Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Daily Current Affairs 14th September -2021

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

 

Daily Current Affairs 14th September -2021

 

Topics

  • Climate Change -Changing Rainfall Pattern in North East India
  • CRISPR- To safely restrain mosquito vectors via sterilization
  • Subramaniya Bharathiyar
  • Acharya Vinoba Bhave
  • First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi

 

1.Climate Change -Changing Rainfall Pattern in North East India   

#GS1 andGS3-Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Physical Geography, Water Resources

Context

  • An analysis recently revealed a changing rainfall pattern in North East (NE) India as a result of climate change.
  • The Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change launched the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in 2008.
    • Action planrecognizes measures that advance India’s development goals while also providing other benefits for successfully addressing climate change.

In details

  • North East normally gets heavy rain during the Monsoon season (June-September), but this has altered in recent years.
  • The rains come in quick bursts, flooding the region, and are followed by long dry periods bordering on drought.
  • According to a 2018 study, monsoon rainfall in the Northeast decreased by 355 mm between 1979 and 2014.
  • A reduction in local moisture levels resulted in a 30-50 mm decrease.
  • The region is prone to river course changes due to its unique topology and steep slopes abruptly giving way to plains.
  • The region is highly sensitive to changes in regional and global climate because it is mostly hilly and an extension of the Indo-Gangetic Plains.
  • The rainy seasons in northeast India are pre-monsoon and monsoon.
  • Rainfall during the monsoon season has fallen below the Long Period Average in most NE states over the last two decades (LPA).
  • Most districts north of the Brahmaputra saw a decrease in the number of rainy days.
  • This means that increased rainfall occurs over fewer days, increasing the likelihood of river flooding.

 

Factors Influencing Changes in Rainfall Patterns:

 

1.Drought and Moisture Coexist:

  • Drying of the land is one aspect of warming that influences rainfall, increasing the frequency and intensity of dry periods and droughts.
  • The combination of increased moisture and drying alters rainfall patterns in unpredictable ways.

2.Snowfall in the Eurasian Region Has Increased:

  • Increased snowfall in the Eurasian region affects monsoon rainfall in NE India because excessive snowfall in Eurasia cools the region’s atmosphere, triggering events that eventually lead to a weak summer monsoon season there.

3.PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) Variation:

  • Sea surface temperatures in the subtropical Pacific Ocean vary in a cycle, with each phase lasting a decade. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation reaches its peak every 20 years (PDO).
  • It may have an effect on the monsoon rainfall in the Northeast.
  • PDO is also influenced by global warming because it reduces the temperature difference between seasons.

4.Sunspot Epoch:

  • During the monsoon, rainfall patterns in the northeast differed significantly from one Sunspot epoch to the next, implying that the seasonal trough of low pressure over the country intensified differently.
  • Sunspot Epochs are alternating periods of increased and decreased activity on the Sun’s surface that have an impact on Earth’s climate.

Impact of these changes:

  • Changes in rainfall patterns, particularly during the monsoon season, affect river flow, snow cover extent, and the health of mountain springs, all of which have an impact on livelihoods, particularly agriculture and fishing, forest flora growth, animal and bird habitat (and behavior), and other ecosystem aspects.
  • Rivers such as Subansiri, Dibang (Brahmaputra tributaries), and Brahmaputra have been observed to change course in unexpected ways.
  • Extreme rainfall events caused by global warming set off a chain reaction of events, including accelerated soil erosion along hill slopes devoid of forest cover. This increases the surface run-off of rivers and causes them to change course.

What is the climate scenario for the North East region in the future?

  • The region’s future climate scenarios appear bleak.
  • Temperature and rainfall are included: They show an increase in temperatures and rainfall, despite evidence of a decrease in rainfall over the last century. Temperatures in the region are expected to rise by 1.8-2.1 degrees Celsius by the end of 2030, according to the Environment Ministry. During the same time period, annual mean rainfall can rise by 0.3-3 percent.
  • Models predict a temperature increase of 1.7-2.0 degrees Celsius in Assam, India’s most vulnerable state to climate change, between 2021 and 2050.

 

2. CRISPR- To safely restrain mosquito vectors via sterilization

 #GS3-Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology.

Context:

  • California researchers have developed a CRISPR-based system to safely restrain mosquito vectors through sterilization. The new precision-guided sterile insect technique, or pgSIT, is what it’s called.

In details

  • Using advances in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, researchers have developed a system to control mosquito populations, which infect millions of people each year with debilitating diseases.
  • Technique: The precision-guided sterile insect technique (pgSIT) is a CRIPSR-Cas9-based genetic engineering method.
  • It works by altering genes associated with male fertility and female flight. As a result, the pgSIT employs CRISPR to sterilise male mosquitos while rendering female mosquitos (which spread disease) flightless.
  • The pgSIT eggs can be shipped to a location where mosquito-borne disease is a threat, or they can be developed at an on-site facility that can produce the eggs for nearby deployment. When pgSIT eggs are released into the wild, sterile pgSIT males emerge and eventually mate with females, reducing the wild population as needed.
  • The system is self-limiting, so it will not persist or spread in the environment.
  • Self-limiting organism or colony of organisms (biology): An organism or colony of organisms that limits its own growth.
  • The new system has the potential to be extremely useful in controlling the spread of Aedes aegypti, which is responsible for the spread of diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika.

What is the significance of this?

  • pgSIT eggs can be shipped to a location where mosquito-borne disease is a threat, or they can be developed at an on-site facility that can produce the eggs for nearby deployment.
  • When pgSIT eggs are released into the wild, sterile pgSIT males emerge and eventually mate with females, reducing the wild population as needed.

What exactly is CRISPR?

  • CRISPR technology is essentially a gene-editing technology that can be used to change an organism’s genetic expression or genome.
  • The technology can be used to target specific stretches of a genetic code or to edit the DNA at specific locations.

Significance:

  • CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for genome editing. It enables researchers to easily modify DNA sequences and gene function. Its numerous potential applications include correcting genetic flaws, treating and preventing disease spread, and improving crops. Its promise, however, raises ethical concerns.

 How it works?

 On DNA strands containing genetic information, the technology acts like a cut-and-paste mechanism.

  • The specific location of the genetic codes that need to be changed, or “edited,” is identified on the DNA strand, and then that location is cut off from the strand using the Cas9 protein, which acts like a pair of scissors. When a DNA strand is damaged, it has a natural tendency to repair itself.
  • Scientists intervene during the auto-repair process by providing the desired sequence of genetic codes that binds to the broken DNA strand.

Concerns and issues at stake:

  • When applied to humans, it becomes contentious. For a long time, leading scientists in the field have called for a “global pause” on clinical applications of the technology in humans until internationally accepted protocols are developed.
  • According to research, CRISPR-Cas9-edited cells may cause cancer.
  • It may increase the likelihood of mutations occurring elsewhere in the genome in those cells.
  • Many questions remain unanswered, such as how we should determine which diseases or traits are amenable to gene editing.
  • Concerns about ethics: Furthermore, there are concerns about manipulating human embryos for personal gain.

 

 

3.Subramaniya Bharathiyar

#GS1-Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

 

Context:

Vice-President recently paid homage to Subramania Bharati to mark the death centenary of the poet and freedom fighter.

About Subramaniya Bharathi:

  • He was born on December 11, 1882, in Ettayapuram village, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu.
  • He was a Tamil Nadu poet, freedom fighter, and social reformer.
  • Mahakavi Bharathiyar was his given name.
  • His songs about nationalism and Indian freedom helped to rally the masses in Tamil Nadu to support the Indian Independence Movement.
  • Literary works include “Kannan Pattu,” “Nilavum Vanminum Katrum,” “Panchali Sabatam,” and “Kuyil Pattu.”
  • In 1908, he released the sensational “Sudesa Geethangal.”
  • In the middle of 1908, Bharati began serialising Gnanaratham in his political weekly, India.
  • He was the first poet whose works were nationalised by the state government in 1949.
  • Subramanya Bharathi was a supporter of women’s rights as well as an opponent of the caste system.
  • He believed that before Indian society could be liberated from foreign rule, it needed to be united.
  • He condemned certain Shastras that were derogatory to women.
  • He believed in human equality and chastised many preachers for mixing their personal prejudices with the teaching of the Gita and the Vedas.
  • He is regarded as the greatest poet in Tamil history, not just in modern Tamil. He is widely considered to be the father of modern Tamil literature.
  • He used straightforward but effective words and rhythm.His themes as a poet ranged from patriotism to nature, romance to philosophy, devotion to self-respect.
  • He also mentioned the importance of scientific advancements in order for the country to progress.
  • Achamillai Achamillai, Suttum Vizhichudadar, Agni Sthomam, and other well-known poems are among his works.
  • He was a polyglot who translated Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, and Tilak’s speeches into Tamil.
  • He wrote about Hindu deities as well as deities from other religions.
  • His poems have inspired and continue to inspire millions of people all over the world. He is affectionately known as ‘Mahakavi,’ or ‘Great Poet.’
  • Bharathi’s health suffered as a result of his arrests. He died on September 11, 1921, at the age of 38.
  • In 1949, he became the first poet whose works were nationalised by the state government.

Bharthi’s role as a social reformer

  • He was opposed to the caste system. He stated that there were only two castes—men and women—and nothing else. Above all, he had untied his sacred thread.
  • Certain Shastras that denigrate women were condemned by him. He believed in human equality and chastised many preachers for mixing their personal prejudices with the teaching of the Gita and the Vedas.

Importance in the Present:

  • Women played an important role in the poet’s definition of progress. He stated that women should walk with their heads held high and look people in the eyes.
  • This vision has inspired the government, which is working to ensure women-led empowerment.
  • He believed in a healthy blend of the ancient and the modern, implying the need to cultivate a scientific temperament, a spirit of inquiry, and a march toward progress.

 

4.Acharya Vinoba Bhave

#GS I-important Personalities, Indian National Movement

 

Context

Recently, the Prime Minister paid rich tributes to Acharya Vinoba Bhave on his birth Anniversary.

About Vinoba Bhave:

  • Vinayak Narahari Bhave was born on September 11, 1895 in Gagode, Bombay Presidency (now in Maharashtra).
  • Narahari Shambhu Rao and Rukmini Devi’s eldest son.
  • His mother had a significant influence on him. She inspired him to read ‘The Gita.’

Profile in Brief:

  • One of India’s most well-known social reformers and a close disciple of Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi. Bhoodan Yajna (“Land-Gift Movement”) founder.

Gandhi’s association:

  • Attracted to Mahatma Gandhi’s principles and ideologies, and considered Gandhi his guru from both a political and spiritual standpoint.
  • In 1916, he dropped out of high school to join Gandhi’s ashram (ascetic community) in Sabarmati, near Ahmedabad.
  • Bhave was inspired by Gandhi’s teachings to live an austere life dedicated to improving Indian village life.

 Role in the Liberation Struggle:

  • Participated in non-cooperation programmes, particularly the call to use Swadeshi goods instead of foreign imports.
  • Gandhi chose him as the first Individual Satyagrahi (an individual standing up for truth rather than a collective action) against the British Raj in India in 1940.
  • Bhave was imprisoned several times during the 1920s and 1930s, and he served a five-year sentence in the 1940s for leading nonviolent resistance to British rule. He was given the honorific title acharya, which means “teacher.”

 Social Worker Role:

  • Worked tirelessly to eliminate social ills such as inequality.
  • He took up the cause of people Gandhi referred to as Harijans, influenced by Gandhi’s examples.
  • He adopted Gandhi’s term Sarvodaya, which simply means “Progress for All.”
  • During the 1950s, the Sarvodaya movement, led by him, implemented a number of programmes, the most notable of which was the Bhoodan Movement.

The Bhoodan Movement Facts

  • Bhoodan literally translates to “land donation.” Landlords voluntarily give up land in this movement, as implied by the name, to be distributed to landless labourers, who would then cultivate the land.
  • This is intended to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. The land donors are not compensated in this case.
  • Vinoba Bhave started this in Pochampally.
  • This movement lasted 13 years, during which time Bhave travelled throughout India. He gathered 4.4 million acres of land to give to landless farmers.
  • He founded the Gramdan movement in 1954, which involved the voluntary donation of entire villages.
  • These movements drew international attention.

Religious Work:

  • In 1923, he published ‘Maharashtra Dharma,’ a Marathi monthly that included his essays on the Upanishads.
  • He established a number of Ashrams to promote a simple way of life devoid of luxuries that distracted one’s attention from the Divine.
  • In 1959, the Brahma Vidya Mandir was established, a small community for women aiming for self-sufficiency along the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings.
  • He took a strong stance against cow slaughter and declared that he would fast until it was outlawed in India.
  • His literary works include Swarajya Sastra, Geeta Pravachane, Teesri Shakti or The Third Power, and others
  • In 1958, Vinoba Bhabe became the first international figure to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award. In 1983, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna.

 

5.First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi.

#GS2-Government Policies & Interventions, Bilateral Groupings & Agreements

 

Context

  • The foreign and defense ministers of India and Australia recently met in New Delhi for the first India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
  • The inaugural dialogue follows the elevation of India-Australia bilateral relations to comprehensive strategic partnership during the India-Australia Leaders’ virtual summit in 2021.

In particulars

  • Maintaining an open, free, prosperous, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region (in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)).
  • To aid India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.
  • The Quad member countries must redouble their efforts to expand regional cooperation.

 

Focus on Supply Chain Resilience Initiative:

  • The Supply Chain Resilience Initiative aims to diversify supply chains between trusted and reliable trading partners for critical health, technology, and other goods and services through multilateral, regional, and plurilateral mechanisms.
  • In this context, they welcomed the launch of the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative by India’s, Australia’s, and Japan’s Trade Ministers.

 Cooperation on Covid-19:

  • Cooperation on Covid-19: An agreement was reached to deepen cooperation in vaccine manufacturing, including within the Quad framework, and to provide high-quality vaccines to their Indo-Pacific partners.
  • Through projects funded by the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, researchers from both countries are collaborating to advance Covid-19 screening and study the virus’s future health effects.

 Defense:

  • India has been invited to participate in future Talisman Sabre exercises.
    • This will increase interoperability, while both sides investigate longer-term reciprocal logistics support arrangements.

 Economic Agreements:

  • Both countries agreed to complete bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with top priority.
  • Aside from that, both countries lobbied for an early resolution of the issue of taxation of Indian firms’ offshore income under the India-Australia Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.

 Security:

  • To continue to collaborate on counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, and the proposed UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

 Bilateral Relationship:

  • They discussed ways to strengthen their relationship in areas such as bilateral trade, vaccines, defence production, community links, maritime security, cyber security, and climate cooperation.
  • Others include grants of $1 million to the International Solar Alliance and $10 million to the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure while reaffirming support for India’s candidacy for permanent membership in the UN Security Council (both India-led initiatives).

Dialogue ‘2+2’

  • The 2+2 Ministerial is the two countries’ highest-level institutional mechanism.
  • It is a dialogue format in which defense/foreign ministers or secretaries meet with counterparts from other countries.
  • India has such discussions with Australia, Japan, and the United States.

 

Relations between India and Australia

Geopolitical Relations:

  • China’s actions in recent years, including extensive island building in the South China Sea, have raised concerns in a number of countries around the world.
  • This has resulted in the formation of the Quad (India, Australia, Japan, and the United States).

Defense Relations:

  • Bilateral naval exercise (AUSINDEX), Ex AUSTRA HIND (Bilateral Exercise with Army), Ex PITCH BLACK (Australia’s multilateral air combat training exercise), and multilateral Malabar Exercise (comprising Quad countries).
  • The countries have agreed to the Mutual Logistic Support Agreement (MLSA).

Multilateral Cooperation:

  • India and Australia are both the memebers of the Quad, Commonwealth, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Pacific Partnership on Climate and Clean Development, and have attended East Asia Summits.
  • Both countries have also been cooperating as members of the World Trade Organization’s Five Interested Parties (FIP).
  • Australia is a key member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and supports India’s membership in the organization.

Daily Current Affairs 14th September -2021

 

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