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Published: 11th Nov, 2022

Topic: Polity & Governance

Centre constitutes Law Commission after 4-year gap

  • The Centre has constituted the Law Commission of India by appointing former Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi as it's chairperson.
  • The Commission headed by Justice Awasthi is the 22nd Law Commission of India.

Law Commission of India

  • It is a non-statutory body that is constituted by a notification of the Government of India, with definite terms of reference to carry out research in the field of law.
  • The Commission makes recommendations to the Government (in the form of Reports) as per its terms of reference.

Topic: Environment

Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC)

  • The Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) was launched at the COP27 Summit in Egypt to scale up and accelerate the conservation and restoration of the mangrove forests.
  • The alliance will raise awareness about the role of mangroves as a "nature-based solution to climate change".
  • It was spearheaded by the UAE in partnership with Indonesia.
  • India joined the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC).
  • UAE, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Spain and Sri Lanka are the other MAC supporters.

Topic: Environment

Wuhan Declaration released

  • Wuhan Declaration on the coexistence of humans and nature is released at the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14).
  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and use of wetlands and their resources. It has 172 contracting parties so far.

Environment

PM unveils G20 logo signifying India’s agenda for Global Order and Peace

 

India has unveiled the logo, theme and website for its presidency of the G20, which reflects the country’s message and overarching priorities to the world.

About the logo:

  • The G20 logo, created with the four colours of India's national flag, comprises of earth sitting atop a lotus.
  • The seven petals in the logo signify the seven seas and the coming together of seven continents at G20 India 2023.
Theme: The earth reflects India's pro-planet approach to life and from this and derives the theme of G20 India 2023 – ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: One Earth, One Family, and One Future’.

Science & Technology

RISAT-2 makes uncontrolled reentry into the earth’s atmosphere

 

RISAT-2, launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in 2009, made an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere at the predicted impact point.

About

  • RISAT-2 is a Radar Imaging Satellite with all-weather capability.
  • Weighing only about 300 kg, the satellite made an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere at the predicted impact point in the Indian Ocean near Jakarta on October 30, ISRO said.
  • RISAT-2 Satellite carried 30 Kg of fuel for an initial designed life of four years.

Geography

 

The Tongan Volcano Eruption Unleashed the Highest Plume on Record

 

The powerful January 15 underwater eruption of Tonga’s Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the South Pacific produced a plume that soared higher into Earth’s atmosphere than any other on record – about 57 km.

About:

  • The white-greyish plume unleashed by the eruption in the Polynesian archipelago became the first one documented to have penetrated a frigid layer of the atmosphere called the mesosphere.
  • Most of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha‘apai lies underwater.
  • It rises more than 2,000 metres from the sea floor and is part of the Tonga–Kermadec volcanic arc.
  • This string of mostly underwater volcanoes sits above a massive geological collision zone, where the western edge of the Pacific plate of Earth’s crust dives beneath the Indo–Australian plate.
The edge of the Pacific plate heats up as it sinks into the planet’s depths, and molten rock rises to feed the volcanoes of the Tonga–Kermadec arc.

Environment

Blue Carbon – the World’s most efficient absorbers of CO2 and long-term carbon sinks

  • Blue carbon ecosystems are some of the world’s most efficient absorbers of CO2 and long-term carbon sinks.
  • The carbon sequestered by the world’s oceans and coastal wetlands is termed ‘blue carbon’.
  • Important blue carbon wetland habitats: mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes.
    • India’s Sundarbans National Park is among five sites that have the highest blue carbon stocks globally.
Emerging blue carbon components include seaweed, especially kelp and Sargassum, phytoplankton, shellfish beds, seabed sediments, and marine vertebrates, like sharks, whales, and deepwater ‘mesopelagic’ fish.

Miscellaneous

'Permacrisis' - word of the year for 2022

 

  • 'Permacrisis' is defined as "an extended period of instability and insecurity".
The word "sums up quite succinctly how truly awful 2022 has been for so many people".

Science & Technology

Vestibular hypofunction

  • Vestibular hypofunction is a condition in which the balance part of the inner ear doesn't work properly.
  • This can occur on one side (unilateral hypofunction) or on both sides of the head (bilateral hypofunction).
  • It can lead to symptoms related to loss of normal balance reflexes, dizziness and postural instability.
  • Types: Unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH) and Bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH)

Geography

How Delhi’s location makes its pollution crisis worse?

 

As the winter season sets in, Delhi has yet again turned into a "gas chamber". 

The curse of poor geography

  • India’s capital city lies to the
    • north-east of the Thar Desert
    • north-west of the central plains
    • south-west of the Himalayas
  • As winds arrive from the coasts, bringing with them pollutants picked up along the way, they get ‘trapped’ right before the Himalayas.
  • The air pressure pushes from one direction, and with the inability to escape quickly in the other, the particulate matter accumulates over the northern plains.
This accumulation and entrapment affect not only Delhi but the entire expanse between Punjab in the west to West Bengal in the east.

Science & Technology

Earth's closest-ever black hole found, is 10 times the size of the Sun

  • Astronomers working at the International Gemini Observatory in the US have found a black hole, named Gaia BH1 that lies closest to the Earth.
  • It is the first-ever detected dormant stellar-mass black hole of the Milky Way galaxy.
  • Its size is 10 times that of the Sun in our solar system.
  • It's located 1600 light-years away.
The team used the International Gemini Observatory, operated by NSF's NOIRLab in the US.

Environment

India Pavilion at COP 27

 

  • Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change inaugurated the India Pavilion at the 27th Session of the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27) Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • India is hosting a pavilion with the theme of LiFE- Lifestyle for Environment at COP 27.
The Pavilion has been designed to send out the message of LiFE through various audio-visuals, logos, 3D models, set up, decor and side events.

Geography

A new UNESCO study shows that glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to carbon dioxide emissions, raising the chances of GLOF events.


  • A Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) is a sudden release of water from a lake fed by glacier melt that has formed at the side, in front, within, beneath, or on the surface of a glacier.
  • GLOFs have three main features:
  • They involve sudden (and sometimes cyclic) releases of water.
  • They tend to be rapid events, lasting hours to days.
They result in large downstream river discharges (which often increase by an order of magnitude).

Polity & Governance

NITI Aayog seeks clarity from the Centre on Digi Yatra's data privacy

  • The 'DigiYatra' is a Biometric Enabled Seamless Travel experience (BEST) based on Facial Recognition Technology.
  • It aims to provide a paperless and seamless travel experience to passengers.
With this technology, passengers' entry would be automatically processed based on the facial recognition system at all checkpoints including entry into the airport, security check areas, aircraft boarding, etc.

Polity & Governance

Anthropological Survey of India builds tribal hut replicas to promote the unique heritage

 

  • Anthropological Survey of India is the only research organisation to pursue anthropological research in a governmental setup. 
  • The Anthropological Survey of India’s genesis was from the Zoological and Anthropological section of the Indian Museum which became the Zoological Survey of India in 1916. 
  • In 1945 the Anthropology section of the Zoological Survey was carved out to eventually become the Anthropological Survey of India (An. S.I) with Dr B.S. Guha as the founding director in 1946. 
The head office was shifted from Varanasi to Calcutta in 1948. 

Science & Technology

A patient taking part in an FDA-sanctioned clinical trial assessing a CRISPR-based therapy for a rare form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has died.

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder.
  • It involves muscle weakness, which quickly gets worse.
  • DMD is one of four conditions known as dystrophinopathies.  The other three diseases that belong to this group are
    • Becker Muscular dystrophy (BMD, a mild form of DMD)
    • an intermediate clinical presentation between DMD and BMD
DMD-associated dilated cardiomyopathy (heart disease) with little or no clinical skeletal, or voluntary, muscle disease.

Uttar Pradesh has announced that Mathura-Vrindavan is aiming to become a “net zero carbon emission”. This will be the first such carbon neutral master plan for a tourist destination in India.

 

  • Mathura-Vrindavan is one of India’s largest pilgrimage centres. The region aims to become a “net zero carbon emission” tourist destination by 2041.
  • This means that tourist vehicles will be banned from the entire Braj region, which includes famous pilgrim centres such as Vrindavan and Krishna Janmabhoomi.
  • Instead, only electric vehicles used as public transport will be allowed into the area. 
  • All 252 water bodies and 24 forests in the area will also be revived.

International Relations

Chiefs of Indian, French Air Forces join ongoing Garuda-VII air exercise at Jodhpur.

  • The bilateral air exercise has been ongoing since 2003.
  • This is the seventh edition of the bilateral air exercise between India and France.
  • IAF contingent: Exercise Garuda VII is also the first occasion for the LCA Tejas and the recently inducted LCH Prachand to participate in any international exercise.
    • Apart from the LCA and LCH, the IAF contingent consists of Su-30 MKI, Rafale and Jaguar fighter aircrafts, as well as Mi-17 helicopters, combat enabling assets like flight refuelling aircraft, early warning aircraft, and Garud Special Forces.
French side: The exercise included four Rafale fighters and one A-330 multi role tanker transport aircraft

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