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Prelim Bits 26-08-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 26, 2022

Meslin Flour

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, has approved the the proposal for amendment of policy of exemption for Wheat or Meslin Flour (HS Code 1101) from export restrictions/ ban.

  • Meslin is a mixture of wheat and rye that is sown and harvested together. In trade, it is usually classified with wheat.
  • It was grown on farms before World War II, but only a few ecological farmers sow it now.
  • Meslin flour contains relatively low quantity of wet gluten.
  • In 2020, the top exporters of meslin flour were Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Germany.
  • In 2020, the top importers of meslin flour were Afghanistan, Iraq, and Netherlands.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1854352
  2. https://oec.world/en/profile/hs/wheat-or-meslin-flour
  3. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20073009331
  4. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/centre-restricts-export-of-wheat-flour-11661419645035.html

Arth Ganga

  • In 2019, the Prime Minister of India first introduced the ‘Arth Ganga’ concept during the first National Ganga Council meeting (Kanpur) to energise the economic activity along the Ganga riverbank.
  • This indicated a shift from the ‘Namami Gange’ model, the Union Government’s flagship project to clean the Ganga, to the ‘Arth Ganga’ model.  
  • The ‘Arth Ganga’ model focuses on the sustainable development of the Ganga and its surrounding areas, by focusing on economic activities related to the river.
  • This model strives to contribute at least 3% of the GDP from the Ganga Basin itself.
  • Under Arth Ganga, the government is working on six verticals.
    1. Zero Budget Natural Farming, which involves chemical-free farming on 10 km on either side of the river, and the promotion of cow dung as fertiliser through the GOBARdhan scheme.
    2. ‘Monetization and Reuse of Sludge & Wastewater’ seeks to reuse treated water for irrigation, industries and revenue generation for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
    3. Livelihood Generation Opportunities involves creating haats where people can sell local products, medicinal plants and ayurveda.
    4. The model seeks to increase public participation by increasing synergies between the stakeholders involved with the river.
    5. The model seeks to promote the cultural heritage and tourism of Ganga and its surroundings, through boat tourism, adventure sports and by conducting yoga activities.
    6. Lastly, the model seeks to promote institutional building by empowering local administration for improved water governance.

The Arth Ganga project’s interventions are in accordance with India’s commitments towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/arth-ganga-govts-new-model-rivers-sustainable-development-8111967/
  2. https://www.news18.com/news/india/how-pms-arth-ganga-project-promises-use-of-organic-farming-vedic-education-tourism-cleanliness-jobs-5269495.html
  3. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1624562

Preventive Detention Act 1950

The Hyderabad police have invoked the Preventive Detention Act 1950 against Raja Singh, whose remarks against Prophet Mohammed have triggered protests in Hyderabad.

  • The Preventive detention (PD)  is the detention of a person on a mere reasonable apprehension of him doing an activity dangerous to public order and security.
  • The Preventive Detention Act, 1950 talks about the detention of a person on the grounds of defense, foreign affairs or the security of the state.
  • The Central Government or the State Government may make an order directing that a person be detained,
    1. if satisfied with respect to any person that with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to-
      1. the defence of India, the relations of India with foreign persons, or the security of India, or
      2. the security of the State or maintenance of public order, or
      3. the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community; or
    2. if satisfied with respect to any person who is a foreigner within the meaning of the Foreigners Act, 1946, that with a view to regulating his continued presence in India or with a view to making arrangements for his expulsion from India it is necessary so to do.
  • Period - In India, preventive detention is for a maximum period of 3 months, a limit which can be changed by the Parliament.
  • According to PD Act 1950, it can be extended beyond 3 months up to a total of 12 months.
  • This can be done only on the favourable recommendation of an advisory board, made up of High Court judges or persons eligible to be appointed High Court judges.
  • The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 has reduced the period of detention without obtaining the opinion of an advisory board from 3 to 2 months.
  • However, this provision has not yet been brought into force.
  • Execution - A detention order may be executed at any place in India in the manner provided for the execution of warrants of arrest under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that a preventive detention order can only be passed if the detenu is likely to adversely affect the maintenance of public order.

Constitutional Provisions

  • Article 22 of the Indian Constitution deals with the protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
  • The two types of detention are,
    1. Punitive detention is to punish a person for an offence committed by him after trial and conviction in a court.
    2. Preventive detention means detention of a person without trial and conviction by a court.
  • Both the above types are dealt under the Article 22.

Reference

  1. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bjp-mla-raja-singh-arrested-yet-again-hyderabad-preventive-detention-act-invoked-167203
  2. https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_of_india/fundamental_rights/articles/Article%2022
  3. http://www.bareactslive.com/JK/jk437.htm

Netarhat Field Firing Range

The Jharkhand government will not renew the notification of the Netarhat Field Firing Range, which expired in May 2022. This is a huge win for the tribal communities in that area.

  • The Netarhat Field Firing Range is spread over 1,470 square km of land across 245 villages in two districts in Jharkhand.
  • In 1954, the then-undivided Bihar government gave 8 square km in 7 revenue villages of the Netarhat plateau to the Army for cannon firing in the name of Netarhat Field Firing Range.
  • The land was given to the Army under Section 9 of the Army Manoeuvres Field Firing Artillery Act, 1938.
  • Regular artillery exercises were carried out in the area from 1964 to 1994.
  • The region comes under the Fifth Schedule Area and is governed under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996.
  • For decades now, Adivasis have protested against the decision to convert Netarhat into a field firing range for the army.

Reference

  1. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/victory-for-jharkhand-tribals-netarhat-firing-range-not-be-renotified-84468
  2. https://scroll.in/latest/1030886/netarhat-field-firing-range-will-not-be-re-notified-says-jharkhand-government
  3. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jharkhand-to-not-re-notify-army-firing-range-8096299/

Data Sonification

NASA has created a 'sonification' of the sound emerging from the black hole at the centre of the Perseus galaxy cluster.

  • Data Sonification is the translation of astronomical data into sounds.
  • This sonification translates the actual sound waves discovered in data from various NASA missions - such as the Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope.
  • There is a misconception that there is no sound in space because most of the space is a vacuum, with no medium for sound waves to travel.
  • However, galaxy clusters enveloping thousands of galaxies within it often have large amounts of sound, providing a medium for the sound waves to travel.
  • In the sonification of Perseus, the sound waves previously identified by astronomers were extracted in radial directions (outwards from centre).
  • After extraction, the signals were synthesised into the range of human hearing by scaling them up to 58 octaves above their actual pitch.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/nasa-black-hole-audio-perseus-m87-8107216/
  2. https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/news/data-sonification-a-new-cosmic-triad-of-sound.html
  3. https://www.nasa.gov/content/explore-from-space-to-sound
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