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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th June 2022

  • IASbaba
  • June 6, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


U.S. India Trade Policy Forum (TPF)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations
  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

In News: With the re-appearance of Indian mangoes in the U.S. market, after the November 2021 U.S. India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) helped overcome a pandemic-induced hiatus in mango trade

  • For the U.S., exporting ethanol and an associated animal feed ingredient, called DDGS (Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles) to India, is important, in the agricultural goods category

Areas of concern

  • For India the export of carabeef (water buffalo meat) to the U.S., as well as table grapes, resumption of Indian wild caught shrimp exports are among the agricultural trade priorities currently under discussion
  • The Indian side is keen on finalizing a Social Services Totalisation agreement – i.e., an agreement that will permit Indians temporarily working in the U.S. to reclaim what they pay into the U.S. system.
  • India also wants to be reinstated as a beneficiary of the U.S.’s preferential market access program – the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
  • On the U.S. side, greater access to the Indian market for medical devices, as well as digital trade, remain priorities

India-U.S Trade Policy Forum

  • The Trade Policy Forum (TPF), a premier forum to resolve trade and investment issues between India and the United States
  • The TPF was established in July 2005 to discuss about trade and investment issues.

The objective of the forum is to

  • Facilitate trade and investment flows between the two countries
  • Develop and implement trade policies through transparent procedures that comply with international obligations
  • Foster a conducive environment for technological collaboration and innovation
  • Promote inclusive economic growth and job creation in India and the US.
  • The Minister of Commerce and Industry for India and the United States Trade Representative of the USA are the co-chairs of the Trade Policy Forum.

The India-US Trade Policy Forum has five focus groups.

  • Agriculture
  • Investment
  • Innovation and Creativity (intellectual property rights)
  • Services
  • Tariff and Non-tariff barriers

Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles

  • Distillers’ dried grain with solubles (DDGS) is a byproduct of bioethanol fermentation, which uses the dry milling technology for starch-rich grains such as corn, wheat, and barley.
  • Since DDGS is rich in crude protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, it is currently used as aquaculture, livestock, and poultry feeds
  • This high-protein feed can replace maize and soyameal in poultry feed by 50 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.
  • In recent years, DDGS has been used as feedstock in the production of value-added products via microbial fermentation

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

What is a Generalized System of Preference (GSP)?

  • It is a preferential agreement that allows concessional low / zero tariff imports to developed countries from developing countries.
  • It involves reduced/zero tariffs of eligible products exported by beneficiary countries to the markets of GSP providing countries.

Global level GSP:

  • Over the years, GSP, founded in 1971 under the auspices of UNCTAD, has helped to create an enabling trading climate for developing countries.
  • GSP preferences are given by the following 13 countries: Australia, Belarus, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United States of America.
  • Following the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Decision of UNCTAD in 2005 the members agreed that developed countries and developing countries in a position to do so would grant duty-free and quota-free market access for exports of Least Developed Countries (LDC).

Under the GSP, who are the beneficiaries?

  • About 120 developing countries are the beneficiaries of the GSP. In terms of export volume realized under GSP, India and Brazil were the major beneficiaries.

India was taken out of the GSP program by US in June 2019

About $5.6 billion of Indian exports to the U.S. were covered by the program, although the tax savings for these products amounted to less – about $ 190 million.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2020)

  1. The value of Indo-Sri Lanka trade has consistently increased in the last decade.
  2. “Textile and textile articles” constitute an important item of trade between India and Bangladesh.
  3. In the last five years, Nepal has been the largest trading partner of India in South Asia.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Source: The Hindu


Difference between Barcodes and Radio-frequency identification tags

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology
  • Mains – GS 3 (Science and Technology)

In News: Baggage tags equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) will soon be available at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, marking a first of its kind for the country.

What is Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology?

  • RFID is a wireless tracking method that uses tags and readers to track objects.
  • Transponder, receiver, and transmitter are the three components of an RFID system.
  • The RFID reader continually sends radio waves of a specific frequency in RFID system.
  • If the object to which the RFID tag is attached is within the range of the radio waves, it provides feedback to the RFID reader, which then identifies the object based on the feedback

What are the different kinds of RFID?

  • Passive tags, semi-passive tags, and active tags are the three types of RFID tags that are commercially available.
  • There is no power supply for passive tags. They acquire their power from the readers’ incoming radio waves.

  • Semi-passive tags comprise an internal circuit with a power source, but rely on the radio waves received from the reader to transmit the response.
  • The internal circuit of active tags is powered by a power source.
  • The Low Frequency, High Frequency, and Ultra-High Frequency bands are used by RFID systems

What is a barcode?

  • A barcode is a printed series of parallel bars or lines of varying width used for entering data into a computer system.
  • The bars are black on a white background and vary in width and quantity depending on the application.
  • The bars represent the binary digits zero and one, which represent the digits zero to nine processed by a digital computer.
  • These barcodes are scanned using special optical scanners known as barcode readers
  • One of the most well-known examples of a barcode is the QR code.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology Vs barcodes

  • RFID uses radio waves to communicate data from RFID chips to readers that do not require line of sight in order to obtain the data, whereas barcodes use light to read the black-and-white pattern printed on the sticky tag.
  • An RFID tag can communicate with a powered reader even when the tag is not powered.
  • When printed on paper or sticky labels, barcodes are more susceptible to wear and breakage, which can affect their readability. RFID tags, on the other hand, are sometimes placed in plastic labels or into the object itself, making them more durable than barcodes.
  • In contrast to barcode scanners, RFID scanners can process dozens of tags in a single second. Also, barcodes are simple and easy to copy or counterfeit, whereas RFID is more complicated and difficult to replicate or counterfeit.
  • RFID tags are expensive compared to barcodes.

Is RFID enhanced version of barcode?

  • When it comes to speed, there is a noticeable difference between barcodes and RFID. This is because barcodes must be read manually, making them more susceptible to human error and more difficult to evaluate their accuracy.
  • However, RFID’s accuracy may be compromised if the tags are applied to metals or liquid.
  • Since RFID frequencies can be transmitted over greater distances than barcode frequencies, there is also concern that RFID technology raises data protection issues, resulting in personal information becoming accessible without consent.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) In the context of digital technologies for entertainment, consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. In Augmented Reality (AR), a simulated environment is created and the physical world is completely shut out.
  2. In Virtual Reality (VR), images generated from a computer are projected onto real-life objects or surroundings.
  3. AR allows individuals to be present in the world and improves the experience using the camera of smart-phone or PC.
  4. VR closes the world, and transposes an individual, providing complete immersion experience.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 and 4
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 4 only

Source: Indian Express


Direct-2-Mobile technology

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology
  • Mains – GS (Science and Technology)

In News: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and India’s public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati are exploring the feasibility of a technology that allows to broadcast video and other forms of multimedia content directly to mobile phones, without needing an active internet connection.

  • The technology, called ‘direct-to-mobile’ (D2M) broadcasting, promises to improve consumption of broadband and utilisation of spectrum.

What is direct-to-mobile broadcasting?

  • The technology is based on the convergence of broadband and broadcast, using which mobile phones can receive terrestrial digital TV.
  • It would be similar to how people listen to FM radio on their phones, where a receiver within the phone can tap into radio frequencies.
  • Using D2M, multimedia content can also be beamed to phones directly.
  • The idea behind the technology is that it can possibly be used to directly broadcast content related to citizen-centric information and can be further used to counter fake news, issue emergency alerts and offer assistance in disaster management, among other things.
  • It can be used to broadcast live news, sports etc. on mobile phones.
  • More so, the content should stream without any buffering whatsoever while not consuming any internet data.

What could be the consumer and business impact of this?

For consumers

  • A technology like this would mean that they would be able to access multimedia content from Video on Demand (VoD) or Over The Top (OTT) content platforms without having to exhaust their mobile data, at a nominal rate.
  • The technology will also allow people from rural areas, with limited or no internet access, to watch video content.

For businesses

  • One of the key benefits of the technology is that it can enable telecom service providers to offload video traffic from their mobile network onto the broadcast network, thus helping them to decongest valuable mobile spectrum.
  • This will also improve usage of mobile spectrum and free up bandwidth which will help reduce call drops, increase data speeds etc

What is the government doing to facilitate D2M technology?

  • The DoT has set up a committee to study the feasibility of a spectrum band for offering broadcast services directly to users’ smartphones
  • Band 526-582 MHz is envisaged to work in coordination with both mobile and broadcast services. DoT has set up a committee to study this band
  • Public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati had last year announced collaboration with IIT Kanpur to test the feasibility of the technology.

Possible challenges to the technology’s rollout?

  • Technology is still at a nascent stage
  • Bringing key stakeholders like mobile operators onboard will be the “biggest challenge” in launching D2M technology on a wide scale
  • A mass roll out of the technology will entail changes in infrastructure and some regulatory changes

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference/differences between LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)? (2019)

  1. LTE is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G.
  2. LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Source: Indian Express


Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus (OPEC+)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Important Groupings
  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

About

  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is a cartel consisting of 13 of the world’s major oil-exporting nations.
  • It is a permanent, intergovernmental organization, created in Baghdad in September 1960 by founding members Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
  • Other members are Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates
  • OPEC aims to regulate the supply of oil in order to set the price on the world market.
  • The headquarters of the organization are in Vienna, Austria, where the OPEC Secretariat, the executive organ, carries out OPEC’s day-to-day business
  • Ecuador withdrew from the organization on Jan 2020. Qatar terminated its membership on Jan 2019, and Indonesia suspended its membership in 2016, so as of 2020 the organization consists of 13 states.
  • It is notable that some of the world’s largest oil producers, including Russia, China, and the United States, are not members of OPEC, which leaves them free to pursue their own objectives.
  • OPEC membership is open to any country that is a substantial exporter of oil and which shares the ideals of the organization.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus

  • It is a loosely affiliated entity consisting of the OPEC members and 10 of the world’s major non-OPEC oil-exporting nations which are:

Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) Consider the following countries: (2014)

  1. Denmark
  2. Japan
  3. Russian Federation
  4. United Kingdom
  5. United States of America

Which of the above are the members of the ‘Arctic Council’?

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2, 3 and 4
  3. 1, 4 and 5
  4. 1, 3 and 5

Urban Agriculture

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 (Environment and Ecology; Agriculture)

Context: Urban agriculture can help make cities sustainable and liveable

  • Urban agriculture is the practice of farming in urban and peri-urban areas.
  • Farming connotes a wide range of food and non-food products that can be cultivated or grown, including rearing livestock, aquaculture and bee-keeping.

Need for Urban Agriculture

  • Urban areas across the world house at least 55 per cent of the world’s population and consume 80 per cent of the food produced globally
  • India is rapidly urbanising and is estimated to host 50 per cent of its population in cities by
  • In order to sustain these huge population and face climate change it is important that urban areas becomes sustainable and liveable
  • Urban agriculture provides food security and financial security to urban dwellers

Benefits of Urban Agriculture

  • Business Growth: Urban farming helps stimulate the local economy through job creation, income generation, and the growth of small businesses.
  • Job Creation: Urban farms can offer valuable skills and education in addition to a steady source of income to many unemployed, even if it is seasonal work.
  • Urban Redevelopment: Unused lands and wastelands can be used for cultivation purposes. It creates more green space and reduces pollution.
  • Health and Wellness: Urban farming creates fresh produce closer to where it’s ultimately consumed. Food from urban farms is far more likely to be perfectly ripe, more nutritious, and produced in season.
  • Less Food Waste: People produce only what they need. This reduces food wastage to a large extent.
  • Environmental Management: urban agriculture has a significant role in urban environmental management as it can combat urban heat island effects and function as an urban lung in addition to providing visual appeal
  • Waste Management: since cities are struggling with waste management and disposal, urban agriculture can provide some help to deal with it.
  • The use of suitably treated waste water for urban agriculture can reduce demand for fresh water and help in waste water disposal.
  • Moreover, organic waste from the city can be composted and used in food and flower production

Way Forward

  • Urban farming can be a favorable way for ensuring food security in India and around the world in the future.
  • Proper Urban land-use planning (ULP), Institutional support, awareness of the benefits associated with urban agriculture, and financial and technological support from the government will attract the city dwellers and help them to move forward with the concept of urban agriculture in India.
  • Progressive growth of urban agriculture can act as an urban regeneration tool for the cities by providing social interaction and increasing job opportunities and environmental benefits to the urban areas across the globe.

Source: Indian Express


Baba’s Explainer – India’s Engagement with Taliban

India’s Engagement with Taliban

Syllabus

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Cyber Security

Context: India has recently sent an official delegation to Kabul, it was the first time that New Delhi signalled that it wanted a formal engagement with the Taliban.

Read Complete Details on India’s Engagement with Taliban


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements

  1. The Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology do not require line of sight in order to obtain the data from RFID tag
  2. Barcode readers use light to read the black-and-white pattern printed on the barcode tag
  3. One of the most well-known examples of a RFID is the QR code

Choose the correct statements:

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 only
  4. 1 and 2

Q.2) With reference to Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS), consider the following statements

  1. DDSS is a byproduct of bioethanol fermentation of starch-rich grains such as corn and wheat
  2. Since DDGS is rich in crude protein, it is used as aquaculture, livestock, and poultry feeds

Choose the correct code

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

Q.3) Agri Land Price Index (ALPI), recently in news was published by?

  1. NITI Aayog
  2. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  3. Ministry of Rural Development
  4. Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ‘4th JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 3rd JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – d

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