Daily Prelims Notes 2 December 2020
- December 2, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- NATIONAL WATERWAYS
- CYCLONE BUREVI
- EMERGENCY USE AUTHORISATION (EUA)
- XP 100
- LOK VIRASAT
- ELECTION TO LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
- UMANG APP
- PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX
- PARKINSON’S DISEASE
- BRAHMAPUTRA FLOODING AND TREE RINGS
Subject : Economy
Context :The Inland Waterways Authority of India has eased tender terms for privatising the multi-modal cargo terminals at Varanasi, Haldia and Sahibganj on National Waterway 1.
- National Waterways Act came into effect in 2016. It proposed 106 additional National Waterways and merges 5 existing Acts which were declared the 5 National Waterways.
- In 1986, the Government of India created the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for regulation and development of Inland Waterways for navigation and shipping.
- Out of the 111, National Waterways declared under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 13 are operational for shipping and navigation and cargo/passenger vessels are moving on them.
Important National Waterways :
- National Waterway-1: Allahabad-Haldia stretch of the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river (1620 Km) declared as NW in 1986 in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
- National Waterway-2: Sadiya-Dhubri stretch of the Brahmaputra river (891 Km) declared as NationalWaterway in 1988 in the state of Assam.
- National Waterway-3: Kollam-Kottapuram stretch of West Coast Canal and Champakara and Udyogmandal canals (205 Km) declared as National Waterway in 1993 in the state of Kerala.
- National Waterway-4: Kakinada-Pudducherry stretch of canals and Kaluvelly tank, Bhadrachalam-Rajahmundry stretch of river Godavari and Wazirabad-Vijayawada stretch of river Krishna (1078 Km) declared as National Waterway in 2008 in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry.
- National Waterway-5: Talcher-Dhamra stretch of Rivers, Geonkhali-Charbatia stretch of East Coast Canal, Charbatia-Dhamra stretch of Matai river and Mahanadi Delta Rivers (588 Km) declared as National Waterway in 2008 in the states of West Bengal and Orissa.
Inland Waterways Authority of India
- It is a statutory body that came into existence on 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
- It primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grants received from the Ministry of Shipping.
- It is headquartered at Noida with regional offices at Patna (Bihar), Kolkata (West Bengal), Guwahati (Assam) and Kochi (Kerala) and sub-offices at other places throughout India.
Context : The Deep Depression over southwest Bay of Bengal moved west-north westwards with a speed of 09 kmph during past six hours, intensified into Cyclonic Storm ‘Burevi’.
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that a cyclone brewing in the Bay of Bengal is likely to affect Tamil Nadu and Kerala, less than a week after cyclone Nivar wreaked havoc in the southern states.
- The cyclone will cross the Sri Lanka coast on December 2 and bring heavy rain over Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- Due to upwelling caused by nivarcyclone , there is high possibility that Burevi cyclone will not strengthen beyond the intensity of cyclonic storm.
- When consecutive cyclonic systems develop in the same region of the ocean , the predecessor system leads to upwelling in ocean that is cooler waters from lower part of teh ocean are pushed towards the surface part of the ocean which leads to decrease in temperature.
- In the absence of warm sea conditions , any cyclone will not have enough fuel to intensify beyond cyclonic storm.
- IMD has predicted that Burevi will remain as a cyclonic storm till December 5, before it weakens into deep depression.
3. EMERGENCY USE AUTHORISATION (EUA)
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Moderna said it was applying for emergency use authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine. In India, Serum Institute of India, which is trialling a version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, has said it expects to seek emergency use authorisation within the next two weeks.
- Vaccines and medicines, and even diagnostic tests and medical devices, require the approval of a regulatory authority before they can be administered. In India, the regulatory authority is the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
- For vaccines and medicines, approval is granted after an assessment of their safety and effectiveness, based on data from trials. This is a long process, designed to ensure that a medicine or vaccine is absolutely safe and effective.
- In emergency situations, like the current one, regulatory authorities around the world have developed mechanisms to grant interim approvals if there is sufficient evidence to suggest a medical product is safe and effective.
- Final approval is granted only after completion of the trials and analysis of full data; until then, emergency use authorisation (EUA) allows the medicine or the vaccine to be used on the public.
- The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India.
- Functions: Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of New Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view to bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
- CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.
4. XP 100
Context: Indian Oil launched a new premium grade petrol – Octane 100.
- Branded as XP100, the premium grade petrol was launched across ten cities by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
- The technology for India’s first octane petrol has been indigenously created by Indian Oil Research and Development.
- The availability of XP100 puts India in an elite group of countries, having access to such high-quality oil. The petrol will provide high quality and power to the engine.
- Indian Oil plans to roll-out XP100 premium grade petrol in 15 identified cities across the country in two phases.
5. LOK VIRASAT
Context: Films Division (FD) has organised Lok Virasat, a festival of films on folk art and painting.
- An exclusive bouquet of documentary films on folk art and paintings – Lok Virasat – is being showcased on FD website and You Tube channel.
- The films being streamed include:
- The Kingdom of God , on the great Indian heritage of art and culture with focus on various folk art traditions,
- Bhavai– Fading Memories, a film on Bhavai – a folk art of Gujarat,
- Naman – Khele, a film on the ancient folk art performed in Ratnagiri,
- SahiJata, The Fusion Cult, a film on the unique fusion of muscle and music in the form of folk art on the back-drop of the ancient Orissa town of Puri.
- Therukoothu : Dancing For Life , a film depicting the age old Tamil folk art.
6. ELECTION TO LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
- The Parliament can abolish a legislative council (where it already exists) or create it (where it does not exist) by a simple majority, that is, a majority of the members of each House present and voting, if the legislative assembly of the concerned state, by a special majority, passes a resolution to that effect.
- Special majority implies, a majority of the total membership of the assembly and majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the assembly present and voting.
- Under Article 171 of the Constitution, the Legislative Council of a state shall not have more than one-third of the total strength of the State Assembly, and not less than 40 members.
- Like the Rajya Sabha, the legislative council is a continuing chamber, that is, it is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.
Manner of Election
- One-third of the MLCs are elected by the state’s MLAs,
- Another 1/3rd by a special electorate comprising sitting members of local governments such as municipalities and district boards,
- 1/12th by an electorate of teachers and another 1/12th by registered graduates.
- The remaining members are appointed by the Governor for distinguished services in various fields namely, literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.
LC vis-à-vis Rajya Sabha
- The legislative power of the Councils are limited. Unlike Rajya Sabha which has substantial powers to shape non-financial legislation, Legislative Councils lack a constitutional mandate to do so.
- Assemblies can override suggestions/amendments made to legislation by the Council.
- Again, unlike Rajya Sabha MPs, MLCs cannot vote in elections for the President and Vice President. The Vice President is the Rajya Sabha Chairperson while a member from the Council itself is chosen as the Council Chairperson.
7. UMANG APP
Context : Union Minister for IT launched the UMANG’s international version in coordination with Ministry of External Affairs for select countries that include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
- It will help Indian international students, NRIs and Indian tourists abroad, to avail Government of India services, anytime.
- It will also help in taking India to the world through ‘Indian Culture’ services available on UMANG and create interest amongst foreign tourists to visit India.
- The UMANG mobile app (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is a Government of India all-in-one single multi-lingual, multi-service Mobile App providing access to high impact services of various Government of India Departments and State Governments.
Context: PMI for India’s manufacturing touched 56.3 in November, signaling that even as an improvement in wider industrial activity continued, the sector’s expansion as well as the pace of new orders slowed down while employment also declined further.
- It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception about key business variables as compared with the previous month.
- It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is constructed.
- The PMI is a number from 0 to 100.
- PMI above 50 represents an expansion when compared to the previous month;
- PMI under 50 represents a contraction, and
- A reading at 50 indicates no change.
- If PMI of the previous month is higher than the PMI of the current month (as is the case mentioned above), it represents that the economy is contracting.
- The PMI is usually released at the start of every month. It is, therefore, considered a good leading indicator of economic activity.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Father Swamy, the 83-year-old activist who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged involvement in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence.
- Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system.
- It damages nerve cells in the brain dropping the levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that sends behavioural signals from the brain to the body.
- The disease causes a variety of “motor” symptoms (symptoms related to movement of the muscles), including rigidity, delayed movement, poor balance, and tremors.
- Medication can help control the symptoms of the disease but it can’t be cured.
- It affects the age group from 6 to 60 years. Worldwide, about 10 million people have been affected by this disease.
10. BRAHMAPUTRA FLOODING AND TREE RINGS
Context: Destructive flooding of the Brahmaputra will probably be more frequent than previously estimated, even without factoring in the effects of human-driven climate change, says a new study which assembled a chronology of the river’s flow for the last seven centuries.
- In the current study, based on the tree rings data, they said the earlier estimates likely fall short by about 40 per cent.
- The scientists also looked at data from the rings of ancient trees sampled at 28 sites in Tibet, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan — at sites within the Brahmaputra watershed.
- Since the rings grow wider when the soil moisture is high, the researchers could indirectly piece together rainfall and resulting river runoff during these years.
- Based on the analysis, they assembled a 696-year chronology, running from 1309 to 2004, and found that the widest rings lined up neatly with known major flood years.
- According to the scientists, anyone using the modern discharge record to estimate future flood hazard would be underestimating the danger by 24 to 38 per cent, based solely on natural variations.
- They cautioned that human-driven warming would have to be added on top of these estimates.