The Hindu Newspaper 13/06/2020

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Plan Bee sometimes seen in the news recently is a/an

a.  Project aimed to safeguard Elephants

b.  Alternative plan to combat Climate Change

c.  Scheme to promote Apiculture in rural areas

d.  None of the above

Answer : a

Plan Bee, an amplifying system imitating the buzz of a swarm of honey bees to keep wild elephants away from railway tracks has recently earned the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the 2018-19 fiscal.

२)With respect to Credit Rating Agencies, consider the following statements:

1)They are statutory bodies established under the Credit Rating Agencies Regulations Act, 1999.

2)Credit rating agencies in India are regulated by Reserve Bank of India.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : d

All the credit rating agencies in India are regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Credit Rating Agencies Regulations, 1999 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.

The government is considering a slew of reforms to separate their review and rating approval functions to ensure there is no conflict of interest

3) Which of the following are Plantation crops?

Arecanut

Cashew

Rubber

Cocoa

Oil Palm

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a.  1 and 3 only

b.  4 and 5 only

c.  1, 2, 3 and 5 only

d.  1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer : d

The major plantation crops include:

Coconut

Arecanut

Oil palm

Cashew

Tea

Coffee

Rubber

Cocoa(minor plantation crop)

4)Helicobacter Pylori is a bacterium resides in the human stomach. It can cause which of the following in humans?

a.  Ulcers

b.  Gastritis

c.  Stomach Cancers

d.  All of the above

Answer : d

The bacterium Helicobacter Pylori resides in the human stomach can cause ulcers, gastritis and stomach cancers.

A recent study has found that these cancer causing gut bacteria is developing antibiotic resistance to the three commonly used antibiotics such as Metronidazole, Levofloxacin and Clarithromycin.

Map of the Day :-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News:– GST Council :-Why do we need a GST Council?

  • The GST council is the key decision-making body that will take all important decisions regarding the GST.
  • The GST Council dictates tax rate, tax exemption, the due date of forms, tax laws, and tax deadlines, keeping in mind special rates and provisions for some states.
  • The predominant responsibility of the GST Council is to ensure to have one uniform tax rate for goods and services across the nation.

How is the GST Council structured?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is governed by the GST Council. Article 279 A(1) of the amended Indian Constitution states that the GST Council has to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of the Article 279A.

 

Composition:

According to the article, GST Council will be a joint forum for the Centre and the States. It consists of the following members:

  1. The Union Finance Minister will be the Chairperson
  2. As a member, the Union Minister of State will be in charge of Revenue of Finance
  3. The Minister in charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State government, as members.

 

GST Council recommendations:

Article 279A (4) specifies that the Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on the important issues related to GST, such as, the goods and services will be subject or exempted from the Goods and Services Tax.

News:- CM unveils Mumbai’s new flood Warning System :- 

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday inaugurated IFLOWS Mumbai, a state-of-the-art flood management system.

Who developed it :– The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has developed the system with in house expertise and coordination with
the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

IFLOWS Modules:-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A similar system is in Chennai also.

 

News:- Samples from Lonar lake sent for testing:- 

The water colour of Lonar Lake, also known as Lonar crater, has turned from its normal bluish-green to a pinkish red shade.
According to locals, it is not the first time that the lake water colour has changed. But the intensity this time is much higher than the previous occasions. The lake water is highly alkaline in nature with a pH level of 10.5.

Lonar Sanctuary in Buldhana district, Maharashtra the lake is one of the natural wonders in the world that was formed around 50,000 years ago when a meteor crashed into the earth. It is the largest basaltic impact crater on the planet and a notified National Geo-Heritage Monument.

Located within Lonar Sanctuary.

 

News:- What is CICIR:– China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR). CICIR is a Beijing  based think-tank
that is affiliated to the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence body.

News:- All about IIP :-

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that indicates the performance of various industrial sectors of the Indian economy.

It is calculated and published by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) every month.

It is a composite indicator of the general level of industrial activity in the economy.

Aspirants planning for the best Economics preparation can check the linked article.

Official Definition – As given by CSO

“It is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.”

Index of Industrial Production Published by CSO

IIP – Explanation:- 

This index gives the growth rates of different industry groups of the economy over a specified time period.

The industry groups that it measures are classified under the following:

Broad sectors like manufacturing, mining and electricity.

Use-based sectors like capital goods, basic goods, intermediate goods, infrastructure goods, consumer durables and consumer non-durables.

The eight core industries of India represent about 40% of the weight of items that are included in the IIP. The Eight Core Sectors/Industries are:

  1. Electricity
  2. Steel
  3. Refinery products
  4. Crude oil
  5. Coal
  6. Cement
  7. Natural gas
  8. Fertilisers

The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) recommends including quarrying, gas steam and air-conditioning supply, sewerage, water supply, waste management and remediation in the broad sectors. But this is not done due to the problems in data availability on a monthly basis for all these sectors. So, the data has been restricted to mining, electricity and manufacturing.

Index of Industrial Production Importance:-

  • The Index is used by government agencies and departments such as the Finance Ministry and the RBI for policy making.
  • It is also used for estimating the Gross Value Added of the manufacturing sector on a quarterly basis.
  • In addition, the Index is also used by business analysts, financial experts and the private industry for multiple purposes.
  • It is the only measure on the physical volume of production.
  • It is also extremely useful for the projection of advance GDP estimates.

IIP Latest Change:-

  • The latest change in the IIP was made in 2017.
  • Any index is to be subject to changes and modifications like changing the base year, including more items in the basket, etc.
  • The new and current base year for IIP is 2011 – 12. The previous base year was 2004 – 05.

Another change was the inclusion and deletion of certain items in the data series.

Some items introduced:

  • Refined palm oil
  • Surgical accessories
  • Cement clinkers
  • Some items removed:
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Tooth brush
  • Calculators
  • Fans
  • Watches
  • Pens

 

News:- ‘Run to the Moon’ to raise funds:- Called ‘Run to the Moon’, it marks the 51st anniversary of man’s landing on the moon (falling on July 21) and will involve participants collectively covering 3,84,400 kilometres, the distance between the earth and the moon. The registration has begun and will continue till June 18. Runners have to clock a minimum of 65 kilometres during the one-month period (minimum 2.5 kms and maximum 10 kms on a given day) to constitute a successful run. Runners can participate at any place of their choice to become part of this event and is open to all participants in 10-65 years age bracket.

News:-Russia oil leak: What is permafrost, and why does its thawing pose risk to the world?

The principal reason that led to the 20,000-tonne oil leak at an Arctic region power plant in Russia is being recognised is the sinking of ground surface due to permafrost thaw.

Facts:

  • Permafrost: It is a ground that remains completely frozen at 0 degrees Celsius or below for at least two years.It is defined solely based on temperature and duration.
  • Where are they found? Permafrost are most common in regions with high mountains and in Earth’s higher latitudes—near the North and South Poles.
  • What is Permafrost made of? Itis made of a combination of soil, rocks and sand that are held together by ice.The soil and ice in permafrost stay frozen all year long.
    • A layer of soil on top of permafrost does not stay frozen all year. This layer called the active layer, thaws during the warm summer months and freezes again in the fall.
  • How Climate Change is affecting Permafrost? As Earth’s climate warms, the permafrost is thawing.That means the ice inside the permafrost melts, leaving behind water and soil.
  • Effects of Thawing Permafrost:
    • Ground becomes unstable which leads to landslides, floods, infrastructure damage and threat to survival of indigenous people & animals.
    • Release of greenhouse gases by decomposition of organic leftover under permafrost.
    • Release of ancient bacteria and viruses into the atmosphere.

Editorial of the Day :-

Problems with Online higher education

SourceThe Hindu

Syllabus: GS-2- Education

Context: The University Grants Commission had issued a circular to universities encouraging them to adopt massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered on its SWAYAM platform for credit transfers in the coming semesters.

SWAYAM

  • Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) is an integrated platform for offering online courses, covering school (9th to 12th) to Postgraduate Level.
  • The objective of the platform is to bridge the digital divide for students and make best teaching learning resources available to all.
  • It is considered an instrument to achieve India’s target Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education, envisioned to be 30% by 2021.
  • The portal has been developed by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and NPTEL, IIT Madras with the help of Google Inc. and Persistent Systems Ltd.

Issues with Imparting higher education through SWAYAM Portal

  1. Dumping of knowledge: MOOC-based e-learning platforms like SWAYAM tend to reinforce a top-down teacher-to-student directionality of learning. In such a scenario, the teacher creates study materials and then the knowledge is dumped on students.
  2. Exclusion of many courses: The SWAYAM platform have left out courses in engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, agriculture, and physiotherapy on the grounds that they involve laboratory and practical work.
  3. Limited social interaction:A major issue with online education is limited social interaction. This hinders development of social skills.
  4. Lack of personal contact:A major criticism of MOOC platforms is that there is no personal contact and there cannot be a proper classroom discussion, debates and counterarguments.
  5. Poor Digital Infrastructure: Many students, especially in rural areas do not have access to laptops, desktops and internet connection. Further, the digital infrastructure is poor in most parts of the country, with lack of high-speed internet and stable power supply.

Way Forward: The Covid-19 lockdown has led to many higher educational institutions opting for online classes. However, in India, where digital infrastructure is inadequate, online education has a long way to go. Further, MOOC platforms can help us during lockdowns but is no permanent replacement for classroom teaching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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