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Prelims Focus

Prelims Focus 11th June 2024

Heat Dome

In News: Recently, the US based weather agency stated that heatwaves in general are becoming more frequent because of the heat dome and climate change.

    • It is a weather phenomenon that happens when a continual area of excessive stress traps warmness over an area.
    • The high-pressure system acts like a lid, preventing warm air from growing and causing the air beneath to warm up.
  • Formation
      • Heat domes can arise in still and dry summer time conditions, when a mass of heat air builds up, and the excessive stress from the Earth’s atmosphere pushes the warm air down.
      • The air is then compressed, and as its internet warmth is now in a smaller volume, it will increase in temperature.
      • As the warm air tries to upward push, the excessive pressure above it acts as a dome, forcing the air down and inflicting it to get hotter and hotter, resulting in expanded stress under the dome.
  • Correlation with Jet Streams
      • Typically, warmness domes are tied to the behaviour of the jet flow, a band of rapid winds high in the environment that generally runs west to east.
      • Normally, the jet move has a wavelike pattern, meandering north and then south and then north once more. 
      • When those meanders in the jet circulate emerge as larger, they pass slower and might end up desk bound. That’s when heat domes can arise.
  • Impact
    • Heat domes can seriously affect human health, increasing the hazard of heat ailments and deaths as humans can’t calm down properly.
    • It can occur anywhere from days to weeks.

National Health Claim Exchange 

In News: The Health Ministry along with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) are launching the National Health Claim Exchange (NHCX).

  • It is geared toward allowing patients to access great healthcare rapidly and with decreased out-of-pocket expenditure.
  • The NHCX will function as a gateway for replacing claims-related data amongst numerous stakeholders in the healthcare and medical insurance environment.
  • The integration with NHCX is anticipated to permit seamless interoperability of health insurance processing, enhancing efficiency and transparency in the coverage industry, reaping rewards policyholders and patients.
  • The NHCX will extensively alleviate the executive burden on hospitals, which presently take care of more than one portals for numerous insurers.
  • IRDAI: It is an autonomous and statutory body which is responsible for dealing with and regulating insurance and reinsurance industry in India.
    • It is a 10-member body- a MD, 5 permanent members and 4 temporary members. 
    • It was constituted under an Act of Parliament in 1999 and the headquarters is in Hyderabad.

India’s first private biosphere

In news:  Rajaji Raghati Biosphere (RRB) is India’s first private biosphere, a 35-acre forest initiative led by ecologist Vijay Dhasmana and entrepreneur Jai Dhar Gupta within the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand. 

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  • The land was previously barren and degraded, with non-native eucalyptus trees that were removed to restore the ecosystem.
  • Extensive surveys were conducted to identify suitable native plant species, especially rare or endangered ones in the region. Seeds were collected, a seed bank established, and saplings of trees like haldu, rohini, mala, saal, jamun, and pangana were planted across the biosphere. In 2023, the first phase of plantation introduced approximately 80 species, with plans to incorporate an additional 35-40 new species in the upcoming monsoon season.
  • The focus of this initiative extends beyond combating climate change to establishing a harmonious model of cohabitation, relying on the knowledge and skills of the local nomadic Gujjar community. Jai Dhar Gupta and Vijay Dhasmana are also working on a second biosphere above the Koyna River in the buffer zone of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve near Pune, Maharashtra, along the Western Ghats.

Indo – US poultry Dispute 

In news: The Indo-U.S. poultry dispute was resolved through a strategic approach combining litigation and negotiation, referred to as “litigotiation.” This process involved careful handling of sensitive issues and bold diplomatic efforts to benefit industries on both sides.

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Key Points:

  • Background: The dispute was filed over a decade ago, making it the oldest of the seven disputes between India and the U.S. It involves import restrictions imposed by India on U.S. poultry products due to avian influenza (bird flu) fears.
  • Nature of the Dispute: The issue involves sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures related to animal and human health and safety.
  • WTO Rulings and Developments: Both the WTO panel and the Appellate Body ruled in favour of the U.S. India was given a year to modify or withdraw its inconsistent measures. The U.S. alleged non-compliance by India and filed a retaliation claim at the WTO.
  • Resolution and Trade-off: Fresh impetus and persistent efforts from both sides led to India avoiding a $450 million annual claim. India agreed to reduce tariffs on select products such as cranberries, blueberries, frozen turkey, and premium frozen duck meat for luxury hotels.
  • Negotiation Challenges: The complexity of resolving this dispute is evident as it wasn’t settled along with six other disputes by mid-2023. Negotiators faced a challenging task, reflecting the intricate nature of the issues involved.
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