Daily Prelims Notes 3 July 2021
- July 3, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
3 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+)
- Essential Commodities act
- J&J jab creates more antibodies against Delta variant than Beta
- India sees consensuses by Oct. on OECD-G20 global tax deal
- Retail and wholesale traders under the MSME
- Istanbul Convention on Violence
- HEAT PUMPS
- Coal Production
- Leh and Kargil
Context: Recently, the Union Education Minister has released the Report on Unified Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2019-20 for School Education in India.
What is UDISE+?
- It is Unified Information System for Education Plus for School Education.
- It has been developed by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL) and introduced with reference year 2018-19.
- It is hosted in the server of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in order to eliminate the problems related to coordination, supervision, monitoring and security.
- It is one of the largest Management Information Systems on School Education initiated in in 2012-13 integrating DISE for elementary and secondary education.
- It is a much improved version compared to the offline U-DISE application such as:
- A centralized module has been developed for generating UDISE codes for all States/UTs;
- Real time checking and rectification/ revision of school details;
- Data Capture of UDISE+ DCF through various User Friendly Application User Interfaces from School/CRC/Block level with School Data Certification;
- Data certification from all level of users, starting from the principal/ teacher-in-charge of the school, followed by concerned State/UT officers; and
- Data Visualization Dashboard to visually present various key performance indicators (KPI) and metrics of School Education.
Context: In an attempt to arrest the spiraling prices of pulses, the Union government on Friday directed the States to impose stock limit on all pulses except moong till October 31.
Essential Commodities Act
- The ECA was enacted way back in 1955.
- It has since been used by the Government to regulate the production, supply and distribution of a whole host of commodities it declares ‘essential’ in order to make them available to consumers at fair prices.
- The list of items under the Act include drugs, fertilisers, pulses and edible oils, and petroleum and petroleum products.
- The Centre can include new commodities as and when the need arises, and take them off the list once the situation improves.
- Under the Act, the government can also fix the maximum retail price (MRP) of any packaged product that it declares an “essential commodity”.
How it works?
- If the Centre finds that a certain commodity is in short supply and its price is spiking, it can notify stock-holding limits on it for a specified period.
- The States act on this notification to specify limits and take steps to ensure that these are adhered to.
- Anybody trading or dealing in a commodity, be it wholesalers, retailers or even importers are prevented from stockpiling it beyond a certain quantity.
- A State can, however, choose not to impose any restrictions. But once it does, traders have to immediately sell into the market any stocks held beyond the mandated quantity.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine elicited more antibodies against the Delta variant, the most dominant form of the SARS-CoV-2 in India, than against the Beta variant, which was first isolated in South Africa.
- It has been developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica, a Belgium-based division of the company, in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
- Currently two-shot vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are being given in USA.
- Concern over J&J’s single shot vaccine have been raised as it had 72% efficacy rate in the US clinical trial site (other two had 95%).
- It is based on the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s genetic instructions for building the spike protein that it uses to enter human cells. But unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which store the instructions in single-stranded RNA, the J&J vaccine uses double-stranded DNA.
- It is adenovirus-based, which is a more rugged type than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. DNA is not as fragile as RNA, and the adenovirus’s tough protein coat helps protect the genetic material inside. As a result, the J&J vaccine can be refrigerated for up to three months at 2-8°C.
- Unlike the Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield in India), Covaxin which are double dose, this vaccine is single dose.
Subject: International Relations
Context: Recently, India has announced its joining under OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).
OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
- It is a tax deal which consists of two components:
- Pillar One which is about reallocation of additional share of profit to the market jurisdictions; and
- Pillar Two consisting of minimum tax and subject to tax rules
- The framework brings together over 135 countries and jurisdictions to collaborate on the implementation of the BEPS Package.
- The BEPS package provides 15 Actions that equip governments with the domestic and international instruments needed to tackle tax avoidance.
Significance of OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS
- It allows interested countries and jurisdictions to work with OECD and G20 members on developing standards on BEPS related issues and review and monitor the implementation of the BEPS Package.
- It will actively monitor the implementation of all the BEPS Actions and reports annually to the G20 on this progress.
- All countries and jurisdictions joining the framework will participate in the review process, which allows members to review their own tax systems and to identify and remove elements that pose BEPS risks.
Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS)
- In September 2013, the G20 Leaders endorsed the ambitious and comprehensive BEPS Action Plan, developed with OECD members.
- It refers to tax planning strategies used by multinational enterprises that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to avoid paying tax.
- It is of major significance for developing countries due to their heavy reliance on corporate income tax, particularly from multinational enterprises.
CONTEXT: Retail and wholesale traders under the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) classification making them eligible for priority sector advances by banks and financial institutions per RBI guidelines.
The revised PSL norms are aimed at aligning the same with “emerging national priorities and bring sharper focus on inclusive development.
Retail and wholesale trade were left out of the ambit of MSME.
Under the revised guidelines, the Ministry of MSME has issued an order to include retail and wholesale trade as MSME and extending to them the benefit of priority sector lendingadding that this would benefit 2.5 crore retail and wholesale traders, and they will now be able to register on the Udyam Registration Portal.
Priority sector lending
It refers to those sectors or areas of the economy which may not get timely and adequate credit.
The RBI requires Indian banks to allocate certain portion of their overall lending for sectors mentioned under PSL. These areas of focus for PSL include Agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Export Credit, Education, Housing, Social Infrastructure, Renewable Energy.
Reserve Bank of India has, from time to time, issued a number of guidelines to banks on Priority Sector Lending. These were last reviewed in April 2015 and for urban and cooperative banks in May 2018.
PSL guidelines are applicable to all domestic scheduled commercial banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks and Small Finance Banks) and foreign banks with 20 branches and above.
CONTEXT: Move over organic food. Health conscious consumers are going one step ahead, heading for hydroponic produce or fruits and vegetables grown without soil, and increasingly seen on urban rooftops. Seeing a growing opportunity, a whole host of start-ups has waded into hydroponic farming, offering pesticide-free fruits and vegetables.
Hydroponics technique, roots are submerged in water that is infused with nutrients. Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants without using soil. Hydroponic flowers, herbs, and vegetables are planted in inert growing media and supplied with nutrient-rich solutions, oxygen, and water.
Hydroponics reduces both cost on transportation and emissions. Hydroponics makes the application of organic farming techniques very simpler. Better nutritional value of crops. In hydroponics, cropping cycle is reduced and harvesting times are a lot shorter.
In hydroponics, the nutrient solution is mixed into the water and is supplied directly to the roots. Since the water directly reaches the roots, it is absorbed much better and nothing is lost in soil absorption
Due to the higher set-up cost for hydroponic farming, the cost of the produce is also high. It also helps farmers get steady income and reduce dependence on monsoon,
According to a report by DataM Intelligence, the Indian hydroponic market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.53 per cent between 2020 and 2027
CONCEPT: Received severe criticism from various quarters and has led to protests across the country. The development comes over three months after President Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree on March 21 this year, repealing Turkey’s treaty of Istanbul Convention, despite the alarmingly high rates of violence and femicide in the country.
- The Council of Europe established the Istanbul Convention, a human rights treaty, with the aim to prevent and prosecute all forms of violence against women, promote gender equality and ensure protection and rehabilitation of women who are victims of violence. The treaty was opened for ratification in May 2011.
- From the European Union, 34 countries signed this treaty. On November 24, 2011, Turkey became the first country to ratify the Istanbul convention and, on March 8, 2012, it incorporated the Istanbul Convention into domestic law.
- The reason for Turkey’s withdrawal, some officials of Erdogan’s nationalist party claimed that the convention demeans traditional family structure, promotes divorces and encourages acceptance of LGBTQ in the society. The Convention sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women.
- When a government ratifies the Convention, they are legally bound to follow it. As of March 2019, it has been signed by 45 countries and the European Union. The convention was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 7 April 2011.
- India is not signed the convention.
The US Department of Energy notes that for climates with moderate heating and cooling needs, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air-conditioners.
Why in news?
The Pacific Northwest has been dealing with a historic heat wave that has led people in the western parts of the US and Canada to consider buying air conditioners. Some of these people are buying them for the first time in their lives given more frequent heat waves in the last few years. But as people buy air conditioners to deal with harsher summers, there is concern about ACs not being environmentally friendly.
- It is much like a refrigerator; heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a wam space. This makes the cool place cooler and the warm place warmer. Therefore, a heat pump does not create any heat or cool air, but it merely shifts air.
- For instance, if a heat pump is being used inside a room to make it cool, it will absorb the heat in the room and will release it outdoors with the help of an outdoor compressor. In heating mode, the heat pump will absorb heat from outside and release it indoors.
- There are mainly two types of heat pumps depending on the type of medium they extract heat from. One type extracts heat from the ground and the other from air.
- Heat pump does not generate heat or cold air, therefore it does not use fuel. However, a heat pump works more or less like a refrigerator and does use some amount of electricity to run. Therefore, a heat pump cannot exactly be called a renewable technology. But compared to ACs, they fare much better when it comes to impacting the environment.
- Heat pump can save costs for oil and gas. It estimates that using a heat pump can save a person up to £240 a year
- A ground heat pump requires outside space that should be double the surface area of the house. The ground has to be dug up to lay down the ground loop that contains the heat fluid
- The costs and savings that may come with heat pumps also depends on what the household is already using
- India, a tremendous amount of solar energy is available. The system combination of solar thermal collectors and heat pumps is a very attractive option for increasing the renewable energy usage at worldwide level for heating and domestic hot water preparation.
CONTEXT: India’s coal production declined by 2.03 per cent in the financial year 2020-21 to 716 million tonnes as compared to the production level of 730.87 million tonnes seen in the previous year, according to provisional coal statistics from the Ministry of Coal
- Coal imports to India declined by 13.5 per cent to 215 million tonnes. The lion’s share was exported by Indonesia, which supplied 96 million tonnes of coal to India during the fiscal year. Australia exported 55 million tonnes to India, and was also the largest supplier of coking coal.
- The production from captive coal blocks in the country grew 8 per cent to 66 million tonnes. Production of thermal coal in the country stood at 671 million tonnes.
- The highest thermal coal-producing State, Chhattisgarh produced 158 million tonnes, accounting for 24 per cent of the overall thermal coal production, followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Jharkhand, which accounts for nearly all of India’s coking coal production, produced 44 million tonnes of coking coal.
CONTEXT: Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019, Ladakh was seen welcoming the reorganisation. In Leh and Kargil, different reasons to oppose Ladakh’s current status
- August 2019 changes were immediately opposed by the people of Kargil, where the leaders of the majority Shia population demanded that the district should remain part of J&K, and that special status be restored to safeguard the rights of Kargil people over their land and employment opportunities.
- Opposition from Leh came later. A UT for Ladakh had been a long-standing demand in Buddhist majority Leh, which believed it was marginalised in the larger state of J&K. But what Leh leaders did not bargain for was the complete loss of legislative powers. Earlier, the two districts each sent four representatives to the J&K legislature. After the changes, they were down to one legislator — their sole MP— with all powers vested in the UT bureaucracy. Unlike the UT of J&K, Ladakh was a UT without an assembly.
- Both Ladakh districts fear is that alienation of land, loss of identity, culture, language, and change in demography, will follow their political disempowerment.
Hill Development Councils
Leh and Kargil have separate Autonomous Hill Development Councils, set up under the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils Act, 1997. However, the AHDCs have no legislative powers. The councils are elected, and have executive powers over the allotment, use and occupation of land vested in them by the Centre, and the powers to collect some local taxes, such as parking fees, taxes on shops etc. But the real powers are now wielded by the UT administration, which is seen as even more remote as the erstwhile state government of J&K.
Sixth Schedule is a provision of Article 224(A) of the Constitution, originally meant for the creation of autonomous tribal regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. Hill councils under this provision have legislative powers.
The People’s Movement for Sixth Schedule, an umbrella of political parties and religious organisations including the all-powerful Leh-based Ladakh Buddhist Association, put forth its demand for an autonomous hill council under the Sixth Schedule, modelled on the lines of the Bodoland Territorial Council in Assam.