Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 19 February 2020

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 1:

1. Kambala

2. Swachh Iconic Places.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).

2. Kangaroo mother care (KMC).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Aditya- L1 mission.

2. Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Ra’ad-II missile.

2. Kala Kumbh.

3. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered:Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Kambala

What to study?

For Prelims: Key facts on Kambala.

For Mains: Kambala- For and Against issues.

Context: After Srinivas Gowda created a storm by covering 100 metres in 9.55 seconds recently, another Kambala runner Nishant Shetty has now overtaken the former by completing the same distance in 9.51 seconds.

What is Kambala?

  • It is traditional slush track buffalo race held annually in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area.
  • Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala.
  • The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March.

kambala

Why it has become controversial?

Over the years, it has however become an organised sport with animal rights activists claiming that the buffaloes run in the race due to fear of being beaten, which the organizers dismiss, saying no violence is involved and that several modifications had been made to ensure that it is an animal friendly event.

  • Karnataka High Court had stayed this sport in view of Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu. And later the Govt. of Karnataka had passed an ordinance to exempt this sport from the ban.

Arguments in favour of this sport:

  1. The sport is rooted in celebrating and honouring agriculture. It is celebrated as a festival of expressing gratitude to the various forces of nature that give us food.
  2. Some agriculturists race their buffaloes as a means to thank god for protecting their animals from disease.
  3. At the most fundamental level of humanity, sports like these are great outlets for channelising energy, which is expressed in promoting competitive spirit and forging and strengthening community relationships.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Urbanisation and related issues.

Swachh Iconic Places

What to study?

For Prelims: SIP and SBM- key features, brief overview of places chosen for SIP project.

For Mains: SBM- features, significance, challenges and sub- missions.

Context: The 3rd Annual Review meeting on Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) was held recently at Baidyanath Dham Deoghar, Jharkhand.

About Swachh Iconic Places (SIP):

What is it? It is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission. Aims to take iconic places and their surroundings to higher standards of Swachhata, so that all visitors benefit and also take away home the message of cleanliness. Implementation of the project: It is a collaborative project with three other central Ministries: Urban Development, Culture, Tourism; all levels in the concerned States and more importantly, Public Sector and Private companies as partners.

my_clean_india

Initiatives taken up under Swachh Iconic Places initiative: 

Improved sewage infrastructure, installation of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), drainage facilities, improved sanitation facilities, water vending machines, solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) set-up, structure restoration, lighting arrangements, beautification of parks, roads maintenance, better transport facilities in approach and access areas besides at the main sites.

Places selected:

Phase I iconic places are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple, Kamakhya Temple, MaikarnikaGhat, Meenakshi Temple, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Shree Jagannath Temple, The Taj Mahal and Tirupati Temple.

Phase II included Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mahakaleshwar Temple, Charminar, Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assissi, Kalady, Gommateswara, BaidyanathDham, Gaya Tirth and Somnath temple.

Phase III includes RaghavendraSwamy Temple (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh); Hazardwari Palace (Murshidabad, West Bengal); Brahma Sarovar Temple (Kurukshetra, Haryana); VidurKuti (Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh); Mana village (Chamoli, Uttarakhand); Pangong Lake (Leh-Ladakh, J&K); Nagvasuki Temple (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh); ImaKeithal/market (Imphal, Manipur); Sabarimala Temple (Kerala); and Kanvashram (Uttarakhand).

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Kangaroo mother care (KMC)

What to study?

For Prelims: Features of KMC.

For Mains: Need for, it’s significance and relevance for India.

Context: In News very often.

About Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC):

It is the intervention where babies are placed in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers and exclusively breast fed. It has been recommended worldwide for stable low-birthweight newborns. WHO recommends that it be continued till baby attains a weight of 2.5 kg or till babies wriggle out.

kangaroo_mother_care

KMC has 3 parts:

(1) Skin-to-skin contact

The more skin-to-skin contact between the baby’s front and the mother’s chest, the better. For comfort a small nappy is fine, and for warmth a cap may be used. Skin-to-skin contact should ideally start at birth, but is helpful at any time. It should ideally be continuous day and night, but even shorter periods are still helpful.

(2) Exclusive breastfeeding

Direct suckling by the baby from the breasts is all that is needed for most mothers and babies.  For very premature babies, expressing milk and addition of some essential nutrients may be needed.

(3) Support to the dyad

Whatever is needed for the medical, emotional, psychological and physical well being of mother and baby is provided to them, without separating them. This might mean adding ultramodern equipment if available, or purely intense psychological support in contexts with no resources. It can even mean going home very early.

 Significance:

  1. The results recently published in The Lancet show that kangaroo mother care improved survival by 30% and 25%, in babies till 28 days and six months of age, respectively. Such care for all infants with low birthweight could substantially reduce neonatal and infant mortality.
  2. Kangaroo mother care benefits are much beyond preventing hypothermia. The care improves exclusive breast feeding, duration of breast feeding, and also reduces infections.
  3. It also promotes growth and development of the child and increases mother child bonding, and also reduces stress in both mother and baby.

Relevance for India:

About 97% of the world’s low-weight babies are born in developing countries, and India accounts for about 40% of this, implying an urgent need of effective interventions. Therefore, it is imperative that such care is initiated at home in countries such as India. Kangaroo mother care has the potential to prevent thousands of neonatal deaths in our country if 90% coverage can be achieved.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC)

What to study?

For Prelims: CVC- eligibility, appointment and removal.

For Mains: Corruption- issues, challenges and ways to prevent.

 Context: Sanjay Kothari, Secretary to the President of India, will be the next Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).

The post of CVC has been vacant since June 2019.

About CVC:

It is the apex vigilance institution created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.

It submits its report to the President of India.

The Commission was set up on the recommendation of the K.Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption.

Composition:

Consists of central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.

Appointment:

They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha (if there is no LoP then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha).

Term:

Their term is 4 years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Removal:

The Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought to be removed.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Aditya- L1 mission

What to study?

For prelims and mains: Key features, objectives and significance of the mission.

Context: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to send its first scientific expedition to study the Sun. Named Aditya-L1, the mission, expected to be launched early next year, will observe the Sun from a close distance, and try to obtain information about its atmosphere and magnetic field.

About Aditya- L1 mission:

What is it? It is India’s first solar mission. It will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in XL configuration. The space-based observatory will have seven payloads (instruments) on board to study the Sun’s corona, solar emissions, solar winds and flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), and will carry out round-the-clock imaging of the Sun.

Objectives:

  1. Study the sun’s outer most layers, the corona and the chromospheres.
  2. Collect data about coronal mass ejection, which will also yield information for space weather prediction.

Significance of the mission:

The data from Aditya mission will be immensely helpful in discriminating between different models for the origin of solar storms and also for constraining how the storms evolve and what path they take through the interplanetary space from the Sun to the Earth.

Position of the satellite:

In order to get the best science from the sun, continuous viewing of the sun is preferred without any occultation/ eclipses and hence, Aditya- L1 satellite will be placed in the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the sun-earth system.

What are Lagrangian points and halo orbit?

Lagrangian points are the locations in space where the combined gravitational pull of two large masses roughly balance each other. Any small mass placed at that location will remain at constant distances relative to the large masses. There are five such points in Sun-Earth system and they are denoted as L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5. A halo orbit is a periodic three-dimensional orbit near the L1, L2 or L3.

Why do we study the sun and the solar wind?

The sun is the only star we can study up close. By studying this star we live with, we learn more about stars throughout the universe. The sun is a source of light and heat for life on Earth. The more we know about it, the more we can understand how life on Earth developed. It is the source of the solar wind; a flow of ionized gases from the sun that streams past Earth at speeds of more than 500 km per second (a million miles per hour). Disturbances in the solar wind shake Earth’s magnetic field and pump energy into the radiation belts, part of a set of changes in near-Earth space known as space weather. Effects On satellites: Space weather can change the orbits of satellites, shorten their lifetimes, or interfere with onboard electronics. The more we learn about what causes space weather – and how to predict it – the more we can protect the satellites we depend on. Safety and preparedness: The solar wind dominates the space environment. As we send spacecraft and astronauts further and further from home, we must understand this space environment just as early seafarers needed to understand the ocean.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Disaster management.

Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED)

What to study?

For Prelims: NEED- features and geographical location.

For Mains: Need for, significance, challenges involved and issues of feasibility.

Norway

Context: A mammoth Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED) has been proposed to protect millions of people and important economic regions of 15 Northern European Countries from rising seas as a result of climate change.

About the proposed dam:

Two dams of a combined length of 637 km will be constructed.

  • First dam will be built between northern Scotland and western Norway, measuring 476 km and with an average depth of 121 m and maximum depth of 321 m.
  • The second dam will be built between France and southwestern England, of length 161 km, and average depth of 85 m and maximum depth of 102 m.

Costs involved:

Researchers have estimated the total costs associated with NEED at between €250 billion and €550 billion. If construction is spread over a 20-year period, this will work out to an annual expense of around 0.07%-0.16% of the GDP of the 15 Northern European countries that will be involved.

Implications:

The construction will “heavily impact” marine and terrestrial ecosystems inside and outside the enclosure, will have social and cultural implications, and affect tourism and fisheries.

Need for such measures:

  • Such protection efforts are required if mitigation efforts fail to limit sea level rise.
  • And, separating the North and Baltic Seas from the Atlantic Ocean may be the “most viable option” to protect Northern Europe against unstoppable sea level rise (SLR).
  • While NEED may appear to be “overwhelming” and “unrealistic”, it could be “potentially favourable” financially and in scale when compared with alternative solutions to fight SLR.

Way ahead:

Such mega-enclosures could potentially be considered in other regions of the world, including the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Irish Sea, and the Red Sea.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


 

Ra’ad-II missile:

Context: Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of the air launched nuclear-capable cruise missile Ra’ad-II.

Key facts:

  • It has a range of 600 km.
  • The system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance and navigation systems ensuring engagement of targets with high precision.

Pakistan’s development of the Ra’ad could be seen as an attempt to match India’s BrahMos cruise missile.

 

Kala Kumbh:

  • With an objective to promote Geographical Indication (GI) crafts and heritage of India, the Ministry of Textiles is organizing Kala Kumbh – Handicrafts Thematic Exhibition in various parts of the country through the Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).
  • The exhibitions are sponsored by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). EPCH was established under Companies Act in the year 1986-87 and is a non-profit organisation, with an object to promote, support, protect, maintain and increase the export of handicrafts.

 

Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses:

Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses has been renamed as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses.

  • IDSA is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Defense.
  • Dedicated to objective research and policy-relevant studies on all aspects of defense and security.