Daily Prelims Notes 16 July 2021
- July 16, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
16 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Jaishankar meets Afghan President Ashraf Ghani discusses Taliban
- Simpler drone rules in the offing
- COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van Dhanaur Uddyam
- Kamarajar 119th birth anniversary
- Amazon rainforests
- Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board
- Hubble space telescope
- IMMUNIZATION PROGRAMME
- Doppler radars
- Kisan Sarathi
- Ultraviolet radiation
Subject: International Relations
Context: Recently, India faces a situation in which it may have no role to play in Afghanistan as the Taliban push ahead with military offensives and preparing to take over after the exit of US and NATO forces.
- India built vital roads, dams, electricity transmission lines and substations, schools and hospitals, etc.
- India’s development assistance in Afghanistan is now estimated to be worth well over $3 billion.
- The 2011 India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement recommitted Indian assistance to help Afghanistan.
India’s projects across Afghanistan
- It is a 42MW Dam in Herat province.
- It is known as the Afghan-India Friendship Dam.
- It is the 218-km highway built by the Border Roads Organization (BRO).
- Zaranj is located close to Afghanistan’s border with Iran.
- The $150-million highway goes along the Khash Rud River to Delaram to the northeast of Zaranj.
- It connects to a ring road that links Kandahar in the south, Ghazni and Kabul in the east, Mazar-i-Sharif in the north, and Herat in the west.
- It provides an alternative route into landlocked Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port.
- The Afghan Parliament in Kabul was built by India at $90 million.
- It was opened in 2015 and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the building.
- In 2016, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the restored Stor Palace in Kabul.
- It was originally built in the late 19th century.
- It was the setting for the 1919 Rawalpindi Agreement by which Afghanistan became an independent country.
- In 2009, India, Afghanistan, and the Aga Khan Development Network signed a tripartite agreement for its restoration.
- The Aga Khan Trust for Culture completed the project between 2013 and 2016.
- India has reconstructed a children’s hospital it had helped build in Kabul in 1972.
- It was named Indira Gandhi Institute for Child Health in 1985.
- India has also built clinics in the border provinces of Badakhshan, Balkh, Kandahar, Khost, Kunar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nooristan, Paktia and Paktika.
Bilateral Trade Relations between India and Afghanistan
- India-Afghanistan trade has grown with the establishment in 2017 of an air freight corridor.
- In 2019-20, bilateral trade crossed $1.3 billion.
- The balance of trade is heavily tilted i.e. the exports from India are worth approximately $900 million, while Afghanistan’s exports to India are about $500 million.
- Afghan exports are mainly fresh and dried fruit.
- Indian exports to Afghanistan take place mainly through government-to-government contracts with Indian companies.
- The exports include pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, computers and related materials, cement, and sugar.
Context : Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has released the updated – The Drone Rules, 2021 for public consultation. The Drone Rules, 2021 will replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on 12 March 2021).
Draft Drone Rules, 2021:
- The number of forms to be filled to seek authorisation before operating a drone has been reduced from 25 to six.
- Fee reduced to nominal levels. No linkage with the size of the drone.
- Safety features like ‘No permission – no take-off’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing, etc. to be notified in future. A six-month lead time will be provided for compliance.
- Digital sky platform would be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.
- No pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for R&D organisations.
- No restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.
- Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. This is in order to encourage indigenous manufacturing.
- No security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance.
- Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.
- Directorate General of Civil Aviation shall prescribe training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
- Maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 reduced to INR 1 lakh.
- Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.
- Drone promotion council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.
- The Union government may specify certain standards for obtaining a certificate of airworthiness for drones, which will promote the use of made-in-India technologies, designs, components and drones; and India’s regional navigation satellite system named Navigation with Indian Constellation [NavIC].
Subject : Government Schemes
Context : Recently, the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs has launched a campaign called ‘COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, DhanaurUddyam’.
About COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, DhanaurUddyam
- It is a nationwide campaign to accelerate the pace of COVID vaccination among tribals in India.
- It has been launched by TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribals for 10.5 crore tribal community people across the country.
- It is being launched in partnership with UNICEF and WHO.
- It hopes to make the Van DhanVikasKendras and villages to be the first in respective states to be declared COVID free and free of all restrictions.
- It will be implemented with the help of traditional village headsmen, SHGs, and ground level workers in villages and the Van DhanKendras will become the focal points.
- Its objective is that the tribal communities should not only remain safe and healthy during the pandemic but should also be able to continue their livelihood activities.
- It focusses on reassurance, pride and self-efficacy.
- It promotes ‘Livelihoods with Health’ in tribal areas, fast tracks the activities of VDVK, and accelerates the pace of COVID vaccination among tribals.
- It is aligned with UNICEF’s equity approach to survival, growth and development of children.
The campaign will highlight the three key J’s:
- Jeevan (Life): Every life and livelihood is precious, so vaccination is key to life and is free.
- Jeevika (Livelihood): The tribal population can continue Van DhanVikas Kendra and livelihood activities without any fear of getting the disease if you are vaccinated.
- It also saves you from hospitalization and other opportunity costs.
- Jaagrookta (Awareness): Simplification of the process of registration for vaccination, place, accessibility to different audiences and age groups, especially women and elderly population.
- Van DhanVikasKendras collaborate and work with other stakeholders with service as a motto and with dedication and commitment that they have a key role to make Panchayats and villages coronavirus free.
Subject : Current Events
Context : The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid homage to K. Kamaraj on his birth anniversary.
- KumaraswamiKamaraj (1903 – 1975), popularly known as Kamarajar was an Indian independence activist and politician.
- He served as the Chief Minister of Madras State (Tamil Nadu) from 13 April 1954 to 2 October 1963.
- He was the founder and the president of the Indian National Congress (Organisation), widely acknowledged as the “Kingmaker” in Indian politics during the 1960s.
- He also served as the president of the Indian National Congress for two terms i.e. four years between 1964–1967 and was responsible for the elevation of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of Prime Minister of India after Nehru’s death and Indira Gandhi after Shastri’s death.
- As the president of the INC, he was instrumental in steering the party after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru.
- He was the Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha during 1952–1954 and 1969–1975.
- He was awarded with Bharat Ratna, posthumously in 1976.
- In 1963 he suggested to Nehru that senior Congress leaders should leave ministerial posts to take up organisational work.
- This suggestion came to be known as the Kamaraj Plan, which was designed primarily to dispel from the minds of Congressmen the lure of power, creating in its place a dedicated attachment to the objectives and policies of the organisation.
Context: In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists who conducted this research over a period of nine years in the eastern Amazon forests have said that a significant amount of deforestation in eastern and southeastern Brazil has turned the forest into a source of CO2 that has the ability to warm the planet.
- The Amazon rainforests cover about 80 per cent of the basin and as per NASA’s Earth observatory, they are home to nearly a fifth of the world’s land species and is also home to about 30 million people including indigenous groups and several isolated tribes.
- The Amazon basin is huge with an area covering over 6 million square kilometres, it is nearly twice the size of India.
- The Amazon forests have absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to moderate the global climate
- The basin produces about 20 per cent of the world’s flow of freshwater into the oceans. Over the last few years, the forest has been under threat due to deforestation and burning.
- Forest fires, have doubled since 2013.
- The Amazon forests in South America, which are the largest tropical forests in the world, have started emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of absorbing carbon emissions.
- Some forests in Southeast Asia have also turned into carbon sources in the last few years as a result of formation of plantations and fires.
- The reason that they happen is when farmers burn their land to clear it for the next crop
- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon comprises about two-thirds of the area of the rainforest
- NASA’s Earth Observatory notes that state policies that encourage economic development, such as railway and road expansion projects have led to “unintentional deforestation” in the Amazon and Central America.
- Researchers are not saying that because of significant levels of deforestation (over the course of 40 years) there has been a long-term decrease in rainfall and increase in temperatures during the dry season. Because of these reasons the eastern Amazon forests are no longer carbon sinks, whereas the more intact and wetter forests in the central and western parts are neither carbon sinks nor are they emitters.
- the conversion of forests into agricultural land, caused a 17 per cent decrease in the forest cover,
- Scientists have recorded a 25 per cent reduction in precipitation and a temperature increase of at least 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit or 1.5 degrees Celsius during the dry months.
Context: The Ministry of Jal Shakti through Gazette Notification dated15.07.2021 has notified the jurisdiction of Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board,
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014 (APRA) contains provisions for the effective management of river waters in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Constitution of the Godavari and Krishna River Management Boards and the constitution of an Apex Council for the supervision of the functioning of these Boards, is laid down in this Act.
The Central Government in exercise of the powers of the APRA, the administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of such projects on Godavari and Krishna rivers, as may be notified by the Central Government.
- It has been constituted by the Central Government under the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act (APRA), 2014.
- It supervises the functioning of the Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board.
- KRMB & GRMB are autonomous bodies established as per APRA-2014 under the administrative control of MoJS to manage and regulate the Waters of Krishna and Godavari Basin respectively in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- It comprises the Union Jal Shakti Minister and the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Subject: Science and Tech
Context: NASA plans to fix a glitch that has stopped the Hubble space telescope from being used for science work for more than a month.
- The Hubble, launched in 1990, is the most important scientific tool ever to be built,
- the observatory is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space and has made groundbreaking discoveries in the field of astronomy since its launch. According to NASA’s official website, the launch and deployment of Hubble in April 1990 is said to be the “most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.”
- It is has a 7.9 feet mirror, and captures stunning images of deep space playing a major role in helping astronomers understand the universe by observing the most distant stars, galaxies and planets.
- NASA also allows anyone from the public to search the Hubble database for which new galaxy it captured, what unusual did it notice about our stars, solar system and planets and what patterns of ionised gases it observed, on any specific day.
Astounding captures By Hubble,
- The disintegration of an ancient comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami while it was approaching the sun. It was one of the clearest views of a breaking icy comet.
- The collusion of two dwarf galaxies one of which is I Zwicky 18 with another one on its upper right. This led to the formation of a new star.
- A disc surrounding a star ‘Beta Pictoris’, which was discovered in 1984, was found to be constituted by two planets, light-scattering dust and debris.
- The black hole-powered core of the Circinus Galaxy appears in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image. (NASA/Hubblesite)
- Colourful patterns of gases in a black hole powered galaxy known as the ‘Circinus Galaxy’. These gases depicted a cauldron of vapours, concentrated in two disks of the galaxy.
- ‘Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744’ which is 3.5 billion light-years away and has several clusters of small galaxies in it. It also poses a strong gravitational field which acts as a lens to reflect the light of almost 3,000 background galaxies.
- Neptune which is the most distant planet. The image of the planet revealed the formation of high-altitude clouds composed of methane ice crystals.
- Collision between two galaxies UGC 06471 and UGC 06472 which are 145 million light-years away from the earth were captured. The collision eventually led to the formation of a larger galaxy.
- Triangulum Galaxy was snapped depicting the specific areas of star birth with a bright blue light spreading across the galaxy in beautiful nebulas of hot gas
- ‘Galaxy ESO 243-49, which had a medium-sized black hole. The 20,000 suns sized black hole was positioned on a glacial plane of the galaxy.
- An encounter of a comet named C/2013 A1 with Mars. The ‘Comet Siding Spring’ passed with a distance of just 87,000 miles to that of Mars.
- ‘Gum 29’ a vibrant stellar being ground, which is 20,000 light-years away, consisting of a giant cluster of 3,000 stars was captured by the telescope. This behemoth cluster of stars is called ‘Westerlund 2’.
- ‘Southern Ring Nebula’ was recorded which did show two stars a bright white star and a fainter dull star at the centre of the nebula where the dull star was indeed creating the whole nebula.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Global and regional estimates of Covid-19’s impact on routine childhood immunisation indicates unparalleled disruptions in delivery of vaccines against measles (MCV1) and diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) (DTP3) — with, according to a new modelling study published in The Lancet.
- 2020’s coverage likely falling in some regions to levels not seen in over a decade
- Estimates suggest twice as many children may have missed doses of each vaccine than expected due to pandemic disruptions in high-income countries in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and North Africa and the Middle East.
UNIVERSAL IMMUNIZATION PROGRAMME
- Immunization Programme is one of the key interventions for protection of children from life threatening conditions, which are preventable. It is one of the largest immunization programme in the world and a major public health intervention in the country.
- Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI)
- The programme gained momentum in 1985 and was expanded as Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) to be implemented in phased manner to cover all districts in the country by 1989-90.
- UIP become a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992 Since, 1997, immunization activities have been an important component of National Reproductive and Child Health Programme and is currently one of the key areas under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) since 2005
- Under the Universal Immunization Programme, Government of India is providing vaccination to prevent seven vaccine preventable diseases i.e.
- Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B, Hiaemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and Diarrhea
Context: The India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) only Doppler radar in Mumbai, which surveys weather patterns and forecast, stopped working again on Wednesday afternoon, when the city was witnessing rainfall.
Doppler radars are crucial for gauging the intensity of rainfall and impact area in real-time.
Doppler radar working:
- In radars, a beam of energy– called radio waves– is emitted from an antenna. When this beam strikes an object in the atmosphere, the energy scatters in all directions, with some reflecting directly back to the radar.
- The larger the object deflecting the beam, the greater is the amount of energy that the radar receives in return. Observing the time required for the beam to be transmitted and returned to the radar allows weather forecasting departments to “see” raindrops in the atmosphere, and measure their distance from the radar.
- It can provide information on both the position of targets as well as their movement. It does this by tracking the ‘phase’ of transmitted radio wave pulses; phase meaning the shape, position, and form of those pulses. As computers measure the shift in phase between the original pulse and the received echo, the movement of raindrops can be calculated, and it is possible to tell whether the precipitation is moving toward or away from the radar.
- In India, Doppler radars of varying frequencies — S-band, C-band and X-band — are commonly used by the IMD to track the movement of weather systems and cloud bands, and gauge rainfall over its coverage area of about 500 km.
- The radars guide meteorologists, particularly in times of extreme weather events like cyclones and associated heavy rainfall. An X-band radar is used to detect thunderstorms and lightning whereas C-band guides in cyclone tracking.
- With the radar observations, updated every 10 minutes, forecasters can follow the development of weather systems as well as their varying intensities, and accordingly predict weather events and their impact.
- The phase shift in these radars works on the same lines as the “Doppler effect” observed in sound waves– in which the sound pitch of an object approaching the observer is higher due to compression of sound waves (a change in their phase).
- The discovery of the phenomenon is attributed to Christian Doppler, a 19th-century Austrian physicist.
- A Doppler radar transmits a signal for only over seven seconds, and spends the remaining 59 minutes and 53 seconds listening to returned signals.
Radars operational at eight locations,
- Kolkata, Paradip, Gopalpur, Visakhapatnam, Machilipatanam, Sriharikota, Karaikal and Chennai.
- Along the west coast, there are radars at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Goa and Mumbai.
- Other radars are operating from Srinagar, Patiala, Kufri, Delhi, Mukteshwar, Jaipur, Bhuj, Lucknow, Patna, Mohanbar, Agartala, Sohra, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Nagpur.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: In order to facilitate farmers to get ‘right information at right time’ in their desired language, a digital platform namely ‘KisanSarathi’ was launched jointly by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar,Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare with Shri AshwiniVaishnaw, Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, through video conference on 16th July 2021 on the occasion of 93rdICAR Foundation Day.
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for taking this initiative of Kisan Sarathi to empower farmers with the technological interventions to reach farmers in remote areas
- The digital platform, the farmers can interact and avail personalised advisories on agriculture and allied areas directly from the respective scientists of KrishiVigyan Kendra (KVKs).
- The ICAR Scientists to take-up research on new technological interventions in the area of transportation of farmer’s crop from their farm gate to warehouses, markets and the places where they want to sell with minimum damage.
- Ministry of Electronics and IT and Ministry of Communications will always be ready to provide all necessary support to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying for Empowerment of Farmers.
Subject : Science and Tech
Context: Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, recently announced that the government would install Ultraviolet-C or UV-C Disinfection Technology in Parliament to mitigate the possibility of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Ultraviolet is the Sun’s natural radiation or light and covers wavelengths in the 100-400 nm range. The light ranges visible for humans is from 380–700 nm. There are three bands for UV — UV-C (100-280 nm), UV-B (280-315 nm) and UV-A (315-400 nm). The Sun transmits both UV-A and UV-B rays through the Earth’s atmosphere, while the ozone layer filters all UV-C.
- UV-B rays can reach the epidermis or outer layer of the human skin, causing sunburns
- It is also associated with causing skin cancer. UV-A rays can penetrate the dermis or the skin’s middle layer to age skin cells and indirectly damage cell DNA.
- Man-made UV-C radiation is known to have caused eye injuries and skin burns.
- Hospitals and laboratories have used UV-C radiation of 254 nm wavelength for decades to disinfect the air. It is also used to treat water.
- It could not penetrate through the human skin’s outer dead-cell layer or even the tear layer in eyes and was not a health hazard.
- Far-UVC light can reach the DNA of viruses and bacteria and kill them since they are smaller than human cells.
- UVC light can control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases
UV-C and Corona virus
- The outer protein layer of SARS-CoV-2 can be destroyed using UV-C radiation.
- The 222-nm radiation, also known as far-UVC light, can kill airborne human coronaviruses such as alpha HCoV-229E and beta HCoV-OC43. This, however, is different from SARS-CoV-2, for which very limited data is available on the wavelength and duration required.
- 222 nm UV-C irradiation at 0.1 mW/cm2 killed 99.7% of SARS-CoV-2’s viral culture following a 30-second exposure
- UV-C irradiation effectively inactivated SARS-CoV-2 replication.
UV-C and disinfective applications
- UV-C air duct disinfection system can fit into any air-duct. It said calibrated levels of UV-C light is used to deactivate the virus in any aerosol particles, and the system was a perfect fit for malls, auditoriums, AC buses, educational institutions, and railways.
- a small disinfectant device that used UV-C radiation (222-254 nm), said it was developed specifically for non-living things. The device’s UV-C radiation could harm skin and eyes and the operator must use spectacles that protects from UV-C radiation
- While the Ministry of Science and Technology did not mention the wavelength of radiation or the duration for which it will be used, it mentioned that tests had shown that the product managed 99% disinfection.
- UV Light Technology offers disinfecting equipment to hospitals and pharmaceutical, one shouldn’t be exposed to UV-C, it takes hours to get a sunburn from UV-B, UV-C can do it in seconds.
- UVC light (207–222 nm) does not cause harm to mammalian skin.
Context: The frequency of high-tide flooding along the coasts of United States has doubled since 2000, and it’s expected to increase five to 15 times more in the next 30 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns in a new report
- The gravitational pull of the moon and the rotational force of the Earth cause tides to rise and fall across the planet. The species living in coastal areas most affected by changing tides have unique ways of surviving.
- The alternating advance and retreat of seawater along a coastline is called a tide.
- High tide is when water advances to its furthest extent onto the shoreline. Low tide is when it recedes to its furthest extent. Some freshwater rivers and lakes can have tides, too.
- A high tide that is significantly higher than normal is called a king tide. It often accompanies a new moon and when the moon is closest to the Earth.
- The moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth and the Earth’s rotational force are the two main factors that cause high and low tides. The side of the Earth closest to the Moon experiences the Moon’s pull the strongest, and this causes the seas to rise, creating high tides. On the side facing away from the Moon, the rotational force of the Earth is stronger than the Moon’s gravitational pull.
- The rotational force causes water to pile up as the water tries to resist that force, so high tides form on this side, too. Elsewhere on the Earth, the ocean recedes, producing low tides.
- The gravitational attraction of the Sun also plays a small role in the formation of tides. Tides move around the Earth as bulges in the ocean.
- Most shorelines experience two high and two low tides within a twenty-four-hour period, though some areas have just one of each. A coastline’s physical features, such as a wide sandy beach or a rocky cove, along with the depth of the water just offshore, affect the height of the tides.
- Tides affect marine ecosystems by influencing the kinds of plants and animals that thrive in what is known as the intertidal zone—the area between high and low tide. Because the area is alternately covered and uncovered by the ocean throughout the day, plants and animals must be able to survive both underwater and out in the air and sunlight. They must also be able to withstand crashing waves.
Tides form tide pools. These small pools of water are often left behind among the rocks at low tide. They can include a diverse population of tiny plants and animals that may serve as food for larger species.
- As sea level rises, it can be easy to miss the subtlety of higher water. It’s much harder to overlook saltwater more frequently flooding streets, impeding daily life and making existing problems worse.
- The frequency of high-tide flooding along the coasts results in tide flooding
Perigean Spring Tide
During a perigean spring tide, those areas that normally experience frequent high tide flooding may see even higher levels of inundation with longer duration. In this image, a perigee moon coincides with high tide to cause coastal flooding conditions
Subject: International Relations
Context: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $16.5 million (₹123 crore) in genetic diagnostics and research company, MedGenome, to increase access to Covid-19 testing and support research to better understand the virus, its variants, and manage future outbreaks.
- MedGenome is also working on genetic sequencing with research laboratories affiliated with the government of India to help moitor the evolution of Covid, identify new variants, and help develop effective treatments to contain the disease.
- Gene variants, the company’s research efforts led to a publication that identified gene variants that can influence people’s susceptibility to Covid-19.
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- The IFC is a sister organization of the World Bank (IDA + IBRD). It is the largest international development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.
- It functions as the private sector arm of the WBG (https://optimizeias.com/world-bank/)
- It works for economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and augmenting development.
- It also engages in mobilizing third-party resources for projects.
- The IFC works with the private sector to boost entrepreneurship and create sustainable businesses.
- The IFC provides investment, advice, and asset management offerings.
- It lends to businesses and private sector projects.