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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 22nd April to 5th May – 2019

  • IASbaba
  • May 13, 2019
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 22nd April to 5th May – 2019

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Be Prelims Ready

Elections in India

  1. Under representation of people’s act:
    • Canvassing (asking public for favourable vote) near the polling booth is a cognizable offense – police can arrest without court permission.
    • No person can publicize election matter through TV, radio etc. 48 hours before the conclusion of polls.
    • Under RPA act, EC is empowered to cancel/countermand polling in case of bribery, muscle power, booth rigging etc. malpractices. It doesn’t need to consult/seek permission from governor or any other authority in such cases.
    • Section 33: Candidate can contest from two Constituencies.
    • Section 70: He has to give up one seat, if he wins both.
  2. Indelible Ink:
    • Silver nitrate on skin = Reacts with the salt present on skin and forms silver chloride
    • Not soluble in water, and cannot be washed off with soap, water, alcohol, nail polish removal etc.
  3. First president to cast his vote: KR Narayan (1998)
  4. Lok Sabha Election cost is borne by: Union government
  5. Cost of Law & Order maintenance during election is borne by: State governments
  6. Use of form 20 in the elections: To check polling station wise result
  7. Right to vote and to be elected in India is a: Constitutional Right
  8. Appointed by the President, the Prime Minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance having a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament.
  9. BHAVIK (EVM) were first used in the 1997 election and became the only method of voting in 2004. The EVMs save time and report results.
  10. NOTA
    • On 27 September 2013, the Supreme Court of India judged that citizens have the right to a negative vote by exercising a “None of the above” (NOTA) option.
    • This was the result of petitioning from the Electoral Commission and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties from 2009.
  11. Absentee voting: No provision in India
  12. VVPAT
    • Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines are used during election process to verify that the vote polled by a voter goes to the correct candidate.
    • VVPATs are a second line of verification particularly and are particularly useful in the time when allegations around Electronic Voting Machines’ tampering crop up.
    • Parties have been making regular demands for VVPATs to be used during elections after alleging EVMs may not be completely secure and tamper proof.
    • VVPAT system gives instant feedback to the voter showing that the vote polled has in fact been allotted against the candidate chosen.

The introduction: Swamy case – In 2013, in the Subramanian Swamy case, the Supreme Court held that the paper trail through VVPAT of votes cast was an indispensable requirement of free and fair elections. It was the SC which pushed EC into introducing the VVPATs in the first place. Supreme Court had faced stiff opposition from the Election Commission while bringing in VVPATs.

Working procedure of VVPATs

  • After a voter presses the button on the EVM against the chosen candidate, the VVPAT prints a slip containing name of the candidate and the election symbol and drops it automatically into a sealed box.
  • The machines give the chance for the voter to verify their vote. The machine is placed in a glass case in a way that only the voter can see it.
  • The slip is displayed to the voter for seven seconds after which the VVPAT machine cuts it and drops in into the storage box with a beep.
  • The machines can be accessed, though, by the polling officials and not by the voter.
  • The Election Commission of India has not conceded to any allegation that the EVMs used for polling can be tampered with. However, VVPATs have been used in some elections in a bid to counter all allegation of tampering.
  • The Supreme Court of India, meanwhile, has for long held a supportive and extra cautious stand when it comes to voting. It had directed the EC in 2013 to introduce VVPAT in Lok Sabha Elections 2014 to improve voter confidence and ensuring transparency of voting. It was used in some phases but not in the entire polling process.

Must Read Articles:

EC’s new norms laudable

Importance of Voting

Model Code of Conduct

Role of Judiciary in ensuring Free and Fair Election

Elections and Women Card

State financing for fair and transparent poll funding

Election Reporting by Indian Media

 

Mindmaps:

Electoral Bonds

Electoral Reforms

Qualifications for elections

 

Cyclone ‘FANI’

In news:

  • Odisha state government evacuated over 11 lakh people from low-lying areas in 15 districts.
  • The administration of coastal states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are bracing up to tackle the “extremely severe cyclone”.

Tropical Cyclones

Formation

  • Tropical cyclones form over oceans with surface temperatures above 26°C as strong low pressure systems that can reach diameters of more than 500 km.
  • Evaporation of immense amounts of water vapour under these high temperature conditions and the related condensation aloft provide ample energy for the cyclone dynamics, leading to high wind speed and extreme precipitation.
  • These usual natural phenomena are occurring more frequently than usual due to various anthropogenic and changing natural factors.

Nature and Particulars:

  • It is a weather system of low pressure, originating in the tropics within a single air mass, but may move into temperate waters if water temperature is high enough to sustain it.
  • Tropical cyclone gets its energy from latent heat of condensation. The energy in an average hurricane may be equivalent to more than 10,000 atomic bomb, the size of Nagasaki bomb.
  • These storms range in size from a few kilometres to several hundred kilometres in diameter.
  • In the middle is an eye that can be as large as 65km across. The total area involved may be as much as 52000 sq km. the tropical cyclones originate between 10o and 25o latitudes in both the hemispheres.

Conditions conducive for tropical cyclone:

  • A source of warm, moist air derived from tropical oceans with sea surface temperature normally near to or in excess of 27 °C
  • Winds near the ocean surface blowing from different directions converging and causing air to rise and storm clouds to form
  • Winds which do not vary greatly with height – known as low wind shear. This allows the storm clouds to rise vertically to high levels;
  • Presence of Coriolis force, provides energy to rotate or curve in anti-clockwise (in the northern hemisphere) or clockwise (in the southern hemisphere)

How was Titli Cyclone different from usual cyclones?

  • Indian Meteorological Department declared Titli cyclone a rarest of the rare occurrence and categorised it as ‘very severe cyclone’.
  • Wind speed of normal tropical cyclone ranges around 118-120 km per hour. But Wind speed of Titli Cyclone was around 150 km per hour, which is rare occurrence.
  • Reoccurrence or re-emergence: Usually cyclones die after landfall. But Titli Cyclone reemerged again after landfall on Odisha coast.
  • Turned in Northeastern direction: Usually cyclones die after landfall, but Titli took a Northeast turn and continued.

These are some of the reasons because of which Titli Cyclone has been declared as rare occurrence.

Temperate Cyclones

Temperate cyclones are atmospheric disturbances with low-pressure centres occurring in the in the middle latitudes. The polar fronts created due to contrasting air masses (warm tropical air mass & cold, dense polar air mass) are responsible for the origin and development of temperate cyclones.

Temperate cyclones are associated with blizzards in North America and western disturbances in India.

Different parts of temperate cyclones are associated with varying weather conditions because of different types of air masses and varying temperature conditions.

Warm Frontal Precipitation:

  • With the arrival of warm front of the cyclone heavy showers begin with nimbostratus clouds.
  • Warm air rises slowly along the front. Hence the precipitation is slow, gradual but of long duration.

Warm sector:

  • Sky becomes cloudless and clear but there may be some occasional drizzles.
  • There is sudden rise in air temperature and increase in the specific humidity of the air but air pressure decreases remarkably.

Cold front:

  • With the arrival of cold front temperature decreases.
  • As cold air pushes the warm air upward, sky is again covered with clouds which soon start precipitation.

Cold frontal precipitation:

  • Since warm air is forcibly lifted upwards sky becomes overcast with cumulonimbus clouds.
  • Heavy downpour with thunder and lightning.
  • Precipitation is of short duration.

Cold sector:

  • Sharp fall in temperature.
  • Sky becomes cloudless and hence clear.

How do Cyclones get their names?

  • World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has a process in which countries give a list of name suggestions from time to time.
  • Countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan and Thailand submit a list of names to the regional tropical cyclone committee for the cyclones developing in the North Indian Ocean.
  • All the eight countries have suggested eight names for naming future cyclones.
  • The name Fani for this cyclone was suggested by Bangladesh. Fani means snake.
  • Cyclone Titli which caused damage in Andhra Pradesh and parts of Odisha last year was named by Pakistan. Cyclone Ockhi hit Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu in 2017. It was named by Thailand.
  • The next cyclone will be named Vayu. 

Colour coded weather warning system

Yellow level weather alerts

  • To notify those who are at risk because of their location and/or activity, and to allow them to take preventative action
  • For weather conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the general population, but only to those exposed to risk by nature of their location and/or activity.

Orange level

  • Indicates the weather conditions which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas
  • All recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.

Red level

  • Severe weather warnings (a comparatively rare event) implies that recipients take action to protect themselves and/or their properties.
  • This is usually done by moving their families out of the danger zone temporarily (evacuation), by staying indoors or by other specific actions aimed at mitigating the effects of the weather conditions.
  • It is in the case of a red weather alert that we could see serious disruption to public transport, road closures and school closures.

Pabuk Cyclone: In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where a ‘yellow alert’ was issued

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES)

  • It is an international and intergovernmental institution, owned and managed by its Member States, for the generation and application of early warning information.
  • RIMES evolved from the efforts of countries in Africa and Asia, in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to establish a regional early warning system within a multi-hazard framework for the generation and communication of early warning information, and capacity building for preparedness and response to trans-boundary hazards.
  • RIMES was established on 30 April 2009, and was registered with the United Nations on 1 July 2009.
  • RIMES operates from its regional early warning center located at the campus of the Asian Institute of Technology in Pathumthani, Thailand.
  • RIMES caters to differential needs and demands of its Member States by enhancing capacities for end-to-end multi-hazard early warning, in particular:
  • Hazard monitoring, detection, analysis, prediction, and forecasting
  • Risk assessment
  • Potential impact analysis
  • Generation of tailored risk information at different time scales
  • Risk communication
  • Application of tailored risk information in decision-making

Who currently chairs the RIMES Council: India

National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP)

  • NCRMP was started by the Ministry of Home Affairs to mitigate vulnerability to the cyclone and hazards prone coastal communities.
  • After the formation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), management of the project was transferred to NDMA in September, 2006.
  • NCRMP-I covers States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
  • NCRMP-II covers States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and West Bengal.
  • The project is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and executed by the respective State Disaster Management Authorities at the State level.
  • The project is partly funded by the World Bank.

Objectives of NCRMP

  • The overall objective of the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (‘NCRMP’) is to minimize vulnerability to cyclones and make people and infrastructure disaster resilient in harmony with conservation of the coastal eco-system in the cyclone hazard prone States and Union Territories of India.

Solve: What makes coastal India more susceptible to tropical cyclones? Discuss. Also examine the strategies to mitigate tropical cyclones.  

Note:

Indian Automative Industry: Sunshine industry in India contributing to over 7.5% to country’s GDP

  • Creation of new automotive test centres in the country under NATRIP project, is an important step forward by the Government to support the need of the automotive industry in the backdrop of tightening regulatory framework and technology shift driven by market forces.
  • ICAT is an important element of the automotive sector, with its world-class infrastructure and domain expertise providing services in development, testing, validation and homologation.
  • ICAT’s vision is to emerge as a leading R&D centre in Asia, working together with the automotive industry in developing state-of-the-art technologies.

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