Daily Prelims Notes 15 March 2021
- March 15, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
15 March 2021
Table Of Contents
- Z+ SECURITY
- PERMANENT INDUS COMMISSION
- COMMUNAL GO 1921
- AGRICULTURAL MARKETING AND FARMER FRIENDLY REFORMS INDEX (AMFFRI)
- RODTEP SCHEME
- MOSQUITO PROTEIN AEG12
- SHETRUNJAY DUNGAR RESERVE FOREST
- NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER
- RIVER SARASVATI
- REPORT BY INDEX MONITORING CELL
Subject : Governance
Context : Centre Offers Z+ Security To CM Mamata Banerjee After Alleged Attack In Nandigram
- Z+ is the highest category security in India.
- It offers a security cover of 55 personnel, including 10+ NSG Commandos + Police Personnel.
- Each commando is an expert in martial arts and unarmed combat.
- Z+ security is provided by the NSG commandos equipped with sophisticated MP5 guns, and modern communication gadgets.
- Only 10-17 VIPs in the country are provided the Z+ security. This includes PM Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and few others.
Subject : International Agreements
Context : The Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan will meet here on March 23 and 24 to discuss a host of issues, including Islamabad’s concerns to the design of Indian hydropower projects on the Chenab River, a top official said on Sunday.
- The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960.
- The Commission according to the treaty must meet regularly at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan.
The functions of the Commission are:
- to study and report to the two Governments on any problem relating to the development on the waters of the rivers.
- to solve disputes arising over water sharing.
- to arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river head works.
- to undertake, once in every five years, a general tour of inspection of the Rivers for ascertaining the facts.
- to take necessary steps for the implementation of the provisions of the treaty.
Indus Water Treaty
- It is a treaty brokered by the World Bank and signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan which administers how the waters of the Indus and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be utilized.
- According to the treaty, waters of the eastern rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi had been allocated to India, while the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan. However, since Indus flows from India, the country is allowed to use 20 percent of its water for irrigation, power generation and transport purposes.
- A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty.
- The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.
Subject : History
Context : With the Supreme Court readying itself to raise its previously-imposed ceiling of 50 per cent as the upper limit for reservations, the spiral of history has completed a full cycle in almost exactly one hundred years.
- In September 1921, the so-called “Communal GO” (or Government Order) was passed in the Madras Presidency by a provincial government led by the Justice Party.
- The Communal GO was essentially a power-sharing agreement that had the blessings of the colonial government.
- It allocated government jobs and seats in public higher education institutions to different communities in specific proportions.
- It was designed to check the near-monopoly of Brahmins on these opportunities despite the fact that they constituted only about three per cent of the population.
- The GO also signalled the arrival of popular politics, and was the culmination of a successful campaign for electoral power by the so-called non-Brahmin movement spearheaded by the Justice Party.
- These government opportunities were to be shared among six communities: Brahmins, non-Brahmin Hindus, Mohammedans, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians and Europeans, and others.
- But most important here is the rationale for this policy — it is not based on any form of backwardness or disadvantage. Rather, it is an explicitly political principle of sharing the state’s resources and opportunities.
4. AGRICULTURAL MARKETING AND FARMER FRIENDLY REFORMS INDEX (AMFFRI)
Subject : Important Reports
Context : It requires a diversified approach that takes into account peculiarities and constraints of states, investment in infrastructure and linking farmer producer groups with markets.
- This Index was launched by NITI Aayog.
- NITI Aayog has developed the first ever ‘Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index’ to sensitize states about the need to undertake reforms in the three key areas of Agriculture Market Reforms, Land Lease Reforms and Forestry on Private Land (Felling and Transit of Trees).
- This indicator reveal ease of doing agribusiness as well as opportunities for farmers to benefit from modern trade and commerce and have wider option for sale of her/his produce.
- The index carries a score with a minimum value “0” implying no reforms and maximum value “100” implying complete reforms in the selected areas.
Subject : Government Schemes
Context : As the government prepares to notify refund rates under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme, exporters fear the rates may turn out to be lower than recommended by a technical committee.
Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP):
- The scheme was announced in 2020 as a replacement for the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), which was not compliant with the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
- Following a complaint by the US, a dispute settlement panel had ruled against India’s use of MEIS as it had found the duty credit scrips awarded under the scheme to be inconsistent with WTO norms.
- The RoDTEP scheme would refund to exporters the embedded central, state and local duties or taxes that were so far not being rebated or refunded and were, therefore, placing India’s exports at a disadvantage.
- Indian exporters will be able to meet the international standards for exports as affordable testing and certification will be made available to exporters within the country instead of relying on international organizations.
- Also under it, tax assessment is set to become fully automatic for exporters. Businesses will get access to their refunds for GST via an automatic refund-route.
- This would increase the economy for the country and working capital for the enterprise.
Extension of Benefits:
- The government has decided to extend the benefits of the RoDTEP to all export goods starting 1st January 2021.
- Initially, the scheme was expected to be limited to around three sectors to start with due to limited resources.
- The rates under this scheme, which are expected to be notified soon, will be applicable from 1st January 2021 to all eligible exports of goods.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Mosquito protein inhibits number of viruses, raises hope against Covid too.
- A mosquito protein, called AEG12, strongly inhibits the family of viruses that cause yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Zika, and also weakly inhibits coronaviruses, according to scientists at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators.
- The researchers found that AEG12 works by destabilizing the viral envelope, breaking its protective covering.
- Although the protein does not affect viruses that do not have an envelope, such as those that cause pink eye and bladder infections, the findings could lead to therapeutics against viruses that affect millions of people around the world.
- The research was published online in PNAS.
- Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, used X-ray crystallography to solve the structure of AEG12.
7. SHETRUNJAY DUNGAR RESERVE FOREST
Subject : Environment
Context : Fire engulfs nearly 200 hectares in Shetrunjay, brought under control.
- Shatrunjaya or Shetrunjaya (“place of victory against inner enemies”) originally Pundarikgiri), are hills located by the city of Palitana, in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat, India.
- They are situated on the banks of the Shetrunji River at an elevation 164 feet (50 m) above sea level. These hills have similarities to other hills where Jain temples have been built in Bihar, Gwalior, Mount Abu and Girnar.
- Shetrunjay Hills reserve forest area, a habitat of Asiatic lions, in Bhavnagar territorial forest division .
- The Shetrunjay Dunagar Reserve Forest, a patch of hilly, dry and deciduous forest, is home to Asiatic lions and leopards as well as herbivores such as blue bulls.
8. NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER
Subject : Governance
Context : Centre likely to allow residents to fill their NPR details online.
National Population Register
- It is a list of “usual residents of the country”.
- A “usual resident of the country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months, or intends to stay in a particular location for the next six months.
- The NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
- It is mandatory for every “usual resident of India” to register in the NPR.
- The data for the NPR was first collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census 2011.
- In 2015, this data was further updated by conducting a door-to-door survey.
- However, with the use of Aadhaar as the key vehicle for transfer of government benefits in the last few years, the NPR has taken a backseat.
- The NPR exercise is conducted at the local, sub-district, district, state and national levels.
- The NPR will collect both demographic data and biometric data. Biometric data will be updated through Aadhar details.
- In the 2010 exercise, the RGI had collected only demographic details.
- In 2015, it updated the data further with the mobile, Aadhaar and ration card numbers of residents.
- For the 2020 exercise, it has dropped the ration card number but added other categories.
NPR and the NRC:
- Unlike the NRC, the NPR is not a citizenship enumeration drive, as it would record even a foreigner staying in a locality for more than six months.
- With the government insisting that the NRC would be implemented across the country, the NPR has raised anxieties around the idea of citizenship in the country.
- All this is happening in the backdrop of the NRC in Assam which has excluded 19 lakh among the 3.3 crore who had applied.
- NRC countrywide would only happen on the basis of the upcoming NPR.
- After a list of residents is created (i.e. NPR), a nationwide NRC could go about verifying the citizens from that list.
Subject : Geography / History
Context :The Centre has reconstituted an advisory committee to chalk out a plan for studying the mythical Sarasvati river for the next two years, after the earlier panel’s term ended in 2019.
- The Sarasvati River is one of the main Rigvedic rivers mentioned in the scripture Rig Veda and later Vedic and post-Vedic texts.
- The ‘Sapta Sindhu’ in Rig Veda refers to the rivers Saraswati, Satadru (Sutlej), Vipasa (Beas), Asikni (Chenab), Purushni (Ravi), Vitasta (Jhelum) and Sindhu (Indus).
- Among these, the Saraswati and the Sindhu were major rivers that flowed from the mountains right up to the sea.
- For 2000 years, between 6000 and 4000 B.C., the Saraswati flowed as a great river.
- The river, which had originated from Kapal tirith in the Himalayas in the west of Kailash, was flowing southward to Mansarovar and then taking a turn towards west.
10. REPORT BY INDEX MONITORING CELL
Subject : Important Reports
Context : Veteran journalist strikes a dissenting note in Index Monitoring Cell report.
- Pointing out that the right to dissent should be the central focus of press freedom, independent journalist P. Sainath struck a dissenting note in the report submitted by the Index Monitoring Cell (IMC)
- It is set up by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry with stakeholders to improve India’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index and to evolve an objective yardstick to gauge media freedom.
- The 15-member committee, has four journalists and government functionaries. Chaired by Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, Principal Director General of the Press Information Bureau, the committee has 10 government employees.
- Among the key recommendations is the decriminalising of defamation. India is one of the few countries in the world to criminalise defamation.
- The panel has also recommended that consent of the Press Council of India is a prerequisite before filing an FIR against the media or a publication.
- The meeting of the panel comes in the backdrop of a steady decline in India’s ranking in press freedom.
World Press Freedom Index
- It has been published every year since 2002 by Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders.
- Based in Paris, RSF is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).
- OIF is a 54 french speaking nations collective.
- The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
- The parameters include pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.