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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 22-06-2020

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June 22, 2020

Rule of Law Index

  • It is released by the World Justice Project, an independent organisation.
  • It is a quantitative assessment tool designed to offer a detailed and comprehensive picture of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice.
  • The World Justice Project defines the rule of law system as one in which the following four universal principles are upheld:
  1. The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law.
  2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  3. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, efficient, and fair.
  4. Justice is delivered by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
  • India has secured 69th rank of 128 countries.
  • It measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors:
  1. Constraints on Government Powers,
  2. Absence of Corruption,
  3. Open Government,
  4. Fundamental Rights,
  5. Order and Security,
  6. Regulatory Enforcement,
  7. Civil Justice,
  8. Criminal Justice.

National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP)

  • NIPFP is India’s premier economic think tank - a centre for research in public economics and policies, located in Delhi.
  • It is an autonomous body set up jointly by the Ministry of Finance, the erstwhile Planning Commission, and several state governments.
  • It was founded in 1976 and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It undertakes research, policy advocacy and capacity building in areas related to public economics.
  • One of the major mandates of the institute is to assist the Central, State and Local governments in formulating and reforming public policies by providing an analytical base.
  • It receives an annual grant from the Ministry of Finance and various State governments, however it maintains an independent non-government character.
  • It includes the Revenue Secretary, Economic Affairs Secretary and the Chief Economic Advisor from the Union Finance Ministry and representatives from NITI Aayog, RBI and 3 state governments.
  • The usual tenure of a chairman is four years, which can be extended.

Kumbhar Sashaktikaran Yojana  

  • It is an initiative of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for empowerment of potter community in the remotest of locations in the country.
  • The program reaches out to the potters in - U.P., M.P., Maharashtra, J&K, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Telangana and Bihar.
  • It provides the following support -
  1. Training for advanced pottery products.
  2. Latest, new technology pottery equipment like the electric Chaak.
  3. Market linkages and visibility through KVIC exhibitions.

KVIC

  • It is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament (Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956).
  • In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.
  • It is an apex organization under the Ministry of MSME, with regard to khadi and village industries within India.
  • It seeks to plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.

Micius Satellite

  • Micius is the world’s first quantum communications satellite, launched by China in 2016.
  • The satellite serves as the source of pairs of entangled photons.
  • Recently, it has sent light particles to the Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link.
  • It has successfully brought entanglement-based quantum cryptography to its original ground stations 1,200 km apart by sending simultaneous streams of entangled photons to the ground stations to establish a direct link between the two of them.
  • The satellite provided entangled photons as a convenient resource for the quantum cryptography and the two ground stations then used them according to their agreed protocol.
  • Until now, this had never been done via satellite or at such great distances.
  • It has not been specified how the messages were transmitted in this instance but in theory it could be done by optical fibre, another communications satellite, radio or any other agreed method.
  • Scientists have started using quantum encryption for securing long-range communication and Micius has been at the forefront of quantum encryption for several years.

Entangled Photons

  • Entangled photons are twinned light particles whose properties remain intertwined no matter how far apart they are.
  • If one of the photons is manipulated, the other will be similarly affected at the very same moment.
  • It is this property that lies in the heart of the most secure forms of quantum cryptography (the study of concepts like encryption and decryption).
  • If one of the entangled particles is used to create a key for encoding messages, only the person with the other particle can decode them.

Horse Shoe Crab

  • Horse Shoe Crab is a marine chelicerate arthropod living in shallow coastal waters on soft sandy or muddy bottom and spawns (release or deposit eggs) mostly on intertidal beaches at summer spring high tides.
  • They have existed since the time of the dinosaurs and are important ecosystem engineers and predators of small organisms.
  • Their ecological function is to lay millions of eggs on beaches to feed shorebirds, fish and other wildlife.
  • Their large hard shell serves as a microhabitat for many other species such as sponges, mud crabs, mussels and snails.
  • It is regarded as a marine ‘living fossil’.
  • It is in the Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, under which the catching and killing of a horseshoe crab is an offence.
  • Recently, IUCN has decided to observe the first-ever International Horseshoe Crab Day on 20th June 2020.
  • The celebration of the day aims to generate greater awareness for these ancient creatures and help in their conservation.
  • There are four extant horseshoe crab species:
  1. The American horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) along the eastern coast of the USA and in the Gulf of Mexico. (IUCN - Vulnerable)
  2. The tri-spine horseshoe crab (IUCN - Endangered)
  3. The coastal horseshoe crab ( IUCN – Not Listed)
  4. The mangrove horseshoe crab (IUCN – Not Listed)
  • The last three are Indo-pacific species found in the coastal waters of India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan.
  • Odisha is their largest habitat in India.

                        

Gee’s Golden Langur

  • Golden langurs can be most easily recognized by the colour of their fur, after which they are named.
  • It has been noted that their fur changes colours according to the seasons as well as geography (region they live in).
  • The colour of the young also differs from adults in that they are almost pure white.
  • They are highly dependent on trees, living in the upper canopy of forests, they are also known as leaf monkeys.
  • It is endemic to western Assam, India, and southern Bhutan.
  • Their habitat is restricted to the region surrounded by four geographical landmarks, such as
  1. Foothills of Bhutan (North),
  2. Manas river (East),
  3. Sankosh river (West),
  4. Brahmaputra river (South).
  • The Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi entrusted the state zoo with the project for the conservation breeding of golden langur in Assam in 2011.
  • IUCN Status– Endangered.
  • Listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) - Appendix I and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 - Schedule I.

 

Source: PIB, the Hindu, DTE

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