UPSC Prelims News of 10 October 2022
Foreign Direct Product Rule (FDPR)
Context: The USA is planning to use foreign direct product rule, or FDPR, to contain China’s advanced computing and supercomputer industry.
- The rule states that if a product was made using American technology, the US government has the power to stop it from being sold.
- The rule allows US regulators to extend their technology export control powers far beyond America’s borders. It is applicable even if the product is made in another country.
Significance of the Rule:
- Stop advanced weapons programme: The rule will stop advanced chip use in Chinese supercomputers, which can be used to develop nuclear weapons and other military applications.
- Although China is developing its own semiconductor chips, they use American tools and technology for producing. This brings them under FDPR.
- For China to replace all US-made tools and technology, it is expected to take five to 10 years.
- Russian war effort: The US regulators have used the rule on Russia and Belarus after the invasion of Ukraine to cut off chips.
Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)
Context: Union Cooperation Minister has announced setting up of primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) in all panchayats of the country.
- A Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) is the smallest co-operative credit institution in the country. It works on the village level (gram panchayat).
- PACS encourage agriculturists to save, accepts deposits from them, makes loans to deserving borrowers, and collects repayments.
- They will be allowed to carry out activities like sale of gas and petrol and storage and marketing of dairy and farm products, in future.
- PACS helps to alleviate poverty in backward regions
- They will help in empowering women
- They will benefit people engaged in agriculture and allied sectors
- They provide services such as banking, on-site supplies, marketing produce, and consumer goods trading.
- Issues with PACS
- Inadequate coverage across the country, especially in north-east India.
- The financial resource available with PACS is very low. They cannot cater to all eligible people.
- Lack of proper maintenance of records. The digitization process is not uniform across PACS.
Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
Context: A study has confirmed the presence of eight leopards in the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, an indicator of its thriving ecosystem.
About the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is situated in the Southern Delhi Ridge of Aravalli hill range on Delhi-Haryana border.
- It forms a part of the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor.
- Climate: Monsoon type with dry winters (Koppen, Cwg)
- Vegetation: Tropical thorn forests.
- Important fauna:
- Important animals: Leopard, Nilgai, Blackbuck, Black-naped hare, Indian crested porcupine, Small Indian civet, Golden jackal and Jungle cat.
- Important bird species: Red-headed vulture, Egyptian vulture, and Black francolin
- Protection status: An area of 1km around the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in Gurugram and Faridabad was declared as an Eco-sensitive zone.
- Significance: It is Delhi NCR’s green lung, carbon sink, source of ground water recharge, and shelterbelt against advancing aridity.
Context: A recent satellite monitoring data showed 1,455 square kilometers (an area almost the size of Great London) of forest cover was destroyed in the Brazilian Amazon in September.
More on Amazon Deforestation
- In 2021, the deforestation rate of the Brazilian Amazon reached the highest level in 15 years.
- Average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by 75% from the previous decade.
The leading drivers of deforestation in the Amazon are:
- Unchecked Agricultural Expansion
- Illegal and Unmitigated Gold Mining
- Illegal Logging
- Poorly-Planned Infrastructure
- Wild fires
- Lack of Sufficient Governance and law enforcement
- Climate change
About Amazon Forest
- It is the largest rainforest in the world and covers almost 1.4 billion acres of area (covers most of the Amazon basin of South America.)
- Its home to more than 30 million people and one in ten known species on Earth.
- Most of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Bolivia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.
- Vegetation: Tropical moist broadleaf forests (Important species include myrtle, laurel, palm, and acacia, as well as rosewood, Brazil nut, and rubber tree.)