Daily Prelims Notes 16 February 2021
- February 16, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
16 February 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- National Commission for Minorities
- State Advisory prices for Sugarcane
- Share Delusional Disorder
- Mandarin duck or the (Aix galericulata)
- Digital Intelligence Unit
- NS Vishwanathan panel to strengthen Urban Cooperative banks by RBI
- BHIMBEDKA PAINTING
- WHOLESALE PRICE INDEX
- WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE & BRENT CRUDE
- LEATHERBACK TURTLES
- FISCAL DEFICIT
Context: THE DELHI High Court on Monday questioned the Centre regarding vacancies at the National Commission for Minorities (6 out of 7) and asked it to file a status report in response to a petition seeking filling of all vacant posts in the statutory body
- The govt says that the pendency is mainly due to Covid-19 imposed impact and delaying the process.
- However, this is not the first instance. Even earlier this has been a regular occurrence. In 2017 as well all vacancies were vacant for few months.
About National Commission for Minorities
- It is a statutory body under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 for the purpose of safeguarding and protecting the interests of minorities as provided in the Constitution of India and laws enacted by the Parliament and the State Legislatures.
- National Commission for Minorities consist of Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and five Members.
- The Members including the Chairperson shall be from amongst the minority communities.
- The Act mentions an annual report, together with the memorandum of action taken on the recommendations contained therein, as well as the reasons for non-acceptance of the recommendations, if any, be tabled before Parliament annually.
- Initially five religious’ communities, viz., Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were notified as minority communities by the Union Government. Further in 2014, Jains were also notified as another minority community.
- State Government constituted State Minorities Commissions in their respective State Capitals.
- Evaluating the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and States.
- Safeguarding for minorities rights provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the state legislatures
- Making recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities by the central or state governments.
- Looking into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of minorities
- Getting studies to be undertaken into the problems arising out of any discrimination against minorities and recommending measures for their removal.
Context: SAP for sugarcane did not change in UP for third year in a row.
- With the amendment of the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 on 22.10.2009, the concept of Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) of sugarcane was replaced with the ‘Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP)’ of sugarcane for 2009-10 and subsequent sugar seasons.
- FRP is announced by the Central Government and is decided on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) in consultation with the State Governments and after taking feedback from associations of sugar industry.
- Under the FRP system, the farmers are not required to wait till the end of the season or for any announcement of the profits by sugar mills or the Government.
- The new system also assures margins on account of profit and risk to farmers, irrespective of the fact whether sugar mills generate profit or not and is not dependent on the performance of any individual sugar mill.
- States declare state specific sugarcane prices called StateAdvised Prices (SAP), usually higher than the SMP/FRP.
- Since early 1970s, State Advised Price (SAP) came into existence in States like UP, TamilNadu, Punjab, Haryana etc.
Context: A rare psychotic disorder called ‘shared delusion disorder’ may lie at the root of the murder of two women by their parents in Andhra Pradesh.
About Share Delusional Disorder
- Early evaluations of the mental health status of the arrested parents and their erratic behavior suggests that they may be having “Share Delusional Disorder”.
- It is a psychotic disorder referred to as ‘folie a deux’ (the French for ‘madness shared by two’) in psychiatric literature, is described as “an unusual mental disorder characterised by sharing a delusion among two or more people who are in a close relationship.
- When such a phenomenon occurs in a family, it is referred to as ‘folie a famille’. “Folie a famille” is characterised as a shared psychotic disorder within a family, in more than two members.
- One of the primary treatments currently is to separate the primary or dominant person from the more mildly affected and to provide treatment.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: National Informatics Centre (NIC) has launched an instant messaging app on the lines of WhatsApp.
- The launch of the app is also a part of the government strategy to push for use of India-made software so as to build an ecosystem of indigenously developed products.
- In August 2020, the NIC released the first version of the app, which said that the app could be used by both central and state government officials “for intra and inter-organization communication.
- Open initially only to government officers, it has now been released for the common public as well.
- The need of app was felt in Post-Covid scenario for secure communication as more and more people worked from home.
- It has interface similar to available messaging apps.
- The chats on government instant messaging systems or GIMS can be backed up to a users’ email (right now it doesn’t have to transfer chat history between two platfprms)
- It needs a valid mobile number or email id for registration and has features such as group making, broadcast message, message forwarding and emojis.
- As an additional safety feature, it allows a user to mark a message as confidential, which, the app’s description says, will allow the recipient to be made aware the message should not be shared with others.
- Current limitation is app does not allow the user to change their email id or registered phone number.
Context: Considered the most beautiful duck in the world, the Mandarin duck made an appearance in Assam’s Tinsukia last week after more than a century.
- It was found in Maguri-Motapungbeel (or wetland) in Assam’s Tinsukia district.
- It is a “small-exotic looking bird” native to East Asia. “It’s very beautiful, with majestic colours and can be spotted from a distance
- In this species the males (ornate with big orangey ‘sail fins’ on the back, streaked orangey cheeks, and a small red bill with a whitish tip) are more colourful than the females (narrow white spectacles on a shaggy grey head, bold pale dappled spots along flanks, and pale bill tip).
- It is a migratory bird and breeds in Russia, Korea, Japan and northeastern parts of China. It has established populations in Western Europe and America too.
- It is rarely seen in India as it is not in its migratory path. It seems it strayed from its path.
- It is not a threatened bird species as it is under “Least Concern” under IUCN.
Context: The central government will set up a digital intelligence unit (DIU) as a nodal agency to deal with complaints of unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) and cases of financial fraud, especially in the digital payments space.
- It will be a Nodal agency to coordinate between various agencies dealing with unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) and cases of financial fraud.
- For UCC (Unsolicited Commercial Communication) and financial fraud related complaints, time is of utmost essence and a quick time bound action will help in reducing such menace.
- The main function of DIU will be tocoordinate with various Law enforcement Agencies, Financial Institutions and telecom service providers in investigating any fraudulent activity involving telecom resources.
- At License Service Area level, Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP) system will also be created.
- It will promote the trust of people in the digital ecosystem and will make financial digital transactions primarily through mobile more secure and reliable, which will result in promotion of Digital India.
- A web/ mobile application and SMS based system will also be developed for effective handling of Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) and also financial frauds being done through misuse of telecom resources.
Context: RBI has formed a new panel headed by deputy director NS Vishwanathan to suggest strengthening of UCBs.
- It is to examine their issues and provide a roadmap for strengthening the sector.
- It will look into regulatory measures taken by the central bank and other authorities in respect of UCBs and assess their impact over last five years to identify key constraints and enablers.
- It will suggest suitable measures to strengthen the sector, taking into account recent amendments to the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
- Organised under the Banking Companies Act, 1956
- They operate on a commercial basis and its main objective is profit.
- They have a unified structure and are owned by the government, state, or any private entity.
- They tend to all sectors ranging from rural to urban
About cooperative banks
- These banks are organized under the state government’s act. They give short term loans to the agriculture sector and other allied activities with the aim of social welfare.
They are organised under three levels:
- Tier 1 (State Level)
- Tier 2 (District level)
- Tier 3 (Village level)
Subject : Art and Culture
Context :India and Australia were a evolutionary neighbours , a link found in Bhimbetka shows.
- The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site in central India that spans the prehistoric Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, as well as the historic period.
- It exhibits the earliest traces of human life in India and evidence of Stone Age starting at the site in Acheulian times.
- It is located in the Raisen District in Madhya Pradesh about 45 kilometres (28 mi) south-east of Bhopal.
- It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of seven hills and over 750 rock shelters distributed over 10 km (6.2 mi).
- At least some of the shelters were inhabited more than 100,000 years ago.
- Some of the Bhimbetka rock shelters feature prehistoric cave paintings and the earliest are about 10,000 years old (c. 8,000 BCE), corresponding to the Indian Mesolithic.
- These cave paintings show themes such as animals, early evidence of dance and hunting.
- The Bhimbetka rock shelters were found by V S Wakankar 64 years ago. Since then, thousands of researchers have visited the site, but this rare fossil went undetected.
Subject : Economy
Context : WPI quickens to 2.03% after easing in December.
Wholesale Price Index
- It is the most widely used inflation indicator in India.
- Published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- All transactions at the first point of bulk sale in the domestic market are included.
- Major criticism for this index is that the general public does not buy products at wholesale price.
- The base year of All-India WPI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2017.
WPI Vs CPI
- While WPI keeps track of the wholesale price of goods, the CPI measures the average price that households pay for a basket of different goods and services.
- Even as the WPI is used as a key measure of inflation in some economies, the RBI no longer uses it for policy purposes, including setting repo rates. The central bank currently uses CPI or retail inflation as a key measure of inflation to set the monetary and credit policy.
Subject : Economy
Context : Oil prices soared on Monday to their highest in about 13 months as vaccine roll-outs promised to revive demand and producers kept supply reined in.
- Brent crude was up 77 cents, or 1.2%, at $63.20 a barrel, after climbing to a session high of $63.76, the highest since January 22, 2020. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained $1.04, or 1.8%, to $60.51 a barrel.
Brent and WTI
- Brent crude oil originates from oil fields in the North Sea between the Shetland Islands and Norway, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is sourced from US oil fields, primarily in Texas, Louisiana, and North Dakota.
- WTI with a lower sulphur content (0.24%) than Brent (0.37%), is considered “sweeter”.
- Both oils are relatively light, but Brent has a slightly higher API gravity, making WTI the lighter of the two.
- American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity is an indicator of the density of crude oil or refined products.
- Brent crude price is the international benchmark price used by the OPEC while WTI crude price is a benchmark for US oil prices.
- Since India imports primarily from OPEC countries, Brent is the benchmark for oil prices in India.
- Cost of shipping for Brent crude is typically lower, since it is produced near the sea and it can be put on ships immediately. Shipping of WTI is priced higher since it is produced in landlocked areas like Cushing, Oklahoma where the storage facilities are limited.
Subject : Environment
Context : Proposals for tourism and port development in the Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands have conservationists worried over the fate of some of the most important nesting populations of the Giant Leatherback turtle in this part of the Indian Ocean.
- Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelyscoriacea) is largest of the seven species of sea turtles on the planet and also the most long-ranging, being found in all oceans except the Arctic and the Antarctic.
- Within the Indian Ocean, they nest only in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys and family Dermochelyidae.
- It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell, hence the name. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh.
- They are listed in Schedule I of India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, according it the highest legal protection.
In Budget 2021:
- The A&N Islands are prominent in the National Marine Turtle Action Plan released on February 1, 2021, by the Ministry of Environment.
- The plan notes that “India has identified all its important sea turtle nesting habitats as ‘Important Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Areas’ and included them in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) – 1”.
- South Bay and West Bay on Little Andaman and Galathea on Great Nicobar, along with other nesting beaches in the islands, find a specific mention here as “Important Marine Turtle Habitats in India” and the largest Leatherback nesting grounds in India.
Subject : Economy
Context : The aggregate fiscal deficit of States is likely to be at 4.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021-22 compared with 4.6% in 2020-21, says a report by India Ratings and Research.
- The government describes fiscal deficit of India as “the excess of total disbursements from the Consolidated Fund of India, excluding repayment of the debt, over total receipts into the Fund (excluding the debt receipts) during a financial year”.
- The government that has a fiscal deficit is spending beyond its means.
- It is calculated as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or simply as total money spent in excess of income.
- In either case, the income figure includes only taxes and other revenues and excludes money borrowed to make up the shortfall.
- Fiscal Deficit = Total expenditure of the government (capital and revenue expenditure) – Total income of the government (Revenue receipts + recovery of loans + other receipts).
- Expenditure component: The government in its Budget allocates funds for several works, including payments of salaries, pensions, etc. (revenue expenditure) and creation of assets such as infrastructure, development, etc. (capital expenditure).
- Income component: The income component is made of two variables, revenue generated from taxes levied by the Centre and the income generated from non-tax variables.
- The taxable income consists of the amount generated from corporation tax, income tax, Customs duties, excise duties, GST, among others.
- Meanwhile, the non-taxable income comes from external grants, interest receipts, dividends and profits, receipts from Union Territories, among others.
- It is different from revenue deficit which is only related to revenue expenditure and revenue receipts of the government.
- The government meets the fiscal deficit by borrowing money. In a way, the total borrowing requirements of the government in a financial year is equal to the fiscal deficit in that year.
- A high fiscal deficit can also be good for the economy if the money spent goes into the creation of productive assets like highways, roads, ports and airports that boost economic growth and result in job creation.
- The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 provides that the Centre should take appropriate measures to limit the fiscal deficit upto 3% of the GDP by 31st March, 2021.