10 Oct 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Oct 10th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Government cleared appointment of Chief Justice
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Spraying Solution to stem stubble burning
2. Himachal Pradesh getting less snow: Study
3. Explaining the global warming phenomenon
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Green Pacts inked at India, Denmark Summit
F. Prelims Facts
1. AP nabs sanders smugglers
G. Tidbits
1. Vayalar award for Benyamin
2. Malabar Exercise Phase II
3. Brain Cell Atlas
4. World Mental Health Day
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Himachal Pradesh getting less snow: Study

Context:

  • A recent study conducted jointly by the State Centre on Climate Change and Space Applications Centre (ISRO) Ahmedabad, using Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) satellite data has revealed that all major river basins including Satluj, Ravi, Chenab, and Beas have witnessed an overall decrease of 18.5% in area under snow in 2020-21 winters in comparison to 2019-20.

Identifiable Causes of the loss of Snow:

Natural Cause

  1. The prime reason is the changes in the global climate pattern which has led to the reduction in the precipitation trend.
  2. The average temperature has also risen in the region faster than the peninsular region.
  3. On average relatively more moisture is being carried towards the Himalayas. But there is a lack of conditions for sub-zero temperature, hence snowfall is declining as global warming has led to a rise in temperature.

Man-Made Cause

  • Unsustainable rapid deforestation
  • Unregulated construction activities
  • Increase in air and soil pollution in the region.

Impact of Loss of Snow Cover

  • In Himachal Pradesh, about one-third of the geographical area remains under thick snow cover during the winter season.
  • The snow cover helps in controlling the accumulation and ablations patterns of the glaciated regions.
  • Major rivers such as Chenab, Beas, Parvati, Baspa, Spiti, Ravi, Satluj and their perennial tributaries originating from the Himalayas depend upon the seasonal snow cover for their discharge dependability.
  • The spatial distribution of snow ensures sustainable measurement of the hydrological table at the basin.

Recommendations:

  • Developed countries with legacy emissions need to effect deep emission cuts. Developing nations should also commit themselves to steeper emissions cuts based on the promise of support from developed countries.
  • The developing countries should be supported adequately in their climate action endeavors in the form of easy access to low carbon technologies through technology transfer and adequate funding for mitigation and adaptation.

3. Explaining the global warming phenomenon

Context:

The Nobel Prize for Physics for 2021 has been awarded to climatologists Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann, and physicist Giorgio Parisi for their groundbreaking contributions in the understanding of complex physical systems.

Details:

  • The Nobel 
    • The Nobel Prize is being given to climatologists for the first time since its inception in 1901.
    • The prize-winning work done by the laureates are in different areas but they fall under the umbrella of complex systems, climate on the one hand, and spin liquids on the other and so are broadly linked to one another.
  • Syukuro Manabe’s Work
    • Syukuro Manabe and collaborators made pioneering attempts at modelling atmospheric warming due to the increase in carbon dioxide in the 1950s and 1960s.
    • Manabe’s model pinned the quantitative impact of warming due to carbon dioxide and he estimated that a doubling of carbon dioxide would lead to a temperature rise of 2 degrees. 
    • His model confirmed that the rise in temperature was due to the increase in carbon dioxide instead of the Sun’s radiation.
  • Klaus Hasselmann’s Work
    • He built a stochastic climate model that connects climate and weather as he used a connection between the randomly varying weather patterns and inferred from these the signal of climate. 
    • As per the information released by the Nobel Academy, Klaus Hasselmann later developed methods to identify the human fifingerprintt on climate change. 
    • The models that he built carried information about warming due to solar radiation, greenhouse gases, and other causes, each of which could be separated. 
  • Giorgio Parisi’s Work 
    • Parisi was able to identify a structure to the replicas by a replica trick and describe it mathematically. 
      • Replica trick is a mathematical technique in which many copies of the system i.e. replicas are processed at the same time to calculate meaningful quantities out of spin glasses.
    • This led to the method being used eventually to solve problems in the field of complex systems including not only physics but solving problems in mathematics, biology, neuroscience.

Significance:

  • The works of the three scientists cover phenomenon that is diverse from the spans length scales ranging from centimetres to the size of the planet and the description of what goes on at a microscopic level.
  • As there is a solid physics basis to climate science, their work would amplify the understanding of the complex physical system that has many interacting elements, and they often show chaotic or dynamic behaviour.

Inference:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the complex physical system would throw light on its dynamic physical behaviours and would further associate with the solutions to the problems of Climate Science that mankind urgently needs. 

Other Important Concepts:

  • Green-house Effect
    • Green-house effect is the atmospheric absorption of some part of the outgoing radiation when the incoming short-wavelength radiation from the Sun is absorbed by the Earth and re-emitted outwards as long-wavelength radiation.
    • Though the greenhouse effect also has a positive impact as it keeps the surface of the earth warm and makes life possible. But the increase in the percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can rise the warming to a degree that is harmful to life. 
    • A Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius estimated around the close of the 19th century if the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere double, this would cause its temperature to increase by 5-6 degrees.
  • Weather & Climate
    • Weather refers to the day-to-day variations in temperature and rainfall.
    • Climate describes long-time effects and also seasonal and average behaviour over a long time. 

F. Prelims Facts

1. Andhra Pradesh nabs sanders smugglers

  • The Personnel of the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) arrested the persons involved in the smuggling of Red Sanders wood and seized 66 logs along with a container lorry and an SUV worth ₹60 lakh.

About Red Sanders/Red Sandalwood /Saunders Wood

  • Found in southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India.
  • This tree is valued for the rich red color of its wood. The wood is not aromatic.
  • The tree is not to be confused with the aromatic Santalum sandalwood trees that grow natively in South India.
  • Red sandalwood has been used for making the bridge and also the neck of the Japanese musical instrument Shamisen and in furniture in China for its porch appearance.

G. Tidbits

1. Vayalar award for Benyamin

  • Manthalirile 20 Communist Varshangal,’ a novel by Benyamin, has been selected for the 45th Vayalar Ramavarma Memorial Literary Award.

About the award:

  • The award is instituted by the Vayalar Ramavarma Memorial Trust.
  • It carries a purse of ₹1 lakh.
  • A bronze statuette crafted by the sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman; and citation.

About the author:

  • Benyamin, born Benny Daniel, hails from Kulanada, Pathanamthitta.
  • He is a recipient of the Kerala Sahithya Akademi Award, the Crossword Book Award, the JCB Prize for Literature, and the Muttathu Varkey Award.

2. Malabar Exercise Phase II

  • The Malabar Exercise is among 4 participants: the Indian Navy, US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
  • Phase- II is expected to commence next week.
  • The Phase-I of Malabar, also its 25th edition, was hosted by the U.S. and held off Guam from August 26-29.
  • The Malabar Exercise provides an opportunity for participating navies to derive benefit from each other’s expertise and experiences.
  • This is the first military engagement of the quadrilateral nations since the unveiling of the AUKUS coalition.

3. Brain Cell Atlas

  • It is published by a consortium of researchers supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN mission. The studies are published in ‘Nature’ (journal).
  • The studies aim to understand the role of neural networks in controlling our minds and bodies.
  • The studies will map the 160 billion neurons and glia in the brain.
  • It focuses on the motor cortex cells of the brains of mice, marmosets, and humans.

4. World Mental Health Day

  • World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year. This day tries to create awareness about mental health issues.
  • Theme: ‘Mental Health in An Unequal World.’
  • As per recent surveys around 14% of the population or 1 out of 7 individuals suffer from a psychological disorder.
  • The most common mental health disorders are depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the given statement/s is/are correct:
  1. China’s Chang’e-5 brought back lunar samples from Oceanus Procellarum region of the moon.
  2. One of the objectives of Chang’e-5 was to study the volcanic activity on the surface of the moon.
  3. The United States of America, the Soviet Union, China and India are the only countries to have successfully brought back lunar samples to Earth.

Options:

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Chang’e- 5 is China’s lunar mission probe that touched down on a previously unvisited part of a massive lava plain, the Oceanus Procellarum or “Oceans of Storms,” bringing back lunar samples.
  • One of the main objectives of Chang’e-5, was to find out how long the moon remained volcanically active. The Oceanus Procellarum region of the Moon is characterised by high concentrations of potassium, thorium, and uranium, elements that generate heat through long-lived radioactive decay.
  • Only erstwhile Soviet Union and United States of America had previously brought back the lunar remains. Samples brought back by U.S. and Soviet missions were more than 2.9 billion years old. This is the third instance.
  • India has not brought back any lunar remain sample yet.
Q2. Which among the following greatly depend on wind conditions during migration?
  1. Globe skimmer dragonflies
  2. Jacobin Cuckoo
  3. Amur Falcon

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Recent study by Lund University, Sweden has found that it was possible for the dragonflies to migrate from India to East Africa and return to India. The globe skimmer dragonfly does not rely on fat stored in its body to fly such long distances. Instead, it takes advantage of favorable winds present during certain periods of the year.
  • Jacobin Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is one of the most iconic migrants in the Indian Subcontinent, and their arrival in north India is considered to herald the first monsoon rains. Although resident in South India, central and northern populations of this brood parasite migrate to Africa for the winter.
  • Amur Falcons migrate from breeding grounds in eastern Asia to wintering grounds in southern Africa. Along the way, they fly 2,400 miles across the Indian Ocean.
Q3. Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?
  1. Mahatma Gandhi’s first Ashram in India was established on the banks of the river Sabarmati.
  2. The meeting of the Working Committee of congress in 1930 at Sabarmati Ashram, invested Gandhiji with the power to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement at a time and place of his choice.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Kochrab Ashram was the first ashram in India organized by Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement, and was given to him by his friend, the barrister Jivanlal Desai.
  • It was from here that Gandhi led the Dandi march also known as the Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930.
  • The Congress Working Committee in 1930 held that Gandhiji should decide where to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement at a time and place of his choice.
Q4. Olivine is the most abundant component in the Earth’s 
  1. Inner Core
  2. Upper Mantle
  3. Crust
  4. Atmosphere
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The mineral olivine is a magnesium iron silicate with the chemical formula (Mg2+, Fe2+)2 SiO4.
  • It is a type of nesosilicate or orthosilicate.
  • It is the primary component of the Earth’s upper mantle
Q5. The Global Infrastructure Facility is a/an: 
  1. ASEAN initiative to upgrade infrastructure in Asia and financed by credit from the Asian Development Bank.
  2. World Bank collaboration that facilitates the preparation and structuring of complex infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to enable mobilization of private sector and institutional investor capital.
  3. Collaboration among the major banks of the world working with the OECD and focused on expanding the set of infrastructure projects that have the potential to mobilize private investment.
  4. UNCTAD funded initiative that seeks to finance and facilitate infrastructure development in the world.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

  • The World Bank Group launched a new Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) to ensure that billions of dollars are channelized to develop world-class infrastructure in emerging markets like India and developing economies.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Overall decrease in the area under snow in Himachal Pradesh will have devastating consequences on the region. Discuss. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-3, Environment and Ecology]
  2. Why are natural gas prices soaring? How will it affect the world and India? Examine. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-3, Environment and Ecology]

Read the previous CNA here.

Oct 10th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

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