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The Hindu PDF Newspaper is considered an important source of news and information for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) aspirants in India. The Hindu Epaper gkgsca covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to the UPSC exam, including Current Affairs, politics, economics, international relations, governance, and social issues.

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The Hindu Epaper Analysis 16 February 2024 for UPSC

SC strikes down electoral bonds scheme, calls it unconstitutional: Page I
  • Supreme Court declares electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional and manifestly arbitrary
  • Scheme provides blanket anonymity to political donors
  • Amendments to Representation of the People Act, Companies Act, and Income Tax Act violated voters’ right to information about political funding
  • Scheme promotes corruption and allows unrestrained influence of corporates in electoral process
  • Contributions made by companies are purely business transactions aimed at securing benefits
  • Scheme promotes economic inequality by giving corporations unsurpassable advantage in electoral process
  • Fundamentals of free and fair elections and political equality violated
  • Court dismisses government’s argument that anonymity incentivises financial contributions through banking channels
  • Chief Justice distinguishes between donations by corporates for favours and contributions by individuals as support for political beliefs
  • Court rejects government’s claim that scheme was meant to curb black money in electoral process
  • Amendments introduced via Finance Act 2017 removed restrictions on political funding disclosure
  • Amendments allowed complete exemption for political parties to publish contributions received through electoral bonds
  • Restrictions on corporate donations lifted, allowing unlimited and anonymous contributions
  • Government companies allowed to make contributions, and distinction between profit-making and loss-making companies removed
Modi invites Qatar’s ruler to visit India: Page 1
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi invites Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to visit India
  • Invitation extended during their interaction in Qatar
  • Modi expresses gratitude for release of eight Indian Navy veterans accused in espionage case
  • Visit aimed at strengthening India-Qatar friendship and cooperation in trade, investment, technology, and culture
  • Modi thanks Qatar for hospitality
  • Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra expresses India’s gratitude for release of individuals
  • Seven of the eight individuals flown back home earlier in the week
  • Modi’s visit to Qatar follows his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates
  • Modi meets Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jasim Al-Thani in Qatar
  • Despite tensions over Navy veterans’ case, India and Qatar seal $78-billion deal on supply of liquefied natural gas to India
  • Qatar is an important energy supplier to India
‘India has rejected demand for data exclusivity in drug development in FTA talks’: Page 1
  • India rejects demand for ‘data exclusivity’ in ongoing discussions with European Free Trade Association (EFTA) for a free trade agreement
  • Data exclusivity clause entails a minimum six-year embargo on clinical trial data for drug development
  • Manufacturers would need to generate their own data or wait before selling copycat products in India
  • India’s generic drug industry could be affected as it provides affordable versions of expensive drugs globally
  • Demands for data exclusivity have been made by the European Union and EFTA since 2008
  • India consistently rejects these demands
  • Leaked draft of Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) suggested inclusion of data exclusivity clause
  • India stands with its generic drug industry and rejects the demand
  • Ministry’s stance welcomed by Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) South Asia
  • MSF expresses concern over potential harm from accepting data exclusivity provisions
INSAT-3DS mission to be launched from Sriharikota tomorrow: Page 6
  • GSLV-F14 carrying INSAT-3DS scheduled for launch from Sriharikota at 5.35 p.m. on Saturday
  • Earlier scheduled launch time was 5.30 p.m.
  • GSLV-F14 is 16th flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and 10th flight with indigenous cryo stage
  • Seventh operational flight of GSLV with indigenous cryogenic stage
  • INSAT-3DS satellite to be placed in geosynchronous transfer orbit
  • Mission designed for enhanced meteorological observations, monitoring land and ocean surfaces for weather forecasting and disaster warning
  • Primary objectives include monitoring Earth’s surface, oceanic observations, providing vertical profile of meteorological parameters, and satellite aided search and rescue services
Unbonded: Page 10
  • Supreme Court’s verdict on electoral bonds recognized the threat to democracy and transparency in political funding
  • Found entire Electoral Bond Scheme unconstitutional, violating voters’ right to information
  • Also deemed amendment to Companies Act, removing cap on company donations without disclosure, as manifestly arbitrary
  • Mandated disclosure of donation details since 2019
  • Verdict aligns with previous judgments promoting voter rights and election integrity
  • Court’s reasoning based on proportionality and connection between anonymous corporate donations and policy decisions
  • Extends principle of voters’ freedom of expression to include access to information on corporate donors
  • Raises questions about validity of scheme and impact on policy decisions and campaign funding
  • Calls for interim stay on scheme issuance to prevent potential misuse of funds
Strongman at the helm: Page 10
  • Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto likely to win Indonesia’s presidential election with over 57% of votes.
  • Expected to continue policies of predecessor Joko Widodo, including non-alignment and building new capital city.
  • Early trends suggest support from younger voters, influenced by social media image makeover.
  • Subianto’s political career transformed from rival to trusted aide and Defence Minister.
  • Persistence of populist leadership reminiscent of Suharto era hindering Indonesia’s democratic progress.
  • Subianto known for populist policies, support for Islamist extremists, and denigration of minorities.
  • Criticism of nepotism, evident in appointment of Widodo’s son as running mate despite age threshold.
  • Indonesia’s strategic importance and potential for economic progress at risk if succumbs to populist nativism led by authoritarian rulers.
An intervention that will help strengthen legal education: Page 10
  • Parliamentary Standing Committee submits report on legal education with significant recommendations
  • National law universities (NLUs) introduced in the 1990s to improve legal education
  • Despite NLUs, many law schools in India lack excellence in legal research
  • Committee suggests limiting Bar Council of India’s (BCI) role in regulating legal education
  • Proposal to establish National Council for Legal Education and Research (NCLER) for regulating post-graduation level education
  • Emphasis on promoting research in legal education to develop critical thinking among students
  • Need for state funding and recruitment of top researchers to bolster research ecosystem in law schools
  • Recommendations to globalize legal education through curriculum, exchange programs, and exposure to different legal systems
  • Leadership in law faculties should inspire and support younger academicians
  • Complete academic freedom and autonomy necessary to boost culture of legal research
  • Stakeholders urged to collaborate for improving quality of legal education in India
What is behind Ladakh’s unrest?: Page 12
  • Ladakhis demand full Statehood and inclusion in the Sixth Schedule for protection of land, culture, language, and environment.
  • Resentment grew after Ladakh became a separate UT following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
  • Initial support for UT status turned to caution and anger due to concerns about loss of identity, resources, and bureaucratic overreach.
  • LAB and KDA led protests demanding constitutional safeguards, full-fledged legislature, separate Lok Sabha seats, and job reservations for locals.
  • Concerns about demographic changes and environmental impact due to industrialization led to protests.
  • LAB and KDA demand extension of Ladakh’s territorial control up to Gilgit-Baltistan and reservation of seats for the area.
  • Lack of job opportunities and political representation fueled the unrest.
  • Union Minister of State for Home Affairs scheduled to meet representatives from Ladakh on February 19 in New Delhi.
Why did Kosovo face delays in Schengen approval?: Page 12
  • Kosovo faced delays in Schengen approval due to strong opposition from several EU members who do not recognize its unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008.
  • The European Commission cleared Pristina’s preparedness for Schengen entry in 2018, focusing on tackling illegal migration and corruption.
  • Admission to Schengen is not mandatory for EU members; however, 23 of the 27 EU states are part of the passport-free area.
  • The Schengen area comprises 27 countries, including four non-EU members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway.
  • Schengen faced strain during the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, migrant arrivals, and anti-immigrant politics.
  • The EU attempted to balance asylum protection under the Dublin Regulation while maintaining Schengen’s integrity.
  • Advantages of the EU’s border-free policy include freedom to travel with a single Schengen visa and symbolizing European integration.
Global meet urges India to augment pulses production to meet nutritional needs: Page 16
  • Global Pulses Conference urges India to increase pulses production
  • Ministers Arjun Munda and Piyush Goyal emphasize the need for improving pulses cultivation
  • Conference jointly organized by NAFED and GPC
  • Pulses production increased by 60% from 2014 to 2024
  • Goyal highlights government’s measures to support pulses cultivation, including increasing MSP regularly
  • MSP set at 50% over actual cost of production, leading to attractive returns for farmers
  • Significant increases in MSP for various pulses compared to a decade ago
  • India self-reliant in chickpeas, efforts ongoing to achieve self-sufficiency in other pulses by 2027
  • Focus on increasing cultivation of tur and black gram
  • GPC president mentions benefits of sharing best practices and technological advancements from other countries
New drug to treat chronic kidney disease gets approval: Page 16
  • CDSCO approves Jardiance (empagliflozin) 10mg tablets for chronic kidney disease (CKD) treatment
  • Approved to reduce risk of sustained decline in patients with end-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular death, and hospitalization in adults with CKD at risk of progression
  • Nephrologists and cardiologists can use Jardiance for CKD treatment in eligible patients
  • Not recommended for CKD treatment in patients with polycystic kidney disease
  • Boehringer Ingelheim (India) manufactures Jardiance
  • Gagandeep Singh Bedi, managing director of Boehringer Ingelheim (India), expresses excitement about the approval and potential of empagliflozin
January trade deficit narrows to 9-month low of $17.5 billion: Page 17
  • January trade deficit reduces to 9-month low of $17.5 billion
  • Exports increase by 3.1%, reaching $36.92 billion, slightly lower than December’s figures
  • Imports grow by 3% to $54.4 billion, 6.6% lower than the previous month
  • Services exports estimated to rise by 17.5% to $32.8 billion
  • Total exports in January amount to $69.72 billion, marking a 9.28% increase compared to the previous year
  • Despite challenges such as the Red Sea crisis and weak demand in advanced nations, exports show resilience
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry takes measures to support exporters, including facilitating credit extension and addressing non-tariff barriers
  • Efforts underway to identify new export markets and products with global demand
  • Cumulative merchandise exports for the first 10 months of 2023-24 stand at $353.9 billion, down 4.9% from the same period last year
  • Merchandise trade deficit during April-January 2023-24 declines by 9.66% compared to the previous year
  • Positive growth in export sectors like iron ore, tobacco, meat, dairy, poultry products, and spices
  • Decline in import sectors including fertilizers, project goods, and raw cotton
India, Nepal sign pact to link UPI, NPI for faster remittances: Page 17
  • RBI and Nepal Rastra Bank sign Terms of Reference (ToR) for integrating fast payment systems
  • Integration aims to link India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Nepal’s National Payments Interface (NPI)
  • Goal is to facilitate faster and cheaper cross-border remittances between India and Nepal
  • Collaboration expected to deepen financial connectivity and strengthen historical, cultural, and economic ties between the two countries
  • Necessary systems will be implemented based on the exchanged ToR to establish the UPI-NPI linkage
  • Formal introduction of the linkage and commencement of operations to follow shortly

The Hindu PDF Analysis for UPSC

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