Daily PT Capsule May 10

Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services
Daily PT Capsule UPSC Civil Services

Here is the digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!

Draft Geo spatial Bill open to review

The draft geospatial Bill has been made open to review and suggestions from the public. The Bill was first drafted in 2012 and the at the Pathankot airbase was the immediate trigger for reintroducing the Bill according to officials.

Salient features of the Bill

It will be mandatory to take permission from a government authority before acquiring, disseminating, publishing or distributing any geospatial information of India. Any addition or creation of anything that has to do with any geospatial information – or location – within the territory of India will need the permission of the government or, in this case, a Security Vetting Authority.

1) What does “geospatial information” mean? – According to the draft it means the following.

a) Geospatial imagery or data acquired through space or aerial platforms such as satellite, aircrafts, airships, balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles

b) Graphical or digital data depicting natural or man-made physical features, phenomenon or boundaries of the earth

c) Any information related thereto including surveys, charts, maps, terrestrial photos referenced to a coordinate system and having attributes;

2) What is the purpose of security vetting authority? – It grants licenses to organizations/individuals who want to use geospatial data. It will check the content and data provided and make sure it is well within national policies, “with the sole objective of protecting national security, sovereignty, safety and integrity”.

3) What is the fine for violation? – Illegal acquisition of geospatial information of India – Fine ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years.

Illegal dissemination, publication or distribution of geospatial information of India – Whoever disseminates, publishes or distributes any geospatial information of India in contravention of section 4, shall be punished with a fine ranging from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years.

Use of geospatial information of India outside India – Fine ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 100 crore and/or imprisonment for a period up to seven years.


What are the criticisms of the draft Geospatial Bill? – The draft bill has come under severe criticism from public and cyber experts alike. The problems the experts point out include the facts that the draft conflicts with the Information Technology Act, 2000, seeks applicability outside India without specifying how foreign entities would be reined in and creates a licensing raj under which even innocuous acts such as taking photographs from an aeroplane would be criminalised, as well as the possibility that the use of maps by the media would become punishable.

Since the print, electronic and digital media use a lot of easily available data, the new regulations could spell doom for the industry as it would push up the costs of acquiring such basic information and also make media liable for heavy fines and imprisonment in case of even an oversight.

The draft also does not mention any relaxations or exemptions for media or other groups from mandatory licensing, or the provision of free-to-use templates by the government, like court judgments, which the media can easily access without fearing grave repercussions.

The provisions of the bill could also hurt e-commerce and m-commerce companies who use geospatial data for geo specific services.

Source: TheHindu, The Wire


Core sector growth at decade low

India’s annual core sector growth slowed to a decade low of 2.7 per cent in 2015-16, slower than the 4.5 percent pace in the previous financial year, according to government statistics.

Significantly, the eight core industries which include crude oil, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity account for 38 per cent of India’s industrial output. The index for industrial production has grown at 2.7 per cent in the first 11 months of 2015-16, lower than the 2.8 per cent recorded in the previous year.

The growth was pulled down by steel and crude oil, both of which saw output contracting by 1.4 per cent and natural gas that dropped 4.2 per cent.

Steel that has been hit by the low global prices and competition from China.


What are the core sector industries?

Coal – Coal production (weight: 4.38 %)

Crude Oil – Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22 %)

Natural Gas – The Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71 %)

Refinery Products (93% of Crude Throughput) – Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 5.94%)

Fertilizers – Fertilizer production (weight: 1.25%)

Steel (Alloy + Non-Alloy) – Steel production (weight: 6.68%)

Cement – Cement production (weight: 2.41%)

Electricity – Electricity generation (weight: 10.32%)

Core Industry Data

Source: TheHindu, MEA


Baby born through new DNA method

Biagio is the first baby to be born in the U.K. from a trial of next generation sequencing (NGS), which gives IVF doctors a detailed picture of the health of an embryo’s chromosomes.

To screen an embryo, doctors remove a few cells at the five-day-old stage. The cells are taken from the tissue around the embryo that will turn into the placenta that attaches it to the mother’s womb. Unlike traditional screening methods, NGS can spot embryos that have more subtle DNA faults, and embryos that have only some cells with chromosomal defects.

More than half of embryos created through IVF do not have the right number of chromosomes, and the faults underlie nearly three-quarters of miscarriages. The NGS procedure should reduce the chances of couples having faulty embryos transferred and give them more confidence in the health of embryos they have frozen after screening.


What is IVF? – In vitro fertilization is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body: in vitro (“in glass”). The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a liquid in a laboratory. The fertilized egg (zygote) is cultured for 2–6 days in a growth medium and is then implanted in the same or another woman’s uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.

Source: TheHindu, Wikipedia


Gene behind the color of carrot

The gene in carrots that gives rise to carotenoids, a critical source of Vitamin A and the pigment that turns some fruits and vegetables bright orange or red has been identified by scientists.

The gene named ‘DCAR_032551’, emerged from the first complete decoding of the carrot genome, published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics.

Carotenoids were first discovered in carrots, but which among the vegetable’s 32,115 genes was most responsible for their formation remained a mystery. The researchers sequenced the genome of a bright orange variety of the vegetable called the Nantes carrot, named for the French city.


What is the benefit of the breakthrough? – After unravelling the genes of carrot it would be possible to enhance disease resistance and nutritive value in other species.

Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a natural chemical that the body can transform into Vitamin A. The deeper the orange colour, the more beta-carotene.

Carotenoids are also antioxidants, which are thought to protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer by neutralising so-called “free radicals”, single oxygen atoms that can damage cells.

Source: TheHindu

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