Daily Prelims Notes 5 July 2022
- July 5, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
5 July 2022
Table Of Contents
- Myanmar hosts first regional meeting since coup
- The States’ start-up ranking 2021
- International Investment Position
- The Unified Payments Interface- UPI
- RBI guidelines for Non-bank payment system operators (PSOs)
- Agricultural Credit
- GST Compensation Mechanism
- The new guidelines against ‘service charge’
- All 198 members of the United Nations unanimously adopted July 1, 2022 the Lisbon Declaration on ocean conservation.
- Lithium as a reproductive toxin
- Soil samples from T.N. sent for Project at new Parliament site
- Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project takes political twist after Centre’s directive to stop work
- What is the Large Hadron Collider, now readying to seek answers to fundamental questions of particle physics?
- India and Australia explore ties in Critical and Strategic Minerals
Section: International Organisation
Context: Myanmar’s military government on Monday hosted the first high-level regional meeting since the Army took power last year
About Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC)
- It is a multilateral format established in 2016 for cooperation between the riparian states of the Lancang River and Mekong River.
- The Lancang is the part of the Mekong that flows through China.
- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand are five downstream countries of the Mekong River.
- The central purpose of the format is for China to manage water flow from its hydropower dams with the other riparian states.
- China has built 10 dams along the upper stretch of the Mekong, the part it calls the Lancang.
- LMC Special Fund was created in 2016 to aid in small and medium-sized projects by the Lancang-Mekong countries.
- Recent meeting held under the theme “Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity” in the central city of Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The results of the third edition of Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems were released by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in New Delhi.
- It ranked States and Union Territories into 5 Categories:
- Best Performers,
- Top Performers,
- Aspiring Leaders and
- Emerging Start-up Ecosystems.
- The participants are evaluated across 7 broad Reform Areas consisting of 26 Action Points ranging from :
- Institutional Support,
- Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
- Access to Market,
- Incubation support,
- Funding Support,
- Mentorship Support
- Capacity Building of Enablers
- Best Performer-
- Gujarat and Karnataka as the best performers, with a 100 percentile score in category A of States and union territories with a population of more than one crore (Census 2011).
- Meghalaya topped in category B, in the segment with a population of less than one crore (except Delhi).
- Top Performer-
- Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Telangana were ranked as top performers in category A with a score of 60-69 percentile.
- Jammu &Kashmir was the top performer in category B.
- Assam, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand in category A with a score of 30–59 percentile, and
- Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Goa in category B.
- Aspiring Leader–
- Delhi fared poorly, being clubbed in the aspiring leader category with Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan with a score of 11-29 percentile in category A.
- Chandigarh, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman, and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Puducherry, and Tripura were ranked as aspiring leaders in category B.
- Emerging Startup Ecosystems-
- Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, with a score of up to 10 percentile placed in category A
- Ladakh and Mizoram were ranked the same in the category B.
- Best Performer-
About the States’ startup ranking:
- The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has been conducting the States’ Start-up Ranking Exercise since 2018to facilitate the ease of building a start-up and doing business across the country.
- The State Start-up Ranking Exercise aims to support states and union territories in developing their start-up ecosystem and learn from the best practices in each state and union territory.
Section: External sector
India’s foreign exchange reserves have declined from a peak of $642 billion as of October 29, 2021, to $590.50 billion in June 2022, a fall of $51.50 billion. However, the comfort is that the current level of forex reserves are large enough to cover almost 12 months of imports.
Whether the metric of import cover reflects adequacy of reserves?
- Partially, as India’s forex has to finance the currency account deficit i.e. the import bills, and the constant stream of capital outflows.
- The accretion of forex reserves has been due to surplus in capital account. Hence, India has had a structural current account deficit which has been funded by capital inflows.
International Investment Position or IIP
- It is the summary statement of the net financial position of a country viz. net of, the value of financial assets of residents of an economy that are claims on non-residents and, gold held in reserve assets and liabilities of the residents of an economy to non-residents.
- International Investment Position= Asset- Liabilities
- Assets comprise direct and portfolio financial investments of residents outside India plus reserve assets.
- Liabilities are direct and portfolio investments made by non-residents into India
- Positive IIP indicates that the country’s assets are more than liability while negative IIP means that the country’s liabilities are more than assets.
- India is a net IIP negative country with its liabilities exceeding assets.
- In absolute terms, India’s outstanding portfolio investments is $277 billion and short-term debt of $110 billion leaves an import cover around 3.25 months.
- Thus, Import cover must be looked at in conjunction with IIP which gives a true picture of the adequacy of reserves
Section: Monetary Policy
More than 40% of all retail digital payments (non-cash and non-paper payments) in India happen through UPI now.
- The UPI was launched in 2016 and is operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
- It is an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)- round–the-clock funds transfer service to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother.
- UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
- UPI based payments function broadly through three steps.
- First, one’s bank account is mapped to a Virtual Payment Address (VPA).
- Secondly, a Payment Service Provider (typically a bank) takes care of the to-and-fro transactions to this VPA (and hence to the underlying bank account) and
- Finally, the UPI software coordinates the fund movement from a customer’s VPA to a target VPA and completes the transaction.
- UPI transaction is different from paying with a debit card or credit card as it does not involve a Merchant Discount Rate (MDR). For UPI transactions, there is no MDR (like in the case of the Indian government’s Rupay card)
- UPI accepts transactions as small as one rupee
- Smartphones being the only device needed to complete a transaction makes the process as simple as it can get, instead of using devices like the Point-of-Sale card-swiping machines.
- The security of a UPI transaction is tied to the user’s authentication with the mobile phone — there is a mobile personal identification number (MPIN) for the UPI application and there is one more layer of security when the bank’s online transaction PIN is to be keyed in as part of every UPI transaction.
- The top UPI apps today include PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay and BHIM, the latter being the Government offering.
| A VPA eliminates the risk of mentioning account details in every transaction. It can be created in a couple of minutes using a UPI app. The only prerequisite is that your bank account be linked to a mobile number.|
The MDR is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from their customers via digital means. The merchant discount rate is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount.
Presently, it is applicable for online transactions and QR-based transactions.
The amount that the merchant pays for every transaction gets distributed among three stakeholders–the bank that enables the transaction, the vendor that installs the point of sale (PoS) machine and the card network provider such as Visa, MasterCard, RuPay.
National Payments Corporation of India
NPCI, an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
It is a “Not for Profit” Company under the provisions of Section 25 of Companies Act 1956 (now Section 8 of Companies Act 2013), with an intention to provide infrastructure to the entire Banking system in India for physical as well as electronic payment and settlement systems.
The RBI recently reviewed the operations of Non-bank payment system operators (PSOs) authorised to operate any payment system by it.
- Non-bank payment system operators (PSOs) will require prior approval of the RBI for any takeover or acquisition of control which may or may not result in change of management.
- It would also require prior approval of the RBI for sale or transfer of payment activity to an entity not authorised for undertaking such an activity.
- The RBI shall respond within 45 calendar days after receipt of complete details from both the entities. However, the timeline is not applicable in case of overseas principal in the Money Transfer Service Scheme.
- The non-bank PSOs shall inform the RBI within 15 calendar days in the following cases:
- change in management or directors and
- sale or transfer of payment activity to an entity authorised for undertaking similar activity.
- This directive is issued under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
- A payment system is a system used to settle financial transactions through the transfer of monetary value and consist of the various mechanisms that facilitate the transfer of funds from one party (the payer) to another (the payee).
- A payment system includes the participants (institutions) and the users (customers/clients), the rules and regulations that guide its operation and the standards and technologies on which the system operates
- The Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems (BPSS), a sub-committee of the Central Board of the RBI is the highest policy making body on payment systems in India.
Payment System Operators (PSOs)
PSOs by virtue of services they provide and the construct of models on which they operate, largely outsource their payment and settlement-related activities to various other entities.
It is an institution which has been granted an authorisation for the operation of a payment system.
A payment system operator means a legal entity responsible for operating a payment system. The PSO provides services by operating on certain models. They largely outsource their payment and settlement-related activities to various other entities. Examples of PSOs include Google Pay, Amazon Pay, NPCI, Paytm etc.
Non-banks payment system operators (PSOs) include entities like Payment System Providers (PSPs) and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) that are regulated by the Reserve Bank as also entities that are under the remit of other financial sector regulators like PFRDA, IRDAI, SEBI, etc.
Mandated to provide and regulate credit for agriculture, NABARD has deviated from its objectives by investing in private corporations. Therefore, it’s time to consider a separate ‘Rashtriya Kisan Bank’ that is completely dedicated to agriculture and rural development.
- In the last 10 years, agriculture credit has increased by more than 350 per cent. However, the agriculture sector’s performance has not been commensurate with the subsidised credit that it has received.
- Misuse of agricultural credit-The subsidised credit has not reached even 20 percent of the 12.56 crore small and marginal farmers in the country.
- In some States, credit disbursal to the farm sector was higher than their agriculture gross domestic product (GDP), and the ratio of crop loans disbursed to input requirement was highly uneven.
- Diversion of credit for non-agriculture purposes.
Sources Agricultural Credit:
Sources of agricultural credit can be broadly classified into institutional and non-institutional sources.
- Non-Institutional sources include moneylenders, traders and commission agents, relatives and landlords, but
- Institutional sources include co-operatives, commercial banks including the SBI Group, RBI and NABARD.
- The major institutional credit agencies in India are Commercial Banks (CBs), Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) which are mainly sponsored by the Scheduled Commercial Banks and state governments. There are also the Cooperative Banks which are further divided into rural cooperatives and urban cooperatives.
- Scheduled Commercial Banks are the largest credit providers followed by Cooperatives and Regional Rural Banks. It is observed that after the nationalization of commercial banks of India in 1969, the commercial banks as a whole have consistently increased their share in institutional credit to the agriculture sector.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
- NABARD is a development bank focussing primarily on the rural sector of the country.
- It is the apex banking institution to provide finance for Agriculture and rural development. Its headquarter is located in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital.
- It is responsible for the development of the small industries, cottage industries, and any other such village or rural projects.
- It is a statutory body established in 1982 under the Parliamentary act-National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.
- NABARD’s initiatives are aimed at building an empowered and financially inclusive rural India through specific goal oriented departments which can be categorized broadly into three heads: Financial, Developmental and Supervision.
- It provides refinance support for building rural infrastructure.
- It prepares district level credit plans to guide and motivate the banking industry in achieving these targets.
- It supervises Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and helps them develop sound banking practices and integrate them to the CBS (Core Banking Solution) platform.
- It is involved in designing the Union government’s development schemes and their implementation.
- It provides training to handicraft artisans and helps them in developing a marketing platform for selling these articles.
- NABARD has various international partnerships including leading global organizations and World Bank-affiliated institutions that are breaking new ground in the fields of rural development as well as agriculture.
- Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is administered by NABARD.
Section: Fiscal Policy
The introduction of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) required States and Union Territories (with Legislature) to subsume their sovereignty in a GST Council, raising the issue of loss on account of migration from Value Added Tax/Sales Tax to GST.
As per Section 18 of the Constitution (101st) Act, 2016, Parliament “shall, by law, on the recommendation of the GST Council, provide compensation to States for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the Goods and Services Tax for a period of five years from the date of its implementation.
The GST Compensation Act, 2017 guaranteed states that they would be compensated for any revenue shortfall below 14% growth (base year 2015-16) for the first five years ending 2022.
The compensation was to be calculated by assuming a 14% year-on-year growth over revenues in 2015-16 from the State taxes subsumed in GST, and remitted from a compensation cess fund.
A GST compensation fund is created from which the state would be paid the shortfall every two months by the Centre . This corpus is funded through a compensation cess that is levied on so-called ‘demerit’ goods. The items are pan masala, cigarettes and tobacco products, aerated water, caffeinated beverages, coal and certain passenger motor vehicles.
For more refer MAY DPN Compilation
Section : Rights
- CCPA has issued guidelines under Section 18 (2) (I) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
- guidelines are in addition to the Centre’s 2017 guidelines which prohibit the levy of service charge on consumers by hotels and restaurants, and terms the charging for anything other than “the prices displayed on the menu card along with the applicable taxes” without “express consent” of the customer as “unfair trade practices”.
- CCPA has issued five major guidelines regarding the levy of service charge by restaurants and hotels, which has for long been a contentious issue and has periodically triggered complaints from consumers. The guidelines say:
(i) No hotel or restaurant shall add service charge automatically or by default in the bill;
(ii) Service charge shall not be collected from consumers by any other name;
(iii) No hotel or restaurant shall force a consumer to pay service charge and shall clearly inform the consumer that service charge is voluntary, optional, and at the consumer’s discretion;
(iv) No restriction on entry or provision of services based on collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers; and
(v) Service charge shall not be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount.
- The consumer has four options at different levels of escalation in case she spots the levy of service charge in her bill.
- can make a request to the hotel or restaurant to remove the service charge from her bill.
- can lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which works as an alternative dispute redressal mechanism at the pre-litigation level. The complaint can be lodged by making a call on the number 1915, or on the NCH mobile app.
- Edaakhil portal: through this can complain to the Consumer Commission, an initiative of Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
- can submit a complaint to the District Collector of the concerned district for investigation and subsequent proceedings by the CCPA. A consumer can complain directly to the CCPA by sending an e-mail .
- Central Consumer Protection Authority
- A statutory body,being constituted under Section 10(1) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
- To protect the rights of the consumer by cracking down on unfair trade practices, and false and misleading advertisements that are detrimental to the interests of the public and consumers.
- It will be headquartered in the National Capital Region of Delhi but the central government may set up regional offices in other parts of the country.
- It will have a Chief Commissioner as head, and only two other commissioners as members — one of whom will deal with matters relating to goods while the other will look into cases relating to services.
- The CCPA will have an Investigation Wing that will be headed by a Director General.
- District Collectors too, will have the power to investigate complaints of violations of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and false or misleading advertisements.
|It defined 6 rights of the consumers which include: Right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services which can be hazardous to life and property. Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products and services.|
Section: Environmental conventions
Lisbon Declaration on ocean conservation
- Recognised that developing countries, particularly small island developing states and least developed countries, need assistance with capacity building
- Participants at the conference also agreed to work on preventing, reducing and controlling marine pollution. It includes:
- Nutrient pollution
- Untreated wastewater
- Solid waste discharges
- Hazardous substances
- Emissions from the maritime sector, including shipping, shipwrecks
- Anthropogenic underwater noise
- Other pledges include developing and promoting innovative financing solutions to help create sustainable ocean-based economies as well as expanding nature-based solutions to help conserve and preserve coastal communities.
- The “BBNJ Treaty”, also known as the “Treaty of the High Seas”
- is an international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, currently under negotiation at the United Nations.
- Is being developed within the framework of the UNCLOS
- Launched at the One Ocean Summit in February 2022, the High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction brings together many delegations engaged in the BBNJ negotiations on a common and ambitious outcome at the highest political level.
Section: Economic Geography
Context: European Union proposal to classify the lithium as a reproductive toxin could severely hurt Europe’s burgeoning electric-vehicle industry
- Proposals refer to lithium carbonate, hydroxide and chloride.
- Lithium widely used in EV industry, pharmaceuticals, industrial lubricants and specialty glasses
- Proposal may stigmatize use of the materials and cut investment in the EV sector
- Lithium does not occur as metal in nature but is found combined in small amount in nearly all igneous rocks and in the water of many mineral springs
- Spodumene, petalite, lepidolite, and amblygonite are the more important minerals containing lithium
- Metal is produced by the electrolysis of molten lithium chloride and potassium chloride
- Australia,Chile, China and Argentina are the world’s top for them producing countries
- Argentina Bolivia and Chile form lithium triangle
- India’s first lithium plant has been set up at Gujarat in 2021
- lithium (Li), chemical element of Group 1 (Ia) in the periodic table, the alkali metal group, lightest of the solid elements.
- It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal.
- Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.
- Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in vacuum, inert atmosphere or inert liquid such as purified kerosene or mineral oil.
- When cut, it exhibits a metallic luster, but moist air corrodes it quickly to a dull silvery gray, then black tarnish.
- It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds.
- Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines.
- Lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.
- Lithium takes an active part in many reactions with organic and inorganic reactants. It reacts with oxygen to form monoxide and peroxide.
- Metallic Lithium reacts extremely vigorously with water.
- It has high specific heat which is the calorific capacity.
- It has very low density and low viscosity.
- Lithium is found only in salts and minerals.
Applications of lithium
- Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminium production, lithium batteries, and lithium-ion batteries. These uses consume more than three-quarters of lithium production.
- Lithium is present in biological systems in trace amounts; its functions are uncertain. Lithium salts have proven to be useful as a mood stabilizer and antidepressant in the treatment of mental illness such as bipolar disorder.
- Bromine and lithium chloride together form concentrated brine which absorbs the humidity under high temperature. Brine is used in the manufacturing of air conditioning systems.
- Alloys of the metal with manganese, cadmium, copper, and aluminium are used to make aircraft’s parts.
- Lithium Triangle is an intersection of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, known for high quality salt flats.
- Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, Salar de Atacama in Chile and Salar de Arizaro in Argentina contains over 45%of known global lithium reserves.
- Beneath Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat lies the world’s greatest lithium deposits.
- Bolivia, one of South America’s poorest countries, envisions development by harvesting lithium on an industrial scale from underground saltwater brines.
- It can be mined from rock or processed from brine.
- Lithium dissolved in underground saline aquifers called “brine”, pumped to surface by wells and then allowed to evaporate in vast knee-deep ponds.
Section: Art and Culture
- Soil samples from five ecological regions mentioned in ancient Tamil Sangam literature — Tolkappiyam – Kurinji (hilly tracks), Mullai (pastoral), Marudam (agricultural), Neydal (coastal) and Palai (desert).
- Tolkappiyam also refers to four castes namely arasar(Ruling Class), anthanar, vanigar(carried on trade and commerce) and vellalar(Agriculturists).
- According to the Tamil legends, there were three Sangams (Academy of Tamil poets) held in the ancient South India popularly called Muchchangam.
- The Hero Stone or Nadu Kal worship was significant in the Sangam period and was erected in memory of the bravery shown by the warriors in the battle.
- The primary deity of the Sangam period was Murugan
Sangam Literature: Major source giving details of Sangam Age
The Sangam literature includes Tolkappiyam, Ettutogai, Pattuppattu, Pathinenkilkanakku, and two epics named – Silappathikaram and Manimegalai
- Tolkappiyam was authored by Tolkappiyar and is considered the earliest of Tamil literary work.
- Pathinenkilkanakku contains eighteen works about ethics and morals. The most important among these works is Tirukkural authored by Thiruvalluvar, the tamil great poet and philosopher.
- The two epics Silappathikaram is written by ElangoAdigal and Manimegalai by SittalaiSattanar. They also provide valuable details about the Sangam society and polity.
Other Sources that give details about the Sangam Period are –
- The Greek authors like Megasthenes, Strabo, Pliny and Ptolemy mentioning about commercial trade contacts between the West and South India.
- The Ashokan inscriptions mentioned about the Chera, Chola and Pandya rulers to the south of Mauryan empire.
- Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela of Kalinga also has mention of Tamil kingdoms.
- There were women poets like Avvaiyar, Nachchellaiyar, and Kakkaipadiniyar who flourished and contributed to Tamil literature. There is also a mention about the practice of Sati being prevalent in the higher strata of society. Women were allowed to choose their life partners.
- The project is set to benefit 13 districts of Rajasthan through interlinking of three rivers Parvati, Kali Sindh and Chambal
- The ambitious project stipulates transfer of excess water from the Chambal river basin to the regions facing water scarcity.
- Is also expected to supply irrigation waters to an additional command area of 2 lakh hectares. It will facilitate restoration of dependable yield of the existing 26 major and medium irrigation projects en route – reduced to 30% – to their original status.
- Rajasthan govt also demanding for The national project status, if accorded, will fix the share of the Centre and the State in the expenditure in the ratio of 90:10
- Centre’s directive to stop all work in view of “lack of consent” by other States
- Rajasthan govt argument Water is a State subject and Madhya Pradesh had itself built the Mohanpura dam on the Newaj river, a tributary of Parvati river, and the Kundalia dam on Kalisindh river
Inter-state water dispute:
Art 262 provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes. It has two following provisions:
- Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
- Parliament may also provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.Under the provisions of the act, the central government has enacted, River boards act (1956) and Inter-state water disputes act (1956).
- The river board act provides for the establishment of river boards for the regulation and development of the Inter-state River and river valleys. Such a river board is established on the request of the state governments concerned.
- The inter-state water dispute act empowers the central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between the two or more states in relation to the water of an inter-state river. The decision of the tribunal would be final and binding. Furthermore, the act bars the SC and any other court to have jurisdiction in this matter.
7th Schedule of Constitution : defines and specifies allocation of powers and functions between Union & States.
- Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and water power.
- Entry 56 of Union List empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.
Subject: Science and Tech
Section: New discovery
Context: The world’s most powerful particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will begin smashing protons into each other at unprecedented levels of energy beginning July 5.
What is Large Hadron Collider?
- It is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator
- It is a giant, complex machine built to study particles that are the smallest known building blocks of all things
- Structurally, it is a 27-km-long track-loop buried 100 metres underground on the Swiss-French border.
How it is worked?
- In its operational state, it fires two beams of protons almost at the speed of light in opposite directions inside a ring of superconducting electromagnets
- The magnetic field created by the superconducting electromagnets keeps the protons in a tight beam and guides them along the way as they travel through beam pipes and finally collide
- Just prior to collision, another type of magnet is used to ‘squeeze’ the particles closer together to increase the chances of collisions
- The particles are so tiny that the task of making them collide is akin to firing two needles 10 kilometres apart with such precision that they meet halfway.
- Since the LHC’s powerful electromagnets carry almost as much current as a bolt of lightning, they must be kept chilled
- The LHC uses a distribution system of liquid helium to keep its critical components ultracold at minus 271.3 degrees Celsius, which is colder than interstellar space
- All the controls for the accelerator, its services and technical infrastructure are housed under one roof at the CERN Control Centre
- The beams inside the LHC are made to collide at four locations around the accelerator ring, corresponding to the positions of four particle detectors – ATLAS, CMS, ALICE and LHCb
Previous runs & ‘God Particle’ discovery
- In 2012, scientists at CERN had announced to the world the discovery of the Higgs boson or the ‘God Particle’ during the LHC’s first run.
- The discovery concluded the decades-long quest for the ‘force-carrying’ subatomic particle, and proved the existence of the Higgs mechanism, a theory put forth in the mid-sixties
- The Higgs boson and its related energy field are believed to have played a vital role in the creation of the universe
- This led to Peter Higgs and his collaborator François Englert being awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 2013
What is Higgs Boson?
- In 2012, the Nobel-winning discovery of the Higgs boson(also known as ‘God particle’) validated the Standard Model of physics, which also predicts that about 60% of the time a Higgs boson will decay to a pair of bottom quarks.
- In 1960s Peter Higgs was the first person to suggest that this particle might exist.
- The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory which describes three of the four known fundamental forces (the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, and not including the gravitational force) in the universe, as well as classifies all known elementary particles.
- Scientists do not yet know how to combine gravity with the Standard Model.
- The Higgs particle is a boson.
- Bosons are thought to be particles which are responsible for all physical forces.
- Other known bosons are the photon, the W and Z bosons, and the gluon.
- In particle physics, a boson is a subatomic particle whose spin quantum number has an integer value.
- Bosons form one of the two fundamental classes of subatomic particle, the other being fermions, which have odd half-integer spin
- Every observed subatomic particle is either a boson or a fermion.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research known as CERN is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world
Established in 1954, the organization is based in a northwest suburb of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border and has 23 member states
It is an official United Nations Observer
Section :Economic Geography
Context: India’s mines minister Australia visits
What are critical and strategic minerals?
- Critical minerals, also known as “strategic minerals,” may seem somewhat self-explanatory. After all, “critical” and “strategic” definitionally mean important, and these minerals are indeed important for many high-tech appliances that power the global economy, like electric vehicles, smartphones, and wind turbines
- Strategic Minerals (also known as Critical Minerals) is a broad category that identifies various minerals and elements; the bulk of which are minor metals. A nuanced distinction between the words strategic and critical implies that critical materials have relevance for the overall interests of the state, while strategic minerals are essentially those minerals which have relevance for the defence/strategic architecture of the state.
Strategic minerals generally could be defined as those:
- that are needed to meet the military, industrial and essential civilian requirements of a state during a national emergency
- that are not found or produced in sufficient quantities to meet such needs of the state
Vital Strategic Minerals include Antimony, Molybdenum, Borates, Nickel, Chromium, Cobalt, Silver, Copper, Titanium, Diamond, Tungsten, Germanium, Vanadium, Lithium, Zinc and Rare earths
|Indian mines minister will also visit mineral rich sites of Tianqi LithiumKwinana and Greenbushes Mine|