Ojaank IAS Academy




11 July 2022 – Current Affairs

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Natural Farming Conclave

Paper 3 – Agriculture
Why Should You Know?

on 10th July, 2022 Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will address a Natural Farming Conclave.

In details –
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will address a Natural Farming Conclave on 10th July, 2022 at 11:30 AM via video conferencing.
  • As part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Prime Minister in his address at Gujarat Panchayat Mahasammelan in March, 2022 had exhorted at least 75 farmers in each village to adopt Natural way of farming.
  • Guided by this vision of Prime Minister, Surat District undertook a concerted and coordinated effort to sensitise and motivate different stakeholders and institutions like farmer groups, elected representatives, talathis, Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), Cooperatives, Banks etc, in the district to help farmers in adoption of Natural Farming.
  • Consequently, at least 75 farmers were identified in each Gram Panchayat and were motivated and trained to undertake Natural Farming.
  • The farmers were trained in 90 different clusters resulting in training of more than 41,000 farmers across the district.
  • The conclave is being organised in Surat, Gujarat and will witness participation of thousands of farmers and all other stakeholders who have made adoption of Natural farming in Surat, a success story. The conclave will also be attended by the Governor and Chief Minister Gujarat.
What is Natural Farming ?
  • It is considered as agroecology based diversified farming system which integrates crops, trees and livestock with functional biodiversity.
  • This farming approach was introduced by Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer and philosopher, in his 1975 book The One-Straw Revolution.
  • Natural farming is related to fertility farming, organic farming, sustainable agriculture, agroecology, agroforestry, ecoagriculture and permaculture, but should be distinguished from biodynamic agriculture.

In India, Natural farming is promoted as Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati Programme (BPKP) under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).

APEDA farm training for students

Paper 3 – Agriculture
Why Should You Know?

Recently APEDA organised farming demonstrations and farm training for students.

In details –
  • More than 150 students from Class IV to Class XII participated and learnt the basics elements of paddy cultivation at the training farm of APEDA promoted Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) which is situated at Modipuram in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Students visited the training farm on three different days and learnt the basics of paddy cultivation such as puddling, transplanting, processing, production and export process.
  • The students also learnt the activities like the process of making rice from paddy, de-husking, making steamed rice, production of rice meant for export and extraction of oil from rice and fodder for animals.
  • Besides, BEDF scientists explained to them the process of Basmati production, processing, storage, the volume of business and export activities.
  • They also learnt about soil health cards management, including green manure crops and experienced the nodules in leguminous crops, including Moong bean and Sesbania and transplanted Basmati crops in the field.
  • Shri M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA said that the objective of this initiative is to impart practical knowledge to students as well as  enhance their understanding of the entire value-chain of rice production to exports, was to support the government’s attempt to . He informed that similar field visits of students will be organized in other parts of the country for imparting practical knowledge on agricultural production systems.
  • In line with the objective of the NEP, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), organised farming demonstrations and farm training to hone the skills and inculcate practical knowledge of paddy cultivation among students, start-ups and others.
Efforts of APEDA –
  • As per the National Education Policy (NEP), institutions have been asked to give special impetus to practical knowledge and skill development instead of theoretical learning.
  • APEDA through BEDF is assisting state governments in the promotion of Basmati rice cultivation. Through the awareness creation programme, farmers were informed that the Basmati rice cultivation is an Indian tradition and it is a collective responsibility to maintain this tradition as there is huge demand for Basmati rice in the global market.
  • The farmers have been requested to get themselves registered on basmati.net through the State Agriculture Department. APEDA, through BEDF, has been assisting the state governments in promotion of Basmati rice cultivation.
  • As part of the initiatives, BEDF in collaboration with the rice exporters associations of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi, state agriculture universities and state agriculture departments, has organised 75 awareness and training programmes to encourage farmers for growing high-quality Basmati rice in the seven states. BEDF is also involved as technical partner for different FPOs, exporter associations, etc in the key growing states.
  • India has exported Basmati to the tune of close to USD 12 billion in the last three years. In 2021-22, India exported Basmati rice valued at USD 3.54 billion. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Qatar and Oman have a share of close to 80 per cent in total shipments of aromatic long grained rice from India in 2021-22.
What is APEDA ?
  • APEDA is the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority which was initiated by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act.
  • The Act was passed by the Parliament of India in December, 1985. From 13th January, 1986 the act came into effect by a notification which was issued in the Gazette of India
  • The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
  • APEDA is the premier body of export promotion of fresh vegetables and fruits. It provides the crucial interface between farmers, storehouses, packers, exporters, surface transport, ports, Railways, Airways, and all others engaged in export trade to the international market.

Two new Internet Exchanges

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?

Recently National Internet Exchange of India(NIXI) introduced two new Internet Exchanges in in West Bengal.

In details –
  • Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar- Minister of State, Electronics and Information Technology, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India in presence of Shri S S Ahluwalia, Member of Parliament Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha will be inaugurating two new Internet Exchange points (IXP) of NIXI at Durgapur and Bardhman.
  • It’s an initiative under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) vision 1000 days.
  • It may be recalled that The first Internet Exchange of the state at Kolkata is also run by National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). It is now expanding its footprint in the state by launching the two new Internet Exchange Points at Durgapur and Bardhaman. The inauguration will be at The Citi Residenci, City Centre, Durgapur.
  • The launch of these new NIXI internet exchanges in state will contribute to the enhancement and improvement of Internet and Broadband services at local level and in neighbouring regions.
  • The internet service providers connecting at these points will benefit as their broadband services to their end users will improve, bringing about a change in the lives of the people of the region.
Benefits –
  • Opening of these new IXPs will benefit every sector of the state ranging from health, education, agriculture, startup, ecosystem to MSMEs & other business verticals. Accessibility and convenience will increase for citizens in terms of availing government benefits and improving quality of life. The 2 new Internet Exchange nodes from NIXI are certain to boost the state’s Internet ecology.
  • In order to improve the overall Indian internet ecosystem and give internet users access to it at a low cost with improved speed, NIXI plans to install such internet exchanges in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in the near future.
  • All Internet Service Providers are invited by NIXI to establish peering at any of its nodes and support the domestic Internet ecosystem. Taking Digital opportunities to tier 2 / 3 cities is an article of faith for Narendra Modi Government. It is our duty to ensure that the power of internet empowers all with an approach – ‘No one is left Behind’, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a statement issued through a release.
About NIXI
  • NIXI is a non-profit Organization under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 and was registered on 19th June 2003.
  • NIXI was set up for peering of ISPs among themselves for the purpose of routing the domestic traffic within the country, instead of taking it all the way to US/Abroad, thereby resulting in better quality of service (reduced latency) and reduced bandwidth charges for ISPs by saving on International Bandwidth.
  • NIXI is managed and operated on a Neutral basis, in line with the best practices for such initiatives globally.
  • Since December 2012, NIXI also manages the National Internet Registry of the country delegation Internet Protocol addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) and Autonomous System numbers to its Affiliates.

National Fish Farmers Day

Paper 3 – Agriculture
Why Should You Know?

on 10th July 2022 National Fish Farmers Day celebrated.

In details –
  • National Fisheries Development Board, Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, celebrated the 22nd National Fish Farmers Day today in a hybrid mode at NFDB Hyderabad.
  • The program was graced virtually by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying and Dr. L. Murugan, Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • More than 1000 fish farmers, aquapreneurs  & fisher folks, professionals, officials and scientists from across the nation  participated in the event. During the event, 4 posters as an outreach on Domestic Fish Consumption and sustainable production were released.
  • Poster on“Fish for Motherhood” & “Fish Nutrients and their Wellness Benefits” were released by  Sanjeev Kumar Balyan and posters on “Sustainable Fishing Practices” & “State Fishes of India” were released by L. Murugan.
  • Addressing the event, Dr. L. Murugansaid that the country stands second in fish production through aquaculture. This is due to the contribution made by the scientists through development of breeding technologies for different fish species and culture of improved fish varieties. He added that Hon’ble Prime Minister is promoting local for vocal.
  • The country’s fisheries exports were not effected even during Covid pandemic, due to various measures taken by the Government. He said that the country has a vast untapped fisheries potential. Realising the potential of the fisheries sector, the Government has launched the PMMSY, FIDF and KCC for benefit of the fishers and fish farmers in the country.
  • To promote seaweed cultivation the Government of India sanctioned Seaweed Park in Tamil Nadu and fishing harbours are being modernized across the country, the Minister highlighted.
Government steps –
  • The Government of India is in the forefront in transforming the fisheries sector and bringing about economic revolution through Blue Revolution in the country.
  • The sector envisioned to increase the farmers’ income through enhancement of production and productivity, improving the quality and reduction of waste.  Taking into account the Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Blue Revolution” – Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries which was launched in 2016 and had made vital contributions towards the development of the sector and during 2020, Hon’ble Prime Minister launched the “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with a budget of over Rs. 20,050 crores for a period of five years.
  • PMMSY aims to achieve fish production of 22 MMT from the current 13.76 MMT by 2024-25 and create an additional employment opportunity to about 55 lakh people through this sector.
  • Also the scheme provides thrust for infusing new and emerging technologies in fisheries and aquaculture while creating a conducive environment for private sector participation, development of entrepreneurship, business models, promotion of ease of doing business, innovations and innovative project activities including start-ups, incubators etc.
  • The Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) scheme was started in 2018-19 with a budget of Rs. 7,522.48 crores, which is also continuing presently.
  • FIDF will specifically cater to creation of fisheries infrastructure facilities both in marine and inland fisheries sectors to augment the fish production to achieve the target. Projects under the FIDF are eligible for loan up to 80% of the estimated/actual project cost.
  • On the occasion NFDB and State Bank of India signed  MOU  to facilitate FIDF & Entrepreneur Models scheme.
History –
  • National Fish Farmers Day is celebrated on 10th July 2022 every year to demonstrate solidarity with all fisher folk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholders throughout the Country.
  • It is 65th National Fish Farmers Day being celebrated across the Country.
  • Every year, this annual event is celebrated to commemorate Professor Dr. Hiralal Chaudhury and his colleague Alikunhi for their contribution in achieving the successful induced breeding of major carps on 10th July, 1957 at Angul in Odisha for the first time in the country through administration of carp pituitary hormone extract in the breeding of major carps.
  • The technology was later on standardized and fine-tuned by developing synthetic hormone for quality seed production across the country.
  • This pioneering work of induced breeding over the years has transformed the growth of aquaculture sector from traditional to intensive aquaculture practices and led to success of modern aquaculture industry.

30th meeting of Northern Zonal Council

Paper 2 – Governance
Why Should You Know?

On July 9, 2022 the Union Home and Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah presided over the 30th meeting of Northern Zonal Council in Jaipur.

In details –
  • Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the 30th meeting of the Northern Zone Council in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • This includes Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinay Kumar Saxena, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur, Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit and senior officials. was present.
  • A total of 47 issues were discussed in the 30th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council held in Jaipur and the 19th meeting of its Standing Committee. Out of these, 4 issues have been identified as important topics at the national level, these are being regularly discussed and monitored in the meetings of various Zonal Councils.
  • These include improving banking services in rural areas, monitoring cases of rape and sexual offenses against women and children, setting up fast track courts for such cases and implementing Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
  • Of the 47 issues that were discussed, 35 issues have been resolved. It shows the resolve and commitment of the Modi government towards the all-round development of the nation in the spirit of cooperative federalism.
  • Internal security, road, transport, industry, water, electricity and other issues were discussed in the meeting. The Northern Zonal Council also discussed the growing threat of cybercrime and strategies for its prevention.
  • The Northern Zonal Council consists of Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Union Territories- Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Delhi and Chandigarh. Regional councils work under cooperative federalism and provide a forum for discussion in a structured manner on issues affecting one or more states and between centre-states.
About Zonal Councils of India –
  • Zonal Councils are advisory councils and are made up of the states of India that have been grouped into five zones to foster cooperation among them.
  • These were set up vide Part-III of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
  • In India There are five zones- Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern and provided a zonal council for each zone.
  • Each chief minister acts as a vice chairman of the council by rotation, holding office for a period of one year at a time.
Five councils –
  • The Northern Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh,
  • The Central Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh,
  • The Eastern Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim and West Bengal,
  • The Western Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli,
  • The Southern Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
The objectives –
  • Bringing out national integration
  • Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies.
  • Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences.
  • Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.

National Conclave on Mines & Minerals

Paper 2 – Government Policies
Why Should You Know?

On July 12, 2022 the Mines Ministry is going to Organize 6th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals in New Delhi.

In details –
  • Ministry of Mines will be organising the 6th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav iconic week celebrations on 12th July, 2022 in New Delhi. 
  • Union Home Minister Sh. Amit Shah will be the chief guest of the conclave to be organised at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre.
  • Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi will be inaugurating the one-day conclave in the presence of Minister of State for Mines, Coal and Railways Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve, Secretary Ministry of Mines Shri Alok Tandon and other senior officials of the ministry.
  • Some of the highlights of the conclave include conferring of national level award Rashtriya Khanij Vikas Puraskar to the best performing States in the field of mining, launch of three modules of Mining Tenement System (MTS), awards for 5-Star rated mines for the year 2020-21 and National Geo Science Awards-2019.
  • Technical session by National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) and session on automation in mining will be held as part of the inaugural session of the conclave.
  • CEOs of various mining companies shall brainstorm on important issues pertaining to India’s mining sector during the round table discussions.
  • As part of the afternoon session,  the award function includes presenting new mine blocks to State Governments and the Ministry of Coal and providing incentive to State Governments for successful auction and identification of blocks.
  • Districts performing well under District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMF) will be showcasing their achievements. Digital kiosk showcasing exhibition on development of exploration and mining during the last 75 years will be on display. 
  • A life size digital booklet depicting reforms undertaken in mining sector will be yet another attraction of the conclave.
Background –
  • Ministry of Mines introduced the concept of National Mining Conclave in 2016 with the aim to provide a platform for interaction among different stakeholders like Central Government officers who are policy makers, state government officers, the real executors in the auction regime, industry and the industry associations.
  • The National Conclave on Mines & Minerals are reckoned as an overwhelming success in providing an effective platform to showcase  key policy initiatives undertaken and help the Government in garnering valuable feedback for the sustained growth of the mineral sector.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre of Excellence (Coe)

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?

Indian Air Force launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre of Excellence (Coe).

In details –
  • The IAF Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence under the aegis of UDAAN (Unit for Digitisation, Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Application Networking) was inaugurated by Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS), on 10 July 2022 at Air Force Station Rajokri, New Delhi.
  • A Big Data Analytics and Al Platform has been commissioned in the IAF’s Al Centre, for handling all aspects of Analytics, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks and Deep Learning algorithms.
  • The high-end compute requirements would be undertaken by the latest Graphical Processing Unit powered servers.
  • Addressing the gathering, VCAS said that IAF has taken proactive steps to embed Industry 4.0 and Al based technologies in its war fighting processes.
  • He reiterated that the AI COE with high end compute and big data storage capabilities, coupled with full spectrum Al software suites, would substantially enhance operational capability of IAF.
  • The Al based applications are being developed with inhouse expertise in coordination with various PSUs, MSMEs and leading academia in the field of Artificial intelligence.
What is Artificial intelligence (AI)?
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, as opposed to the natural intelligence displayed by animals including humans.
  • AI research has been defined as the field of study of intelligent agents, which refers to any system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of achieving its goals.
  • Through artificial intelligence, efforts are being made to make computer systems or machines in such a way that they can easily do the work done by humans.
  • These machines are being made in such a way that they can easily do tasks like making decisions, understanding of right and wrong, visual perception, identifying humans and so on.
  • If said in more simple language, then these machines are being given brain like humans. So that he can also take decisions like humans.
  • John McCarthy was the founder of artificial intelligence. Together with his partners Marvin Minsky, Herbert Simon and Ellen Newell, he founded and researched artificial intelligence. The term artificial intelligence was invented by John McCarthy in the year 1955.


Paper 3- Security
Why Should You Know?

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant successfully completed the fourth phase of sea trials on July 10, 2022.

In details –
  • The fourth phase of Sea Trials for IAC has been successfully completed on 10 Jul 22, during which integrated trials of majority of equipment and systems onboard including some of the Aviation Facilities Complex equipment were undertaken.
  • The ship’s delivery is being targeted in end Jul 22, followed by commissioning of the ship in Aug 22 to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.  
  • The Indigenous design and construction of Aircraft Carrier by Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Ltd is a shining example in the Nation’s quest for ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India Initiative’ with more than 76% indigenous content.
  • This has led to growth in indigenous design and construction capabilities, besides development of large number of ancillary industries, with employment opportunities for over 2000 CSL personnel and about 12000 employees in ancillary industries.
  • Maiden Sea Trials of IAC were successfully completed in Aug 21. This was followed by second and third phases of Sea Trials in Oct 21 and Jan 22 respectively. 
  • During these three phases of Sea Trials, endurance testing of propulsion machinery, electrical & electronic suites, deck machinery, lifesaving appliances, ship’s Navigation and Communication systems was undertaken.
About INS Vikrant –
  • INS Vikrant, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1) is an aircraft carrier constructed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) for the Indian Navy.
  • It is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India. It is named ‘Vikrant’ as a tribute to India’s first aircraft carrier, Vikrant (R11).
  • The name Vikrant means “courageous” in Sanskrit.The motto of the ship is “Jayema Saṁ Yudhi Spr̥dhaḥ”, means “I defeat those who fight against me”.
  • The indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is 262 metres (860 ft) long and 62 metres (203 ft) wide, and displaces about 45,000 metric tons (44,000 long tons).
  • It features a STOBAR configuration with a ski-jump. The deck is designed to enable aircraft such as the MiG-29K to operate from the carrier.
  • It is expected to carry an air group of up to thirty aircraft, which will include up to 24–26 fixed-wing combat aircraft, primarily the MiG-29K, besides carrying 10 Kamov Ka-31 or Westland Sea King helicopters.
  • The Ka-31 will fulfill the airborne early warning (AEW) role and the Sea King will provide anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.

Two Day Regional Conference for Good Governance

Paper 2 – Governance
Why Should You Know?

A two-day Regional Conference on the theme “Bringing Citizens, Entrepreneurs and Government Closer for Good Governance” will be held at Bengaluru from tomorrow (July 12,2022).

In details-
  • A two-day Regional Conference on the theme “Bringing Citizens, Entrepreneurs and Government Closer for Good Governance” will be held at Bengaluru from tomorrow.
  • The Regional Conference is being organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in collaboration with Government of Karnataka.
  • Union Minister of State. Independent Charge (I/C) Science & Technology; Minister of State (I/C) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh and Shri Basavaraj Bommai, Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka will grace the valedictory session on 12th of July.
  • The conference is an effort to bring the Government and Citizens closer through various administrative reforms at centre, state and district level.
  • The is being enabled by use of digital technology, pursuing next generation reforms and innovations with policy objective of “Maximum Governance, Minimum Government”, entailing Government process Re-Engineering, Universal access to e-services, excellence in digital initiatives at district level and excellence in adopting emerging technologies and use of ICT Management.
Activities –

During the 2-day event, presentations will be made in six sessions:

  1. Administrative Reforms;
  2. The Outside in View: Private Sector & Good Governance;
  3. Replication of Best Practices;
  4. Administrative Reforms in States;
  5. Benchmarking Governance and
  6. Start-ups and Experiments in Good Governance.
  7. Shri Amar Nath, Additional Secretary, ARPG will present the welcome address. Smt. Vandita Sharma, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka and Shri V. Srinivas, Secretary, ARPG will also address the valedictory session. The vote of thanks will be presented by Dr. Srivatsa Krishna, Principal Secretary, DPAR, Karnataka during the valedictory session.
  8. Delegates from all States/Union Territories will participate in the Conference. More than 400 delegates from PAN-India are expected to participate in the Conference. The Conference is being held in a semi-virtual mode.

Cloudburst in Amarnath

Paper 1 – Geography
Why Should You Know?

On July 8, 2022 there was an incident of cloudburst in Amarnath, Jammu and Kashmir, in which many people have died, let us know what is cloudburst.

In details –
  • Sudden, “highly-localised rains” in Amarnath, Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday evening (July 8) caused flooding and led to the deaths of at least 16 people and injuries to more than 20 others. Those who died were at a camp near the cave, a site of pilgrimage.
  • the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) later said on July 9 that a cloudburst may not have actually occurred.
What is a cloudburst?
  • A cloudburst refers to an extreme amount of rain that happens in a short period, sometimes accompanied by hail and thunder, and this has a precise definition.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) defines it as unexpected precipitation exceeding 100mm (or 10 cm) per hour over a geographical region of approximately 20 to 30 square km. Significant amounts of rainfall such as this can result in floods.
  • Basically, all instances of cloudbursts involve heavy rain in a short period, but all instances of heavy rain in a short period are not cloudbursts if they do not fit this criterion.
  • According to weather scientists, the shrine reported 31 mm of rainfall between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm on Friday (8th July ), which does not fit the definition. “The flash floods could have been triggered due to rainfall in the higher reaches of the mountains near the Amarnath cave shrine,” IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said.
Why do cloudbursts occur in hilly areas?
  • Experts have said it is difficult to predict when exactly a cloudburst will occur, and there is little definitive data on the exact number of cloudbursts that occur in India.
  • Due to their definition dealing with a very small area, it is difficult to accurately predict and identify cloudbursts immediately. However, they are more likely to occur in mountainous zones mainly because of terrain and elevation.
  • This is because, in hilly areas, sometimes saturated clouds ready to condense into rain cannot produce rain, due to the upward movement of the very warm current of air.
  • Instead of falling downwards, raindrops are carried upwards by the air current. New drops are formed and existing raindrops increase in size. After a point, the raindrops become too heavy for the cloud to hold on to, and they drop down together in a quick flash.
  • A study published in 2020 examined the meteorological factors behind the cloudburst over the Kedarnath region, where a cloudburst aided the devastating 2013 floods. It found that during a cloudburst, the relative humidity and cloud cover was at the maximum level with low temperature and slow winds. “It is expected that because of this situation a high amount of clouds may get condensed at a very rapid rate and result in a cloudburst,” wrote the team.
  • Last year, a cloudburst occurred in the Amarnath region around the same time. However, as the Amarnath yatra had been previously closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it did not lead to loss of life there.

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