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Prelim Bits 14-09-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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September 14, 2023

Pir Panjal Range

The recent killing of 2 Army officers and a J&K police officer spotlights the areas south of the Pir Panjal range, which have seen more focus of counter-terror operations in the valley.

  • The Pir Panjal Range is a group of mountains in the inner Himalayan region, the largest in the lower group of the majestic Himalayas.
  • The Pir Panjal range is also called Pir Ki Gali.
  • Extension - Pir Panjal Range extends from the Nilam River in Pakistan administered Kashmir, running southeast through Jammu & Kashmir to the upper Beas River in the north-western part of Himachal Pradesh.

pirpanjal-range

  • The Himalayas show a gradual elevation towards the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges.
  • Direction - It runs from the west-northwest direction to east-southeast direction.
  • Peaks - Deo Tibba and Indrasan are the tallest peaks in the Pir Panjal Range.
  • Passes - Pir panjal, Banihal, Sinthan, Rohtang La.
  • Significance - The Pir Panjal Range serves as an effective climatic barrier and blocks the monsoon winds to reach the higher Himalayan slopes and the main valley of Kashmir.

References

  1. The Indian Express | Security spotlight on areas south of Pir Panjal
  2. India Net Zone | Pir Panjal Range
  3. Indo Vacations | Pir Paqnjal Range

Libya Floods

More than 5,000 people were killed, and several were displaced in Libya after torrential rains caused flooding.

  • The flooding has occurred in Libya’s eastern region, city of Al-Bayda & Derna.
  • Reason - Storm Daniel, also known as Cyclone Daniel, formed in Greece, is also responsible for causing floods and deaths in Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria earlier this month.
  • Before reaching Libya, the storm Daniel transitioned into a ‘medicane’.

Medicane is a tropical-like cyclone that occasionally forms over the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Medicanes are known to be weak storms that do not last long.
  • However, higher sea surface temperatures help them become stronger and last longer when storms travel across hot oceans.
  • They gather more water vapor and heat, resulting in more powerful winds, heavier rainfall and more flooding when they reach the land.

Libya

  • Libya is a North African Country and is the 4th largest country in the continent.
  • The Capital city of Libya is Tripoli.
  • Border countries - It is bordered by 5 countries - Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria, and Tunisia.
  • The country also has a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea to the north.
  • The Mediterranean coast and the Sahara Desert are Libya's most prominent natural features.
  • There are no permanent rivers in Libya and there are numerous wadis.

Wadis are a valley or passage in the Middle East and North Africa that is dry except when it rains.

Libya

References

  1. The Indian Express | Libya’s catastrophic flooding
  2. World Atlas | Libya

SC's recent stand against corruption

The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that its 2014 verdict, which had struck down a provision of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which provided immunity from arrest for officers, will have retrospective operation.

Background of the issue

  • The SC declared that the provision under Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE), is void from its inception.
  • CBI no longer needs to seek prior permission from the government to investigate or prosecute cases filed before 2014, the date when the provision was declared unconstitutional by the SC.
  • The central issue before the top court now was whether the 2014 verdict in the Subramanian Swamy case would have a retrospective effect.
  • This verdict is likely to have a significant impact on corruption and other criminal cases initiated against government servants between 2003 and 2018.
  • This was the period when the provision of Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act came into force.

The 2014 Verdict

  • The SC had declared Section 6A(1) of the Act invalid.
  • The section required the approval of the Centre to conduct any inquiry or investigation into any offense alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • Such an allegation relates to employees of the central government at the level of joint secretary and above.

Section 6A

Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act

  • Police Establishment shall not conduct any inquiry or investigation into any offence alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • However, this can be done except with the previous approval of the Central Government where such allegation relates to
    1. The employees of the Central Government of the level of Joint Secretary and above.
    2. Such officers as are appointed by the Central Government in corporations established by or under any Central Act.
    3. Government companies, societies and local authorities owned or controlled by that Government.

References

  1. The Hindu | Invalidating prior sanction before probing corruption
  2. India Today | No immunity to public servants

Planetary Boundaries

A recent study alarmed that six of nine planetary boundaries have been breached by the world because of human activities.

  • The planetary boundaries concept presents a set of 9 planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.
  • It was first proposed by former centre director Johan Rockström and a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists in 2009.
  • The 6 boundaries that has been transgressed include
  1. Climate change
  2. Biosphere integrity (genetic diversity and energy available to ecosystems)
  3. Land system change
  4. Freshwater change (changes across the entire water cycle over land)
  5. Biogeochemical flows (nutrient cycles)
  6. Novel entities (micro plastics, endocrine disruptors, and organic pollutants)

Net Primary Production (NPP) is equal to the difference between the amount of carbon produced through photosynthesis and the amount of energy that is used for respiration.

Criteria to identify the planetary boundaries

Indicators

Original Score

Present Score

  • Planetary boundary for atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and radiative forcing
  • 350 parts per million (ppm) & 1 Watts per square meter (Wm−2), respectively.
  • 417 ppm and is 2.91 W m−2
  • Land system change
  • Original forest cover – 75%
  • 60%
  • Biosphere integrity
  • Less than 10 extinctions per million species-years
  • Greater than 100 extinctions per million species-years
  • Freshwater change
  • 18.2% and 15.8%, respectively
  • Higher than 10.2% and 11.1%.
  • Biogeochemical flows
  • 11 teragrams (Tg) for Phosphorus and 62 Tg for Nitrogen.
  • 22.6 Tg and 190 Tg, respectively.
  • Novel entities
  • Within the planet boundary
  • Found to be increasing

Planetary boundaries 2023

References

  1. Down to Earth | 6 of 9 planetary boundaries have been breached
  2. Stockholm Resilience | Planetary Boundaries

Ayushman Bhav Campaign

Recently the President of India virtually launched the Ayushman Bhav campaign & Ayushman Bhava portal in Gandhinagar.

  • Aim - To deliver healthcare services to the last mile and consolidate access and affordability for underserved populations.
  • It marked a significant leap towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ensuring healthcare for all.
  • Ministry - Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Components of Ayushman Bhav - Ayushman - Apke Dwar 3.0, Ayushman Melas at Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs), Ayushman Sabhas.
    1. Ayushman Apke Dwar 3.0 To provide Ayushman cards to remaining eligible beneficiaries enrolled under the PM-JAY scheme.
    2. Ayushman Melas at HWCs and CHCs It will facilitate the creation of ABHA IDs (Health IDs) and issuance of Ayushman Bharat Cards.
    3. Ayushman Sabhas - These gatherings in every village and Panchayat play a vital role in distributing Ayushman cards, generating ABHA IDs, raising awareness about vital health schemes.
  • It also discusses disease conditions, such as non-communicable diseases, tuberculosis (Nikshay Mitra), sickle cell disease, as well as blood donation and organ donation drives.
  • This campaign is aligned with the vision of creating 'Healthy Villages' and 'Healthy Gram Panchayats,' laying the foundation for achieving Universal Health Coverage in the country.
  • Panchayats that successfully saturate the health schemes will earn the prestigious title of 'Ayushman Gram Panchayat' or 'Ayushman Urban Ward,'.
  • The campaign, will be implemented during the 'Seva Pakhwada' initiative.

Seva Pakwada initiative

  • It strives to ensure that every individual receives essential health services and assisting government to attain the sustainable development goals.
  • It embodies a whole-of-nation and whole-of-society approach.
  • It unites government sectors, civil society organizations and communities under a common mission.

References

  1. PIB | Ayushman Bhav Campaign
  2. The Hindu | Ayushman Bhav campaign
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