Daily Prelims Notes 26 September 2022
- September 26, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
26 September 2022
Table Of Contents
- Rohini RH 200 Sounding Rocket
- Veto Powers at UNSC
- Dasara back in ful glory in the city of palaces
- Sangam age artefacts found near Chennai
- Monetary Policy
- General Data Protection Regulation
- Rejoinder: ‘One CGIAR won’t alter international germplasm collections’
- White goods
Subject: Science & technology
Context: ISRO eyeing 200th successful launch of RH-200 sounding rocket in a row.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hopes to achieve a remarkable feat the 200th successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket in a row.
- The 5-metre-tall RH-200, a trusted member of the Rohini sounding rocket family used by the ISRO for atmospheric studies, has completed 198 consecutive successful flights, according to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
- RH-200 is a two-stage rocket capable of climbing to a height of 70 km bearing scientific payloads. The first and second stages of RH-200 are powered by solid motors.
- The ‘200’ in the name denotes the diameter of the rocket in mm. Other operational Rohini variants are RH-300 Mk-II and RH-560 Mk-III.
Sounding Rocket Programme
- Sounding rockets are one or two stage solid propellant rockets used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research.
- They also serve as easily affordable platforms to test or prove prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.
- At present, IISRO has three versions of sounding rockets– RH-200, RH-300-Mk-II and RH-560-Mk-II capable of carrying 8-100kg payload and reach an altitude of 80 to 475km.
- ISRO started launching indigenously made sounding rockets from 1965, and experience gained was of immense value in the mastering of solid propellant technology.
Subject : International Relations
Context: Very premature to comment on India getting UNSC Veto: Jaishankar.
- External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, said it would be premature to comment on positions countries, including India, are taking on the issue of whether any permanent membership for India to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) came with veto power.
- India has been campaigning hard, including this past week, for a permanent seat on the Council and currently all five permanent members (the P-5) of the world’s top security body have veto rights.
- While a number of countries have shown support for India’s membership, including the U.S. and Russia, the question remains open, if this comes with veto rights.
- The American and Russian UNGA addresses contained explicit references to the issue.
- However, after so many years of negotiations, there is no text on it. India is now advocating for text-based negotiations to ensure intergovernmental negotiation process is serious.
UN Security Council Voting System:
- The voting system in the UNSC is rigid. Every vote counts as the resolutions adopted by the UNSC are mandatory for all members of the UN.
- Chapter VII of UN charter ‘Actions with respect to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression’ and resolutions made under it are more significant as it involves war (in the case of Iraq).
Article 27 of the UN Charter states that:
- Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.
- Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.
- Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.
Right to Veto
- The creators of the United Nations Charter conceived that five countries — China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) [which was succeeded in 1990 by the Russian Federation], the United Kingdom and the United States —, because of their key roles in the establishment of the United Nations, would continue to play important roles in the maintenance of international peace and security.
- They were granted the special status of Permanent Member States at the Security Council, along with a special voting power known as the “right to veto”. It was agreed by the drafters that if any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote in the 15-member Security Council, the resolution or decision would not be approved.
- All five permanent members have exercised the right of veto at one time or another. If a permanent member does not fully agree with a proposed resolution but does not wish to cast a veto, it may choose to abstain, thus allowing the resolution to be adopted if it obtains the required number of nine favourable votes.
- In decisions under Chapter VI (Pacific settlement of disputes), a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting. It means abstention by a permanent member would amount to veto.
- Now, it is agreed that if a permanent member does not fully agree with a proposed resolution, but does not wish to cast a veto, it may choose to abstain. Thus, resolution will be adopted if it obtains the required number of nine favorable votes.
- An additional provision is the explanation of vote before and after the vote. The former acts as ‘canvassing for votes of others’ and the latter amounts to ‘taking with the left hand what has been given with the right’ – E.g., India’s abstention on Russia’s invasion.
Intergovernmental Negotiations framework (IGN)
- The Intergovernmental Negotiations framework (IGN) is a group of nation-states working within the United Nations to further reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), 15-member top organ of the world body.
- Composition: The IGN is composed of several different international organizations, namely:
(1) The African Union
(2) The G4 nations (India, Brazil, Japan and Germany)
(3) The Uniting for Consensus Group (UfC)
(4) The L.69 Group of Developing Countries
(5) The Arab League
(6) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
- Each group represents a different set of positions vis-a-vis reforming the United Nations Security Council.
- In 2016, an “oral decision” was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly which approved of a declaration known as the “elements of convergence” which outlined the status of the consensus reached by the members of the IGN at that time.
- The mass blooming of the Strobilantheskunthiana, known commonly as the neelakurinji, gave the Nilgiris (the blue mountains) its iconic name as the slopes were covered once in 12 years by the mass blooming of the shrub.
- For some tribals, who were the first settlers of Kodaikanal, the bloom helped them to calculate their age — with every bloom 12 years was added to their age.
- However, blooming seasons have become unpredictable over the years due to changing weather patterns
- These flowers grow at an altitude of 1,300 to 2,400 meters
- The peak blooming season is between August and October
- Recently, the blooming of the Strobilanthesfoliosa has been reported in parts of the Nilgiris.
- There is prevalence of invasive species that have come to populate the habitats of the native Strobilanthes plants.
- While the habitat of the Strobilanthes plants in the upper Nilgiris is being eroded by the Cestrum aurantiacum, they are threatened by other invasive species like Lantana camara in the lower
Subject : Culture
Context: President DroupadiMurmu will launch the 10 day celebrations of the state festival of Karnataka.
- Dasara is a fulcrum to revive the tourism sector, a major economic driver of the region. Tourism alone generates nearly 80,000 direct jobs in Mysuru and surrounding regions, but it was down in the dumps for two years due to the pandemic.
- Despite its religious underpinnings , the festival has also emerged as a platform to showcase the cultural diversity of the State.
Dasara Festival Mysuru
- Mysore Dasara is the “Nadahabha” or the state festival of Karnataka. It is celebrated for 10 days and concludes with Vijayadashami.
- In Mysuru, Dasara marks the slaying of demon Mahishasura by Goddess Chamundeshwari and symbolises the triumph of good over evil.
- The world-famous JambooSavari (Mysore Dasara procession)is held on the street of Mysore city on Vijayadashami. It starts from the Mysore palace and culminates at a place called
- The idol of the Goddess chamundeshwari, which is placed on a golden mantapa on the top of a decorated elephant.
- Though the festival is celebrated across India, Dasara in Mysuru is a legacy of the Vijayanagar emperors who ruled between the 14 th and 17 th centuries.
- The grandeur of the Navaratri as celebrated by the Vijayanagar rulers have been described by medieval travellers like Abdur Razzak of Persia, who visited Vijayanagar between 1442 and 1443; Domingo Paes (1520-22) and FernaoNuniz(1535-37) from Portugal, who have given eyewitness accounts of the ‘’great feast of Bisnaga’ (for Vijayanagar).
Subject : Culture
Context: ASI officials said it was significant as they had discovered some sangam age artefacts from NathamMedu, 40 km north west of Chennai city.
- Hand axes, scrapers, cleavers and choppers as old as 12,000 years to rouletted ware (from the Sangam era – 2,000 years ago), Roman amphora sherds and glass beads indicating active trade with Rome were some of the artefacts found.
- The sculptures found date from the Pallava era (275 CE) to the late pallavaera(897 CE).
- One of many main archaeological findings from Tamil Nadu within the latest previous had been in September 2019, indicating that Keeladi, close to Madurai, was an city settlement of Sangam Age on the banks of River Vaigai.
- The findings, a part of a report, had additionally pushed the historical past of literacy in south India to at the least 2,600 years in the past, lowering the hole between the Sangam period or Tamilagam (South India), and the Indus Valley Civilisation (1,500 BCE). Earlier, it was the third century BCE.
- The period roughly between the 3rd century B.C. and 3rd century A.D in South India (the area lying to the south of river Krishna and Tungabhadra) is known as Sangam Period.
- It has been named after the Sangam academies held during that period that flourished under the royal patronage of the Pandya kings of Madurai.
- At the Sangams eminent scholars assembled and functioned as the board of censors and the choicest literature was rendered in the nature of anthologies.
- The literary works of this period were the earliest specimens of Dravidian literature.
- According to the Tamil legends, there were three Sangams (Academy of Tamil poets) held in the ancient South India popularly called Muchchangam.
- The First Sangam, is believed to be held at Madurai, attended by gods and legendary sages. No literary work of this Sangam is available.
- The Second Sangam was held at Kapadapuram, only Tolkappiyam survives from this.
- The Third Sangam was also held at Madurai. A few of these Tamil literary works have survived and are a useful sources to reconstruct the history of the Sangam period.
The RBI is supposed to be accountable, but it can’t win the inflation battle without the government given the Food and beverage items have a combined 45.86% weight in the overall CPI.
Under section 45ZA of the RBI Act, 1934, MPC has fixed the CPI inflation target at 4% with an “upper tolerance limit” of 6%.
- Under the new statutory framework, the central government would, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), set an inflation target based on the consumer price index (CPI) once every five years.
- The RBI was entrusted with the responsibility of meeting this target –”accountability” and RBI has been given “independence” in the conduct of monetary policy for this.
What is the failure of monetary policy?
- A breach of the “tolerance level” for three consecutive quarters will constitute a failure of monetary policy.
- In case of monetary policy failure-the RBI, under section 45ZN of the RBI Act it will send a report to the central government stating:
- reasons for the breach/failure of monetary policy
- propose remedial actions to bring it down to 4 per cent, and
- provide an estimate of the time-period within which the target would be achieved.
- These would be presented in a report to the Union Ministry of Finance.
- It would be up to the government to make the RBI report public.
- The special meeting of the MPC will discuss the RBI report before it is submitted.
Limits of monetary policy to control inflation:
- When the inflation is cost-push type
- In the case of cost-push inflation, the control measures revolve around increasing the supply to meet the demand in the market and reducing the prices by providing subsidies and technological expertise.
- RBI has to depend on supply-side measures by the government rather than curbing demand by monetary policy tools.
- The Monetary fiscal conflict:
- Government interference to set lower interest rates (to achieve higher growth) conflicts with inflation targeting (which involves increasing rate of interest).
Measures to curb cost-push inflation:
These measures mainly aimed at increasing the supply of goods in domestic market and reducing the cost of production taken especially by the Government:
- Import duty on exportables
- Banning exports
- Stock declaration by traders and manufacturers- to prevent hoarding
- Strict action against hoarding & black marketing
- Effectively enforce the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 & the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980
- Higher MSP to incentivize production and thereby enhance availability of food items which may help moderate prices.
|Tools of inflation targeting used by the RBI:|
Subject: Science and technology
Context: The Minister of State for Electronics and IT – said that the future of Internet regulation will need a harmonisation between the democracies of the world and India may not follow Europe on data protection.
EU’s General Data Protection Regulation:
- It will apply to all users in the EU, regardless of where the companies collecting, analyzing and using their data are located.
- Companies based in the EU have to offer these privacy protections to all their users, not just EU residents.
- Companies have to use plain language to explain how they collect and use data.
- It lays six specific ways that companies can justify the processing or use of personal data.
- To fulfill contractual obligations,legitimate interests, ad targeting etc
- Firms have to clarify how long they retain data.
- Companies are also required to give EU users the ability to access and delete data and to object to data use under one of the claimed reasons.
- In case of data breaches companies will have to disclose it within 72 hours.
- A bot — short for robot and also called an internet bot
- It is a computer program that operates as an agent for a user or other program or to simulate a human activity.
- Bots are normally used to automate certain tasks, meaning they can run without specific instructions from humans.
- An organization or individual can use a bot to replace a repetitive task that a human would otherwise have to perform. Bots are also much faster at these tasks than humans.
- Although bots can carry out useful functions, they can also be malicious and come in the form of malware.
- Some of the examples are Siri and Cortana, Microsoft’s Clippy and AOL Instant Messenger’s SmarterChild.
- Bots are made from sets of algorithms that aid them in their designated tasks. These tasks include conversing with a human — which attempts to mimic human behaviors — or gathering content from other websites.
Types of bots
- Chatbots-These programs can simulate conversations with a human being.
- Recent examples of chatbots include virtual assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.
- Social bots-These bots, often considered opinion bots, influence discussions with users on social media platforms.
- Shopbots-Many of these programs shop around the web and locate the best price for a product a user is interested in buying.
- Knowbots-These programs collect knowledge for a user by automatically visiting websites to retrieve information that meets certain specified criteria
- Spiders or crawlers/ web crawlers-these bots access websites and gather content for indexes in search engines, such as Google and Bing.
- Web scraping crawlers-These are similar to crawlers but are used for data harvesting and extracting relevant content from webpages.
- Monitoring bots-These can be used to monitor the health of a website or system.
- Transactional bots-These bots are designed to simplify tasks that would otherwise be performed by a human over the phone, such as blocking a stolen credit card or confirming a bank’s hours of operation.
- Bots can also be classified as good bots or bad bots — in other words, bots that do not cause any harm versus bots that pose threats.
- The One CGIAR (Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers) transition process was born of a recognition that the evolving, interconnected global challenges facing our food systems require a unified and integrated response from the world’s largest publicly-funded agricultural research network.
Governance policy and reform of One CGIAR–
- The reforms strengthen CGIAR research centres, boosting their capacity,reach and impact while honouring their constitutions,country hosting agreements, and legal obligations in both letter and spirit.
- The germplasm collections held in trust by CGIAR Centers operate under the policy guidance of the governing body of the International Plant Treaty, in line with ‘Article 15’agreements that each of the Centers signed with the governing body.
- All Centers remain committed to fulfilling their obligations under theirArticle 15 agreements.
- Both the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Global Crop Diversity Trust have been extensively engaged during the One CGIAR transition.
- The FAO has an ‘active observer’seat on the CGIAR System Council and has been closely involved in the One CGIAR transition process.
- Similarly, CGIAR has worked closely with the Global Crop Diversity Trust throughout the process, including as part of the design and launch of the CGIAR Genebank Initiative.
Major works under One CGIAR–
- To date, CGIAR genebanksand breeding programs have distributed over six million germplasm samples through more than 60,000 transfer agreements under the Plant Treaty system.
- That equates to 400,000 samples a year, or more than 1,000 samples a day. In 2021 alone, it distributed germplasm samples to recipients in over 110 countries.
- Its Genebanks Initiative — and other newly created CGIAR Initiatives — enable it to continue and boost these efforts to safeguard agrobiodiversity and provide thousands of users with access to germplasm.
Concern with the transition process–
- The One CGIAR transition process will not alter in any way the conservation, distribution, availability and sustainable use of the international germplasm collections held in trust by CGIAR Centers.
- None of the changes outlined in the transition process provides additional influence to private corporations over CGIAR’s work, nor do they reduce the role and influence of host countries, which will maintain their roles on Center Boards.
- Through the transition to a more unified and integrated One CGIAR, our Centers and gene banks will be able to expand their research and innovation, and their support for strengthening the capacity of national programs, while at the same time continuing to distribute germplasm to recipients around the world working to advance food security and agricultural development.
- White goods are large home appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, tumble driers, dishwashers, and air conditioners.
- They are large electrical goods for the house which were traditionally available only in white.
- Even though you can purchase them today in a wide range of different colors, they continue being called white goods.
- Major appliances – consumer durables made of enamel-coated sheet steel – are the same as white goods.
- The term may also refer to white fabrics, especially linen or cotton – articles such as curtains, towels, or sheets that historically used to be made of white cloth.
- Brown Goods : Brown goods are relatively light electronic consumer durables such as computers, digital media players, TVs and radios.
Farzad-B Gas Field:
- It is located in Persian Gulf (Iran).
- The contract for exploration of the field was signed in 2002 by Indian consortium comprising ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India.
- The contract expired in 2009 after declaration of commerciality of the field, based on the gas discovery.
- It has gas reserves of more than 19 trillion cubic feet.
- ONGC has invested approximately USD 100 million.
- Since then, the consortium has been trying to secure the contract for development of the field.