Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society
1)Cyclonic Storm ‘Burevi’
According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone "Burevi" likely to hit Tamil Nadu On December 4. Last week, a very severe cyclonic storm, Nivar, had battered the southern state.
- It is expected to first hit Sri Lanka on December 2 and then Tamil Nadu on December 4.
- The Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said a deep depression intensified into cyclonic storm "Burevi".
- Cyclone, any large system of winds that circulates about a centre of low atmospheric pressure in a counterclockwise direction north of the Equator and in a clockwise direction to the south.
- Cyclonic winds move across nearly all regions of the Earth except the equatorial belt and are generally associated with rain or snow.
Types of Cyclone
There are various types of cyclones depending on the type of prevailing low-pressure system.
- Tropical cyclone
- Extratropical cyclone
Cyclones are also spotted on other planets like Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune. The Great Red Spot is the hurricane on Jupiter which is going on from 340 years. Great Black Spot was spotted in the Southern Hemisphere of Neptune.
- Hurricanes – In the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific.
- Typhoons – In Southeast Asia
- Cyclone – In the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific around Australia.
Lists and names of Cyclones are maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Tropical cyclones are formed over warm ocean water near the equator. Warm moist air near the surface of the ocean rises upwards. This creates a low-pressure area near the surface. This results in the movement of cooler air from surrounding areas into the low-pressure area. Now even this cool air becomes warm and moist and rises up. The above cycle keeps continuing. The warm moist air which rises up, cools the water in the air, resulting in the formation of clouds. This whole system of clouds and winds spins and grows. This entire cycle continues resulting in a cyclone. When the winds reach a speed of 63 mph, it is called a tropical storm, when the winds reach a speed of 119 kmph it is called a tropical cyclone or hurricane.
Source: News On Air
2) Mount Semeru
Mount Seemeru is an active volcano located in East Java, Indonesia.
- The volcano is located in the subduction zone where the Indo-Australia plate subducts under the Eurasia plate.
- The Mount Semeru is a stratovolcano. Since 1818, around 55 eruptions have been recorded in Mt Semeru.
The stratovolcano is also called a conical volcano. It is built by many layers of hardened lava. The lava of stratovolcano is highly viscous. It cools and hardens before spreading far. Also, the stratovolcano has periodic effusive eruptions. The lava from stratovolcano are is not of significant threat to humans as they are highly viscous. On the other hand, the Nyiragongo is the only dangerous stratovolcano in the world as its magma are unusually low in silica which makes the lava quite fluid. This increases the flow rate of the lava.
Source: The Hindu
Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations
3) U.P. religious conversion ordinance
The Uttar Pradesh ordinance criminalising religious conversion via marriage breaks away from a series of Supreme Court judgments.
According to the ordinance
- A marriage will be declared “null and void” if the conversion of a woman is solely for that purpose and those wishing to change their religion after marriage need to apply to the district magistrate.
- It also has a provision under which if someone returns to their original religion, it shall not be deemed a conversion.
- While the onus to prove that the conversion has not been done forcibly will lie on the person accused of the act and the convert.
- In case of contravention of the law, the ordinance says that the court shall grant appropriate compensation payable by the accused to the victim of conversion which may extend to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh in addition to the fine.
- No person shall convert, either directly or indirectly from one religion to another by use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage nor shall any person abet, convince or conspire such conversion.
- An aggrieved person, his/her parents, brother, sister, or any other person who is related to him/her by blood, marriage or adoption may lodge an FIR about such conversion.
- In cases of mass religious conversion, the registration of the social organisations will be cancelled, and strong action will be initiated against them.
- If those previously convicted under the ordinance are caught again for the same offence, they shall be subjected to double punishment.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, all the offences under this ordinance shall be cognisable and non bailable and triable by the sessions court.
Supreme Court on Marriage and Conversion
- Supreme Court in its judgment has held that faith, the State and courts have no jurisdiction over an adult’s absolute right to choose a life partner.
- India is a “free and democratic country” and any interference by the State in an adult’s right to love and marry has a “chilling effect” on freedoms.
- Intimacies of marriage lie within a core zone of privacy, which is inviolable and the choice of a life partner, whether by marriage or outside it, is part of an individual's “personhood and identity”.
'Chilling effect' on freedoms
- Any interference by the State in an adult’s right to love and marry has a “chilling effect” on freedoms.
- The absolute right of an individual to choose a life partner is not in the least affected by matters of faith.
Hadiya case judgment, 2017
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote, matters of dress and of food, of ideas and ideologies, of love and partnership are within the central aspects of identity. Neither the State nor the law can dictate a choice of partners or limit the free ability of every person to decide on these matters.
K.S. Puttuswamy or ‘privacy’ judgment, 2017
The Constitution Bench said, autonomy of the individual was the ability to make decisions in vital matters of concern to life.
Lata Singh case, 1994
- The apex court held that India is going through a “crucial transformational period” and the “Constitution will remain strong only if we accept the plurality and diversity of our culture”.
- Relatives disgruntled by the inter-religious marriage of a loved one could opt to “cut off social relations” rather than resort to violence or harassment.
Soni Gerry case, 2018
The SC warned judges from playing “super-guardians”, succumbing to “any kind of sentiment of the mother or the egotism of the father”.
Salamat Ansari-Priyanka Kharwar case of Allahabad High Court, 2020
- The right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty (Article 21).
- It also held that earlier court rulings upholding the idea of religious conversion for marriage as unacceptable are not good in law.
Source: The Hindu
Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
4) National Education Policy 2020
The National Education Policy 2020 upholds the Reservation Policy enshrined in the Constitution of India.
- Reservation Policy in India is a process of reserving certain percentage of seats (maximum 50%) for a certain class such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward classes, etc. in Government educational institutions, government jobs, etc.
- The reservation policy is an age-old policy being practiced in India.
- Its origin has its roots scattered from the ancient times when the practice of ‘untouchability’, caste system and Varna system was dominant in the society.
- Reservation enshrined in Articles 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution, allows the Indian government to set quotas to ensure any "socially and educationally backward classes of citizens" is properly represented in public life.
- Reservation is primarily given to all 4 groups: Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes.
- Originally reservation was only given to SCs and STs but was later extended to OBCs in 1987 after the implementation of the Mandal Commission report
- In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 340 of the Constitution, the President appointed a backward class commission in December 1978 under the chairmanship of B. P. Mandal.
- The commission was formed to determine the criteria for defining India’s “socially and educationally backward classes” and to recommend steps to be taken for the advancement of those classes.
- The Mandal Commission concluded that India’s population consisted of approximately 52 percent OBCs, therefore 27% government jobs should be reserved for them.
- The commission has developed eleven indicators of social, educational, and economic backwardness.
- Apart from identifying backward classes among Hindus, the Commission has also identified backward classes among non-Hindus (e.g., Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and Buddhists.
- It has generated an all-India other backward classes (OBC) list of 3,743 castes and a more underprivileged “depressed backward classes” list of 2,108 castes.
National Education Policy 2020
- Schooling to begin from the age of 3 years
The policy expands the age group of mandatory schooling from 6-14 years to 3-18 years. This new system will include 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre-schooling. The existing 10+2 structure of school curriculum will be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
- Mother tongue to be instated as medium of instruction
The National education policy 2020 has directed focus on students’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction even as it sticks to the ‘three language formula’ but also mandates that no language would be imposed on anyone. The policy indicates that wherever it is possible, the medium of instruction till at least Grade 5, but preferably up till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the mother tongue/local language/ regional language, both public and private schools, are to follow this norm.
- A Single Overarching Body of Higher Education
The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will now set up a single overarching umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. The same set of norms for regulation, accreditation, and academic standards, to be applied to both public and private higher education institutions. The Government aims to phase out the affiliation of colleges in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
- Separation between subject streams to be blurred
As per NEP 2020, the rigid separations between subjects’ stream will be done away with. Students will have the liberty to choose subjects they would like to study across streams. Vocational education to be introduced in schools from Class 6 and will include internships as well.
- The Return of the FYUP Programme and No More Dropouts
The duration of the undergraduate degree will be either 3 or 4 years. Students will also be given multiple exit options within this period. Colleges will have to grant a certificate to a student if they would like to leave after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after completing a three-year programme. An Academic Bank of Credit will be established by the Government for digitally storing academic credits earned from different Higher Educational Institutions so that these can be transferred and counted towards the final degree earned.
Source: News On Air
Topic: Health & Safety
5) CoVID-19 can enter into brain
The novel coronavirus may enter the brain of people through the nose.
- The research, noted that SARS-CoV-2 not only affects the respiratory tract but also impacts the central nervous system (CNS), resulting in neurological symptoms such as loss of smell, taste, headache, fatigue and nausea.
- The researchers from Germany examined the nasopharnyx (upper part of the throat that connects to the nasal cavity), a likely first site of viral infection and replication, and the brains of 33 patients (22 males + 11 females) who died with CoVID-19.
- The researchers found the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, the genetic material of the virus, and protein in the brain and nasopharynx.
- The team also found SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in certain types of cells within the olfactory mucous layer, where it may exploit the proximity of endothelial and nervous tissue to gain entry to the brain.
- In some patients, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was found in cells expressing markers of neurons, suggesting that olfactory sensory neurons may be infected, as well as in the brain areas that receive smell and taste signals.
- SARS-CoV-2 was also found in other areas of the nervous system, including the medulla oblongata (the primary respiratory and cardiovascular control centre of the brain).
Source: Deccan Herald
Topic: Important National Day
6) National Pollution Prevention Day
Every year, the National Pollution Prevention Day is observed on December 2 in remembrance of the unfortunate incident of Bhopal Gas Tragedy occurred in the year 1984 on the night of 2–3 December.
- Many people died due to poisonous gas Methyl Isocyanate also known as MIC.
- The day is observed to create awareness about the adverse effects of pollution on human beings and its hazardous effects on our ecosystem.
Objectives of the day
- To spread awareness on managing and controlling industrial disasters
- To prevent the pollution produced by industrial processes or human negligence
- To make people and industries aware about the importance of pollution control acts
Preventive methods taken by the Indian Legislation
- Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974
- Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act of 1977
- Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981
- Environment (Protection) Act of 1986
- Environment (Protection) Rules of 1986
- Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules of 1989
- Manufacture, Storage, Import, Export & Storage of Hazardous Micro- Organisms Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules of 1989
- Chemical Accidents (Emergency, Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules of 1996
- Bio-Medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules of 1998
- Recycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules of 1999
- Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation) Rules of 2000
- Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules of 2000
- Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules of 2000
- Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules of 2001
- Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006
- The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
- Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
- Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016
- Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016
- Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
- E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
- Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. It provides technical guidance to the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India.
Functions of CPCB
- To promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and
- To improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
Air Pollution facts
- Nine out of ten people worldwide do not breath safe air.
- Air pollution kills 7 million people every year globally, 4 million of whom die from indoor air pollution.
- A microscopic pollutant (PM 2.5) is so tiny that it can pass through mucus membrane and other protective barriers to damage lungs, heart, and brain.
- The key pollutants include particulate matter, a mix of solid and liquid droplets arising from fuel combustion, nitrogen dioxide from road traffic; ozone at ground level, caused by the reaction of sunlight with pollutants from industrial facilities and vehicle emissions; and sulphur dioxide, and invisible gas from burning fossil fuels like coal.
- Children and old persons are highly affected by air pollution.
- Air pollution is also responsible for climate change
Topic: Important International Day
7) World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is celebrated every year on December 01, to raise awareness about the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) disease.
- This disease is caused by the pandemic disease known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Due to this disease, people get exposed to vulnerable infections and diseases.
- The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care around the world.
- This year's theme for World AIDS Day is 'Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic: Resilience and Impact.'
- This theme is also a reminder that people can achieve a thing, if they make a joint effort to deliver high-quality services for treatment and prevention of HIV, to the ones who are in need.
- This pandemic disease HIV is found in the tissues and that is transmitted through blood, semen, breast milk, etc.
- This disease is a sexually transmitted disease and it can also transmit through blood transmission and other things.
- There are several symptoms of HIV and some of them include joint pain, fever, muscle ache, sore throat, weight loss, weakness, among others.
History of the Day
- World AIDS Day was first celebrated in 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, they were public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and they took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Programme on AIDS.
- After listening to this, Dr. Mann was impressed with the idea and he approved it and thus after that, World AIDS Day started celebrating on December 1.
Topic: Report & Indices
8) World Malaria Report, 2020
The World Malaria Report, 2020 was released by the World Health Organisation. World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25.
- Malaria is a life-threatening disease.
- It's typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite.
- When this mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream.
- Once the parasites are inside your body, they travel to the liver, where they mature. After several days, the mature parasites enter the bloodstream and begin to infect red blood cells.
Note: An infected mother can also pass the disease to her baby at birth. This is known as congenital malaria.
- The World malaria report, published annually, provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends.
- The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance.
- It also includes dedicated chapters on malaria elimination and on key threats in the fight against malaria.
- The report is based on information received from national malaria control programmes and other partners in endemic countries.
Key Findings of report
- As per the report, India recorded the largest reduction in malaria cases in South East Asia.
- The case count has reduced from 20 million in 2000 to around 5.6 million in 2019.
- The report also stated that the global malaria case count has remained unchanged for the past four years. In 2019, the number was around 229 million.
- According to the world Malaria report, 2020 prepared by the World Health Organisation, India was one among the 11 highest Malaria burden countries in the world.
- India is the largest contributor of Malaria cases in the south-east Asia region. Around 88% of Malaria cases in the region are from India.
- India has reduced the Malaria cases by 21% between 2018 and 2019.
- India has also reduced the malarial deaths in the past two years. In 2019, the number of deaths due to malaria in India was 409,000. It was 411,000 in 2018. This has made India one of the largest contributors to drop in malaria cases in the south-east Asia region.
- The highest Malaria burden countries were Cameron, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Mali, Ghana, India, Nigeria and United Republic of Tanzania. These countries accounted to 70% of global estimated Malaria burden.
- African region accounted to more than 90% of overall malarial disease burden. However, since 2000 the number of Malaria deaths in the continent has reduced by 44%.
- The progress against malaria has not increased according to the WHO report.
- This is mainly due to the gaps in access to life saving tools and covid-19 pandemic. This is also due to shortfall in funding at both National and international levels.
- The malarial funding in 2019 reached 3 billion USD as against the target of 5.6 billion USD.
Source: The Hindu
Topic: Defence & Safety
9) Defence Geo Informatics Research
The Defence Research Development Organization creates new lab for focused research along China, Pakistan borders.
- The two new labs merged by the government are the Manali-headquartered Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) and the other is the Delhi-based Defence Terrain Research Establishment.
- This new lab will focus on researching terrain and avalanches along the borders with China from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh and Pakistan.
Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE)
SASE is a laboratory of the Defence Research & Development Organization. Located near Manali, Himachal Pradesh its primary function is research in the field of snow and avalanches to provide avalanche control measures and forecasting support to Indian Armed Forces.
Defence Terrain Research Establishment
- It was established in 1954. The primary function of the laboratory was to evaluate the deadlines and assess mobility potential of inaccessible areas.
- It developed reliable systems that predicted current characteristics various types of triangles based on modern techniques.
- Also the laboratory developed infrastructure with the latest techniques related and Research.
- The mission of the laboratory was to create and update Terrain intelligence reports and thematic maps for the users.
- ANURAG: Advanced Numerical Research and Analysis Group located in Hyderabad Researches on Computational System
- ASL: Advanced Systems Laboratory located in Hyderabad Researches on Missiles and Strategic Systems
- ADRDE: Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment located in Agra Researches on Parachutes and Aerial Systems
- ADE: Aeronautical Development Establishment located In Bengaluru researches on Aeronautics
- ARDE: Armament Research and Development Establishment located in Pune Researches Armaments
- CABS: Centre for Airborne Systems located in Bengaluru Researches Airborne Systems
- CAIR: Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics located in Bengaluru researches on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
- CFEED: Centre for Fire, Explosives and Environment Safety located in Delhi researches on Explosives
- CHESS: Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences located in Hyderabad researches High Energy Weapons
- CVRDE: Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment located in Chennai Researches Combat Vehicles
- DARE: Defence Avionics Research Establishment Located in Bengaluru Researches Avionics
- DEBEL: Difference Bioengineering and Electro Medical Laboratory located in Bengaluru Researches Bioengineering
- DEAL: Defence Electronics Application Laboratory located in Dehradun researches Electronics and Communication Systems
- DFRL: Defence Food Research Laboratory located in Mysore researches food
- DIBER: Defence Institute of Bioenergy Research Located in Haldwani researches Bioenergy
- DIHAR: Defence Institute of Higher Altitude Research located in Leh researches High Altitude Agro Animal Research
- DIPAS: Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences located in Delhi researches Physiology
- DIPR: Defence Institute of Psychological Research located In Delhi researches Psychology
- DL: Defence Laboratory Located in Jodhpur researches Camouflaging and Isotopes
- DLRL: Defence Electronics Research Laboratory located in Hyderabad researches Electronic Warfare
- DMSRDE: Defence Materials and Stores Research and Development Establishment located In Kanpur researches Textiles, Polymers and Composites
- DMRL: Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory Located in Hyderabad researches Metallurgy
- DRDE: Defence Research and Development Establishment located In Gwalior researches Chemical and Biological Warfare
- DRDL: Defence Research and Development Laboratory located in Hyderabad researches Missile and Strategic Systems
- DRL:Defence Research Laboratory researches Health And Hygiene
- GTRE: Gas Turbine Research Establishment located In Bangalore
- HEMRL: High Energy Materials Research Laboratory located in Pune researches High Energy Materials
- INMAS: Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences located in Delhi
- JCB: Joint Cipher Bureau located in Delhi researches Cipher System
- LASTEC: Laser Science and Technology Centre located In Delhi researches Laser Technology
- LRDE: Microwave Tube Research and Development Centre located In Bengaluru researches Microwave Devices
- MTRDC: Naval Materials Research Laboratory located In Ambernath researches Naval Materials
- NPOL: Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory located In Kochi researches Sonar Systems
- NSTL: Naval Science and Technological Laboratory located In Visakhapatnam researches Underwater Weapons
- PXE: Proof and Experimental Establishment located In Balasore researches Armament Testing
- RCI: Research Centre Imarat located in Hyderabad researches Missile and Strategic Systems
- R&DE: Research and Development Establishment located in Pune Researches Engineering Systems and Weapon Platforms
- SAG: Scientific Analysis Group located in Delhi researches Cryptology
- SASE: Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment located in Chandigarh researches Snow and Avalanche
- SSPL: Solid State Physics Laboratory located in Delhi researches Solid State and Semiconductor Materials
- TBRL: Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory Located in Chandigarh researches Palace Takes
- VRDE: Vehicles Research and Development Establishment located in Ahmednagar researches Wheeled Vehicles
Source: Zee News