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Prelims Capsule

Prelims bits

Prelims Bits (4th Week)

Environment and Ecology:

Tiger Corridor:

  • Context: The Rajasthan government will develop a tiger corridor connecting the newly proposed ‘Ramgarh Tiger Reserve’, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve.
  • About: A tiger corridor is a stretch of land which links 2 or more tiger habitats, allowing the movement of tigers, prey, and other wildlife.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority along with the Wildlife Institute of India has identified 32 major tiger corridors in the country and published them in a document titled “Connecting Tiger Populations for Long-term Conservation”, which are operationalized through prescriptions of a Tiger Conservation Plan mandated under section 38V of the act.
  • It is vital for the long-term survival and viability of tigers
  • Corridors are under threat from development projects.
  • The greatest threat here is the expansion of road and railway networks which cut through the corridor leading to highway killings of tiger, Man animal conflicts.
  • All India tiger estimation 2018 results released in July showed there were 2,967 big cats in the country, and large population ventures outside protected areas, this needs mapping of tiger corridors for their enhanced conservation.
  • Need to sensitize villagers along these corridors about the conservation of wildlife.
  • Without corridors, tiger habitat can become fragmented and tiger populations isolated leaving the tigers vulnerable to localized extinction.

Art and Culture:

Prehistoric cave painting at Mangar Bani hill forest:

  • Context: According to archaeologists in Haryana, a prehistoric site in Faridabad’s Mangar Bani hill forest, where cave drawings were recently found, might be up to a lakh years old.
  • About: It may be one of the biggest Palaeolithic sites in the Indian subcontinent.
  • This site is very promising as these cave paintings may even be compared with the world famous Bhimbetka cave paintings.
  • The discovery of a vast prehistoric site with cave paintings and rock art found is the first of its kind.
  • Mangar Bani sacred grove hill forest next to Mangar village on Delhi-Haryana border, is in Faridabad tehsil of Faridabad district in the Indian state of Haryana.
  • It is an important biodiversity area within the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor stretching from Sariska Tiger Reserve to Delhi.

History:

Tipu Sultan:

  • Context: Mysore King Tipu Sultan is at the centre of controversy in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation over attempts to name a garden after him in Govandi, a suburb in eastern Mumbai.
  • About: He was a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore.
  • In the wider national narrative, Tipu has so far been seen as a man of imagination and courage, a brilliant military strategist who, in a short reign of 17 years, mounted the most serious challenge the Company faced in India.
  • Fought the First Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69) at the age of 17 and subsequently, against the Marathas and in the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84).
  • He fought Company forces four times during 1767-99 and was killed defending his capital Srirangapatnam in the Fourth Anglo Mysore War.
  • Haider and Tipu had strong territorial ambitions, and invaded and annexed territories outside Mysore. In doing so, they burnt down entire towns and villages, razed hundreds of temples and churches, and forcibly converted Hindus.
  • The historical record has Tipu boasting about having forced “infidels” to convert to Islam, and of having destroyed their places of worship.
  • The disagreement then is between those who see the “Tiger of Mysore” as a bulwark against colonialism and a great son of Karnataka and those who point to his destruction of temples and forced conversions of Hindus and Christians to accuse him of tyranny and fanaticism.

Polity:

97th constitutional amendment:

  • Context: The Supreme Court threw down Part IXB of the 97th amendment to the Indian Constitution, deals with the proper administration of co-operative societies.
  • About: The court ruled that state legislatures had sole legislative authority over cooperative societies.
  • Part IX B has significantly and substantially impacted State legislatures exclusive legislative power over its co-operative sector under Entry 32 of the State List to over the co-operative sector.
  • Article 243ZI specifies that a state may only enact legislation relating to the formation, regulation, and dissolution of a society if it complies with the conditions of Part IXB of the 97th Constitutional Amendment.
  • The Centre defended its actions by claiming that they were instilling professionalism and autonomy into society’s functioning.
  • Members’ lack of responsibility has resulted in poor service and low productivity. Elections aren’t always held on time.
  • The administration claimed in the Supreme Court that cooperatives must operate under well-established democratic norms.

Economy:

Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme:

  • Context: Garment exporters will continue to get a rebate on central and state taxes their outward shipments as government approved extension of RoSCTL scheme till March 2024.
  • About: The program will run through March 2024.
  • The Ministry of Textiles announced it in 2019.
  • The Ministry of Textiles revised the rules in conjunction with the Department of Revenue.
  • Scheme is merged with Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP)
  • Extending RoSCTL is intended to make the textile industry more competitive by rebating all taxes and levy that are not already rebated under any other mechanism.
  • The RoSCTL system gives a rebate on all imbedded taxes on exports; the highest rebate rate for clothing is 6.05 percent, while the rate for made-ups is 8.2 percent.
  • The made-ups segment comprises home textiles products such as bed linen, curtains, pillows and carpets.

RBI Bans MasterCard:

  • Context:The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has banned Mastercard from issuing new debit and credit cards to customers in India.
  • About: According to the RBI, the US card issuer failed to comply with the central bank’s local data storage requirements, which were published in 2018.
  • To protect Indian users’ privacy and address national security concerns, the RBI issued a circular in 2018 requiring international card providers to retain comprehensive information about transactions performed by Indian clients in servers located within India.
  • The RBI’s data localization policy, as it burdens foreign card companies, may end up favouring domestic card issuers like RuPay.
  • In India, Mastercard controls approximately a third of the market, and the RBI’s prohibition is expected to boost its competitors.
  • A credit card issuer is the bank or NBFC that issues you the credit card. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI Card are a few examples of credit card issuers in India.
  • Credit card networks act as the bridge between the card issuers and the merchants.

Science and Technology:

Lower Arun Hydroelectric project:

  • Context: Nepal and India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) have agreed to build a 679-megawatt hydropower project in eastern Nepal for USD 1.3 billion.
  • About: This project has a total capacity of 679 megawatts (MW). It is situated in the province’s Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts.
  • It will be built upstream of the planned Sapta Koshi High Dam project and downstream of the current Arun-3 SHEP.
  • It will be developed on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha District of Province 1 in East Nepal.
  • The project will be built with the goal of aiding people who reside near the hydropower project by improving their socioeconomic status by creating jobs and promoting local trade and industry.
  • This will be India’s second large-scale project in Nepal.
  • According to 2017 cost estimates, it is the single largest foreign investment project.
  • The construct, own, operate, and transfer (BOOT) approach will be used to create this hydroelectric project.
  • The BOOT model is a technique of project delivery. Its most commonly utilized in large-scale infrastructure projects.
  • In this approach, the public sector grants a private firm a contract to design, finance, construct, own, and operate a facility.
  • It is the largest trans-Himalayan River that passes through Nepal. River drains into Sapta Kosi river system.

Suborbital Flight:

  • Context: Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceship sent a six-person crew on a brief voyage to the edge of space, also known as Suborbital Flight.
  • About: In order to circle Earth, satellites must reach a certain speed. Once an object is above the atmosphere and traveling at a horizontal speed of 28,000 km/hr or higher, it enters orbit.
  • A spacecraft cannot accelerate toward the Earth due to gravity at such a high speed.
  • A trip like this allows space tourists to experience weightlessness for a few minutes.
  • Microgravity studies will benefit from suborbital flights. The state of microgravity is when individuals or objects appear to be weightless.
  • Less expensive for carrying experiments.
  • An alternative to parabolic flights in airplanes.
  • The crew went to the edge of space on board Virgin Galactic’s Unity rocket ship.

Cytomegalovirus:

  • Context: Sporadic cases of cytomegalovirus (CMV) are being reported from Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, making it the latest post-covid complication.
  • About: Cytomegalovirus(CMV) is also known as Human Herpesvirus 5 (HHV-5).
  • It is a common herpes virus that often causes natural infections in childhood and remains asymptomatic in patients with normal immunity.
  • Once infected, the virus is retained in the body for life.

Beresheet- 2:

  • Context: SpaceIL, the non-profit Israeli initiative has secured a $70 million fund to make a second attempt at a lunar landing through Beresheet Project.
  • About:Beresheet-1 or “Genesis spacecraft” built by SpaceIL suffered technical malfunctions and crashed on the moon in 2019.
  • Beresheet-2 was announced in 2020, aiming at landing an unmanned craft on the moon in 2024.
  • It will be composed of three spacecraft – an orbiter named ‘Mothership’ – that would circle the moon for years and two landers.
  • It will cost around 100 million dollars raised from international partnerships and donors.
  • It plans to set new global space records through a double landing on the moon and the installment of the lightest ever moon landers, each weighing 60 kg without fuel.
  • The objective of this mission is to conduct experiments and collect data on behalf of school students.
  • The mission hopes to follow China in becoming only the second to successfully land on the far side of the moon.
  • Israel would become the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon, only after the former Soviet Union, the US, and China.

Security:

Draft Drone Rules, 2021:

  • Context: The UAS Rules 2021 will be replaced by The Drone Rules, 2021, which is based on trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring.
  • About: The digital sky platform will be built as a single-window online solution that is business-friendly.
  • For R&D entities, there is no need for a certificate of airworthiness, a unique identifying number, previous approval, or a remote pilot license.
  • Drone activities by foreign-owned enterprises registered in India are not restricted.
  • Before any registration or license is issued, no security clearance is required.
  • The Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT).
  • It was created with the goal of allowing digital flight permission and efficiently managing unmanned aircraft operations and traffic.
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is referred to as a drone in layman’s terms.
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Autonomous Aircraft, and Model Aircraft are the three types of unmanned aircraft.
  • Drones offer low-cost, safe, and quick aerial surveys for data collection.

Government scheme and Initiative:

PRASHAD Scheme:

  • Context: The Tourist Facilitation Centre was launched by the Prime Minister as part of the project “Development of Varanasi under PRASHAD Scheme – Phase II” under the PRASHAD Scheme.
  • About: The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) is a Central Sector Scheme.
  • Earlier it was known as the ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive’ (PRASAD).
  • The development of Heritage destinations was included in the PRASAD Scheme, changing it to PRASHAD.
  • Integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
  • Infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport).
  • Last mile connectivity.
  • Bring basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ Money exchange.
  • Number of tourists visiting that particular destination and its importance on national pilgrimage map.
  • Cultural, historical & heritage importance of the places.
  • Carrying capacity of destination to handle the influx of pilgrims.
  • The Mission Directorate identifies projects in the identified cities and coordinates with the states/UTs and other stakeholders to implement this scheme.
  • The Central Government provides 100% funding for the project.
  • Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. The city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples.

Women Reservation Bill:

  • Context: A political party has demanded that the long-delayed Women’s Reservation Bill be introduced in Parliament before the monsoon session.
  • About: The Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill, 2008 seeks to allocate one-third of all seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures to women.
  • There is a gender divide in political decision-making, and more women leaders need to come out more in numbers to impact position decisions and inspire teenage girls to participate in nation-building.
  • It has been suggested that this would maintain women’s unequal standing because they would not be seen as competing on merit.
  • Mandatory reservations will do nothing to address deeper power inequities.

Miscellaneous:

Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989:

  • Context: An amendment to Central Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989 is expected to be notified by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • About: All two-wheelers and four-wheelers, which haven’t undergone any substantial overhaul, will be defined as Vintage Motor Vehicles 50 years after the date of first registration.
  • Vintage vehicles would not be permitted on the road for regular purposes or commercial purposes.
  • All such antique vehicles would be exempted from the provisions of the High-Security Registration Plate.
  • Road safety is the major concern.
  • The fees for a new registration would be ₹ 20,000 and subsequent re-registration would cost 5,000.
  • The sale and purchase of such vehicles registered are permissible provided the buyer and seller inform respective State Transport Authorities.
  • The type-approved HSRP including the third registration mark shall be supplied by the vehicle manufacturers to their dealers.
  • The high security registration plates shall have a certificate from the Central Road Research Institute, or any one of the testing agencies authorized by the Central Government under rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 198.
  • A vintage car is generally an old automobile. From the perspective of car enthusiasts and collectors, it is a car from the period of 1919 to 1930.