Daily Prelims Notes 7 January 2022
- January 7, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
7 January 2022
Table Of Contents
- Special Protection Group (SPG)
- Asian Waterbird Census
- Deep Blue
- Green Energy Corridor
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
- EC hikes expenditure limits for candidates
- Major Ports of India
- GM food labelling for Soyabean Oil
- Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
- First Open Rock Museum
- National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM)
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security breach in Punjab wherein his cavalcade was stuck on a flyover for almost 20 minutes due to a blockade by protesting farmers
- The Prime Minister’s security is the domain of the Special Protection Group or SPG that is described as an “armed force” in the SPG Act.
- The SPG Act came into being in 1988 and the body functions under the cabinet secretariat.
- The Act has provisions for “providing proximate security” to the Prime Minister of India as well as those who have previously held the post.
- It was created after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Parliament passed the SPG Act (1988) dedicating the group to protecting the Prime Ministers of India.
- After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination (1991), the SPG Act was amended, offering SPG protection to all former Prime Ministers and their families for a period of at least 10 years.
- The SPG comprises of the personnel from the CRPF, Border Security Force and other Central and State forces.
What is Proximate Security?
- Proximate security is defined as “protection provided from close quarters, during a journey by road, rail, aircraft, watercraft, or on foot, or any other means of transport and shall include the places of functions, engagements, residence or halt and shall comprise ring round teams, isolation cordons, the sterile zone around, and the rostrum and access control to the person or members of his immediate family”.
- The Act clearly mentions that ring round team, isolation cordons and access control are a mandate of the SPG as part of proximate security defined above.
SPG under Central Govt
- “The general superintendence, direction and control of the group shall vest in, and be exercised by, the Central Government and subject thereto and to the provisions of this Act and the rules, the command and supervision of the Group shall vest in an officer to be appointed by the Central Govt. as the Director of the Group,” the Act reads.
States Mandated to Assist SPG
- The Act also makes it clear that state governments must assist the protection group whenever required.
- Section 14 of the SPG Act makes the state government responsible for providing all assistance to the SPG during the PM’s movement.
The Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- Ministry: Home Affairs
- Passed by both the Houses of Parliament
- The Bill amends the Special Protections Group Act, 1988.
- Under the Act, the SPG provides security to the Prime Minister and his immediate family members. It also provides security to former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members for a period of one year from the date on which they cease to hold the office. Beyond this period, the SPG security is provided based on the level of threat as decided by the central government. The threat must: (i) emanate from a military or terrorist organisation, and (ii) be of a grave and continuing nature.
- The Bill amends this provision to state that the SPG will provide security to the Prime Minister, and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence. It will also provide security to any former Prime Ministers, and his immediate family members residing with him at the residence allotted to him. This security will be provided for a period of five years from the date on which he ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister.
- The Act provides that if the SPG security is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, it will also be withdrawn from his immediate family members, unless the level of threat faced by the immediate family member warrants such security. The Bill removes this condition to state that if the SPG security is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, it will also be withdrawn from his immediate family members.
Subject – Environment
Context – The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), an annual count of waterbirds which is under way in parts of Delhi-NCR, has found lower waterbird species diversity at East Delhi’s Sanjay Lake when compared to the count from the past three years.
- The AWC is conducted in January each year and is coordinated by the Wetlands International South Asia and the Bombay Natural History Society.
- It is part of the International Waterbird Census, coordinated by Wetlands International.
- Every January, thousands of volunteers across Asia and Australasia visit wetlands in their country and count waterbirds. This citizen science programme is the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC).
- It was initiated in 1987 in the Indian subcontinent and has grown rapidly to cover major regions of Asia, from Afghanistan eastwards to Japan, Southeast Asia and Australasia.
- The census covers the entire East Asian – Australasian Flyway and a large part of the Central Asian Flyway.
Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) at Delhi-NCR
- The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), an annual count of waterbirds which is under way in parts of Delhi-NCR, has found lower waterbird species diversity at East Delhi’s Sanjay Lake when compared to the count from the past three years.
- The lower species diversity is a sign of degradation of the lake, since waterbirds are an indicator of its health.
- Sanjay Lake, which spans 17 hectares, is maintained by the Delhi Development Authority. It is among the water bodies that the Wetland Authority of Delhi had recently identified for notification as a wetland.
- The two migratory species recorded were the Great Cormorant, which migrates from Southeast Asia, and the Eurasian Coot, which migrates from Temperate Asia.
- The resident species found at the lake include the Common Moorhen, the Indian Cormorant, the White-throated Kingfisher, the White-breasted Waterhen, the Little Grebe, and the Red-wattled Lapwing. While the Indian Spot-billed Duck is usually common in such wetlands.
- The census, which began on January 2 and will conclude on January 16, is being carried out across seven wetlands in the NCR — Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary; Dhanauri and Surajpur wetlands in Greater Noida; Delhi Zoo and Sanjay Lake; Okhla Bird Sanctuary; NajafgarhJheel; and the Yamuna River.
- Sanjay Lake is an artificial lake developed by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in Trilokpuri in East Delhi, India, adjoining MayurVihar II residential area.
- The lake attracts some migratory birds and has many indigenous trees.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – In 1996, Garry Kasparov, then world chess champion, squared off against an opponent that went by the name ‘Deep Blue’, a unique opponent — a computer powered with the ability to evaluate 200 million positions per second
- Deep Blue is a chess-playing supercomputer developed by IBM.
- It was the first computer to win both a chess game and match against a reigning world champion under regular time controls.
- It first played world champion Garry Kasparov in a six-game match in 1996, where it lost two games to four. The computer was upgraded and played once more against Kasparov in 1997. Having won three and drawn one of the six game series, it became the first computer system to defeat a reigning world champion in a match under standard chess tournament time controls.
- Deep Blue’s victory was considered a milestone in the history of artificial intelligence and has been the subject of several books and films.
Subject – Environment
Context – Cabinet clears ₹12k-cr green energy corridor
- The Green Energy Corridor Project aims at synchronizing electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.
- For evacuation of large-scale renewable energy, Intra State Transmission System (InSTS) project was sanctioned by the Ministry in 2015-16.
- It is being implemented by eight renewable-rich states of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
- The project is being implemented in these states by the respective State Transmission Utilities (STUs).
- Ministry – Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
- The Ministry monitors the project every month.
- These corridors form an important component to ensure that the grid frequency always remains within the 49.90-50.05 Hz (hertz) band.
- Also, recently an Automatic Generation Control (AGC) has been made operational which sends signals to power plants every four seconds to maintain frequency and thereby ensuring reliability of India’s power system.
- The transmission systems will be created over a period of five year from Financial Year 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- The Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will help in offsetting the Intra-State transmission charges and thus keep the power costs down.
India’s achievements in Renewable Energy till now –
- India has achieved its NDC target with total non-fossil based installed energy capacity of 157.32 GW which is 40.1% of the total installed electricity capacity.
- Of this, solar, wind and hydropower accounts for 48.55 GW, 40.03 GW and 51.34 GW respectively.
- Also, India’s nuclear energy based installed electricity capacity stands at 6.78 GW.
- Also, 63 GW of renewable energy capacity is under various phases of construction and installed power capacity from non-fossil fuels is expected to go up to 66% by 2030.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Anti-Covid pill Molnupiravir: Approved, not recommended
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research. (HQ -New Delhi).
- Its mandate is to conduct, coordinate and implement medical research for the benefit of the Society; translating medical innovations into products/processes and introducing them into the public health system.
- It is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
- It is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
- Molnupiravir is a repurposed Covid-19 drug, originally developed to treat influenza. It is meant for mild or moderately ill Covid-19 patients who are at risk of developing serious illness.
- The pill, if administered during the first five days after contracting the infection, has the potential to prevent serious illnesses.
- The pill is among the first few therapeutics now being deployed for treatment of Covid-19. Molnupiravir was first cleared for use in the UK in November, and more recently in the US.
To know more about Molnupiravir, please refer October 2021 DPN.
Subject – Polity
Context – EC hikes expenditure limits for candidates ahead of Assembly polls
- The Election Commission on Thursday announced a hike in expenditure limit for candidates to Rs 95 lakh (up from Rs 70 lakh)for Lok Sabha elections, and Rs 40 lakh (up from Rs 28 lakh) for Assembly polls.
- The government’s decision is based on the poll panel’s recommendation.
- The committee found that there has been a substantial increase in the number of electors and Cost Inflation Index since 2014.
- It also factored in the changing modes of campaigning, which is gradually shifting to virtual mode.
- For Assembly elections, the revised expenditure limit for candidates is Rs 40 lakh for big states, up from Rs 28 lakh. Candidates in smaller states can spend a maximum Rs 28 lakh instead of the earlier limit of Rs 20 lakh.
- It is the amount an election candidate can legally spend for their election campaign and has to account for, which includes expenses on public meetings, rallies, advertisements, posters, banners vehicles and advertisements.
- The limit prescribed by the ECI is meant for legitimate expenditure because a lot of money in elections is spent for illegitimate purposes.
- It has often been argued that these limits are unrealistic as the actual expenditure incurred by the candidate is much higher.
- At present, under Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, a candidate contesting Lok Sabha polls can spend up to Rs 70 lakh and up to Rs 28 lakh in an assembly election depending on the state in which s/he is contesting polls.
- Under Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every candidate shall keep a separate and correct account of all expenditure incurred between the date on which he has been nominated and the date of declaration of the result.
- All candidates are required to submit their expenditure statement to the ECI within 30 days of the completion of the elections.
- An incorrect account or expenditure beyond the cap can lead to disqualification of the candidate by the ECI for up to three years, under Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- It can be noted that there is no cap on a political party’s expenditure, which is often exploited by candidates of the party.
- However, all registered political parties have to submit a statement of their election expenditure to the ECI within 90 days of the completion of the elections.
Subject – Economy
Context – Major ports handle 11 per cent more cargo in April-December
- India has 12 major seaports (11 Government-owned and one private) and 205 notified minor and intermediate ports that handle a huge volume of traffic.
- About 95 percent by volume and 70 percent by value of India’s total international trade are carried on through maritime transportation.
- All ports in India are situated in the 9 coastal states of India namely Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
- Mumbai is the largest natural port in India.
- While the Major Ports are under the administrative control of Ministry of Shipping, the non-major ports are under the jurisdiction of respective State Maritime Boards/ State Government.
To know about The Major Port Authorities Act 2020, please refer August 2021 DPN.
To know about Indian Ports Bill 2021, please refer October 2021 DPN.
To know about Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), please refer October 2021 DPN.
Subject – Environment
Context – SEA seeks exemption of ‘GM food’ labelling for soyabean oil
To know about it, please refer November 2021 DPN.
Subject – IR
Context – Russia led troops deployed in Kazakhstan
To know about CSTO, please refer September 2021 DPN.
Subject – Art and Culture
Context – First open rock museum inaugurated in Hyderabad
- Union Minister of State for Science & Technology Jitendra Singh inaugurated India’s first open rock museum displaying different types of rocks gathered from different States of ages ranging from 3.3 billion years to around 55 million years on the campus of the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad.
- About 46 rocks of different sizes have been displayed in a garden with descriptions giving the economic and scientific importance of some of them located as deep as 175 km from the surface of the earth.
- The rocks are from Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and others.
- “Big Earth data” occupies the strategic high ground in the era of knowledge economies and India is fully exploiting this new frontier contributing to the advancement of Earth science.
Subject – History
Context – Digitisation of manuscripts picks up
- The National Mission of Manuscripts (NMM) was established to unearth and preserve India’s vast wealth of manuscripts.
- The NMM was established in 2003 by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
- According to some estimates, there are about ten million manuscripts in India, probably the largest collection in the world.
- These manuscripts include a wide variety of themes, languages, scripts, textures and aesthetics, illuminations, calligraphies, and illustrations.
- The chief mandate of the mission is to identify, collect, document, preserve and conserve the manuscripts from all over India and make it accessible to people.
- Its motto is ‘conserving the past for the future’.
To know about Manuscripts, please refer December 2021 DPN.