Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Q3 GDP growth data
- Chandrayaan – 3
- Proton beam therapy
- Right to self incrimination
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Q3 GDP growth data
Context: India’s GDP growth slowed to 4.4% between October to December 2022 quarter from 6.3% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022-23 as per the National Statistical Office (NSO), which retained its full year growth estimate for the economy at 7%, despite revising 2021-22 GDP rise higher to 9.1% from 8.7% earlier reckoned.
Second Advance Estimates GDP growth data
- The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released economic growth data — Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross Value Added (GVA) — for the third quarter (Q3 or October to December) of the current financial year (2022-23 or FY23), also called as Second Advance Estimates (SAEs) for the full year.
What is GDP and GVA?
- Gross domestic product (GDP) is the standard measure of the value added created through the production of goods and services in a country during a certain period. As such, it also measures the income earned from that production, or the total amount spent on final goods and services (less imports).
- GDP = private consumption + gross private investment + government investment + government spending + (exports – imports)
- Gross value added (GVA) is the measure of the total value of goods and services produced in an economy ( area, region or country).
- While the GDP measures the total value of products and services that the country manufactures or delivers, the GVA measures the value added to the product in order to enhance its worth
Under GDP, there are four main heads:
- Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) or the money spent by people on goods and services for personal consumption; this is the biggest contributor of GDP, accounting for almost 55%-60%
- Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) or the money spent by governments towards its daily needs; this accounts for 10% of GDP.
- Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) or the money spent by private firms and governments towards building productive capacities (investments); this is accounts for 30%-32%
- Net of exports and imports; this is typically a negative impulse to GDP because imports are more than exports, implying money going out of the country.
- GDP and GVA are related as follows: GDP = GVA +Taxes levied by governments on products (excise duties, sales tax, service tax, import and export duties) – subsidies provided by government on products (food, petroleum and fertiliser subsidies)
- Typically, the absolute level of GDP is more than the absolute level of GVA because taxes received are more than subsidies spent by the government.
What data has been released?
- For any financial year, say 2021-22, the GDP estimates go through several rounds of revisions.
- Each year in January, MoSPI releases the First Advance Estimates for that financial year. In February end, after incorporating the Q3 data, come the Second Advance Estimates. By May-end come the Provisional Estimates (PEs) after incorporating the Q4 (Jan to March) data.
- Then with each passing year, the PEs are revised to give the First Revised Estimates, the Second Revised Estimates and the Third Revised Estimates before settling on the “Actuals”. Each revision benefits from more data, making the GDP estimates more accurate and robust.
What does the data for Q3 show?
- On the GDP front the growth rate has decelerated to just 4.4% in Q3. This is below the expected level.
- The main growth impulse has come from the spending towards investments in the economy. Increase in investments typically augurs well for sustaining an economy’s growth momentum
- A slowdown in private consumption, the biggest engine of GDP growth, can eventually disincentivise investments.
- The contraction of government’s expenditures is likely the result of the government trying to meet fiscal deficit parameters.
- On the GVA front, the biggest thing is the contraction in manufacturing. This is the second consecutive quarter when manufacturing, which is often viewed as a source of creating jobs, has contracted. But robust growth in the construction sector as well as services (both financial and non-financial) are a relief.
What do the Second Advance Estimates for FY23 show?
- For the full-year, the economy is still expected to grow by 7% — same as the First Advance Estimates predicted in January. However, not only has the economy grown slower than expected in Q3, even Q1 GDP growth has been revised down— suggesting India is rapidly losing its growth momentum. As such, achieving the 7% for the full year appears difficult.
What about the revised estimates for the past years?
- In contrast to the deceleration in growth in FY23, the government has revised up the GDP growth numbers for each of the past three years. As such, GDP grew by 3.9% in FY20 as against 3.7%; it fell by just 5.8% in FY21 instead of 6.6% as previously reported and it grew by 9.1% in FY22 as against a growth of 8.7% reported earlier.
What’s the outlook?
- India’s economy was fast losing momentum before Covid-19 led to a contraction. Coming out of the Covid pandemic, India’s economy has reclaimed the mantle of the fastest-growing major economy in the world. However, data suggests that India is losing this momentum, whereby it is likely to slow down from 9.1% in FY22 to under 7% in FY23
2 . Chandrayaan-3 mission
Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted the flight acceptance hot test of the CE-20 cryogenic engine that will power the Cryogenic Upper Stage of the LVM3 launch vehicle for the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
What is Chandrayaan-3 mission?
- Chandrayaan-3 is India’s third moon mission and is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.
- The mission is slated to be launched later this year by Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LMV3) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
- Chandrayaan-3 interplanetary mission has three major modules — the Propulsion module, Lander module and Rover. The mission’s complexity calls for establishing radiofrequency (RF) communication links between the modules.
- The propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration till 100 km lunar orbit. The propulsion module has Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload to study the spectral and Polari metric measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit.
- The Lander will have the capability to soft land at a specified lunar site and deploy the Rover which will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its mobility.
- The Lander and the Rover have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface. The main function of Propulsion module is to carry the Lander Module from launch vehicle injection till final lunar 100 km circular polar orbit and separate the LM from PM. Apart from this, the Propulsion Module also has one scientific payload as a value addition which will be operated post separation of Lander Module. The launcher identified for Chandrayaan-3 is GSLV-Mk3 which will place the integrated module in an Elliptic Parking Orbit (EPO) of size ~170 x 36500 km
- The mission objectives of Chandrayaan-3 are:
- To demonstrate Safe and Soft Landing on Lunar Surface
- To demonstrate Rover roving on the moon and
- To conduct in-situ scientific experiments.
3 . Proton beam therapy
Context: Cancer patients in India face twin challenges when it comes to accessing proton beam therapy (PBT): there are not enough facilities offering the treatment, and the cost can run into tens of lakhs of rupees.
What is Proton Beam Therapy?
- Proton therapy, also called proton beam therapy, is a type of radiation therapy. It uses protons rather than x-rays to treat cancer. A proton is a positively charged particle. At high energy, protons can destroy cancer cells .It painlessly delivers radiation through the skin from a machine outside the body.
- The PBT is considered a viable alternative to radiation for treating solid tumours, especially for head and neck cancer. Patients with cancers of the prostate, ovaries, breast, lungs, bones and soft tissues have also seen promising results in terms of recovery through proton beam therapy
- Unlike radiation which uses X-rays, PBT uses protons to tackle cancer. While radiation can prove toxic to the whole body, protons can destroy cancer cells precisely by targeting tumours, thus saving adjoining organs
- This has proved useful in the cases of young women whose ovaries and reproductive function could be salvaged through the therapy
- Breakthroughs in this technology, including pencil beam scanning and highly precise image guidance, have led to the adoption of this technology worldwide
India’s cancer crisis
- In India, there were an estimated 1.46 million cancer cases in 2022. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Cancer Registry Program report released in 2020, new cancer cases in the national capital were estimated at 35,422 in 2020.
- The report said the incidence of cancer in New Delhi was 110.3 per 100,000 population and the most common types included breast cancer, cervical cancer, oral cavity cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.
- According to the International Association of Cancer Registries, over 24,000 people die each year because of brain tumours. So far, the APCC has treated over 300 cases of brain tumours, 24 of which were from New Delhi.
4 . Right against self incrimination
Context: The Supreme Court refused to hear a plea by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia seeking bail in the excise policy case after a Delhi court remanded him in CBI custody till March 4. The Supreme Court disapproved of Sisodia approaching it directly under Article 32 of the Constitution when the remedy of moving the High Court under Section 482 of the CrPC was available to him.
Right against self-incrimination
- Special CBI judge M K Nagpal had granted CBI Sisodia’s custody on the grounds that he had “failed to provide satisfactory answers” during investigation. The court had rejected Sisodia’s arguments that he had a right against self-incrimination.
What is an individual’s right against self-incrimination?
- A declaration or an act that occurs during an investigation where a person or witness incriminates themselves either explicitly or implicitly is known as self-incrimination. In simpler words, it is the act of implicating or exposing one’s own self to criminal prosecution
- The right against self-incrimination has its origins in Roman law, and evolved as a distinct right in the English jurisprudence. The Fifth Amendment in the United States Constitution says “No person shall be…compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…without due process of law…”, a right that is colloquially referred to as “taking/ pleading the Fifth”.
- Article 20(3) – The Indian Constitution provides immunity to an accused against self-incrimination under Article 20(3) – ‘No person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself’
- The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right to remain silent in an interrogation essentially flow from this constitutionally guaranteed right against self-incrimination. This right also ensures that police cannot coerce anyone to confess to a crime, and obtain a conviction based on that confession
- This privilege is only available to a person accused of an offence i.e. “person against whom a formal accusation relating to the commission of an offence has been levelled, which may result in prosecution”.
- In India, a formal accusation can be made by lodging of an F.I.R. or a formal complaint against a person accusing him of committing a crime, it is not necessary that the trial or enquiry should have commenced before a court.
- Article 20(3) operates only on the making of such formal accusation. It is imperative to note that, “a person cannot claim the protection if at the time he made the statement, he was not an accused but becomes an accused thereafter.” Article 20 (3) does not apply to departmental inquiries into allegations against a government servant since there is no accusation of any offence.
How does the right against self-incrimination apply in criminal cases?
- Since the onus of proving the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt is on the state, a person cannot be compelled to testify against himself or share information that might go against him in a trial.
- In the landmark 1961 verdict in The State of Bombay versus Kathi Kalu Oghad, an eleven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court ruled that obtaining photographs, fingerprints, signatures, and thumb impressions would not violate the right against self-incrimination of an accused. The court distinguished “to be a witness” from “furnishing evidence”
- In 2019, the Supreme Court in its ruling in Ritesh Sinha versus State of Uttar Pradesh broadened the parameters of handwriting samples to include voice samples, adding that this would not violate the right against self-incrimination.
- Earlier in 2010, in Selvi v State of Karnataka, the Supreme Court held that a narcoanalysis test without the consent of the accused would amount to violation of the right against self-incrimination.
- However, obtaining a DNA sample from the accused is permitted. If an accused refuses to give a sample, the court can draw adverse inferences against him under Section 114 of the Evidence Act.
Article 20 –Protection in respect of conviction of offences
- No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the Act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.
- No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.
- No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself
5 . Facts for Prelims
News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority
News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association. Its task is to consider and adjudicate upon complaints about broadcasts.
- The objective of NBDSA is to lay-down and foster high standards, ethics and practices in news broadcasting, including entertaining and deciding complaints against or in respect of broadcasters in so far as these relate to the content of any broadcast.
- NBDSA administers the Codes of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards, which has been voluntarily drawn by the News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA) for its member broadcasters to demonstrate their commitment to responsible broadcasting and to self regulate themselves.
- NBDSA has no involvement in the day-to-day operations of the broadcasters. NBDSA does not monitor programming, nor does it pre-clear or pre-censor programming. The broadcasters have complete creative and editorial independence.
- In discharging its functions as aforesaid the NBDSA shall act consistently with the following precepts:
- Maintaining and improving the standards of broadcast, and maintaining the independence of broadcasters, television journalists and/or news agencies;
- Ensuring compliance by broadcasters, television journalists and news agencies with the Code of Conduct and adherence by the said persons to high professional standards;
- Ensuring the maintenance of high standards of public taste and fostering a due sense of both the rights and responsibilities of citizens;
- Fostering and encouraging the growth of a sense of responsibility and public service among all those engaged in and associated with the profession of television journalism and business of broadcasting; ?
- Keeping under review and scrutiny any developments likely to or having the tendency to restrict the gathering, supply and dissemination of news of public interest and importance:
- Such other aspects as may be incidental, consequential, related and/or otherwise materially concerned with the above precepts.
Grievance Appellate Committee portal
- Grievance Appellate Committee portal for filing complaints was launched by minister of state for electronics and IT (MeitY).
- The Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC), a platform which will allow users to appeal against decisions of social media firms like Twitter or Facebook with regard to blocking of content or accounts, will be the country’s first redressal forum which will function fully online.
- GAC mechanism is a key milestone in the evolving framework that ensures that the internet is open, safe, trusted and accountable to users.
- The chairpersons and other members of the three GACs constituted by the government will not have any office and not conduct any physical hearings. From the time of the filing of the complaints by users to hearing them and pronouncing the final order, everything will be conducted online.
Functions of the GAC
- Any user not happy with any content either displayed or blocked on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook or similar platforms first needs to lodge a complaint with the grievance redressal officers of the platform concerned. If the user is not satisfied with the verdict of the platform’s officer, he/she can file a complaint on the GAC portal. The portal will then direct the complaints to one of the GACs.
- The GAC concerned will then meet online with the complainant and the platform’s redressal officer and hear both the parties, and then pronounce its order. Its order will be binding on the platform. The appellants can track the status of their appeal through the appellant log in window and GACs will upload its order on the portal. The appellant will receive notification of the same by SMS and email.
- Appeals against GAC order by either parties can be filed in court of law – high courts or Supreme Court.