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Prelim Bits 22-03-2022 | Daily UPSC Current Affairs

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March 22, 2022

Finlandization

Recently, as the Russia invoked the threat of Ukraine joining NATO as a pretext for the invasion, the term “Finlandization” of Ukraine has become popular.

finlandization

  • ‘Finlandization’ is the process whereby a country is induced to favour, or refrain from opposing, the interests of a more powerful country, despite not being politically allied to it.
  • This term was originally used with reference to the influence of the former Soviet Union on its neighbour Finland.
  • It refers to the policy of strict neutrality between Moscow and the West that Finland followed during the decades of the Cold War.
  • The principle of neutrality was rooted in the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance (or YYA Treaty) that Finland signed with the USSR in 1948.
  • Among other things, Moscow guaranteed it wouldn't invade Finland.
  • Later, the term was formally coined by the German political scientist Richard Lowenthal in 1961 in the wake of the Berlin crisis.
  • He used it to warn about the Soviet Union's efforts to gain influence in Europe by the same oppressive methods they used on Finland.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/everyday-explainers/explained-ukraine-finlandisation-war-with-russia-7830261/
  2. https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-finlandization-macron-zelenskiy-helsinki/31697728.html
  3. https://www.historytoday.com/archive/finland-and-finlandization

World Happiness Report 2022

Recently, the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report for the year 2022 was released.

  • This report is issued annually by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
  • This report is a measurement of subjective well-being of 150 countries (146 in 2022).
  • It relies on three main well-being indicators (life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions), levels of GDP, life expectancy etc.
  • Happiness rankings are based on life evaluations as the more stable measure of the quality of people’s lives.
  • It assigns a score on a scale of 0-10, based on an average of data over a three-year-period.
  • Findings - This year (2022) marks the tenth anniversary of the World Happiness Report.
  •  For the fifth straight year, the World Happiness Report 2022 has found Finland to be the happiest country in the world.
  • From the other end, Afghanistan was ranked as the unhappiest nation, followed by Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Botswana, respectively.
  • India, meanwhile, saw a marginal improvement in its ranking, jumping three spots to 136, from 139 a year ago.
  • Russia and Ukraine, currently at war with each other, have been ranked 80 and 98 respectively.
  • The 2022 rankings, however, were compiled much before Russia launched invasion of its neighbour.

World Happiness Report 2022

Reference

  1. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/world-happiness-report-finland-tops-for-5th-straight-year-afghanistan-bottom-101647604627827.html
  2. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/world-happiness-report-2022-india-among-10-nations-with-largest-drop-11647706353354.html

Ol Chiki

For first time, the Indian Constitution has been translated in Santali, written in the Ol Chiki script.

  • Also known as Ol Cemet', Ol script and Ol ciki Script, the Ol Chiki script is used for writing Santali.
  • Pandit Raghunath Murmu (Guru Gomke) is the inventor of Ol Chiki script.
  • In the novel Bidu Chandan, he described how god Bidu, and godess Chandan who appear on Earth as humans had naturally invented the Ol Chiki script to communicate with each other using written Santali.
  • One of the interesting feature of the Ol Chiki script is that it makes use of signs and symbols long familiar to the Santals.

Santali

  • Santali is a language with its own special characteristics, and has a literature which dates back to the beginning of the 15th century.
  • Santali belongs to the Munda group languages of the Austro-Asiatric family.
  • According to the 2011 Census of India, Santali is spoken by over 70 lakh people across the country.
  • In 2003, the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act added Santhali (along with the Bodo, Dogri and Maithili languages) to Schedule VIII (Official Languages of India) to the Constitution of India.
  • This addition meant that the Indian government was obligated
    1. To undertake the development of the Santali language and
    2. To allow students appearing for school-level examinations and entrance examinations for public service jobs to use the language.
  • In 2005, India’s Sahitya Akademi started handing out awards every year for outstanding literary works in Santali, a move that helped preserve and give more visibility to the community’s literature.

santhals

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indian-constitution-translation-ol-chiki-7823156/
  2. https://wesanthals.tripod.com/id45.html

GI Tag for Narasinghapettai Nagaswarm

Narasinghapettai Nagaswaram has got the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag under 'musical instruments of class 15'.

  • Narasinghapettai Nagaswaram is Tamil Nadu’s traditional wind instrument, made by traditional village artisans of Kumbakonam.
  • The artisans based in Narasinganpetti village are making them through specialised processing skills. The technique and skill of making these instruments were inherited from their forefathers.
  • The nagaswaram now used by artists throughout is called pari naggeswaram and is longer than Thimiri.
  • Making - A major portion of Narasinghapettai Nagaswaram is made from the traditional wood 'acha' (Hardwickia binata), a type of ebony.
  • Artisans of the nagaswaram choose the wood wisely, ensuring it is 200 years old, and which does not absorb moisture.
  • The top portion has a metal staple into which a small metallic cylinder is inserted to hold the mouthpiece made of reed.
  • The reeds are made from the leaves of a locally grown plant called 'naanal' (a variety of bamboo).
  • Artisans use drilling machines, besides carpentry tools, to make the nagaswarams that are played widely in functions like weddings and temple festivals.

Reference

  1. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/tamil-nadus-narasinghapettai-nagaswarm-gets-gi-tag-1093312.html
  2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/tamil-nadu-gi-tag-for-handmade-narasingapettai-nagaswaram/articleshow/90342793.cms
  3. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/mar/21/classical-wind-music-instrument-narasinghapettai-nagaswaram-gets-gi-tag-2432388.html

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

India calls on nations to abide by Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention at the UNSC meet.

  • Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was the first multi-lateral treaty categorically banning biological and toxin weapons.
  • It is a disarmament treaty that effectively bans the development, stockpile, production, or transfer of biological agents and toxins of “types and quantities” that are not protective or peaceful.
  • BTWC has 183 members (including India).

Reference

  1. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-at-unsc-backs-convention-prohibiting-biological-weapons-122031800882_html
  2. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-united-nations-security-council-biological-weapons-treaty-ukraine-russia-war-1926864-2022-03-18
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