DAILY PRELIMS NEWSLETTER (UPSC) |05 Mar 2021| RaghukulCS

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RaghukulCS Khelo Jeeto

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

05 March 2021

Table Of Contents

Science and Technology………………………………….1
  • Air quality index ……………………………………….1
Polity and Governance……………………………………1
  • National Population Register (NPR): ………1
Indices and Reports………………………………………..1
  • Freedom in the World 2021 Report………..1
International Relations …………………………………..2
  • OPEC+ ……………………………………………………….2
Places in News……………………………………………….2
  • Iran ……………………………………………………………..2
  • Sri Lanka …………………………………………………….3

Science and Technology

Air quality index

Why in News?

According to SAFAR, the AQI in NCR has entered into “Very Poor” category due to low speed of surface-level winds, which led to accumulation of pollutants near the surface.

About AQI

  • It was launched in 2014 with the tag line ‘One Number – One Color -One Description’ to help the common man judge the air quality within his vicinity.
  • Air Quality is judged based on eight pollutant: Particulate Matter (PM10), Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO),Ground Level Ozone (O3), Ammonia (NH3), and Lead (Pb).
  • NOTE: CO2 levels are not used to judge air quality.

About SAFAR:

  • It stands for System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.
  • It is an initiative introduced by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • It measures the air quality of specific locations in metropolitan city.

Polity and Governance

National Population Register (NPR):

Why in News?

The Registrar-General of India (RGI) is preparing to conduct field trials for the Census and the NPR using mobile application.

About NPR:

  • NPR is a register of usual residents of the country.
  • Usual Resident is a person who has resided in an area for the past 6 months or more, or a person who intends to reside in an area for the next 6 months or more.
  • It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
  • It is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • The first exercise for NPR was done in 2010 and then updated in 2015.

Indices and Reports

Freedom in the World 2021 Report

Why in News?

In the recently released Freedom in the World 2021 report India’s status was downgraded from ‘Free’ to ‘Partly Free’.

About Freedom in the World Report

  • Published by USA based human rights watchdog Freedom House,
  • Funds: Largely funded by USA government grants.
  • It claims to be tracking the course of democracy since 1941.
  • Scores are Based on:
    • Political rights- electoral process, political pluralism, etc.
    • Civil liberties- freedom of expression and belief, associational and organisational rights, etc.
  • Countries are declared as Free, Partly free or Not free.
  • Indicated reasons of India’s Downgrade:
    • Freedom of Media seems degrading.
    • Frequent use of defamation, sedition, and contempt of court on dissenters.
    • Elevation of Hindu Nationalist Interests.
    • Frequent blocking of internet,
    • Initial rhetoric of COVID spread blaming particular community,
    • Crackdown on various protestors, etc

International Relations

OPEC+

Why in News?

Union Petroleum Minister has asked the OPEC+ countries to boost output in order to fulfil their promise of stable crude markets.

About OPEC

  • The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was created after Baghdad Conference, 1960
  • Five founding countries: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  • It is a permanent intergovernmental organization to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among member nations.
  • Headquarter: Vienna, Austria.
  • OPEC membership is open to any country that is a substantial exporter of oil and shares the ideals of the organization.
  • Currently, OPEC has a total of 14 Member Countries.

OPEC+

  • The non-OPEC countries which export crude oil are included in OPEC plus
  • Notable OPEC plus countries: Malaysia, Oman, Russia.

NOTE:

  • USA is not part of OPEC+.
  • Oman is not part of OPEC but part of OPEC+.

Places in News

Iran

Why in News?

With Iran’s rupee reserves dwindling, Indian exporters have almost stopped trading with Iran.

Key points about Iran:

  • Iran is also called as Persia, is a country in West Asia.
  • Neighbouring Countries:
    • Armenia
    • Azerbaijan
    • Turkmenistan,
    • Afghanistan,
    • Pakistan,
    • Turkey and
  • Neighbouring Water Bodies:
    • to the north by the Caspian Sea
    • to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman

Related information:

  • Farzad-B Gas Field:Located in Persian Gulf and has huge gas reserves.

Chabahar Port:

  • Location: Gulf of Oman
  • With development of Chabahar Port, India is eyeing the access to International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe, and Central Asia.
  • India is also trying to counter the Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea where China is helping Pakistan develop Gwadar port.
  • Key Locations: Zahedan- Iran, Zaranj – Afghanistan, Delaram- Afghanistan

Sri Lanka

Why in News?

Sri Lanka has decided to offer the West Container Terminal (WCT) at the Colombo Port, to Indian and Japanese companies.

About Sri Lanka

  • India is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner.
  • India is separated from Sri Lanka, by the Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar.

Regional Organisations both are members of:

  • SAARC: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • SASEC (South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme): Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
  • BIMSTEC: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand.
  • The key ports in Sri Lanka are indicated below:

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