Daily Prelims Notes 18 September 2022
- September 18, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
18 September 2022
Table Of Contents
- Ecological Niche Modelling
- Quantum Entanglement in Atomic clocks
- Child Welfare Committees
- Digitisation to crisis-proof justice delivery: Justice Chandrachud
- How climate change is altering the Indian monsoon
- Extension of deadline for pollution control technologies in TPPs
Subject : Environment
Context: Ecological niche modelling can be used to examine economic feasibilities within the context of changing ecological scenarios.
- Ecological niche models (ENMs) aim to recreate the relationships between species and the environments where they occur and allow us to identify unexplored areas in geography where these species might be present.
- Ecological niche modelling is a predictive tool for identifying new possibilities — new inhabitants for an existing habitat, or new geographical locations where a desirable plant may grow well.
- The modelling involves the use of computer algorithms like Maximum Entropy Algorithm (Max Ent) to compare data about the environment and to make forecasts about what would be ideal for a given ecological niche.
- These models have been successfully used in terrestrial organisms but their application in aquatic organisms is still scarce.
- An ecological niche refers to the interrelationship of a species with all the biotic and abiotic factors affecting it.
- It describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of resources and competitors (for example, by growing when resources are abundant, and when predators, parasites and pathogens are scarce) and how it in turn alters those same factors (for example, limiting access to resources by other organisms, acting as a food source for predators and a consumer of prey)
- A Niche is unique for a species, which means no two species have exact identical niches.
- If we should have to conserve species in its native habitat, we should have knowledge about the niche requirements of the species and should ensure that all requirements of its niche are fulfilled
Subject : Science & Tech
Context :Researchers have quantum entangled atomic clocks, allowing them to be synchronised more accurately.
- Two atomic clocks have been connected using quantum entanglement – a property that intrinsically links them so that changes in one instantaneously affect the other.
- The connection makes it easier to synchronise the clocks, which could be used to make more accurate measurements of dark matter and gravity.
- Atomic clocks consist of atoms that are very precisely controlled by lasers.
- It is a device that uses the energy emitted by the sample of atoms as a frequency standard for the timekeeping devices. When electrons gain energy, they jump from an orbital of lower energy to an orbital with higher energy.
- This electron can either stay in this new orbit or come back to its original state after emitting some radiation.
- Since the energy supplied is most often limited the electron soon emits microwave radiation and jumps back to its original orbit. This is one cycle between two energy levels.
- The definition of a second was revised to be the time taken by 9,19,26,31,770 oscillations of a cesium atom. At the start of the 21st century, the cesium clocks that were available were so accurate that they would gain or lose a second only once in about 20 million years.
- At present, even this record has been broken and there are “optical lattice clocks” that are so precise that they lose a second only once in 15 billion years.
- It is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects have to be described with reference to each other, even though the individual objects may be spatially separated.
- It is the physical phenomenon that occurs when a pair or group of particles is generated, interact, in a way such that the quantum state of each particle of the pair or group cannot be described independently of the state of the others.
Subject : Governance
Context :The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Amendment) Model Amendment Rules,2022, were notified on September 1 and came into effect immediately. This follows the passage of the Juvenile Justice (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Parliament in July last year.
- The recently amended rules for implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, bar a person associated with an organisation receiving foreign funds to be part of child welfare committees (CWCs), which are tasked with giving directions for care and protection of children who are abused, exploited, abandoned or orphaned.
Child Welfare Committees (CWCs):
- The State Governments set up these committees in districts in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
- The Committees have the power to dispose of cases for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the children in need of care and protection, as well as to provide for their basic needs and protection.
- It provides that a person will not eligible to be a member of the CWC if he/she
- has any record of violation of human rights or child rights,
- has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude,
- has been removed or dismissed from service of the central government, or any state government, or a government undertaking,
- is part of the management of a child care institution in a district.
- Removal of Members: The appointment of any member of the committee shall be terminated by the state government after an inquiry if they fail to attend the proceedings of the CWCs consecutively for three months without any valid reason or if they fail to attend less than three-fourths of the sittings in a year.
Subject : Judiciary
Context : Speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Paperless District Courts in Odisha’ project, Justice Chandrachud said “familiarising oneself with technology is not as difficult as it may initially seem” and pointed out that after the Covid-19 pandemic, his chamber “functions almost entirely without paper and I am now a self-confessed technology geek”.
- He added that “today, a ‘Green Bench’ does not mean a Bench hearing environmental cases but a Bench which aims to conduct proceedings with zero physical filings, as will hopefully be the case in paperless courts”.
- A green bench is a judicial benches in higher courts that hears and adjudicates disputes relating to the preservation of forests and protection of environment.
- On April 16,1996, a division bench of the Supreme Court (SC) comprising Justices Kuldip Singh and S Saghir Ahmed directed the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court to constitute a special division bench to hear environment-related petitions – and the nation’s first green bench was born. The SC has directed this bench to meet once a week.
- The word green bench was coined by the Supreme Court in the ‘Madras Tanneries’ case, on August 28, 1996.
Subject : Environment
Context– Research shows that global warming increases the fluctuations in the monsoon, resulting in both long dry periods and short spells of heavy rains.
- Monsoon each year is unique, but there is a large regional and temporal variability in rainfall this year.
- The research shows that global warming increases the fluctuations in the monsoon, resulting in both long dry periods and short spells of heavy rains.
- This year, the monsoon was potentially influenced by La Nina also — the cooler than usual Pacific conditions.
- A shift in the track of monsoon systems, like low pressure and depression travelling south of their position and flash floods, are a result of this change.
- And these changes spell intense and frequent extreme unprecedented weather events over the places which once struggled to record even normal monsoon rains.
- With this looming threat having a bearing on food security, it is only a matter of time before it has a socio-economic impact.
The complexity of monsoon patterns–
- It has been very complex to understand the rainfall variability and how monsoon patterns have been behaving of late, especially this year.
- Persistence of intense La Nina conditions, the abnormal warming of the East Indian Ocean, negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), a southward movement of most of the monsoon depressions and lows and pre-monsoon heating over the Himalayan region are melting glaciers. This is a very complex mix.
Excess and Deficit in India–
- The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has clearly sighted that 2022 has seen the second-highest extreme events since 1902.
- An alarming case as incidents of floods and droughts have increased.
- Most of the monsoon weather systems have been travelling across central parts of the country, changing the area of rainfall. Climate change is definitely behind these changes.
- As a result, States such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra have been recording excess rainfall this season.
- Usually, monsoon systems move across Northwest India giving rains over the region there.
- After a weak onset, the monsoon went into a lull and so no thumping activity was seen in Kerala and adjoining parts of Karnataka.
- By June, the monsoon had reached the plains but the onset was not a strong one. This resulted in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar not receiving normal rains.
- Back-to-back active monsoon systems in the Bay of Bengal in July led to excess rainfall to the tune of 8% — actual rainfall recorded was 8 mm as against the normal of 437.2 mm.
- August too saw two back-to-back depressions forming in the Bay of Bengal and travelling across Central India. These intense systems in quick succession kept the monsoon trough well south of its normal position for most of August.
Extreme weather events in South Asia–
- During the last six months, entire South Asia has been reporting a series of extreme weather events.
- While Bangladesh, Pakistan and India have battled severe floods, China is reeling under massive drought conditions.
- Slow onsets can still be taken care of through adaptation and resilience ideas but these kinds of big events are very difficult to cope with.
- Experts believe that these changes are here to stay, which would continue to propel extreme weather events over the entire South Asian region.
- That is where the main issue lies as the country would then have to divert development money to climate finance to combat climate change.
Impact on rice production–
- One of the major impacts of changes in the track of monsoon systems can be seen on Kharif crops, particularly rice production.
- They form a significant share of more than 50% of total food grain production during this period.
- Due to the southward movement of majors, all main monsoon low-pressure areas and depressions, rice-producing States such as West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and east Uttar Pradesh have been deficit by large margins.
- This would straight away have an impact on the quantity as well as the quality of the crop. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, which account for a third of the country’s total rice production, have been highly deficit despite an active monsoon current in July and August.
- These uneven distributions of rains along with increasing temperatures and humidity give rise to pest attacks and diseases.
- This will, in turn, impact the quality of the grain as well as the nutrition value may vary.
- According to a study, ‘Climate change, the monsoon, and rice yield in India’, very high temperatures (> 35°C) induce heat stress and affect plant physiological processes, leading to spikelet sterility, nonviable pollen and reduced grain quality.
- Drought, on the other hand, reduces plant transpiration rates and may result in leaf rolling and drying, reduction in leaf expansion rates and plant biomass, immobilisation of solutes and increased heat stress of leaves.
- Recent research indicates that monsoon rainfall became less frequent but more intense in India during the latter half of the 20th century.
- Scientists and food experts believe that a better rainfall scenario could have helped increase the harvest.
- However, India’s hundreds of millions of rice producers and consumers are being affected negatively by these unprecedented changes which are also raising concerns over food security.
Subject : Environment
On September 5, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) extended the deadline for installing pollution control technologies in the country’s thermal power plants (TPPs).
The Environment Ministry had revised emission norms for particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen for TPPs in December 2015, requiring them to install emission control systems by December 2017.
Three different timelines have been provided for three categories of thermal power plants for ensuring installation of pollution control technologies.
Category 1: Power plants within a 10 km radius of Delhi NCR and million plus cities– deadline has been extended to December 31, 2024.
Category 2: Power plants within a 10 km radius of critically polluted cities, the deadline has been extended to December 31, 2025.
Category 3: All other power plants across the country the new deadline stands at December 31, 2026.
Pollution from the thermal power plants:
According to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), TPPs account for more than 60 per cent of total industrial emissions of particulate matter; 45 percent of SO2; 30 percent of NOx; and more than 80 per cent of mercury, in India. These are also responsible for 70 percent of the total freshwater withdrawal by all industries.
Other pollutants include carbon monoxide, ozone, non-methane hydrocarbons and lead.
Flue gas desulfurization (FGD):
The process of eliminating sulphur compounds from the exhaust emissions of fossil-fuelled (coal-fired) power plants is known as flue gas desulfurization (FGD). This is accomplished by including absorbent materials, which can eliminate up to 95% of the sulphur from the flue gas by scrubbing.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):
- It is a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
- It targets to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year.
- Under NCAP, 122 non-attainment cities have been identified across the country based on the Air Quality data from 2014-2018.