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Prelims bits

Prelims Bits (2nd Week)

Environment and Ecology:

What are Common House Mosquitoes? How harmful are they? CULEX mosquitoes spread in Delhi:

  • Context: Culex or common house mosquitoes
  • About: With the change in season and rise in temperature, culex or common house mosquitoes have made a reappearance across the capital.
  • Several resident welfare associations have complained that they are noticing an increase in the number of mosquitoes in their surrounding
  • Warmer temperatures are the main reason for the appearance of these mosquitoes.
  • Their presence is especially felt more in areas around floodplains in East and South Delhi as it is an ideal condition of breeding.
  • Culex mosquitoes are known carriers of Japanese encephalitis, a potentially life-threatening but rare viral disease that causes “acute inflammation” of the brain. They breed in dirty, stagnant water.
  • In the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) area, the main hotspots for breeding of such mosquitoes are at the Kushak drain and at its border areas at Bapa Nagar and Bharti Nagar
  • East Delhi is most affected by Yamuna flood plain, South by Barapullah drain and North by Najafgarh drain. The number of mosquitoes in areas along these drains is more
  • The ideal condition for mosquitoes to breed is when the temperature is between 10 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius. This is the time to intensify the anti-mosquito drive

River Dolphins in South Asia – Difference in Indus dolphins and Ganges dolphins:

  • Context: The research concludes that dolphins in the Indus River and Ganges-Brahmaputra rivers are sufficiently distinct to be classified as species in their own right.
  • About: Indus and Ganges River dolphins are often referred to as blind dolphins because they live in naturally muddy rivers and after millions of years of evolution have lost their eyesight,
  • Instead of which they rely on a sophisticated sonar or echolocation system to navigate their way and catch prey.
  • Both species are threatened by accidental entanglement and drowning in fishing nets, by the construction of hydropower dams and irrigation barrages and the polluting of waterways, and are listed as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.IUCN LIST

Iceland Volcano Eruption 2021 – What is the mystery behind Iceland’s Volcanic Eruption?

  • Context: Icelandic volcano subsiding after first eruption in 900 years
  • About: A volcano that spewed glowing red lava near Iceland’s capital Reykjavik after awakening for the first time in 900 years appeared to be subsiding on Saturday, posing no danger to people, experts said.
  • Streams of red lava bubbled and flowed out of a fissure in a valley in Geldingadalur, close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland.
  • As the lava flow slowed under rain showers on Saturday, a blue gas plume and a vapour cloud rose from the site, just 40 kilometres from the capital and near a popular tourist destination, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

Polity:

Article 244 A of Indian Constitution explained – Relevance of Article 244 A for Assam hill tribes:

  • Context: Relevance of Article 244 (A) for Assam hill tribes
  • About: Article 244(A) allows for creation of an ‘autonomous state’ within Assam in certain tribal areas.
  • Inserted into the Constitution in 1969 by the then Congress government, it also has a provision for a Legislature and a Council of Ministers.
  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution — Articles 244(2) and 275(1) — is a special provision,
  • That allows for greater political autonomy & decentralized governance in certain tribal areas of the Northeast through autonomous councils administered by elected representatives.
  • In Assam, the hill districts of Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi and the Bodo Territorial Region are under this provision.
  • Article 244(A) accounts for more autonomous powers to tribal areas.
  • Among these the most important power is the control over law and order.
  • In Autonomous Councils under the Sixth Schedule, they do not have jurisdiction of law and order

Science and Technology:

DRDO develops Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard naval ships from missile attack, what is chaff?

  • Context: DRDO develops advanced chaff technology for Indian Navy
  • About: The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has developed advanced chaff technology to safeguard India’s naval ships against missile attacks from enemies.
  • Defence Laboratory Jodhpur, a DRDO laboratory, has indigenously developed three variants of this technology –Short range chaff rocket, medium range chaff rocket and long range chaff rocket. This meets the Indian Navy’s qualitative requirements.
  • The Indian Navy recently conducted trials of all three variants in the Arabian Sea. The performance was found to be satisfactory
  • Chaff is a passive expendable electronic countermeasure technology used worldwide to protect naval ships from the enemy’s radar and RF missile seekers.
  • A small quantity of chaff material, when deployed in the air, acts as a decoy and deflects the enemy’s missiles, thereby keeping India’s ships safe.
  • Chaff pods contain several small metallic parts of similar size and shape and their aim is to create false returns to the radar beaming the targeted aircraft. Made of aluminium or metallized glass fibre or plastic.
  • The DRDO has gained the expertise to meet the futuristic threats from adversaries. The technology is being given to the industry for production in large quantities

Government scheme and Initiative:

India’s first Animal Ambulance launched by Andhra Pradesh Government – Know all about it

  • Context: Andhra Pradesh to launch India’s first govt-run ambulance network for animals
  • About: The state government of the Andhra Pradesh has decided to set up “India’s first government-run ambulance network” for animals.
  • This decision was taken in order to further boost the animal husbandry and veterinary sector in the state.
  • Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has made one of its main missions to help reach out to the distressed animals
  • The Animal Husbandry Department has been further directed to set up one Mobile Ambulance Veterinary Clinic at every assembly constituency
  • A total of 175 mobile ambulances (veterinary) clinics will be placed at Assembly Constituency Level on the lines of 108 Services for providing Veterinary services at the doorstep.
  • These mobile ambulances shall provide veterinary first aid services along with spot diagnosis and attending to emergency cases.
  • One of the major facilities these ambulances will provide is the ‘Hydraulic Lift’ facility to lift animals and shift them to the nearest Government Veterinary Facility in case of emergency

Bihar becomes India’s first State to implement Ethanol Production Promotion Policy 2021 

  • Context: The minister of State Industries, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain on March 19, 2021, launched the Ethanol Production Promotion Policy, 2021. After the approval of the policy by the state cabinet, Bihar became the first state in India to have an ethanol promotion policy under the National Policy of Biofuels, 2018.
  • About: The policy will allow the extraction of ethanol, which was earlier restricted to sugarcane, from surplus quantities of the maze as well.
  • It will also directly increase the income of the farmers who have been producing feedstock or raw materials for ethanol manufacturing.
  • The financial assistance by the government will be provided to the greenfield standalone manufacturing units that have been producing ethanol as well as supplying 100% of it to the oil manufacturing companies under the ethanol blending program of the central government.
  • The Policy will help in creating employment and will help in reducing pollution. Currently, bioethanol blending in petrol in the country stands at 6.2% while the government has set a target of 20% of blending by 2030.

Miscellaneous:

Tata vs Mistry Case Judgement – Rights of Minority Shareholder explained:

  • Context: In its judgment that upheld Tata Group’s decision to remove Cyrus Pallonji Mistry as the Executive Chairman of Tata Sons,the Supreme Court has also held that minority shareholders do not automatically get a right to a seat on the board
  • About: Private companies, which have minority shareholders, are free to make an enabling provision to do so if they wish to, but are under no statutory obligation to do so.
  • Private companies, which have minority shareholders, are free to make an enabling provision to do so if they wish to, but are under no statutory obligation to do so.
  • Another major bone of contention in the spat between Tatas and Mistry was the existence of Article 75 of the Articles of Association of the Tata Group.
  • Article 75 gives the company the right to purchase shares from a minority or a small shareholder at a fair market value.
  • Fearing that the Tata Group may use it to try and buyout the SP Group, the latter urged the company law tribunals and the Supreme Court to not allow the same to be used.
  • Discussing the rights of minority and small shareholder their importance in the board of a company, the Supreme Court held that minority shareholders or their representatives are not automatically entitled to a seat on the private company’s board like a small shareholder’s representative.