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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 18 JANUARY 2022

 

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

 

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 1:

1. Tonga Volcanic Eruption.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

2. World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda ’22.

3. Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Space station.

 

Facts for Prelims:

Har Gobind Khorana.


Tonga Volcanic Eruption:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Important Geographical phenomenon.

 

Context:

Recently, a volcano erupted in the southern Pacific Island of Tonga, which triggered Tsunami waves around the Pacific.

  • It is an Undersea Volcanic Eruption consisting of two small uninhabited islands, Hunga-Ha’apai and Hunga-Tonga.

The Tonga Islands occur along the Ring of Fire—a perimeter of heightened volcanic and seismic activity that encircles the Pacific Ocean basin.

Current Affairs Current Affairs

 

What is the Ring of Fire?

The Ring of Fire is a Pacific region home to over 450 volcanoes, including three of the world’s four most active volcanoes – Mount St. Helens in the USA, Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. It is also sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt.

  • Around 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur in the Ring of Fire, and 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes.

 

Location:

  • It stretches along the Pacific Ocean coastlines, where the Pacific Plate grinds against other, smaller tectonic plates that form the Earth’s crust – such as the Philippine Sea plate and the Cocos and Nazca Plates that line the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
  • The 40,000 kilometre horse-shoe-shaped ring loops from New Zealand to Chile, passing through the coasts of Asia and the Americas on the way.

 

Current Affairs

 

Risk:

The people most at risk from activity in the Ring of Fire are in the US west coast, Chile, Japan and island nations including the Solomon Islands. These areas are most at risk because they lie on so-called subduction zones – which are boundaries that mark the collision between two of the planet’s tectonic plates.

 

How was the Ring of Fire formed?

The Ring of Fire is the result from subduction of oceanic tectonic plates beneath lighter continental plates. The area where these tectonic plates meet is called a subduction zone.

 

Why does the Ring of Fire trigger earthquakes?

  • The world’s deepest earthquakes happen in subduction zone areas as tectonic plates scrape against each other – and the Ring of Fire has the world’s biggest concentration of subduction zones.
  • As energy is released from the earth’s molten core, it forces tectonic plates to move and they crash up against each other, causing friction. The friction causes a build-up of energy and when this energy is finally released it causes an earthquake. If this happens at sea it can cause devastating tsunamis.
  • Tectonic plates usually only move on average a few centimetres each year, but when an earthquake strikes, they speed up massively and can move at several metres per second.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Pacific Ring of Fire.
  2. Active Volcanoes in the world.
  3. Barren Island.
  4. Earthquake waves.

Mains Link:

What is Pacific Ring of Fire? Explain its relevance in the case of recent volcanic eruption in Indonesia?

Sources: the Hindu.

Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956:

GS Paper 2:

Topic covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

 

Context:

Karnataka CM Recently observed that the time has come to revisit the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act as it creates more disputes than resolving them.

  • The chief minister’s statement comes at a time when Karnataka has been involved in inconstant fight with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh regarding inter-state water disputes concerning Cauvery, Mahadayi and Krishna rivers.

 

Need of the hour:

  • The multifold levels of addressing the inter-state water disputes are removed at one single stage.
  • The solution should be on the basis of maximum utility of a river basin capacity and using technology, and giving away all political considerations.

 

Inter-state water dispute:

Art 262 provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes. It has two following provisions:

  1. Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
  2. Parliament may also provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.

Under the provisions of the act, the central government has enacted, River boards act (1956) and Inter-state water disputes act (1956).

  1. The river board act provides for the establishment of river boards for the regulation and development of the Inter-state River and river valleys. Such a river board is established on the request of the state governments concerned.
  2. The inter-state water dispute act empowers the central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between the two or more states in relation to the water of an inter-state river. The decision of the tribunal would be final and binding. Furthermore, the act bars the SC and any other court to have jurisdiction in this matter.

 

Issues surrounding the interstate Water Dispute Act, 1956:

The Inter State Water Dispute Act, 1956 which provides the legal framework to address such disputes suffers from many drawbacks as it does not fix any time limit for resolving river water disputes.

Delays are on account of no time limit for adjudication by a Tribunal, no upper age limit for the Chairman or the Members, work getting stalled due to occurrence of any vacancy and no time limit for publishing the report of the Tribunal.

The River Boards Act 1956, which is supposed to facilitate inter-state collaboration over water resource development, remained a ‘dead letter’ since its enactment.

Surface water is controlled by Central Water Commission (CWC) and ground water by Central Ground Water Board of India (CGWB). Both bodies work independently and there is no common forum for common discussion with state governments on water management.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Provisions related to interstate river water disputes?

  • Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and water power.
  • Entry 56 of Union List empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.

Sources: the Hindu.

World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda ’22:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

 

Context:

The World Economic Forum is holding its annual meeting in Davos.

 

Why is WEF important?

The WEF summit is attended by people from across the political and corporate world, including heads of state, policy makers, top executives, industrialists, media personalities and technocrats.

  • Deliberations at the WEF influence public sector and corporate decision-making, particularly on issues of global importance such as poverty, social challenges, climate change and global economic recovery.
  • The key mix of economic, corporate and political leadership at Swiss ski resorts provides the perfect opportunity to find solutions to the global challenges that emerge from time to time.

 

What are the main initiatives?

  • The Agenda 2022 will see the launch of other WEF initiatives on the economic opportunity of nature-positive solutions, and the Mission on Cyber ​​Resilience to accelerate net-zero emissions.
  • Bridging the vaccine gap, strengthening the resilience of global value chains, besides building economies in fragile markets through human investment will also be among the topics of discussion over the next few days.
  • How to use data solutions to prepare for the next pandemic will also be included in the discussion.

 

How is WEF received outside?

While the WEF sees large-scale participation from top industry, business leaders, civil society and international organizations each year, it has been criticized for being more of a networking hub than a nebula of wisdom or a platform to find effective solutions to global issues.

The forum, which provides opportunities for collaboration through dialogue, has also been criticized for lack of representation from various sections of civil society and for lack of effective solutions.

 

About the World Economic Forum:

It is a Swiss nonprofit foundation established in 1971, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Founder and Executive Chairman: Klaus Schwab.

Some major reports published by WEF are:

  1. Energy Transition Index.
  2. Global Competitiveness Report.
  3. Global IT Report.
  4. Global Gender Gap Report.
  5. Global Risk Report.
  6. Global Travel and Tourism Report.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about the great reset? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link: 

  1. WEF- structure, objectives and reports.
  2. ETI- top performers and worst performers.
  3. India’s per capita energy consumption.
  4. Energy production in India- sources.
  5. Renewable vs nor renewable energy sources in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International Institutions.

 

Context:

After years, Iran diplomats return to Saudi Arabia to take up posts in Islamic forum.

 

Background:

  • In 2016, protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed revered Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
  • Riyadh responded at the time by cutting ties with Tehran, while OIC foreign ministers condemned the violence.

 

About OIC:

  • It is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states.
  • It is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.
  • The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony “.
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • Permanent Secretariat is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

 

Significance of OIC for India:

OIC’s growing economic and energy interdependence with India has become important in recent times.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. OIC- objectives.
  2. Functions.
  3. Members.
  4. Subsidiary organisations.

Mains Link:

Write a note on OIC.

Sources: the Hindu.

Space station:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

As China gears up to become the only country to have an exclusive and probably the only space station by 2024 or latest by 2030, its neighbor, India too has plans to follow suit in a few years.

  • Recently, the Union Minister for Space Jitendra Singh announced in Parliament that India’s first space station would be set up by 2030.

 

Background:

Even though the retirement of the ISS is currently scheduled for 2024, NASA and the international partners have indicated that the ISS’s operational life could be extended to 2030.

 

About China’s Space Station:

  • The new multi-module Tiangong station is set to be operational for at least 10 years.
  • The space station will operate in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 340-450 km above Earth’s surface.

 

Significance of the space station:

  1. The low orbit space station would be the country’s eye from the sky, providing round the clock bird’s-eye view for its astronauts on the rest of the world.
  2. It shall aid China’s aim to become a major space power by 2030.

 

Concerns:

China’s space station will be equipped with a robotic-arm over which the US has raised concerns for its possible military applications.

  • The Concern is that this technology “could be used in a future system for grappling other satellites”.

 

Indian Space Station:

  • The Indian space station will be much smaller (mass of 20 tonnes) than the International Space Station and will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments (not for space tourism).
  • Preliminary plan for the space station is to accommodate astronauts for up to 20 days in space, and the project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.
  • It will orbit Earth at an altitude of around 400km.
  • ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is working on a space docking experiment (Spadex), a technology that is crucial for making the space station functional.

 

Other space stations:

  • The only space station currently in orbit is the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is backed by the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada.
  • So far, China has sent two previous space stations into orbit- the Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 were trial stations.

 

Significance:

  • Space stations are essential for collecting meaningful scientific data, especially for biological experiments.
  • Provide platforms for greater number and length of scientific studies than available on other space vehicles.
  • Each crew member stays aboard the station for weeks or months, but rarely more than a year.
  • Space stations are used to study the effects of long-term space flight on the human body.

 

Current Affairs

 

Insta Curious:

What is Molniya orbit? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About ISS.
  2. Countries involved.
  3. Objectives.
  4. Previous space stations.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the International Space Station.

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:

Har Gobind Khorana:

Recently, the 100th birth anniversary of the biochemist and chemical biologist Har Gobind Khorana was observed.

About Har Gobind Khorana:

Born: January 9, 1922, Raipur, India [now Raipur, Pakistan].

Research and Contribution: He began research on nucleic acids during a fellowship at the University of Cambridge (1951) under Sir Alexander Todd.

  • He made another contribution to genetics in 1970 when he and his research team were able to synthesize the first artificial copy of a yeast gene.
  • His later research explored the molecular mechanisms underlying the cell signalling pathways of vision in vertebrates.
  • His studies were concerned primarily with the structure and function of rhodopsin, a light-sensitive protein found in the retina of the vertebrate eye.
  • He also investigated mutations in rhodopsin that are associated with retinitis pigmentosa, which causes night blindness.

Awards: He shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that helped to show how the nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cell, control the cell’s synthesis of proteins.

  • In addition to the Nobel Prize, Khorana received the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award (1968) and the National Medal of Science (1987).
  • The Indian government awarded Khorana the Padma Vibhushan in 1969.

 

Current Affairs

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. China rejects the ‘Cold War mentality’.
  2. Kathak. (The Hindu).
  3. Guru Ravidas Jayanti. (Indian Express).

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