The Hindu PDF 17 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 17 October 2023 for UPSC

SC refers electoral bonds case to 5-judge Constitution Bench: Page 1

  • Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud referred the challenge to the electoral bonds scheme to a Constitution Bench of five judges.
  • The decision was made due to the “importance of the issue.”
  • The case was originally scheduled for October 31.
  • The court aims to expedite the hearing and not delay it further.
  • The case has been pending in the Supreme Court for over eight years.
  • The petitioner, Association for Democratic Reforms, urged the court to decide the electoral bonds issue before the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
  • The focus is on legalizing anonymous donations to political parties and the violation of citizens’ right to information, potentially promoting corruption.
  • Concerns relate to the violation of Articles 19, 14, and 21 of the Constitution.
  • The question of whether the electoral bonds scheme passed as a Money Bill may be addressed by a seven-judge Bench.
  • The scheme anonymizes and sanitizes political donations, providing limited information to the public.
  • Amendments in the Companies Act allowed companies to donate to political parties with anonymity via electoral bonds.
  • Amendments made through Finance Acts in 2016 and 2017 opened the door to unlimited political donations.

The Indian Himalayan Region needs its own EIA: Page 6

  • Recent events like the Teesta dam breach and Himachal Pradesh floods highlight the environmental impact of India’s development model in the Himalayan region.
  • The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool to assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts of projects before implementation.
  • EIA requires comprehensive, reliable baseline data for accurate predictions and analysis of environmental repercussions.
  • In India, EIA began in the 1970s, with regulations evolving over time.
  • The EIA process decentralizes environmental clearance, giving states the authority to issue clearances.
  • The EIA 2006 notification categorizes projects under various heads but applies the same threshold limits nationwide.
  • The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) is not treated differently in EIA regulations despite its unique vulnerabilities and fragility.
  • The IHR is inherently vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and climate change.
  • The EIA lacks a differentiated approach for the IHR, which needs specific environmental standards.
  • The EIA process reacts to development proposals rather than anticipating them, and there is no national-level regulator.
  • The EIA may be performed as a formality in a “box ticking approach.”
  • Policymakers should explore tools like strategic environmental assessment to address the specific needs of the IHR.

Confronting the long-term risks of Artificial Intelligence: Page 6

  • Risk perception evolves with societal values and technological progress.
  • Example: The film “Ex Machina” portrays changing perceptions of AI risk.
  • Importance of addressing short-term and long-term AI risks.
  • Long-term risks involve AI and biotechnology, manipulating human emotions and thoughts.
  • Over 350 AI professionals express concerns about AI risks.
  • Worries about AI’s role in essential infrastructure, such as water and electricity.
  • Potential for AI to disrupt pivotal services and public well-being.
  • Concerns about a ‘runaway AI’ causing catastrophic consequences.
  • Challenge of aligning AI with human values, especially as AI evolves rapidly.
  • Lack of a unified global approach to AI regulation.
  • European Union’s AI Act adopts a ‘risk-based’ approach.
  • Need for a more holistic view of AI risks in regulation.
  • Absence of international collaboration on AI regulation leads to risks.
  • Unregulated AI progress can destabilize international peace and security.
  • Dangers of military AI require global norms and treaties.
  • Comparisons to treaties like the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
  • Our choices today shape the AI risks we face tomorrow.

Bengaluru’s waste management plan: Page 8

  • Bengaluru generates approximately 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of waste per day.
  • Existing waste processing capacity is around 2,000 tonnes per day.
  • This capacity shortfall results in about 3,000 tonnes of waste going to landfills without processing.
  • Existing waste processing facilities in the city have faced challenges due to inefficiencies.
  • New waste-processing facilities are needed to handle the increasing waste volume.
  • New facilities should process 1,000 tonnes per day each, including composting, material recovery, and scientific landfill.
  • Addressing odour and leachate concerns is essential in the new facilities.
  • High moisture content in composting material contributes to odour; high-capacity equipment should be used.
  • Consideration of land acquisition and land-use changes in rural areas is important.
  • Engage farmers and provide free organic compost to reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers.
  • Existing wet-waste-processing facilities can be converted into dry-waste management facilities.
  • These converted facilities can handle dry waste, reduce transportation costs, and create job opportunities.
  • Increasing waste-processing capacity is necessary to comply with regulations and environmental obligations.
  • Success depends on technology, environmental impact, social impact, community involvement, and past experiences.
  • Scientific waste processing can benefit both city dwellers and rural residents.

India and U.K. discuss Indo-Pacific and trade: Page 12

  • India and the U.K. reaffirm mutual commitment to maritime freedom.
  • Discussions on the Indo-Pacific region took place during the “2+2” Foreign and Defence Dialogue.
  • Topics of discussion included trade, investment, defense, critical technologies, civil aviation, health, energy, and people-to-people connections.
  • Ideas regarding counterterrorism, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), and maritime security were also discussed.
  • Indian delegation led by officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence.
  • U.K. delegation co-chaired by officials from the Indian Ocean Directorate and Deputy Chief of Defence Staff.

Wholesale prices stayed almost flat in September: Page 13

  • India’s wholesale prices remained in deflationary mode for the sixth consecutive month in September.
  • Inflation stood at -0.26%, a slight improvement from -0.52% in August.
  • This improvement was partly due to cheaper vegetables, which eased food price inflation to 1.5%.
  • Primary articles and food items saw a decrease in price rise to 3.7% and 1.5%, respectively, in September.
  • Notably, onion prices accelerated to over 55%, up from 31.4% in August.
  • Pulses also saw an increase in inflation to 17.7% from 10.45% the previous month.
  • Milk prices reached a three-month high of 8.6%.
  • Despite some relief in vegetable prices (down 15%), cereals and wheat prices rose to 7.3% and 6.3%, respectively.
  • The surge in global oil and gas prices led to increased inflation in crude petroleum and natural gas, reaching an 8-month high of 15.6% in September from -1.9% in August.
  • ICRA, a rating agency, expects wholesale prices to remain in deflationary territory in October.

Youngest-ever President-elect in Ecuador vows to ‘restore peace’: Page 14

  • Daniel Noboa, a 35-year-old heir to a banana empire, has been elected as Ecuador’s youngest-ever President.
  • He pledged to “restore peace” in a country affected by a violent drug gang war.
  • Ecuador, once a peaceful haven between major cocaine-exporting countries, has experienced rising violence as drug gangs with links to Mexican and Colombian cartels fight for control.
  • The violence has resulted in over 460 inmates being massacred in prisons since February 2021.
  • In August, anti-graft and anti-cartel presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was killed in a submachine-gun attack.
  • Daniel Noboa, who secured about 52% of the vote, will serve for 16 months to complete the term of the incumbent, Guillermo Lasso.
  • Under the law, he can run for the 2025-29 presidential term and the one after that.
  • Both run-off candidates in the election were relatively unknown in politics.
  • Daniel Noboa comes from a wealthy family, and his father has run for president unsuccessfully five times.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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