Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 23.12.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 23.12.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 23.12.21

Q1. Cloud seeding is a way to artificially tweak rain. It is also known by other terms such as man-made precipitation enhancement, artificial weather modification, rainmaking and so on. Cloud seeding can be used for

  1. Heatwave amelioration
  2. Lightening reduction
  3. Dissipate fog

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : d

Why is the Question ?

What is cloud seeding?

  1. For decades, parched nations, from Mali to Thailand have turned to cloud seeding to summon rainfall amid searing temperatures, water shortages and droughts as also to prevent devastating hailstorms.
  2. In the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada and other mountainous areas of the United States, cloud seeding has been employed since the 1950s. China has had a perceived dependency on cloud seeding in dry regions.

So what exactly is cloud seeding?

  1. Cloud seeding is a way to artificially tweak rain. It is also known by other terms such as man-made precipitation enhancement, artificial weather modification, rainmaking and so on.
  2. The technology sprays particles of salts like silver iodide and chloride on clouds using special aircraft, rockets or from dispersion devices located on the ground. 
  3. These salt particles act as a core (cloud condensation nuclei or ice-nucleating particles) which draw water vapour within the cloud towards them and the moisture latches on, condensing into water droplets leading to the formation of raindrops.
  4. The goal of cloud seeding is to alter the natural development of the cloud to enhance precipitation, suppress hail, dissipate fog, or reduce lightning.

What is the impact of cloud seeding? 

Despite increasing popularity, there are a lot of unknowns with cloud seeding. The success of the technology and its long term impacts are still debated by scientists.

Q2. Which of the following Supreme court case defined Forest in India

  1. KS Puttaswamy case
  2. Navtej Singh Johar case
  3. Godavarman case
  4. Samata judgement

Answer : c

Why is the Question ?

What is a forest?

At present, in India, there is no clear nationally accepted definition of ‘forest’. States are responsible for determining their definition of forests.

Highlights: 

  1. “As far as developing criteria for ‘deemed forests’ is concerned, there cannot be any uniform criteria applicable to all forest types or all states. There have to be different criteria for different forest types or states,” said the ministry.
  2. It even emphasised that the states, having well-established forest departments, are in a better position, rather than the MoEFCC, to understand their own forests and needs, and should frame criteria for their forests. It clarified that the criteria so finalised by a state, need not be subject to the ministry’s approval.

The prerogative of the states to define forests stems from a 1996 Supreme Court order called the T.N. GodavarmanThirumulkpad versus the Union of India judgment, where the debate over defining a forest came to the fore.

What is the Godavarman judgment?

One of the aspects of the judgement is related to the meaning of the word “forest”. In the judgement, the Supreme Court interpreted that the word “forest” must be understood according to its “dictionary meaning”. This description covers all statutorily recognised forests, whether designated as reserved, protected or otherwise.

The judgement ordered state governments to constitute an expert committee to identify, notify and demarcate areas like forests, and provided further guidelines for use of forest area, including diverting forestland for non-forest use, under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

The watershed legal intervention has been debated for its effectiveness but in the absence of a nationally accepted definition of “forests”, it has served as the guiding light for the implementation of national forest-related policies.

Does it really make a difference whether there is a definition of forests or not?

At present, nearly 25% of India’s total geographical forest area is under forest and tree cover and the country is pursuing a long-term goal of having 33% of its land under forest cover.

Right from industries that require diversion of forest land to tribal communities that rely on forests for their survival and livelihood, forests and their effective management impacts a broad spectrum of people and communities. Additionally, biodiversity conservation is also influenced by forest policy and the definition of forests.

The definition has a direct impact on various aspects of forests, forest dwellers and rights and becomes an important point in legal disputes.

Most foresters and ecologists think of a ‘forest’ as a well-defined physical entity, but they do not agree on what that is: foresters include single-species plantations of teak or pine or even exotics such as eucalyptus, while ecologists think of pristine treeland with multiple natural species

Q3. Recently during the COVID-19 crisis, the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) were in the news. Consider the following statements with regard to API

  1. Active ingredients are the substances in drugs that are responsible for the beneficial health effects experienced by consumers
  2. Paracetamol is an API for pain-reducing drugs
  3. India imports more than 50% of its APIs from the USA 

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : a

Why is the Question ?

Active ingredients are the substances in drugs that are responsible for the beneficial health effects experienced by consumers. The active ingredient in a pharmaceutical drug is called an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). An example of an API is the acetaminophen contained in a pain relief tablet. The active ingredient in a biological drug is called a bulk process intermediate (BPI). An example of a BPI is the insulin contained in an insulin pen cartridge, for use by diabetics.

Every medicine is made up of two main ingredients — the chemically active APIs and chemically inactive, excipients, which is a substance that delivers the effect of APIs to one’s system.

API is a chemical compound that is the most important raw material to produce a finished medicine. In medicine, API produces the intended effects to cure the disease. For instance, Paracetamol is the API for Crocin and it is the API paracetamol that gives relief from body ache and fever.

Fixed-dose combination drugs use multiple APIs, while single-dose drugs like Crocin use just one API.

As COVID-19 struck the world in 2020, numerous international supply chains stood disrupted. This is a natural outcome of the disease epicentre coinciding with the world’s largest manufacturer by volume, China. 

Like almost every other nation, while several Indian supply chains were heavily impacted, India’s pharma industry felt an incomparable brunt. Almost 85% of India’s annual API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) requirement is imported with China making up 65-70% of this value.

The panic of rapid disease transmission coincided with the fear of exhaustion of essential drugs. This led to the Indian Government’s ban and subsequent reversal on API exports. India’s vulnerability to Chinese imports lay exposed and the Indian Government announced a generous US$ 400M grant to promote indigenous API manufacturing causing API companies like Lasa Supergenerics, Shilpa Medicare, Gujarat Themis and Solara Active Pharma’s stock prices to skyrocket.

Key Amendment To Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006-to Ramp Up Availability/Production Of Bulk Drugs Within Short Span Of Time

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on 27th March 2020, has made an amendment to EIA Notification 2006.  All projects or activities in respect of bulk drugs manufactured for addressing various ailments have been re-categorized from the existing Category ‘A’ to ‘B2’ category.

Highlights:

  1. The states have also been issued advisories to expeditiously process such proposals.
  2. To ensure expeditious disposal of the proposals within a given timeline, the Ministry has also advised states to use information technology keeping in view the prevailing situation. As the situation prohibits, appraisal of proposals through physical meetings.
  3. The re-categorization of such proposals has been done to facilitate decentralization of appraisal to State Level so as to fast track the process.

Difference between category A and B2:

  1. Category  A -Projects require mandatory environmental clearance.
  2. Category  B2 – Projects are exempted from the requirement of collection of Baseline data, EIA Studies and public consultation.

The objective of the amendment:

  1. To address the unprecedented situation arising from the global outbreak of Novel CoronaVirus (COVID-19), and to ramp up availability or production of various drugs.
  2. This step of the Govt is also with a view to help in increasing the availability of the important medicines/ drugs in the country within a short span of time.
  3. This amendment is applicable to all proposals received up to 30th September 2020.
  4. The states have also been issued advisories to expeditiously process such proposals.

Q4. Consider the following statements about the Coalition For Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

  1. It is an initiative of India for disaster resilience
  2. Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) started this Coalition

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : b

Why is the Question ?

Recently, the Prime Minister addressed the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (ICDRI) through a video conference.

ICDRI is the annual international conference of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) in partnership with member countries, organizations and institutions to strengthen the global discourse on disaster and climate-resilient infrastructure.

BIMSTEC countries did not start the Coalition, only India did.

The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is a multi-stakeholder global partnership of national governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, and knowledge institutions. The Prime Minister of India launched CDRI during his speech at the UN Climate Action Summit on 23rd September 2019.

Q5. Kuno National Park selected from Cheetah reintroduction from Namibia is situated in the state of

  1. Assam
  2. Madhya Pradesh
  3. Rajasthan
  4. Gujarat

Answer : b

Why is the Question ?

Kuno is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India. Established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary with an area of 344.686 km² in the Sheopur and Morena districts, it was also known as Kuno-Palpur and Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary. In 2018, it was given the status of a national park.