Daily Prelims Notes 28 April 2021
- April 28, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
28 April 2021
Table Of Contents
- SAUDI GREEN INITIATIVE
- TRIPS AGREEMENT
- VIENNA CONVENTION ON CONSULAR ACCESS
- WORLD MILITARY SPENDING
- HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
- Ct VALUE
- SEBI DEBT RATING NORMS
Subject: International Relations
Context: Saudi Prince Announces ‘Middle East Green’ Initiative To ‘fight Climate Crisis’
- The “Green Saudi” and the “Green Middle East” initiatives, the largest of their kind in the world, are aimed to protect the planet through containing climate change and promoting nature and thus enabling the Kingdom emerge as a global leader in forging a greener world.
- It clearly chart the path for the Kingdom and the region in protecting the planet by clearly defining an ambitious road map with major landmarks and goals that significantly contribute to achieving the global targets in confronting climate change.
- The “Green Saudi” and the “Green Middle East” initiatives will include planting 50 billion trees, of which the Kingdom’s share would be 10 billion trees over the coming decades.
- This represents four percent of the Kingdom’s contribution to achieving the goals of the global initiative to limit the land degradation and fungal habitats, and one percent of the global target to plant a trillion trees.
- Saudi Arabia intends to start work on the “Green Middle East Initiative” together with the Gulf, Arab and the Middle Eastern countries by planting 40 billion trees. The two initiatives have gained global support from numerous countries as well as from international organizations.
- The “Green Saudi Arabia” Forum will be held in the middle of this year, while the “Green Middle East” Summit will take place by the end of 2021.
Subject: Economics / IR
Context: Even an unprecedented pandemic can do little, it appears, to upset the existing global regime governing monopoly rights over the production and distribution of life-saving drugs.
- On October 2 last year, India and South Africa submitted a joint petition to the World Trade Organization (WTO), requesting a temporary suspension of rules under the 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
- A waiver was sought to the extent that the protections offered by TRIPS impinged on the containment and treatment of COVID-19.
- The request for waiver has, since, found support from more than 100 nations. But a small group of states — the U.S., the European Union, the U.K. and Canada among them — continues to block the move.
- TRIPS is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (IP) regulations as applied to the nationals of other WTO Members.
- It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994.
- TRIPS requires WTO members to provide copyright rights, covering content producers including performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations; geographical indications, including appellations of origin; industrial designs; integrated circuit layout-designs; patents; new plant varieties; trademarks; trade dress; and undisclosed or confidential information.
- The agreement also specifies enforcement procedures, remedies, and dispute resolution procedures.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Soon, night-time medical consultation for ex-servicemen from ECHS centres.
- ECHS is a flagship Scheme of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence. It was launched with effect from April 2003.
- To provide quality healthcare for Ex-servicemen (Army, Navy and Air Force) pensioners and their dependents.
- Under the scheme allopathic and AYUSH medicare is provided through a network of ECHS Polyclinics, AYUSH hospitals spread across the country.
- ECHS Polyclinics are designed to provide ‘OutPatient Care’ which includes consultation, essential investigation and provision of medicines.
- Specialized consultations, investigations and ‘In Patient Care’ (Hospitalization) is provided through spare capacity available in Service hospitals/Government Hospitals/civil hospitals empanelled with ECHS.
- The Scheme is financed by the Government of India.
- The Central Organisation ECHS is located at Delhi in the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army).
Subject: International Conventions
Context: Ramesh Taba Sosa, an Indian fisherman, is the latest victim of an inhuman and skewed system involving India and Pakistan, in which mortal remains of prisoners are not repatriated for months.
- India and Pakistan signed the Agreement on Consular Access in 2008. Though the deal has a few lacunae, it was significant.
- Section 4 of the agreement said, “Each government shall provide consular access within three months to nationals of one country, under arrest, detention or imprisonment in the other country.”
- Further, Section 5 of the agreement stated, “Both governments agree to release and repatriate persons within one month of confirmation of their national status and completion of sentences.”
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963
- It is an international treaty that defines consular relations between independent states.
- A consul, who is not a diplomat, is a representative of a foreign state in a country and works for the interests of his countrymen in the host country.
- Article 36 of the Vienna Convention states that foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of that arrest.
- The notice to the consulate can be as simple as a fax, giving the person’s name, the place of arrest, and, if possible, something about the reason for the arrest or detention.
Subject: Defence / IR
Context: Total global military expenditure rose to $1981 billion last year, an increase of 2.6 per cent in real terms from 2019, according to new data published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
- The five biggest spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62 per cent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom.
- The 2.6 per cent increase in world military spending came in a year when global gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 4.4 per cent (October 2020 projection by the International Monetary Fund), largely due to the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In 2020 US military expenditure reached an estimated $778 billion, representing an increase of 4.4 per cent over 2019. As the world’s largest military spender, the USA accounted for 39 per cent of total military expenditure in 2020.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
- This think tank is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
- It was established in 1966 at Stockholm (Sweden).
- It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.
Subject : International Relations
Context: Human Rights Watch said that Israel is committing the crime of “apartheid” by seeking to maintain Jewish “domination” over Palestinians and its own Arab population.
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.
- The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, and the group often works on behalf of refugees, children, migrants, and political prisoners.
- Human Rights Watch in 1997 shared in the Nobel Peace Prize as a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and it played a leading role in the 2008 treaty banning cluster munitions.
- Human Rights Watch was co-founded by Robert L. Bernstein and AryehNeier as a private American NGO in 1978, under the name Helsinki Watch, to monitor the then-Soviet Union’s compliance with the Helsinki Accords.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Among various scientific terms that the Covid-19 pandemic has made part of the public vocabulary, one is the ‘Ct value’ in RT-PCR tests for determining whether a patient is positive for Covid-19.
- Short for cycle threshold, Ct is a value that emerges during RT-PCR tests, the gold standard for detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
- According to the ICMR advisory, the Ct value of an RT-PCR reaction is the number of cycles at which fluorescence of the PCR product is detectable over and above the background signal.
- The Ct value refers to the number of cycles after which the virus can be detected. If a higher number of cycles is required, it implies that the virus went undetected when the number of cycles was lower.
- The lower the Ct value, the higher the viral load — because the virus has been spotted after fewer cycles.
- According to the ICMR, a patient is considered Covid-positive if the Ct value is below 35. In other words, if the virus is detectable after 35 cycles or earlier, then the patient is considered positive.
Context : A major earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale jolted Northeast India on Wednesday morning. The earthquake originated in Tezpur of Assam and tremors were felt across Assam, North Bengal and other parts of the Northeast.
- According to the National Centre of Seismology, the earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter Scale originated in Sonitpur, Tezpur of Assam.
- The first earthquake was recorded at 7:51 am and according to the seismology centre, it was centred 43 km west of Tezpur in Assam.
- There were six aftershocks following the first major earthquake, one at 7.58 am and another at 8.01 am.
- The six aftershocks of magnitude 3.2 to 4.7 were recorded over the next 2 hours 30 minutes in the vicinity of Sonitpur in Assam.
- An earthquake is shaking or trembling of the earth’s surface, caused by the seismic waves or earthquake waves that are generated due to a sudden movement (sudden release of energy) in the earth’s crust (shallow-focus earthquakes) or upper mantle (some shallow-focus and all intermediate and deep-focus earthquakes).
- The point where the energy is released is called the focus or the hypocentre of an earthquake.
- The point on the surface directly above the focus is called epicentre (first surface point to experience the earthquake waves).
- A line connecting all points on the surface where the intensity is the same is called an isoseismic line.
- Fault Zones
- Plate tectonics
- Volcanic activity
- Human Induced Earthquakes
- There are several different kinds of seismic waves, and they all move in different ways. The two main types of waves are body wavesand surface waves.
- Body waves can travel through the earth’s inner layers, but surface waves can only move along the surface of the planet like ripples on water
- The first kind of body wave is the P waveor primary wave. This is the fastest kind of seismic wave, and, consequently, the first to ‘arrive’ at a seismic station. The P wave can move through solid rock and fluids, like water or the liquid layers of the earth. It pushes and pulls the rock it moves through just like sound waves push and pull the air.
- The second type of body wave is the S waveor secondary wave, which is the second wave felt in an earthquake. An S wave is slower than a P wave and can only move through solid rock, not through any liquid medium. It is this property of S waves that led seismologists to conclude that the Earth’s outer core is a liquid.
- S waves move rock particles up and down, or side-to-side–perpendicular to the direction that the wave is traveling in (the direction of wave propagation)
Distribution of Earthquakes
Measuring earthquake: Mercallivs Richter
- The Mercalli scale bases its measurement on the observed effects of the earthquake and describes its intensity. It is a linear measurement.
- On the other hand, the Richter scale measures the seismic waves, or the energy released, causing the earthquake and describes the quake’s magnitude. It is a logarithmic.
Subject : Economics
Context : Markets regulator SEBI came out with a new framework to strengthen policies on provisional rating by credit rating agencies (CRAs) for debt instruments.
- Under the framework, all provisional ratings (‘long term’ or ‘short term’) for debt instruments need to be prefixed as ‘provisional’ before the rating symbol in all communications — rating letter, press release and rating rationale.
- Further, a rating will be considered provisional in cases where certain compliances that are crucial to the assignment of credit rating are yet to be complied with or certain documentations remain to be executed at the time of rating.
- On validity period, SEBI said provisional rating will be converted into a final rating within 90 days from the date of issuance of the instrument.
- A bond rating that is subject to change based upon certain conditions. For example, if the project a bond was intended to finance is completed and begins generating revenue, a provisional rating is likely to increase.
- On the other hand, if an issuer’s debt reaches too high a level, a provisional rating is likely to decrease. It is also called a conditional rating.