Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 01 February 2023

DRDO develops UFRA for space radar

GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)

In a key development, Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a Bengaluru lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has developed a major subsystem for space radar, which holds significant potential not only for the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), but also for the military.

More about Space radar

  1. LRDE has been involved in the development of space-borne imaging radar — mainly consisting of electronic radar subsystems and antenna deployment mechanisms — for installation on satellites has completed the development of an UnFurlable Reflector Antenna (UFRA).
  2. UFRA is one of the major subsystems of a radar, LRDE said, adding that radars for space applications require an antenna to be stowed in compact volume during launch and then deployed in the required shape once the satellite is in the required orbit.
  3. To meet this requirement, LRDE has developed the UFRA system which consists of a rim truss-based deployable mechanismprimary armreflector meshtension ties, nets, and motor. A cable is routed through the diagonal members of the rim truss elements.
  4. The UFRA was realised and the deployment of the antenna to the required height was achieved successfully by an unfurlable deployment mechanism. The design can be adapted to realise any size of UFRA.
  5. The antenna, sources said, is likely to be part of space-based military radar, which LRDE is working on. The specific details about the radar cannot be divulged at this moment, but the development of UFRA is a key milestone in the development of the radar.
  6. LRDE is a DRDO lab with a mission to design and develop state-of-the-art radar systems meeting current and futuristic requirements of the tri-services, paramilitary forces, intelligence and strategic missions.
  7. It is also tasked with establishing indigenous production capability through industry partnership to achieve total self-reliance in the field radars besides promoting in-house research, engaging academia and industry to build competence towards creating a centre of excellence in the field of radar technologies.

 

Economic Survey 2023

GS Paper -3 (Economy)

The Economic Survey is a detailed report of the state of the national economy in the financial year that is coming to a close. It is prepared by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the guidance of the CEA. Once prepared, the Survey is approved by the Finance Minister. The Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) released the Economic Survey for the current financial year (2022-23).

 

What is the Economic Survey’s significance?

  1. It comes just a day before the Budget, the assessment and recommendations carried in the survey are not binding on the Budget.
  2. The survey remains the most authoritative and comprehensive analysis of the economy that is conducted from within the Union government.
  3. Its observations and details provide an official framework for analysing the Indian economy.

Key takeaways:

  1. The latest Economic Survey has laid out not just the growth forecast for the current financial year (2022-23) but also commented on the growth outlook in the coming financial year (2023-24).
  2. It has also shared its assessment of the inflation trajectory and the unemployment rate in the country.

GDP growth in the current financial year:

  1. The Survey states that India’s growth estimate for FY23 is higher than for almost all major economies.
  2. In fact, the Survey pointed out that India’s growth is “even slightly above the average growth of the Indian economy in the decade leading up to the pandemic”.

Inflation trajectory:

  1. The RBI has projected headline inflation at 6.8 per cent in FY23. This is outside the RBI’s comfort zone, which ranges between 2 per cent and 6 per cent.
  2. High inflation is seen as one big factor that is holding back the demand among Indian consumers.

Unemployment:

  1. The Survey states that employment levels have risen in the current financial year”.
  2. It states that “Job creation appears to have moved into a higher orbit with the initial surge in exports, a strong release of the “pent-up” demand, and a swift rollout of the capex.”
  3. It points to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), which showed that the urban unemployment rate for people aged 15 years and above declined from 9.8 per cent in the quarter ending September 2021 to 7.2 per cent one year later.

Outlook for 2023-24

  1. The Survey projects a baseline GDP growth of 6.5 per cent in real terms in FY24. The projection is broadly comparable to the estimates provided by multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the ADB and by the RBI, domestically.
  2. key downside risk to the external sector is “strong domestic demand amidst high commodity prices will raise India’s total import bill and contribute to unfavourable developments in the current account balance.
  3. These may be exacerbated by plateauing export growth on account of slackening global demand. Should the current account deficit widen further, the currency may come under depreciation pressure.

 

Armed forces action against for adulterous acts: SC

GS Paper -2 (Judiciary)

The Supreme Court ruled that armed forces can take action against their officers for adulterous acts, as it clarified the landmark 2018 judgement that decriminalised adultery.

More about the news:

  1. five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice K M Joseph said its 2018 judgement was not concerned with the provisions of the armed forces acts.
  2. The top court in 2018 had struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code dealing with the offence of adultery, holding it unconstitutional.
  3. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had moved the apex court for an exemption to armed forces from the September 27, 2018 judgement striking down adultery, saying it may hinder action against officers who indulge in such actions and can cause ‘instability’ within the services.
  4. In view of the aforesaid (2018) judgment, there will always be a concern in the minds of the army personnel who are operating far away from their families under challenging conditions about the family indulging in untoward activities.

Flashback:

Section 497 of IPC:

An analysis of Section 497 of the IPC:

  1. Section 497 of the IPC gave a husband the exclusive right to prosecute the person with whom the wife committed adultery by indulging in sexual intercourse with him.
  2. The husband can also file for divorce against his adulterous wife on grounds of adultery. However, a similar right was not conferred on a wife to prosecute the woman with whom her husband has committed adultery.
  3. Secondly, the provision did not confer any right on the wife to prosecute her husband for adultery. This is, however, one perspective of looking at this provision.
  4. The second perspective is that this section punishes sexual intercourse of a man with a married woman without the consent of her husband.
  5. However, in case there is a sexual intercourse of a man with an unmarried woman with her consent or with a married woman with the consent of her husband, then the man cannot be liable for adultery.
  6. What is crucial to this perspective is that the section does not provide any punishment for the unfaithful wife and only provides for the punishment to the man who indulged in sexual intercourse with the married women.
  7. The constitutionality of Section 497 of IPC was challenged in the case of Joseph Shine v. Union of India, 2018:
  8. The Supreme Court pronounced that Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code is unconstitutional and hence, struck it down.
  9. The court held that the provision was based on gender stereotypes and hence violated Article 14 (equal protection of laws) and Article 15 (non-discrimination on grounds of sex) of the Indian Constitution.
  10. The court also struck down Section 198 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which allowed a husband to bring charges against the man with whom his wife has committed adultery.
  11. The Court also held that for adultery to be termed as a criminal offence, it is essential that one of the spouses committed suicide in the course of the events. In such a case, the other spouse would be made liable for abatement to suicide under Section 306 of IPC

Dementia and concern about it

GS Paper -3 (Disease)

Dementia is a clinical syndrome caused by a range of diseases or injuries to the brain. Worldwide, 47.5 million people have dementia. Given the dramatic growth of the population of older people, the number of people living with dementia worldwide is expected to double every 20 years, going up to 135.5 million by 2050.

More about the news:

  1. According to a 2020 report published by the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India, there are around 5 million people in India living with dementia.

2.The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. It is implicated in up to 70% of dementia diagnoses.

Early symptoms:

1.It includes absent-mindedness, difficulty recalling names and words, difficulty retaining new information, disorientation in unfamiliar surroundings, and reduced social engagement.

2.More atypical symptoms include impairment in recognising visually presented objects (visual agnosia) despite a normal visual field, acuity and colour vision.

3.Some might also experience word-finding difficulties (anomic aphasia).

At the disease progression stage:

1.There is marked memory loss and loss of other cognitive skills, including a reduced vocabulary and less complex speech patterns.

2.This may be accompanied by mood swings, apathy, a decline in social skills, and the emergence of psychotic phenomena.

3.Advanced disease is characterised by monosyllabic speech, psychotic symptoms, and behavioural disturbance, loss of bladder and bowel control, and reduced mobility.

Dementia effects:

1.Dementia affects cognition – the mental processes used to obtain knowledge and which inculcate an awareness of our environment.

2.They include perception, complex attention, judgement, memory, language, imagination, social awareness, organisation, and learning.

Preventing dementia:

1.The WHO has identified preventing Alzheimer’s disease to be a key element in the strategy to fight the world’s dementia epidemic.

2.Economic analyses have found that delaying the onset of the disease by even one year could reduce its prevalence by 11%, while a delay of five years could halve it.

3.Prevention programmes usually focus on lifestyle risk factors – such as sedentary behaviour, unhealthy diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol use – together with mental wellbeing and risk of cardiovascular diseases.

4.The Goteborg Longitudinal Study and the Honolulu Asia Aging Study have both demonstrated a strong relationship between midlife hypertension and dementia in later life.

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