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30-December -2023

1. Year End Review of Department of Space.

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policiesInterventions for development in various sectors
Critical for UPSC: Chandrayaan-3 success, space policy, international collaboration, GSLV missions, Gaganyaan progress—reflect India’s strategic prowess and global leadership in space exploration.  
  • The article summarizes key achievements of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2023, encompassing successful lunar missions, policy approvals, international collaborations, advanced launch vehicle developments, and strategic initiatives, showcasing India’s prominence in space exploration.
  • Chandrayaan-3 Mission
  • Launch Date: 14th July, 2023
  • Landing Date: 23rd Aug, 2023
  • Achievement: Successful soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the south pole of the Moon, making India the first country to achieve this.
  • Space Policy 2023
  • Approval Date: Released on 29th Dec, 2023
  • Achievement: Indian Space Policy-2023 approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security, emphasizing industry collaboration and global cooperation.
  • Artemis Accord
  • Signing Date: 21st June, 2023
  • Achievement: India becomes the 27th country to sign the Artemis Accord, promoting principles for international space exploration cooperation.
  • Space Economy Leaders Meeting (SELM)
  • Organized by: Department of Space under G20 Presidency
  • Achievement: Successful organization of SELM with participation from 18 G20 nations, fostering discussions on global space issues.
  • SSLV Development
  • Achievement: Second developmental flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) successfully launched, offering technology to the Indian industry.
  • LVM3 OneWeb Mission
  • Launch Date: 26th March, 2023
  • Achievement: Successful launch of 72 OneWeb satellites in a record time frame using Next Generation Launch Vehicle LVM3.
  • Gaganyaan Tests
  • Tests: Series of tests for Gaganyaan, including the first test vehicle’s re-entry and crew module recovery, completed successfully.
  • Aditya L1 Mission
  • Launch Date: 2nd September, 2023
  • Achievement: Successful launch of Aditya L1 spacecraft to study the Sun and its effects in heliosphere.
  • Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV LEX)
  • Demonstration Date: 2nd April, 2023
  • Achievement: Successful demonstration of Reusable Launch Vehicle Autonomous Landing Mission (RLV LEX) for future human space programs.
  • PSLV-C55/TeLEOS-2 Mission
  • Launch Date: 22nd April, 2023
  • Achievement: Successful dedicated commercial mission launching TeLEOS-2 and Lumelite-4 satellites.
  • GSLV-F12/NVS-01 Mission
  • Launch Date: 29th May, 2023
  • Achievement: Successful deployment of the NVS-01 navigation satellite, featuring enhanced features for Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) services.
  • PSLV-C56/DS-SAR Mission
  • Launch Date: 30th July, 2023
  • Achievement: Successful accomplishment of the DS-SAR satellite mission for the Government of Singapore.
  • YUVIKA-2023
  • Inauguration Date: 15th May, 2023
  • Achievement: Inauguration of the Young Scientists Programme YUVIKA–2023 for high school students at various ISRO centers.
  • Aero India 2023 Participation
  • Date: 13th to 17th February, 2023
  • Achievement: ISRO participation in Aero India 2023, showcasing key space technologies and equipment.
  • Workshop on Space Situational Awareness
  • Date: October 12-14, 2023
  • Achievement: National level workshop organized on Space Situational Awareness & Space Traffic Management.
  • Technology Transfer of SSLV
  • Initiative: Expression of Interest (EOI) released by IN-SPACe for transferring the technology for producing Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to the industry.
  • NSIL Activities
  • Contracts: Signed contracts with the Indian Army, DRDO, and under PMMSY for satellite realization, building satellite models, and communication system installation.
  • Commercial Services: Commenced commercial services on GSAT-24 satellite for TATA PLAY from 7th Aug 2023 onwards.
  • International Launches: Successfully accomplished the launch of 46 International Customer satellites during 2023.
PYQ: Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the applicaSon of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development? (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2016) (200 words/12.5 m)

2. PM SVANidhi benefits over 57 lakh street vendors across country: Union Minister Hardeep S Puri.

Topic: Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policiesInterventions for development in various sectors
UPSC Importance: Examining PM SVANidhi’s impact on street vendors, NASVI’s initiatives, and sustainable practices in India’s first ‘Zero Waste Street Food Festival.’ 
  • Union Minister Hardeep S Puri inaugurates India’s first ‘Zero Waste Street Food Festival’ by NASVI in Delhi
  • He also praised PM SVANidhi for empowering 57.83 lakh street vendors, with 45% women beneficiaries and 72% from marginalized sections.
PM SVANidhi:
  • Objective: Empowerment of street vendors impacted by COVID-19.
  • Launched: June 2020 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Target Beneficiaries: Street vendors in urban areas.
  • Financial Assistance: Up to ₹50,000 as working capital without collateral.
  • Repayment: Flexible tenure up to 12 months.
  • Digital Platform: Application process facilitated through a user-friendly online portal.
  • Eligibility: Street vendors in operation on or before March 24, 2020.
  • Impact: Aims to benefit millions of street vendors, promoting their self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods.

3. Year End Review of Department of Biotechnology.

Topic: Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policiesInterventions for development in various sectors
DBT’s 2023 achievements showcase India’s biotech prowess, aligning with AatmaNirbhar Bharat, vital for UPSC aspirants in science-policy.
  • The article highlights the Department of Biotechnology’s (DBT) significant achievements in 2023, including policy reforms, innovations, and collaborations, showcasing India’s prowess in biotechnology and its impact on various sectors.
  • Rationalization of Autonomous Bodies:
  • DBT successfully subsumed 14 Autonomous Institutes under the Biotechnology Research and Innovation Council (BRIC).
  • BRIC aims to enhance process efficiency and performance.
India Bioeconomy Report 2023:
  • Union Minister S&T launched the report.
  • Bioeconomy reached $137 billion in 2023, expected to reach $300 billion by 2030.
Intellectual Property Guidelines:
  • Notified guidelines for maximizing socio-economic impact of research outcomes.
  • Governs IP transfer from DBT-funded organizations.
High-Performance Biomanufacturing:
  • Launched a major initiative for innovative biomanufacturing.
  • Aims to foster integrated research for bio-based product development.
Biological Research Regulatory Approval Portal (BioRRAP):
  • Single gateway for regulatory approval for biological research.
  • Enhances transparency and efficiency in research approvals.
Genome Edited Plants Regulation:
  • Notified Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for regulatory review.
  • Streamlining the regulation of genome-edited plants.
  1. ADVIKA – Drought Tolerant Chickpea:
  • Developed superior drought-tolerant chickpea variety “ADVIKA.”
  • Approved for national use and cultivation.
First Gene Therapy Trial – Hemophilia A:
  • Approved the first gene therapy clinical trial for Hemophilia A.
  • Utilizing hematopoietic stem cell-based lentiviral vector technology.
Novel Blood Bag Technology:
  • Developed technology to decrease damage to stored blood.
  • Impactful in reducing transfusion-related adverse effects.
Omicron Booster mRNA Vaccine:
  • Developed India’s first Omicron booster mRNA vaccine.
Indigenous Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine:
  • Developed Indias 1st indigenous quadrivalent Human Papilloma Virus (qHPV) vaccine against cervical cancer.
Market Authorization for Biosimilar:
  • Received Market Authorization Approval for Biosimilar Liraglutide for Type-2 Diabetes.
Indigenous MRI Scanner Approval:
  • Manufacturing and commercialization approval for the indigenous MRI scanner.
Global Bio India (GBI) 2023
  • Organized GBI attended by 7000+ delegates from 500+ biotech startups, incubators, industry, and academia.
  • Launched 29 new biotech startup products.
Human Resources Development
  • Increased bioincubators to 75+ and startups to 6000+.
  • Bioeconomy grew to $137 billion in 2023.
DBT IP Guidelines 2023:
  • Guidelines for seamless IP transfer for societal impact.
Biotech Entrepreneurship Culture:
  • Fostered entrepreneurship with 800+ biotech products.
  • Raised nearly INR 4,500 Cr in follow-on funding for startups.
Major Policy Reforms – BRIC:
  • Subsumed 14 Autonomous Institutions under BRIC for centralized governance.
  • Aims to strengthen and align the biotech research ecosystem.
Global Collaborations:
  • Signed MoUs with Armed Forces Medical Services, NSF, and WIPO.
  • Promoting healthcare research and international collaboration.
Technology Developments:
  • Developed technologies for micronutrient bioavailability, wearable analytical devices, biofilm inhibition, bacterial detection, and more.
Human Resources Development Programme:
  • Implemented Star College Program, supporting postgraduate students, research associates, and women scientists.
  • Focused on capacity building and training for women bio-entrepreneurs in the North Eastern Region.
Significant Research Insights:
  • Multicentric study on bacterial pathogens associated with sepsis, urinary tract infections, and respiratory infections.
  • Insights into the role of IL-9 in SARS-CoV-2 infection and breakthroughs in vitamin B12 absorption.
Environmental Initiatives:
  • Established facilities for certified scion material generation and developed ‘all-natural’ packaging for fruits in the North Eastern Region.
  • Contributed to global efforts through the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG).
Coal To Liquid Technology:
  • Developed CTL process for converting municipal solid waste into CTL oil.
Vaccines and Therapeutics Development:
  • Advancements in indigenous vaccine development, including DNA-based, protein subunit, and mRNA vaccines.
  • Market Authorization Approval for biosimilar Liraglutide for Type-2 Diabetes.
Indias Bioeconomy Growth:
  • India’s bioeconomy reached $137 Bn in 2022, with a double-digit CAGR for the last 6-7 years.
Dare2eraD TB Initiative:
  • Pan-India initiative to understand the biological characteristics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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