Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 25 May 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

25 May 2022-Wednesday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Trends in Outward Remittances

Why in the news?

Total outgoing remittances under the RBI’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme reached an all-time high of USD 19.61 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2022, up from USD 12.684 billion in the previous year.

Foreign exchange taken out of the nation by resident Indians, including US dollars and euros, increased by 54.60 percent for the fiscal year ending March 2022.

What exactly are remittances?

  • Remittances are typically defined as money or in-kind transfers made by migrants to friends and family in their home areas.
  • Personal Transfers in cash or in kind between resident and non-resident households, and Compensation of Employees, which refers to the income of workers who work in another nation for a limited length of time.
  • Remittances assist recipient countries stimulate economic progress, but they can also render such countries overly reliant on them.

What exactly is outward remittance?

Outward remittance is defined as the transfer of funds in the form of foreign exchange from India to a beneficiary outside India (excluding Nepal and Bhutan) for any legitimate purpose permitted by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.

What is the Trend in Outward Remittances?

Total Remittances Outward:
  • Total outward remittances reached an all-time high in FY22, following a sluggish performance the previous year due to the Disruptions led by Covid-19.
  • Indians’ increased spending on international travel and overseas education has aided the country’s revival.
Outward Remittances Segments:
  • International Travel: International travel increased in FY22, with India spending USD 6.91 billion on travel, more than doubling the amount spent in FY21.
  • However, Indians spent about $6.95 billion on travel in FY20.
  • Overseas education is an important segment that has shown excellent growth in FY22, with Indians remitting more over USD 5.17 billion in the year.
  • This was a 35% increase over FY21, when Indians remitted USD 3.83 billion.
  • Remittances for abroad education totaled over USD 5 billion in FY20.
  • Presents: Indians sent USD 2.34 billion in gifts in FY22, an increase of 47.28 percent over FY21.
  • Under the LRS system, Indians remitted around USD 1.91 billion as gifts in FY20.
  • Investments in Foreign Equity and Debt: Investments in foreign equity and debt by Indians increased to USD 746.5 million in FY22, up from USD 471.80 million the previous year.

What exactly is the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS)?

  • This is a Reserve Bank of India scheme that was implemented in 2004.
  • All resident individuals, including children, are permitted to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per fiscal year (April – March) for any lawful current or capital account transaction, or a combination of the two.
  • Corporations, partnership firms, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), Trusts, and other similar entities are not eligible for the Scheme.
  • Though there are no restrictions on the frequency of remittances under LRS, a resident individual would be ineligible to make any further remittances under this scheme after making a payment for an amount up to USD 2,50,000 during the fiscal year.

What is the difference between current and capital account transactions?

  • Current Account Transactions: Current account transactions are any transactions done by a resident outside India that do not modify his or her assets or obligations, including contingent liabilities.
  • Payment in connection with overseas trade, expenses in connection with foreign travel, education, and so on are examples.
  • Capital Account Transactions: These are transactions in which a resident of India changes his or her assets or obligations outside of India (either increased or decreased).
  • Investment in foreign securities, acquisition of immovable property outside of India, and so on are examples.

Assam's Pre-Monsoon Devastation

Why in the news?

  • While the monsoons are yet to arrive, Assam has already been hit by floods and landslides, killing 15 people and affecting over 7 lakh people.
  • The Dima Hasao hill district, in particular, has been devastated by flash floods and landslides, with connectivity to the rest of the state severed.

What are the Causes of this Unprecedented Destruction?

Excess Rainfall Pre-Monsoon:
  • The average rainfall in Assam from 1st March to 20th May is 434.5 mm; the equivalent figure for this year is 719 mm, a 65 percent increase.
  • Meghalaya, a neighbouring state, has an even higher excess of 137 percent.
  • Climate Change:
  • Climate Change influences the timing and magnitude of rainfall.
  • Climate change is causing more and more concentrated rain and intense rainfall occurrences.
What is causing the pre-monsoon landslides?
  • It is due to “unwanted, unpragmatic, unplanned structural intervention on the vulnerable hillscape.”
  • Not only has there been significant deforestation for the construction of the railway line and the four-line highway over the years, but there has also been rampant riverbed mining, frequently in conjunction with district authorities.
  • Many roads are being constructed across streams and spring water sources, and hastily completed infrastructure development work in Assam and neighbouring states has resulted in an upsurge in landslides in the state in recent years.

The Way Forward

  • The building must be “tailored to the region’s ecological fragility,” but “responsible construction” and a “integrated holistic approach across state boundaries” are also required.
  • It is advised that “traditional knowledge systems” be kept in mind and that the local people be included in the construction of “sustainable infrastructure.” It will be dependent on the masculinist engineering bureaucracies as long as it is top-down.
  • Blaming climate change for everything isn’t enough; we need to look back at the mess we’ve made on the ground in conjunction with climate change to account for such calamities.

What exactly is a landslide?

  • A landslide occurs when a pile of rock, rubble, or earth slides down a hill.
  • They are a kind of mass wasting, which refers to any downward movement of soil and rock caused by gravity.
  • Landslides include five types of slope movement: falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows.
Related Procedures:
  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has completed national landslide susceptibility mapping for 85 percent of the country’s total 4,20,000 square km landslide-prone territory. The territories have been separated into distinct zones based on the likelihood of the disaster.
  • Landslide damage can be reduced by improving early warning systems, monitoring, and vulnerability zoning.

Women's World Boxing Championships

Why in the news?

  • Nikhat Zareen defeated Thai Olympian Jutamas Jitpong 5-0 in the 52 kg category to become the fifth Indian woman to win a World championship at the World Women’s Boxing Championships 2022 in Istanbul.
  • Manisha Moun and Parveen Hooda both won bronze medals in their respective weight classes of 57kg and 63kg.
  • India last won a World Championship in 2018, when Mary Kom became a six-time winner in Delhi.

What are India’s achievements?

  • Overall, India’s medal count in the 12th editions of the World Championships has reached 39, with 10 gold, eight silver, and 21 bronze medals, making it the third-highest after Russia (60) and China (21 bronze) (50).
  • Other Indian women who have won the World championship include six-time champion M.C. Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), R.L. Jenny (2006), and K.C. Lekha (2006).

Inter-State Commission

Why in the news?

  • The Inter-State Council (ISC) was recently formed, with the Prime Minister as Chairman and all State Chief Ministers and six Union Ministers as members.
  • The Inter-State Council will have ten permanent invitees: ten union ministers.
  • The administration has also reestablished the Inter-State Council’s standing committee, with Union Home as Chairman.
  • The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh are also members of the Inter-State Council’s standing committee.

What precisely is the Inter-State Council?

  • In 1988, the Government established a commission chaired by Justice R.S. Sarkaria to assess the operation of the current arrangements between the Union and the States.
  • One of the key recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission was the establishment of a permanent Inter-State Council as an independent national platform for consultation with a well-defined mandate in accordance with Article 263 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The inter-state council is a consultative body tasked with investigating and debating issues of mutual interest between the Union and a state or states.
  • It also offers recommendations for greater policy and action coordination on these areas, as well as deliberations on matters of broad concern to the states that its chairman may bring to it.
  • It also deliberates on other subjects of general concern to the states that the chairman may refer to the council.
  • The Council may convene at least three times per year.
  • The Council also has a Standing Committee.
  • Prime Minister is the Chairman.
  • Members’ Chief Ministers from all states
  • Members include Chief Ministers of Union Territories with Legislative Assemblies, Administrators of UTs without Legislative Assemblies, and Governors of States under President’s Rule (Governor’s Rule in the case of J&K).
  • Six Cabinet Ministers are appointed to the Union Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Members.

What are the Inter-State Council’s Functions?

  • To establish a robust institutional structure to promote and sustain cooperative federalism throughout the country, as well as to active the council and zonal councils through frequent meetings.
  • Allows the zonal councils and inter-state council to consider all pending and developing matters of Centre-state and inter-state relations.
  • Creates a solid framework for monitoring the implementation of their recommendations.

What is the ISC Standing Committee?

  • It was established in 1996 to provide continual consultation and processing of items for the Council’s consideration.
  • It is made up of the following individuals: I The Union Home Minister serves as Chairman; (ii) There are five Union Cabinet Ministers; and (iii) there are nine Chief Ministers. The Inter-State Council Secretariat provides assistance to the Council.
  • This secretariat, which was established in 1991, is led by a secretary to the Government of India. It has also served as the secretariat for the Zonal Councils since 2011.

The standing committee will consult continuously and process items for discussion by the council, as well as process all matters relevant to center-state relations before they are taken up for consideration by the inter-state council.

Which other organisations promote interstate relations?

Zonal Councils:
  • Zonal Councils are statutory (rather than constitutional) organisations. They are founded by a Parliamentary Act, the States Reorganisation Act of 1956.
  • The act split the country into five zones: Northern, Central, Eastern, Western, and Southern, with each zone having its own zonal council.
  • Several reasons were considered when creating these zones, including the country’s natural divisions, river systems and modes of communication, cultural and linguistic affinity, and the needs of economic development, security, and law and order.
  • The standing committee also supervises the implementation of council recommendations and considers any other item presented to it by the chairman or the council.

The North Eastern States, namely I Assam, (ii) Arunachal Pradesh, (iii) Manipur, (iv) Tripura, (v) Mizoram, (vi) Meghalaya, and (vii) Nagaland, are not included in the Zonal Councils and their special problems are handled by the North Eastern Council, which was established under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972.

Inter-State Trade and Commerce: 

Articles 301–307 of Part XIII of the Constitution address trade, commerce, and contact inside Indian territory.

Disputes Over Water:

Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the resolution of interstate water disputes.

The Way Forward

  • If the Inter-State Council is to become the primary organization for resolving inter-state conflicts, it must first establish a regular meeting schedule.
  • There is currently an institutional void in the Indian union that must be bridged before inter-state frictions spiral out of control.
  • The council must also have a permanent secretariat to ensure that the occasional meetings are more productive.

Other’s News

Guidelines for Assessing the Safety of Genome Edited Plants 2022

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has announced recommendations to ease norms for genetically modified (GM) agricultural research and to avoid the obstacles of employing foreign genes to change crop profile.
  • The use of technologies that allow genetic material to be added, deleted, or altered at specific sites in the genome is referred to as genome editing. There have been several ways to genome editing developed.

The ‘Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Genome Edited Plants, 2022’ will apply to all public and private institutions participating in Genome Edited Plant research, development, and management.

These guidelines provide a road map for the development and long-term use of genome editing technologies for plants in India, specifying biosafety and/or environmental safety concerns, and describing the regulatory routes to be followed while doing plant genome editing.

  • These Guidelines exempt gene-editing researchers from requesting clearance from the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).
  • According to the rules, all requirements that researchers must follow in order to develop transgenic seeds will apply to gene-edited seeds, with the exception of sections that require clearance from the GEAC.
The Environment Ministry’s expert body is the GEAC.
  • It assesses GM plant research and supports or opposes its release into farmer fields.
  • The Environment Minister, as well as the states where such plants could be grown, make the ultimate decision.
  • This exemption has also been approved by the Environment Ministry.

Money spiders and ant-like spiders

A study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) discovered money spiders and ant-mimicking spiders in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time in India.

The Money Spider
  • Money spiders (Prosoponoides biflectogynus) are commonly seen in European meadows.
  • The species is known as “Money spiders” because it is “believed to bring luck” to everyone who comes into contact with it.
  • The genus Prosoponoides belongs to the family of dwarf spiders (Linyphiidae).
  • So yet, only six species of spiders in this genus have been recognised from throughout the world.
  • This is the first report of the genus from India, and the first species from the Western Ghats.
  • The male and female money spiders are both dark brown with uneven silver patches and black markings on their elliptical abdomens.
  • Their olive green legs are covered in tiny black spines. In two rows, eight dark eyes are positioned.
  • Males prefer to hide beneath dry leaves, while females create triangular webs between dry tree twigs and feed on small insects.
Spiders that imitate ants
  • Toxeus alboclavus is the scientific name for the ant-mimicking spider.
  • These spiders are members of the jumping spider family.
  • They are members of the Salticidae family.
  • They completely imitate ants by elevating their front pair of legs while walking as a defence measure against prospective predators.
  • Only three species of this genus have been found in India, and this is the first from the Western Ghats.
  • The forward-projecting teeth bear the shape of an antlers. Long spines can be found at the base of each leg.
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