30 June, 2022 Daily Current Affairs – THE EXAMS SIMPLE MADE

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Prelims Objective Practices Questions

  1. The ruins at Hampi were brought to light by which of the following British officers of East India Company?
    a) James Prinsep
    b) James Rennell
    c) Colonel Colin Mackenzie
    d) William Jones
    Note:- The ruins at Hampi were brought to light in 1800 by an engineer and antiquarian named Colonel Colin Mackenzie.

  2. In the history of Modern India, Mount Harriet is associated with –
    a) Paika rebellion
    b) Anglo-Marri wars
    c) Anglo Sikh wars
    d) Anglo-Manipur War
    Note : – Recently, the Union government has renamed Mount Harriet of Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands to Mount Manipur. Mount Harriet, the third-highest island peak in A&N Islands, where Manipur’s Maharaja Kulchandra Singh and 22 other freedom fighters were imprisoned during the Anglo-Manipuri war (1891).

  3. The largest contributor of Greenhouse effect is
    a) Methane
    b) Carbon Dioxide
    c) Water Vapour
    d) Nitrous oxides
    Note :- Water vapor is Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas. It’s responsible for about half of Earth’s greenhouse effect.

Prelims Specific Facts

1.) The Centre renewing its efforts to trace two special coins minted during the Mughal period.

  • About the two special coins
    • One of them weighing about 12 kg is the biggest and heaviest gold coin ever minted in the world, and it was minted during the reign of Emperor Jahangir, who referred to it as Kaukab-i-Tali. The other one weighing a kilo belonged to Emperor Shahjahan.
    • Kaukab-i-Tali was 20. 3 cm in diameter, weighed 11,935.8 grams, and was minted in Agra. The coin is also inscribed with the Persian script in different calligraphic styles.
    • Both of these were last seen with the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The last century saw the 12-kg coin being inherited by Mukarram Jah, the titular Nizam VIII of Hyderabad. It was last seen in a bank in Europe in 1987.
    • It made news at that time because Mukarram Jah was trying to sell it along with the 1-kg coin at a Swiss auction. Its valuation then was $16 million.

2.) Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications has launched Dak Karmayogi Portal.

  • What is Dak Karmayogi?
    • Dak Karmayogi is an e-learning portal of the Department of Posts.
    • Aim: To enhance the competencies of Gramin Dak Sevaks (Rural Postal Service) and departmental employees by training them on a number of Government to Citizen(G2C) services for enhanced customer satisfaction.
    • The trainees can access the uniform standardized training content online or in blended campus mode to enable them to effectively deliver a number of G2C services for enhanced customer satisfaction.
    • The training videos and quizzes on the portal are also available in 12 Indian languages to help postal trainees to access training content in vernacular languages.
  • Significance: This portal has been developed under the vision of ‘Mission Karmayogi’, which was conceptualized by the Prime Minister with a view to bring efficiency in the actions of all the employees of the Government of India and transform the efficiency of bureaucracy with ‘Minimum Government’ and ‘Maximum Governance’

    What is the Meghdoot Award?
  • The Meghdoot Award was introduced in 1984 by the Department of Posts.
    • The award is conferred to recognize the good performance of employees of Department of Posts. The award is conferred in eight categories.

4.) Household Items

  • Food items, curd and buttermilk to low cost hotels, cheques and maps, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council decided afted a two day meet that concluded on Wednesday.
  • Tax rates will be lowered for about half a dozen goods and services, including ropeways and truck rentals where fuel costs are included, and scrapped for items imported by private vendors for use by defence forces.
  • Note:-
    • As per Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution, the GST Council has to be constituted by the President within 60 days of the commencement of Article 279A. The notification for bringing into force Article 279A with effect from 12th September, 2016 was issued on 10th September, 2016.
    • As per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, the GST Council which will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States, shall consist of the following members: –
      • Union Finance Minister – Chairperson
      • The Union Minister of State, in-charge of Revenue of finance – Member
      • The Minister In-charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government – Members
    • As per Article 279A (4), the Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on important issues related to GST, like the goods and services that may be subjected or exempted from GST, model GST Laws, principles that govern Place of Supply, threshold limits, GST rates including the floor rates with bands, special rates for raising additional resources during natural calamities/disasters, special provisions for certain States, etc.
    • GST Council voting rules
      • As per The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016, in case of a voting, every decision of the GST Council has to be taken by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the weighted votes of the members present.

5.) Mekedatu project

  • Mekedatu Project :
    • The Rs. 9,000 crore project aims to store and supply water for drinking purposes for the Bengaluru city. Around 400 megawatts (MW) of power is also proposed to be generated through the project.
    • It was first approved by the Karnataka state government in 2017.
    • It received approval from the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources for the detailed project report and is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
    • The approval from MoEFCC is crucial because 63% of the forest area of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary will be submerged.
    • In 2018, Tamil Nadu approached the Supreme Court (SC) against the project even if Karnataka had held that it would not affect the flow of water to Tamil Nadu.
    • In June 2020, during the Cauvery Water Management Authority’s meeting, Tamil Nadu reiterated its opposition to the project

6.) 63,000 farm co-ops to be digitised

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a proposal to digitise around 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
  • Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said that PACS are the smallest unit in the cooperative sector and their computerisation will prove to be a boon for it.
  • 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.
  • General Body of PACS: Exercise the control over board as well as management.
  • Management Committee: Elected by the general body to perform the work as prescribed by the society’s rules, acts, and by-laws.
  • Functions of PACS : –
    • To provide short and medium-term purpose loans to its members.
    • Borrowing an adequate amount of funds from central financial agencies.
    • Maintaining the supply of the hire light machinery for the agricultural purpose.
    • Promotes savings habits among its members.
    • To make the arrangement of supplying of the agricultural inputs. Example -seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, kerosene etc.
    • It helps its members by providing marketing facilities that could enhance the sale of their agricultural products in the market at the proper prices.
  • The rural co-operative credit system in India is primarily mandated to ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector. It comprises short-term and long-term co-operative credit structures.
  • The short-term co-operative credit structure operates with a three-tier system – Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) at the village level, Central Cooperative Banks (CCBs) at the district level and State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) at the State level.
  • PACS are outside the purview of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and hence not regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. StCBs/DCCBs are registered under the provisions of State Cooperative Societies Act of the State concerned and are regulated by the Reserve Bank.
  • Powers have been delegated to National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) under Sec 35 (6) of the Banking Regulation Act (As Applicable to Cooperative Societies) to conduct inspection of State and Central Cooperative Banks.

7.) GST hike for pumpsets will affect farm sector, Pumpsets already facing a slowdown

  • The increase in GST rates for pumpsets to 18% from 12%, as recommended by the GST Council, will hit the agriculture sector.
  • The average minimum cost of an agriculture pumpset is Rs.40,000 excluding GST. With the increase in GST from12% to 18%, a farmer, who is the customer of the pumpset, would have to pay Rs. 2,400 more only towards GST.
  • The assembled pumpsets would not have energy efficiency rating and increase in use of such pumpsets would indirectly result in electricity losses.
  • The steep ‘hike’ in the cost of pumpsets would hit agriculture. The Sector had been facing a slowdown for the last six months and the GST rate increase would be another blow to the industry, Mr.Karthik added.

Editorial of the Day

The anti-defection law – political facts, legal fiction

  • The Tenth Schedule having been inserted into the constitution in 1985. Commonly known as the ‘ anti-defection law’.
  • How does the Original draft of 10th Schedule define merger ? :
    • Paragraph 4 is spread across two sub-paragraphs, a conjoint reading of which suggests that a merger can take place only when an original party merges with another political party, and at least two-thirds of the members of the legislature party have agreed to this merger. It is only when these two conditions are satisfied that a group of elected members can claim exemption form disqualification on grounds of merger.
  • The reality :-
    • Paragraph 4, however, is drafted n such a convoluted way that it renders itself open to multiple interpretations. The second sub paragraph (of Paragraph 4) says that a party shall be “deemed” to have merged with another party if, and only if, not less than two-thirds of the members of the legislature party concerned have agreed to such merger. Given that in most cases there is no factual merger of original political parties at the national ( or even regional ) level, Paragraph 4 seems to be creating a “legal fiction” so as to indicate that a merger to two-third members of a legislature party can be deemed to be a merger of political parties, even if there is no actual merger of the original political party with another party. At least that is how High Courts in India are interpreting the merger exception.
  • What could Parliament’s Intention have been in creating a legal fiction under Paragraph 4?
    • The merger exception was created to save instances of the principled coming together of political groups from disqualification under the anti-defection law, and to strike a compromise between the right of dissent and party discipline.
    • Defection gets easier in smaller legislative assemblies, where when a sole member can account for two-third of the legislature party’s strength to cross the floor without attracting disqualification.
  • what happens if both sub-paragraphs of Paragraph 4 are read conjunctively?
    • For a valid merger then, an original political party has to first merge with another political party, and then two-thirds of the legislature party must support that merger.

Explainer of the day

1.) A direct approach to conservation

  • Payments for Ecosystem Services is the name given to a variety of arrangements through which the beneficiaries of environmental services, from watershed protection and forest conservation to carbon sequestration and landscape beauty, reward those whose lands provide these services with subsidies or market payments.
  • Incentives for biodiversity protection and sustainable use include biodiversity-relevant taxes, fees, levies, tradable permits, and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES).
  • Lack of academic research, governmental support, and political will have vexed environmental economists.
  • PES is one way to conserve and increase ecosystem services.
  • PES presents a unique scope for incentivising local land stewards to manage threatened ecosystems. It has the potential to achieve the dual goals of conservation and poverty alleviation towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. This places PES as one of the pivotal economic instruments for conservation.
  • PES programmes such as Costa Rica’s Pago Por Servicos and Ecuador’s Socio Bosque were among the few to mobilise significant finances.
  • A study (Sardana 2019) conducted in the Kodagu district of Karnataka to restore native trees that grow in the understory of coffee plantations shows a successfully designed local institutional mechanism for PES implementation. However, the PES mechanism is yet to be implemented or even tested for efficacy.

2.) Solving problems through the ‘Internet of things’

  • The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
  • A thing in the internet of things can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address and is able to transfer data over a network.
  • Increasingly, organizations in a variety of industries are using IoT to operate more efficiently, better understand customers to deliver enhanced customer service, improve decision-making and increase the value of the business.
  • How does IoT work?
    • An IoT ecosystem consists of web-enabled smart devices that use embedded systems, such as processors, sensors and communication hardware, to collect, send and act on data they acquire from their environments. IoT devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device where data is either sent to the cloud to be analyzed or analyzed locally. Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on the information they get from one another.
    • The devices do most of the work without human intervention, although people can interact with the devices -for instance, to set them up, give them instructions or access the data.

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