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The Hindu PDF 2 February 2024 Analysis

The Hindu PDF GKGSCA

The Hindu PDF 2 February 2024 Newspaper is considered an important source of news and information for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) aspirants in India. 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.

In the following article, we have shared the key points from The Hindu Newspaper today pdf for the students preparing for the UPSC and other competitive exams. These points from The Hindu newspaper pdf serve as current affairs material for their preparation.

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The Hindu Epaper Analysis 2 February 2024 for UPSC

Puffed-up, poll-ready: Page 1
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents her sixth Union Budget and first interim Budget, focusing on fiscal discipline and development.
  • Resists offering dramatic pre-poll sops, instead emphasizing government’s track record and promise of development.
  • Highlights India’s progress since 2014 under the NDA government, with a focus on sustainable growth.
  • Promises include a new urban housing scheme, construction of two crore rural houses, and free power through rooftop solar solutions for one crore households.
  • Plans to implement next-generation reforms and present a detailed roadmap for India’s development by 2047 in the full Budget in July.
  • Emphasizes commitment to develop eastern states as growth engines and addresses challenges of fast population growth and demographic changes.
  • Advocates ‘social justice’ governance paradigm, targeting systemic inequalities and prioritizing the poor, women, youth, and farmers.
  • Maintains fiscal discipline, surprising economists by revising fiscal deficit estimates and committing to lower deficit targets in the coming years.
  • Capital expenditure for the next year increases modestly, with a focus on facilitating private sector investments through lower government borrowings.
Committee will study ‘fast population growth’ and demographic changes: FM: Page 1
  • Committee to address challenges from fast population growth and demographic changes
  • Mandated to make recommendations for a developed India
  • Announcement amid postponed Census and limited reliable data
  • Security concerns raised over purported demographic changes in border areas
  • Economic Affairs Secretary highlights demographics as both an opportunity and a challenge
  • Latest data from Sample Registration System (SRS) shows declining total fertility rate (TFR)
  • National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 indicates TFR decline nationally, with five outlier states above replacement level
  • NFHS data criticized for low sample size and spread over many years
  • SRS considered more reliable for statistical picture
  • Research paper at Director-General of Police conference flags concerns about demographic changes in border districts
Net zero gain for job guarantee scheme: Page 2
  • ₹86,000 crore allocated for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in interim budget
  • Represents a 43.33% increase from last year’s allocation
  • Total expenditure for the program already exceeds allocation, standing at ₹88,309 crore
  • Net gain for the scheme could be zero or negative due to matching allocation with previous year’s revised estimates
  • Centre owes ₹16,000 crore in wages to state governments, with ₹7,000 crore owed to West Bengal
  • Budget allocation still falls short of required sum for efficient implementation, according to activists and academics
  • ₹3 lakh crore deemed essential to meet employment needs of registered households under MGNREGS
  • Concerns raised about jeopardizing guaranteed right to work and violation of fundamental entitlement due to inadequate allocation
Marginal rise in allocations for farming, fisheries: Page 2
  • Agriculture Ministry allocation: ₹1,17,528.79 crore
  • Increase of ₹1,997 crore compared to previous Budget
  • Allocation for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana increased
  • Allocation for PM Kisan Samman Nidhi remains at ₹60,000 crore
  • Decrease in allocation for PM Kisan Man Dhan Yojana
  • Allocation for agricultural research: ₹9,941.09 crore
  • Direct financial assistance provided to 11.8 crore farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi
  • Crop insurance provided to four crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers to be formulated
  • Efforts to control foot and mouth disease underway
  • Allocation for Ministry of Fisheries: ₹4,521.24 crore
  • Increase of almost ₹200 crore compared to previous Budget
  • Separate Department for Fisheries doubled inland and aquaculture production
  • Budget silent on guaranteed minimum support price based on M. S. Swaminathan Committee’s formula
Centre moots Rs. 1 lakh-crore corpus for R&D: Page 4
  • ₹1 lakh crore corpus for research and development (R&D) announced in interim Budget
  • Intended to encourage private sector investment in sunrise sectors
  • Availability at minimal or nil interest rates
  • Implementation details yet to be clarified
  • Welcome development, according to experts, but implementation remains to be seen
  • National Research Foundation Bill cleared, with corpus of ₹50,000 crore, piloted by Department of Science and Technology
  • Provision of ₹2,000 crore towards National Research Foundation in 2024-25
  • Provision of ₹2,819 crore for National Quantum Mission
  • New scheme to be launched for strengthening deep-tech technologies for defense purposes and promoting self-reliance
Govt. raises Lakhpati Didi scheme target: Page 4
  • Target for ‘Lakhpati Didi’ scheme increased from 2 crore to 3 crore
  • Aim: to train women self-help groups to earn sustainable income of at least ₹1 lakh per annum
  • Success highlighted: 83 lakh self-help groups with 9 crore women, assisting nearly 1 crore women to become Lakhpati Didi
  • Expedition of upgradation of Anganwadi Centres under “Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0” scheme
  • Highest allocation of funds: ₹21,200 crore for Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0 programmes
  • Mission Shakti allocated ₹3,145.97 crore
  • Total allocation for Women and Child Development Ministry for 2024-25: ₹26,000 crore
  • Marginal increase of 2.52% from previous year’s budget
New scheme for bio-manufacturing, bio-foundry on the cards: Page 4
  • Announcement of new scheme for bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry in interim Budget speech
  • Aim to provide environment-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals, and bio-agri-inputs
  • Target for bio-economy to contribute $300 billion to Indian economy by 2030, $1 trillion by 2047
  • Allocation for Department of Biotechnology (DBT) cut by 16% in 2024-2025 Budget
  • Total allocation: ₹2,251.52 crore
  • Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) allocated ₹40 crore, same as previous year
  • New scheme intended to transform consumptive manufacturing paradigm to regenerative principles
One cr. homes to get free power via solar panels: Page 5
  • One crore households to receive free power via rooftop solar installations
  • Each household eligible for up to 300 units of free electricity per month
  • Initiative expected to provide annual benefits of ₹15,000-18,000 per household
  • Net-metering policy allows surplus power to be sold back to the grid, offsetting electricity bills
  • Government allocated ₹4,555 crore for rooftop solar power programme in 2024-25, up from ₹2,167 crore in the previous year
  • India has about 11 GW of installed rooftop solar capacity, mostly in commercial and industrial spaces
  • Estimated less than 10 lakh households have rooftop solar units currently
  • Potential to support 20-25 GW of rooftop solar capacity through solarisation of one crore households
  • Viability gap funding announced for offshore wind sector, up to 1 GW capacity, to encourage private sector investments
Three economic rail corridors on the anvil: Page 6
  • Railways allocated ₹2.55 lakh crore for FY 2024-25, up by 5.8% from previous year
  • 82% of last year’s allocation spent by end of January
  • Three major economic corridor programs announced: energy, mineral, and cement corridor; port connectivity corridor (Rail Sagar); high-traffic density corridors (Amrit Chaturbhuj)
  • Total of 434 projects with ₹11 lakh crore investment under these programs
  • Integrated approach to Railway planning involving 18 Ministries
  • Overhaul of 40,000 coaches planned to improve passenger experience, costing ₹15,200 crore
  • Features include better toilets, safety standards, charging points, GPS, and CCTV cameras
  • Budget allocation for investment in public sector units and joint ventures decreased to ₹31,107 crore
  • Railways interested in opening up market to private players
  • Maximum allocation for bullet train project by National High Speed Rail Corridor: ₹25,000 crore
UDAN hits an air pocket, 60% cut in Budget allocation: Page 6
  • Budget allocation for UDAN slashed by 60%
  • ₹502 crore allocated compared to previous Budget Estimates of ₹1,244 crore
  • Marks a 40% drop from Revised Estimates of ₹850 crore for current fiscal year
  • Civil Aviation Ministry allocated ₹2,300 crore, a 26% drop from previous year’s Budget Estimates
  • Allocation for Air India: ₹1,158 crore to service interest on remaining debt after privatization
  • Debt of ₹29,464 crore hived off from Air India at time of disinvestment
  • ₹57 crore allocated for production-linked incentive scheme for drones and drone components, up from ₹33 crore in current fiscal’s Budget Estimates and Revised Estimates
Karnataka plans digital detox initiative with game developers, NIMHANS: Page 11
  • Karnataka government collaborating with All India Game Developers Forum (AIGDF) for ‘Digital Detox’ initiative
  • Focus on gaming and social media addiction awareness
  • Aim: Promote responsible gaming and reduce excessive digital usage
  • Minister Priyank Kharge emphasizes importance of balanced technology use
  • Concerns: Mental health issues, decreased attention spans, strained real-world relationships due to digital dependency
  • Objective: Encourage meaningful technology use while minimizing adverse effects
  • Collaboration with NIMHANS for raising awareness about mindful technology
  • Plan includes setting up online and offline digital detox centers across Karnataka
  • Centers to provide personalized guidance, counseling, and support for managing technology usage
On Israel’s obligation to prevent genocide: Page 14
  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza
  • ICJ provisional rulings are binding, but enforcement mechanism is lacking
  • South Africa can sue Israel under Genocide Convention in ICJ
  • Court found “plausible” genocidal risk to Palestinians
  • Ruling requires Israel to prevent genocidal acts and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza
  • Israel must preserve evidence related to the claim
  • UNSC to discuss ICJ decision; U.S. facing pressure to comply
  • Western countries suspend funding for UN refugee agency in Gaza
  • Court’s decision prompts calls for reevaluation of U.S. support for Israel
India increasing allocation for Maldives, e400 crore revised to e770.9 crore: Page 18
  • Neighbourhood allocation in interim Budget: Bhutan ₹2,398.97 crore, Nepal ₹650 crore (2023-24), ₹700 crore (2024-25)
  • Maldives allocation increased: ₹400 crore (2023-24) to ₹770.9 crore
  • Bangladesh projects: ₹130 crore
  • Afghanistan allocation: ₹220 crore
  • Sri Lanka: ₹60 crore
  • Myanmar: ₹370 crore
  • Seychelles: ₹9.91 crore, Mauritius: ₹370 crore
  • Chabahar port (Iran): ₹100 crore
  • Lines of Credit: ₹3,849 crore
  • African development projects: ₹200 crore (revised estimate)
Allocations for Social Justice and Tribal Affairs Ministries see a marginal increase: Page 18
  • Interim Budget 2024-25: marginal increases in allocations for Social Justice and Tribal Affairs Ministries
  • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment: ₹14,225 crore
  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs: ₹13,000 crore
  • Revised Estimates for 2023-24: Expenditure reduced by 38% (Tribal Affairs) and 23% (Social Justice) from Budget Estimates
  • Challenges in spending on key schemes noted in Revised Estimates
  • Social Justice Department increases allocation under NAMASTE scheme to ₹116.94 crore
  • Tribal Affairs Ministry allocates ₹6,399 crore for Eklavya Model Residential Schools project
  • PM-JANMAN programme receives ₹240 crore for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups
  • ₹25 crore allocated for Central sector component under Tribal Affairs Ministry
  • ₹1,600 crore set aside for grants under Article 275(1) for welfare of Scheduled Tribes
Govt. to consolidate the demand of three Services in defence allocation: Page 19
  • Total allocation for Defence Ministry: ₹6.2 lakh crore for 2024-25, 13.04% of Union Budget
  • Consolidation of demand of three Services in capital head of defence budget
  • Aim to bring jointness in procurements and flexibility in financial management
  • Allocation 4.72% higher than Budget Estimates, marginally lower by 0.38% from Revised Estimates for 2023-24
  • Capital allocation: ₹1.72 lakh crore for new procurements, 5.78% higher than previous year’s Budget Estimates
  • Revenue allocation: ₹92,088 crore for maintenance, ammunition, mobility, and day-to-day expenditure
  • Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan to fill critical capability gaps through modernization
  • Planned acquisitions include modernization of Su-30 fleet, procurement of 12 more aircraft, new engines for MiG-29 jets, induction of C-295 transport aircraft, and acquisition of missile systems
  • Budget provision aimed at boosting socio-economic development and promoting tourism
EU agrees on new €50 billion relief package for Ukraine: Page 20
  • EU leaders agree on €50 billion relief package for Ukraine’s economy
  • Deal reached despite Hungary’s previous threats to veto
  • Agreement provides long-term, predictable funding for Ukraine
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomes decision
  • Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban previously opposed the package but lifted the veto
  • Financial aid package to run from 2024 through 2027
  • Ukraine also designated as a candidate for EU membership
  • Review of EU’s Budget to be proposed in two years, without opportunity for future veto
  • Continued EU financial support crucial for Ukraine’s long-term economic and financial stability

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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