Daily Prelims Notes 23 December 2021
- December 28, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
23 December 2021
Table Of Contents
- Sri Aurobindo
- The personal laws under Part III of the Indian Constitution
- Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA)
- Ozone Layer
- Life Expectancy
- Repo Rate
- Indigenous breeds of Cattle
- Kurumba Community
- Forest Rights Act (FRA)
- VIP Security in India
- Look out circular
Subject – History
Context – Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heading an extensive 53-member committee that has been set up to mark the 150th birth anniversary of spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo.
- He was an Indian social political and spiritual philosopher, yoga guru, maharishi, poet, revolutionary leader and Indian nationalist ideolouge.
- He was also a journalist, editing newspapers such as BandeMataram.
- Aurobindo studied for the Indian Civil Service at King’s College, Cambridge, England.
- After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the Maharaja of the Princely state of Baroda and became increasingly involved in nationalist politics in the Indian National Congress and the nascent revolutionary movement in Bengal with the Anushilan Samiti.
- In 1892, he held various administrative posts in Baroda (Vadodara) and Calcutta (Kolkata).
- He was arrested in the aftermath of a number of bombings linked to his organization in a public trial where he faced charges of treason for Alipore Conspiracy.
- During his stay in the jail, he had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.
- At Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo developed a spiritual practice he called Integral Yoga. He believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated but transformed human nature, enabling a divine life on earth.
- In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa (referred to as “The Mother”), Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded.
- His main literary works are
- The Life Divine, which deals with the philosophical aspect of Integral Yoga;
- Synthesis of Yoga, which deals with the principles and methods of Integral Yoga;
- Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol, an epic poem.
- Bhagavad Gita and Its Message
- The Future Evolution of Man
- Rebirth and Karma
- Hour of God
Subject – Polity
Context – A Bill proposing to increase the age of marriage for women, and ensuring harmony in the age limit across religions, was introduced in Lok Sabha
- Personal laws are a set of laws that govern and regulate relations arising out of certain factors connecting two persons or over two persons. These factors are marriage, blood, and affinity. Moreover, personal law governs and regulates subjects or areas of a private sphere such as marriage, divorce, maintenance, succession, minority, and guardianship, etc.
- Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Jews are governed by their own Personal Laws, such as the Hindu law, Muslim Law, Christian Law, Parsi Law, and Jewish Law respectively.
- Article 13(1) of Indian Constitution – All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.
- Article 13(3)(b) includes laws passed or made by the legislature or other competent authority in the territory of India before the commencement of this Constitution and not previously repealed. It means the same thing as ‘existing law’ defined in Article 372 of the Indian Constitution.
- Personal laws in marriage
The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021proposes three changes –
- First, the law proposes to increase the minimum age of marriage for a woman. The Bill makes the minimum age of marriage same for both men and women. Currently, it is 18 years for women and 21 for men.
- Second, it also increases the window for a “child” to file a petition to declare a child marriage void.
- Under the law, child marriages, although illegal, are not void but “voidable.”
- A child marriage can be declared null and void by a court when either party to the marriage files a petition under Article 3(4) of the 2006 Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
- A “void” marriage, as opposed to a divorce, in legal terms, would be as if the marriage had never taken place in the first place.
- The Bill proposes to extend this window for both the woman and the man to five years after attaining majority. Since the age of majority is 18 for both, this would mean that either the man or the woman can file a petition to declare the child marriage void before they turn 23, or until two years after reaching the new minimum age of marriage.
- Introduction of a “notwithstanding” clause – this essentially clears the decks for equal application of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act across religions, notwithstanding any customs.
Who is a Child?
- The amendments proposed to the anti-child marriage law define a child as someone under the age of 21 and contradicts laws where the legal age of competence is recognised as 18.
- The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to raise the age of marriage for women to 21, amends the definition of child to mean “a male or female who has not completed twenty-one years of age”.
- It overrides personal laws of Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Parsis, as well as the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
- Under the Indian Contract Act, 1872 a person should have attained the age of majority in order to be able to enter into a contract.
- The law to punish sexual crimes against children, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 too recognises a child as someone under the age of 18 years and thereby implies that the age of consent for sex is also 18 years.
- The law that deals with juvenile offenders (or children in conflict with law) and children who need care and protection, that is, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 does the same.
Hindu personal laws
- The Hindu personal laws (that apply also to the Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) have been codified by the Parliament in 1956
- This Code Bill has been split into four parts:
- The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
- The Hindu Succession Act, 1956
- The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956
- The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
- Hindu personal laws have been by and large secularized and modernized by statutory enactments
Muslim personal laws
- Muslim personal laws are still primarily unmodified and traditional in their content and approach.
- The Shariat law of 1937 governs the personal matters of all Indian Muslims in India.
- It clearly states that in matters of personal disputes, the State shall not interfere and a religious authority would pass a declaration based on his interpretations of the Quran and the Hadith.
- Since Muslim law recognises “attaining puberty”, which is legally assumed at 15 years, as the minimum age of marriage, it raises questions as to whether the child marriage law can apply to Muslims.
Subject – Environment
Context – In Arunachal’s Sessa Orchid Sanctuary communities collaborate with forest officials to conserve orchids
- The Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, was the first, and until recently the only, protected area in the country dedicated to the preservation of naturally growing orchids.
- Notified in 1989, Sessa Orchid Sanctuary is home to 236 orchid species, several of them rare and endemic, with unique botanical value, and the sanctuary has also been used as an ex-situ conservation site for threatened orchids.
- The Arunachal Himalayas (formerly called Assam Himalayas) have been described by botanists as a treasure trove of orchids.
- Indeed, Arunachal Pradesh, with around 622 recorded orchid species which is 40% of the total orchid species found in the country, is known as the ‘Orchid Paradise of India’.
Orchids in India
- The 1,256 species or taxa of orchids belong are found in India.
- 388 species of orchids are endemic to India of which about one-third (128) endemic species are found in Western Ghats.
- While north-east India rank at the top in species concentration, the Western Ghats have high endemism of orchids.
- The highest number of orchid species is recorded from Arunachal Pradesh with 612 species, followed by Sikkim 560 species and West Bengal.
- Among the 10 bio geographic zones of India, the Himalayan zone is the richest in terms of orchid species followed by Northeast, Western Ghats, Deccan plateau and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- Orchids can be broadly categorised into three life forms: (1) epiphytic, (2) terrestrial and (3) mycoheterotrophic.
- About 757 species or 60% of all orchids found in the country are epiphytic, 447 are terrestrial and 43 are mycoheterotrophic.
- The only commercially important product derived from orchids is vanilla. Most vanilla is produced from one species, Vanilla planifolia.
- The principal vanilla-growing areas are Madagascar, Mexico, French Polynesia, Réunion, Dominica, Indonesia, the West Indies, Seychelles, and Puerto Rico.
- Various other orchids are used for a variety of folk medicines and cures.
Subject – Agriculture
Context – As technologies and practices for better water management and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) improve in India, solar-based irrigation systems and direct-seeded rice are gaining momentum.
- Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural production systems and food value chains so that they support sustainable development and can ensure food security under climate change.
- Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrated approach to managing landscapes—cropland, livestock, forests and fisheries—that addresses the interlinked challenges of food security and accelerating climate change.
- CSA aims to simultaneously achieve three outcomes:
- Increased productivity
- Enhanced resilience
- Reduced emissions
- The principal goal of CSA is identified as food security and development, while productivity, adaptation, and mitigation are identified as the three interlinked pillars necessary for achieving this goal.
- Since the introduction of the concept in 2010 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a number of technologies have been developed and applied in India.
- CSA supports the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 based on the Four Betters: better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.
Subject – Environment
Context – Ozone-destroying greenhouse gas emissions from China increased significantly: Study
- Emissions of industrially produced chlorocarbon, dichloromethane (CH2Cl2), increased in China from 2011-2019, a new study established.
- Short-lived halogenated substances (VSLS) such as dichloromethane have an atmospheric lifetime shorter than six months. Dichloromethane has been identified as the most abundant chlorine-containing VSLS, accounting for 70 per cent of the total stratospheric source gas injection from chlorine-containing VSLS.
- Dichloromethane originates mainly from anthropogenic sources, including its use as an emissive solvent for adhesive and cleaning purposes, and as a feedstock for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) production.
What is Ozone?
- Ozone (composed of three atoms of oxygen) is a gas that occurs both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level.
- Ozone can be “good” or “bad” for your health and the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere.
- The ground-level or “bad” ozone is an air pollutant that is harmful to breathe and it damages crops, trees and other vegetation.It is a main ingredient of urban smog.
- The stratosphere or “good” ozone layer extends upward from about 6 to 30 miles and protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Ozone is produced naturally in the stratosphere. But this “good” ozone is gradually being destroyed by man-made chemicals referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform.
Global Initiatives to Curb Ozone Depletion
- The 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was an international agreement in which United Nations members recognized the fundamental importance of preventing damage to the stratospheric ozone layer.
- The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer and its succeeding amendments were subsequently negotiated to control the consumption and production of anthropogenic (ODSs) and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
- The Protocol was signed by 197 parties in 1987 to control the use of ozone-depleting substances, mainly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
- The Montreal Protocol mandated the complete phase-out of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS), which it has successfully managed to do in the last three decades.
- CFCs were gradually replaced, first by HCFCs, or hydrochlorofluorocarbons, in some cases, and eventually by HFCs which have minimal impact on the ozone layer.
- The adoption of the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will phase down the production and consumption of some HFCs and avoid much of the projected global increase and associated climate change.
Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs
- They are a family of chemicals used extensively in the air-conditioning, refrigeration and furnishing foam industry.
- HFCs are known to be much worse than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.
- In fact, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the average global warming potential of 22 of the most used HFCs is about 2,500 times that of carbon dioxide.
- United States and China are the world’s top producers and consumers of HFCs.
- India has successfully achieved the complete phase out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b, which is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and one of the most potent ozone depleting chemical after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).(HCFC)-141 b is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.
“Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) component R-32”
- Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of “Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) component R-32” from China.
- R32 is a refrigerant used in small split air conditioning systems.
- This definitive antidumping duty would be valid for five years.
Subject – Governance
Context – Life expectancy reduced in 2020 after steady increase for 15 years: Study
- Life Expectancy is an estimate of the average number of additional years that a person of a given age can expect to live.
- Life expectancy, a widely used metric of mortality, is an indication of how long on average people can expect to survive if the age specific mortality rates of that year remain constant for the remainder of their life.
- Russia recorded the largest drop in life expectancy — for men it fell by 2.33 years and for women by 2.14 years. This was followed by the United States.
- The reduction of life expectancy across the globe during the first year of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic was alarming, reversing progress made in past years, according to a new study.
- Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, all 37 countries in the study recorded an increase in life expectancy between 2005 and 2019. Only in 2015 was there an anomaly, where life expectancy dropped during the influenza outbreak.
Life Expectancy in India
- India’s life expectancy (for a child born in 2021) which is 69 years and 4 months is less than the world’s average lifespan of 72.81 years.
- According to the scientists from a city-based International Institute for Population Studies (IIPS), Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of people across the world.
- In the year 2019, life expectancy at birth was 69.5 years for men while 72 years for women. This is decreased to 67.5 years for men and 69.8 years for women in the year 2020.
Subject – Economy
Context – ‘Policy support key to sustain recovery’
- With Real interest rates (interest rate minus inflation rate) turning negative, and erosion in the returns of savers, a large section of bankers say the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI— scheduled to meet August 4-6 — may adopt a status quo on policy rates in the near future.
- Technically, bank deposits are fetching negative real returns of nearly one per cent (-0.99 per cent) as one-year fixed deposit rate has come down to 5.10 per cent (State Bank of India rate) whereas inflation in June was 6.09 per cent.
Repo and Reverse Repo Rate:
- Repo rate is the rate at which the central bank of a country (Reserve Bank of India in case of India) lends money to commercial banks in the event of any shortfall of funds. Here, the central bank purchases the security.
- Reverse repo rate is the rate at which the RBI borrows money from commercial banks within the country.
Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF):
- It is a tool used in monetary policy by the RBI that allows banks to borrow money through repurchase agreements (repos) or for banks to make loans to the RBI through reverse repo agreements.
Monetary Policy Committee
- The Monetary Policy Committee is a statutory and institutionalized framework under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, for maintaining price stability, while keeping in mind the objective of growth.
- An RBI-appointed committee led by the then deputy governor Urjit Patel in 2014 recommended the establishment of the Monetary Policy Committee.
- The Governor of RBI is ex-officio Chairman of the committee.
- The committee comprises six members (including the Chairman) – three officials of the RBI and three external members nominated by the Government of India.
- Decisions are taken by majority with the Governor having the casting vote in case of a tie.
- The MPC determines the policy interest rate (repo rate) required to achieve the inflation target (4%).
Subject – Agriculture
Context – Artificial Insemination
Indigenous dairy breeds of cattle
|Gir||Originated in Gir forests of South Kathiawar in Gujarat.|
|Red Sindhi||This breed mostly found in Karachi and Hyderabad district of Pakistan.|
|Sahiwal||Originated in Montgomery district in present Pakistan|
|Deoni||Originated in Marathwada region of Maharashtra state and adjoining part of Karnataka and western Andhra Pradesh states.|
Map of India showing the distribution of some breeds of cattle –
Nationwide Artificial Insemination Programme (NAIP)
- The NAIP is a campaign mode genetic upgradation program covering all breeds of bovines to enhance the milk production using low cost breeding technology.
- It aims for improving genetic merit of milch animals with high quality seed.
- The gestation period for getting the benefits from the AI bovine is approximately 3 years.
- The aim of the program is to inseminate over 1 crore bovines in 6 months.
Subject – Governance
Context – The Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Ltd is run by the tribal people of the Nilgiris, with 1609 indigenous shareholders. Almost 90 percent of employees are tribal women.
The farmer producer company that started as a small tribal collective has bagged this year’s UN Equator Prize.
- They are a designated Scheduled Tribe in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- The Kurumbar are one of the earliest known inhabitants of the Western Ghats, who are engaged in the collection and gathering of forest produce, mainly wild honey and wax.
- The members of this community are short, have dark skin, and have protruding foreheads.
- Kurumbar believe in Hinduism. The main deity of the tribe is Lord Shiva under the name of Bhairava. They also worship animals, birds, trees, rock hillocks, and snakes, along with the other Hindu deities.
- An indigenous community in south India, Kurumba is listed by the government of India as one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups or PVTGs in India.
Subject – Environment
Context – The Forest Rights Act (FRA) has been in existence for 15 years
History of forest laws
- In the colonial era, the British diverted abundant forest wealth of the nation to meet their economic needs. While procedure for settlement of rights was provided under statutes such as the Indian Forest Act, 1927, these were hardly followed. As a result, tribal and forest-dwelling communities, who had been living within the forests in harmony with the environment and the ecosystem, continued to live inside the forests in tenurial insecurity, a situation which continued even after independence as they were marginalized.
- The symbiotic relationship between forests and forest-dwelling communities found recognition in the National Forest Policy, 1988.
- The policy called for the need to associate tribal people in the protection, regeneration and development of forests.
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.
Preamble: The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) was enacted to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.
- The act recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in Forest land in forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDST) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD)who have been residing in such forests for generations.
- The act also establishes the responsibilities and authority for sustainable use, conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological balance of FDST and OTFD.
- It strengthens the conservation regime of the forests while ensuring livelihood and food security of the FDST and OTFD.
- The act identify four types of rights:
- Title rights: It gives FDST and OTFD the right to ownership to land farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares. Ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family and no new lands will be granted.
- Use rights: The rights of the dwellers extend to extracting Minor Forest Produce, grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
- Relief and development rights: To rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection
- Forest management rights: It includes the right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Women commandos to guard houses of Amit Shah, Gandhis
- This protection is informally called “VIP security”, and it is generally given only to someone who holds a position of consequence either in the government or in civil society.
- Certain individuals, by reason of positions they hold in government, are automatically entitled to security cover. They include:
- The Prime Minister and his immediate family.
- The Home Minister.
- Officials such as the National Security Advisor.
- In cases where the central government decides to extend security to an individual, the level of security needed by any individual is decided by the MHA, based on inputs received from intelligence agencies which include the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).
Levels of Protection:
- There are broadly six categories of security cover: X, Y, Y-plus, Z, Z-plus, and SPG (Special Protection Group).
- The SPG is meant only for the Prime Minister and his immediate family, other protection categories can be provided to anyone about whom the Centre or state governments have inputs of a threat.
- The CRPF accords Z-plus cover with Advance Security Liasion (ASL), the highest security cover, to only five individuals —Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra; Union Home Minister Amit Shah; and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
- The Gandhi family was accorded Z-plus cover by the CRPF in November 2019 after the Centre removed their Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover.
- Z-plus cover entails round-the clock protection by around 35 commandos.
Subject – Polity
Context – Home Ministry puts out lookout notice for Akali Dal leader Majithia
- Look out circular (LOC) is a circular letter used by authorities to check whether a traveling person is wanted by the police.
- It may be used at immigration checks at international borders (like international airports or sea ports).
- In India, LOC has a given proforma which have identification parameters of criminals and help police to catch absconding criminals and stopping them from crossing borders.
- The basic guidelines (regarding the publication of the LOCs in relation to Indian citizens) are issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- Soonicorns are startup companies that have a good possibility of becoming ‘unicorns’, with the chance of acquiring late-stage investment.
- In the world of business, the term ‘unicorn’ denotes a private company, many times a start-up with a stock valuation of over $1 billion.
- The term unicorn is of a recent origin in the business world and was coined by Aileen Lee in 2013.
- Such companies are called unicorn so as to equate them with the mythical animal thereby denoting the rarity of such successful businesses.
- Similarly, Decacorn and Hectocorn are other terms used to depict companies valued over $10 billion and $100 billion respectively.