Daily Prelims Notes 26 January 2021
- January 26, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes 26 January 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- RHESUS MACAQUE
- MOUNT K2
- LAW COMMISSION
- PADMA AWARDS
- MAHA VIR CHAKRA
- GREAT RESET
- FIAT CURRENCY
- GREEN TAX
Context: The rhesus macaque, a monkey widely prevalent in India, is a promising model for vaccines against Covid-19, according to two independent studies.
- Scientists at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) and Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) evaluated three nonhuman primate species — Indian rhesus macaques, African baboons and new-world origin common marmosets — and young and old animals.
- They found that the macaque and baboon models develop strong signs of acute viral infection leading to pneumonia, and the non-human primate immune system mounts a strong response and clears the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Scientists have reported that rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2 developed protective immune responses that might be reproduced with a vaccine.
- These are familiar brown primates with red faces and rears. They have close-cropped hair on their heads, which accentuates their very expressive faces.
- Their natural range includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia, and China. A few troops of introduced rhesus macaques now live wild in Florida.
- It has a least concerned status in the IUCN red list.
- These intelligent animals can adapt to many habitats, and some can even become accustomed to living in human communities. This is most common in India.
- Rhesus Macaque monkeys are protected species under Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The law allows for it to be hunted by declaring it ‘vermin’ for a specific period if it poses a danger to human life or property.
Context: On January 16, a group of Nepali mountaineers became the first climbers to scale the K2 peak in winter.
- At 8,611 metres, K2 or Mount Godwin Austen is the second-highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest above sea level.
- It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and Dafdar Township of Xinjiang, China.
- It is the highest point of the Karakoram mountain range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.
Major Mountain peaks in Indian subcontinent
The third highest summit in the World
Also known as the ‘five treasures of snow’
Lies in Himalayan Mountain Range
- Nanda Devi
Ranked the 23rd highest peak across the world.
The Nanda Devi National Prak, located in vicinity to the peak, consists of the best high altitude flora and fauna.
This is the highest peak located entirely within India
It is a part of Himalayan mountain ranges (Garhwal)
It is located near the Tibetan Plateau
It is located in the Garhwal region
It is located near the Siachen Region.
The SaltoroKangri is ranked the 31st highest independent peak in the world
It lies in Saltoro range (a part of Karakoram Mountain range)
Context: The Supreme Court asked the Home and Law Ministries to explain the nearly three-year-long lapse in making appointments to the Law Commission.
- The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time.
- The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three-year term. Since then, twenty one more Commissions have been established.
- The first Law Commission was established during the British Raj era in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833 and was chaired by Lord Macaulay.
- It works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
- The Law Commission undertakes research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo-motu.
Subject: Current events / Culture
Context: President has approved the conferment of 119 Padma Awards this year . It includes 102 padmashri , 10 padmabhushan and 7 padmavibhushan awards.
- The Padma Awards are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day (26th January).
- Instituted in the year 1954, it is one of the highest civilian honours of India.
- The Award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
- The Awards are given in three categories:
Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service),
Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and
Padma Shri (distinguished service).
- The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
- The Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
- The awards are presented by the President of India usually in the month of March/April every year.
- The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name.
- The total number of awards to be given in a year (excluding posthumous awards and to NRI/foreigners/OCIs) should not be more than 120.
- The Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India) is the highest civilian award of India.
- Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred “in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order”, without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.
- The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister himself to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year. No formal recommendations for this are necessary.
- Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion; there is no monetary grant associated with the award.
- Bharat Ratna recipients rank 7th in the Indian order of precedence.
Subject : Current events
Context : Colonel B. Santhosh Babu, Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar regiment deployed in Galwan during Operation Snow Leopard, has been posthumously selected for the MahaVir Chakra (MVC), the second highest wartime gallantry award of India.
Five other personnel deployed there have been named for the Vir Chakra (VrC), which is the third highest wartime gallantry award.
- The Mahavir Chakra (MVC) is the second-highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.
- The Mahavir Chakra was instituted on 26 Jan 1950 to recognise the act of gallantry in the presence of the enemy.
- The most MVCs awarded in a single conflict were in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 when eleven awards are given to the Indian Air Force alone.
- Till 2017, there are around 218 personnel have been awarded from this medal.
- Gallantry Awards have been instituted by the Government of India to honour the acts of bravery and sacrifice of the officers/personnel of the Armed Forces, other lawfully constituted Forces and civilians.
- These gallantry awards are announced twice in a year – first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day.
Types of Gallantry awards
- Gallantry Awards are classified into two Categories
Gallantry in the Face of Enemy
Gallantry Other than in the Face of Enemy
- First Category of Gallantry Awards Comprises of the following Awards
ParamVir Chakra (PVC)
Mahavir Chakra (MVC)
- Second Category of Gallantry Awards Comprises of the following Awards
- Order of precedence of these awards is the ParamVir Chakra, the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra.
Subject : Economy
- The Great Reset is an initiative by the World Economic Forum.
- It has been conceptualised by the founder and executive chairman of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, and has evolved over the last few years.
- It is based on the assessment that the world economy is in deep trouble.
- The current situation has been made worse by factors, like the effects of the pandemic on global society, the unfolding technological revolution, and the consequences of climate change.
- The world must act jointly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.
- Every country must participate and every industry must be transformed.
- In short, there is a need for ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.
Three Components of Great Reset
- First is the question of reforming capitalism. WEF has been at the forefront of calling for “stakeholder capitalism” that looks beyond the traditional corporate focus on maximising profit for shareholders.
- Second, WEF is certainly right to focus on the deepening climate crisis. Climate sceptics have been ousted from Washington and President Biden has rejoined the 2015 Paris accord on mitigating climate change.
- Third is the growing difficulty of global cooperation that WEF wants to promote. The era of great power harmony that accompanied the liberalisation of the global economy at the turn of the 1990s has yielded place to intense contestation. The contestation is not just political but increasingly economic and technological.
Subject : Economy
Context : Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it was open to exploring the possibility of a digital version of fiat currency.
- Fiat currency is government-issued currency that is not backed by a physical commodity, such as gold or silver, but rather by the government that issued it.
- The value of fiat currency is derived from the relationship between supply and demand and the stability of the issuing government, rather than the worth of a commodity backing it as is the case for commodity money.
- Most modern paper currencies are fiat currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the euro, and other major global currencies.
Fiat currency vs Legal Tender
- Fiat currency has no intrinsic value, while legal tender is any currency declared legal by a government.
- Governments can issue fiat currency and make it legal tender by setting it as the standard for debt repayment.
- The benefit of fiat currency is that it gives central banks greater control over the economy, but governments can print too much money and create hyperinflation.
- The U.S. dollar , Indian Rupee etc are both fiat currency and legal tender.
Digital Fiat currency
- The growing popularity of digital currencies (or cryptocurrency) such as Bitcoin, over the last decade, had made most central banks look seriously at launching a digital currency controlled by them that can address the shortcomings of digital currencies while hastening the shift towards a cashless society.
- Hence, the RBI is exploring the possibility as to whether there is a need for a digital version of fiat currency and in case there is, then how to operationalise it.
Digitalisation of Fiat Currency vs Digital Currency.
- In order to understand the importance of a Digital Rupee, it is required to distinguish the digitalisation of fiat currency from digital currency.
- The digitisation of fiat currency stems from the advent of electronic payment and interbank IT systems, allowing commercial banks to more efficiently and independently generate the credit flows that expand the broad money supply.
- By contrast, digital currency, enabled by blockchain technology, affects the base currency allowing the central bank to bypass commercial banks and regain control of currency creation and supply end-to-end.
Context: Green tax mooted for personal vehicles older than 15 years.
- Personal vehicles will be charged a tax at the time of renewal of Registration Certification after 15 years.
- The levy may differ depending on fuel (petrol/diesel) and type of vehicle. The proposal will now go to the States for consultation before it is formally notified.
- It includes 10-25% of road tax on transport vehicles older than eight years at the time of renewal of fitness certificate.
- The proposal on green tax also includes steeper penalty of up to 50% of road tax for older vehicles registered in some of the highly polluted cities in the country.
- The policy will come into effect from April 1, 2022.
- Green tax is also called as pollution tax or environmental tax and is the tax levied on all the goods that cause environmental pollution. It is believed that charging tax on emissions will help bring about changes in firms and households.
- Green tax is an environmental tax that aims at ensuring that polluters are duly punished for the activities that deter the environment by charging them a penalty for the harm caused to others.
- Charging direct taxes to perpetrators on emissions is an economical means to provide them with an incentive to lower their pollution to the extent where further reduction could potentially turn out to be more expensive than paying the tax itself.