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18 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

1. ISRO successfully launches INSAT-3DS meteorological satellite

The GSLV-F14 carrying INSAT-3D meteorological satellite was successfully launched on Saturday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

GSLV-F14 deployed the INSAT-3DS into the intended geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The INSAT-3DS satellite is a follow-on mission of the third generation meteorological satellite from geostationary orbit. The satellite is an exclusive mission designed for enhanced meteorological observations, monitoring of land and ocean surfaces for weather forecasting, and disaster warning.

The INSAT-3DS satellite will augment meteorological services along with the presently operational INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR in-orbit satellites.

The GSLV or geosynchronous launch vehicle was termed the “naughty boy” of Indian space due to its repeated failures in the past. Following Saturday’s successful launch, GSLV-F14/INSAT-3DS Mission Director Tommy Joseph said that the GSLV had become a “disciplined boy”.

2. India sends assistance to cholera-hit Zambia

India sent medical and material assistance to Zambia as the southern African country deals with a deadly cholera outbreak.

Aid Consisted of 3.5 tonnes of water purification supplies, chlorine tablets and ORS sachets in Zambian capital Lusaka.

Zambia Map

Zambia is one of the few countries in Africa that do not have a coastline, also known as landlocked countries. A total of eight nations border Zambia and they include Angola, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Malawi, and Botswana.

3. Japan slips to the world's fourth-largest economy, behind the US, China and now Germany\

EFTA Members: -

  • Iceland

  • Liechtenstein

  • Norway

  • Switzerland

Expectations are high that a free trade agreement involving India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is close to fruition. However, a bone of contention relates to intellectual property rights, and has persisted as an issue since 2008. Switzerland and Norway, which are prominent members of EFTA, host several of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that are responsible for several of the drugs and therapeutics that underpin health care globally. The nature of the pharma industry — it costs much to discover a useful effective drug and relatively little to make generic copies of it — with demand that is far disproportionate to affordability, means that there is a constant tussle between the inventors and the generic-drug companies.

The principle of data exclusivity is present among European countries as well as in agreements involving many developing countries. Were it to take effect in India, it could significantly hinder India’s drug industry which is also a major exporter of affordable drugs. Indian officials have rejected data exclusivity as a point of negotiations in the FTA, though leaked drafts of the agreement suggest that it is alive.

18 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

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