Daily Prelims Notes 9 November 2021
- November 10, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
9 November 2021
Table Of Contents
- UNESCO ‘Creative City Network’
- Project Sampoorna
- Non-Military Pre-emptive Strike
- Padma Awards
- Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
- Leonids Meteor Shower
- Indian Submarines
- The Food Safety and Standards (Import) First Amendment Regulations 2021
- Govt mulling levy of I-T, GST on cryptos
- T+1 settlement cycle
- New Scheme To Digitise PACs
- FPIs Investment in Debt Securities
- No-Frill Accounts Scheme
- Taklamakan Desert
Subject – Art and Culture
Context – UNESCO picks Srinagar as creative city
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has picked Srinagar among 49 cities as part of the creative city network under the Crafts and Folk Arts category.
- The process of nomination of Srinagar under the UNESCO ‘Creative City Network’ was undertaken and funded under the World Bank-funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.
About UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) –
- The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
- The 246 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
- The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.
- Every year, UNESCO seeks applications for various cities across the globe for putting them under its UCCN project. The applications in India are routed through the Ministry of Culture.
- UCCN tag would not only give global recognition to the Srinagar city but also help it in international funding, tie-ups with craft universities and pitching craft as a product.
As of November, 2019, there are five Indian cities in UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) as follows:
- Jaipur-Crafts and Folk Arts (2015).
- Varanasi-Creative city of Music (2015).
- Chennai-Creative city of Music (2017).
- Mumbai – Film (2019).
- Hyderabad – Gastronomy (2019).
After Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Varanasi and Jaipur, Srinagar is the sixth Indian city to achieve this distinction.
UNESCO designated 49 cities as part of the creative cities network. With this, the total number of creative cities in the world has reached 295 across 90 countries.
World Cities Day
- The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 31st of October as World Cities Day.
- The theme for World Cities Day, 2021 is, “Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience” and coincided with the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 26.
Right to the city
- The right to the city is an idea and a slogan first proposed by Henri Lefebvre in his 1968 book Le Droit à la Ville.
- According to Lefebvre, the Right to the City is the right of all urban inhabitants, not just citizens, to participate in and appropriate urban space and resources.
- This means that all urban inhabitants should have a role in decision-making regarding urban space and be able to access, occupy and use urban space.
- Right to the City is a “common rather than an individual right” that seeks to transform cities by the exercise of collective power “to reshape the processes of urbanization.”
- Since the adoption of the World Charter on the Right to the City in 2005, the idea has also gained a lot of traction in various international forums.
- It became the linchpin driving the New Urban Agenda adopted in the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) held in Quito, Ecuador in 2016.
- UN-Habitat partners with national and local governments, academia, civil society and the private sector in the implementation and monitoring of the commitment made under the New Urban Agenda and SDG 11.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights commits to social justice through the promotion, defense and fulfillment of all human rights related to habitat, including the Human Right to Adequate Housing, Land and the Right to the City in every region of the world.
- The Right to the City is the right of all inhabitants (present and future, permanent and temporary) to inhabit, use, occupy, produce, transform, govern and enjoy cities, towns and human settlements that are just, inclusive, safe, sustainable and democratic, defined as common goods for enjoying life with dignity and peace. The right to the city further implies responsibilities on governments and people to claim, defend, and promote this right.
- This right claims for:
- the social function of the city;
- quality public spaces;
- sustainable and inclusive rural-urban linkages;
- inclusive economies;
- inclusive citizenship;
- enhanced political participation;
- gender equality; and
- cultural diversity
- The ‘Right to the City’ does not mean the guarantee of any public service or facility to the unauthorized colonies in a city. It guarantees the common goods and services which are essential for the quality of life.
Subject – Governance
Context – A vital cog in Bongaigaon’s response to malnutrition
- Bongaigaon District Administration in Assam has initiated Mission Sampoorna.
- It aims to improve the health of the malnourished child and to relish the dream of women empowerment.
- It is part of the celebration of Third National PoshanMaah or Nutrition Month 2020 across the country as well as in the district.
- Its prime objective is to identify acute malnutrition among the children of the district and to take necessary steps to set them free from the problem.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context–India has failed to fully appreciate the usage of international law as a means to advance its national security interests.
- In the wake of the February 14 Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force conducted a cross-border counterterrorism operation that was hailed as a new paradigm in India’s sub-conventional warfare tactics and overall security strategy.
- The strike was carried out by a fleet of 12 Mirage 2000 jets to target a suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan.
- Vijay Gokhale, India’s foreign secretary described it as “non-military pre-emptive action”.
- Indisputably, “non-military” means the target was a non-state actor, not the Pakistani state or its armed forces.
- The doctrine is an American creation and not a part of customary international law. It should not be confused with the right of anticipatory self-defence.
- A non-military pre-emptive strike means that a military target has not been hit by the Indian Air Force that carried out the strikes. Hitting a military target would be construed as an act of war.
- India, therefore, clarified that it was a non-military strike. By calling it a pre-emptive action, it has taken the diplomatic pressure off itself that it acted to take revenge or for retribution. It has instead made it an act of self-defence.
- International law gives countries the right of self-defence but there is less clarity about pre-emptive self-defence. Countries like the United States and Israel have invoked this right. This is the first time India has formally used the right of self defence doctrine.
Subject – Governance
Context – President gives 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan, 122 Padma Shri awards
- The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.
- Padma Awards, which were instituted in the year 1954, is announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day except for brief interruption(s) during the years 1978 and 1979 and 1993 to 1997.
- The Awards are given in three categories:
- Padma Vibhushan – for exceptional and distinguished service),
- Padma Bhushan – distinguished service of higher order) and
- Padma Shri – distinguished service.
- The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
- The Padma Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
- The nomination process is open to the public. Even self-nomination can be made.
- All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards.
- However, Government servants including those working with PSUs, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for these Awards.
- The award is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously.
- A higher category of Padma award can be conferred on a person only where a period of at least five years has elapsed since conferment of the earlier Padma award. However, in highly deserving cases, a relaxation can be made by the Awards Committee.
- The awards are presented by the President of India usually in the month of March/April every year where the awardees are presented a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion.
- The recipients are also given a small replica of the medallion, which they can wear during any ceremonial/State functions etc., if the awardees so desire. The names of the awardees are published in the Gazette of India on the day of the presentation ceremony.
- The total number of awards to be given in a year (excluding posthumous awards and to NRI/foreigners/OCIs) should not be more than 120.
- The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name.
- All nominations received for Padma Awards are placed before the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
- The Padma Awards Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members.
- The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval.
- Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country.
- It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.
- It is treated on a different footing from Padma Award. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
- The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Pakistan Taliban agree to ‘complete ceasefire’, says govt.
- The Pakistani Taliban aim to overthrow the government and govern the South Asian nation of 220 million by enforcing their own brand of harsh Islamic law.
- The militants, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, are separate from the Afghan Taliban
- The TTP, alternatively referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, is an umbrella organisation of al-Qaedalinked Sunni militant groups that has waged a war against the state, in which tens of thousands of Pakistanis have been killed in the last two decades.
- It is a Pashtun Islamist armed student group that is an umbrella organization of various student militant groups based along the Afghan–Pakistani border.
- The TTP receives ideological guidance from and maintains ties with al-Qaeda.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – The annual Leonids Meteor Shower has begun
- The annual Leonids Meteor Shower has begun. The peak time of a meteor shower comes when the Earth passes through the densest part of the debris.
- The debris that forms this meteor shower originates from a small comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the constellation Leo, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun.
- The Leonids are considered to be a major shower that features the fastest meteors, which typically travel at speeds of 71 km per second, although the rates are often as low as 15 meteors per hour, NASA notes.
- The Leonids are also called fireballs and earthgazer meteors.
- Fireballs, because of their bright colours, and earthgazer, because they streak close to the horizon.
- The light—which is why a meteor is called a shooting star — is a result of the friction between the meteorite and the molecules present in the Earth’s atmosphere because of which it burns.
- Every 33 years, a Leonid shower turns into a meteor storm, which is when hundreds to thousands of meteors can be seen every hour.
- A meteor storm should have at least 1,000 meteors per hour.
- The last such storm took place in2002.
- The showers are visible on any cloudless night when the Moon is not very bright. Ideally, the viewing location should have no light pollution; the farther away from cities the better.
- According to the website Earth Sky, city, state and national parks are often great places to watch meteor showers.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Last week, the CBI filed two chargesheets against serving and retired naval officers, and some others, for allegedly sharing details of the ongoing modernisation project of India’s Kilo Class submarines.
- The Kilo Class submarines comprises imported submarines that are being retrofitted.
- Currently, India has 15 conventional diesel-electric submarines, classified as SSKs, and one nuclear ballistic submarine, classified as SSBN.
- Of the SSKs, four are Shishumar Class, which were bought and then built in India in collaboration with the Germans starting 1980s; eight are Kilo Class or Sindhughosh Class bought from Russia (including erstwhile USSR) between 1984 and 2000; and three are Kalvari Class Scorpene submarines built at India’s Mazagon Dock in partnership with France’s Naval Group, earlier called DCNS.
- The SSBN, INS Arihant, is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, built indigenously. A second SSBN, INS Arighat, an upgraded version of Arihant, is likely to be commissioned within the next few months.
- Most of India’s submarines are over 25 years old, and many are getting refitted.
History of India’s submarine acquisition
- India got its first submarine, INS Kalvari of the Foxtrot Class, from the USSR in December 1967. By 1969, it had four of those. During the 1971 war with Pakistan, the submarines were baptised into war.
Why have there been delays in modernisation?
- The 30-year plan (2000-30) for indigenous submarine construction, approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999, envisaged two production lines of six submarines each, built in India in partnership with a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The projects were called P-75 and P-75I.
- But the contract for P-75 was signed only by 2005, with France’s DCNS, now the Naval Group.
What are the current projects underway?
- Of the six being built, P-75 has delivered three Kalvari Class Scorpene submarines so far.
- P-75I is yet to take off.
Why are nuclear submarines so coveted?
- SSNs have infinite capacity to stay dived. As they are not propelled by batteries, they need not emerge for charging by a diesel engine.
- Propelled by a nuclear-powered engine, these submarines only need to come to the surface for replenishing supplies for the crew.
- SSNs are also able to move faster underwater than conventional submarines. All this allows a navy to deploy them at farther distances, and quicker. They are like the fighter jets of the underwater world.
How many does India have?
- India is among six nations that have SSNs, alongside the US, the UK, Russia, France and China.
- India got its first SSN in 1987 from the Soviet Navy, which it rechristened INS Chakra, which was decommissioned in 1991.
- In 2012, India got another Russian SSN on a ten-year lease, called INS Chakra 2, which has since been returned to Russia.
- The government has also decided that of the 12 submarines to be built indigenously after the P75 and P75i projects, six would be SSNs instead of SSK.
- India is taking two SSNs on lease from Russia, but the first of them is expected to be delivered only by 2025.
- But, during this time India has developed its own SSBNs, INS Arihant and INS Arighat.
- Unlike the other submarines, the SSBNs are strategic programmes and fall under the Strategic Forces Command, the tri-services command responsible for India’s nuclear weapons.
- India is building at least two larger SSBNs that will have bigger missiles, called S4 and S4* projects. The four SSBNs are expected to be commissioned before 2030.
Subject – Governance
Context – FSSAI tightens norms for global firms bringing food products into India
- To ensure import of safe food products, the FSSAI has notified a new regulatory framework for foreign facilities that bring food items to India.
- Under the regulations, foreign food manufacturing facilities that make products in certain categories for export to India will need to register with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and may also be subjected to inspection by Indian food safety officials.
- Officials from FSSAI and relevant ministry or organisation or department or recognised auditing agency shall be nominated by the Food Authority for the purpose of inspection of foreign food manufacturing facilities.
- The Food Safety and Standards (Import) First Amendment Regulations, 2021, will come into effect from June 1.
- This is similar to the protocols followed by international food safety agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration.
- The FSSAI said that it will specify the categories of food products from time-totime based on its risk assessment for which international factories will need to register with the regulator.
- The registration will be given for two years.
- The inspection can be done even after the registration is obtained by these manufacturing facilities.
Subject – Economy
Context – Govt mulling levy of I-T, GST on cryptos; Bill in Winter Session
- Cryptos are likely to attract both income tax and GST.
- If there is gain or income from crypto, it should be taxed per capital gains rules. Similarly, if there is service involved in the transaction, then GST needs to be levied.
- This means the intent to tax is expected to be mentioned in the legislation, and then provisions will be added in the Finance Bill to facilitate imposition of direct tax.
- For tax on transaction service, the Goods and Services Tax Council will take a final call.
- On whether cryptos are to be treated as a currency or an investment asset, there is no clarity. It is highly unlikely to get the status of a currency.
- While currency and banking products are regulated by the RBI, investment assets such as equity and commodity are overseen by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Subject – Economy
Context – In global first, bourses to move to T+1 settlement from Feb 25
- Come February 25, India’s stock market will become the fastest in the world in terms of payout of money to clients and trade settlement.
- Despite a pushback from foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the BSE declared that they will implement the T+1 (trade plus one day) settlement cycle in a phased manner starting with the bottom 100 stocks in terms of market value.
- Thereafter, 500 stocks will be added based on the same market value criteria from the last Friday of March and so on every following month.
- SEBI had given its go-ahead for T+1 settlement in September but FPIs had sought more time from the regulator.
- T+1 settlement cycle means that market trade-related settlements will need to be cleared within one day of the actual transactions taking place.
- Currently, in the T+2 cycle, it takes 48 hours or more for the shares to be transferred into the client account in case of purchases. This means a seller cannot demand payment for at least two days.
- When India’s markets move to the T+1 cycle, they will be the first globally.
- The NSE has nearly 2,000 stocks on its platform while the BSE has more than 7,000 on its main board. All of these will gradually move to the T+1 settlement cycle.
Subject – Agriculture
Context – Centre holds consultations with States and UTs on new scheme to digitise PACs
- The Centre held a virtual consultation with 32 States and Union Territories on a new central scheme to modernise and digitalise over 97,000 primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACs) spread across the country.
- PACs, commonly known as agri-cooperative credit societies, are village-level lending institutions extending short and medium-term loans.
- There are about 97,961 PACs across the country, out of which over 65,000 are viable.
What are Primary Agricultural Credit Societies?
- PACS are the ground-level cooperative credit institutions that provide short-term and medium-term agricultural loans to the farmers for the various agricultural and farming activities.
- It works at the grassroots gram Panchayat and village level.
- The Primary Agricultural Credit Societies are the association of persons, unlike in the case of the Joint Stock Companies, where there is just accumulation of capital.
- Primary Agricultural Credit Societies confers equal rights to all its members without considering their holding of share and their social standing.
PACS are generally providing the following facilities to the members:
- Input facilities in form of cash or kind component to members
- Agriculture implements on hiring basis
- Storage facility.
Subject – Economy
Context – FPIs can buy debt securities issued by InvITs, REITs: RBI
- The Reserve Bank of India said foreign portfolio investors can acquire debt securities issued by Infrastructure Investment Trusts and Real Estate Investment Trusts.
- Such investments shall be reckoned within the limits and subject to the terms and conditions for investments by FPIs in debt securities under the respective regulations of Medium Term Framework and Voluntary Retention Route.
- An announcement was made in the Union Budget 2021-22 that debt financing of InvITs and REITs by FPIs will be enabled by making suitable amendments in the relevant legislations. The decision is in line with the announcement.
To know about InvITs and REITs, please refer August 2021 DPN.
Subject – Economy
Context – ‘India now ahead of China in financial inclusion metrics’
- India is now ahead of China in financial inclusion metrics, with mobile and Internet banking transactions rising to 13,615 per 1,000 adults in 2020 from 183 in 2015 and the number of bank branches inching up to 14.7 per 1 lakh adults in 2020 from 13.6 in 2015, which is higher than in Germany, China and South Africa, as per a report.
- Under the no-frills accounts scheme, the number of persons with deposit accounts at banks has significantly increased, becoming comparable with emerging economy peers and even some of the advanced economies.
- The central bank had introduced ‘no-frills’ accounts in 2005 to provide basic banking facilities to poor and promote financial inclusion. The accounts could be maintained without or with very low minimum balance.
- However, in 2012, RBI asked banks to drop the ‘no-frills’ tag from the basic saving accounts as the nomenclature has become a stigma.
- It has asked the banks to provide zero balance facility in the basic banking accounts along with ATM-cum-debit cards without any extra charge.
- RBI has asked the banks to convert the existing ‘no-frills’ accounts into ‘Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts’.
Subject – IR
Context – China builds mock-ups of U.S. Navy warships
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