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30th August 2022

Significance of NASA’s Artemis mission

Context

NASA’s Artemis 1 launch has been postponed due to a malfunctioning RS-25 engine on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

About

Artemis Mission:

  • The new program was named Artemis by NASA leaders during the Trump administration.

In Greek mythology, Artemis, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation, as well as of chastity and childbirth, was the twin sister of Apollo, the much loved god of music and divination.

  • NASA's Artemis program aims to put astronauts on the moon's South Pole in 2024.
  • The program is part of an international effort to build a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
  • First Step: The program’s first step will be the upcoming test flight of the Moon rocket, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), with the Orion capsule on top where astronauts will sit during future missions.

Significance of Artemis Mission:

  • NASA will land the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon.
  • In the complex mission, astronauts will live and work in deep space and will develop the science and technology to send the first humans to Mars.
  • NASA is also hoping to jump-start companies looking to set up a steady business of flying scientific instruments and other payloads to the moon, and to inspire students to enter science and engineering fields.

Artemis I:

  • Artemis I will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.
    • During this flight, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown, over the course of about a three-week mission.

NASA’s Space Launch System

  • NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, is a super heavy-lift launch vehicle that provides the foundation for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit.
  • With its unprecedented power and capabilities, SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and cargo directly to the Moon on a single mission.
  • According to NASA, all SLS configurations will similarly utilize a core stage with four RS-25 engines. 
  • The Block 1 configuration uses twin solid rocket boosters and an Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS). The ICPS will be used for the first three Artemis missions.
  • Later Artemis flights will use a mightier Exploration Upper Stage (EUS).

NASA’s Orion spacecraft:

  • NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before.
  • Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.
  • Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

Appointment of Chief Justice of India

Context

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit has been appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India, the highest-ranking officer of the Indian federal Judiciary.

About

About new Chief Justice of India, Justice UU Lalit:

  • Justice Lalit will have a relatively short tenure of over three months with his retirement scheduled for November 8.
  • He will also only be the second CJI to have been appointed directly from the Bar, without serving as a judge of a high court.

Qualification for Chief Justice of India:

Apart from being an Indian citizen, the person must

  1. have been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession or
  2. have been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession, or
  3. be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.

Who appoints the CJI?

  • The appointment of judges to the higher judiciary is done by the collegium system.
  • The Chief Justice of India and the other judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Indian Constitution.
  • It is mentioned in Article 124 that appointment by the President is to be done “after consultation” with judges of the Supreme Court, as the President may “deem necessary”.
  • Article 217, which deals with the appointment of High Court judges, says the President should consult the CJI, Governor, and Chief Justice of the High Court concerned.
  • Further, the tenure of a CJI is until they attain the age of 65 years, while High Court judges retire at 62 years.

Recommendation of the successor

  • As is the protocol, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court is designated as the CJI.
  • As per practice, a formal recommendation of the CJI-designate is sought from the incumbent CJI, roughly about a month ahead of the latter’s date of retirement.
  • The seniority of judges is determined by the number of years they have served as a judge of the Supreme Court, and it is not determined by their age.
    • In case two judges were sworn in as Supreme Court judges on the same day, the judge to take oath first would assume seniority.
  • Seniority of judges becomes the basis for the formation of the collegium and the line of succession for the post of CJI.
  • The recommendation of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court is officially communicated by the incumbent CJI to the Ministry of Law and Justice, which, then, relays the communication to the Prime Minister as per the existing Memorandum of Procedure (MoP).
  • The Prime Minister advises the President on the recommendation and the executive head subsequently makes the appointment under the powers conferred on her under Article 124(2) to make appointments of judges to India’s top court.

Procedure for removal of CJI:

The constitution states:

  • A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting, with the address in the same session presented to the President for removal on one of the two grounds – proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

Shumang Leela, the traditional form of theatre of Manipur

Context

The 50th All Manipur Shumang Leela Festival 2021-2022 kicked off at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen at Palace Compound in Imphal.

About

Shumang Leela:

  • Shumang Leela is a traditional form of theatre in Manipur.
  • 'Shumang' means 'open courtyard' and 'leela' means play and literal meaning of Shumang leela is "play of the open courtyard".
  • The roles of female artists are all played by male actors and male characters are played by female artists in case of female theatre groups.
  • Shumang Leela started as a comic genre presented before the kings and noblemen, which ultimately developed into the present form of courtyard-enacted play.
  • Shumang Leela groups of those days attempted to preserve and promote humanism, tolerance, confidence, devotion, truth and justice through their performances.
  • Shumang Leela has, today, developed both theatrically and artistically.
  • Shumang Leela has become a powerful medium for mass education besides giving entertainment and relaxation.
  • It has also been trying to strengthen the bond of brotherhood and friendship among various communities in the State.
  • It has been trying to focus on the issues of moral values, unity and integrity

Some other traditional Theatre (Drama) in India

Bhand Pather (Kashmir)

  • Unique combination of dance, music and acting.
  • Satire, wit and parody are preferred for inducing laughter.
  • Music is provided with surnai, nagaara and dhol.

Swang (Haryana)

  • Mainly music-based – Gradually, prose too, played its role in the dialogues.
  • Softness of emotions, accomplishment of rasa along with the development of character can be seen
  • Two important styles are from Rohtak (Haryanvi language) and Haathras (Brajbhasha language)

Nautanki (Uttar Pradesh)

  • Most popular centres – Kanpur, Lucknow and Haathras
  • Verses form: Doha, Chaubola, Chhappai, Behar-e-tabeel

Rasleela

  • Based exclusively on the pranks of Lord Krishna
  • It is believed that Nand Das wrote the initial plays based on the life of Krishna.
  • Dialogues in prose combined beautifully with songs and scenes from Krishna’s pranks

Bhavai (Gujrat)

  • Rare synthesis of devotional and romantic sentiments
  • Instruments: Bhungal, tabla, flute, pakhaawaj, rabaab, sarangi, manjeera, etc.
  • Main centers:  Kutch and Kathiawar

Jatra (West Bengal)

  • Fairs & ceremonies in honour of gods, or religious along with musical plays
  • Earlier form of Jatra has been musical; dialogues were added at later stage.
  • The actors themselves describe the change of scene, the place of action, etc.
  • Krishna Jatra became popular due to Chaitanya prabhu’s influence

Maach (Madhya Pradesh)

  • Songs are given prominence in between the dialogues.
  • The term for dialogue in this form is bol and rhyme in narration is termed vanag
  • The tunes of this theater form are known as rangat

Tamasha (Maharashtra)

  • Evolved from the folk forms such as Gondhal, Jagran and Kirtan
  • Female actress (known as Murki): Chief exponent of dance movements in the play.
  • Prominent Features: Classical music, footwork at lightning-speed, and vivid gestures

Dashavatar (Konkan-Goa)

  • Personifies the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu – the god of preservation and creativity.
  • Ten incarnations: Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varaha (boar), Narsimha (lion-man), Vaman (dwarf), Parashuram, Rama, Krishna (or Balram), Buddha and Kalki.
  • Apart from stylized make-up, the Dashavatar performers wear masks of wood and papier mache

Krishanattam (Kerala)

  • Came into existence in the mid-17th century under the patronage of King Manavada of Calicut.
  • Krishnattam is a cycle of eight plays performed for eight consecutive days
  • Eight plays: Avataram, Kaliamandana, Rasa krida, kamasavadha, Swayamvaram, Bana Yudham, Vivida Vadham, and Swargarohana.
  • Episodes are based on the theme of Lord Krishna – his birth, childhood pranks and various deeds depicting victory of good over evil

Mudiyettu (Kerala)

  • Celebrated in the month of Vrischikam (November-December).
  • Performed only in the Kali temples of Kerala, as an oblation to the Goddess.
  • Depicts the triumph of goddess Bhadrakali over the asura Darika.
  • Seven characters in Mudiyettu: Shiva, Narada, Darika, Danavendra, Bhadrakali, Kooli and Koimbidar (Nandikeshvara)

Theyyam (Kerala)

  • ‘Theyyam’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Daivam’ meaning God – Hence called God’s dance.
  • Performed by various castes to appease and worship spirits.
  • Distinguishing features – Colourful costume and awe-inspiring headgears (mudi) nearly 5 to 6 feet high; dyed into different strong colours

Koodiyettam (Kerala)

  • Based on Sanskrit theater traditions
  • Characters: Chakyaar or actor, Naambiyaar, the instrumentalists and Naangyaar, those taking on women’s roles.
  • The Sutradhar or narrator and the Vidushak or jesters are the protagonists
  • Vidushak alone delivers the dialogues.
  • Emphasis on hand gestures and eye movements makes this dance and theater form unique.

Yakshagana (Karnataka) 

  • Based on mythological stories and Puranas – performed at twilight hours
  • Mostly episodes are taken from Mahabharata and Ramayana

Therukoottu (Tamil Nadu) 

  • Literally means “street play”- mostly performed by males dancers
  • Mostly performed at the time of annual temple festivals of Mariamman (Rain goddess) to achieve rich harvest.
  • Theme being a cycle of eight plays based on the life of Draupadi.

Karyala (Himachal Pradesh)

  • Deals with serious question of life & death with simplistic expression; enveloped in humour.
  • Audience is given essence of our cultural heritage of viewing the world as a stage and as an unsubstantial pageant which is to be negotiated and lived by rising above it.
  • There is often stylistic diversity, which strengthens their identity from Swang, Nautanki, Bhagat, etc.

Bhaona (Ankia Naat) – Assam

  • Creation of Great Assamese saint and social reformer Srimanta Sankardeva
  • Written in an language called Brajavali (mixture of Assamese-Maithili)
  • Primarily centered on the acts of Lord Krishna
  • Shows cultural glimpses of Assam, Bengal Orissa, Mathura and Brindavan.
  • The Sutradhaar, or narrator begins the story, first in Sanskrit and then in either Brajboli or Assamese

Fruit fly: novel method to study nuclear matrix

Context

A group of researchers from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad (CCMB) and Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, Bengaluru (TIGS), have established a way of studying the nuclear matrix of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) without removing the nucleus from the embryo.

About

Nuclear Matrix:

  • Every cell that makes up an organism contains a copy of its genome.
    • This genome is packaged in special ways with the help of a structure known as the nuclear matrix.
    • The nuclear matrix gives an organisation and architecture to the nucleus.
  • The nuclear matrix is scaffolding that helps package the genome differently in different types of cells.
  • Similar to cytoskeleton, the nuclear matrix largely provides mechanical support.
    • It includes the nuclear lamina, which is the dense fibrous network juxtaposes the nuclear envelope and continuous outside to the endoplasmic reticulum.
  • There are two major components of the nuclear lamina:
    • intermediate filaments, particularly lamins and
    • nuclear lamin-associated membrane proteins
  • The nuclear matrix is suggested to generally have the following components:
    • the residual elements of the nuclear envelope, i.e. the pore complex-lamina,
    • the residual nucleoli, and
    • a granular and fibrous matrix structure extending throughout the nucleus

Japanese Encephalitis

Context

At least 85 people have died of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Assam in the last two months.

About

Japanese Encephalitis:

  • Japanese encephalitis (JE) is one of the most common encephalitides
  • The disease is caused by a mosquito-borne flavivirus and is found across south and east areas of Asia.
  • It is a zoonosis – an animal disease that can spread to humans.
  • JE virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Culex mosquitoes, which lay their eggs in irrigated rice paddies and other pools of stagnant water.
  • Pigs and birds serve as amplifying vertebrate hosts.
  • Humans are believed to be dead-end hosts. The disease outbreak usually occurs during the rainy season.
  • Case-fatality rate in severe clinical cases is estimated to be 20–30%, with young children (< 10 years) having a greater risk of severe disease and death.

Vaccine

  • Currently, three WHO-prequalified JE vaccines are available, all of which are safe and effective. WHO recommends use of JE vaccines in all countries where JE is recognized as a public health priority.
  • India has also launched its first indigenously produced anti- Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine—JENVAC.
  • All 27 districts of Assam have been covered under JE vaccination campaign (for 1-15 yrs.) followed by Routine Immunization as part of Immunization Programme.

National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme

  • The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of vector borne diseases namely Malaria, Filaria, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Dengue and Chikungunya which is covered under the overall umbrella of NRHM.
  • Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is the central nodal agency for the prevention and control of vector borne diseases.

 National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis   (JE)/ Acute Encephalitis Syndrome

 The goal of the programme is to reduce morbidity, mortality, and disability in   children due to JE/AES. The major objectives of the programme are as follows:

  • To strengthen and expand JE vaccination in affected districts;
  • To strengthen surveillance, vector control, case management and timely referral of serious and complicated cases;
  • To increase access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities to the target population in affected rural and urban areas;
  • To estimate disability burden due to JE/AES, and to provide for adequate facilities for physical, medical, neurological and social rehabilitation;
  • To improve nutritional status of children at risk of JE/AES;
  •  To carry out intensified IEC/BCC activities regarding JE/AES.

 

NCRB data for 2021

Context

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently released statistics of crimes in India 2021.

About

Key Findings of the latest report:

Cybercrimes:

  • The national capital in 2021 witnessed a 111% increase in cybercrime as compared to the previous year.
  • According to the data for 2021, most of these cases involved online fraud, online harassment and publication of explicit content among others.

Crime against women:

  • The NCRB report shows that the rate of crime against women (number of incidents per 1 lakh population) increased from 56.5 per cent in 2020 to 64.5 per cent in 2021.
  • A majority of these cases (31.8 per cent) fall in the category of “Cruelty by husband or his relatives’’, followed by “Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty” (20.8 per cent), kidnapping and abduction (17.6 per cent), and rape (7.4 per cent).
  • According to the report, the highest rate of crime against women in 2021 was registered in Assam (168.3 per cent), despite a marginal dip over the last three years.
  • Nagaland stood out with the lowest number of crimes against women registered in the past three years — 43 in 2019, 39 in 2020 and 54 in 2021. It also had the lowest crime rate against women for 2021 at 5.5 per cent.
  • Among Union Territories, Delhi had the highest rate of crime against women in 2021 at 147.6 per cent.

Rape Cases:

  • Most of the rape cases have been reported from Rajasthan during 2020 and 2021 from across the country.
  • It shows that Rajasthan reported the highest number of rape cases at 5,310 and 6,337 in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
  • Madhya Pradesh came a distant second in terms of rape cases in 2020 and 2021 with nearly same numbers.
  • Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Assam are the five states where most of the rape cases took place in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Crimes against children

  • NCRB statistics show a 20% jump in cognisable crimes against children in 2021 compared to the previous year, making them vulnerable.
  • In the year gone by, 2,556 cases of crimes against children were registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and special Acts and local laws (SLL) as compared to 2,121 cases reported in 2020.

Sedition:

  • 76 cases for sedition were registered in 2021 in the country under IPC Section 124A, of which the maximum of 29 were in Andhra Pradesh.
  • For Andhra Pradesh, this was in sharp contrast to 2020, when no sedition case was recorded in the state. In 2020, 73 sedition cases were recorded across India.
  • In 2020, out of 73 sedition cases, the maximum 15 were reported in Manipur, followed by Assam (12), Karnataka (8), and Uttar Pradesh (7).
  • 66 persons in sedition crimes and 1,317 under UAPA law were chargesheeted in 2021. While no one was convicted of sedition crimes in 2021, 62 people were convicted under UAPA.

Suicides:

  • In India, 1,64,033 suicides were registered in total in 2021, which is a 7.2 per cent increase from 2020's 1,53,052 cases.
  • Majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (22,207), followed by 18,925 suicides in Tamil Nadu, 14,965 suicides in Madhya Pradesh, 13,500 suicides in West Bengal and 13,056 suicides in Karnataka, accounting for 13.5 per cent, 11.5 per cent, 9.1 per cent, 8.2 per cent and 8 per cent of total suicides respectively.
  • Most suicides (2,840) have been reported in the Union territories' most populous territory, Delhi, then in Puducherry (504).
  • As per reports, most of the problems were associated with one's job or career, loneliness, abuse, violence, conflict in families, mental illness, alcoholism, financial loss, and chronic pain.

ABOUT NCRB

  • NCRB is nodal agency under Union Home Ministry for authentic source of data on crime on various parameters including accidents, suicides from across all the states of the country and prisons for policy matters and research. 
  • It was established in 1986 as the central police organisation.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It also imparts training in Information Technology (IT) and Finger Print Science for Indian Police Officers as well Foreign Police officers.
  • NCRB publishes 4 annual publications on Crime, Prison Statistics, Accidental Deaths & Suicides and Finger Prints. These publications serve as principal reference points on crime statistics.

Eight Years of PMJDY

Context

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the National Mission for Financial Inclusion completed eight years of successful implementation.

About

Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)

  • PMJDY is National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely, a basic savings & deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, pension in an affordable manner.
  • Under the scheme, a basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account can be opened in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitra) outlet, by persons not having any other account.
  • Pillars of PMJDY, namely-
    • Banking the Unbanked
    • Securing the Unsecured
    • Funding the Unfunded 

PM Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY): Objectives

  • To ensure access to various financial services like availability of basic savings bank account
  • To provide access to need-based credit, remittances facility, insurance, and Pension.

Benefits under PMJDY

  • One basic savings bank account is opened for unbanked person.
  • There is no requirement to maintain any minimum balance in PMJDY accounts.
  • Interest is earned on the deposit in PMJDY accounts.
  • Rupay Debit card is provided to PMJDY account holder.
  • Accident Insurance Cover of Rs.1 lakh (enhanced to Rs. 2 lakh to new PMJDY accounts opened after 28.8.2018) is available with RuPay card issued to the PMJDY account holders.
  • An overdraft (OD) facility up to Rs. 10,000 to eligible account holders is available.
  • PMJDY accounts are eligible for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Atal Pension Yojana (APY), Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Bank (MUDRA) scheme.

Progress Report of PMJDY:

  • More than 46.25 crore beneficiaries banked under PMJDY since inception, amounting to over one lakh 73 thousand crore rupees.
  • PMJDY Accounts grew three-fold from 14.72 crore in March 2015 to 46.25 crore as on the 10th August, 2022.
  • 56 percent Jan-Dhan account holders are women and 67 percent of Jan Dhan accounts are in rural and semi-urban areas.
  • 94 crore RuPay cards have been issued to PMJDY account holders.
  • Only 8.2 per cent of PMJDY accounts are zero balance accounts.
  • Deposits have increased 7.60 times with an increase in accounts by 2.58 times between August 2015 and August 2022. The average deposit per account is ?3,761.

Editorial

There are no easy answers to the freebies issue

Context:

The recent petition over the merits of freebies raised questions over its rationality. But the presumption that political parties are oriented towards short-term political gains without any thought for the future may be incorrect.

Merit versus non-merit:

  • It is not easy to evaluate the merit of any freebie (a word used to describe subsidized consumption). For example, the welfare effect of a scheme of free bicycles for children or a mid-day meal scheme may look like a cheap electoral bribe. But those familiar with rural areas would know that poor transport is a serious obstacle to attending school or college.

Court’s intervention:

  • The Supreme court in Subramaniam Balaji's judgment has remarked that it is for the state to decide about framing a scheme to benefit the people and the role of the court is limited. The concepts of livelihood and standard of living are bound to change in their content from time to time. It is factual that what was once considered to be a luxury has become a necessity in the present day. Judicial interference is permissible when the action of the government is unconstitutional and not when such action is not wise or when the extent of expenditure is not for the good of the State.

Reason for constituting a three-bench to revisit S. Subramaniam Balaji's judgment:

Although the crucial questions on freebies have been answered substantially in the previous judgments. However, in the present petition, a new issue has been posed, namely, the potential for freebies to undermine public finances. What is to stop a political party from promising freebies to get elected and leave behind a bankrupt economy? That seems to be the motivation for having a three-judge Bench revisit S. Subramaniam Balaji.

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ThinkQ

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QUIZ - 30th August 2022

Mains Question:

Q1. “National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data show that the rate of deaths by suicide across India in 2021 increased to the highest level ever recorded.” In the light of this statement, discuss the need to accord mental health equal importance as any other developmental priority. (150 words)

Approach 

  • Introduction- brief about findings of NCRB data
  • Increasing importance of mental health
  • Causes (professional or career-related problems, a sense of isolation, abuse, violence, family problems, mental disorders, addiction to alcohol, financial loss and chronic pain)
  • Required measures 
    • Encourage open conversations and remove taboos around mental health
    • Regularly assess mental and emotional wellbeing
    • financial support system needs t for mental health assistance
  • Conclude accordingly 
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