Daily Prelims Newsletter(UPSC)|12 April 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

12 April 2021

Table Of Contents

  • Gangetic Dolphin 
Science and Technology 
  • Air quality index 
Polity and Governance 
  • National Human Rights Commission 
  • President’s Rule 
International Relations
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): 
Places in News 
  • Iran 


Gangetic Dolphin

Why in News?

Recently in a research the Indus and Gagetic River dolphins have genetically separated around 550,000 years ago and must not be taxonomically kept as a sub species of Platanista gangetica.

About Gangetic Dolphin:

  • Gangetic river dolphins are found in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
  • The Gangetic river dolphin is a freshwater dolphin.
  • These are essentially blind.
  • Echolocation: They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off the fish and other prey,therby enabling them to visualise an image in their mind.
  • They are also called susu, as their sounds are like sounds of whistle.
  • Dolphins are mammal.
  • They cannot breathe in the water, thus resurface above the water every 30-40 seconds to breathe.
  • In 2009, It was recognised as the National Aquatic Animal.
  • They are at the apex of the aquatic food chain, and thus are a reliable indicator of the health of the entire river ecosystem.
  • Threats:
    • Bycatch: Accidentally caught in fishing nets.
    • Pollution leading to habitat degradation.
    • Dams alter their habitat structure, presence of prey and restrict their movements, etc.
  • Conservation Status:
    • Wildlife (Protection), Act 1972: Schedule I.
    • International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Endangered.

Related Information:

  • Recently,Vikramshila Ganges Dolphin Sanctuary has been established in Bihar.
  • The population of Ganges River Dolphin is less than 1800, as quoted by World Wildlife Fund-India.

About Indus Dolphin:

  • Found mainly in Indus river in Pakistan.
  • In India they are found in Beas river in Punjab.
  • Also listed as ‘Endangered’ under IUCN list.

Science and Technology

Air quality index

Why in News?

Due to the smokes from raging forest fire in Uttarakhand, the air quality in Delhi has deteriorated to “Very Poor” category.

About AQI

  • It was launched in 2014 with the tagline ‘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 Human Rights Commission

Why in News?

NHRC has issued notice to Election Commission seeking report on unregulated poll gatherings violating COVID guidelines.

About NHRC:

  • Members:
    • Chairman (Retd. Supreme Court Chief Justice or Judge), and
    • Seven other members (of which three are ex-officio members)
  • Appointed by: President, on recommendation of high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister.
  • Selection Committee Members:
    • The Prime Minister (chairperson)
    • The Home Minister
    • The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
    • The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
    • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha
    • The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
  • Tenure of Service: The Chairperson and the members are appointed for 3 years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They are eligible for re-appointment in NHRC, but not under any other central or state government.

Key Takeaways:

  • NHRC can investigate grievances pertaining to the violation of human rights either suo moto or after receiving a petition.
  • It has the power to interfere in any judicial proceedings involving allegation of violation of human rights.
  • It can visit any jail or any other institution under the control of government to see the living conditions of the inmates and to make recommendations.
  • It can review the safeguards provided under the constitution or any statute for the protection of the human rights and can recommend appropriate measures.
  • It has the powers of a civil court.
  • It can recommend to both the central and state governments to take suitable steps to prevent the violation of Human Rights in the country.
  • It submits its annual report to the President who causes it to be laid before each House of Parliament.

President’s Rule

Why in News?

Due to the recent resignation of home minister of Maharashtra due to corruption allegations, a section of politicians has started raising demands for President Rule in the state.

About President’s Rule:

  • The President’s Rule is imposed through the invocation of Article 356 by the President on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers (CoM).
  • Under Article 356, the President of India is empowered to suspend state government and impose President’s rule in any state if
    • “he is satisfied that such a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.
  • It is also referred to as ‘State Emergency’ or ‘Constitutional Emergency’.

Implications after imposition:

  • Upon the imposition of this rule, the Council of Ministers will be immediately dissolved.
  • The President can either suspend or dissolve the state legislative assembly.
  • The state will fall under the direct control of the Union executive, and the Governor will continue to be the head of the proceedings, representing the President of India.

Parliamentary Approval and Duration:

  • A proclamation imposing President’s Rule must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) within two months from the date of its issue.
  • The approval takes place through simple majority in both the House, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting.
  • Such a proclamation is initially valid for six months and can be extended for a maximum period of three years with the approval of the Parliament, every six months.

Role of Report of the Governor:

  • Under Article 356, President’s Rule is imposed if the “President, upon receipt of the report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.


  • The President’s Rule may be revoked by the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation.
  • Such a proclamation does not require parliamentary approval.

International Relations

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):

Why in News?

Recently, a loan has been sanctioned by AIIB and World bank forcanal-based drinking water projects in Punjab.

About AIIB:

  • AIIB is a multilateral development bank which aims toto improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and the world.
  • Headquarter: Beijing.
  • There were 57 founding members of AIIB and there are more than 100 members of AIIB now.
  • Fourteen of the G-20 nations are AIIB members including France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.
  • Shareholding:
    • China is the largest shareholder with 26.61 % followed by
    • India (7.6%),
    • Russia (6.01%) and
    • Germany (4.2 %).
  • NOTE: Japan and USA are not members of AIIB. 

Places in News


Why in News?

Recently, there was a mysterious power outage in the nuclear research facility in Iran,moments after they started advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium faster.

Iran is also called as Persia, is a country in West Asia.Key points about Iran:

  • 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:

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

  • 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

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