Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 23 September 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

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Live streaming of SC hearing

2. Should the ECI insist on inner-party elections?

3. Freeing the caged parrot

 

GS Paper4:

1. Hate speech through Visual Media

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)

1. Importance of Books

2. New Zealand push for Simple Language Bill

3. House applauds its women MLAs

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. EWS quota

2. Ukraine conflict of ‘profound concern’

3. Hi-tech hub-and-spoke system for Healthcare

4. Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022

5. PM-CARES Fund

6. National Means cum Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS)

7. Popular Front of India

8. Maharatna Company Status

9. Convergence portal of govt’s 3 flagship schemes

10. 1st annual Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022

11. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

12. Tomistoma

13. C-Band

14. DART

15. Mapping


 

Live streaming of SC hearing

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Indian Judiciary

 

Source: Indian Express 

Context: SC will live stream the constitutional bench hearing  from September 27, as a part of 3rd phase of e-courts projects (use of information technology in Judiciary)

Why Live-Stream?

 SC ( Swapnil Tripathy case, 2018): Live telecast of court proceedings is part of the right to access justice under Article 21.

  • SC’s E-committee: It set up model rules for live-streaming and recording of the court proceedings in India.

Other Courts?

Six HC are already live streaming their proceedings on YouTube: Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. 

What is Constitutional Bench? 

Under Article 145(3), “any case involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution” must be decided by a Bench of at least five judges. Such a Bench is called a Constitution Bench.

Benefits:

  • Will ensure Transparency and public scrutiny
  • Will help in de-congestion of courts
  • Improve physical access for litigants and trust of people in the judiciary
  • Help in legal research and training
  • Encourage legal awareness

Issues:

  • Digital divide
  • Lack of ICT infrastructure
  • Lack of digitally trained court officials
  • Risk of privacy breach
  • Risk of the case getting sensationalised.

Supreme Court has approved a set of guidelines and it has the power to withhold broadcasting in sensitive matters e.g. matrimonial disputes, matters involving juveniles, national security, rape cases etc.

International Examples: Courts in the US allow for audio recordings and transcripts of oral arguments. In the UK, recording of proceedings of SC is allowed.

Insta Links

Virtual courts and the way forward

 

Mains Links 

Q. The idea of the e-Court system can provide the judiciary with an opportunity to address the problem of delayed justice. Discuss. (250 Words)

Q. Which one of the following in Indian polity is an essential feature that indicates that it is federal in character?

(a)    The independence of judiciary is safeguarded.

(b)    The Union Legislature has elected representatives from constituent units.

(c)    The Union Cabinet can have elected representatives from regional parties.

(d)    The Fundamental Rights are enforceable by Courts of Law.

Answer: (a)

The establishment of an independent judiciary necessarily indicates the federal character of Indian polity. The Constitution establishes an independent judiciary headed by the Supreme Court to settle the disputes between the Centre and the states or between the states.

Should the ECI insist on inner-party elections?

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Parliament-structure, functioning and conduct of business and issues arising from it etc.

 

Directions: This is from an editorial piece. Can be used as an example for Intra party democracy

Source: The Hindu

Context: The Congress is set for elections for the post of party president. 

Legal ground on which elections can be mandated within political parties?

    • Article 324 of the Constitution, or Section 29(A) of the RPA 1951: Court said that the ECI cannot regulate internal structures, organizations or elections of the party.
    • Constitution of party: The ECI expects political parties to abide by their constitution, a copy of which is submitted to the commission when the parties are registered.
    • No interference: Commission cannot step in or criticize if anyone is elected unopposed.

Importance of internal elections:

    • Contest of ideas: Internal elections lead to meetings and contests of ideas.
      • For example: in US elections, the selection of the candidate to be the presidential nominee is done via debate.
    • Upward mobility: Internal elections are key for upward mobility.

What will State funding of Political parties do?

    • Money from corporates: Stop parties from taking money from the corporates.
    • No of votes: Political parties will receive money as per the number of votes polled.
    • Law Commission Report 1999-strongly recommended that there should be a mechanism for it.

Should there be new laws making organizational elections mandatory?

    • New interpretations: There is a need for a new interpretation and some bold moves from the ECI re-interpreting the existing laws, like:
      • Political parties should hold organizational elections regularly.
      • The parties are required to inform the ECI about changes in their office-bearers and addresses.
      • They are required to submit a document of expenditure incurred during elections and in the non-election period.

Insta Links:

Political parties in India

Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)

 

Mains Links:

Q. On what grounds a people’s representative can be disqualified under the Representation of People Act, 1951? Also, mention the remedies available to such a person against his disqualification. (UPSC 2019)

 

Prelims Links:

  • ECI
  • RPA
  • Article 324
  • RUPPs

A political party in a state is considered Recognised if:

  1. Secures at least 6% of the valid vote & wins at least 2 seats in an Assembly General Election.
  2. Secures at least 3% of the total valid vote in an Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below;

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (a)

Justification:

State recognised political party:

  • Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 2 seats in an Assembly General Election
  • Secure at least 6% of the valid vote & win at least 1 seat in a Lok Sabha General Election
  • Win at least 3% of the seats or at least 3 seats, whichever is more, in an Assembly General Election
  • Win at least 1 out of every 25 seats from a state in a Lok Sabha General Election
  • Secure at least 8% of the total valid vote in an Assembly or a Lok Sabha General Election

Freeing the caged parrot

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies etc

 

Directions: A question on CBI was asked in last year’s Mains.

Source: Indian Express

 

Context:

  • Despite several observations made by the Supreme Court against the inefficient functioning of the CBI nothing has happened to improve the situation.

Supreme Court cases on CBI:

  • Jain Hawala case(2014): Criminal negligence of the CBI in militancy and corruption-related matter.
  • Vineet Narain” judgment(1997): The CVC be given statutory status and be entrusted with the responsibility to supervise the work of the CBI ensuring its efficiency and impartiality.

Recommendations for improving the functioning of CBI and CVC:

  • Amendment: The CVC Act should be amended, providing for a five/seven-member CVC, which could broadly assume the role visualized for the Lokpal.
  • Prevent favouritism in selection: The selection process to be more broad-based to prevent favouritism or from controversial persons being appointed.
  • CVC should constitute an advisory committee: Consisting of at least 11 members drawn from criminologists and forensic science experts.
    • This will augment the professional input in its functioning.
  • Expert or professional assistance: CVC should be given the power to go to any expert or professional to assist it in screening complaints.
  • No permission from the government: After assessing a complaint by broad-based CVC, there should be no need to seek prior permission from the government.
  • CBI should be made functionally and financially independent: Of the controls of any government ministry/department.
    • The professional supervision over the investigations of the CBI should rest only with the CVC.
  • Manner of the appointment of the CBI Director: It should be broad-based as in the case of the CVC members.
    • The other inductions/appointments in the CBI should be brought under the overarching supervision of the CVC.
  • Better synergy between anti-corruption laws and grievance handling: The laws relating to whistleblowers and grievance redressal should be placed within the jurisdiction of the CVC.

Conclusion:

  • Responsible governance: Effective administration of anti-corruption laws at the grassroots is the key to responsible governance.
  • Government interference: The state and their anti-corruption agencies would, therefore, need to be equally insulated from the state government’s interference on similar lines.
  • Not used as instruments of blackmail and intimidation: Rather they should work with complete objectivity and in the interest of the nation

 

Insta Links:

Mains Links:

Q. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting a probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Links:

  • CBI
  • CVC
  • SC

With reference to Central Vigilance Commission, consider the following statements:

  1. It is neither statutory nor an executive body.
  2. A central vigilance commissioner is appointed by the President on the recommendations of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Justification:

  • It is the apex vigilance institution created via executive resolution (based on the recommendations of the Santhanam committee) in 1964 but was conferred with statutory status in 2003.
  • It consists of a central vigilance commissioner along with 2 vigilance commissioners.
  • They are appointed by the President of India on the recommendations of a committee consisting of the 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).
/ CBI, CVC, Polity, Sep 23 CA, Today's Article

Hate speech through Visual Media

 

GS Paper 4

 Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems;

 

Source: The Hindu 

Context: Expressing its anguish and displeasure over hate speeches via debates on TV channels, the Supreme Court called the “visual media” the “chief medium of hate speech” and questioned the government why it is “standing by as a mute witness when all this is happening” and treating it as “a trivial matter”.

The bench underlined that “hate drives TRPs, drives profit” basically going against media ethics and said it will consider laying down some guidelines which will hold the field until the legislature comes up with a law on the matter.

Pointing out that “hate speech can be in different forms… sort of ridicule a community” and its spread through the visual media can have a “devastating effect”, the bench of Justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy, inclined to regulate such debates, asked the Centre to state whether it proposed to come up with any law on the subject.

The bench was hearing a clutch of petitions on alleged hate speech via some TV shows. The petitioners have sought directions from the court to the Centre to take steps to curb incidents of such speech.

Hate Speech:

The United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech defines hate speech as “any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factors.” 

FIVE CORE PRINCIPLES OF ETHICAL JOURNALISM

  1. Truth & Accuracy

Journalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. Always strive for accuracy, give all the relevant facts we have and ensure that they have been checked.

  1. Independence

Journalists must be independent voices; should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural.

  1. Fairness and Impartiality

Objectivity is not always possible, and may not always be desirable (in the face for example of brutality or inhumanity), but impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.

  1. Humanity

Journalists should do no harm. What is published or broadcast may be hurtful, but should be aware of the impact of our words and images on the lives of others.

  1. Accountability

A sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold themselves accountable.

Quotes:
“Social media provides a global megaphone for hate.” By ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, United Nations Secretary-General, 2021

 

Mains Link:

Q. Hate speech poses complex challenges to freedom of speech and expression along with spreading hatred. Do you think curbing hate speech in visual media through legislation would be effective? 10M

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)


Importance of Books

Source: BBC Culture

Direction: This time UPSC has interlinked topics in Essay e.g. Economy with forest or English literature/Poets with polity. So, having some basic knowledge outside your area of competence becomes important. In this context, we will be bringing up certain abstract topics. You don’t need to remember or note down. Just go through it once. 

Importance of Books:

  • Books carry vast knowledge.
  • Encourage critical thinking: They are pollinators of our minds, spreading self-replicating ideas through space and time.
  • For young readers and students: Introduces them to a world of imagination, provides knowledge of the outside world, improves their reading, writing and speaking skills as well as boosts memory and intelligence.
  • Magical power of words: Books are, as Stephen King put it, “a uniquely portable magic“.
  • Gives voice to people against authoritarian regimes: Books carry knowledge, and knowledge is power, which makes books a threat to authorities – governments and self-appointed leaders alike

Issues:

  • Censorship of books is on the rise: E.g. China continues to ban books in schools that are “not in line with its form of socialist core values
    • Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak was despised by the Soviet government
  • Banned books in India: E.g. Taslima’s Nasreen Lajja or The Ramayana as told by Aubrey Menen or Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

How to revive book culture?

  • Forming and supporting Book clubs
  • Government, through policies, should ensure books are affordable.
  • Encourage online reading of books, and use of virtual libraries
  • For students: Introduce DEAR—Drop Everything And Read (it was started in the US by children’s author Beverly Clearly).

 

New Zealand push for Simple Language Bill

Source: The Guardian

 Direction: This example can be mentioned in GS2, Essay and Ethics – as initiatives taken for good governance.

Context: New Zealand has presented a bill in parliament, which highlights the use of plain and simple language in official communication/ government legislation.

Legislation will require government communications to be clear and concise. This has been emphasized so that any person can understand what the government is trying to communicate and what the government policies are about. This would also mean accountability and inclusivity.

 Minority and marginalized communities often struggle to understand jargon-laden complicated Victorian English.

When governments communicate in ways that people don’t understand, it can lead to people not engaging with services that are available to them, losing trust in government and not being able to participate fully in society. Those most affected are people who speak English as a second language, have not attended university, have disabilities, or are elderly.

Plain language movement originated in the 1920s – UK, US and Canada had seen this before.

Plain language means shorter sentences, simple acronyms etc. As language is a vehicle. It’s just a means to an end.

 

House applauds its women MLAs

Source: Indian Express

 Direction: This example can be used as a solution to the persisting issue of less participation of women in the legislative process.

 Context: In a first-of-its-kind initiative by the UP Legislative Assembly – a day was reserved for women members to speak on issues concerning them.

The special session turned out to be an “eye-opener” for political parties, as they discovered new orators among them, who not only voiced their own issues and the problems faced by them but also talked about their constituency and their party’s ideology.

Some cited anecdotes, others quoted former US First Lady Michelle Obama and French philosopher Albert Camus, making many of their male counterparts sit up and take note of them.

At the start of the session, Speaker Satish Mahana said that when he floated the idea of reserving a day for women MLAs to speak, many had expressed surprise whether they would be able to speak at length for the entire day.

I will now make a list of male members who are hesitant to speak and have not got the opportunity to speak in the Assembly. I will give a similar opportunity to them to speak.

 

 


Facts for Prelims


EWS quota claims to be for the poorest of poor but denies the most deprived

Directions: It is the continuation of the previous articles on ews

Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • The Supreme Court questioned the logic behind a quota for ‘economically weaker sections’ which claims to cater to the “poorest of the poor” but leaves out deprived communities who have suffered denial for centuries.

Key Highlights:

  • SC/ST debarred: Members of the Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes are shut out from applying under economically weaker sections (EWS)
  • 50% reservation for backward classes: The government justifies the debarment by arguing that they are already part of the 50% reservation for backward classes.
  • Less representation: 40 per cent of the Scheduled Tribe population constitute the poorest of the poor.
    • But their overall reservation is just 7.5(seven points five)%, the court said.
  • Basic structure: The 103rd Amendment strengthened the Basic Structure of the Constitution by giving “economic justice” to the poorest of the poor, the government said in court.

 Basic Structure of Constitution:

  • The Kesavananda Bharati judgment(1973) introduced the Basic Structure doctrine which limited Parliament’s power to make drastic amendments that may affect the core values enshrined in the Constitution like secularism and federalism

 

Ukraine conflict of ‘profound concern’

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

Context:

  • India at UNSC said the conflict in Ukraine is a matter of “profound concern” for the global community.
    • India at UNSC did not name Russia specifically, unlike the representatives of many other countries.

Key Highlights:

  • Dialogue and diplomacy: India strongly reiterates the need for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and a return to dialogue and diplomacy.
  • Now is not the era for war: India repeated this statement of the Prime Minister at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
  • Egregious acts: External affairs minister said Council should consider the signals it was sending by letting “egregious acts” go unpunished and that credibility required consistency.
  • N. Secretary-General: Any annexation of a state’s territory by another state resulting from a threat or use of force is a violation of the UN Charter and of international law.
  • In a reference to China’s decision to block the listing of terrorists: India said: “The fight against impunity is critical to the larger pursuit of securing peace and justice.
    • The Security Council must send an unambiguous and unequivocal message on this count.

 

Hi-tech hub-and-spoke system for Healthcare

Source: D2E

 Context: ICMR and IISc will jointly develop a hi-tech hub-and-spoke system for improved healthcare. The system will collect and curate data through institutions across the country to facilitate research.

 AI & Robotics Technology Park, a non-profit foundation promoted by IISc, will serve as the initiative’s partner for technology development and programme management.

By leveraging premier medical institutions as hubs and bringing together medicine and data science experts, the team driving this initiative will seek to standardise data collection from many ‘spoke’ institutions. It will also help curate that data and aim to make it available to the broader community of researchers and innovators, in accordance with applicable policies and laws.

 

Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022

Source: Indian Express

Direction: Since it is still a draft bill, just go through it once.

 Context: The bill to consolidate and replace Indian Telegraphy Act, 1885; Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and Telegraphy Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.

Need:

  • The earlier legal framework has become outdated with the advancement of digital technologies
  • Previously, CAG criticized that Spectrum allocation in India is conducted on an ad hoc basis (2012-2021); the spectrum allocated to the government is not optimally used.
  • The new bill is in line with International standards and best practices
  • New bill will ensure greater compliance with cybersecurity, national security and public safety concerns.

Features:

  • New definitions of Telecommunication, Services and networks
  • Recognition of exclusive privilegeof the central government over telecommunication licences, registration of infrastructure, possession of wireless equipment and allocation of spectrums.
  • Effective policy for the Right of Way (RoW)
  • Setup Telecommunication Development fund (instead of Universal Service Obligation Fund)
    • USOF is the pool of funds generated by the 5 per cent Universal Service Levy that is charged upon all telecom fund operators on their Adjusted Gross Revenue for supporting rural connectivity.
  • Centre has powers to defer, convert into equity, write off or grant relief to any licensee under extraordinary circumstances

The new bill will help in the development, expansion and operation of telecommunication services, telecom networks and infrastructure, in addition to the assignment of spectrum.

 

PM-CARES Fund 

Source: Live Mint 

Context: Ratan Tata, KT Thomas (former SC judge) and Kariya Munda ( former deputy speaker) have been appointed as trustees of the PM CARES Fund

PM CARES ( PM Citizens’ Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation Fund) was launched in 2020, following COVID-19 to combat, and containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic-like situations in the future.

  • Contribution is voluntary ( no budget support)
  • PM is ex-officio Chairman
  • Contribution to it qualifies under tax benefits
  • It has been created not by law, not by notification
  • Minimum donation accepted is Rs 10

Other such funds

  • National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) (at National Level) under DM Act of 2005 and audited by CAG
  • Disaster Response Fund (at state and district level)
  • PM National Relief Fund: It was established with public contributions to assist displaced persons from Pakistan. It has the President of India and the Leader of Opposition also as trustees.

 

National Means cum Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS)

Context: A national-level workshop was conducted recently.

It is awarded to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class 8.

  • Implemented by the Ministry of Education.

 

Popular Front of India

 Source: Indian Express

Context: As many as 100 people linked to the Popular Front of India have been arrested following searches by the National Investigation Agency in connection with anti-terror activities.

The Popular Front of India (PFI) is an Islamic nonprofit organization in India. It was formed in 2007 as a successor to National Development Front (NDF).

  • It describes itself as a “neo-social movement which strives for the empowerment of marginalised sections of India”

However, it has been linked to violence, radicalisation and allegations of money laundering.

 

Maharatna Company Status

Source: PIB 

Context: Power sector-focussed non-banking finance company (NBFC) REC Ltd. has been accorded the status of a ‘Maharatna’ Central Public Sector Enterprise. 

Benefits:

  • It will provide greater operational and financial autonomy.
  • It imparts enhanced powers to the company’s board while taking financial decisions
  • REC can make equity investments to undertake financial joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries and undertake mergers and acquisitions in India and abroad
  • REC can also enter into technology joint ventures or other strategic alliances

About REC

  • Incorporated in 1969, REC focuses on power sector financing and development across India.
  • It provides financial assistance to state electricity boards, state governments, central/state power utilities, independent power producers, rural electric cooperatives and private sector utilities.
  • REC has played a key role in the success of the flagship schemes such as DDUGJY, SAUBHAGYA and is currently the nodal agency for Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).

 

Convergence portal of govt’s 3 flagship schemes

Source: Economic Times 

Context: The convergence portal between the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) scheme and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) was recently launched.

Benefits:

  • It will allow beneficiaries of these schemes to avail facilities hassle-free
  • Beneficiaries will also get an additional benefit of Interest subvention at 3%.

About these schemes:

  • AIF ( launched in 2020 by the Agriculture ministry) is aimed at creating post-harvest management infrastructure through credit guarantee support and 3% interest subvention.
  • PMFME (launched in 2020 as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and implemented by the Food Processing Ministry) to enhance the competitiveness of micro-enterprises in the food processing sector.
  • PMKSY ( it is a central sector scheme under the Food processing Ministry) aims to create modern infrastructure from farm gate to retail

 

1st annual Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022

Source: IEA 

Direction: You can relate the term ‘Breakthrough’ (meaning ‘important discovery’) with ‘Clean technology’ to remember.

 Context: A report on the progress of how countries have aligned their action plan and investment for clean technology commitment to mitigate climate change.

What is Breakthrough Agenda (BA)?

  • The Breakthrough Agenda is an unprecedented international clean technology plan to help keep 1.5°C in reach. It provides a framework for countries and businesses to join up and strengthen their actions every year.
  • It has been released by the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions.

1st set of agendas came up in COP26 last year (also known as Glasgow Breakthroughs) on sectors such as-

  • Power ( Clean power is the most affordable and reliable option for all countries to meet their power needs efficiently by 2030.)
  • Road ( Zero emission vehicles the new normal – accessible, affordable and sustainable in all regions by 2030.)
  • Steel ( Near-zero emission steel is the preferred choice in global markets)
  • Hydrogen ( Affordable renewable and low carbon hydrogen globally available by 2030.)
  • Agriculture (Climate-smart, sustainable agriculture by 2030)

 

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

 Source: WHO 

Context: A report by WHO has highlighted that NCDs are responsible for 74% of all deaths worldwide but only 5% of healthcare aid goes to the prevention of NCDs

What are NCDs?

The term NCDs refers to a group of conditions that are not mainly caused by an acute infection, result in long-term health consequences and often create a need for long-term treatment and care.

WHO Recommends:

  • Implementation of Roadmap for the Global Action Plan (2023-2030) for NCDs
  • Universal health coverage for NCDs
  • Inclusion of NCDs in Primary health care
  • Tax on unhealthy products
  • Greater consumer awareness

Previously

  • WHO’s Global NCD Compact (2020-2030) was launched with the aim to accelerate progress on the prevention and control of NCDs
  • India won a UN award for its Hypertension Control initiatives. (Hypertension is when blood pressure is too high).

 

Tomistoma

Source: D2E

 Context: Increasing human intrusion into the habitat of Tomistoma (due to palm oil plantation, illegal gold mining and settlements) may be causing it to attack people in Indonesia, a new study has suggested.

 

The Tomistoma (Tomistoma schlegelii) is a shy and reclusive species that typically retreat from areas with a high degree of human activity.

  • It is a crocodilian freshwater species native to South-East Asia.
  • It is also called ‘False Gharial’.
  • IUCN: Endangered

 

C-Band

Source: Indian Express

Context: India’s Aviation safety regulator (DGCA) has written to the telecom department flagging concerns over the likely interference of the 5G C-Band spectrum with aircraft radio altimeters.

A radio altimeter is an instrument that provides direct height-above-terrain information to various aircraft systems. These altimeters as well as a part of the 5G telecom services operate in the C-Band and therefore risks interference. 

The benefit of C-Band: 

For telecom service providers, the C-Band presents a sweet spot for rolling out 5G services, ensuring coverage as well as high bandwidth, resulting in faster internet speeds. For aircraft operations, the use of altimeters in this band ensures highly precise measurements of the plane’s altitude.

However, experts say, India has auctioned the C-Band spectrum in frequency ranging from 3.3 GHz to 3.6 GHz. Aircraft radio altimeters mainly use frequencies ranging from 4.2-4.4 GHz. So, there is a significant 500 MHz gap between the two frequency ranges.

 

DART

Source: Indian Express

Context: In the first-of-its-kind, save-the-world experiment, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will crash into a small moonlet called Dimorphos.

 Purpose:

The impact of the collision should be just enough to nudge the asteroid into a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock — demonstrating that if a killer asteroid ever heads our way, we’d stand a fighting chance of diverting it. 

Other missions to asteroids:

  • OSIRIS-Rex (NASA) is on its way back to Earth to deliver samples it collected from asteroid Bennu in 2020.
  • NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is headed to asteroids near Jupiter, after launching last year.
  • Near-Earth Asteroid Scout (NASA) will be sent.
  • In 2026, NASA will launch a census-taking telescope to identify hard-to-find asteroids that could pose risks.
  • NASA’s Psyche spacecraft is a planned mission to a metal-rich asteroid between Mars and Jupiter.
  • Hayabusa2 (Japan) is an asteroid sample-return mission.
  • China to launch Tianwen 2 asteroid-sampling mission in 2025

 

Mapping


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE

Please subscribe to Our podcast channel HERE

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE

Follow our Twitter Account HERE

Follow our Instagram ID HERE