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The Hindu PDF 9 December 2023 Analysis


The Hindu PDF 9 December 2023 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 Epaper Analysis 9 December 2023 for UPSC

RBI keeps repo rate at 6.5%, raises GDP growth forecast: Page 1

  • RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) keeps key interest rates unchanged.
  • GDP growth projection for 2023-24 raised to 7% from 6.5%.
  • Average inflation forecast retained at 5.4%.
  • Warning about potential inflation spikes in November and December.
  • Key repo rate remains unchanged at 6.5%.
  • Food inflation moderated to 6.2% in October.
  • MPC members focus on “withdrawal of accommodation” in policy stance.
  • No indication of when interest rates might be trimmed.
  • Emphasis on maintaining 4% inflation on a durable basis.
  • No “forward guidance” due to excessive uncertainty in the current scenario.
  • Possibility of a prolonged pause on monetary policy rate until August 2024.
  • Concerns about vegetable prices, cereal and pulse output, and elevated sugar prices.
  • Retail inflation may surge in November and December.
  • RBI expects inflation to average 5.6% in the current quarter.
  • Inflation for January to March 2024 expected to average 5.2%.

Veteran CPI leader Kanam Rajendran passes away: Page 6

  • CPI Kerala State secretary Kanam Rajendran, 73, passes away.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Kochi.
  • Admitted on October 25 with multiple ailments, including an unhealed leg wound.
  • Left foot amputated due to infection related to diabetes.
  • Cardiac issues reported during the hospital stay.
  • Declared dead at 5.30 p.m. on Friday.
  • Rajendran served as CPI secretary since 2015.
  • Known for differences over principles but maintained cordial relations.
  • Veteran CPI leader K.E. Ismail acknowledges differences but highlights cordial relations.
  • Ramesh Chennithala remembers a longstanding friendship from their student politics days.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan praises Rajendran as a strong pillar of Left unity.
  • Rajendran played a significant role in strengthening the unity of the working class.
  • Funeral to be held at Rajendran’s Kanam household in Kottayam at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

India’s alarming ‘fixed dose combination’ problem: Page 8

  • Academics from India, Qatar, and the UK publish concerning study on unapproved and banned fixed dose combination (FDC) of antibiotics in India.
  • In 2020, 60.5% of FDCs (239 formulations) were unapproved, and 9.9% (39 formulations) were banned.
  • Alarming due to the rising prevalence of antibiotic microbial resistance (AMR) in India.
  • FDCs combine known drugs for improved patient compliance but pose challenges in formulation and potential side effects.
  • Pharmaceutical industry in India uses FDCs to avoid liability under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO).
  • FDCs lack medical rationale, and a variety of dubious combinations are introduced.
  • Industry benefits from the absence of standards for testing FDCs, leading to higher prices and pseudo-innovation.
  • Regulatory issues related to FDCs date back to 1978, with the first government committee acknowledging the problem.
  • Despite clear laws, State drug controllers continue to issue manufacturing licenses for unapproved FDCs.
  • Ministry of Health relies on Section 26A to prohibit specific FDCs but faces challenges in enforcement.
  • The study identifies 239 unapproved FDCs in 2020, highlighting the incompetence of the drug regulatory framework.
  • Urgent action is needed to address the issue and prevent unregulated FDCs from contributing to the AMR problem in India.

Bridge this deficit between India and Sri Lanka: Page 8

  • Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe proposes land connectivity with India, reviving a two-decade-old idea.
  • Initial proposal in 2002 suggested building a bridge between Rameswaram (India) and Talaimanar (Sri Lanka).
  • Aimed at regional economic integration for mutual economic growth and opportunities.
  • Past opposition from Sinhalese-Buddhist groups slowed progress; criticism followed funding offer in 2015.
  • Despite challenges, the idea persists, and a feasibility study for land connectivity is mentioned in a joint statement.
  • Wickremesinghe, in his Budget address, emphasizes the use of Colombo and Trincomalee ports to meet India’s supply needs.
  • Existing infrastructure projects like the power grid between the two countries have seen slow progress.
  • Memorandum of understanding on a bilateral grid signed in 2010; no electricity transmitted in over 13 years.
  • India exports electricity to Bangladesh but faces challenges in deepening infrastructure ties with Sri Lanka.
  • The India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1998, has not seen significant progress.
  • Economic ties show improvement, with India being the largest source of imports for Sri Lanka and a significant share in tourism.
  • Despite historical challenges, Sri Lanka is urged to focus on mutually beneficial economic relationships and sustain recent positive developments.

An icy warning: Page 8

  • Glaciers globally thinned by approximately a meter annually from 2011 to 2020.
  • Overall trend: glaciers in all regions of the world are getting smaller.
  • Reference glaciers, used for long-term assessments, have melted away.
  • African glaciers (Rwenzori, Mount Kenya, Kilimanjaro) projected to disappear by 2030-2040.
  • Rapid growth of pro-glacial lakes increases the risk of Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs).
  • Water from glacial melt contributed to the Uttarakhand floods in June 2013.
  • Chungthang dam in Sikkim destroyed by a GLOF event from a melting glacier.
  • Glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas disappeared 65% faster in the 2010s than the previous decade.
  • Global greenhouse gas emissions may lead to a 55% to 75% decline in glacier volume by the end of the century.
  • Forecasted decline in freshwater supply by 2050 in areas dependent on glaciers.
  • Lack of early warning system for GLOF events from Himalayan glaciers.
  • Urgent need to elevate threats from contracting glaciers to the same risk category as cyclones, floods, and earthquakes.
  • Call for comprehensive risk assessments, mapping of vulnerable regions, and infrastructure development with high standards of care.

Lalduhoma sworn in as Mizoram Chief Minister: Page 10

  • Lalduhoma sworn in as Chief Minister of Mizoram.
  • 7 Cabinet Ministers and 4 Ministers of State also took the oath.
  • Mizoram’s assembly with 40 members allows for a total of 12 Ministers, including the Chief Minister.
  • ZPM leader K. Sapdanga appointed as Home Minister.
  • Lalrinpuii becomes the first woman Cabinet Minister, holding Health, Social Welfare, Tribal Affairs, Women and Child Development, and Tourism portfolios.
  • Lalduhoma announces 12 programs to be implemented in the next 100 days.
  • The government will prioritize farmers, buying local products like ginger, turmeric, chilli, and broomsticks at fixed minimum prices.
  • Farmers have the choice to sell their products independently or to the government.
  • The state’s financial condition is described as in “bad shape,” and the new government plans to declare the next fiscal year as a year of consolidation.
  • The new budget will align with ZPM policies, and ministers will monitor their departments with a roadmap.
  • Committees, including officials, political representatives, NGOs, churches, and the Mizo People’s Forum, will be formed to monitor development projects across the state.

New climate draft seeks tripling of renewable energy capacity: Page 10

  • The latest draft of the Global Stocktake at the UN’s climate summit links tripling renewable energy capacity with a phased-out use of fossil fuels.
  • The draft is not final but reflects a push at COP-28 towards ending the fossil fuel economy.
  • India is unlikely to agree to the clause as it is considered prescriptive; however, the tripling of renewable energy capacity is acceptable.
  • The draft replaces the “just and orderly phase-out of fossil fuel” with four options aiming to phase out fossil fuels while ensuring global temperatures do not rise more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.
  • The clause on a rapid phase-out of unabated coal power remains unchanged from an earlier version.
  • India had previously resisted committing to the tripling of energy capacity due to unacceptable riders.
  • The lack of a clear definition of climate finance is a significant concern for India in the negotiations.
  • Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav emphasizes the need to define climate finance to ensure trust, transparency, and effective funding for the clean energy transition.
  • Differing definitions of climate finance result in varied estimates, with the OECD estimating $83 billion in 2020, while Oxfam estimates $22 billion.
  • Climate finance should consider the specific circumstances of each country, involve actual grants, and low-cost loans to facilitate the transition to clean energy.

India’s re-emergence in field of art and architecture will benefit entire world, says PM: Page 12

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasizes India’s re-emergence in art and architecture as beneficial for humanity.
  • The government is working to institutionalize global cultural initiatives and develop a modern system similar to cultural events in Venice, London, and Sao Paulo.
  • Inauguration of the maiden India Art, Architecture, and Design Biennale at the Red Fort.
  • Cultural spaces are being built in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Varanasi to enrich cities culturally.
  • India’s vibrant culture and ancient heritage attract tourists globally.
  • Art and culture serve as sources of diversity, unity, and harmony, connecting people.
  • The biennale features exhibitions on seven themes, including Doors of India, Gardens of India, Baolis (stepwells) of India, Temples of India, Architectural Wonders of Independent India, Indigenous Design, and Women in Architecture and Design.
  • Exhibitions are presented in both physical and digital forms with interactive installations.
  • The event includes panel discussions and interactive sessions with audiences.

U.S. FDA approves pair of gene therapies for sickle cell disease: Page 13

  • The U.S. FDA approves Lyfgenia from bluebird bio and Casgevy by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics for sickle cell disease.
  • Both gene therapies are approved for individuals aged 12 years and older.
  • Casgevy is the first treatment for sickle cell disease based on the CRISPR gene editing technology.
  • Sickle cell disease is a painful, inherited blood disorder affecting an estimated 100,000 people in the U.S., primarily in the Black community.
  • The disease results in flawed, sickle-shaped hemoglobin, impacting the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen properly.
  • Sickle cells can stick together, blocking small blood vessels, causing intense pain, strokes, and organ failure.
  • Both therapies are presented as one-time treatments, but the duration of their effects is not fully established.
  • A bone marrow transplant is currently the only longer-term treatment for sickle cell disease.
  • Some experts prefer to describe these therapies as transformative rather than cures, as patients may still have sickle cell disease post-gene therapy.

RBI enhances UPI payment limits, to set rules for online loan aggregators: Page 14

  • RBI raises UPI payment limits for healthcare and education from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh.
  • Limits on recurring e-payment mandates for credit card, insurance premia payments, and mutual fund investments increased to ₹1 lakh from ₹15,000.
  • RBI addresses concerns about web-aggregation of loan products harming consumers’ interests.
  • Decides to lay down a regulatory framework for the web-aggregation of loan products to enhance customer centricity and transparency in digital lending.
  • Governor Shaktikanta Das highlights the need for a Fintech Repository by April 2024 to regulate partnerships between banks, NBFCs, and fintechs.
  • Fintechs encouraged to voluntarily provide relevant information to the repository.
  • Specific details about the information to be compiled from fintechs are yet to be clarified.
  • The regulatory measures aim to dispel suspicions surrounding digital lending and enhance transparency.
  • Shriram Finance executive vice chairman Umesh Revankar sees RBI’s measures as helpful in dispelling doubts about digital lending.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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