Daily Prelims Notes 20 February 2023
- February 20, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
20 February 2023
Table Of Contents
- Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
- Harike wetland
- GM Poplars and Climate Change
- AU’s ambitious Green Stimulus Programme
- Central Travancore stares at drought as water level begins a drastic drop
- Sealed Cover Jurisprudence
- Chandrayaan 3 lander successfully completed key test
- Disqualification Of a Politician
- Scientists tested an electron’s response to a magnetic field with extreme accuracy
- Teja Red Chilli
- Sticky Inflation and January Spike
- French Invasion of Russia
- Indians go West, take up ‘residence by investment’
- Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Uttham Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) behind schedule
- ICBM: North Korea makes fresh threats against drills; S. bombers fly after ICBM test
Section: Places in news
Context: The unusually wet weather last year meant that flowers bloomed early in the reserve and the wildlife had plenty to eat, but there could be some negative impact too.
More on the News:
- In 2022, the Nilgiris witnessed one of the wettest years recorded in the past 64 years: the number of rainy days were also more, according to the Nilgiris District Disaster Management Department.
- Due to the prolonged rain, many flowering species have started to bloom early, say botanists.
- The rain has helped a lot in increasing the water table. It has kept forest fires at bay. Many wild animals have started to breed due to the plentiful fodder for the herbivores and prey for the carnivores. Birds have started nesting too.
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
- Mudumalai National Park is a national park in the Nilgiri Mountains in Tamil Nadu, south India.
- It shares boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala.
- It was a declared tiger reserve in 2007.
- It is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (1st Biosphere Reserve in India) along with Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the West, Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) in the North, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley in the South.
- It is bordered in the north by Bandipur National Park, in the east by Sigur Reserve Forest and in the west by Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. In the south, it is bordered by Singara Reserve Forest.
- The Moyar River and its tributaries drain this area, and several artificial waterholes provide drinking water for wildlife during dry seasons.
- The river Moyar, which flows along the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border, divides the two states. The Park is bisected by the Mysore-Ooty highway, which follows the direction of the Moyar River, which divides Mudumalai and Bandipur.
- Flagship Species: Tiger and Asian Elephant.
- The Reserve has tall grasses, commonly referred to as ‘Elephant Grass’.
- Tropical Evergreen Forest, Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest, Moist Teak Forest, Dry Teak Forest, Secondary Grasslands, Shrubs, and Swamps are among the habitats found here.
Section: Places in news
Context: Migratory bird arrivals at Punjab’s Harike wetland decline this season, latest census shows.
More on the News:
- The arrival of migratory birds this year to Harike, northern India’s largest wetland, declined 12% from 2021, according to the latest census of these water birds.
- Every winter, 90 species of migratory birds from Siberia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia, among others, arrive at the wetland site once the water bodies in their native places start to freeze.
- Punjab witnessed fewer migratory bird arrivals at all wetlands this year.
- The Harike Wetland, one of the largest in northern India, is situated in Tarn Taran district & and Ferozepur district of Punjab.
- The Harike Wetland stands on the confluence of the the Beas and the Sutlej. It is home to birds visiting from as far as the Arctic and Siberia.
- It was accorded as a wetland in 1990, by the Ramsar Convention, as one of the Ramsar sites in India, for conservation, development and preservation of the ecosystem.
- In addition to its ecological importance, the Harike Wetland is also an important source of fish for local communities. The wetland supports a significant population of fish species, including catfish, rohu, and common carp.
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species
- The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), also known as the Bonn Convention
- It is an international agreement aimed at the conservation of migratory species and their habitats.
- The CMS was signed in Bonn, Germany in 1979 and entered into force in 1983.
- The CMS aims to coordinate and collaborate efforts to conserve migratory species that cross national boundaries. The Convention covers a wide range of species, including birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles, and seeks to address threats to these species, including habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change.
- The CMS has been ratified by over 130 countries, making it one of the most widely recognized international agreements for the conservation of wildlife.
- The Convention meets every three years to discuss new developments and progress on conservation efforts, and to make decisions on how to move forward with the conservation of migratory species.
- Species Covered: Convention has two Appendices
- Appendix I lists migratory species that are endangered or threatened with extinction.
- Appendix II lists migratory species which have an unfavourable conservation status and which require international agreements for their conservation and management.
3. GM Poplars and Climate Change
Section: Climate Change
Context: A forest of GM Poplars to beat climate change
More on the News:
- In a low-lying tract in the pine belt of southern Georgia in the US, an experiment is underway to use, for the first time, genetically modified (GM) poplar seedlings that will grow wood at turbocharged rates while slurping up carbon dioxide from the air.
- These poplars may be the first GM trees planted in the US outside of a research trial or a commercial fruit orchard.
- Just as the introduction of the “Flavr Savr tomato in 1994 introduced a new industry of GM food crops, the planters of the poplars hope to transform forestry.
- Living Carbon, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company that produced the poplars, intends for its trees to be a large-scale solution to climate change. The four-year-old company has attracted an investment of 536 million.
- Living Carbon has yet to publish peer- reviewed papers; its only publicly reported results come from a greenhouse trial that lasted just a few months. These data have some experts intrigued, but stopping well short of a full endorsement.
- Biologists in Living Carbon’s lab tinkered with how trees conduct photosynthesis. While photosynthesis has profound impacts on the Earth, as a chemical process it is far from perfect. Numerous inefficiencies prevent plants from capturing and storing more than a small fraction of the solar energy that falls onto their leaves
- Those inefficiencies, among other factors, limit how fast trees and other plants grow, and how much carbon dioxide they soak up. Scientists have spent chromosomes decades trying to take over where evolution left off.
- Living Carbon’s research has been inspired by the work of University of Illinois geneticist Donald Ort, who announced in 2019 that he and his colleagues had genetically hacked tobacco plants to photosynthesize more efficiently. The researchers added genes from pumpkins and green algae to induce tobacco seedlings to recycle toxins produced as a photosynthesis byproduct into more sugars, producing plants that grew nearly
- 40% larger Living Carbon grew engineered poplars in pots, and reported in a non- peer reviewed paper last year that its tweaked poplars grew more than 50% faster than non-modified ones over five months in greenhouse
- The company’s researchers created the greenhouse-tested trees using a bacterium that splices foreign DNA into an- other organism’s genome. But for the trees they planted in Georgia, they turned to an older and cruder technique known as the gene gun method, which essentially blasts foreign genes into the trees.
4. AU’s ambitious Green Stimulus Programme
Section: Environment Conventions
Context: Africa needs climate action, says Guterres at Addis Ababa AU summit
AU’s ambitious Green Stimulus Programme
- Improving Air Quality, enhancing Chemicals and Waste Management and promoting the Circular Economy: improving air quality as well as waste management, including marine litter and pollution, reduce waste, create jobs, empower women, mobilize the youth and contribute to sustainable development.
- Conserving Biodiversity and Combatting the Illegal Wildlife Exploitation and Trade addressing the threats facing Africa’s biological resources, including alien invasive species management is critical.
- Revitalizing Eco-tourism and the Biodiversity Economy – Environmentally and socially responsible tourism that promotes conservation of biodiversity and natural heritage, needs to be revitalized. The rejuvenation of ecotourism could contribute significantly to the continent’s recovery.
- Combating Land Degradation, Desertification and Drought – the populations and ecosystems in Africa’s dry lands are some of the most vulnerable to human induced and natural shocks due to a range of socio-economic and environmental factors. Enhanced commitment to providing adequate resources to address the drivers of desertification, land degradation and drought are required.
- Enhancing Climate Action – scaled up, new and additional and appropriate financial resources and investment in large-scale transformative projects are urgently required to support the implementation of Africa’s Climate Change programme. African countries need to also invest in Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems and strengthen the provision of accurate and timely climate and weather information.
- Investing in the Blue Economy – the need to enhance the environmental contribution to the development of the blue economy of Africa, as well as to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters such as floods and cyclones is imperative, as well as contributing to the livelihoods of people living in coastal and riparian areas.
- Scaling up Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Security Systems – Africa’s agricultural programmes for adaptation to climate change and building the resilience of farmers to climate related and economic shocks require additional support, including scaling up climate smart agriculture to enhance food security and agricultural livelihoods.
- Supporting Sustainable Management of Forests – support for African countries to achieve significant reduction in deforestation rates, while enhancing agricultural productivity, biodiversity conservation, sustainable management of natural resources and income of small-scale food and forest producers is required.
- Improving Water Conservation and Use – enhancing the equitable and sustainable use of Africa’s water resources for socioeconomic development through investing in improving management of water resources, such as river basin catchments, impoundments and lakes, enhancing water use efficiency as well as rain water harvesting and the modernization of irrigation systems to more water efficient systems is required.
- Investing in Renewable Energy – enhancing the roll-out of Renewable Energy initiatives is required to provide sufficient support to enable African countries to take bold action to leapfrog to the smart, people-centered renewable energy and energy efficient systems as well as value chains in terms of new and emerging markets and job creation.
- Developing Smart Cities and promoting Green Urbanisation – as Africa is rapidly urbanizing, there is a need to develop African sustainable urban models. The development of Smart Green Cities should support the incorporation of appropriate technology, ecological services and culture in urban models.
- Enhancing Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) – lessons learnt from COVID-19 have revealed gaps in the ICT systems, bandwidth and data access which has implications for Africa’s transition to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
5. Central Travancore stares at drought as water level begins a drastic drop
Section: Indian Physical Geography
Context: The Irrigation department is planning to construct bunds at select points across the Meenachil ahead of the scheduled opening of the Thanneermukkam bund on March 15.
More on the News:
- Central Travancore is enduring a searing summer this time with the water level in all major rivers across the region recording a drastic fall.
- According to officials with the Irrigation department, water level in the Meenachil, Manimala, and the Pampa—which together feed most part of the region—have fallen drastically over the past couple of weeks.
- The level at the intake points of various water bodies, is sufficient to meet the requirements for the various drinking water projects for the time being though the situation is expected to deteriorate with the rise in temperature.
- Meanwhile, the high-lying areas in the eastern side are staring at a severe drought condition with the water level in Manimalayar river already hitting the bottom.
- The phenomenon, in turn, also has a significant impact on the ground water levels of the region.
Rivers in Kerala
Subject : Polity
- Recently, the Union government had proposed to offer suggestions in the sealed cover to the Supreme Court, in reference to the formation of a proposed committee to enquire into the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group.
- The Court, however, refused to accept the suggestions.
Sealed Cover Jurisprudence
- It is a practice used by the Supreme Court and sometimes lower courts, of asking for or accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be accessed by judges.
- There is no law specifying the sealed cover jurisprudence but the SC derives its power from –
- Rule 7 of Order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules and
- Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872
- Under Rule 7 of Order XIII (“Copying”) of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, if the Chief Justice or court directs certain information to be kept under sealed cover or considers it of confidential nature, no party would be allowed access to the contents of such information.
- Under Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, the unpublished official documents about state affairs are given protection and a public servant cannot be forced to disclose such information.
When can the Court ask for Information in a Sealed Cover?
- In broadly two circumstances – when information is connected to an ongoing investigation, and when it involves personal or confidential information.
- The logic is that disclosure of information linked to an ongoing investigation could impede the investigation.
- Also, the disclosure of personal or confidential information could violate an individual’s privacy or result in breach of trust.
Instances of Court using the Seal Cover Jurisprudence:
- Sealed cover jurisprudence has been frequently employed by Courts in the recent past.
- In the case pertaining to the Rafale Fighter Jet deal, a Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in 2018, had asked the Centre to submit details related to deal’s decision making and pricing in a sealed cover.
- This was done as the Centre had contended that such details were subject to the Official Secrets Act and Secrecy clauses in the deal.
- In the matters related to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the coordinator of the NRC, Prateek Hajela, was asked by the court to submit period reports in sealed cover, which could neither be accessed by the government nor the petitioners.
- In the 2014 BCCI reforms case, the probe committee of the cricket body had submitted its report to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope, asking it not to make public the names of nine cricketers who were suspected of a match and spot fixing scam.
Criticism of this Practice:
- Critics of this practice contend that it is not favourable to the principles of transparency and accountability of the Indian justice system.
- It stands in contrast to the idea of an open court, where decisions can be subjected to public scrutiny.
- It is also said to enlarge the scope for arbitrariness in court decisions, as judges are supposed to lay down reasoning for their decision. However, this cannot be done when they are based upon information submitted confidentially.
- It is argued that not providing access to such documents to the accused parties obstructs their passage to a fair trial and adjudication.
- In the 2019 judgment in the case of P Gopalakrishnan V. The State of Kerala, the Supreme Court had said that disclosure of documents to the accused is constitutionally mandated.
7. Chandrayaan 3 lander successfully completed key test
Subject : Science and technology
Section: Space technology
- According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the lander for the Chandrayaan-3 mission successfully completed the crucial EMI-EMC (Electro – Magnetic Interference/ Electro – Magnetic Compatibility) test at the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru.
- The Chandrayaan-3 mission is slated to be launched later this year by the GSLV MkIII (Launch Vehicle Mark 3 – LMV3) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
- According to the space agency, the EMI-EMC (Electro – Magnetic Interference/ Electro – Magnetic Compatibility) test is conducted for satellite missions to ensure the functionality of the satellite subsystems in the space environment and their compatibility with the expected electromagnetic levels.
- This test is a major milestone in the realisation of the satellites, as the mission’s complexity calls for establishing radio-frequency (RF) communication links between the modules.
Chandrayaan 3 Mission
- ISRO has announced Chandrayaan-3, a soft-landing mission, after the failure of Vikram Lander under Chandrayaan 2.
- Its moon Lander will be the first to land in southern hemisphere of moon surface.
- While the Orbiter of Chandrayaan 2 is in the lunar orbit, the Lander and Rover failed after the lander crash-landed on lunar surface.
- ISRO is planning to land the Chandrayaan 3 lander at the same location as the Chandrayaan 2 – the lunar South Pole, which is a singularly promising part of the moon’s surface.
- Unlike its predecessor, Chandrayaan-3 will not have an orbiter.
- Chandrayaan-3 interplanetary mission has three major modules: the Propulsion module, Lander module, and Rover.
- Propulsion module:
- It has Spectro-polarimetry of HAbitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload to study the spectral and polarimetric measurements of Earth from lunar orbit.
- Lander payloads:
- Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) to measure the thermal conductivity and temperature;
- Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) for measuring the seismicity around the landing site;
- Langmuir Probe (LP) to estimate the plasma density and its variations, etc.
- Rover payloads:
- Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) for deriving the elemental composition in the vicinity of the landing site.
8. Disqualification Of a Politician
Subject : Polity
- Kerala High Court refuses to stay 10-year imprisonment against Lakshadweep Member of Parliament in an attempt to murder case.
- Earlier, the Kavaratti Sessions Court had convicted four persons, including Mohammed Faizal P.P. then sitting Member of Parliament (MP) of Lakshadweep for committing offences punishable under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sentenced to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
- On January 13, the Lok Sabha announced the disqualification of Faizal as an MP with effect from the date of conviction.
- On January 18, the Election Commission of India (ECI) fixed February 27 as the date for by-election to that constituency.
- An appeal in Kerala High Court suspended his conviction and sentence on January 25.
- The High Court suspended his conviction until disposal of the appeal.
- Faizal also challenged the ECI’s announcement in the Supreme Court of India due to which the ECI deferred the election.
- The elected candidate will have just 15 months to function till the end of the term of the current Lok Sabha.
Parliamentary Provisions for Disqualification of MPs
- In case an MP is convicted of any criminal offence, there are provisions in place for their disqualification from the parliament.
- Section 8 of Representation of the People Act, 1951 provides that a person will be disqualified if convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more.
- The person is disqualified for the period of imprisonment and a further six years.
Other Parliamentary Provisions as per RPA Act, 1951 :
- He must not have been found guilty of certain election offences or corrupt practices in the elections.
- He must not have been convicted for any offence resulting in imprisonment for two or more years.
- But, the detention of a person under a preventive detention law is not a disqualification.
- He must not have failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time.
- He must not have any interest in government contracts, works or services.
- He must not be a director or managing agent nor hold an office of profit in a corporation in which the government has at least 25 per cent share.
- He must not have been dismissed from government service for corruption or disloyalty to the state.
- He must not have been convicted for promoting enmity between different groups or for the offence of bribery.
- He must not have been punished for preaching and practicing social crimes such as untouchability, dowry and sati.
- Note : President’s decision is final regarding the disqualification of a member of either house of the Parliament.
- However the President does take the opinion of the Election Commission before taking a decision on disqualification and act accordingly.
Differential Treatment for sitting members:
- There is an exception for sitting members under Representation of the People Act, 1951
- Sitting members have been provided a period of three months from the date of conviction to appeal; the disqualification will not be applicable until the appeal is decided.
- The differential treatment of candidates for elections and sitting members was challenged under Article 14.
- The Supreme Court in K. Prabhakaran vs P. Jayarajan 2005 case, validated the differential treatment as the consequences of disqualifying a contestant and a sitting member were different.
- The disqualification of an MP or MLA has several implications for the functioning of the House and the political party to which the member belongs.
- The disqualification of an MP or MLA leads to a by-election in the constituency represented by the disqualified member. This not only entails additional expenditure for the government but also affects the political balance in the House.
- The Court also held that the removal of disqualification in case of acquittal of a candidate would be prospective and for future elections and not with retrospective effect as this would require the results of the election to be cancelled.
- However, in 2013, a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in the Lily Thomas vs Union of India case stated that the conditions for disqualification would apply equally to candidates and sitting members.
- Therefore, the exception carved out for sitting members was unconstitutional.
- The judgement cited Article 101 that if a Member of Parliament was disqualified under Article 102, “his seat shall thereupon become vacant”.
- Therefore, the disqualification was automatic and had immediate effect if the conditions of Article 102 were met.
- The judgement also stated that a disqualified person may obtain a stay on his conviction, and the disqualification would be removed from the date of the stay order.
9. Scientists tested an electron’s response to a magnetic field with extreme accuracy
Subject : Science and technology
Section : Msc
- Physicists have recently made the most precise test yet, of the Standard Model of Particles by measuring the magnetic moment of an electron with 0.13 parts per trillion accuracies.
- The measurement is 2.2 times more accurate than the previous best, recorded 14 years ago.
- The Standard Model (SM) is the theory that describes the properties of all subatomic particles, classifies them into different groups and determines how they are affected by three of the four fundamental forces of nature: the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force and electromagnetic force (cannot explain gravity).
- In the 1960s, physicists used SM to predict the existence of a particle called the Higgs boson; it was finally discovered in 2012.
- Similarly, SM has enabled physicists to successfully predict the existence and properties of dozens of particles and is considered one of the most successful theories in the history of physics.
- However, it still fails to explain why the universe has more matter than antimatter, what is dark matter, or what is dark energy.
Will humans ever find evidence of beyond-Standard Model(SM) forces?
- That’s a billion-dollar question. Physicists will test as many of the SM’s predictions as possible to look for a crack in its facade. They already have some clues: SM says neutrinos should be massless, but they’re not.
- Physicists have also built detectors to look for different types of hypothetical dark matter particles, sifting through astronomical data to make sense of dark energy, and looking into each other’s calculations.
- Collectively, the community hopes that at least one of these efforts, guided by the principles they discover in their theoretical studies, will reveal a glimpse of a world beyond the Standard Model.
Subject : Geography
Section : Economic geography
- Teja red chilli has become a hot property in many nations and the export of this variety of red chilli is estimated to increase from the present ₹2,000 crores per annum to ₹2,500 crores in the coming year.
Teja Red Chilli
- Teja Red Chilli which is also known as S-17 is one of the hottest varieties of red chillies produced in India.
- Teja chilli is a fine variety of Guntur chilli which is mostly produced in the southern states of India.
- Khammam district of Telangana is the largest producer of the Teja variety of red chilli.
- Teja red chillis are famous for their culinary, medicinal and other wide-ranging uses such as being the main ingredient in making pepper spray.
- The paste extracted from this variety of chilli is also in demand for its use as a protective layer beneath ships in some Asian countries.
- Teja red chilli is being exported extensively to China, Bangladesh and a few other south Asian countries from Khammam.
11. Sticky Inflation and January Spike
Subject : Economy
Section :Inflation and unemployment
- In January, consumer price inflation hit a three-month high of 6.52 percent, compared to 5.72 percent in December, driven by a significant increase in cereal prices and stickiness of core inflation.
What contributed to the latest spike in inflation?
- Rise in food prices: With food accounting for 46 per cent of the overall CPI basket, a rise in food inflation from roughly 4 per cent in December 2022 to more than 6 per cent in January 2023 has played an important role in overall inflation going up.
- Cereal inflation is soaring high: Within food, one component that has proved rather stubborn is cereal inflation. Between May and December 2022, year-on-year cereal inflation nearly doubled from 5 per cent to 14 per cent. In January 2023, this increased to 16 per cent. Within cereals, inflation in wheat has been steadily going up. Between May and December 2022, wheat inflation increased from 9 per cent to 22 per cent. It increased even further to 25 per cent in January 2023.
- The steep rise in wheat prices reflects shortages: Data from the Food Corporation of India shows that stocks in government warehouses declined. The government has recently approved a release of three million tonnes in the open market. However, this is insufficient to restore market supplies.
- Stickiness of core inflation: Second, core (non-food, non-fuel) inflation in January came out to be 6.2 percent. This is consistent with the unyielding core inflation of 6 per cent for nearly three years now. A persistently high core inflation implies that price pressures have become entrenched in the system.
- External factors also play a role: Inflation in developed countries continues to be high (6.4 per cent in the US; 8.5 per cent in the EU; 10.5 per cent in the UK). India is importing some of this elevated inflation through international trade in goods and services.
- Moreover, with China gradually opening up its economy after nearly three years of zero-Covid restrictions, commodity prices are likely to go up, which could exert renewed pressures on India’s inflation.
- The core inflation rate measures rising prices in everything except food and energy.
- That’s because gas prices tend to escalate now and then. Higher gas costs increase the price of food and anything else that has large transportation costs.
Is India’s inflation turning out to be sticky?
- Inflation is taking longer than expected to fall essentially because higher food and fuel prices have seeped into broader economy and made other things costlier.
- India is not the only country facing sticky inflation – many others including USA and European nations are struggling to extricate themselves from sticky inflation.
- Sticky inflation is an undesirable economic situation where there is a combination of stubbornly high inflation, (and often stagnant growth).
- Sticky inflation is often associated with cost-push factors, i.e. factors which cause a rise in the inflation rate but also lead to lower spending and economic growth.
Subject : History
Section: World History
- Russia asked French President Emmanuel Macron to remember the fate of Napoleon Bonaparte, after he called for Russia’s defeat against Ukraine.
- It also accused the president of being duplicitous in his diplomacy with Moscow.
French Invasion under Napolean Bonaparte
- After winning the battle of Friedland in 1807, Napoleon signed the Treaties of Tilsit with Russia’s Tsar Alexander I.
- It marked the beginning of an alliance between the two empires as they agreed to help each other in disputes.
- Notably, the Russians also accepted to become part of Napoleon’s Continental Blockade, which prohibited both neutral parties and French allies from trading with Great Britain.
- Tsar broke the agreement in 1810 and start trading with Britain openly, much to France’s displeasure. Tensions escalated quickly and when all the attempts of negotiations failed.
- The French invasion of Russia, also known as the Russian campaign, the Second Polish War, the Army of Twenty nations, and the Patriotic War of 1812 was launched by Napoleon to force the Russian Empire back into the continental blockade of the United Kingdom.
Course of war
- When the france army reached the Russian territory, the Tsar’s army retreated into the interior regions, compelling the French to cover much longer distances than expected.
- This led to a shortage of food and other supplies. Napoleon’s military strategists also realised that restocking was a daunting task in Russia because it had a poor road network.
- Moreover, food scarcity was made worse by Russian soldiers, who adopted a scorched earth policy of destroying everything possible as they retreated before the French.
- After the Tsar refused to respond to any of Napoleon’s proposed negotiations for weeks, the French emperor begrudgingly ordered his men to return.
- By the time the army crossed into Poland in early December, less than 100,000 exhausted, tattered soldiers remained of the 600,000 proud soldiers who crossed the Nieman five months before.
Consequences of the war
- Napoleon’s failed conquest of Russia united the rest of Europe against him.
- In 1813, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden and a number of German states joined their forces and went to war against France.
- Known as the War of the Sixth Coalition, the battle concluded with the defeat of Napoleon, who then went into exile.
- He briefly returned to power in France in 1815 but had to abdicate his throne for the second time after he lost the Battle of Waterloo during the War of the Seventh Coalition.
- Napoleon was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena in the Atlantic, where he died in 1821.
13. Indians go West, take up ‘residence by investment’
Subject : Polity
Section: Constitution features
- According to data tabled in Parliament by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) recently, over 25 lakh Indians renounced their Indian citizenship in 2022, the highest number since 2011.
- The data shows how Indians, particularly high-net-worth individuals (HNIs), are migrating westward with new passports in search of better opportunities, healthcare, quality of life, and education, among other factors.
- High-net-worth individuals are flocking for residence-through-investment schemes in the United States, Portugal, Australia, Malta, and Greece.
- There has been a surge in requests for residence-through-investment programmes especially for the US EB-5 visa, Portugal Golden Visa, Australian Global Talent Independent Visa, Malta Permanent Residency Programme, and Greece Residence by Investment Program.
Residence by investment programs
- Residency by investment – Residence by investment schemes offer people the chance to get a residency permit for a country by purchasing a house there or making a large investment or donation.
- It is otherwise known as golden visa programs.
- It give HNIs the option of physically relocating and becoming residents of a state with full legal rights, including the right to live, work, study, and receive healthcare in that country.
Citizenship renouncement in India
- Since India does not provide dual citizenship, therefore one has to renounce his/her Indian Citizenship for acquiring citizenship of another country.
- Voluntary Renunciation:
- If an Indian citizen wishes, who is of full age and capacity, he can relinquish citizenship of India by his will.
- When a person relinquishes his citizenship, every minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship. However, when such a child attains the age of 18, he may resume Indian citizenship.
- By Termination:
- The Constitution of India provides single citizenship. It means an Indian person can only be a citizen of one country at a time.
- If a person takes the citizenship of another country, then his Indian citizenship ends automatically. However, this provision does not apply when India is busy in war.
- Deprivation by Government:
- The Government of India may terminate the citizenship of an Indian citizen if;
- The citizen has disrespected the Constitution.
- Has obtained citizenship by fraud.
- The citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated with the enemy during a war.
- Within 5 years of registration or naturalisation, a citizen has been sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment in any country.
- The citizen has been living outside India for 7 years continuously.
High net worth individuals (HNIs)
- HNIs are those who have wealth of over $1 million or 8.2 crore.
- According to the Henley Global Citizens Report, there were 3.47 lakh such people in India in December 2021.
- Of these, 1.49 lakh HNIs were found in just nine cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Gurgaon, and Ahmedabad.
- According to the report, India ranked fourth in the world in terms of privately-held wealth, after the U.S., China, and Japan
Subject : Science and Technology
Section : Health
What is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)?
- SCD is a chronic single gene disorder causing a debilitating systemic syndrome characterized by chronic anaemia, acute painful episodes, organ infarction and chronic organ damage and by a significant reduction in life expectancy.
Science behind it:
- Haemoglobin which is tasked with carrying oxygen to all parts of the body, has four protein subunits — two alpha and two beta.
- In some people, mutations in the gene that creates the beta subunits impact the shape of the blood cell and distorts it to look like a sickle A round red blood cell can move easily through blood vessels because of its shape but sickle red blood cells end up slowing, and even blocking, the blood flow.
- Moreover, sickle cells die early, resulting in a shortage of red blood cells that deprive the body of oxygen. These obstructions and shortages may cause chronic anaemia, pain, fatigue, acute chest syndrome, stroke, and a host of other serious health complications.
- Without treatment, quality of life is compromised and severe cases can become fatal in the initial years of life.
Does SCA only affect some?
- Research and screening programmes have found that the prevalence of haemoglobinopathies — disorders of the blood — is more common among tribal populations than nontribal communities in India.
- Research has shown that SCA is prevalent in communities residing in areas where malaria is endemic.
- Around the middle 1940s, doctors found that those with sickle red blood cells were more likely to survive malaria. Those with the trait in some African countries were found to be potentially resistant to lethal forms of malaria and had a survival advantage. The sickle cell trait thus gave an evolutionary advantage, offering immunity to some people during malaria epidemics. In India, States and UTs with tribal populations contribute a significant malaria case load. Additionally, the documented prevalence of SCA is higher in communities that practice endogamy, as the chances of having two parents with sickle cell trait is higher.
- Symptoms of sickle cell disease can vary, but some common symptoms include:
- Chronic Anaemia: leading to fatigue, weakness, and paleness.
- Painful episodes (also known as sickle cell crisis): these can cause sudden and intense pain in the bones, chest, back, arms, and legs.
- Delayed growth and puberty
Can it be treated?
- Sickle cell anaemia is a genetic disorder, making complete “elimination” a challenge that requires major scientific breakthrough.
- The only cure comes in the form of gene therapy and stem cell transplants — both costly and still in developmental stages.
- Blood transfusion, wherein red blood cells are removed from donated blood and given to a patient, is also a trusted treatment in the absence of permanent cures. But challenges include a scarcity of donors, fears around safe supply of blood, risk of infection etc.
Government efforts :
- The Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Rural Health Mission in different States are undertaking outreach programmes for better management and control of the disease.
- The Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched a portal wherein people can register themselves if they have the disease or the trait, in order to collate all information related to SCA among tribal groups.
- Government has released technical operational guidelinesfor prevention and control of hemoglobinopathies in 2016 including sickle cell
- Integrated centers have also been established in 22 tribal districts for treatment and diagnosis.
- The State Haemoglobinopathy Missionhas been established in Madhya Pradesh to address the challenges in screening and management of the disease.
- In the Budget, the Union Health Minister said the government plans to distribute “special cards” across tribal areas to people below the age of 40. “The cards will be divided into different categories based on the screening results..” The mission will receive funding under the National Health Mission.
15. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Uttham Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) behind schedule
Section : Renewable energy
- Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) is a farmer-oriented solar power scheme that will allow setting up grid-connected solar plants in rural areas and off-grid solar pumps.
- This scheme is implemented by Ministry of new and renewable energy.
- Under the scheme, the government plans to incentivise farmers to run solar farm, water pumps and use barren land for generating power for extra income up to Rs 60,000 per acre every year.
- Boosting farmers ‘income by allowing them to sell additional power to the grid through solar plants.
- Help farmers access reliable daytime solar power for irrigation
- Reduce power subsidies
- Decarbonize agriculture
- Its previous target is to set up 25,750 megawatts (MW) solar capacity by 2022 to power irrigation pumps.
- It comprises of three components:
- Setting up of 10,000 MW of decentralised ground / stilt-mounted grid-connected solar or other renewable energy based power plants
- Installation of 17.5 lakh standalone solar agriculture pumps
- Solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected agriculture pumps
- Subsidy for buying solar pumps: 30% central + 30% state government +bank loans for 30% of the cost(If farmer needs).
16. ICBM: North Korea makes fresh threats against drills; U.S. bombers fly after ICBM test
Subject: Science and Technology
Section :Space technology
- A ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target.
- A ballistic trajectory is the path of an object that is launched but has no active propulsion during its actual flight (these weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods of flight).
- Consequently, the trajectory is fully determined by a given initial velocity, effects of gravity, air resistance, and motion of the earth (Coriolis Force).
- Shorter range ballistic missiles stay within the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Longer-ranged intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), are launched on a sub-orbital flight trajectory and spend most of their flight out of the atmosphere.
Types of ballistic missiles based on the range
- Short-range (tactical) ballistic missile (SRBM): Range between 300 km and 1,000 km.
- Medium-range (theatre) ballistic missile (MRBM): 1,000 km to 3,500 km.
- Intermediate-range (Long-Range) ballistic missile (IRBM or LRBM): 3,500 km and 5,500 km.
- Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM): 5,500 km +.
- Ballistic missiles of India: Agni, K-4 (SLBM), Prahaar, Dhanush, Prithvi and Trishul.