Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - October 13, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Archaeologists found a 1200-Year-Old Pagan Structure at Site of First Norse Temple

Focus: GS1.

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


Context

  • Archaeologists from the University Museum of Bergen have found proof of a 1200-year-old pagan construction in Norway. Once a wood building, it dates again to the Viking Age.
  • Once a wooden construction, it dates back to the Viking Age.

Highlights

  • The large wooden temple is said to have been used by an ancient civilization to pray and make sacrifices to Norse gods such as Odin and Thor.
  • This is the first old Norse temple discovered till date.
  • According to research, the temple once had a curved longside with slightly rounded gables and four posts at the centre.
  • Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period.

Source: AIR News.

Raychaudhuri Equation

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

The Raychaudhuri Equation in General Relativity, derived by Raychaudhuri is in the spotlight after 2020 Physics Nobel was awarded to Penrose for throwing light on Black Holes.

Highlights

  • Raychaudhuri (1923–2005) was an Indian physicist, known for his research in general relativity and cosmology.
  • In general relativity, the Raychaudhuri equation is a fundamental result describing the motion of nearby bits of matter.
  • It was discovered independently by the Indian physicist Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri and the Soviet physicist Lev Landau.
  • The equation offers a simple and general validation of our intuitive expectation that gravitation should be a universal attractive force between any two bits of mass-energy in general relativity, as it is in Newton’s theory of gravitation.

Source: AIR News.

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Graded Response Action Plan

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • Some stricter measures to fight air pollution generally come into force in Delhi and its neighbouring National Capital Region (NCR) towns in October-November, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
  • The action plan has been in effect for three years in Delhi and NCR.

About GRAP

  • Approved by the Supreme Court in 2016, the plan was formulated after several meetings that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) held with state government representatives and experts.
  • The result was a plan that institutionalised measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates.
  • GRAP works only as an emergency measure.
  • As such, the plan does not include action by various state governments to be taken throughout the year to tackle industrial, vehicular and combustion emissions.
  • The plan is incremental in nature — therefore, when the air quality moves from ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor’, the measures listed under both sections has to be followed.

Highlights

  • GRAP has been successful in doing two things that had not been done before — creating a step-by-step plan for the entire Delhi-NCR region, and getting on board several agencies: all pollution control boards, industrial area authorities, municipal corporations, regional officials of the India Meteorological Department, and others.
  • The plan requires action and coordination among 13 different agencies in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan (NCR areas). At the head of the table is the EPCA, mandated by the Supreme Court.
  • GRAP was notified in 2017 by the Centre and draws its authority from this notification.
  • Before the imposition of any measures, EPCA holds a meeting with representatives from all NCR states, and a call is taken on which actions have to be made applicable in which town.

Source: AIR News.

2921 km roads constructed under Bharatmala Pariyojana; 322 projects of 12,413 km awarded

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • A total of 322 projects in a length of 12,413 Km have been awarded under Bharatmala Pariyojana till August, 2020.
  • Further, 2921 Km has been constructed under the Project till the same date.

Background

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken up detailed review of NHs network and has given overall investment approval for Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase I Scheme for development of about 34,800 km (including 10,000 Km residual NHDP stretches)  at an estimated outlay of Rs 5,35,000 Crore.

Highlights

Bharatmala Pariyojana is an umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways.

Source: PIB.

VP, PM Modi pay tributes to Lok Nayak JP Narayan, Nanaji Deshmukh on their birth anniversary

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.


Context

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today paid tributes to socialist leader and freedom fighter Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan on his birth anniversary.
  • In a tweet, Mr Naidu said, JP's crusade to protect democracy and fight corruption has left an indelible mark on the minds of people.
  • He said, JP's call to the youth to fight against injustice and atrocities had inspired him, personally, to join public life when he was a student leader.

About Nanaji Deshmukh

  • Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh also known as Nanaji Deshmukh was a social reformer and politician from India.
  • He worked in the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance.
  • He was honoured with the Padma Vibhhushanin 1999.
  • He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award in 2019 by Government of India.
  • He was a leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and also a member of the Rajya Sabha.

About Jayaprakash Narayan

  • Jayaprakash Narayan popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak was an Indian independence activist, theorist, socialist and political leader.
  • He is also known as the "Hero of Quit India Movement" and he is remembered for leading the mid-1970s opposition against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, for whose overthrow he had called for a "total revolution".
  • His biography, Jayaprakash, was written by his nationalist friend and an eminent writer of Hindi literature, Rambriksh Benipuri.
  • In 1999, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in recognition of his social work.
  • Other awards include the Magsaysay award for Public Service in 1965.

Source: AIR News.

Proud moment for India; all 8 beaches recommended by government gets International Blue Flag Certification

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • It is a proud moment for India as 8 beaches of India, spread across five states and two union territories, have been awarded the “BLUE FLAG” by an International Jury comprising of eminent members viz UNEP, UNWTO, FEE, IUCN.
  • The beaches that have been awarded the ‘BLUE FLAG” are Shivrajpur (Dwarka-Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Rushikonda (AP), Golden (Puri-Odisha) and Radhanagar (A&N Islands).

Background

  • India has also been awarded a 3rd Prize by the International Jury under the “International Best Practices” for pollution control in coastal regions.
  • India is also the first country in “Asia-Pacific” region which has achieved this feat in just about 2 years’ time.

Highlights

  • Japan, South Korea and UAE are the only other Asian nations who have been conferred with a couple of Blue Flag beaches, however, in a time frame of about 5 to 6 years!
  • India began its humble journey in 2018 for development of pilot beaches (one each in coastal states/UTs) and presented the first set of 08 beaches for the certification for the ensuing tourist season 2020.
  • SICOM, MoEFCC, in its pursuit of “Sustainable Development” of the coastal regions of India embarked upon a highly acclaimed & flagship program “BEAMS” (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under its ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project.
  • This was aimed at striving for the coveted International eco-label "Blue flag”, accorded by The Foundation of Environment Education, FEE Denmark.
  • The objective of the BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters & beaches, promote sustainable development of beach amenities/ facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources and encourage local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment norms & regulations.
  • This program promotes beach tourism and recreation in absolute harmony with nature; and is unique in that sense.

Source: PIB.

‘Aarey saved’ — CM Uddhav Thackeray moves controversial metro car depot to Kanjurmarg

Focus: GS3.                                

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


Context

  • The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government decided to move a contentious Metro car depot, proposed at Mumbai’s Aarey Colony, to another location, ending years of uncertainty.
  • Addressing the state through video conferencing, Chief Minister Thackeray said the car depot for the underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro will be moved to a location in Kanjurmarg from Aarey Colony in Goregaon, one of the city’s rare green lungs.

About the project

  • Officials of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), the state government agency implementing the 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro corridor, have in the past said that relocating the car shed from Aarey Colony at this stage will lead to cost escalations of over Rs 2,000 crore as well as project delays.
  • The Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro will be the city’s first and, so far, only fully underground Metro corridor.
  • Until now, authorities have completed 80 per cent tunnelling for the project and finished 60 per cent of the overall civil works.
  • The project was originally estimated to cost Rs 23,136 crore, but this has been revised to Rs 32,000 crore due to frequent delays and stalling of work at the Aarey car shed.

Highlights

  • The Aarey Colony was established in 1949 across 1,287 hectares of land in Goregaon.
  • It comes under the jurisdiction of Maharashtra’s dairy development department.
  • According to government data, of the total land in Aarey, 430 hectares have been allotted to different state and central government departments and institutes.
  • Besides, the dairy department has 30 stable units in the area and about 27 tribal hamlets are spread over another 1,000 acres.

Source: The Print.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about Rudram missile:
  • Rudram is an air-to-surface missile, designed and developed by ISRO.
  • The missile has an operational range of more than 100 km, based on the launch parameters from the fighter jet.
  • Rudram has been developed for the IAF’s requirement to enhance its Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability.

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

  • Rudram is an air-to-surface missile, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

  1. Who is the following personality?
  • As a social activist, he worked in the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance esp. in around 500 villages in Chitrakoot. 
  • He set up the Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya in Madhya Pradesh, which is considered the country's first rural university. 
  • He started a chain of Saraswati Vidya Mandir schools throughout India. 

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

    A. Jayaprakash Narayan
    B. Nanaji Deshmukh
    C. Vijayaraje Scindia
    D. Lal Bahadur Shastri 

Solution: B

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