Daily Prelims Notes 23 January 2021
- January 23, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes 23 January 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- JERENGA POTHAR
- NEW START TREATY
- DESERT KNIGHT 21
- ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ACT
- DRAFT ARCTIC POLICY
- CENSUS and SECC
- FORMULATIONS AND BULK DRUG
- REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR NBFC’s
- PLI SCHEME
Subject : Culture
Context : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a special programme of the Assam government to distribute land ‘patta’ or land allotment certificates to over one lakh landless indigenous people.
The event will be held at Jerenga Pothar in Sivasagar district, a historical place connected with Assam’s erstwhile Ahom kingdom.
- Formerly known as Rangpur, Sivasagar was the seat of the powerful Ahom dynasty, who ruled Assam for six centuries (1228-1826).
- Jerenga Pothar, an open field in Sivasagar town, is popularly connected to the valour of 17th century Ahom princess Joymoti.
- While the courage of Ahom kings is well-documented, Joymoti’s story — little-known until the latter part of the 19th century — is today celebrated and invoked as a symbol of inspiration.
Present day Significance
- Jerenga Pothar itself is not a protected archaeological site, its vicinity includes a number of protected sites.
- Na Pukhuri tank to its east and the Pohu Garh, a natural zoo built during the Ahom era, to its west. Close by is the large Joysagar tank, built by Ahom king Swargadeo Rudra Singha in 1697, and the Vishnu Dol temple.
- Joymoti Konwari, was the wife of Tai-Ahom Prince Gadapani (later Supatphaa).
- She was accorded the honorific Mohiyokhi on account of her heroic endurance of torture until the end, dying at the hands of royalists under Sulikphaa Loraa Roja without disclosing her exiled husband Prince Gadapani’s whereabouts, thereby enabling her husband to rise in revolt and assume kingship.
- Gadapani and Joymoti’s son Rudra Singha had the Joysagar Tank dug at the spot where she was tortured.
- The Ahom kingdom (1228–1826) was a late medieval kingdom in the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam.
- It is well known for maintaining its sovereignty for nearly 600 years and successfully resisting Mughal expansion in Northeast India.
- The Ahom state depended upon forced labour. Those forced to work for the state were called paiks.
- Ahom society was divided into clans or khels. A khel often controlled several villages.
- Ahoms worshipped their own tribal gods but instead of imposing their own language, religion and rituals on communities living in Assam, they accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language.
- However, the Ahom kings did not completely give up their traditional beliefs after adopting Hinduism.
- Ahom society was very sophisticated. Poets and scholars were given land grants and theatre was encouraged. Important works of Sanskrit were translated into the local language.
- Historical works, known as buranjis, were also written, first in the Ahom language and then in Assamese.
- The kingdom became weaker with the rise of the Moamoria rebellion, and subsequently fell to repeated Burmese invasions of Assam.
- With the defeat of the Burmese after the First Anglo-Burmese War and the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826, control of the kingdom passed into East India Company hands.
Subject : International Treaties
Context : Russia has welcomed US President Joe Biden’s proposal to extend the last remaining Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the two countries, which is set to expire in less than two weeks.
About the treaty
- It is a treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms.
- It entered into force on 5th February, 2011.
- New START has replaced the 1991 START I treaty, which expired December 2009, and superseded the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which terminated when New START entered into force.
- It is a successor to the START framework of 1991 (at the end of the Cold War) that limited both sides to 1,600 strategic delivery vehicles and 6,000 warheads.
- It continues the bipartisan process of verifiably reducing the USA and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals by limiting both sides to 700 strategic launchers and 1,550 operational warheads.
- It will lapse in February 2021 unless extended for a five-year period.
Subject : International Relations
Context : As part of the first edition of the exercise Desert Knight-21, four French Rafale fighters landed in Jodhpur after flying directly for around four hours from the Djibouti airbase.
- Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force will conduct a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 at Air Force Station Jodhpur from 20 to 24th Jan 2021.
- The French side will participate with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft and approximately 175 personnel.
- The IAF aircraft participating in the exercise will include Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C aircraft.
- The exercise is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premiers Air Forces.
- Presently, the French detachment for Ex Desert Knight-21 is deployed in Asia as part of their ‘Skyros Deployment’ and will ferry in forces to Air Force Station Jodhpur.
Other Defence Exercises between India and France:
- Varuna – Naval exercise
- Garuda – Air exercise
- Shakti – Army exercise.
Subject : National Legislations
Context : The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has landed in trouble in the Karnataka High Court for claiming in a submission that the Environment Protection Act, 1986 was “passed by Parliament not only for protection of environment but also at the instance of foreign powers” while referring to a UN conference.
About the Act
- In the wake of the Bhopal tragedy, the government of India enacted the Environment Act of 1986.
- The purpose of the Act is to implement the decisions of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment of 1972.
- The decisions relate to the protection and improvement of the human environment and the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property.
- The Act is an “umbrella” for legislations designed to provide a framework for Central Government, coordination of the activities of various central and state authorities established under previous Acts, such as the Water Act and the Air Act.
- In this Act, main emphasis is given to “Environment”, defined to include water, air and land and the inter-relationships which exist among water, air and land and human beings and other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms and property.
- “Environmental pollution” is the presence of pollutant, defined as any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such a concentration as may be or may tend to be injurious to the environment.
- “Hazardous substances” include any substance or preparation, which may cause harm to human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms, property or the environment.
- Through this Act Central Government gets full power for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment.
Main provisions of the Act
- The Act empowers the centre to “take all such measures as it deems necessary”.
- The Act explicitly prohibits discharges of environmental pollutants in excess of prescribed regulatory standards.
- There is also a specific prohibition against handling hazardous substances except those in compliance with regulatory procedures and standards.
- The Act provides provision for penalties. For each failure or contravention, the punishment included a prison term up to five years or fine up to Rs. 1 lakh, or both.
- The Act imposed an additional fine of up to Rs. 5,000 for every day of continuing violation.
- If a failure or contravention occurs for more than one year, offender may be punished with imprisonment which may be extended to seven years.
- Section 19 provides that any person, in addition to authorized government officials, may file a complaint with a court alleging an offence under the Act.
- This “Citizens’ Suit” provision requires that the person has to give notice of not less than 60 days of the alleged offence of pollution to the Central Government.
Subject : Current Events
Context : India has unveiled a new draft ‘Arctic’ policy that, among other things, commits to expanding scientific research, “sustainable tourism” and mineral oil and gas exploration in the Arctic region.
- The policy envisages connecting the Arctic residents, especially the indigenous communities with those living in the Himalayan regions.
- The policy aims to create opportunities where the Indian enterprises can be involved to become part of the international commerce businesses and promote traditional indigenous knowledge.
- The Arctic Policy has been synchronised and adapted to Goal 11 of Sustainable Development Goals ( Sustainable Cities and Communities).
- India believes that any human activity in this fragile region should be sustainable, responsible, and transparent with respect for international laws, including UNCLOS [United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea].
- India signed the Svalbard Treaty in Paris. The treaty allowed free access to the Arctic region along with the commitment of not militarizing it.
- India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic in 2007.
- In 2008, India established a research base called Himadri at Ny Alesund, Svalbard, Norway.
- In 2014, India deployed IndArc. It is a multisensory observatory in Kongsfjorden. In 2016, India set up Gruvebadet Atmospheric Laboratory at Ny Alesund, Svalbard.
Subject : Governance
Difference between CENSUS and SECC
- The duration of Census 2011 and SECC 2011 was different. Census 2011, was conducted during 9th to 28th February 2011.
- While Socio Economic Caste Census 2011 was largely carried out in 2011 and 2012 with a few states taking enumeration and verification in 2013 also.
- Individual information(personal data) gathered under the Census Act, 1948, (Census 2011 is conducted under Census Act,1948 not SECC) are kept confidential.
- While the SECC, 2011 requires putting such statistics (except for caste-related data) in the public domain.
- Apex organization for Census is Census Commissioner (Home Ministry) While for SECC it is Rurul Development ministry and Planning Commission.
- Purpose of the census is to provide general demographic information: age, gender, religion, occupation, migration etc.
- While SECC helps in preparing BPL list and identifying beneficiaries for welfare schemes.
Features of SECC
- SECC 2011 is the first paperless census in India.
- Household data was taken from the National Population Register along with the temporary identification number.
- At each stage there was an opportunity for transparency and grievance redressal.
- SECC methodology defines poverty through deprivation, instead of consumption.
- SECC takes caste into account for the first time since 1931.
- The census provides information on size, distribution and socio-economic, demographic and other characteristics of the country’s population.
- During the regime of the Mughal king Akbar, the administrative report ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ included comprehensive data pertaining to population, industry, wealth and many other characteristics.
- A systematic and modern population census, in its present form was conducted non synchronously between 1865 and 1872 in different parts of the country.
- However, the first synchronous census in India was held in 1881. Since then, censuses have been undertaken uninterruptedly once every ten years.
Subject : Science and Tech
- A bulk drug, also called an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), is the key ingredient of a drug or medicine, which lends it the desired therapeutic effect or produces the intended pharmacological activity. For example, paracetamol is a bulk drug, which acts against pain.
- Bulk drugs are mixed with binding agents or solvents to prepare the finished pharmaceutical product, ie a paracetamol tablet, capsule or syrup, which is consumed by the patient.
Finished Dosage or Formulation
- It is the form in which the drug is consumed by us.
- A dosage form of a drug is usually composed of two things: The API, which is the drug itself; and an excipient, which is the substance of the tablet, or the liquid the API is suspended in, with other masking, stabilising and binding agents/material that is pharmaceutically inert.
- APIs are supplied by Pharmaceutical manufacturers to Formulations players or for own consumption for in-house Formulations.
Generic and Branded drug
- A generic drug is a drug named after the internationally accepted scientific name of the API.
- For example if a company sells antibiotic bulk drug Ciprofloxacin by that name, it is generic Ciprofloxacin and if a formulation of the drug is sold as Ciprofloxacin in the retail market, it is generic formulation of Ciprofloxacin.
- If a company sells the same formulation under its proprietary brand name, then it is a branded drug
- Branded names are capitalised while generic names are not. Generally, prices of generic products are expected to be lower than the prices of branded items.
Subject : Economy
Context : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plans to usher in a four-layered regulatory and supervisory framework for non-banking finance NBFCs as it embarks on the path of a scale-based regulation in the backdrop of the recent stress in the sector.
- RBI said its proposed framework could be visualised as a pyramid, comprising NBFCs grouped in four layers — Base Layer (BL), Middle Layer (ML), Upper Layer (UL) and a possible Top Layer (TL).
- There will be least regulatory intervention for NBFCs in BL. As one moves up the pyramid, the regulatory regime will get stricter.
- The framework proposes to prescribe Bank-like regulations for the top 25 to 30 NBFCs in the country.
Difference between NBFC and Banks :
- NBFCs lend and make investments, and hence their activities are akin to that of banks; however, there are a few differences. Unlike banks ,
- NBFC cannot accept demand deposits;
- NBFCs do not form part of the payment and settlement system and cannot issue cheques drawn on itself.
- Deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, unlike in case of banks.
- Unlike Banks which are regulated by the RBI, the NBFCs are regulated by multiple regulators; Insurance Companies- IRDA, Merchant Banks- SEBI, Micro Finance Institutions- State Government, RBI and NABARD.
- The norm of Public Sector Lending does not apply to NBFCs.
- The Cash Reserve Requirement also does not apply to NBFCs.
Systemically important NBFCs
- Systemically important NBFCs are those with an asset size of Rs 500 crore or more.
- NBFCs-ND are categorized into two broad categories viz.,
- NBFCs-ND (those with assets of less than Rs. 500 crore) and
- NBFCs-ND-SI (those with assets of Rs. 500 crore and above).
(ND mean Non-Deposit taking NBFCs)
- For Systemically Important Core Investment Companies (NBFC -CIC- SI), the asset size is Rs 100 crore.
Subject : History
Context : The Pallava era monuments at Mamallapuram, where the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping took place in October 2019, will be among the highlights at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.
- Mamallapuram, also called Mahabalipuram or Seven Pagodas, is a town that lies along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, 60 km south of Chennai.
- The town’s religious centre was founded by a 7th-century Hindu Pallava King—Narasimhavarman, also known as Mamalla—for whom the town was named.
- It contains many surviving 7th- and 8th-century Pallava temples and monuments, chief of which are the sculptured rock relief popularly known as “Arjuna’s Penance,” or “Descent of the Ganges,” a series of sculptured cave temples, and a Shiva temple on the seashore.
- The town’s Five Rathas, or monolithic temples, are the remnants of seven temples, for which the town was known as Seven Pagodas.
- The entire assemblage collectively was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Subject : Government Schemes
Context : The Government has given approval to drug firms including Aurobindo Pharma and Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals under the PLI scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical bulk drugs.
- The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme aims at promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical key starting materials (KSMs)/drug intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the country.
- This will be achieved by setting up greenfield plants with minimum domestic value addition in four different target segments with a total outlay of Rs 6,940 crore for the period 2020-21 to 2029-30.
- The scheme was launched by Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
- The Target Segment-I includes 4 eligible products, viz., Penicillin G; 7-ACA; Erythromycin Thiocyanate (TIOC) & Clavulanic Acid, in which the country is presently fully import dependent. These were considered on priority as per the decided evaluation and selection criteria.
- The setting up of plants under the scheme will lead to total committed investment of Rs 3,761 crore by the companies and employment generation for around 3,825 people.