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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 16-06-2021

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June 16, 2021

Early Southwest Monsoon

  • Just about 10 days after the southwest monsoon broke over the Kerala coast two days behind schedule (on June 3), it has progressed fast to cover two-thirds of the country.
  • The entire country except West Bengal and the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Kerala, and Gujarat had received cumulative rainfall in excess (20%-59%) or large excess (60% or more) of normal.
  • The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) continues to pass through Diu, Surat, Nandurbar, Bhopal, Nowgong, Hamirpur, etc.
  • Reason for early arrival this year - Cyclone Yaas, formed in the Bay of Bengal during the third week of May, helped the monsoon make a timely arrival over the Andaman Sea on May 21.
  • The fast progress was mainly due to strong westerly winds from the Arabian Sea, and also the formation of a low-pressure system over the North Bay of Bengal on June 11.
  • An off-shore trough, prevailing for a week between Maharashtra and Kerala, has helped the monsoon arrive early over Karnataka, Goa, etc.
  • Impact of early onset - It has no direct impact on the rainfall quantum received during the season, or in the monsoon’s progress.
  • Early rainfall will not directly impact paddy sowing, with seedlings still in the nursery stage in most paddy growing states.
  • The onset of monsoon over various parts of the country each year can be ahead of time, in time or late. These variations are generally considered normal, given the complexity of the monsoon.

Northern Limit of Monsoon

  • The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) is the northernmost boundary of India up to which Monsoon rains have advanced on any given day.
  • NLM is directly related to the onset and advance of Monsoon. The term NLM starts flowing right from the onset to the withdrawal of Monsoon.
  • Southwest Monsoon normally sets in over Kerala around June 1, 2021. It advances northwards, and covers the entire country by July 15.
  • The western arm of the Monsoon line makes a quick advancement in the initial phase. After its onset, the NLM crosses Mumbai and reaches Dahanu by June 10.
  • During this time the eastern arm covers only Northeast India.
  • The slowest advancement is over west Rajasthan. It takes about 12 days for the Monsoon to reach here, after its onset over Delhi on June 29.

Milky Way Galaxy

  • The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy that is a relatively thin, flattened disk. It has three main parts - the core, the disk and the halo.
  • It was first observed by Galileo Galilei with a telescope and found that the light of the Milky Way comes from innumerable distant stars.
  • The Milky Way is organized into spiral arms of giant stars that illuminate interstellar gas and dust. The sun is in a finger called the Orion Spur.
  • Composition - Like other galaxies, it is an isolated collection of stars, planets and other material bound together by their common gravity.
  • Stars represent only 1% of the mass of the galaxy, and interstellar gas accounts for only 0.1%. The vast majority of gas is hydrogen and helium.
  • Between the stars sit innumerable nebulas (clouds of gas and dust). Most of the mass of the Earth is in the form of dark matter.
  • Location - The Milky Way has two major satellite galaxies - the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds - and dozens of smaller satellites.
  • Our nearest neighbour is the Andromeda galaxy, located about 2.5 million light-years away. Together with Andromeda and about 80 smaller galaxies, the Milky Way is a part of the Local Group.
  • Movement - The Milky Way is moving at approximately 391 miles per second (630 kms/second).
  • It is on a collision course with Andromeda, and they will begin to merge in about 5 billion years. Both the Milky Way and Andromeda are moving together in the direction of what's called the Great Attractor.

Local Group

  • It is a group of galaxies, about 10 million light-years across, bound together by their common gravity.
  • It is a member of the Virgo Supercluster, which is surrounded by several great intergalactic voids.
  • The Virgo Supercluster itself is thought to be a component of an even larger structure called the Laniakea Supercluster.

Cross Disability Early Identification cum Intervention Centre

  • Fourteen Cross Disability Early Identification and Intervention Centres (EIC) for Children were inaugurated in many parts of the country.
    1. The Mumbai centre in the premises of Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech & Hearing Disabilities (AYJNISHD (D),
    2. Centres located in 6 six national institutes and seven Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) spread in various states.
  • There are 21 disabilities listed in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act of 2016 and providing the services for all different children with disabilities, under one umbrella is the aim of these centres.
  • Beneficiaries - These centres will be catering to infants and children below 6 years of age as a newborn infant’s brain is said to develop up to 90% by the time the child attains five years of age.
  • This follows a global approach (‘Catch Them Young’) to provide early stimulation to young children to help in reducing the effects of their impairments and also avert disabling conditions in their life.
  • Facilities - They will provide facilities such as developmental screening, assessments of cognition, hearing, vision and speech and therapeutic management of various disabilities in a child-friendly ambience.
  • In every centre, there are specific facilities of intervention for early educational intervention and preparatory classes for school readiness.
  • A special ‘Toys and Books Library’ is designed to provide the children with an interactive ambience. These centres will also promote a ‘healthy baby and healthy childhood’ program.
  • The parent and professional partnerships is the core of EIC and so a special ‘Family Education Room’ is available for the needy beneficiaries at the centre.

PLI Scheme on White Goods

  • The Application window for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme on White Goods (ACs and LED) will be open for 3 months.
  • White Goods are large electrical goods used domestically such as refrigerators and washing machines, typically white in colour. 
  • To know more about Production Linked Incentive Scheme, click here.

Export of GI certified Mangoes

  • The first commercial consignment of Geographical Indications (GI) certified Jardalu mangoes from Bhagalpur, Bihar was exported to UK.
  • With distinct aroma and taste, Jardalu mangoes from Bhagalpur district of Bihar received GI certification in 2018.
  • India also exported a consignment of GI certified Banganapalli and other variety Survarnarekha mangoes sourced from farmers in Krishna and Chittor districts of Andhra Pradesh to South Korea.
  • Mangoes - Mango in India is also referred to as ‘king of fruits’ and referred to as Kalpavriksha (wish granting tree) in ancient scriptures.
  • While most of the states in India have mango plantations, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka have a major share in total production of the fruit.
  • Mangoes are processed by the APEDA registered packhouse facilities and then exported to various regions and countries including the Middle-east, European Union, USA, Japan and South Korea.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Live Science, Sky Weather

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