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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 14 November 2022

 

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2022

Q) With reference to the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, consider the following statements:

  1. Under Article 31A the state can modify mining leases without getting challenged for contravention of any of the fundamental rights.
  2. As per Article 31B the regulations included in the Ninth Schedule can only be challenged for contravention of Article 21 Protection of life and personal liberty.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 12  November 2022

Explanation:

Statement 1 is incorrect: The ninth schedule of the Indian Constitution was added into the constitution by the first constitutional amendment Act of 1951. It was created by the new Articles 31B and Article 31A. Article 31A saves five categories of laws from being challenged and invalidated on the ground of contravention of the fundamental rights conferred by Article 14 (equality before the law and equal protection of laws) and Article 19 (protection of six rights in respect of speech, assembly, movement, etc.). They are related to agricultural land reforms, industry, and commerce and include the acquisition of estates and related rights by the State; taking over the management of properties by the State; an amalgamation of corporations; extinguishment or modification of rights of directors or shareholders of corporations; and extinguishment or modification of mining leases.

Statement 2 is incorrect: Article 31B saves the acts and regulations included in the Ninth Schedule from being challenged and invalidated on the ground of contravention of any of the fundamental rights. Thus, the scope of Article 31B is wider than Article 31A. Article 31B immunizes any law included in the Ninth Schedule from all the fundamental rights whether or not the law falls under any of the five categories specified in Article 31A.

Q) Consider the following statements, with reference to hypersonic missiles:

  1. They operate at five times the speed of sound.
  2. They travel within the atmosphere, unlike a ballistic missile.
  3. The Ballistic missile takes less time than the hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs) to reach distant targets.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

Statement 1 is correct: Hypersonic missiles can fly at least five times faster than the speed of sound and on a complex trajectory, which makes them difficult to intercept. Given the speed and maneuverability characteristics, hypersonic weapons are further subdivided into two different types of missile systems: hypersonic cruise missiles (HCMs) and hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). HCMs keep a constant hypersonic speed (and usually altitude) and are powered over the entire course of their flight. In contrast, HGVs are usually launched on top of ballistic missiles (often referred to as a boost-glide system) and then glide back through the atmosphere to their target at hypersonic speeds.

Statement 2 is correct: Hypersonic missiles are different from Ballistic missiles which even though travel much faster, follow a fixed trajectory and travel outside the atmosphere to re-enter only near impact. On the other hand, hypersonic weapons travel within the atmosphere and can maneuver midway which combined with their high speeds make their detection and interception extremely difficult. This means that radars and air defenses cannot detect them till they are very close and have only a little time to react.

Statement 3 is correct: HCMs travel at an almost constant speed, which is independent of how far away their target is. The ballistic missiles reach their target quicker than hypersonic missiles at distances beyond roughly 600–800 km for HCMs constantly travelling at Mach 5 (depending on the altitude). This means that HCMs usually take longer than ballistic missiles to reach distant targets.

Q) Consider the following statements, with respect to currency manipulation:

  1. The demand for the currency of the country involved in manipulation increases.
  2. A depreciating currency helps in making the exports of the country more competitive.
  3. India is placed under the United States currency monitoring list due to India’s increasing trade surplus with the USA.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

Statement 1 is incorrect: Currency manipulation is a practice of artificially lowering the value and demand of a country’s currency to get an advantage over others. Actions by the Central Bank in form of monetary policy, such as buying foreign currency in exchange for domestic currency, can be considered manipulation.

Statement 2 is correct: In general, countries prefer their currency to be weak because it makes them more competitive on the international trade front. A lower currency makes a country’s exports more attractive because they are cheaper on the international market. The cost of a country’s product increases vis-a-vis the cost of a product from a country engaged in currency manipulation. Secondly, by boosting exports, a country can use a lower currency to shrink its trade deficit.

Statement 3 is incorrect: Recently the United States has removed India from its Currency Monitoring List. The Currency Monitoring list closely observes the currency practices and policies of some of the US’ major trade partners. The designation of currency manipulation is given by the US government authorities to countries that according to the US, engage in “unfair currency practices” for trade benefits. Countries/ economies that meet two or three criteria in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 are placed on the Currency Monitoring list.

Q) With respect to the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), consider the following statements:

  1. Global Offshore Wind Alliance is a joint initiative of the World Meteorological Organization and the World Bank.
  2. Global Offshore Wind Alliance aims to achieve a total global offshore wind capacity of 2,000 GW by 2050.
  3. India has committed to install an offshore wind capacity of 100GW under Global Offshore Wind Alliance.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

Statement 1 is incorrect: The GOWA was initiated in September 2022 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Denmark and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The alliance is supported by a number of organizations which are actively promoting the offshore wind industry in their different regions.

Statement 2 is correct: Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) aims to contribute to achieving a total global offshore wind capacity of a minimum of 380 GW by 2030, with 35 GW on average each year across the 2020s and a minimum of 70 GW each year from 2030, culminating in 2,000 GW by 2050. Offshore wind energy refers to the deployment of wind farms inside the water bodies. They utilize the sea winds to generate electricity. These wind farms either use fixed-foundation turbines or floating wind turbines. Offshore wind farms must be at least 200 nautical miles from the shore and 50 feet deep in the ocean.

Statement 3 is incorrect: The nine countries including Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America have joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) at the ongoing UNFCCC’s COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Hence India has neither joined nor has committed to any targets to be achieved under GOWA.

Q) Recently seen in the news, the Global Vaccine Market Report, 2022 was released by which one of the following organization:

  1. World Health Organization
  2. International Vaccine Institute
  3. The Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization
  4. Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research

Explanation:

Option (a) is correct: World Health Organization (WHO) has released Global Vaccine Market Report 2022. As per the report, poorer countries are consistently struggling to access vaccines that are in-demand by wealthier countries. It revealed that limited vaccine supply and unequal distribution drive global disparities. For Example Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer has only been introduced in 41% of low-income countries, even though they represent much of the disease burden, compared to 83% of high-income countries. However, it also shows that public investment, streamlined processes, new technologies, pooled financing and procurement are not sufficient to achieve optimal public benefit. The entrenched intellectual property monopolies and limited technology transfer further limit the ability to build and use local manufacturing capacity.

 

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