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Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 14th December – 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 14th December 2021

Daily Current Affairs – Topics

  • Kashi Vishwanath Corridor
  • Radioactive Pollution in Water
  • No US Sanctions on Chabahar Port
  • Wildlife Conservation in India
  • Bank Deposit Insurance Programme

1. Kashi Vishwanath Corridor

#GS1-Indian Art and Architecture


  • The Prime Minister recently launched Phase 1 of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Project in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The project includes 23 structures, including a tourist facilitation centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, city museum, observation gallery, and food court, among others.

Daily Current Affaires 14th December 2021

In depth information

  • It is the first major renovation after the Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore rebuilt the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the surrounding area in 1780 AD.
  • In March of this year, the foundation was laid. The project was conceived to provide an easily accessible pathway for pilgrims who previously had to navigate clogged streets in order to take a dip in the Ganga and offer the holy river’s water at the temple.
  • During the construction of the project, more than 40 ancient temples were found. They were repaired in such a way that the original structure was preserved.


  • It runs between the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Ganga ghats.
  • One of the most well-known Hindu temples devoted to Lord Shiva is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
  • The temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples, and is located on the western bank of the holy river Ganga.
  • It will enhance tourism by offering amenities such as bigger and cleaner roads and lanes, better lighting with bright street lights, and clean drinking water to pilgrims and travellers.


2. Radioactive Pollution in Water

#GS3-Environmental Pollution & Degradation


  • Radioactive pollution in water, as well as the health effects it has caused, has recently been recorded in various places of the world.

In depth information

latest current affairs 14th december 2021

  • The spontaneous emission of particles or waves from the unstable nucleus of some materials is known as radioactivity. Alpha, Beta, and Gamma are the three types of radioactive emissions.
  • Beta particles are negatively charged electrons, and gamma rays are neutral electromagnetic radiations. Alpha particles are positively charged He (Helium) atoms, beta particles are negatively charged electrons, and gamma rays are neutral electromagnetic radiations.
  • The earth’s crust contains naturally occurring radioactive materials. Three NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) series contaminate water resources: uranium, thorium, and actinium.
  • All forms of water contain a little amount of radiation, but a large amount of radiation is dangerous to human health. A gross alpha test can be used to measure radioactivity in drinking water.
  • The unit of radioactivity is Becquerel (SI unit) or Curie. The Sievert is a measurement unit for the amount of radiation absorbed by human tissues.



  • In the Aquatic System, Radiotoxic Elements:
  • Radium, a NORM descendent, is one of the radiotoxic elements prevalent in aquatic systems and can enter groundwater by I aquifer rock dissolution, (ii) 238U and 232Th decay, or (iii) desorption mechanisms.
  • Radium is a radionuclide generated in the environment when uranium (U) and thorium (Th) decay.
  • Magma:
  • Magma can occasionally emit radioactive gases into the atmosphere.
  • Groundwater contamination is caused by NORM percolating from soil sediments into the aquifer.
  • Atmospheric Deposition of Cosmogenic Radionuclides:
  • Atmospheric deposition of cosmogenic radionuclides (both dry and wet) adds radioactive nuclei to surface water.
  • Radioactive isotopes created by natural processes and disseminated throughout the Earth system are known as cosmogenic radionuclides.
  • Nuclear Warheads and Reactors:
  • Human-induced radionuclide discharge is mostly caused by nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons tests. Nuclear reactors create radioisotopes (Cobalt-60, Iridium-192, and so on) that are used in radiotherapy and a variety of industrial equipment as sources of gamma radiation.
  • By emitting atomic wastes, nuclear power facilities near the shore add to the radioactive pollutants in the sea water. Water is also used as a coolant in these power plants, contaminating it.
  • Radioactive Waste Disposal:
  • Humans are exposed to radioactive elements as a result of their use in nuclear weapons, X-rays, MRIs, and other medical equipment. The disposal of these radioactive wastes in surface water bodies pollutes the environment.
  • Mining:
  • Radioactive element mining, such as uranium and thorium, pollutes surface and groundwater.

Nuclear Mistakes:

  • Radioactive pollution has been recorded as a result of nuclear submarine mishaps and sinkings.
  • The Rocky Flats nuclear power facility in Colorado, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster are all examples of nuclear disasters.
  • Radioactive contamination measurement
  • The unit of radioactivity is Becquerel (SI unit) or Curie.
  • Gray measures the amount of energy absorbed per unit mass, whereas Sievert measures the amount of radiation absorbed by human tissues.
  • All forms of water contain a little amount of radiation, but a large amount of radiation is dangerous to human health.
  • A gross alpha test can be used to measure radioactivity in drinking water.

Pollution-related risks

  • When ingested, injected, or exposed to radioactive materials, they have an impact on the environment and can constitute a health danger to humans.
  • Radiation can be absorbed by human tissues through contaminated water and food, posing major health hazards.
  • Acute radiation syndrome or cutaneous radiation injury can be caused by high doses of radiation.
  • Radiation causes a variety of physiologic problems in humans, including cancer, leukaemia, genetic mutations, osteonecrosis, cataracts, and chromosomal disruption.

Next Steps

  • For a safe water supply today, proper analysis and monitoring of radioactive contaminants is also essential. The anthropogenic sources of radioactive contamination in water resources can be checked by prevention and precautionary measures.
  • For treating radioactive polluted water, several treatment procedures such as aeration, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and granule carbon adsorption are efficient therapeutic strategies.


3. No US Sanctions on Chabahar Port

#GS2- Bilateral Groupings & Agreements


  • India’s External Minister recently stated in Parliament that US sanctions on Iran have no influence on India’s Chabahar port project, which is currently operational.
  • Separate exceptions have been made by the US for the strategically important Chabahar port project.

In depth information

About Chabahar Port:

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  • It is located in Iran’s Sistan region, in the Indian Ocean.
  • The Chabahar port is seen as a key entry point for India, Iran, and Afghanistan to trade with Central Asian countries.
  • The port, which is easily accessible from India’s western coast, is increasingly being considered as a competitor to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which is being developed with Chinese funding.

Chabahar Port’s Importance to India:

  • Alternative Supply Channel:
  • Chabahar Port offers everyone an alternative supply route, diminishing Pakistan’s relevance in terms of trade.
  • Strategic Requirements:
  • It is positioned on the Gulf of Oman, barely 72 kilometres from the Chinese-developed Gwadar port in Pakistan.
  • Under the One Belt One Road (OBOR) concept, China is aggressively promoting its own Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • Connection:
  • The Chabahar project and the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) will complement one another in the future by improving Indian connectivity to Russia and Eurasia.
  • It also allows India to travel directly to Afghanistan and other Central Asian republics.

Reasons for the US Sanctions Exception:

  • In Afghanistan’s Best Interests:
  • The US recognises that the Chabahar port project is not only in India’s or Iran’s strategic interests, but also in Afghanistan’s.
  • Afghanistan is a landlocked country whose trade is reliant on Pakistan. Pakistani ports handle the majority of its trade.
  • Pakistan refuses to allow trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia to pass through India.
  • This initiative provides Afghanistan with a strategic alternative and, in some ways, allows it to avoid being landlocked.
  • Bypassing Pakistan:
  • If the tensions between the United States and Iran are resolved in the future, the Chabahar Port will allow the United States to skip Pakistan.
  • All administrative avenues through which Afghanistan can be supplied are still controlled by Pakistan.
  • Because of this, the US has always been cautious to take action against terrorists, particularly the Afghan Taliban. The Chabahar Port affords America the option of intervening against such terrorists.


4. Wildlife Conservation in India

#GS3- Conservation


  • According to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and State Forest and Police Authorities, about 2054 incidences of wild animal killing or illicit trafficking were documented in India between 2018 and 2020.

In depth information

  • WCCB has worked with state enforcement agencies to carry out a variety of species-specific enforcement activities.
  • The Wildlife Crime Control Board (WCCB) is a statutory multi-disciplinary organisation set up by the Indian government under the Ministry of Environment and Forests to tackle organised wildlife crime in the country. Its headquarters are in New Delhi.
  • Enforcement operations targeted at specific species
  • From the 15th of December 2016 to the 30th of January 2017, the WCCB launched Operation “Save Kurma.”

Its goal is to concentrate on:

  • Save Kurna:
  • From the 15th of December 2016 to the 30th of January 2017, the WCCB launched Operation “Save Kurma.”
  • Its mission is to combat live turtle and tortoise poaching, transportation, and illegal commerce.
  • Operation Turtshield:
  • Another operation, “Operation Turtshield-I” ran from December 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020, and “Operation Turtshield-II” ran from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021.
  • It was created to combat the illegal traffic in live turtles.
  • Operation Lesknow:
  • WCCB conducted Operation “Lesknow” (1 August 2017 to 31 August 2017), “Lesknow-II” (1 September 2018 to 30 September 2018), and “Lesknow-III” (1 October 2018 to 30 November 2018). (1st September, 2019 to 30th September 2019)
  • Its goal was to draw law enforcement organisations’ attention to the illegal wildlife trafficking in lesser-known species.
  • Operation Clean Art:
  • WCCB launched it in October of this year.
  • Its purpose was to draw law enforcement’s attention to the illegal wildlife trade in Mongoose hair brushes.
  • Operation Softgold:
  • It was operational from October 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
  • Its goal was to raise awareness among weavers and traders involved in the illegal trade of Shahtoosh Shawls (made from Chiru wool).
  • Operation Birbil:
  • Its goal was to stop the unlawful traffic in wild cats and birds.
  • During the operation, 23 cases were discovered, nine of which involved the seizure of various bird species.
  • Operation Wildnet:
  • Its goal was to raise the attention of law enforcement officials across the country to the ever-increasing illegal wildlife trafficking on the internet and through social media platforms.
  • Operation Freefly:
  • Its focus was on illegal trade of live birds and “
  • Operation Wetmark:
  • Its focus was to ensure prohibition of sale of meat of wild animals in wet markets across the country.

The Consequences of Illegal Wildlife Trade

  • Species are on the verge of extinction as a result of illegal wildlife trade demands.
  • Overexploitation of wildlife resources as a result of illegal trading causes ecosystem imbalances.
  • The unlawful trade threatens wild plants that supply genetic diversity for agriculture.
  • Illegal wildlife trade, as part of illegal trade syndicates, destabilises the country’s economy, resulting in societal insecurity.

Ahead of Schedule

  • Public awareness and education are critical in instilling a compassionate society in order to protect animals and find long-term solutions to these problems.
  • To have a beneficial influence, all of these issues must be discussed jointly on a worldwide basis.
  • There is a pressing need to address expanding urbanisation, rising temperatures, and ecotourism, all of which are severely impacting and fuelling animals.
  • Urban species have evolved differently than their non-urban counterparts as a result of rapid urbanisation.


5. Bank Deposit Insurance Programme

#GS3- Indian Economy & Issues


  • The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) Act, which provides complete coverage to about 98 percent of bank accounts, covered deposits worth Rs 76 lakh crore, according to the PM.

In depth information

  • The Reserve Bank of India has put a moratorium on banks, and the Centre has passed an amendment to the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act to ensure that account holders can access their covered deposit amounts within 90 days of such a liability emerging (RBI).
  • Norms for deposit insurance used to be as follows:
  • Previously, just Rs 50,000 of the money deposited in the bank was guaranteed, but this was later increased to Rs 1 lakh.
  • Current deposit insurance regulations provide that if a bank is weak or on the verge of going bankrupt, depositors will receive their money up to Rs five lakhs within 90 days.
  • The DICGC would collect all deposit account information within the first 45 days of the bank being placed under a moratorium. It will analyse the facts over the following 45 days and reimburse depositors closer to the 90th day.
  • Covered deposits include:
  • Deposit insurance covers all deposits in all commercial banks in India, including savings, fixed, current, and recurring accounts.
  • Deposits at state, central, and primary cooperative banks operating in states/union territories are also insured, in addition to commercial banks.


  • Long waiting period:
  • Previously, after financial hardship at banks, account holders could not access their own money for up to 8-10 years.
  • Depositors’ inability to receive fast access to their cash has been highlighted in recent incidents such as Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, Yes Bank, and Lakshmi Vilas Bank, when depositors were unable to get immediate access to their funds.
  • Account holders used to have to wait years for a distressed lender’s liquidation or restructuring to receive their deposits, which were then insured against default.
  • Depositors with more than Rs 5 lakh in their account have no legal recourse to retrieve funds if the bank fails.


  • Depositor confidence:
  • These new improvements will boost depositor confidence and enhance the banking and financial system.
  • No need to wait for liquidation:
  • Depositors can collect insurance money without having to wait for the distressed banks to be liquidated.
  • Moratorium:
  • This refers to banks that have previously been placed under a moratorium as well as those that may be placed under one in the future.
  • A depositor’s claim:
  • In the uncommon case of a bank failure in India, a depositor’s claim for insurance cover is limited to Rs 5 lakh per account.
  • Depositors have the highest level of protection for their cash deposited with banks, but unlike stock and bond investors in banks, there is always a chance of a bank failing.

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