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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 26 September 2023

InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 3:

  1. The Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023
  2. Geospatial intelligence

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Ganesh Chaturthi

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. 75% of Villages Are Now ODF Plus under Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen
  2. India-UN Capacity Building Initiative
  3. Galactic tides
  4. NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex
  5. Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve
  6. The State of the Rhino Report, 2023
  7. EXERCISE YUDH ABHYAS-23

 

Mapping

  1. Kaobal Gali-Mushkoh Valley

 


 

The Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Science and Technology: Patent Rights

  

Source: IPIndia

 Context: The government has released Draft Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2023 rule, under the Patents Act of 1970.

 

What is Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)?

 

What are Patents? 

Patents are government-issued exclusive rights that grant inventors or assignees the sole authority to utilize, make, sell, or license their invention for a limited period, typically 20 years.

 

  • Patents are granted for new and useful inventions and are intended to encourage innovation by providing legal protection and exclusive rights to inventors.
  • Granted by: Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) under the DPIIT (Ministry of Commerce & Industry)
  • Patents in India are governed by “The Patent Act 1970,” which was amended in 2005 to comply with TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).

 

Criteria for issuing patents in India include:

  • Novelty: The invention must be new and not previously published or publicly known or used in India.
  • Non-Obviousness: It should involve an inventive step, representing a technical advancement compared to existing knowledge, and not obvious to a person skilled in the relevant field.
  • Industrial Use: The invention should be capable of industrial application.

 

What Cannot Be Patented in India:

ItemsDescription
Frivolous InventionsInventions that harm public order, morality, or the health of animals, plants, and humans.
Methods of Agriculture or HorticultureGenerally excluded from patentability.
Traditional KnowledgeInventions based solely on traditional knowledge are not eligible for patents.
Computer ProgramsPure computer programs are typically not patentable.
Inventions Related to Atomic EnergyMatters related to atomic energy are restricted from patenting.
Plants and AnimalsTypically, plants and animals in their natural state cannot be patented.
Mere Discovery of Scientific PrinciplesPatent protection is not granted for mere discoveries of scientific principles.

 

Key Provisions of the Draft Patent Amendment Rules:

Key ProvisionsDescriptionImpact of the changes
Pre-Grant Opposition (PGO) filing Fee: There will be a variable fee for Pre-Grant Opposition (PGO) filing (previously free).The introduction of dynamic fees for PGO filing may pose financial challenges for smaller groups or individuals interested in opposing patents.

 

PGO is a pre-grant opposition filed after patent publication but before its grant.PGO allows for opposition before patent grants, helping prevent unjust patent protection extensions and promoting access to affordable generic drugs.
PGO filing, previously open to anyone, will now be determined by CGPDTM.Determining PGO filing by CGPDTM may bring more structure to the opposition process.
Notice Time PeriodThe time period for applicants to reply to notice on PGO has been reduced to 2 months.Reducing the time period for applicants to reply to PGO notices to 2 months may affect the ability to prepare and submit responses effectively
Timeline for Filing Requests for ExaminationThe timeline for filing Requests for Examination is reduced from 48 to 31 months.Reducing the timeline for filing Requests for Examination to 31 months may expedite patent examination but put pressure on applicants to prepare quickly.
Working StatementsWorking statements are to be submitted once every 3 years by patent holders.Requiring working statements once every 3 years may reduce the frequency of reporting on patent usage.
Disclosure of Manufacturing Location and PriceDisclosure of the patented product’s manufacturing location and price is no longer required.Eliminating the need to disclose manufacturing location and price may impact transparency in the pharmaceutical industry.

 

About The Patents Act, 1970

It was established in 1972, and replaced the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911. In 2005, the Patents (Amendment) Act expanded product patenting to all technology fields, including food, drugs, chemicals, and microorganisms. It repealed Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs) provisions, introduced compulsory licensing, and included pre-grant and post-grant opposition provisions

 

Insta Link:

 

Mains Links:

 How is the Government of India protecting traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies? (UPSC 2019)

In a globalised world, intellectual property rights assume significance and are a source of litigation. Broadly distinguish between the terms – copyrights, patents and trade secrets. (UPSC 2014)

 

Prelims Links:

Consider the following statements:

  1. Evergreening is the grant of permission by the government to entities to use, manufacture, import or sell a patented invention without the patent owner’s consent.
  2. Compulsory licensing is a strategy for extending/elongating the term of a granted patent in a jurisdiction that is about to expire, in order to retain royalties from them, by taking out new patents.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

 

Ans: (c)

Geospatial intelligence

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

Source: TH

 What is Geospatial intelligence?

It is the collection and integration of data from various technologies like satellites, sensors, and aerial images to create real-time maps and simulations. It aids in identifying and managing threats, supporting emergency response, environmental monitoring, logistics, and more.

Geospatial technology uses tools like GIS (Geographic Information System), GPS (Global Positioning System), and Remote Sensing for geographic mapping and analysis of Geospatial data.

 

Status of geospatial data and technology in India

  • India has a robust ecosystem in geospatial, with the Survey of India (SoI), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Remote Sensing Application Centres (RSACs), and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in particular, and all ministries and departments, in general, using geospatial technology.
  • In 2021, the geospatial market was dominated by defence and intelligence (14 %), urban development (13 %), and utilities (11 %) segments, cumulatively accounting for 38% of the total geospatial market.

 

Key applications of geospatial intelligence:

ApplicationDescription
Emergency PreparednessMonitoring natural disasters such as Cyclones, and hurricanes to allocate resources efficiently, issue timely storm warnings, and order evacuations as needed.
Disaster ResponseAssisting in post-disaster efforts by identifying damaged areas, assessing the extent of impact, locating access points for first responders, facilitating efficient search-and-rescue operations and the distribution of aid.
Environmental MonitoringTracking climate-related variables like temperature, precipitation, and ice to anticipate and prepare for environmental disturbances, including heatwaves, floods, and polar ice melt.
Military and Civilian ApplicationsReporting on military movements, and troop deployments, and providing valuable spatial data for civilian applications such as global supply chain optimization and logistics management.
Transportation and LogisticsUtilizing GPS-generated spatial data to enhance transportation and logistics operations
Autonomous VehiclesSupporting the development of autonomous vehicles by offering high-resolution imagery for road analysis, and traffic management.
Digital TwinsCreating virtual replicas of real-world systems, such as cities and buildings, which can be updated in real-time to simulate changes in various conditions, aiding decision-making across different sectors, including military and urban planning.

 

Measures for the Development of Geospatial Data and Technology:

MeasuresDescription
Guidelines for Geospatial Data, 2021Released by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2021.
Deregulated and liberalized the Geo-Spatial Sector in India, making it more competitive.
Eliminated the requirement of permissions and scrutiny, even for security concerns for Indian Companies.
Companies can now self-attest, conforming to government guidelines without continuous monitoring by a government agency.
Geospatial Energy Map of IndiaDeveloped in collaboration with NITI Aayog and ISRO
Provides a comprehensive view of energy production and distribution in the country.
Aids in planning and investment decisions and supports disaster management using available energy assets.
Union Budget 2022-23Government support for the use of Kisan drones for land assessment, digitization of land records, and spraying insecticides and nutrients.
National Geospatial Policy, 2022

 

The 13-year guideline promotes the country’s geospatial data industry and develops a national framework to use such data for improving citizen services, and more
Yuktahara portalServes as a repository of geotagged assets created under various National Rural Development Programs, including MGNREGA, Per Drop More Crop Programs, Integrated Watershed Management Programme, and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

 

Limitations of using Geospatial technology:

  • Hacking information – The primary reluctance to share stems from the concern that terrorists or criminals could use such information.
  • Privacy issue – India doesn’t have a dedicated data protection policy in that context use of Geospatial data may cause privacy issues.
  • Lack of data availability and sharing constraints – The unavailability of foundation data, especially at high resolution, is also a constraint. Further, the lack of clarity on data sharing and collaboration prevents co-creation and asset maximization.

 

Measures to be taken for improvement.

  • Trained and dedicated team to use geospatial data
  • Funding to enhance the application of geospatial technology
  • Privacy needs to be taken into account while using Geospatial data.

 

Conclusion 

Today the availability of using high-resolution satellite imagery creates a positive environment on the significance of this technology for monitoring integrated systems in different areas of national security purposes. Thus, geospatial technology reduces the analysis time and improves the capability and efficiency in decision-making for national security issues.

 

Insta Links

Geospatial data policy liberalized

 

Mains Link

Democratizing geospatial data will enable the rise of new technologies & platforms that will drive efficiencies in agriculture and allied sectors. Discuss (15M)

What is Geo-Spatial data? Comment upon the present Policy on Geospatial Data in the country while emphasizing the liberalization aspect (10M)

Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Ganesh Chaturthi

Content for Mains Enrichment

 

Source: TH

Bal Gangadhar Tilak played a pivotal role in transforming the Ganesh Chaturthi festival into a grand community event in India.

Before 1893, Ganesh Chaturthi was a one-day private observance. However, Tilak, a prominent nationalist and leader, saw an opportunity to unite and mobilize society against British colonial rule by harnessing Indian cultural practices. He initiated the tradition of public Ganpati worship, emphasizing patriotism, and promoting nationalist ideas during the festival.

 

Negative impact: While Tilak’s efforts were praised for fostering unity, he also faced criticism for potentially adding a communal aspect to the freedom struggle and holding conservative views on women’s emancipation and caste reforms.

Usage: The example can be used to show how culture can be used to unite people. But overemphasis on the culture of one community can be decisive as well. The example also shows the value of Unity, Inclusivity, Nationalism, Respect for Cultural Heritage etc.

75% of Villages Are Now ODF Plus under Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB

 Context: India has achieved a significant sanitation milestone under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase II, with 75% of villages in the country now declaring themselves ODF Plus.

  • As of now, over 4.43 lakh villages have achieved ODF Plus status, a significant step toward the SBM-G Phase II goals for 2024-25.
  • Several states and union territories have achieved 100% ODF Plus villages, including Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra Nagar Haveli & Daman Diu, Jammu & Kashmir, and Sikkim, which also have 100% ODF Plus Model villages.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase II aims to make all villages ODF Plus by 2025.

 

The achievement of 75% ODF Plus villages demonstrates India’s commitment to sanitation and hygiene, moving from ODF to ODF Plus in Swachh Bharat Mission Phase II.

 

ODF Plus status means that a village has maintained its Open Defecation Free (ODF) status while also implementing solid or liquid waste management systems.

India-UN Capacity Building Initiative

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: Economic Times

Context: India and the United Nations have jointly launched the “India-UN Capacity Building Initiative,” which aims to share India’s development experiences, best practices, and expertise with partner countries in the Global South through capacity-building and training programs.

  • This initiative builds upon India’s extensive cooperation in development and capacity building with partner countries.
  • The initiative complements the existing India-UN partnership through the “India-UN Development Partnership Fund”.
  • The initiative will operationalize the development-related goals of India’s G20 Presidency, including the G20 Action Plan for Accelerating Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building Digital Public Infrastructure.

 

Galactic tides

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH 

Context: Galactic tides, similar to the tides in Earth’s oceans but on a much larger scale, are caused by gravitational forces within galaxies, resulting from interactions between celestial objects like stars and gas clouds.

  • These tidal forces play a significant role in shaping the evolution of galaxies. They can alter a galaxy’s structure by creating features like tidal tails and bridges, stimulating star formation, and disrupting smaller star systems.
  • Over vast stretches of time, galactic tides also perturb the orbits of stars, leading to long-term changes in the structure of galaxies. Galactic tides even influence how neighbouring galaxies interact with each other.
  • Galactic tides also impact supermassive black holes located at the centres of galaxies, resulting in events that alter how these cosmic giants interact with nearby stars.

NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  

Source: IE

 Context: A NASA space capsule carrying the largest sample ever collected from an asteroid landed on Utah’s Test and Training Range.

  • The capsule was released from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which had been in space for seven years and collected the sample from the asteroid Bennu. Scientists will use this sample to learn more about the origins of the solar system.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, renamed OSIRIS-APEX (OSIRIS-Apophis Explorer), did not return to Earth’s surface. Instead, it separated from the sample return capsule and will continue its mission to study another near-Earth asteroid named Apophis when it comes close to Earth in 2029.

Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

 Context: Madhya Pradesh, known as the “tiger state” of India due to its substantial tiger population, has officially designated a new protected area for these magnificent creatures called the ‘Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve.’

  • This newly established reserve becomes the seventh tiger reserve in the state.
  • Madhya Pradesh has consistently held the title of the “tiger state,” with its tiger population increasing from 526 in 2018 to 785 in the 2022 census.

The Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve incorporates the previously recognized eco-sensitive zone of Nauradehi and Veerangana Durgavati sanctuaries, along with surrounding forest areas, into the buffer zone.

The State of the Rhino Report, 2023

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: The Week

 

Context: The greater one-horned rhino population in India and Nepal is growing, as highlighted in the State of the Rhino Report, 2023, by the International Rhino Foundation (IRF).

  • While poaching and habitat loss remain significant threats to rhinos globally, climate change is also impacting their survival.

  

Key Findings:

  • The collaboration among India, Bhutan, and Nepal, along with strict government protection and management, has led to a 20 per cent increase in their population over the past decade. India is estimated to be home to 3,262 rhinos.
  • Black rhino populations are increasing despite poaching pressure. However, South Africa is grappling with devastating poaching losses of its white rhinos, particularly in certain reserves.
  • One concerning aspect highlighted in the report is that the status and whereabouts of 12 of the approximately 76 remaining Javan rhinos are unknown. Sumatran rhinos are also increasingly difficult to find, raising uncertainty about their population in the wild.

The report underscores the need for continued efforts to protect and conserve rhinos and their habitats, address poaching, and mitigate the effects of climate change to ensure the survival of these iconic species.

EXERCISE YUDH ABHYAS-23

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 

Context: The 19th edition of “EXERCISE YUDH ABHYAS” is scheduled to take place from September 25th to October 8th, 2023.

  • This annual exercise is a collaborative effort between the Indian Army and the United States Army.
  • The theme of “EXERCISE YUDH ABHYAS-23” centres on the ‘Employment of an Integrated Battle Group in Mountain/Extreme Climatic Conditions,’ following Chapter VII of the United Nations mandate.

The exercise will feature a Command Post Exercise, as well as Expert Academic Discussions on specific topics. The Field Training Exercise will validate Integrated Battle Groups against hostile forces at the Brigade level, Integrated Surveillance Grid at the Brigade/Battalion level, and the use of Heliborne/Airborne elements and Force Multipliers.

It will also assess logistics and casualty management during operations, evacuation, combat medical aid, and other aspects relevant to High Altitude Areas and Extreme Climatic Conditions.

Kaobal Gali-Mushkoh Valley

Mapping

 

Source: TH

 Context: The Kaobal Gali-Mushkoh Valley, which was once a battlefield during the Kargil War, has now opened up for tourists.

This transformation is attributed to the 43-month-long ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan, the enthusiasm of the local population, and efforts by both the administration and businesses to capitalize on the tourism potential.

 

 

About Kaobal Gali-Mushkoh Valley:

It is located in Kargil’s Drass Sector and was a battlefield during the 1999 Kargil war between India and Pakistan. The region includes the Gurez Valley in north Kashmir, which was previously inaccessible to civilians due to shelling from Pakistan but now connects with the Mushkoh Valley in Kargil’s Drass Sector. Kaobal Gali, the highest pass at a height of 4,167 meters in Gurez, connects Gurez to Mushkoh Valley.

The Gurez Valley is close to the Line of Control (LoC)  and is also home to ibex, musk deer and marmots, Himalayan brown bear and snow leopard. The Kishanganga River flows through the valley.

 

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