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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 3 May 2024

InstaLinks :  Insta Links help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically.

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 3:

  1. Technology Challenges in India

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Ethical Duties of Doctors
  2. DeepMind’s TacticAI in Football

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Raja Ravi Varma
  2. Article 31C
  3. ‘Eggshell Skull’ Rule
  4. Repolling in an Election
  5. Front Running
  6. Balanced Fertilization
  7. Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS)
  8. 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
  9. SMART system

 

Mapping

  1. Indonesia

 


 

Technology Challenges in India

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

Source: IE

 

Context: C. Raja Mohan, in this editorial,  highlights the urgent need for India’s next government to address technology challenges beyond election manifestos.

 

 Global Status of Technology:

  • Over 5 billion people using the internet worldwide as of April 2024
  • Major economies like China, the United States, and Europe are prioritizing advanced technologies to shape their future esp in AI, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing, Space sector, Nuclear technologies etc.

 

India’s Status of Technology:

  • India’s technology industry is expected to reach USD 300-350 billion in revenue in 5 years.
  • India has the second largest telecom industry with over 1 billion subscribers.
  • India is the second largest manufacturer of mobile handsets.
  • India is the Third largest startup ecosystem with over 1 lakh startups and 110 unicorns.
  • India’s AI adoption outpaces global trends with 70 per cent adoption, while Japan lags significantly at 24 per cent (as per a recent study)

 

Subsectors of India’s Technology drivers:

Key Sub Sectors Description
IT and BPO Services The largest component of India’s service exports, comprising over 60%
E-Commerce Expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2030 due to factors like a large consumer base and robust infrastructure
FinTech and Digital Finance Expected to grow to USD 150 billion by 2025.
Edtech Second largest e-learning market, expected to grow to USD 10 billion by 2025
Cleantech and Renewable Energy India ranks 4th globally for total renewable power capacity additions
Space Sector Contributes 2%-3% of the global space economy

 

Challenges faced by India’s technology field:

Challenges Description
Lack of Emphasis on Technology Policy Despite its critical importance, technology policy is not prominently featured in India’s policy discourse, hindering the country’s ability to address evolving global technological challenges.
Global Technological Competition Major economies like China and the US are aggressively competing to dominate advanced technology sectors, intensifying global technological competition and putting pressure on countries to keep pace.
China’s ambition to master “new productive forces” underscores its aim to surpass the US in advanced science and technology
The US is striving to regain leadership in advanced technology sectors
European leaders are advocating for bolstering Europe’s “industrial and technological sovereignty” to compete with global tech giants
Digital Divide India’s digital divide, especially between urban and rural areas, persists despite efforts like BharatNet, hindering equitable access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and exacerbating inequality, particularly in terms of internet and computer access.
Lack of Relevant Skilling While India excels in IT services, there’s a shortage of skilled professionals in emerging areas like AI, cybersecurity, and data science, reflecting the need for educational reforms to bridge the skill gap and meet evolving industry demands.
Lack of Adequate Focus on R&D India’s relatively low investment in research and development compared to developed nations inhibits innovation and the domestic production of cutting-edge technologies
Cybersecurity Threats With increasing technology adoption, cybersecurity threats like cyber frauds and deep fakes are escalating
Lack of Comprehensive Regulation on AI India’s absence of a comprehensive law for regulating AI raises uncertainties for businesses and poses risks in AI adoption, emphasizing the need for clear and legally binding regulations to address

 

Government Initiatives:

  1. India’s Semiconductor Mission: Launched in 2021, aims to develop sustainable semiconductor and display ecosystems.
  2. IndiaAI Mission: With over Rs 10,300 crore allocation, fosters AI leadership, ethical deployment, and democratizing AI benefits.
  3. DigiLocker: A free, secure platform for storing, sharing, and verifying documents online.
  4. Unified Payment Interface (UPI): Enables instant money transfer between bank accounts via smartphones.
  5. Mission on Advanced and High-Impact Research (MAHIR): Launched in 2023, focuses on accelerating research in the power sector.
  6. PLI Schemes (Production Linked Incentive): Introduced for sectors like semiconductors and electronics manufacturing.
  7. National Supercomputing Mission: Aims to boost the country’s computing power, jointly steered by DST and MeitY, and implemented by C-DAC and IISc.
  8. Vigyan Jyoti:This program from the Department of Science & Technology (DST) encourages girls in high school and up to PhD level to pursue STEM careers.
  9. GATI: A program that promotes female education in STEM fields
  10. CURIE: A program that promotes female education in STEM fields

 

Way forward:

  1. Emphasis on Tech Policy: Prioritize reforms integrating technology policies into the national agenda.
  2. Increased R&D Spending: Significantly boost national spending on research and development.
  3. Private Sector Participation: Encourage private sector involvement in tech research, development, and production.
  4. Technology Department Overhaul: Revamp technology departments to align with a tech-driven economy.
  5. Modernize Tech Foundation: Update tech infrastructure to meet the demands of a tech-driven economy.
  6. Strategic Partnerships: Forge partnerships with countries like the US and Europe for tech transfer and collaboration.
    1. g., Quantum Leap Alliances: Forge alliances for quantum technology research and development.
  7. AI-powered Rural Hubs: Establish AI kiosks to support rural entrepreneurship.
  8. Moonshot Innovation Labs: Create high-risk, high-reward research labs for breakthrough technologies.
  9. TechnoSkilling Initiatives: Foster collaborations to design tech-aligned curricula and promote skill mobility.
  10. Enhanced Cybersecurity: Implement robust cyber resilience frameworks and promote secure-by-design principles.

 

Insta Link:

  

Mains Link:

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented devastation worldwide. However, technological advancements are being availed readily to win over the crisis. Give an account of how technology was sought to aid the management of the pandemic. (UPSC 2020)

 

Prelims Link:

With the present state of development, Artificial Intelligence can effectively do which of the following? (UPSC 2020)

  1. Bring down electricity consumption in industrial units
  2. Create meaningful short stories and songs
  3. Disease diagnosis
  4. Text-to-Speech Conversion
  5. Wireless transmission of electrical energy

 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(A) 1, 2, 3 and 5 only

(B) 1, 3 and 4 only

(C) 2, 4 and 5 only

(D) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

 

Ans: B

 

With reference to “Blockchain Technology”, consider the following statements: (UPSC 2020)

  1. It is a public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no single user controls.
  2. The structure and design of blockchain is such that all the data in it are about cryptocurrency only.
  3. Applications that depend on basic features of blockchain can be developed without anybody’s permission.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(A) 1 only

(B) 1 and 2 only

(C) 2 only

(D) 1 and 3 only

 

 

Ans: D

Ethical Duties of Doctors

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

 

 

Source: TH

 

Context: The Madras High Court criticized doctors who try to avoid serving in public hospitals after benefiting from subsidized education.

 

 

Some key ethical values of doctors:

  1. Compassion: Showing empathy and care towards patients’ suffering and needs.
  2. Integrity: Upholding honesty, truthfulness, and ethical conduct in all interactions.
  3. Professionalism: Demonstrating dedication, responsibility, and respect for patients, colleagues, and the profession.
  4. Confidentiality: Safeguarding patients’ privacy and maintaining confidentiality of their medical information.
  5. Autonomy: Respecting patients’ right to make informed decisions about their own healthcare.
  6. Beneficence: Acting in the best interest of patients and promoting their well-being.
  7. Non-maleficence: Avoiding harm to patients and minimizing risks associated with medical treatment.
  8. Justice: Ensuring fairness and equity in the distribution of healthcare resources and access to medical care.

 

DeepMind’s TacticAI in Football

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

 

Source: IE

 

AI in football, specifically in corner kicks, is gaining traction for its potential to enhance team strategies.

 

DeepMind’s TacticAI is a notable example, offering insights through predictive and generative AI. Developed in collaboration with Liverpool FC, TacticAI suggests tactics for corner kicks, with human experts preferring its suggestions 90% of the time. By analyzing player setups and predicting outcomes, AI assists coaches in optimizing corner kicks, leveraging graph representations and neural networks.

 

Google’s DeepMind’s TacticAI predicts corner kick outcomes using a “Geometric deep learning approach” ( part of machine learning, which focuses on developing algorithms for analyzing data with geometric structures like graphs, point clouds, and meshes)

 

The example can be used as an application of AI in sports.

Raja Ravi Varma

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

  

Context: On the occasion of Raja Ravi Varma’s 176th birth anniversary celebrations, the first true copy of his painting “Indulekha” was unveiled at Kilimanoor Palace, Kerala – where the artist was born.

  • The oil painting portrays Indulekha holding a letter addressed to her lover, Madhavan, dated 1892, and has been recently restored.

 

About Raja Ravi Varma:

  • Raja Ravi Varma (1848 – 1906) was an Indian painter and artistwho is known for his work that combines European academic art with Indian iconography.
  • His work is considered one of the best examples of this fusion. Varma is sometimes called the first modern Indian artist.
  • Varma’s works are known for combining Hindu mythological subject matter with European realist historicist painting style.
  • Some of his works include Shakuntala, Woman Holding a Fruit, and Hamsa Damayanti.

Article 31C

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 Context: The Supreme Court is hearing a case regarding Chapter VIII-A of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Act, 1976. This chapter allows the government to acquire dilapidated buildings in Mumbai to distribute resources for the common good, citing Article 39(b).

  • The debate revolves around whether private property can be considered a ‘material resource of the community’ under Article 39(b), and if Article 31C still holds validity after the Minerva Mills judgment of 1980.

 

Article 31C of the Indian Constitution protects laws enacted to distribute material resources of the community for the common good, as outlined in Article 39(b) and (c).

 These laws cannot be challenged on the grounds of violating rights under Article 14 (right to equality) or Article 19 (freedom of speech, assembly, etc.).

‘Eggshell Skull’ Rule

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 Context:  The Supreme Court rejected the application of the ‘eggshell skull’ rule in a medical negligence case, restoring a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs awarded by the district consumer forum.

 

What is the ‘eggshell skull’?

The “eggshell skull” rule, also known as the “thin skull rule” in some cases, is a legal principle applied in civil litigation. Essentially, it dictates that a defendant in a lawsuit is liable for all injuries caused to the plaintiff, even if the plaintiff’s condition makes them more susceptible to harm than an average person.

In this case, Jyoti Devi suffered prolonged pain due to a needle left in her abdomen after surgery. While lower courts applied the rule, the SC ruled it inapplicable as Jyoti didn’t have pre-existing vulnerabilities. The ruling emphasized prolonged suffering and delayed justice as factors justifying the enhanced compensation.

Repolling in an Election

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: Th

 Context: The Election Commission of India has ordered repolling in six booths of the Outer Manipur constituency due to reported disturbances during the Lok Sabha election’s second phase.

 


Provisions under the
Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951, for re-polling:

Provision Circumstances for Re-polling
Section 57 Natural calamity, violence, etc.
Section 58(2) Damage or destruction of voting machines
  Countermanding of the election due to booth capturing
Section 52 Death of a candidate from a recognized political party

Front Running

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

 Context: SEBI has mandated Asset Management Companies (AMCs) to establish an institutional mechanism to deter potential market abuse, including front-running, following recent instances observed by the market regulator.

 

What is Front Running?

 

What are AMCs?

Asset Management Companies (AMCs) are financial institutions responsible for managing and investing funds pooled from investors in various financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and other securities. These companies create and manage investment products like mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and pension funds.

 

Other Changes approved:

  1. Amendments to SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 were approved by the SEBI Board, requiring AMCs to implement enhanced surveillance systems and internal controls to identify and prevent misconduct.
  2. AMCs must also have a whistleblower mechanism for transparency. SEBI will outline the framework, while the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) will specify detailed standards.

 

Balanced Fertilization

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 Context: The next government is expected to prioritize ‘balanced fertilization’, aiming to discourage excessive use of urea, DAP, and MOP in agriculture.

 

What is Balanced Fertilization? 

Balanced fertilization involves providing crops with the right proportion of primary (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), secondary (sulphur, calcium, magnesium), and micronutrients (iron, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, molybdenum) based on soil type and crop requirements. The goal is to optimize plant growth and yield while minimizing environmental impact and nutrient imbalances.

The Nutrient-Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme, launched by the government, aimed to promote balanced fertilization by fixing subsidies for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur. However, its exclusion of urea led to its failure, as urea consumption continued to rise steadily despite the scheme’s implementation.

Other Steps to promote balanced fertilization include rationalizing DAP and MOP prices, potentially bringing urea under the Nutrient-Based Subsidy (NBS) scheme, restricting fertilizer usage to specific crops, and marketing fertilizers in granular form to prevent adulteration and ensure slower nutrient release.

Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

 

Source: IE

  

Context: AstraZeneca has acknowledged that its COVID-19 vaccine, known as Covishield in India, can lead to a rare side effect called Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

  • Despite this rare side effect, experts assert that the benefits of vaccination, particularly in saving lives during the pandemic, outweigh the risks.
  • The risk period for TTS is shortly after vaccination.

 

About TTS: 

  • Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), also known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), is a rare condition characterized by the presence of blood clots (thrombosis) along with a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).
  • Thrombosis occurs when blood clots form, potentially obstructing normal blood flow in affected blood vessels.
  • Thrombocytopenia refers to a deficiency of platelets in the blood, which are essential for clot formation and preventing excessive bleeding.
  • TTS is an uncommon but serious syndrome, particularly associated with certain COVID-19 vaccines.

SMART system

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 

Context: The DRDO successfully tested the SMART (Supersonic Missile-Assisted Release of Torpedo) system, a missile-assisted torpedo release system designed to bolster the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

It can launch lightweight torpedoes targeting submarines hundreds of kilometres away, beyond the conventional range.

 

About SMART System:

SMART, developed by DRDO, is a next-generation missile-based lightweight torpedo delivery system designed to enhance the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capability. It features a canister-based design with advanced subsystems like a two-stage solid propulsion system and an electromechanical actuator system. With a parachute-based release system, SMART extends the reach of lightweight torpedoes beyond conventional ranges.

46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Context: India, through the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), is set to host the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM 46) and the 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP 26).

  • The Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959, established Antarctica as a region for peaceful purposes, scientific cooperation, and environmental protection.
  • In 2022, India enacted the Antarctic Act, reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty.

Key items on the agenda include sustainable management of Antarctica, biodiversity prospecting, climate change response, tourism framework development, and conservation of Antarctic biodiversity.

 

Indonesia

Mapping

 

Source: TH

 Context: India and Indonesia celebrate 75 years of diplomatic ties, forged by the Treaty of Friendship in 1951.

Both nations were part of the Bandung Conference in 1955, leading to the Non-Aligned Movement. They established a Strategic Partnership in 2005, later elevating it to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Indonesia is a key partner in India’s Act East Policy. Trade-wise, Indonesia is India’s largest ASEAN trade partner and a significant source of crude palm oil. Joint military exercises like Samudra Shakti and IND-INDO CORPAT enhance security cooperation.

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state located in Southeast Asia and Oceania, spanning over 17,000 islands including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. With a land area of 1,904,569 square kilometres and a population of over 279 million, it’s the 14th-largest country by area and the fourth-most populous globally, with Java being the most populous island.

 

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