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Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 10th December – 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 10-12-2021

Daily Current Affairs – Topics

  • Guru Tegh Bahadur
  • Kasturirangan Committee on Western Ghats
  • Unified payments interface (UPI):
  • Mi-17V5 Chopper
  • PANEX-21

1. Guru Tegh Bahadur

#GS1-Medieval Indian History

Context

  • On the day of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji’s martyrdom, India’s Prime Minister paid respect to him.

In depth information

  • Guru Teg Bahadur (1621-1675) was a Hindu sage who lived from 1621 to 1675.
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth Sikh Guru and was known among Sikhs as the “Protector of Humanity” (Srisht-di-Chadar).
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur was not only a wonderful teacher, but also a brilliant fighter, thinker, and poet who penned thorough descriptions of the nature of God, mind, body, and bodily attachments, among other spiritual topics.
  • In the form of 116 poetic hymns, his writings are contained in the sacred text ‘Guru Granth Sahib.’
  • He was also a frequent traveller who was instrumental in the establishment of preaching centres across the Indian subcontinent.
  • He created the settlement of Chak-Nanki in Punjab on one of his missions, which ultimately became a part of Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib.
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur was assassinated in Delhi in 1675 on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

His martyrdom’s repercussions

  • Sikhs’ commitment to fight religious oppression and persecution was strengthened by the execution.
  • His death aided all SikhPanths in uniting to make human rights protection a core part of their Sikh identity.
  • His nine-year-old son, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, was inspired by him and eventually structured the Sikh community into a separate, formal, symbol-patterned community known as Khalsa (Martial) identity.

Sikhism is a religion that originated in India.

  • The Punjabi word ‘Sikh’ literally means ‘disciple.’ Sikhs are God’s disciples who follow the Ten Sikh Gurus’ writings and teachings.
  • Sikhs believe that there is only one God (Ek Onkar). They believe that everything they do should be done with God in mind. This is known as simran.
  • Gurmat (Punjabi: “the Way of the Guru”) is the name given to the Sikh faith.
  • Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak (1469–1539) and led by a succession of nine additional Gurus, according to Sikh belief.
  • The Bhakti movement and Vaishnava Hinduism affected the formation of Sikhism.
  • The highest Sikh characteristics of devotion, dedication, and social awareness are upheld by the Khalsa.
  • The Khalsa are men and women who have been baptised in the Sikh faith and adhere to the Sikh Code of Conduct and Conventions.
  • They dress in the five K’s: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a wooden comb), Kara (an iron bracelet), Kachera (cotton underwear), and Kirpan (a sword) (an iron dagger).
  • Fasting, pilgrimage, superstitions, dead-worship, idol worship, and other mindless rituals are all condemned in Sikhism.
  • It preaches that people of all races, religions, and genders are equal in God’s eyes.
  • Literature of the Sikhs: Because Sikhs believe the Adi Granth to be the home of the eternal Guru, it is referred to as the Guru Granth Sahib by all Sikhs.

 

2. Kasturirangan Committee on Western Ghats

#GS3- Biodiversity and Environment

Context

  • The Kasturirangan Commission attempted to strike a balance between development and environmental protection.

In depth information

Recent Deliberations

  • Declaring the Western Ghats an ecologically vulnerable zone, according to Karnataka’s Chief Minister, would have a negative impact on people’s livelihoods in the region.
  • The state’s objection has been dubbed “disastrous” for the ecologically vulnerable Western Ghats, according to experts.

Kasturirangan Committee Recommendations

  • Instead of bringing the entire Western Ghats under ESA, the Kasturirangan report proposes bringing only 37% (about 60,000 sq km) of the total region under ESA.
  • In the ESA, mining, quarrying, and sand mining are all outlawed.
  • It is distinguished between cultural landscapes (58 percent of the Western Ghats are occupied by it, such as human settlements, agricultural areas, and plantations) and natural landscapes (90 percent of it should come under ESA according to the committee).
  • Current mining regions in the ESA should be phased out over the next five years, or when mining leases expire, whichever comes first.
  • There will be no thermal power authorised, and hydropower projects will only be allowed after a thorough investigation.
  • In certain locations, red industries, or those that are severely polluting, should be tightly prohibited.
  • Several pro-farmer recommendations were made in the Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats, including the exclusion of inhabited regions and plantations from the scope of ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs).
  • According to the Kasturirangan report, the ESA affects 123 villages.

The creation of a Kasturirangan Committee is required.

  • The Gadgil Committee’s recommendations, which were submitted in August 2011, were rejected by none of the six concerned states.
  • In August 2012, the then-Environmental Minister, Kasturirangan, established a High-Level Working Group on Western Ghats to “review” the Gadgil Committee findings in a “holistic and interdisciplinary manner in light of replies received” from states, central ministries, and others.

Report of the Kasturirangan Committee: Criticisms

  • For zonal demarcation of land in the Western Ghats, the Kasturirangan panel used remote sensing and aerial survey technologies. The report contains numerous inaccuracies as a result of the employment of such procedures without first assessing the ground truth.
  • Power is held by bureaucrats and forest officers rather than gramme sabhas.
  • Many people believe that if the Kasturirangan Committee recommendation is adopted, the farmers will be evicted. The mining and quarrying industries are predicted to prosper as a result of this report. It will be bad for the environment if these lobbies and tourism thrive.
  • There will be a lack of water and pollution. Farmers will eventually be forced to leave the area. They will be unable to cultivate in that location.
  • Because of the employment of a “erroneous procedure,” many settlements were classified as Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) despite the presence of just rubber plantations and no forest area!
  • Many ecologically sensitive sites were left out of the Kasturirangan study, which included ecologically non-sensitive areas under the ESA.

Karnataka’s reason for rejection

  • Implementation of the study, according to the state government, will put a halt to development initiatives in the region.
  • According to the Karnataka government, it has the distinction of being one of the states with considerable forest cover, and the government has made steps to safeguard the Western Ghats’ biodiversity.

Reality on the ground:

  • The Kasturirangan story was based on satellite pictures, but the reality on the ground is quite different.
  • The people of the region have implemented environmentally friendly agriculture and horticultural practices.
  • Under the Forest Conservation Act, environmental protection has been given priority.
  • In this context, enacting another law that would have an impact on the livelihood of the local population is inappropriate.
  • More protests in North Kannada:
  • Political representatives from Uttara Kannada district have consistently opposed the Kasturirangan report, claiming that if it is implemented, 600 or more villages will be placed in an environmentally sensitive area.

Impact of Defaulting Execution of Report

  • There have been numerous visible climatic changes, such as temperature rises, excessive floods, and droughts, and such occurrences will continue to rise.
  • These will have a negative impact on people’s livelihoods and, as a result, the country’s economy.

Way Forward

  • Preventive Approach for the Future: Given the effects of climate change on people’s livelihoods and the economy of the country, it is essential to maintain the vulnerable ecosystems.
  • This will be less expensive than investing money/resources on restoration/rejuvenation in a disaster-prone scenario.
  • As a result, any further delay in implementation will further exacerbate the degradation of the country’s most valuable natural resource.
  • Engaging All Stakeholders: A thorough analysis based on scientific research is urgently necessary, followed by consensus among diverse stakeholders by addressing their respective concerns.
  • Threats and demands on forest land, goods, and services must be viewed holistically, and strategies to address them must be devised with clearly stated objectives for the authorities concerned.

 

3. Unified payments interface (UPI):

GS3- Science and Technology.

Context:

  • Users of basic phones will soon be able to use the UPI service. The unified payments interface (UPI), the country’s single largest retail payments system in terms of volume of transactions for small-value payments, is now only available on smartphones.

In depth information

  • This is being done by the RBI to further deepen and make digital payments more inclusive, to make transactions easier for consumers, to enable increased participation of retail customers in various segments of the financial markets, and to improve service provider capacity.

What exactly is UPI?

  • Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is an acronym for “Unified Payment Interface.” It is a real-time payment system that enables the transfer of payments between two bank accounts in real time. The funds are transferred through a single mobile application. The following are some of the most prominent elements of UPI.
  • Faster than NEFT, instantaneous fund transmission.
  • UPI is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • It’s also available on weekends and holidays.
  • Every bank has its own UPI for various mobile platforms such as Android and iOS.
  • It can be used to make payments to retailers and to pay utility bills.
  • Any complaint can be made immediately from the Mobile App.
  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) operates a number of systems, including the National Automated Clearing House (NACH), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS), Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), RuPay, and others.
  • PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and BHIM, the government’s UPI software, are among the most popular.

What exactly is BHIM?

  • Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an Indian digital payment app that uses UPI, a mechanism that combines several bank accounts into a single mobile app.
  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) developed it (NPCI).
  • Real-time fund transfer is possible.
  • In December of 2016, the website was launched.

There are three tiers of authentication in the BHIM app:

  • For starters, the software connects to a device’s ID and phone number.
  • Second, in order to perform a transaction, a user must sync any bank account (UPI or non-UPI enabled).
  • Third, when a user first instals the app, they are prompted to create a pin, which is required to log in. A user’s UPI pin, which they create with their bank account, is required to complete the transaction.

Are BHIM and UPI interchangeable?

  • UPI is a platform, whereas BHIM is a mobile wallet app similar to Paytm or PhonePe. If a person has accounts with multiple banks, he or she will need to use various UPI apps and VPAs (Virtual Payment Address). BHIM, on the other hand, is a UPI-based unified payment app that can be linked to any UPI-enabled bank account. The BHIM app is a better-than-before version of existing bank UPI apps. The major advantage of BHIM applications over other payment apps is that transactions are made directly between bank accounts with no fees involved. BHIM payment apps, unlike other payment apps, do not require recharging. There are no hidden fees or commissions.

 

4. Mi-17V5 Chopper

#GS3- Defence

Context

  • After a Mi-17V5 IAF helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor, General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 others on board were murdered.

In depth information

 

Concerning the Mi-17V5 chopper

  • Kazan Helicopters manufactures this Russian-built helicopter.
  • In September 2011, the first batch of these helicopters arrived in India.
  • It is a military transport helicopter model of the Mi-8/17 helicopter family.

Features:

  • The helicopter can take off with a maximum weight of 13,000kg. Internally, it can transport 36 armed men or 4,500kg of weight on a sling.
  • It can also be used for troop and weapons transfer, firefighting, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue missions.
  • The helicopter has a top speed of 250 kilometres per hour.
  • Mi-17V5 transport helicopter survivability: Armoured panels protect the cockpit and essential components of the aircraft.
  • Weapon systems Mi-17V5: Shturm-V missiles, S-8 rockets, a 23mm machine gun, PKT machine guns, and AKM submachine guns are among the Mi-17V5’s weapons. It has eight firing positions where the weapons can be aimed.

 

5. PANEX-21

#GS3

Context

  • A Curtain Raiser Event for PANEX-21 was recently held for member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
  • The exercise is set to take place later this year (2021).

In depth information

About:

  • It’s a disaster relief and humanitarian assistance drill.
  • Subject matter experts and delegates from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand will participate.
  • There will also be a Multi-Agency Exercise (MAE) with a static exhibition of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HDR) equipment used by the Indian Armed Forces and several civil agencies.

Aim:

  • To encourage collaborative planning and regional collaboration in the event of a natural disaster.
  • Natural disasters are unexpected ecological disturbances or threats that exceed the afflicted community’s ability to respond and necessitate outside aid.
  • Geophysical catastrophes such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, hydrological disasters such as floods, meteorological disasters such as storms, climatological disasters such as heat and cold waves and droughts, and biological disasters such as epidemics are all examples of natural disasters.

The Exercise’s Importance:

  • The Covid-19 epidemic, as well as other natural catastrophes, have taught us new lessons, such as changing drills and processes for disaster mitigation and management.
  • The exercise is being carried out in light of these developments and the issues that will arise following the epidemic.

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