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Daily UPSC Current Affairs and IAS Prelims Current Affairs

G.S I - Geography

Turkey Earthquake

Why in news?

A major earthquake struck Turkey and Syria killing more than 2600 people and flattening thousands of buildings.

What is the issue?

  • The tremors of the first quake were felt on February 6 with the epicentre located near the city of Gaziantep in south-central Turkey, close to the border with Syria.
  • A magnitude of 7.8 was measured on the Moment Magnitude scale.
  • At least 40 aftershocks followed the first quake, with some of magnitude as high as 6.7.

What is an earthquake?

Fault - A fracture in the rocks that make up the Earth’s crust

Epicenter - The point at the surface of the Earth above the focus

Plates - Massive rocks that make up the outer layer of the Earth’s surface and whose movement along faults triggers earthquakes

Seismic waves - Waves that transmit the energy released by an earthquake

Focus (Hypocenter) - The point within the Earth where an earthquake rupture starts


  • Earthquakes are caused by a sudden release of stress along faults in the earth's crust.
  • The Earth’s crust consists of 7 large lithospheric plates and numerous smaller plates (tectonic plates) that move
    • Towards each other (a convergent boundary)
    • Apart (a divergent boundary) or
    • Past each other (a transform boundary)
  • The continuous motion of tectonic plates causes a steady build-up of pressure in the rock strata on both sides of a fault.
  • It gets released as waves of seismic energy and propagate through the ground and over its surface and causes shaking as earthquakes.


Types of energy waves

  • P waves or primary waves – They are the first waves to be detected.
  • These are compressional waves that push and pull as they move through rock and fluids.
  • S waves or secondary waves - They are the next waves to be detected.
  • These waves move only through solids.
  • They move up and down or side to side, perpendicular to the direction in which the wave is moving.
  • Surface waves - It follow P and S waves and travel along the surface of the earth and thus cause the most damage.
  • Surface waves can be characterized as
    • Love waves - Faster and move the ground from side to side, and
    • Rayleigh waves - Roll like waves on the surface of oceans and lakes


Types of earthquake

  • Tectonic - Earthquakes that occur when the edges of the tectonic plates slide against each other in fault zones
  • Volcanic - Earthquakes that occur in conjunction with volcanic activity
  • Collapse - Smaller-scale earthquakes that result from the subterranean collapse of caverns or mines
  • Induced - Quakes caused by human activity, like tunnel construction, filling reservoirs and implementing geothermal or fracking (hydraulic fracturing) projects

Earthquake prone zones

  • The regions regularly exhibiting earthquakes include the
    • Circum-Pacific seismic belt - along the rim of the Pacific Ocean
    • Alpide belt - along the southern margin of Eurasia through the Himalayan Mountains, Sumatra, and Java
    • Mid-Atlantic Ridge - along the floor of the Atlantic Ocean


What scales of measurement are available?

Measuring the magnitude

  • Earthquake magnitude is a measure of the size or amplitude of the seismic waves generated by an earthquake source.
  • Richter Scale (denoted as ML) - Devised in 1935 by Charles Francis Richter, the Richter Scale is a logarithmic scale, where each step represents a tenfold increase in magnitude.
  • Thus, an earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter Scale has 10 times the magnitude of one measured 6.
  • Moment Magnitude Scale (denoted as Mw) – It is a logarithmic scale which is related to the total energy released in the earthquake.
  • This scale provides a more accurate estimate of magnitude.

Measuring the intensity

  • The intensity is related to the tangible impact a quake has.
  • Intensity scales, like the Modified Mercalli Scale and the Rossi-Forel scale, measure the amount of shaking at a particular location.
  • The Modified Mercalli Scale ranks earthquake intensity on a scale of I. (not felt) to XII. (extreme).
  • The maximum intensity of Turkey earthquake in Modified Mercalli Scale is IX. (Violent)


Richter Scale

Mercalli Scale


 Has 10 levels

 Has 12 levels


 Measures the magnitude of earthquake

Measures the intensity of earthquake


 Only describes the strength at the focal point

 Describes damages at multiple locations

What are aftershocks and why do they occur?

  • Aftershocks are a sequence of earthquakes that happen after a larger mainshock on a fault.
  • Aftershocks occur near the fault zone where the mainshock rupture occurred.
  • They can even continue for days, weeks, months, or even years for a very large mainshock.
  • Although aftershocks tend to be weaker than the main seismic event, they can cause significant damage.
  • In Turkey, reports suggest that significant damage that has followed the original quake has been a result of aftershocks.
  • Shallower quakes are generally felt as more intense than deeper quakes due to their proximity from the surface.
  • The aftershock in Turkey was extremely shallow, only 10 km deep, which worsens the shaking felt.

What makes Turkey a hotbed of seismic activity?

According to an estimate, almost 95% of the country’s land mass is prone to earthquakes, while about a third of the country is at high risk.

  • Turkey is located on the Anatolian tectonic plate, which is located between the Eurasian and African plates.
  • On the north side, the minor Arabian plate further restricts movement.
  • The North Anatolian fault (NAF) line, the meeting point of the Eurasian and Anatolian tectonic plates is known to be devastating.
  • The East Anatolian fault line is the tectonic boundary between the Anatolian Plate and the northward-moving Arabian Plate.
  • The Aegean Sea Plate, located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is also a source of seismic activity in the region.


What makes this one catastrophic in particular?

  • Turkey - Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the earthquake that hit the area around Gaziantep, was the country’s worst disaster since Erzincan earthquake, 1939.
  • The impact of the earthquake on the lives of people is worrying.

The Erzincan earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, occurred on the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ), and created a 360-km-long surface rupture.

It killed about 33,000 people and caused extreme damage in the Erzincan Plain and the Kelkit River Valley.

  • Syria - The situation is terrible in Syria, where quake-related destruction has taken hold of both government and opposition-occupied regions as they are facing devastating winter storms that make it difficult for humanitarian resources to reach these areas.



  1. The Indian Express | Turkey hit by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
  2. The Indian Express | ‘Aftershocks’ in Turkey after earthquake
  3. The Indian Express | Turkey earthquake
  4. The Indian Express | What happened in Erzincan
  5. The Hindu | Why Turkey is prone to devastating earthquakes?


Prelim Bits

Prelim Bits 07-02-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Data presented in Lok Sabha revealed that the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) is currently functioning with less than 50% of its sanctioned strength.

  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established under Article 338A in the Indian Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
  • The 89th amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes into 2 separate Commissions namely-
    1. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
    2. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
  • NCST has its Headquarters at New Delhi and 6 Regional Offices.
  • Composition - Consists of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and 3 members, appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • The rules provide for the ST panel to have two among V-C and Members must be from ST community.
  • The Chairperson has rank of Union Cabinet Minister and the Vice Chairperson has rank of Secretary to government of India.
  • Tenure - 3 years; conditions and service of tenure by President.
  • NCST annually submits its report to the President.
  •  NCST is vested with the powers of a civil court for investigation and enquiry.


  1. The Hindu - NCST functioning with less than 50% of sanctioned strength
  2. Vikaspedia - National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  3. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

National Centre for Good Governance

The 5th capacity building programme for the civil servants of Jammu & Kashmir started at NCGG, Mussoorie campus.

The Centre has imparted training to a large number of civil servants from Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, Gambia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Laos, Vietnam, Bhutan, and Myanmar, which has been very useful to them.

  • The National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) was set up in 2014 by the Government of India.
  • NCGG is an apex–level autonomous institution under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
  • Origin - The Centre traces its origin to the National Institute of Administrative Research (NIAR), which was set up in 1995 by LBSNAA.
  • NIAR was subsequently rechristened and subsumed into NCGG.
  • Functions - NCGG deals with a gamut of governance issues from local, state to national levels, across all sectors.
  • NCGG works as a premier think tank.
  • The Centre is mandated to work in the areas of governance and policy reforms.
  • They provide capacity building and training of civil servants and technocrats of India and other developing countries.
  • This capacity building programme is highly sought after and in recent times.


  1. PIB - 5th capacity building programme for the civil servants of J&K
  2. National Centre for Good Governance    

Bharatpur Sanctuary

The Rajasthan state Forest Department has proposed to construct a zoo in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

  • Zoo - The zoo is called Wetland ex-situ Conservation Establishment (WESCE) and it is part of the Rajasthan Forestry and Biodiversity Development Project (RFBDP).
  • The zoo aims to rejuvenate the bio-diversity of Keoladeo National Park, thereby boosting its outstanding universal values.
  • Several facilities are planned inside Keoladeo national park. These include:
    1. A breeding and re-introduction centre for locally extinct species, such as otters, fishing cats, blackbucks, hog deer, etc.
    2. An aquarium for indigenous species like Gangetic Dolphin, crocodiles.
    3. Enclosures for the display of large wetland species like Indian Rhino, Water Buffalo, Barasingha (swamp deer).
    4. An aviary, a reptile house and a veterinary care facility.
  • Bharatpur - Keoladeo National Park, a World Heritage Site is popularly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
  • Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is recognised as one of the world’s most important bird breeding and feeding grounds.
  • It is spread across 29 Sq. Km area.
  • The park is home to over 370 species of birds and animals.
  • In 1982, Keoladeo was declared a national park and then later listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.


  1. IE - Rajasthan plans zoo inside Bharatpur sanctuary
  2. Hindustan Times - Activists raise concerns over plan for zoo
  3. Rajasthan Tourism - Keoladeo National Park

LCA on INS Vikrant

The Naval variant of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) undertook maiden landing on-board the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) INS Vikrant.

  • INS Vikrant is the first indigenous Aircraft Carrier built in India.
  • It was named after the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant operated by the Navy from 1961 to 1997.
  • The ship was designed in-house by Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and constructed by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited.
  • The ship had sailed for maiden Sea Trials on 04 Aug 21.
  • The Carrier was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 02 Sep 22.
  • As part of the aviation trials, landing of LCA (Navy) and MiG-29K on-board INS Vikrant was carried out by Indian Naval Test Pilots.
  • LCA - LCA (Navy) is a prototype of the naval version of the locally made light combat aircraft (LCA).
  • The LCA (Navy) was indigenously designed & produced by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • It is designed with stronger landing gear to absorb forces exerted.
  • TEDBF - India plans to design and develop twin-engine deck-based fighter (TEDBF) to operate from its aircraft carriers.
  • The Navy is working with the DRDO and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) on the TEDBF project.


  1. PIB - Maiden landing of LCA Navy on board INS Vikrant
  2. Hindustan Times - Naval LCA operates from INS Vikrant

India, UAE, France - Trilateral Initiative

India, France and the UAE announced an ambitious road map for cooperation in defence, energy and technology under a trilateral framework.

  • The initiative follows the first meeting of the foreign ministers of India, France and the UAE on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2022.
  • The trilateral initiative will serve as a platform to expand cooperation between development agencies of the 3 counties on sustainable projects.
  • The initiative also ensures greater alignment of their respective economic, technological, and social policies with the objectives of the Paris climate agreement.
  • The 3 countries also agreed to expand their cooperation through initiatives such as
    1. Mangrove Alliance for Climate led by the UAE
    2. Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership led by India and France
    3. India’s Mission LiFE
  • The 3 countries will explore the possibility of working the Indian Ocean rim Association (IORA).


  1. The Hindu - India joins UAE, France for trilateral
  2. IE - Trilateral framework: India, France, UAE
  3. Hindustan Times - India, UAE, France - trilateral cooperation initiative
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