1) Karenia brevis was sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following correctly explains it?
- It is a light pollution identified throughout the globe recently
- It is a new plant species discovered in Amazon emitting CO2 on large scale
- It is an algae that cause red tide in Florida coast
- It is a new frog specis discovered in Western Ghats
Answer – It is an algae that cause red tide in Florida coast
2) Consider the following statements regarding Governor’s pardoning powers:
- Governor can pardon, suspend, remit or commute the death sentence.
- The Governor cannot grant pardon, reprieve or commutation in respect to punishment or sentence by a court-martial.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Answer – 2 only
3) Consider the following statements regarding Hunger Hotspots Report
- It is jointly released by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP)
- According to the report, India is one of the Hunger Hotspot
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Answer – 1 Only
Prelims Specific News Items –
1) Mitra Shakti –
8th Edition of the “India Sri Lanka bilateral joint Exercise” called Mitra Shakti will be conducted from October 4 to October 15, 2021 at Combat Training School, Ampara in Sri Lanka.
2) “Global Financial Stability Report” –
The International Monetary Funds (IMF) has released its report called “Global Financial Stability Report”, highlighting how digital currency assets brings in financial stability challenges.
3) What is Solar Conjunction?
As per NASA, during the Mars solar conjunction period, Earth and the MARS will be on opposite sides of the Sun.
This position of both the planets will affect any communication attempt made by NASA for connecting with its Mars missions because Sun radiates hot & ionized gas from its corona.
American Space Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently decided to stop sending active commands to its missions on the MARS for next few weeks till the time “Mars solar conjunction” remains in effect.
4) “SACRED portal” –
- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment operationalised the “SACRED portal” on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons on October 1, 2021. Portal has been developed in order to provide a platform for senior citizens in India seeking employment opportunities.
- The portal developed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is named Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED).
Important news :-
1) Gaming disorder increases during pandemic –
Side Effects – Sudden behaviour changes in their teenager — insomnia, withdrawal from social contacts, academic failure, and extreme anger and irritability.
NIMHANS – National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences
SHUT clinic – Service for Healthy Use of Technology.
What can be done –
- A bare minimum, statutory warnings and mandatory breaks should be enforced to prevent binge gaming. Among those who are just beginning excessive use, enforcing breaks after a stipulated time will improve control and prevent bingeing.
- Among those already addicted, it may not help, as they will just log on a different platform or using a different user name,”. Media literacy in schools and digital fasting among families are also important steps to combat the disorder.
2) Chola inscriptions detail qualifications for civic officials –
Chola-era inscriptions bear testimony to the qualifications required for members of the village administrative council.
The inscriptions at Thenneri village in Kancheepuram district also shed light on how farm produce was taxed.
The inscriptions of Uthiramerur in Kancheepuram district that dwells upon ‘Kudavolai’ — a system to elect members to annual committee (‘variyam’), garden committee, tank committee and other committees for 30 wards — are well-known. But very little is known about the Thenneri inscriptions laying down qualifications for candidates to village administrative committees (‘perumkuri sabai’).
The Kanthaleeswarar temple and the Abathsaheswarar temple are on the banks of the 3.80-km-long Thenneri. They were constructed by Sembian Mahadevi, the grandmother of Chola King Rajaraja.
Que. What were the qualifications necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in the Chola empire?
Answer: The following qualifications were necessary to become a member of a committee of the sabha in the Chola empire:
- One should be the owner of the land from which land revenue is collected.
- One should have his own home.
- One should be aged between 35 years to 70 years of age.
- One should have knowledge of the Vedas.
- One should be honest and well-versed in administrative matters.
- One should not have been a member of any committee in the last three years.
- One should submit his accounts and also of his relatives, to contest the elections.
3) NGRI proposes landslip, flood warning system –
The Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research- National Geophysical Research Institute (CSIR-NGRI) has launched an ‘Environmental Seismology’ group to develop a ‘Landslide and Flood Early Warning System’ for the Himalayan region based on real-time monitoring with dense seismological networks, coupled with satellite data, numerical modeling and geomorphic analysis.
Division of the Himalayas from West to East –
1) The Kashmir /Punjab/ Himachal Himalayas – Kashmir Himalayas lies between the Indus River and Sutlej. A significant portion of the Himalayas lies in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This is also known as Punjab Himalayas.
In Jammu and Kashmir region: It is characterized by high snow-covered peaks, deep valleys, interlocked spurs, and High Mountain passes. The range stretches for 700km in length and 500 km in width. It has a height of 3000 m with a large number of glaciers. The Ladakh region of the Kashmir Himalayas is dominated by cold desert conditions. The Kashmir valley which belongs to this division is surrounded by the Greater Himalayas and the Lesser Himalayas. The Karewa soil is found here and this area is famous for the saffron and other dry fruit cultivation.
Important passes of the Kashmir Himalayas: Pir panjal, Banihal, Zoji La, Burzil, Khardungla, Pensi- La, Saser- La, Lanak- La, Jara- La, Tasaka-La, Umasi-La and Qara-Tagh-La. The important snow-capped peaks are Nanda Devi, Trisul, Nunkun, Kamath and Nanga-Parbat
In the Himachal Pradesh Region: All the three ranges- the greater, the lesser, and the outer Himalayas are well represented in this region. The northern slopes of the Himachal Himalayas are covered with thick forests, plains, and lakes. The southern slopes are rugged with forest-clad. The Kangra valley, Kullu- Manali lies here. These areas are highly productive and well known for orchards and scenic beauty. Dalhousie, Shimla, Chamba, Kullu- Manali and Dharam sala is the important hill station in this region. The important passes are Rohtang pass, Bara-Lacha, Shipki La.
2) The Kumaun Himalayas
This division lies between the Satluj and Kali River. The highest peak in this division is Nanda Devi. Important peaks in this region are Nanda Devi, Trisul, Kedarnath, Dunagiri, Kamet, Badrinath, Jaonli, Gangotri, and Bandarpunch. Pindari, Gangotri, and Milam are important glaciers in this division. The major hill stations are Mussorie, Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora, and Bageshwar. The important passes are Thaga La, Muling La, Mana, Mangsha Dhura, and Lipu Lekh.
3) The Central / Nepal Himalayas
This division stretches from the Kali River to the Tista River. The major part of it lies in Nepal except for the extreme eastern part- Sikkim Himalayas. The important peaks are the Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Dhaula Giri, Annapurna, Manaslu, and Gosainath. Nathu La and Jelep La are the important passes in this region.
4) The Assam/ Eastern Himalayas
This division lies between Tista and the Brahmaputra River (Dihang). It occupies the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India and Bhutan. On the southern border of Arunachal Pradesh, it takes a southerly turn, and ranges are arranged in North-South direction passing through Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura called Purvanchal. The Purvanchal is joined by Meghalaya Plateau in the west and its extension of the Myanmar mountain chain continues to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Archipelago of Indonesia.
The Himalayas rise very rapidly in the plains of Assam and narrow at the foothills of Shiwaliks. It comprises of many hills called Aka hills, Dafla hills, Miri hills, Abor hills, Mishmi hills, and Namcha Barwa. The important hills of eastern Himalayas are Pakai bum, Manipur hills, Blue Mountain, Tripura range, and Brail range. The important passes in this region are Bomdi La, Yonggyap, Diphu, Pangsau, Tse La, Dihang, Debang, Tunga, and Bom La.
4) First-ever retreat ceremony at Suchetgarh –
With the ceasefire between India and Pakistan holding for eight months, the first-ever
retreat ceremony at the Octroi Post on the International Border (IB) in Jammu’s Suchetgarh is a major push to promote border tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
5) British-era bungalow turns Brahmaputra heritage centre –
- A British-era bungalow on a hillock that used to be the 17th century military office of the Ahom rulers has been converted into a heritage centre depicting life along the Brahmaputra River.
- Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on October 3 inaugurated the Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre on Guwahati’s Barphukanar Tila, meaning Barphukan’s Hillock. A Scottish-type wooden bungalow standing since 1850 was renovated and converted into the heritage centre.
- Barpukhan was a post equivalent to Governor General created by Ahom king Pratap Simha or Susengpha (1603-1641). The hillock by the Brahmaputra, mentioned in ancient scriptures as Mandrachal, was from where Ahom General Lachit Barpukhan launched the Battle of Saraighat in March 1671 to inflict the most crushing defeat on the Mughals.
- Saraighat is regarded as the “greatest naval battle ever fought in a river”.
6) Papers’ expose top world leaders –
More than a dozen heads of state and government, including the King of Jordan and the Czech Prime Minister, have hidden millions in offshore tax havens, according to investigation published on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) media consortium.
The so-called “Pandora Papers” investigation — involving some 600 journalists from media, including The Washington Post, the BBC and The Guardian — is based on the leak of some 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services companies around the world.
Some 35 current and former leaders are featured in the documents analyzed by the ICIJ — facing allegations ranging from corruption to money laundering and global tax avoidance.
The “Pandora Papers” are the latest in a series of mass ICIJ leaks of financial documents that started with LuxLeaks in 2014, and was followed by the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers and FinCen.
The documents behind the latest investigation are drawn from financial services companies in countries including the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Belize, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Switzerland.
The Panama Papers were based on the data of a Panama based law firm called Mossack Fonseca.
Editorial – Important Articles
1) Reimagining food systems with lessons from India –
The UN Secretary-General conveyed the Food Systems Summit with the aim of maximizing the co-benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges of climate change.
The Summit aimed to provide a platform for ambitious new actions, innovative solutions, and plans to transform food systems and leverage these shifts to deliver progress across all of the SDGs. It is envisioned that the Summit Following objectives and outcomes including to:
- Raise awareness of food systems’ centrality to the entire sustainable development agenda, and the urgency of transforming food systems, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic;
- Align stakeholders around a common understanding and narrative of a food system framework as a foundation for concerted action, making food and food systems a more widespread issue for advocacy and action to achieve the 2030 Agenda;
- Recognize the need for inclusivity and innovation in food systems governance and action;
- Motivate and empower stakeholders who support food systems transformation through the development of improved tools, measurement, and analysis; and
- Catalyze, accelerate, and enlarge bold action for the transformation of food systems by all communities, including countries, cities, companies, civil society, citizens, and food producers.
Why the Food Systems Summit and what is the expectation from its outcome?
Global food systems — the networks that are needed to produce and transform food, and ensure it reaches consumers, or the paths that food travels from production to plate — are in a state of crisis in many countries affecting the poor and the vulnerable. The flaws in food systems affect us all, but most of all they are affecting 811 million people in the world who go to bed hungry each night.
The debate and response focused on five identified action tracks namely:
- Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all;
- Shift to sustainable consumption patterns;
- Boost nature-positive production;
- Advance equitable livelihoods, and
- Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress.
2) NS2, a win-win proposition?
While the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, the Iran-India undersea pipeline, and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline remain pipe dreams, the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) running from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea is now complete despite controversy. NS2’s manufacture began in 2016 and construction in 2018. The 1,224 km, $11-billion underwater link is the shortest, most economical and environment-friendly route to double Russia’s gas export to Germany. The pipeline offers stability to the strategically important energy trade because Russia’s dependence on the European Union and vice-versa are increased and this should promote realism.
Gazprom (GAZP.MM) said on Friday it had finished construction of the Nord Stream 2 subsea pipeline to Germany, which could allow Russia to double lucrative gas exports to Europe via the Baltic Sea while bypassing and cutting off a source of income for political foe Ukraine.
Although German regulators have yet to clear gas flows, completion of the construction stage means Russia has boosted its energy exporting capabilities towards Europe both from the north in the Baltic Sea and from the south in the Black Sea, where it operates the TurkStream pipeline.
The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the North and Central European Plain.
The bordering countries of Black Sea are: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.