10 MAY 2022

. No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.    About the Coal Gasification Prelims & Mains
2.    Details of the China Taiwan Relations Prelims & Mains
3.    About the Line of Actual Control Prelims & Mains
4.    Details of Rakhigarhi Prelims Specific Topic
5.    About Monkeypox Prelims Specific Topic


1 – About the Coal Gasification: 


Environmental Conservation related issues

  • Context:
  • The Ministry of Coal has suggested a 50% revenue share concession to promote coal gasification in order to assist India become energy independent.
  • Eligibility:
  • Concessions are available if the successful bidder consumes or sells coal for coal gasification or liquefaction on a yearly basis, subject to the condition that at least 10% of scheduled coal production as per the approved mining plan for that year is consumed or sold for gasification or liquefaction.
  • What is coal gasification and how does it work?
  • When compared to coal, it is considered a cleaner option.
  • Syngas is a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), natural gas (CH4), and water vapour produced by a process called syngasification (H2O).
  • What is the procedure?
  • It makes it easier to use coal’s chemical qualities.
  • During gasification, coal is cooked under high pressure while being blown with oxygen and steam.
  • Oxygen and water molecules oxidise the coal and form syngas during the process.
  • Benefits:
  • Carrying gas is far less expensive than transporting coal.
  • Assist in resolving local pollution issues.
  • It is more efficient than traditional coal-burning.
  • Concerns and difficulties:
  • One of the most water-intensive ways of energy production is coal gasification.
  • Concerns have also been raised about water contamination, soil subsidence, and the safe disposal of waste water.
  • India’s reliance on coal:
  • India is the world’s second-largest coal importer, consumer, and producer, with the fourth-largest reserves (Reference). Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa are the largest sources of imports.
  • Recent Reforms in the Coal Industry:
  • Commercial coal mining is permitted, with 50 blocks available to the private sector.
  • Entry requirements have been relaxed as the regulation mandating power stations to utilise “washed” coal has been repealed.
  • Instead of a predetermined price, coal blocks will be offered to private enterprises on a revenue sharing basis.
  • Coal India’s coal mines will auction off extraction rights for coal bed methane (CBM).
  • Source – The Indian Express

2 – Details of the China Taiwan Relations:


International Relations related issues

  • Context:
  • If Beijing invades Taiwan, Taiwan believes that the world would sanction China in the same way that it has sanctioned Russia for its war in Ukraine.
  • Taiwan has agreed to join Western-led sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
  • Why has the situation in Ukraine drawn attention to Taiwan?
  • The situation of Ukraine has elicited much sympathy in Taiwan, owing to what many see as parallels between what is happening in Ukraine and what could happen if China uses force to annex Taiwan, which it claims as its own.
  • Taiwan has boosted its alert level since the Ukraine conflict began, fearful that China will follow suit, despite no signs of an imminent Chinese attack, according to the Taipei authorities.
  • Recent battles include:
  • Last week, China’s armed forces conducted another set of drills near Taiwan to boost coordinated combat operations.
  • Taiwan has been complaining about Chinese military action near it for the previous two years, mainly in the southern and southwestern parts of the island’s air defence identification zone, or ADIZ.
  • Background on China-Taiwan relations:
  • China has claimed Taiwan under its “one China” policy since the defeated Kuomintang, or Nationalist, fled to the island in 1949 during the Chinese civil war, and has sworn to bring it under Beijing’s sovereignty, by force if necessary.
  • Taiwan has never legally declared independence from the mainland, despite the fact that it is self-governed and de facto autonomous.
  • Taiwan would have the right to govern its own affairs under the “one nation, two systems” model; Hong Kong has a similar arrangement.
  • China currently claims Taiwan and refuses to establish diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the region.
  • Position of India on Taiwan:
  • India’s strategy toward Taiwan is clear and consistent, with a focus on fostering connections in areas such as trade, investment, and tourism.
  • Trade, investment, tourism, culture, education, and other people-to-people exchanges are all facilitated and promoted by the government.
  • Although India and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic relations, the two countries do have commerce and people-to-people contacts.
  • Taiwan-India relations:
  • Taiwan and India have been cooperating in different spheres despite the fact that they do not have formal diplomatic relations.
  • Since 2010, India has refused to support the “one-China” policy.
  • Source – The Indian Express

3 – About the Line of Actual Control:


Internal Security related issues

  • Context:
  • The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army are in regular touch through hotlines along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to prevent lesser incidents from growing, according to the Indian Army, and the practise of ‘body pushing’ has been discontinued.
  • What is the current situation?
  • In May 2020, China’s mobilizations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) caused a situation that has yet to be resolved two years later.
  • The 2020 crisis served as a “wake-up call,” and the threat at the northern borders was given “more focus.”
  • In 2017, India and China were involved in a 73-day military standoff in Doklam, at the trijunction of Bhutan, China, and India.
  • What is the overall picture?
  • Only one war has been fought between the two countries, in 1962.
  • However, simmering tensions carry the possibility of escalation, which can be disastrous given that both sides are nuclear powers. There would also be economic consequences because China is India’s largest commercial partner.
  • Growing political tensions have strained ties between India and China, mirroring the military standoff.
  • According to observers, discussions are the only way forward because both countries stand to lose a lot.
  • India’s strategy moving forward:
  • India has gained strategic patience while negotiating from a strong position in eastern Ladakh to end the two-year conflict.
  • India wants soldiers to take a step back and de-escalate, but there are differing views on how this could be accomplished.
  • Hotline exchanges will be conducted on a regular basis.
  • The deployment of forces and equipment is calibrated by nature.
  • The evolution of the LAC and the India-China border:
  • A 3,488-kilometer border separates India and China. Regrettably, the entire border is in question. The McMahon line, named after its author Sir Henry McMahon, is a popular name for the line that separates the two countries.
  • The British-India administration convened a tripartite conference in 1913, during which the boundary between India and Tibet was defined following a discussion between Indian and Tibetan officials. The Indo-Tibetan border was delineated thanks to the adoption of a convention. China, on the other hand, considers this barrier to be illegitimate.
  • China invaded Aksai Chin in 1957 and built a road across it. Following this episode, there were occasional confrontations along the border, culminating in the 1962 border conflict.
  • The line, which was established after the conflict, became known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It’s a military-controlled line.
  • Source – The Indian Express

4 – Details of Rakhigarhi:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Why is this in the news?
  • DNA samples from two human remains discovered at Rakhigarhi have been sent to be examined scientifically.
  • The findings could reveal information about the lineage and eating habits of people who lived thousands of years ago in the Rakhigarhi region.
  • When Amarendra Nath, former director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), began excavations at Rakhigarhi in Haryana in 1997, it became an archaeological hotspot.
  • It’s a 5,000-year-old site that shows continuity from the Harappan period to today. There are also a few hundred-year-old havelis in the village.
  • The site is 27 kilometres from the seasonal Ghaggar river in the Sarasvati river valley.
  • The Rakhigarhi site is one of the “five iconic sites” identified by the Central government in its Union budget for 2020-21.
  • Source – The Indian Express

5 – About Monkeypox:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Why is this in the news?
  • A case of monkeypox has been confirmed by UK health officials.
  • The monkeypox virus was first detected in the United Kingdom in 2018, and health officials have confirmed a few of cases since then.
  • The monkeypox virus belongs to the orthopoxvirus family, which includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox, and the vaccinia virus, which was used in the smallpox vaccine.
  • Monkeypox is a zoonotic illness, meaning it is spread from sick animals to people.
  • Squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, and various monkey species have all been shown to be infected with the monkeypox virus.
  • Monkeypox has symptoms that are comparable to smallpox but are less severe.
  • While smallpox was eradicated worldwide in 1980 due to vaccination, monkeypox still exists in a number of nations in Central and West Africa, as well as elsewhere.
  • Source – The Indian Express