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Prelim Bits 07-12-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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December 07, 2023

Enhanced India- Kenya Ties

During recent visit of Kenyan President to India, both India and Kenya strengthened ties through a series of 5 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and strategic collaborations spanning diverse sectors.

  • Agriculture - India provides $250 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural modernization and Kenya to provide land to Indian companies and institutions for cultivation of crops in Kenya under a cooperative model.

A line of credit is a continuous and repeated access to fund for borrowers until it reaches a set credit limit on which regular payments like both principal and interest are made by the borrower.

  • Defence - To carry out joint military exercises and to cooperate in cyber security, anti-money laundering, drugs and human trafficking.
  • BAHARI – A Joint Vision Statement on Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region to facilitate collaborations in the maritime sector
  • Energy – India to support in training and capacity building in clean and renewable energy transmission.
  • TradeIndia to open its market to avocados from Kenya, saying it will expand opportunities for Kenyan farmers.
  • Healthcare – Kenya will work with India to advance the country’s pharmaceutical and medical commodities manufacturing capabilities.
  • Digitization - India is willing to share its experience in developing Digital Public Infrastructure with Kenya.
  • Challenges2 Indian nationals went missing in 2022 which is being under investigation.

India – Kenya Historical Relationship

  • The presence of Indians in East Africa were documented in the 'Periplus of the Erythraean Sea' by an ancient Greek author written in 60 AD.
  • Diplomatic ties –India established the office of Commissioner for British East Africa resident in Nairobi in 1948 and a High Commission was established in 1963.
  • Diaspora – The 1st Indians came to Kenya in 1911 and in 2017, the Indian nationals in Kenya were granted citizenship.
  • Approximately 80,000 people of Indian origin in Kenya, who consider that country as their 2nd home.

References

  1. The Hindu| Kenyan President’s visit to India
  2. MEA| India- Kenya Bilateral Ties

 

Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) 2022 Report

According to the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) 2022 report, India reported over 1.7 lakh suicides in 2022.

  • Released by – National Crime Record Bureau’s (NCRB)
  • Maximum suicidesMaharashtra tops followed by Tamil Nadu Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana.

ADSI2022

  • No suicides of Farmers & Agricultural Laborers8 states and 4 UT’s.
  • Women statusAround 48,000 women died by suicide.
  • Among women suicides, homemakers were highest (about 14% of in total suicides) followed by students and daily wage earners..
  • Trans-persons – 28 were reported to have died by suicide.
  • CausesFamily problems and illness together accounted for almost 50% of all suicides followed by drug abuse, alcohol addiction, marriage related issues, etc.
  • Under the cause of ‘marriage related issues’ most were women specifically citing ‘dowry related’ as one of the causes.

Crime in India (2022) Report

  • It is an annual report released by NCRB.
  • Crimes against SC and ST persons – There is an overall increase where Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan reported with the highest incidents.
  • Mizoram, which had no cases of atrocities in 2021, reported atrocity cases in 2022.
  • Offences against the State – It had increased marginally than with about a 25% increase in cases registered under UAPA but there is a dip in sedition cases under IPC.
  • Fake Indian currency notes (FICN) – The government has seized FICN worth over Rs. 342 crore in 2022.

Reference

The Hindu| Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2022

 

Garba Dance

Recently, India’s Garba dance was included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage list by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

  • It is a ritualistic and devotional dance performed throughout the State of Gujarat and across India.
  • Garba – It is celebrated for 9 days during Navaratri festival and is dedicated to the worship of the feminine energy or Shakti.
  • Garba dance – The cultural, performative, and visual expressions of this feminine energy are expressed through this dance.
  • Participatory community event – It takes place within homes, temple courtyards, and public spaces in villages, urban squares, streets, and large open grounds.

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) includes oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.

  • It is included based on provisions of 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Garba of Gujarat is the 15th cultural item from India to make it to the UNESCO list. Kolkata’s Durga Puja was the last one added two years ago.

  • Significance of inclusion – It will helps ensure the viability of Garba and inspires the community to continue with the knowledge, skills and oral traditions associated with it.

Reference

The Hindu| Inclusion of Garba in UNESCO’s Heritage list

 

Nuclear Gravity Bombs

The United States' plans to build new nuclear gravity bomb will be designated as B61-13.

  • Gravity bombs work by being pulled to the ground by the force of gravity instead of flying to the target on a powered missile.
  • In this case, a bomber or an aircraft flies over the target and drops the bomb.
  • These bombs do not consist of a guidance system and, hence, follow a ballistic trajectory.
  • B61 – 13 - According to reports, the new bomb is estimated to be 360 kilotons, which is roughly 24 times powerful than the blast that destroyed Hiroshima.

The 2 bombs that the US dropped on Japan's Hiroshima was about 15 kilotons (or) 15 thousand tonnes (or kilotons) of TNT equivalent and Nagasaki was of 25 kilotons.

  • The B61-13 will replace the 1980s era B61-7. The maximum yield of the B61-12 is 50 kilotons.
  • The warhead reportedly had options, including 0.3kt, 1.5kt, 10kt, and 50kt.
  • The B61-13 is intended to have the same yield as the B61-7, but with the modern safety, security, and accuracy features common to the B61-12 line currently in production.

References

  1. Live Mint | United States' new B61 nuclear gravity bomb
  2. News Week | U.S. Nuclear Bomb Could Reach New Targets
  3. Fox News | Pentagon announces new nuclear bomb

 

Composite Water Management Index (CWMI)

NITI weighs discontinuing key water report launched 5 years ago.

  • Released by – Niti Aayog
  • Prepared by – Niti Aayog in association with 3 ministries of central government (Water Resources, Drinking Water & Sanitation, and Rural Development).
  • Objective – It ranked states in terms of efficacy of water management on the basis of 28 parameters.
  • Reports – The 1st edition provided data for 2015-16 and 2016-17 in 2018 and the 2nd edition was launched in 2019 for 2017-18.

SDG 6 of UN encompasses ‘to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’.

  • Unpublished reportsThe performance of states for 2018-19 and 2019-20 (CWMI 3.0 and 4.0) are yet to be released but it points out that water scarcity is a national problem.
  • According to 2019-20 data, Gujarat tops the list and Rajasthan jumped 9 positions upward from 2017-18, while Goa and Punjab has gone down.

The average annual per capita water availability is expected to reduce to 1,486 cubic meters per person per year by 2021 from 1,545 in 2011, according to the Jal Shakti Ministry.

As per norms, the availability value of less than 1,700 cubic meter/person/year indicates water shortage and value below 1,000 cubic metre/capita/year is considered as scarcity.

References

Indian Express| Consideration for discontinuing CWMI

 

Other Important News

ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF)

  • The 4th edition of the annual ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF) for 2023 took place in Langkawi, Malaysia recently.
  • The AIGIF is an annual program that focuses on strengthening the relationship between India and ASEAN Member States (AMS) in the fields of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
  • 2 grassroots innovators and 1 student innovator from India won prizes in the grassroots innovation and student innovation competition respectively.

Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

  • India joins Executive Committee of Codex Alimentarius Commission during its 46th meeting being held at Food and Agriculture Organization Headquarters at Rome.
  • CAC is an international body that sets food standards established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The CAC's goals are to protect consumer health and ensure fair food trade practices. It has 189 members.
  • The CAC is part of the joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.

Pilatus PC-7 Mk II

  • The PC-7 is a low-wing, turbo-prop aircraft on which IAF pilots undergo basic training.
  • It was developed from the piston-powered Pilatus P-3 aircraft and is manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, Switzerland.
  • The maximum operating speed of the aircraft is 556 km per hour, while the maximum range of the aircraft is 1,500 km.
  • There are 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk II aircraft in service with the IAF.

Dr. B.R Ambedkar

  • Baba Saheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar was born on 14th April, 1891 and died on 6th Dec, 1956 his death anniversary is observed as Mahaparinirvan Diwas across the country.
  • His important works - In 1924 he started All India depressed classes association with Sir Chimanlal Setalvad.
  • The Bahiskrit Bharat, newspaper was started in 1927 to address the cause of the depressed classes in view of the new reform.
  • He was conferred with the Title of Bodhisattva while he was alive.

Millets and other Ancient Grains International Research Initiative (MAHARISHI)

  • It is an initiative proposed by India to advance research in the field of millets and other ancient grains.
  • The initiative's secretariat is based at the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) in Hyderabad.
  • Technical Support - International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), 1 CGIAR Centres, and other international organizations.

“Miyawaki” Plantation Method

  • It is an initiative of creating mini forests in urban areas for the afforestation programme.
  • Named after Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, this method involves planting 2 to 4 different types of indigenous trees within every square metre.
  • In this method, the trees become self-sustaining don’t require regular manuring and watering and they grow to their full length within 3 years.
  • The methodology was developed in the 1970s, with the basic objective to densify green cover within a small parcel of land.

Operation ‘NanheFaristey’

  • Operation Nanhe Farishte is a Railway Protection Force (RPF) initiative to reconnect children who have been lost or separated from their families.
  • The operation also rescues children who come into contact with Indian Railways and need care and protection.
  • The children are then handed over to authorities and returned to their families.

Kopili Fault (KF) zone

  • Seismogenic liquefaction features like multiple sand dykes and sand sills have been identified by scientists in an active fault in northeastern region (NER), called Kopili fault (KF) zone.
  • The Kopili Fault, a lineament situated in the northeastern region (NER), extends from the western part of Manipur to the tri-junction of Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam.
  • It is one of the active fault that has experienced large earthquakes and falls into the Highest Seismic Hazard Zone V.

"Nari Adalat"

  • It is a women only court that address individual cases and also raise awareness about social schemes.
  • Though it does not hold any legal status, has its primary focus on reconciliation, grievance redressal and creating awareness of rights and entitlements.
  • It is an initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development under the Sambal sub-scheme of Mission Shakti.

Julian Felipe Reef

  • Julian Felipe Reef is a reef in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea.
  • It lies in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Philippines.
  • It's also known as Whitsun Reef, Whitson Reef, and Whitsum Reef.
  • It's the largest reef in the Union Banks.

 

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