The Hindu PDF 04 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 04 October 2023 for UPSC

Shot in the arm: Page 8

  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded in 2023 for achievements related to mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
  • Winners: Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman.
  • Their work enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines.
  • The Nobel Prize recognizes discoveries that confer the “greatest benefit on mankind.”
  • This Nobel Prize highlights the contribution of women in science, with 13 women having won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
  • Katalin Karikó, a Hungarian biochemist, worked on mRNA as a potential tool for therapy.
  • In vitro transcription in the 1980s laid the foundation for using mRNA in vaccines and therapy.
  • Challenges in delivery and inflammatory reactions initially slowed progress.
  • Karikó and Weissman modified mRNA to improve delivery and reduce inflammation.
  • The breakthrough occurred in 2005, 15 years before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2019, scientists used mRNA to instruct human cells to produce the S protein of the COVID-19 virus.
  • This triggered the production of antibodies to fight the virus in infected individuals.
  • Their work paved the way for the development of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

The trouble with a Nobel for mRNA COVID vaccines: Page 8

  • The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for developing mRNA vaccine technology used in the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • This recognition raises questions about whether these vaccines truly benefit “all mankind.”
  • Dr. Karikó and Dr. Weissman collaborated on mRNA research at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • University patents were licensed to various companies, including Moderna and BioNTech.
  • Dr. Karikó joined BioNTech as senior vice-president in 2013, and BioNTech partnered with Pfizer to develop a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.
  • Much of the foundational knowledge for drugs and vaccines comes from government-funded research.
  • Drug development costs billions and takes decades, with profits often going to private companies.
  • The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines faced challenges in distribution and prioritizing domestic needs.
  • COVAX, designed to help poorer countries access vaccines, fell short of its goals.
  • Some countries faced difficulties with vaccine quality and expiration dates.
  • Corbevax, a non-patented vaccine, was developed by researchers in Texas and licensed to India’s Biological E.
  • The mRNA vaccine story highlighted the premium on altruism during the pandemic.
  • The 2023 Medicine Nobel should consider the complexities of vaccine distribution and access during the pandemic.

Using Al for audit techniques: Page 9

  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Girish Chandra Murmu, chairs Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of the G20.
  • Warning: Excessive reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for auditing can lead to inaccurate findings.
  • Emphasis on ethics as the foundation of responsible AI in auditing.
  • CAG conducts financial, compliance, and performance audits.
  • Auditing challenges of AI: transparency, objectivity, fairness, bias avoidance.
  • Responsible AI must be ethical and inclusive for credibility and trust.
  • Data sets must be complete, accurate, and relevant for accurate audit findings.
  • Risk of AI data bias when using data from unauthorised sources like social media.
  • European Parliament approved EU AI Act, introducing restrictions and scrutiny for generative AI tools.
  • Challenges of ensuring accuracy in vast Internet data mines.
  • Concerns about potential copyright infringement from AI-generated content.
  • Elon Musk’s vision of ‘Truth GPT’ for maximum truth-seeking AI.
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak aims to make the UK a hub for AI safety regulation.
  • Need for India to consider AI legislation similar to the EU.
  • Challenges for CAG in auditing AI systems: regulation, data standardisation.
  • Data integration and cross-referencing difficulties due to multiple data sources and platforms.
  • Efforts to digitalise the audit process in India through One Indian Audit and Accounts Department One System.
  • Emphasis on a common international audit framework for AI.
  • Lack of explicit AI auditing guidance, reliance on existing frameworks and regulations.
  • Capacity building for auditors in AI technology landscape.
  • AI audit assignments may require collaboration with data experts.
  • Risks associated with AI outsourcing to third parties and cloud computing.
  • Various AI auditing frameworks developed globally, including COBIT, US Government Accountability Office, COSO ERM, and UK Information Commissioner’s Office.
  • Legal requirement for Data Protection Impact Assessments when using AI systems processing personal data.
  • Focus of auditors on risks, controls, and governance structures for auditing AI in the absence of comprehensive frameworks.

The shutdown of the Afghan embassy: Page 10

  • Embassy of Afghanistan in Delhi officially closed on September 30, 2023.
  • Closure anticipated following prior reports and lack of cooperation from the Indian government.
  • Embassy cited lack of resources and urged India to fly the flag of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan over embassy premises.
  • Requested New Delhi to hand over the mission to a “legitimate government” of Afghanistan in the future.
  • Embassy had represented the deposed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which fell to the Taliban on August 15, 2021.
  • Taliban not recognized by India as de facto rulers.
  • Embassy had been functioning symbolically, helping Afghan citizens and travelers in India.
  • Consulates in Hyderabad and Mumbai have not closed and continue to operate.
  • India and Afghanistan maintaining an informal relationship.
  • India maintains a “technical team” in Kabul, providing visas and humanitarian assistance.
  • Some Indian goods enter Afghanistan through other countries.
  • Formal diplomatic ties not established due to India’s refusal to recognize the Taliban.
  • Indian diplomats engaged with the Taliban through multilateral initiatives.
  • Pressure on India to reconsider its position on the Taliban due to international recognition by other countries.
  • Taliban seeks Indian support for economic revitalization projects.
  • India has not allowed the Taliban to operate from the embassy of Afghanistan in Delhi.
  • The embassy in Delhi is one of the oldest diplomatic addresses in the city.

How has Nagorno-Karabakh standoff ended?: Page 10

  • On September 20, Azerbaijan claimed full control of Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Local Armenian forces agreed to disarm and disband.
  • Many local Armenians fled, fearing ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh, with a majority ethnic Armenian population, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
  • Recent violence erupted in September, with Azerbaijan launching an attack on ethnic Armenian forces.
  • A ceasefire was announced after one day of fighting.
  • U.S. expressed deep concern for the ethnic Armenian population in the region.
  • The conflict between Azeris and Armenians dates back a century, with Ottoman involvement during World War I.
  • Soviet era and Nagorno-Karabakh’s autonomy in Azerbaijan.
  • Full-scale war in 1991-1994, resulting in thousands of deaths.
  • Ceasefire brokered in 1994 but no borders demarcated.
  • A four-day war occurred in 2016 with no resolution.
  • In 2020, Azerbaijan launched an offensive, leading to a six-week war and over 2,000 deaths.
  • Turkey supported Azerbaijan, while Russia helped broker a ceasefire.
  • Azerbaijan blockaded the Lachin Corridor in December 2022.
  • Turkey’s role in the latest developments is suspected.
  • Russia’s absence due to its involvement in Ukraine.
  • Armenia joined the International Criminal Court in retaliation.
  • Over 100,000 ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh fled to Armenia recently, causing a humanitarian crisis.

Toilet use declining in rural India since 2018-19: WB paper: Page 14

  • World Bank departmental working paper on Swacch Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G)
  • Significant progress in toilet access in rural India since 2014-15
  • Decline in regular toilet use in rural India from 2018-19
  • Largest drop in toilet use among Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe groups
  • Concerns about government claims regarding open defecation and manual scavenging
  • Building of over 100 million toilets
  • Researchers from World Bank and Yale University
  • Data from National Family Health Surveys (NFHS), National Sample Surveys (NSS), National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS), and SBM-G’s information system
  • Low-income States performed well in increasing toilet use
  • Mixed performance in richer States

Trio wins Nobel Prize in physics for finding a way to ‘see’ electrons: Page 15

  • Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L’Huillier
  • Research involves ultra-quick light flashes for studying electrons in atoms and molecules
  • Technique uses attoseconds, an extremely short unit of time
  • Attosecond physics helps examine rapid changes and movements
  • Potential applications in electronics and medical diagnostics
  • Compares the process to high-speed photography capturing the hummingbird’s wing motion
  • Discovery of light overtones by Anne L’Huillier using infrared laser light in 1987
  • Isolation of light pulses lasting a few hundred attoseconds in the early 2000s by Agostini and Krausz
  • Pierre Agostini is a professor at Ohio State University
  • Ferenc Krausz is a director at the Max Planck Institute in Germany
  • Anne L’Huillier is the fifth woman to win the Physics Prize since 1901
  • Anne L’Huillier is a professor at Lund University in Sweden
  • Encouragement for young women interested in science to pursue careers

Manufacturing PMI slips to 5-mo. low: Page 16

  • India’s manufacturing activity in September reached a five-month low.
  • The S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 57.5 from 58.6 in August.
  • A PMI reading of 50 indicates no change in activity levels.
  • Input cost inflation decreased to the lowest in over three years.
  • Firms increased output charges at a pace higher than the long-run average.
  • Manufacturers attributed the price increases to higher labor costs, positive business confidence, and strong demand.
  • New export orders growth softened but remained sharp.
  • Firms reported new business gains from clients in Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
  • Factory output rose at the slowest pace in five months but remained above the long-term average.
  • Manufacturers expressed high optimism about future business prospects in 2023.
  • Hiring growth increased at a strong pace compared to August.
  • The manufacturing industry showed mild signs of a slowdown in September due to softer growth in new orders.
  • Despite this, both demand and output increased significantly, and manufacturers remained optimistic about production.
  • The increase in output charges, despite lower cost pressures, may restrict sales in the coming months.

World Bank keeps India FY24 growth forecast at 6.3% on waning demand: Page 16

  • World Bank retains India’s growth forecast for 2023-24 at 6.3%.
  • Moderation in growth attributed to challenging external conditions and waning pent-up demand.
  • India achieved 7.2% growth in 2022-23.
  • RBI forecasts 6.5% growth for India in 2023-24.
  • Service sector expected to grow at 7.4%.
  • Investment growth projected to remain robust at 8.9%.
  • India was one of the fastest-growing major economies in 2022-23, with a growth rate of 7.2%.
  • India’s growth rate second-highest among G20 countries and almost twice the average for emerging market economies.
  • Increasing female labor force participation rate seen as crucial for India to become a high-income country.
  • India’s female labor force participation rate is currently 25%, compared to an average of 50% for emerging market economies.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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