Daily Prelims Notes 24 November 2020
- November 24, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- CHANG’E 5
- EXPERT APPRAISAL COMMITTEE
- ANGANWADI SERVICES
- NEGATIVE YIELD BOND
- CYCLONE NIVAR
- NATIONAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
- AGRICULTURE AND POLLUTION
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday published on its website the list of beneficiaries under the Roshni Act.
- The Roshni Act envisaged the transfer of ownership rights of state land to its occupants, subject to the payment of a cost, as determined by the government.
- It set 1990 as the cutoff for encroachment on state land.
- The government’s target was to earn Rs 25,000 crore by transferring 20 lakh kanals (one-eighth of an acre) of state land to existing occupants against payment at market rates.
- The government said the revenue generated would be spent on commissioning hydroelectric power projects, hence the name “Roshni”.
- In 2005 the government relaxed the cutoff year to 2004.
- Subsequently with new govt coming to power the cutoff was relaxed further to 2007.
- The government also gave ownership rights of agricultural land to farmers occupying it for free, charging them only Rs 100 per kanal as documentation fee
2. CHANG’E 5
Subject: Science and technology
Context: China is preparing to launch an unmanned spacecraft to bring back lunar rocks, the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from the moon in four decades.
- The Chang’e-5 probe, named after the mythical Chinese moon goddess, aims to shovel up lunar rocks and soil to help scientists learn about the moon’s origins, formation and volcanic activity on its surface.
- The mission is set to take off from the Wenchang Space Center on the southern island province of Hainan, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
- If successful, China will be the third country to have retrieved samples from the moon, following the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.
- The Chinese probe will collect 2 kg of surface material from a previously unexplored area known as Oceanus Procellarum or “Ocean of Storms” which consist of a vast lava plain, according to the science journal Nature.
- Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space programme, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and of eventually sending humans to the moon.
Context: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) wants to expedite the environment appraisal of industrial projects.
- The recommendations include ensuring that EAC meetings are held at least once in 15 days.
- All proposals that were placed for approval 10 days before a meeting ought to be considered (It is 15 days now).
- The MoEFCC currently has seven EACs for different sectors.
- Expert appraisal committees (EAC) exist at the Union as well as state levels (state expert appraisal committee or SEAC) to advise the government on environmental clearance of development projects.
- The role of EAC is integral to the process of granting environmental clearance to development projects.
- The Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) opine on whether a proposed project beyond a certain size ought to be commissioned and recommend ways to mitigate the potential environmental impact.
- Their advice is critical to the MoEF’s eventual decision to either clear or red flag a project
- According to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006, evaluation of proposals involves four steps: screening, scoping, public hearing and appraisal.
- EAC/SEAC are involved in various capacities in all the stages, except for public hearing.
Context: Central government has announced its decision to reopen anganwadis across the country after a gap of seven months.
- Women and Child Development ministry issued an order allowing the States to reopen anganwadis outside containment zones with immediate effect.
- Anganwadi is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the States / UTs which serves as a rural child and maternal care centre in India.
- It was started by the Government of India In 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program to combat child hunger and malnutrition.
- Anganwadi centres provide a package of six services: supplementary nutrition, pre-school non-formal education, immunisation, health check-up, nutrition and health education, and referral services.
- The beneficiaries under the Anganwadi Services Scheme are identified on the basis of Aadhaar.
Context: China sold negative-yield debt for the first time, and this saw a high demand from investors across Europe. As yields in Europe are even lower, there was a huge demand for the 4-billion-euro bonds issued by China.
- China’s 5-year bond was priced with a yield of –0.152%, and the 10-year and 15-year securities with positive yields of 0.318% and 0.664%.
What are negative-yield bonds?
- These are debt instruments that offer to pay the investor a maturity amount lower than the purchase price of the bond. These are generally issued by central banks or governments, and investors pay interest to the borrower to keep their money with them.
Why do investors buy them?
- Negative-yield bonds attract investments during times of stress and uncertainty as investors look to protect their capital from significant erosion.
- At a time when the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic and interest rates in developed markets across Europe are much lower, investors are looking for relatively better-yielding debt instruments to safeguard their interests.
Why huge demand for Chinese bond?
- As against minus —0.15% yield on the 5-year bond issued by China, the yields offered in safe European bonds are much lower, between –0.5% and —0.75%.
- In case the fresh wave of the Covid-19 pandemic leads to further lockdowns of economies, then there could be further negative pressure on interest rates, pushing yields down further, and leading to profits even for investors who put in money at the current juncture
- Also, it is important to note that while the majority of the large economies are facing a contraction in their GDP for 2020-21, China is the only country that is set to witness positive growth in these challenging times: its GDP expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter of 2020.
Context: The Bay of Bengal will see its second Severe Cyclone of the year, after Super Cyclone Amphan formed in May. It is likely to hit Tamil Nadu coast by midweek.
- The depression will intensify into a cyclone. At this stage, the wind speed will range between 70 to 80 km/hr gusting to 90km/hr.
- The cyclone will further gain strength into a Severe Cyclone category (90 to 100 km/hr gusting to 110 km/hr).
- Tropical cyclones are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas and move over to the coastal areas bringing about large scale destruction caused by violent winds, very heavy rainfall and storm surges.
- Tropical Cyclones are one of the most devastating natural calamities in the world.
- Tropical cyclones originate and intensify over warm tropical oceans. The conditions favourable for the formation and intensification of tropical storms are:
- Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C.
- Presence of the Coriolis force.
- Small variations in the vertical wind speed.
- A pre-existing weak low- pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation.
- Upper divergence above the sea level system.
Nomenclature of Tropical Cyclones
- The naming of tropical cyclones is a recent phenomenon. The process of naming cyclones involves several countries in the region and is done under the aegis of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
- For the Indian Ocean region, a formula for naming cyclones was agreed upon in 2004. Eight countries in the region – Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand – all contributed a set of names which are assigned sequentially whenever a cyclonic storm develops.
- Hudhud, Titli, Phethai, Fani, Vayu , Amphan and Nivar are among the names of cyclones in the Indian Ocean region.
Worldwide Terminology of Tropical Cyclones
- They are given many names in different regions of the world – eg. they are known as Typhoons in the China Sea and Pacific Ocean; Hurricanes in the West Indian islands in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean; Tornados in the Guinea lands of West Africa and southern USA.; Willy-willies in north-western Australia and Tropical Cyclones in the Indian Ocean.
7. NATIONAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Context: The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) reviewed the cyclone preparedness of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry which are facing the threat of a severe cyclone.
- At the national level, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) are the key committees involved in the top-level decision-making wrt Disaster Management (DM).
- It deals with major crisis which have serious or national ramifications.
- Oversee the Command, Control and Coordination of the disaster response.
- Give direction to the Crisis Management Group (CMG) as deemed necessary.
- Cabinet Secretary (Chairperson).
- Secretaries of Ministries / Departments and agencies with specific Disaster management responsibilities.
Agriculture’s contribution to air pollution
- Agriculture’s contribution to air pollution runs deeper than what happens between crop seasons.
- The Indo-Gangetic plain is also one of the world’s largest and rapidly-growing ammonia hotspots.
- Atmospheric ammonia, which comes from fertiliser use, animal husbandry, and other agricultural practices, combines with emissions from power plants, transportation and other fossil-fuel burning to form fine particles.
Impact of pollution on agriculture
- It is important to note that agriculture is a victim of pollution as well as its perpetrator.
- Particulate matter and ground-level ozone formed from industrial, power plant, and transportation emissions among other ingredients cause double-digit losses in crop yields.
- Ozone damages plant cells, handicapping photosynthesis, while particulate matter dims the sunlight that reaches crops.
- Agriculture scientist Tony Fischer’s 2019 estimates of the two pollutants’ combined effect suggest that as much as 30 per cent of India’s wheat yield is missing (Sage Journals, Outlook on Agriculture).
- Earlier, B Sinha et al (2015), in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, found that high ozone levels in parts of Haryana and Punjab could diminish rice yields by a quarter and cotton by half.