Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs 22

17thMarch,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs 

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 17thMarch,2022

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint

Index

  • What is Electronic Visa (E-Visa) Facility? (PIB)
  • Crude Oil and Its Constituents (TH, pg 1)
  • What is a War Crime? (IE)
  • Bathou and Hereka (TH, pg 12)
  • U.N. RefugeeConvention (TH, pg 12)
  • Patent rights on COVID-19 jabs may be waived (TH, pg 1)
  • Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act(TH, pg 10)
  1. What is Electronic Visa (E-Visa) Facility? (PIB)

  • Context:The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has restored electronic visa (e-visa) facility for foreigners from 156 countrieskeeping in view the improvement in the COVID-19 situation in India.
  • Currently valid e-tourist visa issued for five years, which was suspended since March 2020.

Analysis

  • An e-visa is provided in five categories — tourist, business, conference, medical, and medical attendant.
  • Under the arrangement, a foreigner can apply online at least four days prior to travel.
  • After the details are verified, an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is generated, which has to be presented at the immigration checkpost on arrival.
  • Entry through e-visas is allowed only at 28 designated international airports and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore, Chennai and Mumbai seaports) in India.
  • You may depart from any of the Indian Immigration Check Posts (ICPs).

Who is eligible for e-Visa Services?

  • The following are the eligibility conditions for availing e-Visa services:
  • Nationals of countries specified by the Government of India.
  • Foreigners whose sole objective for visiting India is:
  • (a) Recreation and sightseeing
  • (b) Casual visit to meet friends and relatives
  • (c) Attending short term yoga programme or short-term courses on local languages, music, dance, arts & crafts, cooking, medicine etc. which should not be a formal or structured course/programme(courses not exceeding 6 months duration and not issuing a qualifying certificate/diploma etc. to the participants)
  • (d) Voluntary work of short duration (for a maximum period of one month, which do not involve any monetary payment or consideration of any kind in return)
  • (e) Medical treatment, including treatment under Indian systems of medicine
  • (f) As attendant to e-Medical visa holder
  • (g) Business purpose
  • (h) Attending a conference/ seminar/ workshop.
  • The foreigner should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
  • Foreigners of Pakistani origin or having Pakistani Passport are not eligible for e-Visa.
  • Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders or Laissez-passer/ international travel document holders.
  • For e-Tourist Visa (01 year / 05 years), e-Business Visa, e-Medical, e-Medical Attendant and e-Conference visa, applicants of the eligible countries/territories may apply online minimum 4 days in advanceof the date of arrival. Such application can be made 120 days in advance from proposed date of travel.

Can I enter India using Land border even if I am having valid e-visa for any other airport or seaport which is not listed for the e-Visa?

  • No, You can only enter through the designated airports/seaports which are listed on the e-Visa website.

Can I get Visa on Arrival(VoA) at Indian Airports/Seaport?

  • The Visa on Arrival facility is only for the nationals of certain countries.
  • For the nationals of all othercountries eligible for e-Visa, the e-visa application has to be filled online and the applicant must wait till the confirmation/Grant of ETA for travelling to India.

Is the e-Visa allowed for Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) activities and journalism purposes?

  • e-Visa is not allowed for NGO activities and journalism purposes. However, Voluntary work of short duration (for a maximum period of one month, which do not involve any monetary payment orconsideration of any kind in return) are allowed.
  1. Crude Oil and Its Constituents (TH, pg 1)

  • Context:Jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel (ATF)prices were hiked on Wednesday by over 18% — the steepest-ever rise — to all-time high levels after international oil price surged to a multi-year high.

Analysis

  • The crude oil pumped out­ of the ground is a black liquid called petroleum.
  • This liquid contains hydrocarbons composed of nothing­ but hydrogen and carbon which link together in chains of different lengths.
  • It turns out that hydrocarbon molecules of different lengths have different properties and behaviors.
  • So, what’s the real chemical difference between gasoline, kerosene and diesel? It has to do with their boiling points.

Carbon Chains in Petroleum Products

  • The different chain lengths have progressively higher boiling points, so they can be separated out by distillation.
  • This is what happens in an oil refinery — crude oil is heated and the different chains are pulled out by their vaporization temperatures.
  • The chains in the C5, C6and C7 range are all very light, easily vaporized, clear liquids called naphthas.
  • They are used as solvents — dry cleaning fluids can be made from these liquids, as well as paint solvents and other quick-drying products.
  • The chains from C7H16through C11H24 are blended together and used for gasoline (petrol).
  • All of them vaporize at temperatures below the boiling point of water. That’s why if you spill gasoline on the ground, it evaporates very quickly.
  • Next is kerosene, in the C12to C15 range, followed by diesel fuel and heavier fuel oils (like heating oil for houses).
  • Next come the lubricating oils. These oils no longer vaporize in any way at normal temperatures.
  • Chains above the C20range from solids, starting with paraffin wax, then tar and finally asphaltic bitumen, which is used to make asphalt roads.

What’s the Difference Between Jet Fuel and Gasoline?

  • Gasoline consists of hydrocarbons that contain anywhere from 7 to 11 carbon atoms with hydrogen molecules attached.
  • Jet fuel, on the other hand, contains hydrocarbons more in the range of 12 to 15 carbon atoms.
  • In more colloquial terminology, jet fuel is made up mostly of kerosene.
  • Theoretically speaking, jets and cars could run off of the same fuel, but the environments that airplanes travel through tend to be very different than normal driving conditions.
  • Temperatures in flight for airplanes can drop to under -40˚ C. At this low temperature, normal gasoline would likely freeze, ultimately causing proper combustion to stop.
  • For this main reason, kerosene is good for jet fuel because it has a lower freezing point. Kerosene also has a higher flash point, which makes it much safer in preventing unplanned combustion.
  • Given the lower freezing point of jet fuel and the higher flash point, the fuel has a much wider safe operational temperature range.
  • With its higher flash point, kerosene offers higher octane ratings to achieve greater power and efficiency when compared to its gasoline counterpart. In fact, this is the main reason kerosene fuel is used in airplanes.
  • Flash point refers to the temperature at which the vapor above the liquid fuel catches fire when a flame or spark is present.
  • Kerosene has a lower viscosity rating during flight operation than gasoline, meaning it’s more watery and not as thick or “gummy” as gasoline.
  • Jet fuel can actually be used in cars, but only in diesel engines.
  • Kerosene jet fuel and diesel are actually similar enough to allow for cross-functionality and would provide a similar performance.
  • Thus, the difference between gasoline and jet fuel are the hydrocarbon molecules and the additives contained in the fuel. Both are derived from crude oil, and both run their respective engines on combustion.

What is the Difference Between Normal vs. Premium Fuel?

  • The biggest difference between normal fuel and premium fuel lies in the octane number.
  • The regular fuel boasts an octane number of 87, but premium fuel has an octane number of 91 or even more.
  • Now, the octane number is nothing but a unit to measure the ignition quality of petrol.
  • In diesel, this measurement is done through ‘cetane number.’
  • Higher the octane number of petrol (and cetane number of diesel), less will be the chances of any knocking (in an internal-combustion engine, sharp sounds caused by premature combustion of part of the compressed air-fuel mixture in the cylinder) issue as the fuel burns in the engine.
  • Many Indian oil companies have been advertising premium fuel increases mileage and life of the engine.
  • Basically, the octane number offers information on how much compression the fuel can experience before the combustion takes place.
  • The octane number also gives a measurement of petrol’s quality and heat-bearing capacity.
  • Basically, petrol that has a higher octane number will not combust as quickly, and this is exactly why most performance cars that come with high compression engines need to use high octane petrol in order to work efficiently and offer optimum performance and efficiency.

What about Diesel Fuel?

  • For measuring the quality of diesel fuel, a different unit, called Cetane number, is used.
  • The higher the cetane number, the more combustible the fuel is, and therefore, it performs better.
  • In comparison, in petrol, a higher octane number represents that the fuel resists spontaneous ignition and hence, has less chances of knocking in the petrol motor.
  • Both the units have been developed in a way that the higher value represents a higher quality of fuel.
Octane Number Cetane Number
Octane Number is a measurement of the quality of petrol decided as per its resistance to combust in an engine. The Cetane Number is a measurement of the quality of diesel based on how readily it combusts in a diesel engine.

 

  1. What is a War Crime? (IE)

  • Context: President Joe Biden flatly called Russia’s Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” for the unfolding onslaught in Ukraine.

Analysis

  • According to the United Nations, a war crime is a serious breach of international law committed against civilians or “enemy combatants” during an international or domestic armed conflict.
  • In contrast with genocide and crimes against humanity, war crimes have to occur in the context of armed conflict.
  • The Hague Conventions adopted in 1899 and 1907 focus on the prohibition to warring parties to use certain means and methods of warfare.
  • The four 1949 Geneva Conventions and the two 1977 Additional Protocols, focus on the protection of persons not or no longer taking part in hostilities.
  • Both Hague Law and Geneva Law identify several of the violations of its norms, though not all, as war crimes.
  • However, there is no one single document in international law that codifies all war crimes.

What specific crimes make someone a war criminal?

  • The so-called “grave breaches” of the conventions that amount to war crimes include willful killing and extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity.
  • Other war crimes include deliberately targeting civilians, using disproportionate force, using human shields and taking hostages.
  • A very detailed list of crimes against humanity and war crimes can be found in articles 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  • The Geneva Conventions established that states could exercise jurisdiction over such crimes.
  • Over recent decades, international courts such as the Yugoslavia Tribunal and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have exercised jurisdiction over individuals accused of war crimes.
  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and tries individuals charged with: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.

Do you know?

  • In spite of the near-universal ratification of the Geneva Conventions, war crimes often go unpunished.
  1. Bathou and Hereka (TH, pg 12)

  • Context: The Assam government has vowed to patronise indigenous and tribal faiths and culturessuch as Bathou of the Bodo community and Heraka of the Zeme Naga community, considered to be endangered because of conversions to mainstream religions.

Analysis

Bathou

  • The Bodos have unique culture, religion and tradition which is extremely independent from the rest people of this country.
  • Bathou is completely independent from the Vedas or Hinduism.
  • There isn’t any provision of worshipping idols in Bathou.
  • Bathou religion does not consist of any temple.
  • Fundamentally Bodos are nature worshippers. The worship of this nature is “Bathou”.
  • The Sijow (Euphorbia splendens) plant is taken as the symbol of the Bathou religion and worshiped. Sijow plant is usually planted at the middle of the Bathou altar and is surrounded by round fence of small bamboo strips folded in five fastenings that signifies the powers of those five basic elements.
  • Bodos, in the north-east part of India traditionally practice Bathouism which is worshiping forfather, the absolute spirit, the only one form of god in the ultimate sense and it is also claimed as the supreme soul.
  • In Bodo language, ‘Ba’ means five and ‘Thou’ means deep thought. As Bodos believe in five mighty elements of god (represents the panchatatva) which are earth, water, air, fire and ether have become a very significant number in the Bathou religion.
  • The supreme god of this religion is known as Bathoubwrai or Sibarai (Siba).

Heraka

  • Heraka is a religious reform movement taken up by the Zeme Naga communities, during the period of British colonialism in North East India.
  • Heraka reform movement is primarily amongst the Zeme of North Cachar Hills, Assam.
  • Heraka derives from an ancestral Naga practices known as “Paupaise”.
  • It is also known as the “Kacha Naga movement”, “Gaidinliu movement”, Periese (“old practice”), Kelumse (“prayer practice”) and Ranise (“Rani’s practice”).
  • Among the Heraka, there are two important figures who are seen as prophets and reformers:
  • Jadonang (1905-31) and Gaidinliu (1915-93)
  • HaipouJadonang, a Rongmei Naga spiritual leader and political activist from Manipur started the Heraka religious movement.
  • After he was hanged by the British in 1931, he was succeeded by his cousin Rani Gaidinliu at the age of 13.
  • She was considered an incarnation of the goddess Cherachamdinliu. She resisted against Christian missionaries who she warned were eroding the Zeliangrong culture and tradition.
  • The Heraka movement is variously described as a reform movement, a revival of the Naga tribal religion.
  • Animal Sacrifice was a prominent feature of this religion. Later on the sacrifice of animals was totally abolished.
  • The principal belief in the Heraka reform is the ban on sacrifices and the adoption of one God. The Heraka themselves see the movement as a reform.
  • Jadonang established a cave temple at the Bhuban cave, situated near the top of the Bhuban Hill.
  • For the Heraka, the Bhuban cave is important for them as it is the point from where the reform began.
  1. U.N. Refugee Convention (TH, pg 12)

  • As many as 16 Chinese nationals were granted Indian citizenship since 2007 and the applications of 10 are pending, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Rajya Sabha recently.
  • India was not a signatory to the 1951 U.N. Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereon.
  • All foreign nationals (including asylum seekers) are governed by the provisions contained in The Foreigners Act, 1946, The Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939, The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and The Citizenship Act, 1955.
  1. Patent rights on COVID-19 jabs may be waived (TH, pg 1)

  • Intellectual property rights held by international pharmaceutical companies on COVID-19 vaccines may be relaxed for up to five years, according to a proposal by the European Union (EU) against the backdrop of a festering two-year-old dispute at the World Trade Organization involving India, the U.S., South Africa and the EU.
  • This waiver will allow pharmaceutical companies in developing countries not only to make but also, further down, export vaccines without explicit permission from the patent holders.
  1. Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (TH, pg 10)

  • The Union Home Ministry has placed the U.S.- based Hewlett Foundation on its watchlist following an investigation that foreign contributions it sent were being used for climate awareness campaigns, an activity not permissible under the FCRA [Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act].