclear’ cargo heading to Pakistan seized
2. Shah launches umbrella body for urban cooperative banks
3. IAF finishes black-topping of landing strip near LAC
4. Google’s app delisting cannot be allowed
5. Managing our resources with Artificial Intelligence
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: HEALTH

1. Why did the Court penalise Patanjali?

Syllabus: Issues related to the development and management of the social sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Mains: Issue of misleading advertising campaigns

Context​: The recent penalization of Patanjali Ayurved by the Supreme Court has brought to light the issue of misleading advertising campaigns on medicines, particularly those claiming to offer miracle cures for chronic conditions. This development underscores the importance of stringent regulations to ensure the accuracy and reliability of medical advertisements, safeguarding public health and consumer rights.

Issues:

  • Misleading Advertising Practices: Patanjali’s advertisements have been accused of denigrating allopathy and making exaggerated claims about the efficacy of its products. These misleading campaigns violate the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 (DMR&OA) and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (CPA), posing a risk to public health.
  • Violation of Regulatory Framework: Despite warnings and directives from the court, Patanjali continued to release advertisements that promise permanent cures for chronic conditions, in defiance of regulations outlined by the DMR&OA. The lack of strict enforcement mechanisms has allowed such violations to persist.

Significance:

  • Public Health Concerns: Misleading advertisements for medicinal products not only deceive consumers but also pose serious health risks by promoting false ‘miracle cures’. Patients may delay seeking appropriate medical care or abandon conventional treatments in favour of unproven remedies, exacerbating their conditions.
  • Consumer Rights: The penalization of Patanjali highlights the importance of protecting consumer rights and ensuring transparency and accountability in advertising practices. Stringent regulatory measures are essential to prevent exploitation and misinformation in the healthcare sector.

Solutions:

  • Enforcement of Existing Laws: There is a need for strict enforcement of laws such as the DMR&OA and the CPA to curb misleading advertising campaigns on medicines. Authorities must take prompt action against violators and impose appropriate penalties to deter future offenses.
  • Enhanced Oversight: Regulatory bodies should strengthen monitoring mechanisms to identify and address illegal and misleading advertisements effectively. Collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including medical associations and consumer rights groups, can facilitate comprehensive oversight of advertising practices.

Nut Graf: The penalization of Patanjali by the Supreme Court underscores the imperative of upholding ethical standards in medical advertising and protecting public health. Addressing the issue of misleading advertisements requires a concerted effort from regulatory authorities, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to ensure that accurate information is provided to consumers, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

C. GS 3 Related

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. What will Gaganyaan change for India?

Syllabus: Developments in Science and Technology, Applications of scientific developments in everyday life

Prelims: Gaganyaan Mission

Mains: Significance of Gaganyaan 

Context​: The Gaganyaan mission marks a significant leap in India’s space exploration endeavours, as it aims to send Indian astronauts to low-earth orbit onboard an indigenous launch vehicle. This mission, undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is a testament to India’s growing capabilities in space technology and its aspirations to explore new frontiers.

Goals of Gaganyaan and ISRO:

  • Demonstration Mission: Gaganyaan is a demonstration mission aimed at testing various technologies required for human spaceflight. It aims to showcase India’s proficiency in producing, qualifying, and utilizing these technologies, paving the way for future ambitious space missions.
  • Long-term Objectives: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive for ISRO to establish an indigenous space station by 2035 and land an Indian on the moon by 2040 highlights India’s ambitious goals in space exploration. These objectives require significant advancements in technology and infrastructure.
  • Technological Innovation: ISRO’s overarching goals include technological innovation, national development through space applications, and international collaboration. Gaganyaan serves as a stepping stone towards achieving these objectives, enhancing India’s position in the global space community.

Technological Ambition of Crewed Flight:

  • Safety and Reliability: Crewed spaceflight poses unique challenges in ensuring the safety and well-being of astronauts amidst the harsh conditions of space. Developing reliable life support systems, launch, re-entry, and landing mechanisms are crucial for mission success.
  • Human-rated Technologies: ISRO has human-rated many technologies to meet stringent safety standards for crewed missions. Rigorous testing and validation are essential to ensure the reliability of spacecraft and systems.
  • Testing Procedures: Before the crewed mission, ISRO conducts multiple test flights to validate spacecraft performance and safety features. These test flights simulate various mission scenarios, including launch, orbit insertion, re-entry, and landing.

Components of Gaganyaan:

  • Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM-3): The LVM-3 is a three-stage rocket capable of launching the orbital module into low-earth orbit. It is equipped with indigenous cryogenic engines for efficient propulsion.
  • Orbital Module: Comprising the crew module and service module, the orbital module houses astronauts and essential systems for life support and propulsion. It includes parachutes for descent and a crew escape system for emergencies.
  • Crew: The crew for Gaganyaan includes Indian Air Force personnel who undergo rigorous training to prepare for spaceflight. Additionally, a gynoid named ‘Vyommitra’ is equipped with sensors to monitor conditions onboard the spacecraft.

Achievements and Future Prospects:

  • Space Reforms: The establishment of New Space India Ltd. (NSIL) and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) reflects India’s commitment to space reforms and commercialization. These initiatives aim to streamline space activities and foster innovation.
  • Geopolitical Significance: Gaganyaan enhances India’s self-sufficiency in human spaceflight and positions it as a key player in the global space arena. It aligns with India’s efforts to assert its presence in space exploration and scientific endeavours.

Nut Graf: The Gaganyaan mission represents a significant milestone for India’s space program, demonstrating its technological prowess and ambition in crewed spaceflight. As ISRO progresses towards achieving this mission, it underscores India’s emergence as a formidable player in the global space community, with the potential to contribute significantly to scientific research, national development, and international collaboration in space exploration.

2. Shah launches umbrella body for urban cooperative banks

Context: Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah recently inaugurated the National Urban Cooperative Finance and Development Corporation Limited, serving as an umbrella organization for urban cooperative banks (UCBs). This initiative aims to enhance self-regulation among UCBs and facilitate their compliance with regulatory norms, fostering their development and expansion across the country.

Issues:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Urban cooperative banks often face challenges in adhering to the regulatory requirements set forth by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Non-compliance with these regulations can hinder their competitiveness and sustainability in the banking sector.
  • Financial Performance: While UCBs play a significant role in catering to the financial needs of urban areas, they encounter issues related to asset quality, particularly non-performing assets (NPA). Addressing these financial concerns is crucial for maintaining stability and viability in the banking sector.

Significance:

  • Enhanced Self-Regulation: The establishment of the National Urban Cooperative Finance and Development Corporation Limited signifies a concerted effort towards promoting self-regulation among UCBs. This initiative aims to streamline their operations, improve governance standards, and ensure compliance with regulatory norms.
  • Expansion of UCBs: By providing support and guidance to UCBs, the umbrella organization seeks to facilitate their expansion across various cities in India. This will contribute to greater financial inclusion and accessibility, particularly in urban areas where traditional banking services may be limited.

3. IAF finishes black-topping of landing strip near LAC

Context: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed the black-topping of the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Nyoma, situated near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. This strategic infrastructure development aims to enhance India’s military capabilities in the region, particularly in light of border tensions with China.

Issues:

  • Strategic Significance: The proximity of Nyoma ALG to the LAC makes it a vital asset for India’s defense posture in eastern Ladakh. However, concerns persist regarding its vulnerability to potential threats from China due to its geographical location.
  • Infrastructure Development: While progress has been made in black-topping the landing strip, further work is underway to extend the runway to accommodate fighter jets. The completion of this infrastructure project is crucial for bolstering India’s aerial capabilities in the region.

Significance:

  • Enhanced Operational Capabilities: The development of Nyoma ALG will significantly enhance the IAF’s operational capabilities by providing a strategically located base for aircraft operations near the LAC. This will enable rapid deployment of forces and improved response times to emerging security challenges.
  • Deterrence Against Threats: The strengthened infrastructure at Nyoma ALG serves as a deterrence against potential threats from adversaries, particularly China. It underscores India’s commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity and national security interests in the region.

4. Google’s app delisting cannot be allowed

Context: The delisting of certain Indian apps from Google’s Android Play Store due to resistance against platform fees for in-app purchases has sparked controversy. Minister of Electronics and Information Technology has emphasized that such actions by Google cannot be permitted, leading to a scheduled meeting between the government and Google representatives to address the issue.

Issues:

  • Platform Fees: Google requires app developers to pay commissions ranging from 11-30% on in-app purchases, which has led to resistance from some Indian apps, including those in the matrimonial, streaming, and job search sectors.
  • Impact on Indian Apps: The delisting of these apps from the Play Store can significantly affect their visibility, user acquisition, and revenue generation. Many Indian apps rely on direct payments for digital goods, and the imposition of platform fees could hinder their growth and sustainability.

Significance:

  • Protection of Start-ups: Minister Vaishnaw underscores the importance of protecting Indian start-ups against practices that could stifle their innovation and competitiveness in the digital market.
  • Policy Clarity: The government’s stance on safeguarding the interests of Indian app developers against excessive platform fees sets a precedent for regulatory oversight and policy enforcement in the digital ecosystem.

5. Managing our resources with Artificial Intelligence

Context: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become ubiquitous in today’s world, offering solutions to various challenges while also raising concerns about job displacement and privacy invasion. However, there is widespread recognition of AI’s potential to address large-scale problems by analyzing vast amounts of data. In India, where development is gaining momentum, managing limited resources, especially water, has become a critical concern. AI presents an opportunity to tackle these challenges effectively.

Issues:

  • Resource Limitations: India faces resource limitations, particularly in water management, with floods occurring in some regions and droughts in others. Traditional solutions, such as river-linking projects, have faced uncertainties and challenges, hindering their implementation.
  • Complex Objectives: Initiatives like river linking involve complex objectives, such as maximizing agricultural yield while minimizing water usage. Achieving these objectives requires a comprehensive understanding of various factors and trade-offs involved.

Significance:

  • Water Management: Effective water management is crucial for India’s sustainable development, especially in the face of climate change and unpredictable weather patterns. AI offers the potential to optimize resource allocation and improve water utilization efficiency.
  • Optimization: AI-based modelling allows for multi-objective optimization, where multiple goals, such as maximizing agricultural yield and conserving water resources, can be simultaneously optimized. This approach ensures that decisions are made to achieve the best overall outcomes.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following best defines the concept of "dual-use nuclear technology"?
  1. Technology that has both military and civilian applications
  2. Nuclear technology is exclusively used for peaceful purposes
  3. Technology designed for space exploration and energy production
  4. Nuclear technology with applications in medical research and diagnostics
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Q2. Consider the following statements regarding the “Free Movement Regime (FMR) 
agreement between India and Myanmar”:
  1. The Free Movement Regime allowed residents within 16 km of the India-Myanmar border to travel freely for up to two weeks with a special pass.
  2. Established in 2018 as part of India’s “Act East Policy” aimed at strengthening ties with Southeast Asian nations.

Which of the options are correct?

  1. Statement 1
  2. Statement 2
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Q3. Consider the following statements:
  1. Statement 1: The Minimum Support Price (MSP) is the minimum price at which the government guarantees to buy crops from farmers.
  2. Statement 2: The MSP is announced by the government before the sowing season to incentivize farmers to grow certain crops.
  3. Statement 3: The implementation of MSP aims to provide a safety net to farmers and ensure that they receive remunerative prices for their crops.

Which of the following is/are correct?

  1. Only Statement 1 is correct
  2. Only Statements 1 and 2 are correct
  3. Only Statements 2 and 3 are correct
  4. All three statements are correct
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Q4. Consider the following statements regarding the “Commissionerate system 
in Administration”:
  1. The Superintendent of Police (SP) reports to the District Magistrate (DM).
  2. SP focuses on investigation and law & order; DM holds magisterial powers.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Statement 1
  2. Statement 2
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Q5. Consider the following statements in respect of the Constitution Day: [UPSC 2023]
  1. Statement-I: Constitution Day is celebrated on 26th November every year to promote constitutional values among citizens.
  2. Statement-II: On 26th November 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India set up a Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to prepare a Draft Constitution of India.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is the correct explanation for Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II is not the correct explanation for Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect but Statement-II is correct
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Click on the link for the video explanation of the above questions and answers.

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