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10-July-2024-Daily-Current-Affairs

July 10 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

INDIA TO RATIFY HIGH SEAS TREATY: WHAT IS THE AGREEMENT — AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE?

TOPIC: (GS2) POLITY AND GOVERNANCE – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS

The Indian government has announced its intention to sign and ratify the High Seas Treaty, a significant international agreement aimed at maintaining the ecological health of oceans. The treaty focuses on reducing pollution, conserving marine biodiversity, and ensuring sustainable use of ocean resources.

High Seas Treaty Overview

  • The high seas begin beyond the 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zones, making up over 60% of the world’s oceans. These areas are beyond national jurisdiction and are vulnerable to exploitation due to a lack of regulation and monitoring.
  • Purpose: Conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in international waters.
  • Negotiations: Nearly 20 years of negotiation involving multiple nations, finalized last year.
  • Significance: Compared to the 2015 Paris Agreement in its potential impact on ocean conservation.

Key Provisions

  • Establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
  • Regulation of activities within MPAs to protect marine ecology.
  • Fair distribution of benefits from marine genetic resources.
  • Prevention of proprietary rights over ocean resources.

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs):

  • Mandatory EIAs for activities potentially harmful to marine ecosystems.
  • Public disclosure of EIA results.

Capacity Building:

  • Transfer of marine technologies to developing countries.
  • Support for conservation efforts and sustainable use of ocean resources.

Implementation

  • Requires ratification by at least 60 countries.
  • Becomes international law 120 days after the 60th ratification.
  • Involves legislative or executive approval depending on the country.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • High seas suffer from overuse, pollution, and biodiversity loss.
  • UNCLOS provides broad principles but lacks specific implementation guidelines.

Global Commons:

  • High seas constitute about 64% of the ocean area, belonging to everyone and no one.
  • Ensuring equitable and sustainable use of these resources is crucial.

Conclusion

The High Seas Treaty represents a landmark step towards global ocean conservation. India’s decision to sign and ratify the treaty underscores its commitment to protecting marine biodiversity and promoting sustainable use of ocean resources, aligning with international efforts to safeguard our planet’s ecological health.

Multiple Choice Question:

  1. What is the primary objective of the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) established under the UN High Seas Treaty?
  2. To restrict all human activities in the high seas.
  3. To protect against the loss of wildlife and preserve marine biodiversity.
  4. To extend national jurisdiction over high seas.
  5. To promote deep-sea mining.

ANSWER: B

EXPLANATION:

The primary objective of establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) under the UN High Seas Treaty is to protect against the loss of wildlife and preserve marine biodiversity. The treaty aims to create a legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, often referred to as the high seas.

WHAT IS THE DRAFT DIGITAL COMPETITION BILL?

TOPIC: (GS2) POLITY AND GOVERNANCE – SOURCE: THE HINDU

 February 2023, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) established a Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL) to explore the necessity of a distinct law for digital markets. This resulted in the draft Digital Competition Bill, which introduces an ex-ante framework to supplement the existing ex-post regulation under the Competition Act, 2002.

Ex-Post vs. Ex-Ante Framework

  • Ex-Post Framework: The current Competition Act, 2002, allows the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to act only after anti-competitive conduct occurs.
  • Ex-Ante Framework: The draft Bill proposes preemptive measures to prevent anti-competitive behavior before it happens, inspired by the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Rationale for Ex-Ante Regulation

Unique Characteristics of Digital Markets:

  • Economies of Scale and Scope: Digital enterprises reduce production costs with increased output and services.
  • Network Effects: The value of digital services increases with more users.
  • Market Dynamics: Rapid and irreversible market shifts favor incumbents, necessitating timely intervention.

Core Provisions of the Draft Bill

  • Targeted Regulation: Focuses on “dominant” digital enterprises.
  • Core Digital Services: Identifies ten key services like search engines and social networking.

Significant Digital Enterprises (SSDEs):

  • Quantitative Standards: Financial strength and user base in India.
  • Qualitative Standards: Allows CCI to designate SSDEs based on market influence.

SSDE Obligations:

  • Fair Practices: Operate transparently and non-discriminatorily.
  • Prohibitions: Self-preferencing, anti-steering, and unfair data practices.
  • User Data: Restrictions on cross-utilization of data and unfair competitive advantages.

Response and Criticism

  • Skepticism about the ex-ante model’s effectiveness in India.
  • Concerns over negative impacts on investments and start-up growth.
  • Potential harm to MSMEs reliant on big tech.

Support:

  • Some start-ups endorse the Bill for addressing monopolistic practices but suggest revising financial and user-based thresholds.

Conclusion

The draft Digital Competition Bill aims to address the unique challenges of digital markets with preemptive regulation, drawing from the EU model. While it faces opposition, it also has support from sectors concerned with monopolistic practices, highlighting the need for careful consideration and potential adjustments.

Multiple Choice Question:

  1. What is the primary purpose of the ex-ante competition regulation proposed in the Draft Digital Competition Bill?
  2. To allow the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to act only after anti-competitive conduct has occurred.
  3. To extend the jurisdiction of the Competition Act, 2002 to international markets.
  4. To pre-empt and prevent anti-competitive practices by digital enterprises before they occur.
  5. To provide incentives for digital enterprises to merge and form larger entities.

ANSWER: C

EXPLANATION:

The Draft Digital Competition Bill introduces an ex-ante competition regulation framework, which is different from the traditional ex-post framework under the Competition Act, 2002. The ex-ante framework is designed to empower the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to take pre-emptive measures to prevent anti-competitive behaviour by digital enterprises before it happens.

GEOSPATIAL VIEW ON MATERNAL HEALTHCARE FOR THE TRIBAL POPULATION IN GUJARAT

TOPIC: (GS2) POLITY AND GOVERNANCE – SOURCE: THE HINDU

Maternal healthcare access in tribal regions of Gujarat is significantly influenced by geographical location, time, and distance. This spatial analysis examines the distribution of healthcare facilities and their accessibility for the tribal population in Gujarat, highlighting distinct pregnancy care patterns.

Geospatial Analysis of Maternal Healthcare

  • Study Focus: The study by Kumar and Tripathi focuses on Gujarat’s tribal population (14.8% of the total population) across 14 districts using GIS data and the National Family Health Survey.
  • Healthcare Accessibility: The analysis uses different modes of transportation (car, motorcycle, walking) to evaluate access to tertiary, secondary, and primary health centres.
  • Distribution of Facilities: The distribution of public health centres often neglects geographical factors, resulting in concentrated resources in urban areas and inadequate access in rural and tribal regions.

Healthcare Disparities

  • Pregnancy Care Coverage: Average coverage in tribal districts is 88% with 80% receiving antenatal care (ANC), 90% delivering at healthcare facilities, and 92% receiving postnatal care (PNC).
  • Geographical Variations: ANC coverage is lower in Banaskantha, Mahisagar, Sabarkantha, Dahod, and Bharuch. Better outcomes are seen in Surat, Tapi, Dang, Navsari, and Valsad.

Transportation Constraints

  • Distance to Facilities: Over 50% of households are more than 25 km from tertiary care facilities, and 30% are far from community and primary healthcare centres.
  • Limited Access: Social norms and limited resources prevent women from using available transportation, impacting timely access to healthcare.

Conclusion

This geospatial analysis underscores the need for targeted interventions to improve maternal healthcare in Gujarat’s tribal districts. Policies must prioritize establishing accessible public healthcare centres to address geographical barriers and achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). Enhancing healthcare access for disadvantaged communities is crucial for improving maternal and infant health outcomes in India.

Multiple Choice Question:

  1. Which of the following statements is correct regarding the healthcare sector in India?
  2. The healthcare sector in India is primarily funded by private sources, with minimal government involvement.
  3. India has achieved universal healthcare coverage with equal access to medical services for all its citizens.
  4. The healthcare sector contributes significantly to India’s GDP and has been growing rapidly due to increased public and private investments.
  5. The healthcare infrastructure in India is uniformly distributed across urban and rural areas, ensuring equal access to healthcare services.

ANSWER: C

EXPLANATION:

The healthcare sector in India contributes significantly to the nation’s GDP and has been experiencing rapid growth due to substantial investments from both public and private sources. This growth reflects the sector’s importance and the ongoing efforts to improve healthcare services and infrastructure. Despite this progress, challenges remain in achieving universal healthcare coverage and addressing the disparities in healthcare access between urban and rural areas.

BILIGIRI RANGANATHASWAMY TEMPLE TIGER RESERVE

TOPIC: (GS3) ENVIRONMENT – SOURCE: DOWN TO EARTH

BRT Tiger Reserve is situated in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district.

It serves as a unique biogeographical bridge between the Western and Eastern Ghats.

  • Named after ‘BILIGIRI’, a white rocky cliff with a temple of Lord ‘VISHNU’, known locally as ‘Rangaswamy’.
  • Declared a Tiger Reserve in 2011.

 

Key Points:

Location and Area:

  • Situated in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district.
  • Covers a total area of 574.82 square kilometers.

Vegetation:

  • Dominated by dry deciduous forests.
  • Includes patches of moist deciduous, semi-evergreen, evergreen, and shola forests.

Flora:

  • Key plant species: Anogeissus latifolia, Dalbergia paniculata, Grewia teliaefolia, Terminalia alata, Terminalia bellirica, Terminalia paniculata.

Fauna:

  • Home to various animals including tigers, elephants, leopards, wild dogs, bison, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, four-horned antelope, sloth bears, wild boars, common langurs, bonnet macaques.
  • Rich in reptile and bird species.

What is a Tiger Reserve?

  • A Tiger Reserve is a legally declared protected area aimed at conserving tigers.
  • Can be a national park or wildlife sanctuary.
  • Example: Sariska Tiger Reserve, which is also a national park.

Tiger reserves are crucial for protecting India’s tiger population and preserving biodiversity. They provide a safe habitat for tigers and other wildlife, helping maintain ecological balance.

MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASES

TOPIC: (GS3) SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – SOURCE: THE HINDU

Mitochondrial diseases (or Mito) are a group of conditions that affect the mitochondria’s ability to produce energy needed by organs to function properly.

Key Points:

Mitochondria:

  • Mitochondria are membrane-bound cell organelles responsible for generating most of the chemical energy required for the cell’s biochemical reactions.
  • They create energy by combining oxygen with fuel molecules (sugars and fats) from food.
  • This chemical energy is stored in a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
  • Mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA are generally inherited from the mother.

Function and Defects:

  • When mitochondria are defective, cells lack sufficient energy.
  • Unused oxygen and fuel molecules build up, causing cellular damage.
  • Mitochondrial diseases can impact nearly any part of the body, including the brain, nerves, muscles, kidneys, heart, liver, eyes, ears, and pancreas.

Causes:

  • Primary mitochondrial diseases are caused by genetic mutations, typically appearing before age 20, often in infants.
  • Secondary mitochondrial diseases occur when mitochondrial dysfunction results from another disease or condition.

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms vary depending on the number and location of defective mitochondria in the body.
  • Issues can be localized to one organ, tissue, or cell type, but often affect multiple areas.
  • Muscle and nerve cells, which have high energy needs, commonly exhibit muscular and neurological problems.

Treatment:

  • There are no cures for mitochondrial diseases, but treatments can alleviate symptoms and slow disease progression.
  • Treatment options include physical therapy, vitamins and supplements, special diets, and medications.

PANCHAGANGA RIVER

TOPIC: (GS1) GEOGRAPHY – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS

The Panchaganga River is an ancient river and a tributary of the Krishna River, located in Maharashtra.

Key Points:

Origin and Course:

  • Emerges from the Sahyadri mountain ranges in Maharashtra.
  • Originates at Prayag Sangam in Chikhlee Taluka, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra.
  • Formed by the confluence of five rivers: Kasari, Kumbhi, Tulsi, Bhogawati, and Saraswati.
  • Merges into the Krishna River at Kurundvad, Maharashtra.

Geographical Significance:

  • The Panchaganga River valley is very fertile.
  • Sloping banks yield rich crops during the winter season.
  • The river and its feeders are fordable during the hot season.

Environmental Concerns:

  • Pollution levels in the Panchaganga River have been rising rapidly over the last decade.
  • Major source of pollution is the disposal of untreated municipal sewage from Kolhapur town.

Current Situation:

  • The river water level has been rising and is expected to cross the warning level of 39 feet soon.
  • The Panchaganga River plays a crucial role in the agriculture and ecology of the region, but increasing pollution poses significant challenges. Immediate action is needed to address the pollution and protect this vital water resource.

LGM-35A SENTINEL NUCLEAR MISSILE

TOPIC: (GS3) SECURITY – SOURCE: THE HINDU

The LGM-35A Sentinel is a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) being developed for the U.S. Air Force (USAF).

Key Points:

Development and Purpose:

  • Developed by Northrop Grumman in cooperation with Air Force Global Strike Command.
  • Intended to replace the aging LGM-30 Minuteman III ICBMs, which have been in service since the 1970s.

Technological Advancements:

  • Incorporates digital engineering technologies.
  • Employs a modular open system architecture for better interoperability and reduced life-cycle costs.

Warhead and Capabilities:

  • Equipped with a W87-1 thermonuclear missile warhead.
  • Features fully integrated launch, flight, and infrastructure systems.
  • Includes modern command and control technology and ground equipment.

Operational Enhancements:

  • Missiles will be launched from silos, with doors remaining closed during warhead maintenance to enhance security.
  • Expected to have a range exceeding 5,500 km.
  • Can reach any target across the world within 30 minutes post-launch, following a parabolic trajectory toward its target.

Cost and Management:

  • The program’s costs have been rising, prompting the U.S. Air Force to restructure the program to control expenses.

The LGM-35A Sentinel represents a significant upgrade in the USAF’s nuclear capabilities, emphasizing advanced technology and improved security measures. However, managing its development costs remains a critical challenge.

CHANDRAVALLI CAVE

TOPIC: (GS1) HISTORY – SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA

Chandravalli Cave is located in Karnataka and is also known as the Ankali Math.

Key Points:

Cave Features:

  • The cave complex has several chambers, including a puja place with a shivlinga, a drawing room, a bedroom, and a water outlet connecting to an internal tank.

Historical Significance:

  • Excavations around the site, surrounded by three hills, revealed coins, painted bowls, and earthen pots from various dynasties such as the Hoysala, Satavahana, and Vijayanagara.
  • A rock inscription of Mayurasharma, founder of the Kadamba dynasty, dating back to AD 450, was found here.
  • The region had historical connections with Rome and China, as evidenced by coins discovered at the site.
  • Some walls are decorated with paintings made from organic paints.

Kadamba Dynasty:

  • The Kadambas of Goa were subordinates to the Chalukyas of Kalyana.
  • Chalukya emperor Tailapa II appointed Kadamba Shasthadeva as mahamandaleshwara of Goa for helping overthrow the Rashtrakutas.
  • Kadamba Shasthadeva conquered the city of Chandavara from the Shilaharas in 960 AD and later the port of Gopakapattana (present-day Goa).
  • Gundayya, the son of Talara Nevayya, may have participated in this battle and won the port at the cost of his life.

Details

Date:
July 10
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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