Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-34] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Operation Sankalp; Naseem-Al-Bahr bilateral exercise; ‘Zo Kutpui’ festival; NetSCoFAN; Gujili paatu; TOI-700 d; Goldilocks zone; Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council; Advanced Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries; Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA); Manilal Doctor;
By IASToppers
April 11, 2020

What is the main objective behind the launch of Operation Sankalp?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Operation Sankalp:

  • Operation Sankalp was launched by Indian navy in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.
  • It was launched to monitor the:
  • situation in the Gulf region and is maintaining presence in the region to ensure security of India’s sea borne trade.
  • safety of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels transiting through the region. 
  • INS Chennai and INS Sunayna have been deployed in the region to undertake maritime security operations.

Background:

  • The operation has been launched in the wake of escalating tension in the Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers were attacked recently.
  • The incident has since heightened tensions between Iran and USA.

The Persian Gulf:

  • The Persian Gulf is a Mediterranean Sea in Western Asia.
  • The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gulf of Oman:

  • The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a gulf that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf.

He was a colonial-era barrister who fought for the rights of Indian-origin people in Mauritius and Fiji and helped in abolishing the indentured labour system there which the Indian immigrants were subjected to. This statement is true about which famous personality?

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Answer:

  • Manilal Doctor

Enrich Your Learning: 

Manilal Doctor:

  • January 8 was the death anniversary of Manilal Doctor, the colonial-era barristerwho fought for the rights of Indian-origin people in Mauritius and Fiji.
  • An associate of Mahatma Gandhi, he is known for his efforts towards helping in abolishing the indentured labour system that Indian immigrants in many parts of the British Empire were subjected to.
  • He was Born Vadodara in 1881, studied law in Bombay before travelling to Britain in 1905 for further studies. He became a member of the Indian Home Rule Society in London, and wrote in the monthly ‘Indian Sociologist’.
  • In 1906, Doctor met Gandhi, who at the time was in London to meet imperial authorities on behalf of South Africa’s Indian origin people.
  • During the meeting, Gandhi asked Doctor to move to Mauritius to assist the Indian community there in their struggle for equal rights. Doctor arrived in Mauritius in 1907.
  • He organised the Indian community in the island colony, which consisted of indentured and non-indentured workers, and advocated for the abolition of discriminatory laws.
  • He founded ‘The Hindustani’newspaper in Mauritius, which had the motto “Liberty of Individuals! Fraternity of Men!!! Equality of Race!!!”.
  • In Fiji, he started ‘The Indian Settler’newspaper, and helped set up the Indian Imperial Association.

The indentured labour system:

  • In 1833, the British Parliament banned slavery, and the practice became illegal throughout the Empire. However, to maintain the supply of labour in their territories, colonial authorities effectively replaced slavery with the indentured labour system.
  • The ‘indenture’(meaning contract) system required Indians to sign a legal agreement stating their consent to move abroad for a minimum of five years to work mainly on sugar estates.
  • Many were lured to distant lands, such as the Caribbean, South Africa, Reunion island, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Fiji, where they ended up living in miserable conditions.
  • In the mid-19th century, over 35 lakh Indians were transported to British, French, and Dutch colonies around the world. The system was officially banned in 1917.

Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) HSRA was founded in 1920s with an aim to win freedom through entering the legislative councils. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

Wrong.

  • HSRA was founded in 1920s with an aim to win freedom through an armed revolution.

Enrich Your Learning:

Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA):

  • In the mid-1920s the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA),was founded with the aim of winning freedom for the country through an armed revolution.
  • HSRA, also known as Hindustan Socialist Republican Army was a revolutionary organisation, established in 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi by Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee and others.
  • Previously it was known as Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) whose written constitution and published manifesto titled, ‘The Revolutionary’was produced as a witness in the Kakori conspiracy case of 1925.
  • HSRA was a revolutionary organisation which worked more dangerously from 1928 to 1931 in the Indian subcontinent to uproot the British Raj from the country through armed struggle.

Manifesto of HSRA:

  • HSRA published its manifesto in 1925 titled “The Revolutionary” which said that the immediate objective of the revolutionary party is to establish a federal Republic of United State of India by an organized and armed revolution.
  • The final constitution of this Republic shall be framed and declared at a time when the representatives of India shall have the power to carry out their decision.
  • But the basic principles of this Republic will be universal suffrage and abolition of all system which make the exploitation of man by man possible, e.g. the railways and other means of transportation and communication, the mines and other kinds of very great industries such as the manufacture of steel and ships all these shall be nationalised.
  • The Indian revolutionaries are neither terrorists nor anarchists. They never aim at spreading anarchy in the land and therefore they can never properly be called anarchists.
  • They do not believe that terrorism alone can bring independence and they do not want terrorism for terrorism’s sake although they may at times resort to this method as a very effective means of retaliation.

What are the advantages and problems associated with Advanced Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Advanced Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries:

University of Monash in Australia have managed to create a super-capacity prototype by re-engineering a Lithium Sulphur (Li-S) battery.

  • The battery can retain 99 % of its charge even after 200 charge cycles.

Problems with Li-S batteries used today:

  • Li-S batteries are not new. They have an intrinsic problem with the Sulphur electrode, which would break after repeated charge cycles because of expansion and contraction during cycles, making its superior capacity redundant.

How was this problem overcome?

  • To overcome the problem, researchers gave the electrodes more space to expand and contract.
  • The electrodes are bound inside the battery using polymers.The research team used lesser quantity of these adhesives so that the electrodes had more space-out structures inside them.
  • These structures behaved more like bridges between the Sulphur particles rather than a dense network, which stopped the electrodes from disintegrating.

Working:

  • The advanced Lithium-Sulphur batteriesoperate in the same way as regular lithium-ion work i.e. lithium ions flow between electrodes producing power while not being chemically changed.
  • Charging a battery involves those ions being returned to their starting positions for the process to begin from start.

Advantages:

  • The Li-S batteries are many times cheaper than lithium ion batteries that could bring down the cost of electric mobility.
  • The battery technology is said to have the capacity to power a smartphone for five days straight or allow an electric vehicle to travel for a 1000km on a single charge.
  • The prototype of these cells have been successfully fabricated by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology. These batteries will be put to trial around the world in 2020.

    Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

    Advanced Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries:

    University of Monash in Australia have managed to create a super-capacity prototype by re-engineering a Lithium Sulphur (Li-S) battery.

    • The battery can retain 99 % of its charge even after 200 charge cycles.

    Problems with Li-S batteries used today:

    • Li-S batteries are not new. They have an intrinsic problem with the Sulphur electrode, which would break after repeated charge cycles because of expansion and contraction during cycles, making its superior capacity redundant.

    How was this problem overcome?

    • To overcome the problem, researchers gave the electrodes more space to expand and contract.
    • The electrodes are bound inside the battery using polymers.The research team used lesser quantity of these adhesives so that the electrodes had more space-out structures inside them.
    • These structures behaved more like bridges between the Sulphur particles rather than a dense network, which stopped the electrodes from disintegrating.

    Working:

    • The advanced Lithium-Sulphur batteriesoperate in the same way as regular lithium-ion work i.e. lithium ions flow between electrodes producing power while not being chemically changed.
    • Charging a battery involves those ions being returned to their starting positions for the process to begin from start.

    Advantages:

    • The Li-S batteries are many times cheaper than lithium ion batteries that could bring down the cost of electric mobility.
    • The battery technology is said to have the capacity to power a smartphone for five days straight or allow an electric vehicle to travel for a 1000km on a single charge.
    • The prototype of these cells have been successfully fabricated by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology. These batteries will be put to trial around the world in 2020.

In case of voting, every decision of the GST Council is to be taken by a two-thirds of the majority of the weighted votes of the members present. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

Wrong.

  • In case of voting, every decision of the GST Council has to be taken by a three-fourths majorityof the weighted votes of the members present.

Enrich Your Learning:

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council voted for the first time in its 38th meeting held on December 2019, breaking the tradition of consensus-based decisions in its 37 earlier meetings.

  • So far, even if states voiced their differences over a proposal in the Council, all decisions had been taken by consensus in the meetings of the GST Council.
  • The proposal to have a higher single rate for lotteries went through by a majority, with 21 votes in favour.

GST Council:

  • The GST Council is a federal bodythat aims to bring together states and the Centre on a common platform for the nationwide rollout of the indirect tax reform.
  • Thousands of issues in the GST Council were decided through consensus.
  • But the 38th meeting, the fourth under the chairmanship of the present Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saw voting for the first time.
  • With the precedent of voting now established, consensus at the Council could be challenged again in the future.

GST Council voting rules:

  • The rules of voting in the GST Council are such that the odds are stacked in favour of the Centre in the normal course.
  • As per One Hundred and First Constitutional 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.
  • The vote of the central government has a weightage of one-third of the total votes cast, and the votes of all the state governments taken together have a weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast in that meeting.

Concerns:

  • With a departure from the consensus approach having been made, there could be more instances of voting exercises going forward — especially as revenue-raising measures come up in future meetings.
  • Differences of opinion are likely to crop up on proposals to raise rates, especially of the lower slabs, in the future — a concern that made most states rule out an immediate rate hike in the last Council meeting, even as they were in agreement over a broader overhaul of the GST structure.

A term ‘TOI-700 d’ was recently appeared in news. What is it all about?

1. TOI-700 d is a gaseous planet found recently by the NASA’s TESS mission.

2. It is the first Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone of a star.

3. The planet is located in the Milky way galaxy.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) 1 and 2 only
  4. d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: B

Solution:

  • TOI-700 d is most likely a rocky planetfound recently by the NASA’s TESS mission.

Enrich Your Learning:

Recently, NASA has reported the discovery of an Earth-size planet named TOI 700 d, orbiting its star in the “habitable zone”.

  • Any rocky exoplanet in the habitable zone of its star is an exciting find for the scientists who search for the possibility of alien life.

 

What is Goldilocks zone?

  • Goldilocks zone” is the habitable zoneor the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets.
  • Our Earth lies in the Sun’s Goldilocks zonee. the habitable zone.
  • If Earth were located where the dwarf planet Pluto is, all its water would have frozen; on the other hand, if Earth were located where Mercury is, all its water would boil off.

Exoplanet TOI 700 d:

  • TOI 700 dis an exoplanet which is most likely rocky, orbiting TOI 700, a red dwarf star 101.4 light-years away in the Dorado constellation.
  • The exoplanet is the first Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zonediscovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
  • The planet measures 20% larger than Earth. It orbits its star once every 37 days and receives an amount of energy that is equivalent to 86% of the energy that the Sun provides to Earth.
  • The star TOI 700, is an “M dwarf” located just over 100 light-years away in the southern constellation Dorado, is roughly 40% of our Sun’s mass and size, and has about half its surface temperature.
  • The star has three planets orbiting around it and TOI 700 dis the outermost planet, and the only one in the star’s habitable zone.

How was it discovered?

  • The planet was found by NASA’sTransiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, launched in 2018.
  • Very few such Earth-size planets have been found so far and the find was confirmed by the Spitzer Space Telescope, which sharpened the measurements that TESS had made, such as orbital period and size.
  • NASAwill try to identify whether the planets have atmosphere and determine their compositions in future missions.

C Gujili paatu  is a type of subaltern literature that existed in which Indian state?

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Answer:

  • Gujili paatuis a type of subaltern literature that existed in Tamil Nadu.
  •  

Enrich Your Learning:

Gujili paatu:

  • Gujili paatuis a type of subaltern literature that existed in Tamil Nadu from the mid-19th Century to the 1950s.
  • Written by the common man in typical songbookthat had not more than 10 pages, recorded the important news events.
  • Gujili paatu gets its name from the Gujili market in George Town, where the songbooks were sold.
  • The songs gave accurate information about events that unfolded, from a common man’s perspective.
  • The songs were written incolloquial Tamil which makes them even more relatable.

For Example:

  • The fire songgave statistics on how many died, how many were injured, and of them, how many were men, women, and children.
  • The songs were also very visual: one on the first train at Royapuram captures the joy and surprise the narrator felt, as he compares the engine expelling steam, to that of an elephant trunk.
  • The Gujili paatu can be called the predecessor of the modern gaana.
  • The songs eventually faded away with the British ban,and the advent of newspapers and magazines, their spirit lives on in gaana music.
  • The British government was afraid they would stoke feelings of patriotism, and ordered a ban on them.

NetSCoFAN launched recently, is related to which areas: (a) Cyber security and cyber-crime OR (b) Food Safety and Applied Nutrition?

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Answer:

  • NetSCoFAN(Network for Scientific Co-operation for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) is a network of research & academic institutions working in the area of food & nutrition.

Enrich Your Learning:

NetSCoFAN:

  • Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfarewhile inaugurating the second edition of the ‘Eat Right Mela’ at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, Delhi launched NetSCoFAN (Network for Scientific Co-operation for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition).
  • It is a network of research & academic institutions working in the area of food & nutritionalong with the NetSCoFAN directory, covering detailed information of various heads/Directors and lead scientists of lead and associated partnering institutions.

Objective: 

  • NetSCoFANwill address the need for identify research gaps in respective areas and collect, collate and develop database on food safety issues for risk assessment activities.

Areas:

  • The NetSCoFAN would comprise of eight groups of institutions working in different areas biological, chemical, nutrition & labelling, food of animal origin, food of plant origin, water & beverages, food testing, and safer & sustainable packaging.
  • FSSAI has identified eight Nodal Institutions who would develop a ‘Ready Reckoner’that will have inventory of all research work, experts and institutions and would carry out and facilitate research, survey and related activities.

Zo Kutpui festival is celebrated in which Indian state?

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Answer:

  • The Mizoram State Government is organising Zo Kutpui festivalaimed at re-unifying and strengthening brotherhood among different tribes of Mizo.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘Zo Kutpui’ festival:

  • As part of its endeavour to unify different tribes of Mizo, the Mizoram government organised a grand Zo festivalunder the banner ‘Zo Kutpui’ in at least 10 different cities across the globe starting from January 9.
  • The first edition of such festivalwas held at Vanghmun, a hub of Mizos in neighbouring Tripura, from January 9 to 11.
  • The Mizos are tribal people that are spread between Myanmar in the east to Bangladesh in the west.
  • The event witnessed the presence of many importance dignitaries from various Mizoram tribes, cultural performances and traditional songs from various Mizo tribes from Mizoram and other North-eastern states.
  • The festival was also organised in other Mizo important towns, including Maryland in USA, Tahan in Myanmar, Churachandpur in Manipur and Bangladesh.
  • The event aims at re-unifying and strengthening brotherhood among different tribes of Mizo.

Naseem-Al-Bahr naval exercise is a bilateral exercise between which countries?

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Answer:

  • Naseem-Al-Bahr naval exercise is a bilateral exercise between India and Oman.

Enrich Your Learning:

Naseem-Al-Bahr bilateral exercise:

  • India and Omanconducted 12th edition of bilateral maritime exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ in Mormugao Port, Goa in January 2020.
  • Naseem-Al-Bahr‘ (or sea breeze) is a naval exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman (RNOV), being conducted since 1993.
  • Indian Navy ships Beas and Subhadra are participating in it and RNOV al Rasikh and RNOV Khassab arrived at Goa followed by sea phase off the Goa coast.
  • Al Najahis the army exercise between the countries.
  • Ex Eastern Bridgeis the bilateral Air Force exercise.

Significance:

  • Oman is at the gateway of Strait of Hormuzthrough which India imports one-fifth of its oil imports, so the exercise is highly important for India.
  • Oman is one of India’s oldest defence partners and ally in anti-piracy campaigns in the Gulf of Aden.

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Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020
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