Daily Prelims Notes 29 June 2023
- June 29, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
29 June 2023
Table Of Contents
- Understanding Greed-flation
- Government clears Rs. 3.7 lakh crore agri package
- RBI’s Financial Stability Report (FSR)
- Family offices ramp up investments in early-stage rounds amidst funding winter
- Indian firm used toxic industrial-grade ingredient in syrup
- India eyes more lithium deposits in J&K, identifies 30 critical minerals
- Centre proposes draft rules for Green Credit Programme
- Rockies, Alps, Himalayas: More rain, less snow in Northern hemisphere mountains as temperatures rise, says report
- Biofertilizer scheme gets Cabinet nod; sugarcane FRP hiked
- Plastic-rock hybrids found on the Andaman Islands
- Senegal signs Just Energy Transition Partnership deal after South Africa, Indonesia & Vietnam
- How the American bald eagle ‘returned’ from the brink of extinction
- Only five cases of malaria but the US CDC issued an alert
- NOTTO issues strict warning to prevent trafficking
- UN Report on Children and Armed Conflict
- Cabinet clears NRF Bill to offer strategic direction to research
- Mahalanobis in the era of Big Data and AI
- SC Collegium has a majority of future CJIs as per seniority
- Euclid set to launch next week in quest for dark energy
- New certification scheme launched to ensure responsible antibiotic manufacturing in India
- Why Chandrayaan 2 failed?
Subject : Economy
Section: Inflation and unemployment
Mechanics of inflation:
- Inflation is the increase in the overall level of prices. In an ideal situation, for an economy to grow, low inflation is desirable.
- This can be understood through a virtuous cycle of inflation, investment and monetary expansion.
- Inflation is a signal of rising demand, to cater which fresh investments are made to seek profit. At the same time the banking system, driven by the central bank, keeps pumping money to cater to the credit needs of these investments.
- The reason for the increase in price of anything is the interplay of demand and supply. So it is with inflation, where the two forces of demand and supply determine inflation.
- If the price of input rises, there is a cost push inflation. This could be due to, a disruption in supply which could be the result of war or natural disaster, or due to speculative activity in the commodity market resulting from a loose money policy.
- If there is an increase in demand there is demand pull inflation. This could either be due to an easy credit policy that increases the spending power of people, aur due to increase in number of jobs.
- Sudden rise in inflation could sometimes be the result of wage-price spiral, where by seeking higher wages to account for increased prices of goods, inflation is further pushed up, by more money now bidding on the same available output of the economy.
Recession or deflation, and reflation:
- In the event of recession, as seen after Covid-19 pandemic, output, prices and investments all fall as there is a general negative outlook regarding demand. This is a state of deflation.
- To enable recovery, the central banks as seen in the recent past pump money into the economy to re-inflate the economy. This is the cycle of reflation.
- During reflation, as more and more investments are made, more jobs are created, there is a rise in inflation and the economy is said to be ‘heating up’.
- In this situation, as more jobs are created, unemployment rate falls. This should result in a greater share of wage in relation to the profit.
- But what has been noticed in the recovery after Covid is the reverse, profits have been rising as wages have remained stagnant. This has been explained by a profit-inflation spiral, where an increase in profit markup in turn adds to further inflation. The above phenomenon has been described as “Greed-flation“.
- Higher profits can only be the result of (i) higher sales (with the same profits margins); (ii) higher profit margins (with the same level of sales); (iii) a combination of higher sales and higher profit margin.
- As per CMIE analysis, 60% of the growth in net profit can be attributed entirely to the increase in profit margin. The increase in sales contributed an additional 36% and the rest was a bonus from a combination of the two.
Policy implication: A temporary excess profit tax has been suggested as a measure to address profit driven inflation. This should prohibit price gouging. But the problem with this is who should decide which firm is resorting to gouging. And further it would disturb free market dynamics.
- Several farm sector measures have been announced by the government, including enhancement of sugarcane fair and remunerative price (FRP).
- 3.69 lakh crore has been committed for the urea subsidy for three years (2022-23 to 2024-25).
- The package also includes a Rs. 1,451.84 crore outlay un der the market development assistance (mda) for promoting organic fertilizers from gobardhan plants.
- The cabinet gave its nod for the PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness Generation, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM PRANAM) to encourage balanced use of chemical fertilizers.
- Introduction of sulphur coated urea or urea gold was announced, meant to address sulphur deficiency in soil and save farmers input costs
Section: Monetary Policy
- RBI’s Financial Stability Report (FSR), in its assesment found the banking system and the economy resilient, despite challenging global macroeconomic outlook.
- The report examines the key indicators of banking health and uses stress test models to project the change in the various indicators subject to the possible scenarios of economic stress. Stress meaning adverse situation such as higher interest rates, increase in bad loans, or economic slowdown.
- Gross non performing assets (GNPA) ratio of the banks continued its down trend and fell to a 10 year low of 9 % in march this year and the Net NPA ratio declined to 1%. The GNPA
- may improve to 3.6 % by March 2024 under the baseline scenario
- may rise to 4.1 % if the macroeconomic environment worsens to a medium scenario
- may rise to 5.1 % in event of severe stress scenario.
- Scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) are well capitalised and capable of absorbing macro economic shocks over a one year horizon even in the absence of any further capital infusion, showed stress tests by the Reserve Bank of India.
- Aggregate Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) of 46 major banks is projected to slip from 17% in March 2023, though will remaine above the minimum capital require ment, including the capital conservation buffer (CCB) of 11.5 %. The possible decrease as per stress scenario is as follows:
- 1 % by March 2024 in baseline scenario
- may go down to 14.7 % in the medium stress scenario and
- to 13.3 % under the severe stress scenario.
- Despite the recent step up in bank credit growth, India’s credit to GDP ratio is still lower than it was in March 2013, reflecting still muted credit absorption relative to advanced and emerging mar ket peers,
|The Financial Stability Report (FSR) reflects the collective assessment of the subcommittee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC SC) on the current and emerging vulnerabilities of the Indian financial system.
Stress tests assess the resilience of banks’ balance sheets to unforeseen shocks emanating from the macroeconomic environment.
Gross NPA refers to the entire amount of debts that an organization has not collected or the individuals owing the organization has not fulfilled their contractual obligations to pay both the amount of principal and interest.
Net non-performing assets is the amount resulting from the sum of the defaulted loans after deducting provision for uncertain and unpaid debts. It is the real loss that the organization incurs after defaulted loans.
Credit to GDP Ratio is an important measure of the strength and health of the financial system. Its value depends on the development of financial markets, the savings rate and investment climate among other things. India’s domestic credit to the private sector at 55% of GDP in 2020 is remarkably below the world average (148%), and lowest among its Asian peers — China (182%), South Korea (165%), and Vietnam (148%).
The credit-to-GDP Gap is defined as the difference between the credit-to-GDP ratio and its long-run trend, and captures the shortfall in credit offtake or build-up of excessive credit in a reduced form fashion. Basel III uses the gap between the credit-to-GDP ratio and its long-term trend as a guide for setting countercyclical capital buffers.
The capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio, also known as the capital adequacy ratio, is one of the most important financial ratios used by investors and analysts. The ratio measures a bank’s financial stability by measuring its available capital as a percentage of its risk-weighted credit exposure
Context: Experts pointed out that besides seed, angel and pre-series A funding rounds, there is now also growing interest among family offices to back Series A to Series C rounds in recent times
What is a family office?
A family office is a dedicated entity or group of companies established to manage ultra-high-net-worth families’ substantial investments and financial affairs.
Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) are individuals with net assets valued at $30 million or more.
Family offices provide comprehensive financial services to UHNW families, including investment management, wealth management, accounting, financial advisory, tax planning, legal compliance, and travel arrangements. Experts from various fields are hired to ensure expert management across these domains.
There are two types of family offices: single-family offices, which serve a single family, and multi-family offices, which cater to the financial needs of multiple families.
- Seed funding is an investment made by an individual for a business to grow. It is generally the earliest form of capital a startup will raise
- Often, seed funding comes from angel investors, friends and family members, and the original company founders.
- Seed funding is used to start the company itself, and consequently it is fairly high risk: the company has not yet proven itself within the market.
- The purpose of seed funding is intended to give a founding team enough capital to pursue a certain idea or market to prove if the concept works.
- The initial investment— seed funding—is followed by various rounds, known as Series A, B, and C.
Types of Seed Funding for Startups
- Crowdfunding-is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people, typically via the internet.
- Corporate seed funds-A corporate seed fund is a big source for these company’s startups. These companies, including other big companies, use the fund as a great source for their profit.
- Incubators-Incubators help entrepreneurs solve some of the problems commonly associated with running a startup by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring, and training.
- Accelerators-Private startup accelerators do provide funding and the money helps cover early-stage business expenses, as well as travel and living expenses for the three-month residency at the in-person startup accelerators.
- Startup accelerators generally take between 5% and 10% of your equity in exchange for training and a relatively small amount of funding.
- Angel investors- an angel investor is an individual that is looking to diversify their investment portfolio and back intriguing startups. Angel investors help businesses with capital funds whenever the startups have issues in growth in the early stages.
- Personal Savings-In this type, the founders of the companies use their wealth and savings as the source for seed funding.
- Debt Funding-Usually, money provided by banks or any other financial as loans is considered to be debt funding.
- Convertible Securities-Depending upon the progress or growth of the company, the loans provided as seed round changed to equity form.
- Angel Funds or Angel Networks-Many a time, many investors are pooled together to invest money in the early stage of the financing round. The formation of investors is known as Angle networks.
- VC Funding-Based on the following parameters, venture capitalists provide funds.
Series A Funding
- Once a business has developed a track record (an established user base, consistent revenue figures, or some other key performance indicator), that company may opt for Series A funding in order to further optimize its user base and product offerings.
- In this round, it’s important to have a plan for developing a business model that will generate long-term profit.
- Series A rounds raise approximately $2 million to $15 million
- Investors are looking for companies with great ideas as well as a strong strategy for turning that idea into a successful, money-making business. The investors involved in the Series A round come from more traditional venture capital firms.
- It’s also common for investors to take part in a somewhat more political process. It’s common for a few venture capital firms to lead the pack. In fact, a single investor may serve as an “anchor.” Once a company has secured a first investor, it may find that it’s easier to attract additional investors as well.
- Angel investors also invest at this stage, but they tend to have much less influence in this funding round than they did in the seed funding stage.
Series B Funding
- Series B rounds are all about taking businesses to the next level, past the development stage.
- Investors help start-ups get there by expanding market reach. Companies that have gone through seed and Series A funding rounds have already developed substantial user bases and have proven to investors that they are prepared for success on a larger scale.
- It is used in bulking up on business development, sales, advertising, tech, support, and employees costs a firm a few pennies.
- The average estimated capital raised in a Series B round is $33 million
- Series B appears similar to Series A in terms of the processes and key players.
- The difference with Series B is the addition of a new wave of other venture capital firms that specialize in later-stage investing.
Series C Funding
- Businesses that make it to Series C funding sessions are already quite successful.
- These companies look for additional funding in order to help them develop new products, expand into new markets, or even to acquire other companies.
- In Series C rounds, investors inject capital into the meat of successful businesses, in an effort to receive more than double that amount back. Series C funding is focused on scaling the company, growing as quickly and as successfully as possible.
- Series C funding could be used to buy another company.
- In Series C, groups such as hedge funds, investment banks, private equity firms, and large secondary market groups accompany the type of investors mentioned above.
- Companies that do continue with Series D funding tend to either do so because they are in search of a final push before an IPO or, alternatively, because they have not yet been able to achieve the goals they set out to accomplish during Series C funding.
Subject :Science and technology
Context: The Indian manufacturer of cough syrups that Uzbekistan said last year had poisoned 19 children used a toxic industrial-grade ingredient rather than the legitimate pharmaceutical version, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The company, Marion Biotech, bought the ingredient — propylene glycol (PG) — from trader Maya Chemtech India.
Maya did not have a licence to sell pharmaceutical-grade materials and “dealt in industrial-grade only,”
Various sources said the syrup was made with industrial-grade PG, a toxic material widely used in liquid detergents, antifreeze, paints or coatings, and to enhance the effectiveness of pesticides.
They were supposed to take Indian Pharmacopoeia-grade which is national standards for the composition of pharmaceutical products.
Subject : Geography
Section: Economic geography
Context: India is hopeful of finding more lithium reserves in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and continues exploration in the region.
- According to officials, exploration for additional lithium sources is already going on in the Salal Hamima region of the Resai district of Jammu.
- India’s first and only lithium reserves to the tune of 9 million tonnes have already been discovered in J&K. The Ministry is in the process of working out the ASP or the reserve price of these reserves.
- Lithium, an alkali metal, is one of the key components in rechargeable batteries that are used in mobiles, laptops, electric vehicles and in medical devices like pacemakers. It is also used in energy storage solutions.
- Import dependence
- India currently imports all major components that go into lithium-ion cell manufacturing.
- The country’s lithium-ion import bill for FY23 was ₹23,171 crore. It covers electric accumulators, including separators. In FY22, imports for lithium-ion was at ₹13,673.15 crore.
- Geographical Society of India (GSI) is already carrying out 151-odd exploration projects in the country to find more lithium and cobalt, along with other critical minerals
- The Ministry released the first ever report on identification of critical minerals for India.
- Around 30 minerals have been identified. It includes titanium, tungsten, vanadium, zircon, niobium, germanium, nickel, graphite, silicon, antimony, beryllium, bismuth, among others.
- The identification of these minerals takes India in the league of large economies and developed nations like the USA, Japan, China, among others, which have also released a similar list of critical minerals.
- Argentina is one of the countries with which sourcing discussions are on. An MoU has also been signed on the possibility of exploration of lithium there.
- Other countries like Chile and Australia are also on the radar, he said. Argentina is ranked among the main mineral reserves worldwide.
- Together with Chile and Bolivia, the north-west of the country forms the so-called “Lithium Triangle” and is currently the fourth largest producer and has the third largest world reserve of lithium.
- Australia is the top lithium producer globally. Apart from the Lithium Triangle nations, key producers include the USA and China.
- KABIL is exploring commercial agreements with foreign governments and countries for sourcing lithium and critical minerals.
- Ministry of Mines has created a Joint Venture company namely KhanijBidesh India Ltd (KABIL) with participating interest of NALCO, HCL and MECL. KABIL is mandated to identify and acquire overseas mineral assets of critical and strategic nature such as Lithium, Cobalt etc
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has notified draft rules for ‘Green Credit’.
Green Credit Programme:
- It was first announced by Union Finance Minister in the 2023-24 budget with a view to leverage a competitive market-based approach and incentivise voluntary environmental actions of various stakeholders.
- Green Credit is an incentive that individuals, farmer-producer organisations (FPO), industries, rural and urban local bodies, among other stakeholders, will be able to earn for environment-positive actions.
- By ‘green credit’, the government means a singular unit of an incentive provided for a specified activity, delivering a positive impact on the environment.
- Apart from incentivising individual/community behaviour, the Green Credit Programme will encourage private sector industries and companies as well as other entities to meet their existing obligations, stemming from other legal frameworks, by taking actions which are able to converge with activities relevant to generating or buying green credits.
- The activities include:
- Tree plantation-based green credit: To promote activities for increasing the green cover across the country through tree plantation and related activities
- Water-based green credit: To promote water conservation, water harvesting and water use efficiency / savings, including treatment and reuse of wastewater
- Sustainable agriculture-based green credit: To promote natural and regenerative agricultural practices and land restoration to improve productivity, soil health and nutritional value of food produced
- Waste management-based green credit: To promote sustainable and improved practices for waste management, including collection, segregation and treatment
- Air pollution reduction-based green credit: To promote measures for reducing air pollution and other pollution abatement activities
- Mangrove conservation and restoration-based green credit: To promote measures for conservation and restoration of mangroves
- Ecomark-based green credit: To encourage manufacturers to obtain ‘Ecomark’ label for their goods and services
- Sustainable building and infrastructure-based green credit: To encourage the construction of buildings and other infrastructure using sustainable technologies and materials
- The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education shall be the administrator of the programme. The institute will develop guidelines, processes and procedures for the implementation of the programme and develop methodologies and standards, registration process and associated measurement, reporting and verification mechanisms.
- The green credits will be tradable and those earning it will be able to put these credits up for sale on a proposed domestic market platform.
- Concern include:
- Maintenance and monitoring challenges
- Fraud in utility of resources
Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education:
- Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) is an apex body in the national forestry research system.
- It undertakes the holistic promotion of forestry research through need-based planning, promoting, conducting and coordinating research, education and extension covering all aspects of forestry.
- The ICFRE has eight Regional Research Institutes and four Research Centres located in different bio-geographical regions of the country to cater for the forestry research needs of the nation.
Its objectives are:
- To undertake, aid, promote and coordinate forestry education, research and their applications.
- To develop and maintain a national library and information centre for forestry and allied sciences.
- To act as a clearing-house for research and general information related to forests and wildlife.
- To develop forestry extension programmes and propagate the same through mass media, audio-visual aids and extension machinery.
Section: Places in news
- The Himalayas and other mountains across the Northern Hemisphere are likely to see 15 per cent more rain for every 1-degree Celsius rise in temperature due to climate change, according to a new study.
- Earlier, a report from International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) found that the Hindu Kush Himalayas have seen a 65 per cent faster loss of glacier mass.
- Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley and the University of Michigan used European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts atmospheric reanalysis (ERA527) for data between 1950 and 2019. They relied on computer models for future projections.
- Data from 1950-2019 already shows that this transition from snowfall to rainfall has already been set in motion in the mountain regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
- It will continue to increase at a rate of 15 per cent for every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature. For 2 degrees and 3 degrees rise, the world would see a 30 per cent and 45 per cent increase in rain, respectively.
- This shift could amplify rainfall extremes lasting over a few hours to a day.
- This switch from snowfall to rainfall could increase the risk of disasters such as floods, landslides, and soil erosion.
- One-quarter of the global population will be affected directly as they live in or downstream from mountainous regions.
- Risk regions:
- Not all mountain regions are at high risk. The Himalayas and the North American Pacific Mountain ranges, including the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and coastal ranges (from Canada to Southern California) are more threatened than the Rockies or the Alps.
- The Himalayas is one of those hotspot regions where we see an increased risk of rainfall extremes.
- The higher risk might be due to changes in atmospheric dynamics.
- The North American Pacific Mountain range sees a significant portion of snowfall at temperatures just below zero degrees Celsius. A change in air temperature will shift this snowfall to rainfall.
- Risk analysis in the southern hemisphere:
- The research team did not consider mountain regions in Southern Hemisphere due to a paucity of data from the pre-satellite era (before 1979).
Physiology of Himalaya:
- Himalayas mountain ranges start from Pamir Knot in the west and extend up to Puruvachal [ Mizo hills] in the east.
- Geologically: Geologically the Himalayas is a young fold mountain and it is made up of granite sedimentary Rock.
- Structurally: Structurally Himalayas is a type of fold mountain that is made up by the convergence of the Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate.
- West to the east stretch of the Himalayas is in an arc form.
Physiography of the Himalayas can be understood better by dividing it into two parts:
- latitudinal division [north to south]
- Vertical/Longitudinal division [west to east]
Latitudinal division or “North to south divisions” of the Himalayas:
- The greater Himalayan range can be divided into the following four parts from north to south:
- Trans Himalayan range
- The Great Himalayas or Inner Himalayas or Himadri
- The Middle Himalayas or Himachal Himalayas or Lesser Himalaya
- Shiwalik Himalayas or the outer Himalayas
Vertical/longitudinal division or “West to East divisions” of Himalayas:
- From west to east, the Himalayas can be divided into the following parts:
- Punjab Himalayas or Kashmir Himalayas or Northwestern Himalayas
- Kumaon Himalayas
- Nepal Himalayas
- Assam Himalayas
- Puruvachal Himalayas
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the PM-PRANAM (PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Generation, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth) scheme.
Urea subsidy scheme:
- The CCEA also approved the continuation of the urea subsidy scheme to ensure constant availability of urea to the farmers at the same price of ₹242/ 45 kg per bag.
PM- PRANAM Scheme:
- Objectives: To encourage the balanced use of fertilisers in conjunction with bio fertilisers and organic fertilisers.
- Aim: To bring down the subsidy burden on chemical fertilisers, which is estimated to reach Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2022-23 — 39% higher than 2021 figure of Rs 1.62 lakh crore.
- The new scheme would promote the use of nutrient-based, biofertilizers for sustainable agriculture and it would have a total outlay of ₹3,70,128.7 crore.
- Out of the above-approved package, ₹3,68,676.7 crore has been committed for urea subsidy for three years. This is apart from the recently approved nutrient-based subsidy of ₹38,000 crore for the Kharif season for 2023-24.
- Features of the Scheme:
- The scheme will have no separate budget and will be financed through the “savings of existing fertiliser subsidy” under schemes run by the Department of Fertilizers.
- 50% of subsidy savings will be passed on as a grant to the state that saves the money.
- 70% of the grant provided under the scheme can be used for asset creation related to the technological adoption of alternate fertilisers and alternate fertiliser production units at the village, block and district levels.
- The remaining 30% of grant money can be used for rewarding and encouraging farmers, panchayats, farmer producer organisations and self-help groups that are involved in the reduction of fertiliser use and awareness generation.
- The calculation of reducing the chemical fertiliser use of urea in a year will be compared to the average consumption of urea during the last three years.
- For this purpose, data available on a Fertilizer Ministry dashboard, IFMS (Integrated Fertilizers Management System) will be used.
Benefits to sugarcane farmers:
- The CCEA also hiked the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane by ₹10 per quintal.
- The FRP for the sugar season 2023-24 (October-September) will be ₹315 per quintal for a basic recovery rate of 10.25%. Last year, the amount was ₹305.
- The CCEA also decided to provide a premium of ₹ 3.07 per quintal for each 0.1% increase in recovery over and above 10.25%, and a reduction in FRP by ₹ 3.07 per quintal for every 0.1% decrease in recovery (sugar produced from the sugarcane).
- The Centre has calculated the cost of production of sugarcane as ₹ 157 per quintal based on the inputs from States and the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
- This FRP of ₹ 315 per quintal at a recovery rate of 10.25% is higher by 100.6% over production cost. The FRP for sugar season 2023-24 is 3.28% higher than the current sugar season 2022-23.
Few initiatives in news:
|Initiatives in news
|GOBAR (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources) – DHAN scheme.
About the scheme:
Nano Urea Liquid:
About Nano fertilizers:
|Ethanol Blending Programme
What is Ethanol Blending?
|Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for Sugarcane
|What is the FRP?
Which Factors are considered for announcing FRP?
How is FRP Paid?
- Biofertilizers are defined as preparations containing living cells or latent cells of efficient strains of microorganisms that help crop plants’ uptake of nutrients by their interactions in the rhizosphere when applied through seed or soil.
- They accelerate certain microbial processes in the soil which augment the extent of availability of nutrients in a form easily assimilated by plants.
They can be grouped in different ways based on their nature and function:
|N2 fixing Biofertilizers
|Azotobacter, Beijerinkia, Clostridium, Klebsiella, Anabaena, Nostoc,
|Rhizobium, Frankia, Anabaena azollae
|P Solubilizing Biofertilizers
|Bacillus megaterium var. phosphaticum, Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus circulans, Pseudomonas striata
|Penicillium sp, Aspergillus awamori
|P Mobilizing Biofertilizers
|Glomus sp.,Gigasporasp.,Acaulospora sp.,
Scutellospora sp. &Sclerocystis sp.
|Laccaria sp., Pisolithus sp., Boletus sp., Amanita sp.
|Biofertilizers for Micro nutrients
|Silicate and Zinc solubilizers
|Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria
Subject : Environment
- A new study by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, found the first record of plastiglomerates in the Indian sub-continent on Aves Island in the Andaman archipelago.
- The samples studied contained polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride mixed with rock and sand, and were possibly a result of solid waste burning in the open.
- Plastiglomerates or plastic-rock hybrids are formed when plastic pollution mixes with organic or inorganic material and forms rocks through geological processes.
- The samples are found at Aves Island, located at 3.5 kilometres east of Mayabunder, a town in the north Andaman district.
- The Island harbours mangroves, coral reefs, seaweed and rocky outcrops.
- How are they formed?
- when the plastics, in the form of burnt litter, mixes with conglomerates, which are sedimentary rock made up of fragments like pebbles, sand, and silt.
- Are they found elsewhere?
- First reported from Hawaii in 2014,plastiglomerates have subsequently been found in Indonesia, Portugal, Canada, Peru, Brazil, and now India.
- With plastic entering the rock cycle and potentially remaining for thousands of years, the researchers believe that plastiglomerates act as an ‘Anthropocene marker’, which means they reflect the impact that humans are having on the planet.
Where did plastiglomerates originate?
- The location of the island and the pattern of the ocean current may have played a role in the formation of the plastiglomerate.
- The researchers believe that the plastic waste found here is brought through the deep current system in the northern part of the Indian ocean and the Andaman sea and deposited along the coastlines or trapped in intertidal areas.
- The findings from the present study opens up possibilities to understand the fate of plastic polymers embedded in rocks on marine biota and how plastic particles may end up in the food chain through biomagnification.
How can we mitigate the formation of plastiglomerates?
- The Port Blair Municipal Council (PBMC) is the only urban local body responsible for the management of solid waste from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- While the PBMC ensures door-to-door collection of waste from all households, there are no sewage treatment plants, and both untreated liquid waste, as well as unmanaged solid waste, are dumped into the drains.
Subject : Environment
Section: International convention
In the news:
- Senegal has become the fourth country after South Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam to sign the JET-P deal, with the International Partners Group comprising France, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.
- The deal was announced June 22, 2023 and will mobilise 2.5 billion euros for Senegal in new and additional financing over an initial period of 3-5 years.
- The partnership will offer significant opportunities for investment from the private sector, sovereign wealth funds and philanthropic foundations.
- Senegal’s new nationally determined contributions, which were to be published at COP30, will reflect the climate ambitions undertaken in this deal.
- A high debt burden coupled with the high cost of capital makes renewable energy unaffordable in many developing countries.
Senegal’s effort for Renewable energy:
- The current share of renewable energy in Senegal is around 31 per cent of the installed capacity. A 2015 Senegal government planning document had set a target of 20 per cent renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2020 and 23 per cent in 2030.
- The same year, a new target for 30 per cent of photovoltaic and wind in the electricity generation mix was set for 2025. The 20 per cent target for renewable energy production in the electricity mix was achieved by 2021.
- As of 2020-21, the total installed capacity for power generation in Senegal was around 1.2 to 1.5 gigawatts, generating 5.6 terawatt-hours of electricity. The country currently relies heavily on imported fossil fuels to meet its energy demands.
- Senegal adopted a gas-to-power strategy in 2018.
About Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP):
- JETP, an initiative of the rich nations to accelerate the phasing out of coal and reducing emissions.
- The JETP initiative is modelled for South Africa, to support South Africa’s decarbonisation efforts.
- It aims to reduce emissions in the energy sector and accelerate the coal phase-out process.
- JETP makes various funding options available for this purpose in identified developing countries.
- The JETP was launched at the COP26 in Glasgow with the support of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), France, Germany, and the European Union (EU)
- Following that G7 has announced a similar partnership in India, Indonesia, Senegal, and Vietnam.
- India’s stand – India argues that coal cannot be singled out as a polluting fuel, and energy transition talks need to take place on equal terms.
Subject : Environment
Section: Species in news
- The American bald eagle was removed from the United States list of endangered species on June 28, 2007.
- A 2021 report by the US Fish and Wildlife Service said that the number of bald eagles in the wild has quadrupled since 2009.
- Few decades back the bird was on the verge of extinction.
- Bald eagles began to be seen as a threat to livestock, especially domestic chickens and started to be hunted.
- They were also hunted for their feathers.
- Habitat destruction
- Widespread use of DDT led to their population decline:
- Water bodies were soon contaminated with DDT due to its use as an insecticide, which in turn contaminated the fish in them. The chemical would enter the bald eagles’ bloodstream when they would eat these fish.
- DDT resulted in female eagles laying extremely thin-shelled eggs, leading to nesting failures.
- Consequently, by 1963, only 417 nesting pairs were found in the continental United States (minus Alaska). This was, after 18 consequent seasons of large-scale nesting failures, as per experts.
- Notably, like the bald eagle, birds such as ospreys and peregrine falcons also faced a similar dropoff in population.
- Silent Spring, the ban on DDT and the Endangered Species Act
- A nationwide ban on the use of DDT for agricultural use was introduced in 1972.
- In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was published. This book, for the first time, documented the detrimental effects of chemical pesticides on the environment and meticulously described how DDT was the prime cause behind the decline in bald eagle populations.
- In 1973, the Endangered Species Act was enacted.
- The bald eagle was one of the original species listed for protection under this act.
- A nationwide ban on the use of DDT for agricultural use was introduced in 1972.
- Captive breeding programmes were launched in the 1970s.
- A practice known as hacking was commonly used by conservationists. Hacking is a controlled way to raise and release bald eagles into a wild viable environment from artificial nesting towers.
- This method simulates a wild eagle nesting site and aids in recovery in an area where re-population is desirable.
- Any construction activity was barred within a radius of roughly 100 m of a bald eagle nesting site.
- In 1995, the bald eagle was moved from “endangered” to “threatened” status and in 2007, it was delisted completely.
- DDT or dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane was first synthesised in 1874.
- However, it was in 1939 that it was first promoted as an insecticide and began to be used to kill malaria-carrying mosquitos and agricultural pests.
- By the mid to late 1940s, DDT was being widely used for agriculture across the US.
About the Bald Eagle:
- The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a bird of prey found in North America.
- Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico.
- The bald eagle is an opportunistic feeder which subsists mainly on fish.
- Bald eagles are not actually bald; the name derives from an older meaning of the word, “white headed”.
- The females are about 25 per cent larger than males. The yellow beak is large and hooked. The plumage of the immature is brown.
- The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States of America and appears on its seal.
- In the late 20th century it was on the brink of extirpation in the contiguous United States. Populations have since recovered, and the species’ status was upgraded from “endangered” to “threatened” in 1995, and removed from the list altogether in 2007.
Subject : Science and technology
- The United States has identified five cases of malaria in people without any history of international travel in Florida and Texas over the past two months. This has led to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing an alert.
Why the alert?
- Because this is the first time in 20 years that there has been local transmission of malaria in the United States.
- The last time the infection was transmitted by a mosquito locally in the country was in 2003.
- The US reports around 2,000 cases of malaria every year, mostly among international travellers from regions where the disease is in transmission.
- Malaria is a parasitic infection transmitted by the bite of an infected anopheles mosquito; in the US, while the mosquito is found, the parasite is usually not.
- There are five plasmodiums that can cause malaria in humans – p. falciparum,
- p. vivax, p. malariae, p. ovale, and p. knowlesi.
- P. falciparum is the deadliest, resulting in several complications, including cerebral malaria
- Its cases are mostly seen on the African continent.
- Outside the continent, p. vivax causes most cases. Though not as deadly as p. falciparum, it poses a unique challenge as the parasite is capable of laying dormant in the liver for extended periods.
Status of malaria in the world:
- Nearly half of the world’s population continued to be at risk from the infection in 2021, according to the latest available World Malaria Report.
- The report said there were an estimated 247 million cases across the world and 619,000 deaths due to malaria during the year. Around 95% of these cases were from the African region.
How does India fare?
- Although malaria has been on the decline in India – there was an 85.1% decline in malaria cases and an 83.36% decline in deaths between 2015 and 2022– the country still has a high burden of infection.
- In 2021, 1.7% of the malaria cases in the world and 1.2% of all the deaths were reported in India.
- The country accounted for 79% of the malaria cases and 83% of the deaths from the WHO Southeast Asia region.
- India has a high burden of difficult-to-treat p. vivax infections.
Could there be a resurgence of malaria due to climate change?
- Climate had a very important role to play in the transmission of vector-borne disease.
- The mosquitoes that transmit malaria are very sensitive to temperatures, they can thrive only in certain not-too-hot and not-too-cold temperatures.
- Due to the rise in temperature malaria cases in colder regions can be increased potentially.
Subject : Polity
Section: National body
- The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) has issued a warning after it found private websites and social media posts promoting and offering organs for trade.
- Certain websites and social media posts are promoting and offering organ trading which is in violation of the provisions of Transplantation of Human Organ and Tissue Act (THOTA), 1994 and Rules.
- Such activities are punishable offence under section-18 of THOTA 1994, with fines ranging from ?20 lakh to ?1 crore and imprisonment ranging from five to 10 years.
Laws and rules governing the organ transplantation in India
- Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994: The primary legislation in India related to organ donation is Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994. The Act provides a system of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.
- Recent changes:
- India has also updated its organ donation and transplant guidelines where
- No domicile criteria for receivers: The domicile requirement has been done away with.
- No age ceiling: With the new changes, patients who are 65 years and older can now register for receiving organs from a deceased donor.
- No registration fees: The states are requested to not impose any fees on patients seeking registration for organ transplantation, as it violates the 2014 Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules.
- National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
- NOTTO would function as apex centre for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country.
- It lays down policy guidelines and protocols for various functions.
- Network with similar regional and state level organizations.
- It handles the dissemination of information to all concerned organizations, hospitals and individuals.
Subject : International Relations
Section: International organisation
- After 12 years, UN drops India from its report on children & conflict
- The United Nations Secretary-General has taken India off a list of countries mentioned in a report on children and armed conflict.
- Previously India was included in the list over the alleged recruitment and use of boys by armed groups in J&K and their detention, killing and maiming by security forces.
- This is the first time since 2010 that India has not been named in the report alongside countries like Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Lake Chad basin, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.
- The report said India has been “removed from the report in 2023” in view of measures taken by the government to “better protect children”.
- According to the Ministry of Women and Child Development this has became possible due to the introduction of various policies and institutional changes since 2019.
- After the removal of Artcle 370, all statutory service delivery structures like the Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Boards under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 have been established in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Government of India had been consistently engaged in efforts to exclude our country’s name from this ignoble list.
About Children and Armed Conflict Report:
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict serves as the leading UN advocate for the protection and well-being of children affected by armed conflict.
- The annual report presents a comprehensive picture of child soldiers, highlights the disproportionate impact of war on children and identifies them as the primary victims of armed conflict.
- The first Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict was named in 1997 by the Secretary-General to help enhance the protection of children affected by armed conflict, and foster international cooperation to that end.
- The Special Representative must also raise awareness about the plight of these children, and promote the monitoring and reporting of abuses.
- In accordance with the mandate, the Special Representative reports annually to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
- It is an international agreement that is legally binding on the members.
- It consists of 54 articles that spell out various children’s rights and also the measures governments should take in order to make these rights available to children.
- The CRC was adopted by the United Nations in 1989. It entered into force in 1990 after receiving the minimum of 20 ratifications.
- It has been ratified by all members of the UN except for the United States. It is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the history of the world.
- Under the articles of the convention, all parties to it are required to ensure that children’s basic needs are fulfilled and they are able to reach their full potential.
Rights of the Child
- The convention identifies a child as a human being below the age of 18. The CRC acknowledges that every child is entitled to fundamental rights, and some of the most important rights are as follows:
- Right to life, survival and development.
- Right to education that facilitates them to reach their full potential.
- Right to protection from abuse, violence or neglect.
- Right to express opinions and be heard.
- Right to be raised by or have a relationship with their parents.
Core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Right to life, survival and development
- Best interests of the child
- Respect for the child’s views
Subject : Polity
Section: Legislation in news
- The Union Cabinet has granted its approval for the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023, aiming to establish the NRF as the apex body for scientific research in India.
- This move comes in alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP). With this, it is expected to provide strategic direction to scientific endeavours in the country.
National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023
- The NRF Bill has been approved by the Union Cabinet, setting the stage for the establishment of the NRF as the apex body for scientific research in India.
- The NRF will play a crucial role in providing high-level strategic direction and coordinating scientific research efforts across the country.
- The NRF will operate under the administrative oversight of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- The bill is intended to ensure equitable funding and participation.
- Board: The NRF will be governed by a board of eminent researchers and professionals from various scientific fields. The Prime Minister is the ex-officio president. Union Ministers of Science and Technology and Education will serve as ex-officio vice presidents.
- Executive council: The executive council will oversee the operations and decision-making process of the NRF. It will be chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.
- Supercede the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB): The NRF Bill will replace the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), which was established by Parliament in 2008, and subsume it into the NRF.
- Consolidation of funding and coordination under a unified framework: The NRF will rectify existing disparities in research funding distribution, with a particular focus on ensuring equitable support for state universities and institutions beyond the prestigious IITs and IISc.
- The NRF Bill seeks to promote private sector involvement and investment in scientific research.
- The NRF will prioritize funding based on research needs and priorities, as determined by the executive council.
- Funding: As per the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), NRF will be established at a total estimated cost of ₹50,000 crore from 2023-28.
- The government has committed to contribute Rs.10,000 crore over a span of five years.
- Close to Rs. 36000 crore is expected to be received through private contributions.
Subject: Science and technology
Section: Awareness in IT
- Professor P.C. Mahalanobis, the pioneer of statistics in India, left an incredible mark on the field of statistics and survey culture in the country.
- His contributions, including the establishment of the Indian Statistical Institute, continue to shape the nation’s statistical landscape.
- As India grapples with the evolving socio-economic dynamics in the post-pandemic era, the absence of Mahalanobis’s expertise is keenly felt. This era, characterized by copious amounts of data, is commonly referred to as the age of Big Data
Mahalanobis’s strategy in handling large-scale data
- Tackling Big Data: Mahalanobis encountered a Big Data challenge when his large-scale surveys yielded substantial amounts of data that required effective analysis for planning purposes. He successfully persuaded the government to procure the country’s first two digital computers in 1956 and 1958 for the Indian Statistical Institute. This accomplishment marked the introduction of computers and their utilization in handling vast amounts of data in India.
- Embracing Technology: Mahalanobis embraced technology throughout his career. He built simple machines to facilitate surveys and measurements, displaying a keen interest in leveraging technology for data collection and analysis. His adoption of digital computers showcases his progressive approach to incorporating technological advancements into statistical practices.
- Mathematical Calculations: Mahalanobis’s strategy involved employing complex mathematical calculations to tackle the extensive data generated from surveys. By utilizing digital computers, he aimed to streamline and expedite the process of analyzing large-scale datasets, enabling effective planning and decision-making.
- Built-in Cross-Checks: Mahalanobis was inspired by Kautilya’s Arthashastra and introduced the concept of built-in cross-checks in his surveys. This approach aimed to ensure data accuracy and reliability, minimizing errors and contradictions in the collected data. These cross-checks were implemented to enhance the quality control of statistical analysis and maintain the integrity of the findings.
What is Big Data?
Advantages of Big Data
- Improved Decision-Making: Big Data analytics provides organizations with valuable insights and patterns derived from vast amounts of data. These insights support data-driven decision-making, enabling organizations to make informed and evidence-based choices that can lead to improved outcomes.
- Enhanced Customer Understanding: Big Data allows organizations to gain a deeper understanding of their customers. By analyzing large and diverse datasets, businesses can identify customer preferences, behavior patterns, and trends, enabling personalized marketing strategies, product development, and customer experiences.
- Operational Efficiency: Big Data analytics can optimize operational processes by identifying bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement. By analyzing data from various sources, organizations can streamline workflows, reduce costs, and enhance productivity.
- Innovation and New Product Development: Big Data insights can drive innovation and the development of new products and services. By analyzing market trends, consumer demands, and competitive landscapes, organizations can identify opportunities for innovation and create products tailored to specific market needs.
- Fraud Detection and Security: Big Data analytics can help in detecting and preventing fraudulent activities. By analyzing patterns and anomalies in data, organizations can identify potential fraud or security breaches in real-time, reducing financial losses and protecting sensitive information.
- Personalized Marketing and Customer Experience: Big Data enables targeted and personalized marketing campaigns. By analyzing customer data, organizations can segment their audience, deliver customized messages, and create personalized experiences that resonate with individual customers.
- Improved Healthcare and Public Health: Big Data analytics has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. By analyzing patient data, medical records, and clinical research, healthcare providers can make better diagnoses, develop personalized treatment plans, and identify public health trends for proactive interventions.
Key challenges associated with Big Data
- Data Quality and Integrity: Ensuring the quality and integrity of Big Data can be a significant challenge. Data may contain errors, inconsistencies, and biases, which can adversely affect the accuracy and reliability of analyses and insights.
- Data Privacy and Security: The vast amount of data collected and stored in Big Data systems raises concerns about privacy and security. Safeguarding sensitive information and preventing unauthorized access or data breaches require robust security measures and compliance with privacy regulations.
- Data Storage and Management: Storing and managing large volumes of data can be complex and costly. Big Data requires scalable and efficient storage solutions, including distributed storage systems and cloud-based platforms. Managing data across various sources and formats also poses challenges.
- Data Processing and Analysis: Processing and analyzing massive datasets in a timely manner can be computationally intensive and time-consuming. Traditional data processing tools and techniques may not be suitable for handling Big Data, requiring the use of specialized frameworks, algorithms, and infrastructure.
- Data Integration and Interoperability: Integrating and making sense of diverse data sources can be challenging due to differences in formats, structures, and semantics. Ensuring interoperability and data integration across systems and platforms is crucial for deriving comprehensive insights from Big Data.
Subject : Polity
- With the retirement of Justices KM Joseph and Ajay Rastogi, the five-judge Collegium of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud will now have Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant as its new members.
- It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
Evolution of the System:
- First Judges Case (1981):
- It declared that the “primacy” of the CJI’s (Chief Justice of India) recommendation on judicial appointments and transfers can be refused for “cogent reasons.”
- The ruling gave the Executive primacy over the Judiciary in judicial appointments for the next 12 years.
- Second Judges Case (1993):
- SC introduced the Collegium system, holding that “consultation” really meant “concurrence”.
- It added that it was not the CJI’s individual opinion, but an institutional opinion formed in consultation with the two senior-most judges in the SC.
- Third Judges Case (1998):
- SC on the President’s reference (Article 143) expanded the Collegium to a five-member body, comprising the CJI and four of his senior-most colleagues.
Who Heads the Collegium System?
- The SC collegium is headed by the CJI (Chief Justice of India) and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
- A High Court collegium is led by the incumbent Chief Justice and two other senior most judges of that court.
- Judges of the higher judiciary are appointed only through the collegium system and the government has a role only after names have been decided by the collegium.
Procedures for Judicial Appointments
- The President of India appoints the CJI and the other SC judges.
- As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.
- In practice, it has been strictly by seniority ever since the supersession controversy of the 1970s.
For SC Judges:
- For other judges of the SC, the proposal is initiated by the CJI.
- The CJI consults the rest of the Collegium members, as well as the senior-most judge of the court hailing from the High Court to which the recommended person belongs.
- The consultees must record their opinions in writing and it should form part of the file.
- The Collegium sends the recommendation to the Law Minister, who forwards it to the Prime Minister to advise the President.
- For Chief Justice of High Courts:
- The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed as per the policy of having Chief Justices from outside the respective States.
- The Collegium takes the call on the elevation.
- For HC Judges : High Court judges are recommended by a Collegium comprising the CJI and two senior-most judges.
- The proposal, however, is initiated by the outgoing Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in consultation with two senior-most colleagues.
- The recommendation is sent to the Chief Minister, who advises the Governor to send the proposal to the Union Law Minister.
Subject : Science and technology
Section: Space technology
- The European Space Agency (ESA) is embarking on an extraordinary mission with the launch of the Euclid Space Telescope.
- This ambitious project aims to survey billions of galaxies, providing valuable insights into the evolution of the Universe, as well as the mysterious phenomena of dark energy and dark matter.
- The primary goal of the Euclid mission is to study the nature and properties of dark energy and dark matter, which together constitute a significant portion of the Universe.
- By mapping the distribution and evolution of galaxies, Euclid aims to shed light on the fundamental forces shaping the cosmos.
- Mission Scope and Duration
- Euclid is a space-based mission, equipped with a sophisticated telescope and state-of-the-art scientific instruments.
- The mission is expected to have a nominal operational lifetime of 6 years, during which it will conduct an extensive survey of the sky.
- Launch and Spacecraft
- Euclid was launched on July 1, 2023, from Cape Canaveral in Florida using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
- The spacecraft carries the Euclid Space Telescope, which is designed to observe galaxies across a wide range of wavelengths.
- Investigating Dark Energy and Dark Matter
- Dark energy, discovered in 1998, explains the unexpected acceleration of the universe’s expansion.
- Euclid’s mission aims to provide a more precise measurement of this acceleration, potentially uncovering variations throughout cosmic history.
- Dark matter, inferred through the gravitational effects it exerts on galaxies and clusters, plays a vital role in preserving their integrity.
Scientific Instruments and Observations
- Euclid Space Telescope
- The Euclid Space Telescope is equipped with a 1.2-meter primary mirror, allowing it to capture detailed observations of galaxies.
- It carries two main scientific instruments: the visible-wavelength camera (VIS) and the near-infrared camera and spectrometer (NISP).
- Visible-Wavelength Camera (VIS)
- The VIS instrument will capture images in visible light, enabling the study of the shapes, sizes, and morphological properties of galaxies.
- Near-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer (NISP)
- NISP will observe galaxies in the near-infrared range, providing essential data on their distance, redshift, and clustering properties.
- By measuring the distribution of galaxies at different cosmic epochs, NISP will aid in the study of large-scale cosmic structures.
Subject: Science and technology
- A new certification scheme to promote responsible antibiotics manufacturing was launched in India on June 26, 2023, by British Standards Institute (BSI) and AMR Industry Alliance.
- AMR Industry Alliance, one of the largest private sector coalitions that provide long-term solutions to antimicrobial resistance, engaged BSI, a business improvement and standards company, to provide expert services for the development of this standard.
- The certification is the first of its kind, with a third-party validation process, to monitor environmental concerns in the antibiotic manufacturing process. The certification helps in determining whether environmental and waste control procedures are in place throughout the manufacturing process.
- This intends to ensure that the concentration of antibiotics in waste streams is below a threshold that does not result in the emergence of AMR in the environment. During the development of this certification, several manufacturers have expressed their willingness to self-regulate the processes.
- In 2022, The AMR Industry Alliance and BSI came up with a set of Antibiotic Manufacturing Standards and launched the certification to ensure their implementation.
Antibiotic Manufacturing Standards
- The Standard, facilitated by BSI Standards Limited (BSI), provides clear guidance to manufacturers in the global antibiotic supply chain to ensure that their antibiotics are made responsibly, helping to minimize the risk of AMR in the environment.
- The Standard marks the formalization of the Alliance’s 2018 Common Antibiotic Manufacturing Framework, which described a risk-based approach to assessing and controlling antibiotic manufacturing waste streams.
- The AMR Industry Alliance engaged BSI, the business improvement and standards company, to provide expert services in relation to the development of this antibiotic manufacturing standard.
- BSI facilitated the development of the Standard by working with the Alliance and a number of industry stakeholders.
- Antimicrobial Resistance is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc.) against antimicrobial drugs that are used to treat infections.
- It occurs when a microorganism changes over time and no longer responds to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified AMR as one of the top ten threats to global health.
- Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
- In India, over 56,000 newborn deaths each year due to sepsis caused by organisms that are resistant to first line antibiotics.
Reasons for Spread of AMR:
- Antibiotic residues enter waterways from various sources, including hospital wastewater, farms, sewage systems and others.
- While antibiotic overuse in humans and animals is considered the primary cause of AMR, the environmental aspect of AMR is gaining global attention.
- The misuse of antimicrobials in medicine and inappropriate use in agriculture.
- Contamination around pharmaceutical manufacturing sites where untreated waste releases large amounts of active antimicrobials into the environment.
Subject : Science and technology
Section: Space technology
- The landing of Vikram was targeted for a plane about 600 km from the south pole of the Moon. However, ISRO lost contact with their lander shortly before the scheduled touchdown on September 7.
- When contact was lost, it was travelling at 50 to 60 metres per second (180 to 200 km per hour).
- It was decelerating, but not fast enough to slow down to a speed of 2 metres/second (7.2 km/hr) that was required for a safe landing. Vikram was designed to absorb the shock of an impact even at 5 metres/second (18 km/hr).
- At the rate it was decelerating, it could not even have attained a speed of 5 metres/second before touchdown. It hit the Moon at a far greater speed, damaging itself and the instruments on board.
What was missed because of the crash landing?
- The most obvious miss was the opportunity to demonstrate the technology to make a soft landing in outer space.
- Isro scientists at the time said the accident was caused by a relatively small error that had been identified and corrected. The soon-to-be-launched Chandrayaan-3 mission will demonstrate this technology, hopefully, without any glitches.
- The lander Vikram and rover Pragyaan were carrying instruments to carry out observations on the surface.
- These were supposed to pick up additional information about the terrain, composition and mineralogy.
- With the support of the Orbiter, Vikram and Pragyaan would have provided two diverse sets of data that could have helped prepare a more composite picture of the Moon.
For further notes on Chandrayaan 2 and its findings, refer – https://optimizeias.com/chandrayaan-2/