Summary of The Hindu 28th FEBRUARY 2024

4 IAF pilots named as possible Gaganyaan crew

·         India on Tuesday announced the names of four astronauts designates for the Gaganyaan human space flight mission to be launched in 2025 .

·         The names of four Indian Air force (IAF ) pilots are

Ø  1. Group captain Prasanth Balkrishanan Nair

Ø  2. Group captain Ajith Krishnan 

Ø  3. Group captain Angad Pratap and

Ø  4. Wing Commander Subhanshu Shukla

              were revealed for the first time in presence of PM Narendra Modi . The candidates has

              been shortlisted from a rigourous training.The final crew will be  picked from among

              four.

·         Shortlisted through rigorous selection process they have been undergoing training in various aspects of spaceflight , initially in Russia and then in Astronaut Training facility established by ISRO in Bengaluru .

·         PM Modi dedicated three technical facilities developed at a cost of Rs.1800 crore to ISRO .

·         Gaganyaan Mission – ISRO will display it’s human spaceflight capability for first time . For the first time on Astronauts will be sent to slow Earth Orbit ( LEO ) for few days and then will return to earth .

·         The mission is expected to pave the way for a “ sustained  Indian human space exploration programme “ in the long run .

India will have its own space station by 2035 , says PM

·         Addressing scientists at ISRO , PM Modi said that  India will have its own space station by 2035.

·         He added that the nation will once again  go to the moon by 2040 . He was referring to plans for a crewed lunar mission by 2040 .The ISRO has Venus on its radar, he added .

‘10,000 genome‘ project completed , says center

·         The department of Biotechnology ( DBT)  on Tuesday officially announced the completion of ‘10,000 genome ‘ projects – an attempt to create a reference database of whole genome sequence out of India .

·         The database will help customising drugs and therapies .About 20 institutions across country were involved in this .

·         The Indian population of 1.3 billion consists of over 46,00 population groups . These factors have contributed to the genetic diversity of current population .

·         The United States, United Kingdom and China are among the countries that have programmes to sequence at least 1,00,000 of their genomes.

Cross voting in UP and Himachal allows BJP to claim two extra R.S. seats

·         Rajya Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh went down to the wire  with heavy cross voting by Samajwadi Party and Congress MLAs .

·         In UP BJP won eight out of 10 seats that is one more seats than expected .

·         Rajya Sabha elections are held every 2 years after one third of seats gets vacant .

·         Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by MLAs through single Transferable Voting ( STV ) .

In STV MLAs has to fill their pregeraves among the candidates .

Land Reform and capital reform in top of agenda in third term , says Sitharaman

·         In a talk with FICCI finance Minister zNitmala Sitharaman said that Narendra Modi , if returned for a third term in office will place all factors of production such as land , labor and capital on “ top of their agenda”  along with “ 21 st century factors “  such as digital infrastructure , in the pursuit to make India world’s third largest economy .

Former SC judge A.M Khanwilkar is Lokpal chairperson

·         The post was vacated by Pinaki Chandra Ghose after completion of his term in 2022 .

‘HCES full result to be out by June ‘

·         The center will release the complete findings of the Housing Consumption and Expenditure Survey ( HCSE ) in June after the election results are out .

·         The recently released data had shown Monthly Per Capita Consumption Expenditure ( MPCE ) sliced across income classes urban and rural .

At WTO India asserts food subsidies for developing nations .

·         India has emphasized a comprehensive agreement on fisheries subsidies being negotiated at the 13 th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi .

·         India said that it  must be built on the principle of Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities ( CBDR – RC ). It must incorporate special and Differential Treatment ( S&DT ) ,to protect the livelihood and growth of the fishing community in developing countries .

·         WTO in 2022 brought an Agreement on Fishery subsidy . The agreement  talks of  reducing certain types of fishery subsidy .

·         Overfishing is a major problem harming Life under water and fishery subsidies promote overfishing .

·         India and some developing countries have not signed the agreement citing that it is not in favor of their fishermen who are already facing problems .

World

EU wary as Macron hints at western troops in Ukraine

·         After a meeting with EU leaders French President Emanual Macron said that “  everything that is necessary “ must be doen to ensure to defeat the Russia including depliyig of troops to fight alongside Ukriane.

·          Nothing should be ruled out . We will do whatever it takes to ensure , Russia cannot win this war “ .

·         However other leaders present such as Swedish , Sloavaks and German leaders denied that there was any plan to send EU ,NATO troops to Ukriane .

Israel is ready to pause it’s war in Gaza during  Ramzan : Biden

·         US President Joe Biden talking to NBC signalled that there can be a ceasefire from Israeli side from the beginning of Ramzan .

·         “ Ramzan is coming up and there is an agreement  with Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramzan as well , in order to give us time to get all the hitages out . “ said Mr. Biden .

·         Israeli officials however said that Mr. Biden comment came as a surprise and were not made in coordination with country’s leadership .Hamas too has downplayed any progress in talk with Israel .Negotiators from the US, Egypt , Qatar have been working to broker a plan that would result in release of Israeli hostages ,a six week of truce , and increased aid to Gaza .

Text / Context

Why science needs sustainable funding

·         National Science Day is celebrated every year on Fabruary 28 .

·         The theme for science day this year is “ science for sustainable development ,” . Science and Technology are key drivers of India’s journey towards becoming a developed country by 2047 .

·         India is committed to making this progress through sustainable means .

India’s spending on Research and Development ( R&D )

·         Currently India’s funding to R&D stands 0.64 % of GDP .This is decline from recent years which stood nearly 0.8% .Still this is very low .

·         Most developed countries on an average spend 2 to 4% of their respects GDPs on science and development ..

How India can Improve R&D funding

·         India needs to consistently spend 3% of it’s GDP on R&D till 2047 to get the desired results

·         One of the major challenge with India is that here funding from Private sector is low .In 2020 – 21 , Private sector contributed 36.4%, whereas Union govt share was 43.7 % .

·         In developed countries and average 70 % comes from private sector .The reason for low private investment in R& D can be ragulatory roadmap , lack of clear exit options for investors in sectors such as biotech and fear of IP theft .

What does sustainable funding entail ?

·         In the latest budget Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman indicated that govt would like more R&D funding from the private sector .

·         This will require political prioritization under concerned ministries , clear regulatory roadmap , rebates in FDI and taxation among others .

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