DAILY PRELIMS CURRENT AFFAIRS (UPSC) |28 Nov 2020| RaghukulCS

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DAILY PRELIMS CURRENT AFFAIRS (UPSC) |28 Nov 2020| RaghukulCS

UPSC Online News Analysis


News-1

Context: ‘Sea sparkle’ has affected marine food chain: CMFRI

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims – Environment & ecology

About Sea sparkle:

  • Noctiluca scintillans, commonly known as the sea sparkle is a free-living, marine-dwelling species of dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed (popularly known as mareel).
  • Its bioluminescence is produced throughout the cytoplasm of this single-celled protist, by a luciferin-luciferase reaction in thousands of spherically shaped organelles, called scintillons.
  • The bioluminescent Noctiluca Scintillans also brightened the sea water during night.

What is Bioluminescence?

  • It is the production and emission of light by a living organism. It is a form of chemiluminescence.
  • Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria, and terrestrial arthropods such as fireflies.

More information about Sea sparkle:

  • The toxic blooms of N. Scintillans were linked to massive fish and marine invertebrate kills.
  • Though the species does not produce a toxin, it was found to accumulate toxic levels of ammonia, which is then excreted into the surrounding waters, possibly acting as the killing agent in blooms.
  • The ammonia makes N.Scintillans unpalatable for most creatures. Only jellyfish and salps were known to prey on it.
  • N. Scintillansgrazes on other micro­organisms such as larvae, fish eggs, and diatoms.
  • But the unicellular phytoplankton that live inside it can photosynthesise, turning sunlight into energy. They help their host cell survive even when food was scarce.

News-2

Context: The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) has been selected as a ‘Milestone’ facility by the U.S. ­based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology in all areas related to electrical and electronics engineering.

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims – Science & technology

About The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope:

  • The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) Observatory, located near Pune, Junnar, Narayangaon in India.
  • It is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45 metre diameter, observing at metre wavelengths.
  • It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
  • One of the aims for the telescope during its development was to search for the highly redshifted 21-cm line radiation from primordial neutral hydrogen clouds in order to determine the epoch of galaxy formation in the universe.
  • Astronomers from all over the world regularly use this telescope to observe many different astronomical objects such as HII regions, galaxies, pulsars, supernovae, and Sun and solar winds.
  • In February 2020, it helped in the observation of the biggest explosion in the history of the universe, the Ophiuchus Supercluster explosion.

News-3

Context: India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted 7.5% in the second quarter of 2020­-21, following the record 23.9% decline recorded in the first quarter, as per estimates released by the National Statistical Office on Friday. The country has now entered a technical recession with two successive quarters of negative growth.

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims – Economy

What is the difference between a recession and a technical recession?

  • A country’s economy experiences a recession when it has two consecutive quarters of year-on-year decline in the GDP. In other words, economic results are compared to what they were a year ago.
  • A technical recession means that a country has experienced two consecutive quarters of decline in the GDP, but these are not year-on-year comparisons.

How a recession can affect economy?

  • Recessions can sometimes affect the entire global market, as happened when the world experienced the global financial crisis of 2008.
  • When the effects of a recession are felt this broadly, it affects all markets, regardless of whether countries are developing or developed, causing economies to experience setbacks.

How does a technical recession affect you?

  • The effects of a recession are often most visible in consumer behaviour as a result of the recession.
  • Consumers often cut spending on non-essential items and rather spend money on necessities like food and fuel, which in turn might prolong the recession, as consumer spending does not offset the economic slowdown.

News-4

Context: Output at India’s eight core sectors shrank 2.5% in October with the contraction widening from September’s revised 0.1% decline as steel production slid again after a brief revival in the preceding month.

Topic in the syllabus: Prelims – Economy

Core sectors & their weightage in Index of Industrial Production:

  • The eight core industries – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity. 
  • The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  • These industries impact on general economic activity and other industrial activity hence these are called core industries.
1Coal10.33%
2Natural Gas8.98%
3Crude Oil production6.88%
4Petroleum Refinery28.04%
5Fertilizers2.63%
6Steel17.92%
7Cement production5.37%
8Electricity generation19.85%

Example for ethics (GS-4)

  • A notification by the Department of Science and Technology, prescribing the recruitment method and selection criteria for appointing a ‘Mission Director’ for one of its programmes highlights a disqualification clause on marital grounds very prominently and even before listing out the actual eligibility criteria. The said clause highlights governmental disapproval of bigamy. The clause is not unusual in itself and is part of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules that apply to all
    government employees since 1964.  a serving bureaucrat told – It looks like moral policing. (It is against constitutional ethics & morality because bigamy is not a criminal act for all the religions)

Important one liners:

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich on Friday discussed collaboration in defence industry capability building, training and cooperation in United Nations peacekeeping operations during bilateral talks
    via video­conferencing.
    • “In a further step towards deeper bilateral cooperation, both sides signed an implementing arrangement for cooperation in the field of hydrography.
    • The arrangement will assist in production of navigational charts.
  • The Supreme Court on Friday gave a clarion call to judges to protect personal liberty and the right of ordinary people to bail, saying “liberty is not a gift for the few”.

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