Tuesday, 17th January 2023

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

a  

Thiruvalluvar Day.

b  

First evidence of solitary waves near Mars

c  

Venus mission ‘Shukrayaan’

d  

Oxfam's “Survival of the Richest" report

e  

India proposes amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR)

2   Terms & Concepts

a  

MAVEN Mission

b  

The ‘Venus’, Earth's twin Planet

c  

How are states renamed in India?

d  

Who was Kesvananda Bharati and how was he associated with the ‘Basic Structure’ doctrine?

3   Editorial of the day

a  

Govt nominee in panel to shortlist judges: What Union Law Minister's letter proposes, how it differs from NJAC?

4   News Capsules

a  

EXERCISE ‘VARUNA’ – 2023

b  

First state in India to implement a policy for blindness control

c  

India's first Centre of Excellence in Online Gaming

d  

Skyhawk: India’s first 5G enabled drone

e  

CII Business Confidence Index

5   Case Study of the Day

a  

How bad is the problem of antibiotic resistance, and how to solve it?

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News Snapshot

Thiruvalluvar Day.


Context: On January 16, Thiruvalluvar Day was observed to mark the birth anniversary of the poet.  Thiruvalluvar Day was first celebrated on May 17 and 18 in 1935.

  • In the present time, it is usually observed either on January 15 or 16 in Tamil Nadu and is a part of Pongal celebrations.

Who was Thiruvalluvar?

Except for his work, nothing much is known about Thiruvalluvar’s life.

  • Among Tamils, poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar is regarded as a cultural icon.
  • In the early 16th century, a temple was built within the Ekambareswarar temple complex in Mylapore and it was dedicated to Thiruvalluvar.
  • So, it is believed that he used to live in the town of Mylapore, which in today’s time is a neighborhood in Chennai.
  • Some accounts say that he lived from the 8th to the 9th century.

Thiruvalluvar’s Famous Work:

  • His most popular work is Thirukkuṛaḷ, which has 1330 couplets (kurals), and it is basically a collection of couplets on politics, ethics, economy, and love.
  • The couplets define moral living, ideal characteristics of every relationship in the world, moral responsibilities of every human born in the earth.

Valluvar year:

  • The Valluvar year is a type of calendar system which has additional 31 years. For instance, the Valluvar year of 2022 (Gregorian year) is 2053.
  • It was the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi who initiated the idea of Valluvar Day.

Significance:

  • The Tamil saint-poet neither mentioned his religion and caste nor his place of birth and language in any of the verses nor did he highlight his ideas about a particular religion or ritual.
  • He has influenced a wide range of scholars through the years in disciplines like ethics, politics, economics, philosophy and spirituality. He is a venerated figure in Tamil culture.

Source: PIB

Keywords: GS Paper 1 | Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
News Snapshot

First evidence of solitary waves near Mars


Context: Scientists have reported the first evidence of the presence of solitary waves or distinct electric field fluctuations in the Martian magnetosphere.

Highlights:

  • For the first time, a research team from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) has identified and reported the solitary waves in the Martian magnetosphere.
  • These waves were reported with the help of high-resolution electric field data recorded by Langmuir Probe and Waves instrument on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft of NASA.
  • The magnetosphere is weak but highly dynamic and formed due to the direct interaction of solar winds with the Martian atmosphere.

Significanceof the finding:

  • Unlike Earth, the planet Mars do not have any intrinsic magnetic field. This allows the high-speed solar wind to interact directly with the Mars atmosphere, like an obstacle in flow.
  • It has been suggested that even in a weak and thin magnetosphere as that of the Mars, one can observe frequent occurrences of solitary waves.
  • However, despite several missions to Mars, the presence of solitary waves in the Martian magnetosphere has never been reported earlier.
  • The study of these waves is crucial as they directly control particle energization, plasma loss, transport, etc., through wave-particle interactions.

What are the Solitary waves?

A solitary wave is a localized "wave of translation" that arises from a balance between nonlinear and dispersive effects. In most types of solitary waves, the pulse width depends on the amplitude.

Key points about Solitary waves on the Mars:

  • Solitary waves are the distinct electric field fluctuations (bipolar or monopolar) that follow constant amplitude-phase relations.
  • Their shape and size are less affected during their propagation.
  • These pulses are dominantly seen in the dawn and afternoon-dusk sectors at an altitude of 1000–3500 km around the Mars.
  • The dominant occurrence of solitary waves in the dawn and dusk sector is still a mystery and needs further investigation.
  • Through simulations, it is found that the spatial extent of these structures is very small (30-330 meters).
  • These waves are known to be responsible for the plasma energization and its transport in Earth’s magnetosphere.

 

Source: PIB

Keywords: GS Paper 3, Awareness in Space
News Snapshot

Venus mission ‘Shukrayaan’


Context: According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) the organisation is yet to receive approval from the Indian government for the Venus mission and that the mission could as a result be postponed to 2031.

  • ISRO’s Venus mission, called Shukrayaan I, initially was expected to be launched in December 2024.

Launch Window: The orbital manoeuvres for launching of the Mission are most conducive when earth and Venus would be so aligned that the spacecraft could be put in the neighbouring planet's orbit using a minimum amount of propellant.

  • The next similar window would be available in 2031.
  • Optimal launch windows from Earth to Venus occur once around every 19 months.
  • This is why ISRO has ‘backup’ launch dates in 2026 and 2028 should it miss the 2024 opportunity.

What is the Shukrayaan I?

  • Shukrayaan I will be an orbiter mission.
  • Its scientific payloads currently include a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar and a ground-penetrating radar.
  • The mission is expected to study Venus’s geological and volcanic activity, emissions on the ground, wind speed, cloud cover, and other planetary characteristics from an elliptical orbit.

Subsurface Investigation: ‘Shukrayaan-I’ plans to investigate the surface processes and shallow sub-surface study of rock layers, active volcanic hotspots, and lava flows and its patterns.

Other mission to Venus:

  • Both the U.S. and the European space agencies have Venus missions planned for 2031 — referring to VERITAS and EnVision, respectively.
  • China might launch its own mission for venus in upcoming years.

 

Source: The Hindu

Keywords: GS Paper 3, Awareness in Space
News Snapshot

Oxfam's “Survival of the Richest" report


Context: recently, a report on inequality - “Survival of the Richest: The India story”- was released by Oxfam India.

Key points of the report:

  • India's top 1% owned more than 40.5% of its total wealth in 2021.
  • In 2022, the number of billionaires in the country increased to 166 from 102 in 2020.
  • The bottom half of the population own just 3% of wealth.
  • Disparity: More than 40% of the wealth created in the country from 2012 to 2021 had gone to just 1% of the population while only 3% had trickled down to the bottom 50%.
  • Tax: The country's poor and middle class were taxed more than the rich, Oxfam said.
  • The rich, currently, benefited from reduced corporate taxes, tax exemptions and other incentives.
  • GST: Approximately 64% of the total goods and services tax (GST) in the country came from the bottom 50% of the population, while only 4% came from the top 10%.

Suggestion given in the report:

  • To correct this disparity, there is need to implement progressive tax measures such as wealth tax in the upcoming budget.
  • A 2% tax on the entire wealth of India's billionaires would support the nutrition of the country's malnourished population for the next three years.
  • A 1% wealth tax could fund the National Health Mission, India's largest healthcare scheme for more than1.5 years.
  • Taxing the top 100 Indian billionaires at 2.5% or taxing the top 10 Indian billionaires at 5% would nearly cover the entire amount required to bring an estimated 150 million children back into school.

What is Oxfam?

Oxfam is a British-founded confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International.

 

Source: BBC.

Keywords: GS Paper 1, Population and Associated Issues
News Snapshot

India proposes amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR)