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26th October 2022

Kittur Utsav celebrations in Karnataka

Context

The two-day State-level Kittur Utsav is celebrated in Karnataka which has significance related to initial phase of Freedom struggle of India against the British in 1824.

About

About Kittur Utsav

  • Kittur Utsav is a state-level festival, celebrated in memory of Kittur Rani Channamma, who had fought the British 30 years before the First War of Independence in 1857 but had not got any recognition at the national level.

  • Kittur Chennamma was the Indian Queen of Kittur, a former princely state in present-day Karnataka.
  • Kittur Chennamma was born on 23 October 1778, in Kakati, a small village in the present Belagavi District of Karnataka, India.
  • She belonged to the Lingayat community and received training in horse riding, sword fighting, and archery from a young age.

Lingayat Community

  • The Lingayat/Veerashaiva community, a politically dominant group in Karnataka, are devotees of Shiva.
  • The Lingayats follow 12th-century saint-philosopher Basavanna who had rejected ritualistic worship and pre-eminence of the Vedas.
  • She married Raja Mallasarja of the Desai family at the age of 15.
  • She led an armed resistance against the British East India Company in 1824, in defiance of the Paramountancy, in an attempt to retain control over her dominion.
  • She defeated the Company in the first revolt but died as a prisoner of war after the second rebellion.
  • As one of the first and few female rulers to lead rebel forces against British colonization, she continues to be remembered as a folk hero in Karnataka, she is also an important symbol of the Indian independence movement.

Doctrine of Lapse

  • The Doctrine of Lapse was imposed on native states by the British.
  • Under this declaration, native rulers were not allowed to adopt a child if they had no children of their own.
  • Their territory formed part of the British Empire automatically.

Partial solar eclipse of the year 2022

Context

A Partial solar eclipse has been seen on the western horizon shortly before the sunset on 25th October, 2022.

About

The Solar Eclipse:

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the moon “eclipses” the sun.
  • This means that the moon, as it orbits the Earth, comes in between the sun and the Earth, thereby blocking the sun and preventing any sunlight from reaching us.

There are four types of solar eclipses:

  • Partial solar eclipse: The moon blocks the sun, but only partially. As a result, some part of the sun is visible, whereas the blocked part appears dark. A partial solar eclipse is the most common type of solar eclipse.
  • Annular solar eclipseThe moon blocks out the sun in such a way that the periphery of the sun remains visible. The unobscured and glowing ring, or “annulus,” around the sun is also popularly known as the “ring of fire.” This is the second most common type of eclipse.
  • Total solar eclipse: As the word "total" suggests, the moon totally blocks out the sun for a few minutes, leading to a period of darkness -- and the resulting eclipse is called a total solar eclipse.
  • During this period of darkness, one can witness the solar corona, which is usually too dim to notice when the sun is at its full glory.
  • Also noticeable is the diamond ring effect, or "Baily's beads," which occurs when some of the sunlight is able to reach us because the moon's surface is not perfectly round. These imperfections (in the form of craters and valleys) can allow sunlight to pass through, and this appears just like a bright, shining diamond.
  • Hybrid solar eclipse: The rarest of all eclipses is a hybrid eclipse, which shifts between a total and an annular eclipse.
  • During a hybrid eclipse, some locations on Earth will witness the moon completely blocking the sun (a total eclipse), whereas other regions will observe an annular eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse vs. Solar Eclipse

  • When the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, the planet obscures the Moon's ability to reflect sunlight. The Moon's surface is then covered by Earth's shadow rather than the Sun’s light. This phenomenon is called a lunar eclipse.
  • A lunar eclipse only occurs on a full Moon.
  • Whereas, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the earth and the Sun and obscures the sunlight from reaching the planet.

Why does the Eclipse seen vary according to the Positions?

  • Since Moon is smaller as compared to the Sun and Earth, its shadow on Earth isn’t very big.
  • As a result, only some places on the planet get to witness the phenomenon. People who are on the sunny side of Earth and in the path of the moon’s shadow can see the solar eclipse, while others cannot.

Katraj zoological park to get zebras from abroad

Context

Recently, the Pune Municipal Council has planned to procure five Zebras for its Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park in Katraj from foreign zoos.

Key Highlights:

  • The five Zebras to be brought are planned to include two males and Three Females.
  • The guidelines by the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI) will be followed for the transportation of captive wild animals.

Zebras in India:

  • Zebras are equids, members of the horse family.
  • There are three different species: plains, mountains, and Grevy’s zebras.
  • Though Zebras live in Africa, each species of zebra has its own home area.
  • The Grevy’s zebra is the largest, weighing from 770 to 990 pounds (350 to 450 kilograms)
  • The Grevy's zebra lives in the arid grasslands of Ethiopia and northern Kenya. The Grévy's zebra is considered endangered in India.

  • Recent Initiatives:
    • The Lucknow Zoo has obtained three Zebras from Israel.

Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park:

  • The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, commonly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Zoo or Katraj Zoo, is located in Katraj, Pune district, Maharashtra State, India.
  • It is managed by the Pune Municipal Corporation. The 130-acre (53 ha) zoo is divided into three parts: an animal orphanage, a snake park, and a zoo, and includes the 42-acre (17 ha) Katraj Lake.
  • The zoo has a collection of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Among mammals, the zoo has a white tiger and a male Bengal tiger named Tanaji.

 

Indian Laws related to Wild Animals in Captivity:

  • The Wildlife Protection Act is the law governing the status of wildlife conservation and Transportation in India.
  • Any animal which is kept or bred in captivity, which is described in Schedule 1; Schedule 2; Schedule 3; and Schedule 4 of the act.
  • The 'Chief wildlife warden' is the statutory authority that heads the wildlife department of a state.
  • Protection of animals is enshrined as a fundamental duty in the Indian Constitution and there exist several animal welfare legislations in India such as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 at the Central level.

Central Zoo Authority of India:

  • The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) is the body of the government of India responsible for the oversight of zoos.
  • It is an affiliate member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
  • The Central Zoo Authority has been constituted under section 38A of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.
  • Composition:
    • The Authority consists of a Chairman, ten members, and a Member Secretary.

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain’s first non-white Prime Minister

Context

Context:

Recently, Rishi Sunak was elected as Britain's first Indian-origin Prime Minister, scripting an impressive political comeback in British politics. This has shown the diversity in Modern day Britain and is expected to strengthen India-UK relations.

Background

  • The Indian Diaspora in the UK is one of the largest ethnic minority communities in the country, with the 2011 census recording approximately 5 million people of Indian origin in the UK equating to almost 1.8% of Britain’s population.
  • Economy: Indians contribute 6% of the UK’s GDP.
  • Indian diaspora-owned companies with combined revenue of 36.84 billion pounds employ over 1, 74,000 peopleand pay over 1 billion pounds in Corporation Tax.
  • Politics: In 2019, the British House of Commons had 15 members of parliament of Indian origin.

About
  • Rishi Sunak, 42 was elected Conservative Party leader and the youngest British Prime Minister in 210 years.
  • He is also the First Non-white person elected as the Prime Minister of Britain of Hindu origin.
  • He was born on 12 May 1980 and is a British politician who has served as the Leader of the Conservative Party.
  • Sunak served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020.
  • He has also been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.

Significance of Indian Diaspora:

  • According to the Global Migration Report 2020, India continues to be the largest country of origin of international migrants with a 5 million-strong diaspora across the world.
  • It contributes by way of remittances, investment, lobbying for India, promoting Indian culture abroad, and building a good image of India through its intelligence and industry.
  • Many people of Indian origin hold top political positions in many countries, in the USA itself; they are now a significant part of Republicans and Democrats, as well as the government.
  • India's diaspora played an important role in the India-U.S. nuclear deal.
  • Indian diaspora is not just a part of India’s soft power, but a fully transferable political vote bank as well.

Cultural Influence:

  • There has been a gradual mainstreaming of Indian culture and absorption of Indian cuisine, cinema, languages, religion, philosophy, performing arts, etc.
  • The Nehru Centre is the cultural wing of the High Commission of India in the UK which was established in 1992.
  • 2017 was celebrated as the India-UK year of Culture to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.

China’s ‘nine-dash line’ puts economic interest at risk: Indonesia

Context

Recently, the Chinese government said it has “overlapping claims” with Vietnam over maritime rights in parts of the East Sea, Indonesia showed concerns and rejected China’s offer for any negotiations and said that Jakarta’s economic interests are threatened by China’s Nine-Dash Line.

About
  • China currently claims ‘indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.
  • These nine-dash lines are not geographical boundaries but are interpreted by China to advance its claims. 
  • The line runs as far as 2,000km from the Chinese mainland to within a few hundred kilometers of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
  • The nine-dash line was originally an 11-dash line, and Chinese geographer Yang Huairen helped to draw it.
    • In 1947, Yang worked on the map introducing the 11-dash line and 286 bits of rock and turf in the South China Sea.
  • In 1952, the 11-dash line became the nine-dash line when in a moment of Communist camaraderie with Vietnam; Mao gave up China’s claims over the Gulf of Tonkin.

Countries' maritime Borders in the South China Sea:

  • Several countries bordering the South China Sea; are 
    • Peninsular Malaysia,
    • Thailand (via the Gulf of Thailand),
    • Philippines
    • Singapore,
    • East Malaysia
    • Brunei, and
    • Indonesia
    • Vietnam,
    • China,
    • Brunei, and
    • Taiwan

Why it is a significant location?

The South China Sea is a contested maritime area that is subject to claims of partial possession by five countries currently, namely the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia, which has remained unresolved for decades.

However, there is an interest in their claims:

  • For China: China claims most of the contested sea, reaching almost to the Philippines shores, and has built artificial islands with heavy military developments on them which worry the neighboring nations and it rejects the UN-backed international tribunal ruling as well.
  • The nine-dash line asserted by China violates the principle of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).

Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)

  • It is a formula based on compromise and was recognized by the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1976.
  • It covers an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea: it can extend to a maximum of 200 nautical miles from the baselines.
  • The EEZ includes the territorial sea which extends to 12 nautical miles. While the countries have sovereign rights over the territorial sea, the EEZ provides them the right to existing natural resources.
  • Activities allowed in EEZ are -
    • o   creation and use of artificial islands,
    • o   Installations and structures.
    • o   Marine scientific research and
    • o   The protection and preservation of the marine environment.
  • For Other Island Countries: The stalled negotiations between China and ASEAN made headway on the Code of Conduct as four of the ASEAN nations also made territorial claims on the disputed waters which adds to the problem with the already non-negotiable behavior of China.
  • The 9-dash line makes China exclusive rights to marine resources of the region and hence affects the economy of developing island countries like Indonesia.
  • For India: The South China Sea holds the major Oil trade route for countries in the Pacific and India affects if the economy of these counties gets impacted.

Fungal infections are a global health risks: WHO

Context

Recently, WHO published a report highlighting the first-ever list of fungal "Priority pathogens" – a catalogue of the 19 fungi that represent the greatest threat to public health.  

About

Highlights of the Report:

  • The WHO fungal priority pathogens list (FPPL) is the first global effort to systematically prioritize fungal pathogens, considering the unmet research and development (R&D) needs and the perceived public health importance.
  • The 19 Fungi identified as categorically as fungi of concern are mentioned in the table below.
  • Objective: The WHO FPPL aims to focus and drive further research and policy interventions to strengthen the global response to fungal infections and antifungal resistance.
  • Fungal pathogens are a major threat to public health as they are becoming increasingly common and resistant to treatment with only four classes of antifungal medicines currently available.

Anti-Fungal Medicines:

Antifungal drugs are medications that are used to treat fungal infections.

While most fungal infections affect areas such as the skin and nails, some can lead to more serious and potentially life-threatening conditions like meningitis or pneumonia.

  • According to the Report, most fungal pathogens lack rapid and sensitive diagnostics and those that exist are not widely available or affordable globally.
  • The invasive forms of these fungal infections often affect severely ill patients and those with significant underlying immune system-related conditions.
  • Populations at the greatest risk of invasive fungal infections include those with cancer, HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, chronic respiratory disease, and post-primary tuberculosis infection.
  • The WHO FPPL list is divided into three categories:
  • Critical,
  • High and
  • Medium priority.
  • The fungal pathogens in each priority category are so ranked primarily due to their public health impact and/or emerging antifungal resistance risk.

Significance of the Initiative:

  • Help to prioritize the Level of Infection: The FPPL report underscores strategies for policymakers, public health professionals, and other stakeholders.
  • Development of effective drugs: The strategies proposed in the report are collectively aimed at generating evidence and improving response to these fungal priority pathogens including preventing the development of antifungal drug resistance.
  • The primary recommended actions are focused on:
    • strengthening laboratory capacity and surveillance;
    • sustaining investments in research, development, and innovation; and
    • Enhancing public health interventions for prevention and control.

Fungal Infections:

There are many types of fungal infections. Some of the most common fungal infections are those of the skin, nails, and mucous membranes. Examples include:

  • Ringworm (also known as tinea): a fungal infection of the skin that can occur on your scalp, on your feet (athlete’s foot), in your groin area (jock itch), and on other areas of your body
  • Nail fungus: an infection that typically affects your toenails but can also affect your fingernails
  • Vaginal yeast infection: an infection that occurs due to the overgrowth of Candida yeast in and around the vagina
  • Oral thrush: a condition in which Candida yeast overgrows in your mouth.

There are also some less common but more serious fungal infections that can cause fungal pneumonia, fungal meningitis, or even systemic infections.

Examples of fungal species that can cause more serious infections to include:

  • Aspergillus
  • Blastomyces
  • Candida
  • Coccidioides
  • Cryptococcus
  • Histoplasma

Bombay Stock Exchange’s Electronic Gold Receipt

Context

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for its Electronic Gold Receipt (EGR), India’s first spot physical gold exchange product.

Background

  • In India, electronic gold trading happens through gold derivatives or gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on stock exchanges.
  • EGR is the first spot physical gold exchange trading product.
  • In the Union Budget 2021-22, the government announced the setting up of a SEBI-regulated gold spot exchange.
  • Then, on September 28, 2021, Sebi introduced two new investment instruments,
    • EGR
    • silver ETFs

What Is An EGR?

  • EGRs are depository gold receipts traded on the stock exchanges. They are held in Demat accounts, just like shares.
  • For EGRs, the physical gold is sourced through imports, accredited domestic refineries, or designated delivery centers. 
  • The buyer could convert the physical gold into an EGR by depositing the yellow metal at the designated delivery center. After the gold is sourced, a depository receipt is created for trading on BSE.
    • For example, a buyer can sell the EGR or convert it to physical gold.

Editorial

Vital intervention: On the Supreme Court order against hate speech

Context:

With the recent increase in the number of instances, the Supreme Court has referred to the growing “climate of hate”, and taken note of the ‘inaction’ in most instances, despite the law containing provisions to deal with the phenomenon.

Need for Supreme Court’s intervention:

  • Maintaining Law and Order: SC’s intervention has become necessary in the light of some controversial leaders getting away lightly after making unacceptable comments, some of them tinged with a genocidal tenor. 
  • To rectify the government’s actions: It is quite apparent that the government does not share the Court’s concern for communal harmony, fraternity, and tranquillity. Few States may be contributing to the vitiated atmosphere either by studied inaction or complicity.
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ThinkQ

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QUIZ - 26th October 2022

Mains Question:

Question: China’s maritime expansion is threateningly and has adversely affected the interest of major countries in the region. Explain (150 words)

Question Mapping

  • Subject: International Relations (GS-II)
    • Sub-Topic: Bilateral Relations, Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests

Approach

  • Introduction- brief about china’s current maritime policy (maritime territorialisation)
  • China’s substantial claims
    • South China sea
    • East China sea
    • other areas of the Indo-Pacific based on its nine-dash Line
  • Discuss how it affects the interests of many South East Asian countries
  • Measures to counter the expansionist agenda
    • US’s Indo-Pacific Strategy
    • QUAD (India, Japan, Australia and USA)
    • AUKUS (Australia, UK and US)IPEF
  • Required intervention 
  • Sum up your answer with a way forward
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