Daily Prelims Notes 5 June 2021
- June 5, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
5 June 2021
Table Of Contents
- NCDC STUDY POINTD TO DELTA VARIANT BEHIND APRIL CORONA WAVE
- DAC CLEARS BUILDING OF 6 ATTACK SUBMARINES
- 16 MINERAL BLOCKS UP FOR AUCTION SOON
- KERALA WON BATTLE AGAINST KARNATAKA FOR KSRTC
- NCP OPPOSES RBI SUPERVISION OF COOPERATIVE BANKS
- CIBER 2 AND COUNTING OF STARS
- CLEAN ENERGY MINISTERIAL INDUSTRIAL DEEP DECARBONISATION INITIATIVE (IDDI)
- MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE LAUNCHED SAGE PORTAL
- OPERATION SAGAR AARAKSHA II
- INS SANDHAYAK DECOMMISSIONED
Subject : Science & tech
Context : In a study carried out by scientists of INSACOG (the consortium of labs undertaking genome sequencing in India) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on the reasons behind the second wave has revealed that despite Delhiites having sero positivity of over 56 per cent, they got little protection against the Delta variant that took over the national capital March 2021 onwards.
Delta variant of Covid-19
- 1.617 is one of the multiple SARS COV-2 variants and its sub-lineage B.1.617.2, known as the Delta variant.
- The early evidence suggests that Delta variant of Covid-19 is more transmissible than contemporary lineages.
- The World Health Organization (WHO), which has given it the label Delta, has categorized it as a variant of concern (VOC).
The WHO classifies a variant as a VOC when:
- It is associated with an increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in Covid-19 epidemiology;
- Increase in virulence; or
- Decrease in the effectiveness of public health measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.
Why Delta variant is considered as variant of concern (VOC)?
- An RNA virus, such as SARS-CoV-2, is made of about 30,000 base pairs of amino acids, placed like bricks next to each other.
- The Delta variant contains multiple mutations in the spike protein.
- The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), formerly National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), had its origin as the Central Malaria Bureau, established at Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh) in 1909.
- NICD was transformed into the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with a larger mandate of controlling emerging and re-emerging diseases in 2009.
- It functions as the nodal agency in the country for disease surveillance facilitating prevention and control of communicable diseases.
- It is also a national level institute for training specialized manpower for public health, laboratory sciences and entomological services and is involved in various applied research activities.
- The Institute is under administrative control of the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- The Institute has its headquarters in Delhi.
Subject : Defence
Context : Recently, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved proposals concerning Capital Acquisitions of various equipment for modernisation and operational needs of the Armed Forces amounting to approx. Rs 6,000 crore.
- The DAC also approved issue of RFP for construction of six Conventional Submarines under Project P 75 (I) under the Strategic Partnership (SP) Model.
- The project envisages indigenous construction of six conventional submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system at an estimated cost of Rs 43,000 crore.
- It is being the first case processed under the Strategic Partnership model which would be one of the largest ‘Make in India’ projects.
Strategic Partnership model
- Strategic Partnership model aims to revitalize defence industrial ecosystem and progressively build indigenous capabilities in the private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon system for future needs of armed forces.
- The SP model has four segments — submarines, single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks — which would be specifically opened up for the private sector.
- Under this policy, one Indian private company would be selected in each segment which would tie-up with shortlisted global equipment manufacturers to manufacture the platforms in India under technology transfer.
- All procurements under the SP model would be executed by specially constituted Empowered Project Committees to provide focussed attention and ensure timely execution.
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)
- It is chaired by the Union Minister of Defence.
- Its objective is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought.
The functions of the DAC include:
- In-principle approval of 15 Year Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan for Defence Forces;
- Accord of Acceptance of Necessity to acquisition proposals;
- Categorization of the acquisition proposals relating to ‘Buy’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Make’;
- Issues relating to Single vendor clearance; and
- Decision regarding ‘offset’ provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs. 300 crores
Subject : Economy
Context :The Chhattisgarh government is planning to auction 16 new blocks of iron ore and limestone in the next two to three months, a press release issued by the state government stated.
District Mineral Foundation
- DMFs were instituted under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Amendment Act 2015.
- They are non-profit trusts to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining-related operations.
- Objective: To work for the interest of the benefit of the persons and areas affected mining related operations in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government.
- Its manner of operation comes under the jurisdiction of the relevant State Government.
- The fund is collected at the district level. There are certain high-priority areas identified in all states’ DMF rules, where at least 60 per cent of the fund must be used. These include vital and pressing concerns, including healthcare.
The various state DMF rules and the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Khestra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) guidelines stipulate some “high priority” issues for DMFs, including:
- Drinking water.
- Women and child welfare.
- Livelihood and skill development.
- Welfare of aged and disabled.
Subject : Economy
Context : After a seven-year legal battle for the trademark, Kerala has announced that the Trade Marks Registry’s final verdict on Wednesday gave it the right to use the abbreviation KSRTC, its emblem, and even the nickname ‘Anavandi’, which means elephant vehicle.
- Trademark refers to graphical representation of goods or services to make it distinguishable from others.
- It can be words, symbols, sound, colours, shape of goods, graphics representation or packaging etc.
- It protects owner against unfair competition, prevents damage to reputation of owner and consumer welfare.
- In India, trademarks are governed under Trademarks Act, 1999 ( it deals with precise nature of rights one can acquire in respect of trademarks), under aegis of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce.
- The implementing body is Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks.
Subject : Economy
Context : The changes to The Banking Regulation Act approved by Parliament in September 2020, brought cooperative banks under the direct supervision of the RBI
- Before, all the co-operative banks came under dual regulation of the RBI and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, resulting in regulatory and supervisory lapses at many of these banks.
- The RBI had no powers to draw up an enforceable scheme of reconstruction of a co-operative bank.
- However, from now onwards the urban and multi-state co-operative will come under the direct supervision of RBI.
- The move will empower the RBI to regulate all urban and multi-state co-operative banks on the lines of commercial banks.
- Earlier, the Supreme Court pronounced that co-operative banks come within the definition of ‘Banks’ under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 for the purposes of the Sarfaesi Act, 2002.
- The Sarfaesi Act is an effective tool for bad loans (Non-Performing Assets) recovery.
- It will also provide more security to depositors.
- In India, there are 1482 urban co-operatives banks and 58 multi-state co-operative banks.
- These banks have a depositor base of 8.6 crores, who have saved a huge amount of Rs. 4.84 lakh crore with these banks.
- A Co-operative bank is a financial entity which belongs to its members, who are at the same time the owners and the customers of their bank. It is distinct from commercial banks.
- They are broadly classified into Urban and Rural co-operative banks based on their region of operation.
- They are registered under the Co-operative Societies Act of the State concerned or under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002.
- The Co-operative banks are also governed by the
Banking Regulations Act, 1949.
Banking Laws (Co-operative Societies) Act, 1955.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : The Durham research, published on Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, focuses on how easily visually impaired people can learn echolocation, and whether age influences learning.
- Echolocation, also called bio sonar, is a biological sonar used by several animal species. Echolocating animals emit calls out to the environment and listen to the echoes of those calls that return from various objects near them.
- They use these echoes to locate and identify the objects. Echolocation is used for navigation, foraging, and hunting in various environments.
- Echolocating animals include some mammals (most notably Laurasiatheria) and a few birds.
- Especially some bat species and odontocetes (toothed whales and dolphins), but also in simpler forms in other groups such as shrews, and two cave dwelling bird groups, the so-called cave swiftlets in the genus Aerodramus (formerly Collocalia) and the unrelated Oilbird Steatorniscaripensis.
- The researchers organised a 10-week training programme, in which 12 blind and 14 sighted volunteers aged between 21 and 79 were taught click-based echolocation, as per BBC Science Focus.
- The volunteers were trained in distinguishing between the size of objects, orientation perception and virtual navigation.
- At the end of the training, the participants had been able to improve their ability to navigate using clicking noises either from one’s mouth, walking cane taps or footsteps.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Recently, a NASA-funded rocket’s launch window will open at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, USA.
Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER)-2
- The scientists have estimated that on average each galaxy consists of about 100 million stars in order to roughly estimate the number of stars in the Universe.
- The instrument will launch aboard a sounding rocket, a small suborbital rocket that will carry scientific instruments on brief trips into space before it falls back to Earth for recovery.
- The aim of this mission is to count the number of stars that exist in the Universe.
- It is designed to continue the spectro-photometric and fluctuation campaign of the Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) in the near infrared.
- It will help to evaluate and find the true figures of the stars, as the highest estimated number of the celestial bodies from the massive universe might not be enough.
- It is a near-infrared rocket-borne instrument designed to conduct comprehensive multi-band measurements of extragalactic background light (EBL) anisotropy on arc-second to degree angular scales.
Working of CIBER-2
- It will survey a patch of sky that will include dozens of clusters of galaxies.
- The instrument will not actually count individual stars but it will instead detect the extragalactic background light, which is all of the light that has been emitted throughout the history of the Universe.
- It will focus on a portion of the cosmic infrared background, which is emitted by some of the most common stars.
- It is aiming to look at how bright this light is to give scientists an estimate of how many of these stars are out there.
Extragalactic Background Light and Cosmic Infrared Background
- The EBL is a background glow of the collective photons produced in the universe over time.
- It was used in the first CIBER mission to determine the total light from stars through optical to ultraviolet scale.
- The objective is to use cosmic infrared background to point out the common types of stars such as M and K dwarfs.
- The sounding rocket will measure the number of stars not by counting the physical bodies themselves, but by the traces of lights that are emitted by stars in faint galaxies.
Subject : Governance
Context : India along with Govt. of United Kingdom launched new workstream to promote industrial energy efficiency under the Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM) – Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI) at the 12th Chief Energy Ministerial (CEM).
- The Clean Energy Ministerial Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative (IDDI) is a global coalition of public and private organisations who are working to stimulate demand for low carbon industrial materials.
- Coordinated by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the IDDI is co-led by the UK and India. Additional members include Germany and Canada.
- The initiative also includes organizations like the Mission Possible Platform, the Leadership Group for the Industry Transition, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Bank.
- The objective is to tackle carbon intensive construction materials such as steel and cement by infusing green technologies and stimulate demand for low-carbon industrial material.
Subject : Governance
Context : The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, launched the SAGE (Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine) initiative and SAGE portal to support India’s elderly persons.
About SAGE (Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine) initiative
- The SAGE portal will be a “one-stop access” of elderly care products and services by credible start-ups.
- The start-ups will be selected on the basis of innovative products and services, which they should be able to provide across sectors such as health, housing, care centers etc.
- It is designed as per the suggestions of the Empowered Committee on start-ups for the elderly to solicit the involvement of youth and their innovative ideas for elderly care.
- An allocation of Rs 25 crores has been made for the SAGE project in the current financial year i.e. 2021-22.
- The Ministry will act as a facilitator, enabling the elderly to access the products through these identified start-ups.
- It aims to identify, evaluate, verify, aggregate, and deliver products, solutions and services directly to the stakeholders.
Subject : Defence
Context: Indian Coast Guard (ICG), in coordination with Sri Lankan authorities, has been tirelessly engaged in fighting a major fire onboard the Chemical laden container vessel MV X-Press Pearl anchored off Colombo since 25 May 2021.
- The coordinated joint operation between India and Sri Lanka undertaken to respond to potential environmental danger has been christened as SagarAaraksha-II.
- Indian Coast Guard ships, including the specialised pollution response vessel SamudraPrahari and offshore patrol vessel Vajra are standby in vicinity to respond to the developing situation.
- The ICG being an active member of South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) remains committed to its responsibility of safeguarding of the ocean environment in the region.
International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG)
- The vessel when caught with fire was carrying 1486 containers containing chemical cargo classified as International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG).
- Among other chemicals, the IMDG cargo consisted of highly inflammable Nitric Acid, Methanol, Methyl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide and Polystyrene beads.
Subject : Defence
Context : Recently, the Ministry of Defence has announced the decommissioning of INS Sandhayak.
About INS Sandhayak
- It is the first of its class indigenously designed and built Hydrographic Survey Ship of Indian Navy.
- It was conceptualised by then Chief Hydrographer to the Govt. of India, Rear Admiral FL Fraser.
- The design was finalised by Naval Headquarters and the construction of the ship began at GRSE Kolkata by laying the keel in 1978.
- It was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1981.
- It has undertaken approximately 200 major Hydrographic Surveys and numerous minor surveys in both East and West coasts of the country, the Andaman seas and the neighbouring countries too.
- It has been an active participant in many significant operations such as:
Operation Pawan: Assisting the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka in 1987;
Operations Sarong and Rainbow: Rendering humanitarian assistance post Tsunami of 2004; and
Participation in maiden joint INDO-US HADR Exercise ‘Tiger-Triumph’