Daily Prelims Notes 13 July 2022
- July 13, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
13 July 2022
Table Of Contents
- Forest (Conservation) Rules 2022
- Bail law and SC call for reform
- HC asks Centre to file ‘exhaustive’ reply on Fund
- NMDC arm to prospect, mine iron ore, critical minerals in western Australia
- Govt will tap capital markets to fund road projects: Nitin Gadkari
- National Decadal Wetlands Change Atlas
- The National Emblem that will crown India’s new Parliament
- Environment Ministry Reviews Indian Forests Act, Proposes to Decriminalise Certain Violations
- High Court quashes Telangana VAT amendment legislation
- DCGI nod to SII’s HPV jab for cervical cancer
- Significance of James Webb Space Telescope’s First Deep Field image from NASA
- Youth in India 2022 Report–Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
- 5G Spectrum Auction
- Only 75mm rain in 3 hrs, no cloudburst: MeT
- Why cloudbursts more in mountainous region
Context: Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022.
- Formation of Committees:
- It constituted an Advisory Committee, a regional empowered committee at each of the integrated regional offices and a screening committee at State/Union Territory (UT) government-level.
- Advisory Committee:
- The role of the Advisory Committee is restricted to advise or recommend with regards to grant of approval under relevant sections in respect of proposals referred to it and any matter connected with the conservation of forests referred to it by the Central government.
- Project Screening Committee:
- The MoEFCC has directed the constitution of a project screening committee in each state/UT for an initial review of proposals involving diversion of forest land.
- The five-member committee will meet at least twice every month and will advise the state governments on projects in a time bound manner.
- Regional Empowered Committees:
- All linear projects(roads, highways, etc), projects involving forest land up to 40 hectares and those that have projected a use of forest land having a canopy density up to 0.7 — irrespective of their extent for the purpose of survey — shall be examined in the Integrated Regional Office.
- Responsibility to states:
- States are given the responsibility of settling forest rights of forest dwellers (Forest Rights Act, 2006) and allowing diversion of forest land.
- Allows compensatory afforestation (CA) in other states:
- If the state already has over two-thirds area under green cover or over one-third area under forest cover, then CA could be taken in other states/UTs where the cover is less than 20%
- The new Forest Conservation Rules do not mention the earlier requirement of attaining a gram sabha NOC before diverting forest land for a project.
- Rule states unequivocally that compliance with the Forest Rights Act is not at all required for the final approval for forest diversion, given by the environment ministry.
- They also allow forest rights to be settled after the final approval for forest clearances has been granted by the Centre.
The Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006
- It recognised the rights of the forest dwelling tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers to forest resources, on which these communities were dependent for a variety of needs, including livelihood, habitation and other socio-cultural needs.
- The forest management policies, including the Acts, Rules and Forest Policies of Participatory Forest Management policies in both colonial and post-colonial India, did not, till the enactment of this Act, recognize the symbiotic relationship of the STs with the forests, reflected in their dependence on the forest as well as in their traditional wisdom regarding conservation of the forests.
- To undo the historical injustice occurred to the forest dwelling communities
- To ensure land tenure, livelihood and food security of the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers
To strengthen the conservation regime of the forests by including the responsibilities and authority on Forest Rights holders for sustainable use, conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological balance
- The Act encompasses Rights of Self-cultivation and Habitation which are usually regarded as Individual rights; and Community Rights as Grazing, Fishing and access to Water bodies in forests, Habitat Rights for PVTGs, Traditional Seasonal Resource access of Nomadic and Pastoral community, access to biodiversity, community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge, recognition of traditional customary rights and right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource for sustainable use.
The act identify four types of rights:
- Title rights: It gives FDST and OTFD the right to ownership to land farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares. Ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family and no new lands will be granted.
- Use rights: The rights of the dwellers extend to extracting Minor Forest Produce, grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
- Relief and development rights: To rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection
- Forest management rights: It includes the right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use.
- It also provides rights to allocation of forest land for developmental purposes to fulfil basic infrastructural needs of the community. In conjunction with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Settlement Act, 2013 FRA protects the tribal population from eviction without rehabilitation and settlement.
Special, Status of Gram Sabha
- The Act further enjoins upon the Gram Sabha and rights holders the responsibility of conservation and protection of bio-diversity, wildlife, forests, adjoining catchment areas, water sources and other ecologically sensitive areas as well as to stop any destructive practices affecting these resources or cultural and natural heritage of the tribals. The Gram Sabha is also a highly empowered body under the Act, enabling the tribal population to have a decisive say in the determination of local policies and schemes impacting them.
Thus, the Act empowers the forest dwellers to access and use the forest resources in the manner that they were traditionally accustomed, to protect, conserve and manage forests, protect forest dwellers from unlawful evictions and also provides for basic development facilities for the community of forest dwellers to access facilities of education, health, nutrition, infrastructure etc.
Section: Fundamental Rights
Context:Recently, the Supreme Court underlined that “there is a pressing need” for reform in the law related to bail and called on the government to consider framing special legislation on the lines of the law in the United Kingdom.
What is the law on bail in India?
- The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) does not define the word bail but only categories offences under the Indian Penal Code as ‘bailable’ and ‘non-bailable’.
- The CrPC empowers magistrates to grant bail for bailable offences as a matter of right. This would involve release on furnishing a bail bond, without or without security.
- For non-bailable offences which enable the police officer to arrest without a warrant, a magistrate would determine if the accused is fit to be released on bail.
What is the UK law on bail?
- The Bail Act of the United Kingdom, 1976, prescribes the procedure for granting bail. A key feature is that one of the aims of the legislation is “reducing the size of the inmate population”. The law also has provisions for ensuring legal aid for defendants.
- For rejecting bail, the prosecution must show that grounds exist for believing the defendant on bail would not surrender to custody, would commit an offence while on bail, or would interfere with witnesses or otherwise.
About the ruling of SC on bail reforms
The Bench issued certain clarifications to an older judgment delivered in July 2021 on bail reform (Satender Kumar Antil vs CBI).
- Need for separate law: The court observed the idea of indiscriminate arrests to magistrates ignoring the rule of “bail, not jail” to a colonial mindset. The court underlined that the CrPC, despite amendments since Independence, largely retains its original structure as drafted by a colonial power over its subjects.
- The court said, “Persons accused with same offense shall never be treated differently either by the same court or by the same or different courts. Such an action….would be a grave affront to Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution”. Hence, the court demanded a separate law that deals with the grant of bail.
- On bail application: Section 88, 170, 204 and 209 of the Code relates to various stages of a trial where a magistrate can decide on the release of an accused. The court held that magistrates must routinely consider granting bail, without insisting on a separate bail application.
- On arrests: The court noted that the culture of too many arrests, especially for non-cognisable offences, is unwarranted. It emphasised that even for cognisable offences, the arrest is not mandatory and must be “necessitated”.
- The SC also directed all state governments and Union Territories to facilitate standing orders to comply with the orders and avoid indiscriminate arrests.
Context: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure at the Centre over its single-page reply on a petition seeking to declare PMCARES Fund as a ‘State’ under the Constitution to ensure transparency in its functioning.
- In India, fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, in the absence of specific constitutional provisions, are mainly enforceable against ‘the State’, which is defined in Article 12 of the Constitution.
- The State includes the Government and Parliament of India and the Government and the Legislature of each of the States and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India.
Scope of State within Article 12-
- Courts have ruled that where there is pervasive or predominant governmental control or significant involvement in the activities, such bodies, entities and organisations fall within the definition of “the State”.
- The Supreme Court has developed the concept of an “instrumentality of the state”. Anybody which can be regarded as an “instrumentality of the state” falls under Article 12.
- In Ajay Hasia vs Khalid Mujib, the Supreme Court laid down the test to adjudge whether a body is an instrumentality of the government. These are the relevant factors while considering the question of instrumentality of the government-
- If the entire share capital of the body is held by the government.
- Where the financial assistance given by the government is so large as to meet almost entire expenditure of the body.
- If the body enjoys monopoly status which is conferred or protected by the state
- Existence of deep and pervasive state control.
- If the functions performed by the body are of public importance and closely related to governmental functions, it is a relevant factor to treat the body as an instrumentality of the government.
- As a result of judicial interpretation, “the State” has been held to include statutory bodies such as-
- insurance corporations
- nationalised banks
- airline corporations
- electricity boards
- educational institutions and societies whose composition and administration are predominantly controlled by the government.
- Consequently, the reach and extent of protection of fundamental rights has been widened and greater protection has been afforded especially in the area of employment against discriminatory practices. Again there are private, non-State entities which discharge important quasi governmental or important public functions, which have repercussions on the life and welfare of the community.
|Sanjaya Bahel v. Union of India& Others case, 2019|
|Rajasthan State Electricity Board vs Mohan Lal, 1967|
|Sukhdev Singh vs Bhagat Ram, 1975|
About PM CARES Fund
- Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 27 March 2020, following the COVID pandemic.
- The stated purpose of the fund is for combating, and containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic like situations in the future.
- Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.
- The fund receives voluntary contributions from individuals and organisations and does not get any budgetary support.
- Donations have been made tax exempt, and can be counted against a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- It is also exempt from the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, and accepts foreign contributions, although the Centre has previously refused foreign aid to deal with disasters such as the Kerala floods.
- PM-CARES Fund not subject to CAG audit
- PM CARES Fund’s trust deed is not available for public scrutiny.
Section: Economic Geography
- State-run PSU miner, NMDC Ltd, is eyeing exploration and development of iron-ore mines at Mt Bevan in western Australia. Apart from magnetite iron ore, the company will also prospect for critical minerals like copper, lithium, and tungsten.
- Critical minerals mean important, and these minerals are indeed important for many high-tech appliances that power the global economy, like electric vehicles, smartphones, and wind turbines
- Initial studies have revealed that Mt Bevan holds 1,170 million tonne magnetite iron ore resources. Magnetite iron ore can be concentrated into a higher-grade product. Premiums for high-grade iron ore are increasing, partly because they generate steel with more efficiency
- NMDC’s subsidiary, Legacy, is also developing an advanced gold exploration project at Mt Celia, at the South Laverton Project
What is a capital Market?
The capital market involves the sale and purchase of both equity and debt instruments, including equity shares, debentures, preference shares, secured premium notes, and zero-coupon bonds. It also caters to all forms of lending and borrowing financial transactions.
- Mobilisation of savings for financing long-term investments.
- Aids in the trading of securities.
- Reduces transaction and information costs by encouraging the ownership of a broad spectrum of productive financial assets.
- Facilitates the quick valuation of shares and debentures.
- offers a wide range of investment instruments to investors, thereby fostering the creation of capital in the economy.
In this type of capital market, companies, governments, and public-sector institutions can raise funds through issued bonds. The primary capital market consists of corporations that raise money through the selling of new stocks through an initial public offering (IPO). Therefore, in a primary capital market, investors directly purchase shares from a company. Primary markets are characterised by the trade of new issues of stocks and other securities.
Apart from IPOs, rights issues, private placement shares, and e-IPOs are also issued in the primary market.
In the secondary capital markets, financial and investment instruments such as stocks, shares, and bonds, among others, are purchased and sold by customers. In a secondary capital market, the chief feature is the exchange and trade of existing or previously-issued securities. Stock exchanges such as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) are examples of secondary capital markets.
The Central Road Fund (CRF) is a non-lapsable fund created under Central Road FundAct 2000.
- It is procured out of the out of cess/tax imposed by the Union Government on the consumption of Petrol and Diesel.
- CRF should be used to develop and maintain National Highways, State roads (that have economic importance with inter-state connectivity), rural roads, railway under/over bridges etc, and national waterways (waterways from 2017 onwards only).
- The CRF was replaced with a Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) through amendments introduced in the Union Budget for 2018-19.
- The main purpose of the convention is to use CRIF ‘s road reinstatement proceeds to fund other infrastructure projects, including waterways, some railway infrastructure, and sometimes even social infrastructure, such as educational institutions, medical colleges.
- CRIF’s subject matter belongs to the Ministry of Finance.
Section 7 of the Central Road and Infrastructure Fund Act, 2000 lays down that CRF shall be utilized for the–
- Maintenance and development of National Highways;
- Rural road development;
- Development and rehabilitation of many State highways including interstate and commercially important highways;
- The building of highways under or over the railway by methods of a bridge and installation of protection works at unauthorized railway crossings; and
- Disbursement in support of such ventures as the Ministry may recommend.
- Published by the Space Application Center (SAC), the 2022 Atlas provides data on wetland number and extent in 2017-18 and an assessment of change in data since 2006-7 which was recorded in the National Wetlands Atlas 2011.
- In a marked improvement from the previous iteration, the 2022 Atlas also presents basin-wise and biogeographic zone-wise information on wetlands distribution and extent.
- The 2022 Atlas concludes that the number and extent of wetlands having areas equal to or greater than 2.25 hectares (ha) have increased during the 2006/7-2017/18 period. The Atlas maps 231,195 wetlands (having an area equal to or greater than 2.25 ha) spanning 15.98 million hectares (4.86 percent of the country’s geographical area). In the 2006/7, 212,385 wetlands (>=2.25 ha) spanning 15.34 million ha were reported. Thus, the assessment concludes that in a decade, the number of wetlands has increased by 18,810, and the area by 0.64 million ha.
- The assessment states that natural coastal wetlands are declining (from 3.69 million hectares to 3.62 million hectares in ten years). An increase in the area has been reported for mangroves (by 18,662 ha), creeks (26,929 ha), and coral reefs (2,784 ha); however, the inter-tidal mudflats have receded by 116,897 ha, and so have salt marshes (by 5,647 ha). Gujarat stands out as the state with the most extensive loss of mudflats.
- The natural inland wetlands have remained mainly stable, marginally increasing (from 42,157 to 42,779 in terms of numbers and from 6.93 million ha to 7.02 million ha in terms of the area during 2006/7-2017/18).
- On the contrary, the human-made wetlands recorded a consistent increase. The area under saltpans increased by 93,139 ha, and aquaculture ponds increased by 15,692 ha. West Bengal and Odisha have seen the most significant increase in area under coastal aquaculture.
- Similarly, all inland human-made wetlands increased during the two assessment cycles. Of the 0.52 million ha increase in the inland human-made wetlands, a majority was accounted for by reservoirs and barrages (0.31 million ha), tanks and ponds (0.15 million ha) and inland aquaculture ponds (0.06 million ha). Much of this increase has occurred in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- The report also mentions that during 2006/7-2017/18, 308 natural wetlands (7,470 ha) were lost, whereas 811 new wetlands (22,673 ha) were recorded. In the human-made wetlands category, 1,034 wetlands (17,819 ha) were lost, whereas 14,012 new wetlands (388,995 ha) were recorded.
- The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands defines wetlands as “areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters.”
- However, the Indian government’s definition of wetland excludes river channels, paddy fields and other areas where commercial activity takes place.
- The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change define wetlands as “area of marsh, fen, peatland or water; whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters, but does not include river channels, paddy fields, human-made water bodies/ tanks specifically constructed for drinking water purposes and structures specifically constructed for aquaculture, salt production, recreation and irrigation purposes.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the National Emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament building.
- The state emblem of India was an adaption from the Sarnath ‘Lion Capital of Asoka’
- The ‘Lion Capital’ has four lions mounted back to back on a circular abacus.
- The frieze of the abacus is adorned with sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion separated by intervening Dharma Chakras
- The new National Emblem is cast at the top of the Central Foyer of the new Parliament building, the 6.5-metre-high National Emblem is made of bronze, and weighs 9,500 kg
- A supporting structure of steel weighing around 6,500 kg has been constructed to support the Emblem.
- The Lion Capital depicts four Asiatic lions sitting next to one another on a cylindrical base with four Ashok Chakras carved on it. The lions represent courage, pride, power and
- The national emblem, in 2D vision, shows only three lions. In the 2D vision, only one Ashok Chakra is visible in the front with a galloping horse, a bull and an elephant. Below the Lion Capital in the national emblem, the country’s national motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’ is written in Devnagiri script, which means ‘Truth alone triumphs.’
- The Ashok Chakra symbolises the ‘wheel of Dharma (religion) or law’ in Buddhism. Ashok built Sarnath back in 250 BC and the pillar was known as Ashok Stambh.
Regulation surrounding the emblem
- The national emblem is a symbol of the Indian government, and is the official seal of the President of India and the central and state governments. It is a part of the official letterhead of the Government of India, and appears on all Indian currency as well as passports.
- Before the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act (2005) and the State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Rules (2007), the use of the national emblem was governed by a set of executive instructions, without any legal sanctions. However, these two acts now legally regulate its use.
- The 2007 Act puts down rules regulating who may use the national emblem and how.
- According to the Schedule of the 2005 Act, “The State Emblem of India shall conform to the designs as set out in Appendix I or Appendix II” of the Act.
- However, the Act also mentions that the central government has the right “to do all such things (including the specification of design of the emblem and its use in the manner whatsoever) as the Central Government considers
- necessary or expedient for the exercise of the foregoing powers.” The central government, therefore, has the freedom to make changes to the designs of the emblem specified in the Act’s appendices.
- By making amendments to this act, the central government could legally change the national emblem entirely.
- The national emblem, adopted by the Republic of India on 26 January 1950, is an adaptation of the Lion Capital that stood atop the Ashoka Pillar in Uttar Pradesh’s Sarnath.
- The pillar, built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, stands at the site of Buddha’s First Sermon where he is believed to have shared the Four Noble Truths (the dharma or the law), and represents India’s sovereignty and its birth as a republic.
- The original structure features four Asiatic lions seated back to back facing the four cardinal directions. The lion references the Buddha, who was known as the ‘Lion of the Shakyas’ (Shakyasimha) in reference to the clan of his birth, the Shakyas.
- The lions are seated atop a circular abacus with a frieze of sculptures of a bull, a horse, a lion and an elephant facing the four directions. The sculptures are in high relief, and a dharma chakra can be seen between the bull and the horse.
- Some Buddhist interpretations say the sculptures represent different stages of Buddha’s life, while some contend, they represent the reign of Emperor Ashoka (himself a Buddhist), while the wheels are interpreted to represent his enlightened rule. Below the abacus is a base shaped like a lotus, an important symbol of Buddhism.
- The Lion Capital was chosen by India in 1950 as a reaffirmation of independent and contemporary India’s “ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill“, values espoused by the Buddha and Emperor Ashoka through the Lion Capital.
- The adaptation of the Lion Capital for India’s national emblem was sketched by Dinanath Bhargava, an artist chosen by legendary painter Nandalal Bose.
- In the national emblem, only three of the lions are visible, and the lotus base is omitted. A bull and a horse are visible beneath the lions, separated by a dharma chakra. The motto “Satyameva Jayate” – Truth alone Triumphs – is written in Devanagari script below the profile of the Lion Capital.
What is Central Vista Redevelopment Project?
- It refers to the ongoing redevelopment to revamp the Central Vista, India’s central administrative area located near Raisina Hill, New Delhi.
- The Central Vista was first designed by architect Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, when the capital of the British Raj was moved from Calcutta to Delhi.
- It was inaugurated in January 18, 1927, by then Governor General of India Lord Irwin
- The new building will have six granite statues of important personalities, four galleries each for the two Houses of Parliament, three ceremonial foyers, three India galleries, and one Constitution gallery
- Bimal Patel of HCP Designs, Ahmedabad, is the architect in charge of the building, which is triangular in shape, and incorporates architectural styles from around India
Context: with its focus on speeding up resolution of forest-related violations, the government has now proposed to amend the Indian Forests Act, 1927
Indian Forest Act, 1927
- In order to make the Forest Act, 1878 more effective and more comprehensive, a new Forest Act was passed in 1927 which repealed all the previous laws and legislations
- The Section 2 of Indian Forest Act, 1927 defines certain terms like cattle, forest officer, forest offenses and forest produce.
- Forest produce includes timber, charcoal, wood-oil, bark, resin, trees and leaves, flowers and fruits, plants, cocoon, honey, wax, rocks and minerals, water bodies such as rivers, ponds and lakes and wild animals including their skins, tusks, bones and horns
- Indian Forest Act defines reserved, village and protected forests respectively and certain acts which are prohibited and restricted inside these forests and thus, are punishable
- Reserved Forests: The Chapter II of the Indian Forest Act enables the State government to exercise the power to issue a notification under Section 4 to declare any forest or a piece of land a reserved forest in the manner provided in the Act
- Village Forests: The Chapter III of the Indian Forest Act defines Village Forests. It enables the State Government to assign rights to any village-community over the land that may have been constituted as reserved forest for the use of that community
- Protected Forests: The Chapter IV of the Indian Forest Act defines Protected Forests. It is any forest-land or waste-land which is not included in a reserved forest but happens to be the property of the Government, or such a land over which the government has proprietary rights is declared to be so by a notification by a State Government under the provisions of the Section 29 of this Act
Proposed amendments in the Indian Forest Act, 1927
- The amendments seek to decriminalise offences like kindling, keeping or carrying fire in a reserved forest without permission, trespassing or pasturing cattle or causing any damage by negligence in felling any tree in a reserved forest.
- They also seek to decriminalise acts like leaving a burning fire kindled by the person in the vicinity of any tree reserved under Section 30, or felling any tress or dragging timber to damage any reserved tree, or permitting cattle to damage such tree.
- The amendments are aimed at decriminalising “relatively minor violations” of law which could help in expeditious resolution of complaints, reduce compliance burden on citizens, rationalise penalties, and subsequently prevent harassment of citizens
Context: The Telangana High Court has quashed the Telangana Value Added Tax (Second Amendment) Act-2017 as “unconstitutional and devoid of legislative competence”.
What is Value Added Tax?
- It is a type of indirect tax levied on goods and services for value added at every point of production or distribution cycle, starting from raw materials and going all the way to the final retail purchase.
- VAT was introduced on April 1, 2005.
Goods and Services Tax:
- The intention of the Parliament in ushering in the Goods and Services Tax regime through 101st Constitution Amendment Act along with simultaneous enactment of the Central GST (CGST) Act and various State GST (SGST) Acts was to avoid multiplicity of taxes.
- Provisions of the Telangana VAT (Second Amendment) Act-2017 were ‘wholly inconsistent with the scheme of the Constitution 101st Amendment read with the CGST Act and TGST Act
- 101st Constitution Amendment Act had provisions denuding the States from making any law except on the sale of petroleum crude, high speed diesel, motor spirit (petrol), natural gas, aviation turbine fuel and alcoholic liquor for human consumption.
- Thus the States did not have the competence to make law to levy VAT or such tax on any goods other than the above goods
- Section 19 of the 101st Constitution Amendment Act can be construed as a sunset clause paving way for a window of one year to remove the laws inconsistent with the Act.
Subject : Science and Technology
- CERVAVAC, the country’s first quadrivalent human papilloma virus vaccine (qHPV) manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII)
- HPV is a common virus that is passed during sex. Long-lasting infection with certain types of HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer
- In India, cervical cancer accounted for 9.4% of all cancers and 18.3% (123907) of new cases in 2020.
- It is the second most common Cancer of women in India despite being largely preventable
- A majority of cervical cancer related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries where routine gynaecological screening is minimal or is absent
- The vaccine will ensure prevention of cancers caused by human papilloma virus (Type 6, 11, 16 and 18) vaccine recombinant
- Cervical cancer can be eliminated if all prepubertal girls are given HPV vaccination globally,
- The WHO has set Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy Targets for 2030, which entails 90% of girls should be fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15, and 70% women should be screened with a high performance test by 35 years and again by 45 years of age
Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)
- It is the head of department of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization
- It is responsible for approval of licenses of specified categories of drugs such as blood and blood products, IV fluids, vaccines, and sera in India.
- Drugs Controller General of India, comes under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
- DCGI also sets standards for manufacturing, sales, import, and distribution of drugs in India
- DCGI will also act as Central Licensing Authority (CLA) for the medical devices which fall under the purview of the Medical Device Rules 2017
Subject :Science and Technology
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) delivered its deepest and sharpest infrared image of a distant universe to date
What is the First Deep Field?
A composite made from images at various wavelengths captured by the JWST’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam)
It is Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, the image is of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago
The distortion seen in the image is the result of an effect called gravitational lensing
Webb’s NIRCam has brought those distant galaxies into sharp focus – they have tiny, faint structures that have never been seen before, including star clusters and diffuse features
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST):
- It has long been touted as the successor to the long-serving Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
It is designed specifically for infrared astronomy, allowing it to spot these incredibly distant objects.
JWST to peer deeper into the history of the universe and glean insights into the formation of star systems a mere 100 million to 250 million years after the Big Bang
Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
The HST, launched in 1990, was designed primarily as an optical space observatory optimised for capturing light at wavelengths visible to the human eye.
- This, however, turned out to be a limitation when it came to observing the distant universe and some of the earliest galaxies in the cosmos.
- Due to the expansion of the universe, the further away an object is from the Earth, the faster it moves away.
- This gives rise to an effect called red shifting, wherein light emitted from the object (even if it is initially of a shorter wavelength) is stretched into longer wavelengths and becomes redder
Since infrared light is outside the visible spectrum and because Hubble is optimised for capturing light at visible wavelengths, extremely distant objects, which appear very red, are invisible to the HST
A gravitational lens is a distribution of matter (such as a cluster of galaxies) between a distant light source and an observer that is capable of bending the light from the source as the light travels toward the observer. This effect is known as gravitational lensing.
Subject : Geography
India’s favourable demographic dividends at an inflection point of sorts,with the population
share the youth starting to taper off even as the share of the elderly is expected to steadily surge during 2021-2036
- The more populous states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh,which experienced a rise in proportion of youth population till 2021,are expected to see a decline from hereon.
- States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are projected to see a higher elder population than the youth by 2036
- Youth in the age group of 15-29 years increased from 26.6 percent in 1991 to 27.9 percent in 2016 and decreased to 27.2 percent of the population in 2021, which is expected to decrease to 22.7 by 2036.
- While the proportion of elderly population to the total population has increased from 6.8 percent in 1991 to 9.2 percent 2016 and is projected to reach 14.9 percent in 2036.
- The demographic dividend window is closing. In the case of the southern states the share of the dependent population is predicted to increase due to increase in longevity putting pressure on basic health care and social security needs.
- As per the 2022 edition of the United Nations-World Population Prospects (WPP), India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.
|A sustained drop in fertility has led to an increased concentration of the population at working ages between 25 and 64 years and this shift in the age distribution provides a time-bound opportunity for accelerated economic growth known as the “demographic dividend”|
Subject : Economy
The earnest money deposited by the four bidders for 5G spectrum indicates that Reliance Jio is expected to bid the most aggressively
- Reliance has provided the DoT with an EMD between Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 7,000 crore.
- The clear aim for Reliance here is to bid aggressively in existing spectrum bands, where it is leading the market, namely 800 MHz and 1,800 MHz.
- Reliance is also likely to bid most aggressively in the new 5G band 3,500 MHz to get the cleanest possible spectrum.
- Adani has also likely put in an EMD below Rs 250 crore, with a sole focus on mmwave for private networks.
The earnest money deposited:
- Earnest money is a deposit made to a seller that represents a buyer’s good faith to buy a home or high-value products . The money gives the buyer extra time to get financing and conduct the title search, property appraisal, and inspections before closing.
- EMD is an assurance of payment in good faith made by operators to the government to assure purchase of high priced items such as 5G spectrum.
- If the EMD is higher, the operator has the flexibility to put larger bids for larger quantities of spectrum. Thus,the quantum of EMD allows the market to get a rough idea about the spectrum bidding strategy of each operator.
How does the spectrum band work?
- Energy travels in the form of waves known as electromagnetic waves. These waves differ from each other in terms of frequencies. This whole range of frequencies is called the spectrum.
- In telecommunication like TV, radio and GPRS, radio waves of different wavelengths are used.
- This radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequencies.
- Most of the radio spectrum is reserved in countries for defence and the rest is available for public use.
- Following an increase in the number of phone users and new services, countries started auctioning the frequencies to telecom companies. This sale has become a major revenue earner for governments around the world.
- India was among the early adopters of spectrum auctions beginning auctions in 1994.
- Devices such as cellphones and wireline telephones require signals to connect from one end to another. These signals are carried on airwaves (medium of radio waves), which must be sent at designated frequencies to avoid any kind of interference.
- The Union government owns all the publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country, which also include airwaves. The central government through the Department of Telecom (Ministry of Communications) auctions these airwaves from time to time.
- Airwaves in the 3500 MHz band are considered ideal for the first wave of the 5G.
- Depending on the demand from various companies, the price of the airwaves may go higher, but cannot go below the reserve price.
- A reserve price is a minimum price that a seller would be willing to accept from a buyer. If the reserve price is not met, the seller is not required to sell the item, even to the highest bidder.
- The reserve price is recommended by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
- The successful bidders will have to pay 3% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) as spectrum usage charges.
- AGR is divided into spectrum usage charges and licensing fees that are fixed between 3-5% and 8% respectively.
- It is the usage and licensing fee that telecom operators are charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
What is mm wave?
- Millimeter wave spectrum is the band of spectrum between 30 GHz and 300 GHz, wedged between microwave and infrared waves, this spectrum can be used for high-speed wireless communications.
- One of the greatest and most important uses of millimeter waves is in transmitting large amounts of data.
- mm wave frequencies are being utilized for applications such as streaming high-resolution video indoors.
- Traditionally, these higher frequencies were not strong enough for outdoor broadband applications due to high propagation loss and susceptibility to blockage from buildings as well as absorption from rain drops. These problems made mm waves difficult for mobile broadband.
The IMD said the shrine reported 31 mm rainfall between 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm on Friday, which is quite low to be categorised as a cloudburst.
If 10 cm rainfall is received at a station in one hour, the rain event is termed as cloud burst.
- Experts have said it is difficult to predict when exactly a cloudburst will occur, and there is little definitive data on the exact number of cloudbursts that occur in India. Due to their definition dealing with a very small area, it is difficult to accurately predict and identify cloudbursts immediately. However, they are more likely to occur in mountainous zones mainly because of terrain and
- Cloud bursts do occur at plains, however, mountainous regions are more prone to cloud bursts due to
- This is because, in hilly areas, sometimes saturated clouds ready to condense into rain cannot produce rain, due to the upward movement of the very warm current of air. Instead of falling downwards, raindrops are carried upwards by the air current. New drops are formed and existing raindrops increase in size. After a point, the raindrops become too heavy for the cloud to hold on to, and they drop down together in a quick flash.