Daily Prelims Notes 23 May 2023
- May 23, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
23 May 2023
Table Of Contents
- Prime Minister extols value of Pacific island nations at third FIPIC summit
- Antarctic sea ice cover hits many record lows
- Case against BBC Modi documentary in Delhi HC
- At a Kutch Harappan graveyard, team works to unlock a mystery: Life and times of those buried
- What the National Medical Commission’s new guidelines say on admissions and quota for disabled people
- Green Shipping
- RBI’s Economic Activity Index
- De-Risking vs Decoupling
Subject : International Relations
Section: International Organisations
- The Prime Minister of India engaged in meetings with leaders from Pacific Island nations as a part of the third Summit of the India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) being held in Papua New Guinea.
- The third forum for India-Pacific islands co-operation (FIPIC Summit), which was held today at Port Moresby was jointly hosted with Papua New Guinea.
- Prime minister of India co- chaired the summit with PM of Papua New Guinea.
- The discussions encompassed various areas of cooperation, including commerce, technology, healthcare, and climate change.
- Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation (FIPIC) is a multinational grouping for cooperation between India and 14 Pacific Islands nations.
- It include 14 islands named- Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
- All Head of state/head of government of the above countries met in Suva, Fiji in November 2014 for the first time where the annual summit was conceptualised.
- The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand India’s engagement in the Pacific region.
- A major part of India’s engagement with these countries is through development assistance under South-South Cooperation, mainly in capacity building (training, scholarships, grant-in-aid and loan assistance) and community development projects.
- In 2015, FIPIC Trade Office at Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to promote Trade & Investment opportunities between India & Pacific Island Countries.
Subject : Environment
Section: Climate Change
- A recent report indicates that the extent of sea ice in Antarctica has reached its lowest recorded level. The concerning trend continues, as global temperatures rise, leading to a reduction in sea ice cover.
Antarctica Ice Cover Status
- Antarctica experiences a cycle where sea ice melts during its summer season, occurring from approximately October to March, and subsequently freezes again during the winter months.
- Although ice sheets in Antarctica undergo seasonal melting every summer, the extent of the record-breaking drop observed this year surpasses previous minimum levels.
- Specifically, on February 19, 2023, the Antarctic sea ice extent reached a historic low of 1.76 million square kilometers.
Ice cover decline: Key data
- Square km decline
- The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) provided the figures, highlighting the significant decrease in Antarctic sea ice.
- On February 16, the ocean surface covered by ice around Antarctica shrank to 2.09 million square kilometers (800,000 square miles), the lowest level since satellite records began.
- Warming trends
- Both the North and South poles have experienced significant warming, with temperatures rising by approximately 3 degrees Celsius compared to late 19th-century levels, three times the global average.
- Arctic sea ice has been diminishing by about 3 percent per year since the late 1970s, while sea ice in Antarctica has remained relatively constant with large annual variations.
- Regional variances and vulnerabilities
- Recent ice cover reduction during the southern hemisphere summer has been most pronounced in West Antarctica, which is more vulnerable to the impacts of global warming compared to East Antarctica.
- Antarctica witnessed its first recorded heatwave in 2020, with temperatures 9.2 degrees Celsius above the mean maximum. Unusual temperature spikes have been observed in various parts of Antarctica.
- The Arctic has also experienced significant declines in sea ice, with the record minimum sea ice extent occurring in 2012.
- The Copernicus Climate Change Service (abbreviated as C3S) is one of the six thematic services provided by the European Union’s Copernicus Programme.
- Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme. It consists of a complex set of systems that collect data from multiple sources: earth observation satellites and in situ sensors, such as ground stations, airborne and sea borne sensors.
- Copernicus processes these data and provides users with information through a set of services that address six thematic areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management and security.
- The Copernicus Climate Change Service provides authoritative information about the world’s past, present and future climate.
- The freely accessible high-quality data, tools and information help businesses, scientists and policymakers to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Subject : Polity
- The Delhi High Court Monday sought the BBC’s stand on a suit moved by a public trust called Justice on Trial, which claimed that a documentary by the news organisation on Narendra Modi “casts a slur on the reputation of the country” and “makes false and defamatory imputations and insinuations against the Prime Minister of India”.
- Justice For All is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act.
- Additionally, it is registered as a public trust under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950. In this case, the plaintiff had filed a “suit for damages”, under Order 33 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) “seeking permission to file as an indigent person”.
- Order 33 of CPC provides the procedure for institution of a suit by an indigent person. The intent of the legislature to provide such rules was to enable the indigent (pauper) to file a suit without paying nay court fees.
- Indigent person: is one who is not possessed with sufficient means to pay the court fee in the suit or if no court fee is prescribed for any suit, he is not entitled to property worth Rs. 1000.
- Order 33 Rule 2 provides that indigent person can file a suit by making an application seeking permission of the court to apply as an indigent person. His application must include the following:
a) all the particulars what are mentioned in the Plaint
b) and all the movable or immovable properties of the indigent person with its estimate value
c) signature and verification as provided under Rule 14, 15 of Order 6.
- The application must be presented in person unless the court has exempted it.
- Rejection of application- Order 33 Rule 5
- It provides that the court will prima facie reject an application seeking permission of the court to apply as an indigent person in the following circumstances:
a) If the application was not presented in the manner prescribed under Rule 2 and 3 of Order 33.
b) If applicant is found not to be an indigent person.
c) If the applicant fraudulently disposed of his property within two months before presentation of the application.
d) If there is no cause of action.
e) If applicant has entered into an agreement with any third party and in respect to subject matter of the suit wherein other party obtains interest.
f) If the suit is barred by law.
Section: Art and Culture
Context: The burial site, spread over 16 hectares in a Kutch village, is considered to be the largest pre-urban Harappan cemetery.
- The Harappan civilisation, one of the oldest in the world, is said to have thrived along the Banks of river Indus from around 5,000 BC to 1,000 BC.
- While the 2,500-year-long period from 5,000BC to 2,600BC is known as the ‘pre-urban’ Harappan phase, between 2,600 BC and 1,900 BC is the ‘urban’ Harappan phase.
- From there on, the civilization declines and 1,900 BC to 1,000 BC is considered the ‘post-urban’ Harappan period.
- The fragment of a shell bangle collected from the Khatiya cemetery and tested at Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, was found to be dating back to 2,850 BC.
- The pottery found as burial goods at the Khatiya site, mainly redware, buffware and grayware, is comparable to the pre-urban Harappan pottery of Sindh and Balochistan and North Gujarat.
- The soil in Khatiya is acidic, facilitating faster decomposition of bodies. Therefore, researchers are findingit hard to extract DNA from samples excavated from this site.”
- Dholavira, the UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest metropolises of the Harappan civilisation, is also in Kutch. It is 150 kilometres Away from Khatiya that’s among the western-most of the Harappan sites in India.
- Given the distance, researchers say, it’s unlikely that people in the pre urban settlements of Dholavira were buried at the Khatiya site.
- “Desalpar and Khirsara, KotdaBhadli and Nadapa are the other well-known Harappan sites in western Kutch. But each of them is a site of urban and post-urban periods of the Harappan civilization and more than 50 km away from Khatiya.
- Being a pre-urban Harappan cemetery, there is a possibility that either there was a Big settlement in Khatiya or there were smaller settlements around Khatiya and the cemetery was a Common burial ground for them,”
- Khatiya is located on the banks of the Gandi, a stream that drains into the Great Rann of Kutch (GRK). Today, the GRK is an expanse of Saline mud flats, but archaeologists believe it used to be navigable in
- Pre historic times and that the Ghaggar-Harka-Nara river used to flow through it. Later, the river dried up, turning Kutch into an arid region.
Context: The panel was set up after the Delhi High Court, earlier this year, directed the NMC to explore the possibility of candidates with disability pursuing some disciplines, if not all, of medical education
The new guidelines under development by the National Medical Commission (NMC):
- The recommendations of a 16-member expert panel range from a “progressive outlook” for those with mental illness — suggesting that anyone who can complete all course requirements be allowed to study medicine — to “extremely restrictive” requirements for locomotor disabilities, suggesting wheelchair-bound people or those using two crutches be disqualified.
- Much of the recommendations do not talk of advancements in assistive devices or treatments.
- Although some recommendations do make a mention of specific assistive devices such as cochlear implants for hearing impairment and telescopes and magnifiers for visual impairment
- The existing guidelines say that anyone with more than 40% disability will be eligible for medical course and quota if their disability can be brought below the 40% mark with aids.
- the panel recommended that everyone should be allowed to pursue a medical course, and those with disability of more than 40% be allowed to compete for the 5% seats under the quota for persons with disabilities
- These recommendations are in line with disability guidelines that are followed in countries such as the UK
- When it comes to locomotor disabilities — disability of bones, joints or muscles that restrict the movement of limbs — the committee suggested removing the 80% disability cap for those who are allowed to pursue medical education, without really doing away with it.
- It suggested that students will be allowed to pursue medical education if they are able to “perform activities and tasks involving sitting, standing, pulling, pushing, kneeling, crouching, lifting, bending, walking, and manipulation of fingers with dexterity
- The guidelines also say that students dependent on wheelchairs and crutches will not be allowed to pursue medical education
National Medical Commission:
- NMC will subsume the Medical Council of Indiaand will regulate medical education and practice in India.
- Functions of the NMC include: (i) laying down policies for regulating medical institutionsand medical professionals, (ii) assessing the requirements of human resources and infrastructure in healthcare, (iii) ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils with the regulations made under the Bill, and (iv) framing guidelines for determination of fee for up to 50% of the seats in the private medical institutions.
- The NMC will consist of 25 members, including: (i) Director Generals of the Directorate General of Health Services and the Indian Council of Medical Research, (ii) Director of any of the AIIMS, (iii) five members (part-time) to be elected by the registered medical practitioners, and (iv) six members appointed on rotational basis from amongst the nominees of the states in the Medical Advisory Council.
- Four autonomous boards were set up under the supervision of the NMC. Each board will consist of a President and four members (of which two members will be part-time), appointed by the central government (on the recommendation of a search committee).
- These bodies are:
- The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) and the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB):These two bodies will be responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines for medical education, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels respectively.
- The Medical Assessment and Rating Board: The Board will have the power to levy monetary penalties on institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and the PGMEB. It will also grant permissions for establishing new medical colleges, starting postgraduate courses, and increasing the number of seats in a medical college.
- The Ethics and Medical Registration Board: This Board will maintain a National Register of all the licensed medical practitioners in the country, and also regulate professional and medical conduct. Only those included in the Register will be allowed to practice as doctors. The Board will also maintain a register of all licensed community health providers in the country.
Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
The Act replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
It fulfills the obligations to the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory
- Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
- The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities. The 21 disabilities are given below:-
- Physical Disability
- Locomotor Disability
- Leprosy Cured Person
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Acid Attack Victims
- Visual Impairment
- Low Vission
- Hearing Impairment
- Hard of Hearing
- Speech and Language Disability
- Locomotor Disability
- Intellectual Disability
- Specific Learning Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Mental Behaviour (Mental Illness)
- Disability caused due to-
- Chronic Neurological Conditions such as
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Blood Disorder
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Chronic Neurological Conditions such as
- Multiple Disabilities
- Persons with “benchmark disabilities” are defined as those certified to have at least 40 per cent of the disabilities specified above.
- Green shipping is an approach to shipping that aims to reduce emissions and pollutants released in the environment by using technology, cleaner fuels like LNG, renewables like green and blue hydrogen and digitization of the supply chain, implementing management practices like JIT (Just in Time). The aim is to make shipping green and sustainable.
- The term is not formally defined anywhere but is an umbrella term for initiatives that aim to 1. improve, energy efficiency 2. Reduce fossil fuel use 3. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 4. Reduce various other pollutants released because of shipping.
- Some solutions to achieving green-shipping:
- Using Liquefied Natural gas (LNG) in place of the High Suphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) that is mostly used. But LNG infrastructure is not available at most ports.
- Shore-side supply of electricity (also called ‘Cold Ironing’) allows ships to shift to the more efficient electric power when ships are docked in the port.
- Shifting to use of marine diesel, which while costlier than HSFO/HFO but is also cleaner.
- Green/ Green-Hybrid Tugs: Using non-fossil fuels like (Methanol, Ammonia, Hydrogen) to power the tugs used at ports. [Tugs are small vessels that tow mega-ships into the port, ensuring collision avoidance]
- Greater integration with Multi-modal transport to the ports.
- Slow steaming is the term for putting a limit to the speed at which a ship may go, this is related to the concept of Just-in-Time management.
- Reducing Empty containers: Various carriers coordinate with each other to reduce transportation of empty containers.
- Ballast water management: The contamination of the ballast water (water filled in ship for stability) results in sea pollution due to bacteria, microbes, larvae that may be released where they are alien, thereby harming the environment.
- Formal measures:
- International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set clear standards, particularly with regard to sulphur content. In 2020, the sulphur content may only be half a percent.
- Future measures include, integrating shipping into the international trade of CO2 certificates. Maritime trade was also excluded under the Paris Climate Protection Agreement of 2015, but could be included in future agreements.
Measures taken by India:
- The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has announced 30% financial support for green shipping.
- Green Tug Transition Programme: ‘Green Hybrid Tugs’ will be used, 50% transition target by 2030.
- A National Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) has been set-up is the result of a collaboration between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Government of India and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). NCoEGPS will act as a technological arm of MoPSW for providing the needed support on Policy, Research and Cooperation on Green Shipping
- Government plans to make India as the ‘Global hub for building Green Ships’ by 2030. With these initiatives, the Centre is aimed at playing a crucial role towards the achievement of UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) to sustainably manage and protect marine & coastal ecosystems from pollution, conservation & sustainable use of ocean based resources.
- PM Gati Shakti – National Master Plan for Multi Modal Connectivity along with the Green Ports initiative has already accelerated the development of green logistics supply chain in the country.
- The Maritime Vision Document 2030, is a 10 Year blueprint on India’s vision of a sustainable Maritime sector and vibrant blue economy.
- Green Hydrogen Hubs to be set up at JNPT, VO Chidambaram Port, Tuticorin. (Green Hydrogen is hydrogen produced by using Solar or Wind ie. renewable energy. Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas and supported by carbon capture and storage.)
- JNPT, VO Chidambaram Port, Tuticorin to become Smart Ports. Smart port allows coordination between ships and the ports to decide on optimum speed that allows the ships to reach Just-in-Time, giving savings on fuel.
|QUICK FACT SHEET ON PORTS and SHIPPING in INDIA|
Cargo Shipping = 151 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) in 2023
In-land Waterway Cargo = 126 MT (Metric Tonne) in 2023
Coastal berths infrastructure under Sagarmala Project
● 90 port modernisation projects have been completed
Various Initiatives to boost to boost coastal shipping:
The major ports are administered by the Shipping Ministry of the Central Government, while the minor ports are taken care off by the Ministry of the respective States where they are located.
Some Points about Shipping Sector:
● 100% FDI through Automatic route
● 95% trade by volume, 70% by value
Major Ports: India has a total of 13 Major ports
▪ West Coast
1. Kandla (Gujarat)
2. Mumbai (Maharashtra)
3. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust- Nhava Sheva (Maharashtra): LARGEST port
4. Marmugao (Goa)
5. New Mangalore (Karnataka)
6. Cochin (Kerala)
▪ East Coast
1. Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu)
2. Chennai (Tamil Nadu): SECOND LARGEST overall/ LARGEST on east coast
3. Ennore (Tamil Nadu)
4. Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)
5. Paradip (Orissa)
6. Kolkata, Haldia (West Bengal)
7. Port Blair, Haddo (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)
Minor Ports: 189
Types of Ports based on type of harbor:
a. River, Medium Seaport: New Mangalore Port
b. deep-water, Large Seaport: Mumbai Port
a. Seaport: Ennore Port
b. Medium deep sea port: Tuticorin Port
c. Deep water port: Paradip Port
d. Coastal Natural: Panaji Port
3. Coastal Breakwater
a. River Natural, Medium Seaport: Haldia Port
b. Artificial Large Seaport: Chennai Port
4. Coastal Tide Gate, Large Seaport: Nhava Sheva (JNPT) Port
5. Breakwater, Large seaport: Vizag Port
6. Backwaters seaport: Cochin Port
7. Open Roadstead, large seaport: Kandla Port
Section: National Income
Economic Activity Index that incorporates 27 high-frequency indicators to gauge the dynamics of growth and output. RBI calls this estimation as ‘nowcast’, or conditionally forecast, the current quarter growth by factoring in real-time activity across sectors to identify consistent economic patterns.
The idea is to use machine learning tools and artificial intelligence to project GDP numbers going forward, taking into account high-frequency data releases. The 27 indicators include the monthly Index of Industrial Production, rail freight, tax collections, oil prices, power supply and steel output, besides Purchasing Managers’ Indices.
RBI’s Supply Chain Pressure Index
Index of supply chain pressures for India (ISPI), was developed by extracting common factors latent in 19domestic and global variables for the period 2005-2022, and has been found to track supply pressures on the Indian economy efficiently.
These indicators are classified under two broad categories:
(i) transportation and logistics– Baltic Dry Index is used as a proxy for shipping rates. Truck freight rates as well as domestic railway and air freight traffic are used for domestic component of the index.
(ii) essential intermediates in manufacturing.
It predicts industrial production, GDP and input costs and serves as a lead indicator for future export volumes and inflation. Thus ISPI acts as a macroeconomic early warning system for the Indian economy.
Section: National Income
|The term was brought in lime-light by European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen in March 2023 when she said that EU would not follow calls to de-couple from China that began under Trump, and that it was not in Europe’s interests to de-couple from China.|
De-coupling was the stand that took root under President Trump, and was further continued under present President Joe Biden. This approach involves using trade barriers, bans and sanctions to counter China’s emergence in strategic sectors that the US sees as a threat to its global dominance. De-risking is a counter-narrative that has emerged to soften that stance.
De-risking is the term that countries are referring to describe a changed economic and foreign policy attitude towards China. Countries like the US and EU are stressing that they want to strengthen their economic resilience by diversifying and deepening and ‘de-risking’ their relationship with China, while not becoming inward looking or trying to prevent Chinese growth.
- Technically the word, de-risking means to move business away from areas that are considered risky in terms of the return that can be generated.
- In the context of China de-risking can be interpreted as a reduction of the reliance on China in the economic sphere — for the supply of materials or as a market for finished goods — so that potential risks to trade and disruption of supply chains are reduced. Recent G7 statement also said that it would be more interested in a China that played by international rules.
- US National Security Advisor (NSA) referred to De-Risking as having resilient, effective supply chains and ensuring we cannot be subjected to the coercion of any other country.
This development can be seen in light of following events:
- The weather balloon incident where US shot down a supposedly weather balloon that US alleges was a spy balloon.
- US efforts to become self-sufficient in semiconductor production.
China considers the actions of US to actually be of de-coupling nature and not de-risking. It has been facing pressure from the US in fields of information technology and manufacturing. US ban on export of certain advanced chips —which have military or AI applications to China.
History of de-risking (in context of financial sector, but same sense applies to China also):
- Banks de-risk by denying service to aid agencies that work in places like Syria that are under Sanction.
- With regard to finance as per experts De-risking can create further risk and opacity into the global financial system, as the termination of account relationships has the potential to force entities and persons into less regulated or unregulated channels.