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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | PDF Download

Date: 28 May 2019
  • Equity securities represent a claim on the earnings and assets of a corporation, while debt securities are investments into debt instruments.
  • For example, a stock is an equity security, while a bond is a debt security. ... In terms of daily trade volume, $700 billion in bonds contrasts with $200 billion in stocks.


  • Salinity of water in the polar oceans is low due to:
  1. low evaporation
  2. influx of fresh waters from polar glaciers
  3. high atmospheric pressure
  • Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) 1 only

  • Salinity of oceans is highest between 20 degrees to 30 degrees North and South latitudes as the rate of evaporation is very high there due to high temperature and low humidity. Temperate oceans have lesser salinity due to lower temperature and thus lower rate of evaporation. Polar waters will have even lesser salinity because of lower evaporation and continual addition of freshwater from melting icebergs.
  • Equatorial waters have lower than average salinity because of heavy rainfall and high relative humidity, as
  • precipitation adds good amount of freshwater to the ocean water.
  • High atmospheric pressure is not the reason for low salinity in polar oceans.


  • Consider the following statements regarding Mediterranean type of Climate:
  1. It is influenced by shifting of wind belts.
  2. It is characterized by dry summers and rainfall in winters.
  • Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Mediterranean type of climate:

  • Entirely confined to the western portion of continental masses, between 30°and 45°north and south of the equator. The basic cause of this type of climate is the shifting of the wind belts. Mediterranean Sea has the greatest extent of this type of winter rain climate‘, and gives rise to the name Mediterranean Climate.
  • A dry, warm summer with off-shore trades: In summer when the sun is overhead at the Tropic of Cancer, the belt of influence of the Westerlies is shifted a little pole wards. Rain bearing winds are therefore not likely to reach the Mediterranean lands. The prevailing Trade Winds (tropical easterlies) are off-shore and there is practically no rain. Strong winds from inland desert regions pose the risk of wildfires.
  • Rainfall in winter with on-shore Westerlies: The Mediterranean lands receive most of their precipitation in winter when the Westerlies shift equator wards. In the northern hemisphere, the prevailing on-shore Westerlies bring much cyclonic rain from the Atlantic (Typical to Mediterranean Climate). The rain comes in heavy showers and only on a few days with bright sunny periods between them. This is another characteristic feature of the Mediterranean winter rain


  • Consider the following pairs: Species Climatic Region
  1. Rosewood : Tropical Evergreen
  2. Teak : Tropical Thorn Forests
  3. Tendu: Dry Deciduous Forests
  • Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 3 only

  • Tropical Evergreen Forests -Species found in these forests include rosewood, mahogony, ebony, etc. forests are well stratified, with layers closer to the ground and are covered with shrubs and creepers with short structured trees followed by tall variety of trees.
  • Semi Evergreen Forests -Main species are white cedar, hollockand kail. The undergrowing climbers provide an evergreen character to these forests. Such forests have a mixture of evergreen and moist deciduous trees.
  • Moist Deciduous Forests -Teak, sal, shisham, hurra, mahua, amla, semul, kusum, and sandalwood etc. are the main species of these forests.
  • Dry Deciduous Forests -Tendu, palas, amaltas, bel, axlewood, etc. are the common trees of these forests. As the dry season begins, the trees shed their leaves completely and the forest appears like a vast grassland with naked trees all around.
  • Tropical Thorn Forests -Important species found are babool, ber, and wild date palm, khair, neem, khejri, palas, etc. In these forests, plants remain leafless for most part of the year and give an expression of scrub vegetation.


  • Tata Motors has recently unveiled India’s first Bio-CNG (bio-methane) bus. Chemically, bio-methane is identical to natural gas, however, natural gas is classified as a fossil fuel, whereas biomethane is called as a renewable source of energy. This is because
  1. Nature of production process of biomethane reduces its emissions of greenhouse gases into the air.
  2. Bio-methane is produced from fresh organic matter, unlike natural gas which is obtained from decomposition of fossils.
  • Which of the above is/are correct?
  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
  • Statement 1: Biomethane is produced by ‘anaerobic’ digestion of organic matter such as dead animal and plant material.
  • This gas when produced out of natural degradation process, escapes into the atmosphere unused. But, if produced under controlled conditions, the impact on environment can be significantly reduced.
  • Statement 2: Methane is produced from thousands or millions of years old fossil remains of organic matter that lies buried deep in the ground. Production of fossil fuel derived methane, therefore, depends exclusively on its natural reserves which vary greatly from one country to another and are not available in limitless amounts.
  • Biomethane, on the other hand, is produced from “fresh” organic matter which makes it a renewable source of energy that can be produced worldwide.
  • Since biomethane is chemically identical to natural gas, it can be used for the same applications as natural gas.
  • Biogas typically refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source
  • Biogas can be produced by anaerobic digestion with anaerobic organisms, which digest material inside a closed system, or fermentation of biodegradable materials
  • Fermentation is a metabolic process that consumes sugar in the absence of oxygen. The products are organic acids, gases, or alcohol. It occurs in yeast and bacteria, and also in oxygen-starved muscle cells, as in the case of lactic acid fermentation. The science of fermentation is known as zymology.
  • Biogas is primarily methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and may have small amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), moisture and siloxanes. The gases methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide (CO) can be combusted or oxidized with oxygen. This energy release allows biogas to be used as a fuel; it can be used for any heating purpose, such as cooking. It can also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat
  • Landfill gas is a complex mix of different gases created by the action of microorganisms within a landfill. Landfill gas is approximately forty to sixty percent methane, with the remainder being mostly carbon dioxide. Trace amounts of other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) comprise the remainder (<1%). These trace gases include a large array of species, mainly simple hydrocarbons.
  • Landfill gases have an influence on climate change. The major components are CO2 and methane, both of which are greenhouse gas. In terms of global warming potential, methane is over 25 times more detrimental to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide
  • The Deenabandhu Model is a new biogas-production model popular in India. (Deenabandhu means "friend of the helpless.") The unit usually has a capacity of 2 to 3 cubic metres. It is constructed using bricks or by a ferrocement mixture. In India, the brick model costs slightly more than the ferrocement model; however, India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy offers some subsidy per model constructed.
  • Rice fields also generate large amounts of methane during plant growth. Methane hydrates/clathrates (ice-like combinations of methane and water on the sea floor, found in vast quantities) are a potential future source of methane. Cattle belch methane accounts for 16% of the world's annual methane emissions to the atmosphere
  • More recently, a 2013 study estimated that livestock accounted for 44 percent of human-induced methane and 14.5 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.Many efforts are underway to reduce livestock methane production and trap the gas to use as energy.
  • Paleoclimatology research published in Current Biology suggests that flatulence from dinosaurs may have warmed the Earth.
  • Methane clathrate (CH4 ·5.75H2O) or (4CH4 ·23H2O), also called methane hydrate, hydromethane, methane ice, fire ice, natural gas hydrate, or gas hydrate, is a solid clathrate compound (more specifically, a clathrate hydrate) in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure of water, forming a solid similar to ice. [1] Originally thought to occur only in the outer regions of the Solar System, where temperatures are low and water ice is common, significant deposits of methane clathrate have been found under sediments on the ocean floors of the Earth
  • Since the Industrial Revolution humans have had a major impact on concentrations of atmospheric methane, increasing atmospheric concentrations roughly 250%
  • Methane is a strong GHG with a global warming potential 84 times greater than CO2 in a 20-year time frame; Methane is not as persistent a gas and tails off to about 28 for a 100-year time frame
  • Methane also affects the degradation of the ozone layer, when methane is transformed into water in the stratosphere.


  • Which of these geographical features is most likely to have the lowest mean elevation?


B. Islands

C. Deltas

D. Plains

  • Option A: They are elevated land tops, and maintain a rugged high profile of terrain.
  • Option B: Islands although situated at sea level can acquire higher elevation due to presence of features like mountains, volcanoes etc.
  • Option C: Deltas occur near the sea mouth, i.e. very close to Mean sea level, which can be the lowest elevation possible.
  • Option D: Rivers flow further from plains to join the sea. So, plains are usually at a higher elevation than delta.


  • What is ‘seaspeak’?
  1. Official language of navigators across the globe
  2. A standardized GPS system installed in every marine vessel
  3. A NGO that works towards marine sustainability
  4. SONAR system developed by India that works without the use of electromagnetic waves.
  • A ship's crew comes from a number of different countries. Not everyone has English as first language or can communicate very clearly in English.
  • Misunderstood communication can lead to serious and even dangerous situations.
  • To avoid such confusion, in 1983 a new system of communication called Seaspeak was devised.English was chosen as the principle lexicon for Seaspeak because it was the most common language spoken on ships at that time, and, importantly, it was also the language of civil aviation.
  • In 1988, the International Maritime Organization made Seaspeak the official language of the seas. Seaspeak defines the rules of how to talk on a ship's radio. The number of words is limited to ensure that messages and conversations are short and clear.
  • Eight words, called message markers, precede each sentence. These words are Advice, Answer, Information, Instruction, Intention, Question, Request, and Warning.
  • An important rule of Seaspeak is that numbers made up of two or more digits are spoken in single digits. For example, the number 33 is spoken as "three three" and the time 9:33 a.m. is spoken as "zero nine three three."
  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO), known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) until 1982,is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. The IMO was established in Geneva in 1948 and came into force ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, the IMO has 173 Member States and three Associate Members.
  • The IMO's primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
  • IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly. The work of IMO is conducted through five committees and these are supported by technical subcommittees. Other UN organisations may observe the proceedings of the IMO. Observer status is granted to qualified non- overnmental organisations.
  • The IMO headquarters are located in a large purpose-built building facing the River Thames on the Albert Embankment, in Lambeth, London
  • In 1983 the IMO established the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden.
  • The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78, MARPOL is short for marine pollution and 73/78 short for the years 1973 and 1978) is one of the most important international marine environmental conventions. It was developed by the International Maritime Organization in an effort to minimize pollution of the oceans and seas, including dumping, oil and air pollution. The objective of this convention is to preserve the marine environment in an attempt to completely eliminate pollution by oil and other harmful substances and to minimize accidental spillage of such substances.
  • The most recent member to join was Belarus, which became an IMO member in November 2016.
  • The three associate members of the IMO are the Faroe Islands, Hong Kong and Macao.
  • Most UN member states that are not members of IMO are landlocked countries.

Conventions, Codes and Regulations:

  • MARPOL Convention
  • Marpol Annex I
  • SOLAS Convention
  • IMDG Code
  • ISM Code
  • ISPS Code
  • STCW Convention
  • International Code of Signals
  • International Regulations for Preventing
  • Collisions at Sea
  • HNS Convention
  • International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage
  • International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage
  • International Ballast Water Management Convention
  • notably the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), first adopted in 1914 following the Titanic disaster.
  • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place between 1973 and 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th nation to ratify the treaty. As of June 2016, 167 countries and the European Union have joined in the Convention. It is uncertain as to what extent the Convention codifies customary international law.
  • While the Secretary General of the United Nations receives instruments of ratification and accession and the UN provides support for developed bmeetings of states party to the Convention, the UN has no direct operational role in the implementation of the Convention. There is, however, a role played by organizations such as the International Maritime Organization, the International Whaling Commission, and the International Seabed Authority (ISA). (The ISA was established by the UN Convention.)
  • UNCLOS replaces the older 'freedom of the seas' concept, dating from the 17th century: national rights were limited to a specified belt of water extending from a nation's coastlines, usually 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) (Threemile limit), according to the 'cannon shot' rule y the Dutch jurist Cornelius van Bynkershoek. All waters beyond national boundaries were considered international waters: free to all nations, but belonging to none of them
  • Landlocked states are given a right of access to and from the sea, without taxation of traffic through transit states
  • Internal waters
  • Territorial waters Out to 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres; 14 miles) from the baseline, the coastal state is free to set laws, regulate use, and use any resource. Vessels were given the right of innocent passage through any territorial waters, with strategic straits allowing the passage of military craft as transit passage,
  • Archipelagic waters
  • Contiguous zone Beyond the 12-nautical-mile (22 km) limit, there is a further 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the territorial sea baseline limit, the contiguous zone, in which a state can continue to enforce laws in four specific areas: customs, taxation, immigration and pollution
  • Exclusive economic zones (EEZs) These extend 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres; 230 miles) from the baseline. Within this area, the coastal nation has sole exploitation rights over all natural resources. In casual use, the term may include the territorial sea and even the continental shelf. The EEZs were introduced to halt the increasingly heated clashes over fishing rights, although oil was also becoming important.
  • Continental shelf The continental shelf is defined as the natural prolongation of the land territory to the continental margin's outer edge, or 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coastal state's baseline, whichever is greater. A state's continental shelf may exceed 200 nautical miles (370 km) until the natural prolongation ends. However, it may never exceed 350 nautical miles (650 kilometres; 400 miles) from the baseline.

  • Part XI of the Convention provides for a regime relating to minerals on the seabed outside any state's territorial waters or EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zones). It establishes an International Seabed Authority (ISA) to authorize seabed exploration and mining and collect and distribute the seabed mining royalty.
  • The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica, that was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans. It is an organization established by the Law of the Sea Convention.
  • The International Seabed Authority Endowment Fund promotes and encourages the conduct of collaborative marine scientific research in the international seabed area through two main activities:
  • By supporting the participation of qualified scientists and technical personnel from developing countries in marine scientific research programmes and activities.
  • By providing opportunities to these scientists to participate in relevant initiatives


  • 'This type of cloud looks like cotton wool and are generally formed at a height of 4,000-7,000 m. They exist in patches and can be seen scattered here and there. They have a flat base.'
  • Which among the following type of clouds is best described by the above passage?

(a) Cirrus

(b) Cumulus

(c) Stratus

(d) Nimbus


  • The Sinai peninsula is situated between which of the following seas?

(a) Red sea and Mediterranean sea

(b) Caspian sea and Black sea

(c) Mediterranean sea and Black Sea

(d) Red sea and Black sea

  • The Sinai Peninsula is a triangular peninsula in Egypt. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia.
  • is a peninsula in Egypt, the only part of the country located in Asia. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between Asia and Africa.