Daily Prelims Notes 4 June 2021
- June 4, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
4 June 2021
Table Of Contents
- EXPERT PANEL FOR MINIMUM WAGES
- VIGILANCE NOD MUST FOR POST RETIREMENT APPOINTMENT
- BLUE FINNED MAHSEER OUT OF RED LIST
- THREAT OF OIL SPILL IN INDIAN OCEAN
- USA EAGLE ACT CHANGES FOR GREEN CARD CAP
- USE OF MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES WILL HALT COVID PROGRESSION
- GINI COEFFICIENT
- PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- DECLINE IN STAR FORMATION ACTIVITY
- RBI KEEPS REPO RATE UNCHANGED
- DEVIKA PROJECT OF UDHAMPUR
- GREEN GOLD COLLECTION ON GEM PORTAL
Subject : Governance
Context : Labour and Employment Ministry set up expert group that will provide technical inputs and recommendations on fixation of minimum wages and national floor for minimum wages.
- Expert group has been set for a period of three years. It is chaired by Ajit Mishra who is Director of Institute of Economic Growth.
- Other members include- Tarika Chakraborty from IIM Calcutta; Anushree Sinha; Vibha Bhalla, Joint Secretary; et-al.
- Expert group will look after International best practices on wages to arrive at any wage rate. They will evolve a scientific criteria and methodology to fix wages.
- The Code on Wages, which has not been enforced, provides for setting up of National Floor Level Minimum Wage by Centre which is to be revised every five years.
- On the other hand, states will fix minimum wages for their regions, that cannot be lower than floor wage. Current floor wage is at Rs 176 per day.
- This is the second expert committee on minimum wages formed by government in last two years. Last panel was headed by Anoop Satpathy and was set up by ministry on January 17, 2018.
Subject : Geography
Context : An isolated island that became a melting point of cultures.
- Lakshadweep is a tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, 280 km to 480 km off the coast of Kerala. 11 are inhabited.
- But currently, there are 35 islands, as the Parali 1 island submerged in water due to sea erosion.
- Lakshadweep means “one lakh islands” in Malayalam, the official as well as the widely spoken native language in the territory. Fishing is the most important industry.
- The islands form the smallest union territory of India and their total surface area is just 32 km square.
- Kavaratti serves as the capital of the Union Territory and the region comes under the jurisdiction of Kerala High Court. It is a uni-district Union Territory.
- The principal languages of Lakshadweep are Malayalam, Jeseri (Dweep Bhasha) and Mahl.
- These islands were earlier known as Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands.
- The island is situated in the Laccadive Sea extending between 8 degree N and 12 degree N latitude.
- The entire Lakshadweep islands group is made up of coral deposits.
- The islands consist of unconsolidated pebbles, shingles, cobbles, and boulders. All are atolls surrounded by Fringing Reefs.
- These islands are a part of Reunion Hotspot volcanism.
- Amindivi Islands are the northern-most most while the Minicoy island is the southernmost.
- 8 Degree Channel ( 8 degrees north latitude) separates the islands of Minicoy and Maldives.
- 9 Degree Channel ( 9 degrees north latitude) separates the island of Minicoy from the main Lakshadweep archipelago.
- Largest island: Minicoy Island (south of the nine-degree channel)
- The topography of the Lakshadweep Islands is flat and relief features such as hills, streams, valleys, etc. are absent.
- The Islands are extremely vulnerable to sea-level change as they do not rise more than five meters above sea level.
- These islands have a north-south orientation. Exception: only Androth has an East-West orientation.
Subject : Governance
Context : The Central Vigilance Commission on Thursday said all central government organisations should mandatorily obtain vigilance clearance before offering post-retirement jobs to bureaucrats.
- Central Vigilance Commission is the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
- The CVC was set up by the Government in February, 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam.
- In 2003, the Parliament enacted CVC Act conferring statutory status on the CVC.
- The CVC is not controlled by any Ministry/Department. It is an independent body which is only responsible to the Parliament.
- The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and to recommend appropriate action.
- Following institutions, bodies, or a person can approach to CVC: Central government , Lokpal , Whistle blowers.
- A whistleblower is a person, who could be an employee of a company, or a government agency, or an outsider (like media, higher government officials, or police) disclosing information to the public or some higher authority about any wrongdoing, which could be in the form of fraud, corruption, etc.
- It is not an investigating agency. The CVC either gets the investigation done through the CBI or through chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices.
- It is empowered to inquire into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by certain categories of public servants.
- Its annual report gives the details of the work done by the commission and points to systemic failures which lead to corruption in government departments.
- Improvements and preventive measures are also suggested in report.
Subject : Environment
Context : The Blue-Finned Mahseer, which was on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list of endangered species, has now moved to the ‘least concern’ status, a statement from Tata Power said.
- The group is involved in conservation of the blue-finned and golden mahseer for 50 years in Lonavala. However, the golden mahseer is still in danger of going extinct.
- “Blue Fin / Deccan Mahseer” or Tor Khudree first described by Sykes from the Mota Mola river east of Pune.
- This species is also found in other rivers of the Deccan Plateau.
The following sub species of Mahseer are generally recognized by scientists in India
- “Golden Mahseer” or Tor Putitora found in the Himalayan streams and rivers.
- “Red Finned Mahseer” or Tor Tor found in the rivers of central India.
- “Chocolate Mahseer” or Neolissochilus hexagonolepis found in the Indian Himalayan region.
- “Humpback Mahseer” or Tor remadevii found in the Cauvery River and its tributaries.
Subject : Environment
Context : Sri Lanka on Thursday readied for the possibility of an oil spill after a cargo ship laden with chemicals sank off its western coast.
- An oil spill refers to any uncontrolled release of crude oil, gasoline, fuels, or other oil by-products into the environment. Oil spills can pollute land, air, or water, though it is mostly used for oceanic oil spills.
- They have become a major environmental problem, chiefly as a result of intensified petroleum exploration and production on continental shelves and the transport of large amounts of oils in vessels.
- Oil on ocean surfaces is harmful to many forms of aquatic life because it prevents sufficient amounts of sunlight from penetrating the surface, and it also reduces the level of dissolved oxygen.
- Crude oil ruins the insulating and waterproofing properties of feathers and fur of birds, and thus oil-coated birds and marine mammals may die from hypothermia (decrease in body temperature to below-normal levels).
- Moreover, ingested oil can be toxic to affected animals, and damage their habitat and reproductive rate.
- Saltwater marshes and mangroves frequently suffer from oil spills.
- Experts say that despite best efforts, generally less than 10% of oil spilled in incidents like these is successfully cleaned up.
Cleanup of Oil Spill:
- Containment Booms: Floating barriers, called booms are used to restrict the spread of oil and to allow for its recovery, removal, or dispersal.
- Skimmers: They are devices used for physically separating spilled oil from the water’s surface.
- Sorbents: Various sorbents (e.g., straw, volcanic ash, and shavings of polyester-derived plastic) that absorb the oil from the water are used.
- Dispersing agents: These are chemicals that contain surfactants, or compounds that act to break liquid substances such as oil into small droplets. They accelerate its natural dispersion into the sea.
- Biological agents: Nutrients, enzymes, or microorganisms such as Alcanivorax bacteria or Methylocella silvestris that increase the rate at which natural biodegradation of oil occurs are added.
- Under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution, 2001, the owners of vessels are responsible for damage caused by oil leaks.
- This convention, also known as BUNKER convention, came into force in 2008 and is administered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
- The Convention was adopted to ensure that adequate, prompt, and effective compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships’ bunkers.
Subject : International Relations
Context : US House of Representatives has reintroduced bipartisan legislation to eliminate per country cap on employment-based green card. This legislation is called as “EAGLE Act” and was introduced to benefit Indian IT professionals who are waiting over decades for green card.
- EAGLE Act is called as “Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment Act”. It proposes to phase out limit of seven per cent per-country on employment-based immigrant visas.
- It also seeks to raise seven per cent per-country limit to 15 percent on family-sponsored visas.
How will it help Indians?
- Due to existing cap, a person from a large-population country like India with extraordinary qualifications, who could contribute to US economy & create jobs, waits behind person with lesser qualifications from small country. Thus, new legislation will reduce waiting time for Indian professionals.
Indian Migrants to United States
- Immigration from India to US started in early 19th century when Indian immigrants started to settle in communities along the West Coast.
- They originally arrived in small numbers but as new opportunities opened up in middle of 20th century, population grew larger in following decades.
- As of 2019, more than 2.7 million Indian immigrants reside in United States. Indian immigrants account for l6 percent of U.S. foreign-born population. Thus, they are second largest immigrant group in country after Mexicans.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : The initial use of monoclonal antibody cocktail, the combination of drugs used on former US President Donald Trump and given emergency use approval in India in early May, has given encouraging results, with doctors involved touting it as the “first real treatment for Covid-19”.
- Antibodies are proteins produced naturally by the immune system that target a specific foreign object (antigen). They are called monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs) when they are produced by clones derived from a single parent cell.
- They are man-made proteins that act like a human antibody in the immune system. They are made by cloning a unique white blood cell.
- mAbs have monovalent affinity, it binds only to the same epitope i.e. the part of an antigen that is recognized by the antibody.
- They are designed to perform many roles, like they can be used to carry drugs, toxins, or radioactive substances directly to affected cells.
- mAbs are used to treat many diseases, including some types of cancer.
Subject : Economics
Context : NITI AYOG Index show some improvement in SDG on inequality.
Lorenz Curve and Gini Coefficient
- The distribution of Income in an economy is represented by the Lorenz Curve and the degree of income inequality is measured through the Gini Coefficient.
- One of the five major and common macroeconomic goals of a government is the equitable (fair) distribution of income.
- The Lorenz Curve (the actual distribution of income curve), a graphical distribution of wealth developed by Max Lorenzin 1906, shows the proportion of income earned by any given percentage of the population.
- The line at the 45º angle shows perfectly equal income distribution, while the other line shows the actual distribution of income. The further away from the diagonal, the more unequal the size of the distribution of income.
- The Gini Coefficient, which is derived from the Lorenz Curve, can be used as an indicator of economic development in a country.
- The Gini Coefficient measures the degree of income equality in a population.
- The Gini Coefficient can vary from 0 (perfect equality) to 1 (perfect inequality).
- A Gini Coefficient of zero means that everyone has the same income, while a Coefficient of 1 represents a single individual receiving all the income.
Subject : International Relations
Context : India will vote in support of Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in the election of the President of the UNGA on June 7, a decision which will disappoint Afghanistan, which has former Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul in the running.
- The President is the chair and presiding officer of the General Assembly.
- The President is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on a yearly basis.
- The presidency rotates annually between the five geographic groups: African, Asia-Pacific, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western European and other States.
- It is customary that no permanent member of the United Nations Security Council ever serves as UNGA president.
- The only countries that had a national elected as President of UNGA twice are Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Nigeria; all the other member states had been represented only once by their nationals holding this office.
- Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900 – 1990) of India served as 8th President of the UNGA in 1953. she was also First woman president of UNGA.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Recently, a team of astronomers from the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR) in Pune, and the Raman Research Institute (RRI) have discovered the reason behind decline in star formation activity 8 billion years ago
- The study stated that the fuel critical to hydrogen formation is atomic hydrogen gas content of galaxies.
- The researchers used the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to measure the atomic hydrogen gas content of galaxies 9 billion years ago.
- The measurement of the atomic hydrogen gas mass was done by using the GMRT to search for a spectral line in atomic hydrogen, which can only be detected with radio telescopes.
- The star formation in early galaxies was so intense that they would consume their atomic gas in just two billion years and if the galaxies could not acquire more gas, their star formation activity would decline and finally cease.
- It appears likely that the cause of the declining star- formation in the Universe is simply that galaxies were not able to replenish their gas reservoirs after some epoch.
About Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)
- It is a unique facility for radio astronomical research using the metre wavelengths range of the radio spectrum.
- It is located at a site about 80 km north of Pune.
- It consists of 30 fully steerable gigantic parabolic dishes of 45m diameter each spread over distances of upto 25 km.
- It has been set up by National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), a center of the school of natural sciences of the TIFR.
Subject : Economics
Context : Recently, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI has kept the repo rate, unchanged at 4 per cent for the sixth time in a row and slashed the growth rate to 9.5 per cent for fiscal 2021-22.
- The panel said that the second wave of Covid-19 has altered the near-term outlook.
- It necessitated urgent policy interventions, active monitoring and further timely measures to prevent emergence of supply chain bottlenecks and build-up of retail margins.
- The policy support from all sides i.e. fiscal, monetary and sectoral, was required to nurture recovery and expedite return to normalcy.
- The MPC decided to retain the prevailing repo rate and continue with the accommodative stance as long as necessary to revive and sustain growth on a durable basis and continue to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.
Reasons for slashing growth rate
- The central bank has scaled down the FY22 (2021-22) gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 9.5 per cent as against the previous projection of 10.5 per cent.
- The urban demand has been dented by the second wave, but adoption of new Covid-compatible occupational models by businesses for an appropriate working environment may cushion the hit to economic activity.
- The panel said domestic monetary and financial conditions remain highly accommodative and supportive of economic activity.
- The vaccination process is expected to gather steam in the coming months and should help to normalise economic activity quickly.
RBI’s plans on the liquidity front
- It will continue to conduct regular operations for liquidity management.
- It has decided to conduct another operation under G-SAP (government securities acquisition programme) for purchase of G-Secs of Rs 40,000 crore.
- It has also been decided to undertake another G-SAP in Q2 of 2021-22 and conduct secondary market purchase operations of Rs 1.20 lakh crore to support the market.
- It has undertaken regular open market operations and injected additional liquidity to the tune of Rs 36,545 crore in addition to Rs 60,000 crore under the first G-SAP.
Subject : Economy
Context : Recently, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions has said that Devika Project is for all and therefore suggestions are welcome from every Party.
About Devika Project
- It is North India’s first- of- its- kind project located in Udhampur, Jammu & Kashmir.
- It is Rs.190 Crore project under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) which started in March 2019.
The activities involved under the project are:
- Bathing “ghats” (places) on the banks of the Devika River will be developed;
- Encroachments will be removed; and
- Natural water bodies will be restored and catchment areas will be developed along with cremation ground.
- The project includes the construction of three sewage treatment plants of 8 MLD, 4 MLD and 1.6 MLD capacities.
About Devika River
- It holds great religious significance as it is revered by Hindus as the sister of river Ganga.
- In the Nilmat Puran that was written in the 7th century by Nela Muni, it is mentioned that the Devika River is a manifestation of the mother Goddess Parwati herself to benefit the people of Mader Desha.
- It originates from the hilly Suddha Mahadev temple in Udhampur district and flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan) where it merges with the Ravi River.
Subject : Governance
Context : Recently, the Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare has launched the Bamboo Market Page ‘Green Gold Collection’ on Govt e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
About Green Gold Collection
- It is a unique initiative of the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and Govt e-Marketplace (GeM).
- It is a dedicated window on the GeM portal for marketing of the Bamboo Goods (Bamboo based products & Quality Planting Materials).
- It showcases a range of exquisitely handcrafted bamboo and bamboo products, handicrafts, disposals and office utility products on the GeM portal.
- It aims to provide bamboo artisans, weavers and entrepreneurs in rural areas with market access to Government buyers.
- The product categories ranging from bamboo poles to bamboo products in furniture, lifestyle & décor, kitchenware, industrial machinery, handcrafted items such as toys and office utility items like agarbatti/ incense sticks, disposables, water bottles, yoga mats, charcoal, etc. are being uploaded on the portal.
Significance of Green Gold Collection
- It will provide an electronic platform for the small manufacturers and niche sellers thereby vastly increasing their reach to attract buyers.
- It will provide niche products from trusted sources to the buyers.
- It would prove to be very useful for giving the bamboo entrepreneurs a much robust market outreach.
- It seeks to promote the adoption and use of bamboo products among Government buyers and usher a sustainable rural economy for an Atmanirbhar Bharat.