PIAS NEWS 8 October
Nobel peace prize
Minor forest produce
Ethyle glycol adulteration
Astronomical observatories -India
GENERAL STUDIES 2
CONTEXT – Petitions seeking the inclusion of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims and the removal of religion as criterion for inclusion as SCs.
COMMITTEE- The Union government now formed a 3 member Commission of Inquiry headed by former CJI, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, to examine whether the Scheduled caste status can be accorded to Dalits converted to religions other than Sikhism or Buddhism.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950- Persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist communities to be categorised as SCs
CONTEXT- UN Human Rights Council refuse to debate violations in China’s Xinjiang region because votes went in favour of China.
- India abstained on a resolution at the UNHRC promoting human rights in Sri Lanka but urged the government in Colombo to deliver on commitments towards the Tamil minority.
- India also abstained on a draft resolution at the UNHRC calling for a debate on the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang region.
- India later on addressed the issue of the Uighurs of Xinjiang directly for the first time saying that the community’s human rights should be “respected”.
Who are Uighurs
- The Uighurs are a predominantly Muslim minority Turkic ethnic group, whose origins can be traced to Central and East Asia.
- The Uighurs speak their own language, similar to Turkish, and see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.
- China recognises the community only as a regional minority and rejects that they are an indigenous group.
- Currently, the largest population of the Uighur ethnic community lives in the Xinjiang region of China.
- A significant population of Uighurs also lives in the neighbouring Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
Uighur Muslims for decades, under the false accusation by the Chinese government of terrorism and separatism, have suffered from abuses including persecution, forced detention, intense scrutiny, surveillance and even slavery.
UNHRC: India got reelected to UNHRC for 2022-24 term)
UNHRC covered in PIAS Current affairs on 7-10-2022
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
A Moscow court on Friday ordered the seizure of Memorial’s Moscow headquarters, in a ruling delivered hours after the rights group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
MINOR FOREST PRODUCE
For kondareddi tribals (Andhra Pradesh)-Bamboo shoots form recipe to health & happiness
- Bamboo shoots are nutritious and improves their immunity against viral fevers.
- The tribal people inhabiting in the forest and hill ranges are entitled to collect every form of bamboo tree, which is classified as Minor Forest Produce. They have the right to exploit its commercial value for their livelihood.
What is MFP
- Section 2(i) of the Forest Rights Act defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants etc.
- The Central government had introduced a minimum support price for a selected list of minor produce items in 2011.
- It aims to provide a social safety net to these underprivileged forest dwellers, and to aid in their empowerment.
- The responsibility of purchasing MFP on MSP will be with State designated agencies.
- The scheme supports primary value addition as well as provides for supply chain infrastructure like cold storage, warehouses etc.
- The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will be the nodal Ministry for implementation and monitoring of the scheme. The Minimum Support Price would be determined by the Ministry with technical help of TRIFED.
GENERAL STUDIES 3
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
ETHYLENE GLYCOL ADULTERATION
CONTEXT- Following the death of 66 children in Gambia, the WHO has raised an alert for four India-manufactured fever, cough and cold syrups, urging people to not use them.
- Made by Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals
- Drug name- Promethazine (Cough syrup)
- Reason – contaminated with di-ethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which are toxic for humans and can lead to acute kidney injury and kidney failure in children.
- India’s explanation- The manufacturers had been given special approval for export against purchase order placed by Gambia. These drugs are not sold in India.
- EFFECTS- Impact India’s reputation as the ‘pharmacy of the world.
- Way forward – India must revisit the regulatory framework to ensure national uniformity for certification, licensing, marketing and export.
- A useful industrial compound found in many consumer products. Examples include antifreeze, hydraulic brake fluids, some stamp pad inks, ballpoint pens, solvents, paints, plastics, films, and cosmetics. It can also be a pharmaceutical vehicle( some vaccines), preservatives.
- It is an odorless, colorless, flammable, viscous liquid.
- Ethylene glycol has a sweet taste, but it is toxic in high concentrations
CONTEXT – Experiments with entangled photons, and establishment of pioneering quantum information science that received the Nobel Prize in physics this year, also saw a new theoretical concept by Indian scientists exploring connections between the laws of thermodynamics and Quantum Information Theory (QIT).
- This could facilitate harnessing quantum entanglement for futuristic energy storage technology.
- Theorised a concept called ‘ergotropy’ that represents the amount of extractable work from a system by keeping its entropy (measure of randomness of a system) constant.
- The idea if harnessed can open pathways for putting quantum batteries to use in a way that is much efficient than its classical counterpart.
- They have proposed thermodynamic quantities that capture a signature in multipartite quantum systems called ‘genuine multipartite entanglement where several particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated.
- According to thermodynamics, thermal equilibrium states are completely passive states as no work can be extracted from such a state even if many copies are available. But the situation becomes more intriguing when the states are entangled.
- One can probe the individual parts locally to get useful energy which can further be stored in a battery for later uses.. The difference between work extraction from individual parts and work extraction from the composite system is called ergotropic gap.
- Ergotropic gap can be enhanced if the parts of a composite quantum system are prepared in an entangled state.
- The consequences will be far reaching in terms of mitigating climate change.
- Useful resource for several protocols, such as, quantum teleportation, quantum super dense coding, and secure quantum key distribution whose implications deeply impacted physics and computer science.
ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORIES -INDIA
- Astronomical observatory, any structure containing telescopes and auxiliary instruments with which to observe celestial objects
- The purpose of an astronomical observatory is to gather information that will lead to an understanding of the nature of the universe and its various components.
- Among the many celestial bodies examined by astronomical observatories are planets, stars, comets, galaxies, quasars, and nebulae
Ideal location for an observatory
- Clean skies
- High altitude – “A dry, high-altitude desert is in many ways the ideal location
- Complete darkness – To be able to detect stars or traces of cosmic phenomena, such as supernovae or nebulae from light years away, astronomers must be able to catch the faintest slivers of their radiation that often lie outside the range of visible light
Best such location is Hanle, Ladakh.-Two Observatories located – IAO & MACE
- Monsoonal clouds in Kavalur ,Tamil Nadu forces Vainu Bappu Observatory (run by Indian institute of astrophysics ) get closed for months
- Rainclouds absorb starlight and radiation from cosmic objects, preventing them from being caught on the telescopes of cameras.
- High altitude – less oxygen and more prone to mountain sickness.
- Light is the enemy – light pollution in which artificial light from cities and home electrification have obscured the natural night sky
- Ladakh’s Union Territory status, a government to expand economic opportunities via tourism and the Indian Army expanding its infrastructure development, lighting to bolster its defence at the India-China border which is near Hanle observatory
To counter challenges, the Ladakh government along with the IIA and India’s Scientific Ministries is laying the groundwork to have Hanle declared as an International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association(is a United States-based non-profit organization incorporated in 1988 )
|Observatory (Est. year)
|Maintains IST (at 82.5 E longitude)
|Madras -1786 by EIC
|Only that works on stars
|Colaba Observatory-1826 by EIC
|Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
|Palani Hills, Kodaikanal town (TN)- 2,343 meters (7,687 ft.
|Owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Facilities ionosonde and geomagnetic facilities solar tower with modern spectrograph(performed the first ever helioseismology investigations)
|Gauribidanur Radio Observatory – 1976
|Raman Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
|Pachmarhi Telescope Array or Pachmarhi Array of Cerenkov Telescopes (PACT) 1986
|An array of 24 telescopes for gamma-ray astronomy. It is operated by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
|Mount Abu Observatory- 1990
|The 1.2 m Infrared Telescope at Mount Abu is the first major facility in India specifically designed for ground based infrared observations of celestial objects.
|Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope (GMRT) – 1995
|Operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. To search for the highly redshifted 21-cm line radiation from primordial neutral hydrogen clouds in order to determine the epoch of galaxy formation in the universe. Pulsar research is another major area for GMRT study. At the time it was built, it was the world’s largest interferometric array.
|Nainital, Uttarakhand 2,450m (8,040 ft.
|A 130 cm telescopemanaged by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital.
|Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) -2001
|Hanle, J&K, India 4,500 meters (14,764 ft.)
|Facilities: optical-infrared Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) (Currently the second highest optical telescope in the world.) High Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope (HAGAR). Operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. GROWTH INDIA Telescope -India’s first robotic telescope
|Girawali Observatory -2006
|Optical astronomy -Operated by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune.
|Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment Telescope-2020 MACE
|Hanle, Ladakh, India 4,500 m (14,800 ft.)
|Second-largest gamma ray telescope in the world.Bhabha atomic research centre.Largest one is in Namibia
- Vainu Bappu Observatory-Found asteroid named 4130 Ramanujan by Schmidt telescope.
- Cerenkov – Special kind of light from gamma rays, or the most energetic sources of radiation, that can result from dying stars or several galactic events.
- Telescopes have helped gain a better understanding of a system of Earth-sized planets orbiting the TRAPPIST-1 star, about 40 light years away from Earth, as well as gravitational waves that resulted from the collision of neutron stars from a billion years ago
Drugs 0f 200 kg emanated from Makran coast
It is a semi-desert coastal strip in Balochistan, in Pakistan and Iran, along the coast of the Gulf of Oman
DOWLESWARAM BARRAGE -WORLD HERITAGE STRUCTURE
- Originally built in 1852 on Godavari river in Andhrapradesh
- Rebuilt in 1970 & it was officially renamed as Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage or Godavari Barrage.
- The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) in Adelaide has certified this as a heritage construction. In October 2022