Daily Prelims Notes 14 November 2023
- November 14, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
14 November 2023
Table Of Contents
- Remission of diabetes, desirable, but not essential
- Kerala Lok Ayukta rejects plea alleging misuse of CMDRF
- GeM procurement crosses ₹2 lakh crore on buying activity
- How GPS anklet work
- Kenneth Boulding Award
- Community rights and forest conservation
- ‘Breathing toxic air is equivalent to smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day’: AIIMS doctor
- Small Saving Schemes/Instruments in India
Subject: Science and Tech
It may not be possible to make India ‘diabetes free’, but a ‘diabetes complications free India’ is within reach.
- Recently, the concept of a reversal of diabetes has become very popular. Several commercial organisations have jumped on the bandwagon of a ‘reversal of diabetes’ and are making tall claims. Therefore, it is important to consider the pros and cons of a reversal of diabetes.
- Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
- Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose. Hyperglycaemia, also called raised blood glucose or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
Type 1 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. In 2017 there were 9 million people with type 1 diabetes; the majority of them live in high-income countries. Neither its cause nor the means to prevent it are known.
Type 2 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes affects how your body uses sugar (glucose) for energy. It stops the body from using insulin properly, which can lead to high levels of blood sugar if not treated.
- Over time, type 2 diabetes can cause serious damage to the body, especially nerves and blood vessels.
- Type 2 diabetes is often preventable. Factors that contribute to developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight, not getting enough exercise, and genetics.
Remission’ of diabetes
- First, the term ‘reversal’ of diabetes is scientifically incorrect; the appropriate term is ‘remission’ of diabetes. Reversal implies that the condition has permanently reverted to normal and a cure has been achieved. ‘Remission’ implies that diabetes has only gone away temporarily. We know for instance that cancer can go into remission, but can come back in a more virulent form.
Remission and type 2 diabetes
- Diabetes is not a single condition but consists of several types. When we talk of remission of diabetes, we are referring most often to type 2 diabetes. However, there are other forms of diabetes such as type 1 diabetes where long-term remission is very unlikely to occur.
- There are certain individuals with type 2 diabetes who are more likely to achieve remission. This can be identified by the letters ABCDE.
- A refers to A1c (glycated haemoglobin) which should not be very high.
- B refers to Body Mass Index (BMI) or body weight. If it is high, you are more likely to achieve remission due to weight loss.
- C stands for C-Peptide, a measure of insulin secretion. If it is good, you can achieve remission more easily.
- D stands for Duration of diabetes; the shorter the duration, the greater the chances of remission.
- E stands for an Enthusiastic individual who is keen to achieve remission.
Good Legacy Effect
- One should remember that even if one achieves remission of diabetes only for a few months or years, it is still worthwhile because it leads to a good ‘legacy effect’ which provides protection from complications caused by diabetes.
Data on India
- According to our recent Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study, there are currently 101 million people with diabetes and 136 million people with prediabetes in India.
- In those with prediabetes, preventing the majority of these individuals from developing diabetes for a considerable number of years is possible with just lifestyle modifications.
- In those who already have diabetes, we should, of course, try to achieve remission of diabetes. But if this is not possible, meeting the ABCD guidelines of the treatment of diabetes will ensure that they can all live a long and healthy life without any diabetes-linked complications.
Although we may not be able to make India ‘diabetes free’, but we can at least have a ‘diabetes complications-free India’. On the occasion of World Diabetes Day (November 14), let us rededicate ourselves to achieve this dream.
Section: National body
- The Kerala Lok Ayukta on Monday dismissed a plea alleging that the previous LDF government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had misused the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) to illegally gratify the next of kin of two late political allies and a deceased bodyguard of a departed ruling party leader.
What is Lokayukta?
- The Lokayukta is the Indian Parliamentary Ombudsman, executed into power, through and for, each of the State Governments of India.
- It is an anti-corruption authority. The object of Lokayukta system in a state is to make investigation of grievances, allegations against public servants.
- The origin of the Lokayukta can be drawn to the Ombudsman in Scandinavian countries.
- In India, the Administrative Reforms Commission, (1966-70), had recommended the creation of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in the states.
- Before the passing of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act in 2013, several states in India passed laws for creating the Institution of ‘Lokayukta’.
- Maharashtra was first in this respect with its Lokayukta body established in 1971.
- The lokayukta and upalokayukta are appointed by the Governor of the state. While appointing, the governor in most of the states consults (a) the chief justice of the state high court, and (b) the leader of Opposition in the state legislative assembly.
- In most of the states, the term of office fixed for lokayukta is of 5 years duration or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. He is not eligible for reappointment for a second term.
Issues Related to Lokayukta:
- No Clear Legislation: The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 only has one section on Lokayukta, which mandates that states must pass the Lokayukta Act within one year and there is no information about their makeup, powers, or other features. States, in fact, have complete autonomy over how their own Lokayuktas are appointed, how they work, and under what conditions they serve.
- Delay in Resolution: One of the major challenges faced by the Lokayukta is the delay in the investigation and resolution of complaints.
- The Lokayukta is also dependent on the state government for funding and infrastructure, which can lead to interference and lack of independence.
CHIEF MINISTER’s DISTRESS RELIEF FUND (CMDRF)
- The CMDRF is a public fund constituted for the purpose of giving relief in cases of privation and also to those affected by fire, flood, cyclone, sea erosion and similar other calamities.
- Educational Cultural and Charitable Institutions of a public nature, which are affected by such calamities and whose financial position does not enable them to repair the damage caused to their property and bring them to a normal condition are also eligible for financial assistance from the Fund.
- Relief may also be provided from the Distress Relief Fund for the workers thrown out of employment for reasons beyond their control, in units not covered by Employees State Insurance Schemes or Employees Provident Fund Schemes in the traditional sector alone.
- Financial Assistance from this Fund will be restricted to cases not covered by other special relief programs of the Government.
- The procurement of goods and services from the government portal GeM has crossed ₹2 lakh crore so far this fiscal due to higher buying activity by different ministries and departments.
What is GeM?
- GeM facilitates online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organisations / PSUs.
- The initiative was launched in August 2016, by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
- The current version of GeM, i.e., GeM 3.0 was launched on January 26, 2018.
- It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government users, achieve the best value for their money and aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement.
- GeM eliminates human interface in vendor registration, order placement and payment processing, thereby reducing delays and corruption.
- It provides complete visibility of all transactions on its platform, ensuring fair and equal opportunity for all sellers.
- It enables price comparison and selection of competitive and quality products.
- It ensures compliance with standards and specifications for all its listed products and services and offers a user-friendly online feedback system.
- It promotes innovation by providing opportunities for startups, MSMEs, women entrepreneurs and artisans to showcase their products and services.
Major Developments on GeM:
- GeM Outlet Stores: GeM has launched outlet stores for various categories of products such as SARAS, Ajeevika, Tribes India, Startup Runway, Khadi India, India Handloom, India Handicraft, Divyangjan etc.
- GeM-CII MoU: GeM has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to establish a GeM-CII Centre of Excellence (CoE), which will provide training, research and advocacy support to GeM.
- GeM, CSC and India Post: The integration of India’s postal system India Post and Common Service Center (CSC) with the GeM is operational across the country. This allows India Post to provide logistics service into the remotest parts of the country to sellers and buyers transacting via GeM.
- Bamboo Market Window: The National Bamboo Mission and GeM have created a dedicated window on the GeM portal for marketing Bamboo Goods.
Subject: Science and Tech
Section: Awareness in IT
Context: For the first time in India, a prisoner in J&K has been given bail on condition that his movements are monitored constantly.
More about the news:
- In a first-of-its-kind initiative in India, a prisoner in Jammu and Kashmir,Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, has been released on bail with a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device attached to monitor his movements.
- The release followed a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court’s decision in Jammu, upholding the prosecution’s plea and instructing the police to place a GPS tracker anklet on Bhat’s foot.
- Bhat, associated with the late Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, was arrested in 2011 on charges of being a hawala operator financing separatists.
- The use of a GPS tracker in this context marks a novel approach to monitoring the activities of individuals on bail.
What is a GPS tracker, and how does it work:
- A GPS tracker is a compact, wearable gadget similar to GPS collars commonly used to track animal movements.
- This device constantly provides the precise location of the wearer, enabling real-time monitoring by law enforcement and security agencies.
- The GPS tracker is designed to be tamper-proof, triggering an alarm if any attempt is made to interfere with it.
- Additionally, it cannot be removed without causing damage, ensuring its security.
- The device can be affixed to either the ankle or arm, resulting in variations such as GPS anklets and GPS bracelets.
- These trackers are utilized for monitoring the movements of wildlife, such as rogue elephants in Kerala or cheetahs in Kuno.
- In addition, they find application in modern automobiles, where they are integrated to facilitate tracing in case of theft, or owners can opt for separate installations.
What is the legal position on the use of GPS Anklet:
- In the Indian context, the court authorized the use of a GPS anklet on Bhat. However, human rights activists have raised concerns about the lack of specific legal provisions permitting such measures.
- Contrastingly, in various other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia, the use of GPS trackers is a prerequisite for bail.
- In the UK, electronic monitoring may fall under the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act of 2011.
- In Malaysia, the legal framework for electronic monitoring has been established through amendments to existing legislation and the introduction of new laws, such as
- The Prevention of Crime Act, 1959,
- Security Offences Act, 2012,
- Dangerous Drugs (Special Prevention Measures) Act,
- Criminal Procedure Code.
Context: Bina Agarwal wins Kenneth Boulding Award
More about the awards:
- Development economist Bina Agarwal has been awarded the Kenneth Boulding Award for Ecological Economics.
- As a Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, and former director of the Institute of Economic Growth in Delhi, Agarwal shares the award with David Barkin, a professor at the Metropolitan University in Mexico City.
- The International Society for Ecological Economics acknowledged Agarwal for her substantial contributions to the field, particularly in the areas of environmental governance, agrarian change, and social equity in developing countries.
Some facts about Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award for Ecological Economics
- The Kenneth Boulding Award for Ecological Economics is named after Kenneth E. Boulding (1910-1993), a prominent systems thinker who integrated social theory with the natural sciences and moral philosophy.
- Boulding, recognized for his creativity and constructive engagement with the scientific community, served as President of the American Economics Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Together with his wife, Elise Boulding, a renowned sociologist, he was actively involved in the international peace movement as Quakers.
- The award honors individuals who exemplify Boulding’s unique qualities, aiming to perpetuate his wisdom and contributions to the field of ecological economics.
Previously ISEE Boulding Award Recipients:
- 1994 | Robert Goodland and Herman Daly
- 1996 | Ann-Mari Jansson
- 1998 | Robert Costanza
- 2000 | C.S. Holling
- 2002 | Robert Ayres
- 2004 | Karl Goran-Maler and Partha Dasgupta
- 2006 | Richard Norgaard
- 2008 | Manfred Max Neef and Charles Perrings
- 2010 | Joan Martinez Alier and Ignacy Sachs
- 2012 | William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel
- 2014 | Peter Victor
- 2016 | Kanchan Chopra and Arild Vatn
- 2018 | Inge Røpke
- 2020 | Rashid Hassan
- 2023 | Bina Agarwal and David Barkin
Section: Environmental laws
- From the colonial forest law in 1865 to the Forest Conservation Amendment Act, of 2023, more than fifteen laws, Acts, and policies have been formulated interlinking forests with legal and policy frameworks. However, there is little to no recognition of the rights of indigenous communities in these Acts, who are the rightful inhabitants of forest lands.
Provisions that hamper community rights and forest rights:
- The amendment primarily aims to tackle the critical issues of climate change and deforestation’s adverse effects, focusing on effective management and afforestation.
- It aims to determine how forests can be utilised for economic gain.
- As per the amendment, the law will now apply exclusively to areas categorised under the 1927 Forest Act and those designated as such on or after October 25, 1980.
- The Act will not be applicable to forests that were converted for non-forest use on or after December 12, 1996, and land which falls under 100 kilometres from the China and Pakistan border where the central government can build linear projects.
- To establish security infrastructure and facilities for surveillance, the central government is authorised to construct security measures in areas up to ten hectares. This provision also applies to areas (up to five hectares) which are designated as vulnerable.
- Initiatives like ecotourism, safari, environmental entertainment, and more may be implemented in these areas.
- Removal of the ‘Prior Consent’ clause:
- The Forest Conservation Act stipulated that prior consent from the tribal grama sabha was mandatory for any alterations to forests for non-forest purposes. However, the recent revisions to the legislation have removed the necessity for such consent.
- It contradicts the concept of decentralised forest governance as forests in the country fall under the concurrent list.
Why was the amendment brought in?
- The GodavarmanThirumulkpad case in 1996 led to an interpretation of forest land in accordance with its ‘dictionary meaning’. Subsequently, all private forests were brought under the ambit of the 1980 law. Thus emerges the debate on ‘environment vs Industry’.
- After the act was passed, the Odisha government revoked the “deemed forest” status in the State but had to later cancel the order due to public outrage.
What is compensatory afforestation (CA)?
- Compensatory afforestation encompasses various projects and schemes that can be undertaken by both private individuals and organisations (including large corporations) for afforestation or reforestation purposes.
- Challenges in CA are:
- Ambiguities in the original legislation
- Shortage of available land.
- The law mandates that for every parcel of land that is lost due to afforestation efforts, an equivalent amount of land must be afforested elsewhere. It does not specify the type of trees that should be planted, leaving room for discretion.
How does this affect the Forest Rights Act (FRA)?
- The amendment has had notable impacts in Mendha-Lekha in Maharashtra, Loyendi in Odisha, and Malakkappara in Kerala among others.
- The Act is considered an impediment to converting forest land for non-forest purposes.
- The State governments hold the view that granting community rights under the FRA could weaken the State’s authority over the forest.
- The amendment fails to address the growing issue of human-animal conflicts in forest areas.
Details of the Forest Conservation (Amendment) Act 2023
Source of this article: The Hindu
- Two cities joined New Delhi to be among the world’s worst 10 for pollution with smoke heavy in the air a day after revellers let loose with firecrackers for Deepavali.
- The other two cities are: Kolkata (at rank 10) and Mumbai (rank 8).
- It is equivalent to smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day.
- An AQI level of 400-500 impacts healthy people and is dangerous to those with existing diseases, while a level of 150-200 brings discomfort to people with asthma, lung and heart problems. Levels of 0-50 are considered good.
- Air pollution in parts of Delhi was 30 times the safe limits prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Causes of air pollution in Delhi:
- Geographical reasons:
- During winter, the air is not that hot. The pollutants are trapped and tend to get concentrated at lower levels of the atmosphere (due to temperature inversion), resulting in the smoke and haze situation.
- As winds arrive from the coasts, bringing with them pollutants picked up along the way, they get ‘trapped’ right before the Himalayas. Causing pollution in Delhi.
- The average wind speed in winter in the Delhi NCR region is one-third of the summer months. This increases the pollutant concentration in the region.
- Anthropogenic reasons:
- Vehicular and industrial emissions, Stubble burning, Fireworks in the run-up to Diwali, Construction Activities, Open Waste Burning, High Population
How does air pollution affect health?
- Air pollution increases the risk of- Stroke, cognitive impairment, COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], cancer, asthma or ILDs [interstitial lung diseases].
- Long-term exposure can lead to pneumonia.
- Due to long-term exposure to air pollution, even the lungs of a non-smoker are visibly darker and carbon-loaded in Delhi.
- Avoid exercising early in the morning and late in the evening.
- Use N95 masks and air purifiers.
- Founded in 1963
- IQAir is a Swiss air quality technology company, specializing in protection against airborne pollutants, developing air quality monitoring and air cleaning products.
- IQAir also operates AirVisual, a real-time air quality information platform.
- Headquarters- Goldach, Switzerland
Source of this article: The Hindu
Section: Monetary Policy
About Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)
The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) is a government-backed savings scheme designed for individuals aged 60 years and above, or those aged 55 to less than 60 who have retired.
- Eligibility: Individuals aged 60 years and above, or those aged 55 to less than 60 who have retired.
- Account Opening: Can be opened in a post office or scheduled commercial bank.
- Investment Amount: Minimum of ₹1,000 and a maximum of ₹30 lakh.
- Interest Rate: The interest rate is 8.2% per annum, revised quarterly based on factors like inflation and market conditions.
- Tenure: The initial tenure is five years, extendable.
Latest Changes (November 7, 2023):
- Spouse Provision: The spouse of a government employee, who has attained the age of 50 years and has died in service, is allowed to open an account under this scheme.
- Account Opening Time: The account can be opened within three months from the date of receipt of retirement benefits for a living employee, or admissible financial assistance to an eligible government employee who died in service.
- Extension: The account can be extended for a further block period of three years, and this facility can be used more than once.
- Interest on Extension: In case of an account extended after maturity, the deposit will earn interest at the rate applicable on the date of maturity.
- Premature Closure:If the account is closed before one year, interest will be recovered. For closure after two years, an amount equal to 1% of the deposit will be deducted.
- Budgetary Change (April 1, 2023):The maximum deposit limit was enhanced to ₹30 lakh from ₹15 lakh.
- Tax Deduction: Individuals can claim up to ₹1.5 lakh in a financial year under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
- Tax on Interest: Interest payments are subject to taxation as per the individual’s tax slab rates.
- TDS:If the interest income exceeds ₹50,000 in a year, TDS is applicable.
These changes aim to make the scheme more flexible and beneficial for senior citizens, providing additional provisions and an increased deposit limit.
Small Saving Schemes/Instruments in India
Small Saving Schemes form a crucial part of the central government’s strategy to promote regular savings among citizens, offering attractive returns, sovereign guarantees, and tax benefits. These schemes are instrumental in mobilizing household savings and contribute significantly to financing government deficits.
- Variety of Instruments: There are 12 small saving instruments, classified into Postal Deposits, Savings Certificates, and Social Security Schemes.
- Assured Interest: Depositors receive a guaranteed interest rate on their investments, providing financial security.
- National Small Savings Fund (NSSF): Collections from all small savings instruments are channeled into the National Small Savings Fund, contributing to government finances.
- Yield Calculation: Interest rates on these schemes are determined based on the yields on government securities (G-secs), ensuring stability and alignment with market conditions.
- Government Deficit Financing: Small savings have become a significant source for financing government deficits.
Classification of Small Saving Instruments:
- Postal Deposits:
- Savings Account: Offers a secure and interest-bearing savings option.
- Recurring Deposits: Regular monthly savings with fixed tenure.
- Time Deposits: Fixed deposits with varying maturities.
- Monthly Income Scheme: Provides monthly income to investors.
- Savings Certificates:
- National Small Savings Certificate (NSC): Long-term savings instrument with assured returns.
- Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP): A scheme aimed at farmers, promoting long-term savings.
- Social Security Schemes:
- Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme: Launched under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, exclusively for girl children, with a guaranteed return and tax benefits.
- Public Provident Fund (PPF): Public Provident Fund is a government-backed savings scheme that encourages small savings for individuals. It offers safety with attractive interest rates and returns that are fully exempt from tax.
Eligibility: Open to all Indian residents.
Features: Has a lock-in period of 15 years, with partial withdrawals allowed after the 7th year. Provides tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
- Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS):Tailored for senior citizens, offering regular interest payments.
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY):
- Description: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a government-backed savings scheme specifically designed for the financial needs of the girl child. It was introduced in 2015 as part of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign.
- Eligibility: Parents or legal guardians can open an account for a girl child below ten years of age.
- Offers a guaranteed return of 7.6% per annum.
- Eligible for tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
- The tenure of the deposit is 21 years from the date of opening, with a maximum annual investment limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.
About National Small Savings Fund (NSSF)
The National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) is a fund created by the Indian government to manage the proceeds from various small saving schemes. It serves as the repository for collections from these schemes and plays a crucial role in financing the government’s fiscal deficit.
- Objective: The primary purpose of establishing the NSSF is to pool funds from small savings schemes and utilize them for meeting the fiscal requirements of the government.
- Source of Funding: Collections from different small savings instruments, such as postal deposits, savings certificates, and social security schemes, are credited to the NSSF.
- Utilization: The funds collected in the NSSF are utilized by the government for various developmental and welfare activities. They contribute to financing the fiscal deficit, which is the gap between government expenditure and revenue.
- Sovereign Guarantee: The investments made through small saving schemes come with a sovereign guarantee, assuring depositors of the safety of their investments.
- Interest Rates: The interest rates offered on small savings schemes are determined, in part, by the yields on government securities (G-secs). The NSSF plays a role in aligning these rates with market conditions.
- Contribution to Government Finances: Small savings, managed through the NSSF, constitute a significant source of funding for the government. The interest paid on these savings contributes to the overall revenue.
- Stability: The NSSF provides stability to the small savings system by ensuring that funds are available for government projects and welfare schemes.
- Government Securities: The NSSF may invest in government securities, contributing to the overall liquidity and stability of the financial markets.
Other important Schemes
- APY – Atal Pension Yojana:
- Description: Atal Pension Yojana is a social security scheme initiated by the Indian government. It aims to provide a defined pension to individuals working in the unorganized sector.
- Eligibility: Individuals aged 18 to 40 years who are not income tax payers.
- Features: Offers a fixed pension amount of Rs. 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000/- based on the subscriber’s contribution and age. The pension is provided from the age of 60.
- NPS – National Pension Scheme:
- Description: The National Pension Scheme is a voluntary, long-term retirement savings scheme designed to enable systematic savings. It allows individuals to contribute regularly in a pension account during their working life.
- Eligibility: Open to all citizens of India, including NRIs (between 18 and 70 years of age).
- Features: Provides a mix of equity, fixed deposits, corporate bonds, liquid funds, and government funds. Subscribers receive a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).
- SGBs – Sovereign Gold Bonds:
- Description: Sovereign Gold Bonds are government securities denominated in grams of gold. They provide an alternative to holding physical gold.
- Eligibility:Open to all Indian residents and eligible entities, including trusts, universities, and charitable institutions.
- Features: Offers a fixed interest rate along with potential capital appreciation. Bonds have a maturity period of eight years, with an exit option after the fifth year.