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Prelim Bits 08-02-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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February 08, 2022

Motion of Thanks

The Prime Minister of India has replied to the Motion of Thanks on address of the President presented to the joint session of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

  • The first session of the House of the People after each general election and the first session of every fiscal year is addressed by the President.
  • This special address by the President is provided by Article 87.
  • In this address, the President outlines the policies and programmes of the government in the preceding year and ensuing year.
  • This address of the President, which corresponds to the ‘speech from the Throne in Britain’, is discussed in both the Houses of Parliament on a motion called the ‘Motion of Thanks’.
  • At the end of the discussion, the motion is put to vote.
  • This motion must be passed in the House. Otherwise, it amounts to the defeat of the government.
  • This inaugural speech of the president is an occasion available to the members of Parliament to raise discussions and debates to examine and criticise the government and administration for its lapses and failures.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1796348
  2. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/budget-session-pm-modi-to-reply-on-motion-of-thanks-in-lok-sabha-today-1164419939176html

One Rank One Pension

  • One Rank One Pension (OROP) for Defence Forces Personnel implies that uniform pension be paid to Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their retirement date.
  • This will bridge the gap between the rates of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals.
  • The historical decision to implement OROP was taken by the Government in 2015, with benefits effective from 1st July, 2014.
  • Salient features of the OROP - Pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013.
  • Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retired in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service.
  • Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected.
  • Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly installments. 
  • However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/ Liberalized family pension and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one installment.
  • In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.
  • Nodal Implementation Agency - Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence.
  • Payment - OROP is not paid as a separate element.
  • It is integrated part of pension.
  • As such amount of additional expenditure incurred is not available.
  • Inapplicability - Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their own request under Rule 13(3)I(i)(b), 13(3)II(i)(b), 13(3)III(iv) or Rule 16B of the Army Rule 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. 

Before OROP was implemented, retired servicemen used to get pensions as per the Pay Commission's recommendations of the time when they had retired.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1796175
  2. https://pib.gov.in/FactsheetDetails.aspx?Id=148559
  3. https://www.desw.gov.in/one-rank-one-pension-orop-ebook

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority

  • The Supreme Court of India (2002) ordered the formation of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
  • It said that the CAMPA will be the National Advisory Council for monitoring, technical assistance and evaluation of compensatory afforestation activities.
  • It said that the CAMPA will be under the chairmanship of the Union Environment Minister.

CAMPA are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.

  • In pursuance of this Supreme Court order, the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2004 set up the CAMPA to manage  
    1. Money collected towards compensatory afforestation (CA),
    2. Net present value (NPV) and
    3. Any other money recoverable from the user agencies for utilizing forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
  • CAMPA was established with the following mandate:
    1. Lay down broad guidelines for State CAMPA.
    2. Facilitate scientific, technological and other assistance that may be required by State CAMPA.
    3. Make recommendations to State CAMPA based on a review of their plans and programmes.
    4. Provide a mechanism to State CAMPA to resolve issues of an inter-state or Centre-State character.
  • The prime task of State CAMPA would be regenerating natural forests and building up the institution engaged in this task in the State Forest Department.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1796221
  2. http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Agenda/AboutCAMPA.pdf

Marine Heatwaves

For the first time, a study has found a close link between marine heatwaves and atmospheric circulation and rainfall. It has also found that the marine heatwaves have been on the rise in the waters around India.

The increase in marine heat waves was due to rapid warming in the Indian Ocean and strong El Nino event.

  • Marine heat waves (MHW) are the heatwaves that form on oceans.
  • These are periods of extremely high temperatures over seas and oceans.
  • Such heat waves are caused by an increase in the heat content of oceans, especially in the upper layers.
  • [Around 90% of the warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions is absorbed by the oceans.]
  • During an MHW, the average temperatures of the ocean surface (up to a depth of 300 feet) go 5-7 degrees Celsius above normal.
  • Impacts - Worldwide, they are one of the major results of human-induced global warming.
  • These MHW events cause habitat destruction due to coral bleaching, seagrass destruction, and loss of kelp forests, affecting the fisheries sector adversely.

An underwater survey showed that 85% of the corals in the Gulf of Mannar near the coast of Tamil Nadu got bleached after the MHW in May 2020.

  • Findings - The Western Indian Ocean region experienced the largest increase in marine heatwaves at a rate of about 1.5 events per decade, followed by the north Bay of Bengal at a rate of 0.5 events per decade.
  • From 1982 to 2018, the Western Indian Ocean had a total of 66 events, while the Bay of Bengal had 94 events, the study notes.
  • Marine heatwaves in the Western Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal increased drying conditions over the central Indian subcontinent.
  • Correspondingly, there is a significant increase in the rainfall over south peninsular India in response to the heatwaves in the north Bay of Bengal.
  • MHW phenomenon is impacting the Indian monsoon, mainly the southwest monsoon.  

marine-heatwaves

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/marine-heatwaves-on-the-rise-around-india-says-study/article38394770.ece
  2. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/frequent-marine-heatwaves-in-indian-ocean-disrupt-india-s-monsoon-patterns-81379

Vande Bharat Trains

In the Union Budget 2022-2023, the Union Finance Minister has proposed the manufacture of 400 new Vande Bharat trains in the next 3 years.

In 2019, the first Vande Bharat was manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, in about 18 months as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Vande Bharat is touted as the next major leap for the Indian Railways in terms of speed and passenger convenience since the introduction of Rajdhani trains.

  • Dubbed as Train 18, the Vande Bharat train is an indigenously designed and manufactured self-propelled “engineless” train.
  • The Vande Bharat is India’s first semi high-speed train that can achieve a maximum speed of 160 kmph.
  • Its faster acceleration and deceleration results in reduced journey time by 25% to 45%.
  • These trains operate without a locomotive and are based on a propulsion system called distributed traction power technology, by which each car of the train set is powered.
  • These have an intelligent braking system with power regeneration for better energy efficiency thereby making it cost, energy and environment efficient.
  • The current version of the train has 16 coaches with 14 ordinary chair cars and two executive class chair cars.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/explained-when-will-new-vande-bharat-trains-be-launched/article38385706.ece
  2. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/budget-2022-vande-bharat-target-7757873/
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