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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 15 November 2021

 

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically. 

 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Rani Kamlapati.

2. Birsa Munda.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Norovirus. 

2. Automatic job authorisation for spouses of H-1B visa holders.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is Punjab Land Preservation Act of 1900, how it was tweaked? 

2. What are Landraces?

3. NASA’s DART mission. 

 

Relevant Facts for Prelims:

1. Kamo’oalewa. 

2. Devasahayam.


 

Rani Kamlapati:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

 

Context:

The name of Bhopal’s Habibganj railway station has been changed to Rani Kamlapati station.

  • The station has been redeveloped at a cost of around Rs 100 crore with private participation — a first such large-scale PPP model in station redevelopment in India, in the works for the past few years.

current affairs

 

Who was Rani Kamlapati?

  • Rani Kamlapati was the widow of Nizam Shah, whose Gond dynasty ruled the then Ginnorgarh, 55 km from Bhopal, in the 18th century.
  • Kampalati is known to have shown great bravery in facing aggressors during her reign after her husband was killed.
  • Kamlapati was the “last Hindu queen of Bhopal”, who did great work in the area of water management and set up parks and temples.

current affairs

 

Who are Gonds?

The Gond are one of the largest tribal communities in India, spread across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Odisha.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that change of station names is entirely a state subject even though Railways belong to the Union government? But, what is the procedure to be followed? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who was Rani Kamlapati?
  2. Gond Tribe.
  3. Different tribes of India.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Rani Kamlapati. 

Sources: Indian Express Explained.

Birsa Munda:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

 

Context:

Birth anniversary of Birsa Munda was observed on November 15th.

  • In recognition of his impact on the national movement, the state of Jharkhand was created on his birth anniversary in 2000.

 

Who was he?

Bisra Munda was a folk hero and a tribal freedom fighter hailing from the Munda tribe. He was a spearhead behind the Millenarian movement that arose in the Bihar and Jharkhand belt in the 19th century under British colonisation. He is also known as ‘Dharti Abba’ or the Earth Father.

  • Born on 15th November 1875.

 

Birsait:

Bisra wanted to reform the tribal society and so, he urged them to let go of beliefs in witchcraft and instead, stressed on the importance of prayer, staying away from alcohol, having faith in God and observing a code of conduct. Based on these, he started the faith of ‘Birsait’.

current affairs

 

Achievements:

Bisra started a movement called ‘Ulgulan’, or ‘The Great Tumult’. His struggle against the exploitation and discrimination against tribals led to a big hit against the British government in the form of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act being passed in 1908. The act restricted the passing on of land from the tribal people to non-tribals.

 

Munda Rebellion:

  • It is one of the most important tribal movements.
  • It was led by Birsa Munda in the south of Ranchi in 1899-1900.

 

The movement identified following forces as the cause of the misery the Mundas were suffering:

  1. The land policies of the British were destroying their traditional land system.
  2. Hindu landlords and moneylenders were taking over their land.
  3. Missionaries were criticising their traditional culture.

 

Significance of Munda Rebellion:

  • It forced the colonial government to introduce laws so that the land of the tribals could not be easily taken over by dikus (Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908).
  • It showed that the tribal people had the capacity to protest against injustice and express their anger against colonial rule.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Where was Birsa Munda born?
  2. What is Ulgulan?
  3. Overview of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Birsa Munda and his key contributions to India’s freedom struggle.

Sources: PIB.

Norovirus:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

At least 13 people have been found infected with Norovirus in Kerala’s Wayanad district. The state government has asked people to remain vigilant, and stepped up measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is a bug similar to the diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus.

  • It is a group of viruses that causes gastrointestinal illness.
  • It is the most common pathogen implicated in outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), according to the World Health Organization.

 

Symptoms:

Initial symptoms of Norovirus are vomiting and/or diarrhoea, which show up one or two days after exposure to the virus. Patients also feel nauseous, and suffer from abdominal pain, fever, headaches and bodyaches. In extreme cases, loss of fluids could lead to dehydration.

current affairs

 

Spread:

  • Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.
  • Norovirus is highly contagious, and can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces. The primary route is oral-faecal. One may get infected multiple times as the virus has different strains.
  • Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can heat up to 60°C. Therefore, merely steaming food or chlorinating water does not kill the virus. The virus can also survive many common hand sanitisers.

 

What is the treatment for Norovirus?

The disease is self-limiting — the infection, even though it takes a lot out of the patient, normally lasts only two or three days, and most individuals who are not very young, very old, or malnourished can ride it out with sufficient rest and hydration.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Norovirus.
  2. The disease.
  3. Spread.
  4. Symptoms.
  5. Causes.
  6. Treatment.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Norovirus.

Sources: Indian Express.

Automatic job authorisation for spouses of H-1B visa holders:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

 H-1B visa holders

Context:

The United States has agreed to provide automatic work authorisation permits to the spouses of H-1B visa holders — a move that is likely to benefit thousands of Indian professionals based in the US.

  • As per the latest amendments, while L-1 spouses will be given the extension without applying for it, H-4 visa holders will still have to apply for the extension after their employment permit expires.

 

Significance of the move:

This policy amendment is likely to be particularly beneficial for Indian women whose spouses hold H-1B or L-1 visas, as they will now be allowed up to 180 days auto extension on work authorization.

 

Need for:

The American Immigration Lawyers’ Association had filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of immigrant spouses, many of whom have lost their jobs due to long processing delays for work authorization.

 

H-4 and L2 visas: What’s the difference?

An H-4 visa is issued to the immediate family members (spouse and children under the age of 21) of H-1B visa holders. Over 94 per cent of H4 visa holders are women, and of these, around 93 per cent are from India.

L-1 visas are non-immigrant visas that are valid for a relatively short time. With this visa, multinationals are able to shift foreign employees to their US offices for specialised positions on a temporary basis. The dependent spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age of an L-1 visa holder are issued L-2 visas to enter the United States. L2 visa holders can acquire EAD (Employment Authorisation Documents) to find employment.

 

What are H-1B work visas?

  • In 1952, after the US started expanding its presence in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, it felt the need to hire quality workers who could help the country achieve innovation in these areas at reasonable costs. The need to hire workers paved way for the introduction of the H-1 work visa system in US.
  • This work visa system was further subdivided into H-1B, H-2B, L1, O1, and E1 visas, depending on the qualification required and the area for which workers were sought.
  • Of these, the H-1B visa remains the most popular due to the relatively better wage chance it offers.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between H1B, F1 and M1 Visas.
  2. Difference between an NRI and an OCI cardholder.
  3. When OCI and PIO were merged?
  4. The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 grants citizenship to?
  5. Constitutional provisions related to citizenship in India.

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of recent changes in US visa rules on Indian students in the US.

Sources: the Hindu.

What is Punjab Land Preservation Act of 1900, how it was tweaked?

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

 

Context:

The Punjab Land Preservation Act was enacted by the then government of Punjab in 1900. Through the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019, the state government has proposed many changes.

 

Now, what’s the issue?

The original law provided for the conservation of subsoil water and/or prevention of erosion in areas found to be subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion.

  • As per Section 3 of the original act, the government has powers to bring any area ‘subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion’ under the ambit of the PLPA through a notification.
  • But, a new section- Section 3A, has been inserted into the Bill to exclude certain areas from the ambit of the Act.

 

What are the concerns?

  • Under its provisions, the PLPA won’t apply to ‘the lands included in the final development plans, any other town improvement plans or schemes’ published under the provisions of many laws like Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority Act, 2017.
  • Environmentalists feel that the latest move by the government has exposed thousands of acres land falling on the hills and foothills of Aravallis, which cover over 26,000 acres in Gurgaon and Faridabad districts, to mining and real estate development.

 

Need for conservation:

According to a report in May 2019 by the Central Ground Water Board under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, 105 out of 138 blocks are in the dark zone. At current rates of depletion, good quality water in the first aquifer up to a depth of 100 m shall be exhausted in 10 years, and the entire subsurface water resource could be finished in the next 22 years.

 

Insta Curious:

Last year, the Punjab Cabinet approved a law regarding shamlat land. What is Shamlat land? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the law.
  2. Key provisions.
  3. Proposed amendments.
  4. About Aravalis.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with the proposed amendments.

Sources: Indian Express.

What are Landraces?

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country.

 

Context:

Among the winners of this year’s Padma awards is Rahibai Popere, popularly known as Seedmother, from Akole taluka of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.

  • Her Padma Shri is a recognition of her work that has helped save hundreds of landraces (wild varieties of commonly grown crops) at the village level.

 

What are landraces?

Landraces refer to naturally occurring variants of commonly cultivated crops. These are as opposed to commercially grown crops, which are developed by selective breeding (hybrids) or through genetic engineering to express a certain trait over others.

 

Impact of selection and breeding on landraces:

Biodiversity allows a natural mechanism for crops to develop traits to face challenging situations. However, given the large-scale human interference in crop selection, that ability is now lost in most commercial crops.

  • Crop improvement through selection and breeding over several decades has narrowed the genetic base of most crops.

 

Need for and significance of landraces:

Amid the threat of climate change, a challenge before scientists and policymakers is to develop varieties that can withstand both abiotic and biotic stresses.

  • Naturally occurring landraces have a large pool of still untapped genetic material, which can provide solutions.
  • Genetic diversity is nature’s survival mechanism. The wider the gene pool, the more the chance of developing a trait that can help in surviving extreme climate events.

 

Way ahead:

Much remains to be understood about the germplasms of the landraces. Research is in the early stages. It is necessary to understand how these landraces can contribute to climate-resilient agriculture; nutritional profiling too can hold the key to fighting deficiencies, as many landraces are richer in nutrients than commercially grown variants.

Sources: Indian Express.

NASA’s DART mission:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

On November 24, at around 11.50 am (IST), NASA will launch the agency’s first planetary defense test mission named the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

  • The spacecraft will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

 

About DART Mission:

  • The main aim of the mission is to test the newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and change its course.
  • DART is a low-cost spacecraft, weighing around 610 kg at launch and 550 kg during impact.
  • It also carries about 10 kg of xenon which will be used to demonstrate the agency’s new thrusters called NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster–Commercial (NEXT-C) in space.
  • The spacecraft carries a high-resolution imager called Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation (DRACO). Images from DRACO will be sent to Earth in real-time and will help study the impact site and surface of Dimorphos.
  • DART will also carry a small satellite or CubeSat named LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids). LICIACube is expected to capture images of the impact and the impact crater formed as a result of the collision. It can also capture images of any dust cloud formed during the impact.

 

Which asteroid will be deflected?

The target of the spacecraft is a small moonlet called Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”). It is about 160-metre in diameter and the spacecraft is expected to collide when it is 11 million kilometres away from Earth.

Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”) which has a diameter of 780 metres.

 

The plan:

The spacecraft will navigate to the moonlet and intentionally collide with it at a speed of about 6.6 kilometres per second or 24,000 kilometres per hour. The collision is expected to take place between September 26 and October 1, 2022.

 

Insta Curious:

What are potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs)? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are near earth objects?
  2. Classification of asteroids.
  3. Why most asteroids are found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter?
  4. What are potentially hazardous asteroids?  How are they classified?
  5. Overview of NASA’s DART Mission.

Mains Link:

Differentiate between meteorite and asteroid.

Sources: Indian Express.

Facts for Prelims:

Kamo’oalewa:

In 2006, the PanSTARRS telescope in Hawaii spotted a quasi-satellite — a near-Earth object that orbits the Sun and yet remains close to the Earth. Scientists named it Kamo’oalewa, a word that is part of a Hawaiian chant, and alludes to an offspring that travels on its own.

 

Devasahayam:

  • Devasahayam Pillai is a Hindu man from Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, who converted to Christianity in the 18th century.
  • He is set to become the first Indian layman to be declared a saint by the Vatican on May 15, 2022.
  • He took the name ‘Lazarus’ in 1745.
  • He was first approved for sainthood in February 2020 for “enduring increasing hardships” after he decided to embrace Christianity.
  • Devasahayam is said to have faced harsh persecution and imprisonment after he decided to convert to Christianity, ultimately resulting in his killing in 1752.

current affairs


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