The HINDU Notes – 21st JUNE 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis For UPSC IAS)
Volcanism heralded dinosaur era?
Oxford study revealed the fact regarding the mass extinction during Triassic period
- Volcanic activity may have played a key role in triggering the mass extinction event about 200 million years ago, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs.
- The Triassic extinction, one of the largest mass extinctions of animal life on record, was preceded by the dinosaur era.
- The casualty list includes large crocodile-like reptiles and several marine invertebrates.
- This mass extinction has long been linked to a large and abrupt release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but the exact source of this emission has been unknown.
- Following the discovery of volcanic rocks of the same age as the extinction, volcanic carbon dioxide emissions had previously been suggested as an important contributor to this extinction event. These volcanic rocks covered a huge area, across four continents, representing the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province.
- The findings of the study link volcanism to the previously observed repeated large emissions of carbon dioxide that had a profound impact on the global climate, causing the mass extinction at the end of the Triassic Period, as well as slowing the recovery of animal life afterwards.
Enough time given, GST will be implemented from July 1: Arun Jaitley
- Brushing aside reservations from sections of industry as well as States such as West Bengal about the level of preparedness for the switch to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the new indirect tax system would be kicked off on July 1 as the government had given enough time for people to be prepared for the transition.
- He also warned that consumers and producers in Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir, which are yet to ratify the State GST law to facilitate the implementation of the GST under their jurisdiction, would lose out on the benefits of a single national tax.
- “The readiness will be determined when you have to file the first return, which we have extended to September 15 [from August 10]. So two-and-a-half months more are there to get ready. And if he is still not ready, then I am afraid he doesn’t want to be ready,” he pointed out.
- 65 lakh out of 80 lakh assessees in the current indirect tax system have already registered themselves for the GST.
The tiger is safe among Adilabad tribes
- No harm is likely to come to the tiger that recently ambled into the Bela mandal of Adilabad district, Telangana apparently from the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary across the border in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra, so long as it moves in areas inhabited by Raj Gond and Kolam adivasis.
- The aboriginal Raj Gonds worship the big cat as Rajulk Pen, the forest king and god.
- The customs of the Raj Gonds and Kolam tribes are attuned to peaceful co-existence with wild animals.
- For example, the famous Dandari-Ghusadi dance takes inspiration from the movements of wild fauna, especially deer, peacock, rabbit and, of course, the tiger.
- In a Dandari-Ghusadi performance, a masked Tappal Pen dancer depicts a tiger’s attack on cattle.
Dalveer Bhandari gets renomination to ICJ
- India has renominated its serving candidate at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal legal organ of the United Nations.
- Justice Dalveer Bhandari, 69, who received the re-nomination, will serve for a term of nine years as the Indian judge at the ICJ, which is the platform of the ongoing Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
- Election process: The Court consists of 15 judges who are elected to nine-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.
- Privileges: As a judge of the ICJ, Justice Bhandari will enjoy privileges and immunities equal to the head of a diplomatic mission. Each member of the Court receives an annual salary and supplementary allowance. After leaving the court, members receive annual pensions.
- Role of ICJ: Founded in 1945, the ICJ settles disputes between sovereign states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by other authorised UN organs.
- The ICJ is open to all UN member states.
First indigenously built floating dock launched
- The Indian Navy’s first indigenously built Floating Dock (FDN-2), developed by Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (L&T), was launched at L&T’s shipyard.
- The Floating Dock is 185 metres long and 40 metres wide and will enable docking of all kinds of vessels, including Naval ships and submarines (excepting aircraft carriers and tankers) of up to 8,000 tonnes displacement, with draughts of up to seven metres, during both day and night.
- The Navy already has one Floating Dock; this would be its second such facility.
- FDN-2 too will be based in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and will enhance the Navy’s technical repair infrastructure.
Reliance’s latest KG basin energy foray: A gamble?
- Reliance Industries Ltd.’s decision to invest afresh in the offshore Krishna Godavari (KG) basin after a gap of eight years has caught investors by surprise.
- With RIL’s earlier investments of about $9 billion in the basin generating less than a tenth of the projected output of 80 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas and the refining-to-retail company still embroiled in arbitration over cases relating to alleged inflation of costs and under production, the announcement of a fresh investment commitment of $6 billion, along with BP Plc., into the KG basin has triggered a guessing game.
- While gas from the KG basin is currently sold at $2.48 per million metric British thermal units (mmbtu) by RIL under the gas pricing formula worked out by the NDA government, some analysts contend that the company is betting on significantly higher returns based on the new pricing formula that the Centre had proposed for operating difficult fields including high pressure, high temperature, deep-water and ultra deep-water areas.
- The Centre’s policy, however, has a categorical caveat. The new pricing formula won’t apply to blocks under arbitration.
- Moody’s Investors Service has also cautioned that RIL’s proposed investment is fraught with risks.
- “The planned investment will increase RIL’s exposure to Indian gas business, which is extremely challenging given the delays in regulatory approvals, retrospective changes in regulations and slow resolution of disputes. RIL is already in arbitration with the regulator for costs previously incurred in the KGD6 block,” Moody’s said.
- “Two fields in the KGD6 block that are already producing have seen a sharp decline in production of 60 mmscmd (Million Metric Standard Cubic Meter Per Day) in 2010 to 7.8 mmscmd in 2017. The company has attributed the decline to more-than-expected complexity of the reservoirs. If the new fields also exhibit the same kind of complexity, the cash flows from the project could be much lower.”
- Reliance’s billionaire chairman Mukesh Ambani, who recovered a substantial portion of the initial investment when the company sold a 30% stake to BP in 2011 for $7.2 billion, appears to be wagering that a resolution with the Centre is around the corner.
- RIL and its partner BP expect to produce up to 12 mmscmd, with first production in 2020.