HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 17 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 17 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Protecting nature the best way to keep planet cool: report

News

  • The best way to cap global warming is to empower indigenous forest peoples, reduce food waste and slash meat consumption, an alliance of 38 NGOs said.

Findings

  • Restoring natural forest ecosystems, securing the land rights of local communities and revamping the global food system could cut greenhouse emissions 40 percent by mid-century and help humanity avoid climate catastrophe, they argued in a 50-page report based on recent science.
  • Approximately half of the reduced emissions would come from boosting the capacity of forests and wetlands to absorb CO2, and the other half from curtailing carbon-intensive forms of agriculture.
  • On current trends, Earth is on track to warm up an unlivable three or four degrees Celsius (5.4 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, far about the 1.5C climate-safe threshold endorsed last week by the UN in a major climate change assessment.
  • In the wake of the UN report, two starkly different visions are emerging on how to beat back the existential threat of global warming.
  • One calls for geoengineering and the aggressive use of technology to draw excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, especially by burning biofuels and capturing the emitted CO2, a process known by its acronym, BECCS.
  • The other, favoured in the new “Missing Pathways to 1.5C” report, is based primarily on Earth’s natural capacity to absorb CO2.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

No time bar for crimes under POCSO Act

News

  • Survivors of child sexual abuse can file a police complaint after they become adults. The government clarified that there is no time bar on reporting such crimes.

Beyond News

  • The Law Ministry concurred with the opinion of the Ministry of Women and Child Development that unlike the Code of Criminal Proceedings (CrPC), the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, does not lay down a time limit for reporting crimes covered under it.
  • The Ministry of Law, after examining the provisions of POCSO Act vis-à-vis provisions of CrPC, has advised that there appears no period of limitation mentioned in Section 19 in regard to reporting of the offences under the POCSO Act, 2012.
  • Section 19 of the POCSO Act, which deals with sexual crimes against children, lays down the procedure for reporting a crime but doesn’t specify a time limit or statute of limitation for reporting it.
  • Whereas the CrPC lays down different time-limits for crimes which carry a punishment of up to three years, there is no time bar for crimes that would attract a jail term of more than three years.
  • This is an important step for survivors of child abuse, who may try to file a complaint as adults but are turned away at police stations.

3-member panel to mediate after A.P., TS squabble on Krishna water

News

  • The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) authorised its three-member committee to make allocations for Andhra Pradeshand Telangana after the two failed to see eye to eye over sharing of water at a meeting held in Hyderabad.

Beyond News

  • The two States traded charges on drawing far more than the quota from the Srisailam reservoir leading to a collapse of the negotiation process.
  • According to an agreement reached between the two States at the time of bifurcation, both should draw equal amount for power generation.
  • Andhra engineers brought to the notice of the Board that in the 2018-19 water year, Telangana had already drawn 135 tmcft for power generation, but Andhra Pradesh drew only 85 tmcft for the purpose.
  • They pointed out that the water level in the reservoir would drop and it would become a problem for the release of drinking water to Rayalaseema which recorded a rainfall deficit of over 40% this season.
  • When the TS officials said their State needed power, the Andhra Pradesh engineers told the Board that precedence should be given to drinking water and irrigation.
  • The Board also decided that all other pending matters like the fixing of telemeters would be taken up only after the committee allocated water.
  • Both States had separate issues that they wanted to be discussed in the Board meeting, but the discussions did not happen when they failed to reach an agreement on water.

Pampa, Sannidhanam special security zones

News

  • The Kerala State police have declared Pampa and Sannidhanam as special security zones to stymie any attempt to turn the religiously sensitive localities into hotspots for political protests when the Sabarimala temple opens for monthly puja .

Beyond News

  • The ancient forest shrine is opening its doors for thousands of devotees for the first time since the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the right of women of all ages to worship at the temple in September.
  • The police said they anticipated trouble from forces opposing the government’s decision not to appeal the verdict. Hence, it has invoked Section 83 of the Kerala Police Act to prevent any flare-ups in the pilgrim locality.
  • As part of the stringent security arrangements, the police would allow no vehicle beyond Nilackal. The 150-acre parking lot at the base camp could accommodate nearly 15,00 cars at a time. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation would continuously ferry pilgrims from Nilackal to Pampa and back.
  • Officers in riot gear were on the standby to deploy rapidly in the event of any attempt to block pilgrims. The police would use women commandos and officers at Pampa and Nilackal.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy would fly their M-17 V-5 gunships on low-level aerial reconnaissance and surveillance sorties over Sabarimala . The helicopters would have commandos on board, and military air traffic controllers at the Centralised Police Control Room at Nilackal would coordinate the air operations.
  • The police would operate at least four drones, which would relay surveillance video in real time to control room officials.
  • The law enforcement has integrated its surveillance camera system with a database of images of suspects, including criminals, extremists and troublemakers.

An artificial intelligence (AI) powered facial recognition technology will help control room officers spot wanted persons and track their movements in the area. State Police Chief Loknath Behera is supervising the security.

U.P. Cabinet okays ‘Prayagraj’

News

  • The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet adopted the proposal to rename the historical city of Allahabad as Prayagraj.

Beyond News

  • The State government said it was only restoring an old name to the city.
  • Keeping in view the feelings and emotions of the people, Allahabad had been renamed Prayagraj by our government. Five hundred years ago, the name of the place was Prayagraj as it was at the Triveni Sangam [a confluence of three rivers].
  • The proposal would now go to the Centre before the city is officially renamed, though an Uttar Pradesh Minister seemed to suggest the change had already come into effect.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Google to charge for apps on Android phones in Europe

News

  • Google plans to start charging smartphone makers to pre-install apps such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps on Android handsets sold in Europe, a response to a record $5 billion antitrust fine imposed by the European Union.

Beyond News

  • The U.S. tech company’s announcement is a change from its previous business model of letting manufacturers install Google’s suite of popular mobile apps for free on phones running its Android operating system.
  • Device makers will also now be able to install rival modified, or “forked,” versions of Android, the most widely used mobile operating system.
  • Google is introducing the changes at the end of October to meet a deadline set out in the European Commission’s decision, which it is appealing in a process that could take years.
  • EU regulators decided it was unfair for Google to force smartphone makers that used Android to also install its apps. The company argued that giving away its open-source operating system resulted in cheaper phones and more competition with chief rival Apple.
  • Google said in a blog post that it had to start charging to make up for lost revenue as a result of the EU enforcement measures.
  • The European Economic Area includes the European Union’s member countries, which now number 28, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Using wastewater to irritage

News

  • Researchers discovered that wastewater collected from canals used for urban agriculture in Burkina Faso was rich in virulent human pathogens which cause gastroenteritis and diarrhea – a major cause of death in low and middle-income countries.

Findings

  • They studied wastewater samples from three canals in the capital Ouagadougou – a city of 2.2 million inhabitants.
  • After identifying a wide range of antibiotic resistance genes in the water, they concluded that using wastewater for urban agriculture in the city posed a high risk of spreading bacteria and antimicrobial resistance among humans and animals.
  • The study found evidence in the canal water samples of pathogens commonly responsible for waterborne diseases which could lead to people directly or indirectly exposed to these wastewaters suffering from acute diarrhea, chronic gastritis, and gastroenteritis.
  • In low and middle-income countries 842,000 people die annually from diarrhoea, according to the World Health Organisation, because of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Using tech to make train journeys safer

News

  • Indian trains will soon have voice recorders or black boxes in a bid to facilitate investigators trying to identify the cause of accidents and assess crew performance.

Beyond News

  • Keeping in mind the safety of passengers, the Indian Railways has decided to install the Loco Cab Voice Recording (LCVR) devices in the locomotives.
  • The system is in developmental stage.
  • The video/voice recording system in locomotives would provide invaluable data to investigators to help them understand the sequence of events leading to an accident and to identify operational issues and human factors, including crew performance.
  • The black box is currently used in aircraft. The black box is made of two separate pieces of equipment the flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder and is usually kept in the tail of the aircraft where they are more likely to survive a crash
  • The Railways had last month rolled out smart coaches equipped with sensors that can detect defects in bearings, wheels and railway track.
  • The black box introduced in the smart coach had a multi-dimensional communication interface to provide information on passengers and coach condition in real time.
  • These sensors would give constant inputs to those in control rooms to avoid accidents, carry out maintenance and would help improve the efficiency of railway operations.
  • At least six cameras have been installed in each smart coach to provide live recording. The footage taken from the cameras could be accessed from the control room (connected through Internet) and would aid law enforcement agencies when they probe crimes or accidents.

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HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 16 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 16 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2019, Prelims UPSC, 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

Climate change causing sea snail shells to dissolve: study

News

  • Shelled marine creatures living in increasingly acidified oceans face a fight for survival as the impacts of climate change spread, a study suggests.

Findings

  • Researchers assessed the impact of rising carbon dioxide levels on the large predatory “triton shell” gastropod. They found those living in regions with predicted future levels of CO2 were on average around a third smaller than counterparts living in conditions seen throughout the world’s oceans today.
  • However there was also a noticeable negative impact on the thickness, density, and structure of their shells, causing visible deterioration to the shell surface.
  • The study found that the effects are down to the increased stresses placed on the species in waters where the pH is lower, which reduce their ability to control the calcification process. The researchers have warned other shellfish are likely to be impacted in the same way, threatening their survival and that of other species that rely on them for food.
  • The research was conducted at a marine volcanic seep off the coast of Shikine-jima in Japan where carbon dioxide bubbling up through the seabed lowers seawater pH from present-day levels to future predicted levels.
  • Using computed tomography (CT) scanning, the scientists measured the thickness, density and structure of the shells, with shell thickness halved in areas with raised CO2 while average shell length was reduced from 178mm in sites with present day levels to 112mm.
  • In some cases, these negative effects left body tissue exposed and the shell casing dissolved, with the corrosive effects of acidification far more pronounced around the oldest parts of the shell.

Korean war memorial to be built in Delhi

News

  • A Korean War memorial will be built in New Delhi to commemorate India’s role in the war which ended in an armistice in 1953.

Beyond News

  • Proposal was initiated by the Indian Korean War Veterans Association and the Delhi government had already designated a place to build the memorial.
  • There were 21 countries which participated in the Korean War from 1950-53 of which 16 countries had sent combat troops. India sent medical teams and a custodian force to deal with the Prisoners of War (PoW).
  • As of now, there are Korean War memorials in about 20 countries around the world which had played a role in the war.

Ancient rocks in India give clues to early life

News

  • Researchers have found the oldest clue yet to the mystery of animal life in ancient rocks and oils, including those from India, dating back at least 100 million years before the famous Cambrian explosion of animal fossils.

Findings

  • Researchers tracked molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic era.
  • In ancient rocks and oils from India, Oman, Siberia, they found a steroid compound produced only by sponges, which are among the earliest forms of animal life.
  • The “Cambrian Explosion” refers to the sudden appearance in the fossil record of complex animals with mineralised skeletal remains 541 million years ago.
  • The biomarker they identified, a steroid compound named 26-methylstigmastane (26-mes), has a unique structure that is currently only known to be synthesised by certain species of modern sponges called demosponges.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

India, France in talks to conduct tri-service exercise

News

  • India and France are in discussions for a bilateral tri-service military exercise to take forward the strategic cooperation while also exploring ways to operationalise the logistics agreement.
  • These issues were discussed during the visit of Defence Minister to Paris last week.

Beyond News

  • This will be India’s third such joint exercise.
  • India and France currently hold bilateral exercises between individual services Shakti, Varuna and Garuda respectively for the Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • India and France signed a logistics pact in March this year which gives access to their militaries to each other’s bases for logistics support.
  • While the agreement gives India access to French military bases all over the world on a “reciprocal basis,” of particular interest for New Delhi are the three French bases in the Indian Ocean Reunion Island, Djibouti and Abu Dhabi.
  • These three bases would give the Indian Navy and the Air Force operational turnaround to the far end of the Indian Ocean, improving its monitoring and surveillance of the region, in the backdrop of increased Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

IT companies file lawsuit against U.S. immigration agency for issuing shorter duration H-1B visas

News

  • An information technology (IT) advocacy group representing more than 1,000 small companies mostly run by Indian-Americans has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for issuing shorter period H-1B visas.

Beyond News

  • The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
  • These visas are typically issued for three to six years to employers to hire a foreign worker.
  • Based out of Dallas in Texas, the ITServe Alliance, in its 43-page lawsuit filed last week, alleged that the USCIS has recently begun a practice of approving H-1B petitions for shorter than three-year duration.
  • The USCIS had no authority to misinterpret the existing regulations and shorten the approval durations. In fact, Congress had specifically granted power to the Department of Labour and DOL’s regulations grant three-year approvals. The the itinerary requirement put forth by the USCIS was also unlawful, the lawsuit said.
  • This is the second lawsuit filed by ITServe against the USCIS. In the first one filed in July 2018, ITServe demanded the USCIS to remove language from their website prohibiting F-1 STEM OPT students working at the third part client locations.

India, China to sign internal security cooperation agreement on Oct 22

News

  • For the first time, India and China will sign an internal security cooperation agreement next week, marking a new beginning in bilateral relations.

 Beyond News

  • China’s Minister of Public Security, who is set to visit India on October 22, will hold meetings with Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The duo is slated to discuss various aspects of security cooperation between the two countries.
  • During the visit, an agreement on internal security cooperation between the two countries will be signed.
  • The proposed pact is expected to cover areas of intelligence sharing, exchange programme, sharing of best practices, cooperation in disaster mitigation besides others, an official said.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal summit in Wuhan, China, in April this year, which helped repair bilateral ties.
  • A Chinese delegation met an Indian team to hold discussions on the forthcoming visit of the Chinese Minister of Public Security and the proposed pact on security cooperation between the two countries.
  • This will be the first such agreement between the authorities that look after internal security of the two countries.
  • The scheduled meeting may lead to a future India-China agreement on exchange of sentenced prisoners.
  • Currently, India does not have an extradition treaty with China, nor a pact to exchange each other’s sentenced prisoners.
  • There are at least 10 Indians in Chinese prisons and an equal number of Chinese citizens in Indian prisons.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Centre unveils pollution forecast system for Capital

News

  • The Central government on announced a pollution forecast system that can alert, three days in advance, about the likelihood of extreme pollution events and dust storms.

Beyond News

  • Though unveiled by Union Environment Minister, the system is yet to go live but is expected to be made available “in the next two days” to the public via the Central Pollution Control Board and the Environment Pollution Control Authority.
  • The National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, the India Meteorological Department and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune all MoES organisations  are involved with developing the application.
  • The system works like a weather model that will assimilate data from satellites on dust aerosols, particulate matter from stubble burning and other air pollutants like SO2 and NO2.
  • It will account for background aerosols and pollutants and forecast how the dust is likely to travel over long distances.

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HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 14 and 15 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 14 and 15 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, 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

‘As ice melts, walruses need protection’

News

  • Given a choice between giving birth on land or sea ice, Pacific walrus mothers would most likely choose ice.
  • Likewise, they prefer sea ice for molting, mating, nursing and resting between dives for food. Trouble is, as the century progresses, there’s going to be far less ice around.

Findings

  • The federal government in 2008 listed polar bears as a threatened species because of diminished sea ice brought on by climate warming. That year the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to do the same for walruses.
  • Pacific walrus males grow to 12 feet long and up to 1,815 kg more than an average midsize sedan. Females reach half that weight. Walruses dive and use sensitive whiskers to find clams and snails in dim light on the sea floor.
  • Inaccessibility protected walruses for decades, but a rapid decline in summer sea ice has made them vulnerable. In the Chukchi Sea between Alaska and Russia, where Pacific walrus females and juveniles spend their summer, ice could be absent during that season by 2060 or sooner, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Since 1981, an area more than double the size of Texas 1.58 million square km has become unavailable to Arctic marine mammals by summer’s end, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
  • By late August, as sea ice recedes beyond the shallow continental shelf, female walruses and their calves face a choice stay on ice over water too deep to reach the ocean floor for feeding or come ashore for rest periods, where the smallest animals can be crushed in stampedes triggered by a hunter, aeroplane or bear.
  • Walruses also could find more humans in their habitat with a reversal of U.S. policy on Arctic offshore drilling.
  • Designating walruses as threatened would mean oil exploration companies would have to consult with federal wildlife officials to make sure drill rigs don’t endanger the animals.

Turtle nesting site in danger

News

  • Cyclone Titli and the resultant rains have started to degrade the mass nesting site of olive ridley turtles at the Rushikulya river mouth in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

Beyond News

  • Huge quantities of debris and waste material brought by the flooded river have been deposited on the coast.
  • This can be a threat to the nesting site and may dissuade the olive ridleys from nesting here next year.
  • The tidal action of the sea in the next few months would clean up the beach to some extent.
  • The Rushikulya river mouth beach is a major nesting site of the endangered olive ridley turtles.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Special forces in India-U.S. exercise

News

  • The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise is likely to take place in 2019, and talks are on to include the special forces of the two countries in the drill.

Beyond News

  • The three forces of each country already take part in bilateral exercises separately their Armies participate in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas, whose latest edition took place in September, and the Air Forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India.
  • The Navies participate in an exercise called Malabar, involving Japan.
  • But this will be the first time, the three services of India and the U.S. will participate in a drill together.
  • The drill may take place sometime in late August because U.S. naval ships could be in the region around that time.
  • The drill will focus on a United Nations-based scenario and the overarching mission of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief measure.
  • The Indian Army has Para SF, the Navy has Marcos while the Air Force has the Garud as their respective special forces.
  • Though the joint tri-services drill was formally announced after the first 2+2 dialogue between the principals of the External Affairs and Defence Ministries of the two countries last month, work on it had begun much before.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Glitch puts NASA’s Chandra telescope in ‘safe’ mode

News

  • Barely a week after NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope entered safe mode, the Chandra mission has also suffered a glitch possibly due to the failure of the gyroscope, the US space agency said.

Beyond News

  • The Chandra X-Ray Observatory, observing the universe in high-energy light since 1999, has entered a protective ‘safe mode’, which interrupts scientific observations and puts the spacecraft into a stable configuration.
  • During the safe mode, the observatory is put into a safe configuration, critical hardware is swapped to back-up units, the spacecraft points so that the solar panels get maximum sunlight, and the mirrors point away from the Sun.
  • Chandra, launched in 1999, is well beyond the original design lifetime of 5 years. In 2001, NASA extended its lifetime to 10 years. It is now well into its extended mission and is expected to continue carrying out forefront science for many years to come.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. space agency said that it continues to work towards resuming science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Hubble entered safe mode after one of the three gyroscopes (gyros) being used to point and steady the telescope failed. Gyroscopes help spacecraft maintain proper orientation.
  • Scientists are currently performing analyses and tests to determine what options are available to recover the gyro to operational performance.

Birds, mammals stay away from ‘noisy windmills’

News

  • Compared to fossil fuel, wind energy wreaks less destruction on the environment, but in the Karnataka State many wind turbines have come up in forest areas, often at the cost of its denizens.
  • A study, has found that apart from direct impact, noise and vibrations from the blades were driving away animals, thereby increasing the possibility of man-animal conflict.

Findings

  • The study was necessitated by the growing number of windmills in forest areas whose impact has, till now, not been studied or included in policy.
  • Karnataka’s investment in wind energy has seen 37.8 sq.km. of forest land being diverted for wind farms, according to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) data. These numbers have risen in recent years with more policy thrust towards “green” energy.
  • Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) states that there are more than 3,857 wind turbines dotting the State’s hills, generating 4,730 MW of electricity.
  • They recorded that between 35 to 40% of the State’s bird diversity reside in and around these areas.
  • The team enumerated collisions of 10 animals, six bats and four birds, representing a rate of 0.23 animals per wind turbine annually.
  • While the rate was on the “lower side” compared to other locations in the country, the issue cannot be ignored as most collisions happened in the short time during the post-monsoon period, states the study.
  • However, these numbers also hide a larger concern: birds are actively avoiding windmill sites.
  • Using camera-traps in Kappatagudda, researchers found that some species, particularly antelopes, have actively avoided areas with windmills.
  • However, there has been no impact on certain small herbivores, such as hares, for whom these predator-free patches represent safety. This is consistent with an ongoing Indian Institute of Science study which shows that lizards prefer patches with windmills due to the lower predator densities.

Navy gets submarine rescue vehicle

News

  • The Navy has inducted its first deep submergence rescue vehicle to rescue downed or disaster-struck submarines on the high seas.

Beyond News

  • India has now joined a select group of countries that have the capability to locate “distressed submarines”.
  • At present, the U.S., China, Russia and a few others have the capability.

It’s a foggy autumn as farmers start burning stubble

News

  • As autumn sets in, farmers in Punjab have begun harvesting the kharif paddy crop and preparing the fields for the winter crop.
  • And as has been the practice, despite official injunctions, paddy stubble is being set on fire, raising fears of a spike in air pollution across the northern States, including the national capital New Delhi.

Beyond News

  • Aggravating the problem is the retreat of the southwest monsoon, setting off north-westerly winds which blow into the plains, carrying the smoke from the stubble.
  • Paddy is grown on 30 lakh hectares in Punjab. After harvesting, about 20 million tonnes of paddy straw is left in the fields.
  • In an effort to solve the problem of stubble without burning, the State government has provided agro-machines and other equipment, including mulchers and choppers, at subsidised rates to farmers and cooperative societies with a Central outlay of around Rs. 650 crore for 2018-2020.
  • However, farmers and agri-experts feel the number of machines is inadequate. Besides the high cost of using them, given the rising costs of diesel, will not serve the purpose of putting an end to stubble burning, at least during the ongoing harvesting season.

Human–leopard conflict in the Himalaya

News

  • Human–animal conflict is common in the Himalaya like any other region where wildlife and people live together.
  • A study of patterns of leopard attacks here reveal that some areas are high-risk zones requiring urgent conservation measures for the safety of both man and beast.

Beyond News

  • The foothills of the eastern Himalaya in northern West Bengal called the dooars, a landscape comprising tea plantations and forests alone have witnessed more than 700 leopard attacks on people between 1990 and 2016.
  • In the western Himalaya (Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand), numerous leopards have been killed in retaliation to the human deaths and injuries they have caused.
  • Scientists studied patterns of leopard attacks in both these regions.
  • They visited 101 sites of attacks to confirm the details of incidents. On an average, leopards killed more than three and injured 11 people in Pauri each year between 2006 and 2016; in turn, 121 leopards met their ends at the hands of people. In the dooars, while 420 people were injured between 2011 and 2016 alone, there were barely any retaliatory killings.
  • The researchers find that around 97% of animal attacks in the dooars and 60% in Pauri resulted in human injuries. While a majority of the victims in Pauri were children and youth, middle-aged tea estate workers were most at risk in the dooars.
  • Despite this, 368 interviews with locals in both areas revealed that 41% of respondents in Pauri and 75 % in the dooars were positive towards the presence and conservation of leopards.
  • They suggest that immediate measures including regular monitoring by wildlife managers and local response teams, providing proper lighting in villages and clearing bushes around houses would be crucial to mitigate conflict.

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HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 13 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 13 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, PIB notes, Prelims UPSC, 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

C-section use doubled in India between 2005 and 2015: Lancet

News

  • The number of babies born in India through caesarean section increased from 9% in 2005-6 to 18.5% in 2015-16, according to The Lancetjournal, which also found that C-section use almost doubled worldwide between 2000 and 2015.

Findings

  • While the surgery is still unavailable for many women and children in low-income countries and regions, the procedure is overused in many middle-and high-income settings, said researchers, including those from Ghent University in Belgium.
  • In the 10 countries with the highest number of births in 2010-2015 period, there were large differences in caesarean section or C-section use between regions. For instance, differences between provinces in China ranged from 4% to 62%, and inter-state differences in India ranged from 7% to 49%.
  • Globally, C-section use has increased by 3.7% each year between 2000-2015 rising from 12% of live births (16 million of 131.9 million) in 2000, to 21% of live births (29.7 million of 140.6 million) in 2015.
  • In India, C-section use went up from 9% of births in 2005-6 to 18.5% in 2015-16, the research found.
  • C-section is a life-saving intervention for women and newborns when complications occur, such as bleeding, foetal distress, hypertensive disease, and babies in abnormal position.
  • In at least 15 countries, C-section use exceeds 40%, researchers said.
  • The South Asia region has seen the most rapid increase in use (6.1% per year), with C-section being underused in 2000 but being overused by 2015 (increasing from 7.2% of births via C-section to 18.1%).

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

India wins election to UN Human Rights Council

News

  • India was elected to the United Nations’ top human rights body for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.

Beyond News

  • The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections here for new members to the UN Human Rights Council.
  • The 18 new members were elected by absolute majority through a secret ballot. Countries needed a minimum of 97 votes to get elected to the Council.
  • In the Asia Pacific category, India got 188 votes followed by Fiji with 187 votes, Bangladesh 178, Bahrain and Philippines 165 each.
  • India had previously been elected to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council for the 2011-2014 and 2014-2017 terms.

Android app ‘Rail Partner’ to provide authentic rail data

News

  • Southern Railway has launched a mobile application to provide real-time authentic information on train timings and ancillary services provided by Indian Railways.

Beyond News

  • Named ‘Rail Partner’, the Android app rolled out for Indian Railways by the passenger marketing wing of the commercial department of Southern Railway provides an array of information and services and acts as a direct communication medium between passengers and Railways.
  • The initiative comes in the wake of complaints that the privately developed mobile apps related to train timings are not providing accurate information.
  • The app will come in handy for the visually challenged also as they can use the ‘talk back’ facility on their smartphones.
  • The app provides direct call facilities to 20 most required helplines and support services in all divisions such as on-board medical assistance, RPF, GRP, women helpline, e-catering, child helpline, UTS-on-mobile, vigilance, etc., and also the phone numbers of all major stations of Southern Railway.
  • A unique menu listing all special trains (other than regular trains) based on the user’s preferred route is also provided. After downloading this app from the Play Store, there is a one-time registration.
  • For reserved train timings, the app is developed in such a way that it works both offline and online.
  • Online usage will give the most up-to-date data so that customers are encouraged to keep the app in online mode always. SMS-based services include PNR status, spot your train, platform position, and on-board services.
  • All contact numbers that a passenger needs during a journey are provided in the app for direct calling. These include security, cleaning, catering, and running information. This is the first time Southern Railway is bringing out a train-running and business development application.

New districts making strides in many aspects

News

  • In the first one year of formation of the new districts in Telangana, the authorities had struggled to overcome teething troubles.
  • But, after the completion of two years of their existence, they were making strides and won laurels for their administration and implementation of several welfare schemes.

Beyond News

  • In spite of staff crunch and lack of adequate infrastructure, the new districts have performed well on a par with old districts on all fronts.
  • The erstwhile Karimnagar district was bifurcated into four districts — Karimnagar, Rajanna-Sircilla, Jagtial and Peddapalli.
  • Jagtial and Rajanna-Sircilla districts have competed in the implementation of welfare programmes and won accolades.
  • Besides, the district had won the national Swach Bharath Award for being declared 100% Open Defecation Free (ODF). The district had successfully achieved first rank in the SSC examination pass percentage in 2017 and 2018.

18 more infected with Zika in Jaipur

News

  • Eighteen more people in Rajasthan’s Jaipur district have tested positive for Zika virus, taking the total number to 50, a Union Health Ministry official said .

Beyond News

  • The first case had surfaced on September 22. Fogging and other anti-larvae activities are being carried out in Shastri Nagar.
  • The department has also issued an advisory for pregnant women staying outside Shastri Nagar not to visit the area.
  • A control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control to monitor the situation.
  • The number of monitoring teams in Jaipur has been increased from 50 to 170 and a special isolation ward has been created at the Hira Bagh Training Centre to treat the patients.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Cyclone Titli: AP urges Centre to release ₹ 1,200 crores

News

  • The Andhra Pradeshgovernment requested the Centre to release ₹ 1,200 crore as interim relief for restoration measures in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts that were battered by cyclone Titli.

Beyond News

  • The severe cyclonic storm hit the two districts early, with winds gusting up to 165 kilometers per hour. Heavy rainfall, ranging from 10 cm to 43 cm, was witnessed in different parts of the districts.
  • Horticulture was the worst hit with damages to the tune of ₹ 1,000 crore followed by agriculture (₹ 800 crore), power sector (₹ 500 crore), roads and buildings, panchayat raj, rural water supply, irrigation (₹ 100 crore each), animal husbandry and fisheries (₹ 50 crore each), the Chief Minister said further.
  • In all, 290 km of roads were damaged along with 8,962 houses, 80 minor irrigation sources and 16 rural water supply tanks.
  • Agriculture crops in 1,39,844 hectares, including paddy in 1,36,531 hectares, was damaged in Srikakulam while crops in 308 hectares were lost in Vizianagaram district.
  • Banana plantations in 2,424 hectares were also damaged.

Floods in Indonesia kill 11 children, rescuers search for 1 missing

News

  • Flash floods killed at least 11 children at an Islamic school in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra , with rescuers searching for one missing student, authorities said.

Beyond News

  • The floods hit the area of Mandailing Natal in North Sumatra after torrential rain, destroying over 20 houses.
  • Reuters authorities were currently checking for other possible missing victims.
  • Photos of the disaster carried in local media depicted rescuers digging through mud and rubble in a collapsed building.

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HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 12 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 12 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, General Studies, hindu notes, MAINS 2019, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Indians top list of ‘overstayers’ in U.K.

News

  • India accounts for the largest number of individuals staying in the U.K. illegally, and the number of those subjected to forced returns to India has fallen by 50% in three years, Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said.

Beyond News

  • The problem of “visa overstayers” was highlighted by the department in its submission to a British parliamentary committee’s “Global Britain and India’ inquiry into post-Brexit relations with India.
  • The focus on overstayers is significant, suggesting that there is little sign of change on an issue that has overshadowed bilateral relationships.
  • Tensions came to a head earlier this year when Britain’s Trade Secretary Liam Fox linked the decision on excluding Indians from a relaxation of student visa requirements to cooperation between the two countries on the return of illegal migrants, including India’s failure to sign an MOU with the U.K. on the issue during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in April.
  • Backing his concerns, the think tank Chatham House, in its submission to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry, pointed to Britain’s visa regime for Indians as one of the key impediments to its relationship and highlighted U.K.’s emphasis on overstayers.
  • In its submission, the U.K.-India Business Council warned that Britain’s stance on immigration had been characterised in India as a “directly hostile message” that suggested Indian citizens were not welcome to the U.K. any more.
  • Citing the decision to exclude India from the relaxation of student visa process, it said that it was a step in the wrong direction. The Council called for India to be included on the list of countries with reduced student visa application procedures, and the reintroduction of the ability to work for two years after graduation.
  • However, on the issue of visas, the Foreign Office submission highlighted what it saw as key achievements on visas to Indian nationals. These included Britain having more visa centres in India than any other country in the world, Britain issuing more skilled worker visas to India than all other countries in the world combined and the fact that 90% of Indian nationals, who applied for a visa, were successful.

Land pooling policy gets Centre’s nod

News

  • The Centre has given its final nod to Delhi’s land pooling policy.No major changes had been made to the policy.

Beyond News

  • The DDA in September had approved the policy, by which the Capital is set to get 17 lakh houses, including 5 lakh houses for the economically weaker sections.
  • The FAR had been reduced keeping in mind the availability of resources and services required for the development of a particular land.
  • With the approval of the land pooling policy in the Capital, landowners having land of any size can participate in the policy. However, the minimum area required for taking up the development is two hectares.
  • Under the policy, an integrated sector-based planning approach will be followed, a sector of 250 to 300 hectares of land will be eligible to be developed once a minimum of 70% contiguous land within a sector is assembled.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Major mission to sequence genes of Indians planned

News

  • India is planning a major mission to sequence the genes of a “large” group of Indians akin to projects in the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia  and use this to improve health as well as buck a global trend of designing ‘personalised medicine.’

Beyond News

  • This was among the key decisions taken at the 1st Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC) in its first meeting .
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Biotechnology would be closely associated with the project.
  • Ever since the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in 2009 announced that it had sequenced the genome of an Indian, then making India one of six countries to achieve such a feat, several research labs have analysed genes from Indians for disease susceptibility. However, no compendium of genes that differentiate Indian populations from, say Caucasian or African genomes exist.
  • A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with a 100k Genome Asia project, led out of the National Technological University (NTU), Singapore, to sequence the whole genomes of 100k Asians, including 50,000 Indians.
  • Key programmes, such as a Deep Ocean Mission, to facilitate ocean science and technologies to help with India’s strategic interests and an Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing missions were also discussed.

Remove encroachments from waterbodies: HC

News

  • The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court observed that unless encroachments were removed from waterbodies the State would not be able to save them.

Beyond News

  • A Divsision Bench observed that waterbodies had to be saved for future generations.
  • It observed that measures had to be initiated on a war footing to restore the waterbodies.
  • Trees along the banks could be allowed to remain as they curbed soil erosion. The judges added that though they were concerned about the trees, the issue of encroachments had to be addressed.

Pollution control body records 554 violations in NCR

News

  • Open storage and dumping of construction and demolition waste and general dumping of waste constituted over half the violations in the National Capital Region (NCR), observed the Central Pollution Control Board in a series of inspections between September 15 and October 7.

Beyond News

  • Traffic congestion and road-dust suspension typically considered major reasons for the region’s pollution problem contributed only 12% of the violations.
  • There were 554 violations in total, revealed data compiled by the organisation of which Delhi posted the maximum number of violations (287) followed by Faridabad (135).
  • The apex central organisation, tasked with regulating pollution, conducted these inspections ahead of the winter where pollution levels typically spike from a combination of adverse weather, pollution from harvest stubble, industrial and several other man-made sources.
  • While a dip in air quality in October and November in the NCR is par for the course, the Centre has announced a slew of measures from providing highly subsidised threshing equipment to farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to discourage them from burning stubble.
  • This is reportedly responsible for 20% of the pollution load in the winters.
  • Other steps include a ban on brick kilns that do not employ ‘zig-zag technology’, the Supreme Court ban on the use of pet coke and, stricter monitoring of sulphur oxides and nitrous oxide emissions from industrial boilers.

Of mice and men: scientists develop babies from same-sex mice pairs

News

  • A team of researchers has produced viable offspring from same-sex pairs of mice, using a novel technology that involves stem cells altered to remove certain genes.

Findings

  • While the applications of the research are largely theoretical for now, they could include improving existing cloning methods for mammals and even eventually fertility treatments for same-sex couples.
  • The study, is the first time the method has been successfully implemented, though previous research has looked at other ways to produce babies from same-sex pairs.
  • But while the team was able to produce viable babies from female pairs of mice, whose offspring went on to have their own progeny, the mice produced from male pairs fared less well.
  • They survived only 48 hours after birth, despite a complicated process of gene manipulation intended to eliminate abnormalities resulting from the same-sex reproductive process.
  • This field of research treads on tricky ethical ground, with previous studies involving genetic editing and novel methods of reproduction prompting fears about the implications if similar processes were eventually applied to humans.
  • During the reproduction process, mammals mostly inherit two sets of each gene, one from their mother and one from their father.
  • But a small subset of genes, known as “imprinted” genes, are inherited from only one parent. For these genes, the set produced by the other parent is effectively inactive, having been “shut off” when it is transmitted.
  • If this “shutting off” process does not function correctly, the offspring could suffer from abnormalities or even die.
  • Mixing genetic material from same-sex couples runs the risk of the babies receiving two sets of “imprinted” genes.
  • So the study used haploid embryonic stem cells, which resemble “primordial germ cells, the precursors of eggs and sperm.
  • They then altered the genetic makeup of the cells, deleting “imprinting regions” to effectively mimic the “shutting off” process in normal reproduction.

Record fast radio bursts detected from deep space

News

  • Australian researchers said they have detected a record number of radio waves from space, including the closest and fastest one that may help understand the matter between galaxies.
  • Researchers found 20 fast radio bursts in a year, almost doubling the number detected worldwide since they were discovered in 2007.

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HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 11 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 11 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Checks reveal 8% error rate in VVPATs

News

  • The error rate of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines supplied by the Election Commission of India is found to be around 8%.

Beyond News

  • Assessment by the Telangana State election authority has revealed the error rate of VVPATs to be 8.08% while the error rate of control units is pegged at 2.02%.
  • The ballot units are relatively better placed with error rate estimated at less than 1% (0.92%).
  • The error rate of the election equipment was assessed after the first-level checks done on 99.69% of the machines received by the State. Machines in which errors are detected are being sent back to the Commission seeking replacement. The State was sanctioned 52,100 ballot units, 41,000 control units and 44,000 VVPATs and first-level checks have been completed for almost all the machines.
  • The Election Commission has announced second instalment of 1,100 more VVPATs to the State for the ensuing elections in the first week of December.

FDA asks 113 outlets on online delivery services to shut shop

News

  • In a first, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has issued stop-business notices to 113 food outlets that catered to customers through online delivery platforms.

Beyond News

  • The outlets were operating without registration and licence, in extremely unhygienic conditions. The FDA has also served notices to food delivery platforms for sourcing food from such outlets.
  • The FDA surveyed 347 food outlets from September 21 to October 1. Of the 113 outlets that were found to be functioning without licences, 85 were linked to Swiggy, 50 to Zomato, three to Foodpanda and two to UberEats.
  • As per rules, any food providers with turnover below ₹12 lakh must have registration and those with a turnover above Rs 12 lakh must have licence from FDA.
  • The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) had directed the food aggregators to delist outlets running without registration .

Centre sets ‘minimum river flows’ for the Ganga

News

  • In a first, the Union government has mandated the minimum quantity of water or ecological flow as it’s called in scientific circles that various stretches of the Ganga must necessarily have all through the year.

Beyond News

  • The new norms would require hydropower projects located along the river to modify their operations so as to ensure they are in compliance.
  • In a gazette notification made public, the National Mission for Clean Ganga has laid down the flow specifications. The upper stretches of the Ganga from its origins in the glaciers and until Haridwar would have to maintain: 20% of the monthly average flow of the preceding 10-days between November and March, which is the dry season; 25% of the average during the ‘lean season’ of October, April and May; and 30% of monthly average during the monsoon months of June-September.
  • Power projects that don’t meet these norms as yet would be given three years to comply and “mini and micro projects” would be exempt from these requirements.
  • The Central Water Commission would be the designated authority to collect relevant data and submit flow monitoring-cum-compliance reports on a quarterly basis to the NMCG, according to the notification.
  • The government, however, hasn’t disclosed the existing ecological flows at these stretches while setting the minimum levels, an omission that an expert involved in the framing of these rules attributed to “strategic reasons”.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

100% organic Sikkim shortlisted for FAO s Future Policy Award

News

  • Sikkim’s achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture State in India has won it a place on the shortlist of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Award.
  • The FAO said that the award would celebrate policies that create enabling environments for sustainable agriculture.

Scientists create most detailed map of brain s memory bank

News

  • In a bid to better understand the brain region linked to Alzheimer’s disease, scientists in the U.S. have created what they believe to be the most detailed atlas yet of the brain’s memory bank the hippocampus.

Findings

  • Created using fluorescent tracers and 3D animation, the map shows structures, nerve connections and functions of the hippocampus in vivid detail.
  • With a better map, we can see each region and how it functions. A better map is a resource scientists can use to better understand the hippocampus and how its degeneration leads to diseases.
  • The human hippocampus sits at the base of the brain and it’s shaped like a seahorse. It stores memories, helps regulate emotions and guides navigation by spatial processing.
  • It is the first part of the brain impaired by Alzheimer’s and hippocampus degeneration can cause epilepsy and other diseases.

High pollution, poor ventilation are making people vulnerable to H1NI

News

  • High pollution and lack of good ventilation are making citizens susceptible to the H1N1, say doctors.

Beyond News

  • As this is an airborne infection, citizens are more vulnerable to the virus due to high levels of pollution and population density, and poor ventilation in homes and offices.
  • People living in the city are staying in buildings with poor ventilation for the most part of the day. Hence, the risk is higher.
  • Doctors have urged citizens not to panic. The mortality rate is less than one percent when it comes to H1N1, say health professionals in Bengaluru.
  • For its part, civic officials are urging citizens to maintain basic cleanliness in public spaces.
  • As per data available with the Department of Health and Family Welfare, between 2009 and October 7, 2018, as many as 13,075 H1N1 positive cases have been recorded across the State.

FATF team not happy with Pakistan’s efforts to combat terror financing: report

News

  • Not impressed with Pakistan’s efforts to combat terror financing, a delegation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has asked it to do more to strengthen its legal framework if it wants to avoid being blacklisted by the Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog, according to a media report .

Beyond News

  • Currently placed on the FATF’S ‘grey list’Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations by the FATF, a measure that officials here fear could further hurt its economy.
  • According to sources, the delegation feared that the setup installed for scrutinising the activities of non-profit organisations, brokerage houses, exchange companies and donations of corporate entities – registered under the companies act – was not robust enough.
  • The sources said that the APG believed that even in areas where the legal framework appeared vigorous, the implementation mechanism was not geared to track down financial flows of the entities in question, because the agencies involved were not well-connected, according to the report.
  • The purpose of the mutual evaluation visit is to assess the effectiveness of Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime under FATF methodology.
  • In June 2018, Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and the APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorism financing-related deficiencies by implementing a 10-point action plan.
  • The successful implementation of the plan and its verification by the APG is a prerequisite for the FATF to remove Pakistan from its grey list.
  • Earlier in August, the APG – as part of the mutual evaluation -identified a series of deficiencies in Pakistan’s AML/CFT mechanisms. By the end of September next year, Pakistan must comply with the 10-point action plan it committed to with the FATF or else it will fall into the black list.
  • The authorities are required to upgrade agencies and their human resource assets to be able to handle foreign requests to block terror financing and freeze illegal assets. The authorities are working on strengthening laws for extradition of those involved in terror financing and money laundering on requests from FATF-member countries.

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HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 9 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 9 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, Editorials, hindu notes, PIB notes, Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

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Researchers find Iron Age pits

News

  • A team of researchers has found evidence throwing light on human settlements during the Iron Age at Vattakkadu,in Kerala state.

Beyond News

  • The holes in round and square shape found in the laterite rock of a hill were proof enough to reveal the continuous presence of human life in the area in the iron age.
  • Holes had apparently been dug using iron implements. These holes will help us understand the iron age life in a wider and better perspective.
  • Other team members said the finding called for detailed studies, as the exact date of the holes needed to be established.
  • Researchers said that the holes were believed to have been used for constructing houses. Historians of the view that poles were erected in such holes by the people of iron age.
  • The findings have reference in the Tamil Sangham literature. This increases their significance manifold.
  • Large burial pots had been recovered from neighbouring areas during recent explorations. Those burial pots helped us study society and life during the megalithic age.
  • People living in nearby areas believed that the pits had been dug by their forefathers.

Seven cities reveal cost of floods caused by climate change

News

  • Landmark report issued by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states that without “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” our world will exceed 1.5°C much sooner than they think as early as a dozen years which will increase the likelihood of floods, heatwaves and droughts.

Findings

  • As higher temperatures lead to sea level rise and more extreme rainfall, more and more people around the globe are experiencing catastrophic floods.
  • Theylooked at seven locations around the globe that have already seen one of the consequences of global warming: flooding as a result of sea level rise and extreme precipitation.
  • Aside from the lives lost and the immediate damages, every flood has a series of ripple effects on other costs like food prices, disruptions to local businesses and long-term damage to people’s livelihoods. Businesses lose a tourist season; farmers lose a planting season; students lose weeks of school.
  • In August of 2018, heavy monsoon rains flooded most of Kerala, India, with more than 400 deaths and upwards of a million displaced citizens.
  • In September of 2017, Hurricane Irma dumped torrential rains on Immokalee, Florida, where most of the USA’s winter tomatoes are grown.
  • The stretch of Brazil’s coastline that runs between Rio de Janeiro and Brazil’s capital city of São Paulo is getting hit with torrential rains and sea level rise. In addition to the homes and beacheslost, many of the small businesses along the seafront have to rebuild every time a storm surge wipes them out.
  • Around half a millionpeople leave Bangladesh every year in order to work abroad, mostly in Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Many of them are forced to migrate as a result of flooding in their native land.
  • Katherine Fera and her husband had to move out of their house for 12 days after flash floods inundated their basement this past August.
  • Research shows that the psychological stress of flooding can last long after the event itself: three years after their houses were flooded, almost half the people in this study still felt anxious whenever it rained.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

‘Japan keen on supplying defence equipment to India’.

News

  • The Japanese government, in principle, has taken a decision to forge partnership with India to supply defence equipment, a senior official of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force said .

Beyond News

  • A day after the nine-day Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX)-18, a joint exercise between the Indian and Japanese navies began, Rear Admiral, Commander, Escort Flotilla-4 (CCR-4) said that they wanted to explore the opportunities for supplyingamphibious planes to India.
  • The JIMEX-2018 began with an aim of improving interoperability, strengthening understanding and learning the best practices of both the navies.
  • The Sea Phase will comprise anti-submarine warfare exercises, visit, board, search and seizure drills, gun firing, cross deck helicopter operations and coordination operations in anti-submarine and anti-air threat scenarios .
  • As part of the exercises, JS Kaga, an anti-Inzumo class helicopter carrier as large as an aircraft carrier and JS Inazu, a destroyer class ship with capability for anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare arrived in the city, with a crew of 600 including 40 women.
  • Indigenously designed and built three warships INS Satpura, INS Kadamatt and INS Shakti and several helicopters from Indian Navy are also participating. The crew participating from host country will be around 1,000.
  • The JIMEX-2018 took off after a gap of five years, which is an indication of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defence relationships and the determination of both the countries to work together closely to improve safety and security.
  • Both the countries are also playing a key role in anti-piracy activity in the Gulf of Aden.

China to sell 48 armed drones to Pakistan

News

  • China will sell 48 high-end armed drones to its “all-weather ally” Pakistanin what a military observer said will be the largest deal of its kind, official media here reported .

Beyond News

  • Wing Loong II is a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aerial system, capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons.
  • It is roughly equivalent to the American MQ-9 Reaper drone.
  • The drones will also be jointly manufactured by China and Pakistan.
  • Last year, China reportedly sold to countries like the UAE and Egypt the Wing Loong II at an estimated $1 million per unit, reports said.
  • China is the largest supplier of weapon system to the Pakistan Army. Both countries also jointly manufacture JF-Thunder a single engine multi-role combat aircraft.
  • The Trump administration has agreed to sell sell 22 Sea Guardian drones to India.
  • The country is reported to have received 10 advanced Heron drones from Israel as well.
  • The Air Force academy aerobatics team announced that in the future, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company will jointly manufacture the drones.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Army sets its sight on the future

News

  • The week-long biannual Army Commanders conference began in which the service is keen to finalise several radical measures to right size the force and optimise the ballooning revenue expenditure.

Beyond News

  • As part of the conclave, commanders and directorates at Army Headquarters will deliberate on important studies that have been ordered to meet future operational challenges.
  • There are four studies examining operational and optimisational issues of the Army and the headquarters as also human resources management aspects.
  • The Army further stated that these studies aimed to improve the teeth-to-tail ratio, with the purpose of strengthening the structures within the Army, to make it combat-ready for the future.
  • The four studies being carried out by separate study groups are for restructuring of Army headquarters and Army restructuring, which includes cutting down the strength, cadre review of officers and review of terms and conditions of Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks.
  • Several mid-reviews were undertaken by the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, over the past few months and it will be debated threadbare at the highest level, the sources said.
  • The aim is to finalise the broad roadmap of the restructuring in this conference and agree on a roadmap on rolling out the measures.
  • The biggest concern for the Army is the mounting revenue expenditure and pensions, which leave very little for capital procurements.
  • While some of the measures can be rolled out immediately as they are within the service, some need approval from the Defence 

Making water safe

News

  • Scientists have created tiny spheres that can catch and destroy bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical used to make plastics that often contaminates water.

Beyond News

  • BPA is commonly used to coat the insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. While BPA that seeps into food and drink is considered safe in low doses, prolonged exposure is suspected of affecting the health of children.
  • The micron-sized spheres resemble tiny flower-like collections of titanium dioxide petals.
  • The supple petals provide plenty of surface area for researchers to anchor cyclodextrin – a benign sugar-based molecule often used in food and drugs.
  • It has a two-faced structure, with a hydrophobic (water-avoiding) cavity and a hydrophilic (water-attracting) outer surface.
  • BPA is hydrophobic and naturally attracted to the cavity. Once trapped, reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the spheres degrades BPA into harmless chemicals.
  • This new material helps overcome two significant technological barriers for photocatalytic water treatment.

Lakes may be tapped for city’s needs

News:

  • In an effort to identify new sources of water to supply the growing metropolis, Chennai Metrowater has started a feasibility study to assess the potential of nine water bodies and six abandoned quarries in the city’s periphery as drinking water sources.

Beyond News:

  • A special team has been constituted to explore new sources to augment the city’s water supply. The team has started collecting samples for testing the quality of water on 45 parameters.
  • A modular water treatment plant with a capacity to treat four million litres a day (mld) was set up to treat raw water and transport it to the existing network. The water agency had recently conducted a similar survey at Retteri lake to assess its quality.
  • Metrowater officials said a proposal has been submitted to the State government to set up a treatment plant of 10 MLD capacity at a cost of nearly ₹8.8 crore to treat and transport water to the network at Kolathur.
  • The aim is to decentralise treatment and transportation of water and use local sources.
  • Besides studying the lakes for their available storage capacity and availability of land for onsite facilities, various aspects such as pollution due to release of domestic sewage and the feasibility of laying pipelines to connect to the existing network would also be looked at.

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HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 7 and 8 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-OCTOBER 7 and 8 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Alarming portents from global warming report

News

  • Coastal nations and agricultural economies like India would be the worst affected.
  • Decline in crop yields, unprecedented climate extremes and increased susceptibility could push poverty by several million by 2050, said the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C,’ commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that saw as many as 91 authors and review-editors from 40 countries, convene in Incheon, South Korea and, over the last week, assess the scientific evidence, feasibility and benefits from countries striving to keep the average global temperature from rising above 1.5 C from pre-industrial times.

Beyond News

  • Even at a little over 1.0°C warming, India is being battered by the worst climate extremes – it is clear that the situation at 1.5°C is going to worsen.
  • The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served us a final warning that we must get our act together now and quickly.
  • Officials from the Union Environment Ministry, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Indian Institute of Human Settlements and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences were part of the Indian delegation at Incheon.
  • One of them, who didn’t want to be identified, told that the report gave a more comprehensive assessment of the differences in a 1.5C world and 2C world and quantified the carbon dioxide that would need to be removed from the atmosphere to achieve this.
  • India hadn’t made any scientific contribution in terms of modelling possible climate change-impact to its agriculture, monsoon, urban dwellings to this report but gave critical inputs to the scientific basis underlying these assessments.
  • The next major climate discussions are scheduled in December in Katowice, Poland where countries are expected to discuss rules to implement the Paris agreement.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

BrahMos Aerospace engineer held for leaking info to Pakistan

Brahmos launch missiles

News

  • An engineer with theBrahMos Aerospace unit was arrested for allegedly leaking “technical information” to Pakistan, an official said.

Beyond News

  • An engineer was nabbed in a joint operation by the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squads (ATS) at BrahMos’ Wardha Road facility.
  • BrahMos Aerospace was formed as a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the ‘Military Industrial Consortium’ ‘NPO Mashinostroyenia’ of Russia.
  • The company was established in India through an inter-governmental agreement signed on February 12, 1998, between India and Russia.
  • The name BrahMos represents the fury of the Brahmaputra and the grace of the Moskva rivers.

India to be the 11th wealthiest, says BCG

News

  • India’s personal financial wealth, currently estimated to be about $3 trillion, is expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2022 making India the 11th wealthiest nation, according to a report from the Boston Consultancy Group (BCG).

Findings

  • According to the report, India is currently the fifth largest Asian market in terms of number of affluent, high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals. The total number of such individuals was pegged at 4.13 lakh in 2017.
  • While wealth in excess of $100 million was categorised as ultra high net worth, that in the range of $1 million and $100 million was put in the category of high net worth. Affluent referred to an individual with wealth between $2,50,000 and $1 million. Interestingly, almost 70% of India’s personal financial wealth was in liquid assets such as equities, currencies and bonds.
  • According to BCG, it was the highest annual growth rate in the past five years and was largely driven by bull market environment in all major economies and significant strengthening of most major currencies against the dollar. Incidentally, the bull market led to the wealth in equities and investment funds showing the strongest growth.
  • Further, in terms of asset classes, almost 60% or $121.6 trillion of the global wealth was in the form of investible assets such as equities, investment funds, currency, deposits and bonds with the remaining 40% or $80.3 trillion in low-liquidity assets such as life insurance, pension funds and equity in unlisted companies.
  • The overall growth of global personal wealth continued its momentum in 2017. Residents of North America held over 40% of global personal wealth, followed by residents of western Europe with 22%. The strongest region of growth was Asia, which posted a 19% increase.

NASA probe to fly by most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft

News

  • NASA’s New Horizons probe is on course to fly by the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, which is at a distance of 6.6 billion kilometers from Earth this New Year.
  • This event will set the record for the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft, scientists say.

Beyond News

  • The spacecraft has successfully performed the three and half-minute manoeuvre on October 3 to home in on its location, NASA said in a statement.
  • New Horizons itself was about 6.35 billion kilometres from home when it carried out trajectory correction maneuver (TCM), the farthest course-correction ever performed.
  • This was the first Ultima targeting maneuver that used pictures taken by New Horizons itself to determine the spacecraft’s position relative to the Kuiper Belt object.
  • The spacecraft is just 112 million kilometres from Ultima, closing in at 51,911 km/h. The team will eventually have to guide the spacecraft into an approximately 120 by 320-kilometre “box” and predict the flyby to within 140 seconds.

FATF team in Pakistan to examine steps taken against terror financing

News

  • A team of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to hold meetings with top Pakistani officials to discuss the measures taken by Pakistan so far to counter money laundering and terror financing.

Beyond News

  • The nine-member delegation, comprising members of FATF’s Asia Pacific Group (APG), arrived on a 12-day visit to see the implementation of the action plan Pakistan had issued earlier this year.
  • The team includes experts from British Scotland Yard, U.S. Department of Treasury, Financial Intelligence Unit of Maldives, Indonesian Ministry of Finance, Peoples’ Bank of China and Justice Department of Turkey.
  • Pakistan was formally added to the ‘grey list’ of countries involved in providing monetary assistance to terrorism and related causes after a FATF meeting in Paris in June.
  • The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • Sources in the finance ministry said that “Pakistan has done its homework” and the delegation will be briefed about the measures to curb terror financing through money laundering and illegal remittances.
  • The team will carry out on-site inspections in order to see the systems and mechanisms put in place while its three members will stay for longer period to review progress on the 10-point action plan agreed with Pakistan.
  • Pakistan and FATF negotiated a 10-point action plan to be implemented by September 2019 to get out of the grey list.
  • Already, a team of FATF visited in August to identify deficiencies in Pakistan’s anti-money laundering/counter-terror financing laws and mechanisms.
  • They are also likely to meet officials of State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, National Counter-Terrorism Authority, Federal Investigation Agency, Federal Board of Revenue, National Accountability Bureau, Anti-Narcotics Force, Financial Monitoring Unit, Central Directorate of National Savings and provincial counter-terrorism departments.

Upgraded MiG-29 adds to air power

News

  • The Indian Air Force’s beast MiG-29  has gained in strength and ferocity after an upgrade, giving the force, battling a shortage of fighter aircraft, a much-needed boost, according to officials.

Beyond News

  • The Russian-origin aircraft, now capable of effecting mid-air refuelling, is compatible with latest missiles and can launch multi-dimensional attacks.
  • Even in the previous ‘legacy version’, the aircraft played an important role as the IAF stamped its supremacy over the Pakistani force during the Kargil War of 1999.
  • Last week, the upgraded MiG-29 showcased its combat capabilities at Admapur. The country will celebrate the Air Force Day on October 8.
  • The strategically important Adampur Air Force Station, which is around 100 km from Pakistan and 250 km away from China borders, is now equipped with upgraded MiG-29.
  • The IAF has three squadrons of MiG-29 fighter jets in operation, two of them at the Adampur Air Force Station. One squadron comprises 16-18 aircraft.

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