Daily News Analysis 04 August 2023 (The Hindu)

Welcome to TARUN IAS – Your Daily News Analysis for UPSC/IAS Exam Preparation!

Stay informed with relevant current affairs from trusted sources like The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, and more. Our daily news analysis includes Prelims Facts and Important Editorials presented in a concise and bulletised format. Get free daily updates at 12 noon (except Sundays). Don\’t miss the Daily Revision Quiz to reinforce your knowledge. Good luck!

Here are the topics covered for 04 August 2023: Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 , Status of SAUBHAGYA Scheme Implementation and Coverage:, Gender Inclusion Fund (GIF) in NEP 2020, Should the Age of Consent be Revised in India?, imposes curbs on import of laptops, tablets, India needs evidence-based, ethics-driven medicine, Endangered Himalayan vulture bred in captivity for the first time in India, Earthquake in Andaman and Nicobar Islands:,  Antarctica\’s Warm Temperatures and Sea Ice Impact:, Rajmargyatra – A User-Friendly Highway App, Port Health Organisation (PHO) – Part of Sagar Setu:, NASA Voyager Mission.


Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021
  2. Status of SAUBHAGYA Scheme Implementation and Coverage:
  3. Gender Inclusion Fund (GIF) in NEP 2020
  4. Should the Age of Consent be Revised in India?


GS Paper 3:

  1. imposes curbs on import of laptops, tablets


GS Paper 4

  1. India needs evidence-based, ethics-driven medicine


Prelims Related Facts

  1. Endangered Himalayan vulture bred in captivity for the first time in India
  2. Earthquake in Andaman and Nicobar Islands:
  3. Antarctica\’s Warm Temperatures and Sea Ice Impact:
  4. Rajmargyatra – A User-Friendly Highway App
  5. Port Health Organisation (PHO) – Part of Sagar Setu:
  6. NASA Voyager Mission


Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Courtesy: The Hindu


  1. Aims to conserve biodiversity and ensure equitable benefit sharing.
  2. Proposed amendments prioritize \”ease of doing business\” and promote the AYUSH industry.


Problematic Aspects:

  1. Exempts \”codified traditional knowledge\” and AYUSH industry from benefit sharing, denying local communities benefits.
  2. Lacks clear definition, leading to potential exploitation.
  3. Decriminalizes offences and proposes monetary penalties, raising concerns about resource exploitation.


Implementation Status:

  1. Act not fully implemented, with issues in access and benefit sharing.
  2. Industry seeks relaxation and challenges regulations in courts.


Industry\’s Views:

  1. Industry dissatisfied with regulations, seeks relief from compliance burden.
  2. Amendments prioritize business interests over environmental protection.



  1. Proposed amendments raise concerns about the Act\’s original goals and environmental protection.


Status of SAUBHAGYA Scheme Implementation and Coverage


Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy has informed about the status of implementation and coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana -\”SAUBHAGYA\” in the country.


Courtesy: PIB

  • About SAUBHAGYA Scheme:
    1. Launched in October 2017
    2. Focusing on last mile connectivity and electricity connections to unelectrified households.
    3. Concurrent program to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti.


Objectives of the Scheme:

  1. Provide last mile connectivity and electricity connection to all un-electrified households in rural areas.
  2. Extend electricity connection to all remaining economically poor unelectrified households in urban areas.
  3. Implement Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) based standalone systems in remote and inaccessible villages/habitations.


Salient Features of SAUBHAGYA Scheme:

  1. Free metered connection for economically poor households.
  2. Charge of Rs. 500 for non-poor households (adjusted in electricity bills in 10 monthly installments).
  3. Establishing camps in villages/cluster of villages for on-spot registration.
  4. Use of Mobile App for beneficiary identification and registration.
  5. Web-based near real-time monitoring and updating of progress.
  6. Flexibility to States in mode of implementation.


Gender Inclusion Fund (GIF) in NEP 2020


National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 introduces the \”Gender Inclusion Fund\” (GIF) to support female and transgender students in gaining access to education.


Courtesy: MHRD

  • About the Fund:
    1. Introduced in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
    2. Aims to support girls and transgender students in accessing education.
    3. Utilized for high-quality education and providing essential amenities.


  • Steps for Equitable and Quality Education for Girls:
    1. Samagra Shiksha: Specific provisions for quality education to girls.
    2. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs): Residential schools for girls in disadvantaged groups.


  • NEP\’s Promotion of Gender-Inclusive Education:
    1. Overhaul of the educational system for \”Equitable and Inclusive Education.\”
    2. Recognition of transgender children as Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs).


  • Adolescence Education Programme:
    1. Focus on educating adolescents about growing up, HIV/AIDS, and constructive attitudes.


  • NEP aims to eliminate disparities in access to education for all genders and SEDGs.


Should the Age of Consent be Revised in India?


The article discusses the age of consent in India, particularly in relation to consensual relationships involving minors. The Bombay High Court raised the question of revising the age of consent, considering the prosecution of adolescents under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for such relationships.

  1. Experts in the conversation highlight the need for a holistic approach, considering factors like cognitive capacity, emotional development, and cultural context.
  2. They also discuss the importance of not criminalizing certain activities to protect children while recognizing evolving capacities. The article explores the complexities of measuring consent before a trial and suggests a context-sensitive approach.


  1. Complex Debate: Experts call for an integrated and holistic approach considering psychological, biological, and autonomy perspectives.
  2. Balancing Protection: While aiming to protect children from harm, criminalizing certain activities may hinder support and trends analysis.
  3. Measuring Consent: Proposals to improve the process, including social workers\’ involvement before trials.
  4. Context-Sensitive Approach: Instead of setting a fixed age, a more nuanced understanding of consent and evolving capacities is crucial.
  5. Research and Guidelines: More research needed to inform decision-making on age of consent, ensuring accountability and flexibility.


Govt. imposes curbs on import of laptops, tablets


New Regulations:

  1. Import licences required for laptops, tablets, and all-in-one/small-factor PCs.
  2. Immediate effect on imports; impact on Dell, HP, Lenovo, Apple laptops.
  3. Expected boost for domestic sector; exemption for imports under Baggage Rules.


Impact on Laptop Brands:

  1. Brands relying on assembly abroad, like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Apple, to be affected.
  2. Longer wait times for import clearance and sale in India.


Online Purchases and Import Duty:

  1. Laptops can still be purchased online from overseas.
  2. Import duty and shipping fees may make it expensive for individual buyers.


Overall Implication:

  1. Move to boost domestic manufacturing of laptops and tablets.
  2. Short-term availability may be impacted for some brands, leading to potential price fluctuations.


India needs evidence-based, ethics-driven medicine


The article discusses the inclusion of homeopathy in mainstream healthcare and its efficacy and safety. It emphasizes the lack of strong evidence supporting homeopathy\’s effectiveness and raises concerns about its safety.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned against using homeopathy for serious diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. Moreover, there is no substantial progress in understanding the mechanisms of action behind homeopathy\’s principles.

The supporters of homeopathy argue for a different standard of evidence, but the existing evidence-based medicine criteria are collaboratively established and have been effective in weeding out ineffective practices.

The article also questions the colonial origins of homeopathy in India and emphasizes the need for an evidence-based and ethics-driven approach to healthcare.


Homeopathy and Universal Health Coverage:

  1. Recent push to integrate homeopathy into mainstream healthcare.
  2. Advocates cite demand and decolonization, but evidence on efficacy is weak.


Efficacy and Safety of Homeopathy:

  1. Weak evidence for effectiveness in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
  2. Unregistered trials and reporting bias raise doubts on validity.
  3. WHO warns against homeopathy for serious diseases.
  4. No progress in understanding mechanisms of action.


Standards and Evidence-Based Medicine:

  1. Standards are collaboratively set by a global community.
  2. No valid alternative evidence synthesis for homeopathy.
  3. Evidence-based medicine is open to holistic approaches.


Decolonization and Tradition:

  1. Homeopathy introduced during colonial period for colonial benefit.
  2. Lack of evidence and escapist arguments undermine support.
  3. Testimonials from luminaries like Gandhi and Tagore are scanty.


Universal Health Care:

  1. India\’s path should be grounded in evidence-based and ethics-driven medicine.


Endangered Himalayan vulture bred in captivity for the first time in India


Courtesy: WWFINDIA

Breakthrough in Captive Breeding:

  1. First instance of captive breeding of Himalayan vulture recorded at Assam State Zoo, Guwahati.
  2. Species categorized as \’near threatened\’ on the IUCN Red List.
  3. Successful hatching noted on March 14, 2022, and nestling shifted to artificial brooding facility.


Breeding Process:

  1. Challenging task due to species\’ natural breeding in snow-clad mountains.
  2. Acclimatized vultures in the zoo to tropical environment.
  3. Conservation breeding led by Sachin Ranade and assisted by Jay Gore and Ashwini Kumar.


Global Significance:

  1. Second instance of Himalayan vulture breeding in captivity worldwide, after France.
  2. Multiple Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres in India, focusing on endangered vulture species.


Earthquake in Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

  1. Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake: Recently hit the region.
  2. Seismic Activity: Andaman and Nicobar Islands are an earthquake hotspot due to subduction of the Indian plate beneath the Burmese plate.
  3. Active Subduction Zone: Andaman-Nicobar-Sumatra subduction zone in the northeast Indian Ocean.
  4. Previous Earthquake: The 2004 tsunami caused significant damage, with Great Nicobar experiencing permanent subsidence.
  5. Islands and Biosphere Reserve: Consists of 572 islands, with around 32 inhabited. Designated as a tribal reserve and declared a biosphere reserve in 1989.
  6. Barren Island: South Asia and India\’s only active volcano, located 135 km northeast of Port Blair. The caldera is 2 km wide with walls 250-350 m high.


Antarctica\’s Warm Temperatures and Sea Ice Impact:

  1. Unusual Warm Temperatures: During peak winter, Antarctica is experiencing warm temperatures.
  2. Sea Ice Cover Affected: As of July 2023, the sea ice extent was only 14.2 million sq km, below the expected 16.7 million sq. km. for this time of year.


About Antarctica:

  1. Southernmost Continent: Earth\’s southernmost continent located in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere.
  2. Geographic South Pole: Contains the geographic South Pole.
  3. Research Stations: Houses research stations like Dakshin Gangotri and Maitri station, Bharti, for Antarctic research.


Rajmargyatra – A User-Friendly Highway App


  1. NHAI introduces \’Rajmargyatra\’ app for national highway users.
  2. Aims to enhance user experience with highway information.
  3. Available on Google Play Store and iOS App Store.
  4. User-friendly interface in Hindi and English.


Key Features:

  1. Comprehensive Highway Information: Real-time weather updates and notifications.
  2. Nearby Services: Details about toll plazas, petrol pumps, hospitals, hotels, etc.
  3. Hassle-Free Complaint Resolution: Report and resolve complaints with prompt action.
  4. Seamless FASTag Services: Recharge FASTags and access related banking services.
  5. Over-speeding Notifications and Voice-Assistance: Promote safer driving habits.


National Highways Authority of India (NHAI):

  1. Established under NHAI Act, 1988, under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  2. Manages National Highways Development Project (NHDP) and minor projects.
  3. Focus on upgrading major Indian highways and promoting economic well-being.


Port Health Organisation (PHO) – Part of Sagar Setu:

  1. PHO included in Sagar Setu – National Logistics Portal (Marine).
  2. Ensures disease surveillance, health inspections, and quarantine measures.
  3. Features online clearance certificates and streamlined certification generation.
  4. Facilitates collaboration among stakeholders for efficient approval processes.


NASA Voyager Mission:

  1. Launched in 1977 to explore outer planets of solar system.
  2. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 currently in interstellar space.
  3. Equipped with 10 different experiments.
  4. Carries encoded images and greetings from Earth.


Scroll to Top