Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - November 10, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Moto Tunnel

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Context

  • Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change opened the 129-year-old Moto Tunnel for tourists after its revival at the Ayubia National Park in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
  • A British-era architectural marvel, the tunnel since decades was lying closed, buried under the heaps of trash and filth.
  • It has been ‘restored to its original glory from trash to treasure,’ the Pakistan government said.

About Moto Tunnel

  • The 250-feet long, 6-feet high and 4-feet wide tunnel carved out of stones and clay, is part of the longer ‘nature pipeline walk’ (a walk through the forests) in the Ayubia National Park of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.
  • Located close to Ayubia is Murree, a small and famous hill town since British era in Galyat region (extending on both sides of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provincial border of Pakistan).
  • The Galyat region is known among tourists for its hill towns and nature walk tracks through the forests.
  • The tunnel has a stone mark atop with ‘1891’ carved on it, indicating the year it was built by the British.

Highlights

  • A water pipeline runs through it and it was probably built to solve water problem in the nearby Murree.
  • The tunnel is part of the longer ‘nature pipeline walk’ which runs through Ayubia National Park.
  • Earlier the walk was of 4 kms, but with the opening of the tunnel, it has been extended to 16 kms.
  • The main track of the walk is 4-kms from Dunga Gali to Ayubia.
  • The tunnel was constructed to connect Ayubia with Khaira Gali.

Source: Indian Express.

Big-game women hunters

Focus: GS1.

Topic: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.


Context

  • A woman buried with spear-points and other hunting tools roughly 9,000 years ago in Peru’s Andes Mountains has shown the oldest known female big-game hunter in the Americas.
  • The discovery led researchers to conclude that nearly as many females as males hunted large animals in ancient America.

Background

  • During excavations at the high-altitude site Wilamaya Patjxa in Peru in 2018, archaeologists found five burial pits with six individuals.
  • Because many people are buried with the objects they used in life, the researchers concluded that the two were hunters.

Highlights

  • Modern and recent hunter-gatherer societies emphasize males hunting. But in mobile groups that inhabited the Americas thousands of years ago, up to half of big-game hunters were women.
  • Until now, many researchers have regarded stones sharpened to a point and other typical hunting items placed in ancient women’s graves as cutting or scraping tools.
  • Given the limited dataset, the researchers estimate that, on average, females accounted for between 30 percent and 50 percent of ancient American big-game hunters.
  • The researchers now wish to understand how sexual division of labour in different times and places changed among hunter-gatherer populations in the Americas.

Source: The Hindu.

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Ephemeral messaging

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Context

  • ‘Ephemeral messaging’ has made its way to WhatsApp.
  • The Facebook-owned messaging app has officially announced a new feature — ‘disappearing messages’ — to the platform, which will start rolling out to all users globally by this month.

About disappearing messages

  • Disappearing messages, as the name suggests, are messages that will disappear or automatically get deleted from a chat after sometime.
  • The idea of ‘ephemeral’ messages is not new, and WhatsApp is not the first app to offer this.
  • Other encrypted messaging apps like Telegram, Signal, Wire already offer such an option.

Highlights

  • WhatsApp says this will bring a new level of privacy to the app.
  • In a blogpost, the company said, “When conversations aren’t permanent, people can speak more freely and feel more comfortable being their authentic selves, whether that be their wacky side or being more honest about their feelings.
  • This is a huge step for WhatsApp as we introduce ephemerality to many people for the first time ever and help them experience a new level of privacy.”

Source: Indian Express.

Pakistan's Sikh body will be part of it, says ETPB official on Kartarpur management

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.


Context

Amid strong protest by India over Pakistan's decision to transfer the management of the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara from the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) to a separate trust, a top Pakistani official said that the Sikh body will be part of it.

Background

  • The Economic Coordination Committee of the Federal Cabinet recently approved the establishment of Project Management Unit (PMU) Kartarpur Corridor, a self-financing body, for management and maintenance of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib under the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).
  • India described Pakistan’s decision as "highly condemnable", saying it runs against the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

About ETPB

  • The EPTB is a statutory board that manages religious properties and shrines of Hindus and Sikhs who had migrated to India following the partition.
  • The federal government early this week had handed over the administrative control of the Kartarpur Corridor to the ETPB.
  • Earlier, the board was only looking after the affairs of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.
  • The Kartarpur is a true example of Sikh-Muslim friendship as well as interfaith harmony.
  • The ETPB is the custodian of all Sikh Shrines in Pakistan and PSGPC is an official body to carry out the rituals in Gurdwaras Sahiban including Gurdwara Darbar Sahib as per Sikh Rehat Maryada,.
  • Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India.
  • It is the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev, who had spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur.

Source: The Hindu.

Declaration of the Private Sector on Climate Change

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

Some of India's biggest private sector companies pledged to work with the government to tackle climate change and build sustainable economies, thereby helping the country achieve its targets under the Paris Agreement.

Background

  • CEOs of companies like Reliance Industries Ltd, Tech Mahindra, Dalmia Cement, Ambuja Cement, Dr Reddy's, Sun Pharma and Adani Transmission etc. held a virtual discussion with Union Environment Minister at the India CEO Forum on Climate Change.
  • Following the discussion, they issued a 'Declaration of Private Sector on Climate Change', pledging to take necessary action to help India achieve its targets under the Paris Agreement.

Highlights

  • The companies stated they aim to go beyond promotion of renewable energy, enhanced energy and material efficiency, improved processes and technologies, water efficiency processes, planned afforestation, waste management and recycling, etc.
  • India is party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • India has ratified the Paris Agreement. India submitted its ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in 2015 under the Paris Agreement for the post-2020 period with three quantitative goals.

Source: Financial Express.

International Satavadhanam

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has observed that ‘avadhanam’ as a literary feat has greatly contributed to the Telugu language’s glorious tradition.
  • The ‘International ‘Satavadhanam’’ program, launched virtually by the Vice President recently, was organized by Dr. Medasani Mohan under the auspices of Sri Krishnadevaraya Satsang in Tirupati.

About Avadhanam

  • Avadhānam is a literary performance popular from the very ancient days in India.
  • Avadhānam originated as a Sanskrit literary process and is revived by poets in Telugu and Kannada in modern times.

Highlights

  • It involves the partial improvisation of poems using specific themes, metres, forms, or words.
  • The Avadhanam event showcases, through entertainment, of superior mastery of cognitive capabilities – of observation, memory, multitasking in multiple modes of intelligence – literature, poetry, music, mathematical calculations, puzzle solving etc.
  • Avadhāni refers to the individual who performs the Avadhānam; one of the many individuals asking questions is a Prcchaka (questioner).
  • The number of Prcchakas can be 8 (Astāvadhānam) or 100 (Śatāvadhānam) or even 1000 (sahasrāvadhānam).

Source: PIB.

Regional Cluster concept of economic development playing important role in Indian success story: UNIDO Representative

Focus: GS2.                                

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Context

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organisations (UNIDO) has been closely working with India to implement UN's activities in harmony with national policy priorities and development strategies.
  • The UNIDO Regional Office in New Delhi acts as a focal point to promote UNIDO’s mandate of inclusive and sustainable industrial development in India.

About UNIDO

  • UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations.
  • As of 1 April 2019, 170 States are Members of UNIDO.
  • The mission of the UNIDO, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, is to promote and accelerate Inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID)in Member States.
  • UNIDO was established in 1966 by the UN General Assembly.

Source: AIR News.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Which of the following is not a writ?
  • Habeas Corpus
  • Manifestation
  • Protection
  • Certiorari

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

     A. 1 and 2 only
     B. 2 and 3 only
     C. 1 and 3 only
     D. AOTA

Solution: B

  1. Which of the following originates from a vertical movement of the sea floor with the consequent displacement of water mass?

    A. Tsunami
    B. Typhoon
    C. Draughts
    D. Cyclones

Solution: A

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