Daily Prelims Notes 12 March 2022
- March 12, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
12 March 2022
Table Of Contents
- When A Missile Misfires
- Manual Scavenging
- Industrial Diseases
- Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
- Web 2 Vs Web 3
- Norms to get Gold tested at Hallmarking Centres
TOPIC: Science & tech
Context- Pakistan on Thursday said an unarmed Indian missile landed 124 km inside its territory on Wednesday; India acknowledged “technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile”.
What is the recent case of misfire?
- Pakistan has only called it a “supersonic” missile.
- Some experts have speculated that it was a test of one of India’s top missiles, BrahMos, jointly developed with Russia.
- Their assessment is based on information that it travelled 200 km, manoeuvred mid-air and travelled at 2.5 times to 3 times the speed of sound at an altitude of 40,000 feet.
Missile Tests: NOTAM and NAVAREA Warnings
- Under the pre-notification of flight testing of ballistic missiles agreement signed in 2005 between India & Pakistan, a country must provide the other an advance notification on flight test it intends to take for any land or sea launched, surface-to-surface ballistic missile.
- Before the test, the country must issue Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) or Navigational Warning (NAVAREA) to alert aviation pilots and seafarers, respectively.
- Also, the testing country must ensure that the launch site is not within 40 km, and the planned impact area is not within 75 km of either the International Boundary (IB) or the Line of Control (LoC).
- The planned trajectory should not cross the IB or the LoC and must maintain a horizontal distance of at least 40 km from the border.
Pre-notifications to the neighbours:
- The testing country must notify the other nation “no less than three days in advance of the commencement of a five day launch window within which it intends to undertake flight tests.
- The pre-notification has to be conveyed through the respective Foreign Offices and the High Commissions, as per the format annexed to this Agreement.
- Brahmos is one of the fastest cruise missile currently operationally deployed with speed of Mach 2.8, which is 3 times more than the speed of sound.
- BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO) and the NPOM of Russia.
- Brahmos is named on the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
- It is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) air to surface missile with a flight range of around 300 km.
- However, India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has extended the range of the BRAHMOS missile to reach 450 km-600km, a shade above its current MTCR capped range of 300 km.
- Brahmos is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft, with a weight of 2.5 tonnes.
- Brahmos can be launched from land, air, and sea and multi capability missile with pinpoint accuracy that works in both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions.
- It operates on the “Fire and Forgets” principle it does not require further guidance after launch.
Context- Three labourers in Mumbai, allegedly hired for manual scavenging, died on Thursday afternoon after inhaling toxic fumes in a septic tank.
- Even though manual scavenging is banned in India, the practice is still prevalent in many parts of the country.
What is manual scavenging?
- Manual scavenging is the practice of removing human excreta by hand from sewers or septic tanks.
- India banned the practice under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSR).
- The Act bans the use of any individual for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta till its disposal.
- In 2013, the definition of manual scavengers was also broadened to include people employed to clean septic tanks, ditches, or railway tracks.
- The Act recognizes manual scavenging as a “dehumanizing practice,” and cites a need to “correct the historical injustice and indignity suffered by the manual scavengers.”
Why is it still prevalent in India?
- According to activist Bezwada Wilson from the Safai Karmachari Andolan, 472 deaths due to manual scavenging had been recorded from 2016 to 2020.
- The lack of enforcement of the Act and exploitation of unskilled labourers are the reasons why the practice is still prevalent in India.
- The Mumbai civic body charges anywhere between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 to clean septic tanks. The unskilled labourers, meanwhile, are much cheaper to hire and contractors illegally employ them at a daily wage of Rs 300-500.
- As per the Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (PEMSR) Act, 2013 and the Supreme Court’s decision in the Safai Karamchari Andolan v/s Union of India case, to identify all those who died in sewage work since 1993 and provide Rs. 10 lakh each as compensation to their families.
The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020:
- It proposes to completely mechanise sewer cleaning, introduce ways for ‘on-site’ protection and provide compensation to manual scavengers in case of sewer deaths.
- It will be an amendment to The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
- It is still awaiting cabinet approval.
TOPIC: Science & Tech
Context- Dying a slow but sure death due to silicosis, the mine workers of Rajasthan have been fighting for a welfare board since 2018.
- The Rajasthan government had come up with a policy in October 2019 to bail out silicosis-aﬀected workers and prevention of the disease. However, this policy is still awaiting its implementation.
- As per this policy, there is a provision of immediate financial aid of ₹3 lakh to a silicosis patient and ₹2 lakh to the dependents in case of his death, apart from ₹1,500 monthly pension to the widow of the victim.
- But ﬁgures show that hardly 10 percent of the victims have received this aid.
- As per an estimate, 27,463 workers have been recognised as silicosis patients, in addition to 21,000 cases pending medical diagnosis.
- An occupational disease is any chronic ailment that occurs as a result of work or occupational activity. It is an aspect of occupational safety and health.
- The first such disease to be recognised, squamous-cell carcinoma of the scrotum, was identified in chimney sweep boys by Sir Percival Pott in 1775.
- Occupational hazards that are of a traumatic nature (such as falls by roofers) are not considered to be occupational diseases.
- Occupational disease continues to be a leading cause of illness and death to workers in the mining industry.
- Some examples of occupational disease in mining include:
- asbestosis, mesothelioma
- lung (gold mining, coke oven)
- nasal (nickel)
- chronic obstructive lung disease (sulfur dioxide)
- skin diseases
- hearing loss (noise)
- Some examples of exposure that can lead to occupational disease in mining include:
- blasting gases: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide
- diesel emissions: elemental/organic carbon, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide
- drilling, mucking, rock breaking: silica, general dust
- refining: metals, sulfur dioxide, dust, chemical reagents
- welding fumes, from the heating and burning of metal surfaces
TOPIC: Science & Tech
Context- The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has written to TRAI asking that both telecom service providers and internet service providers mandatorily connect to at least one internet exchange point.
- This comes after the regulator noted that while a wide distribution of internet exchange points (IXPs) is needed for the entire internet ecosystem and to encourage broadband penetration in India, the proliferation of IXPs remains poor.
- However, telecom operators Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio disagreed with NIXI, stating that telecom service providers (TSPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) should be given the freedom to choose which IXP to join.
Internet Exchange Points:
- An Internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical location through which Internet infrastructure companies such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Telecom Service Providers connect with each other.
- These locations exist on the “edge” of different networks, and allow network providers to share transit outside their own network.
- Internet exchange points (IXes or IXPs) are common grounds of IP networking, allowing participant Internet service providers (ISPs) to exchange data destined for their respective networks.
- Organizationally, most IXPs are each independent not-for-profit associations of their constituent participating networks (that is, the set of ISPs which participate at that IXP).
- The primary alternative to IXPs is private peering, where ISPs directly connect their networks to each other.
- The primary purpose of an IXP is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than going through one or more third-party networks. The primary advantages of direct interconnection are cost, latency, and bandwidth.
What is NIXI?
- National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) is a not-for-profit organization under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 working since 2003 for spreading the internet infrastructure to the citizens of India through the following activities:
- Internet Exchanges through which the internet data is exchanged amongst ISP’s, Data Centers and CDNs.
- .IN Registry, managing and operation of .IN country-code domain and .भारत IDN domain for India.
- IRINN, managing and operating Internet protocol (IPv4/IPv6).
Topic: Science and Technology
Context: Bitcoins and Blockchain- Ethereum’s inherent decentralization has led many Web3 developers to build Apps (decentralized Applications).
Concept: Web2 refers to the present version of the internet i.e., an internet dominated by companies that provide services in exchange for your personal data. Web3, in the context of Ethereum, refers to decentralized apps that run on the blockchain. These are apps that allow anyone to participate without monetising their personal data.
WEB 2 Vs WEB 3:
|1. Twitter can censor any account or tweet.
|1. Web 3 Tweets would be uncensorable because control is decentralized.
|2. Payment service may decide to not allow payments for certain types of work.
|2. Payment apps require no personal data and can’t prevent payments.
|3. Servers for gig-economy apps could go down and affect worker income.
|3. Servers can’t go down – they use Ethereum, a decentralized network of 1000s of computers as their backend.
WEB 3 – BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS:
CENTRALIZATION Vs DECENTRALIZATION:
Topic: Government Policies and Interventions
Context: Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has made provisions for consumers to get the purity of their unhall-marked gold jewellery tested at any of the recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres (AHCs).
- Gold hallmarking was made mandatory by the government last year. This was done with the aim of avoiding mis selling of gold jewellery.
- The Government hallmarks 3 lakh gold articles with HUID (Hallmark Unique Identification) every single day in line with the mandatory gold hallmarking norms.
- The new norms let the AHC to test the gold jewellery from common consumers on priority and provide a test report to the consumer.
- The test report will assure the purity of the jewellery to the consumers and will be helpful for them at the time of selling as well.
- ₹ 200 will be charged by AHCs for testing up to four articles and for five or more articles, the charges are ₹ 45 per article.
- Also, the authenticity and purity of hallmarked gold jewellery items with HUID number purchased by the consumer can be verified by using ‘verify HUID’ in BIS CARE app.
To Read about BIS, refer: https://optimizeias.com/bureau-of-indian-standards-bis/
Taper Tantrum and Impact on India
After the 2007-2009 global financial crisis and recession, the US Federal Reserve started a bond-buying programme (known as quantitative easing) to infuse liquidity. With these funds, the investors started investing in global bonds and stocks.
In 2013, the US Federal Reserve decided to reduce (taper) its quantum of a bond-buying programme that led to a sudden sell-off in global bonds and stocks.
As a result, many emerging market economies that received large capital inflows, suffered currency depreciation and outflows of capital. This is called globally as a ‘taper tantrum‘.
During the 2013 Taper Tantrum, three of the “Fragile Five” – Brazil, India, South Africa – were BRICS economies. They witnessed unsustainability in external imbalances, “sudden stop” of capital inflows, created a sharp balance of payments pressures, wreaked havoc on the country’s currencies, and forced an abrupt tightening that hurt growth.
Fears of Taper Tantrums Post Pandemic
- In the wake of the pandemic and its economic implications, U.S. Fed started massive bond-buying programmes in 2020 to infuse liquidity.
- It also pushed down the interest rates, to allow banks to offer cheaper loans, thereby stimulating economic activity.
- Now, with economic recovery, the US Fed is aiming for a gradual reduction of this quantitative easing programme.
- This has led to fears that the move could resemble the “taper tantrum” of 2013.
Likely impact on India
- Capital outflow – due to rise in relative interest rate and selling of bonds by foreign investors in India. Thus, decline in FPI and FDI.
- Rise in Balance of Payments deficit
- Difficulty to finance import
- Reduction in forex and import cover
- Currency depreciation
- Imported inflation due to depreciation
- Stock market decline due uncertain investment confidence
- Likely abandonment of accommodative monetary policy of the RBI
- Rise in government bond yield thus, cost of borrowing for government rises.
India resilience- As compared to the 2013 taper tantrum India is more resilient this time:
- India now has more stable foreign direct inflows in 2022 compared with the volatile portfolio inflows that left the country in 2013.
- Large forex reserve- 4th largest reserve.
- Lower external debt
- Surplus liquidity with banks