Prelims 2020

9th September 2020 Daily Current Flash Cards

Bioplastic; ‘Nudge policies’; Forest Rights Act, 2006; Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR); United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD);
By IASToppers
September 09, 2020




All bioplastics are biodegradable. True OR False.

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Correct Statement:

  • Not all bioplastics are biodegradable.

Enrich Your Learning:


  • Bioplastics are plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, sawdust, recycled food waste, etc.
  • Bioplastic can be made from agricultural by-products and also from used plastic bottles and other containers using microorganisms.
  • Bioplastics are usually derived from sugar derivatives, including starch, cellulose, and lactic acid.
  • Bioplastics are used for disposable items, such as packaging, crockery, cutlery, pots, bowls, and straws.
  • Common plastics, such as fossil-fuel plastics are derived from petroleum or natural gas. Not all bioplastics are biodegradable nor biodegrade more readily than commodity fossil-fuel derived plastics.
  • Some examples of innovative bioplastics are made from algae, waste agricultural and food residues, using bacteria or mushrooms as micro-converters.
  • Some bioplastics like PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) are soil- and marine-safe — that is, they safely degrade in the environment within weeks or months, leaving no harmful residues.




What is the objective of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)?

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  • The objectiveof this Convention is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

Enrich Your Learning:

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD):

  • It was established in 1994. It addresses arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands. It has 195 parties.
  • It has been ratified by 194 states plus the European Union. Secretariat of UNCCD is at Bonn, Germany.
  • The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.
  • The Conference of the Parties (COP)oversees the implementation of the Convention.
  • It is established by the Convention as the supreme decision-making body, and it comprises all ratifying governments.
  • The first five sessions of the COP were held annually from 1997 to 2001. After that, it is continuously held at every twice year.

Key Facts:

  • India hosted the 14th sessionof the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) of 2019 to the UNCCD to address the issues of land degradation and desertification.
  • The World Day to Combat Desertification and Droughtis observed every year on 17th June to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.
  • A campaign under the theme “Let’s grow the future together”was initiated on 25th anniversary of the Convention and also the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17th June 2019.




In context of economy, what is Liquidity coverage ratio (LCR)?

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  • It refers to the proportion of highly liquid assetsheld by financial institutions, to ensure their ongoing ability to meet short-term obligations.

Enrich Your Learning:

Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR)

  • The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) refers to highly liquid assets held by financial institutions to meet short-term obligations.
  • The ratio is a generic stress test that aims to anticipate market-wide shocks.
  • The LCR assures that financial institutions have the necessary assets on hand to ride out any short-term liquidity disruptions.
  • The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced the LCR as part of the Basel III post-crisis reforms.
  • Purpose: LCR is designed to ensure that banks hold a sufficient reserve of high-quality liquid assets (HQLA) to allow them to survive a period of significant liquidity stress lasting 30 calendar days.




Forest Rights Act, 2006 provides mainly which two kinds of rights to tribal and other forest dwellers?

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  • Individual rights over the dwelling and cultivation lands under their occupation.
  • The community tenure/ rights over ‘community forest resources’ on common forest land within the traditional and customary boundaries of the village.

Enrich Your Learning:

Forest Rights Act, 2006:

  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act (or the Forest Rights Act or FRA) was enacted in 2006 and came into force in 2008.
  • The Act aims at addressing the historic injustice done to the forest dwellers by recognising forest land, resources, and resource management and conservation rights of the forest dwelling communities.
  • FRA not only confers individuals’ title to habitat, but also aims to protect their tradition and culture by recognising their collective ownership over a larger landscape within or outside their traditional village territories.
  • The Act provides chiefly for two kinds of rights to tribals and other forest dwellers.
  1. Individual rights over the dwelling and cultivation lands under their occupation.
  2. The community tenure/ rights over ‘community forest resources’ on common forest land within the traditional and customary boundaries of the village.
  • However, the implementation of the Act in general and especially in Protected Areas (PAs) has been negligible.




What are ‘Nudge policies’?

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  • Nudge policies leverage insights from human psychology to influence the choice of the architecture of people.
  • Nudge policies gently steer people towards desirable behaviour even while preserving their liberty to choose.

Enrich Your Learning:

The Influence Spectrum of Public Policy

  • Public policy influences people to act in a socially desirable way, are it driving safely, conserving natural resources, educating children, respecting the human rights of fellow citizens or saving for retirement.
  • Some policies subtly influence by fostering the right incentives while others mandate desired behaviour or ban undesirable ones.
  • Public policies can, therefore, be graded on a spectrum capturing how strongly they influence (or coerce) behaviour.

  • Recently, behavioural economists have discovered the efficacy of a new class of “nudge” policies that lie between laissez faire and incentives.
  • Adam Smith, in his book the ‘Theory of Moral Sentiment’, noted that a wide range of human choices are driven and limited by our mental resources i.e., cognitive ability, attention and motivation.
  • As individuals suffer from tremendous inertia when they have to make a choice, they tend to stick to the default option.
  • The nearly costless act of changing the default on an enrolment form harvests this inertia for people’s own good.

Innovative Global Behaviour Change Interventions:

  • Behavioural economics is, however, not a panacea to policymaking; its potential needs to be understood and put in perspective.
  • However, the majority of public policy issues are amenable to incorporating nudges. In fact, many incentive and mandate based policies may be clubbed with a nudge effect to increase their efficacy.
Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020

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