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Prelims Booster

1st September – Prelims Booster

Onam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the auspicious festival of Onam.

About ‘Onam’ –

  • Onam is the most popular festival in the state of Kerala. It is the official state festival of Kerala.
  • It is also celebrated as the festival of paddy harvest.
  • According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
  • Onam is a 10 day long festival celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of the Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August to September according to the Gregorian Calendar.
  • Of the 10 days, the first day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruvonam are most important of all.

How is it celebrated?

  • The most impressive part is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruonam. It is a nine-course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Another key feature is Vallamkali, the Snake Boat Race, held on the river Pampa.
  • There is also a tradition to play games, collectively called Onakalikal, on Onam. Men go in for rigorous sports like Talappanthukali (played with ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam.
  • Women make intricately designed flower mats called, Pookalam in the front courtyard of house to welcome King Mahabali. Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal are two graceful dances performed by women on Onam.

Coal Gasification

India aims for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030 with investments worth over Rs 4 lakh crores, the Union Minister of Coal and Mines has confirmed.

Details –

For encouraging use of clean sources of fuel, government has provided for a concession of 20% on revenue share of coal used for gasification. It will boost production of synthetic natural gas, energy fuel, urea for fertilisers and production of other chemicals.

What is ‘coal gasification’?

  • The coal gasification is the process of converting coal into synthetic gas, which is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
  • This can be used in a variety of applications such as in the production of electricity and making chemical products, such as fertilisers.

Benefits –

  • The process of Coal Gasification chemically transforms coal into Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG), instead of burning the coal. It produces Syngas which is a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O).
  • India imports 50-100 lakh tonnes of urea every year, hence the revival of energy plants using coal gasification technology will help increase availability of domestically produced fertilisers.
  • With coal being the most abundantly available fossil fuel across the world, the potential of coal gasification is huge. Even low grade coal can be used in this process.
  • This process is around 17 to 20% more efficient than conventional coal-burning to produce electricity. Hence, it reduces the dependency on coal mining for energy generating power plants.
  • It can be used in hydrogen fuel cell production because gasification of coal is one method that can produce power liquid fuel chemical and hydrogen.

GDP figures for 1st quarter of 2020-21

The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter (April-June) Q1 of 2020-21, both at Constant (2011-12) and Current Prices.

Observations –

  • GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q1 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 26.90 lakh crore, as against Rs 35.35 lakh crore in Q1 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 23.9 percent as compared to 5.2 percent growth in Q1 2019-20.
  • GDP at Current Prices in the year Q1 2020-21 is estimated at ₹ 38.08 lakh crore, as against ₹ 49.18 lakh crore in Q1 2019-20, showing a contraction of 22.6 percent as compared to 8.1 percent growth in Q1 2019-20.

Idea of National Income –

  • GDP – Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of the all final goods and services produced within the boundary of a nation during one year period. It is also calculated by adding national private consumption, gross investment, government spending and trade balance (exports-minus- imports).
  • NDP – Net Domestic Product (NDP) is the GDP calculated after adjusting the weight of the value of ‘depreciation’. This is, basically, net form of the GDP, i.e., GDP minus the total value of the ‘wear and tear’ (depreciation). 
  • GNP – Gross National Product (GNP) is the GDP of a country added with its ‘income from abroad’. Here, the trans-boundary economic activities of an economy is also taken into account. 
  • NNP – Net National Product (NNP) of an economy is the GNP after deducting the loss due to ‘depreciation’. 

Cost and Price of National Income –

Cost –

  • Income of an economy, i.e., value of its total produced goods and services may be calculated at either the ‘factor cost’ or the ‘market cost’.
  • Factor cost’ is the ‘input cost’ the producer has to incur in the process of producing something (such as cost of capital, i.e., interest on loans, raw materials, labour, rent, power, etc.). This is also termed as ‘factory price’ or ‘production cost/price’. This is nothing but ‘price’ of the commodity from the producer’s side.
  • The ‘market cost’ is derived after adding the indirect taxes and deducting subsidies from the factor cost of the product, it means the cost at which the goods reach the market, i.e., showrooms. This is also known as the ‘ex-factory price’. The weight of the state taxes are then added to it, to finally derive the ‘market cost’. In general, they are also called ‘factor price’ and ‘market price’. 
  • Earlier India used to calculate its national income at factor cost but since 2015, the CSO has switched over to calculating it at market price.

Price –

  • Income can be derived at two prices, constant and current.
  • The difference in the constant and current prices is only that of the impact of inflation.
  • Inflation is considered stand still at a year of the past (this year of the past is also known as the ‘base year’) in the case of the constant price, while in the current price, present day inflation is added.
  • Current price is, basically, the maximum retail price (MRP) which we see printed on the goods selling in the market.

Kandhamal Haldi

With COVID-19 sweeping across the region, the farmers of Kandhamal Haldi have been left high and dry as procurement of the condiment has been badly affected by the pandemic.

Though Kandhamal saw a bumper yield this year, less than 20% of raw turmeric has been sold so far, leaving the rest of the produce with the farmers.

About ‘Kandhamal Haldi’ –

  • With more than 60% of the geographical area covered with hills and forest, Kandhamal offers ideal conditions for cultivation of various spices including turmeric, ginger, mustard and tamarind.
  • Kandhamal Haladi’ for which GI tag has been received is a pure organic product. Tribals grow the tuber without applying fertiliser or pesticide. The aromatic value and golden yellow colour of ‘Kandhamal Haladi’ make it stand out from the rest.
  • The cultivation begins in the summer months of April and May.
  • The tuber is harvested during December to February. The raw turmeric is then boiled and sun-dried.
  • It was accorded a ‘GI Tag’ last year.

About Geographical Indication (GI) Tag –

  • A geographical indication is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. GI tags are given on the basis of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act,1999.
  • Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. At the International level, GI is governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • GI tag secures the quality and authenticity of a product to a particular geographical origin.
  • It provides legal protection from duplication.
  • The first product to get GI tag was Darjeeling Tea.

RO-RO Service

Shri B S Yediyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka and Shri Suresh C. Angadi, Minister of State of Railways have flagged off first ever RORO service of South Western Railway from Nelamangla (near Bengaluru) to Bale (near Solapur).

What is a ‘RO-RO service’?

  • Roll On Roll Off (RORO)is a concept of carrying road vehicles loaded with various commodities, on open flat railway wagons. RO-RO train services were first introduced in Indian Railways on Konkan Railways in 1999, and are running successfully since then.
  • RORO services are combination of best features of road and rail transports in the sense that they offer door to door service with minimal handling transported by fast and direct rail link.
  • Road transport has advantage of door to door delivery of goods. However, increasing traffic on roads is leading to congestion and delays to passenger vehicles. This will cause unsafe travel conditions. Also, delays at interstate check posts due to inspection of various documents, etc. contribute to increased travel time.
  • On the other hand, Railways provide hassle free and environmentally friendly transport to medium to large quantum of freight. Rail transport is most fuel efficient of all means of transport and is much safer than road.

Advantages of RO-RO service –

Roll-on-Roll-off is a multimodal delivery model with following advantages –

  • Faster movement of goods and essentials, reducing time taken by trucks to reach destinations due to traffic congestion in between cities
  • Reduces congestion on the roads
  • Saves precious fuel
  • Reduces carbon footprint
  • Relief to crew of truck as it avoids long distance driving
  • No hassles of check posts/toll gates etc
  • Seamless inter-operability between roadways & railways-Inter-modal transport on existing track
  • Ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential commodities
  • Free time for loading/ unloading is 3 hours
  • Provides link between agriculture producing regions and agro consumption centres
  • Connects and Balances the commodity deficient and surplus markets.

Channapatna

The manufacturers of Channapatna toys are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 25 to 30% out of the nearly 200 plus units, functioning on a nominal basis owing to lack of demand for toys.

About ‘Channapatna toys’ –

  • Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls) that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka state.
  • This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication(GI).
  • As a result of the popularity of these toys, Channapatna is known as Gombegala Ooru (toy-town) of Karnataka.
  • According to most accounts, the manufacturing of toys in Channapatna goes back to at least 200 years.

Daily MCQs

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