Daily Prelims Notes 30 August 2023
- August 30, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
30 August 2023
Table Of Contents
- Government brings 44 more essential drugs under price cap
- Govt slashes LPG prices by ₹200 and expands PM Ujjwala Yojana
- Capillary Action: How Blotting Paper Absorbs Ink
- Sun’s upper atmosphere: the corona
- Pragyan confirms sulphur near south pole of moon; search on for hydrogen
- Gujarat Government Increases OBC Reservations to 27% in Panchayats and ULBs
- Article 370 and constitutionality of CO 272, 273
- India protests China’s latest map
- US name first 10 drugs for price negotiations
- Cyclone frequency may rise over Indian coast from the warming of Pacific: study
- The ‘weird’ male Y chromosome has finally been fully sequenced. Can we now understand how it works, and how it evolved?
- Declining bird populations are a ‘grim’ reminder of rapid biodiversity loss, says new report
- Invasive alien species in focus at 10th plenary of IPBES
- Maharashtra considers artificial rains to tackle deficient monsoon
- Culture corridor at G20 leaders’ summit in Delhi
Context: National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has brought 44 new drugs under price control.
- The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has brought 44 new drugs under price control. These drugs are commonly used for pain management, depression, anxiety, gastro- related ailments, hypertension and several auto-immune diseases.
- The move is set to make these drugs cheaper. Manufacturers failing to comply with the price cap have to return the overcharged amount to the government.
- Drug makers have been asked to mandatorily issue a price list of the drugs to the drug regulator through the Integrated Pharmaceutical Database Management System (IPDMS) and submit a copy to state drug controllers and dealers.
- As per the order, the manufacturers not complying with the regulations shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount as per the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 and Essential Commodities Act 1955.
- NPPA and DPCO 2013:
- The mandate of NPPA is to ensure availability of essential medicines at reasonable prices. The authority has directed every retailer and dealer to display the prices at their business premises so that they are easily accessible to consumers.
- DPCO, 2013 is a market-based pricing regime unlike the Drug Price Control Order, 1995, which was based on costs.
- Under the DPCO, 2013 pricing regime, ceiling prices of essential medicines are calculated as per the marker price basis (see box).
- Criticism of ceiling price?
- By giving unviable ceiling prices, it discourages the production of essential medicines
- As manufacturing medicines like this becomes less profitable, pharma companies are pushed to come up with versions of the medicines that are not covered under the NELM, such as different strengths of medicines or fixed-dose combinations.
|What is the “Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO)” ?|
Are all the drugs marketed in the country under price control ?
What is “Ceiling Price”?
Context:: In an effort to tame kitchen inflation Government has the lowering of the price of LPG gas by Rs. 200 and expands PM Ujjwala Yojana
- The price of domestic LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) has been reduced by 200 with immediate effect for all 33 crore connections.
- Further It has been decided to issue another 75 lakh connections under PM Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY).
- Since May 2020, there has not been a subsidy on LPG cylinders for connection holders except Ujjawala. Even for Ujjawala, ₹200 per cylinder subsidy was announced only in May 2021.
- So now under Ujjwala scheme total subsidy will be Rs. 400 per cylinder, bringing the cost to Rs. 700.
- Ujjawala consumers get subsidies through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). This means first, they pay the entire price and a subsidy of ₹200 is transferred to their bank accounts. There is no change in this system. However, an additional ₹200 will be reflected in their price.
- For all other consumers, the cylinder cost will come down, and there is no DBT. For example, a non-subsidised LPG cylinder (14.2 kg) used to cost ₹1,103, now it will cost ₹903.
- Government will shortly start distribution of PMUY connections to 75-lakh women from poor households who do not have an LPG connection. This will increase the total number of beneficiaries under PMUY from 9.6 cr to 10.35 cr.
- PM Ujjwala Yojana:
- Launched in May 2016 to provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.
- During Ujjwala 1.0 launched in 2016, a target was set to provide LPG connections to 5 crore (in 2018 revised to 8 crore) women members of BPL households.
- In Ujjwala 2.0, special focus was on migrants, they will not be required to submit ration cards or address proof. A self-declaration for both ‘family declaration’ and as a ‘proof of address’ will suffice.
- What is the criteria for PMUY?
- Under Ujjwala initially the applicant had to be a woman belonging to the BPL household. The household of the applicant should not already own a LPG connection in anyone’s name in the household.
- Subsequently, the scheme was expanded in April 2018 to include women beneficiaries from seven more categories (SC/ST, PMAY, AAY, Most backward classes, tea garden, forest dwellers, Islands).
- Monthly household income of the BPL family should not exceed a certain level as defined by the state governments and union territories.
Subject :Science and technology
Capillary Action Explained:
- Capillary action is a natural phenomenon displayed by liquids aiming to reduce surface tension.
- Liquids in thin tubes with very fine bores, known as capillary tubes, exhibit this action.
- When immersed in a liquid, the liquid rises higher inside the capillary tube than outside, driven by capillary forces.
- Liquids with contact angles less than 90 degrees exhibit capillary action, causing them to rise; those like mercury do not.
- Adhesive Forces: The liquid molecules are attracted to the surface of the cellulose fibers in the blotting paper. This attraction is due to intermolecular forces, such as hydrogen bonding or van der Waals forces.
- Cohesive Forces: The liquid molecules also exhibit cohesive forces, meaning they are attracted to each other and tend to stick together.
Blotting Paper Composition:
- Blotting paper is composed of cellulose derived from cotton linter, wood, or straw.
- It’s created by directly pressing purified pulp paste, forming sheets with microscopic capillaries.
- When blotting paper comes into contact with ink, water, or aqueous solutions:
- The liquid enters the microscopic capillaries in the paper.
- Capillary action allows the solution to spread throughout the paper.
- Capillary action is responsible for several common phenomena:
- Plant Sap Movement: Helps plants transport sap from roots to the top via the stem.
- Wickstove Function: Draws kerosene or oil up to the wick tip in lamps, where it’s burned.
Subject :Science and technology
Section: Space technology
Nature and Location
- The corona is the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer.
- It extends thousands of kilometres above the visible surface of the Sun.
- Gradually transforms into the solar wind that permeates the solar system.
- Envelops all planets, including Earth, in an extended atmosphere.
The Challenge of Observing the Corona
- Corona is usually concealed due to the Sun’s overwhelming brightness.
- Total solar eclipses provide unique opportunities to see the corona.
- Moon temporarily blocks the Sun’s surface light, revealing the corona’s wispy, white streamers.
- The corona’s dynamic nature leads to constant shape and size changes.
Corona’s Temperature Discrepancy
- The corona is significantly hotter than the Sun’s surface: about 1 million °C compared to 5,500 °C.
- The exact cause of this temperature difference is still under investigation.
Possible Explanations for Corona’s Heat
- Nanoflares Hypothesis: Microscopic explosions (nanoflares) at the solar surface may contribute to heating.
- Solar Tornadoes: Giant vertical plasma spirals interacting with the Sun’s magnetic field might raise temperatures.
Solar Wind and Solar Flares
- High-speed particles in the corona create the solar wind, influencing the entire solar system.
- Solar flares release immense energy, affecting Earth’s atmosphere, power grids, and satellite communications.
- A special instrument called a coronagraph is used to observe the corona and monitor solar flares.
- Space missions like NASA’s Parker Solar Probe offer crucial insights into the Sun and the corona.
- The ISRO will launch India’s first space mission to study the sun’s atmosphere, Aditya L1, on September 2, 2023
Parker Solar Probe’s Achievements
- Launched in 2018, the Parker Solar Probe is designed to study the Sun’s corona up close.
- In December 2021, the probe approached the corona at a distance of 8.2 million miles, providing unprecedented data.
Magnetic Fields and Coronal Features
- The Sun’s magnetic fields shape the corona’s appearance.
- Coronal loops, streamers, and other features arise due to interactions between magnetic fields and charged particles.
Solar Atmosphere Layers
Photosphere: Innermost Visible Layer
- The photosphere emits sunlight and is the lowest layer of the solar atmosphere.
- It ranges in temperature from 6,125 to 4,125 degrees Celsius.
- Sunspots and granules are prominent features in the photosphere.
Chromosphere: Emission of Reddish Glow
- The chromosphere emits super-heated hydrogen, seen as a reddish glow.
- Visible as a red rim during a total solar eclipse.
- It may play a role in conducting heat to the corona.
Corona: Outermost Layer
- The corona is the outermost layer, visible during total solar eclipses or with specialized instruments.
- White streamers or plumes of ionized gas flow outward into space.
- Temperatures in the corona can reach up to 2 million degrees Celsius.
Subject :Science and technology
Section: Space technology
Pragyan Rover’s Discoveries on Moon’s Surface
- The Chandrayaan-3 mission’s rover, Pragyan, has confirmed the presence of sulphur on the moon’s surface, for the first time specifically near its south pole.
- Apart from sulphur, preliminary analyses identified elements like aluminum, calcium, iron, chromium, titanium, manganese, silicon, and oxygen on the lunar surface.
- In-situ measurements were conducted by the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument aboard the rover.
- Unlike the orbiters, which couldn’t provide such information, the rover’s direct measurements have established the unambiguous presence of sulfur.
- The ISRO is currently conducting a search for hydrogen (H), another element of interest.
Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Explained
- LIBS is a rapid chemical analysis technology that employs short laser pulses to create micro-plasma on a sample’s surface.
Advantages of LIBS:
- Requires no sample preparation.
- Offers rapid measurements, often within a few seconds.
- Covers a wide range of elements, including lighter ones.
- Supports versatile sampling protocols, including surface rastering and depth profiling.
Process of Laser-Induced Breakdown:
- A short-pulse laser is focused on the sample, causing ablation (removal of sample mass).
- Ablated mass interacts with the trailing laser pulse, forming a high-energy plasma.
- Plasma Formation and Cooling:
- Plasma temperature can exceed 30,000K in its early phase.
- Plasma cools, causing electrons to fall to ground states and emit light with discrete spectral peaks.
- Emission of Spectral Peaks:
- Unique spectral peaks correspond to different elements in the periodic table.
- By identifying these peaks, the chemical composition of the sample can be determined.
- The Union Cabinet commemorates Chandrayaan-3’s success and designates August 23 as National Space Day.
Section: Local government
The Gujarat government recently made a significant decision to raise the reservation percentage for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from 10% to 27% within the realms of panchayats and urban local bodies (ULBs).
Quota Expansion for Local Bodies
- The decision is grounded in the recommendations presented in the Justice K.S. Jhaveri Commission report.
- This adjustment aims to facilitate the conduct of local body elections, which had been deferred due to unresolved quota-related matters.
- The Supreme Court’s directive mandating OBC reservation based on their population played a pivotal role in this policy change.
Specific Reservation Criteria
- Notably, in regions designated under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) (PESA) Act, where tribal communities are predominantly situated, the OBC reservation in local bodies will continue at the previous rate of 10%.
- The reservation provisions for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) will remain unaffected.
- The state government emphasized that the established 50% reservation ceiling remains unbreached.
Constitutional provisions for OBCs
|Article 15(4)||The state is empowered to make any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes regarding their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state, except the minority educational institutions.|
|Article 15(5)||This article, adopted in the 93rd amendment in 2005, empowers the state to establish special arrangements for backward classes, SCs, or STs for admission to private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided.|
|Article 16(4)||This provision empowers the state to reserve openings in the public sector for any backward classes of the state that are underrepresented in the public sector.|
|Article 16(4-A)||This empowers the state to adopt reservations for SCs and STs in matters of promotion.|
|Article 16(4-B)||This permits the state to treat unfilled posts reserved for backward classes as a separate class of vacancies that are not subject to a 50% reservation restriction.|
|Directive Principles of State Policy|
|Article 46||This article compels the state to ‘promote with great care the educational and economic interests of the weaker parts of the population, particularly the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and to safeguard them from social injustice and all types of exploitation.|
|Article 340||This article empowers the President to form a committee to evaluate the conditions of the backward classes, and the problems they encounter, and to provide suggestions on how to improve their situation. This was the article that established the Mandal Commission.|
OBC Quota in Local Body Polls:
Local Self Government
- Management of local affairs by such local bodies who have been elected by the local people.
- Includes both rural and urban government.
- It is the third level of the government.
- There are 2 types of local government in operation –
- Panchayats in rural areas
- Municipalities in urban areas
Triple Test Formula
The Triple-Test Formula, laid down by the Supreme Court in 2010 required the states
- to appoint a commission,
- collect quantifiable data of the community, and
- allocate reservations to them in local bodies in such a manner that the total reservation in each seat does not exceed 50%.
The 2010 Supreme Court Judgement
- The five-judge Constitution Bench decision in K. Krishnamurthy (Dr.) v. Union of India (2010) wherein the Supreme Court had interpreted Article 243D(6) and Article 243T(6), which permit reservation by enactment of law for backward classes in panchayat and municipal bodies respectively, to hold that barriers to political participation are not the same as that of the barriers that limit access to education and employment.
- However, for creating a level playing field, the reservation may be desirable as mandated by the aforementioned Articles which provide a separate constitutional basis for reservation, as distinct from what is conceived under Article 15 (4) and Article 16 (4) which form the basis for reservation in education and employment.
Though reservation to local bodies is permissible, the top court declared that the same is subject to empirical findings of backwardness in relation to local bodies as fulfilled through the triple tests.
Context: The Supreme Court has heard the arguments challenging the abrogation of Article 370.
More about the news:
- CO 272 was issued on August 5, 2019 to amend Article 367 of the Indian Constitution. This amendment changed the reference from the “Constituent Assembly” to the “Legislative Assembly” in Article 370(3), which played a pivotal role in the subsequent steps leading to the abrogation of Article 370.
- CO 273 was issued on August 6, 2019 which operationalized the recommendation made by the Rajya Sabha to abrogate Article 370. This proclamation essentially sealed the abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.
What is the Constitutional Principles involved:
- The core legal arguments in these challenges revolve around the principles of constitutional interpretation, separation of powers, and the procedure for amending or altering the Constitution.
- The petitioners assert that the use of Article 367 to effect substantive changes to Article 370 goes beyond the scope of interpretative powers and violates the constitutional procedure for amending the Constitution.
What Supreme Court had said:
- The Supreme Court has enquired center about the restoration of the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Chief Justice had reminded the Centre that the “restoration of democracy is a vital component for our nation”.
What was Article 370 and its features:
- Article 370 was a provision in the Indian Constitution that granted special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It was intended to provide temporary provisions for the governance of Jammu and Kashmir following its accession to India in 1947.
- The provision allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own constitution, a separate flag, and a high degree of autonomy in matters of governance except defense, communication, and foreign affairs were not under the purview of the state and were controlled by the Indian government
Subject: Science and technology
Context: China released the 2023 edition of its so-called “standard map” incorporating disputed areas and including its claims over Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region.
More about the news:
- China released the 2023 edition of its standard map based on the drawing method of national boundaries of China and various countries in the world.
- The map showed Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as South Tibet, and Aksai Chin occupied by it in the 1962 war.
- The map also incorporated Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory though the island sees itself as a sovereign nation, and the nine-dash line, claiming a large part of the South China Sea.
- Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar refuted the Chinese claim.
Subject: Science and technology
Context: The Biden administration has released its list of 10 prescription medicines that will be subject to the first-ever price negotiations by the U.S. Medicare health program
More about the news:
- The Biden administration has announced that it will start negotiating the prices of 10 prescription medicines through the U.S. Medicare health program.
- This is the first time such negotiations will take place for Medicare, which provides healthcare coverage to around 66 million individuals.
- Medicines on the list include Merck & Co’s diabetes drug Januvia, Eliquis rival Xarelto from Johnson & Johnson , and AbbVie’s leukemia treatment Imbruvica.
- Other drugs on the list include Amgen’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly’s diabetes drug Jardiance, J&J’s arthritis and Crohn’s disease medicine Stelara and insulin from Novo Nordisk .
- The 10 initial drugs were chosen based on certain criteria set out by Medicare.
What is Inflation Reduction Act 2022:
- The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) is a landmark United States federal law which aims to curb inflation by reducing the deficit, lowering prescription drug prices, and investing into domestic energy production while promoting clean energy.
- It is a reduced version of the Biden administration’s proposed Build Back Better Act.
- At the end of a decade, according to Democrats, the U.S. will realize a deficit reduction of more than $300 billion while lowering inflation, investing in energy production, and reducing healthcare costs.
- Of the $737 billion in revenue raised, the legislation calls for $222 billion from a 15% corporate minimum tax.
- The legislation stands to be the single largest investment in climate and energy in the U.S. to date.
Section: Physical Geography
- Tropical cyclones that originate near the Equator, while being devastating, have been unusually subdued in recent decades.
- The last major cyclone of this kind in the Indian neighborhood was the 2017 Cyclone Okchi which devastated Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
Rising cyclone frequency near equator:
- A combination of global warming and a cyclical event called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) that repeats every 20-30 years, could make such cyclones more frequent in the coming years, according to a study.
- The number of such equatorial-origin cyclones was 43% fewer in 1981-2010 compared with 1951-1980.
- This was because the PDO was in a ‘warmer’ or positive phase.
- In 2019, the PDO entered a cooler, negative phase and if it remains so, could mean moretropical cyclones in the post-monsoon months that originate near the equator.
- It’s usually rare for cyclones to form near the Equator but when the waters are warm, they can gain more moisture and rise in intensity.
- An El Nino is currently developing in the Pacific, the effects of which are already manifested in central and southern India, which have recorded rainfall deficits of 7% and 17% respectively.
- ENSO with a positive PDO is generally not good, but when linked with a negative PDO, brings more rain to India.
What is Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO):
- The PDO is often described as a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability.
- When Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are anomalously cool in the interior North Pacific and warm along the Pacific Coast, and when sea level pressures are below average over the North Pacific, the PDO has a positive value.
- When the climate anomaly patterns are reversed, with warm SST anomalies in the interior and cool SST anomalies along the North American coast, or above average sea level pressures over the North Pacific, the PDO has a negative value.
Difference between ENSO cycle and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)
Similarities between ENSO and PDO:
- Just like El Nino/La Nina in the tropical Pacific, PDO has a significant impact on the sea surface temperatures and its interaction with the atmosphere, which in turn affects the northeast Indian summer monsoon.
- The PDO, like ENSO, consists of a warm and cool phase which alters upper-level atmospheric winds.
- PDO can intensify or diminish the impacts of ENSO according to its phase.
- If both ENSO and the PDO are in the same phase, it is believed that El Niño/La Nina impacts may be magnified.
- Conversely, if ENSO and the PDO are out of phase, it has been proposed that they may offset one another, preventing “true” ENSO impacts from occurring.
Subject: Science and technology
- The Y chromosome bears genes that determine maleness and make sperm.
- It’s also small, carries few genes and is full of junk DNA that makes it horrendous to sequence.
- The new “long-read” sequencing techniques have finally provided a reliable sequence from one end of the Y to the other.
- The findings provide a solid base to explore:
- How genes for sex and sperm work,
- How the Y chromosome evolved, and
- Whether it will disappear in a few million years.
Determination of gender of fetus:
- Females have a pair of X chromosomes, whereas males have a single X and a much smaller Y chromosome.
- The Y chromosome is male-determining because it bears a gene called SRY, which directs the development of a ridge of cells into a testis in the embryo.
- The embryonic testes make male hormones, and these hormones direct the development of male features in a baby boy.
- Without a Y chromosome and a SRY gene, the same ridge of cells develops into an ovary in XX embryos. Female hormones then direct the development of female features in the baby girl.
A DNA junkyard:
- The Y chromosome is smaller and bears few genes (only 27 compared to about 1,000 on the X).
- Many Y genes (including the sperm genes RBMY and DAZ) are present in multiple copies, occurring in weird loops in which the sequence is inverted.
- This “junk DNA” consists of highly repetitive sequences that derive from bits and pieces of old viruses, dead genes and very simple runs of a few bases repeated over and over.
- This last DNA class occupies big chunks of the Y that literally glow in the dark because it preferentially binds fluorescent dyes.
Why the Y is weird:
- Around 150 million years ago X and Y were just a pair of ordinary chromosomes. As they still are in birds and platypuses.
- Then SRY evolved on one of these two chromosomes, defining a new proto-Y.
- This proto-Y was forever confined to a testis and subject to mutations.
- The proto-Y degenerated fast, losing about 10 active genes per million years, reducing the number from its original 1,000 to just 27.
- A small “pseudoautosomal” region at one end retains its original form and is identical to its erstwhile partner, the X.
- At this rate of degeneration the whole human Y would disappear in a few million years (as it already has in some rodents).
Sequencing Y was a tough task:
- The first draft of the human genome was completed in 1999.
- They’ve done this using short-read sequencing, which involves chopping the DNA into little bits of a hundred or so bases and reassembling them like a jigsaw.
- The new technology has allowed sequencing of bases along individual long DNA molecules, producing long-reads of thousands of bases.
- These longer reads are easier to distinguish and can therefore be assembled more easily, handling the confusing repetitions and loops of the Y chromosome.
- The Y is the last human chromosome to have been sequenced end-to-end, or T2T (telomere-to-telomere).
So what’s new on the Y?
- A few new genes have been discovered, but these are extra copies of genes that were already known to exist in multiple copies.
- We now know the structure of the centromere (a region of the chromosome that pulls copies apart when the cell divides), and have a complete readout of the complex mixture of repetitive sequences in the fluorescent end of the Y.
The sequencing of Y chromosome will help scientists in:
- Looking for sequences that might control how SRY and the sperm genes are expressed, and to see whether genes that have X partners have retained the same functions or evolved new ones.
- Examining the repeated sequences to determine where and how they originated, and why they were amplified.
- Analyzing the Y chromosomes of men from different corners of the world to detect signs of degeneration, or recent evolution of function.
- Around 60 percent of birds in India have experienced population decline over the long term of 30 years, says 2023 State of India’s Birds report.
- Birds occupying open natural ecosystems, such as grasslands, have seen steep declines in numbers. In terms of diet, birds that feed on vertebrates and carrion have declined the most, followed by birds that feed on insects.
- Targeted, systematic, periodic monitoring of bird populations and using consistent methods can help species management.
Ecosystem services provided by birds:
- Aiding in seed dispersal and pollination,
- Acting as predators and scavengers.
- Indicator of surrounding environments
- Balance the species population by feeding them like: Rodents, insects etc.
Consequences of declining bird population:
- The decline in raptors could result in increased populations of rodent communities.
- The great Indian bustard is on the brink of extinction because of land use changes and habitat loss.
- Birds that feed on vertebrates and carrion have declined the most, suggesting that this food resource either contains harmful pollutants or is declining in availability, or both.
- Agrochemicals lower survival rates in some raptors.
- India has Protected Areas and laws like the Wildlife Protection Act, but these measures are not sufficient to stop the declining populations of birds in India.
- The report locates declining bird populations within eight broad threats:
- environmental pollutants,
- forest degradation,
- avian disease,
- illegal hunting and trade and
- climate change.
- The spread of monocultures through commercial plantations or afforestation programmes have reduced biodiversity.
- Expansion of renewable energy infrastructure
- Not planting trees in monocultures, but rather ecological restoration of multiple habitats including non- forest habitats like grasslands.
- Mitigate the considerable negative effects of small-scale infrastructure such as wind energy.
- Targeted, systematic, periodic monitoring of bird populations, using consistent methods, over long periods of time.
- Monitoring changes in factors such as disturbance, climate, and land-use
Steps taken to conserve these bird species:
- In 2020, the Indian government announced a 10 year Visionary Protection Plan (VPP) for the conservation of avian diversity, ecosystems, habitats and landscapes.
- The Plan outlined steps to be taken in the near, middle, and long term to effectively monitor and raise awareness about bird conservation.
- The Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) is one of the focal institutes supporting the VPP.
- 17 states and union territories have initiated work on their own VPPs, while five — Uttarakhand, Delhi, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Meghalaya — have completed the process.
- By 2030, we expect states to pay more attention to bird conservation issues and work to mitigate priority areas.
- The amended Wildlife Protection Act took into consideration some of the findings from the SoIB 2020 report.
Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN):
- The Indian Bird Conservation Network is a collaboration of:
- The Bombay Natural History Society,
- BirdLife International,
- Royal Society for Protection of Birds,
- Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & History,
- Indian Institute of Public Administration,
- Wildlife Institute of India and
- other NGO’s on the ground.
- It aims at conservation actions through sound research. It is open to all who believe that conservation of birds can contribute to the conservation of all biodiversity, and in return, be beneficial in the spiritual and material well-being of human life.
Bird Sensitivity Mapping Tool:
- The Union environment ministry has approved a three-year study called the ‘Bird Sensitivity Mapping Tool’ to chart the pathways of migratory birds under the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) across India.
- Globally, migratory flyways have been identified under the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS).
- The study was announced on the sidelines of the International Conference on Wetlands and Migratory Waterbirds of the Asian Flyways in Lonavala, Maharashtra, India.
|Threatened bird species||Initiative to conserve|
|Great Indian Bustard|
- The 140+ members of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have gathered at Bonn, Germany for the body’s 10th plenary.
- On agenda is the scientific assessment report on “Invasive Alien Species and their Control”.
- Invasive alien species are a key driver of biodiversity loss and they are part of the targets set under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) to be achieved by 2030.
- Target 6– by 2030, the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and ecosystem services would be eliminated, minimised, reduced and mitigated.
- The aim is to prevent and reduce the rate of introduction and establishment of invasive alien species by at least 50 per cent by 2030.
- IPBES10 is the first meeting of this global body since the adoption of GBF.
The organization is currently working on three more assessments, that will be completed by 2030:
- The assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (nexus assessment)
- The assessment of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and the determinants of transformative change and options for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity (transformative change assessment)
- The methodological assessment of the impact and dependence of business on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people (business and biodiversity assessment).
What is IPBES?
- It is an independent intergovernmental body, established by member States in 2012, with the objective to strengthen the research, evidence-based policy making for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
- The work of IPBES works include: – Assessments, Policy Support, Building Capacity & Knowledge
- Secretariat: Bonn, Germany.
For details of Invasive Alien Species: https://optimizeias.com/invasive-alien-species/
Section: Physical geography
- The State government is considering cloud seeding to tackle deficient rainfall in parts of Maharashtra, hoping that artificial rain could save kharif crops and also address depleted water levels in dams.
- Details: The government of India had made it clear that artificial rain making techniques involving cloud seeding cannot be used for bringing rain clouds to rainfall deficit/drought areas.
- These techniques can only induce potential pre-existing clouds, already passing over a given place, to produce enhanced quantum of rain.
Artificial rains or Cloud seeding:
- Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification that aims to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud.
- Its effectiveness is debated; some studies have suggested that it is difficult to show clearly that cloud seeding has a very large effect.
- The usual objective is to increase precipitation (rain or snow), either for its own sake or to prevent precipitation from occurring in days afterward.
- The most common chemicals used for cloud seeding include silver iodide, potassium iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide).
- Liquid propane, which expands into a gas, has also been used.
- This can produce ice crystals at higher temperatures than silver iodide.
- After promising research, the use of hygroscopic materials, such as table salt, is becoming more popular.
- When cloud seeding, increased snowfall takes place when temperatures within the clouds are between −20 and −7 °C.
- Introduction of a substance such as silver iodide, which has a crystalline structure similar to that of ice, will induce freezing nucleation.
- Electric charges:
- Since 2021, the United Arab Emirates has been using a new technology: drones equipped with a payload of electric-charge emission instruments and customised sensors fly at low altitudes and deliver an electric charge to air molecules.
- This method produced a significant rainstorm in July 2021.
- Infrared laser pulses:
- An electronic mechanism was tested in 2010, when infrared laser pulses were directed to the air above Berlin by researchers from the University of Geneva.
- The experimenters posited that the pulses would encourage atmospheric sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide to form particles that would then act as seeds.
Applications of Cloud Seeding:
- Creation of Rain: Cloud seeding is the best way to consider improving rainfall quantity in case of inadequate rainfall . Arid areas usually have conditions that may be harsh in terms of food security and a conducive environment for living.
- Cloud seeding can bring rain, which makes the natural environment flourish and becomes more habitable.
- Boosting of the Economy: Agricultural production is important to the local economies of many regions around the world. Rain is important in achieving a proper harvest.
- Weather Regulation: Cloud seeding provides an avenue for controlling prevailing weather conditions in different areas.
- Geographically oriented: Cloud seeding is primarily done to create certain conditions in specific areas, also termed as microclimates. Places like airports, for instance, often use cloud seeding to create a stable condition for their runway. This is to ensure that planes are not restricted from taking off or landing.
- Some chemicals are potentially harmful to the natural environment and the plants which depend on the contaminated rain to produce food.
- Cloud seeding is a very expensive process.
- Cloud seeding could have many dire consequences to the environment if not well regulated.
- Dry areas are not usually well-positioned to handle certain weather conditions, and thus, may become easily flooded and cause more harm to the already struggling environment.
- For cloud seeding to be successful, certain uncontrollable conditions have to be met. for example:
- Clouds have to be present, not just any cloud but clouds capable of producing rain.
- The atmospheric conditions must also suit the process as certain conditions could lead to an unwarranted result like the rain falling in a different location or not falling at all.
Subject: International Relations
Section: International Grouping
More about the news:
- A culture corridor showcasing the art, craft and heritage of all the G20 nations and guest countries would be shown at the G20 leaders’ summit to be held in New Delhi.
- The corridor would have both physical and digital components.
- The digital repository would include 3D replicas of national treasures nominated by each of the G20 countries,
- Each of the G20 member States had nominated one artefact showcasing their culture for a digital exhibition which would be showcased at the culmination.
More about Bharat Mandapam:
- The Bharat Mandapam is the international exhibition-cum-convention centre (IECC) complex.
- It is developed as a national project.
- It is the new convention complex that will help showcase and promote India as a global business destination.
- The term Bharat Mandapam derives its root from Lord Basaveshwara’s idea of Anubhav Mandapam, which was a pavilion for public ceremonies..
- The IECC complex has been developed as India’s largest MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) destination.
- The shape of the building is derived from the Shankha (conch shell).
- The different walls and facades of the centre depict several elements of India’s traditional art and culture including ‘Surya Shakti’, ‘Zero to ISRO’ and Pancha Mahabhuta.
What is G20 Summit:
- G-20 was a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 individual countries and the European Union.
- It was established in 1999 and was elevated to a forum of Heads of Government in 2008 to effectively respond to the global financial crisis of 2008.
- G-20 is a forum, not a legislative body and its agreements and decisions have no legal impact, but they do influence countries’ policies and global cooperation..
- The G20 membership accounts for
- Two-thirds of the world’s population,
- 85% of global gross domestic product,
- 80% of global investment
- 75% of global trade.
- Contribute 79% of the world carbon emissions
- G20 does not have any permanent secretariat or headquarters.
- The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.