Monday, 25th December 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs

a  

CISF Enlisted for Enhanced Parliament Security

b  

India's Inaugural Winter Arctic Research Expedition

c  

R21/Matrix-M Vaccine

d  

Hindustan Republican Association and the Kakori Train Action

e  

Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023

f  

Queen of Millet

g  

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

h  

Project PRAYAS

i  

Turquet's Octopus

j  

Sone River

2   Daily Editorial Analysis

a  

Revolutionizing Indian Education: A Vision for Long-Term Transformation

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Daily Current Affairs

CISF Enlisted for Enhanced Parliament Security


In News: Following the recent Parliament breach, MHA instructs CISF survey for enhanced security. 

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): Safeguarding Critical Assets 

Establishment and Growth 

Initially formed in 1969 with just three battalions, CISF, a Central Armed Police Force, now boasts a robust strength of 1,63,590 personnel, offering integrated security cover to sensitive public sector undertakings. 

Operational Spectrum 

  • Critical Infrastructure 
    • Providing security to 353 establishments, including Atomic Power Plants, Space Installations, Defence Production Units, Mines, Oil Fields, and Refineries. 
  • Fire Protection 
    • Equipped with a dedicated Fire Wing serving 104 establishments. 
  • VIP Security 
    • Mandated to protect VIPs of Z+, Z, Y, and X categories nationwide. 
  • Airports 
    • Entrusted with airport security since 2000, following the Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 hijacking. 
  • Private Sector 
    • Authorized to offer security to private and joint venture industrial undertakings on a payment basis. 
  • Overseas Deployment 
    • Contributing contingents to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). 
  • Public Interface 
    • Sole Central Armed Police Force with a regular public presence, securing airports, Delhi Metro, and iconic monuments. 

CISF Boosts Parliament Security 

Union Home Ministry sanctions CISF deployment in the Parliament complex, addressing security gaps exposed by the December 13 breach. 

Existing Security Structure in Parliament 

  • Delhi Police currently handles access control, including frisking and baggage scanning. 
  • Eight Delhi police personnel suspended post-breach. 
  • Parliament Duty Group (PDG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) intervenes if armed response is necessary. 
  • Overall security oversight lies with the Parliament Security Service (PSS) under the Lok Sabha Speaker. 

Understanding Parliament Security Service 

PSS, a specialized department, manages security within the Parliament House Complex. 

Decoding MINUSTAH 

MINUSTAH, short for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, operated as a peacekeeping mission from 2004 to 2017, aiming to establish stability and security in Haiti under transitional governance. 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Security and Defence
Daily Current Affairs

India's Inaugural Winter Arctic Research Expedition


In News: Recently, The Union Minister of Earth Sciences launches India's maiden winter research mission to Himadri, the Arctic Research Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. 

Importance of Winter Arctic Scientific Expedition 

  • Exploring Polar Nights 
    • Indian winter expeditions to the Arctic provide a unique opportunity for scientific observations during the polar nights, characterized by almost 24 hours of darkness and sub-zero temperatures. 
  • Enhancing Scientific Capabilities 
    • Venturing into winter research in the Arctic expands India's scientific prowess, focusing on key areas such as climate change, space weather, sea-ice dynamics, and ecosystem adaptations. 
  • Comprehensive Understanding 
    • The initiative contributes to a broader comprehension of the Arctic's intricacies, influencing weather and climate patterns in the tropics, including the crucial monsoon dynamics. 
  • Extended Research Base Operation 
    • India's Arctic research base, Himadri, established in 2008, traditionally hosted scientists during the summer months (April to October).  
    • The winter expedition marks a significant expansion in operational scope. 
  • Multidisciplinary Research Areas 
    • Priority research encompasses atmospheric, biological, marine, and space sciences, environmental chemistry, cryosphere studies, terrestrial ecosystems, and astrophysics. 
  • Global Participation 
    • India joins a select group of nations operating Arctic research bases throughout the winter, showcasing its commitment to year-round exploration and study. 

Impact of Arctic Warming 

  • Temperature Rise 
    • Arctic temperatures have increased by an average of 4 degrees Celsius over the past century, with 2023 recording the highest temperatures on record. 
  • Declining Sea-Ice 
    • Arctic sea-ice extent is decreasing at a rate of 13% per decade, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 
  • Global Ramifications 
    • Melting sea ice in the Arctic has far-reaching consequences beyond the region, influencing global sea levels and atmospheric circulation patterns. 
  • Tropical Influence 
    • Warmer tropical sea surface temperatures may lead to increased precipitation, a shift in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, and higher chances of extreme rainfall events. 
  • Changing Arctic Dynamics 
    • Global warming could render the Arctic more habitable, prompting increased exploration and exploitation of its resources, potentially impacting trade, navigation, and strategic sectors. 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Prelims (2015) 

Q. The term ‘IndARC’, sometimes seen in the news, is the name of 

(a) an indigenously developed radar system inducted into Indian Defence 

(b) India’s satellite to provide services to the countries of Indian Ocean Rim 

(c) a scientific establishment set up by India in Antarctic region 

(d) India’s underwater observatory to scientifically study the Arctic region 

Ans: (d) 

Mains (2018) 

Q.1 Why is India taking keen in resources of Arctic region?  

Mains (2015) 

Q.2 What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences? 

Source: PIB 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment, Science and Tech.
Daily Current Affairs

R21/Matrix-M Vaccine


In News: The World Health Organization (WHO) has added the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine to its prequalified vaccines, marking a significant stride in the global battle against malaria. 

Significance of WHO Prequalification 

  • Ensuring Safety and Efficacy 
    • WHO's prequalification of the R21 vaccine provides a robust assurance of its safety and effectiveness, reinforcing its credibility in the global fight against malaria. 
  • International Credibility 
    • Products achieving WHO prequalification adhere to rigorous international standards, gaining wider acceptance in international markets and becoming prerequisites for procurement by organizations like UNICEF. 
  • Global Immunization Inclusion 
    • WHO prequalification enhances the likelihood of vaccine inclusion in global immunization programs, ensuring a broader reach and increased impact. 
  • Gavi Support Facilitation 
    • WHO prequalification is instrumental in securing Gavi support, facilitating vaccination programs in resource-limited regions through the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. 

Understanding Malaria 

  • Life-Threatening Disease 
    • Malaria is a potentially fatal mosquito-borne blood disease caused by Plasmodium parasites, predominantly found in tropical regions of Africa, South America, and Asia. 
  • Transmission and Symptoms 
    • Spread through infected mosquito bites, malaria symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue, with parasites multiplying in the liver and attacking Red Blood Cells. 
  • Global Burden 
    • Malaria disproportionately affects children in Africa, causing nearly half a million child deaths annually. In 2022, there were 249 million malaria cases and 608,000 deaths across 85 countries. 
  • Initiatives for Control 
    • Global Initiatives 
      • E-2025 initiative. 
      • Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030. 
    • India-Specific Initiatives 
      • National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME). 
      • National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). 
      • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India). 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Prelims (2010) 

Q. Widespread resistance of malarial parasite to drugs like chloroquine has prompted attempts to develop a malarial vaccine to combat malaria. Why is it difficult to develop an effective malaria vaccine? 

(a) Malaria is caused by several species of Plasmodium 

(b) Man does not develop immunity to malaria during natural infection 

(c) Vaccines can be developed only against bacteria 

(d) Man is only an intermediate host and not the definitive host 

Ans: (b) 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Science and Tech.
Daily Current Affairs

Hindustan Republican Association and the Kakori Train Action


In News: December 1927, four revolutionaries from the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) were executed, two years after their participation in the Kakori Train Action, a bold heist targeting a train transporting funds for the British treasury during the Indian independence movement. 

Key Points Regarding Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) 

Background 

In the aftermath of the Chauri Chaura Incident during the Non-Cooperation Movement, disillusioned by Gandhi's abrupt halt, young activists formed the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) in 1922. 

Founders 

Notable founders included Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Sachindra Nath Bakshi, and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee, with later additions like Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh. 

Manifesto and Vision 

  • The HRA, in its 1925 manifesto titled "Krantikari," aimed to establish a federal Republic of the United States of India through organized, armed revolution.  
  • Their vision prioritized universal suffrage, socialist principles, and the eradication of systems enabling human exploitation. 

Evolution into HSRA 

Transforming into the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928, the organization shifted toward socialist ideologies, broadening its focus from political independence to socio-economic equality. 

Kakori Train Action Incident 

  • Background 
    • The HRA's first major action in August 1925 was the Kakori Train Action, targeting the Number 8 Down Train between Shahjahanpur and Lucknow. 
  • Objective 
    • Revolutionaries, including Rajendranath Lahiri, seized the train carrying government funds, intending to fund the HRA and draw attention to their cause. 
  • Crackdown and Arrests 
    • A harsh British crackdown followed, leading to the arrest of numerous HRA members.  
    • Forty individuals were arrested, with four receiving death sentences, including Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, and Thakur Roshan Singh. 
  • Impact 
    • Chandrashekhar Azad evaded capture, and the incident marked a pivotal moment in the HRA's history, bringing attention to their mission for Indian independence and socio-economic equality. 

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS-1 Indian National Movement, Modern Indian History
Daily Current Affairs

Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023


In News: The Sahitya Akademi recently revealed the Sahitya Akademi Award 2023 across 24 languages. 

Understanding the Sahitya Akademi Award 

  • Overview 
    • Established in 1954, the Sahitya Akademi Award is an annual literary honor presented by Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters. 
  • Recognition 
    • The Akademi awards 24 honors each year for outstanding literary works in recognized languages, including literary translations.  
    • English and Rajasthani, in addition to the 22 languages outlined in the Indian Constitution, are acknowledged. 
  • Significance 
    • Ranked as the second-highest literary honor by the Indian Government, following the Jnanpith award, the Sahitya Akademi Award is a prestigious recognition. 
  • Selection Criteria 
    • To be eligible, authors must be Indian nationals, and their work should be a remarkable contribution to the language and literature it represents 
    • The selection process considers factors such as total literary contribution and the standing of authors in cases of equal merit. 

Additional Awards 

  • Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 
    • Recognizes an author's overall contribution to children's literature, focusing on books published in the five years preceding the award year. 
  • Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 
    • Honors books published by authors aged 35 and below, encouraging young literary talent. 

Source: PIB 

Keywords: GS-1 Art and Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Queen of Millet