07 August 2022, Daily Current Affairs – THE EXAMS MADE SIMPLE

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Prelims Objective Practices Questions

(I.)The location of the thermal equator is not identical to that of the geographic Equator because of which of the following factors?
a) The bulge around the equator
b) Level of insolation received in different hemispheres of the earth
c) Tropospheric convection
d) Continentality

(II.) Culturable waste land is a category of land use in India which means the land
a) Has the potential to be used for agriculture but is not being used for cultural reasons
b) Is used only once in an agricultural season and rest of the time as pasture lands
c) Is left uncultivated for more than five agricultural years
d) Has not been sown more than once during periods of drought

(III.) Consider the following statements.
1. About 80 per cent of the coal deposits in India is of bituminous type and is of non-coking grade.
2. Lignite type of coal is located in Nyveli, Tamil Nadu.
3. Jharia coal field is located in Odisha.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 Only
b) 1, 2
c) 2, 3
d) 1, 2, 3

CSAT Question of the Day

(I.) The angle of elevation of the sun, when the length of the shadow of a tree 3 times the height of the tree, is:
A. 30°
B. 45°
C. 60°
D. 90°

Prelims Specific Facts

NEWS-1 Jagdeep Dhankhar is new Vice-President
  • Who participates in Vice President election?
    • An electoral college comprising below-given categories of people elect the Vice President. The mode of election hence is termed as ‘indirect election’. The principle of election used is Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferrable Vote.
    • Elected members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
    • Nominated members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
  • What is the term of office of Vice President?
    • From the date, he enters his office, Vice President holds the position for five years. However, he can resign before five years by handing over his resignation to the President. The other ways where a vacancy is created in the office of Vice President are given below:
      • When he completes his term of five years
      • When he resigns
      • When he is removed
      • On his death
      • When his election is declared void
  • Is Vice President also impeached as President of India?
    • No, unlike President of India who can be impeached formally; there is no formal impeachment for Vice President. Rajya Sabha simply can pass a resolution with a majority and Lok Sabha can pass it. Also, unlike President of India who can be impeached on the ground of ‘Violation of Constitution,’ there is no ground mentioned in the constitution for the removal of Vice President of India.
  • India had consulates in Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif, all of which are associated with the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
  • Consider the following pairs Town sometime mentioned in news: Country: (Pre18 Set-D)
    • Aleppo: Syria
    • Kirkuk: Yemen
    • Mosul: Palestine
    • Mazar -i- Sharif: Afghanistan
NEWS-3 Jackfruit festival in Mysuru evokes a good response
  • Incessant rain and chilly weather were no deterrent to people of Mysuru who made a beeline for the jack fruit festival on Saturday to savour multiple varieties of the fruit, the names of which are as exotic as they taste.
  • The two-day festival showcased varieties such as Rudrakshi Halasu, Siddu Kempu, Byrachandra, Sarva Ruthu, Shankara, Varada Sree, Tubagere Halasu, Thai Red, Vietnam Super Early, Gumless Jack, Nagachandra, Lalbagh Madura, Ramachan dra and many more.
  • Bowing to demands from tribal groups, the Manipur Assembly has resolved to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and establish a State Population Commission (SPC).
  • Mr. Joykishan said the country’s population growth rate was 87.67% between 1971 and 2001 and120% between 2001 and2011.
  • The hills are primarily in habited by the Scheduled Tribes while the valley districts, comprising one-tenth of Manipur’s geographical area, is dominated by the non-tribal Meitei people. “The abnormal population growth rates of the hill districts point to a strong possibility of a huge influx of non-Indians. The situation is such that smaller indigenous communities may face extinction, necessitating a study and action,
  • A sizeable section of the hill dwellers belonging to the Kuki-Chin group is be lieved to have settled down in Manipur from adjoining Myanmar.
  • “It is urgently required to monitor and check the dramatic rise of non-local population through an SPC, which is al so warranted by the Nation al Population Policy,”.
  • To date, Assam is the only northeastern State to have implemented the NRC. The exercise has been in limbo since the complete draft was published in August 2019, leaving out 19.06 lakh out of 3.3 crore applicants.
  • In June, the Manipur government approved 1961 as the base year for identifying ‘natives’ and effectively implementing the inner-line permit (ILP), a temporary travel document residents of other Indian States need to posses to enter the State.
  • The Centre had extended the Bengal Easter Frontier Regulation of 1873 to Manipur, thereby making it the fourth State in the Northeast to be brought under the ILP. But the pro-NRC tribal organisations said the ILP was not enough as Manipur could not come up with the definition of “indigenous in habitants”.
  • Flagging the “intrusion of immigrants” from Bangladesh (East Pakistan formerly), Myanmar and Nepal, the organisations recalled apass or permit system for Manipur that was abolished by the then Chief Commissioner Himmat Singh in November 1950.
  • The Chakmas and Hajongs, rehabilitated in Arunachal Pradesh in the 1960s, on Saturday protested the denial of residential proof certificates (RPCs) to them and alleged that it was an attempt to throw them out.
  • Members of the two communities settled in Arunachal Pradesh in the 1960s after they were displaced by a dam in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The Chakmas are Buddhists, and the Hajongs are Hindus.
  • Who are the Chakmas and Hajongs?
    • Mizoram and Tripura have a sizeable population of the Buddhist Chakmas while the Hindu Hajongs mostly inhabit the Garo Hills of Meghalaya and adjoining areas of Assam. The Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh are migrants from the Chittagong Hill Tracts of erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Displaced by the Kaptai dam on the Karnaphuli River in the 1960s, they sought asylum in India and were settled in relief camps in the southern and south-eastern parts of Arunachal Pradesh from 1964 to 1969. A majority of them live in the Changlang district of the State today.
NEWS-6 Indian Virtual Herbarium, biggest database of country’s flora, is a global hit
  • With details of about one lakh plant specimens, the Indian Virtual Herbarium, the biggest virtual database of flora in the country, is generating a lot of interest and turning out to be an eye-catching endeavour.
  • Herbarium was an interesting col of plants and lection of preserved parts of plants. “The virtual herbarium also presents a rich botanical diversity of the country.
  • Developed by scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), the herbarium was inaugurated by Union Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav in Kolkata on July 1. Since then, the portal ivh.bsi.gov.in has had nearly two lakh hits from 55 countries.
  • Each record in the digital herbarium includes an image of the preserved plant specimen, scientific name, collection locality, and collection date, collector name, and barcode number.
  • The oldest type specimen Lepidagathis scariosa was collected in 1817 by Robert Wight. Type specimens are those collections that help in new discoveries and are considered of great significance by botanists and taxonomists.
  • Botanical Survey of India (BSI)
    • BSI is the apex research organization under Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEFCC) for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of country.
    • It was established in 1890 with objective to explore plant resources of country and to identify plants species with economic virtues.
    • It has nine regional circles situated at different regions of the country.
  • Called nadis or talabs (ponds) in these parts, these are shallow depressions across the rural landscape in the arid regions of Jodhpur and Barmer districts. The water collected in these tanks will quench the thirst of people, cattle and wild. animals during the dry months. The nadis have been a part of rural life for ages.
  • At Ramrawas Kalan, a village 49 km north-east of Jodhpur in Bhopalgarh tehsil, the two nadis undergo periodic maintenance. Both are starting to fill now. The two structures there – Deoli and Chan, the latter being the bigger one and located 10 km away – are in orans or sacred groves. The orans are associated with the local deities.
  • Genomic surveillance of pathogens provides interesting insights by following a molecular approach for con tact tracing and understanding the transmission of the virus across the world. As cases of monkeypox continue to rise, it is therefore important to strengthen the genomic surveillance for the monkeypox virus. Since data from the present outbreak suggest a sustained human to-human transmission, continuous genomic surveillance is important to under stand the evolution and adaptation of the virus, apart from providing useful data to epidemiologists.
  • What is genomic sequencing?
    • Genomic sequencing is a technique that allows us to read and interpret genetic information found within DNA or RNA.
  • What is GISAID?
    • It is a public platform started by the WHO in 2008 for countries to share genome sequences.
    • Created as an alternative to the public domain sharing model, GISAID’s sharing mechanism took into account the concerns of Member States by providing a publicly accessible database designed by scientist for scientist, to improve the sharing of influenza data.
    • In 2010 the Federal Republic of Germany became the official host of the GISAID platform.
    • In 2013 the European Commission recognized GISAID as a research organization and partner in the PREDEMICS consortium, a project on the Preparedness, Prediction and the Prevention of Emerging Zoonotic Viruses with Pandemic Potential using multidisciplinary approaches.
    • GISAID’s database access agreement ensures that contributors of genetic sequence data do not forfeit their intellectual property rights to the data.
  • Determining the 3D shape of almost any protein known to science will soon be as simple as typing in a Google search. Researchers have used the revolutionary artificial intelligence (AI) network AlphaFold to predict the structures of some 200 million proteins from one million species, covering nearly every known protein on the planet.
  • A pioneering gene therapy has used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to target the root cause of sickle-cell disease caused by a flaw in the body’s oxygen-carrying protein, haemoglobin, which affects more than six million people. A clinical trial has already achieved exciting results, but the challenge will be reaching those most in need.
  • About Sickle Cell Anemia
    • Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders or a condition causing anaemia (a condition in which there is a deficiency of red cells or of haemoglobin in the blood). Sickle cell anaemia is an inherited red blood cell (RBC) condition in which the body’s supply of healthy red blood cells is insufficient to transport oxygen throughout the body.
  • A healthy red blood cell (RBC) is normally in spherical shape. The flexible, rounded red blood cells normally flow freely across blood channels. Due to inheritance of abnormal genes, the shape of the RBC changes to sickle or crescent shape.
  • Normal red blood cells survive for about 120 days, whereas sickle cells only live for 10 to 20 days, leaving patients with a critical shortage of healthy cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. This leads to reduced oxygen flow to the body’s organs.
  • The Peninsular Rock Agama (Psammophilus dorsalis) which is a type of garden lizard has a strong presence in southern India. Habitat loss and other such features of urbanisation have affected the presence of the animal in urban centres. A study carried out by researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, undertook to characterise urbanisation in the region and also to understand where the rock agama reside in and around Bengaluru specifically.

Explainer of the Day

Why has the government withdrawn the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 after JPC scrutiny?
  • The government withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill that it had tabled in the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. The Bill, which had undergone intense scrutiny by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), would now be replaced by “a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework,” as per the government’s statement on the withdrawal. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said that the new Bill is in advanced stages of preparation and may be tabled in the Budget session next year.
  • In the seminal Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) vs Union of India case, the Supreme Court of India ordered In 2017 that the right to privacy is an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal freedom guaranteed by the Indian constitution. In the light of this judgment, and the concerns around how large tech platforms were handling the personal data of its Indian users, the Centre in 2017 set up an expert committee chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice B.N. Srikrishna to formulate a regulatory framework for data protection. The Srikrishna Committee submitted its report and a draft for the Data Protection Bill to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on July 27, 2018. The Bill that was tabled by the Ministry in Parliament over a year later was, however, criticised by Justice Srikrishna for giving much more control to the Central government over the data than envisaged in the committee’s draft.
  • The JPC that then deliberated on the Bill submitted its report in November, 2021, clearing clause 35, the provision that enables government agencies to circumvent provisions of the law citing “public order”, “sovereignty”, “friendly relations with foreign states” and “security of the state”. The opposition members of the JPC had submitted strong dissent notes along with the report.
  • Despite the government retaining its access to data, it has withdrawn the Bill now citing the significant number of amendments, recommendations, and corrections suggested by the JPC. The JPC’s 542-page report has 93 recommendations.
  • One of the key recommendations is widening the ambit of the Bill to cover all data instead of just personal data-thus moving It considerably away from its Puttaswamy origins. The stated view of the government is that in the face of such a radical overhaul, it is better to bring in a new Bill. Alongside this, the government has also said that it received several concerns from the tech industry specifically from Indian start-ups – regarding the /stipulations on data localisation in the Bill.
  • Personal data was defined in the Bill as “any characteristic, trait, attribute or any other feature information” that can be used to identify a person. The Bill also identified a sub-category of Sensitive Personal Data, such as details on a person’s finance, health, sexual orientation and practices, caste, political and religious beliefs, and biometric and genetic data. It also created a Critical Personal Data category, which was “personal data as may be notified by the Central government” in the future.
  • The Bill stated that while Sensitive Personal Data can be transferred abroad for processing, a copy of it must be kept in India. Critical Personal Data can be stored and processed only in India. It also stipulates the conditions under which sensitive data can be sent abroad, such as government authorised contracts. Several countries have such localisation provisions, considering the strategic and commercial implications of data, the “new oil”. However, businesses both big and small, international, and domestic.
  • Indian start-ups have raised the issue that the infrastructure needed to comply with the localisation stipulations will be a huge drain on their resources.
How will the 5G auction impact the sector?
  • Spectrum in three bands, namely, low (constituting of 600, 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2,100 and 2,500 MHz bands), mid (3,300 MHz) and high (26 GHz-1 GHz equals 1000 Mhx) frequency bands were put up for auction.
  • Low-band spectrum is popular for providing wider coverage, however, the speed and latency might just be an incremental upgrade over 4G. Speed is subject to the proximity to the source. On the other hand, the high band spectrum can provide speeds of up to two Gbps but is unable to travel longer distances, at times, less than a mile. Additionally, signals from the low-band spectrum can travel through windows and walls which is not the case with the high-band.
  • The mid-band spectrum falls somewhere between the two. It can carry sizeable data over longer distances and maintain increased speeds.
  • The mid and the high-band garnered maximum attention at the auction with 76% and 72% of the available spectrum respectively sold. Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio combined, staked claim to 87% of the total purchased spectrum in these two bands, strengthening their operational capability in the SG market.
  • While making bids for spectrum, telcos take note of their existing financial position and priorities. Thus, not all spectrum on offer is acquired. For example, the 700 Mhz spectrum went unsold in 2016 and 2021. This time, Jio emerged as the sole entity to spend 39,270 crore on the premium band known to improve indoor and rural coverage as well as possessing the ability to penetrate through walls and properties more effectively.

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