ISRO Missions and Discoveries

[pib] UVIT: India’s first multi-wavelength astronomical observatory

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UVIT

Mains level : Not Much

The satellite that detected the first extreme-UV rays in the Universe from the cosmic noon celebrated its 5th birthday today.

Try this PYQ:

Q.“Event Horizon” is related to:

(a) Telescope

(b) Black hole

(c) Solar glares

(d) None of the above

Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT)

  • The UVIT is a remarkable 3-in-1 imaging telescope.
  • Weighing all of 230 kg, the UVIT can simultaneously observe in the visible, the near-ultraviolet (NUV) and the far-ultraviolet (FUV).
  • UVIT comprises of two separate telescopes. One of them works in the visible (320-550 nm) and the NUV (200-300 nm).
  • The second works only in the FUV (130-180 nm).

Its achievement

  • It has carried out 1166 observations of 800 unique celestial sources proposed by scientists both from India and abroad.
  • It has explored stars, star clusters, mapping of the large and small satellite galaxies nearby to our own Milky Way galaxy called the Magellanic Clouds.
  • It is an energetic phenomenon in the Universe such as the ultra-violet counterparts to gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, active galactic nuclei, and so on.
  • Its superior spatial resolution capability has enabled astronomers to probe star formation in galaxies as well as resolve the cores of star clusters (3 times better than the last NASA mission, GALEX).
  • Observations from UVIT has recently led to the discovery of a galaxy located at a distance of about 10 billion light-years from Earth and emitting extreme ultraviolet radiation that can ionize the intergalactic medium.

The Crisis In The Middle East

Armenia and Azerbaijan Conflict

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nagorno-Karabakh region

Mains level : Usual crisis in the middle east and caucasus region

Clashes have erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Consider this PYQ:

Q.The area is known as ‘Golan Heights’ sometimes appears in the news in the context of the events related to: (CSP 2015)

a) Central Asia
b) Middle East
c) South-East Asia
d) Central Africa

What is the dispute?

  • Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians, declared martial law and mobilized their male populations.
  • Armenia said Azerbaijan had carried out an air and artillery attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.

Epicentre: The Nagorno-Karabakh region

  • Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
  • Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994 after thousands of people were killed and many more displaced.
  • Azerbaijan and Armenia frequently accuse each other of attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the separate Azeri-Armenian frontier.

Economics behind the clashes

  • The clashes prompted a flurry of diplomacy to prevent a new flare-up of a decades-old conflict between majority Christian Armenia and mainly Muslim Azerbaijan.
  • Pipelines shipping Caspian oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan to the world pass close to Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • The clashes have raised concerns about instability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets.

History- Important places, persons in news

Eden Gardens: India’s oldest cricketing ground

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Eden Gardens

Mains level : NA

This newscard is an excerpt from the original article published in TH.

UPSC may ask a question like this:

Q. In which Governor-General/Viceroy’s term was the famous cricketing ground ‘Eden Gardens’ was built?

Eden Gardens

  • The first cricket club outside Britain was the Calcutta Cricket Club founded in 1792, and the first match was played 12 years later between the Etonians, senior civil servants and other company officials.
  • In 1825 the club got a plot of land on the ground between Government House and Fort William to be used as a cricket ground.
  • In 1841, the club was permitted to enclose the ground with a fence. But the Army at Fort William described the club as an “encroacher”.
  • Cricket Club of Calcutta authorities then looked for an alternative ground and at ₹1,000, found a new one, fenced it and made it playable.
  • In 1864, the land was laid out for a ground for Calcutta Cricket Club in the extended part of Eden Gardens.

Deriving its name

  • Eden Gardens made its first appearance during the time of Governor-General Lord Auckland (1836-42).
  • According to the achieves, a local landlord gifted this land to Lord Auckland and his sisters Emily Eden and Fanny Eden helped him save his third daughter from a deadly disease.

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Japan

[pib] JIMEX 20

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : JIMEX 20

Mains level : Not Much

The 4th edition of India – Japan Maritime bilateral exercise JIMEX will be held in the North Arabian Sea from 26 to 28 September 2020.

JIMEX 20

  • It is conducted biennially between the Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)
  • This series of exercises was commenced in January 2012 with a special focus on maritime security cooperation.
  • The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in October 2018 off Visakhapatnam, India.
  • JIMEX 20 will showcase a high degree of inter-operability and joint operational skills through the conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the spectrum of maritime operations.
  • Multi-faceted tactical exercises involving weapon firings cross deck helicopter operations and complex surface, anti-submarine and air warfare drills will consolidate coordination developed by the two navies.
  • JIMEX 20 will further enhance the cooperation and mutual confidence between the two navies and fortify the long-standing bond of friendship between the two countries.

What is a Yo-Yo Test?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Yo-Yo Test

Mains level : NA

In his interaction with fitness experts and influencers the PM asked about the yo-yo test, that is a vital part of the Indian cricket team’s fitness routine.

Try this MCQ:

Q.The Yo-Yo test sometimes seen in news is related to:

Sports/ Healthcare/ Robotics/ Automation

What is the Yo-Yo test?

  • The test was developed by Danish football physiologist Jens Bangsbo.
  • Two cones are placed 20 metres apart, and the athlete has to run between them when the beep goes off.
  • The beeps become more frequent after one minute, and if the athlete fails to reach the line within that time, he is expected to catch up within two more beeps.
  • The test is stopped if the player fails to catch up before the beeps run out.
  • The test has a beginner and an advanced level, and players are given scores. The minimum score set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to pass the test is 16.1.

Location in news: English Channel

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : English Channel

Mains level : NA

Hundreds of migrants have taken advantage of the warm weather and calm seas in the English Channel to reach the UK in a flurry of small boat crossings.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which one of the following pairs of islands is separated from each other by the ‘Ten Degree Channel’?

(a) Andaman and Nicobar

(b) Nicobar and Sumatra

(c) Maldives and Lakshadweep

(d) Sumatra and Java

English Channel

  • The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France.
  • It links to the southern part of the North Sea by the Strait of Dover at its northeastern end.
  • It is the busiest shipping area in the world.
  • It is about 560 km long and varies in width from 240 km at its widest to 34 km in the Strait of Dover.
  • It is the smallest of the shallow seas around the continental shelf of Europe.

Indian Missile Program Updates

[pib] ABHYAS Air Vehicle

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ABHYAS-HEAT

Mains level : Not Much

Successful flight test of ABHYAS – High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) was today conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Interim Test Range, Balasore in Odisha.

Try this PYQ:

What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news?

(a) An Israeli radar system

(b) India’s indigenous anti-missile programme

(c) An American anti-missile system

(d) A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea

ABHYAS Air Vehicle

  • ABHYAS is designed & developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), DRDO.
  • The air vehicle is launched using twin underslung booster.
  • It is powered by a small gas turbine engine and has a MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) for navigation along with the Flight Control Computer (FCC) for guidance and control.
  • The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight. The check out of air vehicle is done using laptop-based Ground Control Station (GCS).
  • During the test campaign, the user requirement of 5 km flying altitude, vehicle speed of 0.5 mach, the endurance of 30 minutes and 2g turn capability of the test vehicle were successfully achieved.

Its uses

  • Abhyas’s radar cross-section (RCS), as well as its visual and infrared signatures, can be augmented to simulate a variety of aircraft for air-defence weapon practices.
  • It can also function as a jammer platform and decoy.
  • The HEAT system is utilized to do away with the post-launch recovery mode, which is time-consuming and difficult in a scenario as the sea.

Global Geological And Climatic Events

What are Medicanes?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Medicanes

Mains level : Frequent landfalls of tropical cyclones in India

Very recently, a medicane named Ianos made landfall along the coast of Greece and caused heavy rainfall and flooding on the islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaca.

Try this PYQ:

In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the reason?

(a) Sea surface temperatures are low

(b) Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs

(c) Coriolis force is too weak

(d) Absence of land in those regions

What are Medicanes?

  • Medicanes are extra-tropical hurricanes observed over the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Medicanes occur more in colder waters than tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons.
  • Hence, the cores of these storms are also cold, as compared to the warm cores of tropical cyclones.
  • Warmer cores tend to carry more moisture (hence rainfall), are bigger in size and have swifter winds.
  • The main societal hazard posed by Medicanes is not usually from destructive winds but through life-threatening torrential rains and flash floods.

Why in news?

  • This year is a mild La Niña, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
  • La Niña is the cooling phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, as opposed to the warming El Niño phase.
  • It is characterized by the unusual cooling of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • A La Niña produces more rain in the central-eastern part, where most of the Mediterranean cyclones develop.

Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Brucellosis: A bacterial disease

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Brucellosis

Mains level : NA

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, the health commission has announced this week that a leak in a biopharmaceutical company last year caused an outbreak of brucellosis disease.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following kinds of organisms:

  1. Bacteria
  2. Fungi
  3. Flowering plants

Some species of which of the above kinds of organisms are employed as bio-pesticides?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

What is Brucellosis?

  • Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that mainly infects cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs.
  • Humans can get infected if they come in direct contact with infected animals or by eating or drinking contaminated animal products or by inhaling airborne agents.
  • According to the WHO, most cases of the disease are caused by ingesting unpasteurized milk or cheese from infected goats or sheep.
  • Symptoms of the disease include fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, and headache and muscle pain.
  • While some signs and symptoms can last for long periods of time, others may never go away. Human to human transmission of the virus is rare.
  • These include recurrent fevers, arthritis, swelling of the testicles and scrotum area, swelling of the heart, neurologic symptoms, chronic fatigue, depression and swelling of the liver or spleen.

Judicial Reforms

What is Queen’s Counsel?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Queens Council

Mains level : NA

India has suggested Pakistan appointing a Queen’s Counsel for the Kulbhushan Jadhav case to ensure a free and fair trial.

Queen’s Counsel

  • In the UK and in some Commonwealth countries, a Queen’s Counsel during the reign of a queen is a lawyer who is appointed by the monarch of the country to be one of ’Her Majesty’s Counsel learned in the law’.
  • The position originated in England.
  • Some Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it so as to remove monarchical connotations, for example, ’Senior Counsel’ or ’Senior Advocate’.
  • Queen’s Counsel is an office, conferred by the Crown that is recognised by courts.
  • Senior Advocate Harish Salve earlier this year has been appointed as Queen’s Counsel (QC) for the courts of England and Wales.

Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Hispanic Heritage Month

Mains level : NA

The National Hispanic Heritage Month has begun in the US.

Try this MCQ:

Q.The event National Hispanic Heritage Month recently seen in news is primarily celebrated in which of the following countries?

(a) US (b) Spain (c) Mexico (d) Cuba

National Hispanic Heritage Month

  • The annual event honours the history, culture and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors hailed from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
  • It is marked every year from September 15 to October 15.
  • The observation was started by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was extended to an entire month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, the year it was enacted into law.

Hispanics in the US

  • With a population of over 5.7 crores, Hispanic Americans are currently the largest minority group in the US, making up a fifth of the total US population.
  • More than half– 3.5 crore– are of Mexican origin, followed by Puerto Rican (53 lakh), and about 10 lakh each of Salvadorans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans and Colombians.
  • The community is referred to as Hispanic, Latino or Latinx– terms that refer to a person’s origin or culture, without considering their race.

Global Geological And Climatic Events

Re-scaling the height of Mt Everest

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Himalayan orogeny

Mains level : NA

China and Nepal are expected to announce the latest official height of Mt. Everest.

Try this PYQ:

Q.When you travel to the Himalayas, you will see the following:

  1. Deep gorges
  2. U-turn river courses
  3. Parallel mountain ranges
  4. Steep gradients causing land-sliding

Which of the above can be said to be the evidences for the Himalayas being young fold mountains?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1, 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Mt. Everest

  • Mount Everest or Sagarmatha, Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, is located in the Himalayas between China and Nepal -– the border between them running across its summit point.
  • Its current official elevation – 8,848m – places it more than 200m above the world’s second-highest mountain, K2, which is 8,611m tall and located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • The mountain gets its English name from Sir George Everest, a colonial-era geographer who served as the Surveyor General of India in the mid-19th century.
  • Considered an elite climbing destination, Everest was first scaled in 1953 by the Indian-Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary.

Everest’s first survey

  • The mission to measure the world’s highest peak was taken up on a serious note in 1847 and culminated with the finding of a team led by Andrew Waugh of the Royal Surveyor General of India.
  • The team discovered that ‘Peak 15’ — as Mt Everest was referred to then — was the highest mountain, contrary to the then-prevailing belief that Mt Kanchenjunga (8,582 m) was the highest peak in the world.
  • Another belief, prevailing even today, is that 8,840 m is not the height that was actually determined by the 19th-century team.
  • That survey, based on trigonometric calculations, is known as the Great Trigonometric Survey of India.

Why is the height being measured again?

  • Everest’s current official height– 8,848m– has been widely accepted since 1956, when the figure was measured by the Survey of India.
  • The height of the summit, however, is known to change because of tectonic activity, such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
  • Its measurement over the decades has also depended on who was surveying.
  • Another debate is whether the height should be based on the highest rock point or the highest snow point.

Capital Markets: Challenges and Developments

What are Interest Rate Derivatives (IRDs)?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Foreign portfolio investment (FPI)

Mains level : Not Much

The RBI has proposed allowing foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to undertake exchange-traded rupee interest rate derivatives transactions subject to an overall ceiling of ₹5,000 crores.

Every year, there is a question on a capital market instruments. Make note of all such separately. Also, try this PYQ:

Q. Which of the following is issued by registered foreign portfolio investors to overseas investors who want to be part of the Indian stock market without registering themselves directly? (CSP 2019)

(a) Certificate of Deposit

(b) Commercial Paper

(c) Promissory Note

(d) Participatory Note

Interest Rate Derivatives (IRDs)

  • An IDR is a financial instrument with a value that is linked to the movements of an interest rate or rates.
  • These may include futures, options, or swaps contracts.
  • They are often used by institutional investors, banks, companies, and individuals to protect themselves against changes in market interest rates.
  • The proposed directions by RBI are aimed at encouraging higher non-resident participation, enhance the role of domestic market makers in the offshore market, improve transparency, and achieve better regulatory oversight, according to the central bank.

Back2Basics: Foreign portfolio investment (FPI)

  • FPI involves holding financial assets from a country outside of the investor’s own.
  • FPI holdings can include stocks, ADRs, GDRs, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds.
  • Along with foreign direct investment (FDI), FPI is one of the common ways for investors to participate in an overseas economy, especially retail investors.
  • Unlike FDI, FPI consists of passive ownership; investors have no control over ventures or direct ownership of property or a stake in a company.

FPI vs FDI

  • With FPI—as with portfolio investment in general—an investor does not actively manage the investments or the companies that issue the investments.
  • They do not have direct control over the assets or the businesses.
  • In contrast, foreign direct investment (FDI) lets an investor purchase a direct business interest in a foreign country.

Wetland Conservation

Etosha Salt Pan, Namibia

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Etosha Salt Pan and its location

Mains level : NA

NASA has recently captured images depicting the wet and dry cycles of Etosha Pan in Africa’s Namibia through the year.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which of the following has/have shrunk immensely/ dried up in the recent past due to human activities?

  1. Aral Sea
  2. Black Sea
  3. Lake Baikal

Select the correct option using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Etosha Salt Pan

  • The Etosha pan is hollow in the ground, wherein water may collect or in which a deposit of salt remains after the water has evaporated.
  • The 120-kilometre-long dry lakebed and its surroundings are protected as Etosha National Park, Namibia’s second-largest wildlife park.
  • The pan is mostly dry, but after a heavy rain, it acquires a thin layer of water that is heavily salted by the mineral deposits on the surface.

History- Important places, persons in news

Who was Subramania Bharatiyar?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Subramania Bharati and his works

Mains level : Not Much

This newscard is an excerpt from an article originally published in TH.

Try this question from CSP 2016:

Q.A recent movie titled The Man Who Knew Infinity is based on the biography of-

(a) S. Ramanujan
(b) S. Chandrasekhar
(c) S. N. Bose
(d) C. V. Raman

Subramania Bharati

  • Bharati was a Tamil writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist, social reformer and polyglot.
  • Popularly known as “Mahakavi Bharathi”, he was a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry and is considered one of the greatest Tamil literary figures of all time.
  • His numerous works included fiery songs kindling patriotism during the Indian Independence movement.

Literary works

  • As a working journalist, Bharati necessarily employed prose to communicate, and his writings in Swadesamitran and India made an important contribution to Tamil political vocabulary.
  • He wrote stories, commentaries, and was also the pioneer of column writing in Tamil.
  • Active participation in the day-to-day politics of the nationalist movement notwithstanding, Bharati never lost sight of the future, the dream of how a free India should look like.
  • Aspects of this dream form part of his fantasy story, Gnanaratham (The Chariot of Wisdom), written when he was still in his late 20s.

Plantation Agriculture – RISPC, Tea Act, etc.

Panama Disease

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Panama disease

Mains level : NA

The scientists of Indian Council of Agriculture Research or ICAR have found a cure for one of the most dreaded diseases on Banana.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Recently, our scientists have discovered a new and distinct species of banana plant which attains a height of about 11 metres and has orange-coloured fruit pulp. In which part of India has it been discovered?

(a) Andaman Islands

(b) Anamalai Forests

(c) Maikala Hills

(d) Tropical rain forests of northeast

Panama Disease

  • The fungal disease, called Fusarium Wilt, is popularly known as the ‘Panama Disease’ and afflicts banana plants.
  • For the first time, Indian scientists have brought out a biopesticide that can control the disease. This biopesticide has been made using another fungus.
  • For a long time, banana cultivators have been struggling with the Panama Disease.
  • This disease affects the Cavendish variety or the G9 Banana cultivar, which is the most widely grown banana in the world.

Spread in India

  • In India, more than 60 per cent of bananas are of the G9 variety.
  • They go by names like ‘Grand Naine’, ‘Robusta’, ‘Bhusaval’, ‘Basrai’ and ‘Shrimanth’.
  • Farmers in at least four Indian states — Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — have been badly affected by this disease.
  • All these are areas where the Cavendish variety is grown.

Why is the disease so deadly?

  • Panama Disease is caused by a fungus with a long and complicated name called Fusarium oxysporum f. Sp cubense.
  • One of its strains which is called ‘Tropical Race 4’ or ‘TR4’ is creating the most havoc, threatening almost 80 per cent of the global banana production.
  • The disease is so deadly that it is sometimes referred to as ‘banana cancer’.
  • The fungus resides below ground and infects the plant through its roots. The infection then stops water and essential nutrients from being transported to the rest of the plant.
  • The leaves begin to wilt, and the stem of the plant starts turning dark brownish before the plant dies. If one plant gets it, then it is most likely that an entire plantation can be wiped out.

Turkish Coffee

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UNESCO heritages (tangible and intangible)

Mains level : Not Much

Turkish Coffee made it to the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013. It is celebrated in literature and songs and is an important part of ceremonies and festivals.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following pairs:

Traditions Communities

  1. Chaliha Sahib Festival — Sindhis
  2. Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra — Gonds
  3. Wari-Warkari — Santhals

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) None of the above

Turkish Coffee

  • To make Turkish Coffee, Arabica beans are ground manually and boiled with water and sugar in a special pot called cezve in Turkey and ibrik elsewhere.
  • It is taken off the heat as soon as it begins to froth and before it boils over.
  • It is traditionally served in individual porcelain cups called kahvefinjan.
  • Sometimes the coffee may be flavoured with cardamom or other spices and served with a small piece of Turkish delight.

Back2Basics: Intangible Heritages from India

  • Tradition of Vedic chanting
  • Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana
  • Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre
  • Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas.
  • Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala
  • Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan
  • Chhau dance
  • Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur
  • Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab
  • Yoga
  • Nawrouz
  • Kumbh Mela

History- Important places, persons in news

Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : “Dictionary of Martyrs” Project

Mains level : India's freedom struggle

Four martyrs of Communist movement of Kerala will be added to the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs India’s Freedom Struggle (1857-1947)’, if an earlier review report to the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) is accepted.

Communist revolutionaries of Kerala

  • The four who may make it to the list include Aboobacker and Chirukandan of Kayyur, “who walked to the gallows shouting Inquilab Zindabad and Communist Party Zindabad” and “died as brave communists,” as mentioned in the fifth volume of the dictionary.
  • Abu of Mambram, a Communist and active partner in the nationalist and anti-imperialist movements, and Chattukutty, an active Communist cadre involved in the agitations for price control, wage hike, and relief to peasants, who were killed in the Tellichery police firing on September 15, 1940, would also qualify.
  • The report had suggested the deletion of the martyrs of Punnapra-Vayalar, Karivelloor, and Kavumbayi agitations as they were rioters against the interim government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru.

Back2Basics: “Dictionary of Martyrs” Project

  • The project for the compilation of “Dictionary of Martyrs” of India’s Freedom Struggle was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, to the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the uprising of 1857.
  • In this dictionary, a martyr has been defined as a person who died or who was killed in action or in detention, or was awarded capital punishment while participating in the national movement for the emancipation of India.
  • It includes ex-INA or ex-military personnel who died fighting the British.
  • Information of about 13,500 martyrs has been recorded in these volumes.

Who are included?

  • It includes the martyrs of 1857 Uprising, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919), Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22), Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34), Quit India Movement (1942-44), Revolutionary Movements (1915-34), Kissan Movements, Tribal Movements, Agitation for Responsible Government in the Princely States (Prajamandal), Indian National Army (INA, 1943-45), Royal Indian Navy Upsurge (RIN, 1946), etc.

Five Volumes

  • Volume 1: In this volume, more than 4400 martyrs of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have been listed.
  • Volume 2: In this volume, more than 3500 martyrs of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir have been listed.
  • Volume 3: The number of martyrs covered in this volume is more than 1400. This volume covers the martyrs of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Sind.
  • Volume 4: The numbers of martyrs covered in this volume is more than 3300. This volume covers the martyrs of Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.
  • Volume 5: The number of martyrs covered in this volume is more than 1450. This volume covers the martyrs of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Road and Highway Safety – National Road Safety Policy, Good Samaritans, etc.

‘Streets for People’ Challenge

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Streets for People

Mains level : Not Much

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the initiative ‘Streets for People’ for making cities more pedestrian-friendly.

Streets for People

  • The Challenge builds on the advisory issued by MoHUA for the holistic planning for pedestrian-friendly market spaces, earlier this year.
  • It will support cities across the country to develop a unified vision of streets for people in consultation with stakeholders and citizens.
  • Adopting a participatory approach, cities will be guided to launch their own design competitions to gather innovative ideas from professionals for quick, innovative, and low-cost tactical solutions.
  • ​It aims to inspire cities to create walking-friendly and vibrant streets through quick, innovative, and low-cost measures.
  • All cities participating in the challenge shall be encouraged to use the ‘test-learn-scale’ approach to initiate both, flagship and neighbourhood walking interventions.
  • The interventions can include inter alia creating pedestrian-friendly streets in high footfall areas, re-imagining under-flyover spaces, re-vitalizing dead neighbourhood spaces, and creating walking links through parks and institutional areas.

Various stakeholders

  • Fit India Mission, under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, along with the India program of the Institute for Transport Development and Policy (ITDP) has partnered with the Smart Cities Mission to support the challenge.

History- Important places, persons in news

US Presidents who have won Nobel Peace Prize

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Persons mentioned in the news, Nobel Prize

Mains level : Not Much

A Norwegian legislator has nominated US President Donald Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts towards furthering peace in the Middle East.

Take a look at the Presidents and Vice-Presidents who have won the Nobel Peace Prize:

These trivial facts are too unlikely to be asked in the CS prelims, but may hold importance for CAPF and other exams.

 (1) Theodore Roosevelt (1906)

  • Roosevelt, the 26th occupant of the White House (1901-09), was not only the first American president but also the world’s first statesman to win the honour, five years after the Peace Prize was instituted in 1901.
  • He was given the prize for negotiating peace between imperial Russia and Japan after the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.
  • He was also praised for his efforts in resolving a dispute between the US and Mexico through arbitration, and for extending the use of arbitration as a means for settling international disputes.
  • At home, Roosevelt launched radical social and economic reform policies and earned a reputation as a “trust buster” for breaking up monopolies.

(2) Woodrow Wilson (1919)

  • Wilson (1913-21) was given the award for his efforts in ending World War I, and for being the key architect of the League of Nations– born out of his famous ‘Fourteen Points’.
  • Although the League faltered in a few years, it served as a blueprint for the United Nations after World War II.
  • At home, Wilson saw the reduction of import duties, started America’s central bank and a national business oversight body, and strengthened anti-monopoly and labour laws.
  • In his second term, the US passed its 19th constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.

(3) Jimmy Carter (2002)

  • The 39th President was awarded the Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development”.
  • During his presidency (1977-81), Carter earned praise for his role in bringing about a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.
  • His later years were more fraught, including foreign policy failures such as the conflict with Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, culminating in him losing re-election to the conservative Ronald Reagan in 1980.
  • Post his presidency, Carter pursued peace and mediation efforts independently and co-founded the Carter Center, a non-profit that chiefly works to advance human rights.

(4) Barack Obama (2009)

  • The country’s 44th President (2009-2017) was given the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.
  • Cited among Obama’s achievements were his promotion of nuclear non-proliferation, and bringing a “new climate” in international relations.
  • Obama donated the full prize money – 10 million Swedish kronor (around $1.4 million) – to charity.

(5) Al Gore (1993-2001)

  • Apart from the four Presidents, one Vice President– Al Gore (1993-2001) – has been given the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • He shared the honour in 2007 with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for their joint efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change.