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Prelims Booster

29th May – Prelims Booster

Veer Savarkar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Veer Savarkar on his Jayanti on May 28.

About Veer Savarkar –

  • He was commonly known as Veer Savarkar (“brave” in his native Marathi language)
  • An Indian independence activist, politician, lawyer, writer, and the formulator of the Hindutva philosophy
  • He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  • Savarkar was a radical and his Hindutva too was a radical break in the Hindu thought: anti-caste, reformist, modernist and futuristic. It was a modern Hindu response to the modern world Organised a youth group named ‘Mitra Mela’.
  • In London, Veer Savarkar inspired his fellow Indian students and formed an organisation ‘Free India Society’ to fight against Britishers for freedom.
  • He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi. In 1905, he burnt all the foreign goods in a bonfire on Dussehra.
  • Provided legal defence to Madan Lal Dhingra, who was accused in a murder case of a British Indian army officer named Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie.
  • Veer Savarkar also founded the two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’ calling Hindus and Muslims two separate nations. In 1937, Hindu Mahasabha passed it as a resolution. In 1937, he also became the president of ‘Hindu Mahasabha’.
  • A fierce critic of the Indian National Congress (INC) and Mahatma Gandhi; opposed the ‘Quit India Movement’ and later objected to INC’s acceptance of Indian partition. He proposed the co-existence of two nations in one country.
  • Savarkar wrote a book titled “The History of the War of Indian Independence”- wrote about the guerrilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. He called the 1857 revolt as the ‘first war of independence’ of India.
  • While the book was banned by Britishers, Madama Bhikaji Cama published the book in Netherlands, Germany and France, which eventually reached many Indian revolutionaries.
  • Savarkar was arrested in 1909 on charges of plotting an armed revolt against the Morle-Minto reform. He also tried to escape by diving in the water but was arrested. He was sentenced to two life sentences i.e. 50 years in the cellular jail of Andamans, also known as Kala Pani, in 1911.
  • Savarkar declared his wish to attain Samadhi and started hunger-strike on February 1, 1966 and passed away on February 26, 1966. He believed that his purpose of life is solved as India has gained Independence.
  • In 2002, Port Blair airport at Andaman and Nicobar’s Island was renamed after Veer Savarkar International Airport.

Delimitation Commission

The Delimitation Commission met recently to review the progress of directions given by the Commission to organise its first meeting to carry out the future delimitation of constituencies.

What is delimitation?

Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country to represent changes in population.

How delimitation is carried out?

  • Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • Under Article 170, States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • Once the Act is in force, the Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission.
  • The first delimitation exercise was carried out by the President (with the help of the Election Commission) in 1950-51.
  • The Delimitation Commission Act was enacted in 1952.
  • Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
  • There was no delimitation after the 1981 and 1991 Censuses.

Delimitation Commission –

  • The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.
  • Composition: Retired Supreme Court judge, Chief Election Commissioner, Respective State Election Commissioners.

Functions –

  • To determine the number and boundaries of constituencies to make population of all constituencies nearly equal.
  • To identify seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, wherever their population is relatively large.
  • In case of difference of opinion among members of the Commission, the opinion of the majority prevails.
  • The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.

Financial Stability and Development Council

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs has chaired the 22nd meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council recently.

What is Financial Stability and Development Council?

  • FSDC is a non-statutory apex council under Ministry of Finance constituted by Executive Order of Union Government in 2010.
  • The Chairman of the Council is the Finance Minister and its members include the heads of financial sector Regulators (RBI, SEBI, PFRDA, IRDA), Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, and Chief Economic Adviser.
  • In May, 2018 government reconstituted FSDC to include the Minister of State responsible for the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Secretary of Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Chairperson of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) and the Revenue Secretary.
  • Functions – It aims strengthening and institutionalising the mechanism of financial stability and development. It monitors macro-prudential supervision of the economy. It assesses the functioning of the large financial conglomerates. It addresses intra regulatory coordination issues.
  • The Raghuram Rajan committee (2008) on financial sector reforms recommended for the creation of FSDC.

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat

Government has decided to take forward the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme by using innovative ways in view of the prevailing conditions of COVID19.

What is ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ programme?

  • “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Subsequently, the Finance Minister announced the initiative in his Budget Speech for 2016-17.
  • Through this innovative measure, the knowledge of the culture, traditions and practices of different States & UTs will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between the States, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.
  • All States and UTs will be covered under the programme. There will be pairing of States/UTs at national level and these pairings will be in effect for one year, or till the next round of pairings.
  • The State/UT level pairings would be utilised for state level activities. District level pairings would be independent of the State level pairings.
  • The activity will be very useful to link various States and Districts in annual programmes that will connect people through exchanges in areas of culture, tourism, language, education trade etc. and citizens will be able to experience the cultural diversity of a much larger number of States/UTs while realising that India is one.

Objective of the programme –

The broad objectives of the initiative are as follows:-

  • To CELEBRATE the Unity in Diversity of our Nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of our Country;
  • PROMOTE the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories through a year-long planned engagement between States;
  • To SHOWCASE the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity that is India, thus fostering a sense of common identity;
  • TO ESTABLISH long-term engagements and
  • TO CREATE an environment which promotes learning between States by sharing best practices and experiences.

Electric Powered Flight

In a breakthrough for electric flight technology, a 750-horsepower electric engine (magni250) made by MagniX, an Australian electric motor manufacturer, will power a Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft to fly for an expected 20-30 minutes over Washington state. This will be the largest aircraft ever to fly on electric power.

What is magni250?

  • magni250 is an electric engine which at a continuous 280 kW/375 shp and turning at only 1900 RPM, it is perfectly suited for commercially focused aircraft.
  • It has 2×3 phase architecture, full torque available even at low RPM and it is not impacted by altitude.
  • It has replaceable motor mounting points and advanced liquid cooling and thermal performance.

Details –

  • The plane selected, a Cessna 208 Caravan, is a popular utility aircraft around the world since the 1980s, with over 2,600 currently being operated for commuter airlines, air cargo, VIP transport, flight training, and humanitarian missions.
  • MagniX aims at commercial operations over a 100-mile range by 2021, and hopes retrofitting its engine to a Caravan would speed up regulatory approvals.
  • Apart from MagniX, several companies are involved in making electric flights a reality. The ride-sharing company Uber has announced air taxis to fly as early as 2023. Major industry players such as Airbus and Rolls Royce, a number of startups, as well as the space agency NASA are involved in developing electric flight technologies.

Significance –

Such electric flights could require significantly less maintenance compared to fuel-based aircraft, and could lead to short-distance flights becoming cheaper, thus helping make it more viable for airlines to fly to remote locations.

Charru Mussel

An invasive mussel native to the South and Central American coasts is spreading quickly in the backwaters of Kerala, elbowing out other mussel and clam species and threatening the livelihoods of fishermen engaged in molluscan fisheries.

What is a ‘mussel’?

  • Mussel is the common name used for members of several families of bivalve molluscs, from saltwater and freshwater habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or oval.
  • The word “mussel” is frequently used to mean the bivalves of the marine family Mytilidae, most of which live on exposed shores in the intertidal zone, attached by means of their strong byssal threads (“beard”) to a firm substrate.  A few species (in the genus Bathymodiolus) have colonised hydrothermal vents associated with deep ocean ridges.
  • In most marine mussels the shell is longer than it is wide, being wedge-shaped or asymmetrical. The external colour of the shell is often dark blue, blackish, or brown, while the interior is silvery and somewhat nacreous.
  • The common name “mussel” is also used for many freshwater bivalves, including the freshwater pearl mussels. Freshwater mussel species inhabit lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, canals, and they are classified in a different subclass of bivalves, despite some very superficial similarities in appearance.

What is the issue?

  • Surveys show the presence of the Charru mussel in the Kadinamkulam, Paravur, Edava-Nadayara, Ashtamudi, Kayamkulam, Vembanad, Chettuva and Ponnani estuaries/backwaters.
  • Ashtamudi Lake, a Ramsar site in Kollam district, remains the worst-hit.
  • With a population as high as 11,384 per sq metre here, it has replaced the Asian green mussel (Perna viridis) and the edible oyster.

About Charru Mussel –

  • The Charru mussel resembles the green and brown mussels (kallummekkaya in Malayalam), but is much smaller in size. Its colour varies from black to brown, purple or dark green.
  • A fast breeding pest in many areas, this invasive species has smothered beds of the short-neck clam (manja kakka).
  • Though this smaller mussel is edible, the overall economic loss and impact on biodiversity is much bigger.
  • The potential of Mytella strigata to outcompete the lucrative clam fishery is a serious concern.

How did it reach the shores?

  • In all probability, the mussel reached the Indian shores attached to ship hulls or as larval forms in ballast water discharges.
  • Cyclone Ockhi may have simply speeded up their invasion of inland waters.

Daily MCQs

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