Daily Prelims Notes 21 June 2021
- June 21, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
21 June 2021
Table Of Contents
- Road to sainthood for Robert Schuman, the ‘father of Europe’
- Bharatiya Shiksha Board
- Moderna Vaccine elicits immune response in infant model: study
- Summer Solstice
- Alternatives like RBI printing currency
- Retreating monsoon rains a global phenomenon can help study climate change
- Biotech KISAN Programme
- Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)
- National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI)
- Keel of additional Krivak class second frigate laid
- Pact signed to conserve rare turtle in Assam
- International Yoga Day 2021
Context: Pope Francis on Saturday approved a decree declaring the “heroic virtues″ of Schuman, a devout Catholic during his life. He can now be called “venerable” by Catholics, one of the many steps in the long process to be recognised as a saint by the Rome-based church.
- Robert Schuman, Luxembourgian-born French statesman who founded the European Coal and Steel Community and worked for economic and political unity designed to lead to the establishment of a “United States of Europe.”
- Schuman, a member of the French National Assembly from 1919, was arrested by the German Gestapo in September 1940 after the German occupation of France. He escaped in 1942 and worked in the Résistance until France was liberated (1944).
- As founder of the Popular Republican Movement, he served as minister of finance (July–November 1946), premier (November 1947–July 1948 and August–September 1948), foreign minister (July 1948–December 1952), and minister of justice (1955–56).
- While foreign minister he developed the Schuman Plan (1950) to promote European economic and military unity and a Franco-German rapprochement to prevent another war between the two nations.
- The economic aspects of his plan were realized in 1952 in the European Coal and Steel Community, a six-nation western European economic union, the first in a series of economic agreements leading to the formation of the European Economic Community (Common Market) in 1958.
- He served as president of the Common Assembly, the consultative arm of the Common Market, from 1958 to 1960 and was an Assembly member until February 1963.
Context: The idea to establish a new national school board, on the lines of CBSE, for “swadeshikaran (indigenisation)” of education was first mooted by Ramdev
- Its objective is to standardize Vedic Education through drafting syllabus, conducting examinations and issuing certificates.
- BSB will also be assigned the responsibility of evolving new kinds of schools that offer a blend of Vedic and modern education apart from affiliating traditional pathshalas.
- It will address the problem of recognizing traditional learning.
- The board will be set up as per the model bye-laws framed by Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
- MSRP was set to develop and propagate oral studies of the Vedas.
- It currently affiliates 450 institutions of traditional learning like pathshalas and guru-shishyaparamparayojana across the country.
- Moreover, this organization has been conducting both Class X and XII examinations, and its certificates are not considered equivalent to the mainstream levels of education by the several institutions.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : The results, published in Science Immunology, suggest that vaccines for young children are likely important, safe tools to curtail the pandemic, according to the researchers.
- A group of scientists reported that the Moderna mRNA vaccine and a protein-based vaccine candidate elicited durable neutralising antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in pre-clinical research with baby rhesus macaques. There were no adverse effects
- The strong neutralising antibody responses elicited by the vaccines in 16 baby rhesus macaques persisted for 22 weeks.
mRNA 1273 :
- mRNA-1273 is the working name of Moderna’s vaccine. It is currently under the aegis of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- The mRNA means the messenger RNA. This carries the carries the genetic formula for the coding of a specific protein.
- The mRNA is a molecule that genetically encodes a set of instructions, based on which cells make proteins and send them to various parts of the body.
- Vaccines based on mRNA technology take advantage of normal biological processes of the body to create the desired therapeutic effect.
Context: The summer solstice happened today around 9:02 am on Monday (Indian Standard Time).
- Solstice means “sun stands still” in Latin.
- The longest day of 2021 for those living north of the Equator is June 21.
- This day is characterized by a greater amount of energy received from the sun.
- In technical terms, this day is referred to as the summer solstice, the longest day of the summer season. It occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer or more specifically right over 23.5-degree north latitude.
- The Southern Hemisphere receives most sunlight on December 21, 22 or 23 when the northern hemisphere has its longest nights– or the winter solstice.
Why do we have summer solstice?
- Since Earth rotates on its axis, the Northern Hemisphere gets more direct sunlight between March and September over the course of a day.
- This also means people living in the Northern Hemisphere experience summer during this time.
- The rest of the year, the Southern Hemisphere gets more sunlight.
- During the solstice, the Earth’s axis — around which the planet spins, completing one turn each day — is tilted in a way that the North Pole is tipped towards the sun and the South Pole is away from it.
Some other facts
- Summer solstice does not mean the earliest sunrise or latest sunset.
- Although June 21 will be the longest day in 2021, it does not necessarily mean that it brings the earliest sunrise or latest sunset.
- It depends on the latitudinal location of the country.
Context : Last week, T V Narendran, the CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel Limited as well as the new president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), urged the government to provide a fresh fiscal stimulus to boost demand in the economy
- CII president has yet again reiterated what the last president had suggested: Government should ask the RBI to “expand its balance-sheet in order to accommodate the increased stimulus so that lending costs remain contained”.
- In other words, CII wants the government to simply ask the RBI to print Rs 3 lakh crore worth of new cash and give it to the government to spend.
- This is an unconventional monetary policy tool aimed at bringing a flagging economy back on track.
- It involves printing large sums of money and distributing it to the public. American economist Milton Friedman coined this term.
- It basically denotes a helicopter dropping money from the sky.
- Friedman used the term to signify “unexpectedly dumping money onto a struggling economy with the intention to shock it out of a deep slump.”
- Under such a policy, a central bank “directly increases the money supply and, via the government, distributes the new cash to the population with the aim of boosting demand and inflation.”
Is helicopter money the same as quantitative easing (QE)?
- Quantitative easing involves the use of printed money by central banks to buy government bonds.
- But not everyone views the money used in QE as helicopter money.
- It sure means printing money to monetize government deficits, but the govt has to pay back for the assets that the central bank buys.
- It’s not the same as bond-buying by central banks “in which bank-owned assets are swapped for new central bank reserves.
- Helicopter money is also different from a central bank directly financing the debt of a government.
Alternatives to printing money by RBI
- The government can consider Covid bonds as an option to raise borrowing, not in addition to budgeted borrowing, but as a part of that.
- They can provide relief to savers who are short-changed by the low-interest rates on bank fixed deposits.
- Compressing “pay ratios” in the corporate world: It does not involve the government at all and follows the notion that charity begins at home.
- The pay ratio of a firm is the ratio of the salary of the top-paid manager in the firm to the median salary in the firm.
- The “median” salary means that level of salary which marks the middle point in terms of salaries i.e. half the number of employees earns less than this level and half of them earn more.
- Wealth Tax: The economists Prabhat Patnaik and Jayati Ghosh refer to the Global Wealth Migration Review (2019) that found that the total net worth of private individuals in India in 2018 was Rs 570 lakh crore.
- They pointed out that a 2% tax on the wealth of just the top 1% would fetch Rs 6.6 lakh crore.
- Inheritance Tax: It is assumed that if every year 5% of the total wealth of top startup gets transferred to their children, or other legatees, as inheritance, then even a modest taxation of one-third of such inheritance would fetch Rs 5.5 lakh crore.
Subject : Geography
Context: Rainfall during retreating monsoon, which parts of south India experiences every year, is not a local anomaly and is global in nature and scale, according to a recent study by the University of Sydney.
Retreating Monsoon Season
- The retreating southwest monsoon season is marked by clear skies and rise in temperature.
- The land is still moist. Owing to the conditions of high temperature and humidity, the weather becomes rather oppressive. This is commonly known as the ‘October heat’.
- In the second half of October, the mercury begins to fall rapidly, particularly in northern India.
- The weather in the retreating monsoon is dry in north India but it is associated with rain in the eastern part of the Peninsula. Here, October and November are the rainiest months of the year.
- The widespread rain in this season is associated with the passage of cyclonic depressions which originate over the Andaman Sea and manage to cross the eastern coast of the southern Peninsula. These tropical cyclones are very destructive.
- A bulk of the rainfall of the Coromandel Coast is derived from these depressions and cyclones.
- Unlike the rest of the country, which receives rain in the southwest monsoon season between June and September, the northeast monsoon is crucial for farming and water security in the south.
Context: Recently, a Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has issued a Special Call for North East Region as a part of its Biotech KISAN Programme.
- It aims to understand the local problems of the NER farmers and provide scientific solutions to those problems.
- It will focus on the North East Region as it is predominantly agrarian with 70% of its workforce engaged in agriculture and allied sector for livelihood.
- The NER produces merely 1.5 per cent of country‘s food grain and continues to be a net importer of food grains even for its domestic consumption.
- The NER has untapped potential to enhance the income of the farming population by promotion of location specific crops, horticultural and plantation crops, fisheries and livestock production.
About Biotech KISAN Programme
- It is Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN).
- It is a scientist-farmer partnership scheme launched in 2017 for agriculture innovation.
- It is a Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology initiative that empowers farmers, especially women farmers.
- It is a Pan-India program, following a hub-and spoke model and stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation in farmers and empowers women.
- It has been established at Foundation for Agricultural Resources Management and Environmental Remediation (FARMER), Ghaziabad.
Significance of Biotech KISAN Programme
- Under this scheme, so far 146 Biotech-KISAN Hubs have been established covering all 15 agro-climatic zones and 110 Aspirational Districts in the country.
- It has benefitted over two lakhs farmers so far by increasing their agriculture output and income.
- It aims to understand the problems of water, soil, seed and market faced by the farmers and provide simple solutions to them.
- It is expected to fulfil the technology requirement to generate agriculture and bio-resource related jobs and better livelihood ensuring biotechnological benefits to small and marginal farmers.
Subject: Govt Schemes
Context: Recently, a 50 kWp solar roof top was inaugurated in Solan, Himachal Pradesh under the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) of Ministry of Power.
- The 50 kWp solar roof top project is commissioned by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd (HPSEBL).
- The inauguration of solar roof top project is a part of ‘Azadika Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations.
- A total of 152 PV Panels are installed which will produce approximately 165 Kwh of electricity on a daily basis.
- The project reinforces the ‘Go Green’ Initiative of the government envisaged in Urban Distribution scheme of government of India.
About Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)
- It was launched in 2014 under the Ministry of Power.
- All Discoms including private sector DISCOMS and State Power Departments will be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.
- The Power Finance Corporation Ltd. (PFC) is the nodal agency for implementation of “Integrated Power development Scheme (IPDS).
- The projects under IPD Scheme will be completed within a period of 24 months from the date of issue of Letter of Award (LoA) by the utility.
Power Finance Corporation Ltd. (PFC)
- It is an Indian financial institution established in 1986 under the ownership of Ministry of Power.
- It is a Schedule-A Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE).
- It is a leading Non-Banking Financial Corporation in India.
- It was classified as an Infrastructure Finance Company by the RBI in 2010.
Subject: Economy /National Organisations
Context: Recently, the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) had celebrated its 18th Foundation Day.
About National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI)
- It is a not for profit Organization under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
- It is under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
- It was set up for peering of ISPs among themselves for the purpose of routing the domestic traffic within the country.
- It is working since 2003 for spreading the internet technology to the citizens of India through the following activities:
- Internet Exchanges through which the internet data is exchanged amongst ISPs and between ISPs and CDNs
- IN Registry, managing and operation of IN country code domain.
- IRINN, managing and operating Internet protocol (IPv4/IPv6)
Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers (IRINN)
- It provides allocation and registration services of IP addresses and AS numbers.
- It contributes to the society by providing Internet-related information as a non-profit, affiliation-based organisation, and performing research, education and enlightenment activities.
Context: The keel of the second frigate, of additional Krivak class stealth ships, being built with technology transfer from Russia by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) was laid by Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Adm G Ashok Kumar on Friday.
- The Krivak class, Soviet designation Project 1135 Burevestnik (storm petrel), were a series of frigates and guard ships (patrol boats) built in the Soviet Union primarily for the Soviet Navy since 1970.
- Later some sub-branches, like the Nerey (Nereus) were designed for coastal patrol by the KGB Border Troops. Until 1977, the ships in the class were considered to be large anti-submarine warfare vessels.
- These ships are commonly known by their NATO reporting class name of Krivak and are divided into Krivak I, Krivak II, Krivak IV (navy), and Krivak III (coast guard) classes.
- They were designed as a successor to the Riga class. The design started in the late 1950s and matured as an anti-submarine ship in the 1960s.
- The Indian Navy ordered six frigates of upgraded Krivak III class as the Talwar class.
- The Talwar-class frigates or Project 11356 are a class of stealth guided missile frigates designed and built by Russia for the Indian Navy.
- The Talwar-class guided missile frigates are the improved versions of the Krivak III-class (Project 1135) frigates used by the Russian Coast Guard.
Context: A major temple in Assam has signed a memorandum of understanding with two green NGOs, the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden and the Kamrup district administration for the long-term conservation of the rare freshwater black softshell turtle or the Nilssonianigricans.
About Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonianigricans)
- Until sightings along the Brahmaputra’s drainage in Assam, the black softshell turtle was thought to be “extinct in the wild” and confined only to ponds of temples in northeastern India and Bangladesh.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature had in 2021 listed the turtle as “critically endangered”.
- But it does not enjoy legal protection under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, although it has traditionally been hunted for its meat and cartilage, traded in regional and international markets.
- The black softshell turtle is being bred in the pond of Hayagriva Madhab Temple at Hajo in Guwahati, Assam.
- Locals regard the turtles in the pond as Kurma avatar of Lord Vishnu to whom the Hajo temple is dedicated.
- India hosts 28 species of turtles, of which 20 are found in Assam. Threats to turtles include hunting for meat and eggs silt mining, encroachment of wetlands and changes in flooding pattern have had a disastrous impact on the turtle population.
Subject: Current Events
Context: The International Yoga Day 2021 will be held through a virtual meet and focus on the importance of Yoga in mental and physical well being. Also, its recognition to fight social depression and anxiety caused due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
International Yoga Day
- International Yoga Day was declared by the UN General Assembly on 11th December 2014. Yoga is a mental, physical and spiritual discipline or practice that has its origins in India.
- The day of 21st June was suggested by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the UN because it is the longest day of the year.
- The day also has special relevance in several different parts of the globe. The draft resolution was introduced in the General Assembly by India’s Permanent Representative.
- The draft received support from 177 members and they adopted the text without a vote.
- Many international leaders supported this initiative.
- The resolution was co-sponsored by 175 countries, which is the highest number of co-sponsors for a UN General Assembly resolution of such a type.
- Indian diplomatic missions, the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Prime Minister of India himself have ramped up their social media diplomacy on yoga. Yoga is seen as one of the best examples of soft power.
- This year, the theme for International Yoga Day is “Yoga for well-being” and focuses on the importance of Yoga not just for physical well being but also for mental health.