Daily Prelims Notes 9 January 2022
- January 9, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
9 January 2022
Table Of Contents
- Southern States set for warmer winters, heavier and frequent rainfall: Study
- Taxes on Tobacco
- Inner Line Permit System (ILPS)
- Ayuraksha Kit
- Behali Reserve Forest in Assam
- Extension of Orang National Park
- Rare Microbes that produce Oxygen in dark
- Punishment for Online Bullying
Subject – Environment
Context – Southern States set for warmer winters, heavier and frequent rainfall: Study
- From warmer summers and winters to heavier and more frequent rainfall, signs of changes in the climate pattern are expected across all States in South India over the next three decades, says a new study by the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP). The report, ‘District-Level Changes in Climate: Historical Climate and Climate Change Projections for the Southern States of India’, reveals changes in climate patterns that are likely to occur in South India over the next three decades, compared to the historical 30 years (1991-2019) in all the districts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
- The Global Climate Risk Index 2021 ranks India seventh, considering the extent to which India has been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heatwaves, etc.).
- The index signals that repercussions of escalating climate change are exacerbating and can no longer be ignored.
Subject – Governance
Context – Laws allowing simultaneous levy of GST, excise duty on tobacco products upheld
- In a setback to manufacturers of tobacco and tobacco products, the High Court of Karnataka has upheld that laws that allow simultaneous levy of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the basic excise duty, and the National Calamity Contingency Duty (NCCD) on these products.
- National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) is levied as a duty of excise on certain manufactured goods specified under the Seventh Schedule of Finance Act, 2001.
- The NCCD is tax imposed on pan masala, cigarettes, cellular phones and other tobacco products.
- The petitioners had questioned the constitutional validity of Section 174 of the GST Act, 2017, which allows the continuation of excise duty on tobacco and tobacco products along with the GST, and Section 136 of Finance Act, 2001, through which the NCCD is levied on these products.
- The Court said, Parliament, despite the amendment to the Constitution of India by way of Article 254A for making laws to govern goods and services tax, had retained its power under Article 246 for levying excise duties on certain products, which include tobacco and tobacco products post GST regime.
Measures towards tobacco control in India:
- India adopted the tobacco control provisions under WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
- Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003:
- It replaced the Cigarettes Act of 1975 (largely limited to statutory warnings- ‘Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health’ to be displayed on cigarette packs and advertisements. It did not include non-cigarettes).
- The 2003 Act also included cigars, bidis, cheroots, pipe tobacco, hookah, chewing tobacco, pan masala, and gutka.
- Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019: Which prohibits Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.
- National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS): Tobacco Quitline Services have the potential to reach a large number of tobacco users with the sole objective to provide telephone-based information, advice, support, and referrals for tobacco cessation.
- mCessation Programme: It is an initiative using mobile technology for tobacco cessation.
- India launched mCessation using text messages in 2016 as part of the government’s Digital India initiative.
- National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) – Government of India launched the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in the year 2007-08 during the 11th Five-Year-Plan, with the aim to
- (i) create awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption,
- (ii) reduce the production and supply of tobacco products,
- (iii) ensure effective implementation of the provisions under “The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003” (COTPA)
- (iv) help the people quit tobacco use, and
- (v) facilitate implementation of strategies for prevention and control of tobacco advocated by WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control.
- National Health Policy 2017: It has set an ambitious target of reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025.
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
- Governments adopt and implement the tobacco control provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
- It is the first international treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO.
- It was adopted by the World Health Assembly (apex decision making body of WHO) on 21st May 2003 and entered into force on 27th February 2005.
- It was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic and is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health.
- The FCTC’s measures to combat tobacco use include:
- Price and tax measures.
- Large, graphic warnings on tobacco packages.
- 100% smoke-free public spaces.
- A ban on tobacco marketing.
- Support for smokers who want to quit.
- Prevention of tobacco industry interference.
- World No Tobacco Day is an annual event organised by the World Health Organisation(WHO) on May 31st.
Location of Tobacco Industry
- Cultivation of tobacco is done all over the country, although the commercial cultivation of tobacco is concentrated in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
- Andhra Pradesh ranks first in terms of Tobacco Production.
- 50-100cm annual rainfall and 15-20oC temperature during growth period is ideal.
- Tobacco cannot sustain in rainfall more than 100cm.
- It is grown in warm climates with rich, well-drained soil.
- Too dry weather is not suitable as leaves break into small pieces.
Subject – Security and Defence
Context – Plea in Supreme Court against ILPS in Manipur
- It is a concept based on the policy of exclusion drawn by colonial rulers in the form of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), 1873.
- The BEFR prohibits an outsider’s — “British subject or foreign citizen” — entry into the area beyond the Inner Line without a pass and his purchase of land there.
- It protected the commercial interests of the British from the tribal communities.
- BEFR came as a response to the reckless expansion of British entrepreneurs into new lands which threatened British political relations with the hill tribes.
- After Independence, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”.
- The Inner Line separates the tribal-populated hill areas in the Northeast from the plains. To enter and stay for any period in these areas, Indian citizens from other areas need an Inner Line Permit (ILP).
- The main aim of ILP system is to prevent settlement of other Indian nationals in the States where ILP regime is prevalent, in order to protect the indigenous/tribal population.
- The Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order, 2019 extended the ILP regime to Manipur – after Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram where the ILP regime is applicable.
Subject – Governance
Context – Minister of Ayush, Sonowal bats for AYUSH immunity kit
- The Ministry of AYUSH has developed an Ayurvedic kit for increasing immunity to combat the variants of COVID-19.
- The Ministry has developed an Ayurvedic kit named Ayuraksha Kit comprising Chyavanprash, SanshmaniVati, AnuTaila and AyushKwath to increase immunity in the fight against the coronavirus.
- Together with yoga, it can help in maintaining fitness during the pandemic.
Subject – Environment
Context – Five primate carcasses found in Assam forest
- Behali Reserved Forest, located in the Biswanath district of Assam is a patch of semi-evergreen forest in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas.
- This forest is anpart of the greater Sonitpur Elephant Reserve and was declared as a reserved forest in 1917.
- It lies between the two famous protected areas, the Nameri National Park on its west and Kaziranga National Park on its south.
- It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area in 1994 and a Key Biodiversity Area in 2004.
- The area is bordered in the east by the Buroi River, west by Borgang river, the north side is by Papum Reserve of Arunachal Pradesh and several human habitations, tea plantations and paddy fields in the south.
- Fauna – Apart from the rare capped langur, the Behali Reserve Forest houses the endangered slow loris, the near-threatened Assamese macaque and the rhesus macaque.
Subject – Environment
Context – Gharials to return to Orang National Park
- The gharial, wiped out from the Brahmaputra River system in the 1950s, could be the prime beneficiary of a process to expand an Assam tiger reserve that shed its “Congress connection” five months ago.
- The Assam government had on January 3 issued a preliminary notification for adding 200.32 sq. km to the 78.82 sq. km Orang National Park, the State’s oldest game reserve about 110 km northeast of Guwahati.
- Much of the area to be added comprises the Brahmaputra river and the sandbars or islands in it, some cultivated by locals or used as sheds for livestock.
- Orang, on the northern bank of the river, is strategic to the Kaziranga Orang Riverine Landscape. Tigers and rhinos are known to use the islands in this riverine landscape, about 180 km long, to hop between Orang and Kaziranga.
- But what has enthused wildlife experts is the prospect of reintroducing the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) in the area to be added to Orang.
- The Gangetic dolphin is also expected to be a beneficiary of the final notification of the addition to Orang.
- One of the four major rhino habitats in Assam, Orang was recognised as a tiger reserve in 2016.
- The government had in September 21 dropped the ‘Rajiv Gandhi’ prefix to Orang given by the Congress government in 1992.
- Other national parks in Assam are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Dibru-Saikhowa, Raimona and Dehing Patkai.
To know more about Orang National Park, please refer September 2021 DPN.
To know about Gharials, please refer December 2021 DPN.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – NCBS: Zebrafish study reveals how the brain makes its connections
- Neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain connect by means of junctions known as synapses through which they transmit signals.
- Recent work by researchers at the National Centre of Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, has thrown light on what stimulates these synapses to form.
- There are two types of synapses – chemical and electrical.
- In chemical synapses, there is a space of about 20 nanometres between two neurons, and the way they communicate is this:
- One neuron converts electrical signal into chemical signals and this chemical is released into the synaptic space and the receiving neuron converts the chemical signal back into an electrical signal.
- As far as the electrical synapse goes, this is not the way it operates. In these synapses, the two neurons have a physical connection and the conversion of electrical to chemical need not occur, and they communicate directly.
- Electrical synapses are like a physical wire, communication is faster but they are also fewer in number.
- It was shown that electrical synapses are formed before chemical synapses, they are like a blueprint in which neurons make a handshake. This results in the making of chemical synapses.
- Research on organisms such as leeches showed that if you remove electrical synapses, the chemical synapses do not form. However, the mechanism of how it happens in higher organisms such as vertebrates was not known.
- Researchers from TIFR-National Centre of Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, have chosen Zebrafish as a model organism to study this process.
- Zebrafish are transparent and neuron development in larval zebrafish can be observed from day to day by injecting a dye or by engineering the fish to express fluorescent proteins.
- How nerve-end connections known as synapses form is highlighted in this study of Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum of knockout zebrafish.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Researchers from University of Southern Denmark have discovered that oxygen is also produced without sunlight, possibly deep below the ocean surface.
- Scientists say there would be no oxygen on Earth were it not for sunlight: the key component in photosynthesis.
- Now researchers have discovered that oxygen is also produced without sunlight, possibly deep below the ocean surface.
- Researchers have discovered that some of the invisible microorganisms living in water columns produce oxygen in an unexpected way.
- A few microbes are known to make oxygen without sunlight, but so far they have only been discovered in very limited quantities and in very specific habitats.
- But the ocean living microbe Nitrosopumilusmaritimus and its cousins, called ammonia oxidising archaea play an important role in the nitrogen cycle.
- The researchers found that these micro-organisms make their own oxygen.
- The researchers conducted tests in the lab and found that N. maritimus was using the oxygen present in water but the oxygen levels started increasing again in water. The micro-organisms were able to make oxygen even in a dark environment. Not sufficiently high to influence oxygen levels on Earth, but enough to keep itself going.
- maritimus couples the oxygen production to the production of gaseous nitrogen. By doing so they remove bioavailable nitrogen from the environment.
Subject – Governance
Context – Taking cognisance of multiple complaints that photographs of Muslim women had been posted on one “Bulli Bai” mobile app for fake auctions, the police in Delhi and Mumbai have registered separate cases.
The police have invoked Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 354D, 500 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.
- Section 153A pertains to the offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
- Section 153B relates to imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration.
- Section 295A provides punishment for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings.
- Section 354D provides that any man who monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication with malintent, commits the offence of stalking. Under this provision, the punishment may extend to five years of imprisonment with fine, in the case of second or subsequent conviction.
- While Section 500 defines the punishment for defamation, Section 509 of the IPC addresses the offence of word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.
- Section 67 of the IT Act lays down the punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. The first conviction attracts imprisonment up to three years and fine up to ₹5 lakh and the second or subsequent conviction may lead to imprisonment up to five years and fine that may extend to ₹10 lakh.
Other provisions related to cybercrimes –
- Section 66E of the IT Act prescribes punishment for violation of privacy.
- Also, sections 354A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) and 354C (voyeurism) of the IPC, which were introduced along with sections 354B and 354D in 2013, may also be applied in conjunction with the relevant IT Act provisions, based on the nature of the offence.
Responsibilities of intermediaries like social media platforms –
- Although the intermediaries are not liable for any third-party data or communication link hosted or stored by them, they are required to retain the requisite data for a duration as prescribed by the Government and supply the same to the authorities concerned, as and when sought.
- Any contravention attracts punishment as prescribed under the IT Act.
Some additional steps been taken –
- On February 25, 2021, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
- Its provision —“Due diligence by intermediaries and grievance redressal mechanism” —requires them to inform their users not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any illegal information.
- They include contents that are defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, invasive of another’s privacy, insulting or harassing on the basis of gender, libellous, racially or ethnically objectionable, etc.
- The intermediaries, on the direction of the court or appropriate government agency, are prohibited from hosting, storing or publishing any information declared unlawful.
- Within 24 hours from the receipt of a complaint from, or on behalf of, an individual about any offensive content, they are required to take all reasonable and practicable measures to remove or disable access to it.