Daily Prelims Newsletter

12 FEB 2021


Environment. 1

Seaweeds. 1

Economy. 2

Saksham Portal 2

Seaweeds Mission. 2

Polity. 2

POCSO Act, 2012: 2

Information Technology Act, 2000: 3

Society. 3

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. 3

Security. 4

TROPEX 21. 4

News in Short. 4

Equalization Levy: 4

Koch Rajbangshi Community. 4

Unani System of Medicine: 4

Environment Seaweeds

Why in News?

TIFAC has launched Seaweed Mission.

About Seaweeds:

  • They are the primitive, marine non-flowering marine algae without root, stem and leaves, play a major role in marine ecosystems.
  • Large seaweeds form dense underwater forests known as kelp forests, which act as underwater nurseries for fish, snails and sea urchins.
    • Seaweeds, are found mostly in the intertidal region, in shallow and deepwaters of the sea and also in estuaries and backwaters.
    • The southern Gulf of Mannar’s rocky intertidal and lower intertidal regions have rich populations of several seaweed species.

    Ecological Importance of Seaweeds:

    • Seaweeds trap and remove excess amount of iron and other metals including heavy metals in the ocean water.
    • The seaweeds derive nutrition through photosynthesis of sunlight and nutrients present in seawater. They release oxygen through every part of their bodies.
    • They also supply organic nutrients to other marine life forms.
    • Ocean afforestation: Seaweed has a significant role in mitigating climate change. It can sequester much Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Hence, there is a proposal termed as ‘Ocean afforestation’ for farming seaweed to remove carbon.

    Other uses: Seaweeds absorb the excessnutrients and balance out the ecosystem,when waste from agriculture, industries, aquaculture and households cause nutrient imbalance leading to algal blooming in the ocean.

    • They can be used as fertilizers.
    • When livestock is fed with seaweed, methane emission from cattle may be reduced substantially.
    • They can be buried in beach dunes to combat beach erosion.
    • It is used as an ingredient in preparing toothpaste, cosmetics and paints.


      Saksham Portal

      Why in News?

      The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) has launched SAKSHAM (Shramik Shakti Manch) Job Portal.

      Related Information:

      • Saksham is a dynamic portal for jobs/mapping the skills of Shramiks (workers) vis-a-vis requirements of MSMEs and other industries all across the country. It is an all-India
      • The portal with the demand and supply data uses algorithm and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, for geo spatial information on demand and availability of Shramiks, and also provides analysis on skill training programmes of Shramiks.
      • The data/information pertaining to the Shramiks and the industries (especially MSME) are being updated automatically through various whatsapp and other links.

      Seaweeds Mission

      Why in News?

      TIFAC has alsolaunched Seaweed Mission.

      About Seaweed Mission:

      • It has been launched for commercial farming of seaweeds and its processing for value addition towards boosting the national economy.
      • It envisages following activities of establishing:
        • Modeldemonstration farms of seaweeds in nearshore and onshore along the Indian coast.
        • Seaweed nurseries for supplying seed material.

      Advantages of Commercial Seaweed Farming:

      • Provide employment to 50 million people.
      • Enhance ocean productivity.
      • Abate algal blooms.
      • Sequester millions of tons CO2.
        • Could produce billions of litres of bioethanol.



        POCSO Act, 2012:

        Why in News?

        The Kerala High Court onThursday allowed the medical termination of a youngrape survivor’s pregnancythat had crossed the legallypermissible period for theprocedure under POCSO Act.

        Key features of the POCSO Act:

        • “Children” according to the Act are individuals aged below 18 years.
        • The Act is gender neutral.
        • Different forms of sexual abuse include sexual harassment, pornography, penetrative & non-penetrative assault are defined in the Act.
        • Sexual assault is deemed to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances such as when the child is mentally ill or if the abuse is committed by the person in a position of trust such as a doctor, teacher, policeman, family member.
        • Adequate provisions are made to avoid re-victimization of the Child at the hands of the judicial system.
        • The Act assigns a policeman in the role of child protector during the investigation process.
        • The case has to be disposed of within one year from the date of reporting of the offence.
        • The Act provides for the establishment of Special Courts for the trial of such offences and matters related to it.

        To monitor the implementation of the Act, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) have been made the

        • designated authority (Both are statutory bodies).

        Information Technology Act, 2000:

        Why in News?

        The Centre has issued notice to Twitter under IT Act,2000to block more than a thousand accounts for alleged spread of provocative content and misinformation on the farmers’ protest.

        About IT Act, 2000:

        • In India, the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, governs all activities related to the use of computer resources.
        • It covers all ‘intermediaries’ who play a role in the use of computer resources and electronic records.
        • Section 69 of the IT Act confers on the Central and State governments the power to issue directions “to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource”.
        • The grounds on which these powers may be exercised are:
          • In the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state.
          • Friendly relations with foreign states.
          • Public order, or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to these.
          • For investigating any offence.
        • The act, for similar reasons and grounds (as stated above), enables the Centre to ask any agency of the government, or any intermediary, to block access to the public of any information generated, transmitted, received or stored or hosted on any computer resource.
        • Any such request for blocking access must be based on reasons given in writing.

        The term ‘intermediaries’ includes providers of telecom service, network

        • service, Internet service and web hosting, besides search engines, online payment and auction sites, online marketplaces and cyber cafes.
        • It includes any person who, on behalf of another, “receives, stores or transmits” any electronic record. Social media platforms would fall under this definition.



        Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016

        Why in News?

        Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) directed the Central government to frame proper guidelines to regulate and facilitate grant of a facility of a scribe to persons with disability in writing exams.

        About the Act:

        • Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.The types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21.
        • Benchmark disability refers to having at least 40% disability of any type recognized under the Act.
        • Acid Attack victims are also included under the definition.
        • The Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.
        • Reservation:It increased the quantum of reservation for people suffering from disabilities from 3% to 4% in government jobs and from 3% to 5% in higher education institutes.
        • The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies, monitoring implementation of the Act.
          • A separate National and State Fund be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities.



          TROPEX 21

          Why in News?

          Indian Navy’s largest biennial Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 21) is currently underway.

          About TROPEX 21:

          • Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Police of 13 coastal States and Union Territories along with other stakeholders in the maritime domain were panrticipants.
          • The exercise is being conducted over a vast geographical expanse in the Indian Ocean Region.

          Related Information:

          • ‘Sea Vigil’: In the first phase, the Indian Navy had conducted coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil’ along the entire coastline and Island territories of India on 12-13 January 2021.


          News in Short

          Equalization Levy:

          • Equalization Levy was introduced in India in 2016, with the intention of taxing the digital transactionse., the income accruing to foreign e-commerce companies from India.
          • It is aimed at taxing business to business
          • The following services are currently covered under the EL:
            • Online advertisement;
              • Any provision for digital advertising space or facilities/ service for the purpose of online advertisement;
              • Equalization Levy is a direct tax, which is withheld at the time of payment by the service recipient.

              Koch Rajbangshi Community

              • They are a community that traces its roots to the Kamata kingdom, which comprised parts of Assam, West Bengal, and adjoining territories.
              • In the medieval period, the community was dominant and ruled their territory of Kamatapur, which comprised a large part of Bangladesh, West Bengal, Bihar, and India’s north-east.
              • Today, Koch Rajbongshis are found in Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, and Bihar, and in Bangladesh, Nepal, and some parts of Bhutan.

              Unani System of Medicine:

              • World Unani Day was celebrated on February 11, 2021.
              • It is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of Hakim Ajmal Khan.
              • Unani System postulates the presence of four humor in the body: dam (blood), balgham (phlegm), safra (yellow bile) and sauda (black bile).
              • The quality and quantity of four humor affect the state of health and disease in the body.
              • Origin: Greece.
              • In India, it was introduced by Arabs and Persians in around the 11th century.


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