Daily Prelims Notes 12 November 2021
- November 12, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
12 November 2021
Table Of Contents
- Earth’s first landmass emerged in Singhbhum
- Carbon Border Tax
- Delhi’s smog
- Electoral Bonds
- Migrant Population For Remote Voting
- Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- Current Account Deficit (CAD)
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana
Subject – Geography
Context – Earth’s first landmass emerged in Singhbhum: study
- A new study has challenged the widely accepted view that the continents rose from the oceans about 2.5 billion years ago. It suggests this happened 700 million years earlier — about 3.2 billion years ago — and that the earliest continental landmass to emerge may have been Jharkhand’s Singhbhum region.
- Scientists have found sandstones in Singhbhum with geological signatures of ancient river channels, tidal plains and beaches over 3.2 billion years old, representing the earliest crust exposed to air.
- Patches of the earliest continental land, however, exist in Australia and South Africa, too.
- These granitesthat formed the continental crust of Singhbhum region are 3.5 to 3.1 billion years old and formed through extensive volcanism that happened about 35-45 km deep inside the Earth and continued on-and-off for hundreds of millions of years until all the magma solidified to form a thick continental crust in the area.
- Due to the thickness and less density, the continental crust emerged above surrounding oceanic crust owing to buoyancy.
- The researchers believe the earliest emergence of continents would have contributed to a proliferation of photosynthetic organisms, which would have increased oxygen levels in the atmosphere.
Subject – History
Context – Devasahayam – the first Indian layman to be conferred sainthood
- A Hindu man from Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, who converted to Christianity in the 18th century, is set to become the first Indian layman to be declared a saint by the Vatican on May 15, 2022.
- Devasahayam Pillai, who took the name ‘Lazarus’ in 1745, was first approved for sainthood in February 2020 for “enduring increasing hardships” after he decided to embrace Christianity, the Vatican said.
- Devasahayam is said to have faced harsh persecution and imprisonment after he decided to convert to Christianity, ultimately resulting in his killing in 1752.
- Devasahayam went on to serve in the court of Travancore’s Maharaja Marthanda Varma. It was here that he met a Dutch naval commander, who taught him about the Catholic faith.
- While preaching, he particularly insisted on the equality of all people, despite caste differences. This aroused the hatred of the higher classes, and he was arrested in 1749.
Subject – Environment
Context – ‘Carbon border tax discriminatory’
- At the COP26 global climate conference currently underway here, four developing countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China (the BASIC Group) – have jointly opposed the proposed carbon border tax, calling it “discriminatory”.
- The carbon border tax is a levy proposed by the European Union to protect its domestic industry from cheaper imports from countries where rules imposing low carbon production are not strict.
- EU fears that while its industry would be at a disadvantage because European companies would have to comply with strict rules, those from other countries may not.
- A joint statement issued by BASIC stresses on the importance of the successful completion of negotiations for operationalising Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which deals with carbon markets.
- Article 6 of the Paris agreement seeks to set rules to strengthen the integrity of carbon markets and create a new global carbon offsetting mechanism.
- Developing countries fear that the carbon border tax might turn out to be a protectionist tool in the hands of European countries, leading to “market distortion”.
Subject – Environment
Context – the city is blanketed in smog
The word smog is derived from smoke and fog. This is the most common example of air pollution that occurs in many cities throughout the world. There are two types of smog:
(a) Classical smog occurs in cool humid climate. It is a mixture of smoke, fog and sulphur dioxide. Chemically it is a reducing mixture and so it is also called as reducing smog.
(b) Photochemical smog occurs in warm, dry and sunny climate. The main components of the photochemical smog result from the action of sunlight on unsaturated hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides produced by automobiles and factories. Photochemical smog has high concentration of oxidising agents and is, therefore, called as oxidising smog.
Formation of photochemical smog
When fossil fuels are burnt, a variety of pollutants are emitted into the earth’s troposphere. Two of the pollutants that are emitted are hydrocarbons (unburnt fuels) and nitric oxide (NO). When these pollutants build up to sufficiently high levels, a chain reaction occurs from their interaction with sunlight in which NO is converted into nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This NO2 in turn absorbs energy from sunlight and breaks up into nitric oxide and free oxygen atom.
Oxygen atoms are very reactive and combine with the O2 in air to produce ozone.
The ozone formed in the above reaction (ii) reacts rapidly with the NO(g) formed in the reaction (i) to regenerate NO2. NO2 is a brown gas and at sufficiently high levels can contribute to haze.
Ozone is a toxic gas and both NO2 and O3 are strong oxidising agents and can react with the unburnt hydrocarbons in the polluted air to produce chemicals such as formaldehyde, acrolein and peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN).
Effects of photochemical smog
The common components of photochemical smog are ozone, nitric oxide, acrolein, formaldehyde and peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN). Photochemical smog causes serious health problems. Both ozone and PAN act as powerful eye irritants. Ozone and nitric oxide irritate the nose and throat and their high concentration causes headache, chest pain, dryness of the throat, cough and difficulty in breathing. Photochemical smog leads to cracking of rubber and extensive damage to plant life. It also causes corrosion of metals, stones, building materials, rubber and painted surfaces.
How can photochemical smog be controlled?
Many techniques are used to control or reduce the formation of photochemical smog. If we control the primary precursors of photochemical smog, such as NO2 and hydrocarbons, the secondary precursors such as ozone and PAN, the photochemical smog will automatically be reduced. Usually catalytic converters are used in the automobiles, which prevent the release of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons to the atmosphere. Certain plants e.g., Pinus, Juniparus, Quercus, Pyrus and Vitis can metabolise nitrogen oxide and therefore, their plantation could help in this matter.
Subject – Polity
Context – ADR report: Over 55% donations to regional parties from ‘unknown’ sources, most via electoral bonds
- Over 55% of the donations received by regional parties in FY 2019-20 came from “unknown” sources, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said in a report.
- The report noted that donations received by national parties from “unknown” sources added up to 70.98% of their income.
To know about Electoral Bonds, please refer August 2021 DPN.
Subject – Polity
Context – Poll commission plans to map migrant population for remote voting
- The Election Commission plans to start mapping the population of migrant workers across the country to prepare a roadmap for the introduction of remote voting.
- The EC has been working with IIT-Madras on using Blockchain technology for remote voting.
- Remote voting refers to a mechanism that allows electors to vote from locations other than polling stations assigned to their registered constituencies either within the country or even abroad as the Election Commission focusses on the importance of “inclusiveness” in elections.
- With lakhs of voters unable to exercise their franchise on account of geographical barrier due to different reasons, remote voting aims to bridge that gap.
- It will remove the compulsion on voting only at the domicile polling station. (As the voter is registered in his domicile).
- A blockchain remote voting process would involve voter identification and authorisation using a multi-layered IT enabled system (with the help of biometrics and web cameras) at the venue.
- After a voter’s identity is established by the system, a blockchain enabled personalised e-ballot paper (Smart Contract) will be generated.
- When the vote is cast (Smart Contract executed), the ballot would be securely encrypted and a block chain hashtag (#) will be generated. This hashtag notification would be sent to various stakeholders i.e. the candidates and political parties.
Subject – IR
Context – Xi warns against Cold War in AsiaPacific
- Established: 1989
- Members: 21
- India is not a Member.
- Member Nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.
- Its 21 member economies are home to around 2.8 billion people and represented approximately 59% of world GDP and 49% of world trade in 2015.
India and APEC
- India had requested membership in APEC, and received initial support from the United States, Japan, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Officials have decided not to allow India to join as India does not border the Pacific Ocean, which all current members do.
- India was invited to be an observer for the first time in November 2011.
Subject – Economy
Context – CAD seen at 1.4% by March as crude soars
- The current account measures the flow of goods, services, and investments into and out of the country. It represents a country’s foreign transactions and, like the capital account, is a component of a country’s Balance of Payments (BOP).
- There is a deficit in Current Account if the value of the goods and services imported exceeds the value of those exported.
- A nation’s current account maintains a record of the country’s transactions with other nations that includes net income, including interest and dividends, and transfers, like foreign aid. It comprises of following components:
- Trade of goods,
- Services, and
- Net earnings on overseas investments and net transfer of payments over a period of time, such as remittances.
- It is measured as a percentage of GDP. The formulae for calculating CAD is:
Current Account = Trade gap + Net current transfers + Net income abroad
Trade gap = Exports – Imports
- A country with rising CAD shows that it has become uncompetitive, and investors may not be willing to invest there.
- In India, the Current Account Deficit could be reduced by boosting exports and curbing non-essential imports such as gold, mobiles, and electronics.
- Current Account Deficit and Fiscal Deficit (also known as “budget deficit” is a situation when a nation’s expenditure exceeds its revenues) are together known as twin deficits and both often reinforce each other, i.e., a high fiscal deficit leads to higher CAD and vice versa.
Subject – Government Schemes
Context – Centre decided to stop PMGKAY
- PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
- Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.
- It was initially announced for a three month period (April, May and June 2020), covering 80 crore ration cardholders. Later it was extended till November 2020.
- However in April 2021, the government had announced its decision to restart the PMGKAY.
- The scheme aimed at providing each person who is covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 with an additional 5 kg grains (wheat or rice) for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
- The new version of the PMGKAY lacks one of its important components which was there in 2020 PMGKAY i:e free-of-cost 1 kg pulses per month to each household covered under the NFSA.
- Government of India will bear all expenditure of over Rs. 26,000 crore on account of food subsidy and Central assistance to states/UTs on account of intra-state transportation etc.