Daily Prelims Notes 27 January 2021
- January 27, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes 27 January 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- ROTATION OF CROPS
- OFF BUDGET BORROWINGS
- STAKEHOLDER CAPITALISM METRICS
- EXPORT PROMOTION CAPITAL GOODS SCHEME
- RED FORT
- NON PRICE COMPETITION
- SILENT CYBER
- EUROPEAN COMMISSION
- INDIAN ASTRONOMICAL UNION
- GOVIND BALLABH PANT
Subject : Polity
Context : Invoking the Preamble in times of protest.
- The preamble to the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement that sets out the guiding purpose, principles and philosophy of the constitution.
- The ideals behind the Preamble to India’s Constitution were laid down by Jawaharlal Nehru’s Objectives Resolution, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on January 22, 1947.
- Although not enforceable in court, the Preamble states the objectives of the Constitution, and acts as an aid during the interpretation of Articles when language is found ambiguous.
- Preamble gives an idea about the following : (1) the source of the constitution, (2) nature of Indian state (3) a statement of its objectives and (4) the date of its adoption.
Components of Preamble
- It is indicated by the Preamble that the source of authority of the Constitution lies with the people of India.
- Preamble declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic.
- The objectives stated by the Preamble are to secure justice, liberty, equality to all citizens and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation.
- The date is mentioned in the preamble when it was adopted i.e. November 26, 1949.
Key words in the Preamble
- We, the people of India: It indicates the ultimate sovereignty of the people of India. Sovereignty means the independent authority of the State, not being subject to the control of any other State or external power.
- Sovereign: The term means that India has its own independent authority and it is not a dominion of any other external power. In the country, the legislature has the power to make laws which are subject to certain limitations.
- Socialist: The term means the achievement of socialist ends through democratic means. It holds faith in a mixed economy where both private and public sectors co-exist side by side.
- It was added in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment, 1976.
- Secular: The term means that all the religions in India get equal respect, protection and support from the state.
- It was incorporated in the Preamble by 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976.
- Democratic: The term implies that the Constitution of India has an established form of Constitution which gets its authority from the will of the people expressed in an election.
- Republic: The term indicates that the head of the state is elected by the people. In India, the President of India is the elected head of the state.
Amendment of the Preamble
- 42nd Amendment Act, 1976: After the judgment of the KesavanandBharati case, it was accepted that the preamble is part of the Constitution.
- As a part of the Constitution, preamble can be amended under Article 368 of the Constitution, but the basic structure of the preamble can not be amended.
- Because the structure of the Constitution is based on the basic elements of the Preamble. As of now, the preamble is only amended once through the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.
- The term ‘Socialist’, ‘Secular’, and ‘Integrity’ were added to the preamble through 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.
- ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’ were added between ‘Sovereign’ and ‘Democratic’.
- ‘Unity of the Nation’ was changed to ‘Unity and Integrity of the Nation’.
Context : India is aiming to increase seaweed production in the country to 11.5 lakh tonnes from the current production levels of 2,500 tonnes in the next five years.
- Seaweeds are also known as Macroalgae. They constitute several species of marine plants and algae.
- Seaweeds may also include Red, Green and Brown algae.
- Seaweeds can grow in ocean, rivers, lakes and other water bodies. There are many types of seaweeds such as nori and laver seaweed.
- They belong to different groups on the basis of thallus color
Green algae– such as sea lettuce or ulva, and sea grapes..
Brown algae– such as kombu, arame, kelp, and wakame (the miso soup with seaweed).
Red algae– such as dulse, laver, and nori (the sushi seaweed).
Blue-green algae- such as spirulina and chlorella.
Characteristics of Seaweeds
- Seaweeds are macroscopic and multicellular organisms.
- Some species of seaweeds are microscopic such as phytoplankton.
- Seaweed can be as small as the one-celled phytoplankton or as large as giant kelp.
- Even though seaweeds are not categorised as plants, it also requires light, water and nutrition for the growth and sustenance.
Advantages of Seaweeds-
- Nutrients affluent– Seaweed can provide important nutrients as it is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and can be tasty.
- Medicinal use– Many seaweeds contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents and it can be used as a medicinal plant.
- Cancer Fighting agents- Certain seaweeds do, in fact, possess powerful cancer-fighting agents that researchers hope will eventually prove effective in the treatment of malignant tumors and leukemia in people.
- Industrial use– Among their many uses in manufacturing, they are effective binding agents (emulsifiers) in such commercial goods as toothpaste and fruit jelly, and popular softeners (emollients) in organic cosmetics and skin-care products.
- Seaweed farming is the practice of cultivating and harvesting seaweed. In its simplest form, it consists of the management of naturally found batches. In its most advanced form, it consists of fully controlling the life cycle of the algae.
- Seaweed farming has frequently been developed as an alternative to improve economic conditions and to reduce fishing pressure and over exploited fisheries.
Subject : Agriculture
Context : Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday advised farmers to do away with the single crop cultivation system and opt for crop rotation system to increase yield and gain profits.
- In this pattern, different crops are grown on the same land in preplanned succession. The crops are classified as one-year rotation, two-year rotation, and three-year rotation, depending upon their duration.
- Legumes are included in the crop rotation programme to increase soil fertility. The crops which require high fertility level (wheat) can be grown after the legumes. The crops which require low inputs can be grown after the crops that require high inputs.
Selection of crops for Rotation
- While selecting the crops for rotation, the following criteria should be adopted:
- Enough moisture should be available.
- Availability of fertilizers, man-power, and machine-power.
- Marketing and processing facilities.
- Availability of nutrients in the soil.
- The crop duration- short or long.
Advantages of Crop Rotation
- The soil fertility is maintained for a prolonged period.
- The growth of weeds and pests is prevented.
- A lot of chemical fertilizers are not required.
- The physical and chemical nature of the soil remains unaltered.
Subject : Economics
Context : According to the last Budget documents, in the current financial year the Centre was set to borrow Rs 5.36 lakh crore as off – budget borrowings.
- Off-budget borrowings are loans that are taken not by the Centre directly, but by another public institution which borrows on the directions of the central government. Such borrowings are used to fulfil the government’s expenditure needs.
- But since the liability of the loan is not formally on the Centre, the loan is not included in the national fiscal deficit. This helps keep the country’s fiscal deficit within acceptable limits.
- Such borrowings are made by state-owned firms to fund government schemes but are not part of the official budget calculations.
- Off budget borrowing is excluded from the fiscal deficit calculations, but at the same time, are added to the total debt of the government.
- In recent years, several CPSUs have raised resources from the market by issuing Government of India-Fully Serviced Bonds (GoIFSB) for which the repayment of both principal and interest is to be done from the Budget.
- This means that though the borrowing is not a part of the consolidated fund of India, the interest payment for such borrowings are made out of the consolidated fund.
- Comptroller and Auditor General report of 2019 points out, this route of financing puts major sources of funds outside the control of Parliament despite it’s fiscal implications.
Subject : Economics
Context : 61 business leaders, including members of the World Economic Forum and its International Business Council (IBC), have committed to the core Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics released by the IBC.
- Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics offer a set of universal, comparable disclosures focused on people, planet, prosperity and governance that companies can report on, regardless of industry or region
- The move signals that private sector leaders view environmental, social and governance factors as critical to the success and long-term viability of all businesses and a unified voice is gathering pace on a global solution for non-financial reporting.
- The metrics include non-financial disclosures centredaround the four pillars: people, planet, prosperity and principles of governance.
- Intentionally built on existing standards, the pillars include metrics such as greenhouse gas emissions, pay equality and board diversity, among others.
- By adopting and reporting on these metrics and disclosures, the business community will continue to catalyse greater cooperation and alignment among existing standards and encourage progress on the development of a systemic, globally accepted set of common standards for reporting on sustainability performance.
Subject : Government Schemes
Context : Government considering continuation of export promotion scheme in new trade policy
- In order to facilitate import of capital goods for producing quality goods and services and enhance India’s manufacturing competitiveness, the Central Government has been implementing a Scheme called the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme.
- Under the Scheme, EPCG Authorizations are issued with actual user condition and import validity of 24 months to import capital goods (except those specified in negative list) for pre-production, production and post-production at zero customs duty.
- It is subject to fulfilment of specific Export Obligation equivalent to 6 times of duties, taxes and cess saved on capital goods, to be fulfilled in 6 years from date of issue of Authorization.
- Authorization holder is required to fulfil Average Export Obligation achieved by him in the preceding three licensing years for the same and similar products.
- However, if minimum 75% of specific Export Obligation and 100% of Average Export Obligation is fulfilled within half the original export obligation period, remaining export obligation can be condoned.
Subject : Architecture / Culture
Context : Farmers protesting against new agriculture laws in India broke through police barricades around the capital and entered the grounds of Delhi’s historic Red Fort , in chaotic and violent scenes that overshadowed the country’s Republic Day celebrations.
- Red fort fuses architectural styles of the Timurids and the Persians.
- Red Fort has many structures that serve as fine examples of Islamic architectural style and Mughal architecture,
- Built By: Shah Jahan
- Architect:Ustad Ahmad Lahauri Architectural styles: Mughal, Indo-Islamic Current
- Status: UNESCO World Heritage Site On the Banks of River Yamuna,
- The Red Fort is known for its gardens and a water channel called The Stream of Paradise.
Indian Indo Islamic Architecture:
- The Indo-Islamic architecture inculcates the elements of Saracenic, Turkish and Arab architecture
- The first new element added in the Indian architecture was the use of shapes instead of natural forms. This apart, use of calligraphy as inscriptional art was also a new element added to by Muslims
- Inlay decoration and use of coloured marble, painted plaster and brilliantly glazed tiles.
Salient Features of Indo-Islamic Architecture:
- Islamic Architecture is characterised by a few Visible Symbols.
- One is the arch, which frames the space;
- second symbol is the dome, which looms over the skyscape;
- third is the Minaret, which pierces the skies. Minarets were Actually Symbols in the Middle of Deserts
- Muslims forbidden to replicate living forms on any surface, developed their religious art and architecture consisting of the arts of arabesque, geometrical patterns and calligraphy on plaster and stone.
Indo-Islamic architecture is conventionally categorised into the following four Categories:
- Imperial Style (Delhi Sultanate)
- Provincial Style (Mandu, Gujarat, Bengal, and Jaunpur)
- Mughal Style (Delhi, Agra, and Lahore)
- Deccani Style (Bijapur, Golconda).
Subject : Economics
Context : Data privacy can take the form of non-price competition and abuse of dominance can lower privacy protection, a study by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has said.
- The study also made observations about other non-price factors such as quality of service (QoS), data speeds and bundled offerings, which are likely to be the new drivers of competitive rivalry between service providers in telecom sector in addition to just price
Non price competition
- Non-price competition is a marketing strategy “in which one firm tries to distinguish its product or service from competing products on the basis of attributes like design and workmanship”.
- It often occurs in imperfectly competitive markets because it exists between two or more producers that sell goods and services at the same prices but compete to increase their respective market shares through non-price measures such as marketing schemes and greater quality.
- It is a form of competition that requires firms to focus on product differentiation instead of pricing strategies among competitors.
- Such differentiation measures allowing for firms to distinguish themselves, and their products from competitors, may include, offering superb quality of service, extensive distribution, customer focus, or any sustainable competitive advantage other than price.
- It can be contrasted with price competition, which is where a company tries to distinguish its product or service from competing products on the basis of low price.
- Non-price competition typically involves promotional expenditures (such as advertising, selling staff, the locations convenience, sales promotions, coupons, special orders, or free gifts), marketing research, new product development, and brand management costs.
Subject : National Organisations
Context : The CCI, in its key observations and findings of the telecom sector’s market study conducted by ICRIER, also notes the conflict between allowing access and protecting consumer privacy.
- Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002, it was duly constituted in March 2009.
- The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) was repealed and replaced by the Competition Act, 2002, on the recommendations of Raghavan committee.
- Competition Commission of India aims to establish a robust competitive environment.
- Through proactive engagement with all stakeholders, including consumers, industry, government and international jurisdictions.
Competition Act, 2002
- The Competition Act was passed in 2002 and has been amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007. It follows the philosophy of modern competition laws.
- The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
- In accordance with the provisions of the Amendment Act, the Competition Commission of India and the Competition Appellate Tribunal have been established.
- Government replaced Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT) with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in 2017.
Composition of CCI
- The Commission consists of one Chairperson and six Members as per the Competition Act who shall be appointed by the Central Government.
- The commission is a quasi-judicial body which gives opinions to statutory authorities and also deals with other cases. The Chairperson and other Members shall be whole-time Members.
- Eligibility of members: The Chairperson and every other Member shall be a person of ability, integrity and standing and who, has been, or is qualified to be a judge of a High Court, or, has special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than fifteen years in international trade, economics, business, commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs, administration or in any other matter which, in the opinion of the Central Government, may be useful to the Commission.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : “Insurers may place this matter (silent cyber issue) high on the agenda and address this problem sooner than later,” the IRDAI committee said in its report.
- Silent cyber is the unknown exposure in an insurer’s portfolio created by a cyber peril, which has not been explicitly excluded or included.
- This is also known as “unintended” or “non-affirmative” cyber coverage. A cyber event can trigger losses across various lines of insurance.
- Silent cyber refers to potential cyber-related losses stemming from traditional property and liability policies that were not specifically designed to cover cyber risk.
- Unlike the specialist standalone cyber insurance products that are available in the market today, traditional liability policies were not designed with cyber exposures in mind and therefore may not implicitly include or exclude cyber risks.
- This coverage ambiguity can result in a silent cyber scenario, whereby an insurer may have to pay claims for cyber losses off a policy not designed for that purpose.
- The IRDAI is an autonomous, statutory body established under Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999
- It is tasked with regulating and promoting the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.
- Its headquarters is in Hyderabad, Telangana and is a 10-member body including the chairman, five full-time and four part-time members appointed by the government of India.
Subject : International Organisations
Context : European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged the Biden administration to join forces against “the darker sides of the digital world,” which she said was partly behind the “shock” storming of Capitol Hill on January 6.
- It is an executive body of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.
- The Commission operates as a cabinet government, with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state.
- These members are proposed by member countries and European Parliament gives final approval on them.
- One of the 28 members is the Commission President proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.
- The Commission is divided into departments known as Directorates-General (DGs) that can be likened to departments or ministries is headed by a director-general who is responsible to a commissioner.
- High Representative (HR) of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is appointed by the European Council by voting and the President of the EC must be in agreement with the decision.
- HR is charged with shaping and carrying out the EU’s foreign, security and defence policies.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said its antibody cocktail was found effective in preventing COVID-19 in people exposed to those infected with the new coronavirus in an ongoing late stage trial.
- The two-antibody cocktail, REGEN-COV, caused a 100% reduction in symptomatic infection and roughly 50% lower overall rates of infection, based on an early analysis of 400 participants in the trial who had a household member with COVID-19.
- The current trial tested REGEN-COV for use as a passive vaccine, which involves direct delivery of virus-fighting antibodies into the body unlike traditional vaccines in which the receiver’s immune system is activated to develop its own antibodies.
- These data using REGEN-COV as a passive vaccine suggest that it may both reduce transmission of the virus as well as reduce viral and disease burden in those who still get infected.
- An antibody is a protein made by immune cells that is just the right shape and size to attach itself to a specific spot on a particular foreign substance, such as a virus or bacteria in the blood.
- By attaching, the antibody can potentially directly stop these invaders from causing an infection, or it can mark them for destruction by immune cells.
- The REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail in these trials is a combination of two potent, complementary, virus-neutralizing antibodies.
- They were selected by Regeneron scientists after screening thousands of options. Each binds to the spike proteins on the virus, which is that corona we see in pictures of the virus.
- Those spikes allow the virus to attach to and penetrate other cells. If we block that interaction, the virus is less successful at binding to healthy cells.
- One antibody comes from a human survivor of COVID-19.. The other antibody is from a mouse that has been engineered to have a human immune system. The cocktail does not contain human blood products.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : The Indian Astronomical Observatory located in Hanle near Leh was featured in the Republic day tableau .
- The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), located in Hanle near Leh in Ladakh, India, has one of the world’s highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.
- The Indian Astronomical Observatory, the high-altitude station of IIA is situated at an altitude of 4500 metres above mean sea level to the north of Western Himalayas.
- It is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. It is currently the ninth highest optical telescope in the world, situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters.
- A 2-m optical infrared telescope is installed at the observatory. This telescope is remotely operated from CREST, Hosakote, using dedicated satellite links.
- A 0.70m wide field robotic telescope is under installation for monitoring transients, under the GROWTH project.
- Other larger facilities at IAO in Hanle include the Himalayan Chandra Telescope, the gamma-ray array telescope (HAGAR), and the imaging Cherenkov telescope (MACE)
- IAO also hosts several site monitoring instruments such as seeing monitor, extinction monitor, all sky camera, Automated Weather Station, etc. The site is being characterised for a 10m class telescope.
Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)
- The GROWTH program is a 5 year project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF is a United States government agency.
- It is an international collaborative network of astronomers and telescopes dedicated to the study of short-lived cosmic transients and near-earth asteroids.
- Cosmic transients are energetic flashes of light that are millions to billions of times the brightness of the sun, e.g. explosive deaths of massive stars, white dwarf detonations, etc.
- Key follow-up observations of fast-fading or fast-moving events must occur at night promptly after discovery but before the sun rises.
- Therefore, a relay or network of telescopes spanning multiple longitudes (time-zones) on earth is required to pass the baton amongst each other to effectively extend the night-time darkness.
- GROWTH enables detailed monitoring of events that would otherwise vanish before the next night.
- Its goals are threefold:
Search for explosions in the optical regime whenever Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) group detects a Binary Neutron Star merger.
Study nearby young supernova explosions.
Study nearby asteroids.
Subject : International Organisations
Context : India has said that the UN Security Council is finding itself unable to act effectively to address increasingly complex issues of international peace and security as it lacked inclusivity of those who need to be members of the powerful organ of the world body.
- The Security Council was established by the UN Charter in 1945. It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
- The other 5 organs of the United Nations are—the General Assembly, the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.
- Its primary responsibility is to work to maintain international peace and security.
- The council has 15 members: the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year term
- The five permanent members are the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom.
- Each member of the Security Council has one vote. Decisions of the Security Council on matters are made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.
- A “No” vote from one of the five permanent members blocks the passage of the resolution.
- Any member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council whenever the latter considers that the interests of that member are specially affected.
- The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.
- The council is headquartered at NewYork.
Subject : History
Context : The 9-feet statue of Govind Ballabh Pant inside Parliament premises has been temporarily relocated .
- PanditGovind Ballabh Pant (1887 – 1961) was a lawyer, an Indian freedom fighter and one of the architects of modern India.
- In 1921, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.
- He was an untiring participant in both the Non-Cooperation Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement.
- He was also a member of the Central Legislative Assembly and the Constituent Assembly.
- He served as the 2nd Chief Minister of United Provinces from 1937 to 1939.
- After independence, he served as the 1st Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1950 to 1954.
- He served as Union Home Minister from 1955–1961.
- As Home Minister, his chief achievement was the re-organisation of States along linguistic lines.
- He was also responsible for the establishment of Hindi as an official language of the central government and a few states.
- To honour his exemplary services to the nation, he received Bharat Ratna, in 1957.
Subject: National Organisation
Context : The country’s economic growth is expected to contract 8 per cent in the current fiscal and fiscal deficit is likely to be at 7.4 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) for 2020-21, according to the latest round of Ficci’s Economic Outlook Survey.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)
- FICCI is a non-government, not-for-profit organization established in 1927.
- It is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India whose history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies.
- FICCI influences the economic policies of India’s government by sponsoring discussion forums for economists, civil servants, and industrialists and through informal consultative arrangements with government planners and policy makers.
- FICCI also provides practical advice and information, services, and networking opportunities to its business members.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi and maintains offices in various Indian states and foreign countries.