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12th September 2022

Drought in Europe 2022

Context

Europe has been burning. As a brutal drought and record-breaking heat gripped the continent this summer, crops withered and forest fires raged.

Europe is suffering through its worst drought in 500 years, says the European Drought Observatory, a service run by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center.

About

The current situation

  • Almost half of Europe is experiencing a severe drought.
  • France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK are among the countries that have been exposed to the high levels of drought. 

Impact

  • Impacted agriculture and drinking water supplies
  • disruption in Europe’s waterways

Impacted crops:

  • Corn in Romania
  • Rice in Italy
  • Beans in Belgium
  • Beets and garlic in France
  • Olives in Spain

Olive Crop of Spain:

  • The Olive trees thrive in a Mediterranean climate and need a minimal amount of rain.
  • Spain produces half of the world’s olive oil.  It is often called the olive oil capital of the world.

Factors responsible for the drought

  • The currently rainfall deficit is mostly attributed to a weakened jet stream bringing moisture from Atlantic to Europe, combined with frequent heatwaves hitting all around the planet and Europe.
  • Over a couple of years, Europe has undergone dryness. The shift may be linked to a high-pressure system in the North Atlantic known as the Azores High, which has expanded as the planet has warmed.

What is The Azores High? 

  • The Azores High is a large subtropical semi-permanent centre of high atmospheric pressure typically found south of the Azores archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Formed by dry air descending in the subtropics, the Azores High, which usually sits off Spain, has grown larger and is being pushed northwards.
  • This has brought scorching temperatures to the UK, France and the Iberian peninsula.
  • The size and intensity of the Azores high shifts year on year, driving variations in rainfall levels over the continent. 
  • As such, it's been referred to as a ‘gatekeeper of precipitation' over Europe.
  • While it usually sits off Spain, it has recently grown larger and is being pushed further north, bringing scorching temperatures to the UK, France, and the Iberian peninsula. 

 

World Dairy Summit 2022

Context

Prime Minister officially inaugurated the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit (IDF WDS) 2022, being held at the India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida.

About
  • Theme of the IDF WDS is ‘Dairy for Nutrition and Livelihood’.
  • Last time India hosted the International Dairy Congress in 1974.
  • The dairy summit is a congregation of global and Indian dairy industry leaders, experts, farmers, and policy planners.

International Dairy Federation

  • IDF is the leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain.
  • Since 1903, IDF's network of dairy experts has provided a mechanism for the dairy sector to reach global consensus on how to help feed the world with safe and sustainable dairy products.
  • A recognised international authority in the development of science-based standards for the dairy sector, IDF has an important role to play in ensuring the right policies, standards, practices and regulations are in place to ensure the world’s dairy products are safe and sustainable.
  • With over 1,200 highly qualified dairy experts in 43 member countries around the world, IDF represents 75% of global milk production and provides a permanent source of authoritative scientific and technical information relevant to the dairy sector.

Indian Dairy Sector:

  • India is self-sufficient in milk and the world’s top milk producer as well as consumer.
    • India accounts for 23 per cent of the global output.
  • India’s dairy sector is unique in many aspects. It has a unique smallholder milk production system, wherein more than 70 percent of dairy farmers own either 1 or 2 animals.
  • There are about 8 crore dairy farmers in India mostly small and marginal (having at an average 2 bovines).
    • The annual domestic production of milk in the country is estimated at 220 million tonne.
  • It provides a stable cash flow as compared to crop cultivation. There is a large network of dairy institutions, providing market access to the dairy farmers.
  • India is home to about 19 percent of in-milk cattle and 63 percent of in-milk buffaloes in the world.
  • It has a very rich reservoir of genetic diversity and possesses some of the best breeds of cattle and buffaloes in the world.
  • 50 well-defined breeds of cattle and 19 of buffaloes are well adapted to the local environment.
  • Milk and milk products are important constituents of Indian food basket.

India and U.S led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

Context

India has decided to join three pillars of the United States-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)--supply chains, tax and anti-corruption and clean energy–while opting out of the trade pillar for now.

About
  • India was the only country not to join the declaration on trade.
  • Members: India, USA, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF):

  • The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) was launched by United States (US) President Biden in Tokyo in May, 2022.
  • The IPEF has four pillars:
  • Trade
  • supply chains
  • clean energy, decarbonisation and infrastructure
  • tax and anti-corruption
  • Except Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, other Southeast Asian nations are a part of the IPEF. 
  • The Framework will advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness for our economies. 
  • Through IPEF, the partners aim to contribute to cooperation, stability, prosperity, development, and peace within the region. 
  • The Framework will also offer tangible benefits that fuel economic activity and investment, promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and benefit workers and consumers across the region. 
  • The 14 IPEF partners represent 40 percent of global GDP and 28 percent of global goods and services trade. 

Four Pillars:

  • Trade Pillar: In the Trade Pillar, the IPEF partners will seek high-standard provisions in areas that are foundational to resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth, including labour, environment, digital economy, agriculture, transparency and good regulatory practices, competition, inclusivity, trade facilitation, and technical assistance and economic development.
  • Supply Chain Pillar: In the Supply Chain Pillar, the countries will seek to coordinate actions to mitigate and prevent future supply chain disruptions and secure critical sectors and key products for our manufacturers.
  • Clean Energy Pillar: In the Clean Energy Pillar, the countries will seek to expand investment opportunities, spur innovation, and improve the livelihoods of citizens as the partners unlock the region’s abundant clean energy resources and substantial carbon sequestration potential.
    • The partners aim to advance cooperation on clean energy and climate-friendly technologies, as well as mobilize investment and promote usage of low- and zero-emissions good and services.
  • Fair Economy Pillar: In the Fair Economy Pillar, the countries will seek to level the playing field for businesses and workers within partner countries by preventing and combatting corruption, curbing tax evasion, and enhancing transparency, recognizing the importance of fairness, inclusiveness, the rule of law, accountability and transparency.

Draft on suicide prevention strategy

Context

Madhya Pradesh is going to be the first State in the country to draft a suicide prevention strategy and the government has formed a task force it.

About
  • The task force comprises of a range subject experts such as psychiatrists, legal experts, researchers, academics and social workers.
  • Six sub-committees have been formed to analyse the causative and preventive strategies and the task force has been mandated to submit a report in two months.
  • Each sub-committee has been given a specific mandate – such as understanding the sociological factors, suggesting preventive methods, devising ways to raise mass awareness and suggesting newer methods for the training of professionals and individuals.
  • They will also look at how the laws can be strengthened or diluted to improve the situation and understand the inter-sectoral linkages in suicide prevention.

Suicide:

  • Suicide is the practise of taking one's own life or deliberate termination of one's own physical existence.
  • Reasons Behind Suicide: There can be many reasons for an individual taking his own life.
  • Stress because of competition and academic failures as was seen in Kota, relationship failure, work pressure and economic reasons. These are among the main reasons in the 14-30 year age group.
  • Religious practices like 'sallekhana' or 'santhra' in Jain religion in which Jain ascetics observe starvation to death.
  • Political reasons like self-immolation in case of agitation and some individuals laying down their lives for the freedom of their country to set an example for others.
  • Poverty, debt and resulting shame lead many towards the path of suicide.
  • In present times stress resulting from economic, social and peer pressure is considered to be the leading cause.

Suicide in India:

  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2020, a total of 1,53,052 suicides were reported in the country
  • Madhya Pradesh has third highest reported suicide cases (14,578) in the country.
  • At 9.5%, Madhya Pradesh was the third among the States with the highest percentage of suicides in the country, up from the third place it held in 2018 (8.8%) and 2019 (9.0%).
  • At 17.4%, the suicide rate (instances per one lakh population) was above the national average of 11.3.

Kushiyara River treaty between India and Bangladesh

Context

During Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, the two sides signed a slew of agreements, including the first water sharing agreement since the landmark Ganga Water Treaty, 1996.

About

About Kushiyara agreement:

  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on sharing of the waters of the Kushiyara river, a distributary of the Barak river which flows through Assam, and then on to Bangladesh. 
  • The agreement is aimed at addressing part of the problem that the changing nature of the river has posed before Bangladesh
  • River unleashes flood during the monsoon and goes dry during the winter when demand of water goes up because of a crop cycle in Sylhet.
  • Under the agreement, Bangladesh will be able to withdraw 153 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the Kushiyara that will solve the water crisis for farmers of Sylhet.

Kushiyara river

  • Kushiyara River is a distributary river in Bangladesh and Assam.
  • It forms on the India-Bangladesh border as a branch of the Barak River when the Barak separates into the Kushiyara and Surma.
  • The waters of the Kushiyara originate in the state of Nagaland and pick up tributaries from Manipur, Mizoram and Assam.
  • From its origin at the mouth of the Barak, also known as the Amlshid bifurcation point, the Kushiyara flows westward forming the boundary between Assam, India, and the Sylhet District of Bangladesh.

How will Bangladesh use the water?

  • The water of Kushiyara will be channelled through the Rahimpur Canal project in Sylhet.
  • The Rahimpur Canal project in Zakiganj upazila or subdivision of Sylhet was built to help the farmers access Kushiyara’s water but the facility used to remain dry during the lean season without serving the purpose for which it was built.
  • The eight km long canal is the only supplier of water from the Kushiyara to the region and Bangladesh has built a pump house and other facilities for withdrawal of water that can now be utilised.

3rd stealth frigate ‘Taragiri’ launched

Context

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) recently launched the third Stealth Frigate of Project 17A “Taragiri”.

About

About Taragiri:

  • Taragiri is the indigenously-designed Nilgiri-class stealth guided-missile frigate constructed by Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
  • Taragiri is the third stealth frigate built as part of Project 17A under which a series of such guided-missile frigates are being constructed for the Navy.
  • The 149-metre-long and 17.8-metre-wide ship is propelled by a combination of two gas turbines and two main diesel engines which are designed to achieve a speed of more than 28 knots at a displacement of as much as 6,670 tonnes
  • The steel used in the hull construction of P17A frigates is indigenously developed DMR 249A, which is a low carbon micro-alloy grade steel manufactured by the Steel Authority of India Limited. 
  • Construction methodology: This ship has been built using Integrated construction methodology.
    • In this method, several modules of the vessel are pre-constructed and later fitted on the ship.

Important Features

  • Base-design: It has been built with Niligir-like features and has a similar design to the previous two warships.
  • Stealth and modular profile: The two key features of the Taragiri ship are expected to be stealth and modular profile.
  • Undetectable: The vessel has been constructed using composite materials which can decrease its infrared signal and maintain a low radar cross-section, making it almost undetectable.
  • Missile system: It will be fitted with supersonic surface-to-surface missile system.
  • Air defence capability: The ship’s air defence capability, designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles will revolve around the vertical launch and long range surface to air missile system.
  • Gunfire support: Two 30 mm rapid-fire guns will provide the ship with close-in-defence capability while an SRGM Gun will enable her to provide effective naval gunfire support.
  • Torpedo and rocket launcher: Indigenously developed triple tube light weight torpedo launchers and rocket launchers will add punch to the ship’s anti-submarine capability.

What is Project 17A of the Indian Navy?

  • Project 17 Alpha frigates (P-17A) were launched by the Indian Navy in 2019.
  • Objective: To construct a series of stealth guided-missile frigates, which are currently being constructed by two companies - Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE).
  • These guided-missile frigates have been constructed with a specific stealth design, which has radar-absorbent coatings and is low-observable which can make its approach undetectable for the enemies. The new technology also reduces the infrared signals of the ship.
    • Nilgiri: The first stealth ship launched under Project 17A was launched in 2019 and is expected to be commissioned in the Indian Navy by the end of this year.
    • Udaygiri: The second ship, was launched in May 2022, and likely to be commissioned in 2024.

Neeraj Chopra win the prestigious Diamond League 2022

Context

Neeraj Chopra becomes first Indian to win Diamond League.

About

About Neeraj Chopra's achievements:

  • In 2014, he won the first-ever international medal (silver) in the Youth Olympics Qualification in Bangkok.
  • In 2015, he received his first medal in a national senior championship during the Inter-State event in Chennai with a throw of 77.33 metres.
  • In 2018, he won the gold medal in Commonwealth Games with a season-best effort of 86.47 metres and threw his personal best of 87.43m at the Diamond League in Doha in the same year.
  • In 2021, Neeraj Chopra emerged as India's first track-and-field Olympic gold-medallist. He gave his best throw of 87.58m.
  • Neeraj Chopra also became the first Indian to win silver at the world athletics championships in July 2022. 
  • Neeraj Chopra's standing national record is 89.94m, achieved at the Stockholm Diamond League 2022.
  • In September 2022, Neeraj Chopra won the Zurich Diamond League Final 2022 with an 88.44m throw.

Exercise Parvat Prahar

Context

Army chief General Manoj Pande visited the Ladakh sector recently to review Exercise Parvat Prahar and was briefed on operational preparedness by Commanders on ground.

About
  • The exercise used newly inducted all-terrain vehicles transported by Chinook heavy lift helicopters and K9-Vajra howitzers.
  • The exercise comes as India and China are undertaking disengagement from Patrolling Point-15 in eastern Ladakh.
  • On the western front, Exercise Gagan Strike culminated with a fire power display of attack helicopters supporting deep operations by Strike Corps.

Veteran archaeologist B B Lal passes away

Context

Veteran archaeologist and Padma Vibhushan awardee B B Lal died recently aged 101.

About
  • Lal served as the director general of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from 1968 to 1972.
  • He had reportedly found temple-like pillars during excavation at the Ayodhya site in the mid-70s, where the Ram temple is now being built.
  • He has also served on several UNESCO committees and was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the president of India in 2000.
  • In 2021, President Ramnath Kovind felicitated Professor BB Lal with Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award. 

Editorial

India-Bangladesh ties, a model for bilateral cooperation

Context:

Recently, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina was on a state visit to India. The bilateral relationship has matured to a great extent, both nations require continued cooperation to resolve the many evolving and existing issues.

Dhaka’s expectations:

  • Bangladesh is looking forward to maximize the momentum in India-Bangladesh relations by increasing the cooperation in the diverse domains.
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ThinkQ

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QUIZ - 12th September 2022

Mains Question:

Q1. “Suicide is an emerging and serious public health issue in India. While the mental disorders as causative factors are highlighted, the social causes are often under-rated.” Comment (250 words)

Approach

  • Subject: Society (GS-I)
    • Sub-topic: Population & Associated Issues
  • Subject: Polity & Governance (GS-II)
    • Sub-topic: Issues related to Health
  • Introduction- increasing suicide rates in India
  • Discuss the social related factors of suicide
  • Challenges 
  • discrimination associated with mental illnesses
  • Lack of clarity in the systematic compilation of data
  • Potential possibilities of underreporting and misclassifying suicides
  • Attributing the cause of suicides to socioeconomic factors than mental health issues
  • Required measures 
  • develop effective, scalable, and innovative strategies for suicide prevention
    • Give example of Madhya Pradesh (first State to draft suicide prevention strategy)
  • develop the national suicide registry of India
  • Continuous, systematic, and sustainable data collection
  • Multidisciplinary teams and training
  • gender-friendly mental health services 
  • Wrap Up your answer with a way forward
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