top of page

10 April 2024 - Daily Current Affairs | The Hindu Newspaper Analysis


Prelims Practice Questions

The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 is a landmark event in Indian history. Which of the following factors is NOT considered a major cause of the rebellion?

a) Greased cartridge controversy

b) Doctrine of lapse policy

c) Introduction of social reforms by British missionaries

d) Fear of Islamization

Which of the following states is NOT located in the Deccan Plateau region?

a) Chhattisgarh

b) Karnataka

c) Maharashtra

d) Odisha Which of the following is a hotspot of biodiversity in India?

a) Eastern Ghats b) Indo-Gangetic Plains c) Thar Desert d) Western Ghats


1. 6.6-magnitude quake hits eastern Indonesia, no tsunami alert: USGS


The quake struck off Halmahera island in North Maluku province at a depth of about 35 kilometres, the USGS said.

The USGS, or United States Geological Survey, is a scientific agency of the US government. It's not directly involved in earthquake and tsunami governance, but its work plays a crucial role in understanding and preparing for these events. Here's a breakdown:

  • Focus: The USGS focuses on the study of Earth's natural hazards, including earthquakes and tsunamis.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago nation, experiences frequent earthquakes due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity where tectonic plates collide that stretches from Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.


2. Supreme Court Upholds Candidate's Right to Privacy

Background:

  • The case involved Arunachal Pradesh MLA Karikho Kri, challenged for not declaring three vehicles as assets in his election affidavit.

  • The High Court declared Kri's election void, prompting him to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Key Points of the Ruling:

  1. Right to Privacy Affirmed:

  • Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar emphasized that candidates have a right to privacy regarding personal matters irrelevant to their candidacy.

  • Candidates are not obligated to disclose every detail of their personal life to the public.

  1. Definition of 'Corrupt Practice':

  • The non-disclosure of personal assets does not constitute a 'corrupt practice' under Section 123 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

  1. Criteria for Disclosure:

  • Disclosure requirements depend on the relevance of the information to the candidate's suitability for office.

  • Candidates are not required to disclose items of negligible value, unless they significantly impact their candidature or lifestyle.

  1. Case-Specific Judgment:

  • The ruling considered the specifics of Karikho Kri's case, where he had not declared three vehicles as assets.

  • The Court concluded that once sold, the vehicles could not be considered assets, and their non-disclosure did not constitute an attempt to unduly influence voters.

  1. Purpose of Asset Disclosure:

  • The declaration of assets aims to empower voters with essential information for making rational and intelligent voting decisions.

  • Voters have a right to information that is essential for choosing suitable candidates.

Implications of the Ruling:

  • The ruling clarifies the boundaries of candidates' privacy rights and disclosure obligations.

  • It underscores the importance of providing voters with relevant information while respecting candidates' privacy.

Conclusion: The Supreme Court's ruling emphasizes the balance between candidates' privacy rights and voters' need for essential information, providing clarity on disclosure requirements in election affidavits.


3. Peter Higgs, Physicist Who Proposed "God Particle," Dies at 94

  • Higgs Predicted the Higgs Boson

  • Peter Higgs, a Nobel prize-winning physicist, died at 94.

  • He is famous for proposing the existence of a subatomic particle, later named Higgs boson.

  • This particle helps explain how other particles acquire mass.

  • Higgs Boson Confirmed by Large Hadron Collider

  • The existence of Higgs boson was confirmed in 2012 at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

  • This discovery is considered one of the biggest breakthroughs in physics.

  • Higgs' Legacy

  • Higgs' work is crucial to our understanding of the universe's formation after the Big Bang.

  • He is remembered as a brilliant scientist, kind and modest person.

About Higgs Boson: -

  • The Higgs boson has a mass of 125 billion electron volts  —  meaning it is 130 times more massive than a proton , according to CERN.

  • It is also chargeless with zero spin  —  a quantum mechanical equivalent to angular momentum.

  • The Higgs Boson is the only elementary particle with no spin.

  • Its a "force carrier" particle that comes into play when particles interact with each other, with a boson exchanged during this interaction.


4. ISRO’s ‘zero orbital debris’ milestone & the space debris crisis | Explained


ISRO's POEM Mission Successfully Reduces Space Debris

ISRO's PSLV-C58 mission minimized orbital debris by transforming the spent fourth stage of the rocket into a functional platform called POEM-3.

  • What is POEM?

  • POEM stands for PSLV Orbital Experimental Module. It's a low-cost platform created by reusing the rocket's fourth stage.

  • It carries solar panels, batteries, navigation systems, and thrusters.

  • POEM-3 was the third mission using this concept.

  • POEM-3's Achievements

  • Launched in January 2024, POEM-3 deployed XpoSat and conducted experiments for 25 days using nine payloads from various institutions.

  • After completing its mission, POEM-3's orbit was lowered for a controlled re-entry into Earth's atmosphere in March 2024, leaving minimal debris.

  • Significance of Minimizing Debris

  • The number of satellites is increasing, and space debris from defunct spacecraft and explosions poses a risk to operational satellites.

  • POEM-3's controlled re-entry demonstrates a responsible approach to space exploration.

  • The Global Challenge of Space Debris

  • There are international guidelines to minimize debris, but no laws.

  • Space agencies like NASA, ESA, and JAXA are exploring debris removal technologies.

  • NASA had instituted its Orbital Debris Program in 1979 to find ways to create less orbital debris and design equipment to track and remove existing debris. Currently, the sixth U.S. Armed forces wing, called the Space Force, tracks space debris and collisions in LEO. However, the agency has not implemented any technology to clean such debris yet; most such ideas are in the conceptual stage.

  • Similarly, the European Space Agency (ESA) has adopted a ‘Zero Debris charter,’ which includes multiple ways to mitigate space debris. It has also called for zero space debris by 2030 and seeks that other agencies adopt it as well.

  • Private companies are also developing solutions for de-orbiting and capturing space junk.

ISRO's POEM mission is a positive step towards a sustainable space environment.


5. A Look into EVM's

EVMs were introduced in India to address issues of inefficiency and rigging in paper ballot elections.

  • Early Trials (1982):

  • The first trial of EVMs happened in Paravur constituency, Kerala in 1982.

  • It faced legal challenges and was eventually scrapped, but the idea remained.

  • Development and Legal Battles (1980s-2000s):

  • Over the next few decades, EVM designs were finalized and legal frameworks established.

  • Concerns about transparency and manipulation of EVMs were raised throughout this period.

  • The Supreme Court eventually upheld the constitutionality of EVMs in 2002.

  • EVMs in Action (2004-Present):

  • EVMs were first used nationwide in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

  • Over time, concerns about EVM security persisted, leading to the introduction of VVPATs in 2014.

  • VVPATs provide a paper slip record of the vote cast, but questions remain about their effectiveness.

  • Current Status and Debate:

  • The Supreme Court recently mandated 100% VVPAT slip counting to improve transparency.

  • Debates about the tamper-proof nature of EVMs and the need for a paper trail continue.

EVMs have revolutionized Indian elections, but questions about their trustworthiness remain a challenge for Indian democracy.


6. Landmark Ruling by European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

ECHR in Focus

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is an international court located in Strasbourg, France. Established in 1959, it oversees the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the 46 member states of the Council of Europe. Individuals can bring complaints of human rights violations to the ECHR if they have exhausted all domestic legal remedies. The Court's judgments are binding on the countries concerned and have significantly influenced human rights legislation and practices across Europe.

Swiss Climate Action Ruled Inadequate

The ECHR delivered a landmark ruling finding Switzerland's failure to adequately address climate change violates human rights. The case involved a group of over 2,000 Swiss women, mostly in their 70s, who argued that the government's weak climate policies exposed them to health risks and a higher chance of dying during heatwaves.

First-Ever Climate Change Ruling

This decision marks the first time the ECHR has issued a judgment on climate change litigation. The ruling is legally binding and sets a significant precedent for future climate cases brought before the court.


7. Arrokoth

Arrokoth is a fascinating icy world in the Kuiper Belt, the outer zone of our solar system that lies beyond Neptune. It is the farthest object ever explored by a human-made spacecraft, New Horizons, which flew by it in 2019. Arrokoth is a double-lobed object that resembles a snowman and is believed to contain ancient "gaseous ice" trapped from its formation billions of years ago.


Arrokoth


The New Horizons spacecraft launched in January 2006 and flew past Pluto on July 2015. In 2019, it continued its journey and explored Arrokoth, which is about a billion miles from Pluto. Arrokoth is located in the Kuiper Belt and translates to "sky" in the language of the Native American Powhatan tribes.


Scientists recently proposed a model to explain how Arrokoth's icy core has been able to preserve its ancient ice for so long. The model suggests that this is not unique to Arrokoth, but to many objects in the Kuiper Belt, which formed around 4.6 billion years ago. The model suggests that these primitive ices can be locked deep within the interiors of these objects for billions of years.


Arrokoth is so cold that for more ice to sublimate - or go directly from solid to a gas, skipping the liquid phase - the gas it sublimates into first has to travel outwards through its porous, sponge-like interior. To move the gas, the ice must also sublimate, and this causes a domino effect. As it gets colder within Arrokoth, less ice sublimates, less gas moves, it gets even colder, and so on. Eventually, everything just effectively shuts off, and you're left with an object full of gas that is just slowly trickling out.

8. Explained: - The ‘import restrictions’ on solar PV cells | Explained

The Indian government has re-introduced the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Modules (ALMM list) to promote domestic manufacturing of solar panels.

ALMM list and its re-implementation

  • The ALMM list specifies manufacturers whose solar panels can be used in government-backed solar projects.

  • The list was introduced in 2021 but put on hold due to concerns of renewable power producers who had secured contracts based on cheaper imports.

  • The government believes that domestic manufacturers are now competitive enough to meet local demand due to schemes like the Production Linked Incentive (PLI).

India's solar imports

  • India relies heavily on imports, mainly from China, to meet its solar cell and module demand.

  • The government has taken steps to reduce this dependence, including the ALMM list, PLI scheme, and import duties.

Why China dominates solar manufacturing

  • Lower electricity costs and government support have made China the most cost-competitive location for solar PV manufacturing.

India's solar potential

  • India has ambitious targets for solar power generation and aims to tap into its vast solar potential.

  • The government is implementing various schemes to achieve these targets.



Editorial 01: - A distinct right: On climate change and species protection

Editorial Summary: Balancing Environmental Protection and Development

Introduction

  • The Supreme Court of India recognizes climate change as a distinct fundamental right, advancing the cause of a healthy environment and sustainable development.

Recognition of Climate Change Right

  • Historical perspective: Court had previously acknowledged the right to live in a clean environment under Article 21 of the Constitution.

  • New reasoning: Identifies the right to be protected from climate change as inseparable from the right to a wholesome environment.

  • Rationale: Climate change poses multifaceted threats like rising temperatures, extreme weather events, food shortages, and health crises.

Implications on Social Justice

  • Equality dimension: Environmental degradation and climate change disproportionately affect underprivileged communities, violating their right to equality.

  • Example: Acute food and water shortages exacerbate disparities, impacting marginalized groups severely.

Legal Context: Great Indian Bustard Case

  • Conflict scenario: Three Union Ministries seek modification of a 2021 court order aiming to protect the endangered Great Indian Bustard and convert all the overhead lines into underground cables.

  • Order specifics: Undergrounding low-voltage lines, shifting high-voltage lines to mitigate bird deaths from collisions.

  • Industry concerns: Conversion to underground lines deemed technically infeasible and economically burdensome for the renewable energy sector.

Resolution and Moving Forward

  • Court decision: Appoints expert committee to evaluate underground vs. overground line extent, recalling previous orders.

  • Urgency: Highlights the paradox between reducing carbon footprint and preserving endangered species.

  • Conclusion: Emphasizes the necessity for swift resolution to reconcile environmental protection and developmental needs.

This summary encapsulates the editorial's discussion on the Supreme Court's recognition of climate change as a fundamental right, contextualized within the dilemma of balancing environmental conservation with developmental imperatives, using the case of the Great Indian Bustard as a focal point.


Editorial 02 - Gross mismanagement: On TB drug shortages and India’s national TB programme


Editorial Summary: India's Struggle with Tuberculosis Drug Shortages

Introduction

  • India, known as the pharmacy of the Global South, faces challenges in treating drug-sensitive tuberculosis (TB) despite ambitious goals (to eliminate TB by 2025) set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018.

Persistent Shortages

  • Recent shortages: India experiences recurrent shortages of TB drugs, including critical medications for multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB).

  • History of shortages: Past instances include acute shortages of MDR-TB drugs and stockouts of Delamanid, indicating systemic issues in drug supply since 2022.

Impact on TB Care Cascade

  • Delayed diagnosis and treatment initiation: Existing concerns in TB care cascade exacerbated by drug shortages.

  • Treatment success hindered: Lack of drug availability contributes to treatment failure and non-adherence among patients.

Systemic Failures

  • Inadequate management: Despite being the sole manufacturer of drug-sensitive TB medicines, India fails to ensure consistent drug availability.

  • Lack of seriousness: Renaming the National TB Control Programme without addressing fundamental issues such as drug shortages reflects incompetence in TB management.

Challenges in Local Procurement

  • Last-minute approvals: Health Ministry's decision to allow states to procure drugs locally exacerbates challenges at the field level.

  • Patient burden: Circular allowing patients to purchase drugs themselves in case of supply delays burdens TB patients, mostly from poor socioeconomic backgrounds.

Conclusion

  • India's inability to address drug shortages undermines efforts to achieve TB elimination goals by 2025.

  • Lack of control over basic TB control elements highlights systemic failures in the national TB programme.


Editorial 03 - The climate crisis is not gender neutral



Editorial Summary: Gender Dimensions of the Climate Crisis

Introduction

  • Women and girls face disproportionate health risks due to the climate crisis, exacerbated by poverty, existing roles, and cultural norms.

  • The Supreme Court of India recognizes the right to be free from climate change effects, aligning with existing recognition of the right to a clean environment.

Impact on Livelihoods and Health

  • Agriculture, vital for rural women, suffers from climate-driven yield reductions, worsening food insecurity and nutritional deficiencies.

  • Within marginalized households, women bear heavier domestic burdens, leading to worse health outcomes and increased intimate partner violence.

Extreme Events and Gender-based Violence

  • Increasing frequency of extreme weather events heightens risks for women and children, with a direct correlation to gender-based violence.

  • Climate-induced changes in water cycles exacerbate challenges in accessing safe drinking water, affecting women's productivity and health care.

Health Implications of Climate Change

  • Rising temperatures pose dangers for pregnant women, children, and the elderly, while air pollution contributes to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

  • Emerging data in India highlights the significant health risks associated with air pollution, particularly for vulnerable populations.

Need for Gender-inclusive Climate Action

  • Empowering women enhances climate solutions, as evidenced by increased agricultural yields with equal resource access.

  • Local solutions, particularly by rural and tribal women, can emerge with adequate knowledge, tools, and resources.

Immediate Action and Policy Recommendations

  • Urgent measures are needed to mitigate the impact of prolonged heat on vulnerable groups and improve access to cooling facilities and water.

  • Village-level convergence of sectors and services, empowered by devolution of powers and finances, can build community resilience effectively.

  • State action plans on climate change should adopt a gender lens, recognizing women as agents of change and implementing transformative strategies.

Conclusion

  • Women must not be viewed solely as victims but as leaders in climate action, emphasizing the importance of gender-inclusive approaches in tackling the climate crisis.



10 April 2024 - Daily Current Affairs | The Hindu Newspaper Analysis


10 April 2024 - Daily Current Affairs | The Hindu Newspaper Analysis

58 views0 comments

Recent Posts

12 May 2024 The Hindu Newspaper Analysis

Prelims Practice Question Consider the following statements about West Nile Fever It is caused by the West Nile Virus, a member of the flavivirus genus. Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile Virus.

11 May 2024 - Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Practice Questions 1 Consider the following statements about Indian Ocean Dipole IOD is characterised by a difference in sea surface temperature between tropical Western Indian Ocean and tropi

Commenti


bottom of page