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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

05 May, 2021

59 Min Read

Shift in Earth’s Axis-Climate Change

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Climate Change

The shift in Earth’s Axis-Climate Change

GS-Paper-3: Environment – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application

A new study has added the shifting of Earth’s axis to the list of consequences of climate change, which already includes rising sea levels, heat waves, melting glaciers and storms. While this change is not expected to affect daily life, it can change the length of the day by a few milliseconds.

Earth’s Axis

  • The Earth’s axis of rotation is the line along which it spins around itself as it revolves around the Sun. The points on which the axis intersects the planet’s surface are the geographical north and south poles.
  • The location of the poles is not fixed, however, as the axis moves due to changes in how the Earth’s mass is distributed around the planet.
  • Thus, the poles move when the axis moves, and the movement is called “polar motion”.
  • Generally, polar motion is caused by changes in the hydrosphere, atmosphere, oceans, or solid Earth.
  • According to NASA, data from the 20th century shows that the spin axis drifted about 10 centimetres per year.

As per the study, since the 1990s, climate change has caused significant glacial ice to melt into oceans, which in turn has caused the Earth’s poles to move in new directions.

  • Other causes may include terrestrial water storage change in non? glacial regions due to climate change and unsustainable consumption of groundwater and other anthropogenic activities.
  • The North Pole has shifted in a new eastward direction since the 1990s, because of changes in the hydrosphere.
  • The calculations were based on satellite data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission and estimates of glacier loss and groundwater pumping going back to the 1980s.

What is climate change?

Climate Change is a periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about due to the changes in the atmosphere as well as the interactions between the atmosphere and various other geological, chemical, biological and geographical factors within the Earth’s system.

Climate change can make weather patterns less predictable. These unforeseen weather patterns can make it difficult to maintain and grow crops, making agriculture-dependent countries like India vulnerable.

Natural Factors:

There are numerous natural factors that cause the Earth’s climate to change. They affect the climate over a period of thousands to millions of years.

Continental Drift:

The present-day continents were not the same prior to 200 million years. They have formed millions of years ago when the landmass began to drift apart due to plate displacement. This movement had an impact on climate change due to the change on the landmass’s physical features and position and the change in water bodies’ position like the change in the follow of ocean currents and winds. The drifting of the landmass is continued today. The Himalayan range is rising approximately 1 millimetre every year as the Indian landmass is moving towards the Asian landmass.

Variation of the Earth’s orbit:

The Earth’s orbit has an impact on the sunlight’s seasonal distribution that is reaching the Earth’s surface. A slight change in the Earth’s orbit can lead to variation in distribution across the world.

There are three types of orbital variations – variations in Earth’s eccentricity, variations in the tilt angle of the Earth’s axis of rotation and precession of Earth’s axis. These together can cause Milankovitch cycles, which have a huge impact on climate and are well-known for their connection to the glacial and interglacial periods. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finding showed that the Milankovitch cycles had influenced the behaviour of ice formation

Plate tectonics:

Due to the change in the temperature in the core of the Earth, the mantle plumes and convection currents forced the Earth’s Plates to adjust leading to the rearrangement of the Earth Plate. This can influence the global and local patterns of climate and atmosphere. The oceans’ geometry is determined by the continents’ position. Therefore, the position of the continents influences the pattern of the ocean.

The location of the sea also plays a crucial role in controlling the transfer of heat and moisture across the globe and determines the global climate. A recent example of the tectonic control on ocean circulation is the formation of the Isthmus of Panama about 5 million years ago, leading to the prevention of direct mixing of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Volcanic Activity:

When a volcano erupts, it emits gases and dust particles, causing a partial block of the Sunrays. This can lead to the cooling of the weather. Though the volcanic activities last only for a few days, the gases and ashes released by it can last for a long period, leading to it influencing climate patterns.

Sulphur oxide emitted by volcanic activities can combine with water to form tiny droplets of sulphuric acid. These droplets are so small that many of them can stay in the air for several years.

Ocean Currents:

Ocean current is one of the major components of the climate system. It is driven by horizontal winds causing the movement of the water against the sea surface. The temperature differences of the water influence the climate of the region.

Anthropogenic Factors:

Global warming, the long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system, is a major aspect of climate change. It is mainly a human-caused increase in global surface temperature. The anthropogenic factors causing climate change are as follows:

Greenhouse Gases:

The greenhouse gases absorb heat radiation from the sun. Following the initiation of the Industrial Revolution, the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has increased exponentially. This has led to more absorption and retaining the heat in the atmosphere. This resulted in an increase in Global Temperature. The greenhouse gases mostly do not absorb the solar radiation but absorb most of the infrared emitted by the Earth’s surface.

The main greenhouse gases include

  • Water vapour (the majority of the GHG in the atmosphere but the impact is less)
  • Carbon dioxide released due to natural and anthropogenic factors spends more time in the atmosphere, leading to an increase in its impact. There has been a 30% increase in the concentration of CO2 since the start of the industrial revolution. Apart from the industrial revolution, deforestation also contributes to the increase in the CO
  • Chlorofluorocarbons, used for industrial purposes, especially in refrigerants and air conditioning, is a man-made compound regulated under the Montreal Protocol due to their adverse effects on the Ozone layers.
  • Methane is released due to the decomposition of organic matter. It is stronger than CO2 because of its capacity to absorb more heat.
  • Nitrous oxide is produced by the agricultural sector, especially in the production and use of organic fertilizers and while burning fossil fuels.

Change in the land use pattern:

Half of the land-use change is said to have happened during the industrial era. Most of the forests were replaced by agricultural cropping and grazing of lands.

The increased albedo (reflectivity of an object in space) in the snow-covered high-altitude regions due to deforestation led to the cooling of the planet’s surface. The lower the albedo, the more of the Sun’s radiation gets absorbed by the planet and the temperatures will rise. If the albedo is higher and the Earth is more reflective, more of the radiation is returned to space, leading to the cooling of the planet.

Tropical deforestation changes the evapotranspiration rates (the amount of water vapour put in the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration from trees), causes desertification and affects soil moisture characteristics.

Atmospheric aerosols:

Aerosols can directly affect climate change by absorbing or reflecting solar radiation. They can also produce indirect effects by modifying the cloud’s formation and properties. They can even be transported thousands of kilometres away from its source through wind and upper-level circulation in the atmosphere.

There are two types of aerosols – Natural aerosols and Anthropogenic aerosols. The sources of natural aerosols include volcanic eruptions (produce sulphate aerosols) and biogenic sources like planktons (can produce dimethyl sulphide).

The anthropogenic aerosols include: The ammonia used for fertilizers or released by the burning of plants and other organic materials forms a major source for Nitrate aerosols. Burning of coal and oil produces sulphur dioxide that forms a major source of sulphate aerosols Burning of biomass can release a combination of organic droplets and soot particles.

India’s response to Climate Change

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): outlines existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. The Action Plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through to 2017: Solar Energy; Enhanced Energy Efficiency; Sustainable Habitat; Water; Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem; Green India; Sustainable Agriculture; and Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change. Most of these missions have strong adaptation imperatives.
  • National Clean Energy Fund: The Government of India created the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) in 2010 for financing and promoting clean energy initiatives and funding research in the area of clean energy in the country. The corpus of the fund is built by levying a cess of INR 50 (subsequently increased to INR 100 in 2014) per tonne of coal produced domestically or imported.
  • Paris Agreement: Under the Paris Agreement, India has made three commitments. India’s greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP will be reduced by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. Alongside, 40% of India’s power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel sources. At the same time, India will create an additional ‘carbon sink’ of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Co2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • International Solar Alliance: ISA was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by India and France, in the presence of Mr. Ban Ki Moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • Bharat Stage (BS) Emission Norms: Emissions from vehicles are one of the top contributors to air pollution, which led the government at the time to introduce the BS 2000 (Bharat Stage 1) vehicle emission norms from April 2000, followed by BS-II in 2005. BS-III was implemented nationwide in 2010. However, in 2016, the government decided to meet the global best practices and leapfrog to BS-VI norms by skipping BS V altogether.

For Climate Change News:

https://www.aspireias.com/search/climate%20change

Source: TE

Mobile Phone Technologies

GS-III : S&T Computers and IT

Mobile Phone Technologies

1G Technology

  • The development of 1G mobile phones took place in the late 1970s.
  • The 1G mobile devices sent only the “analogue voice information” via amplitude modulation (AM), which varies the amplitude of the carrier signal, and frequency modulation (FM), which changes the Frequency of the career signal.
  • In electronics, the analog signal devices were followed by Analog to Digital convertors.
  • The most important 1G system were
  1. Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS)
  2. Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT)
  3. Total Access Telephone System (TACS).
  • The devices of the 1G included the Cordless Phone, Paging Systems, Private Mobile Radio, Some primitive mobile systems as mentioned above.

2G Technology

  • The 2G phase began in the 1990s and much of this technology is still in use. The 2G cell phone features digital voice encoding.
  • Examples include CDMA and GSM.

Terminologies

  • GSM: GSM is a TDMA based wireless network technology which make use of a SIM card to identify the user's account. In India GSM networks operate on the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands.
  • CDMA: Code-Division Multiple Access, a digital cellular technology that uses spread-spectrum techniques. Unlike competing systems, such as GSM, that use TDMA, CDMA does not assign a specific frequency to each user. Instead, every channel uses the full available spectrum. Individual conversations are encoded with a pseudo-random digital sequence.
  • Bandwidth: Determines the rate at which information can be transmitted across that a medium. The rates are measured in bits (bps), kilobits (kbps), megabits (Mbps), or gigabits per second (Gbps).
  • EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GMS Evolution): EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment), a faster version of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) wireless service, is designed to deliver data at rates up to 384 Kbps and enable the delivery of multimedia and other broadband applications to mobile phone and computer users.
  • GPRS (General Packet Radio Service): GPRS is a packet-based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users. The higher data rates will allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia Web sites and similar applications using mobile handheld devices as well as notebook computers.
  • Wideband CDMA is a third-generation (3G) wireless standard which allows use of both voice and data and offers data speeds of up to 384 Kbps. WCDMA is also called UMTS and the two terms have become interchangeable.
  • LTE (Long Term Evolution): LTE is the next-step of the evolution of UMTS (3G) and HSDPA (3.5G). It's the only wireless network technology that's correctly called 4G.
  • Wi-Fi is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices. A device such as a personal computer, video game console, smart phone, or digital audio player, when enabled with Wi-Fi, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point. It uses radio frequency (RF) technology
  • WiBro: WiBro (Wireless Broadband) communication technique uses radio waves (frequency of 2.3 GHz) and allows a maximum theoretical speed of 30 megabits per second over a range between 1 and 5 kilometers.

  • Since its inception, 2G technologies have steadily improved, with increased bandwidth, packet routing, and the introduction of multimedia.
  • GSM is most popular standard for mobile telephony systems spread in more than 200 countries / territories. GSM is a cellular network, which means that mobile phones connect to it by searching for cells in the immediate vicinity.
  • The worldwide presence of GSM means that subscribers can use their phones throughout the world, enabled by international roaming arrangements between mobile network operators.
  • GSM networks operate in a number of different carrier frequency ranges and most 2G GSM networks operate in the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz bands.
  • GSM provides the voice and limited data services and uses the digital modulation for improved audio quality. So this was the beginning of the SMS. The rate was 10 Kbps/user.

2.5G Technology

  • The GPS was succeeded with GPRS i.e. General Packet Radio Service. This is called 2.5G. This enhanced the data transmission capacity of the GSM and added the packet switched capabilities to the existing mobile telephony.
  • So now the systems were able to send emails and Graphics rich data as a higher speed. 2.5 G or GPRS set the preparatory stage for the 3G
  • Applications in 2.5 G are : Digital voice and limited data

3G Technology

  • 3G, 4G and 5 G are the generic names for a set of mobile technologies. These use a host of high-tech infrastructure networks, handsets, base stations, switches and other equipment to allow mobile phones to offer broadband wireless Internet access, data, video, live TV and CD-quality music services.
  • The 3G wireless networks use technologies such as
  1. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS);
  2. Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE);
  3. UMTS Wideband CDMA (WCDMA) and
  4. High Speed Downlink Packet Access.
  • The 3G technology is capable of transferring data at theoretical top speed of just 7.2Mbps.

4G Technology

  • 4G is the short term for fourth-generation; it is a wireless data transmission network.
  • The data transfer speeds here are four time that of 3G making IPTV and interactive gaming a reality on mobile phones.
  • All this will make the mobile phone much like a digital Swiss Knife: a single wireless device for all our needs.
  • The technology uses Carriers that use orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) instead of time division multiple access (TDMA) or code division multiple access (CDMA).

5G Technology

India’s National Digital Communications Policy 2018

  • It highlights the importance of 5G when it states that the convergence of a cluster of revolutionary technologies including 5G, the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, along with a growing start-up community, promise to accelerate and deepen its digital engagement, opening up a new horizon of opportunities.
  • It aims to reach 100% teledensity, high-speed internet highways and delivery of citizen-centric services electronically.

  • Millimeter wave spectrum: The 5G networks will operate in the millimeter wave spectrum (30-300 GHz) which have the advantage of sending large amounts of data at very high speeds because the frequency is so high, it experiences little interference from surrounding signals.
  • Upgraded LTE: 5G is the latest upgrade in the long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks.
  • Internet speed: In the high-band spectrum of 5G, internet speeds have been tested to be as high as 20 Gbps (gigabits per second) as compared to the maximum internet data speed in 4G recorded at 1 Gbps.
  • 5G network speeds should have a peak data rate of 20 Gb/s for the downlink and 10 Gb/s for the uplink.
  • Bands in 5G: 5G mainly work in 3 bands, namely low, mid and high frequency spectrum — all of which have their own uses as well as limitations.
  • Low band spectrum: It has shown great promise in terms of coverage and speed of internet and data exchange however the maximum speed is limited to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second).
  • Mid-band spectrum: It offers higher speeds compared to the low band, but has limitations in terms of coverage area and penetration of signals.
  • High-band spectrum: It has the highest speed of all the three bands, but has extremely limited coverage and signal penetration strength.
  • Applications: High-Speed mobile network, Entertainment and multimedia, Internet of Things, Smart cities, Smart farming, Telemedicine services, Controlling of critical infrastructure and vehicles and Industrial applications.

Steering Committee on 5G

  • The committee was set up in September 2017 and submitted its report on August 24, 2018, under the chairmanship of AJ Paulraj to suggest road map for 5G adoption.
  • It gave wide-ranging recommendations to Department of Telecommunication for areas like spectrum policy, regulatory policy, standards and education.
  • It has asked for setting up a Standing Committee with five-year term to advice on building Spectrum Technology Infrastructure.
  • It has proposed promulgation of key norms on regulatory matters by March 2019 in order to facilitate early deployment of 5G technology and noted that 5G technologies will start entering service globally beginning 2019 and advance to full range of services by 2024.
  • It recommended deployment classification of 5G into three phases based on technologies and expects the economic impact of 5G to be over $1 trillion by 2035.
  • It said that the early adoption of 5G will make equipment needed for 5G rollout more expensive but early adoption will fast-track India’s embrace of 5G’s benefits.
  • The committee pointed out that even after entry of 5G, the earlier generation mobile technologies will continue to remain in use for almost 10 more years.

What is in the news?

  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) gave permission to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for the use and application of 5G technology.
  • This formally leaves out Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE from the 5G race in India.
  • The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and MTNL. These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers, which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT.
  • In addition, Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd. will also be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology.
  • The duration of the trials is for six months, which includes a time period of two months for the procurement and setting up of the equipment.
  • “The permissions have been given by DoT as per the priorities and technology partners identified by the TSPs themselves,” it stated.
  • Each TSP will have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings also, in addition to urban settings, so that the benefit of 5G technology proliferates across the country and is not confined to the urban areas, the statement said.

Source: TH

Cabinet approves strategic disinvestment of IDBI Bank Limited

GS-III : Economic Issues Economic reforms

Cabinet approves strategic disinvestment of IDBI Bank Limited

About Disinvestment

  1. Disinvestment refers to sale or liquidation of an assets or subsidiary of an organization or government but any condition Govt share should not go below 51%.
  2. It is done by Dept of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Ministry of Finance from 2016.
  3. Industrial Policy Resolution,1956 talks about the growth of the country through PSUs. Hence, from 2nd Five Year Plan we started focusing on PSEs.
  4. Salient Features of Disinvestment Policy
    1. PSUs are wealth of Nation and it ensures that wealth rests in hands of people, promote public ownership of CPSEs.
    2. Govt must retain at least 51% of shareholding and management control of PSUs.
    3. Strategic disinvestment by way of sale of substantial portion of Govt in identified CPSEs upto 50% or more along with transfer of management control.

Phases of Disinvestment

  • Phase I: In 1991 PVNR Govt initiated disinvestment: In 1991 policy it was announced that government would disinvest upto 20% of its equity in selected PSUs mainly through MFs and FIIs (Financial institutions investors).
  • Phase II: More people allowed in disinvestment like FII, Employees of the Company etc.
  • Phase III
    • The Govt appointed C Rangarajan Committee: who recommended ~49% of disinvestment.
    • Atal Bihari Vajpayee adopted major disinvestment policy HINDALCO, BALCO. It talked about Stake Sale.
    • Stake sale is a larger share that can be sold to LIC or other profitable PSUs not individual investors.
    • PSUs were bifurcated into 2: Strategic (defense, atomic) and Non strategic.
    • 2005: Govt came out with National Investment Fund under Public Accounts of India.
      1. Purpose of the fund was to receive disinvestment proceeds of CPSEs.
      2. Money from disinvestment is put upon this money is invested in stock market or other investment instruments the income of which
        1. 75% of returns are used in social sector NREGA, Housing for All, AIBP, Health, Education, Employment etc.
        2. 25% can be utilized for Profitable PSUs and revival of PSUs.
      3. This fund was professionally managed by 3 Fund Managers: UTI, SBI and LIC. But CCEA restructured the NIF and decided to do away with the management of the disinvestment proceeds by the Fund Managers of NIF. Now from 2013, all the money is credited to Public Accounts.
      4. Special NIF
        1. It is kept outside the CFI to transfer the shares of only certain loss making CPSEs which are non-compliant with the rule that minimum 10% of shares issued be held by public.
        2. Only shares are transferred here and not receipts from the sale of shares of CPSEs
  • Phase IV: Current Disinvestment.
    1. In last 3 years, Govt is increasing their disinvestment targets from 80000 crore rs to 1.05 lakh crore rupees.
    2. But as per Economists, Hyper Disinvestment because of declining revenues of Govt due to GST and Demonetization to achieve targets of FD and to achieve poll promises is not good. This led to disinvesting BPCL, Concor etc. even breaching the 51% limit.
  • Strategic Disinvestment in 5 PSEs
    • Government to sell entire stake in Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR). Also THDCIL and North East Electric Power Corporation (to NTPC). Disinvestment done because of massive shortfall in revenue and capital receipts (according to Controller General of Accounts).
    • BPCL was a profitable, yet they disinvested it. This is a concern. Numaligarh refinery is in Assam.
    • How the Government completes the transaction is a concern – from appointment of advisers, to deciding the pricing mechanism and initiating a transparent bidding process before finalizing a buyer - is a big question.
  • Bharat Bond ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) to be India's 1st Corporate Bond ETF
    • ETF to comorise basket of bonds issues by CPSEs, CPSUs, CPFIs and other government entities and all will be initially rated AAA with ?1000 for each unit to attract retail investors.
    • DIPAM (Department of Industry and Public Asset Management) is responsible for disinvestment in the country.
    • Each ETF will have a fixed maturity dates initially to be issued in 2 series of 3 years and 10 years.
    • Benefits
      1. Bond ETF will provide safety (issued by CPSEs & govt owned agencies), liquidity (tradability on exchange), additional source of funding for issuers (apart from banks) and predictable tax efficient returns.
      2. It would help deepen India's bond market as it will encourage participation of those retail investors who are currently not participating in bond markets including HNI participants.
  • In Budget 2020, FM announced to sell a part of its 100% stake in LIC by an IPO.
    • LIC was established in 1956 through an Act of Parliament.
    • Before Govt divests a part of its stake through a public issue, it will have to ensure that it amends the LIC Act, which ensures a sovereign guarantee for all policies under Section 37 of the Act.

What is the news?

  • Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian has expressed confidence that the ?1.75-lakh crore disinvestment target of this fiscal will be achieved, with a good part coming from the
      1. proposed IPO of insurance behemoth LIC and
      2. privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL).
  • While LIC’s public issue and BPCL privatisation are expected to contribute a chunk of the target, from a signalling perspective, Air India’s privatisation is also very important, on which too work is happening, the CEA said.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment along with transfer of management control in IDBI Bank Ltd.
  • The extent of respective shareholding to be divested by GoI and LIC shall be decided at the time of structuring of transaction in consultation with RBI.
  • Government of India (GoI) and LIC together own more than 94% of equity of IDBI Bank (GoI 45.48%, LIC 49.24%). LIC is currently the promoter of IDBI Bank with Management Control and GoI is the co-promoter.
  • LIC’s Board has passed a resolution to the effect that LIC may reduce its shareholding in IDBI Bank Ltd. through divesting its stake along with strategic stake sale envisaged by the Govt. with an intent to relinquish management control and by taking into consideration price, market outlook, statutory stipulation and interest of policy holders.

Source: PIB

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?

GS-III : S&T COVID-19

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?

How does a concentrator help?

  • With the demand for medical oxygen continuing unabated and several States struggling to keep pace with demand, the oxygen concentrator has emerged as a sought-after device.
  • Unlike medical oxygen sourced from industrial units, which are supplied via cylinders, concentrators are devices that can be operated at home.

When is an oxygen concentrator needed?

  • The device can aid those whose oxygen saturation levels are between 88 and 92.
  • When blood saturation levels drop below 94%, it could be a sign of respiratory distress.
  • Usually, this merits hospitalisation, but due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and oxygen beds in short supply, the device could help those whose saturation levels range between 88 and 92 if they can’t access hospital services.
  • Any lower would require more intensive oxygenation and any higher would mean that an improvement in lung function can obviate the need for such a device.

What does a concentrator do?

  • An oxygen concentrator takes in air and separates the oxygen and delivers it to a person via a nasal cannula.
  • Air is 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen and a concentrator that works by plugging into a source of electricity deliver air that is up to 95% oxygen.
  • In respiratory infections that cause oxygen saturation levels to dip below 90%, having an external device supply pure oxygen eases the burden on the lungs.
  • However in cases of severe respiratory distress, it may be necessary to provide oxygen that is almost 99% pure and an oxygen concentrator is not up to that job,

How does it work?

  • A concentrator consists of a compressor and sieve bed filter.
  • The former squeezes atmospheric air and also adjusts the pressure at which it is delivered.
  • The sieve bed is made of a material called Zeolite that separates the nitrogen.
  • There are two sieve beds that work to both release oxygen into a tank that’s connected to the cannula as well as release the separated nitrogen and form a continuous loop that keeps producing fresh oxygen.

Are all concentrators the same?

  • These products come with a variety of specifications. There are those with varying oxygen outputs.
  • For COVID-19 patients, a device with a 5L-10 L output is recommended.
  • What’s important though is that it delivers air that contains at least 90% pure oxygen.
  • The cost of these devices can range from? 40,000 to 90,000.
  • There are also pulse and continuous flow concentrators where the latter delivers oxygen at a constant rate and the other uses a sensor to deliver a puff of oxygen when a user is about to inhale.

Source: TH

G7 countries

GS-II : International organisation Major International Organizations

G7 countries

What is G-7 grouping?

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975.
  • The bloc meets annually to discuss issues of common interest like global economic governance, international security and energy policy.
  • The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters. The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.
  • G-7 is a bloc of industrialized democracies i.e. France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and Canada.
  • The G7 was known as the ‘G8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997.
  • The Group returned to being called G7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine
  • Summits are held annually and hosted on a rotation basis by the group's members.
  • The groundwork for the summit, including matters to be discussed and follow-up meetings, is done by the “sherpas”, who are generally personal representatives or members of diplomatic staff such as ambassadors.
  • The leaders of important international organizations like European Union, IMF, World Bank and the United Nations are also invited.
  • The Group of Seven wealthy democracies on Tuesday discussed how to form a common front towards an increasingly assertive China in the Foreign Ministers’ first in-person talks in two years.

What is in the news?

  • Backing U.S. President Joe Biden’s calls for a deeper alliance of democracies, host Britain invited guests, including India, South Korea and Australia, for talks in central London stretched out over three days.
  • After a welcome dinner on Monday focused on the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea, the Foreign Ministers opened formal talks at Lancaster House, a West End mansion, welcoming one another with COVID-friendly elbow-bumps and minimal staff.
  • The G7 devoted its first session on Tuesday to China, whose growing military and economic clout and willingness to exert its influence at home and abroad have increasingly unnerved Western democracies.
  • “It is not our purpose to try to contain China or to hold China down,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Monday. “What we are trying to do is to uphold the international rules-based order that our countries have invested so much in over so many decades to the benefit, I would argue, not just of our own citizens, but of people around the world — including, by the way, China.”
  • Mr. Blinken pledged “robust cooperation” with Britain in pressuring China over the Xinjiang region, where Beijing’s incarceration of one million Uighurs and other Muslims has been labelled genocide by Washington, and over a clampdown against civil rights in Hong Kong.
  • British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called for “holding Beijing to the commitments that they’ve made”, including on Hong Kong, which was promised a separate system before London handed over the colony in 1997.
  • But in line with the Biden administration, which has shifted the tone if not substance of former President Donald Trump’s hawkish stance on China, Mr Raab also called for “finding constructive ways to work with China in a sensible and positive manner where that’s possible” — including on climate change. “We want to see China stepping up to the plate and playing its full role,” Mr Raab said.
  • The nations of the G7 — which also include Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — mostly share concerns about China but some have different approaches. Japan has historic tensions with China but has held off on joining Western nations with sanctions, wary of inflaming relations with its trading partner.
  • Italy has been seen as one of the most Beijing-friendly nations in the West, and in 2019 signing up for the Belt and Road Initiative. But Rome joined EU peers in March in summoning the Chinese Ambassador in a row triggered by concerns over the treatment of the Uighurs.
  • The Ministers later held a session on the spiralling crisis in Myanmar and were also due to discuss Russia, Libya, Syria, and climate change among other topics.

Source: TH

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J C Pant is the Acting Chairperson of NHRC Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant, a former Supreme Court judge, has been appointed the Acting Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) with effect from April 25, the commission said on Monday. Justice Pant was appointed a member of the

OPEC and India’s Oil imports

OPEC and India’s Oil imports About OPEC It is an intergovernmental organization of 13 nations, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela). HQ is in Vienna, Austria. It aims to ma

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Goods and Service Tax

Goods and Service Tax Through 101st Amendment Act guided by Art 301 Govt introduced GST includes both Goods and Services Art 279 A is introduced to make GST workable. Enforced from 1 July 2017. Exceptions Except Alcohol and Electricity all items included. 5 Petroleum products are

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