Daily Prelims Notes 5 December 2020
- December 5, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- UN DECIDES CANNABIS NOT A DANGEROUS NARCOTIC
- INDIA’S FIRST HOME FOR TRANSGENDER CHILDREN
- ARTIFICIAL SUN
- CONTACTLESS PAYMENT
- FSSAI GUIDELINES
- THEATRE COMMAND
- KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS
1. UN DECIDES CANNABIS NOT A DANGEROUS NARCOTIC
Subject: International Events
Context: The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) took a number of decisions, leading to changes in the way cannabis is internationally regulated, including its reclassification out of the most dangerous category of drugs.
- In reviewing a series of World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on marijuana and its derivatives, the CND zeroed-in on the decision to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — where it was listed alongside deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin.
- The CND’s 53 Member States voted to remove cannabis – where it had been placed for 59 years – from the strictest control schedules, that even discouraged its use for medical purposes.
- With an historic vote, the CND has opened the door to recognizing the medicinal and therapeutic potential of the commonly-used but still largely illegal recreational drug.
- The decision could also drive additional scientific research into the plant’s long-heralded medicinal properties and act as catalyst for countries to legalize the drug for medicinal use, and reconsider laws on its recreational use.
- Twenty-seven of the CND’s 53 Member States — including India, the United States and most European nations — voted “Yes” on the motion to delete cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention.
- Under India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, the production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, and use of cannabis is a punishable offence.
2. INDIA’S FIRST HOME FOR TRANSGENDER CHILDREN
Subject: Current events
Context: India’s first homes for transgender children in need of care and protection will soon be established in Bengaluru. Two government-run homes for transgender children will be established in Bengaluru Urban.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development gave its nod for the project last week.
- Many transgender children in State-run children’s homes for girls or boys were not comfortable.
- It is essential that a home is established for transgender children as they face a lot of stigma and abuse. Establishing a separate home and giving them attention and care at a young age will help address some of their concerns.
Subject: International Events
Context : China successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, state media reported Friday, marking a great advance in the country’s nuclear power research capabilities
- The artificial Sun (not to be confused with the ‘artificial moons’ China intends to send up to space soon), is a popular name given to one of the most promising nuclear fusion experiments to date.
- Designed to replicate the process our Sun uses to generate energy, researchers set up the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) fusion reactor in 2006.
- A ‘Tokamak’ is a reactor design that resembles a donut — a donut that generates powerful magnetic forces to contain unimaginably hot plasma inside the reactor during nuclear fusion. The walls of a tokamak are built to absorb the massive amounts of heat from the continuous splitting of atoms in the reactor’s core.
- The artificial sun’s plasma is mainly composed of electrons and ions, and the country’s existing Tokamak devices have achieved an electron temperature of over100 million degrees C in its core plasma, and an ion temperature of 50 million C, and it is the ion that generates energy in the device.
- The HL-2M Tokamak will be able to achieve an ion temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius, about seven times hotter than the real Sun’s ion temperature.
- The process of nuclear fusion, where two hydrogen atoms combine in a reaction that produces an enormous amount of energy, is often called the ‘great white whale’ of global energy.
- Nuclear reactors like EAST are a means to exactly that: an almost infinite supply of energy that is clean.
Context: The Indian Navy (IN) is undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) from 4 to 5 December 2020.
- PASSEXs are conducted regularly by IN with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea.
- This exercise, being conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region, reflects the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries and particularly, defence cooperation in the maritime domain.
- This exercise is being conducted on the occasion of ‘Navy Day’ of the IN on 4th December, which emphasizes the strong bonds of friendship shared between the two friendly militaries.
- This PASSEX would be another step towards strengthening Indo-Russian defence relations. The two navies have built a robust relationship through regular exercises such as INDRA Navy conducted biennially, with the last edition held in the Northern Indian Ocean Region from 4 to 5 September 2020.
- The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies, and would involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises and helicopter operations.
Context: Stressed sectors have got a fresh line of support with the RBI extending its targeted long-term repo operations (TLTROs) to the 26 industries — including power, realty and textiles.
- LTRO is a tool that allows banks to borrow one to three years of funds from the Central Bank at the Repo rate.
- It is called ‘Targeted’ LTRO if the Central Bank wants banks opting for funds under this option to be specifically invested in investment-grade corporate debt.
- The TLTRO is a facility under which the RBI nudges banks to lend by providing them cheap refinance for loans and bond investments.
- Earlier this year, when NBFCs were facing a credit squeeze, the RBI helped them navigate the crisis by making available cheap funds to banks, which lent to them.
- As a result the finance companies were able to smoothly meet their short-term repayment obligations during the lockdown.
- According to bankers, while the TLTRO encourages banks by providing them a large margin, the emergency credit line guarantee scheme, which has been extended to the same 26 sectors, will address the credit risk.
Context: Reserve Bank of India governor announced that RBI has enhanced limits for contactless card payments from ₹2,000 to ₹5,000. This will be effective from 1 January 2021 and will be at the discretion of the user.
- The RBI’s decision to increase the limit from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5000 without entering a PIN on contactless transactions through NFC cards is a welcome as in recent months seen a marked increase in contactless transaction on our network.
- NFC transactions follow safety protocols as specified by RBI and Payment Schemes and cardholders can be assured that their transactions are being conducted in a secure manner.
- Contactless payment refers to methods that allow consumers to pay using debit and credit cards without actually making contact with others. This is done using radio frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC) technologies.
- The most common methods include tapping your card on a point of sale (PoS) terminal, but smartphone makers have made NFC-based systems — like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay — which also qualify as contactless payment systems.
Subject: Current Events
Context: From January 1, 2021 packaged drinking water players in the country will to need to ensure that their products contain minerals such as calcium and magnesium in line with the limits set by the food safety authority.
- Earlier this year, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had decided to extend the deadline for implementation of these standards for packaged drinking water to July 1 which was further extended to January 1, 2021 due to the pandemic.
- According to the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) fourth Amendment Regulations, 2019, the mandatory requirement of calcium and magnesium in packaged drinking water has been set at 20-75 mg/litre and in the range of 10-30 mg/litre respectively.
- FSSAI brought in these amendments in response to a direction from the National Green Tribunal last year.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
- The FSSAI is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
- It has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
- It is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
- It is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
Context: Navy has started work to establish maritime theatre command: Admiral Karambir Singh.
- It is a unified command in which the resources of all the services are unified under a single commander looking at a geographical theatre.
- Meaning, a single military commander, as per the requirements, will have the resources of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force to manage a security threat.
Functions of joint command:
- The commander of a joint command will have the freedom to train and equip his command.
- He will have logistics of all the services at his beckoning.
- However, the three services will retain their independent identities as well.
Joint command at present:
- There are two tri-services commands at the moment.
- The joint command at the moment, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), is a theatre command, which is headed by the chiefs of the three services in rotation. It was created in 2001 after a Group of Ministers had given a report on national security following the Kargil War.
- The Strategic Forces Command was established in 2006 and is a functional tri-services command.
- The KhudaiKhidmatgar was a non-violent movement against British occupation of the Indian subcontinent.
- It was led by Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Pashtun freedom fighter, in the North-West Frontier Province.
- Over time, the movement acquired a more political colour, leading to the British taking notice of its growing prominence in the region.
- Following the arrest of Khan and other leaders in 1929, the movement formally joined the Indian National Congress after they failed to receive support from the All-India Muslim League.
- Members of the KhudaiKhidmatgar were organised and the men stood out because of the bright red shirts they wore as uniforms, while the women wore black garments.
QissaKhwani Bazaar massacre
- Abdul Ghaffar Khan and other leaders of the KhudaiKhidmatgar were arrested on April 23, 1930 by British police after he gave a speech at a gathering in the town of Utmanzai in the North-West Frontier Province.
- Khan’s arrest spurred protests in neighbouring towns, including Peshawar.
- Protests spilled into the QissaKhwani Bazaar in Peshawar on the day of Khan’s arrest.
- British soldiers entered the market area to disperse crowds that had refused to leave. In response, British army vehicles drove into the crowds, killing several protesters and bystanders.
- In August 1931, the KhudaiKhidmatgar aligned themselves with the Congress party, forcing the British to reduce the violence they were perpetrated on the movement.
- The KhudaiKhidmatgar opposed Partition, a stance that many interpreted as the movement not being in favour of the creation of the independent nation of Pakistan.
- Post 1947, the KhudaiKhidmatgar slowly found their political influence decreasing to such an extent that the movement and the massacre 90 years ago in the QissaKhwani Bazaar has been wiped out from collective memory.