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Prelim Bits 29-12-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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December 29, 2022

Invasive species of Mussel

For the first time the invasive species of mussel has been found in the Eastern coast of India.

  • Fishermen of Pulicat and Ennore are worried the spread of an invasive species of mussel.
  • Mytella strigata or Charru mussels is a South American mussel species.
  • The invasive species is spreading due to the discharge of ballast waters from ships visiting the ports of Kattupalli.
  • These mussels have invaded tidal wetlands in several parts of the world, including Vembanad in Kerala.
  • Spread - After Cyclone Vardah in December 2016, the mussels began to intensify and spread far north towards the Pulicat waters.
  • Human interference in the wetlands, pollution and nature’s actions have triggered rapid spread of the species.
  • Threats - These mussels spread like a carpet over the river bottoms and thus preventing prawns from grazing or burying themselves in the sediment.
  • Its spread is wiping out the locally prevalent yellow clams and green mussels.

References

  1. The Hindu - Fishermen raise concern over invasive species of mussel
  2. Times of India - Invasive mussel species in Ennore

National Archives of India

In 2022 alone 20,000 files that go up to the year 1960 have been transferred to the National Archives of India from the Defence Ministry.

In 2021, Defence Minister had ordered his ministry to declassify and transfer pertinent war records older than 25 years to the archives.

  • The National Archives of India (NAI) functions under the Ministry of Culture.
  • NAI is the repository of all non-current government records, holding them for the use of administrators and scholars.
  • It keeps and conserves records of the government and its organisations only, and does not receive classified documents.
  • Apart from that, the NAI also holds regular exhibitions on various themes.
  • Originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891 in Calcutta, the capital of British India.
  • The NAI is now located in Delhi with one regional office in Bhopal.
  • As per the Public Records Act, 1993, various central ministries and departments are supposed to transfer records more than 25 years old to the NAI, unless they pertain to classified information.
  • However, the respective ministries and departments determine informatio is classified or not.
  • NAI holdings are in a regular series starting from the year 1748.
  • The languages of the records include English, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit and Urdu.
  • It newly created Abhilekh PATAL portal to make available all the records digitally.

References

  1. Indian Express - How does the NAI function?
  2. National Archives of India

Strategic Intervention for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT)

India is planning a $2 billion incentive programme for the green hydrogen industry and become a major export player in the field.

Green Hydrogen – Hydrogen produced by electrolysis using renewable energy powered electrolysers.

  • Strategic Intervention for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) is a green hydrogen incentive proposal of India.
  • The initiative aims to reduce the production cost of green hydrogen by a fifth over the next 5 years.
  • The 180-billion rupees ($2.2 billion) incentive will be split into
    1. 45 billion rupees for electrolyser manufacturing for 5 years.
    2. 135 billion rupees for green hydrogen and green ammonia production for 3 years.
  • The current cost for making green hydrogen in India is 300 rupees to 400 rupees per kg, the incentive is likely to be 50 rupees per kg for 3 years.
  • The government of India plans to make 5 million tonnes of Green hydrogen annually by 2023.

Green ammonia

  • Green ammonia is made by combining nitrogen with hydrogen using renewable energy sources.
  • It can be used by the fertilizer industry or as a fuel or convenient means of transporting hydrogen.

References

  1. The Hindu - India plans $2 bn incentive for green hydrogen industry

Delegated Legislation

The Supreme Court observed that a delegated legislation which is ultra vires the parent Act cannot be given any effect.

Case Details

  • Kerala State Electricity Board vs Thomas Joseph Alias Thomas M J case is about tariffing unauthorised additional usage of electricity.
  • The Kerala High Court upheld the Regulation 153(15) of the Kerala Electricity Supply Code, 2014 in this case.
  • In appeal, the Apex Court declared that the Regulation 153(15) of the Kerala Electricity Supply Code, 2014 as invalid for being inconsistent with the provision of Section 126 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
  • Section 126 of the 2003 Electricity Act was enacted with a specific purpose to restrict unauthorised consumption of electricity.

Regulation 153(15) of the Kerala Electricity Supply Code, 2014

It provides that 'unauthorised additional load' in the same premises and under the same tariff shall not be reckoned as 'unauthorised use of electricity' except in cases of consumers billed on the basis of the connected load.

  • Delegated Legislation - The legislative power entrusted to the executive or administration by the legislature, the legislation thus made is known as delegated legislation.
  • Delegated legislation should not travel beyond the purview of the parent Act. If it does, it is ultra vires and cannot be given any effect.
  • Rules or regulation cannot be made to supplant the provisions of the enabling Act but to supplement it.
  • Doctrine of Ultra Vires - It envisages that a rule making body must function within the purview of the rule making authority conferred on it by the parent Act.
  • Ultra vires (acting beyond one’s legal powers) may arise in cases of
    • Simple excess of power over what is conferred,
    • Inconsistency with the provisions of the parent Act or
    • Sheer non-compliance with the procedural requirements of the parent law.

References

  1. The Hindu - Delegated legislation cannot exceed powers granted by parent statute: SC
  2. Live law - Delegated Legislation Which Is Ultra Vires The Parent Act Cannot Be Given Any Effect : Supreme Court

Digital Innovation Alliance

Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology launched the Stay Safe Online campaign and the Digital Innovation Alliance (DIA) programme as a G-20 initiative.

  • The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is the nodal ministry for the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG).
  • It will focus on three priority areas.
    1. Digital public infrastructure (DPI)
    2. Cyber security
    3. Digital skill development
  • In line with this, the ‘Stay Safe Online’ campaign and Digital Innovation Alliance (DIA) programme were launched during the G20 summit.
  • DIA is meant to unite the innovation ecosystems of G-20 to recognise and support start-ups developing innovative digital solutions.
  • The DIA programme will have 174 start-ups from member countries with 9 invitee countries sending in entries for digital solutions.
  • The digital solutions will be in 6 key sectors - Edtech, Healthtech, Agritech, Fintech, secured digital infrastructure and circular economy.
  •  It will be showcased at a 3-day event in Bengaluru in 2023, at the end, top 3 innovations in each sector will be awarded.
  • The event would also provide an opportunity for interactions with stakeholders, esteemed panel discussions and investor connect.
  • Stay Safe Online Campaign - The campaign intends to raise awareness about cyber risks and the need for cyber hygiene in an increasingly digitising world.
  • The campaign will be carried out via the MyGov website in English, Hindi and local languages to reach a wider audience.

References

  1. The Hindu - IT Minister launches G-20 campaigns for online safety, digital innovation
  2. Newsonair - G-20 Digital Innovation Alliance and Stay Safe Online Campaign
  3. Business Standard - Union Minister unveils digital innovation alliance for G20
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