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  1. Electoral bonds- Page No.1, GS 2
  2. Women want change, society needs change - Page No.6, GS 1,2
  3. The Maldives, the evolution of a democracy - Page No.6, GS 2
  4. We need evidence-based traditional medicine - Page No.7, GS 2
  5. 2023 on course to be warmest year on record - Page No.7, GS 3
  6. First test flight of Gaganyaan mission scheduled on Oct. 21- Page No.12, GS 3

Electoral bonds- Page No.1, GS 2

Electoral bonds
  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed October 31 for hearing a slew of petitions challenging the electoral bonds scheme.
  • "We are here to decide the case," Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud observed.
  • "when a Bill could be designated a Money Bill".
  • The electoral bonds system was introduced in 2017 by way of a Finance bill and it was implemented in 2018.
  • They serve as a means for individuals and entities to make donations to registered political parties while maintaining donor anonymity.
  • Features:
  • State bank of India (SBI) issues the bonds in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore.
  • Payable to the bearer on demand and interest-free.
  • Purchased by Indian citizens or entities established in India.
  • Can be bought individually or jointly with other individuals.
  • Valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issue.
  • Aluthorized Issuer:
  • State Bank of India (SBI) is the authorized issuer.
  • Electoral Bonds are issued through designated SBI branches.

  • Eligibility of Political Parties:
  • Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and have secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly, are eligible to receive electoral bonds.
  • Purchase and Encashment:
  • Electoral Bonds can be purchased digitally or through cheques.
  • Encashment only through an authorized bank account of the political party.
  • Transparency and Accountability:
  • Parties must disclose their bank account with the Election Commission India (ECI).
  • Donations are made through banking channels, ensuring transp;
  • Political parties are obligated to explain the utilization of the funds received.

  • Challenges:
  • Electoral bonds are donations to political parties that hide the identity of the donors and recipients. They may compromise the right to know, which is part of the right to freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Constitution.
  • Anonymity may be compromised by government access to donor data. This implies that the government in power can leverage this information and disrupt free and fair elections.
  • Potential for unauthorized donations violating regulations.

Women want change, society needs change - Page No.6, GS 1,2

Women want change, society needs change
  • The 17th edition of the Global Gender Report of the World Economic Forum (published on June 20, 2023), based on data from 146 countries, has concluded that at the current rate of progress, it will take 131 years to close the global gender gap; it is 149 years in populous South Asian countries including India.
  • Global trends exhibit a sharp reduction in the age of political leaders. But can a common Indian woman, just by her commitment and ambition, dream of becoming the Prime Minister of India at the age of 37 — like Jacinda Ardern, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand? During the Round Table Conference held in the 1930s in London, a letter was written on November 16, 1931 by Sarojini Naidu and Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz presenting a joint manifesto by the All India Women's Conference, the Women's Indian Association, and the Central Committee of the National Council of Women in India. They demanded neither discriminatory nor favourable treatment on the basis of gender in legislative representation, thereby rejecting reservation.

The Maldives, the evolution of a democracy - Page No.6, GS 2

The Maldives, the evolution of a democracy
  • The Maldives, South Asia's smallest nation-state, sent a clear signal through its latest presidential election: democracy is thriving. The holding of yet another free and fair election enhances the country's international prestige.
  • In external relations, the new administration will have at least three choices: revert to the 'India Out' campaign of former President Yameen; continue the 'India First' policy of the outgoing Presidert; or innovate a calibrated policy that allows a balancing of relations wits its key partners, especially China and India .
  • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which Maldives had accepted under his leadership, is in serious trouble.
  • For India, the next phase of regional diplomacy may admittedly be complex. But enough assets and achievements exist to impart confidence.
  • The Colombo Security Conclave (comprising India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius, Bangladesh and the Seychelles) should be strengthened showing tangible outcomes in maritime security and the development of the Blue Economy.
  • By boldly re-imagining the post-South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation South Asia, New Delhi should create a basis for The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to invite the Maldives as an observer at its next summit.

We need evidence-based traditional medicine - Page No.7, GS 2

We need evidence-based traditional medicine
  • It Is a fact that irrespective of the advances of modern medicine, several systems which lay claim to healing, and which all fall under the broad category of alternative medicine, exist. Certain systems such as Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha have their own pharmacopeia in India.
  • Like many traditional medical systems everywhere, Ayurveda was constrained in its understanding of how the human body works by the lack of available technology.
  • New investigational methods and trial designs which can evaluate Ayurvedic therapies without undermining the classical bases of administering them must be worked out. The Ministry of AYUSH must facilitate this.
  • It must be remembered that the Nobel-winning anti-malarial artemisinin was synthesised thanks to investigators who were open-minded enough totake cues from 1,600-year-old text of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

2023 on course to be warmest year on record - Page No.7, GS 3

2023 on course to be warmest year on record
  • As the world gears up for COP28, there is alarming data on the horizon. The year 2023 is on course to possibly becoming the warmest year in recorded history, with temperatures nearing 1.4°C above the pre-industrial era average
  • In September 2023, global temperatures reached a record high. The average surface air temperature was 16.38°C, which is 0.93°C higher than the September average between 1991 and 2020. Moreover, it was 0.5°C warmer than the earlier record set in September 2020.
  • In a worrying update, the extent of sea ice has stayed at very low levels for this time of the year in the Antarctic region.
  • Sea ice extent refers to the total area of an ocean where there is at least some sea ice present. Satellite records for September reveal that both daily and monthly extents have plummeted to their lowest annual peaks, with the monthly extent dropping 9% below the norm.

First test flight of Gaganyaan mission scheduled on Oct. 21- Page No.12, GS 3

First test flight of Gaganyaan mission scheduled on Oct.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will execute the first of multiple test flights ahead of the Gaganyaan mission - India's first manned mission to space - on October 21, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Space, Science and Technology, said on Tuesday.
  • The test will be conducted at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota and is intended to test the 'crew module or the part of vehicle where the Indian astronauts will be housed.
  • The test involves launching the module to outer space and bringing it back to earth and recovering it after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal. The Navy personnel have already started mock operations to recover the module, said Mr. Singh. Along with the crew module, there will also be a 'crew escape' system. If the spacecraft while ascending into space faces a problem, this escape system is expected to separate and bring the crew safely back to sea from where they will be picked by the Navy personnel.