Daily Prelims Newsletter(UPSC)|03 May 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

03 May 2021

Table Of Contents

  • Air quality index 
Science and Technology 
  • Positron 
Art and Culture
  • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) 
Governmental Initiatives 
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) 
International Relations 
  • International Criminal Court (ICC)


Air quality index

Why in News?

According to SAFAR, the AQI in NCR has entered into “Very Poor” category.

About AQI

  • It was launched in 2014 with thetagline ‘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.

Key Causes of Air Pollution in Delhi:

  • During winter, due to cool and calm weather conditions,the pollutants are trapped in the lower atmosphere.
  • Increase in fire counts, mostly due to burning of wheat crop stubble in northern part of India.
  • Delhi’s landlocked geographical location traps the air.
  • Vehicular emissions, industrial releases, large-scale construction activities, etc.

Science and Technology


Why in News?

Researchers from the Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru, have resolved the mystery of the antimatter counterpart of electrons called Positron and Positron Excess Phenomenon.

About Anti-Matter:

  • Antimatter is referred as the opposite of normal matter.
  • The sub-atomic particles of antimatter are known to have properties opposite to those of normal matter.
  • Matter is comprised of atoms, which are the basic units of chemical elements like hydrogen, helium or oxygen.
  • Atoms are made up of three particles:Protons, Neutrons and Electrons.

About Positron:

  • It is a sub-atomic particle whose mass is same as that of an electron and has numerically equal but positive charge.
  • It was discovered in 1932.

Art and Culture

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

Why in News?

Efforts are being made by many countries to bring onboard Iran and USA to continue the action.

About the Iran Nuclear Deal/ JCPOA:

  • JCPOA was signed between Iran and P5+1 Countries i.e., China, France, Germany, Russia, UK, USA.
  • European Union was also involved in the discussions which lead to signing of JCPOA.
  • It was signed in 2015.
  • Under the JCPOA deal, Iran agreed to cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, which are potential components for nuclear weapons.

Governmental Initiatives

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

Why in News?

April Demand under MGNREGS is the highest in 7 years, as the numbers released by Ministry of Rural Development indicate.


  • It was launched in 2006.
  • It is acclaimed as one of the largest work guarantee programmes in the world.
  • Objective:Guarantee 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work.
  • Legal Right to Work: It aimsto addressing the causes of chronic poverty through a rights-based framework.
  • At least one-third of beneficiaries must be women.
  • Wages are to be paid according to the statutory minimum wages specified for agricultural labourers in the state under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
  • Demand-Driven Scheme: The most iconic part of MGNREGA’s design is its legally backed guarantee for any rural adult to get work within 15 days of demanding it, failing which there is a provision of ‘unemployment allowance’ to the job seeker.
  • Decentralised planning: Significant role of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in planning and implementing these works.
  • The act mandates Gram sabhas to recommend the works that are to be undertaken and at least 50% of the works must be executed by the Gram Sabha itself.

International Relations

International Criminal Court (ICC)

Why in News?

Israel has stated that it does not recognize the authority of the ICC, which is planning to investigate possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories.

About ICC:

  • It is located in Hague, Netherlands.
  • It acts as the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
  • It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court.
  • It is governed bythe Rome Statutewhich entered into force on July 1, 2002.
  • Funding: Primarily funded by State Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

Note: India has not signed the Rome Statute, and hence, is not a member of ICC citing following reasons:

  • State sovereignty
  • National interests
  • Difficulty in collection of evidences.
  • Problem to find impartial prosecutors.
  • Crime definition under the act.

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