Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 26th October -2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 26-10-2021

                                                                                                  

 

Topics

  • The Uighur Muslims—China
  • India and Nepal– The cross-border rail link
  • White Dwarf
  • National Fund to Control Drug Abuse
  • The Metaverse

 

 

1.The Uighur Muslims– China

#GS2-India and its Neighborhood, Effect of Policies & Politics

 Context

  • Recently, 43 countries issued a declaration urging China to ensure that the Muslim Uighur community in Xinjiang is treated equally under the law.
  • Previously, in March 2021, several hundred Uighur Muslim women in Turkey marched against Turkey’s extradition agreement with China on International Women’s Day.

In depth information

 Concerning the Declaration:

  • The US and other countries signed the declaration, accusing China of human rights breaches and ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims.
  • Similar statements were made in 2019 and 2020 condemning China’s policies in Xinjiang, where the US has accused Beijing of genocide.
  • It also demanded that independent observers, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, be granted entry to Xinjiang.
  • It was stated that the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has an extensive network of ‘political re-education’ centres, where over a million people have been arbitrarily jailed.

China’s Position:

  • Ethnic cleansing has long been a charge levelled against China. It also slammed the proclamation, calling it a ruse to smear China’s image.
  • China maintains that the camps are ‘educational centres,’ where Uighurs are healed of “extremist beliefs” and radicalization while also obtaining vocational skills.
  • They are, however, terrible detention camps in reality.

The Indian government has remained deafeningly silent on the Uighur situation.

What are the characteristics of Uyghur Muslims?

  • Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group that originated in and is traditionally associated with the Central and East Asian region.
  • The Uyghurs are indigenous to the People’s Republic of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
  • China does not consider them to be an indigenous people.
  • Over a million Uyghurs are thought to have been jailed in Xinjiang re-education centres since 2016.
  • The major purpose of the camps, according to the United Nations’ International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), is to enforce obedience to Chinese Communist Party ideology.

Why are the Uighurs being targeted by China?

  • The Uighurs are Muslim, do not speak Mandarin as their first language, and have a distinct ethnicity and culture from mainland China.
  • As economic prosperity has spread over Xinjiang in recent decades, it has brought with it a massive influx of Han Chinese, who have snatched up the better professions, leaving the Uighurs fearful for their livelihoods and identity.
  • This resulted in intermittent violence, culminating in a riot in Urumqi, the region’s capital, in 2009 that killed 200 people, predominantly Han Chinese.
  • In any case, the authorities has been cracking down on the Uighurs. After this outburst of violence, revenge became more ruthless.
  • With terror strikes in other parts of the world and the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, local militancy was seen as a threat that may develop into a terrorist-secessionist movement intent to secede from China and build an independent “East Turkestan.”
  • From this point on, Chinese strategy appears to have been to treat the entire community as suspect, and to undertake a deliberate campaign to eliminate all trace of a distinct Uighur identity.

 

2.India and Nepal– The cross-border rail link

#GS2- India & Foreign Relations

 Context

  • The Nepalese government just received a 34.9-kilometer cross-border train link from India.

In depth information             

  • The rail link between Jaynagar and Kurtha is referred to as the Jaynagar-Kurtha section.
  • The Jaynagar – Kurtha segment of the Jaynagar – Bijalpura – Bardidas rail link is 68.7 kilometres long. It was constructed as part of the Indian government’s grant aid programme.
  • The gauge conversion of 34.9 kilometres of narrow gauge has been completed with the help of an Indian grant. At a cost of Rs 619 crore, the project was finished.

The Rail Link’s Importance

  • This fully operational cross-border rail link is expected to boost trade and business. It will also improve people-to-people connections between the two countries.

What is the state of the India-Nepal relationship in terms of development?

  • The newly opened Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) in Birgunj and Biratnagar facilitate the free flow of persons and goods between the two countries.
  • The construction of the third ICP in Nepalgunj has already begun, and the construction of the next ICP in Bhairahwa will begin soon.
  • ICP are expected to facilitate trade and transit because Nepal relies on India’s seaports for trade and its commodities are conveyed by road.
  • India contributed to the development of two other cultural heritage projects in Nepal: thePashupatinath Riverfront Development and the Patan Durbar’s Bhandarkhal Garden Restoration.
  • This is critical at a time when China is attempting to sabotage Nepal’s natural policy-making choice.
  • Following this round of meetings, collaborative hydropower projects, like the proposed Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, will gain traction.

Conclusion

  • It is one of India’s best chances to reclaim Nepal and ensure a cohesive and connected South Asia.
  • According to the Gujral Doctrine, India must continue to build these ties.

 

3.White Dwarf

# GS3-Space Technology

Context

  • A multinational team recently witnessed a white dwarf lose its luminosity in 30 minutes, a process that usually takes from days to months.
  • Switch on and off phenomena can be used to describe this characteristic in the brightness of white dwarfs.
  • Astronomers have discovered many white dwarfs throughout the years using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

White Dwarf Stars:

  • Stars like the Sun convert hydrogen into helium in their cores. White dwarfs are stars that have consumed all of the hydrogen that they originally used as a nuclear power source.
  • Heat and outward pressure are produced by fusion in a star’s core.
  • The inward push of gravity created by a star’s mass keeps this pressure in check. When the star’s hydrogen fuel runs out and fusion slows, gravity causes the star to collapse in on itself, becoming a white dwarf star.
  • White dwarfs in our Solar System have a radius of roughly.01 times that of the Sun, but their mass is about the same.

Switch on and off Phenomena:

  • The white dwarf under discussion is part of TW Pictoris, a binary system in which a star and a white dwarf orbit each other.
  • Because the two objects are so close, the star is transferring material to the white dwarf.
  • As the material approaches the white dwarf, it produces an accretion disc, which is a disc of gas, plasma, and other particles.
  • The accretion disc material becomes brighter as it steadily sinks closer to the white dwarf.
  • There are other instances where the donor stars cease to feed the white dwarf disc. However, the causes for this remain unknown.
  • The disc remains bright when this happens because it “drains” material that was previously present.
  • The disc then takes around 1-2 months to drain the majority of the contents.
  • TW Pictoris’ brightness decline in 30 minutes was unexpected, and it could be attributed to a mechanism known as magnetic gating.
  • Magnetic gating occurs when the magnetic field around the white dwarf spins so fast that it produces a barrier that limits the quantity of matter the white dwarf can accept.
  • The importance of this discovery is that it will aid in the understanding of the mechanics of accretion, or how black holes and neutron stars feed material from nearby stars.

 

 

4.National Fund to Control Drug Abuse

GS3-Internal security related issues.

 Context

  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment recently proposed that the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse be used for de-addiction programmes rather than enforcement.

In depth information

  • The National Fund to Combat Drug Abuse is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preventing and combating drug abuse.
  • It was established under a section of the 1985 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
  • Its nominal corpus was Rs. 23 crore.
  • Funding: The NDPS Act directs the sale proceeds of any forfeited property, grants from any person or institution, and income from the fund’s investments to the fund.
  • The fund would be utilised to combat illicit drugs trafficking, rehabilitate addicts, and prevent drug usage, according to the Act.

Report on Drugs in the World in 2021:

  • In the previous year, over 275 million people used drugs around the world. Drug use disorders afflicted over 36 million people.
  • Most countries have reported an increase in cannabis use during the pandemic.
  • During the same time span, non-medical use of pharmaceutical pharmaceuticals was also documented.
  • According to the most recent global figures, roughly 5.5 percent of the population aged 15 to 64 has used drugs at least once in the previous year.
  • Over 11 million people are expected to inject drugs globally, with half of them having HepatitisC
  • Opioids continue to be the leading cause of disease associated with drug misuse.
  • current events

 

What is the definition of drug abuse?

  • Drug abuse is defined by the World Health Organization as the dangerous or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, such as alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • Addiction is a stage of substance usage in which the addict develops a compulsion to use the drug, continues to use it despite negative consequences, and shows a resolve to obtain the drug by practically any means possible.
  • Use of psychoactive substances can result in dependency syndrome, which is a collection of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological symptoms accompanied by social withdrawal.
  • Loss of appetite and weight, as well as sweating, reddening of eyes, nausea or vomiting, body pain, lethargy or sleeplessness and passivity, severe anxiety, melancholy, and mood swings, are all symptoms of addiction.

What are the societal ramifications of drugs?

  • Drug misuse is one of the world’s most serious health concerns today, destroying not just the individual but but his family, society, and nation as a whole, as well as spawning antisocial behaviour like as stealing, crime, and violence.
  • Drug misuse has a negative impact on a country’s economic growth by creating enormous amounts of unaccounted money, which is frequently used to fund terrorism and anti-national activities, posing a serious threat to national security.
  • The United Nations declared June 26th as “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” in 1987, in order to raise awareness about the dangers of drugs among the general public and among youngsters in particular.
  • Approximately 230 million individuals use an illicit substance at least once a year, and approximately 27 million people use drugs in a way that puts them at risk for serious health problems.
  • The United Nations estimates that illicit drug usage kills over 2 lakh people worldwide, the most of them are in their mid-30s.
  • In today’s society, illicit drug use is predominantly a youth phenomena that rises during adolescence and peaks between the ages of 18 and 25.

India’s drug misuse instances and numbers:

  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2020 report, the NDPS Act was used in 59,806 incidents.
  • In 2019, 3.1 crore people used cannabis and 2.3 crore people used opioids.
  • current events

The Indian government has taken a number of policy and other steps to address the problem of drug trafficking:

  • The ‘NashaMukt Bharat Abhiyaan,’ or ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign,’ was launched on August 15, 2020, in 272 districts across the country that were identified as the most vulnerable based on data from various sources.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has started implementing the 2018-2025 National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR).
  • In November 2016, the government established the Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD).
  • The government has established the “National Fund for Control of Drug Misuse” to cover the costs of combating illicit drug trafficking, treating addicts, and educating the public about drug abuse, among other things.

 

5.The Metaverse

Tags: GS 3 Science & Technology

 Context :

  • Facebook intends to rebrand itself with a new moniker that reflects its focus on metaverse development.
  • In the next five years, 10,000 positions in the European Union will be created to work on futuristic technology.

In depth information

 What exactly is the Metaverse?

The phrase “metaverse” refers to a concept of the internet evolving into a virtual environment. In 1992, American novelist Neal Stephenson proposed this concept for the first time. In his science fiction work Snow Crash, he discussed this subject.

  • It was created by combining the words “meta,” which means “beyond,” and “universe,” which means “all.” It’s the metaverse, which mixes features of the physical world with virtual spaces.
  • The internet is viewed as a 3D virtual realm where people can walk in and out and even interact with one another in real time, according to this concept. This means you’ll be able to communicate with your coworkers even if you’re not at the office physically, because you’ll be virtually present with them.People can use the internet to work, socialise, share, and have a variety of other experiences.
  • For the first time, bringing coworkers together in an avatar-based one-on-one contact is a major source of excitement.

What is Decentraland, and how does it work?

  • It is a virtual environment in which visitors can participate in a variety of activities such as attending concerts, visiting art galleries, and gambling in casinos.
  • Land parcels costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in MANA are also being offered (cryptocurrency).

Metaverse examples include:

  • There is a lot of virtual activity in today’s environment. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, can already be regarded a type of metaverse. Cryptocurrencies are also among them. However, it is still a long way from the full metaverse experience, which would include living lives entirely online.

Who stands to gain from the metaverse?

  • If you read too much about huge tech corporations like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, you can come to believe that technological advancements (such as the advent of the metaverse) are unavoidable.
  • It’s difficult not to wonder how these new technologies will impact our society, politics, and culture in the future, and how we could fit into that picture.
  • This concept is known as “technological determinism,” which holds that technological advancements alter our social ties, power relations, and culture, with us as simple passengers. It ignores the fact that, in a democratic society, we have a say in how everything unfolds.
  • The metaverse is attractive for Facebook and other huge firms eager to embrace the “next big thing” before their competitors because it opens up new markets, new types of social networks, new consumer gadgets, and new patents.

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