Daily Prelims Notes 21 June 2020
- June 21, 2020
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Auto Fuel Vision and Policy 2025
- Enceladusand Europa
- Section 309 of IPC
- Antibodies and Cellular Immunity
- Rajya Sabha elections
- Parliamentary Standing Committee
- Kodumanal excavation
- Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
Latest round of fuel price increase has helped the state owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) to recover a part of ₹35,000 crore investments made in upgrading their refineries to BSVI fuels.
- Emissions from vehicles are one of the top contributors to air pollution, which led the government at the time to introduce the BS 2000 (Bharat Stage 1) vehicle emission norms from April 2000, followed by BS II in 2005.
- BS III was implemented nationwide in 2010. However, in 2016, the government decided to meet the global best practices and leapfrog to BS-VI norms by skipping BS-V altogether.
- The Auto Fuel Vision and Policy 2025 is recommended by Saumitra Chaudhuri Committee
- It had recommended a 75 paisecess to recoup additional investments projected for producing cleaner fuels.
- It touched upon Bharat norms (next stage implementation), Taxation issues & Alternative fuels
- BS-VI fuel is said to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, unburnt hydrocarbons or methane and oxides of nitrogen. It has sulphur content of 10 parts per million (ppm) against 50 ppm in BS IV.
Subject: Science and tech
Plumes of water erupt from Europa and Enceladus which indicates that these bodies have subsurface oceans beneath their ice shells.
- Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa may support life, because scientists have spotted water plumes bursting from their icy shells.
- A mathematical calculation by NASA scientists guesses that more than a quarter of the several dozen exoplanets they have analysed could be ‘water worlds’.
- This includes some members of the Trappist-1 system which is about forty light years away.
Assam state government has ordered the arrest of political commentator who had described Chaolung Sukapha as a “Chinese invader”
- Sukapha was a 13th-century ruler who founded the Ahom kingdom that ruled Assam for six centuries. Contemporary scholars trace his roots to Burma.
- The founders of the Ahom kingdom had their own language and followed their own religion. Over the centuries, the Ahoms accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language.
- Sukapha’s significance lies in his successful efforts towards assimilation of different communities and tribes. He is widely referred to as the architect of “BorAsom” or “greater Assam”.
- To commemorate Sukapha and his rule, Assam celebrates “Asom Divas” on December 2 every year.
- The Ahom kingdom was established in 1228 when Sukaphaa entered the Brahmaputra valley. Sukaphaa did not battle any established kingdom and seem to have occupied a depopulated region on the south bank with the Burhidihing river in the north, the Dikhauriver in the south and the Patkai mountains in the east.
- The Ahomsbrought with them the technology of wet rice cultivation that they shared with other groups.
- The kingdom came under attack from Turkic and Afghan rulers of Bengal, but it withstood them.
- On one occasion, the Ahoms under TankhamBorgohain pursued the invaders and reached the Karatoyariver, and the Ahoms began to see themselves as the rightful heir of the erstwhile Kamarupa Kingdom.
- The kingdom came under repeated Mughal attacks in the 17th century, and on one occasion in 1662, the Mughals under Mir Jumla occupied the capital, Garhgaon.
- The Mughals were unable to keep it, and in at the end of the Battle of Saraighat, the Ahoms not only fended off a major Mughal invasion, but extended their boundaries west, up to the Manas river.
- The later phase of the rule was also marked by increasing social conflicts, leading to the Moamoria rebellion.
- The rebels were able to capture and maintain power at the capital Rangpur for some years, but were finally removed with the help of the British under Captain Welsh.
- A much weakened kingdom fell to repeated Burmese attacks and finally after the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826, the control of the kingdom passed into British hands.
Increasing suicides in the country bring to limelight section 309 of IPC
- Anyone who survives an attempted suicide can be booked under Section 309 IPC, which deals with “Attempt to commit suicide”.
- Contrary to popular perception that it has been repealed, continues to exist in the statute book.
- The Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017, which came into force in July 2018, has significantly reduced the scope for the use of Section 309 IPC and made the attempt to commit suicide punishable only as an exception.
- Section 115(1) of The MHCA has said person who attempts to commit suicide shall be booked under this, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress.
- In ‘Gian Kaur vs State of Punjab’, 1996, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 309.
- However, in 2008, the Law Commission in its 210th Report, said that an attempt to suicide needed medical and psychiatric care, and not punishment. In March 2011, the Supreme Court too recommended to Parliament that it should consider the feasibility of deleting the section.
Subject: Science and tech
A study published in Nature Medicine suggests that antibodies in individuals who recovered from SARSCoV2 infection start to decrease within two three months after infection. Besides inducing neutralising antibodies, novel coronavirus has also been found to induce cellular immunity.
The immune system was separated into two branches: humoral immunity, for which the protective function of immunization could be found in the humor (cell-free bodily fluid or serum) and cellular immunity, for which the protective function of immunization was associated with cells.
Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight antigens, such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins.The body makes different immunoglobulin to combat different antigens.
The five subclasses of antibodies are:
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is found in high concentrations in the mucous membranes, particularly those lining the respiratory passages and gastrointestinal tract, as well as in saliva and tears.
- Immunoglobulin G (IgG), are involved in the secondary immune response (IgM is the main antibody involved in primary response). IgG can bind pathogens, like for example viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and thereby protects the body against infection and toxins. Comprising up to 80% of the antibodies found in the human body, IgG is the smallest, yet most abundant human antibody, and that of other mammals. IgG can be found in all bodily fluids, and is the only antibody that can protect a foetus by passing through the mother’s placenta.
- Immunoglobulin M (IgM), is the largest antibody, and it is the first antibody to appear in the response to initial exposure to an antigen. B-cells create IgM antibodies as a first line of defense. Their large size gives them excellent binding avidity, and can pick up trace amounts of infection to mark for recognition by phagocytes. IgM is primarily found in serum and due to its size, it cannot diffuse well, and is found in the interstitium only in very low quantities.
- Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is associated mainly with allergic reactions (when the immune system overreacts to environmental antigens such as pollen or pet dander). It is found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes.
- Immunoglobulin D (IgD), which exists in small amounts in the blood, is the least understood antibody.
- Cell-mediated immunity is an immune response that does not involve antibodies.
- Cellular immunity is a protective immune process that involves the activation of phagocytes, antigen-sensitized cytotoxic T cells and the release of cytokines and chemokines in response to antigen.
- Cellular immunity is most effective against cells infected with viruses, intracellular bacteria, fungi and protozoans, and cancerous cells.
Rajya Sabha election has been concluded for 19 seats recently.
- A third of Members of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha (which is a permanent House and is not subject to dissolution), from each State retire once in two years and polls are held to fill up the vacancies.
- Only elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies can vote in a Rajya Sabha election.
- In addition, vacancies that arise due to resignation, death or disqualification are filled up through bypolls after which those elected serve out the remainder of their predecessors’ term.
- Voting is by single transferable vote, as the election is held on the principle of proportional representation.
- The Rajya Sabha polls have a system of open ballot, but it is a limited form of openness.
- As a measure to check rampant crossvoting, which was taken to mean that the vote had been purchased by corrupt means, the system of each party MLA showing his or her marked ballots to the party’s authorised agent, before they are put into the ballot box, has been introduced.
- Showing a marked ballot to anyone other than one’s own party’s authorised agent will render the vote invalid. Not showing the ballot to the authorised agent will also mean that the vote cannot be counted.
- And independent candidates are barred from showing their ballots to anyone.
- The Supreme Court, while declining to interfere with the open ballot system, ruled that not voting for the party candidate will not attract disqualification under the anti-defection law.
- In 2018, the Supreme Court of India struck down the provision, holding that the ‘none of the above’ option is only for general elections held on the basis of universal adult suffrage, and cannot be applied to indirect elections based on proportional representation.
Amid the on-going India-China border tension, a Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Sino-India relations post the Doklam standoff has been released.
- The Constitution of India makes a mention of these committees at different places, but without making any specific provisions regarding their composition, tenure, functions, etc. All these matters are dealtby the rules of two Houses.
- Accordingly, a parliamentary committee means a committee that:
- Is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker / Chairman
- Works under the direction of the Speaker / Chairman
- Presents its report to the House or to the Speaker / Chairman
- Has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha
- The introduction of 17 department-related standing committees (DRSCs) on March 31, 1993 was a significant innovation that increased parliamentary scrutiny and gave MPs a larger role in examining legislation and important decisions of the day.
- There are 24 DRSCs — 16 from Lok Sabha and 8 from Rajya Sabha. Each committee has 21 MPs from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.
- The role: Given the volume of legislative business and the time constraints it is not possible for MPs to discuss and scrutinise all bills in the House.
- Parliamentary committees, either formed for a specific bill (select committee) or permanent (standing committees that are reconstituted annually) allow for a scrutiny with the possibility of tapping subject experts from outside and other stakeholders in an environment where MPs are not bound by party positions or whips.
- A problem: The committee system, however, has been affected by delays in preparing reports and incidence of absenteeism.
Subject: Arts and culture
The Kodumanal excavation in Tamil Nadu of 10 pots and bowls, instead of the usual three or four pots, placed outside three-chambered burial cists and inside the cairn-circle, threw light on burial rituals and the concept of afterlife in megalithic culture.
- It was once a flourishing ancient trade city known as Kodumanam, as inscribed in Patittrupathu of Sangam Literature.
- It is located on the northern banks of Noyyal River, a tributary of the Cauvery.
- Megaliths were constructed either as burial sites or commemorative (non-sepulchral) memorials.
- Cairn-circlesare the prehistoric stone row which is a linear arrangement of parallel megalithic standing stones.
- Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent, though the bulk of them are found in peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) here today signed a $750 million “COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme” to assist India to strengthen its response to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on poor and vulnerable households.
- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia.
- Headquartered in Beijing, it began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 102 approved members worldwide.
- It invests in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond.
- Membership in AIIB shall be open to members of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the Asian Development Bank.
- China is the largest contributor to the Bank, contributing USD 50 billion, half of the initial subscribed capital.
- India is the second-largest shareholder, contributing USD 8.4 billion.