The Hindu PDF 15 October 2023 Analysis

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The Hindu PDF Analysis 15 October 2023 for UPSC

Sikkim’s fallen dam haunts India’s dreams in Bhutan: Page 1

  • Chungthang dam in Sikkim Urja’s Teesta-III project collapsed on October 4, causing 94 deaths in Sikkim and West Bengal.
  • Concerns raised about Indian-assisted hydropower projects in Bhutan: Punatsangchhu Stage-I, Punatsangchhu Stage-II, and Kholongchu, costing ₹21,637.28 crore.
  • The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) noted issues with Puna-I and Puna-II projects, causing delays and geological challenges.
  • Puna-I faces delays due to the movement of the right bank hill mass in the dam area.
  • Puna-II encounters poor geological strata and shear zones.
  • The HRT for Puna-I and Puna-II has seen significant progress, but these projects may require expensive design changes.
  • Indian agencies failed to assess the fragile Himalayan geology effectively.
  • Experts recommend reviewing the “technical aspects” of the Bhutan projects, particularly the geological factors.
  • No final decision has been made on the Bhutan projects at this time.

Ferry to Sri Lanka plies after 40 years: Page 1

  • PM Modi launches high-speed passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam, India, and Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka.
  • Service resumes after a nearly four-decade gap.
  • Modi emphasizes that enhanced connectivity strengthens economic and diplomatic ties between India and Sri Lanka.
  • The HSC Cheriyapani began its journey with 50 passengers and 12 crew members.
  • Modi and Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe highlight the diplomatic significance of the ferry service.
  • The service is seen as a new chapter in diplomatic and economic ties between the two nations.
  • India plans to resume the ferry service between Rameswaram and Talaimannar.
  • The ferry service aims to strengthen cultural, commercial, and civilisational ties between India and Sri Lanka.
  • The operation of the service will enhance cultural ties between Tamil Nadu and the northern province of Sri Lanka.
  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar reaffirms India’s “neighbourhood first” policy and its potential benefits for disaster management, maritime security, and ease of business.

PM Modi confirms India’s bid to host 2036 Olympics: Page 1

  • PM Modi expresses India’s aspiration to host the 2036 Summer Olympics.
  • India aims to become the fourth Asian country to host the Games.
  • The Prime Minister did not specify which city would host the Olympics.
  • Modi emphasizes India’s enthusiasm and commitment to making the dream of hosting the Olympics a reality.
  • He congratulates Team Bharat for its historic victory against Pakistan in the World Cup in Ahmedabad.
  • India is willing to host the 2029 Youth Olympics and seeks continuous support from the IOC.
  • Modi highlights the significance of the IOC session happening in India after 40 years.
  • Sports hold an essential place in Indian culture and lifestyle.
  • India has taken various measures for the development of sports, including events like Khelo India Games.
  • Sports are seen as a medium to unite the world and promote peace, progress, and wellness.
  • PM Modi officially opens the IOC session in the presence of IOC president Thomas Bach and member Nita Mukesh Ambani.

Ferry service to Sri Lanka is a blow to Lakshadweep: Page 5

  • The new ferry service between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka negatively impacts transportation in Lakshadweep.
  • Islanders in Lakshadweep had been requesting more passenger vessels for inter-island transport.
  • Cheriyapani, a high-speed ferry with a capacity of 150 passengers, was taken out of service within the island group for the Sri Lanka ferry service.
  • Previously, there were three high-speed vessels conducting inter-island ferry services with a total capacity of 450 passengers.
  • Now, only Valiyapani and Parali remain with a combined capacity of 300 passengers, worsening transportation issues for the islanders.
  • High-speed ferries were crucial for reaching the farthest island in the group, Minicoy.
  • Apart from these, there are only three intra-island ferries, each capable of carrying 50 passengers, operating in the island group.
  • Islanders have expressed frustration with the erratic service of the five ships connecting the island group with Kochi.

‘Some FCRA-listed NGOs fail to show the right area of work’: Page 7

  • Over the past nine years, 194 out of 407 NGOs approved for receiving foreign funds for religious purposes in India ran Christian programs.
  • Some NGOs may not explicitly list religion as a purpose but are perceived to work in the religious space.
  • The International Society for Krishna Consciousness and its affiliate, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, have various registrations, including social and religious categories.
  • Registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) is necessary to receive donations from outside India, and organizations can register under multiple categories.
  • In 2023, all four FCRA registrations canceled were of Christian organizations, with allegations of religious conversion and church-building in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Ministry data show that 3,217 associations were granted fresh FCRA registrations from 2014 to October 1, 2023, across various categories, including religious.
  • Civil society groups have raised concerns that FCRA provisions are being used to stifle the non-profit sector.
  • The Ministry introduced new rules for NGOs, including declaring assets created from foreign contributions and recording Aadhaar of key functionaries.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah stated that amendments to the FCRA in 2020 had successfully prevented the misuse of foreign funding and enabled effective monitoring.

Red Fort to host India’s maiden art, architecture and design biennale: Page 7

  • Red Fort in the national capital will host India’s inaugural art, architecture, and design biennale.
  • The India Art, Architecture, and Design Biennale, 2023 (IAADB) is organized by the Union Culture Ministry from December 9 to 15.
  • It is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The week-long festival will feature replicas of landmark Indian buildings and structures, along with uniquely conceptualized daily themes and curated exhibitions.
  • Exhibitions will be in both physical and digital forms for an immersive experience, along with interactive installations.
  • A coffee table book for each theme will commemorate 75 years of Indian Independence.
  • Themes include Doors of India, Gardens of India, Baolis (step-wells) of India, Temples of India, Architectural Wonders of Independent India, Indigenous Design, and Women in Architecture and Design.
  • The event will include panel discussions and interactive sessions to raise awareness of India’s architectural heritage.
  • The National Gallery of Modern Art, National Council of Science Museums, Archaeological Survey of India, Lalit Kala Akademi, Council of Architecture, and the Ministry of Education are involved in curating the exhibition.
  • The biennale will also introduce the cultural space at the Red Fort.

Centre seeks inclusion of traditional medicine on WHO’s list: Page 9

Centre seeks inclusion of traditional medicine on WHO’s list

  • Centre aims to include Ayurveda and related systems in WHO’s ICD-11.
  • ICD provides a common language for sharing standardized health information globally.
  • Module-2 for Ayurveda to be added as a supplementary chapter for traditional medicine conditions.
  • Ayush Ministry Secretary expects this addition to occur by next January.
  • Inclusion of traditional medicine systems into the classification standard used in conventional medicine.
  • Aims to establish evidence-based information and support research in traditional medicine.
  • Promotes the integration of traditional medicine into mainstream healthcare and health information systems.
  • ICD-11 already includes Module-1 for traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Module-2 for Ayurveda will facilitate reporting of adverse events and insurance coverage.
  • The Ministry of Ayush actively supports the development of Module-2 for Ayurveda.

Australian voters reject greater Indigenous rights: Page 10

  • Australians reject constitutional amendments for Indigenous rights.
  • About 59% voted against acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the 1901 constitution.
  • Reforms would have created a consultative “Voice” to Parliament for Indigenous issues.
  • The campaign exposed deep racial divisions in the country.
  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese calls for unity and reconciliation.
  • Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney expresses sadness.
  • Indigenous Australians are disappointed that calls for addressing the colonial past were rejected by the majority.

How a 6.3 magnitude quake caused another of same intensity: Page 11

  • A 6.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in Afghanistan near the Hindu Kush Mountain range.
  • The first earthquake was shallow focus (14 km depth).
  • Just 30 minutes later, a second 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in the same region.
  • Both earthquakes resulted from thrust faulting near the far western terminus of the Hindu Kush.
  • Four days later, another 6.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in Herat.
  • These earthquakes were thrust faults, or reverse faults, caused by horizontal compressive stresses.
  • The second earthquake was not considered an aftershock because it had the same magnitude as the first, indicating a separate fault rupture.
  • Interactions between multiple continental plates and parallel thrust faults can lead to earthquake sequences.
  • Afghanistan experiences frequent earthquakes due to the interaction of the Arabia, Eurasia, and India plates.
  • The Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains in northern Afghanistan see earthquakes at various depths due to subduction and active faults.
  • The region experiences a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms in its fault systems.

Egypt is racing to eliminate hepatitis C: Page 11

  • Egypt achieves “gold tier” status in eliminating hepatitis C, the first country to do so according to WHO criteria.
  • Criteria for “gold tier” status includes 100% blood and injection safety, 80% diagnosis of people with chronic hepatitis C, and 70% treatment of diagnosed individuals.
  • Egypt has diagnosed 87% of people with hepatitis C and provided treatment to 93% of those diagnosed, exceeding WHO targets.
  • The “100 Million Healthy Lives” initiative in Egypt significantly reduced the prevalence of hepatitis C from 10% in 2016 to less than 1% in 2019.
  • Key interventions in Egypt’s success include population-based surveys, an investment case highlighting economic burdens, involving healthcare workers, and reducing treatment costs to less than $50 per patient.
  • Hepatitis C infection is unevenly distributed globally, with Europe, South-East Asia, and the Eastern Mediterranean regions accounting for the most cases.
  • Unsafe injection practices are a common route of virus spread, but the use of safe injections has reduced new infections.
  • In 2019, there were 1.5 million new hepatitis C infections globally, with one-third in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. The worldwide prevalence was 58 million.

How is the IORA a key bloc for India?: Page 12

IORA’s Significance for India

  • Geopolitical Importance: IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) is crucial for India due to its location within the Indian Ocean region.
  • Member and Vice-Chair: India is a member of IORA and currently holds the Vice-Chair position.
  • Nelson Mandela’s Vision: IORA was conceived as a brainchild of Nelson Mandela, emphasizing socioeconomic cooperation in the Indian Ocean Rim.
  • Diverse Membership: IORA includes 23 member countries from Africa, West Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Australia, and Indian Ocean littoral states.
  • Dialogue Partners: It has 11 dialogue partners, including major global players like China, U.S., and the UK.
  • Economic Significance: The Indian Ocean region is vital due to a third of the world’s population residing there and its role in global trade. It handles 80% of global oil trade, 50% of containerized cargo, and 33% of bulk cargo.
  • Intra-IORA Trade: Intra-IORA trade is significant, accounting for around $800 billion.
  • India’s Strategic Space: IORA provides a “safe space” for India, avoiding the challenges of big-power rivalries, unlike some other regional groupings.
  • Focus Areas: IORA’s priorities encompass maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation, fisheries management, disaster risk management, academic, science, technology, tourism, cultural exchanges, and gender empowerment.
  • Climate Change: IORA has a particular focus on climate change and runs a special fund for project grants to members.
  • Maintaining a Free and Open Sea Lane: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar emphasized the importance of maintaining the Indian Ocean as a “free, open, and inclusive space” and cautioned against “hidden agendas” and unsustainable debt in the region.

Will Israel’s Gaza offensive stop Hamas?: Page 12

  • Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7.
  • Israel’s massive military response caused casualties and displacement in Gaza.
  • The attack disrupted the security model that allowed Israel to control Palestinians.
  • The conflict has brought the Palestine issue back into the geopolitical spotlight.
  • Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem are contested Palestinian territories.
  • Israel controls East Jerusalem and occupies the West Bank.
  • Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005, but Hamas has since controlled it.
  • The attack risks long-term military conflict with Israel and questions Hamas’s moderation.
  • There is a slim chance of a wider regional war involving non-state actors like Hezbollah and Iran.
  • Netanyahu faces challenges in responding to the crisis and ensuring Israel’s security.

Why are abortion laws in the spotlight again?: Page 12

  • A married woman, 26 weeks pregnant, sought to terminate her pregnancy due to post-partum depression and health issues.
  • Supreme Court initially agreed to her plea but later received a medical report from AIIMS stating the foetus was viable with a heartbeat.
  • Justices Hima Kohli and B.V. Nagarathna delivered a split verdict, leading to a pro-life vs. pro-choice debate.
  • Case referred to a larger Bench by the Chief Justice of India, emphasizing the rights of the unborn child.
  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Act 2021 allows one registered medical practitioner’s opinion for abortion up to 20 weeks, two for 20-24 weeks, and a state-level medical board for abortions over 24 weeks, in case of foetal abnormalities.
  • The 2021 law extended the gestation limit to 24 weeks for special categories, added a confidentiality clause, and extended MTP services to unmarried women.
  • Globally, there’s a trend towards liberalizing abortion laws, with only a few countries restricting abortion.
  • SC judges initially allowed abortion but differed due to the medical report.
  • The debate questions whether a foetus is a living being according to Indian law.
  • The CJI-headed Bench asked the woman to reconsider her decision, balancing the rights of the unborn child and a woman’s autonomy.
  • The AIIMS medical board is examining the foetus’s health, and the government offered to take care of the child if she carries it full term.

Silk Roads at a crossroads: Page 13

  • 10th-anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is approaching.
  • BRI revitalized railway connections to Europe, invested in Asian ports, and built infrastructure in Africa.
  • Concerns raised about debt burdens faced by BRI partners.
  • Chinese government released a White Paper on BRI’s commitment to open, green, and clean cooperation with zero tolerance for corruption.
  • BRI consists of the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road.
  • India refrained from joining due to opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • BRI is a collection of mostly disparate bilateral projects rather than a monolithic plan.
  • Trade with BRI partners grew 6.4% annually, reaching $19.1 trillion between 2013 and 2022.
  • BRI 2.0 sees a reduction in lending, with fewer projects in South Asia and more in East Asia, East Africa, and Latin America.
  • Focus on strategic sectors like 5G networks, renewable energy, manufacturing in new technologies, and ICT.
  • Projects under the BRI are getting smaller but more strategic, with a 48% decline in the average deal size compared to 2018.

Israel’s missile defence shield: Page 13

  • Iron Dome: Highly effective missile defense system.
  • Hamas attack on October 7: Multi-pronged attack from land, sea, and air.
  • Approximately 2,200 rockets fired at Israel.
  • Iron Dome’s intercept range: 2.5 to 43 miles.
  • Developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel.
  • Israel has at least 10 Iron Dome batteries deployed.
  • Targeting system tracks incoming projectiles to intercept those likely to land in populated areas.
  • No reliable information on the interception rate during the current conflict.
  • Israel’s four-layered air defense network: Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow II, Arrow III.
  • U.S. financial support for Iron Dome development.
  • Co-production agreement between Israel and the U.S.
  • U.S. Army procured two Iron Dome batteries at a cost of $373 million.
  • U.S. Marine Corps evaluating Iron Dome for Medium Range Intercept Capability.
  • Ukrainian request for Iron Dome to protect against missile threats.
  • Analysis of Iron Dome’s efficiency and security breaches on October 7 ongoing.

Centre unveils tradeable Green Credit: Page 14

  • Government introduces Green Credit scheme for trading environmental incentives.
  • Green Credit is earned for specific activities benefiting the environment.
  • Eight covered activities include tree plantation, water management, sustainable agriculture, waste management, air pollution reduction, and mangrove conservation.
  • Individuals/entities must register activities on a website and get them verified by a designated agency.
  • A Green Credit Registry and trading platform will be established.
  • Green Credit will be traded on a domestic market platform.
  • Aim is to encourage industries and entities to fulfill environmental obligations.
  • Independent of carbon credits under the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme.
  • Environmental activities may have climate co-benefits.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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