Daily Prelims Notes 15 July 2022
- July 15, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
15 July 2022
Table Of Contents
- Enforcing Fundamental Duties
- Intellectual heritage project
- Azores High
- Mantle Plumes and Tectonic Plates
- Heat Wave in Western Europe
- Goencho Saib- Goa’s patron saint
- Startup winter and crypto winter
- Gold price falling
- Embedded value
- Euro- Dollar Parity
- ‘Unparliamentarily words’ unfit for the House
- Flag Code
- Ground Water Extraction Guidelines
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
- DSR technique
- Production of vegetables to go up
- NHAI back to build-operate-transfer model
Enforcing Fundamental Duties
- A petition in the Supreme Court has sought the enforcement of fundamental duties of citizens, including patriotism and unity of nation, through ‘comprehensive, and well-defined laws.’
- The petition argued that the “need of the hour” was to remind citizens that fundamental duties were as important as fundamental rights under the Constitution.
- Though it agreed that the 11 fundamental duties listed in Article 51A of the Constitution were basically “moral obligations” on citizens, the petition used the prefix “sacrosanct” to define these obligations.
- It said the time had come to balance rights, liberties and freedoms and obligations. Fundamental duties instilled a “profound sense of social responsibility towards the nation”.
- It said fundamental duties were “brazenly flouted” by people. These duties were an important tool to protect unity and integrity.
- The petition mentioned the Supreme Court’s own judgment in the Ranganath Mishra case to contend that fundamental duties should not only be enforced by legal sanctions but also by social sanctions.
Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties
The Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties of the Citizens (1999) identified the existence of legal provisions for the implementation of some of the Fundamental Duties.
They are mentioned below:
- The Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act (1971) prevents disrespect to the Constitution of India, the National Flag, and the National Anthem.
- The various criminal laws in force provide for punishments for encouraging enmity between different sections of people on grounds of language, race, place of birth, religion and so on.
- The Protection of Civil Rights Act (1955) provides for punishments for offences related to caste and religion.
- The Indian Penal Code (IPC) declares the imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration as punishable offences.
- The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 provides for the declaration of a communal organisation as an unlawful association.
- The Representation of the People Act (1951) provides for the disqualification of members of Parliament or a state legislature for indulging in corrupt practice, that is, soliciting votes on the ground of religion or promoting enmity between different sections of people on grounds of caste, race, language, religion and so on.
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 prohibits trade in rare and endangered species.
- The Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 checks indiscriminate deforestation and diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes.
Intellectual heritage project
- From the restoration of “historical sites”, such as the Ram temple and the Somnath temple, and paying tribute to freedom fighters at Jallianwala Bagh Smarak; from economic policies such as GST to the National Education Mission, the digital mission and scholarships for sportspersons; from unique IDs for persons with disability to the heroes and histories of India’s tribal community.
- These are some of the key themes around which the Union Education Ministry is planning to create an “Intellectual Heritage in Development” — a dialogue, documentation and research programme on the Government’s initiatives.
- The plan is to hold about 100 conferences across the country on 100 themes during these three months, where research papers based on secondary data and sources available in ministries or elsewhere will be presented.
- Some of the focus areas identified are:
- Economic Reforms and Emerging Global Economy under the Finance Ministry.
- India’s great cultural heritage: Bhavyata and Divyata under the Culture Ministry.
- Tech-Powered India: Transforming Work, Empowering People under IT Ministry.
- The Sports Ministry will focus on Fit India and SPOT Scholarships.
- Social Justice Ministry will showcase Empowering Divyangs UDID (Unique ID for Persons with Disability), while Tribal Ministry will highlight “Restoring JanjatiyaGourav through Heroes, Histories”, “Eklavya Model Residential School” and scholarships.
- The Education Ministry’s initiatives to be highlighted include the National Education Policy, Samagra Shiksha (National Education Mission), NIPUN Bharat/ National Achievement Survey (NAS), Higher Education Financing Agency, National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA), Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS), RashtriyaUchchatar Shiksha Abhiyaan (RUSA) and PM-eVidya.
Extremely dry winter in Western Mediterranean due to expansion of ‘Azores High’
- Azores High is a subtropical high pressure system that extends over the eastern subtropical North Atlantic and western Europe during winter.
- It is associated with anticyclonic winds in the subtropical North Atlantic.
- It is formed by dry air aloft descending the subtropics and coincides with the downward branch of the Hadley Circulation.
Reasons for the expansion of Azores High
- The Azores High expansion is driven by external climate forces and that the only external forcing that produces this signal in the industrial era is atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
- Azores High expansion emerged after 1850 and strengthened in the twentieth century, consistent with anthropogenically driven warming.
- The Azores High has changed dramatically in the past century and that these changes in North Atlantic climate are unprecedented within the past millennium.
- An expanding Azores High agrees with reports of a poleward shift in the North Atlantic storm track and an increase in anticyclone frequency at the Azores High’s poleward edge as well as a positive trend in regional subtropical indicators.
Mantle Plumes and Tectonic Plates
- Indian tectonic plates dragged a considerable amount of Kerguelen plume material for more than 2,000 km underneath the Indian lithosphere, a study finds.
- The buoyant rising of hot and low-density magma or plumes from the Earth’s interior towards the surface leads to extensive volcanism and the creation of seamounts and volcanic chains above the ocean floor.
- However, a rising plume has to cut through the thick overlying lithosphere, the most rigid part of the earth, before it can reach the earth’s surface.
- Many times, the magma’s buoyant force is not sufficient to pierce through the lithosphere.
- In such cases, plumes tend to dump the material at sub-lithospheric depths. When the tectonic plates that lie over the lithosphere move, they tend to drag the ponded materials along with them.
- A fundamental question that remains outstanding in understanding earth’s processes is how far a tectonic plate can drag the plume material at its base after its initial impact with the plume.
- The recent study at NCPOR (National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research) has thrown some light on it.
- The team of scientists studied samples of igneous rocks collected from near the Ninety East Ridge in the Indian Ocean.
- The Ninety East Ridge is an aseismic ridge located almost parallel to 90 degrees east longitude in the Indian Ocean. It is approximately 5,000 kilometers in length and has an average width of 200 km.
- A detailed geochemical and isotopic investigation revealed that some basaltic samples were highly alkaline and had very similar compositions to those released by the Kerguelen hotspot in the Southern Indian Ocean.
- In addition, the minimum age of the alkaline samples was about 58 million years, much younger than the adjacent oceanic crust surrounding Ninety east ridge (around 82-78 million years old).
- The new study proposes that the Indian tectonic plate, which was contemporaneously moving northward at a very high speed, had dragged a considerable amount of Kerguelen plume material for more than 2,000 km underneath the Indian lithosphere.
- Subsequent reactivation of deep fractures may have triggered decompression melting of the underlying plume material and emplaced as magmatic sills and lava flows near the Nighty East Region around 58 million years ago.
Heat Wave in Western Europe
- An intense and unprecedented early heatwave is baking western Europe, with temperatures in many places topping 40 degrees Celsius (°C).
- The UK, Portugal, Spain, Italy and France have been affected, with little relief in sight.
- Some of the worst conditions are further south, on the Iberian Peninsula.
- At least 14 states across Spain and Portugal have been issued with ‘extreme’ heat alerts, which is the highest level in this regard.
- The recent ice avalanches in the Italian Alps have claimed many lives.
- Southwestern Europe recently experienced the fifth-hottest May on record.
- Normally, heatwaves happen due to large-scale atmospheric circulation related to Rossby waves.
- The heatwave could be due to the condition of Arctic sea ice.
- If the sea ice is present, the vortex or wind circulation will be concentrated around the Arctic. If it is not there, the vortex will become wobbly and come down south to the mid latitudes.
- This means there will be a cold wave in some areas and a heatwave in others.
- A heat wave occurs when the daily maximum temperature of more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 5 °C (9 °F), the normal period being 1961–1990.
- These waves are associated with jet streams and the earth’s pressure systems.
- Rossby waves are formed when air from the polar region makes its way towards the Equator while the air from the tropics makes its way towards the poles.
- This is because of the differences in the solar radiation received, heat tends to move from high low to high latitudes.
- The existence of the waves explains the functioning of low-pressure cells such as cyclones and high-pressure cells that are important in producing the weather of middle and higher latitudes.
GoenchoSaib- Goa’s patron saint
Velingkar has sparked a debate, claiming that Goa’s patron saint — or as they say in Konkani ‘GoenchoSaib’ — should be the mythical sage Parshuram and not the 16th-century Spanish priest St Francis Xavier.
St Francis Xavier
- Francis Xavier was a Navarrese Catholic missionary and saint who was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus.
- He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly the Portuguese Empire in the East, and was influential in evangelisation work, most notably in early modern India.
- He was extensively involved in the missionary activity in Portuguese India.
- In 1546, Francis Xavier proposed the establishment of the Goan Inquisition in a letter addressed to the Portuguese King, John III.
- Known as the “Apostle of the Indies“, “Apostle of the Far East“, “Apostle of China” and “Apostle of Japan“, he is considered to be one of the greatest missionaries since Paul the Apostle.
The Portuguese Inquisition
- During the Inquisition, Hindus and Muslims were targeted and forced to convert to Christianity.
- Hindus, who were forcibly converted, were called New Christians and if they were found secretly following their previous religion, they were sentenced to death.
- Most of the records regarding Goa’s Inquisition were burnt and destroyed by the Portuguese government when the Inquisition was abolished in 1812.
Why in the news?
The crypto market has been going through a downward trend with a sharp decline in prices since the beginning of this year.
Further there has been a funding winter for startups too– Funding in the Indian start-up ecosystem has fallen by 40 per cent to $6.8 billion in the second quarter of calendar year 2022
What is crypto winter?
- The phrase ‘crypto winter’ came into use from the HBO series, Game of Thrones.
- Crypto winter is used to refer to the crypto market where the cryptos run lower than usual.
- The poorly performing crypto market where value of most cryptocurrencies have fallen more than the bear market is called the crypto winter
- Generally, a bear market is associated with the period when prices fall around 30% from all-time highs. A bear market is a term used to describe a poorly performing market; it can be stocks, cryptos, or even equities.
- Crypto winter is just a period like a conventional bear market but to an elaborated extent.
- A crypto winter which signifies the negative sentiment across the digital currencies. It warns of trouble settling over the crypto market.
Factors leading to the cryptowinter
- Federal Reserve hiking the interest rates– leading investment in safer assets.
- The de-pegging of the TerraUSDstablecoin in mid-May and relative fall in prices of other cryptocurrencies- due to net selling off.
- Inflation-increases demand for money for transaction motive against speculative motive, as real purchasing power of money declines.
- All bear markets are usually the most suitable periods for price discovery and correction.
- Crypto winters filter out the weak projects pushing the most innovative ones to grow and validate their products.
- The cryptos that can survive this particular period can emerge beyond their positions after the revival phase of winter.
Funding winter for start-ups:
A funding slowdown has hit start-ups across stages, whether it is growth-stage companies unable to raise new funding, or early-stage start-ups that have to settle for lower-than-expected valuations and fund sizes.
Market slowdown and economic volatility on account of the prevailing macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions:
- Hike in Fed interest rate– leading to capital outflows.
- Cost push inflation- making day to day business costly leading to liquidity crunch.
- Risk averse investors-Many venture capital firms that have closed new funds continue to invest.
Why in the news?
International gold prices have declined, having fallen more than 12 per cent over the last three months.
Cause of decline in gold price:
- Monetary Policy tightening by Central Banks
- Due to the spike in inflation and rise in interest rate especially by the US Fed Reserve-the dollar has emerged as the safest haven for investors — which has led to a decline in relative investment in gold.
- A rise in US interest rates leads to appreciation of the dollar as money moves into the US chasing higher interest rates, and will in turn raise the opportunity cost of holding gold for investors.
- Besides, a strengthening of the dollar relative to other currencies increases the cost of gold purchase in those currencies, which may not be profitable for short-term investors.
Despite the fall in price –Why is import rising?
- Gold preserves its value in the long run and generates above-inflation return.
- While commodities do have cyclical risks, gold will generate a positive return in the long run simply because it’s a precious metal whose supply is limited.
- High liquidity of gold-being precious metal and widely acceptable.
- Under-performance of equities –Since gold has a low correlation with equity, it provides stability to the portfolio.
- Positive correlation with inflation-while equity markets have a negative correlation with inflation, gold has a positive correlation, and tends to preserve its value in an inflationary environment.
- Higher demand-Investors take refuge in gold in times of high inflation and global uncertainty, especially during a war.
Investors should go for exchange traded funds (ETFs) or sovereign gold bonds as the preferred mode of investment, as gold helps investors mitigate losses during this volatile period.
Gold Exchange traded Funds:
- Gold ETFs are open-ended funds that allow one to invest in gold without physically holding it.
- A gold exchange-traded fund (Gold ETF) is a passive investment fund that aims to track the price of physical gold.
- Each unit of a gold ETF represents one gram of gold as the fund invests in physical gold and investors get the units in dematerialised form. Since it’s an ETF, the units are listed on stock exchanges and investors can buy or sell units on the exchange platform like any equity instrument.
Simply put, a gold ETF is like buying gold in an electronic form. Hence, while selling a gold ETF unit, an investor will not get physical gold but the cash equivalent.
Why in the news?
Shares of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) gained about a per cent on the BSE after the insurance giant on Thursday reported the Indian Embedded Value (IEV) rise.
The Embedded Value (EV):
- Embedded value is the sum of the net asset value and present value of future profits of a life insurance company.
- This measure considers future profits from existing business only, and ignores the possibility of introduction of new policies and hence profits from those are not taken into account.
- In other words, it measures the consolidated value of shareholders’ interest in the life insurance business. It represents the present value of shareholders’ interests in the earnings distributable from the assets allocated to the business after sufficient allowance for the aggregate risks in the business.
|Cause of EV Jump:
The amendment to Section 24 of the LIC Act, brought prior to commencing the IPO, segregated the previously single ‘Life Fund’ into participatory and non-participatory funds.
Impact on IEV:
Why in the news?
The rupee reached a new low –79.88 against the US dollar with the steep rise in US inflation.
- US annual consumer prices were 9.1 per cent in June, the highest in four decades, leading to the speculation that the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates causing further capital flight from other markets.
- With the rise in the dollar index, Europe’s single currency – euro has dropped below parity against the dollar for the first time in almost 20 years.
- Parity refers to the condition where two items (or more) are equal.
- It can be found in the foreign exchange markets where currencies that are at parity have an exchange rate relationship of one-to-one.
- In the foreign exchange (forex) markets, currencies are at parity when there is a 1:1 relationship for the exchange rate.
- Assume a situation where the exchange rate is $1 to €1. Then, the currencies are considered to be at parity.
The Euro- Dollar parity:
- In terms of the exchange rate, one euro became equal to one US dollar.
- It slumped to as low as $0.9998 and is down almost 12% so far this year.
- However, a drop below the $1 level is rare. This is only the second time since 2002 that the euro has fallen this low to a dollar.
- The weakening in the euro against the dollar shows that investors are pulling out money from the Eurozone and into the US.
Beginning since 2008, the decline has been steep since 2021
- Weakness of the Eurozone Economy
- Covid pandemic and fiscal stimulus-led weak economy facing high inflation
- Energy crisis in the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine-Europe is completely dependent on Russian oil and gas and the unprecedented spike in energy prices has led to a rise in cost of living and investment vulnerabilities leading capital flight.
- Monetary policy differential of the US and the European Central Banks
- With relative hikes in the US rate of interest money is flowing out to the US because it offers better returns for investments.
Since becoming available freely in 1999, the single currency has spent very little time below parity.
- Fall in forex assets thus fall in value of forex of other countries-The euro is the second most sought after currency in global foreign exchange reserves and daily turnover in the euro/dollar is the highest among currencies in the global market.
- Stagflation risk-Allowing the currency to fall only fuels the record-high inflation. But trying to shore it up with higher interest rates could exacerbate recession risks.
- Capital flight-The weakening in the euro against the dollar shows that investors are pulling out money from the Eurozone and putting it into the US.
What are ‘unparliamentarily words’ unfit for the House, and how are they compiled?
Context: Ahead of the Monsoon Session, a row has erupted over a 50-page compilation of words deemed unfit for use in Parliament
Article 105 in the Constitution of India
Powers, privileges, etc of the Houses of Parliament and of the members and committees thereof
- Subject to the provisions of this constitution and the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of Parliament, there shall be freedom of speech in Parliament
- No Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or proceedings
- In other respects, the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of Parliament, and of the members and the committees of each House, shall be such as may from time to time be defined by Parliament by law
Whatever an MP says is subject to the discipline of the Rules of Parliament, the “good sense” of Members, and the control of proceedings by the Speaker
These checks ensure that MPs cannot use “defamatory or indecent or undignified or unparliamentary words” inside the House.
- Rule 380 (“Expunction”) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha says: “If the Speaker is of opinion that words have been used in debate which are defamatory or indecent or unparliamentary or undignified, the Speaker may, while exercising discretion order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the House.”
- Rule 381 says: “The portion of the proceedings of the House so expunged shall be marked by asterisks and an explanatory footnote shall be inserted in the proceedings
- Phrases and words both in English and in Indian languages that are considered “unparliamentary”. The Presiding Officers , Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairperson of Rajya Sabha have the job of keeping such words out of Parliament’s records.
What is the Flag Code and how has it been changed recently?
Context: The Flag Code of India, 2002 was amended vide Order dated December 30, 2021
What is Flag Code?
The Flag Code of India took effect on January 26, 2002
The use, display and hoisting of the National Flag in the country is guided by Flag Code of India 2002
It brings together all laws, conventions, practices, and instructions for the display of the National Flag
As per Clause 2.1 of the Flag Code of India, there shall be no restriction on the display of the National Flag by members of the general public, private organizations, educational institutions etc
The Flag Code of India, 2002 was amended vide Order dated December 30, 2021
National Flag made of polyester or machine made flag have also been allowed under the amendment
Now, the National Flag shall be made of hand-spun, hand-woven or machine-made cotton / polyester / wool / silk / khadi bunting, as per the amended flag code
The amended flag code will facilitate the availability of flags on such a large scale and also make them affordable for the general public
National Flag of India:
The rectangular tricolor flag consists of three equal horizontal segments, with saffron on top, white in the middle and green at the bottom
At the center of the white stripe is a depiction of Ashok Chakra in navy blue
The dimension of the flag should be of 2:3 ratio, i.e. the length should be 1.5 times the breadth
The flag is to be made from Khadi, hand-woven cotton or silk, following the manufacturing protocols laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
The Khadi Development and Village Industries Commission hold the right to manufacture the Indian National flag and as of 2009, the responsibility lies with the Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha
The colors and symbols of the Indian National flag hold deep philosophical meaning
The saffron stands for sacrifice and renunciation, the white stands for peace and the green stands for courage and immortality
The Ashok Chakra is a depiction of Dharma Chakra. It has 24 spokes radiating from the center. It represents righteousness, justice and forwardness.
The symbolism of wheel is that of constant movement that heralds progress and repels stagnation.
Another underlying symbolism of the three colors is based on the secular principles of India as a country. The saffron represents Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, the white is for Christianity and the green stands for Islam.
The flag as a whole represents a confluence of all religious principles, but above all a philosophy of tolerance and righteousness as depicted by the Ashok Chakra in the middle.
The first unofficial flag to be hoisted by the Indians happened on August 7, 1906, in Parsee Bagan, Calcutta.
In 1921, Gandhi proposed a tricolored flag with the symbol of the spinning wheel at its center.
The version of the flag closest to the current one came into existence in 1923. It was designed by Pingali Venkayya and had the saffron, white and green stripes with the spinning wheel placed in the white section.
It was hoisted on April 13, 1923 in Nagpur during an event commemorating the Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre.
It was named the Swaraj Flag and became the symbol of India’s demand for Self-rule led by the Indian National Congress.
The resolution to adopt the tricolor as the National Flag of India was passed in 1931.
On July 22, 1947, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Swaraj Flag as the National Flag of Sovereign India with the Ashok Chakra replacing the spinning wheel.
Guidelines to regulate and control Ground Water Extraction
Context :Just over a fortnight after it declared as “illegal” the extraction of groundwater by 2,069 industries, including projects and units of big corporates like Tata Steel, Adani Wilmar and Ramdev’s Divya Pharmacy, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) granted relief to them.
Guidelines to regulate and control Ground Water Extraction
- Water Conservation Fee (WCF):The revised guidelines introduced the concept of water conservation fee to discourage inefficient use and wastage of groundwater. It is the certain amount of fee to be paid depending upon the use of abstracted water, area of abstraction and amount of abstracted water.
- NOC for groundwater extraction: All industries, business establishments, infrastructure projects and even certain individual households have to obtain NOC through a web-based application system for ground water abstraction. Exemptions for NOC are the same as that of WCF.
- Use of recycled and treated sewage water: It seeks to encourage the use of recycled and treated sewage water by industries.
- Penalties: Guidelines have provision of action against polluting industries
- Groundwater monitoring Instruments: It envisages mandatory requirement of digital flow meters, piezometers and digital water level recorders.
- Water Audits: Guidelines insist mandatory Water audits for industries extracting groundwater 500 m3/day or more in safe and semi-critical and 200 m3/day or more in critical and over-exploited areas
- Rain water harvesting: It calls for mandatory roof top rain water harvesting except for specified industries (industries falling in red and orange categories as per CPCB)
- Prevent Groundwater Contamination: It envisages measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of groundwater contamination in premises of polluting industries/ projects.
Who all need to pay the fee?
- All industrial units
- All business establishments; hotels and hospitals
- Infrastructure projects such as residential and office buildings
- Individual households that draw groundwater using a delivery pipe of a greater than 1” diameter
- Agricultural users,
- Users employing non-energised means to extract water,
- Individual households (using less than 1-inch diameter delivery pipe)
- Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment or during mobilization in forward locations
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
Context: Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, the Centre’s flagship programme for women’s empowerment, which focuses on education of girl child and improving sex ratio, will now be extended across the country, according to guidelines issued by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry
- The objectives of the Scheme are as under:
- To prevent gender biased sex selective elimination
- To ensure survival and protection of the girl child
- To ensure education and participation of the girl child
- To increase girl’s participation in the fields of sports
- BBBP scheme aims to achieve the following:
- Improvement in the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) by 2 points every year,
- Improvement in the percentage of institutional deliveries or sustained at the rate of 95% or above,
- 1% increase in enrolment at secondary education level and skilling of girls/women per year.
- To check dropout rate among girls at secondary and higher secondary levels.
- Raising awareness about safe menstrual hygiene management (MHM)
- Implement a sustained Social Mobilization and Communication Campaign to create equal value for the girl child & promote her education.
- Focus on Gender Critical Districts and Cities low on CSR for intensive & integrated action.
- Mobilize & Train Panchayati Raj Institutions/Urban local bodies/ Grassroot workers as catalysts for social change, in partnership with local community/women’s/youth groups.
- Engage with Communities to challenge gender stereotypes and social norms.
- Enable Inter-sectoral and inter-institutional convergence at District/Block/Grassroot levels.
Subject: Science & Tech.
Why weedicides are essential for DSR technique to prosper?
Context: Punjab CM recently claimed that nearly 20 lakh acres of land will be used to grow rice using the DSR technique, the highest ever of any paddy sowing season in state history
What is Direct Seeding of Rice Technique?
Under the technique, paddy seeds are drilled into the field with the help of a machine that does seeding of rice and spray of herbicide simultaneously
The DSR needs far less water for irrigation, improves percolation, reduces dependence on farm labour and improves soil health, thus enhancing yield of both paddy and wheat by 5-10 per cent
The major flaw is an increase in the growth of weeds. This technique does not require flood irrigation during the sowing period and for three weeks after that, weeds grow easily and in large quantities.
The mandatory or pre-emergence weedicide is Pendimethalin while some post-emergence ones are Ricestar 6.7 EC, Almix 20 WP+ Metsulfron methyl, etc
It requires timely sowing needs for the crops to come out properly before monsoon rains
Seed requirement is high. In transplanting, it is 4 to 5 per acre and in DSR it is 8 to 10 kg per acre
Puddled transplantation method
While in the traditional method, young paddy plants are raised by farmers in nurseries first and then these plants are uprooted and transplanted in a puddled field.
In the traditional puddled transplantation method, fields are flooded at the time of transplantation and for 30-35 days after that, and the stagnant water prevents the growth of weeds to a large extent
Context: According to the second advanced estimates of area and production of various horticultural crops released by the Union Agriculture Ministry, the total horticulture production in 2021-22 is estimated to be 341.63 million tonnes (MT), an increase of about 7.03 MT or 21% over the 2020-21 figure.
Horticulture Production Trend:
- Indian horticulture sector contributes about 33% to the agriculture Gross Value Added (GVA).
- India has been producing about 320.48 million tons of horticulture produce which has surpassed the food grain production and emerged as the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables.
- Last year, the total horticulture cultivation was on 27.48 million hectares and according to the second advanced estimates, in 2021-22, it could be 27.74 million hectares.
- There could be an increase in the production of fruits, vegetables and honey, whereas the cultivation of spices, flowers, medicinal plants and plantation crops could decrease over previous year.
- The fruit production is estimated at 1 MT compared to 102.48 MT in 2020-21. The production of vegetables is estimated to be 204.61 MT, compared to 200.45 MT in 2020-21.
- The onion production is estimated to be 31.7 MT against 26.64 MT in 2020-21; Potato production is likely to be 53.58 MT, from 56.17 MT in 2020-21and Tomato yield is expected to be 20.34 MT, from 21.18 MT in 2020-21.
Schemes to enhance Horticulture Production
- National Horticulture Mission– launched under the 10th five-year plan in the year 2005-06. While GoI contributes 85%, 15% share is contributed by State Governments.
- Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) – a centrally sponsored scheme, launched in 2014, for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root & tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo. GoI contributes 60% of total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states and in case of UTs 100% fund is contributed. It is implemented under Green Revolution- Krishonnati Yojana.
- MIDH has 5 sub schemes namely:
- National Horticulture Mission (NHM)- implemented by the State Horticulture Missions.
- National Horticulture Board (NHB)
- Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States (HMNEH)- 90% fund is contributed by centre.
- Coconut Development Board (CDB)
- Central Institute for Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland- provide technical backstopping through capacity building and training of farmers and Field functionaries in the North Eastern Region.
- National Bamboo Mission
Context: After Funding highway projects through public money for a better part of the last decade, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to return to funding through private investments and plans to offer at least two highway upgradation projects to private players using the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model during the current quarter.
- Under the EPC model, government pays private players to lay roads. The private player has no role in the road’s ownership, toll collection or maintenance (it is taken care of by the government).
- Under the BOT model though, private players have an active role — they build, operate and maintain the road for a specified number of years before transferring the asset back to the government. Under BOT, the private player arranged all the finances for the project, while collecting toll revenue or annuity fee from the Government.
- The BOT model ran into roadblocks with private players not quite forthcoming to invest. The private player had to fully arrange for its finances be it through equity contribution or debt. NPA-riddled banks were becoming wary of lending to these projects. Also, if the compensation structure didn’t involve a fixed compensation (such as annuity), developers had to take on the entire risk of low passenger traffic.
- HAM’s a hybrid – a mix of the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) and BOT (build, operate, transfer) models. HAM combines EPC (40 per cent) and BOT-Annuity (60 per cent).
- On behalf of the government, NHAI releases 40 per cent of the total project cost. The balance 60 per cent is arranged by the developer.
- HAM arose out of a need to have a better financial mechanism for road development.
- HAM is a good trade-off, spreading the risk between developers and the Government