Daily Prelims Notes 22 February 2021
- February 22, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
22 February 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- Floor test
- Uthuru Thila Falhu naval base
- Excise duty
- National Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC)
- Chamoli Lake
- Silver Antimony Telluride
- Red-eared turtle
- Draft guidelines for influencer advertising on digital platform by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)
Context: The Government in Puducherry faced crisis ahead of the floor test when 2 more party MLAs resigned.
- Floor test is a constitutional mechanism done on the floor of lower house to ensure whether the executive enjoys the confidence of the legislature.
- Under this a Chief Minister appointed by the Governor can be asked to prove majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of the state.The Chief Minister resigns if he fails to prove majority.
- The majority is counted based on those present and voting. This can also be done through a voice vote where the member can respond orally or through division voting.
Composite Floor Test
- It is the mechanism which is conducted only when more than one person stakes claim to form the government.
- When the majority is not clear, the governor might call for a special session to see who has the majority based on the members present and voting.
Subject: International events
Context: India and Maldives signed defence line of credit and developing the harbour at Uthuru Thila Falhu naval base.
- India extended a $50-million line of credit to the Maldives for defence projects and the two countries signed an agreement to develop and maintain a key naval facility for the armed forces of the Indian Ocean archipelago.
- Two sides agreed to “develop, support and maintain” the Coast Guard harbour in UthuruThilaFalhu naval base.
- Apart from defence cooperation expansion it will strengthen the capability of the Maldivian Coast Guard and facilitate regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
- It will boost Maldives defence as currently it doesn’t have a navy and the Coast Guard functions as the armed maritime component of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). Thus, it is being primarily built for Maldivian forces, yet, it will create a strategic asset for India in Indian Ocean region.
- Five other agreements, including one for a $25-million line of credit for the development of roads.
Context: Rising oil prices has led to demand for reduction in excise duty by the Central government.
- Excise duty is a form of indirect tax paid to the Government of India imposed on goods for their production, licensing and sale.
- Unlike this custom duty levied on those coming from outside of the country.
- At the central level, excise duty earlier used to be levied as Central Excise Duty, Additional Excise Duty, etc. However, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), introduction in July 2017, subsumed many types of excise duty. Today, excise duty applies only on petroleum and liquor.
Types of excise duty in India (before GST was implemented)
- Basic Excise Duty: Also known as the Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT) it was levied on goods that were classified under the first schedule of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. This duty was levied under Section 3 (1) (a) of the Central Excise Act, 1944. This duty applied on all goods except salt.
- Additional Excise Duty: Additional excise duty was levied on goods of high importance, under the Additional Excise under Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957. This duty was levied on some special category of goods.
- Special Excise Duty: This type of excise duty was levied on special goods classified under the Second Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.
Context: The NCBC chairman said that he is in favour of the four sub-categories of OBCs which is being explored by the Justice G Rohini Commission.
- Currently at the Central level a single category for OBC exists (they have 27% reservation quota). Some state like Bihar follow categorization at the state level. Ex- Bihar has two subcategories under OBC: OBC and EBC (Extremely backward classes).
- The commission was formed to address concern that only few affluent groups enjoy the benefit of OBC quota.
- 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 provided constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
- Article 338B provides for NCBC and gives it authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
- The amendment also inserted Art 342 A which says that the President may specify the socially and educationally backward classes in the various states and union territories. He may do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned state. However, a law of Parliament will be required if the list of backward classes is to be amended.
Power and functions of the NCBC includes:
- Investigating and monitoring how safeguards provided to the backward classes under the Constitution and other laws are being implemented.
- Inquiring into specific complaints regarding violation of rights.
- Advising and making recommendations on socio-economic development of such classes.
- The central and state governments will be required to consult with the NCBC on all major policy matters affecting the socially and educationally backward classes.
- It presents an annual report and such other times commission deems it fit to the President, who lays such reports before Parliament.
- NCBC has to discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the socially and educationally backward classes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
- Power to advice on inclusion in the Central List of OBCs.
- The commission has the power of a civil court. In this it can:
- Summon people and examining them on oath
- Requiring production of any document or public record
- Receiving evidence
Context: The lake which led concern of fresh deluge post-Uttarakhand flood recently is said to be 8 to 9 metres deep with aroung 50000 cubic metres of water in it.
- The lake was formed upstream of the Rishi Ganga river after the February 7 flash floods in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district.
- The exercise to measure depth was taken jointly by the Air force and the Indian Navy. For the operation the helicopter hovered 14,000 ft above sea level, the divers plunged into the ice-cold water with handheld echo sounders to calculate the depth
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: Bengaluru-based scientists have developed a new material that can help in tapping waste heat produced by all kinds of domestic and industrial appliances, and use it to accomplish other useful work.
- Industrial processes and power plants produce ample amount of waste heat that can be utilised to do significant amounts of work through energy conversion.
- Bengaluru-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research says that Antimony Telluride, that can facilitate this energy conversion.
- Energy conversion, in general, is not a very efficient process. Only a small fraction of energy that is used is actually productive. The rest of it becomes waste, often getting released as heat
- The problem in facilitating transfer of energy, however, is the fact that most materials that conduct electricity, also happen to be good conductors of heat leading to wastage of energy.
- Traditionally, thermo-electric effect (If two ends of an electrically-conducting material, like a metal, are maintained at different temperatures, current flows from the hot end towards the cold one) has been demonstrated — and utilised — by using two different metals joined together, and by mechanically maintaining two different temperatures at the ends
- But this has not been an efficient or economical solution.
- Silver Copper Telluride, according to the study overcomes this challenges as it is a good conductor of electricity but a bad conductor of heat. It is because it is a crystalline solid, it had free electrons that helped in conduction of electricity but its lattices were rather inflexible, and vibrated quite slowly thereby inhibiting the propagation of heat.
- Lead Telluride is also said to have this property and the Silver Copper Telluride offered lesser efficiency than Lead Telluride in the conversion of heat into electrical energy, but it was considered an important breakthrough because it was environmentally benign
- The material has been found to have an efficiency of 14 per cent, though a prototype device has so far been able to achieve 10 per cent efficiency
- Potential: The heat from the laptop, for example, can be used to charge a mobile phone. Or, that from the phone can be used to charge a small watch.
Context: Experts have warned about Red-eared turtle as world’s worst invasive species and has emerged as the major threat to the biodiversity in the Kerala as it was sighted in Kalathode canal in Kerala.
- Post the Pink bloom (alien flower) which choked the AvalaPandi canal at Perambra, the Kerala is witnessing another major threat in form of Red-eared turtle.
About Red-Eared Turtle
- These are Exotic and major invasive species and these are omnivores.
- Adult turtles require lots of aquatic plants.
- It is scientifically called Trachemys scripta elegans and is loved for its small-size (small turtles even fit into matchbox) and colour. But pet lovers release it into water bodies once it grows big.
- The slider turtles live in still and warm waterbodies. They are considered a major threat to native turtle species as they mature fast, grow larger, produce more offspring and are very aggressive
- They eat plants and animals, they can finish off a wide range of aquatic species, including fish and rare frogs. In places such as Australia and the European Union, it is illegal to import and keep these turtles.
Context: ASCI have come out with the draft guidelines for influencer advertising on digital platform to ensure transparency regarding their paid partnerships with brands.
The guidelines are important to regulate advertising on digital platforms by influencers for influencers market is estimated to be $75-$150 million a year.
Features of the draft guidelines:
- Ensure “disclosure labels to highlight advertising content” and these should be upfront, prominent and clearly visible on all devices within first two lines of any platform.
- Disclosure label must be added from the list of approved labels to ensure average user is able to distinguish editorial and independent user-generated content from promoted content.
- Approved disclosure labels by ASCI include #ad, #collab, #promo, #sponsored or #partnership.
- Influencers have to ensure filters are not used to exaggerate the claims of brands’ social media ads.
- It proposes the manner or the required time period for the visibility of disclosure labels’ depending on the format such as a textual post, length of the videos, live-streams, audio posts or disappearing videos. Ex- For videos that are two minutes or longer, the disclosure label must stay for the entire duration of the section in which the promoted brand, or its features are mentioned.
- It recommends contractual agreement between advertiser and influencer carries clauses pertaining to disclosure, use of filters as well as due diligence.
- It is voluntary self-regulatory organization, registered as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Indian Cos. Act.
- It was established in 1985 as a self-regulatory voluntary organization and non-govt body of the advertising industry in India
- It is registered as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Indian Companies Act.
- ASCI seek to ensure that advertisements conform to its Code for Self-Regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition. ASCI looks into complaints across ALL MEDIA such as Print, TV, Radio, hoardings, SMS, Emailers, Internet / web-site, product packaging, brochures, promotional material and point of sale material etc
- ASCI’s team consists of the Board of Governors, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) and its Secretariat.
- It aims to build public confidence in advertising.