Daily Prelims Notes 25 December 2022
- December 25, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
25 December 2022
Table Of Contents
- Scientists freeze Great Barrier Reef coral in a world-first trial
- America’s missile defence umbrella
- 2022 too short, too far: A sixth mass extinction is unfolding
- Right to repair portal
- Changes in Indian Foreign Policy
- Scientists working on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have successfully trialled a new method for freezing and storing coral larvae they say could eventually help rewild reefs threatened by climate change.
- Cryomesh is a specially fabricated mesh used as a substrate in cryopreservation.
- The ‘cryomesh’ is lightweight and can be manufactured cheaply.
- It better preserves coral and has the properties of cryoplates.
- The mesh technology will help store coral larvae at -196°C (-320.8°F).
- This new technology can scale up and support some of the aquaculture and restoration interventions.
- Cryogenically frozen coral can be stored and later reintroduced to the wild.
- This could eventually help to rewild reefs threatened by climate change.
- It can build a bigger, more diverse bank of frozen living corals, preserving biodiversity.
Great barrier reef:
Subject: Science and Technology
- Military and financial support from the West, particularly the United States, has been critical in Ukraine’s successful counter-offensive in the Russia-Ukraine war.
- Months later, after Ukraine lost territories along the border region, including Mariupol, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the U.S. decided to send medium-range rocket systems such as HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) and MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems), which helped Ukraine turn around the battlefield momentum.
Patriot (Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target):
- USA’s most advanced ground-based air defence system.
- It has been deployed in 18 countries, including the U.S., NATO geography, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel and now in Ukraine.
- Initially developed as a system to intercept high-flying aircraft, by U.S. aerospace and defence giant Raytheon Technologies Corp.
- It was modified in the 1980s to focus on other threats such as ballistic missiles.
- It was intended to replace HAWK and Nike-Hercules air defence systems.
- Currently, Patriot batteries can defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, jets and “other threats”, but it doesn’t offer protection against low-flying small drones.
- A mobile Patriot system includes a control centre, a radar station to detect threats, missile launchers to take out those threats and other support vehicles.
- It can launch different types of interceptor missiles: The older PAC-1 and PAC-2 interceptors used a blast-fragmentation warhead, while the newer PAC-3 missile has more advanced hit-to-kill technology.
- The Patriot system’s radar has a range of over 150 km and it can track over 50 potential targets at the same time.
- One system typically has eight launchers with each holding between four and 16 ready-to-fire missiles.
- The radar is set to be replaced with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), which has 360-degree coverage and multimission applications.
Trial of the Patriot:
- The system was tested in combat for the first time in the First Gulf war (1990-91.), and by Isreal in 2003.
- Mass extinction refers to a substantial increase in the degree of extinction or when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short period of time.
- So far, during the entire history of the Earth, there have been five mass extinctions.
- Earth was once home to two million known species. According to the study, however, since 1500, as many as 7.5%-13% of these species may have been lost. That numbers anywhere from 150,000 to 260,000 different species.
What is the sixth mass extinction?
- The sixth, which is ongoing, is referred to as the Anthropocene extinction.
- Researchers have described it as the “most serious environmental problem” since the loss of species will be permanent.
- Tropical regions have seen the highest number of declining species. In South and Southeast Asia, large-bodied species of mammals have lost more than four-fifths of their historical ranges.
- While fewer species are disappearing in temperate zones, the percentage is just as high or higher. As many as half of the number of animals that once shared our planet are no longer here, a loss described as “a massive erosion of the greatest biological diversity in the history of Earth”.
What happens when species go extinct?
- Impact can be tangible such as in the form of a loss in crop pollination and water purification.
- If a species has a specific function in an ecosystem, the loss can lead to consequences for other species by impacting the food chain.
- Effects of extinction will worsen in the coming decades as the resulting genetic and cultural variability will change entire ecosystems.
- When the number of individuals in a population or species drops too low, its contributions to ecosystem functions and services become unimportant, its genetic variability and resilience are reduced, and its contribution to human welfare may be lost.
Subject : Polity
- Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal unveiled the ‘right to repair’ portal on National Consumer Day.
- The theme of National Consumer Day 2022 was “Effective disposal of cases in consumer commission”.
About the news
- The Right to Repair refers to government legislation that is intended to allow consumers the ability to repair and modify their own consumer electronic devices, where otherwise the manufacturer of such devices requires the consumer to use only their offered services.
- The right to repair has been recognised in many countries across the globe, including the US, UK and European Union.
- The Union government had set up a committee in July 2022 headed by Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs to develop a comprehensive framework for the right to repair.
- The sectors identified include Farming Equipment, Mobile Phones/ Tablets, Consumer Durables and Automobiles/Automobile Equipment.
- The framework is an attempt to reduce restrictive practices implemented by some manufacturers in order for consumers to repair goods such as consumer durables, phones, and automobiles on their own.
- The framework will become a “game-changer” for the sustainability of the products and serve as a catalyst for employment generation.
About Right to Repair Portal:
- On this portal manufacturer will share the manual of product details with customers so that they can either repair it by themselves, or by third parties, rather than depend on the original manufacturers.
- Initially, mobile phones, electronics, consumer durables, automobiles and farming equipment will be covered.
- It allows consumers to repair and modify their consumer products against the manufacturer requiring them to use their services either by restricting access to tools and components or putting in place software barriers.
- From now on India will be joining a clutch of countries like the US and the UK that offer this facility.
- It will save consumers money and contribute to circular economy objectives by improving the life span, maintenance, re-use, upgrade, recyclability, and waste handling of appliances.
Subject :International Relations
- 2022 was a challenging year for geopolitics and diplomacy, particularly in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
- Given its historical ties with Russia and its strategic alliances with the United States and Europe, India’s choices become increasingly challenging.
- The Indian government also continues to take criticism over its China policy and the stand-off at the Line of Actual Control.
India’s stand on the Ukraine war:
- India called for “a peaceful resolution of the situation through sustained diplomatic efforts for long-term peace and stability in the region and beyond”.
- India’s position is largely rooted in neutrality and has adapted itself to the post-2014 status quo on Ukraine.
- India also refused to accept western sanctions and increased its military and oil trade with Russia, and sought rupee-based payment mechanisms to facilitate them.
- Guided by its national interests, India chose to abstain several resolutions at the UNSC, UNGA, IAEA, Human Rights Commission and other multilateral platforms seeking to censure Russia for the invasion and humanitarian crisis.
India’s ties with its neighbours:
- As part of ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India has extended multi-pronged assistance to Sri Lanka over the last 12 months to help the country tide over its worst economic and humanitarian crisis.
- India also entered regional trade and energy agreements with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal that could see a South Asian energy grid emerge.
- India has also strengthened ties with Central Asian countries on connectivity.
- India is also engaging with Taliban by providing humanitarian assistance, exploring a joint counterterrorism effort with other partners.
- The government also kept channels open with Myanmar Junta by sending the foreign secretary to Nay Pyi Taw.
- In December 2022, India also abstained on a UNSC vote calling for Myanmar to end violence and release political prisoners.
Progress on LAC stand-off:
- India-China tensions at the Line of Actual Control remained high. A crisis in the Indo-China border began in April 2020, with PLA transgressions in Ladakh, in the western sector of the boundary.
- Indian and Chinese troops faced off at the Yangtse area near Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern sector of the Indo-China border on December 09, 2022.
- India is due to host Mr. Xi twice in 2023, at the G-20 and SCO summits, which could create opportunities for talks to end the stand-off.
- India assumed the presidency of the G20 grouping on December 1,2022. The 18th G20 summit will be held in India in 2023.
- At the G-20, India is expected to highlight climate change transitions, “women-led” development and multilateral reform, among other key issues
- India also took over as chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and it will host the next summit as the chairman of the organisation in 2023.
- In 2022, India signed trade agreements with the UAE and Australia.