Prelims 2020

30th September 2020 Daily Current Flash Cards

One Trillion Trees Initiative (1t.org); World Health Assembly; DOTS strategy; 13th Conference of Parties; Neighbourhood Fish Processing Plants; ISRO; UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative; Ministry of Steel; WASP 76b;
By IASToppers
September 30, 2020

 

 

 

Name the implementing agency for the Policy providing preference to domestically manufactured iron & steel products in government procurement.

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Answer: A Standing Committee under the Ministry of Steel.

Enrich Your Learning:

Policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron & steel products in government procurement:

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron & steel products on Government procurement.
  • This policy seeks to accomplish ‘Make in India’ with objective of nation building and encourage domestic manufacturing.
  • A Standing Committee under the Ministry of Steel (MoS) to be chaired by the Secretary (Steel), shall be constituted to oversee the implementation of the policy.
  • The policy mandates to provide preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products (DMI&SP), in Government Procurement.
  • The policy is applicable on all government tenders where price bid is yet to be opened.
  • It provides a minimum value addition of 15% in notified steel products which are covered under preferential procurement.
  • Ministry of Steel may review specified steel products and the minimum value addition criterion.
  • It shall not normally be the responsibility of procuring agency to verify the correctness of the claim. In few cases, the onus of demonstrating the correctness-of the same shall be on the bidder when asked to do so.
  • In case any manufacturer is aggrieved, a grievance redressal committee set up under the Ministry op Steel shall dispose of the complaint in a time bound manner, in four weeks.
  • There are provisions in the policy for waivers to all such procurements, where specific grades of steel are not manufactured in the country, or the quantities as per the demand of the project cannot be met through domestic sources.
  • The policy is envisaged to promote growth and development of domestic steel Industry and reduce the inclination to use, low quality low cost imported steel in Government funded projects.
  • It shall be the responsibility of every Government Agency to ensure implementation of the policy.

Bidder, DMI&SP, Domestic Manufacturer, Semi-Finished Steel and Finished Steel:

  • Bidder may be a domestic/ foreign manufacturer of steel or their selling agents/ authorized distributors/ authorized dealers/ authorized supply houses or any other company engaged in the bidding of projects funded by Government agencies.
  • Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products (DMI&SP) are those iron and steel products which are manufactured by entities that are registered and established in India, including in Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
  • Domestic Manufacturer is a manufacturer of domestically manufactured iron & steel products (DMI&SP).
  • Semi-Finished Steel shall mean billet, blooms, slabs (cast products), which can be subsequently processed to finished steel.
  • Finished Steel shall mean Flat and Long products, which can be subsequently processed into manufactured items.

 

 

 

Astronomical object WASP 76b was recently discovered. It is a________. a) Planet OR b) Comet

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Answer: Planet

Enrich Your Learning:

WASP 76b:

  • A new planet WASP 76b was recently discovered by scientists which is far away and has precipitation with traces of iron in it.
  • It is the first time that chemical variations have been detected in a giant ultra-hot planet.
  • It is an exoplanet, 390 light years away towards the constellation Pisces, has days when its surface temperatures exceed 2,400 degree Celsius, which is sufficiently hot to evaporate metals.
  • Its nights with strong winds then cool down the iron vapour so that it condenses into drops of iron.
  • This is the first result with the high-resolution spectrograph ESPRESSO (Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations).
  • With ESPRESSO, astrophysicists have detected the trace of iron vapour just at the division between the daytime and the night time sector of the planet.
  • Its high temperature can evaporate metals which condense into drops of iron when the temperature cools down at night.
  • According to the scientists, the iron vapors are not visible on the planet during dawn.
  • Research has shown huge quantities of iron on the planet during daytime. A part of this iron is transported to the dark side of the planet due to its rotation and the atmospheric winds. There in the cooler environment of the dark side of the planet, the iron condenses and precipitates.
  • Just like the Moon around the Earth, this planet always keeps the same face towards its star as it rotates around it, which causes this extreme difference in temperature between day and night on the planet.
  • WASP-76b receives thousands of times more radiation from its central star than arrives at the Earth from the Sun.
  • The planet’s daytime face is so hot that the molecules split into atoms, and metals such as iron evaporate into the atmosphere.
  • The difference of more than a thousand degrees between night and day produce strong winds which take the iron vapor into the coolest part of the exoplanet.

Key facts:

  • ESPRESSO, an instrument co-directed by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) and installed on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in Chile.
  • Ultra hot giant planets are the best laboratories we have for studying extreme climates on exoplanets.

 

 

 

Who has developed the Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI)? a) International Energy Agency OR b) World Bank

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Answer: World Bank

Enrich Your Learning:

Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative:

  • The World Bank– Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (WB-ESMAP), in partnership with, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and International Solar Alliance (ISA) developed the Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative.
  • Aim: to support countries in developing sustainable solar programs that will attract private investments and so reduce reliance on public finances.
  • There is a Global e-Tendering Platform that will enable countries to launch a competitive process to select independent power producers (IPPs) in a robust manner.
  • It offers development and climate financing for:
  • Technical assistance to help countries develop evidence-based solar targets, implement a sustainable solar program, and maintain robust procurement processes with transaction advisors;
  • Critical public investments to enable integration of variable renewable energy (VRE), finance solar park infrastructure, and increase access to electricity; and
  • Risk mitigation instruments to cover residu­al risks perceived by private investors.

Components of SRMI:

  • Sustainable Solar Targets: supporting the development of sustainable renewable roadmaps and providing concessional climate finance blended with development finance and technical support to ensure that countries have the right enabling environment to reduce country risk;
  • Transparent Procurement:supporting the selection of private sector developers and investors in a competitive and transparent manner to address country and project risk; and
  • Viable Risk Mitigation Coverage: developing viable risk mitigation coverage to cover residual project risks targeting solar (grid and off-grid) and storage deployment financed and operated by private investors.

Technical Assistance Program:

Under SRMI, it is proposed to finance a technical assistance program through ESMAP to support countries develop an enabling environment, particularly:

  • Electricity least-cost planning,
  • Transparent selection of independent power producers including through the hiring of transaction advisors, and
  • Capacity building program.

Key fact:

  • According to the World Bank’s estimates, based on the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Sustainable Development Scenario, 950 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) and 580 GW of wind need to be installed in developing countries by 2025.

 

 

 

One Trillion Trees Initiative is a joint venture of which organisations?

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Answer:

BirdLife International, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Enrich Your Learning:

One Trillion Trees Initiative (1t.org):

  • Trillion Trees is a joint venture between BirdLife International, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • World Economic Forum (WEF) has launchedthis Initiative to grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees across the world by 2030.
  • It is aimed at restoring biodiversityand help fight climate change.
  • org is a World Economic Forum initiative, designed to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, led by UNEP and FAO.
  • org offers a platform for leading governments, businesses, civil society and ecopreneurs committed to serving the global trillion trees community.

Objectives:

  • To unite and promote reforestation efforts worldwide.
  • To mobilise funds and political support.
  • To plant, restore and conserve trees and forests.
  • To lock up carbon in the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands.

 

 

 

What do you know about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:

  • It sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
  • It came into force on 2 September 1990.
  • Currently, 196 countries are party to it, including every member of the United Nations except the United States.
  • India ratified UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

 

 

1962 Indian National Committee for Space Research is known by which name today?

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Answer: Indian Space Research Organisation

Enrich Your Learning:

50 Years of ISRO: Hits and misses in India’s space journey:

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO): formation on August 15, 1969.
  • India’s space journey began after Dr Vikram Sarabhai formed Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962, a time when ‘space’ as scientific field had emerged as the next frontier for human race.
  • In 1969, INCOSPAR was renamed as ISRO (Indian Space Research organisation).
  • ISRO was formed with a vision to “harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration“.

ISRO’s hits:

Apr 19, 1975

  • ISRO built India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1975

Jul 18, 1980

  • Rohini became the first satellite to be placed into orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3.

May 20, 1992

  • Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) & Insat – 2A were launched by ISRO.

Oct 22, 2008

  • ISRO sent an unmanned lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, into orbit. The spacecraft was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.

Sep 09, 2012

  • ISRO’s 100th space mission was successfully launched using PSLV-C21 rocket. It also placed two foreign satellites into the earth’s orbit

Nov 5, 2013

  • India launched Mars Orbiter Mission on 5 November 2013 and entered Mars’ orbit on 24 September, 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its maiden attempt to Mars.
  • ISRO became the fourth space agency in the world, as well as the first space agency in Asia, to reach the Mars orbit.

Feb 15, 2017

  • ISRO launched 104 satellites in a single rocket (PSLV-C37), a world record.
  • ISRO launched its heaviest rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), on 5 June, 2017 and placed a communications satellite GSAT-19 into the orbit

Nov 14, 2018

  • ISRO successfully launched GSAT-29 satellite from Sriharikota, the heaviest satellite weighing at 3,423 kg aims at providing better communication for remote areas of country.

Jul 22, 2019

  • India launched GSLV-Mk III, India’s second moon mission ‘Chandrayaan-2’.
  • Chandrayaan-2 is India’s first space mission that will conduct a soft landing on the moon’s South Polar Region.
  • The mission will make India 4th country to soft land rover on the surface of the moon after Russia, America and China.

ISRO’s misses:

Aug 10, 1979

  • The first experimental flight of SLV-3, India’s first experimental satellite launch vehicle carrying Rohini Technology Payload on August 10, 1979 was partially successful.

Apr 10, 1982

  • A communications satellite INSAT-1A, launched in 1982 for a seven-year mission, was abandoned in 18 months due to a series of failures such as initial problems deploying its antennas, solar array and stabilisation boom.

Mar 24, 1987

  • A 150 kg satellite carrying scientific instruments SROSS-1 failed to reach Earth’s orbit. The satellite was launched onboard the first developmental flight of ASLV (Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle).

Oct 4, 1997

  • INSAT-2D, which was launched on June 4, 1997, became inoperable on October 4, 1997, due to a power bus anomaly and other associated problems.

Jul 10, 2006

  • India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F02), with INSAT-4C on board, was launched on July 10, 2006.
  • However, the launch vehicle GSLV-F02 could not complete the mission. The satellite INSAT-4C was the first attempt to launch a heavy communication satellite, which weighed 2.2 tonnes.

Dec 25, 2010

  • GSAT-5P was the fifth satellite launched in the GSAT series. It was an exclusive communication satellite to further augment the communication services currently provided by the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system. The satellite weighed 2,310 kg at lift-off. However, GSAT-5P was not placed into orbit as GSLV-F06 could not complete the mission.

Aug 31, 2017

  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 41st flight (PSLV-C39), was supposed to launch IRNSS-1H, the eighth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) into a Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. This resulted in satellite separation, occurring within the heat shield resulting in the unsuccessful mission.

 

 

 

Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo islands are located in which country?  a) Maldives OR b) Mauritius

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Answer: Maldives 

Enrich Your Learning:

Neighbourhood Fish Processing Plants:

  • India and Maldives have signed a contract which will allow the construction of fish processing plants on two Maldives islands: Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo.
  • The fish processing plants are only the part of a series of High Impact Community Development (HICDP) projects being undertaken between India and Maldives and will cost a total of $5.5 million.
  • These High Impact Community projects chosen by the Maldives are all that greatly impact income generation, health, education, gender and child empowerment, sports, sustainable development
  • Maldives has also requested that its Industrial Fisheries Company Limited (MIFCO’s) facilities also be upgraded under this project and India has readily offered its assistance under its ‘Neighborhood First’ policy which is also reciprocated by Maldives’ India First’ policy.

 

 

 

What is the theme of the 13th COP on Conservation of Migratory Species of wild animals hosted by India?

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Answer: Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home.

Enrich Your Learning:

India hosts 13th COP on Conservation of Migratory Species of wild animals:

  • The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (CMS), an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, is hosted by India from 17th to 22nd February 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
  • The theme of CMS COP13 in India is, Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home.
  • The CMS COP 13 logo is inspired by ‘Kolam’, a traditional art form from southern India. In the logo of CMS COP-13, Kolam art form is used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale and marine turtles.
  • The mascot for CMS COP13, “Gibi – The Great Indian Bustard” is a critically endangered species that has been accorded the highest protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory waterbird species, including 29 globally threatened species.
  • India has been a Party to the CMS since 1983

Migratory species:

  • Migratory species are those animals that move from one habitat to another during different times of the year, due to various factors such as food, sunlight, temperature, climate, etc.
  • The movement between habitats can sometimes exceed thousands of miles/kilometres for some migratory birds and mammals.
  • A migratory route can involve nesting and also requires the availability of habitats before and after each migration.
  • In order to protect the migratory species throughout their range countries, a Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), has been in force, under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • Also referred to as the Bonn Convention, it provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats and brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States.
  • Under this convention, migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I and Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
  • Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.

Key facts:

  • India has also signed a non-legally binding MOU with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).
  • India is a temporary home to several migratory animals and birds. The important among these include Amur Falcons, Bar-headed geese, Black-necked cranes, Marine turtles, Dugongs, Humpbacked Whales, etc. 
  • The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory waterbird species, including 29 globally threatened species.
  • India has also launched the National Action Plan for the conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.

 

 

 

What are the five components of the Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS strategy)?

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Answer:

  • Sustained political and financial committment.
  • Diagnosis by quality ensured sputum-smear microscopy
  • Standardized short-course anti-TB treatment given under direct and supportive observation
  • A regular, uninterrupted supply of high quality anti-TB drugs
  • Standardized recording and reporting

Enrich Your Learning:

DOTS strategy:

  • DOTS or Directly Observed Treatment Short course is the internationally recommended strategy for TB (Tuberculosis) control that has been recognized as a highly efficient and cost-effective strategy.

DOTS comprises five components:

  • Sustained political and financial committment.TB can be cured and the epidemic reversed if adequate resources and administrative support for TB control are provided
  • Diagnosis by quality ensured sputum-smear microscopy. Chest symptomatics examined this way helps to reliably find infectious patients
  • Standardized short-course anti-TB treatment (SCC) given under direct and supportive observation (DOT).Helps to ensure the right drugs are taken at the right time for the full duration of treatment.
  • A regular, uninterrupted supply of high quality anti-TB drugs.Ensures that a credible national TB programme does not have to turn anyone away.
  • Standardized recording and reporting.Helps to keep track of each individual patient and to monitor overall programme performance

 

 

 

Name the world’s highest health policy setting body.

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Answer: World Health Assembly

Enrich Your Learning:

World Health Assembly:

  • It is theforum through which the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its member countries.
  • It is the world’s highest health policy setting bodyand is composed of health ministers from member states.
  • The members of the WHA generally meet annuallyin May in Geneva, the location of WHO Headquarters.
  • The main tasks of the WHA are to decide major policy questionsapprove the WHO work programme and budget and elect it’s Director-General.
  • The main international policy frameworks adopted through WHA resolutions include:
  • International Health Regulations
  • International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes adopted in 1981
  • Framework Convention on Tobacco Control adopted in 2003
  • Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel adopted in 2010.
  • The WHA is also responsible for the endorsement of the WHO Family of International Classifications, a series of internationally standardized medical classifications, including the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
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