Daily Prelims Notes 6 June 2020
- June 6, 2020
- Posted by: admin
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- LIDAR Technology
- Near earth Objects
- Foreign Portfolio Investor
- Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF)
- Gold Bond Scheme
- Monetary Policy and Demand in economy
- Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings
- Ambarnaya River Oil spill in Russia
- Aerosol Radiative Forcing
Subject: Science and tech
Researchers have leveraged the aerial deployment of lidar technology to detect “massive, ancient platforms made of clay and earth”.
- Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.
- These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
- A lidar instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver.
- Two types of lidar are topographic and bathymetric. Topographic lidar typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric lidar uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.
- Lidar systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.
Subject: Science and tech
NASA announced that a giant asteroid named 163348 (2002 NN4) is expected to pass Earth (at a safe distance) on June 6.
- Near Earth Objects are comets and asteroids nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits which allows them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.
- These objects are composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles.
- The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is largely due to their status as relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process over 4.6 billion years ago. Therefore, these NEOs offer scientists clues about the chemical mixture from the planets formed.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth ₹20,814 crore in just five trading sessions in the current month. This is the highest in any month of 2020.
- Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) consists of securities and other financial assets held by investors in another country.
- It does not provide the investor with direct ownership of a company’s assets and is relatively liquid depending on the volatility of the market.
- FPI holdings can include stocks, depository receipts, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds
The Reserve Bank of India is going to create Rs 500-crore payments infrastructure development fund (PIDF) to encourage acquirers to deploy points of sale (PoS) infrastructure both physical and digital modes in tier-3 to tier-6 centres as also in northeastern states.
- Half of the fund will be initially contributed by RBI
- The remaining contribution of the fund will be from card-issuing banks and card networks operating in the country.
- The fund will be governed through an Advisory Council and managed and administered by RBI.
- The fund will also receive recurring contributions to cover operational expenses from card-issuing banks and card networks.
- RBI will also contribute to yearly shortfalls, if necessary.
Need for the fund:
- Due to the high cost of merchant acquisition and installation the majority of POS terminals in the country are concentrated in Tier-1 and 2 cities and towns, leaving other regions behind.
- This fund will make the economics more favourable and will significantly increase the merchant base accepting digital payments
Government announced opening up of Sovereign Gold Bonds 2020-21 (Series III) for the period June 08-12, 2020
- Gold bonds have been introduced to convert the demand for gold as a physical asset into financial savings.
- Sovereign Gold Bonds or SGBs issued by the RBI on behalf of government are priced in relation to the price of gold and offer a fixed interest rate.
- At the time of maturity, the bond owner receives the value of the bond in line with the current price of gold.
- Gold bonds are restricted for sale to resident Indian entities including individuals, HUFs, trusts, universities and charitable institutions.
- The minimum application size for this investment is equivalent to 1 gram of gold and the maximum limit of subscribed shall be 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal year (April-March)
- Bonds can be used as collateral for loans and are tradable on stock exchanges within a fortnight of the issuance on a date as notified by the RBI.
In the last monetary policy committee meeting, RBI governor expressed the need for boosting investment and consumption through easing finance conditions.
After cutting interest rates by 75 basis points (bps) in March, the central bank further brought down the repo rate by 40 bps to 4% in May in a bid to revive demand amid a slowing economy.
Monetary Policy and Aggregate Demand
- Monetary policy affects interest rates and the available quantity of loanable funds, which in turn affects several components of aggregate demand.
- Tight or contractionary monetary policy that leads to higher interest rates and a reduced quantity of loanable funds will reduce two components of aggregate demand.
- Business investment will decline because it is less attractive for firms to borrow money, and even firms that have money will notice that, with higher interest rates, it is relatively more attractive to put those funds in a financial investment than to make an investment in physical capital.
- In addition, higher interest rates will discourage consumer borrowing for big-ticket items like houses and cars.
- Conversely, loose or expansionary monetary policy that leads to lower interest rates and a higher quantity of loanable funds will tend to increase business investment and consumer borrowing for big-ticket items.
- If the economy is suffering a recession and high unemployment, with output below potential GDP, expansionary monetary policy can help the economy return to potential GDP.
R- interest rate, I-investment, C-consumption, P-price
On occasion of World Environment Day, today, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the “Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings” initiative under MAITREE.
- This initiative is addressing the challenges of retrofitting existing buildings and air conditioning systems so that they are both healthy and energy efficient.
- Most buildings in India are not equipped to establish and maintain healthy indoor air quality and need to be upgraded. Such retrofit measures, like increasing outside air and additional filtration in the air conditioning system, typically come at the cost of occupant comfort and increased energy use. Nor are there standardized approaches to retrofitting.
- The EESL office pilot will address this problem by developing specifications for future use in other buildings throughout the country, as well as aid in evaluating the effectiveness and cost benefits of various technologies and their short and long-term impacts on air quality, comfort, and energy use.
- The Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREE), under which this initiative has been launched, is a part of the US-India bilateral Partnership between the Ministry of Power and USAID and is aimed at accelerating the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency as a standard practice within buildings, and specifically focuses on cooling.
- Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India, is working towards mainstreaming energy efficiency and is implementing the world’s largest energy efficiency portfolio in the country.
- Driven by the mission of Enabling More – more transparency, more transformation, and more innovation, EESL aims to create market access for efficient and future-ready transformative solutions that create a win-win situation for every stakeholder.
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results.
Ministry of Power initiated the ‘#iCommit’ campaign, on the occasion of World Environment Day.
- The initiative is a clarion call to all stakeholders and individuals to continue moving towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability to create a robust and resilient energy system in the future.
- The ‘#iCommit’ initiative, driven by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is uniting a diverse set of players such as Governments, Corporates, Multilateral and Bilateral Organisations, Think Tanks and Individuals.
- The ‘#iCommit’ initiative is centredaround the idea of building an energy resilient future.
- The pre-requisite for that goal is to create a flexible and agile power system. A healthy power sector can help the nation in meeting the objective of energy access and security for all.
- The initiative will also celebrate and promote key undertakings of Government of India such as National Electric Mobility Mission 2020, FAME 1 and 2, DeenDayalUpadhyaya Gram JyotiYojana, the Saubhagya Scheme, Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna (UDAY), Atal Distribution system Improvement Yojna (AJAY), Smart Meter National Programme, KUSUM, Solar Parks, Grid Connected Rooftop, UnnatJyoti by Affordable LED for All (UJALA), Atal JyotiYojna (AJAY) amongst others
Russia declared a state of emergency after 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil leaked into Ambarnaya river in Arctic region turning its surface crimson red.
Reason for spill
- The thermoelectric power plant at Norilsk is built on permafrost, which has weakened over the years owing to climate change.
- This caused the pillars that supported the plant’s fuel tank to sink leading to a loss of containment.
- Permafrost is any ground that remains completely frozen—32°F (0°C) or colder—for at least two years straight.
- These permanently frozen grounds are most common in regions with high mountains and in Earth’s higher latitudes—near the North and South Poles.
- Permafrost is made of a combination of soil, rocks and sand that are held together by ice. The soil and ice in permafrost stay frozen all year long.
- Near the surface, permafrost soils also contain large quantities of organic carbon—a material leftover from dead plants that couldn’t decompose, or rot away, due to the cold. Lower permafrost layers contain soils made mostly of minerals.
- A layer of soil on top of permafrost does not stay frozen all year. This layer, called the active layer, thaws during the warm summer months and freezes again in the fall. In colder regions, the ground rarely thaws—even in the summer.
Climate change and permafrost
- As Earth’s climate warms, the permafrost is thawing. That means the ice inside the permafrost melts, leaving behind water and soil.Thawing permafrost can have dramatic impacts on our planet and the things living on it. For example:
- Thawingpermafrost can destroy houses, roads and other infrastructure.
- When permafrost is frozen, plant material in the soil—called organic carbon—can’t decompose, or rot away. As permafrost thaws, microbes begin decomposing this material. This process releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere.
- The newly-unfrozen microbes could make humans and animals very sick. Scientists have discovered microbes more than 400,000 years old in thawed permafrost.
Researchers at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have found that aerosol radiative forcing larger than the global averages over the trans-Himalayas implying some amount of radiative effects, in spite of the clean atmosphere.
- Aerosol radiative forcing is defined as the effect of anthropogenic aerosols on the radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and at the surface and on the absorption of radiation within the atmosphere.
- Aerosols affect climate in multiple ways. Aerosol absorbs or scatters radiation in the atmosphere (so-called direct effect). Aerosols, except dust, interfere mainly with solar radiation. Some aerosols act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), thus affecting cloud albedo and lifetime (so-called indirect effect). Dark color aerosols can be deposited on sea ice, snow packs and glaciers, thus darkening the snow and ice surfaces, and enhancing the absorption of sunlight (so-called surface darkening effect). Some of the aerosols can absorb sunlight efficiently and heat the atmosphere.