Daily Prelims Notes 7 July 2021
- July 7, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
7 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Amid Cabinet reshuffle buzz eight States get new Governors
- Central govt creates New Ministry for Co-operatives
- Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) Project
- Lambda CovidVariant may be a emerging threat
- Delhi govt. relief scheme for COVID victims’ kin launched
- Alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- Monsoon breaks
- Sutra Sero survey model
- Palm oil import
- Water disputes and irrigation projects in Krishna and Godavari
- Lambda Variant
- Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary
- White- Black and Red Flag Movement
Context: The RashtrapatiBhavan announced a slew of gubernatorial appointments, including that of Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment ThawarchandGehlot as the Governor of Karnataka, replacing VajubhaiVala.
- Governor is the head of the executive of the state.
- He/she is appointed by President of India.
Qualifications and conditions for appointment:
- Should be a citizen of India.
- Should have completed 35 years of age.
- Should not hold any office of profit under the union govt. or state govt. or any local Authority or any other public authority.
- Should not be a member of either house of parliament or a house of the state legislature.
- Governor holds office for a term of 5 years from the date on which he assumes office. This term of 5 years is subject to the pleasure of president.
- He/she can resign anytime by addressing a resignation letter to the president.
- Oath: The oath of office to the governor is administered by the chief justice of concerned HC and in his absence by the senior-most judge of the HC available.
- By 7th Constitution Amendment Act of 1956, same person can be appointed as governor of 2 or more states.
Subject : Governance
Context : In a historic move, a separate ‘Ministry of Co-operation’ has been created by the NDA Government for realizing the vision of ‘Sahkar se Samriddhi’.
- This ministry will provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework for strengthening the cooperative movement in the country.
- It will help deepen Co-operatives as a true people based movement reaching upto the grassroots.
- The Ministry will work to streamline processes for ‘Ease of doing business’ for co-operatives and enable development of Multi-State Co-operatives (MSCS).
- Creation of a separate Ministry for Co-operation also fulfils the budget announcement made by the Finance Minister.
Subject : Governance
Context :Recently, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had issued orders on appointing an advisory committee for Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project.
Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) Project
- It is project of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
- Its primary objective is to curb digital monopolies.
- Under the project, the onboarding of sellers, vendor discovery, price discovery and product cataloguing could be made open source on the lines of Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
- It is expected to digitise the entire value chain, standardise operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiency in logistics and enhance value for consumers.
- The task of implementing DPIIT’s ONDC project has been assigned to the Quality Council of India (QCI).
- It aims at promoting open networks developed on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols, independent on any specific platform.
- It refers to a scenario wherein e-commerce giants or Big Tech companies tend to dominate and flout competition law pertaining to monopoly.
- The giants have built their own proprietary platforms for operations.
- India moved to shake up digital monopolies in the country’s $ 1+ trillion retail market by making public a draft of a code of conduct i.e. Draft Ecommerce Policy.
Subject : Science & tech
Context: Amid Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to drive the rise in infections around the world, another variant, Lambda, is increasingly being seen by scientists and health experts as a new emerging threat.
Lambda Covid Variant
- It is previously known by its formal scientific name C.37.
- In June 2021, the World Health Organization has designated the Lambda variant, as the seventh and newest “variant of interest”.
- It has been the dominant variant in Peru and other countries of South America.
- The Lambda variant has not yet been found in the Indian population, but has been detected in the UK and other European countries.
Mutations in Lambda Covid Variant
- According to the WHO, the Lambda variant has at least seven significant mutations in the spike protein (the Delta variant has three).
- It could have a range of implications, including the possibility of increased transmissibility or enhanced resistance to antibodies, created either through natural infection or vaccination.
- It had greater infectivity than the Alpha and Gamma variants (known to have originated in the UK and Brazil respectively).
- The study by researchers at the Chile reported decreased effectiveness of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine (Coronavac) against the Lambda variant.
What does ‘variant of interest’ designation mean?
- It implies that the genetic changes involved are predicted or known to affect transmissibility, disease severity, or immune escape.
- It is an acknowledgement of the fact that the variant has caused significant community transmission in multiple countries and population groups.
- There are currently seven variants, including the Lambda that the WHO classifies as “variants of interest”.
Subject :Govt Schemes
Context : Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, launched a scheme to provide monetary support to covid-19 affected families on July 6, 2021.
Mukhyamantri Covid-19 PariwarAarthikSahayataYojana
- This scheme was notified by Department of Social Welfare on June 22, 2022.
- Under this scheme, Rs 50,000 ex gratia will be provided to every family who lost a member to Covid-19.
- Additional of Rs 2,500 per month will be provided to them if deceased was sole breadwinner of the family.
- This financial assistance will be provided without conducting scrutiny of applications and without finding any faults in application.
- If any family lack any document, government will help them to obtain it.
- Under the scheme, government will also consider a single member of affected family to be enrolled as civil defence volunteer.
- Government also affirmed to look after health and education needs of dependent children as per existing policy.
Who can get financial assistance?
- There is no income criterion to apply for financial assistance under the newly launched scheme. However, in order to get assistance, deceased & dependent should be from Delhi and Death should be certified Covid-19 death or death within one month of testing Covid positive
Context: The Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) in Karnataka has said that alcohol-based hand sanitiser, is at best, a substance that has disinfectant properties to prevent the spread and transmission of germs/bacteria/viruses, and does not have medicinal properties.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitiser, a substance that has disinfectant properties to prevent the spread and transmission of germs/bacteria/viruses, and does not have medicinal properties.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitiser does not have either therapeutic or prophylactic properties
- Prevention of transmission of diseases causing micro-organisms is not the same as preventing the onset or progression of disease said the AAAR.
- The use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, neither controls the diseases caused by virus/bacteria, nor does it develop preventive characteristics inside the human body to fight diseases.
- It is merely a product recommended for use in hand hygiene practices, Both ‘hand sanitiser’ and ‘soap and water’ are recommended methods in hand hygiene practices, and each method is effective in certain situations
The ruling related to GST must have two qualities for a product to be classified as medicament
- Therapeutic or prophylactic.
- Its curative and preventive value must be substantial
- The product must be manufactured primarily to control or cure a disease, and customers use it primarily for treatment, mitigation, cure or prevention of special diseases or disorder.
It noted that Finance Ministry has notified 5 per cent GST on hand sanitisers for a period between June 14 and September 30. it ruled 18 per cent GST for hand sanitiser such as ‘isopropyl rubbing alcohol IP and chlorhexidine gluconate and isopropyl alcohol solution
Context: Revival of the monsoon on Thursday will bring down rain intensity and distribution over the North-Eastern States in a known swing of fortunes as the monsoon emerges out of a “break” phase
- The monsoon has tendency to have ‘breaks’ in rainfall,during which very less or no rainfall occurs. The monsoon rains take place only for a few days at a time.
- They are interspersed with rainless intervals. These breaks in monsoon are related to the movement of the monsoon trough.
- This happens when the Monsoon trough shifts to the foothills of Himalayas, which leads to sharp decrease in rainfall over most parts of the country but increase along the Himalayas and parts of Northeast India and Southern Peninsula.
- During July and August, there are certain periods when the monsoons become weak. Breaks are likely to occur during the second week of August and last for a week.
- The breaks are believed to be brought about by the northward shifting of the monsoon trough (minimum low pressure cell in ITCZ).The axis of the trough lies at the foothills of the Himalayas during the break period.
- During the break period, heavy rainfall occurs over the sub-Himalayan regions and the southern slopes of the Himalayas.
- one or two breaks do occur during the rainy season.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: If a fully immune-escape variant of SARS-CoV2 doesn’t surface, the third Covid-19 wave will only be a ripple when compared to the second wave that killed more than 2.5 lakh in a short span of time, according to a mathematician
- Agrawal, together with MathukumalliVidyasagar of IIT-Hyderabad, and MadhuriKanitkar, Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, designed Sutra, the model that guided the government in taking several pandemic responses in the past.
- The serological survey was meant to detect whether the person being tested had developed antibodies against the coronavirus.
- Since it is not possible to test everyone, detecting antibodies in random sets of people is an indirect way of estimating the extent of disease spread in a community.
- The antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to fight external organisms like viruses that try to enter the body.
- These are produced only after the infection has happened, and are specific to the attacking virus or bacterium.
- The presence of antibodies, therefore, is an indication that an infection by that particular virus or bacterium has already occurred.
- Subsequent attempts to infect the body can be thwarted by these antibodies.
- This simulation model to assess the virus behaviour found fully immune-escape variant of SARS-CoV2 doesn’t surface, the third Covid-19 wave will only be a ripple when compared to the second wave.
- The key thing here is the assumption that 20 per cent of those infected by the Delta variant in the second wave becomes susceptible again after three months.
- First sero survey Agrawal was candid to admit that the Sutra model failed to pick up the extent of the second wave, calculated the second wave would not be very big and, at best, it would be similar to the first one.
- The scientists assuming that 50 per cent of the fully vaccinated people are still susceptible and 20 per cent of those infected by Delta variant (primarily responsible for the second wave) vulnerable again. However, this situation can change significantly if there is a variant that is fully immune-escape.
Context: Requesting the Government to withdraw its decision to freely allow the import of RBD palmolein and RBD palm oil, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) has said such a decision would kill the domestic refining industry and will have serious repercussions on farmers
- The Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had placed the import of RBD palmolein and RBD palm oil under the ‘Restricted List’ from Jan. 8, 2020.
- It greatly helped domestic edible oil refiners to increase their capacity utilisation by processing larger quantities of crude palm oil.
- Import of RBD palmolein dropped from 27.3 lakh tonnes during the oil year November-October 2018-19 to 4.21 lakh tonnes.
- The ‘opening up’ by freely allowing import of RBD palmolein and RBD palm oil will have serious repercussions for both domestic refiners and farmers as this will have a dampening effect on the prices of domestic oilseeds.
- Refined oil import will surely send the industry to the door of bankruptcy as we have seen in the past with so many refineries.
- Allowing free import of refined palm oils will not bring down prices.
Context: Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had come to blows following a heated discussion between government officials over release of water from the NagarjunaSagar reservoir.
- Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has been drawing Krishna water from four projects, Jurala, Srisailam, NagarjunaSagar, and Pulichintala for hydropower generation
- The usage has to be approved from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), an autonomous body that was set up after the bifurcation of the state, to manage and regulate the waters in the Krishna basin.
- The water that is used for power generation, farmers in the Krishna delta ayacut are yet to begin sowing of the kharif crop.
- The Andhra Pradesh government implements the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project (RLIP) in Krishna river.
- After Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, the two states agreed to split the water share 66:34 on an ad hoc basis until the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2 decided the final allocation.
Claims by Telangana,
- Telangana has called for a 50:50 allocation of water from the Krishna river.
- The Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project that was inaugurated in 2019 requires a huge amount of power to draw water from the Godavari river, the Telangana government needs the hydel energy to power its Nettempadu, Bheema, Koilsagar and Kalwakurthy lift irrigation projects.
- Telangana wants the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2 to permanently settle the water dispute.
Context: Even as the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to drive the rise in infections around the world, another variant, Lambda, is increasingly being seen by scientists and health experts as a new emerging threat.
- The World Health Organization designated the Lambda variant, previously known by its formal scientific name C.37, as the seventh and newest “variant of interest
- Like the Delta variant, the Lambda variant, which has now been detected in more than 25 countries, is feared to be more transmissible than the original virus
- it is believed to have originated in Peru, it accounts for almost 80% of the infections. this variant has been detected in more than 25 countries, although the numbers are still very small.
- the Lambda variant has at least seven significant mutations in the spike protein (the Delta variant has three) which could have a range of implications, including the possibility of increased transmissibility or enhanced resistance to antibodies, created either through natural infection or vaccination.
- the Lambda variant had greater infectivity than the Alpha and Gamma variants.
Variant of interest
- The designation as a “variant of interest” means that the genetic changes involved are predicted or known to affect transmissibility, disease severity, or immune escape.
- It is also an acknowledgement of the fact that the variant has caused significant community transmission in multiple countries and population groups.
- There are currently seven variants, including the Lambda, that the WHO classifies as “variants of interest”. Another four – Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta – have been designated as “variants of concern”, and are considered a bigger threat.
- These were all recently named after letters of the Greek alphabet to avoid linkage with the country of their origin that had been happening until then.
Context: After the Centre’s nod for creation of the Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary, the Rajasthan government is hoping to develop a tiger corridor connecting three tiger reserves passing through districts including SawaiMadhopur, Kota and Bundi.
- Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary will be link Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the Northeast &Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve on the southern side.
- The total area of 1,017 sq. km has been identified as the reserve area comprising two forest blocks of Bhilwara, territorial forest block of Bundi and Indargarh, which falls under the buffer zone of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR).
- Its flora consists of Dhok, Khair, Salar, Khirni trees with some Mango and Ber trees.
- The Fauna consists of birds and animals like Leopard, Sambhar, Wild boar, Chinkara, Sloth bear, Indian Wolf, Hyena, Jackal, Fox, deer and Crocodile.
Reasons for Creation
- Increasing numbers of Tigers and other apex predators certify our robust biodiversity
- Tigers have always frequented the area demarked for the Ramgarh Vishdhari tiger sanctuary and tigers regularly pass through this area from the direction of Ranthambore.
- It is adjoining the buffer area of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.
- This newly proposed tiger reserve in Bundi district will connect the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in SawaiMadhopur district with the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Kota district
- with the new sanctuary coming up, a corridor including the three tiger reserves can be developed.
- Ranthambore Tiger Reserve at present has a population of more than 65 tigers,
- The Mukundra reserve is presently left with just one big cat, the tigress MT-4.Hence Conservator of Forests and Field Director, have sent a proposal to bring two males and one female from Ranthambore.
Subject: International Relations
Context: Malaysia, some residents of low-income families have started waving white flags as part of the so-called “White Flag Campaign”, or the #benderaputi (white flag) movement.
- They are doing this to convey distress about the financial crunch they have had to deal with amid the lockdowns due to Covid-19.
- Families that are facing hunger or need any other kind of assistance are encouraged to wave a white flag or put a piece of white cloth outside their homes to signal that they need help.
- The idea is that by spotting the white flag, neighbours and good samaritans can reach them.
- On the Sambal SOS app, which was initially called the BenderaPutih app, people can see the map of Malaysia where active food banks are marked. This is to help people easily track down food banks.
- Alongside the white flag movement, there is the black flag movement as well, in order to express dissatisfaction with the Malaysian government.
- the public to raise black flags as a sign of protest against the government’s management of the pandemic. The group demanded that Yassin resign and that the Parliament convene to lift the state of emergency.
- Another movement called the red flag campaign or #benderamerah, that works in the same way as the white flag movement, but the difference is that the former is targetted at Malaysian citizens only and was started by the Malaysian Animal Association as many families were abandoning pets they couldn’t afford to feed.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: An article in Nature Biomedical Engineering, a team of scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have reported real-world results on SwabSeq, a testing platform that uses sequencing to test thousands of samples at a time to detect Covid-19.
- SwabSeq uses sample-specific molecular barcodes to simultaneously analyse thousands of samples for the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2, the test showing extremely high sensitivity and specificity. SwabSeq was granted FDA Emergency Use Authorization
- SwabSeq is a flexible protocol and can rapidly scale up testing for novel pathogens, have optimized SwabSeq to prioritize scale and low cost, key factors that are missing from current Covid-19 diagnostics
- These results demonstrate the potential of SwabSeq to be used for SARS-CoV-2 testing on an unprecedented scale.
- SwabSeq offers a potential solution to the need for population-wide testing to stem the pandemic.