Daily Prelims Notes 8 July 2022
- July 8, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
8 July 2022
Table Of Contents
- RS nomination
- Unsustainable Current Account Deficit
- Kakatiya’s heir inaugurates weeklong fest in Warangal
- Monsoon temperatures now higher than in summer, says CSE report
- Centre to promote dragon fruit cultivation in 50,000 hectares
- Sub-categorizing OBCs
- What is a derecho- a storm that turned the sky green in the US
- Apple announces Lockdown Mode against spyware
- Only 58 countries meet WHO’s 70% Covid vaccination target: WHO chief
- PM Gati Shakti portal maps key transmission projects across RE-rich states
- How Oncolytic Virus Therapy is Changing Cancer Treatment
Context: The government on Wednesday nominated musician Ilaiyaraaja, track-and-field icon PT Usha, Telugu screenwriter V Vijayendra Prasad, and philanthropist and spiritual leader Veerendra Heggade to Rajya Sabha.
Nominated members in RS
- Article 80(1)(a) of Constitution of India makes provision for the nomination of 12 members to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India in accordance with provisions of Arts.80(3).
- Article 80(3) says that the persons to be nominated as members must be possessing special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as the following namely: Literature, science, art and social service.
- Since Rajya Sabha was constituted in 1952, a total 142 individuals have been nominated as its members. The list includes scholars, jurists, educationists, historians, scientists, litterateurs, journalists, engineers, economists, administrators, artistes, sportspersons, social workers, and politicians, mostly with loyalty to the government of the day.
- As per the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950, the Rajya Sabha was to consist of 216 members of which 12 members were to be nominated by the President and the remaining 204 elected to represent the States.
- The present strength, however, is 245 members of whom 233 are representatives of the states and union territories and 12 are nominated by the President.
- The Rajya Sabha is not subject to dissolution; one-third of its members retire every second year.
- The 12 nominated members of the Rajya Sabha are persons who are eminent in particular fields, and are well known contributors in the particular field.
- The nominated members are usually amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art and social service
What is the role of nominated members?
- Nominated members of Rajya Sabha enjoy all the powers and privileges to which the elected MPs are entitled. They can take part in the proceedings of the House in the normal manner, even though there has been criticism that several nominated members have poor attendance and do not appear to show much interest in legislative work. In this context, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actor Rekha, and businesswoman Anu Aga have faced criticism in recent years.
- Nominated members are not allowed to vote in the election of the President. They do have the right to vote in the election of the Vice-President, however.
Why are members nominated to the Rajya Sabha?
- According to NGopalaswamiAyyangar, who was part of the Constitution Drafting Committee nomination gives an opportunity, perhaps, to seasoned people who may not be in the thickest of the political fray, but who might be willing to participate in the debate with an amount of learning and importance which we do not ordinarily associate with the House of the People .
- The first list of 12 Presidential nominees perfectly represented this sentiment: Zakir Husain, who later became the President of India; historians Kalidas Nag and Radha KumudMookerji; the eminent Hindi poet MaithilisharanGupt; Gandhian author KakasahebKalelkar; scientist Satyendranath Bose; social worker N R Malkani; danseuse Rukmini Devi Arundale; Gandhian scholar J M Kumarappa; jurist Alladi Krishnaswami; actor Prithviraj Kapoor; and medical scientist Major General S SSokhey.
Section :External Sector
Why in the news?
The Current Account Deficit is at an unsustainable level and the RBI’s measures are expected to work merely as short-term fixes.
- The BoP data for 2021-22 recorded CAD at $38.9 billion (or 1.2 percent of GDP) and with the net capital inflows of $86.3 billion, there was an accretion of $7.5 billion to forex reserves.
- Trade data for April-June 2022 showed a trade deficit of $70.25 billion with a 22.22 per cent increase in exports and a 47.31 per cent rise in imports.
- It estimates various trade related related indicators for 2022-23:
|Indicators||2021-22 (As % of GDP)||2022-23 (as % of GDP)|
|Net capital flows||$86.3billion||$80 billion|
|Current account deficit||1.2||3.2|
- War in Europe- Russia’s continuing conflict with Ukraine since late February this year has propped up commodity prices globally reducing global growth prospects and trade demands.
- Net capital outflows-particularly foreign portfolio investment in the event of higher interest rates in the US
- The strengthening of the US dollar- increasing import bill.
- An unprecedented increase in crude oil prices-increasing import bill as India depends around more than 80% of oil needs on imports.
- Decline of export in June and higher imports especially core imports( non-oil and non-gold imports) which grew by a robust 31.7% in June -due to higher inflation.
Are we heading towards an unsustainable BOP deficit?
- According to the RBI Report on Currency and Finance, April 2022-growth begins to decelerate with a CAD-GDP ratio beyond 2.3 per cent.
- Higher Current account deficit along with inadequate capital inflows-it would lead to overall BOP deficit and reduction of forex.
- The overall BOP deficit is expected to be of $30 billion in 2022, which translates to sale of US dollars by the RBI to the tune of $30 billion.
- Decline in the foreign currency asset -It may be noted that over March 2022, these assets have declined by $11.5 billion due to ongoing appreciation of the US$.
- FCAs are assets that are valued based on a currency other than the country’s own currency.
- For instance, if a portion of the reserves are in euros and the euro depreciates against the dollar, this would cause a drop in the value of forex reserves.
- Volatile depreciation of Indian rupee-The exchange rate is determined by demand and supply and with a deficit in the overall BoP position, the pressure on the rupee increases.
- The currency depreciation can impact further BOP deficit by
- reducing export earning
- increasing cost of external borrowings.
- increases the interest payments on foreign loans
- According to the RBI Report-a 10 percent increase in the average exchange rate volatility decreases export earnings by 1.6 percent while a 10 percent depreciation of the NR against the US dollar decreases profits by 21 per cent.
- The currency depreciation can impact further BOP deficit by
- India’s short-term external debt on residual maturity constituted 43.1 percent of total external debt and 44.1 percent of foreign exchange reserves- increasing near term (within 1 year) payment burden and further fall in forex/increasing BOP deficit.
- Enhance export competitiveness and
- Ease processes to encourage FDI inflows (long term investments which are of non debt creating nature).
Balance of payments equilibrium
- In a floating exchange rate the supply of currency will always equal the demand for currency, and the balance of payments is zero.
- Therefore if there is a deficit on the current account there will be a surplus on the financial/capital account.
- And a deficit in both current and capital accounts is balanced through sale of forex by the RBI in the open market in return of domestic currency.
Factors affecting the balance of payments
- A current account deficit could be caused by factors such as.
- The rate of consumer spending on imports- For example, during an economic boom, there will be increased spending and this will cause a deficit on the current account.
- International competitiveness-If a country experiences higher inflation than its competitors, exports will be less competitive leading to lower demand.
- Exchange rate-If the exchange rate is overvalued, it makes exports relatively more expensive leading to a deterioration in the current account.
- Structure of economy – deindustrialisation can harm the export sector.
- Factors affecting Capital Account:
- Government may impose controls on the free movement of capital-
- The government may impose a tax on income accrued to the local investors who invested in foreign markets. It discourages outflow of capital.
- The anticipated change in exchange rate affects capital flows because it tends to change the expectation about the rate of return on foreign investment.
Changes in interest rate also affect the international capital flows. An increase in interest rates relative to other countries may affect capital
Section: External Sector
Context: Mr. Kamal Chandra Bhanj Deo, the 22 nd descendent of the Kakatiya dynasty, from the erstwhile princely family of Bastar, offered prayers at the historic Bhadrakali temple in Warangal marking the formal launch of the weeklong fest.
- Kakatiya dynasty
- The Kakatiya dynasty was an Indian dynasty that ruled most of eastern Deccan region comprising present day Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and parts of eastern Karnataka and southern Odisha between 12th and 14th centuries
- Their capital was Orugallu, now known as Warangal
- Early Kakatiya rulers served as feudatories to Rashtrakutas and Western Chalukyas for more than two centuries.
- Ganapati Deva ( 1199–1262) significantly expanded Kakatiya lands during the 1230s and brought under Kakatiya control the Telugu-speaking lowland delta areas around the Godavariand Krishna
- Ganapati Deva was succeeded by RudrammaDevi(r. 1262–1289)
- Rudrama Devi (or Maharani Rudramma Devi)was a queen of the Kakatiya dynasty in the Deccan Plateau from 1263 to 1289. She was one of the very few women to rule as monarchs in India
- Marco Polo, who visited India sometime around 1289 made note of Rudramma Devi’s rule
- It was a notable Vesara temple building architecture developed in the region known today as eastern Deccan comprising Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
- Most of the Kakatiya architecture is influenced from Chalukya architecture a fusion of Dravidian architecture and Nagara Bhumija styles in which sandbox technology is used to construct Vimanahorizontal stepped tower
- There are hundreds of monuments in the core of Hanamakonda and Warangal of which Thousand Pillar Temple, Ramappa Temple, Ramappa Lake, Warangal Fort and Kota Gullu are prominent.
Ramappa Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site
- It was built by a Kakatiya General Recherla Rudra Reddy, during the period of the Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva
- Ramappa is the main Shiva temple in a larger walled temple complex, which includes several smaller temples and structures.
- It is built of sandstone with decorated beams and pillars of carved granite and dolerite, with a distinctive Vimana (inner sanctum) made of lightweight porous bricks, also known as the “floating bricks”
Perini Sivathandavam or Perini Thandavam is an ancient dance form, from Telangana, which has been revived in recent times. It originated and prospered in Telangana, during the Kakatiya dynasty. Perini is performed in honour of Lord Siva, the Hindu god of destruction and it is believed that in ancient times this was performed before the soldiers set to war. Padmasri Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna was the person who revived this art form recently.
It is believed that this dance form invokes ‘Prerana’ (inspiration) and is dedicated to supreme dancer, Lord Siva. One can find evidence of this dance in the sculptures near GarbhaGudi (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the Ramappa Temple at Waranga
Context: In 2012-2021, the average monsoon temperatures have risen 0.4 C higher than average summer temperatures when compared from 1951-1980
Impact of Increased Temperature:
- Increased heat wave deaths: From 2015 – 2020, 2,137 people had reportedly died due to heat stroke in the States in northwest but the southern peninsula region had reported 2,444 deaths due to excess environmental heat
- The urban heat island effect: a phenomenon whereby cities because of concrete surfaces and dense populations tended to be on average hotter than rural habitations also contributed to heat stress
- Rising air temperature, radiating heat from land surfaces, concretisation, heat-trapping built structures, waste heat from industrial processes and air conditioners, and erosion of heat dousing forests, urban greens and waterbodies will worsen public health risks
- A Heat Wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season
- The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has given the following criteria for Heat Waves
- Heat Wave need not be considered till maximum temperature of a station reaches atleast 40°C for Plains and atheist 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.
Context: Following the footsteps of the Gujarat and Haryana Governments, the Centre has decided to promote the cultivation of dragon fruit, known as a “super fruit” forits health benefits
Features of the dragon fruit:
- The fruit is considered good for diabetic patients, low in calories and high in nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium and zinc
- The fruit plant doesn’t need much water and can be cultivated on dry land
- The plant doesn’t need productive land, it gives maximum production from non productive, less fertile area
- All the states in India except cold areas are suitable for dragon fruit plants
- The initial investment is high. But it gives fast returns within a year
Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH):
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root & tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is implementing MIDH with effect from 2014-15.
It is implemented under Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana
- Under MIDH, Government of India (GOI) contributes 60%, of total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states except states in North East and Himalayas, 40% share is contributed by State Governments.
- In the case of North Easter States and Himalayan States, GOI contributes 90%
Section: Fundamental Rights
Context: The Centre extended the tenure of The Commission to Examine Sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) headed by Justice G Rohini, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.
What is sub-categorization of OBCs?
- The idea is to create sub-categories within the larger group of OBCs for the purpose of reservation. OBCs are granted 27% reservation in jobs and education under the central government.
- For OBCs, the debate arises out of the perception that only a few affluent communities among the over 2,600 included in the Central List of OBCs have secured a major part of the 27% reservation. The argument for creating sub-categories within OBCs is that it would ensure “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.
Terms of reference given to the Commission:
- To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of OBCs with reference to such classes included in the Central List.
- To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such OBCs.
- To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories. A fourth term of reference was added on January 22, 2020.
- To study the various entries in the Central List of OBCs and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription.
Relevant article of Constitution
- Article 340
(1) The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India and the difficulties under which they labour and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by the Union or any State to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be made for the purpose by the Union or any State and the conditions subject to which such grants should be made, and the order appointing such Commission shall define the procedure to be followed by the Commission.
(2) A Commission so appointed shall investigate the matters referred to them and present to the President a report setting out the facts as found by them and making such recommendations as they think proper.
(3) The President shall cause a copy of the report so presented together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon to be laid before each House of Parliament.
- A derecho, according to the US’s National Weather Service is “a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm” that is associated with a “band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms”. The name comes from the Spanish word ‘la derecha’ which means ‘straight’.
- Straight-line storms are those in which thunderstorm winds have no rotation unlike a tornado. These storms travel hundreds of miles and cover a vast area.
- Being a warm-weather phenomenon, a derecho generally – not always – occurs during summertime beginning May, with most hitting in June and July. However, they are a rare occurrence as compared to other storm systems like tornadoes or hurricanes.
- For a storm to be classified as a derecho it must have wind gusts of at least 93 km per hour; wind damage swath extending more than 400 km. According to University of Oklahama’s School of Meteorology, the time gap between successive wind damage events should not be more than three hours.
Why did the sky turn green during the derecho that hit US recently?
- Severe thunderstorms result in a ‘green sky’ due to light interacting with the huge amount of water they hold. A report in the Washington Post said that it is believed that the big raindrops and hail scatter away all but the blue wavelengths due to which primarily blue light penetrates below the storm cloud. This blue then combines with the red-yellow of the afternoon or the evening sun to produce green, the report said.
Where do derechos usually occur?
- They mostly occur across central and eastern parts of the United States.
- The May 8, 2009 “Super Derecho” was one of the “most intense and unusual derechos ever observed” in the US as it swept from Kansas to Kentucky with wind speeds reaching up to 170 km/hr.
- Derechos have also been documented elsewhere across the world. In 2010, Russia witnessed its first documented derecho. They have also swept through Germany and Finland, and more recently in Bulgaria and Poland.
Subject: Science and Technology
Section: Awareness in the field of IT
Context: Apple’s Lockdown feature adds extreme protection for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura
Concept :How will it work?
- The setting will block message attachments sent to the Messages app, disables link previews, blocks invitations and FaceTime calls from unknown sources and disables web browsing technology by default.
- Other tech giants have made similar attempts, including Google’s Advanced Protection Program for its accounts or the Super Duper Secure Mode Microsoft started testing in Edge.
Last year, the WHO had set the 70 percent benchmark for countries to vaccinate their populations.
- In the last 18 months, more than 12 billion vaccines had been distributed around the world
- About 75 percent of the world’s health workers and over-60s are now vaccinated
Why slow progress?
- Supply , demand and distribution problem
- Access of tests and therapeutics
- On the testing front, a new sub-licence agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) on behalf of C-TAP, and South African pharmaceutical company Biotech Africa was formalised over a fortnight ago to hasten the manufacture and sale of a Covid-19 serological antibody technology around the world.
It is the WHO’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool initiative, set up in 2020 to facilitate equitable and affordable access to Covid-19 health products.
- The PM Gati Shakti NMP portal provides ‘One-click Comprehensive view’ to steer and simplify the planning and implementation process by reduction of time and cost of implementation in power transmission projects
- PM Gate Shakti NMP would be a game changer providing multi-modal connectivity of infrastructure to various economic zones by leveraging technology extensively, including spatial planning tools with indigenous ISRO imagery developed by BISAG-N, Gujarat, fulfilling the objective of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
About PM GATI SHAKTI Scheme
Aim: To ensure integrated planning and implementation of infrastructure projects in the next four years, with focus on expediting works on the ground, saving costs and creating jobs.
- The Gati Shakti scheme will subsume the Rs 110 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline that was launched in 2019.
- Besides cutting logistics costs, the scheme is also aimed at increasing cargo handling capacity and reducing the turnaround time at ports to boost trade.
- It also aims to have 11 industrial corridors and two new defence corridors – one in Tamil Nadu and other in Uttar Pradesh.
- Extending 4G connectivity to all villages is another aim. Adding 17,000 kms to the gas pipeline network is being planned. It will help in fulfilling the ambitious targets set by the government for 2024-25, including expanding the length of the national highway network to 2 lakh kms, creation of more than 200 new airports, heliports and water aerodromes.
One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG) or the Green Grid:
- This initiative was announced on the second day of COP26 by India and the United Kingdom to tap solar energy and have it travel seamlessly across borders.
- The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time
- It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.
- The OSOWOG plan may also leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India that has 80 countries as members.
- With India in the middle, the solar spectrum can easily be divided into two broad zones, which are:
- Far East including countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia etc.
- Far West covering the Middle East and the Africa Region.
- The idea behind the concept is a trans-national electricity grid supplying solar power across the globe.
- The initiative brings together the International Solar Alliance and the UK’s green grid initiative and complements India’s focus on harnessing the sun’s energy.
Subject: Science and Technology
- Oncolytic viruses are a form of immunotherapy that uses viruses to infect and destroy cancer cells.
- Cancer due to infection by virus
- Infection by certain viruses has been implicated in the development of certain cancers, such as the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in liver cancer and the human papilloma virus (HPV) in cervical cancer and head and neck cancer.
- Oncolytic Virus Therapy Treatment Options
- There is currently one oncolytic virus therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer:
- T-VEC (Imlygic): a modified herpes simplex virus (HSV) that infects tumor cells and promotes their destruction; approved for subsets of patients with melanoma
- Common side effects associated with the currently approved oncolytic virus may include but are not limited to: chills, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, injection site pain, nausea, and fever.
- Oncolytic virus platforms under evaluation in clinical trials include:
- Adenovirus: a family of common viruses that can cause a wide range of typically mild effects including sore throat, fatigue, and cold-like symptoms
- Herpes simplex virus: a virus that can cause the formation of sores on or near the mouth
- Maraba virus: a virus found exclusively in insects
- Measles: a highly contagious virus that infects the respiratory tract and can cause measles
- Newcastle Disease Virus: a virus primarily found in birds; can cause mild conjunctivitis and flu-like symptoms in humans
- Picornavirus: a family of viruses that can cause a range of diseases in mammals and birds; the coxsackie virus is an example from this family that is being clinically tested
- Reovirus: a family of viruses that can affect the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts in a range of animal species
- Vaccinia virus: the virus that was used to help vaccinate against and eliminate smallpox; rarely causes illness in humans and is associated with a rash covering the body
- Vesicular stomatitis virus: a virus that belongs to the same family as the Maraba virus; can cause flu-like symptoms in humans
Subject: Science and Technology
Section: Awareness in the field of IT
What is metaverse?
- A simplistic way to look at the metaverse is as a parallel, virtual, world where users can have different identities, possessions and characters.
- It is an integrated 3D virtual world.
- Interoperability is key to metaverse’s success.
- The metaverse does not reset or pause or end, but continues indefinitely.
- Metaverse is not something that just one company can build. Nor is Facebook the only one working on this. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has big plans for the metaverse using its unreal engine.
How will the metaverse really work?
- Digital spaces, Virtual Reality games, a virtual world, or even just a game like Fortnite is not the metaverse.
- The metaverse is being envisioned as a new world order really, where your services could be offered virtually in exchange for other virtual assets, or Cryptocurrencies. The way to look at it is that your existence will be enmeshed with the digital world in a much deeper, complex way.
- Because everything and everyone is supposed to be a part of this, interoperability will be key. In order to ensure that the metaverse functions smoothly, it would require a rewriting of the current rules as they are for most of the internet services and functions.