28 May, 2020
56 Min Read
|GS-I||South Atlantic Anomaly||Human Geography|
|Forest Fire||Human Geography|
|Swarms of locusts||Human Geography|
|GS-II||Shekatkar Committee recommendations||Governance|
|GS-III||What Covid-19 does to central nervous system?|
|Why do some Covid-19 patients lose their sense of smell?|
|PT Pointer||Malimath Report||Governance|
|Sangeet Natak Academy||Art and Culture|
|Cyber & Information Security (CIS) Division|
|National Logistics Plan||Economic Issues|
|Lalit Kala Akademi||Art and Culture|
|Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)||Governance|
|Operation Digital board||Economic Issues|
|Current locations in Today’s News||Human Geography|
|Charu Mussel||Biodiversity & Environment|
|Important GS Topics||List of Important committees||Governance|
South Atlantic Anomaly
Part of: GS-I Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the Swarm constellation of satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA) has updated the development of South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). The South Atlantic Anomaly signifies weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field between Africa and South America. However, it has been observed that the present dip in intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field is within the normal fluctuation levels.
Swarm Constellation Mission
Earth’s Magnetic Field
Earth’s magnetic field, or the geomagnetic field, is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth’s interior out into space exerting a force on the charged particles emanating from the Space including Sun. The earth’s south magnetic pole is actually near the North Pole and the magnetic north pole is near the South Pole. This is why a compass magnet’s North Pole actually points north (Since opposite poles attract each other)
Reasons for Presence:
The magnetic field of the Earth is due to the metallic and liquid outer core of the planet. The outer core of the planet is like a giant dynamo. The rotation of the Earth creates movements inside the liquid outer core which gives rise to the geomagnetic field.
Intensification of SAA (Weakening of Magnetic Field)
Significance of SAA:
It has been speculated that the current weakening of the field is a sign of the pole reversal of the earth– in which the north and south magnetic poles may switch places.
Pole reversal is not an uncommon event and it takes place every 250,000 years. Last it had happened 7.8 lakh years ago.
Additionally, the SAA is expected to help to understand the processes in Earth’s core and future developments in the earth’s interior.
Source: Business Line
With rising mercury levels, Uttarakhand's forest fire season has now reached its peak.
There are two primary causes of wildfires, viz. Human and Natural.
Forest Fire Prevention and Management in India
Swarms of locusts
Part of: GS-I- CULTURE (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Over the last few days, swarms of locusts have been sighted unusually even in urban areas of Rajasthan. Swarms have also been reported from parts of Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
Impact on Urban Areas
Locusts are being seen in urban areas not historically associated with their sightings, such as — Jaipur, MP’s Gwalior, Morena and Sheopur, and recently stray swarms in Maharashtra’s Amravati, Nagpur and Wardha. There being no crops in the fields, the locusts have moved across states attracted by green cover in search of food. The swarms were aided by high-speed wind and thus they made their way to such urban areas.
Impact on Crops
At present, chances of crop damage are low given that farmers have already harvested their rabi crop.
Orange growers in Maharashtra have expressed concern but as per scientists of the Agriculture Ministry’s Locust Warning Organization (LWO) (Jodhpur), the swarm in Maharashtra would be easy to control.
At a time India is battling Covid-19, there is a need to take measures so that it won’t pose a threat to food security. There is no quick-fix solution to the locust menace. Beyond chemicals, pesticides, and drones, it is imperative to tackle the root cause of global warming and invest in upgrading climate resilience and adaptation techniques. An expensive and complex process, this will require global cooperation and coordination.
Shekatkar Committee recommendations
Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastructure.
Other recommendations made by the committee and which are under implementation include:
Other reforms suggested:
What Covid-19 does to central nervous system?
Why do some Covid-19 patients lose their sense of smell?
Loss of the sense of smell (and taste), one of the more recently identified symptoms of Covid-19, is now recognised as such by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the health authorities of some countries, including the US.
Tracking the proteins
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, hijacks two human proteins to invade cells.
Age is a factor
Why the nose matters
There are two kinds of cells in the nose as the likely first entry points for the virus. These are :
That study, too, had drawn its conclusions from the expression of the two entry proteins. Using the Human Cell Atlas database, it looked at data from different tissues of non-infected people. It found that these two proteins had the highest presence in goblet and ciliated cells.
Justice Malimath Committee or The Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System was constituted by the Home Ministry in 2000. The committee had submitted its report in 2003 and made recommendations on crime investigation and punishment.
The recommendations were never implemented. It is now going to be revisited by the government. One of its key recommendations is admissibility of confessions made before a police officer as evidence in a court of law.
Other recommendations are:
The Sholas are a mosaic of mountane evergreen forests and grasslands. They are found only in high altitude (>1500 metres above sea level) regions within the tropics, and are limited to the southern part of the Western Ghats.
They are characterised by undulating grassland patches, interspersed with thickets of stunted evergreen tree species. Recent study has indicated that timber plantations, expanding agriculture and the spread of invasive species reduced two thirds of the shoals in palani hill ranges of Western Ghats. There is a marked 67% decline in grassland area compared to 1973 level.
The natural march of invasive species such as prolific-seed-producer, acacia and the policy push for plantations in 1990s seems to be the main cause for decline. Fragmented grasslands also displaced endemic species Nilgiri Pipit.
Source: Aspire Geo
Nilgiri Pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is a bird endemic to the Western Ghats of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, southern India.
Sangeet Natak Academy
The Sangeet Natak Akademi was set up in 1953 for the promotion of performing arts. The Sangeet Natak Akademi is an Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Culture.
It acts at the national level for the:
The Akademi is also responsible for the establishment and maintenance of institutions and projects of national importance in the field of performing arts.
Sangeet Natak Akademi awards
Cyber & Information Security (CIS) Division
Union Ministry of Home Affairs has created Cyber & Information Security (CIS) division. Under this division Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and the Cyber Police Force will be set up.
The CIS Division will have four Wings, namely Security Clearance, Cyber Crime Prevention, Cyber Security and Information Security Wings each headed by an Under Secretary level Officer. It is also proposed to appoint the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Deputy CISO.
National Logistics Plan
Recently Union government has introduced an ambitious national logistics plan to allow seamless movement of inputs and finished goods across the country.
Lalit Kala Akademi
Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Fine Arts) is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture. It has headquarters at New Delhi and regional centres at Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Shimla.
Lalit Kala Akademi is the nodal agency of the Government of India to promote understanding of Indian art, both within and outside the country. The Akademi conducts international exhibition on contemporary art in New Delhi every three years.
It also conducts the National Exhibition of Photography and Art. It publishes bi-annual art journals, Lalit Kala Contemporary (English), Lalit Kala Ancient (English) and Samkaleen Kala (Hindi).
Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)
The PMSMA programme was launched in 2016 under the ministry of health and family welfare. It aims to ensure free comprehensive and quality antenatal check-ups to pregnant women for ensuring safe pregnancy. The programme is carried out across India with participation of private doctors.
Operation Digital board
The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) recently passed a resolution to take steps towards Operation Digital Board. The idea of Operation Digital Board is aimed at providing better digital education in all schools.
These steps will be on the lines of Operation Blackboard of 1987, which was started with the purpose of providing minimum basic facilities to all primary schools. This will offer new opportunities and ways of teaching and learning in schools. CABE is an advisory body under the Ministry of Human resource Development.
Current locations in Today’s News
Ladakh – Pangong Tso; Demchok; Galwan valley; Chang La
Sikkim – Nathu La
Assam (Brahmaputra River)- Jia Bareli-tributary of Kameng (Nameri NP); Puthimari
Invasive mussel spreads in backwaters
There is also a need to promote studies on invasion biology and strengthen awareness on marine invasive species.
List of Important committees
GS: PT and Main
List of Committees With Purposes
|Name of Committee/Commission||Purpose|
|Abhijeet Sen Committee||Formulating food policy in a long term|
|Abid Hussain Committee||Small scale industries and Trade Policy Reform|
|Chakravarty Committee (1985)||Monetary policy|
|G V Ramakrishna Committee||Disinvestment|
|JJ Irani Committee||Company laws; Formation of the new Companies Act|
|Kelkar Committee (2015)||Assessing PPP in India and Tax Structure Reforms|
|Raja Chelliah Committee||Tax reforms in India|
|Khusro Committee||Agricultural Credit System|
|Sarkaria Commission||Relationship and power balance between the Centre and States|
|Narasimhan Committee||Banking Reforms|
|Mckinsey Report||Merger Of seven Associate Banks with State Bank of India|
|Suresh Tendulkar Committee||Methodology of estimation of poverty|
|Tarapore Committee||Capital Account Convertibility|
|A Ghosh committee||Malpractices in banks|
|Y B Reddy Committee||Assessing Of Income Tax Rebates|
|Bhagwati Committee||Unemployment and Public Welfare|
|C Rao Committee||Agricultural policy|
|Dharia Committee||Public Distribution System|
|Rangarajan Committee||Computerization Of Banking Industry and Public Sector Disinvestment|
|Lodha committee||To recommend reforms for cricket in India|
|Raghunath Anant Mashelkar panel||To suggest the best technologies for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan|
|K V Kamath Panel||To examine the MSME sector|
|Bibek Debroy Committee||Railway restructuring|
|Justice B. M Shah Committee||Black money|
|A C Shah Committee||Non-Banking Financial Company|
|Ajit Kumar Committee||Army pay scales|
|Athreya Committee||Restructuring of IDBI|
|Bhurelal Committee||Increase in Motor Vehicle Tax|
|Bimal Jalan Committee||Report on the working of capital market infrastructure institutions (MIIs)|
|Chandra Shekhar Committee||Venture Capital|
|Dave Committee||Pension Scheme for Unorganized Sector|
|Deepak Parekh Committee||Financing Infrastructure through PPP model|
|Hanumant Rao Committee||Fertilisers|
|Janakiramanan Committee||Securities Transactions|
|Kasturirangan Committee||Draft National Education Policy|
|Kothari Commission||To examine all aspects of the educational sector in India|
|Kumaramangalam Birla Report||Corporate Governance|
|N.N. Vohra Committee||Relations (Nexus) Of Politicians with Criminals|
|Radha Krishnan Commission (1948)||Establishment of the University Grant Commission|
|K. Santhanam Committee||Establishment of CBI|
|Shivaraman Committee (1979)||Establishment of NABARD|
|Swaminathan Commission (2004)||To find the problems faced by the farmers|
|Balwantrai Mehta Committee (1957)||Panchayati Raj Institutions|
|Justice A.K Mathur Commission||7th Pay Commission|
|Vaghul Committee||Money market in India|
|Vasudev Committee||NBFC sector reforms|
|Y B Reddy Committee||Review of Income Tax rebates|
|Aruna Sundararajan Committee||Telecom sector revival|
|Rajiv Kumar Committee||Selling of OIL and ONGC fields to private companies|
|Sushil Modi Committee||To look into GST revenue shortfall faced by states|
|Lokpal Search Committee (Justice Ranjana Desai)||For recommending names for Lokpal|
|Injeti Srinivas Committee||Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)|
|Punchhi Commission||Centre – State relations|
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