Wednesday, 12th October 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Five Tipping Points and Climate Change

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Mission Mangalyaan - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Light Pollution and Migratory Birds

2   Terms & Concepts

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Mallakhamb - Edukemy Current Affairs

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International Finance Corporation

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Nobel Peace Prize - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Election Symbols Order - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

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Arctic Ice Melting: Ocean Acidification Threatens Life

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India's Defence Production Status: Indo-Pacific Ranking

4   Case Study of the Day

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Modhera India's first 24x7 solar-powered village

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Five Tipping Points and Climate Change


In news

Scientists have recently warned of lock in unstoppable changes to the planet owing to climate change

About the news

  • In a recent study of the last 15 years of research, scientists have analysed five tipping points occurring at the current global warming level of approximately 1.2°C.
  • Continued greenhouse gas emissions has been the triggering climate tipping points with self-sustaining shifts in the climate system that would lock-in devastating changes, like sea-level rise, even if all emissions ended.

  • Climate change has resulted in tip and transition to a savannah-like state first, bypassing a more catastrophic dieback across the whole forest along small patches of the Amazon and northern forests.
  • The first major assessment was done in 2008 which identified nine parts of the climate system that are sensitive to tipping, including ice sheets, ocean currents permafrost around the Arctic and major forests.
  • The findings are important to strengthen the case for ambitious emissions cuts in line with the Paris agreement’s aim of halting warming at 1.5°C.

Major findings:

  • Uncertain thresholds: Synthesised results of more than 200 studies estimates that warming thresholds for each tipping element as global warming exceeds 1.5°C, four of these five become increasingly probable.
  • Shrinking sheets: Records shows ice sheets had retreated in the past and modelling studies indicate the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheet is likely to collapse beyond 1.5°C than those for abrupt permafrost thaw.
  • Duration: Ice sheets being massive the change will be very slowly and collapse would take thousands of years, and the processes driving it require warming to remain beyond the threshold for several decades.
  • Scope of retreat: If warming returned below the threshold before tipping kicked in, it may be possible for ice sheets to temporarily overshoot their thresholds without collapsing.
  • Spread: Change is likely to be more dispersed with both tropical coral reef death and abrupt permafrost thaw thresholds becoming much more widespread at a similar time beyond 1.5°C.
  • Global phenomenon: Ocean currents in the North Atlantic can dramatically flip from being strong, as they are now to weak as a result of both warming and melting freshwater from Greenland disrupting circulation.
  • Danger zone: Degradation and drought will cause parts of the Amazon to become less resilient to disturbances like fire and will emit more carbon than they absorb.

Source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/climate-change/climate-tipping-points-could-lock-in-unstoppable-changes-to-the-planet-how-close-are-they--85352

 

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Keywords: General Studies III: Climate Change, global warming
News Snapshot

Mission Mangalyaan - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News:

India’s maiden mars orbiter has recently completed its mission.

About the News:

  • Over a decade after it was launched, India’s mission to Mars — Mangalyaan — has recently run out of propellant, making it difficult to stay in orbit around the red planet.
  • Mangalyaan or MOM was the maiden interplanetary mission of ISRO which was launched in 2013 and was successfully inserted into Martian orbit in 2014 on its first attempt.
  • Mangalyaan,’ Sanskrit for ‘Mars-craft’ was launched onboard PSLV-C25 making ISRO only the fourth space agency in the world to launch such a mission beyond Earth’s orbit.
  • It was primarily a technology demonstration venture and the mission objectives included design and realisation of systems and subsystems, launch for interplanetary mission, insertion into other planet's orbit, operation of the spacecraft and scientific instruments around Mars orbit.
  • Built at a modest cost INR 450 crore, it was designed to last for 6 months when launched, but ended up lasting 8 years.

Major highlights of MoM:

  • World’s most cost-effective mars mission: The ‘Mangalyaan ‘mission, developed cost-effectively at about INR 450 crore, is the world’s cheapest mission to mars.
  • Efficient: The satellite had a six-month-long mission in the Martian orbit, but ended up serving for eight valuable years making it one of the world’s most efficient and valuable launches.

  • Instruments on board: The ‘Mangalyaan ‘was equipped with five instruments to study the Martian surface features, morphology, mineralogy and the Martian atmosphere including:
    • Mars Color Camera (MCC),
    • Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS),
    • Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM),
    • Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)
    • Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP).

Road ahead: Although ISRO is yet to the confirm the status of the current mission, it is expected that the agency will launch ‘Mangalyaan-2’ orbiter in near future.

Source: 

  • https://tech.hindustantimes.com/tech/news/mars-orbiter-craft-completes-eight-years-in-orbit-71664193020058.html

Image:

  • https://www.indiatoday.in/india/north/story/mars-mission-mangalyaan-earth-orbit-isro-india-trans-mars-injection-idsn-219309-2013-12-02

 

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Keywords: General studies: General studies III: Satellites, Space technology, Mars orbiter, Mangalyaan
News Snapshot

Light Pollution and Migratory Birds


In News:

The World Migratory Bird Day was recently celebrated.

About World Migratory Bird Day

  • It is a bi-annual global awareness campaign designed to increase public understanding of migrating birds, the necessity for their protection, and the significance of protecting their habitat.
  • It is celebrated on the second Saturday in May (14 May this year) and then in October (8 October this year).

  • The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), as well as the non-profit group Environment for the Americas (EFTA), collaborates to organize WMBD.
  • Other committed groups, such as Bird Life International (BLI) and the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), are also actively supporting the 2022 worldwide effort.

Theme

  • "Light Pollution" is the focus of World Migratory Bird Day in 2022.
  • In WMBD 2022, the growing problem of light pollution's effects on these birds and efforts to ensure their safe migration are addressed.

Significant dangers to migratory birds are brought on by artificial lighting, including:

  • Night-time flying distortion
  • Collisions involving buildings
  • Disruptions to both their Biological clock and their capacity for long-distance migration.
  • Risk of exhaustion, predation and lethal collision with buildings and other man-made infrastructure.

What is Light Pollution?

  • Light pollution, according to CMS, is defined as "artificial light that alters ecosystems' normal rhythms of light and dark."
  • Over the course of the day and night, artificial lighting is used more frequently. Outdoor artificial lighting climbed by 2.2% year from 2012 to 2016; by 2022, this increase might be significantly higher.
  • Today, close to 99% of people in Europe and North America and over 80% of the world's population live beneath a "lit sky."

About Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention

  • It is a global agreement with the objective of protecting migratory species across the entirety of their ranges. The agreement, which was signed under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), addresses the global conservation of species and habitats.
  • It was ratified in 1983 after being signed in Bonn, West Germany, in 1979.
  • CMS, a United Nations environmental convention, offers a forum for the protection and wise use of migratory animals and their habitats on a worldwide scale.

Indian Scenario

  • India has ratified the CMS.
  • The CMS CoP-13 was held in India (in 2020) in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat.
  • The National Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Species in the Central Asian Flyway has also been launched by India.
  • A variety of migratory animals and birds temporarily reside in India.
    • Among these, Amur falcons, Bar-headed geese, Black-necked cranes, marine turtles, dugongs, and humpback whales are among the significant species.
    • The Central Asian Flyway (CAF), which spans regions between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, includes the Indian subcontinent as part of its extensive network of bird migration routes.

Impact of Light Pollution on Birds

  • It has the ability to alter a variety of avian behaviours, including migration, foraging, and communication.
  • Particularly for species that migrate at night, it also has an impact on their level of activity and energy consumption.
  • It draws and confuses off nocturnally migrating birds, which may lead to them circling in luminous regions.
  • They may exhaust their energy reserves as a result of this artificial light-induced behavior, which increases their vulnerability to weariness, predation, and deadly collisions.
  • Long-distance migratory birds, like the Blackpoll Warbler, Asian Stubtail, and Oriental Plover, may begin and end their migrations in locations with relatively low levels of light pollution, but while migrating, they may fly over densely populated areas where they experience high levels of artificial light.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.un.org/en/un-chronicle/growing-effects-light-pollution-migratory-birds, https://www.cms.int/en/news/world-migratory-bird-day-8-october-highlights-light-pollution-growing-threat-migratory-birds#:~:text=Every%20year%2C%20light%20pollution%20contributes,vocal%20communication%2C%20and%20increase%20predation., 

 

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Keywords: GS paper II & III, Important International institutions, Conservation
Terms & Concepts

Mallakhamb - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Maharashtra’s 10 year old has won her second gold medal in the 36th National Games Mallakhamb competition.
  • Mallakhamb is a traditional sport, in which a gymnast performs aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling gripswith a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope.
  • The name Mallakhamb derives from the termsmalla, meaning wrestler, and khamb, which means a pole. Literally meaning "wrestling pole", the term refers to a traditional training implement used by wrestlers.

  • Madhya Pradeshand Maharashtra have been the hotspots of this sport.
  • Ancient Indian epics like the Ramayana, ancient Chandraketugarh pottery (2nd – 1st BCE) and also accounts of Buddhist Chinese pilgrims to India mention it.
  • Mallakhamb was originally practiced to develop the strength, agility and flexibility of
  • Mallakhamb made its first appearance as a competitive sport on the national level at the National Gymnastics Championships in 1958 held in Delhi. The first-ever national mallakhamb championships were held at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, in 1962.
  • Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has accredited many traditional and indigenous sports including Mallakhamb, Gataka, Thang-Ta under the ‘Promotion of rural and indigenous/tribal games’ component of the Khelo India Scheme.
  • Presently it is considered a traditional sport of Madhya Pradesh.

Source:

  • https://www.indiatoday.in/india/gujarat/story/prime-minister-narendra-modi-praises-youngest-mallakhamb-players-fine-display-of-acrobatics-at-the-national-games-2282844-2022-10-08
  • https://olympics.com/en/news/what-is-mallakhamb-rules-history-origin-india
  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1845122

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: Art and Culture, Mallakhamb
Terms & Concepts

International Finance Corporation


  • Context: The International Finance Corp (IFC) has launched a new, $6 billion financing facility to strengthen the private sector’s ability to respond to the crisis and help support food production.
  • Established in 1956, IFC is owned by 186 member countries, a group that collectively determines its policies.
  • The World Bank Group consists of five distinct yet complementary organizations:
    • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
    • International Development Association (IDA)
    • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
    • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
    • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

  • IFC is a separate legal entity with separate Articles of Agreement, share capital, financial structure, management, and staff. Membership in IFC is open only to member countries of the World Bank.
  • The President of the World Bank Group is also President of IFC.
  • As the largest global development institution focused on the private sector, IFC operates in more than 100 countries, with a special focus on infrastructure, manufacturing, agribusiness, services and financial markets.
  • IFC helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.

Source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/news/world/ifc-launches-financing-platform-to-respond-to-global-food-crisis-11664871022576.html
  • https://www.jstor.org/stable/25659121

Image source:

  • https://www.wallstreetmojo.com/full-form-of-ifc/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper-III, Economy: World Bank
Terms & Concepts

Nobel Peace Prize - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Recently, the 2022 Nobel Peace Prizewas awarded to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial, and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties.
  • The Prize recognizes their contribution for many years, promoting the right to criticize power and protecting the fundamental rights of citizens.

  • Ales Bialiatski was one of the initiators of the democracy movement in Belarusin the mid-1980s.”
  • Bialiatski is also credited with founding the organisation Viasna (Spring) in 1996 in response to the controversial constitutional amendmentsthat gave the president (Alexander Lukashenko) dictatorial powers.
  • Russian human rights organisation Memorial was established in 1987,“by human rights activists in the former Soviet Union who wanted to ensure that the victims of the communist regime’s oppression would never be forgotten.”
  • The Center for Civil Liberties wasfounded in Kyiv in 2007 “for the purpose of advancing human rights and democracy in Ukraine”.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/nobel-peace-prize-ales-bialiatski-memorial-center-for-civil-liberties-russia-war-8196817/

Image source:

  • https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/6/why-does-the-nobel-peace-prize-often-stir-controversy

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: International Relations, GS Paper 3: Security
Terms & Concepts

Election Symbols Order - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has recently frozen the election symbol of a political party under Symbols order, 1968 until competing claims by the two rival factions gets decided.

  • The Election Symbols Order, 1968 empowers the ECI to decide which group is representative of a recognised national and state party if rivalry arises in the party.
  • The decision is binding under the order.
  • In almost all disputes decided by the EC so far, a clear majority of party delegates/office bearers, MPs and MLAshave supported one of the factions.
  • Before 1968, the EC issued notifications and executive orders under the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.
  • Splinter group of the party (other than the group that got the party symbol) has to register itself as a separate party, and could lay claim to national or state party status on the basis of its performance in state or central elections after registration.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-politics/election-commission-frozen-shiv-senas-symbol-8198279/

Image source:

  • https://trbahadurpur.com/product/election-symbols/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 2: Polity: Election Symbols, Election Commission of India
Editorial of the day

Arctic Ice Melting: Ocean Acidification Threatens Life


Essence - The article talks about the research findings that highlight rising acidity in the western arctic ocean region due to the melting of ice caps. The rate of acidity rise of the ocean water was found to be higher than previously expected. Scientists have predicted that by 2050 the ice caps will no longer survive in the region.

The article highlights that the rise in acidity of ocean water is greatly impacting marine life and poses an existential threat to a lot of them. It is noted that the change in acidity impacts the composition, flow, and movement of the surface water. The changing composition is a threat to marine life that has evolved over time to survive in basic conditions.

Why should you read this Editorial?

  • To understand the impact of melting ice caps on the ocean surface water and marine ecosystem.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-climate/arctic-ice-melting-climate-change-8186502/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, environment, global warming, Marine Ecology
Editorial of the day

India's Defence Production Status: Indo-Pacific Ranking


Essence - The article highlights the comparative study of the defence production capabilities of major Indo-Pacific nations by SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Organization). The study puts India in 4th position with China, Japan, and South Korea leading it.

The article also highlights important comparisons between India and China in defence imports and manufacturing. While China was among the top five importers of defence equipment in the last decade, it has rapidly shifted to its own research and defence manufacturing. India on the other hand is the second largest importer of defence equipment and still relies heavily on imports, with a growing emphasis on developing domestic research and manufacturing, which is a welcome sign and should be accelerated.

The SIPRI research compared the defence production capabilities of the major Indo-Pacific nations on three parameters: Arms procurement, Arms industry, and Uncrewed maritime vehicles.

Why should you read this Editorial?

  • The article is a good read for a comparative study of the defence manufacturing capabilities of major nations in the Indo-Pacific.
  • The article outlines the steps that India should take in order to be self-reliant in the defence production.

Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/india-defence-production-exports-imports-capabilities-explained-8196801/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, GS Paper 2, Defence
Case Study of the Day

Modhera India's first 24x7 solar-powered village


Background:

The Indian Prime Minister recently declared Modhera village in Gujarat as the country's first 24x7 solar-powered village.

About Modhera

  • The Modhera village is located 25 km from the Mehsana district of Gujarat.
  • Modhera is known for the Sun temple situated on the bank of the Pushpavati river. The temple was built around 1026-27 CE during the reign of Bhima I of the Chalukya dynasty.

  • Powering the village of Modhera with Solar powered panels was undertaken as a joint venture project between the centre & the state government in 2019, and was completed in two phases in September 2022 at a cost of ₹80.66 crore.
  • The village has a ground-mounted solar power plant, and over 1,300 rooftop solar systems with 1kW capacity have been installed on houses to generate electricity. All of these solar systems are linked to a battery energy storage system (BESS).
  • During the day, solar panels power the village, while in the evening, BESS, India's first grid-connected megawatt hour scale battery energy storage system, power the houses.
  • Also, the Gujarat government stated that the project will make Modhera the first village in India to become a net renewable energy generator, demonstrating how renewable energy can empower people at the grassroots level.
  • Further, People in the village can save 60-100% on their electricity bills with this move.

Quote:

One of the most exciting opportunities created by renewable energy technologies like solar is the ability to help the world's poorest develop faster - but more sustainably too - Ed Davey

Source:

  • PM Modi declares Gujarat’s Modhera as India's first 24x7 solar-powered village
  • Gujarat's Modhera set to become 1st solar-powered village

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/mnreindia/status/1579152057726291968/photo/1

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Infrastructure: Energy: Solar Energy, Modhera, India's first solar-powered village
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