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Sarat Chandra IAS Academy – UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 11th January 2022

CURRENT AFFAIRS 11-01-2022

Daily Current Affairs – Topics

  

  • Veer Bal Diwas -December 26
  • The Jallikattu events
  • NCR-Draft Regional Plan 2041
  • Change’s 5 Lunar Mission
  • Orang National Park

1.Veer Bal Diwas -December 26

#GS1: Important personalities/events

Context

  • To honour the courage of the Sahibzades, four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the last Sikh guru, the Prime Minister has declared December 26 to be Veer Baal Diwas from now on.

In depth information

What is the Sahibzades legend?

  • In Punjabi, the word “Sahibzada” means “son,” and it is a term that is widely used to refer to Guru Gobind Singh’s four sons.
  • The Sacrificial Week is observed from December 21 to December 27 in honour of the four Sahibzadas who made sacrifices for the protection of Sikhism and Hinduism.
  • Sahibzada Ajit Singh, Jujhar Singh, Zorawar Singh, and Fateh Singh were martyred in the fight to protect their religious beliefs against forced conversion.

A little backstory

  • On the 20th and 21st of December 1704, Guru Gobind Singh and his family left the fort of Sri Anandpur Sahib with their families to resist the Aurgangzeb invasion.
  • The eldest sons, Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh, stayed with Guru ji, while Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh stayed with Mata Gujri ji.
  • Subedar Wazir Khan of Sirhind afterwards apprehended the two Sahibzades and enticed them to convert to Islam.
  • Finally, it was revealed that they would be elected in the living walls.
  • The remaining two sahibzades were killed in the battle of Chamkaur (1705).

Consequences of their martyrdom

  • When Guruji learned of this, he wrote Aurangzeb a zafarnama (victory letter) in which he warned him that the Khalsa Panth was preparing to overthrow his empire.
  • Baba Banda Singh Bahadur exacted vengeance for Guruji’s Sahibzadas’ martyrdom.
  • Wazir Khan was punished for his actions in Sirhind, and he imposed Sikh dominion over the entire region.
  • As a result of this sacrifice, Maharaja Ranjit Singh established a massive Sikh dominion.

A watershed moment in Indian history

  • This is a significant event in Indian history, and the anniversary of their martyrdom is recalled and commemorated with both enthusiasm and sadness.
  • Sahibzades’ names are solemnly kept and remembered every time an Ardas (supplication prayer) is recited in a congregation or individually by an individual.

 

2.The Jallikattu events

#GS1-Indian culture

Context

  • Due to an increase in daily COVID-19 instances, the district administrations in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Ranipet, and Tirupattur have banned the conduct of Jallikattu events ahead of the Pongal festival as a precaution.

In depth information

What is the meaning of Jallikattu?

  • The Jallikattu belt, which includes Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai, and Dindigul, is notable for bull-taming.
  • During the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal, Jallikattu is celebrated in the second week of January.
  • Jallikattu, a 2,000-year-old custom, is both a competitive sport and a festival honouring bull owners who raise their animals for mating.
  • It is a violent sport in which players attempt to tame a bull in exchange for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins.

What is the significance of Jallikattu in Tamil culture?

  • Jallikattu is a traditional method of preserving pure-bred native bulls among the peasant community.
  • At a time when cattle breeding is frequently artificial, conservationists and peasants claim that Jallikattu is a method to conserve these male animals, who are otherwise utilised primarily for meat or ploughing.

Why has Jallikattu been dragged through the courts?

  • The Animal Welfare Board of India and the animal rights organisation PETA first brought legal action against Jallikattu and bullock cart races in 2007, when they filed petitions in the Supreme Court.
  • The Tamil Nadu administration, on the other hand, managed to get around the prohibition by adopting a bill in 2009 that was signed by the Governor.
  • Bulls were added to the list of animals forbidden from training and exhibition by the UPA regime at the Centre in 2011.
  • The Supreme Court banned bull-taming in May 2014, just days before the BJP was brought to power, in a decision based on a petition that cited the 2011 notification.

Is it now lawful or illegal?

  • Massive anti-ban protests erupted across Tamil Nadu in January 2017, with the Jallikattu revolt in Chennai lasting 15 days.
  • The Tamil Nadu government issued an ordinance in the same year, revising the Central Act and authorisingJallikattu in the state, which was eventually ratified by the President.
  • The President of India then signed the amendment, essentially reversing the Supreme Court’s ban and allowing the sport to be practised without fear of legal repercussions.
  • PETA argued that the state’s action was unconstitutional (Article 29(1)).
  • The Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu issue to a Constitution Bench in 2018, and it is now pending.

 

3. NCR-Draft Regional Plan 2041

#GS3-Conservation, Environmental Pollution

Context

  • Many environmentalists and campaigners have voiced their opposition to the National Capital Region’s Draft Regional Plan-2041 (NCR).

In depth information

Draft Regional Plan 2041

  • The National Capital Region Planning Board had asked the public for comments and ideas on the Draft RP-2041.
  • Delhi, two districts of Rajasthan, eight districts of Uttar Pradesh, and 14 districts of Haryana are covered under the NCRPB plan. It has a total area of about 55,083 square kilometres.
  • The plan prepares the path for a future-ready and slum-free NCR with amenities such as air ambulances, high-speed rail, road, Heli taxis, and inland waterways connectivity.

Important provisions

  • This strategy emphasises 30-minute connection between major cities in the NCR via super-fast trains.
  • It also proposes that the possibility of a 30-minute Mass Transit Rail System (MTRS) from the NCR to Delhi be investigated.
  • The strategy aims to create the NCR a smart connected region by utilising bullet trains, smart highways, and helitaxi services to improve connection.
  • It will transform the region into an economically prosperous region with a unified infrastructure centred on citizens.
  • It placed a strong emphasis on water and air quality improvements, as well as environmental conservation.

The plan’s necessity

  • There was a need to relieve traffic congestion and develop a transportation system that was more integrated, accessible, user-centric, and economical.
  • Several issues with the Plan have been raised.
  • The terms “Aravalli” and “forest regions” are excluded from the Natural Conservation Zone in the plan (NCZ).
  • In the current Regional Plan-2021, the Aravallis were an important part of the NCZ.
  • As a result, Aravallis is now available to unrestricted real estate development.
  • In the same way, the phrase “forest areas” has been removed from the NCZ. This will dramatically reduce the amount of forest cover that is protected by NCZ zoning.

What is the significance of Aravallis?

  • Over 400 natural tree, shrub, and herb species, more than 200 local and migratory bird species, and wildlife such as leopards, jackals, hyenas, mongoose, and civet cats call the Aravallis home.
  • They are essential for groundwater recharge, which is important considering the region’s water scarcity during the hot summer months.
  • In a location beset by high levels of vehicle and industrial pollution throughout the year, the dense forest cover serves to naturally filter the air.
  • The Aravali is a mountain range in Northwestern India that runs approximately 670 kilometres southwest from Delhi to Gujarat, going through southern Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • Guru Shikhar, at 1,722 metres, is the tallest summit.
  • The Aravalli Series is India’s oldest range of fold mountains, an eroded stub of ancient mountains.
  • The Aravalli Range’s natural history extends back to when the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate were separated by an ocean.
  • The Aravalli is fed by three major rivers and their tributaries: the Banas and Sahibi rivers, which are tributaries of the Yamuna, and the Luni River, which drains into the Rann of Kutch.

 

4. Chang’e 5 Lunar Mission

#GS3- Science &Technology,Space

Context

  • China’s Chang’e 5 lunar lander recently discovered the first-ever on-site evidence of water on the moon’s surface, adding to the satellite’s dryness.
  • Although remote observation had established the presence of water, the lander has now identified indications of water in rocks and dirt.

In depth information

Recent Discoveries

  • It was discovered that the lunar soil at the landing site contains fewer than 120 parts-per-million (ppm) water, or 120 grammes water per tonne, and that a light, vesicular rock contains 180 ppm, both of which are far drier than on Earth.
  • It revealed that the moon had become drier over time, most likely due to the degassing of its mantle reservoir.
  • The solar wind was responsible for the majority of the humidity in lunar soil, as it carried hydrogen, which is what builds up water.
  • Water with an additional 60 parts per million (ppm): The additional 60 parts per million of water in the rock could have come from the lunar interior.
  • As a result, the rock is thought to have been ejected onto the landing site from an older, more humid basaltic block before being picked up by the lunar lander.

Method of measurement

  • It took samples weighing 1,731 grammes and measured water on the spot.
  • The lunar lander’s spectral reflectance of the regolith and rock was measured, and for the first time, water was found on the location.
  • Because the water molecule, or hydroxyl, absorbs at a frequency of around three micrometres, the water content may be determined.
  • The results are significant because they reveal further information about China’s Chang’e-6 and Chang’e-7 missions.
  • The exploration of lunar water reserves is becoming more prominent as the construction of manned lunar outposts is planned in the coming decades.

Chang’e 5 is a lunar lander.

  • It was named after the Chinese goddess of the Moon.
  • The China National Space Administration has launched a series of lunar probes for lunar exploration.
  • China accomplished its first lunar landing in 2013.
  • The Chang’e-4 probe, which landed on the far side of the moon in January 2019, came before Chang’e 5.
  • It was launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the Long March-5 Y5 rocket (China).
  • An orbiter, a returner, an ascender, and a lander are the four components of the rocket.
  • A robotic arm, a coring drill, a sample chamber, as well as a camera, penetrating radar, and a spectrometer, are all part of the mission.
  • The goal is to bring back lunar rocks, which will be the first time in four decades that any nation has attempted to return samples from the moon.
  • 2 KGs of sample to be collected from a 2 metre deep hole dug into the Moon’s surface.
  • Scientists will be able to learn more about the moon’s origins, formation, and volcanic activity on its surface as a result of this.
  • To steadily improve their technological skills in order to pave the way for future human landings.

What is the significance of Lunar Samples?

  • They can help answer several key problems in lunar science and astronomy, such as the Moon’s age, its formation, the similarities and differences between the Earth and the Moon, the Moon’s geologic features, and information about the solar system as a whole.
  • Individual grains and crystals in a rock can inform scientists about its history through their shape, size, arrangement, and composition, while a radioactive clock can tell the rock’s age.
  • Tiny fissures in rocks can reveal details about the Sun’s radiation history over the last 100,000 years.

Missions to collect lunar samples in the early stages:

  • During the United States’ Apollo 11 mission, the first samples of Moon rocks were collected.
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 16 spacecraft retrieved a sample from the Mare Fecunditatis portion of the Moon in 1970, weighing about 101 grammes.
  • Luna 24 took a sample of lunar soil weighing over 170 grammes from a depth of 2 metres in 1976.

 

5. Orang National Park

#GS3-Biodiversity and Environment

Context

  • The government has announced plans to expand Orang National Park to more than three times its current area.
  • The gharial, which was wiped out of the Brahmaputra River system in the 1950s, might be the main beneficiary of an Assam tiger reserve expansion.

In depth information

Orang National Park Information

  • It is situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Assam districts of Darrang and Sonitpur.
  • In 1985, it was designated as a sanctuary, and on April 13, 1999, it was designated as a National Park.
  • It’s also known as the “little” Kaziranga National Park (IUCN site) since the two parks have a similar topography of marshes, streams, and grasslands, as well as the presence of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros.

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