HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 14 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 14 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, General Studies, hindu notes, MAINS 2019, PIB notes, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

Climate change could wipe out Bengal tigers

News

  • Sundarbans, the iconic Bengal tiger’s last coastal stronghold and the world’s biggest mangrove forest, could be destroyed by climate change and rising sea levels over the next 50 years, scientists say.
  • Spanning more than 10,000 sq km, the Sundarbans region of Bangladesh and India is the biggest mangrove forest on Earth, and also the most critical area for the endangered Bengal tiger.

Findings

  • Fewer than 4,000 Bengal tigers are alive today.
  • That’s a really low number for the world’s biggest cat, which used to be far more abundant but today is mainly confined to small areas of India and Bangladesh.
  • Most terrifying is that analyses suggest tiger habitats in the Sundarbans will vanish entirely by 2070.
  • The researchers used computer simulations to assess the future suitability of the low-lying Sundarbans for tigers and their prey, using mainstream estimates of climatic trends from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their analyses included factors such as extreme weather events and sea-level rise.

Beyond climate change, the Sundarbans are under growing pressure from industrial developments, new roads, and greater poaching.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

India signs defence pacts with Germany and Sweden

News

  • India concluded defence cooperation and security protection agreements with Germany and Sweden during the ongoing visit of Defence Minister there.

Beyond News

  • The agreement will enable both the countries to share classified information with each other, a Swedish Embassy release said.
  • India and Sweden have had a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the area of defence since 2009.
  • Earlier in Germany Defence Minister met her counterpart Dr. Ursula von der Leyen and signed an implementing arrangement on enhanced defence and defence industry cooperation to strengthen military to military engagement as well as defence industry and research and development linkages.
  • Both Germany and Sweden are important suppliers of defence equipment to India and their companies are currently in the race for multi-billion tenders to supply submarines and fighter aircraft.

U.S. urges its citizens to reconsider travelling to Pakistan due to terrorism

News

  • The US has urged its citizens to reconsider their travel to Pakistan mainly due to terrorism and risks to civil aviation operating within or near the country.

Beyond News

  • The Federal Aviation Administration, in a notice issued, said that terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Pakistan.
  • It asked Americans not to travel to Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism, and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir area due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.
  • Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Pakistan, it said, adding that terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship and government facilities.
  • Noting that terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KPK, including the former FATA, the State Department said large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties over the last several years.
  • India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border.
  • The only official Pakistan-India border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the province of Punjab between Wagah, Pakistan, and Attari, India.
  • Urging its citizens not to travel to PoK, the State Department said militant groups are known to operate in the area.
  • The threat of armed conflict between India and Pakistan remains. Indian and Pakistani military forces periodically exchange fire across the Line of Control, it added.

Haryana Cabinet gives nod for 10% reservation to EWS

News

  • The Haryana government decided to grant 10% reservation to persons belonging to the economically weaker sections in direct recruitment to Group A, B, C and D posts in all departments, boards, corporations and local bodies of the State government, besides in admissions to all government and government-aided educational institutions.

Beyond News

  • An official statement said only those whose gross income is below Rs. 6 lakh per annum would be eligible. Income will include income from all sources. That is salary, agriculture, business and profession and income for the financial year prior to the year of application.
  • Moreover, a family will include the person who is seeking reservation his/her parents, spouse and children and siblings below the age of 18 years.
  • Persons whose family owns or possesses five acres of agricultural land and above; residential flat of 1,000 square feet and above; residential plot of 100 square yards and above in notified municipalities; residential plot of 200 square yards and above in areas other than the notified municipalities; and any immovable property worth more than Rs. 1 crore would be excluded from the quota irrespective of the family income.
  • The Cabinet also approved the draft of the Haryana Laws (Special Provisions) Bill, 2019, to make special provisions for all districts of Haryana falling under the National Capital Region for a period of one year.
  • This Act will be called the Haryana Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2019. It will help to phase out specified agricultural and allied activities propelled vehicles tractors and combine harvesters using diesel as fuel from the districts of Haryana falling in the NCR gradually in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court without causing hardship to farmers and allied in the districts falling in the NCR.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Wasted effort: half of India’s waste-to-energy plants defunct

News

  • Nearly half of India’s waste-to-energy (WTE) plants, meant to convert non-biodegradable waste, are defunct.
  • Further, the country’s inability to segregate waste has resulted in even the existing plants working below capacity, says an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment.

Findings

  • Since 1987, 15 WTE plants have been set up across the country. However, seven of these plants have since shut down.
  • Apart from Delhi, these include plants at Kanpur, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Vijayawada and Karimnagar.
  • The key reasons for closure are the plants’ inability to handle mixed solid waste and the high cost of electricity generated by them that renders it unattractive to power companies.
  • This track record, however, has not stopped the government from betting big on WTE. The NITI Aayog, as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, envisages 800 megawatt from WTE plants by 2018-19, which is 10 times the capacity of all the existing WTE plants put together.
  • It also proposes setting up a Waste-to-Energy Corporation of India, which would construct incineration plants through PPP models. Currently, there are 40-odd WTE plants at various stages of construction.
  • About 1.43 lakh tonnes per day of (TPD) municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated across the country. Of this, 1.11 lakh TPD (77.6%) is collected and 35,602 TPD (24.8%) processed.
  • In addition India generates close to 25,940 TPD of plastic waste of which 15,342 remains uncollected, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
  • As per the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, MSW generation will reach 4.5 lakh TPD by 2031 and 11.9 lakh TPD by 2050.
  • The WTEs have also triggered widespread opprobrium among citizens. For instance, there has been a continuous protest against the Okhla WTE plant for polluting the environment.
  • In 2016, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) slapped environmental compensation fine of ₹25 lakh on the plant.
  • Moreover, the plants are expensive because they produce power at nearly ₹7 per unit, which is more than the ₹3-5 offered by thermal as well as solar sources.

NASA bids adieu to Mars rover Opportunity

News

  • Opportunity, a remarkably durable NASA rover designed to roll along the surface of Mars for three months, has stopped communicating with Earth after 15 years of service, officials said, ending a mission that astounded the U.S. space agency.

Beyond News

  • Engineers lost contact with the solar-powered vehicle during a dust storm that encircled Mars. Since then, NASA officials made numerous attempts to reach the six-wheeled rover, which is about the size of a golf cart.
  • Opportunity’s equipment may have been compromised by the storm, which struck while the rover was at a site called Perseverance Valley and blotted out sunlight needed by the robot’s solar panels, officials said.
  • The vehicle was built to drive six-tenths of a mile (1 km), but ended up covering 28 miles (45 km) and lasting longer on Mars than any other robot sent to the surface of the Red Planet.
  • As Opportunity explored craters on Mars, it gathered evidence to demonstrate the planet in the ancient past was wet and warm enough to possibly sustain life, NASA said. That included the discovery of white veins of the mineral gypsum, an indication of water moving through underground fractures.
  • InSight and the next Mars rover mission, scheduled for 2020, are both seen as precursors for eventual human exploration of Mars.

Panel moots minimum wage of ₹375 per day

News

  • An expert panel has recommended that a need-based national minimum wage for workers across the country be set at ₹375 per day, or ₹9,750 per month.

Beyond News

  • In a report submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, an Expert Committee on Determining the Methodology for Fixation of the National Minimum Wage has also recommended different national minimum wages for “different geographical regions of the country to suit the local realities and as per socio-economic and labour market contexts.
  • These regional wage recommendations range from ₹342 per day in some States including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to ₹447/day for States such as Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
  • While the Minimum Wages Act was enacted in 1948, it stipulates different wages according to occupation and State; there is no national minimum wage. In 2016, then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hiked minimum wages for unskilled non-agricultural workers by 42% to ₹350 per day.
  • The Code on Wages Bill, 2017, had proposed a national minimum wage and five regional minimum wages. However, it was referred to a parliamentary standing committee which, in its December 2018 report, said State governments must be consulted before any national minimum wage is set by the Centre.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 12 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 12 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, MAINS 2019, PIB notes, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

Global warming and climate change are affected air, water, soil, seasons and eventually plant and animal life.

News

  • Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen during photosynthesis. Some of this carbon is transferred to soil as plants die and decompose.
  • Plants and soil absorb roughly a quarter of the greenhouse gases that humans release into the atmosphere.

Findings

  • Recent research has found that under a warming climate they may start absorbing less greenhouse gases.
  • As the climate warms, soils across much of the planet gradually gets drier. When the soil is dry, plants are stressed and cannot absorb as much CO2.
  • Further, microorganisms in the soil are more productive when it’s warm. They release more CO2, further accelerating global warming.
  • The life cycles of animals and plants are aligned with seasons and resource availability. During cold winters, to cope with food scarcity and to conserve energy some animals hibernate while birds migrate to a warmer place.
  • As climate change alters the length of seasons, it will affect availability of food and shelter for hibernating animals.
  • Climate change can alter the cues used by species to regulate their behaviour.
  • Climate change is a major threat to agriculture. Worldwide, farmers are struggling to keep up with shifting weather patterns and increasingly unpredictable water supplies. Farms are more likely to face attacks from diseases, invasive species and pests, which affect yield. Extreme events such as flooding or reduced water supply also threaten crop yields.
  • Extreme weather patterns also affect our health and lives. Heavy rains, floods, drought and heatwaves destroy life, property and livelihood. They also help disease-causing agents multiply.

Aftereffects

  • Sea-level rise:A warmer atmosphere causes glaciers and polar ice sheets to melt rapidly. This contributes to unusual rise in sea level. The impact of sea-level rise includes flooding of coastal areas, increased soil erosion, disappearance of some low-lying islands, saltwater intrusion and habitat destruction in coastal areas. Rising sea levels also make storm surges capable of much greater damage.As sea ice disappears, ice-dependent mammals such as polar bears struggle to survive.
  • Coral bleaching:Oceans are getting hotter as they absorb 90 % of the extra heat in the atmosphere. This shift causes the oceans to expand, contributing to higher sea levels. When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae living in their tissues and will turn colourless. This is called coral bleaching. It is the algae that give colours to the coral reefs. The algae also give coral polyps the food they need to survive.
  • Ocean acidification: Oceans are also a major carbon storage system for carbon dioxide. As carbon dioxide emissions end up in the oceans, it triggers a chemical change that makes the water more acidic and reduce the saturation states of calcium carbonate minerals. These chemical reactions are called ocean acidification. Calcium carbonate minerals are the building blocks for the skeletons and shells of many marine organisms. Continued acidification can affect the ability of these organisms to produce and maintain their shells.
  • Impact on migrating birds:Migratory bird species require suitable conditions throughout their annual cycle: on their breeding grounds and along migratory routes. Migrating birds are arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise. But arriving at the wrong time, even by a few days, may cause them to miss out on vital resources such as food and nesting places. This, in turn, affects the timing of offspring hatching and their chances of survival.
  • Impact on turtles:An increase in nesting beach temperatures will have an impact on sea turtles. Females come ashore to lay their eggs on sandy beaches during the nesting season. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination, meaning the developing turtle’s gender depends on the temperature it is exposed to. Warmer temperatures produce female hatchlings, while cooler temperatures produce male hatchlings. With climate change, experts find that there are more female sea turtles than males and this may threaten the survival of the species.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

India, China lead global greening effort

News

  • India and China are leading the global greening effort, which is quite contrary to the general perception worldwide, a study based on NASA satellite data has said, observing that the world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago.

Findings

  • China and India account for one-third of the greening but contain only 9% of the planet’s land area covered in vegetation. That is a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from over exploitation.
  • Satellite data (2000 – 2017) revealed a greening pattern strikingly prominent in China and India and overlapping with croplands worldwide.
  • China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6% of global vegetated area.
  • The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%), but in India it is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%), the study said.
  • China is engineering ambitious programmes to conserve and expand forests with the goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change.
  • Food production in China and India has increased by over 35% since 2000 mostly owing to an increase in harvested area through multiple cropping facilitated by fertiliser use and surface or groundwater irrigation.
  • The greening trend may change in the future depending on various factors. As the groundwater is depleted, the trend may change.
  • The researchers also pointed out that the gain in greenness around the world does not necessarily offset the loss of natural vegetation in tropical regions such as Brazil and Indonesia.

India signs contract with U.S. firm for 72,400 assault rifles

 News

  • After repeated attempts to equip the infantry soldier with a basic rifle, the Army signed a contract with Sig Sauer of the U.S. for 72,400 SIG 716 assault rifles for the frontline soldier deployed in operational areas.

 Beyond News

  • Of the 72,400 rifles, 66.400 are for the Army, 2,000 for the Navy and 4,000 for the Indian Air Force. The broad parameters for the assault rifle are an effective range of 500m and weigh less than 3kg. The entire quantity would be delivered within 12 months from the date of signing the contract.
  • The SIG 716 features an improved gas system, lightweight handguard, and an overall weight reduction of more than two pounds and weighs 3.9 kg. The deal for carbines is also in an advanced stage.
  • The new assault rifles will replace the indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles in use and are meant for troops deployed in forward and counter insurgency areas.
  • Separate tenders are under way for 5.5 lakh assault rifles and 3.5 lakh carbines, bulk of them to be procured from the Indian industry under ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category and a small share from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
  • The Defence Acquisition Council approved initial approval for the procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbinesat an estimated cost of ₹3,547 crore on fast track basis. The assault rifles are of 7.62mm calibre while the Carbines will be of 5.56mm calibre. The deal for carbines is in an advanced stage.
  • Under the SP model, the selected Indian private company will team with the OEM to build the platforms in India.

Government introduces bill in Rajya Sabha to amend Cinematograph Act; jail term, fine for film piracy

News

  • The government introduced a bill in the Rajya Sabhato amend the Cinematograph Act and impose strict penalty to combat the menace of film piracy.

Beyond News

  • The Bill seeks to amend provisions of Cinematograph Act, 1952, in order to tackle film piracy by including penal provisions for unauthorised camcording and duplication of films.
  • To check piracy, particularly the release of pirated versions of films on the internet that causes huge losses to the film industry and the exchequer, the bill proposes to make film piracy offences punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and fines that may extend to ₹10 lakh or both.
  • The proposed amendment states that any person, who without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, uses any recording device to make or transmit a copy of a film, or attempts to do so, or abet the making or transmission of such a copy, will be liable for such a punishment.
  • The Cabinet last week had approved the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s proposal for introducing the bill.
  • The proposed amendments would increase industry revenues, boost job creation, fulfil important objectives of India’s National Intellectual Property policy and will give relief against piracy and infringing content online, an official statement had said.
  • The film industry has been demanding for a long time that the government consider amendments to the law preventing camcording and piracy.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Zoologist discovers ‘crying’ snake in Arunachal

News

  • A new species of ‘crying’ snake has been discovered in Lepa-Rada district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Beyond News

  • Non-venomous Crying Keelback, whose zoological name is Hebius lacrima.
  • The name for this keelback was suggested because of a dark spot under its eyes looking like black tear that interrupts a white stripe running along the upper jaw to the back of its head and beyond.
  • The Crying Keelback had to be compared with 44 species of snakes worldwide under the genus Hebius.
  • The Crying Keelback can be differentiated from all other species of the genus Hebius by the combination of a distinctive broad, white, interrupted stripe along its body, three rows of irregular dark blotches (not vertically aligned) on each side, six cream, elongated spots on its anterior part and a smooth dorsal scale row.
  • The snake, preferring to live near streams along paddy fields, was found to feed on small fish, tadpole, frogs and geckos.
  • Globally snakes are represented by 3,709 species. The northeast is home to some 110 species, with Arunachal Pradesh accounting for 55.

The birds are not coming anymore

News

  • With waterbodies and wetlands disappearing fast or the lakes getting contaminated, the number of birds migrating to Mysuru has seen a drastic fall.
  • Drop in water quality (entry of sewage) is another reason cited for the drop in bird count.

Beyond News

  • In the last 10 years, the bird count has declined by at least 70 per cent. The congregation seen in the past is a rare sight now. If the trend continues, migratory birds may turn away even from the last remaining water bodies.
  • Pin tailed duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose or Cotton Teal, Eurasian Teal or Common Teal, Shovelers, Common Coots were among the ducks sighted in lakes of Mysuru. Painted storks, Sandpipers, Godwits, Pelicans were the other migrant birds spotted here.
  • At least 210 bird species used to seen in the Karanji lake ecosystem during bird watching sessions about eight to nine years ago. Not more than 48 species could be located now, some naturalists say.
  • The development works in and around the lakes also caused the drop in bird count. Disturbance of any kind threatens the birds that are sensitive enough to foresee danger to their habitat.
  • The lakes have to be in good health (without contamination) from sewage to support food for the winged beauties which breed on the tree top abutting the lakes.
  • Though the lakes under the care of Forest Department were more or less protected for birds, the remaining ones need to be maintained properly for attracting more winged beauties.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 10 & 11 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, IAS toppers, MAINS 2019, PIB notes, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

Moving continents created new centipede species

News

  • Continental drift (the moving apart of continents) almost 100 million years ago created many species of Ethmostigmus centipedes in the world’s tropics.
  • In the Indian peninsula, these centipedes first originated in the southern and central Western Ghats, and then spread across the ranges here.

Findings

  • India is home to six, fairly large Ethmostigmuscentipedes: four dwell in the Western Ghats, one in the Eastern Ghats and one in north-east India. Africa, south-east Asia and Australia are also home to other species of Ethmostigmus
  • Using genetic data of 398 Ethmostigmus centipedes from published studies, they constructed a species ‘time-tree’ a network that reveals how species are related to each other and when new species emerged of nine species (across peninsular India, Africa, Australia and southeast Asia).
  • They used three fossil centipedes to calibrate the DNA tree, which gave them the approximate times that the species originated in the past.
  • The results suggest that a single ancestor gave rise to all Ethmostigmuscentipedes in the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana (continents including Australia, Africa and peninsular India comprised this single landmass then).
  • The subsequent breakup of Gondwana and the drifting away of different landmasses shaped the early evolutionary history of Ethmostigmus. And the Ethmostigmus in peninsular India are very unique.
  • This started around 72 million years ago, in the southern and central Western Ghats. Following this, the Ethmostigmus here dispersed to the Eastern Ghats (now home to  tristis).
  • From there, Ethmostigmusdispersed to the southern Western Ghats. Ethmostigmus centipedes also reached the northern Ghats from the south-central Ghats too, and later dispersed back to the central Ghats again from there.
  • The formation of wet forests in these areas during this time could have aided this dispersal (for all existing peninsular Indian Ethmostigmuscentipedes now dwell only in wet forests).

Earth may not appear as blue by 2100: MIT study

News

  • Owing to climate change surface of the oceans will change colour by end of 21st century leading our blue planet to look visibly altered.

Findings

  • The findings showed that climate change has been significantly affecting phytoplankton the tiny sea creatures in the world’s oceans, which will lead to the change in colour, intensifying its blue and green regions.
  • The study said the blue regions, such as the subtropics, will turn shades darker, reflecting even less phytoplankton and life in general in those waters.
  • Some regions that are greener now, such as near the poles, may turn a deeper hue, as warmer temperatures brew up more diverse phytoplankton.
  • Scientists say they have discovered a new species of feathered, bird-like dinosaurs in the the Gobi desert of Mongolia.
  • A study, described an incomplete skeleton of an oviraptorosaur from the Late Cretaceous found in the Nemegt Formation of the Gobi desert.
  • The Milky Way’s disk of stars is ‘warped’ and twisted, according to scientists who have built the first accurate 3D map of Earth’s home galaxy.
  • Researchers have found for the first time that our solar system is anything but stable and flat.
  • Instead, it becomes increasingly ‘warped’ and twisted far away from the Milky Way’s centre. From a great distance, our galaxy would look like a thin disk of stars.

The pull of gravity becomes weaker far away from the Milky Way’s inner regions. In the galaxy’s far outer disk, the hydrogen atoms making up most of the Milky Way’s gas disk are no longer confined to a thin plane, but they give the disk an S-like, warped appearance.

60% children adopted in India between 2015 and 2018 are girls

News

  • The number of female children placed for in-country adoptions and inter-country adoptions between 2015 and 2018 are relatively higher than male children.

Beyond News

  • During this period, about 11,649 children were put up for in-country adoptions; of them 6,962 were girls and 4,687 were boys. Of the 3,011 children that were placed for in-country adoption in 2015-16, as many as 1,855 were female children.
  • In the year 2016-17, as many as 3,210 children were placed under in-country adoptions and of them 1,915 were females. The figures for 2017-18 and 2018-19 (till December 2018) were 3,276 and 2,152, of which the numbers of girl children were 1943 and 1249 respectively.
  • All the figures put together, female children comprise almost 60% of all in-country adoptions. When it came to inter-country adoptions, the number of female children was even higher: 69%. Of the 2,310 children placed under adoption between the same period, 1,594 were females.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Indian H1B visa–holders rally outside White House demanding immigration law reforms

News

  • A group of mostly Indians on H1B visas held a rally outside the White House, demanding immigration law reforms to benefit those in the country legally.
  • The rally, organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), which describes itself as an organization that seeks to provide a voice for the Hindu American community.

Beyond News

  • Among the demands of the group was that the Green Card backlog be cleared with a period of 1-5 years. The wait time, at present, can run into decades for employment based Green Cards for Indians.
  • The group is also pushing for legal childhood arrivals (LCAs) to receive any benefits that individuals brought illegally to the U.S. as minors (a group often referred to as “Dreamers”) might receive. Nearly 700,000 such individuals have been protected by a Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • The Trump administration has sought to end this program, and the issue is currently in court. The status of Dreamers, has, in parallel, also been part of the discussions to re-open parts of the federal government following the shutdown and to keep it open past February 15.
  • H1B visa–holders, whose children and spouses get H4-dependent visas, are asking that H4 children be given Green Cards straight away, so they can remain in the U.S. after they turn 21 without having to switch to another visa category, such as a student visa or an H1B visa or having to self-deport.
  • The third demand of those rallying was to remove the country caps for Green Card allotments. Currently no country may be allocated more than 7% (around 9,800) of the total number of Green Cards granted each year.
  • India, which sends a relatively large number of skilled workers to the U.S. each year – over 70% of all H1B visas in fiscal year 2018 went to Indians – inevitably uses up all the Green Cards allocated to it.
  • China, Vietnam and the Philippines are other examples, though the excess demand for immigrant visas is far less in these countries. Just under 307,000 Indians (compared to some 67,000 Chinese citizens) were waiting for Green Cards in May 2018, according to US Citizenship and Information Services (USCIS) data.

Bill to counter exploitation by NRI spouses

News

  • In a bid to counter growing incidents of exploitation of Indian women by NRI (Non Resident Indian) spouses, External Affairs Minister introduced a Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Beyond News

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that the Bill will create accountability and protect those who are trapped in fraudulent marriages and are abandoned by their spouses.
  • According to the new Bill, a marriagebetween an NRI and an Indian citizen will have to be registered within 30 days from the date of marriage. Necessary legal provisions have been created in the criminal code and the Passports Act, 1967, to initiate action against erring NRI spouses.
  • The Bill, which has been championed by the MEA, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), Ministry of Home Affairs (MoEA) and Ministry of Law and Justice (MoLJ) is aimed at prevent victimisation of Indian nationals in fraudulent marriages.
  • It is expected that the Bill will serve as a deterrent for NRI spouses, who use marriages as a tool of exploitation.

Abu Dhabi adds Hindi as third language in courts

News

  • The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department has added Hindi as the third official language of the city’s courts, alongside Arabic and English.
  • According to ADJD, the step is aimed at helping foreigners to learn about litigation procedures, their rights and duties without a language barrier, in addition to facilitating registration procedures via unified forms.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

IGIB: TB bacteria use a new way to subvert host defence

 News

  • Researchers have for the first time found that TB bacteria actively manipulate an organelle other than those involved in the degradative pathways.

Findings

  • They found that protein composition of lipid droplets is actively manipulated by TB bacteria.
  • Lipid droplets are storehouses of lipids inside the host cells but can be decorated with specific proteins. Previous studies have shown how the composition of proteins in lipid droplets gets altered during different physiological conditions.
  • So understanding how the protein composition of macrophage lipid droplets changes in response to TB infection may help in shedding light about a new mechanism through which the TB bacteria subvert the host defences.
  • The lipid droplets in macrophages infected with live TB bacteria altered the composition of 86 proteins. While there was increased abundance of 57 proteins, the abundance reduced in the case of 29 other proteins.
  • By knowing which proteins’ abundance are altered, it is possible to predict which pathways are being affected.
  • Based on the increased abundance of certain proteins, the team has found that protein synthesis pathway and vesicular trafficking pathway have an unprecedented link with lipid metabolism in the context of infection.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 8 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 8 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2019, PIB notes, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

Unearths early Harappan artefacts

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/m8ljqs/article26207612.ece/ALTERNATES/FREE_660/7

News

  • Artefacts believed to be around 5,000 years old, dating back to the early Harappan phase, have been unearthed during an excavation jointly being held by archaeologists in Khatiya village of Kutch in Gujarat.

Findings

  • Researchers stumbled upon several pieces, including mud pots, conch-shell bangles, beads, and stone blades, during the excavation, being undertaken in burial sites in the region. The area of excavation spanned around 300 sq m.
  • The project is believed to be the first such excavation to be undertaken at Harappan sites by a university based in south India. The research team had conducted an exploration in Gujarat in 2016, following which they obtained permission from the Archaeological Survey of India to carry out the excavation.
  • Prior to the activity, the team had undertaken a preliminary survey of the region using drones, total station, and Differential Geographic Positioning System (DGPS) to understand the topography and geomorphology of the region.
  • The project is expected to shed light on the burial rituals and other customs prevalent in the Harappan civilisation during its early phase from 3300 BCE to 2600 BCE.

Climate change threatening underwater forests

News

  • Climate change could lead to decline of underwater kelp forests by impacting their microbiome.
  • Ocean warming can change microbes on the kelp surface, leading to disease and potentially putting fisheries at risk.
  • Blistering and bleaching of the kelp’s surface impacts their ability to photosynthesis.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Ladakh gets divisional status

News

  • The administration of Governor granted Ladakh a divisional status, thus creating three administrative units of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Beyond News

  • Ladakh was earlier a part of the Kashmir division.
  • The J&K government has approved creation of a separate a administrative and revenue Division for Ladakh. This division will comprise Leh and Kargil districts with its headquarters at Leh.
  • Ladakh will now get its own Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police.
  • A committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Government, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department to identify the posts of divisional level heads of various departments that may be required for the new division.
  • The is second time that Ladakh was granted more autonomous status in the State.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

A voyage into the hidden depths of Indian Ocean

News:

  • A mission to explore uncharted depths in the Indian Ocean was launched, hoping to discover hundreds of new species and find out what impact plastic is having way below the surface.

Beyond News:

  • The First Descent expedition, is set to send submersibles as deep as 3,000 metres off the Seychelles from March to test the health of the ocean.
  • The project was launched at the Commonwealth headquarters in London.
  • The Commonwealth, a 53-country grouping that unites nations such as Britain, India, Canada and Nigeria with small states like Tonga and the Seychelles, has focused on managing climate change in recent years as many of its members are vulnerable, low-lying island nations.
  • The ocean is suffering serious degradation from overfishing, pollution and climate change.
  • The $5 million collaboration brings together 47 partners from business, philanthropy, sub-sea technology, media and civil society.
  • The Ocean Zephyr mothership is on its way from Bremerhaven in Germany to the Seychelles. It will be home to 50 scientists, engineers and technicians during the project.
  • Its two submersibles will take 17 different research tools and technology into the deep, along with 18 cameras to create the first three-dimensional maps of deep sea ecosystems. Some of the dives will be broadcast live.

Remove illegal power lines in Kawal tiger reserve: HC

News

  • Exhorting all government wings concerned to make concerted efforts for wildlife conservation, Telangana High Court passed a slew of directions including removal of all unauthorised power lines in Kawal Tiger Reserve which is spread over northern parts of the State.

Beyond News

  • A Division Bench directed the government to enforce all laws vigorously to ensure tigers and other animals were protected in Kawal reserve and elsewhere in the State.
  • Unauthorized usage of electric fences by people were resulting in animal deaths.
  • The CJ instructed Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Limited officials to immediately remove all such connections in the tiger reserve.
  • Also instructed them to use aerial bundled (AB) cables for better insulation of power lines in forest areas.
  • The Bench directed that a special committee be constituted with officials from Forest, Excise, Police and Electricity wings to inspect forest areas and suggest measures for conservation of flora and fauna. It instructed them to file separate affidavits within three weeks on the matter.

Hubble discovers mysterious dark storm on Neptune: NASA

News

  • The Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a new mysterious dark storm on Neptune and provided a fresh look at a long-lived storm circling around the north polar region on Uranus.

Findings

  • Like Earth, Uranus and Neptune have seasons, which likely drive some of the features in their atmospheres.
  • However, their seasons are much longer than on our planet, spanning decades rather than months.
  • The storm appeared during the planet’s southern summer, the fourth and latest mysterious dark vortex captured by Hubble since 1993.
  • A study estimated that the dark spots appear every four to six years at different latitudes and disappear after about two years.
  • Hubble uncovered the latest storm in September last year in Neptune’s northern hemisphere. The feature is roughly 6,800 miles across.
  • To the right of the dark feature are bright white “companion clouds.” Hubble has observed similar clouds accompanying previous vortices.
  • Like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the dark vortices swirl in an anti-cyclonic direction and seem to dredge up material from deeper levels in the ice giant’s atmosphere.
  • The Hubble observations show that as early as 2016, increased cloud activity in the region preceded the vortex’s appearance.
  • The images indicate that the vortices probably develop deeper in Neptune’s atmosphere, becoming visible only when the top of the storm reaches higher altitudes.
  • The snapshot of Uranus, like the image of Neptune, reveals a dominant feature: a vast bright stormy cloud cap across the north pole.
  • Scientists believe this new feature is a result of Uranus’ unique rotation. Unlike every other planet in the solar system, Uranus is tipped over almost onto its side.
  • Because of this extreme tilt, during the planet’s summer the Sun shines almost directly onto the north pole and never sets.

Two die, 10 missing as avalanches hit Kashmir Valley

News

  • Two persons have died and 10, including eight policemen, went missing in twin avalanches in Kashmir Valley.

Avalanche 

  • An avalanche (also called a snowslide) is a cohesive slab of snow lying upon a weaker layer of snow in the snowpack that fractures and slides down a steep slope when triggered. Avalanches are typically triggered in a starting zone from a mechanical failure in the snowpack (slab avalanche) when the forces of the snow exceed its strength but sometimes only with gradual widening (loose snow avalanche). After initiation, avalanches usually accelerate rapidly and grow in mass and volume as they entrain more snow. If the avalanche moves fast enough, some of the snow may mix with the air forming a powder snow avalanche, which is a type of gravity current.

Beyond News

  • Ongoing heavy snowfall is slowing down the rescue operation. The personnel of the State Disaster Response Force has decided to carry on the operation in the night. They have employed snow clearing machines to reach the building. 
  • Earlier in the day, several houses were damaged in south and central Kashmir due to fresh spell of snowfall in the valley. Over a dozen civilians were rescued in central and north Kashmir by the police after avalanches trapped them in their villages.
  • According to the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), a high level avalanche warning was issued for upper reaches of south and north Kashmir for the next 24 hours. All residents were asked to avoid venturing into the avalanche-prone areas.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 6 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 6 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2019, PIB notes, Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

Warming oceans can increase frequency of extreme rain storms

News

  • Rapid climate change, that is causing warming of the tropical oceans, could lead to a substantial increase in the frequency of extreme rain storms by the end of the century, say scientists from NASA.

Findings

  • The study found that extreme storms those producing at least 3 millimetres of rain per hour over a 25-km area formed when the sea surface temperature was higher than about 28 degrees Celsius.
  • They also found that 21% more storms form for every 1 degree Celsius that ocean surface temperatures rise.
  • Currently accepted climate models project that with a steady increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere , tropical ocean surface temperatures may rise by as much as 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
  • If this were to happen, we could expect the frequency of extreme storms to increase by as much as 60 % by that time, the researchers explained.

Last four years hottest on record, U.N. confirms

News

  • The last four years were the hottest since global temperature records began, the U.N. confirmed in an analysis that it said was a “clear sign of continuing long-term climate change”.

Findings

  • The WMO said that the 20 warmest years in history all occurred within the last 22 years.
  • The long-term temperature trend is far more important than the ranking of individual years, and that trend is an upward one.
  • The degree of warming during the past four years has been exceptional, both on land and in the ocean.
  • The WMO said heightened temperatures also contributed to a number of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and flash flooding.
  • Many of the extreme weather events are consistent with what we expect from a changing climate.
  • The U.N. body also said that 2019 had picked up where 2018 left off, with Australia experiencing its warmest January on record. It warned that intense heatwaves “are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change”.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory for filing I-T return: SC

News

  • The Supreme Court has said that linkage of Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar is mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns

Beyond News

  • A Bench said the top court has already decided the matter and upheld the Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act.
  • The apex court on September 26, 2018, had declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.
  • Constitution Bench had held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of I-T returns and allotment of PAN, it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.

Union Cabinet approves amendment to Cinematograph Act to tackle film piracy, copyright infringement

News

  • The Union Cabinet approved amendment to the Cinematograph Act for imposing strict penalties to combat the menace of film piracy.

Beyond News

  • To check piracy, particularly the release of pirated versions of films on the internet which causes huge losses to the film industry and the exchequer, the government has proposed to make film piracy offences punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and fines that may extend to ₹10 lakh or both.
  • The proposed amendment states that any person, who without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, uses any recording device to make or transmit a copy of a film, or attempts to do so, or abet the making or transmission of such a copy, will be liable for such a punishment.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Fall in groundwater hits rabi in many districts

News

  • The depletion of groundwater table following uneven spread of rains during the last south-west monsoon season has impacted the cultivation of Rabi crops badly in several districts across Telangana with average fall in the water table below the surface recorded at 1.83 meters or over six feet compared to the last year.

Beyond News

  • The impact of groundwater table depletion is seen high on Rabi cultivation in districts where the sources of tank and canal irrigation are comparably less, again due to deficient rainfall.
  • The rainfall statistics clearly indicate that although the State’s average rainfall was only 8.09% lesser than the normal during the south-west monsoon period with 15 out of 31 districts recording a deviation ranging from 22.39% to 41.6%.
  • The major pulses crop for the season has been sown in about 1.07 lakh ha against the normal of 95,000 ha. By now, Rabi crops were raised in 10.83 lakh ha in 2018 and 11.51 lakh ha in 2017.

J&K-based Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen banned: MHA

News

  • The Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM), which has been fighting for “liberation of Kashmir” and involved in a series of terror acts, has been banned by the government, the Home Ministry said.

Beyond News

  • In a notification, the Ministry said the Central government believes that the TuM is involved in terrorism as it has committed and participated in various acts of terrorism in India and its members are getting financial as well as logistic support from their handlers based abroad.
  • The Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen came into existence in 1990 with the objective of “liberation of Kashmir” and has been actively pursuing the same by way of acts of terror, the Ministry said.
  • The TuM has carried out a number of terrorist attacks, besides subversive acts, such as grenade attacks, weapons snatching and supporting other terrorist outfits like the Hizbul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba, in terms of financial and logistic support in the recent past, the notification said.
  • The terror group has also committed acts of terrorism and promoting acts of terrorism. It has been engaged in radicalisation and recruitment of youth for terrorist activities in India.
  • The notification said a number of cases have been registered by the Jammu and KashmirPolice in the recent past, in which it is found that the TuM has played a major role in commission of terrorist acts and a number of its cadre have been arrested. In the cases, it was also found that the group is running terrorist training centres for Kashmiri youth and is likely to recruit more youth from the Jammu and Kashmir, it said.

India successfully launches communication satellite GSAT-31

News

  • India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-31 was successfully launched by European launch services provider- Arianespace’s rocket from French Guiana in the early hours of Wednesday.

Beyond News

  • Blasting off from Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou, a French territory located in northeastern coast of South America ,the Ariane-5 vehicle injected GSAT-31 into the orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 42 minutes.
  • The GSAT-31 is a “high power” communication satellite with Ku-band, and it is going to serve and replace some of the satellites that are going to expire soon, he said further.
  • The Ariane-5 vehicle (Flight VA247) also carried Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 along with GSAT-31.
  • GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane-5 in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,850 km, inclined at an angle of 3.0 degree to the equator, ISRO said in a release after the launch.
  • After separation from Ariane-5, the two solar arrays of GSAT-31 were automatically deployed in quick succession and ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-31 and found its health parameters normal, it said.
  • Weighing about 2,536 kg, the Indian satellite, GSAT-31, will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites.
  • The satellite derives its heritage from ISROs earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series, it will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands.
  • GSAT-31 is the country’s 40th communication satellite which is configured on ISRO’s enhanced ‘I-2K Bus’, utilising the maximum “bus capabilities” of this type.
  • This satellite will augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit.
  • With a mission life of around 15 years, GSAT-31 will be used for supporting VSAT networks, Television uplinks, Digital Satellite News Gathering, DTH-television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and many such applications.
  • It will also provide wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over large oceanic region, comprising large parts of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, using a wide band transponder.
  • HS- 4/SGS-1 will provide telecommunication capabilities, including television, Internet, telephone and secure communications in the Middle East, South Africa and Europe, Arianespace said on its website.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 5 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 5 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2019, PIB notes, Press Information Bureau(PIB), Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

 ‘Two-thirds of Himalayan ice cap may melt’

News

  • Two-thirds of Himalayan glaciers, the world’s “Third Pole”, could melt by 2100 if global emissions are not reduced, scientists warned in a major new study issued.

Findings

  • And even if the “most ambitious” Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warmingto 1.5° C is achieved, one-third of the glaciers would go, according to the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment.
  • Glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region are a critical water source for some 250 million people in the mountains as well as to 1.65 billion others in the river valleys below.
  • The glaciers feed 10 of the world’s most important river systems, including the Ganges, Indus, Yellow, Mekong and Irrawaddy, and directly or indirectly supply billions of people with food, energy, clean air and income.
  • Impacts on people from their melting will range from worsened air pollution to more extreme weather, while lower pre-monsoon river flows will throw urban water systems and food and energy production off-kilter.

Emission levels rising faster in Indian cities than in China

News

  • Urbanisation is accelerating greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles in India at a faster than in 

Findings

  • On an average, an Indian emitted about 20 kg per capita while commuting for work, with the highest (140 kg CO2) in Gurugram district (Haryana) and the lowest (1.8 kg CO2) in Shrawasti district (Uttar Pradesh).
  • The experience in most developed countries was that urbanisation led to a reduction in emissions more urbanisation meant shorter distances between the workplace and home and thereby, a preference for public transport. However this didn’t effectively apply to developing countries, the authors argue.
  • In China a 1% increase in urbanisation was linked with a 0.12% increase in CO2 emissions whereas, in India, it translated into 0.24% increase in emissions.
  • India’s CO2 emission grew by an estimated 4.6% in 2017 and its per-capita emission was about 1.8 tonnes. In spite of being the 4th largest emitter, India’s per capita emissions are much lower than the world average of 4.2 tonnes. But those emissions have been growing steadily, with an average growth rate over the past decade of 6%, according to data from the Global Carbon Project.
  • With a ₹1 increase in diesel price, commuting emissions decreased by 11% in some districts whereas it only fell by about 3% in low-income districts.
  • Delhi had the highest commuting emissions per capita a factor that also contributed to its high level of pollution and the national capital region had 2.5 times higher commuting emissions than Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Kartarpur corridor site plans shared with Pakistan

News:

  • India has shared with Pakistan coordinates of the ‘zero point’ along the border in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district where the 100-yard corridor, leading to the Kartarpur Sahib shrine, will be built.

Beyond News:

  • Sikh groups have been petitioning governments in New Delhi and Islamabad to build a pilgrim corridor over the border from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to Kartarpur in Pakistani Punjab’s Narowal province.
  • The plan is to complete the project by November 23, 2019, the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
  • On January 19, Pakistan announced that it had shared the draft of the agreement, to be signed by the two governments, for “facilitation of (Indian) Sikh Yatrees to visit the Gurudwara, Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Narowal, Pakistan”.
  • A high level meeting discussed land acquisition for the highway and for the Integrated Check Post (ICP). It was informed that the preliminary notification for land acquisition for the highway had already been issued.

67% cancer patients in SE Asia die before 70: WHO

News

  • In 2018, 18.1 million new cases of cancer developed worldwide; 9.6 million people died from the disease; 70% of the deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries, including those of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Southeast Asia region; and 67% of the region’s cancer patients died before the age of 70. The figures were released by the WHO Southeast Asia.

Findings

  • Just 26% of low-income countries meanwhile reported having pathology services generally available in the public sector, leading to late diagnosis and a lower chance of successful treatment.
  • According to figures for India released by the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), one woman dies of cervical cancer every eight minutes in India; for every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India; as many as 2,500 persons die every day due to tobacco-related diseases; and tobacco (smoked and smokeless) use accounted for 3,17,928 deaths in men and women in 2018.
  • The release issued by the WHO noted that the theme of this year’s World Cancer Day ‘I am and I will’ emphasises that each of us can be a changemaker.

U.K. clears Mallya’s extradition to India

News

  • British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has signed the order for the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India.
  • The businessman whose legal team had previously indicated their intention to appeal the extradition will now have two weeks to lodge an appeal.

Beyond News

  • The signing of the order came just a few days shy of the two-month window from the date of judgement December 10 last year within which a decision had to be made.
  • Under Britain’s extradition rules, Mr. Javid had two months from the date of the judgement to determine whether to order the extradition.
  • In making extradition decisions, the Minister has to consider issues including whether the death penalty would be involved or the person be extradited to a third country (neither of which apply in this case).
  • An appeal can only be lodged after the signing of the order by the minister.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Fundraiser to secure 96 elephant corridors

News

  • At a time when a recent survey found seven elephant corridors in the country impaired, the Asian Elephant Alliance, an umbrella initiative by five NGOs, has come together to secure 96 out of the 101 existing corridors used by elephants across 12 States in India.

Beyond News

  • The joint venture is aiming at raising £20 million (₹187.16 crore) to secure the 96 remaining elephant corridors, old and new, in the next ten years.
  • The alliance joined hands to raise the mammoth sum as money was the main constraint in securing the land.
  • The process of securing the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka inter-State corridor called the Talamai-Chamarajnagar elephant corridor at Mudahalli is currently underway.
  • Out of 101 elephant corridors identified by the WTI in its 2012-15 study, five of them two in Meghalaya and one each in Assam, Kerala and Karnataka have already been secured by the WTI with the help of conservation partners and the support of State governments.
  • The new alliance is aiming to secure the 96 remaining elephant corridors in the next ten years by raising the money.
  • NGOs Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare, IUCN Netherlands and World Land Trust have teamed up with WTI in the alliance.
  • According to a recent survey, seven elephant corridors in Jharkhand, U.P., Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have already been impaired due to land use changes.

Storage of nuclear waste a ‘global crisis’

News

  • Nuclear waste is piling up around the world even as countries struggle to dispose of spent fuel that will remain highly toxic for many thousands of years.

Beyond News

  • An analysis of waste storage facilities in seven countries with nuclear power revealed that several were near saturation, the anti-nuclear NGO said.
  • All these nations also confronted other problems that have yet to be fully contained: fire risk, venting of radioactive gases, environmental contamination, failure of containers, terrorist attacks and escalating costs.
  • In particular, storing waste material from nuclear power reactors deep in the ground – the most researched long-term storage technology has shown major flaws which exclude it for now as a credible option.
  • Currently, there is a global stockpile of around 250,000 tonnes of highly radioactive spent fuel distributed across some 14 countries.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 3 and 4 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 3 and 4 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2019, MASTER 2019, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

Alien invasion in Kerala

News

  • The floods, due to unusually heavy rainfall, caused widespread destruction throughout Kerala in 2018.
  • While the state is still in the process of rebuilding itself, it has a major environmental issue to deal with invasion by alien plant and fish species triggered by the floods.

Findings

  • In September 2018, a joint research showed that the floods have released several alien species of fish into the State’s water bodies, raising a threat to the endemic aquatic ecosystem and biodiversity.
  • An ongoing study has sought immediate attention to the wild growth of invasive plants in agricultural lands and forest areas.

     Alien species

  • An alien species is any kind of living organism a frog, python, feral cat, plant, insect, fish or fungus non-native to an ecosystem.
  • It is introduced naturally or accidentally by humans. These alien species may or may not cause harm to the native ecosystem.

     Invasive species

  • Invasive species are those alien species that can significantly modify or disrupt the ecosystems they colonise.
  • To be considered invasive, a species must adapt itself to the new area easily. It must reproduce quickly and spread aggressively, with the potential to cause harm to native plants and animals.

Invasive species cause harm to wildlife in many ways.

  • In the absence of natural predators, a new and aggressive species can breed, spread quickly and overrun the local habitat. Native wildlife may not have evolved defences against the invader, further boosting their growth.
  • The threats from an invasive species include preying on native species and outcompeting them for resources, thereby restricting the growth of native species.
  • Some invasive species are capable of changing the conditions in an ecosystem, such as the soil chemistry.

A variety of methods are adopted to get rid of invasive species.

  • Chemicals are used to control invasive species, but they can sometimes harm non-invasive plants and animals.
  • Other species, usually the predator of the invasive species, are introduced.
  • Planting of exotic ornamental plants should be avoided.
  • Thorough scrutiny at airports to eliminate materials that may carry invasive species should be ensured.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Russia suspends participation in N-pact

News

  • President Vladimir Putin said Russia was suspending its participation in a key Cold War-era missile treaty in a mirror response to a U.S. move the day before.
  • Moscow and Washington have long accused the other of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement, which was signed in 1987.

Beyond News

  • President Donald Trump last year announced plans to withdraw unless Russia fulfilled its obligations.
  • Brokered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan with last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the treaty ended a superpower build-up of warheads that had frightened Europeans. It banned ground-launched missiles with a range of 500 km to 5,500 km.
  • The deal addressed Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals, but put no restrictions on other major military actors such as China.
  • President Donald Trump said that Washington was starting a process to withdraw from the agreement in six months.
  • The U.S. in December gave Moscow a 60-day deadline to dismantle missiles. But Moscow has insisted that the disputed 9M729 missile is allowed under the treaty.

Kerala sets up drug price monitor

News:

  • Kerala has become the first State to set up a price monitoring and research unit (PMRU) to track violation of prices of essential drugs and medical devices under the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO).

Beyond News:

  • The move comes more than five years after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) proposed such a system for the States and the Union Territories.
  • The State Health Secretary would be the Chairman of the society and the Drugs Controller would be its member secretary. Its members include a State government representative, representatives of private pharmaceutical companies, and those from consumer rights protection fora.
  • The society would also have an executive committee headed by the Drugs Controller.
  • The new watchdog will offer technical help to the State drug control officials and the NPPA to monitor notified prices of medicines, detect violation of the provisions of the DPCO, look at price compliance, collect test samples of medicines, and collect and compile market based data of scheduled as well as non-scheduled formulations.

U.K. Home Secretary orders Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India

News

  • K. Home Secretary ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India.

Beyond News

  • The 63-year-old businessman lost a legal challenge against his extradition in a British court in December 2018.
  • Under the Extradition Treaty procedures, the Chief Magistrate’s verdict was sent to the Home Secretary because only he is authorised to order Mr. Mallya’s extradition.
  • Mallya is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017 after the Indian authorities brought fraud and money laundering charges amounting to ₹9,000 crore against the former Kingfisher Airlines boss.
  • The U.K. court had said it was satisfied with the various assurances provided by the Indian government, including a video of the jail cell, which had not only been recently redecorated but was also far larger than the minimum requirement threshold.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Drones, AI can be used to monitor Yamuna: NGT-constituted panel

News

  • Drones, artificial intelligence and satellite imagery could be used to monitor pollution level of the Yamuna caused by dumping of debris at the floodplains of the river, according to a committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal.

Beyond News

  • To check encroachment on its vacant land, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) tied up with the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) Regional Remote Sensing Centre (RRSC).
  • The DDA is putting a computerised system in place to detect encroachment using satellite images provided by ISRO. If successful, the satellite imagery can also be used to monitor the Yamuna floodplains, according to a report by the monitoring committee established by the NGT to monitor Yamuna cleaning operation.
  • In addition, artificial intelligence, aerial mapping or drones can also keep a track of quantum and location of debris being dumped.
  • For monitoring of encroachments on vacant land using satellite imageries the subject was taken up with ISRO. DDA has reported that an agreement has been signed on July 6, 2018, and will become operational by July 6, 2019. If successful, it will be implemented in the monitoring of Yamuna river floodplains.
  • The committee also suggested that the state government should set up a consortium of NGOs and board members of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to jointly consider and approve small, innovative projects which can lead to reducing pollution.

In Assam, temples stave off extinction of turtles

News

  • The black softshell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) figures in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List as “extinct in the wild”.
  • But a few temple ponds in Assam and Bangladesh are bringing these turtles back from the brink.

Beyond News

  • One such pond is in Hayagriva Madhab Temple at Hajo, about 30 km west of Guwahati. Locals regard the turtles in the pond as Kurma avatar of Lord Vishnu to whom the Hajo temple is dedicated.
  • The other turtle species moved from the temple pond to the wild was Indian softshell (Nilssonia gangetica) and the peacock softshell (Nilssonia hurum).
  • Hatchlings of the three turtle species were moved to the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati, where they were monitored for a quarantine period of 39 days, before being released into the wild.
  • Taking the turtle conservation story forward is seen as a major challenge for wildlife officials in Pobitora, vulnerable to poachers because of a sizeable one-horned rhino population.
  • India hosts 28 species of turtles, of which 20 are found in But consumption of turtle meat and eggs, silt mining, encroachment of wetlands and change in flooding pattern have had a disastrous impact on the State’s turtle population.

Hubble discovers dwarf galaxy in cosmic neighborhood

News

  • The Hubble Space Telescope has made an unexpected discovery of a never-before-seen dwarf galaxy in our cosmic backyard, located just 30 million light-years away.
  • An international team of astronomers used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study white dwarf stars within the globular cluster NGC 6752.

ISRO set to launch communication satellite GSAT-31

News

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to launch its 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 on February 6 from the spaceport in French Guiana.

Beyond News

  • The satellite with a mission life of 15 years will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites and augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit.
  • The satellite, weighing about 2,535 kg, is scheduled for launch onboard the Ariane-5 (VA247) from Kourou in French Guiana.
  • The satellite GSAT-31 is configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-2K Bus, utilising the maximum bus capabilities of this type. The satellite derives its heritage from ISROs earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series. The satellite provides Indian mainland and island coverage.
  • ISRO also said the GSAT-31 will be used for supporting VSAT networks, television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH television services, cellular back haul connectivity and many such applications.
  • The satellite will also provide wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over large oceanic region comprising large part of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean using wide band transponder. The agency added that two Ku-band beacon downlink signals are transmitted for ground tracking purpose.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

JANUARY 2019-IASTODAY MONTHLY MAGAZINE

Current affairs, monthly magazine, The Hindu Notes

JANUARY 2019 Monthly magazine is now available to Download from FEBRUARY 2 midnight. We were flooded with requests about the magazine over last few days.  Hindu Notes & PIB Notes are hallmark of IASTODAY. This covers current affairs updates based on UPSC syllabus. It helped thousands of aspirants in last few years. More over this premium date wise compendium comes at nominal fee of Rs.100/-.

Most Popular modules from Us; In Delhi you can see our modules being sold in every shop you visit.

File size: 2.7 MB | Pages : 98


>>CLICK HERE TO BUY @ 100/- NOW<<

Nb: IASTODAY REGISTERED USERS CAN DOWNLOAD FREE IN USER DASHBOARD.

Troubles? Reach us via 24 hours live chat or shoot a mail to [email protected] 


PREVIOUS MONTHS MAGAZINES ARE AVAILABLE FREE – CLICK HERE


Need some dedicated course to leap ahead others? Try premium courses with individual care below:

If you wish to join with us ,BUT short of cash right now? Then Mail [email protected] 

Discover more free services from IASTODAY.

FREE SERVICESLINK TO ACCESS
BEGINNERS GUIDE FOR IASCLICK HERE
BEGINNERS GUIDE FOR MAINSCLICK HERE
Daily Answer writing with official reviewCLICK HERE
DOWNLOADS Books & magazines freeCLICK HERE
Daily Hindu notesCLICK HERE
Monthly Hindu notes magazinesCLICK HERE
SHORT CODES FOR IASCLICK HERE
ETHICS CASE STUDIESCLICK HERE
HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 2 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-FEBRUARY 2 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2019, PIB notes, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

2,680 indigenous languages in danger: UN

News

  • There’s Ojibwe in Canada, Ami in Australia and Ayapanec in Mexico: these are among the world’s nearly 2,700 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing unless new initiatives are taken, UN officials say.

Beyond News

  • The UN is hoping to raise awareness of the cultural loss with the launch this week of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, a year-long project to help protect these ancient mother tongues.
  • Out of the roughly 7,600 languages spoken worldwide, 2,680 indigenous languages are in danger and many are disappearing at an alarming rate, according to UN officials.
  • Every two weeks, there is an indigenous language that disappears, so it is a pretty large toll indeed.
  • Canada, home to around 630 First Nation tribes comprising 1.4 million people, has promised funds to help revitalise several languages.
  • In Australia, more than 250 aboriginal languages were spoken when the British started to settle in 1788, but only around 120 are still spoken.
  • In a bid to hold on to them, some Northern Territory schools now provide education in both English and an aboriginal language.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Over 70 lakh T.N. farmers to benefit from income scheme

News:

  • Nearly 4 lakh agriculturists in the State may be covered under the Central government’s proposed income support scheme for farmers.

Beyond News:

  • As the scheme is applicable to those owning up to two hectares of land, there are 62.24 lakh farmers, who have less than one hectare and 11.19 lakh, holding up to two hectares, according to the provisional results of the Agriculture Census, conducted keeping 2015-16 as the base year.
  • The marginal and small farmers account for 92.5% of the total number with their landholdings having a combined share of around 62.35%.
  • Officials dealing with issues concerning farmers are of the view that though there will be some implementation issues, the scheme can be rolled out in the State, given the level of digitisation of land records.
  • Also, the system of paying compensation or relief assistance through bank accounts is in place.
  • Besides, a large number of them have taken insurance covers.

Steady increase in cases of foreigners caught with Indian IDs

News

  • Over the past few months, immigration officials at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) have been getting a number of cases of foreign nationals with valid Indian identity documents. Most cases involved residents of Bangladesh and Nepal.

Beyond News

  • Since September 2018, there have been eight cases involving Bangladeshi nationals, and two involving Nepali nationals.
  • In the most recent case, a Nepali national was caught with a valid voter ID card from India.
  • Officials of the Bengaluru Regional Passport Office (RPO) have come across around 20 cases so far of immigrants having acquired Indian passports using valid Indian documents, and have filed around 15 complaints with the police.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

‘Microplastics found in dolphins’

News

  • Microplastics have been found in the guts of every marine mammal examined in a study of animals washed up on Britain’s shores.

Findings

  • Researchers examined 50 animals from 10 species of dolphins, seals and whales and found microplastics in them all.
  • Most of the particles (84%) were synthetic fibres which can come from sources, including clothes, fishing nets and toothbrushes while the rest were fragments, whose possible sources include food packaging and plastic bottles.
  • Though the animals in the study died of a variety of causes, those that died due to infectious diseases had a slightly higher number of particles than those that died of injuries or other causes.
  • In total, 26 species of marine mammal are known to inhabit or pass through British waters.
  • The species in this study included Atlantic white-sided dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, grey seal, harbour porpoise, harbour seal, pygmy sperm whale, Risso’s dolphin, striped dolphin and white-beaked dolphin.

Tangled food: forest animals near villages ‘gulp’ down plastic

News

  • Plastic has found its way into the stomachs of numerous animals from street-dwelling stray cattle to elephants in forests.
  • More recently,  discovered carry bags and packets of gutka, chips and biscuits in elephant dung in northern Bengal.

Findings

  • Some animals, including carnivores and ruminants such as deer, run a higher risk of consuming plastics because they are ‘gulpers’, lacking “dexterous hand or mouthparts, and consequently not able to separate food from plastic and other indigestible matter”.
  • Scientists observed various animals that visited two garbage dumps along a forest edge in Uttarakhand’s Nainital. Over two months in 2015, the team, including the study’s, observed the species and numbers of animals that visited the dumps during the day. At night, activity at the dumps was captured on camera traps.
  • The team classified the animals based on their feeding strategies to see if the differences in this behaviour put certain animals more at risk of consuming plastic.
  • ‘Peckers’ included birds that could pull out food from other inedible waste, ‘handlers’ were dexterous-fingered animals such as rhesus macaques which could separate food material, and ‘gulpers’ were unable to sift out plastic.
  • But apart from ingesting garbage, leaching of wastes from dumps is yet another problem.
  • One of the most crucial management actions that can be taken is to segregate waste at the source. This is especially crucial in areas near natural habitats and reserves.

Ecological Festival of Western Ghats begins

News

  • Ecological Festival of Western Ghats, the 9th national conference on saving the Western Ghats, commenced at Coimbatore.

Beyond News

  • The three-day conference would focus on getting a “pro-people, pro-Western Ghats and pro-ecology” outcome.
  • The conference started with the performances of the Irula community of the Nilgiris and Parai artistes.
  • The three-day conference will witness the participation of around 1,500 delegates from the six Western Ghats States namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharastra and Gujarat, and also from rest of the country.
  • Senior officials from the Forest Department, farmers, scientists, researchers and students from various educational institutions will take part in the conference.
  • As part of the conference, a three-day exhibition of photographs featuring the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats, captured by photographers from the six Western Ghats States.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS

HINDU NOTES-JANUARY 31 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-JANUARY 31 2019 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2019, MASTER 2019, PIB notes, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

India must sign NPT to gain entry into NSG, says China

News

  • India must sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to gain entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, China said, asserting that “patient negotiations” were required for New Delhi’s admission into the group as there is no precedent for the inclusion of non-NPT countries.

Beyond News

  • China has been opposing India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the ground that India is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), though the other P5 members, including the US and Russia backed its case based on New Delhi’s non-proliferation record.
  • China, France, Russia, Britain and the US the permanent members of the UNSC also known as P5 countries have concluded their two meetings in Beijing to discuss issues related to nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  • After India applied for the NSG membership, Pakistan too applied for the same following which China, a close ally of Islamabad, called for a two-step approach which states that NSG members first need to arrive at a set of principles for the admission of non-NPT states into the group and then move forward discussions of specific cases.
  • The NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of guidelines for nuclear and nuclear-related exports.

India not to extend anti-dumping duty on Chinese paracetamol

News

  • The government will not extend anti-dumping duty on imports of Chinese paracetamol, used in medicines, as the domestic industry has failed to provide evidence that the expiry of the levy would result in dumping.
  • After concluding its probe, the Commerce Ministry’s investigation arm for dumping of goods, DGTR, has said that it does not recommend continuation of the anti-dumping duty on the imports of paracetamol from China.

Govt clears ₹40,000 crore project to construct six submarines

News

  • In a major decision, the Defence Ministry approved indigenous construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy at a cost of over ₹40,000 crore.

Beyond News

  • This was decided at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the Ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement.
  • The DAC, also approved acquisition of approximately 5,000 Milan anti-tank guided missiles for the Army.
  • The project to construct the six submarines will be implemented under the strategic partnership model which provides for roping in private firm to build select military platforms in India in partnership with foreign defence manufacturers.
  • It will be the second project to be implemented under the strategic partnership model. The first project to get government’s nod for implementation under the new model was acquisition of 111 utility helicopters for the Navy at a cost of over ₹21,000 crore.
  • The DAC in a landmark decision on Thursday approved indigenous construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy at a cost of over ₹40,000 crore.
  • Construction of six submarines under Project 75 (I) will provide a major boost to the existing submarine design and manufacturing eco-system in India through transfer of design and equipment technology as well as a necessary skill sets.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

RBI lifts lending curbs on Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce

News

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) removed three State-owned banks from its weak-bank watch list, a move that will lift lending restrictions on them.

Beyond News

  • It has been decided that Bank of India [BoI] and Bank of Maharashtra [BoM] which meet the regulatory norms including Capital Conservation Buffer [CCB] and have Net NPAs [non-performing assets] of less than 6% as per third quarter results, are taken out of the PCA [prompt corrective action] framework subject to certain conditions and continuous monitoring.
  • Hence, it has been decided to remove the restrictions placed on Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) under PCA framework, subject to certain conditions and close monitoring.

GDP growth rate for 2017-18 revised upwards to 7.2% from 6.7%

News

  • The government revised the economic growth rate upwards to 7.2% for 2017-18 from the 6.7% estimated earlier.

Beyond News

  • Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2017-18 and 2016-17 stand at ₹131.80 lakh crore and ₹122.98 lakh crore, respectively, showing growth of 7.2% during 2017-18 and 8.2% during 2016-17.
  • The First Revised Estimates for 2017-18 have been compiled using industry-wise/institution-wise detailed information instead of using the benchmark-indicator method employed at the time of release of Provisional Estimates on 31st May, 2018.
  • The CSO has also released the Second Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation for 2016-17.
  • During 2017-18, the growth rates of primary (comprising agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining and quarrying), secondary (comprising manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, and construction) and tertiary (services) sectors have been estimated as 5%, 6% and 8.1 per cent as against a growth of 6.8%, 7.5% and 8.4%, respectively, in the previous year.

Fighting the war against pollution

air pollutions

News

  • If India reduces particulate pollution by 25 per cent in five years, residents breathing the most polluted air in New Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh could live almost three years longer, a study said.
  • The study ,was conducted by the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), which translates particulate air pollution into its impact on life expectancy.

Findings

  • The payoffs from the successful implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) could be substantial with people in the most polluted areas like Delhi living almost three years longer.
  • The AQLI study revealed that if India reduced particulate pollution by 25 per cent, people in Kanpur would also live 2.4 years longer and, in Kolkata for 1.1 years more.
  • The residents living in the 102 cities singled out by the NCAP for having higher pollution levels than the national average would add 1.4 years to their lives.
  • The AQLI is rooted in recent research that quantifies the causal relationship between long-term human exposure to air pollution and life expectancy.

CLICK HERE TO SEE DATE WISE CURRENT AFFAIRS