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Prelim Bits 24-05-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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May 24, 2022

US’ One China Policy

Soon after the US President said that the US would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan, the US White House sought to clarify that he didn’t mean America’s policy towards the dispute had changed.

  • The contours of the ‘One China’ policy were explained in the US-PRC joint communique of December, 1978.
  • Under the ‘One China’ policy, the USA recognises the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legal Government of China.
  • Also, the US snapped formal diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan in 1979.
  • The Government of the USA acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.
  • Implications - In operational terms, the One China Policy is a balancing act wherein the US maintains an official relationship with China, and an unofficial one with Taiwan.
  • This has resulted in Taiwan's diplomatic isolation from the international community.

US-Taiwan Ties

  • In 1979, around the time PRC and the US posted Ambassadors in each other’s capitals, the US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
  • The Act made it clear that the US decision to establish diplomatic relations with the PRC rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.
  • It committed to providing Taiwan with arms of a defensive character and to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social system or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.
  • The Act established the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), as a private NGO to maintain the facade of unofficialness in the ties.
  • The AIT is the de facto US Embassy in Taiwan.

Reference

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/everyday-explainers/us-one-china-policy-taiwan-dispute-explained-7932395/
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38285354

Sagittarius A*

Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) facility revealed the first image of the black hole Sagittarius A* at the centre of the Milky Way.

In 2019, the EHT Telescope made history by releasing the first ever image of a black hole M87* - the black hole at the centre of a galaxy Messier 87, which is a supergiant elliptic galaxy.

  • The image of the black hole Sagittarius A* gave further support to the idea that the compact object at the centre of our galaxy is indeed a black hole. This strengthens Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
  • Sagittarius A* is a Supermassive Black Hole.
  • It is 27,000 light years from Earth.
  • It is located in the Sagittarius Constellation at the Center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/astronomers-reveal-first-image-of-black-hole-at-the-heart-of-our-galaxy/article65407803.ece?homepage=true
  2. https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/multimedia/black-hole-SagittariusA.html

Open RAN

  • Radio-access networks (RAN) serve to connect the base stations that transmit and receive traffic to from endpoints like cell phones and laptops and provide the link toward the carrier core network.
  • Without standards, wireless equipment vendors designing their RAN gear don’t have to consider whether it interoperates with gear made by other vendors.
  • As a result, in order to have a network that operates smoothly, telecom companies are stuck dealing with one company only when they want to deploy a licensed wireless network.
  • This vendor lock-in tends to keep prices high because it limits competition among the equipment vendors for the individual RAN elements. It also limits flexibility in network design.
  • Open RAN is a collaboration of equipment makers and telecoms in various working groups to solve this interoperability problem by creating standards.
  • As long as equipment meets open RAN standards, it should be compatible with gear made by any other vendor whose gear also meets the standards.
  • Without having to rely on one vendor for all the equipment, carriers and enterprises have more opportunity to shop around for the best deal on each piece.
  • Open RAN standards would also be available to software developers that could readily write innovative features and services to respond quickly to users’ needs.
  • Open RAN architecture virtualizes parts of the cellular network that are traditionally handled by specialized hardware and software.
  • Time-sensitive functions like QoS management, handover control, and load balancing are handled by the RAN Intelligent Controller near-real time layer (RIC near-RT), while policy management and analytics take place in the RIC non-real time layer.
  • These features are designed to provide the core functionality required for all cellular networks, while offering the opportunity to mix-and-match the actual hardware being used – as long as the equipment is O-RAN compliant, it can interoperate with other O-RAN compliant devices.

Reference

  1. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1824200
  2. https://www.business-standard.com/podcast/technology/what-is-open-radio-access-network-open-ran-122051100101_1.html

Sahariya Tribe

The rising food inflation is hurting the weakest the most in India, including the Sahariya Adivasis of Madhya Pradesh.

  • The Sahariya Adivasis are classified as a ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group’ by the government.
  • They live in around eight districts of Madhya Pradesh (MP).
  • They may also be located in the hills of the Ganjam district of southern Orissa, as well as in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and the Plains division of Assam.
  • They speak a Munda language of the Austro-Asiatic language family.

Sub-tribes of the hills Saharia

Occupation

Jati

Farmers

Arsi

Weavers

Muli

Iron workers

Kindal

Basket makers

Kumbi

Potters

  • The Saharia farmers use the "slash and burn" method of cultivation along the hill slopes.
  • Saharia villages generally contain several quarters called longlongs.
  • Each longlong is inhabited by one patrilineage (the line of descent as traced through the male's side of a family) called a birinda.
  • Beliefs - The Saharia practice their traditional ethnic religions. But, they are aware of Hindu values and use them in defining their own identity.

Reference

  1. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/food/i-don-t-feel-hungry-how-food-inflation-is-gnawing-at-madhya-pradesh-s-sahariya-tribe-82891
  2. https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/17997/IN

Kanheri Caves

On the occasion of Buddha Purnima, the a group of tourist amenities at Kanheri Caves was inaugurated by Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and Development of the North Eastern Region.

  • Kanheri, which has over 100 caves, comes under the purview Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
  • Kanheri Caves were created by Buddhist monks between 1st and 9th/10th centuries AD.
  • Located within forests of Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivali in Mumbai, Maharashtra, they are collection of rock cut monuments.
  • These caves have artistic evidence of all the three vehicles of Buddhism: Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana.
  • Earliest reference of Kanherl is ascribed to Fa-Hein.
  • It flourished under the patronage of Satavahana, Traikutakas, Vakatakas and Silaharas.

Reference

  1. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/west/mumbais-kanheri-caves-get-touristic-upgrade-including-interpretation-centre-1109757.html
  2. https://theculturetrip.com/asia/india/articles/the-history-of-the-kanheri-caves-mumbai-in-1-minute/
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