Daily Prelims Notes 26 August 2020
- August 26, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- National food security act 2013
- Warli painting
- Animals and coronavirus
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Sin Tax
- Bishnoi tribe
- Miyawaki method
- Mono cropping and Crop rotation
- Current status of Indian economy
Subject: Government organisation
APEDA signs MoUs with AFC India Ltd and NCUI, Delhi to utilise their expertise in agriculture sector
- The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985.
- It functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Authority has its headquarters in New Delhi.
- APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the scheduled productslike fruits, vegetables and their products; meat and meat products; poultry and poultry products; dairy products; confectionery, biscuits and bakery products; honey, jaggery and sugar products; cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; cereal and cereal products; groundnuts, peanuts and walnuts, pickles, papads and chutneys; guar gum; floriculture and floriculture products; herbal and medicinal plants.
- APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.
- It looks after the development of industries relating to the scheduled products for export by way of providing financial assistance or otherwise for undertaking surveys and feasibility studies, participating through subsidy schemes.
- Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products and fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports.
- Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughterhouses, processing plants, storage premises and improving packaging of the scheduled products.
Composition of APEDA Authority
The APEDA Authority consists of the following members namely:
- A Chairman appointed by the Central Government
- The Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Government of India, ex-official
- Three members of Parliament of whom two are elected by the House of People and one by the Council of States
- Eight members appointed by the Central Government representing Ministries of the Central government.
2. National food security act 2013
The Centre has written to State Governments and UTs to include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act, NFSA 2013.
- The National Food Security Act (NFSA) is responsible for the provision of subsidized food grains to the population.
- The enactment of the NFSA marks a watershed in the approach to food security from welfare to a rights-based approach.
- The Act legally entitled up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). About two-thirds of the population, therefore, is covered under the Act to receive highly subsidized food grains
- The food grains would be provided at highly subsidized prices under the Public Distribution System.
- The Act ensures nutritional support to women and children. Pregnant and lactating women would be entitled to nutritious meals, free of charge under the MDM and ICDS schemes.
- Children in the age group of 6-14 years would also be entitled to free nutritious meals under the MDM and ICDS schemes.
- Maternity benefit of not less than Rs.6000 is also provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- The Act also empowers women by identifying the eldest woman of the household as the head of the household for the purpose of issuing ration cards.
- The Central Government will be aiding the States to meet the expenditure incurred by them on transportation of food grains within the State and will also handle the Fair Price Shop (FPS) dealers’ margins according to the norms.
Subject: Arts and culture
With a view to promote Indian folk art, National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) a PSU under the Department of Fertilizers has displayed Maharashtra’s famous Warli painting on the outer walls of its Corporate Office in Noida.
- Warli is the name of the largest tribe found on the northern outskirts of Mumbai, in Western India.
- Despite being in such close proximity of the largest metropolis in India, Warli tribesmen shun all influences of modern urbanization.
- Warli Art was first discovered in the early seventies. While there are no records of the exact origins of this art, its roots may be traced to as early as the 10th century A.D.
- Warli is the vivid expression of daily and social events of the Warli tribe of Maharashtra, used by them to embellish the walls of village houses. This was the only means of transmitting folklore to a populace not acquainted with the written word.
- This art form is simple in comparison to the vibrant paintings of Madhubani.
- Women are mainly engaged in the creation of these paintings. These paintings do not depict mythological characters or images of deities, but depict social life.
- Images of human beings and animals, along with scenes from daily life are created in a loose rhythmic pattern.
- These tribal paintings of Maharashtra are traditionally done in the homes of the Warlis. Painted white on mud walls, they are pretty close to pre-historic cave paintings in execution and usually depict scenes of human figures engaged in activities like hunting, dancing, sowing and harvesting.
Subject: Science and tech
Researchers have published a comprehensive analysis of the relative potential risks of coronavirus faced by 410 animal species.
- Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, there have been widely reported instances of a few animals cats, dogs, tigers — being infected with the novel coronavirus, usually transmitted by humans.
- The 410 species analysed are vertebrates — birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
- At the highest level of risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, are several primate species. Some are critically endangered species — such as the Western lowland gorilla, and Sumatran orangutan. Other species at “very high risk” of infection include the chimpanzee and rhesus macaque.
- At “high risk” are species such as blue-eyed black lemur and common bottlenose dolphin.
- The findings are based on an analysis of ACE2 — the enzyme on our cell surface that allows SARS-CoV-2 to infect human cells.
- In humans, 25 amino acids of ACE2 are important for the virus to bind with the cell.
- The researchers used modelling to evaluate how many of these amino acids are found in the ACE2 enzyme of other species. If a species showed a match with all these 25 amino acid residues, it was predicted to be carrying the highest risk. The fewer the matches with the human ACE2, the lower the risk of infection.
5. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Indian government is temporarily allowing investment towards efforts to find effective medicines and vaccines against Covid-19 to be considered as fulfilment of a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations.
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.
- India is one of the first countries in the world to make CSR mandatory for companies following an amendment to the Companies Act, 2013 (Companies Act) in 2014.
- Section 135(1) of the Act prescribes thresholds to identify companies which are required to constitute a CSR Committee : At present, companies with a net profit of Rs 5 crore or a net worth of Rs 500 crore or a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore have to spend 2% of their average net profits of the last three years as CSR. (Schedule VII)
- These CSR funds can be used for a wide range of activities, including helping alleviate poverty and hunger, promoting skill development and education and disaster relief.
The Reserve Bank of India announced that it will conduct open market operations or OMO of government t securities worth ₹20,000 crore in two tranches.
- Open market operation is the sale and purchase of government securities andtreasury bills by RBI without printing new currency.
- Open market operation is a tool that the RBI uses to smoothen liquidity conditions through the year and regulate money supply in the economy.
- RBI carries out the OMO through commercial banks and does not directly deal with the public.
7. Sin Tax
The government may consider bringing down Goods and Services Tax (GST) on two-wheelers from the highest slab of 28% as they are neither a luxury nor a sin good, hence merit a rate revision
- A sin tax is levied on specific goods and services at the time of purchase. These items receive the excise tax due to their ability, or perception, to be harmful or costly to society.
- Applicable items include tobacco products, alcohol, and gambling ventures.
- Sin taxes seek to deter people from engaging in socially harmful activities and behaviours, but they also provide a source of revenue for governments.
Subject: Arts and culture
- Since the 15th century, the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan has been devoted to environmental protection.
- In 1485, the Bishnoi tradition was born in the hands of Guru Jambeshwar, a Rajput chieftain of Marwar, in western Rajasthan.
- He formulated 29 commandments, which a Bishnoi is expected to follow until death. Of these, six are extraordinary – they cover environmental protection and compassion for all living creatures.
- The Bishnoi are commanded to provide shelter for abandoned animals and prohibited to cut down trees; they follow a system of sharing resources with the wildlife around them.
- Animals like blackbucks and chinkaras, and birds like vultures, partridges, peacocks and even the endangered Great Indian Bustard, find the Bishnoi village a safe haven.
- Not only do the Bishnoisprotect them from poachers, they also actively participate in helping them lead a life of plenty. By allowing them to graze freely in their farmlands; by keeping stone vessels near their home that are always filled with water; and even hanging water-filled pots from the branches of trees for the birds to drink from
The Maruvan project strives to rejuvenate an arid stretch of the Marwar region in Rajasthan hopes by restoring the native forests by developing patches using the Miyawaki technique of rejuvenation.
- Miyawaki is a technique pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps build dense, native forests.
- The approach is supposed to ensure that plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual.
- It involves planting dozens of native species in the same area, and becomes maintenance-free after the first three years.
10. Mono cropping and Crop rotation
Crop rotation and diversity should be promoted to mitigate the environmental effects of growing just rice and wheat
- Mono-crop farming is the practice of growing large amounts of one crop on the land.
- This practice was recognized as a very economical way to provide farmers with a way to earn money, grow large amounts of a staple crop, like soy, corn, or wheat, and sell these crops off to any company willing to use it for food or fuel.
- The problem with this is that the destruction that is done to the environment when mono-cropping is being engaged is far greater than the benefits it brings.
- This type of farming does not provide the diversity needed in our diets or to our ecosystem.
- Crop rotation refers to the cultivation of different crops on a particular piece of land over time.
- The succession of crops to be grown is carefully designed to ensure soil nutrients are sustained, pest populations are controlled, weeds are suppressed and soil health is built.
- A crop rotation will cycle through cash crops (such as vegetables), cover crops (grasses and cereals) and green manures (often legumes).
- The exact sequence of crops will vary depending on local circumstances, with the critical design element being an understanding what each crop contributes and takes from the soil. For instance, nitrogen depleting crop should be preceded by a nitrogen fixing crop.
- The central idea is to have the crops themselves sustain soil health, rather than planting the same crop year in, year out, and then repairing soil health through fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.
11. Current status of Indian economy
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has indicated that the economy which is expected to contract for the first time ever, will take “quite some time to mend and regain” the pre-Covid momentum.
- Although data on Gross Capital Formation are not yet available for 2019-20, underlying indicators point to investment having weakened further.
- The ratio of real gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) to GDP declined to 29.8 per cent in 2019-20 from 31.9 per cent in 2018-19 on account of waning business confidence
- Even data on production of capital goods — an indicator of investment demand — shows a contraction of 36.9 per cent in June 2020 (-64.4 per cent in April-June 2020) and import of capital goods contracted by 24.7 per cent in July 2020 (-46.7 per cent in April-June 2020).
- The RBI said the recovery will happen when the non-discretionary spending — expenses that people cannot do without, such as food and rent — leads the way, with a durable increase in disposable incomes enabling discretionary spending like vacation and entertainment.
- Urban consumption demand has suffered a bigger blow – passenger vehicle sales and supply of consumer durables in the first quarter of 2020-21 have dropped to a fifth and a third, respectively, of their level a year ago.
- Air passenger traffic has ground to a halt.
- Rural demand, by contrast, has fared better.