Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Draft Patent Amendment Rule
- Neo – Vaishnavism
- OSIRIS – REX
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Draft Patent Amendment Rule
Context: The Patents Act explicitly permits anyone to file a pre-grant opposition; but as per the draft patent amendment rules, the maintainability of persons or civil society organisations filing pre-grant oppositions will be decided by the controller.
What is a Patent?
- A patent is a legal document and intellectual property right granted by a government to an inventor or assignee for a specific period, typically 20 years from the filing date.
- It provides the inventor with exclusive rights to make, use, sell, and license their invention, preventing others from making, using, or selling the invention without permission.
- Patents are granted in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention, which allows others to learn from it and build upon it after the patent expires.
- In India, patents are governed by the Indian Patent Act, 1970, and are administered by the Indian Patent Office, which is under the jurisdiction of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks.
Details of Draft Patent Amendment Rules
- Removal of exceptions to extension of deadlines which comes under Rule 138: It states that deadlines can be extended on the discretion of the Controller for a period upto six months.
- The draft Rules propose that a divisional application can be voluntarily filed under Section 16 by the Applicant, including in respect of an invention disclosed in the provisional specification.
- Timeline for filing the Request for Examination is now proposed to be reduced to 31 months, which currently is 48 months from the priority date or filing date, whichever is earlier.
- The rules further propose that once a pre-grant opposition is filed, the Controller shall first decide the maintainability of representation filed and thereafter issue a notice to the Applicant.
- It is further clarified that if the representation is found maintainable, the application shall be examined under expedited examination
- The timeline for replying to the notice is proposed to be reduced to two months from three months
- The draft Rules propose that the Annual Working Report (AWR) is to be filed in respect of every period of three financial years starting from the financial year commencing immediately after the financial year in which the patent was granted.
- Experts believe the Draft rules could hugely benefit big pharma but turn out to be disastrous for patients in India and in countries in the global South, which rely on generic drugs manufactured in India, in accessing affordable drugs and vaccines.
- It has made few significant changes that will create needless hurdles in pre-grant opposition of patents. The most important change is about granting the controller the power to determine the maintainability of representation by individuals or civil society organisations to file pre-grant oppositions.
- There is a lack of clarity as to on what basis the Controller will decide the maintainability.
- Many believe that the government is favouring the companies which don’t want pre-grant opposition.
- Pharma companies in particular is averse to Pre-grant opposition. The rules help them by making the process difficult.
2 . IBSA
Context: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who is visiting the United States, met with his Brazilian and South African counterparts as part of the IBSA group, to further strengthen South-South cooperation.
- IBSA is a unique Forum which brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents, facing similar challenges.
- All three countries are developing, pluralistic, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious nations.
- The grouping was formalized and named the IBSA Dialogue Forum when the Foreign Ministers of the three countries met in Brasilia on 6 June 2003 and issued the Brasilia Declaration.
- India is the current IBSA Chair.
- To act as a forum for consultation and coordination on global and regional political issues, such as, the reform of the global institutions of political and economic governance, WTO/Doha Development Agenda, climate change, terrorism etc.;
- trilateral collaboration on concrete areas/projects, through fourteen working groups and six People-to-People Forums, for the common benefit of three countries;
- assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.
- it aims at South-South cooperation beyond the conventional areas of exchange of experts and training.
Significance for India
- Diplomatic and Geopolitical Cooperation: The IBSA Forum provides India with a platform for diplomatic and geopolitical cooperation with Brazil and South Africa. It allows these countries to collaborate on global issues and amplify their collective voice on matters of common interest, such as United Nations reforms, climate change, and trade negotiations.
- South-South Cooperation: IBSA exemplifies South-South cooperation, where countries from the global South collaborate to address shared challenges. India’s active participation in the forum reinforces its commitment to strengthening ties with fellow emerging economies and promoting mutual development.
- Economic Engagement: IBSA promotes economic engagement among its member countries. India benefits from trade and economic partnerships with Brazil and South Africa, opening up new markets and opportunities for Indian businesses.
- Cultural and Academic Exchange: The forum encourages cultural and academic exchange among member nations. This helps promote a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures and traditions of India, Brazil, and South Africa.
- Multilateral Initiatives: IBSA countries often coordinate their efforts in various multilateral forums, such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and G20. This collaboration enhances India’s ability to influence global policy decisions and shape international agendas.
- Development Assistance: IBSA countries engage in development cooperation, sharing their experiences and best practices in areas like healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation. India can learn from the development models of Brazil and South Africa and apply these lessons domestically.
- Voice for the Global South: As a part of the IBSA Forum, India can collectively advocate for the interests and concerns of the Global South, including issues related to trade justice, sustainable development, and equitable access to resources
3 . Neo-Vaishnavism
Context: The Assam government is working on a law to create an indigenous-only zone around Batadrava, the birthplace of 15th-16th century saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva who propounded neo-Vaishnavism.
About the movement
- The Neo-Vaishnavite movement is a socio-religious and cultural reform movement that emerged in the Indian state of Assam in the 16th century, primarily associated with the saint-scholar Srimanta Sankardeva and later propagated by his followers, including Madhavdeva.
- This movement sought to revive and reform the Bhakti tradition within the broader framework of Vaishnavism, emphasizing devotion to Lord Krishna and the practice of a purified, ethical life.
- The four fundamental elements are: God, Guru, the fraternity of Bhakts and Nam.
- Devotion to Lord Krishna: The Neo-Vaishnavite movement placed a strong emphasis on devotion to Lord Krishna as the Supreme Deity. It advocated the worship of Krishna as the ultimate goal of human life.
- Sankardeva’s Contributions: Srimanta Sankardeva, the primary figure of this movement, was a polymath who composed devotional songs, wrote plays, and created cultural and religious institutions. His literary contributions are highly regarded in Assamese literature.
- Bhakti and Simplicity: The movement propagated the path of Bhakti (devotion) as a means of attaining spiritual realization and salvation. It encouraged a simple and sincere devotion to God, transcending caste, creed, and rituals.
- Cultural Renaissance: The Neo-Vaishnavite movement was not just religious but also cultural. It led to the revival and enrichment of Assamese culture through the promotion of music, dance, drama, and literature.
- Social Reforms: Sankardeva and his followers advocated social reforms, including the abolition of caste-based discrimination and the promotion of social harmony. They emphasized the importance of ethical conduct and compassion.
- Propagation of Satriya Culture: The Neo-Vaishnavite movement played a pivotal role in the development and promotion of Satriya culture, which includes Satriya dance, music, and drama. This cultural heritage remains an integral part of Assamese identity.
- Spread of the Movement: The Neo-Vaishnavite movement spread beyond Assam and influenced neighboring regions, particularly parts of present-day Bangladesh and West Bengal.
- Literary Legacy: Sankardeva’s literary works, known as the “Borgeets” and “Ankiya Naats,” are still performed and revered in Assam. These compositions continue to inspire spiritual devotion and cultural expressions.
- Interfaith Dialogue: The movement encouraged dialogue and interaction among people of different religious backgrounds, fostering religious tolerance and understanding.
- Legacy and Contemporary Relevance: The Neo-Vaishnavite movement’s teachings and cultural contributions continue to be relevant in contemporary Assam. It has left a lasting legacy in the region’s religious, cultural, and social fabric.
4 . OSIRIS – REX
Context: In a flyby of earth, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft released the sample capsule from one lakh kilometres out. The small capsule landed four hours later on a remote expanse of military land, as the mothership set off after another asteroid.
What is Osiris-Rex?
- It is the first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid, and has returned to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023, with material from asteroid Bennu
- OSIRIS-REx spacecraft released the sample capsule for a safe landing in the Utah desert.
- The pristine material from Bennu – rocks and dust collected from the asteroid’s surface in 2020 – will offer generations of scientists a window into the time when the Sun and planets were forming about 4.5 billion years ago.
About Asteroid Bennu
- Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid, rich in organic compounds and water-bearing minerals.
- An ancient relic of our solar system’s early days, Bennu has seen more than 4.5 billion years of history.
- Scientists think that within 10 million years of our solar system’s formation, Bennu’s present-day composition was already established. Bennu likely broke off from a much larger carbon-rich asteroid about 700 million to 2 billion years ago.
- It likely formed in the Main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, and has drifted much closer to Earth since then.
- Because its materials are so old, Bennu may contain organic molecules similar to those that could have been involved with the start of life on Earth.
Significance of the mission:
- Sample Return from an Asteroid: One of the primary objectives of the OSIRIS-REx mission was to collect a sample from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. This sample return mission is significant because it allows scientists to study pristine material from an ancient asteroid, providing insights into the early solar system’s composition and the building blocks of life.
- Origins of Life: Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid, rich in organic compounds and water-bearing minerals. The mission aimed to gather valuable data about the origins of life on Earth and the potential role that asteroids like Bennu may have played in delivering essential ingredients for life.
- Planetary Defense: Bennu is classified as a Near-Earth Object (NEO) with a small probability of impacting Earth in the late 22nd century. Studying Bennu’s orbit and characteristics contributes to our understanding of potential impact hazards and ways to mitigate them.
- Asteroid Dynamics and Composition: OSIRIS-REx carried instruments to map Bennu’s surface, analyze its composition, and understand its geology. This information helps scientists learn about the processes that shaped asteroids and the distribution of materials within them.
- Technology Demonstrations: The mission included various technology demonstrations, including autonomous navigation and touch-and-go sample collection techniques. These advancements are crucial for future asteroid exploration and planetary defense missions.
- Inspiration for Future Missions: OSIRIS-REx’s success serves as inspiration for future asteroid exploration missions, including the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission, which also collected samples from an asteroid, and future missions aimed at planetary defense.
5 . Facts for Prelims
- Ephemeral, is any short-lived plant, usually one that has one or more generations per year, growing only during favourable periods (as when adequate moisture is available) and passing the unfavourable periods in the form of seeds.
- The seed coats of some species contain a growth inhibitor that can be washed off only by a copious quantity of water, thus preventing germination after only a brief shower.
- They are of two types — annual and perennial. Annual ephemerals form new individuals every year and are seen for a very short period. They form seeds at the end of their life cycle, remaining dormant till the next year. Perennials have a source like a tuber or a bulb in the soil, so it is the same individual, but the other parts (stem, flowers) are newly formed.
- The Nilgiri Tahr, scientifically known as Nilgiritragus hylocrius, is a species of mountain goat endemic to the Western Ghats of South India.
- It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
- It has been listed as an endangered species under IUCN list. It has also been listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 which provides absolute protection and offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
- The Eravikulam National Park is home to the largest population.
- The Mushkoh Valley is a valley situated in Dras.
- It is also known as the valley of wild tulips.
- It is located within the union territory of Ladakh.
- Widely considered to be glaciated and unsuitable for human habitation, it came into prominence during the Kargil War in 1999, when Pakistani forces crossed the Line of Control and took up positions in the region.
- The Mushkoh Valley is situated at the westernmost extremity of Ladakh, to the west of which lies the northern reaches of the Kashmir Valley, located in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It is a valley located in the high Himalayas, about 86 kilometres (53 mi) from Bandipore and 123 kilometres (76 mi) from Srinagar, to the north of the Kashmir Valley.
- It has diverse fauna and wildlife including the Himalayan Brown Bear and the snow leopard.
- The Kishanganga river flows through the valley.
- The valley lies near the Line of Control, which separates it from the Astore and Neelum districts of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
- It ia a high-altitude pass of the Gurez valley, in north Kashmir.
- Situated at a height of 4,166.9 metres in Gurez, it connects the two valleys of Gurez and Mushkoh.
- The Five Eyes (FVEY) refers to an intelligence-sharing alliance of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
- These countries are parties to the multilateral UK-USA A a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.
- The origins of the FVEY can be traced to informal secret meetings during World War II between UK and the US when they decided to share intelligence after successfully breaking German and Japanese codes, respectively. In 1943, the Britain-USA (BRUSA) agreement laid the foundations for what would become the UK-USA (UKUSA) agreement, after UK computer scientist Alan Turing’s visit to Washington and several bilateral visits between the two countries’ officials.
- BRUSA was signed between the US War Department and the UK’s intelligence and security agency Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), to “share intelligence information between the two countries to support US forces in Europe, exchange personnel and develop joint regulations for the handling and distribution of highly sensitive material,” according to the UK government’s website.
- Following this, the UKUSA was signed in 1946. Canada joined it in 1949, and New Zealand and Australia did so in 1956, forming the alliance.
- A galactic tide is a tidal force experienced by objects subject to the gravitational field of a galaxy such as the Milky Way.
- Galactic tides result from the gravitational interactions between various components within a galaxy, such as stars, gas clouds, and dark matter.
- Galactic tides can cause stars in the outer regions of a galaxy to experience tidal forces that stretch and compress them as they orbit the galactic center. This can lead to the formation of tidal tails and streams of stars.
- Global debt refers to the borrowings of governments as well as private businesses and individuals.
- Governments borrow to meet various expenditures that they are unable to meet through tax and other revenues.
- Governments may also borrow to pay interest on the money that they have already borrowed to fund past expenditures. The private sector borrows predominantly to make investments.