2 Jan 2024 : PIB 

1. PM expresses happiness over successful launch of XPoSat satellite.

Topic: GS3 – Science and Technology – Developing new technology – Space

XPoSat launch showcases India’s space prowess, vital for national progress, aligning with UPSC’s focus on current affairs and achievements. 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauds the successful XPoSat satellite launch by ISRO, expressing delight at the positive start for 2024.
  • He commends ISRO scientists, highlighting the milestone’s significance in boosting India’s standing in the global space arena.

More on the news:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses happiness over the successful launch of XPoSat satellite by ISRO.
  • Extends best wishes to ISRO scientists and the space fraternity for their achievement.
  • Describes the launch as a great start to 2024 and praises the contribution of scientists.
  • Highlights the significance of the launch for enhancing India’s prowess in the space sector.
  • Wishes the entire space community success in taking India to unprecedented heights.
ISRO satellite XPoSat
  • India’s first dedicated mission to study X-rays from celestial objects like black holes.
  • Launched on New Year’s Day 2024 aboard PSLV-C58 rocket.
  • Carries two scientific instruments: POLIX for X-ray polarimetry and XSPECT for spectroscopy and timing.
  • Aims to unlock secrets of extreme environments and physical processes in the universe.
  • Expected to revolutionize our understanding of black holes, neutron stars, and other cosmic wonders

2. Sale of Electoral Bonds at Authorised Branches of State Bank of India (SBI)

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Important aspects of governance – Transparency and accountability.

Electoral Bonds sale via SBI, governed by 2018 scheme, impacts political funding transparency, relevant for UPSC’s governance awareness. 

  • The Electoral Bonds sale through SBI, guided by the 2018 scheme, influences transparency in political funding.
  • This development is significant for UPSC aspirants, aligning with governance and contemporary issues awareness.

Additional information on the news:

  • Electoral Bonds sale through State Bank of India’s 29 Authorised Branches from January 2, 2024, to January 11, 2024.
  • Government’s Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 allows citizens or entities incorporated in India to purchase bonds.
  • Political parties meeting specified criteria can receive and encash Electoral Bonds through authorized banks.
  • Electoral Bonds are valid for fifteen days; no payments accepted after expiry. Deposits credited on the same day to eligible political parties.
Electoral Bond Scheme 2018
  • Introduced in 2018 to make political funding in India more transparent.
  • Operates through bearer bonds purchased by Indian citizens/companies.
  • Bonds available in denominations of ₹1,000, ₹10,000, ₹1,00,000, ₹10,00,000 and ₹1,00,00,000.
  • Can be encashed by registered political parties with at least 1% vote share in previous general elections.
  • Aims to curb black money in political funding and increase transparency.
  • Criticized for lack of anonymity for donors and potential misuse by ruling party. 
PYQ: To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful?
(UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2017) (250 words/15m)
Practice Question: Critically examine the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 in light of its stated goals of transparency and curbing black money in political funding. (150 words/10 m)

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