The Hindu PDF 03 October 2023 Analysis

The Hindu PDF Newspaper is considered an important source of news and information for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) aspirants in India. This The Hindu Epaper PDF newspaper covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to the UPSC exam, including politics, economics, international relations, governance, and social issues.

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The Hindu PDF Analysis 03 October 2023 for UPSC

Medicine Nobel 2023 goes to duo who paved the way for mRNA COVID vaccines: Page 1

  • 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman.
  • Awarded for “discoveries concerning nucleoside base modification enabling mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.”
  • Dr. Karikó is the 13th woman to win the prize.
  • mRNA (messenger RNA) carries instructions from DNA to cell cytoplasm.
  • In the late 1980s, scientists saw potential in using modified mRNA for vaccines.
  • Modified mRNA instructs cells to produce a specific protein, triggering the immune response.
  • Collaboration between Dr. Karikó and Dr. Weissman began in the late 1990s.
  • Cells’ mRNA underwent chemical modifications that made it different from synthetic mRNA.
  • Synthetic mRNA modifications allowed it to enter cells without triggering the immune system.
  • Their work set the stage for mRNA vaccines, which played a pivotal role in COVID-19 pandemic.
  • mRNA vaccine technology now explored for influenza, dengue, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

At 36%, EBCs largest group in Bihar, shows caste study: Page 1

  • Bihar government releases caste survey report ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
  • The survey provides data but no analysis has been conducted yet.
  • Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced the publication of the data on Gandhi Jayanti.
  • The report reveals the caste breakdown in Bihar:
  • Other Backward Classes (OBCs) – 27.13%
  • Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) – 36.01%
  • Scheduled Castes – 19.65%
  • Scheduled Tribes – 1.68%
  • Upper castes – 15.52%
  • Religious demographics:
  • Hindus – 82%
  • Muslims – 17.71%
  • Some caste percentages:
  • Yadavs – 14.26%
  • Kushwahas – 4.27%
  • Kurmis – 2.87%
  • Musahar – 3%
  • Brahmins – 3.66%
  • Kasha community – 0.68%.
  • Congress calls for a national-level caste survey.
  • Rahul Gandhi emphasizes that 84% of Bihar’s population belongs to OBCs, SCs, and STs.
  • Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi states they are analyzing the report before commenting.
  • Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav supports a nationwide survey.
  • Union Minister Giriraj Singh dismisses the caste census as causing confusion among the public.

Capturing the rains: Page 6

  • India reports a deficit monsoon in 2023, with 82 cm of rainfall, 6% lower than normal (89 cm).
  • El Niño, a warming of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, typically leads to decreased rainfall over India, particularly in the northwest.
  • In the past few years, the Indian monsoon was affected by a cooling La Niña, associated with above-normal rainfall.
  • In 2023, the monsoon experience was unusual, with 9% of the country receiving excess rainfall and 18% deficient, while the rest had normal rainfall.
  • August had one-third less rainfall than normal, causing flooding in several states in north India.
  • Intense rain episodes were linked to western disturbances, which are not typically part of the monsoon.
  • Drought-like conditions were observed in Maharashtra, with water stress in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Karnataka.
  • The India Meteorological Department forecasts a normal northeast monsoon and normal to above-normal rainfall in parts of northwest and south peninsular India.
  • The varying monsoon patterns emphasize the need for resilient infrastructure to cope with climate unpredictability.
  • Investment in improved forecast models that can predict significant weather changes is crucial for better preparedness.

Building BRICS for the future: Page 7

  • BRICS, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has evolved as an economic grouping.
  • Unlike military alliances like NATO, BRICS focuses on economic cooperation and does not provide security support or peacekeeping.
  • BRICS represents 36% of global GDP and is projected to have 47% of the world’s population by 2050.
  • China and India, with one-third of the world’s population, are among the fastest-growing economies and understand the benefits of economic blocs.
  • Despite political differences, India and China continue to grow their trade and economic cooperation.
  • Amid polarization between the U.S. and other countries, many seek to be part of a grouping involving China.
  • BRICS provides a counterweight to China’s dominance with democratic countries like India, South Africa, and Brazil.
  • The search for alternatives to address global challenges has led to the induction of new members into BRICS.
  • Digital currencies are emerging as the future, with India and China leading in this field.
  • Both countries aim to promote their currencies as alternatives to the U.S. dollar through BRICS.
  • Africa is seen as a continent of economic growth, and BRICS can play a role in African development.
  • BRICS generates opportunities for future networks and long-term economic cooperation.
  • BRICS has the potential to rival the G7 in terms of economic influence, as predicted by Goldman Sachs in 2003.

World reported twice as many cholera cases in 2022 as in 2021: WHO: Page 7

  • Cholera is a water-borne disease caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria, primarily strains O1 and O139.
  • O1 is responsible for most outbreaks, while O139 outbreaks are rare and confined to Asia.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) reported over twice as many cholera cases worldwide in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • The number of countries reporting at least 10,000 suspected or confirmed cholera cases also doubled during this period.
  • This reversal of a declining trend since 2019 hampers the WHO’s goal of reducing cholera deaths by 90% by 2030.
  • Cholera transmission is linked to inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, which is exacerbated by climate change, including floods, heatwaves, and storms.
  • Factors contributing to the increase in cholera cases include the decline of COVID-19 restrictions, limited investments in care for vulnerable populations, climate change effects, and conflict.
  • A study suggests that climate change could expand the coastline favorable for Vibrio bacteria by 2100.
  • Research shows Vibrio bacteria have an affinity for microplastics, potentially increasing their presence in oceans.
  • The emergency oral cholera vaccine stockpile has reduced the recommended vaccination regimen from two doses to one.
  • Most cholera cases are reported in Africa and Asia, with Europe having a few “imported cases.”
  • In Africa, cases were more dispersed in 2022, but other countries reported significant increases in cases and deaths compared to 2021.
  • In Asia, Lebanon and Syria reported cases for the first time in a decade, while Yemen, a major contributor in 2021, didn’t report data in 2022.
  • Rapid diagnostic tests for cholera were used by 56% of countries reporting cases in 2022, up from 20% in 2021.

Counting deaths in India’s prisons: Page 8

  • Suicide has become the leading cause of ‘unnatural’ deaths among Indian prisoners, according to the Supreme Court Committee on Prison Reforms.
  • The number of custodial deaths has been on the rise since 2019, with 2021 recording the highest number of such deaths.
  • Every year, prison deaths are classified as ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’ in the Prison Statistics India (PSI) report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
  • ‘Natural’ deaths are due to aging and illnesses, while ‘unnatural’ deaths include suicides, inmate-on-inmate violence, external assaults, negligence, and accidents.
  • The suicide rate among inmates is more than twice that of the general population.
  • The distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ deaths is often unclear, leading to underreporting and misclassification of deaths.
  • Overcrowded prisons, lack of access to medical care, and inadequate training of staff contribute to custodial deaths.
  • The government has outlined inmates’ right to healthcare, but there is a need for increased investment in facilities, staff training, and suicide prevention programs.
  • There is a shortage of qualified staff, including medical and mental health professionals, in prisons.
  • Recommendations include providing inmates with access to telephones, newspapers, and periodicals, as well as implementing measures to prevent suicides, such as strict checks on potential tools and initial mental health screening.
  • A structural overhaul of the criminal justice system and a change in the public and official mindset regarding prisoners are necessary to address these issues.

IAF likely to induct Astra BVR air-to-air missile by year-end: Page 10

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has placed contracts with Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL) for the indigenous Astra Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile.
  • The first batch of Astra missiles is expected to be inducted by the end of the year.
  • Development is ongoing for the more advanced and longer-range Astra-Mk2 missile.
  • BDL has received production clearance for Astra-Mk1 missiles, and the IAF plans to conduct proof firing and induction in the current financial year.
  • The Astra missile is integrated on various aircraft, including the Su-30MKI and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.
  • The IAF intends to equip its frontline fighters with Astra-Mk1 missiles and reduce import dependency.
  • In May 2022, the Defence Ministry signed a contract with BDL for the supply of Astra Mk-I missiles and associated equipment for the IAF and Navy.
  • The IAF has expressed satisfaction with the Astra’s performance and plans to acquire over 200 Mk-1 missiles initially.

Revision to July fuel shipments value lifts overall exports figure: Page 13

  • India’s goods exports value for July has been revised upwards by about $2.3 billion to $34.52 billion.
  • This revision is due to a 51% jump in petroleum exports from the initial estimates.
  • The revised data shows that July’s year-on-year decline in goods exports was 9.95%, the least since April, breaking a three-month streak of double-digit contractions.
  • August’s initial exports tally of $34.5 billion is overshadowed by the revised July figures.
  • The trade deficit has also narrowed to a three-month low of $18.4 billion.
  • Economists expect the current account deficit to widen in the coming quarters, but positive revisions to trade data may result in a healthier picture for the fiscal year.
  • The increase in petroleum exports is attributed to delays in reporting, particularly from units located in special economic zones.
  • The decline in India’s exports has been disproportionately driven by a fall in the value of petroleum exports, with prices significantly lower than a year earlier.
  • Quick estimates for August show an overall decline in merchandise exports of 6.9%, with petroleum exports down 30.6% to $5.88 billion.

What are the Lagrange points and why is Aditya-Ll headed to one?: Page II

  • Lagrange points are stationary points in space between celestial bodies, where gravitational forces balance, allowing a spacecraft to stay relatively motionless.
  • They are named after the mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, who made significant contributions to celestial mechanics.
  • Lagrange points offer ideal locations for satellites, as they remain stationary relative to Earth, making communication easier.
  • These points exist throughout the Solar System due to gravitational interactions between celestial bodies.
  • Lagrange described the famous five Lagrange points as L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5.
  • L4 and L5 are stable points, while L1, L2, and L3 are unstable.
  • L4 and L5 accumulate interstellar dust and asteroids called Trojans.
  • Lagrange points are crucial for space exploration, providing optimal orbits and velocities for satellites.
  • Some spacecraft, like the Aditya-L1 solar mission by ISRO, are positioned at Lagrange points for better observations.
  • Scientists are exploring the potential of L4 and L5 for future space colonies due to their stable conditions and proximity to Earth.
  • These colonies could use minimal fuel and resources mined from the moon or asteroids for habitation and research.

A (very) brief history of the Nobel Prizes: Page II

  • Nobel Prize season begins in Scandinavia in October.
  • Nobel Prizes include categories in medicine or physiology, physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and economics.
  • Alfred Nobel, the creator of the prizes, invented dynamite and decided to use his fortune for the benefit of humanity.
  • The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901, five years after Alfred Nobel’s death.
  • A sixth prize for economics, technically not a Nobel Prize, was introduced in 1968.
  • The prize money for Nobel Prizes has been raised by 10% to about $1 million this year.
  • Nobel Prize winners receive an 18-carat gold medal and diploma along with the cash prize.
  • Historically, Nobel Prize winners have been mostly white men, but there is increasing recognition of the need for diversity among winners.
  • 60 women have won Nobel Prizes, with 25 in scientific categories, four in physics, and two in economics.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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