Daily Prelims Notes 9 September 2021
- September 9, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
9 September 2021
Table Of Contents
- Island discovered off Greenland
- Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT)
- Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textiles
- Palm Oil
- Universal Declaration of the Rights of Rivers
- IUCN World Conservation Congress
- Banks Board Bureau (BBB)
- Species Extinction
- Green Hydrogen
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Enforcement Directorate
- Job Reservations for Locals
- Code on Social Security 2020
- Draft Bill on Drugs cosmetics and medical devices
- Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)
- Doctrine of pith and substance
Subject – Geography
Context – Island discovered off Greenland is the new speck on the world map
- Measuring 60×30 metres and with a peak of three metres above sea level, it has now become the new northernmost piece of land on Earth.
- Before this, Oodaaq was marked as the Earth’s northernmost terrain.
- The new island is made up of seabed mud and moraine, i.e. soil, rock and other material left behind by moving glaciers, and has no vegetation. It meets the criteria of an island.
- The group has suggested the discovery be named ‘QeqertaqAvannarleq’, which is Greenlandic for “the northernmost island”.
- Oodaaq is some 700 km south of the North Pole, while the new island is 780 m north of Oodaaq.
Subject – Governance
Context – Punjab will tackle its drug problem with opioid assisted treatment
- The move to set up OOAT centres in Punjab began in October 2017.
- The centres administer de-addiction medicine, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, to the opioid dependent people registering there.
- Administered in the form of a pill, the treatment is primarily for addicts of opioid drugs, including heroin, poppy husk and opium.
- There are currently 202 government-run OOAT centres, including 11 in jails, where medicine is given free of cost.
- In private centres, depending on the brand, a pill containing 2 mg of buprenorphine and 0.5 mg naloxone costs between Rs 25 to Rs 35 based on maximum retail price.
- The dosage of the medicine varies depending upon the severity and duration of illness and type of illicit opioid used, but on an average it is three to four tablets 6 mg to 8 mg per day.
- Also Punjab Government has decided to launch a 100-day Big Bang programme to check the problem of drugs.
Subject – Economy
Context – The Union Cabinet Wednesday approved a Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textiles sector worth Rs 10,683 crore.
- The scheme aims to attract fresh investment of Rs 19,000 crore in the sector for production of in-demand textiles, and additional turnover of Rs 3 lakh crore over five years.
- This is part of a larger PLI scheme for 13 sectors, with a total budgetary outlay of 1.97 lakh crore.
- The PLI scheme for textiles aims to promote the production of high value Man-Made Fibre (MMF) fabrics, garments and technical textiles.
- Any person or company willing to invest a minimum of Rs 300 crore in plant, machinery, equipment and civil works (excluding land and administrative building cost) to produce products of MMF fabrics, garments and products of technical textiles will be eligible to participate in the first part of the scheme.
- Investors willing to spend a minimum of Rs 100 crore under the same conditions shall be eligible to apply in the second part of the scheme.
- The scheme would directly benefit the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha, as these were states where the textile sector is already growing.
To know more about PLI Scheme, please click here.
Subject – Geography
Context – ‘Several studies have shown that palm oil poses no risk to health’.
- India imports 60 per cent of the edible oil it consumes and runs up an import bill of ₹80,000 crore. Of that, palm oil alone accounts for 55 per cent.
- While palm is the most prolific and efficient source of vegetable oil, it has a really bad reputation. Activists call it the coal of the food world: bad for health, bad for the planet.
- In south-east Asia, palm monoculture has eaten into nearly 10 million hectares of forests. In middle-class perception, it’s an unhealthy oil.
- In the quest for self-sufficiency, the government last week introduced the National Mission for Edible Oil and Oil Palm (MNEO-OP), which seeks to give a big push to domestic palm oil cultivation.
- In India it is a farmers’ crop, grown in existing farmlands with intercropping.
- Palm oil is rich in vitamin A and E, and in coenzymes like ubiquinone that help fight cardiac diseases.
- Palm is good for sequestering carbon. It is actually a form of afforestation. A palm tree produces two to three new leaves per month. A lot of biomass, too, gets added to the soil.
- The requirement of pesticides and herbicides is significantly less for oil palm compared to other crops.
- If you look at the productivity levels of groundnuts, soyabean, sunflower, sesame, and if you look at the oil palm productivity, it stands very tall. On an average four to six tonnes of oil per hectare per year is produced through oil palm. For other oilseeds it is about 0.4 tonnes.
- The total water requirement is less than that for rice or sugarcane.
- Palm oil is cheap because it is highly productive. Not because its bad. The cost of cultivation is low and yields very high.
For more information on National Edible Oil Mission – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), please click here.
Subject – Environment
Context – Give rivers their rights, activists tell IUCN World Conservation Congress
- The declaration is a civil society initiative to define the basic rights to which all rivers are entitled.
- The declaration states that all rivers are:
- Living entities.
- Entitled to fundamental rights.
- Entitled to legal guardians.
- In the one year since the declaration, rights have been recognised or declared for the Boulder Creek watershed in the United States, the Magpie river in Canada, waterways in Orange County in the US, the Alpayacu river in Ecuador and the Paraná river and its wetlands in Argentina.
- Some 1,700 individuals and 211 organisations from over 40 countries have pledged support to the declaration.
- Several campaigns calling for rights to be accorded to rivers have also incorporated the declaration. These include campaigns for the Lempa river in El Salvador, the Tavignanu river in France, all rivers in Mexico’s Oaxaca state, the Ethiope river in Nigeria, the Indus river in Pakistan and the Frome river in the United Kingdom.
- Several amici curiaebriefs in defence of the ‘rights of rivers’ also reference the rights recognised in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Rivers.
- The rights to recognise river as living entities rather than mere human property started in 2008. That year, Ecuador became the first country to constitutionally recognize the Rights of Nature.
- In 2017, a treaty agreement between the Whanganui Iwi (a Māori tribe) and the New Zealand government recognised the Whanganui river as a legal person.
- Also in 2017, a Constitutional Court decision in Colombia recognised the rights of the Atratoriver and a court in Uttarakhand recognised the Ganga and Yamuna rivers as legal persons with rights. This was later stayed.
- According to one statistic, only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 km still flow freely due to dams being built on them.
- Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.
- The Congress aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development, but this cannot be achieved by conservationists alone.
- The IUCN Congress is the place to put aside differences and work together to create good environmental governance, engaging all parts of society to share both the responsibilities and the benefits of conservation.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the French government have agreed to hold the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020 from 3 to 11 September 2021 in Marseille. The event, originally scheduled for June 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A Congress with two components
- The Forum is a hub of public debate, bringing together people from all walks of life to discuss the world’s most pressing conservation and sustainability challenges. It includes many different types of events from high level dialogues to training workshops which explore the depths of conservation and innovation.
- The Members’ Assembly is IUCN’s highest decision-making body. A unique global environmental parliament, it involves governments and NGOs – large and small, national and international – taking joint decisions on conservation and sustainability.
- Host Country Selection
- Traditionally, the World Conservation Congress is hosted by one of IUCN’s State Members. The Congress provides a unique opportunity for a country to showcase its leadership on global environmental issues and to highlight conservation activities. Host countries also benefit from the international exposure of the country’s biodiversity, history and culture.
- The selection process generally starts about three and a half years prior to a Congress and IUCN carries out a formal selection process during which interested countries are asked to submit a formal proposal which addresses IUCN’s Statement of Requirements.
Subject – Economy
Context – BBB recommends Atul Kumar Goel for PNB MD & CEO’s position
- Banks Board Bureau (BBB) is an autonomous body of the Government of India tasked to improve the governance of Public Sector Banks, recommend selection of chiefs of government owned banks and financial institutions and to help banks in developing strategies and capital raising plans.
- The Ministry of Finance takes the final decision on the appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.
- It had replaced Appointments Board of Government.
- In February 2016, the NDA government approved the proposal for setting up BBB and it started functioning from April 2016.
- The BBB works as step towards governance reforms in Public Sector Banks (PSBs) as recommended by P.J. Nayak Committee.
- The BBB was the part of Indradhanush Plan of government, aimed at revamping the Public Sector Banks.
- Banks Board Bureau comprises the Chairman, three ex-officio members i.e Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Secretary of the Department of Financial Services and Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and five expert members, two of which are from the private sector.
- The Banks Board Bureau is a public authority as defined in the Right to Information Act, 2005.
Subject – Environment
Context – Over 390 species of sharks, rays, chimaera in danger of extinction: Study
- Over 37 per cent of the world’s world’s sharks, rays and chimaeras are facing extinction due to overfishing, compounded by loss and degradation of habitat, climate change and pollution, warned a new study.
- As many as 220 of the total 661 species of rays are threatened, followed by sharks (167 of 536) and chimeras (four of 52), according to the extensive survey done from 2013 to 2021.
- The chondrichthyan fishes that faced extinction more than doubled since the last global survey done in 2014 that showed 181 of a total of 1,041 species were threatened.
- One ray species, the Java stingaree (Urolophusjavanicus), may have already gone extinct according to the reclassification of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) earlier this year.
- Overfishing, mainly by industrial-scale fisheries, is the main threat for all the 391 threatened chondrichthyan fish species, the study found. Most threatened species are used for food consumption by human beings.
- Habitat loss and degradation of habitat, in addition to overfishing, caused nearly a fifth of the species to be threatened, according to the report.
- The researchers called for science-based limits on fishing, effective marine protected areas, among other approaches to minimise mortality of threatened species.
Subject – Environment
Context – Green hydrogen, a new ally for a zero-carbon future.
- Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet, but rarely in its pure form which is how we need it. It has an energy density almost three times that of diesel. This phenomenon makes it a rich source of energy, but the challenge is to compress or liquify the LH2 (liquid hydrogen); it needs to be kept at a stable minus 253° C (far below the temperature of minus 163° C at which Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is stored; entailing its ‘prior to use exorbitant cost’.
- Black hydrogen is produced by use of fossil fuel, whereas pink hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, but using energy from nuclear power sources. ‘Green hydrogen’, the emerging novel concept, is a zero-carbon fuel made by electrolysis using renewable power from wind and solar to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
- Presently, less than 0.1% or say ~75 million tons/year of hydrogen capable of generating ~284GW of power, is produced.
- According to studies by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA), the production cost of this ‘green source of energy’ is expected to be around $1.5 per kilogram (for nations having perpetual sunshine and vast unused land), by the year 2030; by adopting various conservative measures.
- India is the world’s fourth largest energy consuming country (behind China, the United States and the European Union), according to the IEA’s forecast, and will overtake the European Union to become the world’s third energy consumer by the year 2030.
- India is also gradually unveiling its plans. The Indian Railways have announced the country’s first experiment of a hydrogen¬-fuel cell technology-based train by retrofitting an existing diesel engine; this will run under Northern Railway on the 89 km stretch between Sonepat and Jind.
For more information on National Hydrogen Mission, please click here.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – In 2017, a man in Delhi, affected by autism, underwent his first DNA blood test at the age of 40. He tested positive for Fragile X Syndrome (FXS).
- Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment.
- Usually, males are more severely affected by this disorder than females.
- Affected individuals usually have delayed development of speech and language by age 2.
- Children with fragile X syndrome may also have anxiety and hyperactive behavior such as fidgeting or impulsive actions. They may have attention deficit disorder (ADD), which includes an impaired ability to maintain attention and difficulty focusing on specific tasks.
- About one-third of individuals with fragile X syndrome have features of autism spectrum disorder that affect communication and social interaction.
- Physical features may include a long and narrow face, large ears, flexible fingers, and large testicles.
- This is caused by changes in a gene called FMR1 which make an important protein (FMRP). This protein is required for brain development.
- Diagnosis requires genetic testing to determine the number of CGG repeats in the FMR1
- There is no cure. Early intervention is recommended, as it provides the most opportunity for developing a full range of skills. These interventions may include special education, speech therapy, physical therapy, or behavioral therapy.
- Fragile X syndrome is estimated to occur in 1.4 per 10,000 males and 0.9 per 10,000 females.
Subject – Security
Context – Centre can extend ED Director’s term, says SC
- As the tenure of appointment of Director of Enforcement is not a maximum period of two years, a person can be appointed as Director of Enforcement for a period of more than two years.
- There is no proscription on the Government to appoint a Director of Enforcement beyond a period of two years.
- The court said the power to grant extensions for a “reasonable period” to the ED Director should be done rarely and only after recording the reasons.
For more information on ED, please click here.
Subject – Polity
Context – Jharkhand clears Bill on 75% quota for locals.
- The Jharkhand Assembly passed a Bill, The Jharkhand State Employment of Local Candidates in Private Sector Bill, 2021, which provides 75% reservation for local people in the private sector in jobs with a monthly salary of up to ₹40,000.
- Once notified, Jharkhand will become the third State in the country, after Andhra Pradesh and Haryana, to pass such a law.
‘Locals First’ Policy –
- It implies that jobs that will be created in a state will be first offered to only people who belong to that state.
- This policy is also the result of the fear of some locals who believe that their jobs are being taken away from them and provided to the people not belonging to the state.
- Besides Andhra Pradesh, there is a law in Maharashtra that if any industry that gets an incentive from the State Government, then 70% of people at a particular level (basically unskilled workers of that industry) have to be locals.
- The states in support of such a policy provides an argument that it is the state’s responsibility to fulfill aspirations of its people, also since the state is providing incentives, the industries should not have any problem in following its directions.
Constitutional Provisions related to reservations in employment –
The constitution under Article 16 and Article 371 mentions the Reservation in jobs.
- Under Article 16, there were 3 sub-clauses dealing with the job reservation. They are,
- 16(1): It provides for equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to ’employment or appointment’ to any office under the State.
- 16(2):It provides that there cannot be any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them.
- 16(3):It provides an exception by saying that Parliament may make a law “prescribing” a requirement of residence for jobs in a particular state. This power vests solely in the Parliament, not state legislatures.
- Article 371:Some states have special protections under Article 371. Andhra Pradesh under Section 371(d) has powers to have “direct recruitment of local cadre” in specified areas.
Supreme Court Judgements regarding reservation in private jobs
- Pradeep Jain v Union of India (1984) case: The Supreme Court discussed the issue of legislation for “sons of the soil”. Further, The court held an opinion that such policies would be unconstitutional but did not expressly rule on it.
- Sunanda Reddy v State of Andhra Pradesh (1995) case: The Supreme Court repeated its earlier interpretation in Dr Pradeep Jain case. Further, the court strikes down the state government policy that gave 5% extra weightage to candidates who had studied with Telugu as the medium of instruction.
- The Rajasthan government gave preference to “people belonging to the concerned district or the rural areas of that district” in appointments. But, the Supreme Court in Kailash Chand Sharma Vs State of Rajasthan, 2002invalidated the appointment of government teachers in Rajasthan.
- In 2019, the Allahabad High Court struck down a recruitment notification issued by the Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Service Selection Commission. The commission prescribed preference for women who were original residents of the state in job appointments.
Subject – Economy
Context – Implementing social security code a priority, says Minister.
- The Indian Parliament, in a bid to rationalise the 44 labour codes in India, consolidated them into four labour codes and enacted them by 2020. The four labour codes are –
- The Code on Wages, 2019;
- Industrial Relations Code, 2020;
- Code on Social Security, 2020; and
- Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions, 2020.
- The Code on Social Security, 2020is a code to amend and consolidate the laws relating to social security with the goal to extend social security to all employees and workers either in the organised or unorganised or any other sectors.
- Social security refers to protection measures provided to workers to ensure healthcare and income security in case of certain contingencies such as old age, maternity, or accidents.
- The act amalgamates nine central labour enactments relating to social security.
- It consolidated The Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923, The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959, The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, The Cine Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981, The Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996, Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act 2008.
- The Code has widened coverage by including the unorganised sector, fixed term employees and gig workers, platform workers, inter-state migrant workers etc.
- There is uniformity in determining wagesfor the purpose of social security benefits.
- The Code also provides for the setting up of a ‘National Social Security Board’. The functions of the Board include recommending schemes to the central government and also monitoring the schemes for the different types of workers, advising the Government on matters relating to the administration of the Code amongst others.
For more information on Code on Social Security, please click here.
Subject – Governance
Context – Panel set up to draft Bill on drugs, cosmetics and medical devices
- The Union government has constituted a committee for framing legislation regarding new drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. The eight-member panel, headed by Drugs Controller General of India G. Somani, is scheduled to submit a draft document by November 30.
- The committee is allowed to co-opt one or more member if needed.
- The order further states that the committee shall undertake pre-legislative consultations and examine the present Act, previously framed Drugs and Cosmetics Bills and submit a draft document for a new Drugs, Cosmetics and Medical Devices Bill.
Subject – Geography
Context – ‘No new coal plants needed to meet 2030 demand’
- Coal is a sedimentary, organic rock which is flammable composed primarily of carbon along with other elements such as hydrogen, sulphur, oxygen, and nitrogen.
- It is used mainly in the generation of thermal power and smelting of iron ore.
- Also called black gold.
Formation Of Coal:
- Coal is formed from dead plants remains.
- These dead plants get compressed beneath rocks in a low oxygen environment.
- Due to high pressure and heat, this organic matter gets converted into Peat(partially decayed organic matter).
- This peat is converted into low carbon coal i.e., lignite.
- More heat and pressure convert lignite into bituminous and then to anthracite.
Types Of Coal:
- On the basis of carbon content and order of formation:
- PEAT– 40% CARBON (NE)
- LIGNITE– 40-60% CARBON – Low Quality – Brown in colour- found in Neyveli in TN.
- BITUMINOUS– 60-80% CARBON. It is soft coal. In India, much of the coal comes under this category.
- ANTHRACITE– 80-90% CARBON. It is mainly found in the district of Reasi in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- On the basis of usage:
- Coking coal– High carbon content, less moisture, less sulphur, less ash. It forms coke when heated in the absence of air. It is used in the iron and steel industry to make pig iron.
- Non Coking coal– It is used in the thermal power plants to generate power. Sulphur content is high and hence cannot be used in iron and steel industry.
NOTE: There is a shortage of good quality coking coal in india. So we partially import good grade coking coal for the iron and steel industry.
- On the basis of origin:
- Gondwana Coal- old-[250 million years old]:
- The most important Gondwana coal in India are found exclusively in peninsular plateau especially in Damodar, Godavari,Mahanadi and Sone valley
- Jharia (JH) is the largest coal field in India followed by Raniganj (WB).
- Other important coal mining centre are: Singrauli– MP, Korba- CH,Talcher and Rampur- Odisha, Singareni– Telangana, Chanda-Wardha– MH, Pandur– AP
- Tertiary coal fields [15 – 60 million years old]:Tertiary coal occurs in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland
Largest coal reserves in India: JH>ODISHA>CH>WB>MP>AP
Import Of Coal:
- As per the present Import policy, coal can be freely imported (under Open General Licence) by the consumers themselves.
- Coking Coal is being imported by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and other Steel manufacturing units mainly to bridge the gap between the requirement and indigenous availability and to improve the quality.
- Coal based power plants, cement plants, captive power plants, sponge iron plants, industrial consumers and coal traders are importing non-coking coal.
- Coke is imported mainly by Pig-Iron manufacturers and Iron & Steel sector consumers using mini-blast furnace.
Impact Of Coal on Environment:
- Coal mining and use of coal in power stations and factories have led to degradation of the environment.
- Coal mining can cause contamination of drinking water. Power stations and factories that burn coal also consume large quantities of water.
- Combustion of carbon releases a number of greenhouse gases that is a major cause of global warming and climate change.
- Smog and acid rain are also due to the use of coal.
- Fly ash can also contaminate land and water.
- The use of coal as fuel causes adverse health problems and deaths. It is a leading cause of asthma, bronchitis, strokes, heart attacks, mercury poisoning, lung cancer.
- There is a global campaign going to decrease the dependence on coal and move to cleaner and more efficient fuels.
Subject – Economy
Context – DIPAM picks 10 merchant bankers for LIC IPO.
- Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) deals with all matters relating to management of Central Government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in Central Public Sector Undertakings.
- The Four major areas of its work relates to Strategic Disinvestment, Minority Stake Sales, Asset Monetisation and Capital Restructuring.
- It also deals with all matters relating to sale of Central Government equity through offer for sale or private placement or any other mode in the erstwhile Central Public Sector Undertakings.
- DIPAM is working as one of the Departments under the Ministry of Finance.
- Till now, PSUs for strategic sale were identified by NITI Aayog. From now, DIPAM and NITI Aayog will jointly identify PSUs for strategic disinvestment.
Subject – Polity
- The Doctrine of Pith and Substance is one of the oldest theories used to resolve constitutional matters in India. Unfolding the literal meaning of the doctrine, the “pith” in it refers to the true nature or the essence of something and the “substance” in it means an essential part, thereby, the doctrine is termed as the “most significant part of something in which its true essence lies”.
- The power granted to legislatures to formulate a statute under three lists of the seventh schedule in the Constitution of India is bound to overlap at certain points but this can’t be used as a reason to make the whole statute null and void. Therefore, incidental effects or encroachments are permissible under Constitutional Law while determining the competence of particular legislatures to the extent of subject matters in the three lists is in question. This rule is known as the Doctrine of Pith and Substance.
- The Doctrine of Pith and Substance relates to Article 246 that deals with the three lists enumerated in the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution. It is used when there is a question on the competence of the legislature on making a particular enactment under the three lists. The court for that matter must look into the substance of the enactment. If the court finds that the law formulated is very much within the substance of the matter assigned to the framers then the statute is deemed completely valid or as the case may be.
- However, while deciding so, if the court finds out that there is an incidental effect of the application of the statute on another field that is beyond the competence of the legislature, then such findings must be discarded. The reason being, that it is possible that a particular statute may incidentally encroach upon a matter beyond the legislature’s competence but such encroachment doesn’t render the whole statute to be a nullity.