Daily Current Affairs 27 February 2024- Top News Of The Day

Nakul Dhawan Avatar
Daily Current Affairs 27 February 2024- Top News Of The Day

1. Maharashtra Modifies the RTE Act, Initiating a Discussion on Educational Equity

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Education 
Understanding the facts about the continuous reforms in the education sector, especially with regard to disadvantaged groups’ access to high-quality education, makes this topic pertinent for both the Prelims and Mains exams.

– Along with states like Karnataka and Kerala, Maharashtra has proposed changes to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act), weakening the requirement for private schools to reserve 25% of their seats for underprivileged students and weaker sections of the community.

Additional news: The Regulation: Private Schools Are Exempt:

  • The amendment states that the requirement to reserve 25% of seats for underprivileged groups and weaker sections will not apply to private unaided schools located within one kilometre of government or aided schools.
    Rather, pupils residing in these communities will be given preference for enrollment in neighbouring government or assisted schools, thereby relieving private schools of their RTE admissions duty.

Comparison with Karnataka and Kerala:

  • Maharashtra’s action is in line with similar policies that Kerala and Karnataka have implemented.
    Similar regulations were introduced in Kerala in 2011 and Karnataka in 2018, respectively, restricting fee concessions for RTE quota students to situations in which there are no government or aided schools nearby.

Rationale behind the Amendment:

  • States pass these kinds of amendments for two main reasons.
  • First, there has been a decrease in the number of students enrolled in government schools. Karnataka has reported a notable decline in enrollment ratios as a result of the previous policy that permitted parents to choose private schools even when there were government schools nearby.
  • Concerns about states not paying back fees for RTE quota students, as required by the RTE Act, have also been voiced by private schools.

Diverging Responses: Welcomed by Some, Criticized by Others:

  • The new regulations have generally been well received by private unaided schools, which expected a decrease in RTE admissions and thus an increase in enrollment in government schools.
  • Opponents of the amendment contend that it is unwarranted and that it defeats the purpose of the RTE Act, which is to guarantee equal opportunities and address educational inequalities for all children.


  • The RTE Act amendment by Maharashtra has spurred discussion about educational equity and the role of the government in guaranteeing that all children have access to high-quality education.
  • The Act’s core principles are compromised, according to some stakeholders, while others see the exemption for private schools as a positive development.
  • The problem highlights more significant issues with education policy and the necessity of fair strategies to deal with inequalities in the educational system.

What are the significant provisions of the RTE act?
Right to free and compulsory elementary education

– Every child in a neighbourhood school has the right to free, compulsory education between the ages of six and fourteen.
– A child older than six who is not enrolled in school or who was not able to finish school must be placed in a class appropriate for his age.
– Even if the child is older than 14, elementary education must be provided at no cost until the end of the programme.
– No child can be kept behind in school, expelled, or made to pass a board exam before finishing elementary school.

Curriculum and recognition
– An academic body designated by the relevant government (federal or state) will create the elementary education curriculum and assessment protocols.
– Standards for the student-teacher ratio must be followed by all schools.
– No school can be founded or approved unless it complies with the guidelines.
– Teacher qualification: The relevant government will administer the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET), which the teacher must pass. The minimal requirements for an individual to be qualified for an appointment as a teacher in grades I through VIII have been established by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).

Responsibilities of schools and teachers
– All children admitted to government schools are required to receive free and compulsory education.
– In a similar vein, free and compulsory education must be offered in assisted schools in proportion to the funds received, with a minimum of 25%.
– With the exception of working for elections, disaster relief, and the census, teachers are not allowed to provide private tuition or perform non-teaching tasks.
– Schools are required to set up School Management Committees (SMCs) with representatives from the local government, parents/guardians, and educators. – These committees will oversee how the school uses government funding and create a plan for its development.

Responsibilities of appropriate governments
Central Government:
– establishing a National Advisory Council to provide guidance to the government regarding the Act’s implementation.
– Make a framework for the national curriculum.
– creating and implementing standards for teacher preparation.

State Government:
– offering elementary education to children aged 6 to 14 on a free and mandatory basis.
– requiring entrance, attendance, and completion of elementary school
– ensuring the accessibility of local educational institutions.

Grievance redressal
– The protections for rights granted by this Act will be examined by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights. It looks into complaints and can try cases with the authority of a civil court.
– To perform these duties, the relevant government may also establish a State Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights.

Financial resources
– According to the Act, state and federal governments will share financial accountability.
– The federal government has the authority to ask the Finance Commission to examine giving state governments more funding so they can implement Act provisions.

PYQ: Consider the following statements: (2018) 
1) According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, an individual must meet the minimum requirements set forth by the relevant State Council of Teacher Education in order to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in a state.
2) According to the RTE Act, a candidate must pass a teacher eligibility test that is administered in compliance with the National Council of Teacher Education’s guidelines in order to teach primary classes.
3) The State Governments of India have direct control over more than 90% of teacher education establishments.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 3 only 

Answer: (b)
Practice Question: Talk about the effects of the recent amendment to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act by Maharashtra. (10 m / 150 words)

2. The government’s hike in customs taxes provokes discussion amid worries about the effects on trade and industry

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy –  Effects of liberalization on the economy GS2 – International Relations 
Knowing the facts regarding India’s tariff policies and how they affect imports from China makes this topic pertinent for both the preliminary exam and the main exam. It also emphasises important facets of trade policy and diplomacy.

– Concerns have been expressed by various government wings regarding the Center’s intentions to gradually increase customs duties, with a focus on Chinese imports.
– The government is divided on the appropriate use of tariffs as a diplomatic tool because some believe that tariff hikes that are too great could jeopardise India’s manufacturing-oriented programmes, such as the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.

More about the news:Dependence on Chinese Imports:

  • Even with the push to cut back on imports, China continues to be a major source, accounting for 14% of India’s imports in a number of industries, including capital goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and textiles.
  • But India is no longer as competitive as it once was when measured against countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Mexico due to rising tariffs.

Impact on Industries and Supply Chains:

  • Industry lobby groups have expressed concerns about India’s high tariffs, claiming that they discourage supply chain diversification away from China. These groups include those that represent Apple Inc. and other mobile manufacturers.
  • Lower tariffs are being offered by nations like Vietnam, Thailand, and Mexico to entice Chinese investors to relocate.

Government’s Response and Internal Disputes:

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has suggested lowering duties on a range of IT goods in response to concerns expressed about high production costs brought on by tariffs.
  • Regarding the effect of tariffs on export competitiveness versus their role in boosting domestic manufacturing, divergent views continue to exist within the government.

Tariff Hikes and Industry Opposition:

  • Government-initiated tariff hikes have encountered resistance from industry players, leading to demonstrations and, in certain situations, the retraction of duty increases.
  • Critics contend that protectionist policies haven’t substantially increased India’s manufacturing sector, notwithstanding the government’s claim that tariff adjustments are meant to support domestic manufacturing.


  • Critics contend that despite the government’s justification of tariff hikes as measures to boost domestic industries and reduce supply constraints, manufacturing has not expanded significantly as a result of these protectionist policies.
  • The controversy surrounding the effect of tariffs on export competitiveness versus their role in boosting domestic production highlights the difficulties and intricacies of India’s trade policy.

What is Customs Duty?
– The tax levied on the movement of goods across international borders is known as customs duty. The government imposes this type of indirect tax on the import and export of goods. Businesses engaged in the export-import trade must follow these rules and make the necessary customs duty payments.
– Stated differently, a customs duty is a type of fee that is imposed on the movement of goods and services into and out of that nation by the customs authorities. An import duty is a tax imposed on goods during the importation process, whereas an export duty is a tax imposed on goods that are exported to another nation.
– The main goals of customs duties are to generate income, protect home businesses, jobs, the environment, and other industries from sly foreign competitors, etc. Additionally, it aids in the decrease of fraudulent activity and the.

PYQ: Consider the following statements: (2018) 
1. Over the past five years, the amount of edible oils imported has exceeded the amount produced domestically.
2. In a unique instance, the government does not charge customs duties on any imported edible oils.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 

Ans: (a)
Practice Question: Examine the effects on India’s trade policy, home manufacturing, and foreign relations of the country’s recent decisions to raise customs duties, which are aimed primarily at Chinese imports. (15 m/250 words)

3. Inaugurating a significant railway section in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Modi promises increased connectivity and economic growth.

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy – Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc. 
Knowing the facts about infrastructure development projects like the Banihal-Sangaldan railway line is important for the socio-economic development of regions, making this topic relevant for both Prelims and Mains.

– The Banihal-Sangaldan segment of the railway line that connects Baramulla in north Kashmir to Udhampur in Jammu was recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
– The first electric train in Jammu and Kashmir, which will travel from Sangaldan to Srinagar and Baramulla, was also inaugurated at this event.

More about the news:Banihal-Sangaldan Section Details:

  • The 48-kilometer Banihal-Sangaldan section travels through over 90% tunnels in the hilly Ramban district, which includes the nation’s longest tunnel, measuring 12.77 kilometres (T-50).
  • In addition, the section has 30.1 kilometres of escape tunnels and 16 bridges for passenger safety and rescue operations. At an estimated cost of Rs 15,863 crore, the project was finished.

Significance of the Railway Line:

  • There are several reasons for this railway line’s opening.
  • Initially, it offers a substitute route for travel between Jammu and Kashmir in the event that landslides close National Highway-44, guaranteeing connectivity even in the event of road closures.
  • Second, it encourages travel and business by providing access to isolated regions of the Jammu division, allowing visitors to explore sites like the Gool Valley and the hot springs close to Sangaldan.

Collaboration and Progress:

  • In addition to a planned brainstorming session to identify opportunities, strengths, and areas of expertise, the launch signals a commitment to collaboration.
  • In order to turn research into deployable technologies, the NQM emphasises working with startups and industry in order to make significant progress in the upcoming months.

History of Railways in J&K:

  • An examination of the historical evolution of the railways in the area highlights the obstacles and progress made in linking Jammu and Kashmir with the Indian railway system.
  • The story highlights the evolution and difficulties encountered in the development of railway infrastructure, from the first line between Jammu and Sialkot in 1897 to the current large-scale projects like the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway line.

Challenges and Innovations:

  • Building railroads in the rough Himalayan terrain is extremely difficult, particularly in the seismically active Zones IV and V.
  • To get around these difficulties, engineers have developed creative solutions like the Himalayan Tunnelling Method (HTM), which guarantees the structural integrity of tunnels and bridges despite difficult geological circumstances.

Benefits for the Valley:

  • Numerous advantages for the area are anticipated from the recently opened railway line.
  • It shortens the time it takes to get from Srinagar to Jammu, improves the efficiency of transportation for items like dry fruits, apples, and handicrafts, and is anticipated to cut the price of bringing necessities into the Valley.
  • Plans for cargo terminals along the route also seek to improve economic activity in the area and further streamline logistics.


  • The opening of the Banihal-Sangaldan railway line in Jammu and Kashmir represents a critical turning point in the transportation network of the area.
  • This project highlights efforts to improve connectivity and development in the Himalayan region, with its historical background, creative engineering solutions, and expected benefits for connectivity, tourism, and economic growth.

PYQ: With reference to ‘National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2017) 
1) It is an organ of NITI Aayog.
2) It has a corpus of 4,00,000 crore at present. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 

Ans: (d)
Practice Question: What effects will the opening of the Banihal-Sangaldan railway line in Jammu and Kashmir have on tourism, economic growth, and regional connectivity? (10 m / 150 words)

4. Today, Modi will officially open three ISRO facilities.

Topic: GS3 – Science and Technology – Space GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors
For the benefit of national development, the UPSC may concentrate on the achievements of ISRO, Gaganyaan, and India’s expanding space exploration capabilities.

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate three ISRO facilities, announce the names of the astronauts, and assess the progress of the Gaganyaan human spaceflight programme.
– Facilities aim to improve engine testing capabilities, aerodynamics, and PSLV missions.

Additional information on this news:

  • At the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will assess the status of the Gaganyaan human spaceflight programme.
  • He is anticipated to give astronauts for the Gaganyaan programme “mission patches” and to announce their names during their visit.
  • With a launch date of 2025, the Gaganyaan programme seeks to prove that India is capable of launching humans into orbit and safely bringing them back to Earth.
  • The visit will mark the dedication of three ISRO-developed facilities: the Semi-cryogenic Integrated Engine and Stage Test Facility (SIET) at the ISRO Propulsion Complex, the Trisonic Wind Tunnel, and the PSLV Integration Facilities (PIF) at Sriharikota.
  • Constructed at an expense of ₹1,800 crore, these facilities improve aerodynamic testing, expand PSLV mission capability, and facilitate semi-cryogenic engine testing.

ISRO’s Gaganyaan Project
Goal: to safely return a three-person crew to Earth after they have spent up to seven days in 400-kilometer orbit.

○ represents India’s launch into space with humans.
○ demonstrates the technological prowess of India.
○ Provides avenues for further space exploration.

Current Status:
○ successfully finished a number of test stages.
○ experiencing a hold-up as a result of the life support system’s development.
○ Hoping to launch by 2025.

○ Life support and crew transportation are provided by the Crew Module (CM).
○ Service Module (SM): Offers power, propulsion, and temperature control

Practice Question: Examine the Gaganyaan mission’s importance for India’s space ambitions critically, emphasising the difficulties faced and offering solutions. (15 m/250 words)

5. Government starts a programme to control female anaemia

Topic: GS2 –  Social Justice – Health
In order to address anaemia in aspirational districts and advance national health, UPSC may concentrate on Mission Utkarsh due to its comprehensive approach that incorporates Ayurveda.

– The Centre introduces Mission Utkarsh, a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Women and Child Development and Ayush that uses Ayurveda to treat teenage girls’ anaemia in five aspirational districts.

Additional information on this news:

  • The Centre launches Mission Utkarsh, an Ayurvedic programme to treat anaemia in teenage girls.
  • collaborative effort between the Ministries of Women and Child Development and Ayush, initially launching in five districts with high aspirations.
  • With the help of about 10,000 Anganwadi Centres and 15 central ministries, Mission Utkarsh seeks to bring districts up to the level of states and the nation.
  • Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Sarbananda Sonowal witnessed the signing of an agreement between the two ministries.
  • Ayush systems offer an affordable way to treat anaemia, as evidenced by research from organisations such as the ICMR.

Anaemia Burden In  Women In India
– The prevalence: of anaemia in women in India is estimated to be 50%.
– Age Group: Adolescents and expectant mothers are disproportionately affected, with a high prevalence in reproductive age groups.
– Geographical Disparities: Different states and regions have varying prevalence. The prevalence is higher in rural than in urban areas.

– Food Deficiency: Insufficient consumption of iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12.
– Poor Dietary Practices: A diet devoid of variety and harmony.
– Iron deficiency: A contributing factor to menstrual blood loss.
– infections: The absorption of nutrients is impacted by parasitic infections such as hookworm.

– Way Forward:
– Government nutritional: programmes should be strengthened and promoted, with an emphasis on foods and supplements high in iron.
– Health Education: Spread knowledge about the value of taking iron supplements and maintaining a balanced diet, particularly when a woman is pregnant.
– Menstrual Hygiene: To prevent iron deficiency and blood loss, encourage menstrual hygiene practices.
– Health Infrastructure: Upgrade medical facilities to deliver prompt diagnosis and care.
– Community Involvement: Assist communities in tackling dietary and cultural practices that have an impact on anaemia.

Reducing the burden among women in India requires addressing the complex causes of anaemia through a combination of dietary interventions, health education, and community involvement.

PYQ: Consider the following statements in the context of interventions being undertaken under Anaemia Mukt Bharat: (2023) 
1. It offers pregnant women, teenagers, and preschoolers preventive calcium supplementation.
2. It conducts an initiative to postpone cutting the umbilical cord during childbirth.
3. It offers children and teenagers recurrent deworming.
4. It focuses on hemoglobinopathies, fluorosis, and malaria as non-nutritional causes of anaemia in endemic areas.

How many of the statements given above are correct?
a) Only one
b) Only two
c) Only three
d) All four 

Ans: c)
Practice Question: Analyse the factors that contribute to the high prevalence of anaemia among women in the Indian context and suggest effective policy measures to mitigate the condition. (10 m / 150 words)

6. AI model developed specifically for India to determine gestational age

Topic: GS3 – Science and Technology – Indigenization of technology 
The Garbhini-GA2 AI model closes the gaps in maternal healthcare in India and improves gestational age precision, which is important for comprehending UPSC healthcare policy.

– The Garbhini-GA2 AI model, developed by IIT-Madras and THSTI, provides accurate gestational age estimation in the Indian population, thereby enhancing maternal healthcare.

Additional information on this news:

  • Creation of AI Model: “Garbhini-GA2” is an AI model specifically for India that was created by researchers at IIT-Madras and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute to estimate gestational age in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
  • Model tailored to a particular population: Garbhini-GA2, in contrast to population-based models in the West, is customised for the Indian population and takes into account differences in foetal growth.
  • Accuracy Improvement: When compared to previous models, Garbhini-GA2 improves accuracy by nearly three times by reducing estimation errors.
  • Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality: By helping to provide pregnant women with the right care, accurate gestational age estimation helps to lower the rates of maternal and infant mortality.
  • Multidisciplinary Cooperation: The project, which is a component of the DBT India initiative (GARBH-Ini), places a strong emphasis on clinicians and data scientists working together end-to-end to create integrated and clinically relevant healthcare solutions.
  • Release: The results validated Garbhini-GA2’s efficacy and were published in Lancet Regional Health Southeast Asia.

Potential advantages of this model:
– Precision in Gestational Age: The Garbhini-GA2 reduces errors and provides a more dependable assessment by providing a highly accurate gestational age estimation in the later trimesters.
– Customised for the Indian Community: The model’s applicability and reliability in the local context are enhanced by its consideration of ethnic and demographic variations, as it was specifically designed for the Indian population.
– Decrease in Maternal and Infant Mortality: Timely and focused medical interventions made possible by accurate gestational age determination may result in a decrease in the rates of maternal and infant mortality.
– Tailored Healthcare: By accurately ascertaining the foetal age in the heterogeneous Indian population, the model empowers medical practitioners to deliver more tailored and efficient care.
– Scientific Progress: The creation of Garbhini-GA2 demonstrates India’s capacity to use cutting-edge data science and AI/ML methods to enhance maternity and paediatric healthcare.

7. Will “colour molecules” enable the use of quantum computers?

Topic: GS3 – Science and Technology 
A significant breakthrough in quantum computing, room-temperature qubits in Metal-Organic Frameworks are essential for the understanding of UPSC science and technology.

– The article describes how Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) were developed in Japan to create room-temperature qubits, which represents a major advancement in quantum computing that could lower costs and advance the field.


  • Bits with two states (0 and 1) are used in classical computers for computations.
  • The basic building blocks of quantum computing, qubits, exhibit superposition, which allows them to exist in multiple states at once, unlike classical bits.

Challenges in Quantum Computing:

  • Qubit superposition is brittle because of interactions with other systems, which can result in “decoherence.”
  • Qubit collections need to meet requirements such as controllability, identicality, and room temperature operation.

Common Qubit Systems:

  • Traditional qubit systems include quantum dots, trapped ions, and superconducting junctions.
  • Quantum computers are costly because they frequently need for high vacuums or low temperatures.

Room-Temperature Qubits – Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOF):

  • Qubits are introduced in MOFs—structures made of metal atoms connected by organic molecules—by recent research conducted in Japan.
  • The selected MOF creates qubits using pentacene, a chromophore, and zirconium.

Singlet Fission Mechanism:

  • Singlet fission is a process that chromophores in a singlet excited state can go through to produce two triplet excited chromophores.
  • Because MOF is porous, chromophore rotation is possible, which affects the coherence duration and interaction strength.

Room-Temperature Coherence:

  • The coherence of the superposition of two four-electron states at room temperature is demonstrated by the Japanese study.
  • Relative to other qubit systems, coherence lasting only a few microseconds at room temperature is an impressive accomplishment.

Implications and Challenges Ahead:

  • Room-temperature qubits provide opportunities for quantum computing at lower costs.
  • Assembling qubits, proving quantum gate operations, and attaining controllability are still difficult tasks.


  • Reaching room temperature qubits in MOFs is a promising development that will encourage more research and developments in the field of quantum computing.

PYQ: Which one of the following is the context in which the term “qubit” is mentioned? (2022) 

(a) Cloud Services
(b) Quantum Computing
(c) Visible Light Communication Technologies
(d) Wireless Communication Technologies 

Ans: (b)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *