UPSC Prelims News of 19 December 2022
Context: The House of Representatives in US will soon vote on the (Equal Access to Green Card for Legal Employment) EAGLE Act of 2022.
About EAGLE Act:
- Objective: The act aims to eliminate the per-country quota on issuing green cards. If passed, the legislation will allow US employers to focus on recruiting people based on ‘merit’ over ‘birthplace’.
- To reduce impact on less populated countries, the phase out of per-country caps will be carried out over the course of nine years.
Impact on Indian-Americans:
- Because of the per-country cap, the backlog has touched millions. About 75 per cent of the employment‐based backlog was made up by skilled Indian workers.
- If these individuals could remain in the line, the backlogged Indian workers faced a wait of nine decades before they obtain a green card.
- Even if the per-country cap is removed, individuals have to endure a wait of more than a decade for every employer‐sponsored immigrant.
- Green card, known officially as Permanent Resident Card, allows immigrants to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.
- Benefits of green card: Sponsor immediate family members for the same card, easy access to US’ social security system, education assistance, freedom to live anywhere in the US, opportunity for a wide variety of jobs etc.
Context: Twitter has suspended accounts of several journalists for violating the social media platform’s new anti-doxxing policy.
What is Doxxing?
- Doxxing pertains to revealing someone’s intimate information, where harassment is the intent. It is a contraction of the phrase, “dropping documents”.
- It is a popular and controversial tactic used against individuals with opposing political views.
- Doxxing usually included revealing private information such as address, phone number, financial information, ID document, biometric data, medical data etc.
- New policy now includes sharing the live location of any individual as a possible “doxxing,” and this is not allowed.
- Effects: Personal information is circulated in the public sphere without the knowledge of the victim, and in some cases, causing real-life consequences to both the victim and their families.
- Ex: Harassers have made use of live location information to send SWAT teams or armed police to the homes of the victims.
Violation of Doxxing Policy:
- Violation of any of the rules can result in the account getting locked and continued violations can result in a permanent suspension.
- However, sharing anyone’s live location without express permission will lead to an automatic suspension of account. The account becomes accessible after 7 days.
Criticism of New Doxxing Policy:
- New doxxing policy would mean that individuals will not be able to share live location details of public figures or even a public protest.
Bio-Insecticide from Ramphal Leaves
Context: A research intern from ICRISAT has won third prize at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta, US.
More on the News:
- He was awarded $1,000 in the biochemistry category for developing cost-effective bio-insecticide from the leaves of ‘Bullock’s Heart’ popularly known as Ramphal.
- Department of Science and Technology, also awarded him the first prize and Rs 1 lakh as part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Innovation Award for Schoolchildren.
- The study: The project demonstrated the plant’s ability to repel insects through its leaves.
- The extracts from its leaves could be effective against three disastrous pests, with the mortality rate ranging from 78%-88%.
- Bio-insecticides are certain types of pesticide compounds obtained naturally from animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals.
- The cost of cultivation increases by $24-$50 per acre with use of chemical insecticides while destroying beneficial insects and contaminating soil and food produce.
- While, bio-insecticides cost between $9-$12 per acre of cropping land and produce eco-friendly and healthy produce.
- Manufacturing insecticide from the leaves of bullock’s heart costs $0.33/litre.
- This makes it an affordable pesticide for small farmers and offers an additional source of income through sale of fruits.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Context: Researchers have discovered several ancient shelters, inscriptions and shrines within the forests from Bandhavgarh to the Aravallis.
About the Bandhavgarh National Park:
- Location: It resides on the extreme north eastern border of Madhya Pradesh and the northern edges of the Satpura mountain ranges.
- Important water bodies: The whole park is filled with more than 20 streams out of which some of the most important streams are Johilla, Janadh, Charanganga, Damnar, Banbei, Ambanala and Andhiyari Jhiria. These streams then merge into the Son River (an important southern tributary to the river Ganga).
- Flora: The forest in Bandhavgarh National Park falls within the tropical moist deciduous belt dominated by Sal and Bamboo.
- Important Fauna: Tiger, chital, sambar, chinkara, chowsingha (four-horned antelope), wild boar, leopard and dhole.
- Protection: In 1968, it was notified as a national park and in 1993 was declared a tiger reserve- under the Project Tiger Network at the neighbouring Panpatha Sanctuary.