Flash Cards

Day#53 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Bharals; Committee on Government Assurances; ‘Sa-Dhan’; Limitations and Concerns of Pyrolysis; Tawang Monastery;
By IASToppers
September 24, 2019

 

 

In India, where is the largest Buddhist monastery is located?

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Solution:

  • Tawang Monastery, which is the largest Buddhist monastery in India, is located in Arunachal Pradesh.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Tawang Monastery

  • Tawang Monastery is Buddhist monastery located in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It is the largest Buddhist monastery in India and the second largest in the world.
  • It is also known as Galden Namgey Lhatse which means ‘celestial paradise in a clear sky’.
  • It is the centre of the Gelug school (Yellow Hat) of Mahayana Buddhism.
  • It was established in 1680-81, at the request of the 5th Dalai Lama, by his contemporary Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso. It is also popular as the birth place of sixth Dalai Lama.
  • The monastery had to be built as a fort, as a defensive structure. This was because it used to be dominated by the Nyingmapa sect (black hat) of Buddhism, and the Drukpas of Bhutan tried to take control of this part of Tawang. Up until the 1914, the monastery was controlled by Tibet, and after signing an agreement, it came under the control of British Raj.
  • Losar and Torgya are the two main festivals celebrated in the monastery. Losar is a 15 days long festival celebrated to mark the beginning of a new year while Torgya is a 3 day festival in which all the Lamas of the monastery celebrate by making a Torgya, a pyramidal structure that created from barley flour.

 

 

What are the limitation and concerns associated with ‘Pyrolysis’ Process?

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Solution

Limitations and Concerns of Pyrolysis

  • The technology requires drying of soil prior to treatment.
  • Limited performance data are available for systems treating hazardous wastes containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and other organics.
  • There is concern that systems that destroy chlorinated organic molecules by heat have the potential to create products of incomplete combustion, including dioxins and furans. These compounds are extremely toxic in the parts per trillion range.
  • The molten salt is usually recycled in the reactor chamber. However, depending on the waste treated (especially inorganics) and the amount of ash, spent molten salt may be hazardous and require special care in disposal.
  • Pyrolysis is not effective in either destroying or physically separating inorganics from the contaminated medium. Volatile metals may be removed as a result of the higher temperatures associated with the process, but they are not destroyed.
  • When the off-gases are cooled, liquids condense, producing an oil/tar residue and contaminated water. These oils and tars may be hazardous wastes, requiring proper treatment, storage, and disposal.

Enrich Your Learning:

What is Pyrolysis?

  • Pyrolysis is a form of treatment that chemically decomposes organic materials by heat in the absence of oxygen.
  • Pyrolysis typically occurs under pressure and at operating temperatures above 430 C. In practice, it is not possible to achieve a completely oxygen-free atmosphere. Because some oxygen is present in any pyrolysis system, a small amount of oxidation occurs.
  • Several types of pyrolysis units are available, including the rotary kiln, rotary hearth furnace, and fluidized bed furnace. These units are similar to incinerators except that they operate at lower temperatures and with less air supply.
  • Molten-salt oxidation (MSO) process may also be used for waste pyrolysis.

Pyrolysis of biomass produces three products – a liquid, a gas and a solid:

Bio-oil: comes from the combustible gases of the process, which are condensed, into a liquid. Bio-oil can be used as a low grade diesel oil.

Bio-char: is the solid material that is created in the process. Biochar is being promoted for its potential to improve soil properties and fertility as well as sequester carbon.

Syngas: are the permanent gases (CO­2, CO, H2, light hydrocarbons) that remain after the pyrolysis process is complete. Syngas can be used in place of natural gas or converted with catalysts to ethanol.

Applicability

Applicability IAStoppers

  • Pyrolysis treats and destroys semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), fuels, and pesticides in soil.
  • The process is applicable for the treatment of organics from refinery wastes, coal tar wastes, creosote-contaminated soils, hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Limitations and Concerns

  • The technology requires drying of soil prior to treatment.
  • Limited performance data are available for systems treating hazardous wastes containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and other organics.
  • There is concern that systems that destroy chlorinated organic molecules by heat have the potential to create products of incomplete combustion, including dioxins and furans. These compounds are extremely toxic in the parts per trillion range.
  • The molten salt is usually recycled in the reactor chamber. However, depending on the waste treated (especially inorganics) and the amount of ash, spent molten salt may be hazardous and require special care in disposal.
  • Pyrolysis is not effective in either destroying or physically separating inorganics from the contaminated medium. Volatile metals may be removed as a result of the higher temperatures associated with the process, but they are not destroyed.
  • When the off-gases are cooled, liquids condense, producing an oil/tar residue and contaminated water. These oils and tars may be hazardous wastes, requiring proper treatment, storage, and disposal.

 

 

In context of Economy, what do you know about ‘Sa-Dhan’?

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Solution & Enrich Your Learning:

Why it was in News?

  • Recently, Sa-Dhan, along with MFIN, launched the ‘Code for Responsible Lending’ (CRL) for the micro credit industry.

About ‘Sa-Dhan’

  • Sa-Dhan is an association of microfinance institutions (MFIs) recognized by the RBI. It is also recognized as National Support Organization (NSO) by National Rural Livelihood Promotion (NRLM).
  • It was founded as the Association of Community Development Finance Institutions by SEWA Bank, BASIX, Dhan Foundation and others in 1999.
  • It was given the status of a self-regulatory organization (SRO) by RBI in 2015, which gave it the powers to monitor MFIs and ensure the lenders are in compliance with the rules.
  • Sa-Dhan was the second association in the business of micro-lending to be given the SRO status by RBI, the first one was the Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN).
  • Sa-Dhan’s mission is to build the field of community development finance in India to help its member to better serve low-income households, particularly women, in both rural and urban India.

Objectives

  • To provide a common platform for advocacy representing multiple models to microfinance in India.
  • To make available timely and reliable information that is crucial for effective networking of microfinance institutions across India.
  • To undertake research that facilitate dialogue and between different stakeholders.
  • To promote initiatives that inform, educate and articulate the needs of the sector.
  • To provide technical and marketing support systems for sustainable livelihoods through community development finance.

Four types of organizations qualify to become its member:

Category A: Capacity Building Organisations (CBOs) who promote self-help groups or Technical Service Providers (TSPs) who provide technical support to NGO-MFIs

Category B: Organisations not purely structured as financial intermediaries, but either provide micro-credit to groups/individuals or provide bulk credit to MFIs for micro-credit

Category C: Organisations purely structured as financial institutions

Category D: Formal or Informal Networks/Channels for both support and capacity building.

 

 

In context of fauna, Bharals are usually found near cliffs but avoid entering in forested areas. True OR False

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Solution:

True

Enrich Your Learning:

Bharal

  • The bharal, also called the Helan Shan blue sheep, Himalayan blue sheep or naur, is a caprid found in Bhutan, the high Himalayas, Inner Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Tibet.
  • Blue Sheep possess a stocky body with robust shoulders. Their pelage ranges from grayish brown to slate blue, hence the common name blue sheep.
  • The horns are found in both sexes and are ridged on the upper surface.
  • The blue tint of the bharals makes them almost invisible against the background of blue-grayish rock that is typical within their habitat.
  • They are very tolerant of environmental extremes from desert mountains in extreme heat to windy and cold slopes.
  • They are usually found near cliffs and similar escape cover, but avoid entering forested areas. They are a major food source of the snow leopard.
  • Many Buddhist monasteries protect the bharal found around them, but lately, issues of crop damage caused by bharal have started to arise in areas such as the Spiti Valley.
  • They are listed as ‘Least Concern’ in IUCN Red List.

 

 

How does the Committee on Government Assurances functions?

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Solution & Enrich Your Learning:

Committee on Government Assurances

  • Parliamentary Committees are of two kinds: Ad hoc Committees and the Standing Committees. However, there are other class of committees which act as Parliament’s Watch Dogs over the executive. Committee on Government Assurances is one such committee.
  • The functions of this Committee are to scrutinize the assurances, promises, undertakings etc. given by Ministers from time to time and to report to Lok Sabha on the extent to which such assurances etc. have been implemented and to see whether such implementation has taken place within the minimum time necessary for the purpose.
  • In the Lok Sabha, it consists of 15 members and in the Rajya Sabha, it consists of 10 members. It was constituted in 1953.
  • A Minister is not nominated to this Committee.

How does it work?

  • The Lok Sabha Secretariat examines the Lok Sabha debates to mark the replies/statements of the Ministers which constitute assurances. Similar process is followed in the Rajya Sabha.
  • This data is reconciled with the assurances culled out by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. Once they are finalized, the relevant Ministries/Departments are appraised of these assurances.
  • The parliamentary committee on Government Assurances has prescribed an outer limit of three months for the implementation of an assurance, to be calculated from the date of its being given in the House.
  • However, if the Government foresees any genuine difficulty in implementing the assurance within the stipulated period, the Ministry may request for extension of time for the fulfillment of this assurance. In normal course, the committee accedes to such requests for extension unless it finds the request unreasonable.
  • If the Government finds that the assurance is not feasible to implement, then it approaches the committee to drop the assurance with all relevant facts for the consideration of the committee. If the Committee concurs with the government, then it recommends dropping of this assurance in its reports to the house.
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Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020
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