Daily Prelims Notes 15 February 2022
- February 15, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
15 February 2022
Table Of Contents
- NUCLEAR FUSION
- SEA CUCUMBER
- NATIONAL HEALTH AUTHORITY
- ISRO places three satellites in orbit in first launch of 2022
- GEOSPATIAL SECTOR
- ASI reviving underwater division
- AGRI CESS ON CRUDE PALM OIL
- CHINESE APPS BANNED IN INDIA
- DOLLARIZATION OF INDIAN ECONOMY
- BANK FAILURES
Context- The mega initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is coming when markets are volatile and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are pulling out from Indian stocks in the wake of the US Fed tightening rates.
Who can apply?
- A portion of shares, not exceeding 5 percent of the offer, will be reserved for employees.
- Another portion not exceeding 10 per cent, will be reserved for eligible policyholders.
- A minimum 35 percent of the issue will be reserved for retail investors.
Initial Public Offering
- IPO is the selling of securities to the public in the primary market.
- Primary market deals with new securities being issued for the first time. It is also known as the new issues market.
- It is different from the secondary market where existing securities are bought and sold. It is also known as the stock market or stock exchange.
- It is generally used by new and medium-sized firms that are looking for funds to grow and expand their business.
- It is when an unlisted company makes either a fresh issue of securities or an offer for sale of its existing securities or both for the first time to the public.
TOPIC: Science & Tech
Context- Scientists have been making efforts to build a fusion nuclear reactor for several decades.
- Nuclear fusion is a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei are combined to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles (neutrons or protons).
- The Sun is a main-sequence star, and thus generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. In its core, the Sun fuses 500 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.
- Energy released in most nuclear reactions is much larger than in chemical reactions, because the binding energy that holds a nucleus together is greater than the energy that holds electrons to a nucleus.
- Nuclear Fusion is considered by some scientists to be a potential energy of the future, particularly because it produces little waste and no greenhouse gases.
Context- Demand for sea cucumbers turns India-Sri Lanka waters into trafficking hotspot.
- The sea cucumber fishery is banned in India and restricted under a licensing system in Sri Lanka, but growing demand for the animals in East Asia has turned the waters between these South Asian countries into a hotspot for the illegal trade.
- Despite their name, sea cucumbers aren’t vegetables; they’re echinoderms, from the same phylum of marine animals that includes starfish and sea urchins, and live on the sandy bottoms of oceans, where they perform the important ecological function of nutrient cycling.
- Sea cucumbers are marine invertebrates that live on the seafloor found generally in tropical regions. They’re named for their unusual oblong shape that resembles a fat cucumber.
- They are crucial to maintain the balance of ocean habitats.
- They act like garbage collectors of the ocean world, and they recycle nutrients, thus playing an important role in keeping coral reefs in good condition.
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.
- IUCN Red List: Brown Sea Cucumber (Endangered), Blackspotted Sea Cucumber (Least Concern), Blue Sea Cucumber (Data Deficient), etc.
- In 2020, the Lakshadweep Islands administration created the world’s first conservation area – 239 sq. km – for sea cucumbers.
Context- Retail inflation based on CPI hit a seven-month high topping 6 per cent in January. In contrast, producers’ inflation, based on WPI, dropped to 12.96 per cent in January.
- Inflation refers to the rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer goods, etc.
- Inflation measures the average price change in a basket of commodities and services over time.
- Inflation is indicative of the decrease in the purchasing power of a unit of a country’s currency.
- In India, inflation is primarily measured by two main indices —WPI & CPI which measure wholesale and retail-level price changes, respectively.
- According to National Statistical Oﬃce (NSO) data, a key reason for the higher CPI was the ‘food and beverage inﬂation’.
- The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) uses CPI data to control inflation. In April 2014, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had adopted the CPI as its key measure of inflation.
- Consumer Price Index:
- It measures price changes from the perspective of a retail buyer.
- The CPI calculates the difference in the price of commodities and services such as food, medical care, education, electronics etc, which Indian consumers buy for use.
- Four types of CPI are as follows:
- CPI for Industrial Workers (IW).
- CPI for Agricultural Labourer (AL).
- CPI for Rural Labourer (RL).
- CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined).
- Of these, the first three are compiled by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Fourth is compiled by the NSO in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- Base Year for CPI is 2012.
Wholesale inﬂation: Calculated using Wholesale Price Index.
- It measures the changes in the prices of goods sold and traded in bulk by wholesale businesses to other businesses.
- Published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- It is the most widely used inflation indicator in India.
- The base year of All-India WPI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2017.
- WPI does not capture changes in the prices of services, which CPI does.
Context- National Health Authority (NHA) is working to integrate the database of Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 beneﬁciaries with the National Food Security Act (NFSA) portal so that beneﬁciaries can seek information regarding their entitlements under the AB PMJAY using their ration card number.
National Health Authority (NHA):
- National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance/assurance scheme called “Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana”.
- The scheme provides health assurance of upto₹5lakhforafamilya year, for secondary and tertiary care-related hospitalisations.
- National Health Authority is the successor of the National Health Agency.
- An attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with full functional autonomy.
- NHA is governed by a Governing Board chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare.
- It is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), an officer of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India, who manages its affairs. The CEO is the Ex-Office Member Secretary of the Governing Board.
- To implement the scheme at the State level, State Health Agencies (SHAs) in the form of a society/trust have been set up by respective States. SHAs have full operational autonomy over the implementation of the scheme in the State including extending the coverage to non SECC beneficiaries.
6. ISRO places three satellites in orbit in first launch of 2022
TOPIC: Science& Tech
Context- The PSLV-C52 rocket, carrying EOS-04 and two other satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
- EOS-04, which is a radar imaging satellite meant to provide high quality images of the land under all weather conditions
- It was deposited in the intended sun synchronous polar orbit.
- INSPIREsat-1, was built by the Thiruvananthapuram-based Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in collaboration with the University of Colorado in the United States.
- This satellite would study the dynamics of the upper atmosphere.
- It also carries an X-ray spectrometer for studying solar flares.
- INS-2TD, is a technology demonstrator for the first India-Bhutan joint satellite that is scheduled to be launched next month.
- The two countries had signed a space agreement last year, and its first outcome would be the launch of BhutanSat, or INS-2B, on a PSLV rocket in March.
- INS-2TD has a thermal imaging camera meant for earth observation purposes like assessment of land and water surface temperature, and identification of forest and tree cover.
Context- The waterbird population in inland wetlands in Tamil Nadu recorded during a synchronised survey this year was lesser due to the prevailing high water condition in most of the wetlands.
- Due to heavy rain this year, all resident and migratory birds were seen scattered and spread to most wetlands rather than their traditional areas.
- These birds are generally observed widely in most of the wetlands, including paddy ﬁelds.
- Spot-billed Pelican
- Eurasian Spoonbill
- Oriental Darter
- Painted Stork
- Black-headed Ibis
- Bar-headed Goose
- Greater Flamingo
- Comb Duck
- Little Grebe or Dabchick.
TOPIC: Science & Tech
Context- February 15, 2022 is marked as the 1st anniversary of the new guidelines that took eﬀect to completely de-regulate the geospatial sector for Indians.
Geospatial Policy 2021
- Geo-Spacial Data: Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth. It combines Information on:
- Attribute (the characteristics of the object, event, or phenomena concerned),
- Temporal or time.
- New Policy:
- Open Access: to its geospatial data and services, including maps, for all Indian entities, with the exception of sensitive defence or security-related data.
- Restrictions Removed: There shall be no requirement for security clearance, licence or any other restrictions.
- Reason for Deregulation of Geo-Spacial Data:
- Delayed Projects: System of acquiring licenses or permission, and the red tape involved, took months, delaying projects,
- Lack of Data: There is also a huge lack of data in the country which impedes planning for infrastructure, development and businesses which are data-based.
- Changing Needs: Geo-spatial data has now become imperative for the government in planning for infrastructure, development, social development, natural calamities as well as the economy, with more and more sectors such as agriculture, environment protection, power, water, transportation, communication, health (tracking of diseases, patients, hospitals etc) relying heavily on this data
- Global Push: Large amounts of geo-spatial data are also available on global platforms, which makes the regulation of data that is freely available in other countries.
9. ASI reviving underwater division
TOPIC: Art & Culture
Context- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is in the process of reviving its underwater archaeology wing that had become defunct over the years
- The standing committee highlighted the need for reviving underwater archaeological sites in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Odisha in its report.
- The underwater archaeology involves remains of submerged shipwrecks, ports and records of maritime activity from archaeological excavations.
What makes underwater archaeological explorations significant?
- India has a vast coastline of over 7,500 kilometres.
- Oceans are a treasure trove of the past records — climate, evolutionary changes of the underwater fauna, coastal lives, habitations, settlements and civilizations.
- Using such underwater exploration studies, scientists say that it is possible to trace numerous ship wreckages and remains from the past. Studies of ship wreckage, artifacts or remains could reveal a lot of information.
Has India undertaken underwater archaeological explorations?
- A part of Dwarka, along the coastal Gujarat, is underwater, confirming the sea-level rise.
- In the past, NIO had initiated studies to trace the missing shore temples of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.
- Presently, several ship wreckage studies, including the one off the Odisha coast, are going on.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):
- ASI, under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization for the archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
- It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham– the first Director-General of ASI.
- Alexander Cunningham is also known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology”.
- Its activities include carrying out surveys of antiquarian remains, exploration and excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and maintenance of protected monuments etc.
10. AGRI CESS ON CRUDE PALM OIL
Context- The central government has reduced agri-cess for crude palm oil (CPO) from 7.5% to 5% with effect from February 12.
- This will provide relief to consumers and help in keeping a check on any further rise in the prices of domestic edible oils.
Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC):
- Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) was proposed in the Budget 2021-22.
- To raise funds to finance spending on developing agriculture infrastructure aimed to boost production and farm output efficiency.
- The new cess to be levied on 29 products, prominent among which are gold, silver, imported apple, imported alcohol (excluding beer), imported pulses, imported palm oil, imported urea, and petrol/diesel including branded ones.
- Cess is a special-purpose tax levied over and above basic tax rates.
- Drawing power from Articles 270 and 271 of the Constitution, the Centre collects cess and deposits it in the Consolidated Fund of India.
- The money collected is then transferred to a segregated fund to be used for specific purpose.
- But, this cess and surcharge money is not part of the divisible pool, from which devolution of Central taxes takes place to the States.
11. CHINESE APPS BANNED IN INDIA
Context- The government has banned 54 more apps which have either originated in China or have some Chinese connection.
- e.g. Video editing apps such as Viva Video Editor- Snack Video Maker , games such as Onmyoji Chess and Conquer Online II, PUBG, have been banned.
- The new apps have been banned using emergency powers under Section 69 of the Information Technology Act.
Section 69 of IT Act:
- It confers on the Central and State governments the power to issue directions “to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource”.
- The grounds on which these powers may be exercised are:
- In the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state.
- Friendly relations with foreign states.
- Public order, or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to these.
- For investigating any offence.
- Process of Blocking Internet Websites: Section 69A, for similar reasons and grounds (as stated above), enables the Centre to ask any agency of the government, or any intermediary, to block access to the public of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored or hosted on any computer resource.
12. DOLLARIZATION OF INDIAN ECONOMY
Context- If India allows a private currency like cryptocurrency in the country it could lead to Dollarisation of the Indian economy and the central bank will lose the ability to control policy, said RBI Deputy Governor Rabi Sankar.
Dollarisation of Indian economy:
- Adopting a private currency will be a retrograde step that can eventually result in private currency replacing the Indian rupee to some extent.
- In such a circumstance, there would be a parallel currency system (or systems) in the country.
- Thus, increased acceptance of cryptocurrencies would result in effective ‘Dollarization’ of our economy.
- “Dollarization would undermine the ability of authorities to control money supply or interest rates, as monetary policy would not have any impact on the non-Rupee currencies or payment instruments.
- A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of a computerized database.
- It uses strong cryptography to secure transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership.
- It typically does not exist in physical form (like paper money) and is typically not issued by a central authority.
- Cryptocurrencies typically use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems.
Context- The Finance Ministry issued a gazette notiﬁcation to Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd (Amalgamation with Unity Small Finance Bank Limited) Scheme, 2022.
- Bank failure is not something new in India.
- After the formation of the Reserve Bank of India in 1935, till the time of Independence (1947), there were 900 bank failures.
- From 1947 to 1969, as many as 665 banks failed. The depositors of all these banks lost their money.
- Even after 1969, 36 banks failed but these were rescued by merging them with other government banks. This included big lenders like Global Trust Bank.
- Recently, the failure of old generation Lakshmi Vilas Bank and new generation YES Bank. In all these cases, the government and the RBI ensured payment to depositors.