UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 27th March 2022
Topics for the day:
- Peace in border areas key to normal ties, India tells China
- GSLV-F10 launch and EOS-03 satellite
- NASA Voyager spacecraft
- Export Preparedness Index 2021
- Bend and aim: DRDO’s corner-shot weapon gives police a critical eye
- Free rations scheme extended by 6 months
- Endosulfan: 3,714 victims in Kerala to get Rs.5 lakh each
- Kambala starts in Mangalore, Karnataka
Peace in border areas key to normal ties, India tells China
- There can be no normality in India-China ties unless the troops amassed at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are withdrawn; it was held during talks that ended without any joint statement or agreement on the way forward.
- Jaishankar told the media that their meeting had a “broad and substantive agenda” and the talks were “open and candid”.
- He said he had “conveyed our national sentiment” on the border issue and that “frictions and tensions that arise from China’s deployments since April 2020 cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbors.”
- The presence of a large number of troops there, in contravention of agreements, is abnormal, he held.
- While 15 rounds of commander-level talks and eight rounds of a special Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) for border affairs yielded considerable progress, several friction areas remained, he noted.
- China’s Foreign Ministry said Mr. Wang put forward a “three-point approach” in his talks with special representative Mr. Doval :
- First point being :
- both sides needed to view ties with a “long-term vision”
- see each other’s development as an opportunity
- cooperate on multilateral issues.
- On the second point, he proposed reviving the “China-India plus” initiative for joint projects in South Asia, an outcome of the Wuhan meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in 2018.
- He highlighted that China did not seek a “unipolar Asia” and “respects India’s traditional role in the region”.
- Third, both sides should participate in multilateral processes with a cooperative posture, step up communication and coordination, support each other, send more positive signals for upholding multilateralism, and inject more positive energy into improving global governance.
- Wang discussed China’s chairmanship of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping this year, and a desire to invite all the leaders to a summit in China, as well as India hosting the G20 and a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in 2023, which he described as two years for an “Asian moment” in global governance.
- He asserted that both “share the same or similar positions on major international and regional issues”.
- The Modi government had earlier refused to hold bilateral talks on any issue other than the boundary.
- However these talks were wide ranging and they included trade and commerce, visas for thousands of Indian students awaiting to return to China, as well as developments including Ukraine and Afghanistan.
- The Chinese statement said hydrological cooperation on transborder rivers also figured.
On ukraine – russia :
- Jaishankar said the two sides discussed Ukraine and their “respective” approaches with “a common element” that both agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire and return to diplomacy.
- One point of difference has been China’s explicit blaming of theS. and NATO for the crisis.
Comments at OIC meet
- The external affairs minister also explained why comments made by Mr. Wang this week at the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meet in Pakistan that China “shares the same hope” of its “many Islamic friends” on Kashmir were “objectionable”,
- It was launched by UNESCO in July 2021, jointly with the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and others.
- H2Ooooh is a unique program crafted for Indian school students from Standard 1-8.
- It aims to increase awareness about the limited availability of water, its sustainable use, its conservation, its exploitation and much more.
- It seeks to enable the students to share their own experiences and proposals for the protection of the environment.
- Divided in three phases,
- The project aims to spur creativity and raise awareness on water conservation and its sustainable use for students between the age of 6-14 years, by providing training and encouraging them to submit paintings and story ideas for the animated short films.
NASA Voyager spacecraft
- Both Voyager spacecraft are rushing away from Earth and into interstellar space. Yet for a portion of every year, both spacecrafts’ distances to Earth decrease.
Why is it so?
- The answer is that for a few months each year, Earth in its orbit moves toward the spacecraft faster than they’re moving away. Earth’s motion around the sun is faster than the motion of the Voyager spacecraft.
- So, for a portion of the year, Earth comes around the side of the sun and is speeding toward the spacecraft faster than they’re moving away.
About Voyager mission:
- Launched in the 1970’s, and the probes sent by NASA were only meant to explore the outer planets – but they just kept on going.
- Voyager 1 departed Earth on 5 September 1977, a few days after Voyager 2 and left our solar system in 2013.
- The mission objective of the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) is to extend the NASA exploration of the solar system beyond the neighborhood of the outer planets to the outer limits of the Sun’s sphere of influence, and possibly beyond.
- The Voyager spacecraft are the third and fourth human spacecraft to fly beyond all the planets in our solar system.
- Pioneers 10 and 11 preceded Voyager in outstripping the gravitational attraction of the Sun but Voyager 1 passed Pioneer 10 to become the most distant human-made object in space.
Accomplishments so far:
- Voyager 2 is the only probe ever to study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys.
- Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited all four gas giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – and discovered 16 moon
- It discovered phenomena like Neptune’s mysteriously transient Great Dark Spot, the cracks in Europa’s ice shell, and ring features at every planet.
GSLV-F10 launch and EOS-03 Satellite
- The GSLV-F10/EOS-03 mission, which lifted off from Sriharikota last year failed due to ‘deviation in the performance’ of the cryogenic upper stage (CUS) of the launch vehicle, a national-level Failure Analysis Committee (FAC) constituted in the aftermath has found.
- GSLV-F10 was ISRO’s eighth flight with indigenous cryo and 14th GSLV flight
What is EOS-03?
- EOS-3 was the first state-of-art agile Earth Observation Satellite which would have been placed in a geo-synchronous orbit around the Earth.
- It was expected to provide near real-time imaging, which could be used for quick monitoring of natural disasters, episodic events and any short-term events.
- The mission life of the satellite was 10 years.
What is a GSLV Rocket?
- The GSLV expands to a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle.
- The GSLV Mark IIl is the largest launch vehicle built by India.
- GSLV Mk III has had 4 major successful launches.
- CARE (Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Mission)
- GSAT – 19 Mission
- GSAT – 29 Mission
- Chandrayaan 2 Mission – It was a mission to the Moon
- Engines and boosters
- S 200, 2 Solid Boosters are used to give the GSLV Mk III a huge thrust. S 200 was developed at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Trivandrum.
- 2 Vikas Engines powers the Core Stage. These engines are developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of ISRO.
- The Upper stage is known as the cryogenic stage (C-25).
- This stage is powered by CE-20, the largest Cryogenic Engine built by ISRO.
- The objectives of developing GSLV Mk III are listed below.
- To launch heavier communication satellites
- To launch heavier multi-purpose satellites
- Future Interplanetary exploration
- To launch future crewed missions i.e. to carry humans to space.
Difference between PSLV and GSLV:
- India has two operational launchers- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
- PSLV was developed to launch low-Earth Orbit satellites into polar and sun synchronous orbits.
- It has since proved its versatility by launching geosynchronous, lunar and interplanetary spacecraft successfully.
- On the other hand, GSLV was developed to launch the heavier INSAT class of geosynchronous satellites into orbit.
- In its third and final stage, GSLV uses the indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage.
Export Preparedness Index 2021
- NITI Aayog, in collaboration with the Institute of Competitiveness, has released the second edition of the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2021
About the Index:
- The Export Preparedness Index is a comprehensive analysis of India’s export achievements.
- It aims to identify the fundamental areas critical for subnational export promotion. The coastal states have been adjudged as the best performers in the index.
How were states ranked?
- The index ranked states on four key parameters – policy; business ecosystem; export ecosystem; export performance.
- The index also took into consideration 11 sub-pillars
- export promotion policy
- institutional framework
- business environment
- transport connectivity
- access to finance
- export infrastructure
- trade support
- R&D infrastructure
- export diversification
- growth & orientation
Performance of various states:
- Gujarat has topped NITI Aayog’s Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2021 for the second consecutive time.
- Maharashtra has been ranked second and Karnataka has been ranked third.
Bend and aim: DRDO’s corner-shot weapon gives police a critical eye
- A corner-shot weapon system (CSWS), designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is at an advanced stage of being inducted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir police.
More about the CSWS :
- The CSWS is a special purpose weapon designed by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune.
- It can engage targets located around the corners as the system bends and captures video feed thus saving soldiers from any surprise counter attack and is best suited for urban, close quarter situations.
- A few systems were used in the recent India-Japan bilateral Army exercise Dharma Guardian-2022
- The weapon is equipped with a camera, laser, infrared illuminator and torch in front portion, while display, electronics, battery and swivelling mechanism are located at rear portion
- The body is made from highgrade aluminium alloy to make it lighter and durable.
- It has several Features like :
- day-night fring capability
- colour display
- digital zoom
- zeroing facility
- hot keys
- high power battery along with status display and compliance with JSS 5855
- making it a very potent system for security forces engaged in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terror (CI/CT) operations.
- This indigenously developed system has many superior features compared to its contemporary international systems and available for 9 mm GLOCK 17/19 and 1A1 Auto Pistol variant.
Free rations scheme extended by 6 months
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by another six months
- The scheme was originally introduced in April 2020 a month into the first lockdown during the initial onset of the COVID pandemic.
- This will be the sixth phase of PM-GKAY.
- The government has spent approximately ?6 lakh crore so far and another ?80,000 crore will be spent over the next six months till September 2022, taking the total expenditure under PM-GKAY to nearly ?3.4 lakh crore
What is the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) ?
- PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
- Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.
- The scheme aimed at providing each person who is covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 with an additional 5 kg grains (wheat or rice) for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
- The new version of the PMGKAY lacks one of its important components which was there in 2020 PMGKAY i:e free-of-cost 1 kg pulses per month to each household covered under the NFSA.
- Under NFSA, the government provides 5 kg of food grains per person at subsidised rates. It provides rice at Rs 2 a kg, rice at Rs 3 a kg coarse grains like bajra at Rs one a kg.
Endosulfan: 3,714 victims in Kerala to get Rs.5 lakh each
- The Kerala government has decided to disburse a compensation of ?5 lakh each to 3,714 endosulfan victims in Kasaragod
- An order was issued earlier allocating an additional ?200 crore for compensation to those who are yet to get financial help from the government.
- The government had included 6,727 persons on the endosulfan victims’ list. Among them, 1,442 had already been paid a compensation of ?5 lakh and another 1,568 paid ?3 lakh.
The endosulfan tragedy :
- Endosulfan is a pesticide developed in the 1950’s.
- People extensively used it in farming with high consumption in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Later, it was found to be highly toxic to human health and the environment.
- It poisoned entire populations of useful and necessary insects.
- The Endosulfan tragedy also caused many ailments. These ailments included
- skin irritations, destruction of nerve tissues and reproductive and developmental damage in human beings and animals.
- For over 20 years, cashew plantations in Kasargod district in Kerala used Endosulfan as a pesticide.
- Tea plantations, paddy and fruit orchards in other areas of Kerala also used this pesticide administered via aerial spraying or manual pumps.
- Prone to long-range atmospheric transport, Endosulfan linked to serious health disorders in the citizens residing in these areas.
Kambala starts in Mangalore, Karnataka
- The kambala buffalo races have been happening in full swing in karnataka
More on the races :
- Kambala is a traditional buffalo race in paddy fields filled with slush and mud which generally takes place in coastal Karnataka (Udupi and Dakshina Kannada) from november to march.
- Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts.
- They are native speakers of the Tulu language. During the race, the racers try to bring the buffaloes under control by holding their reins tight and whipping them.
- In its traditional form, Kambala was non-competitive and buffalo pairs raced one after another in paddy fields.
- It was also observed as thanksgiving to gods for protecting the animals from diseases.
Concerns around the kambala festival :
- Animal activists criticize the sport and argue that the Kambala involves acts of cruelty on animals which are not physiologically suited for racing and they run in the race due to fear of being beaten.
- According to them, it violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
- The Act prevents practices which involve unnecessary pain to the animal amounting to cruelty.
UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 27th March 2022
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