Daily Prelims Notes 13 April 2022
- April 13, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
13 April 2022
Table Of Contents
- Understanding Software Copyrights And Challenges
- Web 3.0
- Copyright On Musical Work
- Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR)
- Tiger Conservation Initiatives
- Reserve currency
- Core Inflation
- Inflation and rising Bond Yield
- Section 80G of Income tax act
- ICRISAT invites agritechs to apply for funding
- Vanilla farming regains flavour amid price drop
- WTO slashes global trade growth forecast for 2022 to 3% from 4.7%
- India-Bangladesh Trans-Boundary River Management: Understanding the Tipaimukh Dam Controversy
- CBI gets nod to prosecute Amnesty India
Subject: Science & Tech
Context- How do operating systems license their domains? What are the diﬀerent types of software licences?
- A copyright gives a creator the legal right to own, distribute and profit from his or her creative work.
- There are different kinds of software licences that allow free use of software:
- Proprietary License
- There is proprietary software which is to be purchased as a one-time transaction or as yearly licences.
- A popular example is Microsoft Windows which is purchased along with the computer or Microsoft Office which typically has a yearly licence that has to be renewed upon payment.
- Creative Commons licence (CC)
- There is the Creative Commons licence (CC) which is public domain: any software or work that is in CC can be used and distributed free of cost.
- For example, Wikipedia is under CC and hence its contents can be used freely with the condition that attribution is made to Wikipedia (this is called ‘Creative Commons – Attribution-ShareAlike).
- Permissive Software licence
- Another form of free software licence is Permissive Software licence which is popular in the software developer community and in the commercial world.
- This licence allows free use and modification of software. There are further specific licences under this category, like the Apache licence and MIT licence.
- Apache licence
- The Apache licence is maintained by the Apache Software Foundation which is a non-profit entity.
- Many popular and powerful softwares like Spark (used in Big Data) have been developed under Apache licence.
- MIT licence is maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and it covers hundreds of software packages including GitLab and Dot NET.
What are Open Software?
- All free and permissive software licences are similar to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
- This is a set of rules and free software brought under one umbrella in the 1980s by Richard Stallman, a famous computer scientist and activist.
- FOSS maintains its own licence, called GNU GPL (Gnu’s Not Unix General Public Licence) to govern and distribute free software but it comes with restrictions that its adoption and modification be for free use.
- In the software community, ‘open source’ means any of the above non-proprietary licences.
Who maintains open source softwares?
- Open source software packages are developed and maintained by programmers from around the world.
- Until the mid-1990s, the idea of the general public collaborating to create software for free seemed to be unrealistic and confined to small, elite communities.
- However, with the success of a free operating system like Linux (which is under GNU GPL licence), many were convinced that open source could create sophisticated solutions because of access to top programmers around the world.
Is the Internet free?
- To access and to create content on the internet, there are costs involved such as infrastructure costs like network cost and the cost to host and maintain the content.
- However, the core of the internet itself is free: it is free to use ideas like linking contents on the internet, transferring them with a network software protocol and adopting the associated standards like maintaining the website address (Uniform Resource Locator-URL).
Are programming languages free of cost?
- Until the 1980s, popular programming languages had a price but with the advent of Java in the 1990s and thanks to the initiatives of Richard Stallman and his Free Software Foundation in the 1980s, many languages, especially modern ones like Go or popular ones like Python are free.
- Java is somewhere in the middle where there are free implementations of the language that most software developers use but there are also paid implementations provided by Oracle.
- In general, the realisation in the software community is that a free language has widespread adoption and leads to the availability of an expert pool of programmers.
- The last two decades have seen a proliferation of open source software and the future is even more exciting.
Subject: Science & Tech
Context- Web 3.0 is an attempt to remove the centralisation of domain name registries and the hegemony of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
World Wide Web:
- World Wide Web, which is also known as a Web, is a collection of websites or web pages stored in web servers and connected to local computers through the internet.
- These websites contain text pages, digital images, audios, videos, etc.
- Users can access the content of these sites from any part of the world over the internet using their devices such as computers, laptops, cell phones, etc.
About Web 3.0:
- Web 3.0 is a decentralized internet to be run on blockchain technology, which would be different from the versions in use, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.
- In Web3.0, users will have ownership stakes in platforms and applications unlike now where tech giants control the platforms.
- Gavin Wood, founder of Ethereum, a block chain technology company, used the term Web3 first in 2014 and in the past few years many others have added to the idea of Web3.
- Web 1.0 is the World Wide Web or the internet that was invented in 1989. It became popular from 1993. It lasted until 1999.
- The internet in the Web 1.0 days was mostly static web pages where users would go to a website and then read and interact with the static information.
- Even though there were e-commerce websites in the initial days it was still a closed environment and the users themselves could not create any content or post reviews on the internet.
- Web 2.0 started in some form in the late 1990s itself though 2004 was when most of its features were fully available. It is still the age of Web 2.0 now.
- The differentiating characteristic of Web 2.0 compared to Web 1.0 is that users can create content.
- They can interact and contribute in the form of comments, registering likes, sharing and uploading their photos or videos and perform other such activities.
- Primarily, a social media kind of interaction is the differentiating trait of Web 2.0.
Need of Web 3.0:
- In Web 2.0, most of the data in the internet and the internet traffic are owned or handled by very few companies ex. Google.
- This has created issues related to data privacy, data security and abuse of such data.
- Web 3.0 is an attempt to remove the centralisation of domain name registries and the hegemony of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Significance of Web 3.0:
- Decentralized and Fair Internet: Web3 will deliver a decentralized and fair internet where users control their own data.
- Eliminates Intermediaries: With block chain, the time and place of the transaction are recorded permanently.
- The spirit of Web3 is Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).DAO is all about the business rules and governing rules in any transaction are transparently available for anyone to see and software will be written conforming to these rules. With DAO, there is no need for a central authority to authenticate or validate.
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
- ICANN is a non-profit body that administers domain names and Internet protocol addresses (IPs) globally.
- It was formed in 1988 by the US Department of Commerce. It has become independent of US control since October 1st, 2016.
- It also ensures that computers across the internet can find one another through defined unique pathways and identifiers.
- It is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and methodologies of several databases, with unique identifiers, related to the namespaces of the Internet – and thereby, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.
- ICANN is governed by an internationally diverse Board of Directors overseeing the policy development process. ICANN’s President directs an international staff, working from three continents, who ensure that ICANN meets its operational commitment to the Internet community.
Context- Last week, the Madras High Court admitted a plea from composer and lyricist Ilayaraja, challenging a single-bench order that had permanently prevented him from asserting his copyright over his own musical work and master recordings for 30 films of the 1980s.
- A musical work is the composition itself and does not include the lyrics or any sounds.
- It receives the full set of rights under copyright law, just like the literary, dramatic or artistic work.
- Generally, a sound recording is based on a musical work and in such cases, the author of sound recording is required to obtain permission from the owner of musical work.
- Section 2(p) of the Act provides that- “musical work” means a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work but does not include any words or any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with music.
Author of the musical work
- According to the section 2(d)(ii) the author in relation to the musical work is a “Composer”.
- Whereas according to section 2 (ffa) “Composer”, in relation to a musical work, means the person who composes the music regardless of whether he records it in any form of graphical notation.
- An application for Musical Work may also be filed by joint authors/composers. Section 2(z) defines “work of joint authorship” as a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of one author is not distinct from the contribution of the other author or authors;
Term of Protection for Musical Works:
- As per Section 22 of the Act, the term of copyright protection for musical work published within the lifetime of the author until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies.
- In case of joint authorship work, the term shall be counted at or immediately before the date of the death of the author who dies last.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MUSICAL WORK & SOUND RECORDING
- It has been observed that few of the applicants, while filing the copyright registration applications, face difficulty in differentiating between Musical Works and Sound Recording Works.
- As observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Indian Performing Rights Society v. Eastern Indian Motion Pictures Association [AIR1977 SC 1443] “In a musical work “Copyright is not the soulful tune, the super singing, the glorious voice or the wonderful rendering. It is the melody or harmony reduced to printing, writing, or graphic form”
- Sound Recording has been defined under Section 2(xx) as a recording of sounds from which such sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the method by which the sounds are produced.
- A Sound Recording Copyright may be claimed in the aggregate of sound embodied in any tangible medium, including phonograph discs, open-reel tapes, cartridges, cassettes, player piano rolls, and other material of objects in which sound are fixed and can be communicated either directly or with the aid of machine or device.
- When a graphical notation of a musical work is recorded in any medium from which sound may be produced, it amounts to Sound Recording.
- The author of a sound recording work is the Producer of the sound recording, as opposed to Composer being the author of Musical Work.
- Law – Copyrights Act 1957, amended in 2012
- Ministry – Copyright Office, Ministry of Human Recourse Development
- Copyright is a bundle of rights given by the law to the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and the producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings.
- The rights provided under Copyright law include the rights of reproduction of the work, communication of the work to the public, adaptation of the work and translation of the work.
- Computer Software or programme can also be registered as a ‘literary work’. As per Copyright Act, 1957 “literary work” includes computer programmes, tables and compilations, including computer databases. ‘Source Code’ has also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products.
- The 2012 amendments make Indian Copyright Law compliant with the Internet Treaties – the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).
- Copyright for Lifetime of the author + sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies.
- Musical and
- Artistic works
- Until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar years next following the year in which the work is first published
- Anonymous and pseudonymous works
- Posthumous work
- Cinematograph films
- Sound records
- Government work
- Public undertakings
- International Agencies
- India has a very large copyright-based creative industry.
- India was the first country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty 2013 for Access to copyright works for visually impaired persons.
Subject: Science & Tech
Context- Strategic framework designed by the four organisations to advance a One Health response to AMR
- The strategic framework published in a report April 6, 2022 to advance a One Health response to AMR at the global, regional and country levels is a joint effort by the
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
- World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
- United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
- The goal of the strategic framework is to preserve antimicrobial efficacy and ensure sustainable and equitable access to antimicrobials for responsible and prudent use in human, animal and plant health, contributing to achieving the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- To achieve this goal, the objectives, mentioned in the framework are:
- Optimize the production and use of antimicrobials along the whole life cycle — from research and development to disposal — and decrease the incidence of infection in humans, animals and plants to reduce the development and spread of AMR.
- Collaboration among countries to have the capacity to design and sustainably implement evidence-informed One Health responses to AMR.
- The report defined three outcomes countries should have in place:
- Policy and law support effective country-owned One Health AMR responses
- Systems and structures, including institutional capacities, are in place to support effective implementation of country-owned One Health AMR response
- Increased, sustained resourcing is in place for country-owned One Health AMR responses.
About Anti microbial Resources:
- Anti microbial resistance is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc.) against antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics) that are used to treat infections.
- As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.
- Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
- Antimicrobial resistance is now regarded as a major threat to public health across the globe.
Reasons for AMR:
- Antibiotic consumption in humans
- Access to antibiotics without prescription.
- Lack of knowledge about when to use antibiotics.
- Unnecessary and injudicious use of antibiotic fixed dose combinations could lead to emergence of bacterial strains resistant to multiple antibiotics.
- Social and cultural factors
- Include self-medication.
- Mass bathing in rivers as part of religious mass gathering occasions.
- Untreated disposal of sewage water bodies – leading to contamination of rivers with antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant organisms.
- Infection Control Practices in Healthcare Settings
- Antibiotic Consumption in Food Animals
- Antibiotics which are critical to human health are commonly used for growth promotion in poultry.
- Pharmaceutical Industry Pollution
- The wastewater effluents from the antibiotic manufacturing units contain a substantial amount of antibiotics, leading to contamination of rivers and lakes.
****For further reading refer to Optimize IAS DPN 28 January 2022.
Context- This year is the year of the TX2 global commitment of doubling wild tigers.
- India has 70% of the global tiger population.
- The International Tiger Day celebrated on 29th July is an annual event marked to raise awareness about tiger conservation.
- First international Tiger’s day was celebrated in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit.
- The Tiger, Panthera tigris, is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM. The largest of all cats, the tiger once occurred throughout central, eastern and southern Asia.
St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation
This resolution was adopted In November 2010, by the leaders of 13 tiger range countries (TRCs) assembled at an International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia
It aimed at promoting a global system to protect the natural habitat of tigers and raise awareness among people on white tiger conservation.
The resolution’s implementation mechanism is called the Global Tiger Recovery Program whose overarching goal was to double the number of wild tigers from about 3,200 to more than 7,000 by 2022.
13 Tiger range countries are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Conservation efforts- National and Global:
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards.
At the Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010,leaders of 13 tiger range countries resolved to do more for the tiger and embarked on efforts to double its number in the wild, with a popular slogan ‘T X 2’.
The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI)program of the World Bank, using its presence and convening ability, brought global partners together to strengthen the tiger agenda.
Over the years, the initiative has institutionalized itself as a separate entity in the form of the Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC), with its two arms –the Global Tiger Forum and the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program.
Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change launched in 1973 to provide central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves in India. The project is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
National Tiger Conservation Authority
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
It was established in 2005 following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force.
It was constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it.
With the phasing out of the Global Tiger Initiative by the World Bank, which was a global alliance to conserve the tiger, the wild tiger agenda has been mandated to the inter-governmental platform, the Global Tiger Forum (GTF), as an implementing arm of the restructured Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC). A concerted portfolio of performance by tiger range countries (TRCs) is reviewed with complimentary support as a part of the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP).
Global Tiger Forum is an international intergovernmental body exclusively set up for the conservation of tigers in the wild in the range countries. Out of the 13 tiger range countries, seven are currently members of GTF: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam besides non-tiger range country U.K. The secretariat is based in New Delhi, India. GTF’s goal is to highlight the rationale for tiger preservation and provide leadership and a common approach throughout the world in order to safeguard the survival of the tiger, its prey, and its habitat.
Section: External sector
A crypto platform’s pledge to amass $10 billion worth of bitcoin to back its own ‘stable- coin’ is firing up the market. It’s part of a wider movement to crown bitcoin as the reserve currency of a new age.
A reserve currency is a foreign currency or precious metal that is held in large quantities; it may be held by a country’s government, central bank, or other monetary authority. It is used for participating in the global economy, such as through international transactions or investments.
- A reserve currency reduces exchange rate risk since there’s no need for a country to exchange its currency for the reserve currency to do trade.
- Reserve currency helps facilitate global transactions, including investments and international debt obligations.
- A large percentage of commodities are priced in the reserve currency, causing countries to hold this currency to pay for these goods.
Before the mid-20th century, reserves were mostly gold and silver. Modern reserves are generally made up of strong foreign currencies. Many of them are specifically designated as reserve currencies by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Starting in the mid-20th century, the U.S. dollar was set as the international reserve currency. Backed by the safest of all paper assets, U.S. Treasuries, the US dollar is still the most redeemable currency for facilitating world commerce.
The U.S. dollar isn’t the only reserve currency designated by the IMF and other global organizations. The euro, Chinese renminbi, Japanese yen, and British pound sterling are all popular as reserve currencies.
- Availability– has the depth and liquidity to allow for reliable and efficient international transactions.
- Acceptability-can be freely and easily exchanged for other currencies.
- Stability–held by many monetary authorities and institutions, in significant amounts.
Factors that make a currency useful as a reserve currency:
- The size of the economy in the country where that currency comes from
- International integration of that economy.
- How open its financial markets are
- The currency’s convertibility
- Whether it is used as a regional or international currency peg
- Domestic macroeconomic policies
Why in the news?
Retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) surged to nearly 7 per cent, a 17- month high, in March even without capturing the full impact of the fuel price hike.
Inflation excluding ‘food and beverages’ and ‘fuel and light’ – the transitory components of the consumer price index.
Conventionally, core inflation is calculated by excluding ‘food and beverages’ and ‘fuel and light’ groups from overall inflation (CPI-C).
Refined core inflation
In the CPI-C these fuel items excluded from core are included in ‘transport and communication’, a subgroup under the miscellaneous group. Therefore, conventional ways of calculating retail core inflation, instead of excluding the volatile fuel items from core inflation, continue to include volatile fuel items in core inflation. As a result, the fuel price rise continues to impact core inflation.
A ‘refined’ core inflation was constructed to address this anomaly by excluding main fuel items viz., ‘petrol for vehicle’, ‘diesel for vehicle’ and ‘lubricants and other fuels for vehicles’, in addition to ‘food and beverages’ and ‘fuel and light’ from the headline retail inflation
|Consumer Price Index/Retail Inflation-has several sub-groups:|
India’s benchmark 10-year government bond on Tuesday rose by another four basis points to hit a new high of 7.19 per cent amid worries over rising inflation and the RBI move to suck out liquidity from the system.
Bond yield and inflation relation:
Bonds are units of debt issued by the companies/government and traded like shares. As companies/government issues bonds to raise money, they pay a fixed interest to the bondholders which is popularly known as the coupon rate. It is declared upfront and payable on the face value of the bond and remains fixed until maturity. As bonds are tradeable, they also give returns. These returns are called bond yields.
For example, if an investor buys a 10-year bond worth Rs10,000 with a coupon rate of 5%, he will get an interest of Rs 500 per year
But while trading, if the bond price falls to Rs 8,000, your yield will become 6.25% (Rs500/ Rs8000*100).
Thus, bond yields and prices move in opposite directions, when bond prices rise, yields fall, and vice versa.
- Treasury yields move higher as fixed-income products become less desirable: This causes decrease in demand vis-a-vis supply of bonds causing bond yield to rise.
- Rising inflation pushes bond prices lower, thereby pushing yields higher: As inflation rises, central banks will increase short-term interest rates in an effort to cool down the economy. Additionally, rising inflation expectations lead to an increase in long-term rates, which are largely determined by market activity. The inverse relationship between interest rates and bond prices means that higher rates equal lower bond prices.
Section: Fiscal policy
Centre has granted the Somnath Temple in the State the status of a place of “historic importance and a place of public worship of renown” under the Income Tax Act. This means donations to the temple will get a tax exemption.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a notification under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, which deals with ‘Deduction in respect of donations to certain funds, charitable institutions, etc.’
The various donations specified in Section 80G are eligible for a deduction of up to 100% or 50% with or without restriction, as provided in Section 80G.
This deduction can be claimed by any taxpayer — individuals, companies, firms or any other person — so long as the contribution is made by a cheque, draft, or cash. This means in-kind contributions such as food, material, clothes, medicines, etc., do not qualify for the deduction.
From FY 2017-18, any donation made in cash exceeding ₹2,000 will not be allowed as a deduction. This means that donations above ₹2,000 have to be made only through cheque or digitally.
Deduction under Section 80G is also available for a host of funds, including the National Defence Fund set up by the Central Government, PM CARES, the Prime Minister’s Drought Relief Fund, the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
Donations eligible for 100% deduction without qualifying limit including National Defence Fund set up by the Central Government, Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund,
National Foundation for Communal Harmony, An approved university/educational institution of National eminence, Zila Saksharta Samiti constituted in any district under the chairmanship of the Collector of that district.
Donations eligible for 50% deduction without qualifying limit
- Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund
- Prime Minister’s Drought Relief Fund
- Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust
- Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
Donations eligible for 100% deduction subject to 10% of adjusted gross total income
- Donations to the government or any approved local authority, institution or association to be utilised to promote family planning
- Donation by a company to the Indian Olympic Association or any other notified association or institution established in India to develop infrastructure for sports and games in India or sponsor sports and games in India.
Subject: Government Schemes
The Agribusiness Incubator (ABI) at the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has called for applications from agritech start-ups under the NIDHI-Seed Support Scheme (NIDHI-SSS)
National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) Background National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship division, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.
The programme would work in line with the national priorities and goals and its focus would be to build an innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem with an objective of socio-economic development through wealth and job creation. NIDHI aims to nurture start-ups through scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations.
The key stakeholders of NIDHI includes various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists and private sectors. NIDHI is developed keeping in line the new national aspirations and on the basis of DST’s experience of three decades, in promoting innovative start-ups.
The key components of NIDHI are –
- NIDHI-GCC – Grand Challenges and Competitions for scouting innovations
- NIDHI-Promotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs (NIDHI-PRAYAS) – Support from Idea to Prototype
- NIDHI- Entrepreneur In Residence (NIDHI-EIR) – Support system to reduce risk;
- Startup-NIDHI through Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) in academic institutions; encouraging Students to promote start-ups
- Start-up Centre in collaboration with MHRD; Inculcating a spirit of entrepreneurship in National Institutions of Higher Learning
- NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator (TBI) – Converting Innovations to startups
- NIDHI-Accelerator – Fast tracking a start-up through focused intervention
- NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS)- Providing early stage investment
- NIDHI Centres of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE) – A World class facility to help startups go global
Context: After hitting a record high a few years ago, vanilla prices have started softening and remained flat in the range of $150-200 in the last six months, thanks to rising production in various countries
- Vanilla is native of the Atlantic coast from Mexico to Brazil. It is grown on a plantation scale in Java, Mauritius, Madagascar, Tahiti, Seycheles, Zanzibar, Brazil and Jamaica and other islands of the West Indies.
- Madagascagrows 70 to 80 per cent of the world’s crop of Vanilla bean followed by Reunion. U.S.A. is the largest importer.
- This spice was introduced to India as early as 1835. Its commercial cultivation is now restricted to Wynad of Kerala and Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu. Recently, the demand for natural vanilla is on the higher side.
- It is an orchid, belonging to the family Orchidaceae. There are two important species of vanilla viz. planifolia and V. pompana. The former species produces short thick pods whereas the latter one has the largest pods. V. planifotia has opposite, sessile leave of 10 to 23 cm long which are oblong in shape.
- Vanilla requires a warm climate with frequent rains and prefers an annual rainfall of 150-300 cm. Partially uncleared jungle lands are ideal for establishing vanilla plantations.
Subject : Geography
Context: According to WTO sharp rise in commodity prices has been one of the immediate economic impacts of the crisis.
Despite their small shares in world trade and output, Russia and Ukraine are key suppliers of essential goods including food, energy, and fertilisers, supplies of which are now threatened by the war. Grain shipments through Black Sea ports have already been halted, with potentially dire consequences for food security in poor countries.
Apart from the Ukraine war, the other big factor affecting prospects of world trade growth was the continued lockdowns in China to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This was disrupting seaborne trade at a time when supply chain pressures appeared to be easing.
This could lead to renewed shortages of manufacturing inputs and higher inflation .
- The Black Sea also has a vital strategic significance to Russia. With Russia occupying its northeast shores, it is bordered by six countries – Ukraine to the north, Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south and Bulgaria and Romania to the west. Three of those nations, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, are members of NATO and that is a bone of contention for the Kremlin
- It is supplied by major rivers, principally the Danube, Dnieper, and Don.
- The Black Sea ultimately drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Turkish Straits and the Aegean Sea.
- The Bosporus Strait connects it to the small Sea of Marmara which in turn is connected to the Aegean Sea via the Strait of the Dardanelles.
- To the north, the Black Sea is connected to the Sea of Azov by the Kerch Strait.
- The Black Sea covers 436,400 km2 (not including the Sea of Azov), making it the world’s largest inland body of water.
- Access to the Sea of Marmara, and subsequently the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean is through the strait of Istanbul which connects Asia with the rest of Europe.
- The Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits are controlled by Turkey and under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Ankara has the control to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to all foreign warships in times of conflict.
- Important cities on the coast include Odessa, Varna, Samsun, Sochi, Sevastopol, Constanța, Trabzon, Novorossiysk, Burgas, and Batumi.
Black sea ports
- Port of Constanta
Port of Constanta
Port of Novorossiysk
- Tipaimukh Dam is a proposed embankment dam on the river Barak in Manipur state India first commissioned in 1983.
- The purpose of the dam is flood control and hydroelectric power generation.
- It has been subject to repeated delays as the project developed, as there has been controversy between India and Bangladesh over water rights
Controversies related to Dam:
- Experts feel the massive dam will disrupt the seasonal rhythm of the river and have an adverse effect on downstream agriculture and fisheries.
- Tipaimukh area lies in an ecologically sensitive and topographically fragile It is within one of the most seismically volatile regions on the planet
- The region is situated in one of the biodiversity hotspots of not only India but the world.
- It is also the home of the Hmar people, part of the Kuki tribe, whose cultural identity and very lives are intertwined with the river.
- 2007 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report observed that the project will permanently submerge some 291.5 sq. km. at FRL (275.5 sq. km. in Manipur and 16 sq. km. in Mizoram).
Barak-Meghna River System
- The main river rises in the Manipur Hills near LiaiKullen village of northeast India as the Barak River and flows west becoming the Surma and Kushiyara River and then flows south as the Meghna River (after the two former rivers join again near the north of Bhairab Bazar) to the Bay of Bengal.
- The principal transboundary tributaries of the Barak from India are the Jiri, the Dhaleshwari (Tlawng), the Longai, the Madhura, the Sonai (Tuirial), the Rukni and the Katakhal.
- At the border with Bangladesh, 30 km west of Silchar (District Cachar, Assam, India) and near Amalshid (Bangladesh) the river divides with the northern branch called the Surma River and the southern the Kushiyara River.
- The Surma is fed by tributaries from the Meghalaya Hills to the north.
- The Kushiyara receives tributaries from the Sylhet Hills and Tripura Hills to the south, the principal one from the Tripura Hills being the Manu. When the Surma and the Kushiyara finally rejoin in Kishoreganj Districtabove Bhairab Bazar, the river is known as the Meghna River
Section: National organization
Context: Central government has granted sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute Amnesty International India and its former head, Aakar Patel, for alleged violations of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) provisions.
- CBI had filed a chargesheet in the case on December 31, 2021, and sought the government’s approval to prosecute the organisation as required under Section 40 of the FCRA.
- CBI had issued a Look-Out Circular against Mr. Patel, based on which he was stopped by the immigration officials at the Bengaluru airport from taking a flight to the United States.
- A city court ordered withdrawal of the circular.
- However, it was overturned by a Special Judge, who directed Mr. Patel to not leave the country without the court’s permission
- On a reference from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the CBI had registered the case on November 5, 2019.
- The case alleged FCRA violations, involving ₹36 crore, in receiving funds from Amnesty International-UK through AIIPL, despite the fact that prior registration or permissions had been denied to AIIFT and other Trusts.
- Amnesty International-UK and some other entities based in the United Kingdom sent funds to Amnesty India allegedly via commercial channels. These funds were used for non-government organisation activities.
Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)
How FCRA works?
Look out notice