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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

08 June 2022 – Current Affairs

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World Brain Tumour Day

(Paper 2 Health)

Why in News?

World Brain Tumour Day is observed every year on 8 June with an aim to create awareness about brain tumours.

Key Points –

  • It is observed to raise awareness and educate people about brain tumours. The day also pays tribute to those affected by brain tumours.
  • In 2022, the theme of World Tumor Day is ‘Together We Are Stronger’.
  • It is noteworthy that the German Brain Tumor Association started this international commemoration day in the year 2000 as a tribute to all brain tumour patients and their families.
  • AIR correspondent reports, A brain tumour occurs when cells grow at an abnormal rate to form a mass of abnormal cells within the brain. There are two main types of tumours-cancerous tumours and non-cancerous tumours. 
  • On a global scale, 330,000 children and adults worldwide were diagnosed with cancer of the central nervous system in one year. This number continues to rise along with the mortality rate for brain cancer.
  • Some common symptoms of brain tumor are headaches, seizures, problem with vision, vomiting, and mental changes. Patient may feel headache and vomiting in the morning.
  • More specific problems may include difficulty in walking, speaking and sensation. 
  • Brain tumour can be a life-threatening disease but completely treatable. Some of the common treatments of brain tumour include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, anti-seizure medication, steroid treatment, etc.

Source – All India Radio

World Ocean Day

(Paper 3 Environment)

Why in News?

World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8 every year.

Key Points –

  • The ocean covers about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface.  This saltwater of the sea has vast life including plants, animals and other organisms.
  • It keeps the planet warm by providing the planet’s 50 percent oxygen with oceanic currents that carry heat to the entire planet, so to celebrate the role of the oceans, the United Nations and international law celebrate June 8 as World Oceans Day.
  • The aim of World Oceans Day is to create awareness about the benefits of the sea in human life.  Since the sea provides a variety of life-saving and anti-cancer drugs, then, it is now our turn to conserve the sea and marine resources for sustainable development.  This day is a day for humanity to celebrate the ocean.
  • This day is celebrated every year with a theme, so the theme of this year’s World Ocean Day is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.
  • Since the ocean is home to much of Earth’s biodiversity, it provides the main source of protein for more than billions of people around the world.  The ocean is the key to our economy,  with an estimated 40 million people being employed by sea-based industries by 2030.
  • With the extinction of 90% of the large fish population and the destruction of 50% of  the coral reef (coral reef-class),  we are  doing much more than we can exploit the ocean.
  • In such a situation, in order to protect and preserve the ocean and whatever it maintains, we must create a new balance.  Today, the governments of all of us countries need to build a relationship with the sea that is useful for the ocean and the life inside it.

Background –

  • Ocean Day was first proposed at the Global Forum in Rio de Janeiro on 8 June 1992,  a parallel event at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). 
  • However, in 2008, the UN General Assembly resolved that June 8 would be designated as “World Ocean Day” by the United Nations.
  • The first World Oceans Day was celebrated in the year 2009 with the theme ‘Our Oceans, Our Responsibility’ .
  • The United Nations said the oceans are considered to be the lungs of the planet, which is an important part of the biosphere and a major source of food and medicine.
  • The purpose of the day is to inform and educate the public about the impact of humanitarian actions on the oceans, to develop a worldwide movement of citizens and to unite the world’s population on a project for sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
  • Currently, the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea is actively coordinating various activities for World Oceans Day.

Source – All India Radio

Uttarakhand’s Yankti Kuti Valley

(Paper 1 Geography)

Why in News?

Recently, the researchers in one of their researches reported that the progression of glaciers in the Yankti Kuti Valley exhibits synergy with climate variability.

Key Points –

  • Multiple events of glacial advances have been witnessed from the Yankti Kuti valley situated in the extreme eastern part of Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, since 52 thousand years (MIS 3) that synchronises with climate variability, according to a new study.
  • It is noteworthy that Many researchers have provided information on the nature of glaciation in the Central Himalayas by employing various modern dating methods. However, the chronological data for glacial landforms in the Central Himalayas is still limited due to the lack of dating material in the study areas because of the inaccessibility of these areas. Thus a correlation between two major climatic systems: the Indian summer Monsoon and the mid-latitude westerlies and glacier advance remained speculative.
  • Scientists of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology has reported first time the oldest glacial advance during 52 Kilo years from the Central Himalaya.
  • They found that moisture-deficient valleys of semi-arid Himalayan regions respond sensitively to enhance precipitation. The study suggests a regional synchronicity of glacier response to climate variability since MIS 3. The study carried out was in accordance with the synoptic-scale, climatic perturbation triggered by the North Atlantic millennial-scale climate oscillations.
  • The study can help enhance the existing knowledge of the relationship between Himalayan climate and glacier dynamics and can help assessing the role of Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) versus westerlies in driving the valley glaciers in the Central Himalayan region.

Source – PIB

Defence Acquisition Council

(Paper 3 : Security, Internal Security)

Why in News?

Recently, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)  approved the purchase of military equipment platforms worth Rs 76,390 crore from domestic industries.

Key Points –

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in a meeting chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh on June 06, 2022, accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Armed Forces amounting to Rs 76,390 crore under ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ categories.
  • This will provide substantial boost to the Indian Defence Industry and reduce foreign spending significantly.
  • For the Indian Army, the DAC accorded fresh AoNs for procurement of Rough Terrain Fork Lift Trucks (RTFLTs), Bridge Laying Tanks (BLTs), Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (Wh AFVs) with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) and Weapon Locating Radars (WLRs) through domestic sources with emphasis on indigenous design and development.
  • For the Indian Navy, the DAC accorded AoN for procurement of Next Generation Corvettes (NGC) at an estimated cost of approx. Rs 36,000 crore. These NGCs will be versatile platforms for variety of roles viz. surveillance missions, escort operations, deterrence, Surface Action Group (SAG) operations, Search & Attack and Coastal Defence.
  • These NGCs would be constructed based on new in-house design of Indian Navy using latest technology of ship building and would contribute to further the Government’s initiative of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region).
  • The DAC accorded AoNs for manufacture of Dornier Aircrafts and Su-30 MKI aero-engines by the Navratna CPSE M/s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with focus on enhancing indigenisation particularly in indigenising aero-engine material.
  • In pursuance of the Government’s vision for digital transformation in Defence, ‘Digital Coast Guard’ project under ‘Buy (Indian) Category has been approved by the DAC. Under this project, a pan India secure network for digitising of various surface and aviation operations, logistics, finance and HR processes in Coast Guard will be established.

About Defence Acquisition Council –

  • It is the highest decision making body in the Ministry of Defence.
  • The Defence Minister is the Chairman of this Council.
  • It decides on new policies and capital acquisition for three services including the Army, Navy and Air Force as well as the Indian Coast Guard.
  • The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.

Source – Indian Express

National Air Sports Policy

(Paper 3 Infrastructure )

Why in News?

Recently Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia launches National Air Sports Policy.

Key Points –

  • The Minister of Civil Aviation launched National Air Sport Policy 2022 (NASP 2022). NASP 2022 lays out the vision of making India as one of the top sports nations by 2030, by providing a safe, affordable, accessible, enjoyable and sustainable air sports ecosystem in India.
  • Air sports, as the names suggests, encompasses various sports activities involving the medium of air.  These include sports like air-racing, aerobatics, aero modeling, hang gliding, paragliding, para motoring and skydiving etc. India has the potential to be among the leading nations in the world of air sports. 
  • It has a large geographical expanse, diverse topography, and fair-weather conditions.  It has a large population, especially the youth.  It has a growing culture for adventure sports and aviation. The NASP 2022, is a step in this direction.
  • It has been drafted based on the inputs received from policy makers, air sports practitioners and public at large and will ensure establishment of good quality of infrastructure, equipment, instructors and services.

The policy will cover the following air sports in India: –

  1. Aerobatics
  2. Aero modeling and model rocketry
  3. Amateur-built and experimental aircraft
  4. Ballooning
  5. Drones
  6. Gliding and powered gliding
  7. Hang gliding and powered hang gliding
  8. Parachuting (including skydiving, BASE  jumping and wing suits etc.)
  9. Paragliding and para motoring (including powered parachute trikes etc.)
  10. Powered aircraft (including ultra light, micro light and light sports aircraft etc.)
  11. Rotorcraft (including autogyro)

Under the new policy, there will be four-tier governance structure for air sports in India namely

  1. Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) as the apex governing body
  2. National associations for individual air sports or a set of air sports, as appropriate
  3. Regional (e.g. West/ South/ North East etc.) or State and Union Territory level units of the national air sports associations, as appropriate; and
  4. District-level air sports associations, as appropriate.

Key Objectives of NASP 2022:-

  • Promote an air sports culture in the country
  • Enable adoption of international good practices in safety including but not limited to, air sports infrastructure, equipment, operations, maintenance and training
  • Develop a simple, stakeholder-friendly and effective governance structure
  • Enhance participation and success of Indian sportspersons in global air sports events; and
  • Promote design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment in India in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Source – The Hindu

Calcium phosphate ceramics implants

(Paper 3 Science Technology)

Why in News?

Recently the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) noted in a press release, Calcium phosphate ceramics are in principle an ideal alternative to conventional metals because bone can eventually replace the ceramic and regrow.

Key Points –

  • When people need a bone replacement following a fracture, it is often based on a metal part. But metal parts are sometimes toxic over time, and will not help the original bone regrow.
  • Calcium phosphate ceramics, the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) noted in a press release, are in principle an ideal alternative to conventional metals because bone can eventually replace the ceramic and regrow.
  • Calcium phosphate ceramics are substitutes for the bone mineral hydroxyapatite. However, applications of such ceramics in medical settings have been limited, because there is insufficient control over the rate of absorption and replacement by bone after implantation.
  • Now, in a study recently published in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, researchers from TMDU and collaborators have studied the transformation of a ceramic into the bone mineral. This work will help move bone regeneration research from laboratories to medical use.
  • This work will help move bone regeneration research from laboratories to medical use.
  • The releases said the results of this study are important for healing bone fractures after surgery. By using chemical insights to optimise the rate of bone reformation after implantation of calcium phosphate ceramics, patient outcomes will improve, and returns to the hospital years later for further repairs will be minimised.

Source – Indian Express

Chief Defence Staff (CDS)

(Paper 2 Governance)

Why in News?

Recently Central government changed the rules for appointment to the post of CDS

Key Points –

  • The Central Government has made major changes in the rules for appointment to the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The Defence Ministry has issued new guidelines expanding the eligibility for the post of CDS under which now, in addition to the Army, the Navy and Air Force or their equivalent serving Lieutenant General rank officers can also become CDSs.
  • Thus, under the new rules, the way has been cleared for the second best active rank officers of the three services to become CDSs. That is, now these officers can also become CDSs by ‘superseeding’  senior officers like the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Air Staff and the Navy Chief.
  • The second significant change in the eligibility criteria is that recently retired Army Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs will also be eligible for the post, though the age limit for the same  is 62 years.
  • General Bipin Rawat was appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) after retiring from the post of Army Chief.
  • But the post of CDS has been lying vacant since general Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in December last year.

Why was the post of CDS created –

  • The CDS plays the role of Chief Military Adviser to the Defence Minister in matters relating to the Army, Navy and Air Force. The post of CDS was created with the idea that the country’s army should work together.
  • The aim was to bring about solidarity between the three armies of the country in  training, procurement,  recruitment and operation.
  • The CDS works on matters that fall within the purview of the Department of Military Affairs.
  • The CDS-led unit looks after matters related to the Army, Navy and Air Force and the integrated headquarters of the three.

Source – PIB

Jan Samarth Portal

(Paper 3 Economics)

Why in News?

Recently PM launches unified portal “Jan Samarth Portal” on govt’s credit schemes.

Key Points –

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged bank chiefs to make it easier for people to get loans through the new Jan Samarth portal, a repository of a dozen credit-linked government schemes.
  • Jan Samarth is a digital portal on which 13 credit linked government schemes have been linked on a single platform. Applicants or beneficiaries of these schemes can check their eligibility in easy steps.
  • You can apply to the schemes that have been linked to this portal and also get digital approvals.
  • From the application to the approval of the loan,  the status of the application in the portal and the extent to which the loan process reached can also be seen. Apart from this, the applicants will also be able to make online complaints for not getting the loan or any other inconvenience.

Features of Jan Samarth Portal –

  • Banks and several NBFCs or other lending institutions will be available on the Jan Samarth portal which can give their approvals on the loan applications coming up on this portal.
  • More than 125 financial institutions, including banks  , have been linked to this portal.
  • From this portal, you can apply for four categories of loans under 13 government schemes at present.
  • The four categories of loans include education, agricultural infrastructure, start of business and livelihood loans.

Source – The Hindu

Diversification of crops

(Paper 3 Agriculture)

Why in News?

Recently, the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recommended to actively promote diversification of crops.

Key Points –

  • Amid global inflation in oilseeds and vegetable oils, the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recommended actively promoting diversification of crops in favour of oilseed crops.
  • In the latest report released on June 8, 2022, the CACP has said that global inflation poses a structural risk as vegetable oil accounts for almost half of India’s agri-imports, it subsequently increases the burden of the agri-import bill.
  • The CACP report also suggests that farmers choose agro-climatic zones unsuitable to grow rice and wheat on a large scale.
  • Due to assured procurement and minimum support price (MSP) in rice-wheat cropping pattern, the share of paddy and wheat in the total crop area in some states, especially punjab and haryana,  has increased while the share of oilseeds, pulses, maize and bajra has registered a substantial decline.
  • According to the CACP report, on the one hand, the share of paddy  has increased from 17.5 per cent  in  1980-81 to 40.1 per cent in 2019-20, on the other hand, the share of maize   has come down from 5.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent, bajra  from 1 per cent to 0.3 per cent and pulses  from 5 per cent to 0.5 per cent.  The share of oilseeds has  gone up from 3.7 per cent to 0.6 per cent during the same period  .
  • The CACP has also recommended benefits based on variety in crops for paddy producing States and other States. According to the CACP,  farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand can benefit from growing maize, maize, moong and sunflower in Bihar, bajra, jowar, and more maize in Gujarat.
  • Apart from this, growing ragi, arhar, moong, urad, groundnut, soyabean and cotton in Maharashtra, groundnut and cotton in Rajasthan, sesame in Tamil Nadu, bajra, maize, arhar and groundnut in Uttar Pradesh and moong in West Bengal can benefit farmers.
  • Farmers growing urad in Chhattisgarh, sesame in Karnataka, paddy in Maharashtra and jowar in Telangana will be better off diversifying into more agro-climatically friendly crops, the report said.
  • Several initiatives have been taken to encourage crop diversification, especially in the States of Punjab and Haryana. Despite incentives by the central and state governments, not much progress has been made so far on crop diversification in the region.
  • The CACP attributes this to low returns and high risks from alternative crops, lack of assured marketing and remunerative prices and non-availability of proven technology suitable for alternative crops and other factors.
  • The report said that although rice is being grown in vast areas of India, the physical and agro-climatic climate of growing rice is not suitable in some regions of the country. There is a need that rice cultivation from certain States and regions is shifted to a more suitable area.
  • Although rice is being grown in vast areas of India, the physical and agro-climatic requirements of growing rice in some areas of the country and the cultivation of rice have been met in some states/UTs. There is a need to relocate from areas that are not suitable for rice. more suitable area,” it said.
  • Eastern states such as Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, north eastern states and south west coast are more suitable for paddy cultivation. However, the paddy acreage in most of these areas is relatively less than that in the northwestern plains of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • “Therefore, appropriate policy measures should be initiated to promote paddy cultivation in appropriate areas and to reduce the area under paddy in Haryana, Punjab and western UP,” the CACP said. “
  • To address the issue of misalignment of crop patterns with aqueous suitability, the CACP has recommended moving from the point of view of heavily subsidised inputs to direct transfer approach of giving money directly to the accounts of farmers.

Source – Down to Earth

India is constantly moving towards Europe.

(Paper 1 Geography)

Why in News?

Recently, scientists have discovered from the new tectonic plate model and said that India is constantly moving towards Europe.

Key Points –

  • There are many types of plates inside the earth, one of them is the tectonic plates. When these plates sometimes slide, it is because of them that events such as earthquakes and tsunamis occur.
  • Scientists have created a new model for the study of tectonic plates. It will be used to understand the natural phenomena that take place inside the earth, but in the initial study itself, many important information has come out in it.
  • The new models show how the continents came closer to each other among themselves, they are providing new information about the earth’s history. This will help in better understanding of natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Dr. Derrick Hestok said the plates provide information about the configuration of the boundary regions and the previous construction of the continental crust. Dr. Hesterok is a spokesman for the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He has also led the team that built the new model.
  • At one time some pieces of continents were assembled like a puzzle, but each time the puzzle ended it was cut and reorganized to create a new picture. The researcher said that our study helps to highlight the various components so that geologists can combine the previous images together.
  • We found that the plate boundary zone is about 16% of the Earth’s surface and even more in proportion, and that it is 27%, part of the continents.
  • The new model in the study, led by Dr. Derrick, shows that India is moving towards Europe. The model incorporates the microplate between the Indian plate and the Australian plate.

Building new models

  • The team of researchers designed three new geological models – the first plate model, the second province model and the third orogeny model.
  • Dr. Hesterok said there are 26 orogenies – the process of mountain construction – that have left an impression on the current architecture of the crust. Most of these are related to the formation of supercontinents.
  • Let’s explain here that orogeny is a process in which a part of the earth’s surface is bent and deformed by pressure to form a mountain range. 
  • He explained that our work provides us with new information about maps of tectonic plates and the formation of continents. These plate models that are  assembled from topographical models and global seismicity have  not been updated since 2003.
  • The new plate model includes several new microplates, including the Macquarie microplate that are located south of Tasmania and the Capricorn microplate that separates the Indian and Australian plates.
  • Dr. Hesterok pointed out that to further enrich the model, we added more accurate information about the boundaries of the deformation zones. The previous model showed these as separate areas rather than wide areas.
  • The biggest change in plate models has occurred in western North America, often bordering with the Pacific plate drawn as San Andreas and Queen Charlotte Fault. But the newly painted range is about 1,500 km wider than before.
  • He said the second major change has happened in Central Asia. The new model now covers all the deformed areas in the north of India as the plate makes its way into Eurasia.
  • Dr. Hesterok said that our new model for tectonic plates better explains the spatial distribution of 90% of the earthquakes and 80% of the volcanoes of the last 20 million years, while the current model is able to detect only about 65% of the earthquakes.
  • The plate model can be used to improve the model of risk from geo-hazards. The orogeny model helps to understand the evolution of the earth’s geodynamics systems and the improved model and the province model can be used to improve the prospecting for minerals. The study has been published in the journal Earth Science Review

Source -Down to Earth


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