The Hindu PDF 08 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 08 October 2023 for UPSC

Israel ‘at war’ as Hamas attack leaves 200 dead (Page 1)

  • Hamas launched a major attack on Israel, resulting in at least 200 deaths.
  • They claimed to have taken dozens of hostages during the attack.
  • Over 1,000 people were wounded in the attack.
  • Israel’s Army confirmed fighting with militants in several Israeli towns and military bases near Gaza.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to retaliate, declaring that Israel is in a war.
  • The Israeli military responded with air strikes into Gaza.
  • Navy forces killed dozens of militants attempting to infiltrate Israel by sea.
  • Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif announced the operation and called on Palestinians to fight.
  • This attack represented an unprecedented infiltration into Israel by Hamas gunmen, and it was a significant blow to Israel in its conflict with Palestinians.

GST Council affirms 28% tax on online betting from Oct.1 (Page 1)

  • GST Council confirmed 28% tax on online betting from October 1.
  • Tax rates on certain millet-based products were lowered.
  • Age-related norms for members of GST Appellate Tribunals were adjusted.
  • Taxation rights on extra neutral alcohol were given to the States.
  • 28% levy on bets in online gaming, casinos, and horse racing remains, even if 13 States haven’t passed enabling laws.
  • Notices for tax recovery up to September 30 were based on existing law for betting activities.
  • Concerns raised about the impact on the gaming industry and young workforce.
  • 18 States have amended their GST laws to impose the 28% gaming levy.
  • No discussion on GST rate rationalization despite higher GST revenues.
  • Council to plan a perspective on imposing a cess or surcharge on top of GST levies after March 2026.
  • Clarifications and tweaks made to tax rates on some goods and services.
  • Treatment of guarantees issued by directors for corporate loans clarified, not attracting GST.
  • Guarantees issued by companies to subsidiaries will attract 18% GST on 1% of the guarantee offered or actual consideration, whichever is higher.
  • Taxpayers granted an additional window till January 31, 2024, to file appeals against pending cases filed by the Revenue Department till March 2023, with a slightly higher pre-deposit of disputed tax levy.

ISRO plans Gaganyaan unmanned flight tests, gears for abort mission (Page 8)

  • ISRO is planning unmanned flight tests for the Gaganyaan mission.
  • Preparations for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) are underway.
  • The abort mission aims to demonstrate the performance of the crew escape system.
  • The abort mission is expected to take place by October-end from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.
  • The crew module (CM) for the Gaganyaan mission is in different stages of development.
  • The CM for TV-D1 is an unpressurized version, ready for shipping to the launch complex.
  • The CM houses various systems for deceleration and recovery and is extensively instrumented to capture flight data.
  • The test vehicle for TV-D1 is a single-stage liquid rocket.
  • The flight will simulate the abort condition during the ascent trajectory at a Mach number of 1.2.
  • Crew escape systems (CES) with CM will be separated from the test vehicle at an altitude of about 17 km.
  • The CM will be recovered in the Bay of Bengal, 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota.
  • The success of this test flight is a significant milestone for the Gaganyaan program.
  • The Gaganyaan mission aims to launch three crew members to low earth orbit and safely return them to earth.
  • Four pilots are undergoing training at the Astronaut Training Facility in Bengaluru for the mission.

GangaGhagra basin canals pose a threat to dolphins: (Page 8)

  • 19 Gangetic river dolphins were rescued from the irrigation canals of the Ganga-Ghagra basin in Uttar Pradesh between 2013 and 2020.
  • The publication provides details on the capture and relocation methods used in the rescue operations.
  • It describes the behavioral and demographic information of the rescued dolphins.
  • 24 rescue operations were conducted during this period, with five dolphins unfortunately dying.
  • Of the rescued dolphins, 14 were identified as female and 10 as male, with a total body length ranging from 128 cm to 275 cm.
  • Dams and barrages in the area have severely affected the dolphin’s habitat, pushing them into irrigation canals where they face various risks, including rapidly receding waters, heat stroke, and human interference.
  • The Ganges river dolphin is classified as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List and is protected under Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and international conventions.
  • The researchers noted observations of adult male and female dolphins together, as well as adult females with calves, suggesting a preference for living and hunting in groups or pods.
  • The straying of dolphins into canals is related to the release of water during or after the monsoon season, with over 70% of entrapments reported during these times.
  • The rescue of dolphins requires expertise due to their delicate nature, and keeping them alive after rescue is a challenge.
  • The authors of the paper include Shailendra Singh, Arunima Singh, Sreeparna Dutta, and Sanjay Srivastava, a senior forest official of the Uttar Pradesh cadre.

Now a more efficacious, inexpensive malaria vaccine (Page 9)

  • The R21/MatrixM malaria vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, has been recommended by the WHO on October 2 but has not yet been prequalified.
  • Three countries, Nigeria, Ghana, and Burkina Faso, have already approved the use of the vaccine to immunize children under 36 months.
  • In 2021, there were 247 million malaria cases worldwide, resulting in 619,000 deaths, with approximately 25 million children born in regions with moderate to high malaria transmission.
  • A phase-3 trial of the vaccine involved 4,800 children in Mali, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Tanzania, randomly assigned to receive either the malaria vaccine or a control (approved rabies vaccine).
  • The vaccine efficacy after one year was 75% in areas with seasonal malaria and 68% where malaria is perennial for children aged 5-36 months.
  • For children aged 5-17 months, more vulnerable to severe malaria, the vaccine efficacy was 79% in seasonal areas and 75% where malaria is perennial.
  • In children aged 18-36 months, vaccine efficacy was 73% in seasonal areas and 63% where malaria is perennial.
  • A booster dose given 12 months after the primary series helped maintain vaccine efficacy.
  • The vaccine showed higher efficacy in younger children (5-17 months) compared to older children (18-36 months), possibly due to previous malaria exposure.
  • The vaccine’s efficacy is higher in areas with seasonal malaria than in areas with perennial malaria.
  • The vaccine may help reduce malaria transmission and parasite load, especially when combined with other strategies like mosquito nets.
  • The cost of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine is estimated to be between $2 and $4 per dose, and Serum Institute plans to produce over 100 million doses per year.

Significance of quantum dots in nanotechnology (Page 10)

  • Quantum dots are tiny assemblies of atoms, just a few thousand, around a few nanometers wide.
  • They exhibit quantum mechanical effects due to the confined space for electrons and can behave like artificial atoms.
  • Quantum dots fall between atomic and bulk materials, with properties that change based on their size.
  • When exposed to light, they absorb and re-emit it at different frequencies, with smaller dots emitting bluer light and larger dots emitting redder light.
  • Quantum dots have diverse applications, including surgical oncology, advanced electronics, and quantum computing.
  • The Nobel laureates, Ekimov, Brus, and Bawendi, made significant contributions to understanding and producing quantum dots.
  • Moungi Bawendi’s team developed the hot-injection method in 1993, allowing precise control over quantum dot size and accelerating their adoption in various technologies.
  • Quantum dots are used in TV screens, controlling chemical reactions, acting as semiconductors, enhancing solar cell efficiency, highlighting tumors, facilitating hydrogen extraction from water, and serving as multiplexers in telecommunications.

New tools to fathom the world of electrons (Page 10)

  • The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Anne L’Huillier, Pierre Agostini, and Ferenc Krausz for generating attosecond pulses of light to study electron dynamics.
  • An attosecond is one quintillionth of a second (10^-18 seconds), which is the timescale at which electron properties change.
  • Attosecond science involves producing extremely short light pulses to study fast processes, similar to capturing a hummingbird’s wingbeat.
  • High-harmonic generation, discovered in 1988, is the key to producing attosecond pulses by passing infrared light through a noble gas.
  • Attosecond pulses are created by combining multiple overtones through constructive interference, producing pulses lasting a few hundred attoseconds.
  • The duration of attosecond pulses can be measured using the RABBIT technique, which involves shining attosecond pulses and longer pulses on noble gas atoms.
  • Applications of attophysics include improving our understanding of electron behavior, which has implications in various fields such as solar power and chemistry.
  • While the current equipment for attosecond pulses is costly and bulky, future miniaturization may make it more accessible for research.

How was mRNA research used to fight COVID? (Page 10)

  • The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries related to nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
  • mRNA vaccines introduce genetic material corresponding to a viral protein, typically the spike protein, to activate the immune system without exposing individuals to the live virus.
  • mRNA vaccines are different from traditional vaccines as they rely on fragile mRNA molecules enclosed in lipid nanoparticles for stability.
  • A challenge with mRNA vaccines is their requirement for ultra-low storage temperatures, from -90°C to -50°C.
  • The significance lies in the potential of mRNA technology for clinical purposes despite initial hurdles. mRNA research had faced challenges related to stability, delivery, and inflammatory reactions.
  • Dr. Katalin Karikó faced struggles in her career, including being forced to retire from Pennsylvania University. She spent years pursuing grants to fund her mRNA research.
  • Dr. Karikó and Dr. Weissman’s breakthroughs in protecting mRNA from degradation using lipid nanoparticles and their research on mRNA delivery were crucial for the development of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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