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Project Zero

Mains Paper 3 : Effects Of Liberalization On The Economy, Changes In Industrial Policy and their effects on Industrial Growth |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Project Zero

Mains level : Regulating e-commerce in India


News

  • E-com giant Amazon has announced to bring “Project Zero” to India.

Project Zero

  • “Project Zero” introduces additional proactive mechanisms and powerful tools to identify, block and remove counterfeits goods on Amazon website.
  • It aims to ensure that customers receive authentic goods when shopping on Amazon.
  • Over 7,000 brands have already enrolled in Project Zero across US, Europe and Japan.
  • A number of Indian brands participated in a pilot to help the company test the experience in India.

Functioning

  • It combines Amazon’s advanced technology and innovation with the sophisticated knowledge that brands have of their own intellectual property and how best to detect counterfeits of their products.
  • It does so through three powerful tools: Automated protections, self-service counterfeit removal tool and product serialization.
  • Product serialization is enabled by a unique code that brands apply within their manufacturing and packaging process.
  • It allows Amazon to individually scan and confirm the authenticity of every single purchase of a brand’s enrolled products through Amazon’s marketplace.
e-Commerce: The New Boom

Butterflies survey in Western Ghats

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Read the attached story

Mains level : Western Ghats and its biodiversity richness



News

The Western Ghats is still home to large varieties of butterflies points out a survey in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS).

Highlights of the survey

  • The survey was done jointly by the Forest and Wildlife Department in association with the Ferns Nature Conservation Society (FNCS).
  • The survey was mainly aimed at assessing the butterfly diversity in the forest areas of the region, which is vulnerable to climatic changes.
  • Researchers sighted 191 species, 12 of which are endemic to the biodiversity-rich region.
  • The first-time sighting of Silver forget me not, Common three ring, and Brown onyx was also recorded.
  • The diversity was very rich in areas where plants such as Mikania micrantha and Lantana camera remained dominant.

Significance of butterflies

  • Butterflies are one of the best bio-indicators.
  • The sighting of 191 species of butterflies is an evidence of a healthy butterfly habitat in the region.
  • But the degradation of the riparian forest in many part of the region may adversely affect the butterfly habitat in the near future.
  • The diversity of butterflies is affected where alien invasive plants such as Senna spectabilis invade other endemic plants.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

X-57 Maxwell: NASA’s first electric plane

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : X-57 Maxwell

Mains level : Significance of the aircraft for the space missions



News

  • NASA unveiled its first all-electric experimental aircraft X-57 Maxwell which was being developed since 2015.

Maxwell

  • The Maxwell is the latest in a line of experimental aircraft the NASA.
  • It has been developed over many decades for many purposes, including the bullet-shaped Bell X-1 that first broke the sound barrier and the X-15 rocket plane flown by Neil Armstrong before he joined the Apollo moon team.
  • The two largest of 14 electric motors that will ultimately propel the plane are powered by specially designed lithium ion batteries.
  • The Maxwell will be the agency’s first crewed X-plane to be developed in two decades.
  • The lift propellers will be activated for take-off and landings, but retract during the flight’s cruise phase.

What makes it significant?

  • Electric motor systems are more compact with fewer moving parts than internal-combustion engines, they are simpler to maintain and weigh much less, requiring less energy to fly.
  • They also are quieter that conventional engines.
International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Suranga Bawadi on World Monument Watch list

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Karez System, Suranga Bawadi

Mains level : Not Much



News

Suranga Bawadi

  • Suranga Bawadi, an integral part of the ancient Karez system of supplying water through subterranean tunnels built during Adil Shahi era in Vijayapura, is now set to get funding for restoration.
  • A New York-based non-governmental organisation has included it in the World Monument Watch list for 2020 along with 24 other monuments from across the world.
  • With this, the Suranga Bawadi is expected to get funds for restoration within the next two years.
  • The NGO would also coordinate with the authorities concerned for restoration and create public awareness on its importance.

What is Karez System?

  • Karez is a method of irrigation in which groundwater is tapped by a tunnel.
  • After running for some distance the tunnel comes out in the open and the water is conducted to the command area.
  • According to historians, the Adil Shahis built the magnificent underground system to supply water to the city, which had a population of nearly 12 lakh then.
  • Though the Karez system was built in the 16th century by Ali Adil Shah–I, his successor, Ibrahim Adil Shah–II, brought in several changes by adding more structures to strengthen it.

About World Monuments Fund

  • The monument has been selected under the ‘Ancient Water System of the Deccan Plateau’ by World Monuments Fund [the NGO], which monitors restoration of ancient monuments across the globe.
  • It works in collaboration with the local stakeholders, including the district administration, the ASI, and local explorers of ancient monuments, in highlighting the need for the restoration of ancient monuments.

Back2Basics

World Monuments Watch

  • Every two years WMF publishes the World Monuments Watch (formerly the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites).
  • Since the first list was compiled in 1996, this program has drawn international attention to cultural heritage sites around the world threatened by neglect, vandalism, armed conflict, commercial development, natural disasters, and climate change.
  • Through the World Monuments Watch, WMF fosters community support for the protection of endangered sites, and attracts technical and financial support for the sites.
  • Navigate to the page for map simulated view of various sites in India https://www.wmf.org/watch .
History- Important places, persons in news

Exercise Tiger Triumph

Mains Paper 2 : Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ex. Tiger Triumph

Mains level : India-US defence cooperation



News

  • The first-ever tri-services India-U.S.A. amphibious exercise titled ‘Tiger Triumph’ is scheduled to be conducted in this week.

Ex. Tiger Triumph

  • The exercise will be conducted off Visakhapatnam and Kakinada coasts.
  • This exercise will include events and field training that simulate moving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief force from ship to shore.
  • It is aimed at building the capacity of both the Indian and U.S. participants and improving their ability to operate together.
  • Around 1,200 Indian soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and 500 U.S. Marines, sailors and airmen will participate in the nine-day exercise which envisages the U.S. and Indian forces establishing professional relationships.
  • The exercise focuses on counter-terrorism operations.
Foreign Policy Watch: India-United States

Species in news: Pliosaur

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Pliosaur

Mains level : NA



News

Pliosaurs

  • Over 150 million years ago, enormous reptiles swam the Jurassic oceans.
  • The largest aquatic carnivorous reptiles that have ever lived, they are often dubbed “sea monsters”.
  • Scientifically, they are placed in the suborder Pliosauroidea, whose members are called pliosaurs.
  • Interest in these giants has been revived with the recent discovery of their bones in a cornfield in the Polish village of Krzyzanowice. Remains of pliosaurs are rare in Europe.

What makes them special?

  • They measured over 10 metres in length and could weigh up to several dozen tons.
  • They had powerful, large skulls and massive jaws with large, sharp teeth.
  • Their limbs were in the form of fins.

Swietokrzyskie Mountains

  • The Swietokrzyskie Mountains are a mountain range in central Poland.
  • In the Jurassic era, the Swietokrzyskie Mountains area is believed to have been an archipelago of islands, where there were warm lagoons and shallow sea reservoirs, home to the marine reptiles discovered by the palaeontologists.
  • The locality where the remains were discovered is considered to be rich in the fossils of coastal reptiles. Researchers now hope to find more remains in the coming months.
Global Geological And Climatic Events

Thiruvalluvar: Ancient Tamil Saint

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Thiruvalluvar

Mains level : Sangam Literature



Context

Who was Thiruvalluvar?

  • Thiruvalluvar is fondly referred to as Valluvar by Tamils.
  • His ‘Tirukkural’, a collection of 1,330 couplets (‘kurals’ in Tamil), are an essential part of every Tamil household.
  • It holds importance in the same way the Bhagavad Gita or the Ramayana are in traditional North Indian Hindu households.
  • Thiruvalluvar is revered as an ancient saint, poet, and a philosopher by Tamils, irrespective of their religion.
  • He is an essential anchor for Tamils in tracing their cultural roots; Tamils are taught to learn his couplets word-for-word, and to follow his teachings in their day-to-day living.
History- Important places, persons in news

[pib] Feni River

Mains Paper 2 : Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Feni River

Mains level : Outstanding water sharing issues with Bangladesh


News

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the MoU between India and Bangladesh on withdrawal of 1.82 cusec of water from Feni River by India for drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town Tripura.

Feni River

  • Feni River is a river in southeastern Bangladesh.
  • It is a trans-boundary river with an ongoing dispute about water rights.
  • The Feni River originates in South Tripura district and flows through Sabroom town and then enters Bangladesh.
  • Muhuri River, also called Little Feni, from Noakhali District joins it near its mouth.
  • The river is navigable by small boats as far as Ramgarh, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) upstream.

Why such agreement?

  • The question of sharing of the waters of the river between India and Pakistan was first discussed in 1958.
  • As on date, there is no water-sharing agreement on Feni River between India and Bangladesh.
  • The present supply of drinking water to Sabroom town is inadequate. The ground water in this region has high iron content.
  • Implementation of this scheme would benefit over 7000 population of Sabroom town.
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Bangladesh

Places in news: Danakil Depression

Mains Paper 1 : Salient Features Of World'S Physical Geography |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Danakil Depression

Mains level : NA



News

  • Microbes are known to survive almost anywhere. Scientists now believe that Danakil depression in Ethiopia is an exception.
  • New research has pointed out that bubbling pools of water and mounds of salt covering its landscape — that is too daunting even for these microorganisms.

Danakil Depression 

  • The Danakil Depression in northeastern Ethiopia is one of the world’s hottest places, as well as one of its lowest, at 100 metres below sea level.
  • At the northern end of the Great Rift Valley, and separated by live volcanoes from the Red Sea, the plain was formed by the evaporation of an inland water body.
  • All the water entering Danakil evaporates, and no streams flow out from its extreme environment. It is covered with more than 10 lakh tonnes of salt.
  • Now, a new study says that active and naturally occurring life cannot be sustained at Danakil.
  • It identifies two barriers: magnesium-dominated brines that cause cells to break down; and an environment having simultaneously very low pH and high salt, a combination that makes adaptation highly difficult.
Global Geological And Climatic Events

NAVIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation)

Mains Paper 3 : Achievements Of Indians In S&T |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NAVIC

Mains level : Utility of NAVIC



News

  • The ISRO and its older commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd. are poised to commercialise India’s regional navigation satellite system, NavIC.
  • Antrix recently floated two separate tenders to identify industries that can develop dedicated NavIC-based hardware and systems.

NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation)

  • It is the Indian system of seven satellites that is aimed at telling the business and individual users where they are, or how their products and services are moving.
  • The indigenous positioning or location-based service (LBS) works just like the established and popular U.S. Global Positioning System or GPS but within a 1,500-km radius over the sub-continent.
  • It covers India and a region extending 1,500 km around it, with plans for further extension.
  • NAVIC will provide two levels of service, the standard positioning service“, which will be open for civilian use, and a “restricted service (an encrypted one) for authorised users (including the military).
  • NAVIC is planned to become available for civilian use in the first half of 2020

Early users

  • The early set of commercial NavIC users would be potentially transporters of resources such as mined ore, coal and sand in various States.
  • Several transporters currently use GPS-based systems.

Positive developments

  • Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a leading producer of semiconductor chips, had developed and tested NavIC-friendly chipsets across its user bases and that it would add NavIC to them.
  • Apart from GPS, its chips can work with the global navigation satellite systems of Europe (Galileo), Russia (GLONASS) and China (Beidou.)
  • ISRO said this support would be available for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from November 2019.
  • It expects the indigenous system to ‘enhance’ the use of NavIC on mobile, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

3GPP project

  • The important positive for NavIC was the certification of the Indian system by the 3GPP (The 3rd Generation Partnership Project), a global body for coordinating mobile telephony standards.
  • The specifications will be available in March 2020 and the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) has said it would adopt them as a national standard.
  • The implication is that 4G and 5G devices with NavIC capability can use assisted-NavIC solution in place of, or in addition to, other constellations.
ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Dwarf Planets

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Dwarf Planets

Mains level : NA



News

  • As of today, there are officially five dwarf planets in our Solar System. Now, there is a claimant for a sixth dwarf planet.

Hygiea: New dwarf in the race

  • Using observations made through the European Space Organization’s SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have now found Hygiea may possibly be a dwarf planet.
  • The most famous is Pluto, downgraded from the status of a planet in 2006. The other four, in order of size, are Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Ceres.
  • Called Hygiea, it has so far been taken to be an asteroid. It lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
  • If it qualifies, Hygiea will be the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System.

What makes a Hygiea dwarf?

  • The International Astronomical Union sets four criteria for a dwarf planet, and Hygiea already satisfies three — it orbits around the Sun, it is not a moon, and it has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
  • The fourth requirement is that it have enough mass that its own gravity pulls it into a roughly spherical shape.
  • According to the new study, VLT observations now show Hygiea satisfied that condition, too.
  • This is the first time astronomers have observed Hygiea in high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size.
International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Spyware Pegasus

Mains Paper 3 : Cyber Security |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Pegasus

Mains level : Cyber Security



News

  • The popular messaging platform WhatsApp was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists in India earlier this year.
  • The surveillance was carried out using a spyware tool called Pegasus, which has been developed by an Israeli firm, the NSO Group.
  • WhatsApp sued the NSO Group in a federal court in US accusing it of using WhatsApp servers in the United States and elsewhere to send malware to approximately 1,400 mobile phones and devices.

Pegasus

  • All spyware do what the name suggests — they spy on people through their phones.
  • Pegasus works by sending an exploit link, and if the target user clicks on the link, the malware or the code that allows the surveillance is installed on the user’s phone.
  • A presumably newer version of the malware does not even require a target user to click a link.
  • Once Pegasus is installed, the attacker has complete access to the target user’s phone.
  • The first reports on Pegasus’s spyware operations emerged in 2016, when Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the UAE, was targeted with an SMS link on his iPhone 6.

Method of working

  • A Pegasus operator must convince a target to click on a specially crafted ‘exploit link’ which allows the operator to penetrate security features on the phone.
  • This automatically installs Pegasus without the user’s knowledge or permission.
  • Once the phone is exploited and Pegasus installed, it begins contacting the operator’s command and control and send back the target’s private data, including passwords, contact lists, events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps.
  • The operator can even turn on the phone’s camera and microphone to capture activity in the phone’s vicinity.
Cyber Security – CERTs, Policy, etc

Coastal Digital Elevation Model (CoastalDEM)

Mains Paper 3 : Disaster Management |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Coastal DEM

Mains level : Flood control and management in India



News

  • The number of Indians who stand to be affected by rising sea levels may have been underestimated by as much as 88%, according to a study.

CoastalDEM

  • CoastalDEM is a new software which uses more variables — vegetation cover, population indices — to estimate the actual land surface affected by floods.
  • Estimates on the risks posed by flooding rely on detailed maps of the globe taken by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) of NASA.
  • It was a radar mapping system that travelled aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in 2000.
  • The maps so prepared form the basis for determining the elevation of the earth’s topography.

Flood risk in India

  • In India, 36 million people would face annual flooding by 2050 and 44 million by 2100 if emissions continue to rise unabated.
  • Nearly 21 million — and not 2.8 million — are expected to be living below the High Tide Line, the boundary that marks the farthest to which the sea reaches into the land at high tide.
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

[pib] Paramahansa Yogananda

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Paramahansa Yogananda

Mains level : Significance of Yoga


News

  • The Union Minister for Finance released a special commemorative coin on Paramahansa Yogananda to mark his 125th birth anniversary.

Paramahansa Yogananda

  • Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) is considered one of the preeminent spiritual figures of modern times.
  • Author of the best-selling spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, this world teacher came to America in 1920 from his native India and was the first great master of yoga to live and teach in the West.
  • He is now widely recognized as the Father of Yoga in the West.
  • He founded Self-Realization Fellowship (1920) and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (1917), which continue to carry on his spiritual legacy worldwide.
History- Important places, persons in news

Operation Kayla Mueller (Barisha Raid)

Mains Paper 3 : Linkages Between Development & Spread Of Extremism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Operation Kayla Mueller (Barisha Raid)

Mains level : Counter terrorsism measures



News

Operation Kayla Mueller

  • The stealth operation that claimed the life of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named after 26-year-old Kayla Mueller.
  • She was an American who was kidnapped and killed by the extremist group in 2015.
  • According to U.S. officials, including President Trump, Baghdadi killed himself when he detonated a suicide belt.

Who was Baghdadi?

  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (1971 – 2019) was the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) militant terrorist organisation.
  • In 2014, the ISIS announced the establishment of a worldwide caliphate.
  • Al-Baghdadi was named its caliph, to be known as “Caliph Ibrahim”.
  • He was designated by the United States Department of State as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
Foreign Policy Watch: Cross-Border Terrorism

Place in news: INS Baaz

Mains Paper 3 : Various Security Forces, Agencies & Their Mandates |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : INS Baaz

Mains level : Maritime Security in Bay of Bengal region



News

  • Recently Navy Chief Admiral visited INS Baaz, the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces.

INS Baaz

  • The Indian Naval Station (INS) ‘Baaz’ was commissioned in July 2012, and is the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • INS Baaz is located at Campbell Bay on the Great Nicobar island, the southernmost and largest island in the UT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • It is a part of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-services formation of the Indian Armed Forces that was started in 2001.
  • This island is also the location of the Indira Point and is less than 250 km by sea from Banda Aceh in Indonesia.
  • Campbell Bay, where the base is located, is more than 1,500 km away from the Indian mainland, and 500 km from Port Blair.

Significance

  • The A&N Islands are strategically important for India’s national security as they provide a critical capability to monitor sea areas in the region.
  • The primary functions of the INS Baaz include helping build Maritime Domain Awareness by providing information via airborne surveillance using aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
  • The base was first equipped with a runway of 3,500 feet but was later lengthened to enable larger aircraft to operate from it.
  • The location has been described as India’s “window into East and Southeast Asia”, and is in close vicinity of the Six Degree Channel, also called the Great Channel.
  • It is one of the Indian Ocean’s busiest shipping lines, carrying strategic cargo to East Asian countries.
  • It is also close to the Strait of Malacca. The INS Baaz helps to ensure maritime security in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
  • The base also assists the local populace in times of need such as facilitating evacuation during medical emergencies.
Indian Navy Updates

Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas

Mains level : Forest fires and their global impact



News

Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas

  • The Sentinel-3 World Fires Atlas Prototype product has been developed by European Space Agency.
  • It uses a method that enables it to identify all active fires at night.
  • The sensors on satellites measure thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth’s land surfaces. This information is used to detect and monitor the heat emitted by the fires.
  • The Atlas uses the satellite data to plot the number of fires occurring monthly.

Why it’s significant?

  • Quantifying and monitoring fires is important for the study of climate.
  • Forest fires have a significant impact on global atmospheric emissions, with biomass burning contributing to the global budgets of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide.

Forest fires on rise

  • Compared to August 2018, there were almost five times as many wildfires across the world in August 2019 the European Space Agency (ESA) has announced citing data from its Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas.
  • August and September 2019 were also the months during which fires in the Amazon rainforest were at the centre of worldwide attention.
  • A detailed analysis of the August 2019 fires, however, shows that it was Asia that accounted for nearly half of these fires.

Distribution

  • The ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission recorded 79,000 fires in August this year, compared to just over 16,000 fires detected during the same period last year.
  • These figures were achieved by using data from the Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas Prototype, which also provided a breakdown of these fires per continent.
  • The data revealed that 49% of the fires were detected in Asia, around 28% were detected in South America, 16% in Africa, and the remaining were recorded in North America, Europe and Oceania.
Forest Fires

Chenani Nashari Tunnel renamed after Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee

Mains Paper 3 : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc. |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chenani Nashari Tunnel

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • Union Ministry for Road Transport & Highways announced renaming of Chenani Nashri Tunnel on NH 44 in Jammu & Kashmir as Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel.

Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel

  • This 9 km tunnel is the longest such state of art tunnel in the country, connecting Udhampur to Ramban in Jammu.
  • The key features of the tunnel are — it is a single-tube bi-directional tunnel, with a 9.35-metre carriageway, and a vertical clearance of 5 metres.
  • It cuts down 31 km of travel distance and reduces the travel time between the two points by about two hours, in addition to substantial saving in fuel cost.
  • There is also a parallel escape tunnel, with ‘Cross Passages’ connecting to the main tunnel at intervals of 300 metres.
  • It also has smart features such as an integrated traffic control system; surveillance, ventilation and broadcast systems; fire fighting system; and SOS call-boxes at every 150 metres.
Road and Highway Safety – National Road Safety Policy, Good Samaritans, etc.

Pushkaram Festival

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Pushkaram

Mains level : Significance of the festival



News

  • Guwahati is marking the inauguration of the 12-day Brahmaputra Pushkar and Sanskritik Mahotsav.
  • Devotees from Tamil Nadu will perform the rituals at the banks of Brahmaputra river.

Pushkaram

  • Pushkaram is an Indian festival dedicated to worshiping of rivers.
  • It is also known as Pushkaralu (in Telugu), Pushkara (in Kannada) or Pushkar.
  • It is celebrated at shrines along the banks of 12 major sacred rivers in India, in the form of ancestor worship, spiritual discourses, devotional music and cultural programmes.
  • The celebration happens annually, once in 12 years along each river.
  • Each river is associated with a zodiac sign, and the river for each year’s festival is based on which sign Jupiter is in at the time.

Significance of the festival

  • The transit of Jupiter in 2018 was marked by the entry of Pushkaram in the river Tamiraparani on October 12 last year.
  • The planets were in a unique constellation, the phenomenon occurring after 144 years.
  • This year, the transit of Jupiter will signal the movement of Pushkaram from Tamiraparani to the Brahmaputra.
  • The end-phase will be celebrated for three days at Kurukkuturai and the waters taken to Guwahati, where it will be consigned to the Brahmaputra.
History- Important places, persons in news

Wetland’ status for Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sukhna Lake

Mains level : Wetland conservation in India



News

  • The Chandigarh administration had issued a draft notification for declaring Sukhna Lake as a wetland under the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rule, 2017.

Sukhna Lake

  • Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, India, is a reservoir at the foothills (Shivalik hills) of the Himalayas.
  • This 3 km² rainfed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills.
  • Sukhna is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds like the Siberian duck, storks and cranes, during the winter months.
  • The lake has been declared as a protected national wetland by the Government of India.

How will the wetland status help Sukhna?

  • Declaring Sukhna a wetland will help preserve the lake and conserve its ecological and biodiversity.
  • A major threat to Sukhna is the discharge of pollutants from neighbouring areas.
  • The catchment area of Sukhna Wetland spreading over 10,395 acres as finalised by the Survey of India includes 2,525 acres of Haryana and 684 acres of Punjab.
  • With this, various activities will be prohibited/regulated/ promoted both in the wetland as well catchment areas.
Wetland Conservation