Daily Prelims Notes 12 July 2021
- July 12, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
12 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Election of Speakers and Deputy Speakers
- Genome of a Salt-secreting Mangrove Species Decoded
- Three more test positive for ZIKV
- Nominate inspiring individuals for Padma awards: Narendra Modi
- U.P.’s new population policy keeps all sections in mind: Adityanath
- Puri decked up for annual RathYatra
- Bihar’s Kesaria Buddha stupa waterlogged
- Mekedatu multi-purpose project
- Right to repair movement
- Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme
- Lemru Elephant Reserve
- Oil prices
- Forex Reserves
- Brutal heatwave in Death Valley
Context: Recently, it was noted that the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has been without a Speaker for most of 2021 and Lok Sabha and several state Assemblies are without a Deputy Speaker.
About Speaker of Lok Sabha
Election of Speaker
- The Office of the Speaker of Legislative Assembly is a constitutional one.
- Under Article 178 of the Indian Constitution every Legislative Assembly of a State shall, choose one of its Members as Speaker.
The Speaker is elected by the Lok Sabha from amongst its members.
- The Lok Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy whenever the office of the Speaker falls vacant.
- The date of election of the Speaker is fixed by the
Tenure of Speaker
- The Speaker remains in office during the life of the Lok Sabha.
- The Speakers has to vacate his office earlier in any of the following three cases:
If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha;
If he resigns by writing to the Deputy Speaker;
If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha
- When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House.
- It is noted that whenever the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the Speaker does not vacate his office and continues till the newly-elected Lok Sabha meets.
Role of Speaker
- The Speaker is the head of the Lok Sabha, and its representative.
- He is the guardian of powers and privileges of the members, the House as a whole and its committees.
- He is the principal spokesman of the House, and his decision in all Parliamentary matters is final.
- He derives his powers and duties from three sources i.e. the Constitution of India, the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Lok Sabha, and Parliamentary Conventions.
Powers and Functions of Speaker
- He maintains order and decorum in the House for conducting its business and regulating its proceedings.
- He adjourns the House or suspends the meeting in absence of a quorum.
- He presides over a joint setting of the two Houses of Parliament.
- He decides whether a bill is a money bill or not and his decision on this question is final.
Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
- The Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members.
- The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant.
- He also acts as the Speaker when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House.
- It should be noted here that the Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker.
- The Deputy Speaker is entitled to a regular salary and allowance fixed by Parliament, and charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
Context: Recently, the scientists at the DBT-Institute of Life Sciences and SRM-DBT Partnership Platform for Advanced Life Sciences Technologies have decoded the genome of a Salt-secreting Mangrove Species ‘Avicennia marina’.
About Avicennia Marina
- It is one of the most prominent mangroves species found in all mangrove formations in India.
- It is a salt-secreting and extraordinarily salt-tolerant mangrove species that grows optimally in 75% seawater and tolerates >250% seawater.
- It is among the rare plant species, which can excrete 40% of the salt through the salt glands in the leaves.
- It extraordinary feature is its capacity to exclude salt entry to the roots.
Key Highlights of Genome Decoding
- It reports the assemblage of a 456.6 Mb of the estimated 462.7 Mb A. marina genome (98.7% genome coverage) in 31 chromosomes derived from 88 scaffolds and 252 contigs.
- The percentage of genomes in gaps was 0.26%, thereby proving it to be a high-level assembly.
- The A. marina genome assembled can be considered as a reference-grade genome reported so far for any mangrove species globally and the first report from India.
- It identiﬁed 31,477 protein-coding genes and a “salinome” consisting of 3246 salinity-responsive genes and homologs of 614 experimentally validated salinity tolerance genes.
- The study reported identiﬁcation of 614 genes, including 159 transcription factors, which are homologous to the genes that were functionally validated for salinity tolerance in transgenic systems.
- They are a unique group of species found in marshy intertidal estuarine regions and survive a high degree of salinity through several adaptive mechanisms.
- They only grow at tropical and subtropical latitudes near the equator because they cannot withstand freezing temperatures.
- They are the only trees in the world that can tolerate saltwater, excreting the excess salt through their leaves.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Three more persons have tested positive for Zika virus (ZIKV), taking the total number of infections reported so far to 18. So far, lab-confirmed diagnosis of ZIKV has been reported only from Thiruvananthapuram. However, given the high density of Aedes species of mosquitoes across the State, the virus could be in circulation across the State.
- Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
- ZVD is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes (AM), mainly Aedesaegypti.
- This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
- Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
- Symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Most people with Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms.
- Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly (smaller than normal head size) and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome.
- There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Instead, the focus is on relieving symptoms and includes rest, rehydration and acetaminophen for fever and pain.
Related Government Programme/Initiatives:
- Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme: To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based and IT enabled disease surveillance systems for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends.
- National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme: The central nodal agency for prevention and control of six vector borne diseases i.e. Malaria, Dengue, Lymphatic Filariasis, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis and Chikungunya in India.
- Rashtriya Bal SwasthyaKaryakram (RBSK): An initiative under the National Health Mission, has a surveillance for Microcephaly (system for monitoring birth defects).
Subject : Governance
Context : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged people to nominate their choice of persons, who are doing exceptional work at the grassroots, for Padma awards
- The Padma Awards are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day (26th January).
- Instituted in the year 1954, it is one of the highest civilian honours of India.
- The Award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
- The Awards are given in three categories:
Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service),
Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and
Padma Shri (distinguished service).
- The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
- The Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
- The awards are presented by the President of India usually in the month of March/April every year.
- The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name.
- The total number of awards to be given in a year (excluding posthumous awards and to NRI/foreigners/OCIs) should not be more than 120.
- The Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India) is the highest civilian award of India.
- Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred “in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order”, without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.
- The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister himself to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year. No formal recommendations for this are necessary.
- Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion; there is no monetary grant associated with the award.
- Bharat Ratna recipients rank 7th in the Indian order of precedence.
Subject : Governance
Context : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the State’s population policy for 2021-2030.
The new policy aims at
- decreasing the total fertility rate from 2.7 to 2.1 by 2026 and 1.7 by 2030,
- increase modern contraceptive prevalence rate from 31.7% to 45% by 2026 and 52% by 2030,
- increase male methods of contraception use from 10.8% to 15.1% by 2026 and 16.4% by 2030,
- decrease maternal mortality rate from 197 to 150 to 98, and infant mortality rate from 43 to 32 to 22, and under 5 infant mortality rate from 47 to 35 to 25.
- Targeting stabilisation, the draft of the policy also said the State would attempt to maintain a balance of population among the various communities.
- The policy comes at a time when the Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission has prepared the proposed draft Bill under which a two-child norm would be implemented and promoted.
- A person who will have more than two children after the law comes into force would be debarred from several benefits such as government-sponsored welfare schemes and from contesting elections to the local authority or any body of the local self-government.
- According to the draft, ration card units would be limited to four members of a family.
Subject : Culture
Context : The world-famous RathYatra will be conducted without devotees in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
- RathYatra is a festival dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna), Goddess Subhadra (his sister) and Lord Balaram (his elder brother).
- RathYatra is widely celebrated and one of the biggest festivals of India.
- The term particularly refers to the annual Rathyatra in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and other East Indian states, particularly the Odia festival.
- JagannathRathYatra festival as per the traditional Oriya calendar begins on the second day of Shukla Paksha of the Hindu lunar month of Ashadha.
- The nine-day-long festival marks the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balbhadra and sister Subhadra to the Gundicha temple.
- RathYatra is also celebrated in Ahmedabad.
- Apart from this, the Ahmedabad yatra is different from its Puri counterpart on other counts — the idols Lord Jagannath, Baldev and Subhadra are blindfolded ahead of the procession day, as part of the netrotsav ceremony, but remain open to public view.
- In Puri, they are given a bath and kept out of public view till the procession.
- Known as ‘Chaka dola’ (the one with the large round eyes) in Odisha, Jagannath is believed to be the Lord who watches over the world and never sleeps.
- The Puriyatra to the maternal uncle’s place is also called the Gundichayatra, named after Gundichadevi, the maternal aunt of Lord Jagannath.
- The siblings spend at least seven days at their aunt’s and return to the main temple in Puri in what is called the ‘bahudiyatra’ (the return journey).
Context: Kesaria Buddha stupa is waterlogged following floods after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of river Gandak in Nepal.
Kesaria Buddha Stupa:
- Kesaria Buddha Stupa is a nationally protected stupa. ASI has declared it a protected monument.
- Its first construction is dated to the 3rd century BCE.
- The original Kesaria stupa is said to date back to the time of emperor Ashoka (circa 250 BCE) as the remains of an Ashokan pillar was discovered there.
- It is regarded as the largest Buddhist stupa in the world and has been drawing tourists from across several Buddhist countries.
- The stupa is in the east Champaran district of Bihar.
- East and West Champaran districts share their borders with Nepal in many places.
Context: On July 6, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said in Bengaluru that his government would go ahead with the long-pending Mekedatu dam project in the Cauvery Basin
- The Mekedatu multi-purpose project involves building a balancing reservoir across the Cauvery River near Kanakapura in Ramanagaram district.
- It envisages supplying drinking water to Bengaluru and Ramanagaram districts, besides generation of power.
- The project was conceived in 2013 and in 2017, the Karnataka state cabinet decided to implement it.
- The project, however, ran into a controversy after Tamil Nadu opposed it on the grounds that the project violates the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award.
The Cauvery River
- The Cauvery River (Kaveri) is designated as the ‘Dakshina Ganga’ or ‘the Ganga of the South’.
- The Cauvery River rises at an elevation of 1,341 m at Talakaveri on the Brahmagiri range near Cherangala village of Kodagu (Coorg) district of Karnataka.
- The total length of the river from origin to an outfall is 800 km.
- It flows in a southeasterly direction for 705 km through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and descends the Eastern Ghats in a series of great falls.
- Left Bank: the Harangi, the Hemavati, the Shimsha, and the Arkavati.
- Right Bank: Lakshmantirtha, the Kabbani, the Suvarnavati, the Bhavani, the Noyil, and the Amaravati joins from the right.
- At Hogennekkal Falls, it takes a Southerly direction and enters the Mettur Reservoir.
- A tributary called Bhavani joins Cauvery on the Right bank about 45 Kms below Mettur Reservoir. Thereafter it enters the plains of Tamil Nadu.
- Two more tributaries Noyil and Amaravathi join on the right bankand here the river widens with a sandy bed and flows as ‘Akhanda Cauvery
- Many projects were completed in this basin which
- Included Krishnarajasagar in Karnataka, Mettur dam and Cauvery delta system in Tamil Nadu. LowerBhavani, Hemavati, Harangi, Kabini are important projects completed duing the plan period.
Subject: Science and Tech
Right to repair movement:
Context: The average consumer purchases an electronic gadget, knowing that it will very quickly become obsolete as its manufacturer releases newer, shinier, and more amped up versions of the same device.
As your device grows older, it needs to be repaired by new parts, however the repairs inaccessible for most, by dictating who can fix your device and making it an inordinately expensive affair.
Right to repair movement:
- Activists and organisations have been advocating for the right of consumers to be able to repair their own electronics and other products as part of the ‘right to repair’ movement.
- The movement traces its roots back to the very dawn of the computer era in the 1950s.
- The goal of the movement is to get companies to make spare parts, tools and information on how to repair devices available to customers and repair shops to increase the lifespan of products and to keep them from ending up in landfills.
Need for right to repair
- Electronic manufacturers are encouraging a culture of ‘planned obsolescence’ — which means that devices are designed specifically to last a limited amount of time and to be replaced., leads to immense pressure on the environment and wasted natural resources.
- It makes use of polluting sources of energy, such as fossil fuel, which has an adverse impact on the environment.
- Right to repair advocates also argue that this will help boost business for small repair shops, which are an important part of local economies.
- If a manufacturer has monopoly on repairs, then prices rise exponentially and quality tends to drop
- Their argument is that opening up their intellectual property to third party repair services or amateur repairers could lead to exploitation and impact the safety and security of their devices.
- Threaten data security and cyber security.
- US President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission to curb restrictions imposed by manufacturers that limit consumers’ ability to repair their gadgets on their own terms
- the UK government introduced right-to-repair rules with the aim of extending the lifespan of products by up to 10 years. The new legislation gives manufacturers a two-year window to make the necessary changes to abide by the new legislation.
Subject: Science and Tech
Concept: Suborbital” is a term you’ll be hearing a lot as Sir Richard Branson flies aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity winged spaceship and Jeff Bezos flies aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle to touch the boundary of space and experience a few minutes of weightlessness.
- it means that while these vehicles will cross the ill-defined boundary of space, they will not be going fast enough to stay in space once they get there .Anything that launches to space but does not have sufficient horizontal velocity to stay in space – like these rockets – comes back to Earth and therefore flies a suborbital trajectory
- If a spacecraft or anything else, reaches a speed of 17,500 mph (28,000 km/h) or more, instead of falling back to the ground, it will continuously fall around the Earth. That continuous falling is what it means to be in orbit and is how satellites and the Moon stay above Earth.
- Anything that launches to space but does not have sufficient horizontal velocity to stay in space like these rockets comes back to Earth and therefore flies a suborbital trajectory.
- The astronauts will reach space but won’t enter orbit, so their flights will be suborbital.
Subject: Government Scheme
Context: The energy markets have become a key facilitator in supporting distribution utilities and industrial consumers to plan, meet and optimise their power consumption in a transparent, competitive, and flexible manner.
- Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme is a market based compliance mechanism to accelerate improvements in energy efficiency in energy intensive industries. The energy savings achieved by notified industries is converted into tradable instruments called Energy Saving Certificates (ESCerts). The ESCerts after issuance by Bureau of Energy Efficiency are traded at Power Exchanges.
- It commenced from 1st April 2012 covering 478 industrial units from 8 sectors namely Aluminium, Cement, Chlor- Alkali, Fertilizer, Iron & Steel, Paper & Pulp, Thermal Power Plant and Textile.
- The scheme aims to reduce specific energy consumption in energy-intensive industries through certification of excess energy saving which can be traded.
- It refers to the calculation of Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) in the baseline year and projected SEC in the target year covering different forms of net energy going into the boundary of the designated consumers’ plant and the products leaving it over a particular cycle
- The Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme and the energy saving certificates (ESCerts) are playing a key role in building an efficient industry and eventually a sustainable energy economy. It has been proposed 6 cycles.
- Based on the success of PAT cycle I, the market instrument was further extended to second cycle that includes three more sectors petroleum refinery, railways and electricity distribution utilities besides the earlier eight industry segments.
- The second cycle has far greater potential in terms of net trade, as the scheme is deep as well as wide enough to achieve significant efficiency gains. It has 89 more designated consumers (DCs) from existing sectors and 84 new DCs included from additional industries, adding to a total of 621 industrial consumers across the country.
- The Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency had notied the price of per metric tonne of oil equivalent for DCs of PAT cycle as ₹18,402 for the year 2018-19.
- Besides focus on efficiency, adoption of low carbon renewable technologies for competitive and sustainable energy supply as well as continuous research into other advanced technologies, including green hydrogen, to decarbonise the ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors is the need of hour and sector-specific policy measures are required to march towards carbon neutrality.
Context: In a letter on June 26, the state Forest and Environment Department asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) to make a presentation for decreasing the area of the proposed reserve from 1,995 sq km to 450 sq km.
- The proposal for the reserve, in Korba The proposed Lemru elephant reserve is a natural elephant habitat with very few human habitations and has been an elephant bearing area from ancient times
- Chhattisgarh has two national parks, three tiger reserves, eight sanctuaries, and one biosphere reserve covering 11,310.977 sq km, which is 8.36% of its geographical area and 18.92% of its total forest area.
- The Elephant reserve measuring 1048.30 sq. km, was notified in September 2011. Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuaryis located in Surajpur District, Chhattisgarh, India.It is named after the Tamor Hill and Pingla Nalla
- The area, which is under Tamor, Khond and Pingla Ranges of the Surguja Jashpur Elephant Reserve Forest Division, consists of saland bamboo
- The sanctuary supports Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, bears, Sambar deer, nilgai, chital, bison, four-horned antelope, chinkara, barking deer, wild boars, wild dogs, wolves, Golden jackals, Striped hyenas, hare, cobras, nag, pythons, red jungle fowl, brown jungle fowl and green pigeon.
Context: Crude oil’s effectiveness as a gauge of economic growth was once again on display during the pandemic. Last March, as the scale of the pandemic was first revealed, Brent oil futures plunged to $22. But with the large stimulus roll-out and gradual recovery in growth, prices too moved higher to $55
Impact of rising crude oil prices on India
- Impact is on trade deficit: The Indian economy has been able to cope with crude oil prices moving in the $50 to $70 range since 2014. It’s only when prices spike materially beyond $70 that some negative ramifications are seen impact is on trade deficit.
- Inflate the import bill: India is a net crude oil importer, depending on import to meet over 77 per cent of domestic demand. The share of petroleum products in India’s imports is over 25 per cent in normal times. Therefore, the surge in crude oil price tends to inflate the import bill, widening the trade deficit.
- Impact the rupee’s movement. As the accompanying chart shows, the rupee has depreciated against the dollar in periods of oil price surge. The same trend is playing out over the past year as increasing oil prices is making the rupee weak.
- Inflation: With fuel and light having a significant weight in the CPI basket, the surge in crude oil prices tends to make the CPI spike higher as well. This is being witnessed in recent months. However, once global crude oil supply is ramped up, both rupee and the CPI could get some relief.
Context: With the rate of returns on the country’s foreign exchange reserves declining, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government are exploring ways to enhance returns and have sought external expert assistance for better deployment of forex.
- The RBI’s Department of External Investments and Operations (DEIO) invests forex keeping in mind the objectives of safety, liquidity and return, in that order, as part of its management of foreign exchange reserves
- Foreign exchange reserves are assets held on reserve by a central bank in foreign currencies, which can include bonds, treasury bills and other government securities.
- It needs to be noted that most foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars.
- These assets serve many purposes but are most significantly held to ensure that the central bank has backup funds if the national currency rapidly devalues or becomes altogether insolvent.
India’s Forex Reserves include:
- Foreign Currency Assets
- Special Drawing Rights
- Reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Reason for Decline
- US and the Euro zone, slashed interest rates, the rate of earnings on foreign currency assets declined to 2.10 per cent in 2020-21
- low yield environment makes it an arduous task for asset managers in general and reserve managers in particular, to generate reasonable returns
- the years have made investment in gilts of developed countries unattractive, even as there are limits of how much portion of reserves can be invested in gold
- RBI reduced its holdings in foreign securities by over $ 10 billion to $ 359.87 billion by March 2021 from September 2020
Context: A brutal heatwave punishing the US West has pushed temperatures toward all-time records for a third day, as Death Valley in California – scorched at 54.4 degrees – was again one of the hottest spots on the planet.
- Death Valley ,the hottest place on Earth,” the temperature in Death Valley National Park, eastern California has hit 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius) much earlier than usual. It would be one of the highest ever recorded on Earth.
- A thermometer outside Furnace Creek Visitors Centre in the heart of Death Valley showed 54.4 degrees before 4pm on Sunday (local time), although a National Park Service ranger
- The sweltering heat, which extended across much of the Pacific Northwest, pressured power grids and fuelled major wildfires, including a blaze burning in Southern Oregon that threatened homes and knocked out electricity.
- A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South Central parts of India.
- Heat waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.
- Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.