GS PAPER – II
FIVE EYES ALLIANCE
Why in News?
- Ever since the Canadian Prime Minister suggested that the Indian Government might have “potential ties” to the assassination of a Sikh separatist leader and supporter of the Khalistan Movement in Canada, the relationship between these two nations has become strained. The Prime Minister’s claims find support in reports from the Five Eyes Alliance.
About the Five Eyes Alliance
- The Five Eyes is an intelligence coalition consisting of countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These nations are signatories to the multinational UK-USA Agreement, a treaty focused on cooperative efforts in signals intelligence.
- These partner countries engage in a robust exchange of intelligence under one of the world’s most tightly-knit multinational pacts. Over time, the organization expanded beyond its core group to include the ‘Nine Eyes’ and ’14 Eyes’ alliances, encompassing additional countries as security partners. The ‘Nine Eyes’ group expanded to include the Netherlands, Denmark, France, and Norway, while the 14 Eyes bloc further incorporated Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.
Origin of the Five Eyes Alliance
- The origins of this alliance can be traced back to World War II when the UK and the US decided to share intelligence after successfully breaking German and Japanese codes, respectively.
- In 1943, the Britain-USA (BRUSA) agreement laid the groundwork for what would evolve into the UK-USA (UKUSA) agreement.
- BRUSA aimed to facilitate the sharing of intelligence information between the two nations in support of US forces in Europe.
- Subsequently, the UKUSA agreement was officially signed in 1946, with Canada joining in 1949, followed by New Zealand and Australia in 1956, solidifying the alliance.
- While the agreement’s existence was not publicly acknowledged, it became known in the 1980s. However, in 2010, the UKUSA agreement files were declassified.”
GS PAPER – III
First Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus
Why in news?
- In a groundbreaking stride towards sustainable transportation, India is on the verge of unveiling its inaugural Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus, marking a momentous advancement in the nation’s commitment to adopting environmentally friendly and low-carbon transportation solutions.
The Potential of Green Hydrogen
- Green Hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources, has emerged as a game-changing factor in India’s pursuit of sustainable energy solutions. It leverages the country’s abundant renewable energy resources and offers versatile applications, ranging from powering vehicles to supporting vital industrial processes such as petroleum refining, steel production, and fertilizer manufacturing.
Fuel Cell Technology
- At the core of this innovation lies fuel cell technology, which utilizes hydrogen as a fuel source. Within a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen engage in an electrochemical reaction, producing electrical energy and water as byproducts. Fuel cells offer distinct advantages over traditional batteries, including superior efficiency, extended range, and quicker refueling times.
Indian Oil’s Pioneering Initiative
- Leading the charge in this transformative endeavor is IndianOil, which has initiated a program to trial 15 Fuel Cell buses powered by Green hydrogen along designated routes in Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. The launch of the first two buses at India Gate marks the commencement of this groundbreaking initiative.
State-of-the-Art Refueling Facility
- In support of this venture, IndianOil has established an advanced refueling facility at its Research and Development campus in Faridabad. This facility is equipped to dispense green hydrogen generated through electrolysis powered by solar PV panels, signifying a significant stride in green mobility infrastructure.
Comprehensive Road Testing
- Following the bus launch, an extensive road test spanning over 3 lakh kilometers will be conducted across all buses to evaluate the long-term viability and resilience of this innovative technology. The data and insights derived from this extensive trial will play a pivotal role in shaping India’s future of green hydrogen-based, zero-emission mobility.
GS PAPER – III
Why in news?
- The estimated mean daily salt intake in India stands at 8 g (8.9 g a day for men and 7.1 g a day for women) against the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of up to 5 g daily, a study has found.
Key Findings of the study
- The salt intake was significantly higher among men, those in rural areas and overweight and obese respondents, according to a recent survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) published in the journal Nature.
- The study, carried out as part of the National Non-communicable Disease Monitoring Survey in India, noted that the sample population had a low perception of the harmful effects of high salt intake and practices to limit consumption.
- The study notes that salt intake was higher in employed people (8.6 g) and tobacco users (8.3 g) and those with high blood pressure (8.5 g).
- It found that less than half of the participants practised measures to control dietary salt intake and the most commonly adopted step to prevent salt overdose was avoiding meals outside home.
- Cardiovascular diseases account for an estimated 28.1% of the total deaths in India. In 2016, 1.63 million deaths were attributable to hypertension as against 0.78 million deaths in 1990, the study said.
What should be done
- The mean dietary salt intake is high in the Indian population, which calls for planning and implementing control of dietary salt consumption measures.
- We need to cut down on eating processed foods and those cooked outside home. 10,659 adults aged 18-69 years participated in the survey [response rate of 96.3%].
- It specifies that reducing the intake is a beneficial and cost-effective way to bring down elevated blood pressure by 25% and advocates a 30% reduction in mean population salt intake by 2025.
GS PAPER: II
Substantial Imitation and Passing Off in Copyright Infringement
Why in the news?
Recently, the Delhi High Court issued a summon to a digital platform called “People of India (POI)” in a copyright infringement suit filed by the digital storytelling platform Humans of Bombay (HOB).
Background of the case:
- POI tells stories of common people in a manner similar to HOB, which caused HOB to accuse POI of copyright infringement.
- The case involves claims of “substantial Imitation” and “passing off“.
What is “substantial imitation”?
- Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is copied without the permission of the copyright holder.
- “Substantial imitation” is a key element of copyright infringement. It means that the infringing work is so similar to the copyrighted work that it is likely to deceive the ordinary observer.
What is “passing off”?
- Passing off is a common law tort that occurs when a person or business misrepresents its goods or services as being those of another person or business.
- This can be done through the use of similar trademarks, trade names, or designs.
About Copyright Act, 1957
- The Copyright Act, of 1957 is the primary law governing copyright in India.
- The Copyright Act, of 1957 protects a wide range of works, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, cinematograph films, and sound recordings.
- It also protects original works of translation and adaptation.
- Copyright protection arises automatically upon the creation of an original work. No registration is required to obtain copyright protection.
- However, it is recommended as it provides better legal protection to the copyright holder.
- The outcome of this case will have important implications for copyright law and passing off in India. It will also be interesting to see how the court weighs the competing interests of free expression and intellectual property protection.
GS PAPER: II
Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026
Why in the news?
Recently, the Goa government recently approved the Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026, which introduces a number of changes from previous policies.
What are Shacks?
- A shack is a type of small, simple building, typically made of wood or other materials that are readily available. Shacks are often temporary or makeshift structures.
- In Goa, shack restaurants are a popular way to experience Goan cuisine and culture.
What are the key changes in the new policy?
- Age limit for applicants: The new policy introduces an age limit of 18 to 60 years for applicants. This has been opposed by traditional shack owners, who argue that it is discriminatory and will force many of them out of business.
- Relaxed Experience clause: The new policy requires applicants to have at least one year of experience in running a shack, with 90% of shacks to be allotted to experienced applicants and 10% to those with no experience. This is aimed at encouraging newcomers and reducing the number of shacks that are sublet.
- Serving Goan cuisine: The new policy makes it mandatory for shacks to serve Goan cuisine.
- Hike in penalty on subletting: The penalty for subletting a shack has been hiked from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.
What are the Concerns of Traditional Shack Owners?
- Age Issue: Traditional shack owners argue that the age limit of 18 to 60 years is discriminatory and will force many of them out of business.
- Lack of transparency: Shack owners say that the government did not adequately consult with stakeholders before approving the new policy.
- Short implementation timeline: The new policy was approved in September 2023, and shack owners have only a few months to comply with its requirements.
The government has said that it is open to revising the policy if it is found to be unfair or impractical. The government and the shack owners need to resolve their differences quickly in order to ensure that shacks are up and running by the start of the tourist season.
GS PAPER: II
Norman E. Borlaug Award
Why in the news?
Indian agriculture scientist Dr. Swati Nayak, affectionately known as “Bihana Didi” or “Seed Lady” by local communities in Odisha, has been honoured with the Norman E. Borlaug Award for 2023.
She is the third Indian to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes her remarkable contributions to agriculture, particularly in the realm of drought-tolerant rice varieties.
Contributions of Swati Nayak
- Introduced drought-tolerant Shahabhagi Dhan rice variety in Odisha.
- Successfully deployed many climate-resilient rice varieties in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
- Recognised for her innovative approach to engaging smallholder farmers in demand-driven rice seed systems.
- Pioneered a comprehensive blueprint for the first-ever dedicated Indian government initiative for women farmers.
About the Norman E. Borlaug Award:
- The Norman E. Borlaug Award is a prestigious award presented annually to individuals under the age of 40 who have achieved remarkable, science-based accomplishments in international agriculture and food production.
- The Borlaug Award is endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation and is presented by the World Food Prize Foundation.
- The award is named after Norman E. Borlaug, the “father of the Green Revolution” and the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
- The award diploma incorporates the image of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug at work in the fields of Mexico and a cash prize of USD 10,000.
The Borlaug Award is a significant recognition of the outstanding work of young scientists who are making a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty. It is an inspiration to us all and a reminder of the power of science to change the world.