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What is ExoMars? UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 22nd March 2022

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 22nd March 2022

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 22nd March 2022

Topics for the day:

  1. Plane with 132 on board crashes in China
  2. Indo-Pacific should be free of conflicts, says Morrison
  3. SC for extending deadline for COVID relief
  4. Padma awards 2022
  5. Exercise LAMITIYE-2022
  6. Section 144 of the CrPC
  7. What is ExoMars?
  8. Zojila tunnel

 

 

 

Plane with 132 on board crashes in China

Plane with 132 on board crashes in China

Context :

  • A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 with 132 people on board crashed in the hills of southern China
  • This is the country’s worst air tragedy in more than a decade
  • The aircraft, according to authorities, was cruising at an altitude of 8,869 m with a speed of 845 kmph before a steep and sudden descent a little over an hour after its take-off from the Kunming airport a little over halfway through its journey
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply shocked and saddened to learn about the crash of the passenger fight MU5735 with 132 on board in China’s Guangxi.” “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the crash and their family members,” he said
More on the news :
  • The cause of the crash is unknown.The rescuers are still looking for the black box which hasn’t been found yet.
  • The blackbox contains information from instruments and sound from the cockpit.
  • The twin-engine, single-aisle Boeing 737 is one of the world’s popular planes for short and medium-haul flights.
  • Earlier An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off in March 2019, killing all 157 people on board.
  • In October, 2018, a 737 MAX flown by Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air flying from Jakarta on a domestic flight crashed 13 minutes after take-off, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board.
  • The 737 Max version was grounded worldwide after these two fatal crashes.
  • However the 737-800 that crashed now does not have the equipment that led to 737 MAX crashes more than three years ago
Issue with the Boeing 737 MAX :
  • The latest Boeing 737 model is equipped with a manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS), which is responsible for pushing the aircraft’s nose down when it senses a high angle of attack that may lead to an aircraft stall.
  • If an aircraft’s nose is too high, the plane loses speed and is likely to enter a stall a state in which it loses flight and can fall from the sky like a stone.
  • The MCAS was designed to prevent such an eventuality.
  • In case of the two crashes, the MCAS falsely misread the plane’s angle of attack during the ascent and forced the nose down leading to the crash.
About Directorate General of Civil Aviation :
  • It is the statutory body formed under the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
  • It investigates aviation accidents and incidents, maintains all regulations related to aviation
  • It is responsible for issuance of licenses pertaining to aviation like PPL’s, SPL’s and CPL’s in India.
Functions of DGCA :
  • Registration of civil aircraft
  • Certification of airports
  • Licensing to pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers and flight engineers, and conducting examinations and checks for that purpose
  • Formulation of standards of airworthiness for civil aircraft registered in India and grant of certificates of airworthiness to such aircraft
  • Conducting investigation into incidents and serious incidents involving aircraft up to 2250 kg AUW and taking accident prevention measures, including formulation of implementation of Safety Aviation Management Programmes
  • Checks on the proficiency of flight crew and other operational personnel such as flight dispatchers and cabin crew

Indo-Pacific should be free of conflicts, says Morrison

Context :

  • Developments such as those in Ukraine should never happen in the Indo-Pacifc region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia said while addressing the bilateral annual leaders’ meeting
  • Morrison spoke of the need for greater cooperation among “like-minded democracies”, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide leadership within the Quad.
  • In his address, Mr. Modi focused on the Indo-Pacifc region, and called for “appropriate” global standards for emerging technologies.
  • Morrison laid out the broad spectrum of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries covering science and technology, defence and critical minerals that are necessary for India’s strategic sectors.
  • During the interaction, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd and Australia’s Critical Mineral Facilitation Office signed an MoU to jointly explore lithium in Australia. This will allow India to invest in Australia’s critical mineral sector, as well as get Australian expertise in this area.
  • The meeting marked the second bilateral interaction among the Quad members within three days as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Japanese PM Fumio Kishida
  • PM Modi highlighted the importance of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement for economic relations between both the countries
Recent news regarding India and Australia :
  • India and Australia have announced that they are set to conclude an interim trade agreement in March and a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) 12-18 months thereafter.
What is a free trade agreement ?
  • It is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.
  • Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange
  • Usually PTA -> FTA -> CECA -> Custom union -> Common market
What is the early harvest agreement likely to cover ?
  • An interim or early harvest trade agreement is used to liberalise tariffs on the trade of certain goods between two countries or trading blocs before a comprehensive FTA (Free Trade Agreement) is concluded.
  • The interim agreement will cover “most areas of interest for both countries” including goods, services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and customs procedures.
  • Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at about $12.5 billion in FY21 and has already surpassed $17.7 billion in the first 10 months of FY22.
  • India has imported merchandise worth about $12.1 billion from Australia in the first 10 months of the fiscal and has exported merchandise worth $5.6 billion in the same period.
  • Key imports from Australia include coal, gold and LNG while key exports to the country from India include diesel, petrol and gems and jewellery.
  • Australia has also emphasised that the agreement would lead to deeper cooperation between the two countries in critical minerals and rare earth elements which are critical to future industries including renewable energy and electric vehicles
What other Free Trade Agreements is India currently negotiating?
  • India is currently in the process of negotiating FTAs with the UAE, the UK, Canada, the EU and Israel, besides Australia. India is also looking to complete an early harvest agreement with the UAE and the UK in the first half of 2022

 

SC for extending deadline for COVID relief

SC for extending deadline for COVID relief

Context and news :

  • The Supreme Court did not agree with the Union government’s suggestion to set the deadline for filing claims for COVID-19 death compensation at four weeks, saying that it was too short a time for a grieving family.
  • “Four weeks is too short. The family would need time to recover from the death and file the claim,” the bench observed.
  • The Bench, instead, suggested giving 60 days more for families to file their claims for compensation.
  • In case of deaths in future, 90 days may be given.
  • Further it said that if there are any reasons for delay, then the State concerned should accept the reasons.
  • With regards to the issue of fake claims, the bench indicated that it might ask the National Disaster Management Authority to conduct a random survey of 5 per cent of the claims in four states which had a wide difference between number of claims and recorded deaths – Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala.
  • The court is concerned with instances of fake death certifcates being used to claim ex-gratia compensation for persons who died of COVID-19 infection.
  • The deadlines are applicable on claiming the ex gratia compensation of rs 50,000 that was approved under the Centre’s disaster management guidelines which is paid to the next kin of those who died of Covid-19

 

Padma Awards for 2022 to 64 eminent personalities

Padma Awards for 2022 to 64 eminent personalities

Context :

  • President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday conferred Padma awards to recipients at a civil investiture ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • This year, eight eminent individuals are being given Padma Bhushan and 54 are being conferred with Padma Shri awards, besides the two Padma Vibhushan recipients
More on the Padma awards :
  • These awards were introduced in 1954.
  • They are given to deserving individuals for their exceptional services in their chosen fields like Sports, Art, Social work, Civil Service, Literature and Education, Public Affairs, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry etc.
  • The names of the awardees are announced every year on Republic Day.
  • There are several rules concerning the Padma awards
    • If someone is a recipient of a lesser degree of the Padma awards, they can be awarded a higher degree of award only after five or more years since the last conferment.
    • Secondly, the awards are rarely given posthumously, but exceptions can be made, if the case is highly deserved.
    • Thirdly, there ought to be an element of public service in the achievements of the person to be selected. It should not be merely on the basis of excellence in any field, but it should be based on excellence plus.
    • Fourthly, Government servants including those working in PSUs, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for these awards
The awards are of three categories :
  • Padma Bhushan – For exceptional and distinguished service (Second Degree Honour)
  • Padma Vibhushan – For distinguished service of a high order (Third Degree Honour)
  • Padma Shri – For distinguished service (Fourth Degree Honour)
More on Padma Vibhushan :
  • It is the second highest civilian award given by the Republic of India.
  • Those privileged to get the award are given a citation certificate and a medal, which has a lotus flower in the middle and the words ‘Desh Seva’, embossed on the obverse.
More on the Padma Bhushan :
  • It is the third highest civilian award given by the government of India for those who have contributed to India’s reputation in the global scenario.
  • The President of India confers the award in an elaborate ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan
More on the Padma Shri :
  • It is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India and is given by the Government of India for distinguished contribution to various subjects like arts, literature, sports, politics, industry, medicine, social service, etc.
  • The awardee is not given cash but is given a certificate and a medallion with a three-leafed flower on one side and on the obverse Padma (lotus) and Shri (Mr. or Ms.) is written in devanagari script.

 

Exercise LAMITIYE-2022

Context :

  • The 9th Joint Military Exercise LAMITIYE-2022 between the Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) is being conducted at Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA)
  • Exercise LAMITIYE-2022 is a biennial training event which has been conducted in Seychelles since 2001.
  • Exercise LAMITIYE with Seychelles is significant in terms of growing security concerns in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The 10 days long joint exercise will include field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures, demonstrations and culminate with a two days validation exercise.

Other exercises of India :

  • Indian Army Joint Exercises
    • Mithra Shakti – India and Sri Lanka.
    • Hand-in-Hand – India and China
    • Exercise Shakti – India and France
    • Exercise Nomadic Elephant-India and Mongolia
    • Exercise Yuddh Abhyas – India and United States Armies since 2005
    • Surya Kiran – India and Nepal
    • LAMITYE- India and Seychelles
    • Prabal Dostyk – India and Kazhakhstan
    • Al-Nagah – Indian and Oman
    • Ajeya Warrior – India and UK
    • SAMPRITI- India-Bangladesh
    • AUSTRA HIND- Australia and India
    • Khanjar – India and Kyrgyzstan
    • Exercise Maitree – India & Thailand
    • Exercise Vajra Prahar – India & US
    • Exercise Yudh Abhyas – India & US
    • Garuda Shakti – India & Indonesia
    • Dharma Guardian – India & Japan
    • Exercise Ekuverin – India and Maldives
    • VINBAX – India and Vietnam
    • Exercise Harimau Shakti – India and Malaysia
    • IMBAX – India-Myanmar
    • Exercise BOLD KURUKSHETRA – India- Singapore
  • Indian Air Force Joint Exercises
    • Exercise “Indradhanush” or “Rainbow” – India-UK
    • Exercise Garuda – India-France
    • Exercise Avia Indra – India-Russia maiden aerial exercise
    • Exercise Red Flag – India and the U.S.
    • Exercise Siam Bharat – Indian Air Force and Royal Thailand Air Force
    • Exercise Desert Eagle – India and UAE
    • Exercise Eastern Bridge – India-Oman bilateral air exercise
  • Indian Navy Joint Exercises
    • Varuna – France and India
    • SLINEX- Sri Lanka and India
    • INDRA – bi-annual military exercise conducted by India and Russia
    • Exercise Malabar – United States, Japan and India
    • Exercise Simbex – India and Singapore
    • Exercise IBSAMAR – India, Brazil and South Africa
    • Exercise KONKAN – Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Britain
    • Exercise AUSINDEX – Indian and Australian Navy Bilateral Maritime Exercise
    • Exercise Sahyog-Kaijin – Joint exercise of Coast Guards of India and Japan
    • Exercise Naseem Al Bahr – India and Oman
    • Exercise IMCOR- India- Myanmar
    • Exercise Sahyog HOP TAC – India-Vietnam
    • INDO CORPAT – India and Indonesia

 

Section 144 of the CrPC

Section 144 of the CrPC

Context :

  • Section 144 has been imposed in Bodhan town in Telangana after protests turned violent over the installation of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji at Ambedkar junction
About the section 144 :
  • Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 generally prohibits public gathering.
  • It authorises the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area.
  • According to the law, every member of such ‘unlawful assembly’ can be booked for engaging in rioting.
  • The maximum punishment for such act is three years.
  • Moreover, obstructing police from breaking up an unlawful assembly is a punishable offence as well.
  • Section 144 also restricts carrying any sort of weapon in that area where it has been imposed and people can be detained for violating it.
  • Section 144 is imposed in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger of some event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property.
  • No order under Section 144 shall remain in force for more than two months but the state government can extent the validity for two months and maximum up to six months.
  • It can be withdrawn at any point of time if the situation becomes normal.
Background of the section 144 :
  • Section 144 was used for the first time in 1861 by the British Raj, and thereafter became an important tool to stop all nationalist protests during the Freedom Struggle.
  • However, the use of the section in Independent India remains controversial as very little has changed.
Section 144 vs Curfew :
  • Section 144 is generally prohibitory in nature. It restricts from public gathering, but doesn’t bar it all together.
  • A curfew, on the other hand, orders people to stay indoors for a specific period of time. So, the authorities can impose curfew for a certain period of time
  • One also needs prior approval from the local police for moving out during curfew.

 

What is ExoMars?

What is ExoMars?

Context :

  • The European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2022 mission has been delayed after the agency suspended all cooperation with Russia’s space program Roscosmos.
About ExoMars :
  • It was a joint endeavor between ESA and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.
  • The primary goal of the ExoMars programme is to address the question of whether life has ever existed on Mars.
Components of the mission :
  • The programme comprises two missions.
    • The first launched in March 2016 and consists of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli, an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module.
      • TGO’s main objectives are to search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes.
      • The Schiaparelli probe crashed during its attempt to land on Mars.
    • The second, comprising a rover and surface platform, is planned for 2022.
Objective of the mission :
  • The primary aim of the mission is to check if there has ever been life on Mars and also understand the history of water on the planet.
  • The main goal is to land ESA’s rover at a site which has high-potential for finding well-preserved organic material, particularly from the history of the planet.

 

Zojila tunnel

Zojila tunnel

Context :

  • Due to warmer temperatures and less snowfall, the strategic Zojila Pass that provides vital link between Kashmir Valley and Ladakh on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh Road, which connects Ladakh to the rest of the country via roadlink has been thrown open by the Border Road Organisation (BRO) in record time.
What is the Zoji la ?
  • Zojila is a strategic pass that provides vital link between Kashmir Valley and Ladakh and is the key to operational preparedness of the Armed Forces
More on the pass :
  • Zojila pass provides all-year connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh.
  • Located at more than 11,500 feet above sea level.
  • Zoji La means the “mountain pass of blizzards”.
  • Located in the Dras, the pass connects the Kashmir Valley to its west with the Dras and Suru valleys to its northeast and the Indus valley further east.
  • In 2018, the Zojila tunnel project was launched. The Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel, which will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 22nd March 2022

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