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Monthly DNA

17 Jun, 2022

17 Min Read


GS-I : Indian Geography Land use change


Recently a picture captured by NASA showed that how nighttime temperature in Delhi and adjoining villages were above 35 degrees Celsius which is also peaking at about 39 degrees Celsius, while the rural field nearby had cooled to around 15 degrees Celsius. The phenomena of urban heat island are growing in capital mainly because of escape in green infrastructure.

It has been observed that cities and towns are getting warmer than the surrounding rural areas mainly due to loss of green cover, increasing concretization, increased use of cooling equipment and vehicular pollution.


  • Urban heat island is defined as the local and temporary phenomenon in which certain areas within a city are experiencing higher heat than their surrounding area.
  • This rise of heat mainly happens due to buildings and houses in cities made up of concrete where the heat is trapped and not able to release easily.
  • Urban heat island is basically induced due to trapped heat between establishments made up of concrete.
  • The temperature variation can range between 3 to 5 degrees Celsius.


  • The material used for making roads, pavements and roofs are made up of asphalt(tar), concrete and bricks which are opaque, do not transmit light and have a higher heat capacity and thermal conductivity than the nearby rural areas which have more trees and open spaces.
  • Unplanned urbanization, industrialization and changing land use land cover (LULC) have increased urban heat island.
  • The cause of urban heat islands is global warming, but the other is that these heat islands are linked to micro-climatic changes, which occur when we start disrupting our landscapes.
  • It also occurs with black or any dark colour material which has been used in the construction material.
  • Increasing the activity of deforestation and destroying the green area is also one of the factors for urban heat island. This reduces evapotranspiration which is responsible for circulation of water from the pores of leaves to the surrounding air.


  • UHI decreases the air quality in the city as the pollution created by automobiles and industries are trapped within the city.
  • Severe increase in the day and night temperature which lead to the migration of animal and human being.
  • The combination of high day and night temperatures is dangerous as it seriously impacts the blood circulation and other bodily functions of people and animals leading to heat cramps, sleeps deprivation and increased mortality rate.
  • As the house becomes hot and unable to cool down by midnight it starts acting as a heat trap and in such a situation, the body gets heated and the person may die due to cardiac failure.
  • According to health statistics, heatstroke has become the second leading cause of death due to heat waves.
  • Due To UHI, the species like lizards and gecko that like warm temperature starts colonizing in the cities. Insects such as ants are also more abundant in cities than in rural, these are referred to as ectotherms.
  • It also impacts the nearby waterbodies as warmer water from rooftops, pavements are transferred to drains and released into nearby lakes and rivers thus impacting water quality.


  • Ahmedabad become the first city to came up with heat action plan in order to control the increasing temperature.
  • Restoration of tree cover, forest cover, wetland and natural ecosystem will enhance the green cover area and the focus must be on increasing the green infrastructure that includes cool roofs or painting house roofs in a light colour to reflect heat and using the sustainable cooling mechanism.
  • Industries which also act as the heat trap, need to minimize heat emissions through thermal innovation.
  • Using light-coloured concrete (limestone aggregate along with asphalt) to make the road greyish or even pink in colour like in some places in the US to increase the albedo.
  • Encouraging civilians to plant more trees and even nurture them, in their neighbourhood.

Source: The Hindu


GS-II : Governance Governance


  • The genesis of the Enforcement Directorate goes back to 1956 when an Enforcement Unit was set up, in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling the Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
  • In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as the ‘Enforcement Directorate’.
  • Currently, it is the part of Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  • The Organization is mandated with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of two special fiscal laws – the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
  • The headquarter of the Enforcement Directorate is in New Delhi and the regional office is in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Chandigarh.

Objectives of Enforcement Directorate

Enactment of FEMA and PMLA

  • FERA in 1947 was repealed and it is replaced by FERA 1973. However, FERA 1973 was repealed, and it is replaced by Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), in line with the International Anti-Money Laundering regime, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) was enacted.

Power to officers under FEMA and PMLA

  • ED enforces two laws, FEMA and PMLA.
  • FEMA is civil law. ED has quasi-judicial powers to investigate suspected contraventions of the Exchange Control Laws and Regulations and impose penalties on those adjudged guilty.

Function of Enforcement Directorate

  • To Investigate the violation of the provisions of foreign exchange management act (FEMA) that came into effect in 2000. The violations of provisions of FEMA are dealt with by the designated authorities and involve penalties up to the three times the sum involved.
  • Enforcement directorate also investigates offences under PMLA which came into force in 2005. If the crime is a Scheduled Offence, the concerned officers can seize the property and prosecute the individual involved in money laundering.
  • Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act 2018, the ED processes cases of fugitives from India. The Act helps economic offenders from evading the process of law in India by staying outside the jurisdiction of Indian Courts and preserving the spirituality of the rule of law in India.
  • ED also give cooperation to foreign countries in matters related to money laundering and surrender of assets under the provisions of PMLA and seeks cooperation in such matters.

Enforcement Directorate VS Central Bureau of Investigation

  • CBI work under the Ministry of Home Affair whereas ED work under the Ministry of Finance
  • The prime aim of the Ed is the enforcement of FEMA (Foreign exchange management Act) and PMLA (Prevention of money laundering act) 2002, whereas CBI is the foremost investigative police agency in India.


Crashing Crypto Market

GS-III : S&T Computers and IT

Crashing Crypto Market

What is the issue?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been crashing since they hit an all-time high last year.

What is the current crypto crash?

  • Bitcoin has lost more than two-thirds of its value since it crosses a peak of around $69,000 in November last year and is currently trading at around the $22,000 mark.
  • Ethereum, another cryptocurrency popular among investors, has lost almost 80% of its high value.
  • Due to this, the overall market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has dropped under $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021.
  • The trading volumes in Indian cryptocurrency exchanges dropped by 90% from their peak.

Why are cryptocurrencies crashing?

  • Luna-Terra crash- Recently, a stablecoin called TerraUSD and its sister currency Luna dropped about 80%, rattling the broader crypto market including tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

[A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency pegged to be like the US dollar or Euro so that its price remains stable and less volatile. Crypto investors can get in and out of the fiat easily with no third party (a bank) to approve these transactions. Examples- Tether, USD Coin]

  • The equity market- The fall in the price of cryptocurrencies is in line with the fall in prices of stocks and other assets. A report by New York Times revealed that Bitcoin’s price movements closely mirrored that of Nasdaq, a benchmark that’s weighted toward tech stocks.
  • Interest rate hike- In a bid to cool down inflation, the US Federal Reserve has decided to increase the rate of interest which is commonly viewed as a leading recession indicator. Therefore, the crypto market witnessed a huge downfall, investors lost trust and started selling off their digital assets, causing a bloodbath in the crypto market.
  • Celsius Network- Celsius Network, decentralized finance announced that it is freezing all the crypto transactions citing extreme market conditions.
  • Regulatory challenges- India’s crypto bill that is yet to be tabled seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India and also levies a 30% tax on crypto investors and a 1% TDS on every crypto intra-trader.
  • Popping of bubble- Some believe that the crash could also mark the popping of the bubble that has driven the prices of cryptocurrencies to stratospheric levels.
  • Speculations- Some have argued that the price of cryptocurrencies seems driven more by speculations. For instance, the extreme volatility in the price of cryptocurrencies was seen as a feature that ruled out the use of cryptocurrencies as money.
  • Acceptability- Even though cryptocurrency prices were rising aggressively, the use of cryptocurrencies for real-life transactions was low. So, there was very little reason to believe that the rally in cryptocurrencies was driven by their wider acceptability as an alternative to fiat currencies.

How do governments view cryptocurrencies?

  • Many countries have taken several steps to discourage the widespread use of cryptocurrencies because they challenge the monopoly that central banks currently enjoy over the money supply of an economy.
  • It would affect the ability of governments to fund their spending by creating fresh money.
  • Outright ban- China and Russia have opted to impose outright bans on cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulation- The Reserve Bank of India has been quite vocal about the need to ban them completely.

However, India has tried to tax and regulate them heavily.

Will cryptocurrencies rise again?

  • Price swings is normal- It was argued that cryptocurrencies have always been subject to extreme price swings.
  • The current crash is a good time to buy these virtual currencies at a tremendous bargain. Cryptocurrencies, just like gold, protect investors against the risk of price inflation.
  • By holding their wealth in cryptocurrencies that either maintain or appreciate in value over time, investors can protect themselves against the debasement of their wealth by central banks.

Is it the End of the road for cryptocurrencies?

  • Even if cryptocurrencies manage to recover from the current crash, they may still not manage to hold on to their gains, because cryptocurrencies possess no fundamental value as money.
  • Even the most popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are still not used very much in the daily purchase and sale of goods and services in the real economy.
  • Limited supply can boost the value but it alone cannot make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin a valuable assets like gold and silver.


A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography for security and it is generally based on blockchain technology. A blockchain records the data across peer-to-peer networks.

Source: The Hindu


GS-I : Modern History Personalities


  • The Prime Minister has condoled the passing away of the distinguished Indian National Army Veteran Anjalai Ponnusamy from Malaysia.
  • Though she was not born in India (but in Malaysia), she joined the INA’s Rani of Jhansi regiment, at the age of 21 (1943).

[INA’s Rani of Jhansi regiment is the first Women’s army in the world.]

  • She has the experience of following the troops up to the Burma-India Border in the effort to free India from British Rule.
  • She was also awarded the title “Veera Thaai” (Valiant Mother) by the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Service Centre, Malaysia.

Source: The Hindu

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