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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 15 July 2023

 

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 ina 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 1:

  1. Impact of Moon on Earth
  2. Challenges posed by sand and dust storms

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. India’s attempt to expand G20 to increase Global South imprint

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. Revival of Namda Art of Kashmir

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Sushruta Jayanti
  2. GSI survey of the Siachen 
  3. Right to Remain Silent
  4. Child Trafficking
  5. Bedaquiline availability in poor countries
  6. NARCL
  7. Western Ghats

 

Mapping

  1. France

 


 

Impact of Moon on Earth

GS Paper 1

 Syllabus: Evolution of the Solar System and Earth

 

Context: India successfully sent its Chandrayaan 3 mission to the moon.

Formation of Earth and Moon:

The formation of the Earth and Moon is believed to have occurred around 4.5 billion years ago. The process can be summarized as follows:

  • Accretion: Small particles in the early solar system collided and stuck together, forming larger objects called planetesimals and eventually protoplanets.
  • Giant Impact: A Mars-sized protoplanet called Theia collided with the young Earth, causing a massive impact that ejected debris into space.
  • Formation of the Moon: The debris from the impact began to orbit the Earth and eventually came together to create the Moon.
  • Differentiation: Both the Earth and Moon underwent differentiation, where materials separated based on density. Heavier elements sank towards the core, while lighter elements rose to the surface, forming distinct layers.
  • Lunar Evolution: The Moon cooled and solidified over time. It experienced volcanic activity and large impact events, leading to the formation of craters, basins, and other geological features like lunar maria.

 

The moon has had a profound impact on the evolution of life on Earth:

  • Water on Earth: The planet that collided with Earth, ‘Theia’ came from the outer solar system and delivered large quantities of water to Earth.
  • Impact on Tectonic Plates: The moon’s pull of gravity might have set our tectonic plates.
  • Impact of moon’s gravitational pull: Moon’s gravitational pull helps transport heat away from the equator and towards the poles, fundamentally shaping the earth’s climate.
  • Impact on Earth’s rotation: Moon also stabilises the Earth’s rotation on its axis by slowing Earth’s rotation on its axis.
    • The Moon’s presence helps stabilize Earth’s axial tilt and its climate. This stability has allowed for the development of seasons, which have had a significant impact on the distribution of water and the evolution of life.
  • Impact on Earth: The moon’s presence stabilizes Earth’s climate, transports heat and helps regulate the Earth’s rotation on its axis.
  • Impact of Tides: The regular movement of water that exposes the land at the edge of the ocean, could have encouraged life to adapt and move from the oceans to land.
  • Impact on biological cycle: Lunar cycles affect the reproductive cycles of marine life and other animal behaviours.
    • The laying and hatching of turtles’ eggs depend on the timings of tides
    • Moonlight affects the behaviour of nocturnal animals and triggers species-wide reproduction e.g., Corals.

 

Conclusion:

Moon holds much significance for humankind from geological as well as space exploration points of view. India’s Chandrayaan 3 mission is a step in that direction to better understand the moon’s geology and its potential for humankind.

 

Insta Links:

 

Prelims links

Tides occur in the oceans and seas due to which the following (UPSC 2015)

  1. The gravitational force of the Sun
  2. The gravitational force of the Moon
  3. The centrifugal force of the Earth

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Answer: C

Challenges posed by sand and dust storms

GS Paper 1/ 3

 Syllabus: Geophysical phenomena/Climate/Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

 

Source: DTE

 Context: According to the UN, sand and dust storms (SDS) have increased dramatically in frequency and severity in recent years.

 

What is SDS?

  • They are common meteorological hazards in arid and semi-arid regions, usually caused by thunderstorms/ strong pressure gradients associated with cyclones, which increase wind speed over a wide area.
  • These strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere, transporting them hundreds to thousands of km away.

 

Impact:

  • On weather/climate/environment:
    • Dust particles act as condensation nuclei for cloud formation affecting the amount and location of precipitation.
    • Airborne dust functions in a manner similar to the greenhouse effect, which affects the energy reaching the Earth’s surface.
    • SDS are recurring environmental phenomena which reduce air quality, and visibility.
  • On human health:
    • Particles larger than 10 μm are not breathable, and thus can only damage external organs.
    • Particles smaller than 10 μm, often get trapped in the nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract, and thus can be associated with respiratory disorders such as asthma, etc.
  • On the land and marine ecosystems:
    • Surface dust deposits are a source of micronutrients for both continental and maritime ecosystems. For example, Saharan dust is thought to fertilise the Amazon rainforest.
    • But dust also has many negative impacts on agriculture/food security, including
      • Reducing crop yields by burying seedlings,
      • Causing loss of plant tissue,
      • Reducing photosynthetic activity and
      • Increasing soil erosion.

  

Primary hotspots of the dust storm are:

 

  • Sahara Desert,
  • Middle East,
  • Taklamakan Desert in northwest China,
  • Southwest Asia,
  • Central Australia,
  • Etosha and Makgadikgadi basins of southern Africa,
  • Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and
  • Great Basin in the US

 

Concerns raised by the UN:

  • Around 2 million tonnes of sand and dust enter the atmosphere annually.
  • SDS often originate in dryland areas, which cover 41% of the Earth’s land surface and comprise some of the most fragile ecosystems, highly susceptible to global climate change.
  • Human-induced climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of SDS.
  • The impact of SDS is felt in all regions of the world, both in developed and developing countries.
  • The growing intensity and frequency of SDS present a formidable challenge to achieving SDGs.
  • SDS are linked to at least 11 of 17 SDGs. These include –
    • SDG 1 on ending poverty,
    • SDG 2 on ending hunger,
    • SDG 3 on health for all,
    • SDG 6 on water and sanitation,
    • SDG 8 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth,
    • SDG 11 on sustainable cities,
    • SDG 13 on climate action and
    • SDG 15 focuses on combating desertification, land degradation.
  • These will especially affect Africa and the Middle East where desertification is most common.
  • However, the global recognition of SDS as a hazard is generally low.

 

Steps taken/needed:

  • The UN General Assembly recognised (in 2015) that SDS pose a great challenge to the sustainable development of affected countries and regions.
  • The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) observed the first-ever International Day of Combatting Sand and Dust Storms on July 12, 2023.
  • Achieving SDGs ⇄ Reducing the occurrence and impact of SDS in affected areas.
  • Arresting land degradation:

  • The SDS policy and planning should reduce societal vulnerability by mitigating the effects of wind erosion.
  • A multi-sectoral process bolstered by information-sharing should involve short-and long-term interventions, engage multiple stakeholders and raise awareness of SDS.

 

Conclusion: Addressing SDS requires an integrated approach, which involves sustainable land management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction including early warning systems and international cooperation.

 

Insta Links:

Sand and dust storms

 

Mains Links:

Discuss how dust storms are formed. Examine the impact of climate change on the formation of dust storms.

Revival of Namda Art of Kashmir

Content for Mains Enrichment

Source: PIB

The Namda Art of Kashmir, a dying craft, has been successfully revived through the Skill India project under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

Nearly 2,200 candidates from six districts of Jammu and Kashmir have received training in this traditional art form.

The project, implemented in collaboration with local industry partners, showcases the power of public-private partnerships in driving skill development and economic growth.

Usage: the example can be used in questions related to success of Skill development questions.

 

About Namda art:

It is a traditional Kashmiri craft that involves creating felted carpets using sheep wool and hand embroidery. It originated in the 16th century and was introduced by a Sufi saint named Shah-e-Hamdan. Namda rugs provide warmth and are used as floor coverings and home decor.

Sushruta Jayanti

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB

GSI survey of the Siachen

 

Source: TH

Context: The first Geological Survey of India (GSI) expedition to the Siachen glacier took place in June 1958, led by V. K. Raina, an Indian geologist.

 

Significance: This survey is of historical and geostrategic significance as it disproves the notion that Pakistan had control over the glacier since its inception.

 

Description of Siachen Glacier
About The Siachen Glacier is a glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas, just northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. Nubra Valley acts as the gateway to strategically important Siachen Glacier and Karakoram Pass.

 

Unique features ·        It is the world’s highest battlefield.

·        Second longest non-polar glacier in the world after Fedchenko Glacier in Tajikistan

·        World’s highest helipad and telephone booth was built by India

Geopolitical Significance The Siachen has been an important bone of contention between India and Pakistan since 1984 when the Indian Army launched Operation Meghdoot to take control of the entire Siachen glacier.
Water Source Melting waters feed the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh, which drains into the Shyok River. Shyok River, fed by the Nubra River, eventually joins the Indus River
/ 15 July 2023, GSI survey, siachen

Child Trafficking

 

Source: IOM

 Context: A new report by International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Harvard University reveals that over half of child trafficking victims worldwide are trafficked within their own country.

  

What is Child Trafficking?

Child trafficking refers to the illegal recruitment, transportation, and exploitation of children for various purposes, such as forced labour, sexual exploitation, and child marriage.

  • It is a grave violation of human rights and poses a significant threat to the well-being and development of children.

 

The report, based on extensive data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), highlights that

 

Key findings:

  • Child victims come from diverse backgrounds and age groups.
  • Forced labour is the most prevalent form of trafficking, affecting mainly boys, while sexual exploitation disproportionately affects girls.
  • Involvement of recruiters, often close to the victims, and the use of false promises, abuse, and threats to control them.

 

Recommendations:

  • It recommends special cooperative measures to address trafficking in the context of climate change, environmental degradation, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Empowering affected communities to develop strategies to combat human trafficking is advised.

 

Constitutional Provision:

Provision Description
Right against exploitation Article 23 prohibits trafficking in human beings and forced labour. It guarantees the right of every person, including children, to be free from such exploitation.
Right to protection Article 24 prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 in hazardous occupations. It aims to safeguard children from physical, mental, and social abuse.
Right to education Article 21A guarantees the right to free and compulsory education for children between the ages of 6 and 14. This provision helps prevent child trafficking by ensuring access to education and promoting child welfare.
Directive Principles of State Policy Article 39 instructs the State to ensure that children are protected from exploitation and moral and material abandonment. It emphasizes the importance of providing opportunities for healthy development and protection of childhood.

 

Bedaquiline availability in poor countries

 

Source: The Wire

 Context: In a significant breakthrough, the nonprofit Global Drug Facility has reached an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to distribute generic versions of the anti-tuberculosis drug bedaquiline in most low and middle-income countries.

 

About TB:

TB is caused by bacteria and primarily affects the lungs but can also impact other parts of the body. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

  • It is a treatable but deadly infectious disease causing 1.5 million deaths annually. Johnson & Johnson holds the patent for bedaquiline, which has shown high success in treating drug-resistant TB.

 

Significance of the agreement:

  • The agreement will enable affordable access to the drug, with generic manufacturers in India expected to offer it at an 80% lower price. The goal is to end TB, and the tender for bedaquiline will be launched soon.
  • This breakthrough brings hope for improved accessibility and affordability of the drug, supporting global efforts to eliminate TB by 2030.

 

About Global Drug Facility

Global Drug Facility (GDF) is a non-profit organization implementing the UN-backed ‘The Stop TB Partnership’ to facilitate global access to quality-assured, affordable TB diagnostics and treatments.

 

About Stop TB Partnership:

It was founded in 2001 and is a UN-hosted organization. It brings together expertise from a broad spectrum of country, regional, and global partners in a shared mission to end TB by 2030. Hosted and administered by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Geneva, Switzerland.

NARCL

 

Source: ET

 Context: The government has finally renewed its federal guarantee to the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), making it easier for the entity to acquire bad loans from lenders.

 

About NARCL:

NARCL has been set up by banks as a strategic initiative to clean up the legacy stressed assets with an exposure of Rs 500 crore and above in the Indian Banking system.

  • Public Sector Banks maintain 51% ownership in NARCL.

Purpose: The main purpose behind the formation of the NARCL is to acquire bad loans from banks and sell them to buyers who are looking for Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). The organisation itself will also decide the price of these NPAs.

Structure: It has been incorporated under the Companies Act and registered with RBI as an Asset Reconstruction Company under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002.

Western Ghats

 

 Source: TH

 Context: Western Ghats has experienced a 5% loss in evergreen forest cover, with an increase in built-up and agriculture areas, according to a spatiotemporal (belonging to both space and time or to space–time) analysis of land use.

Key findings:

  • Only 25% of the forest landmass consists of interior forests, indicating fragmentation pressure and its impact on local ecology.
  • The region witnessed large-scale land cover changes during the past century due to unplanned developmental activities with industrialisation and globalisation.
  • Highlights high ecological fragility in the area.

Significance: The findings emphasize the need for conservation measures and sustainable development policies in the Western Ghats to address the threats to forests and water security in the region.

 

What is Ecological fragility?

It refers to the vulnerability of an ecosystem to disturbance or damage, often resulting in the loss of biodiversity and disruption of ecological processes. It represents the delicate balance and sensitivity of natural systems to human activities and environmental changes.

For example, deforestation in a rainforest can disrupt the intricate web of species interactions, causing species extinction and the loss of vital ecological functions such as carbon sequestration and water regulation.

 

About the analysis: 

The Indian Institute of Science’s Energy and Wetlands Research Group launched the Western Ghats Spatial Decision Support System (WGSDSS) to enhance governance transparency and aid in the management of the ecologically vital Sahyadri hill ranges. The system provides comprehensive information on ecological, socio-economic, biodiversity, and environmental aspects, supporting effective decision-making.

 

About Western Ghats:

The Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadri Hills, is a biodiversity hotspot in India ( it is among 36 global biodiversity hotspots). It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a rich and unique assemblage of flora and fauna.

France

Mapping

  

Source: TH

 

France’s decision to supply Ukraine with SCALP missiles as part of the ongoing counter-offensive against Russian forces has sparked anger from Russia. The SCALP missile, also known as Storm Shadow, is a long-range, conventionally armed missile designed to neutralize high-value targets and can strike deep inside Russian territory.

 

France consists of a terrain that is mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in the north and west and mountainous in the south (including the Massif Central and the Pyrenees) and the east (the highest points being in the Alps). France (a NATO member) is helping Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.

/ 15 July 2023, France

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


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