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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th February 2020

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  • February 11, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th February 2020

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Supreme court on reservations in Job

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- Judiciary

In news:

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts is not a fundamental right
  •  A state cannot be compelled to offer the quota if it chooses not to.
  • No mandamus can be issued by the court directing state governments to provide reservations

From Prelims Point of View :

Prerogative writs:

  •  “prerogative writs” meaning the extraordinary writs or orders granted by the Sovereign when ordinary legal remedies are inadequate 
  • prerogative writs  are habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, and quo warranto.
  • In India, the Supreme Court can issue prerogative writs under Article 32 of the Constitution, and the High Courts under Article 226.
  • The writ can also be issued against inferior courts or other judicial bodies when they have refused to exercise their jurisdiction and perform their duty.

Mandamus :

  • Mandamus literally means ‘we command’.
  • When issued to a person or body, the writ of mandamus demands some activity on their part 
  • It orders the person or body to perform a public or quasi-public duty, which they have refused to perform, and where no other adequate legal remedy exists to enforce the performance of that duty. 
  • The writ cannot be issued unless the legal duty is of public nature, and to whose performance the applicant of the writ has a legal right.
  • Under Article 361, mandamus cannot be granted against the President or Governor of a State,

Four-fold jump in Li-ion battery imports since 2016

Part of: GS Prelims –Science & Tech  and GS-III- Technology

In news:

  • India has quadrupled its imports of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries
  • lithium-ion  are vital for powering a range of devices from cellphones to electric vehicles
  • India lacks manufacturing capacity;
  • India  is world’s largest importer
  • Imports from China, Japan and South Korea
  • To promote indigenous development of such batteries, the Union Cabinet in 2019 approved a programme, called a National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery 
  • Electric vehicles are expected to account for a significant share in the growth of the Li-ion battery demand in India
  • The government has announced investments worth $1.4 billion to make India one of the largest manufacturing hubs for electric vehicles by 2040.

From Prelims point of view :

lithium-ion  

  • Rechargeable battery.
  • Used for portable electronics and electric vehicles 
  • Developed by John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, Rachid Yazami and Akira Yoshino 
  • Lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode during discharge, and back when charging.
  •  Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as the material at the positive electrode and typically graphite at the negative electrode. 
  • There is a safety hazard since they contain a flammable electrolyte, and if damaged or incorrectly charged can lead to explosions and fires. 
  • Samsung were forced to recall Galaxy Note 7 handsets following lithium-ion fire

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th February 2020

SRC: Basix

National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery:

  • Recommend and drive the strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes for EVs, EV Components and Batteries. 
  • A Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP) will be launched to localize production across the entire EV value chain. 
  • Determine the contours of PMP, and will finalise the details of such a program. 
  • The details of the value addition that can be achieved with each phase of localisation will be finalised by the Mission with a clear Make in India strategy for the electric vehicle components as well as battery.
  • The Mission will coordinate with key stakeholders in Ministries/ Departments and the states to integrate various initiatives to transform mobility in India.

Electric vehicles:

  • An electric vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion.
  • An electric vehicle may be powered through self-contained battery, solar panels or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity.

*** E vehicles and policy related to it will be soon dealt in the mains section


Pangolins be the source of novel coronavirus

Part of: GS Prelims –Environment  and GS-III- Conservation

In news:

  • Pangolins could be responsible for the spread of the virus to humans in China.
  • The genome sequence of the coronavirus isolated from pangolins was 99 per cent identical with that separated from infected humans.

From Prelims Point of view:

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th February 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th February 2020

SRC: Click here

Pangolins:

  • Pangolins are considered to be one of the most trafficked animals in the world and are classified as a critically endangered species
  • People who sell pangolins can be imprisoned for a period of 10 years or morepoached every year due to their “medicinal value” and the consumption of their meat in countries such as China and Vietnam.
  • It is believed that the novel coronavirus spread from the seafood market in Wuhan, where live animals are sold
  • The SARS coronavirus, which was identified in 2003, is believed to have spread from bats to civet cats to human beings.

Storm, named ‘Ciara’ 

Part of: GS Prelims –Polity and GS-II- Constitution

In news:

  • The storm, named ‘Ciara’ ,referred to as ‘Sabine’
  • Hit in UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany.
  • The storm has two names because there isn’t yet a pan-European system in place for labelling weather systems.

From Prelims Point of view:

How cyclones are named?

  • The tradition started with hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, where tropical storms that reach sustained wind speeds of 39 miles per hour were given names. 
  • (Incidentally, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones are all the same, just different names for tropical storms in different parts of the world; 
  • Hurricane in the Atlantic, Typhoon in the Pacific and Cyclone in the Indian Ocean). If the storm’s wind speed reaches or crosses 74 mph, it is then classified into a hurricane/cyclone/typhoon.
  •  Tropical storms are given names and they retain the name if they develop into a cyclone/hurricane/typhoon.

(MAINS FOCUS)


Science & Technology

Topic: General Studies 2 & 3:

  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Purifiers – Draft notification by Government

About Reverse Osmosis

  • Reverse Osmosis is a technology that is used to remove a large majority of contaminants from water by pushing the water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane.
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th February 2020

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th February 2020

  • It works by using a high-pressure pump to increase the pressure on the salt side of the RO and force the water across the semi-permeable RO membrane, leaving around 95% to 99% of dissolved salts behind in the reject stream.
  • The amount of pressure required depends on the salt concentration of the feed water. Higher the concentration of salt, higher is the pressure required.
  • An RO membrane rejects contaminants based on their size and charge
  • Reverse Osmosis is also used to produce water that is suitable for many industrial applications that require demineralized or deionized water

Issues with RO System

  • Wastage: RO systems now recover only 20 per cent of water while 80 per cent go waste
  • Can remove beneficial mineral: The process can cut the levels of calcium and magnesium, which are vital nutrients.
  • Membranes get clogged easily which happens when materials build up on the membrane and slow down the flow of water. Thus it requires constant replacement which increases operational costs
  • Not 100% purification capability: BIS standards clearly state that RO system is not recommended for treatment of raw water having Arsenic level above 0.1 mg/l and Fluoride level above 8.0 mg/l.

May 2019 NGT order had stated that 

  • RO Purifiers should be prohibited where TDS (total dissolved solids) – which covers trace chemicals, certain viruses, bacteria and salts – in water was less than 500 miligram per litre (mg/l)
  • It had asked the government to redesign the RO system in a way that treated water would have a minimum 150 mg/l TDS concentration. 
  • It also stressed on remineralisation to compensate for loss of minerals during RO treatment
  • It asked RO manufacturers to increase efficiency of systems to recover 60% of water inputs

Draft notification by the Union Environment Ministry (MoEFCC)

  • The notification issued on February 3, 2020 mentions that use of membrane-based water purification system (MWPS), mainly RO purifiers, shall be prohibited where drinking water complies with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
  • Enforcement will largely be the responsibility of CPCB and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), taking water supply agencies on board to certify whether they provide potable drinking water in a particular area as per the prescribed BIS standard.

Concerns with the notification

  • The notification does not mention any limits prescribed in NGT order
  • The notification implies, these filters are only prohibited if the home gets water supply that conforms to BIS standards for Drinking Water.
  • Although several State and city water boards claim BIS standards, the water at homes falls short of the test parameters
  • The resort to prohibition (to restrict home filters) may cause consumer apprehension 

Conclusion

  • The case for restricting people’s choices on the means they employ to ensure potable water is thus weak in view of above concern
  • Government’s primary aim should be to persuade authorities to upgrade and supply BIS-standard water at the consumer’s end and it should be done without additional costs.

Do You Know?

  • The BIS norms are voluntary for public agencies which supply piped water but are mandatory for bottled water producers. 
  • The Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) of NITI Aayog says that 70% of water supply is contaminated. 
  • India is ranked 120th among 122 countries in an NGO, WaterAid’s quality index. 

Connecting the dots!

  • Nal Se Jal: Government’s mission to ensure piped drinking water to every rural Households by 2024

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q 1. The power of the Supreme Court of India to decide disputes between the Centre and the States falls under its 

  1. advisory jurisdiction
  2. appellate jurisdiction
  3. original jurisdiction
  4. writ jurisdiction

Q 2. Which one of the following pairs of metals constitutes the lightest metal and the heaviest metal, respectively?

  1. Lithium and mercury
  2. Lithium and osmium
  3. Aluminium and osmium
  4. Aluminium and mercury

Q 3. Consider the following statements: 

  1. Toothless mammals such as Pangolins are not found in India.
  2. Gibbon is the only ape found in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWERS FOR 08 FEB 2020 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 D
2 A
3 C

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