Daily Prelims Notes 24 July 2021
- July 24, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
24 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Micro plastics
- Rivers and dams in Pune
- Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation
- Bird flu virus
- Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) scheme
- Renewable Energy Profile of India
- Special Economic Zone
- Quality of life survey
- Unemployment rate
- The Joint Parliamentary Committee
- CPI (M)’s Brittas moves privilege motion against Law Minister
- Left MPs oppose private member’s bill seeking uniform civil code
- IIScincubated Mynvax to get funding to bring ‘warm’ Covid vaccine to market-
- Adani to make changes in branding logo after AAI committees find violation
Context: The Ganga is heavily polluted with microplastics at Varanasi, Haridwar and Kanpur, Delhi-based non-profit Toxic Link claimed.
- Micro plastics are plastics that are less than 5 millimetres in size but are a major source of marine pollution.
- Microplastics are present in a variety of products, from cosmetics to synthetic clothing to plastic bags and bottles.
- Many of these products readily enter the environment in wastes.
- Microplastics consist of carbon and hydrogen atoms bound together in polymer
- Other chemicals, such as phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), are typically also present in microplastics, and many of these chemical additives leach out of the plastics after entering the environment
Primary and secondary microplastics
- Microplastics are divided into two types: primary and secondary.
- Primary microplastics enter the environment directly through any of various channels—for example, product use (e.g., personal care products being washed into wastewater systems from households), unintentional loss from spills during manufacturing or transport, or abrasion during washing (e.g., laundering of clothing made with synthetic textiles).
- Secondary microplastics form from the breakdown of larger plastics; this typically happens when larger plastics undergo weathering, through exposure to, for example, wave action, wind abrasion, and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.
- Polyacetylene is used as a doping agent in the electronics industry.
- Polypropylene is also used in packaging, plastic sheets, fibre, fabrics, rope, etc.
- PIP is mainly used in footwear and baby bottle nipples.
- Polyamide, commonly known as nylon, is used as a natural fibre and as metal wires in clothing and industry.
- The density of population in the three cities also added to the problem because a large chunk of pollutants got directly discharged into the river by people living on the banks.
- They are non-degradable plastics that often entered the Ganga through industrial waste or packaging of religious offerings
- The cumulative downstream pollution as well as industrial and human activities
- Municipal and industrial discharges are responsible for microplastics pollution in the river water
- The discharge from tanneries and other industries like textile.
- The Toxic Link’s study found that sites at Varanasi showed the maximum load of microplastics in the water of the Ganga, as compared to the other two cities.
- AssiGhat in Varanasi.,Dohrighat in Kanpur are the highly polluted zones
- Pollution of all kinds increased as one travelled downstream from Haridwar to Varanasi. It indicates that
- The researchers tried to compare the microplastics concentration in Ganga water with similar studies on other rivers across the globe, like the Rhine in Europe, the Patapsco, Magothy, Rhode in North America and the Elqui, Maipo, Biobio, and Maule in South America.
- They found the Ganga microplastics pollution was much higher. This was in spite of a higher per capita consumption of plastic in the European countries, North and South America, as compared to India.
- Microplastics in river water, if ingested in humans or other organisms, can cause toxicity through various means. Not only are these microplastics toxic themselves, they also have a tendency to absorb various toxins present in water, including harmful chemicals.
- The study also shows that the river is acting as a carrier of plastics and microplastics and transporting significantly large quantities into the ocean.
- Microplastics and their impact on marine bodies and the environment is documented through various research studies.
- Microplastics could have a serious impact on human health considering their property to absorb toxic pollutants. Studies needed to be taken up to understand this in depth, the study added.
- The study also recommended the strengthening of implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in Plastic Waste Management Rules since a lot of pollution in the Ganga was due to industrial waste.
- EPR put the onus of plastic waste management on the producers or the company’s manufacturing the products
- It also pushes the argument that rivers should be declared as ‘no plastic zones’.
Context: Incessant rains have resulted in flooding in many parts of the Konkan and Western Maharashtra regions of the state, rainfall in the Pune district is also a cause for concern owing to rapidly rising levels of dam waters.
- The Bhima River is the longest with 300 km followed by the Nira River with 190 km and Ghod River stretching upto 125 km.
- Only six of the 19 rivers have length less than 50 km before they actually merge into bigger rivers.
- The other dams are Bhatgar dam , Mulshi dam,Dimbhe, Varasgaon, Manikdoh, Pavna and Panshet.
- There are 84 villages in Pune and PimpriChinchwad area which are flood-prone.
- IndrayaniRiver, which passes through Maval, Khed and Haveli tehsil area, are flood-prone.
- The Mutha River on the downstream of four dams — Panshet, Varasgaon Temghar and Khadakwasla– passes through Mulshi, Velhe, Haveli tehsil and Pune city
- The Ghod River on the downstream of Dimbhe dam passes through Ambegaon and Shirur tehsil.
- The urban areas of the Pune district are the worst flood-hit areas. The Pune city administration has to be on its toes during the monsoon as the water rushes into low-lying localities alongside the Mutha, Mula and Pavna rivers.
- The Khadakwasla dam is the closest to Pune city
- The Khadakwasla dam receives water from Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar dams.It reach the Sangam Bridge in the city after discharge of water from Khadakwasla dam.
Context: India has substantially improved its score on a trade facilitation survey conducted by the United Nations for a total of 143 countries,
- The survey is conducted every two years by UNESCAP and includes an assessment of 58 trade facilitation measures covered by the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
- A higher score for a country helps businesses in their investment decisions.
- The 58 measures include publications of existing import-export rules on internet, risk management, advance ruling on tariff classification, pre-arrival processing, independent appeal mechanism expedited shipments, automated customs system,
- India has scored 90.32 per cent in the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (UNESCAP) latest Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, and improving from 78.49 per cent in 2019.
- India’s improvement in the scores on all five key indicators — transparency, formalities, institutional arrangement and cooperation, paperless trade and cross-border paperless trade.
- Under the transparency indicator, India scored 100 per cent in 2021, up from 93.33 per cent in 2019.
- The score for ‘paperless trade’ improved to 96.3 per cent from 81.48 per cent, while that for institutional arrangement and cooperation indicator rose to 88.89 per cent from 66.67 per cent. India is the best performing nation when compared to the South and South West Asia region (63.12 per cent) and Asia Pacific region (65.85 per cent).
- The overall score of India has also been found to be greater than many OECD countries including France, UK, Canada, Norway, Finland etc.
- The overall score is greater than the average score of EU
Agency in charge
- The CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) has been at forefront of path breaking reforms under the umbrella of ‘Turant’ Customs to usher in a Faceless, Paperless and Contactless Customs by way of a series of reforms
- The CBIC also created a dedicated single window to facilitate quick resolution of issues faced by importers, it added.
Context: While authorities are struggling to ascertain how the 11- year-old boy who died of bird flu in Gurugram contracted the infection, a team of Indian researchers in a totally unconnected work has shown that some strains of bird flu virus are close to acquiring the ability to infect higher order animals such as mammals.
- The study, carried out by the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal, a constituent laboratory of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR),
- This is one of the first studies to report mammalian adaptation markers in H9N2 virus isolated from birds found around five wetlands in Maharashtra.
- The study showed the exposure the virus to humans, which appeared in Infection, Genetics and Evolution, is important because it showed that H9N2 viruses have already acquired adaptation markers which might facilitate human infection in case of direct exposure to humans or by way of mixing genes with other influenza viruses (through what is called genomic assortment such as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1, Scientists unravel propensity of avian flu virus to infect humans and H7N9, among others.
- The scientists found the presence of H9N2 virus in around 4 per cent samples they tested.
- These wetlands fall in the route of a major migratory route Central Asian Flyway
- The mutation can spread to other geographies.
- The influenza viruses are quite show host specificity, but when avian influenza viruses continue to circulate in different avian hosts, they might acquire some mutations (changes in their RNA), which facilitate their spill over to humans
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: The Food Processing Ministry on Friday said that it is implementing a Centrally-sponsored scheme with an outlay of ₹10,000 crore to encourage setting up or upgradation of two lakh micro-food processing enterprises
- Ministry of Food Processing Industry (MoFPI) has launched the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) scheme under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan with the aim to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry and promote formalization of the sector.
- The scheme to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with a total outlay of Rupees 10,000 crore.
- The scheme has a special focus on supporting Groups engaged in Agri-food processing such as Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
- The PMFME scheme support in terms of:
- Food processing entrepreneurs through credit-linked capital subsidy @35% of the eligible project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs.10 lakh per unit.
- Seed capital @ Rs. 40,000/- per SHG member for working capital and purchase of small tools.
- Credit linked grant of 35% for capital investment to FPOs/ SHGs/ producer cooperatives.
- Support for marketing & branding to micro-units.
- Support for common infrastructure and handholding support to SHGs, FPOs and Producer Cooperatives.
- Providing Capacity building and training support to increase the capabilities of the enterprises and upgradation of skills of workers.
Context: Amid some continuing challenges for developers, there is cheer on the renewable energy front as the new capacity addition during the first quarter of this fiscal hit a historic high.
- During April-June 2021 period, the renewable energy sector added new capacity of 2,522 MW, compared to the April-June 2019 period when it added 2151 MW.
- Solar continues to be the major driver of new capacity as the segment added 2,249 MW during Q1 of this fiscal, while the wind power segment added 240 MW.
- The increase in new capacity addition comes at a time the government is trying to facilitate faster capacity addition as it has set an ambitious target of 175 GW to be achieved by the end of 2022.
- The total grid-connected capacity of renewables stood 96.96 GW. Of this, the solar power segment accounts for 42.33 GW, followed by wind power at 39.49 GW and bio power at 10.34 GW. Small hydro segment accounted for 4.79 GW.
- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are rated as the top 5 States for the overall growth prospects of renewable power projects. States were ranked on parameters like power demand, land and transmission availability, ease of doing business, policy framework and discom finance
The major concerns
- The inconsistent policies, basic customs duty, unsigned PPAs and poor centre-state coordination, among others.
- The industry mood is surprisingly upbeat, buoyed perhaps by the huge government targets and strong investor appetite.
- The biggest concern rightly is the terrible financial condition of our discoms
Context: As many as 1,096 units were registered during the last three years in various SEZs across the country, while 336 units exited during the period
- A special economic zone (SEZ) is an area in a country that is subject to different economic regulations than other regions within the same country. The SEZ economic regulations tend to be conducive to—and attract—foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI refers to any investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.
- When a country or individual conducts business in an SEZ, there are typically additional economic advantages for them, including tax incentives and the opportunity to pay lower tariffs.
- The economic regulations of special economic zones (SEZs) tend to be conducive to—and attract—foreign direct investment (FDI).
- Special economic zones (SEZs) are typically created in order to facilitate rapid economic growth by leveraging tax incentives to attract foreign investment and spark technological advancement.
- While many countries have set up special economic zones (SEZs), China has been the most successful in using SEZs to attract foreign capital.
The incentives and facilities offered to the units in SEZs for attracting investments into the SEZs, including foreign investment include: –
- Duty free import/domestic procurement of goods for development, operation and maintenance of SEZ units
- 100% Income Tax exemption on export income for SEZ units for first 5 years,
- Supplies to SEZs are zero rated under IGST Act, 2017.
- Other levies as imposed by the respective State Governments.
- Single window clearance for Central and State level approvals.
Subject: Report and Indices
Context: With the country grappling with the pandemic, nearly one out of two Indians were found to have a poor quality of life, according to a survey released by Danone India in collaboration with CII.
- The survey was conducted by research agency IPSOS across eight Indian cities and scored them on key parameters of physical health, psychological health, social relationships and environment.
- The survey released by Danone India in collaboration with CII.
- Quality of Life (QoL) is an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals.
- Nearly one out of two people had a poor quality of life (46.2 per cent).
- More women (50.4 per cent) were found to have poor QoL than men (42 per cent
- Physical health scores of women were less than men. Diet, sleep schedule
- The survey noted that poor dietary habits, erratic sleep schedule and sedentary lifestyle have adversely impacted the quality of life, but added that during the pandemic health and wellness have taken centre stage.
- In terms of cities, Kolkata recorded the highest percentage of people with poor QoL score, followed by Chennai, Delhi, Patna, Hyderabad and Lucknow.
- Mumbai had the highest percentage of people (68 per cent) recording a good quality of life
Context: Labour indicators recorded an all-round improvement in 2019-20 compared with the previous two years, data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday showed.
- Unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of persons unemployed among the persons in the labour force.
- NSO launched the PLFS in April 2017. The first annual report (July 2017-June 2018) was released in May 2019
- According to the third annual report on Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), conducted by the NSO between July 2019 and June 2020, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 per cent in 2019-20
- . In 2018-19, it stood at 5.8 per cent and 6.1 per cent in 2017-18.
- According to the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE), the monthly jobless rate which rose to 23.52 per cent in April 2020, it was 10.18 per cent in June 2020,
- CMIE is a leading business information company. It was established in 1976, primarily as an independent think tank.
- CMIE produces economic and business databases and develops specialised analytical tools to deliver these to its customers for decision making and for research. It analyses the data to decipher trends in the economy.
Context: The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Personal Data Protection Bill was given another extension on Friday, till the first week of the Winter Session of Parliament, 2021, to submit its final report.
- A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is set up to examine a particular bill presented before the Parliament, or for the purpose of investigating cases of financial irregularities in any government activity
- A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is an ad-hoc body. It is set up for a specific object and duration. Joint committees are set up by a motion passed in one house of Parliament and agreed to by the other.
- The details regarding membership and subjects are also decided by Parliament.
- The mandate of a JPC depends on the motion constituting it. This need not be limited to the scrutiny of government finances
- JPC recommendations have persuasive value but the committee cannot force the government to take any action on the basis of its report.
- The government may decide to launch fresh investigations on the basis of a JPC report. However, the discretion to do so rests entirely with the government.
- The government is required to report on the follow-up action taken on the basis of the recommendations of the JPC and other committees.
- The committees then submit ‘Action Taken Reports’ in Parliament on the basis of the government’s reply.
- These reports can be discussed in Parliament and the government can be questioned on the basis of the same.
- The government can disagree with the JPC’s findings and refuse to take such action.
- The government can take the decision to withhold a document if it is considered prejudicial to the safety or interest of the State.
- A JPC is authorised to collect evidence in oral or written form or demand documents in connection with the matter.
- The Speaker has the final word in case of a dispute over calling for evidence.
- The committee can invite interested parties for inquiry and summon people to appear before it
- The proceedings and findings of the committee are confidential, except in matters of public interest.
- The committee gets disbanded following the submission of its report to Parliament.
Subject : Polity
Context : Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP John Brittas moved a privilege motion against the Law Minister Kiren Rijiju for a misleading reply to a question raised by him on the filling up of vacancies in the High Courts.
- It is concerned with the breach of parliamentary privileges by a minister.
Breach of Privileges
- Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.
- When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.
- A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.
Role of the Speaker/Rajya Sabha (RS) Chair
- The Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion.
- The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament. If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under relevant rules, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.
Rules governing Privilege
- Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook governs privilege.
- Rules say that a member may, with the consent of the Speaker or the Chairperson, raise a question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or a committee thereof.
Subject : Polity
Context : Left MPs moved a motion objecting to the introduction of a private member’s bill seeking a uniform civil code, saying such legislation would damage the communal harmony.
Private Member’s Bill
- Any Member of Parliament (MP) who is not a minister is referred to as a private member.
- The purpose of private member’s bill is to draw the government’s attention to what individual MPs see as issues and gaps in the existing legal framework, which require legislative intervention.
- Thus it reflects the stand of the opposition party on public matters.
- Its drafting is the responsibility of the member concerned.
- Its introduction in the House requires one month’s notice.
- The government bills can be introduced and discussed on any day, private member’s bills can be introduced and discussed only on Fridays.
- Its rejection by the House has no implication on the parliamentary confidence in the government or its resignation.
- Upon conclusion of the discussion, the member piloting the bill can either withdraw it on the request of the minister concerned, or he may choose to press ahead with its passage.
- The last time a private member’s bill was passed by both Houses was in 1970.
- It was the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968.
- 14 private member’s bills — five of which were introduced in Rajya Sabha — have become law so far.Some other private member bills that have become laws include-
- Proceedings of Legislature (Protection of Publication) Bill, 1956, in the Lok Sabha;
- The Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 1964, introduced by in the Lok Sabha and
- The Indian Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 1967 introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Mynvax, a vaccine technology startup, incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) at the Indian Institute of Science, has signed an agreement to raise 4.2 million dollars.
- A heat-tolerant COVID-19 vaccine formulation developed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru has proven effective against all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, according to a study in animals.
- The research, published in the ACS Infectious Diseases journal on Thursday, showed the vaccine formulations by IISc-incubated biotech start-up Mynvax triggered a strong immune response in mice.
- The formulation also protected hamsters from the virus and remained stable at 37 degrees Celsius up to a month, and at 100 degrees Celsius for up to 90 minutes, the researchers said.
- The team, including researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), noted that most vaccines require refrigeration to remain effective.
- Vaccine also remained stable for up to a month at 37 degrees Celsius while at 100 degrees Celsius it remained stable for up to 90 minutes.
Subject : National Organisations
Context : Three committees of the Centre-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) in January found the Adani group to be in violation of branding norms, prescribed in the concession agreements, at the airports in Ahmedabad, Mangaluru and lucknow.
Airports Authority of India (AAI)
- It is a statutory body under the aegis of Ministry of Civil Aviation.
- It is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India.
- It was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
- It also provides Air traffic management (ATM) services over Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas.
- The AAI manages the building, enhancing, servicing and management of the civil aviation infrastructure in India.
- It is responsible for the creation, management, maintenance and up-gradation of aviation infrastructure in the country. Management of international airports, domestic airports, customs airports and civil enclaves in the defence airfields is vested in the AAI.
- It manages around 125 airports in India, which include 18 International Airport, 07 Customs Airports, 78 Domestic Airports and 26 Civil Enclaves at Defense airfields.