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Prelim Bits 09-03-2022 | Daily UPSC Current Affairs

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March 09, 2022

PARAM Ganga

Petascale Supercomputer “PARAM Ganga” was established at IIT Roorkee under the National Supercomputing Mission.

  • “PARAM Ganga” is a supercomputer with a supercomputing capacity of 1.66 Petaflops.
  • The system is designed and commissioned by C-DAC under Phase 2 of the build approach of the NSM.
  • Click here to know about the National Supercomputing Mission.

Reference

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1803833

Temporary Protection Directive of 2001

Responding to the Ukraine crisis, EU Member States made the unprecedented decision to activate the European Union’s Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 2001, known as the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD).

  • During the 1990s, conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, in Kosovo and elsewhere demonstrated the need for special procedures to deal with mass influxes of displaced persons.
  • The 2001 Temporary Protection Directive provides a tool for the EU to address such situations.
  • TPD describes “Temporary protection” as an exceptional measure to provide immediate and temporary protection to displaced persons from non-EU countries and those unable to return to their country of origin.
  • The directive applies when “there is a risk that the standard asylum system is struggling to cope with demand stemming from a mass influx risking a negative impact on the processing of claims”.

Article 1 of TDP 2001 underlines that the purpose of the Directive is to both “establish minimum standards for giving temporary protection” to displaced persons as well as to “promote a balance of effort between Member States in receiving and bearing the consequences of receiving such persons”.

  • Reason for establishing standards - It reduces disparities between the policies of EU States on the reception and treatment of displaced persons in a situation of mass influx.
  • It promotes solidarity and burden-sharing among EU States with respect to receiving large numbers of potential refugees at one time.
  • Obligations to EU states under the TPD place - According to the European Commission, the TPD foresees harmonized rights for the beneficiaries of temporary protection, which include
    1. A residence permit for the duration of the protection (which can last from 1-3 years),
    2. Appropriate information on temporary protection,
    3. Access to employment,
    4. Access to accommodation or housing,
    5. Access to social welfare or means of subsistence,
    6. Access to medical treatment,
    7. Access to education for minors,
    8. Opportunities for families to reunite in certain circumstances, and
    9. Guarantees for access to the normal asylum procedure.
  • TPD also contains provisions for the return of displaced persons to their country of origin, unless they have committed serious crimes or they “pose a threat to security from the benefit of temporary protection”.

The war in Ukraine is the first time that the EU has invoked the TPD. It is being seen as another sign of European unity against Russia.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/everyday-explainers/temporary-protection-directive-why-has-eu-invoked-refugees-of-ukraine-war-7807000/
  2. https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/migration-and-asylum/common-european-asylum-system/temporary-protection_en

Land Pooling

Amendments are proposed to the Delhi Development Act, 1957, in order to make land pooling mandatory.

  • Land pooling is an activity where a group of landowners handover their land parcels to the government collectively for infrastructure development.
  • Once the development is complete, the land is handed over to the original owners, after deducting some portion as the cost for the same.
  • [In land acquisition, the ownership of the land is transferred to the government.]
  • The primary benefit of land pooling policy is that the ownership remains with the original titleholder.
  • It reduces the chances of legal disputes and compensation disbursements.
  • However, the land pooling policy requires a certain percentage of landowners to give consent for the procedure. Discontent among a certain section of landowners is a common challenge in this activity.

Land Pooling

Land Acquisition

Advantages

Disadvantages

Advantages

Disadvantages

A self-financing technique and cheaper than land acquisition

 

Original owners retain title

 

Lesser chances of land disputes

 

Equitable sharing of costs and benefits

Slow development

 

Capital value appreciation might take time

 

Chances of improper land use in the absence of strict zoning controls

 

Difficult to apply in congested urban areas

 

Government owns the land

 

Fast-tracked development

 

Provisions of rehabilitation ensure compensation

 

Often considered a permanent solution for infrastructure development

Present owners might not be convinced to relocate

 

Poor rehabilitation and inadequate compensation are prime concerns

 

Acquisition of irrigated land is a threat to national food security in the longer run

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1804054
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/amendments-proposed-to-make-land-pooling-mandatory/article65206374.ece
  3. https://www.99acres.com/articles/land-pooling-schemes-a-viable-alternative-to-land-acquisition.html

Simultaneous Functioning

With the COVID pandemic on the wane, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are likely to revert to simultaneous sittings for the second part of the Budget session that begins from March 14, 2022.

  • During the first part of the Budget session, the two Houses sat in shifts to make both chambers available to each House.  
    1. The Rajya Sabha functioning in the morning (10 am to 3 pm) and
    2. The Lok Sabha in the afternoon (4 pm to 9 pm).
  • The seat arrangements for the simultaneous functioning of the Houses of the Parliament for a session will be discussed and decided by the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/parliament-session-to-resume-simultaneous-functioning/article65206128.ece
  2. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/rajya-sabha-lok-sabha-to-resume-simultaneous-functioning-from-march-14-2810914
  3. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-session-to-resume-simultaneous-functioning/article65204509.ece

HANSA-NG

HANSA-NG has successfully completed the sea level trials at Puducherry.

  • HANSA-New Generation (HANSA-NG) is India’s first indigenous Flying Trainer.
  • [HANSA-NG is the revamped version of the original HANSA developed three decades ago (1993).]
  • It is designed and developed by CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore under the aegis of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research.
  • HANSA-NG is one of the most advanced flying trainer powered by Rotax Digital Control Engine with unique features like
    1. Just-In-Time Prepreg (JIPREG) Composite light weight Airframe,
    2. Glass Cockpit,
    3. Bubble Canopy with wide panoramic view,
    4. Electrically operated flaps etc.
  • CSIR-NAL further said that HANSA-NG is designed to meet the Indian flying club needs and it is an ideal aircraft for Commercial Pilot Licensing (CPL) due to its low cost and low fuel consumption.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1803305
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sea-trials-completed-for-first-indigenously-developed-aircraft-trainer/article65198446.ece
  3. https://frontline.thehindu.com/dispatches/hansa-ng-indias-first-indigenously-developed-monoplane-clears-a-milestone-by-successfully-completing-sea-level-trials/article38451566.ece
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