Daily Prelims Notes 9 January 2023
- January 9, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
9 January 2023
Table Of Contents
- Role of Indian Diaspora in Indian National Movement
- Prosperity through philanthropy
- Imbalance in fertilizer use
- After Joshimath, it could be Karnaprayag, Nainital and other Uttarakhand towns next, say experts
- Next-gen therapy. AMP up the fight against hardy pathogens
- Clean Energy transition finance must put India’s interests front and centre
- US House Speaker
- Abortion Rights and legislation in India
- Six MLA’s in Himachal made as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries
- West Bengal gets its first M sand facility through Coal India Limited
- Sweden can’t meet Turkey’s demands for NATO’s bid
Context: The Indian diaspora’s endeavour in freedom struggle of India is less known. It is essential to recognise it’s efforts as a nation otherwise we shall fail in paying due homage to our freedom fighters in entirety.
Leadership of Indian Diaspora in Indian National Movement:
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Mahatma Gandhi went to South Africa in 1893 as a lawyer. Many Indians were facing exploitation of the colonial government. Between 1894 and 1906, Gandhi led his movements in South Africa like moderates. But, in 1906, Gandhi started Satyagraha movement in South Africa against Black Act in which every Indian had to do registration. Gandhi successfully forced colonial government to give relaxation to the Indians from Black Act.
- Gandhi formulated certain principles and new methods in his political life such as, satyagraha, ahimsa and non-cooperation. Gandhi used these new principles and methods for the first time in South Africa
- Lala Har Dayal
- Lala Har Dayal was born in a Hindu Kaisth family of Delhi in 1884.
- He published a newspaper which was titled ‘Bande Mataram’.
- He motivated many students of California University to join Indian national movement. He had settled in the Western America and became the general secretary of the Ghadar party. He decided to lead Indians in America for the freedom of India.
- In May, 1913, ‘Hindi Association’ was established in Portland. In the first meeting of this association Lala Har Dayal urged Indians to not fight against Americans but to fight against British.
- Indian people accepted his suggestions and formed a committee and published a newspaper ‘Ghadar’. This newspaper became famous in different countries and motivated Indians to be unite and fight against colonial government.
- Lala Har Dayal successfully led Indian nationalist movement from America but in March, 1914, he was arrested. Therefore, Ghadar movement became slow.
- Subhas Chandra Bose
- Subhas Chandra Bose was one of the most important leaders of Indian freedom struggle. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1921.
- He was soon elected as general secretary of Bengal presidency. He was elected as the president of the Indian National Congress in 1938 and 1939. But, when Mahatma Gandhi did not accept him as president in 1939, he left Indian National Congress and formed ‘Forward Block’.
- Throughout his political career, Bose had only one goal that was India’s liberation from British rule. To fulfil his goal, Bose went to Singapore in July, 1943 and met with Rash Bihari Bose.
- Rash Bihari Bose handed over him the control of Indian Independence League. Subhas Chandra Bose for the first time, lead the Indian national army with the help of thirteen thousand army personal
- He met with many leaders from the different countries such as Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin and asked for their support for the freedom of India.
- He addressed students of Tokyo University in 1944 where, he presented the real image of India. He said that India is a land of great culture and is known for its rich philosophy
- Swami Vivekananda
- Narendranath Datta, commonly known as Swami Vivekananda was born on 12th January, 1863 in Bengal.
- He associated with Brahmo Samaj and met with Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in 1881. Vivekananda is considered as the father of Indian spiritual nationalism.
- He travelled in Asia, America and Europe. He participated in World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in the fall of 1893. On September 11, 1893, Vivekananda delivered his world’s famous lecture in the Parliament of Religions in Chicago. He stayed more than three years in United States of America and England. He delivered many lectures in these countries.
- In 1897, he returned India. He founded Ramakrishan Mission and served Indian people. He again went to the West in 1899 for a year. He passed away in 1902 in the age of just 39.
- Vivekananda taught the lesson of peace and spirituality to India as well as the world. Vivekananda introduced the world with the Indian spirituality. He provided moral and spiritual base to the Indian national movement.
- Mohan Singh
- Mohan Singh was an officer of British Indian army.
- He fought against Japanese army in the Second World War but when he saw that British army was about to defeat, he supported Japanese army. More than 45 thousand Indian soldiers were arrested by the Japanese army in the Second World War.
- Mohan Singh organised these army personals and created Indian national army. Quit India movement provided a new energy to Indian national army because many young Indians joined it.
- In December 1942, Mohan Singh was arrested. After him, Subhas Chandra Bose became the chief of Indian national army.
- Shyam ji Krishna Varma
- Shyam ji Krishna Varmawas also one of the most important leaders among them who were contributing for the freedom of India from abroad. He belonged from
- He led the Indian freedom struggle from Europe from 1893 to 1914.
- He founded the India House in London in 1904 which became the centre for Indian revolutionaries like Savarkar, Madam Cama, and Madan Lal Dhingra
- Shyam ji Krishna Varma was deeply influenced by Swami Dayananda Saraswati and became the first president of Bombay Arya Samaj. He worked as an assistant professor at Oxford University.
- Shyam ji Krishna Varma published a monthly magazine named ‘Indian Socialist’ in 1905. This was the time when Swadesi movement was going on against colonial government in Bengal. Through his magazine, Krishna Varma published critical writings against British government in India.
- An organization named ‘Indian Home Rule Society’ was formed by Krishna Varma.
- He owned a house in Highgate which is known as ‘India House’. This house was mess-cumhostel for Indian students. Many revolutionary leaders like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, were stayed in this India House.
- Madam Bhikaji Rustom Cama
- Madam Bhikaji Rustom Cama was a revolutionary lady of Indian national movement. She was born on 24th September, 1861 in a rich Parsi family.
- She received English education in her childhood. From her young age, she had nationalist thinking. Madam Cama was of the view that the British had cheated India and spread worst form of imperialism.
- Madam Cama participated in several social activities. She hoisted Indian tricolour-flag in Germany in 1907 and said “This flag is of Indian Independence! Behold, it is born! It has been made sacred by the blood of young Indians who sacrificed their lives. I call upon you, gentlemen to rise and salute this flag of Indian Independence. In the name of this flag, I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to support this flag”
- After Germany, she went to America and met with Indians. She introduced Indian disapora in America with the oppression of the voice of educated Indians in India. She visited in England and continued movements with the help of Shyam ji Krishna Varma.
- Maharani Jinda Rani Kaur
- Maharani Jinda Rani Kaur is considered to be the first revolutionary queen of Punjab and due to her valour she was called at that time as the ‘Lioness of Lahore’.
- She pledged that she would kill the British only by repulsing them. The biggest enemy of the British, was the youngest queen of Punjab Kesari Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
- When Maharaja Ranjit Singh died on June 27, 1839, Empress Jinda came out of the screen, organized her army, gave a speech in front of it, encouraged it and declared her five-year-old son Dilip Singh as the king and took the reins of governance and organized and worked.
- Lord Dalhousie, seeing her valour, had said, “Rani Jinda is more powerful than all the military power of the state”.
- She was imprisoned but she escaped to Nepal in the form of a sanyasi and met Begum Hazrat Mahal and Nana saheb. Planned a detailed revolutionary action but the plan remained incomplete due to her death.
Role of Overseas Organizations/incidents in Indian National Movement:
- Ghadar Party
- The idea of Ghadar party came in the mind of some Indians who settled in America and in Canada. In July 1912, Indian mill workers assembled at Portland. They decided to establish Pacific Coast Hindustan Association.
- On 1st November, 1913, the Ghadar Party came into existence in San Francisco.
- Ghadar party was mainly dominated by the Punjabis.However, it also included Indians from various parts of country.
- Indian Muslims also joined the Ghadar party. Maulvi Barkatullah was an important active Muslim member of Ghadar party from central India.
- The name ‘Ghadar’ became popular when Ghadar party published a journal with the same name ‘Ghadar’ (revolt). The headquarter of Ghadar party was known as ‘Ghadar Memorial’
- Ghadar party primary goal was to inculcate Ghadar thinking in the mind of Indian people and attack on British establishments.
- Ghadar movement in India failed because in February 1915, more than hundred members of Ghadar party were killed. Its hundred members were imprisoned for long term and were sent to the ‘Kalapani’
- Komagatamaru Incident
- The Komagata Maru incident involved the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru, on which a group of people from British India attempted to immigrate to Canada in April 1914. Most of the ship passengers were denied entry and forced to return to Calcutta.
- There, the Indian Imperial Police attempted to arrest the group leaders. A riot ensued, and they were fired upon by the police, resulting in the deaths of 22 people.
- British Government passed orders that no passenger be allowed to disembark anywhere on the way, not even at the places from where they had joined the ship but only at Calcutta.
- It triggered off a wave of resentment and anger among the Indian community and became the occasion for anti-British mobilization.
- A number of Ghadar leaders, like Barkatullah and Tarak Nath Das, used the inflammatory passions surrounding the Komagata Maru incident as a rallying point and successfully brought many disaffected Indians in North America into the party’s fold.
Subject : Environment
Context: Billionaires can help increase farmers’ income by funding solar trees on their farms.
- A structure that incorporates solar energy technology on a single pillar, like a trunk of a tree is known as a Solar Tree. It may be a functional power generator or a solar artwork.
Purpose of Solar Tree:
- The purpose of Solar trees is to enhance the architecture and landscape they complement, usually in a public or commercial place, and to bring visibility to solar technology.
- The objective of installing many solar trees is to promote understanding, awareness, and renewable energy adoption. They are not commonly used as a primary source of energy for a property as rooftop solar systems provide that energy.
- Solar trees complement rooftop solar systems or other green building initiatives, symbolizing larger investments and their environmental benefits.
- Solar trees can promote solar technology enthusiasm and awareness while also providing shade and meeting spots.
Significance and potential of solar trees:
- These Solar Trees can be aligned with Agriculture for substituting price-volatile fossil fuels.
- Installing one’s own solar tree can help save up to 15% on electricity.
- Each Solar Tree has the potential to save 10-12 tons of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere as Greenhouse Gases when compared with fossil fuel-fired energy generation.
- Besides, the surplus generated power can be fed into an Energy Grid.
- This Agricultural Model can provide a consistent economic return and help the farmers counter the effects of the uncertain variations in Agriculture related activities, thus, making farming an Economic and Energy Sustainable practice.
- The solar tree also has the capability to incorporate IOT based features,i.e. round-the-clock CCTV surveillance in agricultural fields, real-time humidity, wind speed, rainfall prediction and soil analytics sensors.
Subject : Agriculture
- 2022 saw global prices of fertilisers go through the roof, in the run-up to and post Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
More in the news:
- Prices of all the fertilizers except muriate of potash (MOP) have come down.
- Russia and its neighbouring ally Belarus together account for roughly 40% of global production and exports of MOP.
- The decrease in international fertiliser prices is in sync with movements in world food prices.
- The World food index is a weighted average of global prices of a representative basket of food commodities over a base period value, taken at 100 for 2014-2016.
- Two ambitious schemes of the incumbent government — Soil Health Card and mandatory neem-coating of urea — were supposed to promote balanced use of fertilisers.
- However, far from weaning farmers from urea, the annual consumption of this nitrogenous fertiliser has risen from 30 to 35 million tonnes (mt) in the last five years.
- Urea has 46% nitrogen (N), while DAP contains 46% phosphorus (P) plus 18% N and MOP has 60% potassium (K).
- There is another fertiliser — di-ammonium phosphate or DAP — that is seeing a similar phenomenon of over-application.
- Di-ammonium phosphate or DAP: intermediates/raw materials: Phosphoric acid, ammonia, sulphur and rock phosphate.
Sales of all other fertilisers:
- Sales of other fertilisers including complexes containing nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), K (potash) and sulphur (S) in different proportions – have fallen.
- In other words, instead of balanced use of plant nutrients based on soil testing and specific crop requirement, Indian farmers are effectively applying just urea and DAP — both high-analysis fertilisers containing 46 per cent N and P respectively.
- The effects of these – the current NPK ratio is about 13:5:1, as against the ideal 4:2:1 – would ultimately show up in crop yields.
- Plants, like humans, will respond poorly to fertilisers if only one or two nutrients are given in excess.
- Significant improvement in the overall availability of fertilizers except for MOP.
- Significant reduction in the government’s subsidy bill on fertilizers.
Government initiatives to rationalise fertiliser use:
- The Soil Health Card Scheme: The soil health card provides information to farmers on nutrient statusof their soil along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.
- To issue soil health cards every two years to all farmers, so as to provide a basis to address nutrient deficiencies in fertilization practices.
- Neem Coated Urea (NCU): It is a fertilizer and an agriculture scheme is supported by the Government of India to boost the growth of wheat and paddy.
- Apart from the increase in yield, Neem Coated Urea application has other use full effect on paddy and wheat crops.
- Farmers have observed that the incidence of white ants was reduced with the use of Neem-coated Urea in wheat crop. This is because of the fragrance of Neem oil that on dissolution was released in the standing water in the standing water and insecticidal properties of Neem.
- The move will not only benefit the environment and improve farmers’ lives, but curb illegal urea diversion for industrial use.
‘One Nation, One Fertilizer’ scheme:
- Under the scheme, all fertiliser companies, State Trading Entities (STEs) and Fertiliser Marketing Entities (FMEs) will be required to use a single “Bharat” brand for fertilisersand logo under the PMBJP.
- The new “Bharat” brand name and PMBJP logo will cover two-thirds of the front of the fertiliser packet.
- Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) Limited has produced the liquid nano urea.
- It is cheaper than conventional urea.
- 80-85% more efficient.
- It has a shelf life of a year.
Subject : Geography
- Land subsidence is a silent disaster that is taking hold of the Himalayan region.
- Land subsidence is the gradual settling or sudden sinking of the earth’s surface due to the removal or displacement of subsurface earth materials.
- It is considered a natural-anthropogenic hazard and is irreversible.
- It is estimated that by 2040, land subsidence will affect approximately 8% of the world’s top layer and approximately.
- 1.2 billion people live in 21% of the world’s big towns.
- In India areas like Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi are also witnessing land subsidence. Areas where the earth matter is made up of thin soil particles, like the alluvial deposits of fertile Gangetic plains, are more vulnerable.
Major causes for land subsidence:
- Natural factors: Land subsidence happens due to gradual or sudden natural compaction or collapse of soils due to reasons like –
- Tectonic activities (e.g. earthquake and faulting).
- Volcanic activities.
- Formation of sinkholes.
- Thawing of permafrost.
- Anthropogenic causes:
- Compaction of aquifer systems due to extensive groundwater withdrawals: When water is extracted from aquifers, the clay between pockets of water collapse gradually, leading to land subsidence.
- Development of underground infrastructure such as metro, tunnels, etc.
- Excessive underground mining of minerals, oil, and gas.
- High load of constructions such as high-rise buildings
Land subsidence in Uttarakhand region:
- The towns that could suffer a Joshimath-like fate include Karnaprayag and Gopeshwar in Chamoli district (where Joshimath is situated); Ghansali in Tehri district; Munsiari and Dharchula in Pithoragarh district; Bhatwari in Uttarkashi district; Pauri; Nainital and several other towns.
Reasons for land subsidence in these areas:
- Rampant increase in the population of these areas.
- Streams and springs, which serve as natural discharge channels, have been blocked.
- Construction of multistoried buildings and haphazard construction without keeping in mind the region’s geographical sensitivity in mind.
- Widening of roads, unsustainable and unscientific destruction of hills.
Subject : Science and Technology
- Scientists are using a little-known line of defence — antimicrobial peptides — to beat antimicrobial drug resistance.
The problem of drug-resistant microbes:
- Our bodies have their own defence mechanism against invading microbes (pathogens such as bacteria and viruses).
- This defence mechanism is in the form of antibodies, which are proteins (long chains of amino acids)- the antibodies destroy the pathogens, or, at least, most of the time.
- This defence mechanism is strengthened by man-made drugs- antibiotics– which kill bacteria (not viruses).
- Over time, these microbes develop resistance to drugs.
- This antimicrobial drug resistance (ADR) is now so serious that it has come to be recognised as a major killer.
Solution: Antimicrobial peptides or AMPs:
- Scientists are now turning to a less-recognised line of defence known as ‘antimicrobial peptides’, or AMPs.
- Peptides are small chains of amino acids.
- AMPs are produced by human bodies, as also other living beings.
- Today, about 5,000 AMPs are known, catalogued.
- AMPs are proving to be smarter than invading pathogens.
- These peptides are effective, broad-spectrum antimicrobials that establish themselves as new therapeutic agents, and hold the potential to kill gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, fungi, enclosed viruses, and even mutated or malignant cells.
- Unlike antibiotics, AMPs are effective against viruses too.
How do AMPs work?
- The pathogens enter healthy cells and use the chemicals to multiply, destroying the cells in the process.
- AMPs attach themselves to cell membranes of bacteria or virus and prevent them from entering healthy cells.
- This happens because the cell walls of pathogens are negatively charged, whereas AMPs are positively charged — the attraction between unlike charges enables AMPs to cling to the membranes.
The issue with AMPs:
- The problem is, how to produce AMPs.
- It is possible to chemically synthesise AMPs. Another option is to take the DNA in organisms and coax it to produce the peptides.
- But both are time-consuming, costly and with no guaranteed output.
- Scientists have evolved a novel method called the ‘cell-free protein synthesis’ (CFPS), which involves in-vitro transcription (making RNA from DNA) and translation (making peptides from RNA). In other words, the peptides are made outside living cells.
- This method can help overcome potential cellular toxicity effects and open up the way for rapid, small-scale production of several hundreds of peptides from linear DNA in parallel.
Scope of AMPs:
- There is no AMP drug in the market yet.
- In 2019, the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and MS Ramaiah Medical College came up with a peptide, named Omega76, against the ESKAPE family of bacteria, but there has not been much progress since.
Subject : Environment
- The G7-led Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), is counting on India to join the deal after South Africa signs the deal during CoP26 at Glasgow in 2021.
About Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP):
- JETP is an initiative of the rich nations to accelerate the phasing out of coal and reducing emissions.
- The JETP initiative is modelled for South Africa, to support South Africa’s decarbonisation efforts.
- It aims to reduce emissions in the energy sector and accelerate the coal phase-out process.
- JETP makes various funding options available for this purpose in identified developing countries.
- The JETP was launched at the COP26 in Glasgow with the support of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), France, Germany, and the European Union (EU)
- Following that G7 has announced for a similar partnership in India, Indonesia, Senegal, and Vietnam.
Constituents of the deal:
- reducing the number of coal-burning power plants under development,
- the gradual closure of our coal mines.
- According to India’s updated NDC, it stands committed to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 45 per cent by 2030, from 2005 level and achieve about 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
- However, India argues that coal cannot be singled out as a polluting fuel, and energy transition talks need to take place on equal terms.
- After losing multiple votes for Speaker due to opposition from his own party, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy finally became the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
- In a five-day-long saga, which was the longest speakership election in 160 years, the California Republican finally managed to garner enough support to win the top job.
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
- The US Constitution established the role of Speaker of the House, which oversees the lower chamber of Congress.
- The Speaker is both traditionally and historically a sitting member of the majority party, though this is not a constitutional requirement.
- Therefore, in addition to leading the House of Representatives, they are also leader of the majority party in the chamber.
Role of the Speaker
- At a practical level, the Speaker:
- sets the House’s legislative agenda,
- controls committee assignments,
- sets the vote and work calendar, and
- is responsible for keeping their party members unified behind major initiatives.
- The Speaker is second in line for the presidency, following the Vice-President, in the event of the President being incapable of continuing in office.
Significance of the speaker
- Depending on the partisan makeup of Congress, they can make or break a US president’s agenda, stymie opposition, and spearhead their party’s biggest legislative initiatives.
- A shrewd and effective Speaker will be able to marshal their members behind their party’s agenda, and control rebellious lawmakers by doling out incentives or punishments.
Selection process for the Speaker
No House without a speaker
- The House of Representatives functions on a two-year cycle, known as a “session.”
- The mid-term elections were held in the United States on 8 November, 2022.
- The new Congress began on 3 January 2023 and Republicans will be in the majority.
- The very first thing a new session of the House of Representatives must do is vote for a Speaker of the House.
- Without that person in place, the chamber cannot move on to any other function, including swearing-in members.
- The chamber must continue to hold votes until a Speaker is elected.
Nomination for Speaker
- In the weeks after an election, the Republican conference and the Democratic caucus hold an informal vote among their members.
- This voting is done to decide who they want to nominate to lead their party.
- But members are not obligated to vote for the party’s chosen candidate.
- While it has been the tradition for the speaker candidate to be a member of the House, it is not required.
- The vote for Speaker requires a candidate to receive the support of a majority of the House – 218 votes (out of the 435 members of the House).
- The existing leader of the majority party is usually presumed to be the person to assume the speakership.
- For more than a century, the Speaker of the House was decided on the first vote.
- However, this time, a record-making 15 voting rounds were conducted before McCarthy succeeded in acquiring the Speaker’s gavel.
Context: Recently, the Supreme Court of India stated that differentiating between married and unmarried women for allowing termination of pregnancy on certain exceptional grounds is unconstitutional.
- According to many activists, the court’s judgment is progressive. However, the ground reality has not changed much; as the Court verdict lacked any clear indication or order for the government to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act to include unmarried women under the extended 24-week ambit.
- Unless the provisions under the Act are changed, women will find it difficult to seek abortion in health facilities.
- This will promote illegal and underground abortions, which will increase the health-related risk for women.
- In the K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India and other cases, the Supreme Court had held that the decision taken by a pregnant person related to pregnancy is part of her right to privacy under article 21.
Medical Termination of Prganancry Act (MTP Act ), 1971
- The idea of terminating a pregnancy cannot originate by choice and is purely circumstantial. Under the law (section 3 of the MTP Act 1971), the doctor can perform an abortion in the following situations:
- If the pregnancy would be harmful to the life of the patient or affects her physical or mental health. The doctor will need to consider the circumstances of the patient to figure out if the pregnancy will harm her mental health, on a case to case basis.
- If there is a good chance that the child would suffer from physical or mental abnormalities which would leave him or her seriously handicapped.
- If pregnancy occurred as a result of a failure of contraception (but this is only applicable to married women).
- If pregnancy is a result of sexual assault or rape.
Conditions for Termination of Pregnancy
- If the pregnancy has not exceeded 12 weeks, only one doctor needs to be satisfied that the conditions have been fulfilled.
- If the pregnancy has exceeded 12 weeks and is below 20 weeks (now amended to 24 weeks), two doctors need to be satisfied that the conditions have been fulfilled.
- The gestation period does not matter if a doctor feels that an immediate abortion must be conducted to save the life of the patient.
- The doctor who determines if it is necessary to perform an abortion and performs it needs to be a ‘registered medical practitioner’ under the law.
- Abortion of under 4 to 5 months pregnancy- The punishment for getting an illegal abortion is jail time of up to 3 years and/or fine.
- Both patients and doctors are considered to have committed a crime unless it fulfills the above condition.
- Abortion of over 5-month pregnancy- If abortion takes place when movements of the foetus can be sensed, the punishment is jail time of up to 7 years and fine unless it was done in good faith to save the life of the patient.
- Abortion without consent – If anyone else forces the pregnant woman to have an abortion or performs one without her agreeing to it, the punishment is jail time of up to 10 years and fine.
- Abortion resulting in death – If the patient dies because of a botched abortion or an abortion carried out by an unskilled person, the doctor who conducted the operation can be punished with jail time of up to 10 years and fine.
- If the abortion was conducted without the patient’s permission, the punishment is a jail for life.
- Intentionally causing the death of a foetus can also be prosecuted under other provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 under which the punishment can extend up to 10 years.
Consent of a Person
- The doctors have a duty to get the consent of a pregnant woman in order to perform the abortion.
- If a woman is below 18 (a minor) or suffering from a mental illness, the doctors have a duty to get the guardian’s permission as well.
- If a doctor performs an abortion without consent, he or she can be punished with a jail term extending up to 10 years and fine.
Medical Termination of Preganancy Amendment Rules 2021
- The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Rules, 2021, define new categories of vulnerable women who are allowed termination up to 24 weeks upon meeting certain conditions and with the permission of two doctors.
- These include minors, survivors of sexual assault and those with foetal malformation.
- Others may seek abortion up to 20 weeks with the permission of one doctor upon meeting certain criteria.
- Earlier you needed the permission of one doctor for termination up to 12 weeks, and two doctors for 12 to 20 weeks.
- The amended law provides for setting up of State-level medical boards to decide if a pregnancy may be terminated after 24 weeks.
- However, there are obstacles posed by the POCSO Act, 2012, in providing services. Section 19 of the Act requires any person aware of a minor engaging in sex to report the matter to the local police even if it was a consensual act as the law pegs the age of consent at 18.
- Leader of Opposition in Himachal Pradesh Assembly criticised the Congress government over the appointment of six chief parliamentary secretaries, claiming that it has been done to “keep the flock together” and would put a burden of crores of rupees on state.
- The concept originated in England where Parliamentary Secretaries are appointed to assist the ministers.
- They are regarded for all practical purposes as deputy ministers having access to all official files and documents.
Appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries:
- In India, state governments have been appointing parliament secretaries from among Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
- A Parliament Secretary often holds the rank of Minister of State and has the same entitlements and is assigned to a government department.
- As they held the rank of minister of state, therefore the total number of ministers exceeds the mandated 15% limit i.e in contravention to the Article 164(1).
- It is seen as an indirect appointment of the ministers by creating the post of parliamentary secretaries.
- PILs filed in various High Courts have argued that appointment of parliamentary secretaries goes against the Article 164 (1) of the constitution for states and Article 239AA for Delhi, which limits the number of ministers in the state/UTs cabinets.
- Various High Courts have deemed the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries unconstitutional and have ruled against such appointments.
- However many states have exempted parliamentary secretaries from office of profit.
- In an attempt towards environmental sustainability and reducing over mining of sand, Coal India Limited (CIL) has started a facility in West Bengal to produce manufactured sand, the first such initiative in the State as a part of its Green mining initiative.
- Coal India Ltd (CIL) is looking at green mining options to lessen any adverse environmental impact by leveraging a slew of eco-friendly technologies in both underground and open cast mining.
Manufactured sand (M-Sand)
- Manufactured sand (M-Sand) is a substitute of river sand for concrete construction .
- Manufactured sand is produced from hard granite stone by crushing. It is manufactured using technology like High Carbon steel hit rock and then ROCK ON ROCK process which is synonymous to that of natural process undergoing in river sand information.
- The crushed sand is of cubical shape with grounded edges, washed and graded to as a construction material. The size of M-Sand is less than 4.75mm.
- Due to fast growing construction industry, the demand for sand has increased tremendously, causing deficiency of suitable river sand in most part of the word.
Benefits of M-Sand:
- M-Sand does not have the presence of impurities such as clay, dust and silt coatings, increase water requirement as in the case of river sand which impair bond between cement paste and aggregate. Thus, increased quality and durability of concrete.
- It does not contain an organic and soluble compound that affects the setting time and properties of cement, thus the required strength of concrete can be maintained.
- M-Sand can be crushed from hard granite rocks, it can be readily available at the nearby place, reducing the cost of transportation from far-off river sand bed.
- Green Mining refers to the technology that will reduce carbon emissions in operations and mitigate adverse environmental impacts.
- It includes the use of minerals and metals that support a transition to low-carbon technologies such as solar panels or wind power.
How does technology impact mining operations?
- Technology can have a number of impacts on mining operations, including safety and productivity, environmental protection and opportunities for women.
- Safer working conditions through improved underground communication, automation, more sophisticated mineral and metal transportation, and emergency response measures are achieved by integrating technology into mining projects.
About Coal India Limited (CIL):
- Coal India Limited (CIL) the state-owned coal mining corporate came into being in November 1975.
- With a modest production of 79 Million Tonnes (MTs) at the year of its inception CIL, today is the single largest coal producer in the world and one of the largest corporate employer.
- Indian Institute of Coal Management (IICM) as a state-of-the-art Management Training ‘Centre of Excellence’, the largest Corporate Training Institute in India operates under CIL and conducts multi-disciplinary programmes.
- CIL is a Maharatna company is a privileged status conferred by the Government of India to select state-owned enterprises in order to empower them to expand their operations and emerge as global giants.
Subject : International relations
- Turkey, which has for months blocked NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland, has made some demands that Sweden cannot accept, Sweden’s prime minister said.
- Sweden and Finland broke with decades of military non-alignment and applied to join the U.S.-led defense alliance in response to Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.
- But Turkey has refused to approve their bid until the two countries take steps, including joining Turkey’s fight against banned Kurdish militants and Kurdistan.
- Kurds are an Iranian ethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria.
- They make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East after Arabs, Persians, and Turks.
Religion followed by Kurds:
- Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims who adhere to the Shafiʽi school, while a significant minority adhere to the Hanafi school and also Alevism.
- Moreover, many Shafi’i Kurds adhere to either one of the two Sufi orders Naqshbandi and Qadiriyya.
- Other religions with significant Kurdish adherents are Yarsanism and Yazidism.
History of Kurds Nationalism:
- Kurdish nationalism stirred in the 1890s when the Ottoman Empire was on its last legs.
- The 1920 Treaty of Sevres,imposed a settlement and colonial carve-up of Turkey after World War One, promised Kurds independence. But the accord was broken by Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk.
- The Treaty of Lausanne, ratified in 1924, divided the Kurds among the new nations of the Middle East.
- With the 1946 Republic of Mahabad, a Soviet-backed state stretching over Iran’s border with Turkey and Iraq Kurdish separatism in Iran first bubbled to the surface.
- The 1979 Iran’s Islamic Revolution touched off bloodshed in its Kurdistan region with heavy clashes between the Shi’ite revolutionaries and the Kurdish Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) which fought for independence.
What are the demands of Kurds?
- The Kurds have never achieved nation-state status, except in Iraq, where they have a regional government called Iraqi Kurdistan.
- The Kurds want to establish their independent nation-station Kurdistan which comprises five different regions southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria, northern Iraq, northwestern Iran and southwestern Armenia.