Daily Prelims Notes 5 March 2021
- March 5, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
5 March 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- QS World Ranking by Subject
- Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020
- Ease of Living Index, 2020 (EoLI)
- OBC quota in local govt
- North-East removed from the delimitation commission mandate
- Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train
- International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC)
- Loan to Value (LTV) ratio
- SC Bench proposes fast-track courts to address pendency of cases due to dishonoured cheques
- Heat Wave
Subject: Reports and indices
Context: The number of Indian universities/ institutes in the top 100 subject rankings has increased from eight to 12 this year.
Findings of the report w.r.t India:
- 25 subjects mostly in engineering (17) offered by higher education institutions in India rank among the top 100 in the world in their respective subject categories (last edition it was 26 subjects).
- The O P Jindal Global University is the only private university to have entered the top-100 club with its law programme ranked 76th
- IIT-Madras’s Petroleum Engineering programme registered the best performance among Indian institutes — 30th in the world.
- IIT-Guwahati (for petroleum engineering), Jawaharlal Nehru University (anthropology), Anna University (petroleum engineering), and O P Jindal Global University (law) were 4 new entrants in top-100.
- IIT-Bombay has got more top 100 positions (total 7) than any other Indian institution.
About the report
- It is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
- Earlier it was known as the Times Higher Education–QS World University Rankings
- In partnership with Elsevier, the QS system now comprises the global overall and subject rankings
- QS World University Rankings by subject calculate performance based on four parameters
- Academic reputation
- Employer reputation
- Research impact (citations per paper)
- The productivity of an institution’s research faculty.
Subject: Reports and indices
Context: The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has emerged as the best municipality among cities and union territories with a population of less than a million in the country as part of MPI,2020 from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
- NDMC took a quantum jump from 65th in 2019.
- Several IT-based initiatives for strengthening e-governance and m-governance to improve under services and governance verticals were major driver of this makeover.
- In the Million+ category, Indore has emerged as the highest ranked municipality, followed by Surat and Bhopal.
- It is released by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
- The Municipal Performance Index (MPI) was launched as an accompaniment to the Ease of Living Index. It was launched to expand scope for the EoLI (Ease of Living Index) framework in order to make it more robust
- The Municipal Performance Index captures the enabling input parameters
- It seeks to give insight into granular understanding of a municipalities’ functionalities and the extent of their development and capabilities.It seeks to simplify and evaluate the complexities in local governance practice and promote the ethos of transparency and accountability
- It is a framework to assess and analyse the performance of Indian Municipalities based on their defined set of functions.
- This assesses the performance of 114 cities across 5 pillars, 20 categories and 99 indicators. These 5 pillars are: Services, Finance, Policy, Technology and Governance
- Generate information to guide evidence-based policy making
- Catalyze action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the Sustainable Development Goals
- Assess and compare the outcomes achieved by municipal bodies with given set of resources
- Give citizens an insight into the functioning of local bodies and build a dialogue between the stakeholders
Subject: Reports and indices
Context: The rankings under Ease of Living Index 2020 by MoHUA were announced for cities (along with the MPI, 2020) with a population of more than a million.
- The Ease of Living Index encapsulates the outcome indicators by a Citizen Perception Survey (Bhubaneshwar had the highest CPS score) in the index, holding a weightage of 30%. It also includes SDGs in its framework.
- The methodology and approach for the revised edition of EoLI and MPI were released by MoHUA in February 2019. Essentially, the EoLI report aims to measure the well-being of Indian citizens in 111 cities, across the pillars of Quality of Life, Economic-ability, and Sustainability, with 49 indicators under 13 categories.
- Bengaluru (1st) was declared most livable followed by Pune, Ahmedabad best cities in EoLI (Ease of Living Index) 2020
- Shimla ranked first in EoLI 2020.
Context: The SC held that the OBC quota in local governance was“statutory”, unlike the “constitutional” reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and quota for SC, ST and OBCs must not break 50% ceiling for reservation.
- The court decision came on petitions challenging Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961, which mandated that the State should provide 27 per cent reservation to OBCs.
- It also challenged State Election Commission notification providing for reservation exceeding 50 per cent in respect of Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis of Washim, Akola, Nagpur and Bhandara districts.
- In case, constitutional reservation provided for SCs and STs were to consume the entire 50 per cent of seats in the concerned local bodies and in some cases in scheduled area even beyond 50 per cent, in respect of such local bodies, the question of providing further reservation to OBCs would not arise at all.
Reservation in 73rd and 74th Amendment act
- It provides for reservation for SCs and STs at all-levels of panchayats and municipalities in proportion to their population.
- It also provides for reservation for women (not less than 33% horizontally).
- Above two are mandatory provisions.
- It mentions that state can provide for OBC quota in local governance.
Context: After red flag over legal validity of the Centre’s order of forming Limitation Commission for J&K as well as 4 North-East states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, the 4 North-Eastern states have been removed from its mandate.
- It also extended the Delimitation Commission’s term by a year with delimitation exercise limited to J&K.
- Section 8A of the Representation of People Act, introduced by Parliament in 2008, states that delimitation in the four northeastern states, when held, would fall within the Election Commission’s remit.
- Thus, any delimitation effort by new commission would have created legal challenges and that’s why it was excluded from mandate.
- Apprehensions expressed in the northeastern states over using the 2001 Census was said to be another reason for this decision.
About Delimitation Commission
- Delimitation means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.
- The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.
- Under Article 82 of the Constitution, the Parliament by law enacts a Delimitation Act after every census.
- The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India
- Retired Supreme Court judge
- Chief Election Commissioner
- Respective State Election Commissioners
- It is a high-power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.
Context: The National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) is discussing with its Japanese partner the possibility of operating the high-speed trains in Gujarat in the first phase and later extending it to Maharashtra.
- 95 per cent land has been acquired in Gujarat and Rs 32,500 crore worth of tenders already awarded for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project.
- It is under-construction high-speed rail line connecting the cities of Ahmedabad and India’s economic hub Mumbai with the help of Japan.
- It will be built with the help of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
- Bullet train or High Speed Rail is an integrated system having overall optimization of various components, viz. Hardware, Software, Human-ware, and their interface, etc.
- The train, with a capacity of 750 passengers, will travel at speeds between 320 km/hr and 350km/hr and is expected to reduce travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai to three-and-a-half hours or less from the present eight.
- Potential benefit: High-speed connectivity; new job opportunities; Urban expansion; make India favorable destination for high-speed train technologies; Social Benefits (reduced CO2 emission, comparatively less land required than a 6-lane highway for same passenger capacity).
- NHSRCL) was incorporated on 12th February 2016 under the Companies Act, 2013 with an object to finance, construct, maintain and manage the High Speed Rail Corridor in India.
- The Company has been modelled as ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ in the joint sector with equity participation by Central Government through Ministry of Railways and two State Governments viz. Government of Gujarat and Government of Maharashtra.
Subject: International Affairs
Context: India has proposed inclusion of Chabahar port in the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route at Chabahar Day’ at the Maritime India Summit.
- India’s interest in Chabahar reflects importance it attaches to regional connectivity and strategic, economic significance it offers.
- The INSTC is a key trade corridor project, wherein India is partnering with 12 countries to establish an economic corridor.
- 7,200-km multi-mode transport (Rail, sea, Road) project to move freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
- Aim is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan, Bandar Anzali, etc.
- Dry runs of two routes were conducted in 2014, the first was Mumbai to Baku via Bandar Abbas and the second was Mumbai to Astrakhan via Bandar Abbas, Tehran and Bandar Anzali.
Context: Home loan rates are at 15-year low.
- The home loan rates are linked to the borrower’ credit score and Loan to Value ratio.
About LTV ratio
- An LTV ratio is calculated by dividing the amount borrowed by the appraised value of the property, expressed as a percentage.
- LTV ratio= Mortgage Amount/ Appraised Property Value.
- For ex- For a Rs 100,000 appraised value, and making a 10,000 down payment, if we borrow 90,000. This results in an LTV ratio of 90%.
- It help lender determine the level of exposure to risk they take on when underwriting a mortgage.
Subject: International organizations
Context: Crude oil saw a rise of about 5% on Thursday as sources said OPEC and its allies have agreed to keep production unchanged into April.
- OPEC+ is the alliance of crude producers undertaking corrections in supply in the oil markets since 2017.
- OPEC plus countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan. (OPEC, As of 2020, OPEC has a total of 13 Member Countries viz. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Angola and Venezuela are members of OPEC.)
Context: The Constitution bench of the SC has proposed setting up of fast-track courts for a limited time to clear dishonoured cheque cases.
- Such cases account for almost 30% (35 lakh cheque bounce cases)of the backlogs across the country.
- The court held that even retired judges could preside over these temporary additional courts to clear pending cheque case.
- The SC referred to Art 247 of the Constitution: The government had both power and an obligation under Article 247 of the Constitution to set up additional courts to better the administration of laws enacted by the Parliament, including the Negotiable Instruments Act, which deals with cheques.
Recommendations of amici curiae
- The court appointed amici curiae recommended Centre, Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks Association create a nodal service agency for effective service of summons through electronic process
- Empowering local Magistrates to order attachment of the bank account of an absconding accused to the extent of the cheque amount.
- Generating a unique number for a dishonour memo, which when fed into a system, would reveal the details of the account holder.
Context: In spite of rise of above 3-5 degree Celsius the IMD ruled out heat wave conditions over North-West India due to calming influence of a cooler western disturbance.
- Afresh western disturbance as a trough lay over South Afghanistan and adjoining South-west Pakistan on Thursday evening accompanied by an offspring cyclonic circulation over Central Pakistan and adjoining West Rajasthan which makes it an active weather system.
About heat wave
- A Heat Wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western parts of India.
- Heat Waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.
- Urban heat island effects, deforestation, global warming leading to higher daily peak temperature etc. are major causes of heat waves.
- The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke and sometimes resulting in death.
- Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing morbidities are particularly vulnerable.
IMD defines Heat Waves as:
- Heat Wave need not be considered till maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions
- When normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40°C Heat Wave Departure from normal is 5°C to 6°C Severe Heat Wave Departure from normal is 7°C or more
- When normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40°C Heat Wave Departure from normal is 4°C to 5°C Severe Heat Wave Departure from normal is 6°C or more
- When actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, heat waves should be declared.