Daily Prelims Notes 31 March 2021
- March 31, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
31 March 2021
Table Of Contents
- NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY ACT
- INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
- INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
- T – CELLS
- FOREIGN PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT
- NEW BUTTERFLY SPECIES
- NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK
- OVERSEAS CITIZENS OF INDIA
- PANDEMIC TREATY
- INFLATION TARGETING
Context: House nod needed, Centre builds case for lower food law coverage.
About NFSA, 2013
- To provide for food and nutritional security in the human life cycle approach through access to adequate quantities of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
- Based on the rural and urban coverage ratio, the erstwhile Planning Commission had determined the state-wise coverage ratio using the National Sample Survey Household Consumption Expenditure coverage under food security law Survey data for 2011-12. The coverage ratio has not been revised since the law came into effect on July 5, 2013.
- National Food Security Act, 2013 covers up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population under under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority households who receives subsidized food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
- The existing AAY household will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.
- 5 Kgs of food grains per person per month at Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.
- Meal and maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000 to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth,
- Meals to children up to 14 years of age.
- Food security allowance to beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals.
- Setting up of grievance redressal mechanisms at the district and state level.
Subject: International Organisations
Context: ICC rejects appeal by Congo warlord Bosco Ntaganda
- The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
- It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
- Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.
- Funding: Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.
Composition and voting power:
- The Court’s management oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, consists of one representative from each state party.
- Each state party has one vote and “every effort” has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote.
- The Assembly is presided over by a president and two vice-presidents, who are elected by the members to three-year terms.
- It does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and depends on member states for their cooperation.
- Critics of the Court argue that there are insufficient checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges and insufficient protection against politicized prosecutions or other abuses.
- The ICC has been accused of bias and as being a tool of Western imperialism, only punishing leaders from small, weak states while ignoring crimes committed by richer and more powerful states.
- ICC cannot mount successful cases without state cooperation is problematic for several reasons. It means that the ICC acts inconsistently in its selection of cases, is prevented from taking on hard cases and loses legitimacy.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : As country after country went into lockdown, people ended up buying more computers, phones, and gaming devices as they stayed at home. And since factories were shut, automakers cut down on chip purchases.
- An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or “chip”) of semiconductor material that is normally silicon.
- ICs are the basis of all modern electronic equipment, and the chip is their brain and nerve centre.
- The integration of large numbers of tiny MOS transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, faster, and less expensive than those constructed of discrete electronic components.
- The IC’s mass production capability, reliability, and building-block approach to integrated circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors.
- ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics.
- Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs.
Subject : Science & tech
Context :New research: T cells of earlier Covid-19 patients recognise all 3 major new variants.
- T cells are so called because they are predominantly produced in the thymus.
- They recognise foreign particles (antigen) by a surface expressed, highly variable, T cell receptor (TCR).
- There are two major types of T cells: the helper T cell and the cytotoxic T cell.
- As the names suggest, helper T cells ‘help’ other cells of the immune system, whilst cytotoxic T cells kill virally infected cells and tumours.
- The severity of disease can depend on the strength of these T cell responses.
Subject : Governance
Context : DGCA asks airports to impose fine on those flouting mask rule.
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the statutory body formed under the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- This directorate investigates aviation accidents and incidents, maintains all regulations related to aviation and is responsible for issuance of licenses pertaining to aviation like PPL’s, SPL’s and CPL’s in India.
- It is headquartered along Sri AurobindoMarg, opposite Safdarjung Airport, in New Delhi.
- The Government of India is planning to replace the organisation with a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), modelled on the lines of the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Subject : Economics
Context : India biggest recipient of FPI inflows worth Rs 2.6 lakh crore in FY 2021.
Foreign Portfolio Investments
- Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) refers to investing in the financial assets of a foreign country, such as stocks or bonds available on an exchange.
- This type of investment is at times viewed less favorably than direct investment because portfolio investments can be sold off quickly and are at times seen as short-term attempts to make money, rather than a long-term investment in the economy.
- Portfolio investments typically have a shorter time frame for investment return than direct investments.
- As securities are easily traded, the liquidity of portfolio investments makes them much easier to sell than direct investments. With any equity investment, foreign portfolio investors usually expect to quickly realize a profit on their investments.
- Portfolio investments are more accessible for the average investor than direct investments because they require much less investment capital and research.
- Examples of foreign portfolio investments include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, American depositary receipts (ADRs), and global depositary receipts (GDRs).
Subject : Environment
Context : A group of lepidopterists have found a new butterfly species in India.
- The discovery of the species Nacaduba sinhala ramaswamii Sadasivan, 2021 in the Agasthyamala is in the Western Ghats a decade ago has now found place in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.
- The new taxon of Lycaenid butterflies belongs to the Nacaduba genus.
- Line Blues are small butterflies belonging to the subfamily Lycaenidae and their distribution ranges from India and Sri Lanka to the whole of south-eastern Asia, Australia and Samoa.
- It is the first time that a butterfly species was discovered by an all-Indian research team from the Western Ghats.
- Lepidopterology is a branch of entomology concerning the scientific study of moths and the three super families of butterflies.
- Someone who studies in this field is a lepidopterist or, archaically, an aurelian.
Subject : International Organisations
Context : Recently, the Union Finance Minister has urged the New Development Bank (NDB) to consider working closely with India’s new development financing institution for funding infrastructure.
New Development Bank (NDB)
- It was proposed at the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi (2012) by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- It is established to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies, as well as in developing countries.
- During the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014), the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).
- It also provides technical assistance for projects to be supported by the NDB and engage in information, cultural and personnel exchanges with the purpose of contributing to the achievement of environmental and social sustainability.
- In 2018, the New Development Bank received observer status in the UN General Assembly, establishing a firm basis for active and fruitful cooperation with the United Nations.
- It was formerly referred to as BRICS Development Bank and is a multi-lateral development bank.
- Its headquarters is in Shanghai, China and the first regional office of the NDB is in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- The Bank shall have an initial authorized capital of US$ 100 billion and the initial subscribed capital shall be US$ 50 billion, equally shared among founding members.
Subject : Governance
Context : Recently, the Government of India has announced that the People of Indian origin and Indian diaspora having overseas citizens of India (OCI) card are now not required to carry their old, expired passports for travel to India.
- The requirement of carrying old and new passports, along with the OCI card, has been done away with which addressed one of the major concerns of overseas Indians.
- An OCI cardholder travelling on the strength of an existing OCI card bearing old passport number is not required to carry the old passport.
- The embassy has stated that carrying the new (current) passport is mandatory for OCI Cardholders.
- The OCI scheme came with the amendment of the Citizenship Act in 2005. Further in 2015 it was merged with the PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card.
- Individuals who do not have citizenship of any other country are not eligible to gain an OCI status.
- Individuals whose parents or grandparents hold citizenship of Pakistan and Bangladesh are not eligible to apply.
The Ministry of Home Affairs defines an OCI as a person who:
- Was a citizen of India on or after 26th January 1950; or
- Was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950; or
- Belong to a territory which became part of India after 15 august 1947; or
- Is a child or grandchild of such a person; or
- Is a minor child of the persons from any of the above category or either or both of the parents are citizens of India.
- For foreign origin spouse of the Citizen of India or An OCI card holder: 1) Whose marriage is registered 2) Married for more than two years before the date of application
Benefits of OCI card:
- OCI cardholders can enter India multiple times, get a multipurpose lifelong visa to visit India, and are exempt from registering with Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).
- If an individual is registered as an OCI for a period of five years, he/she is eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.
- At all Indian international airports, OCI cardholders are provided with special immigration counters.
- OCI cardholders can open special bank accounts in India, buy the non-farm property and exercise ownership rights and can also apply for a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.
- On par with the Indian nationals in the matter of domestic air fares, entry fees to monuments and public places.
- Parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in adoption of children, appearing in competitive exams, purchase or sale of immovable property barring agricultural land and farmhouses, and pursuing professions such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and chartered accountants
- OCI cardholders do not get voting rights, cannot hold a government job and purchase agricultural or farmland.
- They cannot travel to restricted areas without government permission.
- Need prior permission for a set of activities that include research, journalism, mountaineering, missionary or Tablighi work, and visits to restricted areas.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : India’s drug regulator has allowed the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to be used for up to nine months from its manufacture date, as opposed to the prescribed six months, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.
- It is the name given to an Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine candidate which is technically referred to as AZD1222 or ChAdOx 1 nCoV19.
- It is a version of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca.
- Serum Institute of India (SII) is the manufacturing partner in India.
Constituents and Action:
- It is based on a weakened version of a common cold virus or the adenovirus that is found in chimpanzees.
- This viral vector contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (protrusions) present on the outer surface of the virus that help it bind with the human cell.
- The body’s immune system is supposed to recognise this protein as a threat, and work on building antibodies against it.
- It had triggered an immune response in humans against the novel coronavirus in early trials and is considered to be one of the global frontrunners for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Subject : International Relations
Context : World leaders pushed Tuesday for a new international treaty to prepare for the next global pandemic — and avoid the unseemly scramble for vaccines hampering the Covid-19 response.
- Leaders from 25 countries, the European Union and the World Health Organization (WHO) sought to get the ground rules down in writing to streamline and speed up the reaction to future global outbreaks.
- The treaty would aim to ensure that information, virus pathogens, technology to tackle the pandemic and products such as vaccines are shared swiftly and equitably among nations.
Subject : Economics
Context : India expected to retain current inﬂation targeting framework: Moody’s Analytics.
- Stressing that India’s retail inﬂation has been breaching the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) 4% inﬂation target for the past eight months, the ﬁnancial intelligence ﬁrm said India and Philippines are the two notable exceptions — in Asia — where inﬂation is beyond the comfort level.
- “Volatile food prices and rising oil prices led India’s CPI (consumer price inﬂation) to exceed the upper band of 6% several times in 2020, inhibiting the RBI’s ability to keep accommodative monetary settings in place during the height of the pandemic.
Inflation Targeting by RBI:
- The primary objective of monetary policy is to maintain price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth. Price stability is a necessary precondition to sustainable growth.
- Under Section 45ZA of the RBI Act1934, the Centre, in consultation with the central bank, fixed the inflation target/Flexible Inflation Target(FIT) for the period between August 5, 2016 and March 31,2021, at 4 per cent, with upper tolerance level of 6 percent and lower tolerance level of 2per cent.
- In May 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 was amended to provide a statutory basis for the implementation of the flexible inflation targeting framework.
- The amended RBI Act also provides for the inflation target to be set by the Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, once in every five years.
- Accordingly, the Central Government has notified 4 percent (+/- 2%) Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation as the target for the period from August 5, 2016 to March 31, 2021.