Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 08th November 2021

1. Adi Shankaracharya

Prime Minister unveiled a 12-foot high statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath.

Adi Shankaracharya (788-820 AD)

  1. Adi Shankaracharya was an Indian philosopher and theologian whose works had a strong impact on the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.
  2. He founded mathas, which are believed to have helped in the historical development, revival, and propagation of his philosophy.
  3. The story recounted today has been reconstructed from multiple Shankaravijayas (Conquests of Shankara) written over the centuries.

Literary works

  1. Adi Shankara is generally identified as the author of 116 works.
  2. Among them are the celebrated commentaries (bhashyas) on 10 Upanishads, the Brahmasutra and the Gita, and poetic works including Vivekachudamani, Maneesha Panchakam, and Saundaryalahiri.
  3. He composed the Kanakadhara Stotram, following which there was a rain of golden amlas, which brought prosperity to the household.
  4. It has also been claimed that Adi Shankara composed texts like Shankarasmrithi, which seeks to establish the social supremacy of Nambuthiri Brahmins.
  5. His great standing is derived from his commentaries of the prasthanatrayi (Upanishads, Brahmasutra and Gita), where he explains his understanding of Advaita Vedanta.

Advaita Vedanta

  1. Advaita Vedanta articulates a philosophical position of radical nondualism, a revisionary worldview that derives from the ancient Upanishadic texts.
  2. According to this, the Upanishads reveal a fundamental principle of nonduality termed ‘brahman’, which is the reality of all things.
  3. Advaitins understand brahman as transcending individuality and empirical plurality.
  4. They seek to establish that the essential core of tones self (atman) is brahman
  5. It is pure non-intentional consciousness.
  6. It is one without a second, nondual, infinite existence, and numerically identical with brahman.
  7. This effort entails tying a metaphysics of brahman to a philosophy of consciousness.

2. Tripura Bamboo Cricket Bat

  1. In collaboration with BCDI, Agartala, NECTAR carried out a pilot project on the development of indigenous Bamboo Cricket bats and Stumps.
  2. The bamboo bat is made up of bamboo glue board technology which is a substitute for wood and sustainable material.
  3. The indigenously developed bamboo cricket carries good strokes and it has now been sent to various agencies for Feedback.
  4. Bamboo Stumps are an innovative use of round bamboo poles.
  5. Thyrsostachys Oliveri, a special bamboo variety that is nearly solid and straight, is used for making stumps.
  6. A small hollow central core can also provide a natural way for fixing the stump mic and camera.

3. Maharashtra Wildlife Action Plan

  1. The government of Maharashtra approved its own Wildlife Action Plan (2021-2030), which will be implemented over the next 10 years.
  2. Maharashtra became India’s first state to pass its own Wildlife Action Plan.
  3. The board has also approved the extension of the boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, in the Chandrapur district of the Vidarbha region, by around 79 sq km.
  4. It aims to develop a Climate Action Plan for the Coastal Region of the state in sync with the ‘State Climate Change Action Plan’
  5. It will have a special emphasis on Climate Change Adaptation(CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR).

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

  1. It is located in Chandrapur district in Maharashtra.
  2. It is Maharashtra’s oldest and largest national park.
  3. It is one of India’s 50 “Project Tiger” reserves.
  4. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve was established as the second Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra in 1993-94.
  5. The first Tiger Reserve established in the State is Melghat Tiger Reserve (1973-74).
  6. It represents Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Teak Forests in the Tiger habitat and has a viable tiger population

Click here to know more

4. Rover to Moon

  1. Private companies in Australia and Canada are developing a moon mission, in association with the University of Technology Sydney.
  2. Under this mission, Australian technology will be sent to the moon by mid-2024, to hunt water on it.
  3. If the plan is successful, it will be the first rover made up of Australian components, to make on the Moon.
  4.  Australian Space Agency had announced in 2021, its plan to send an Australian-made rover to the Moon by 2026.
  5. Australian-made rover is part of a deal of Australian Space Agency with NASA.
  6. The rover will collect lunar soil containing oxygen.
  7. This soil will be used to support human life in space.

About the Rover

  1. The Rover is ten-kilogram in weight and has a dimension of 60x60x50cm.
  2. It will be launched onboard the Hakuto lander, which is made by the lunar robotic exploration company of Japan called ispace.
  3. The rover is also built by ispace.
  4. It will comprise of an integrated robotic arm, made by private companies called Stardust Technologies (Canada) and Australia’s EXPLOR Space Technology.
  5. The robotic arm will help in collecting high-resolution visual & haptic data using cameras and sensors.
  6. This data will be sent back to the mission control center at the University of Technology Sydney.
  7. It will also collect information regarding the physical and chemical composition of lunar dust, soil, and rocks with the objective of finding water.
  8. It will help in identifying regions on the Moon where water sources are more abundant which in turn will help in delivering more usable water for human consumption, mining operations, sample processing, and food growth.

5. Leopard to Extinction

The leopard (Panthera pardus) faces an 83% increased risk of extinction in North India due to roadkill, according to a new international study that quantifies the threat posed by roads to the survival of animal populations around the world. The study has been published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Insights

  1. The leopard population of North India is at the highest risk among four animal populations identified as being the most vulnerable to extinction in the next 50 years if observed roadkill levels persist.
  2. It is followed by the maned wolf and the little spotted cat, both of Brazil, and the brown hyena of southern Africa.
  3. At an 83% increased risk, the study estimates the time to the North Indian leopard population’s extinction at 33 years.
  4. Other populations found highly vulnerable include the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) in South India.

Click here to know about Snow Leopard

6. Mass Fish Death in Kameng River

Recently, the landslides caused by an earthquake of 3.4 magnitudes close to the border with China have led to mass fish death in the Kameng river in Arunachal Pradesh. The region has been placed into Seismic Zone V, thus most vulnerable to earthquakes.

Insights

  1. The earthquake happened in the vicinity of the source of the river at an elevation of about 6,300 meters above Mean Sea Level.
  2. The landslides dumped several tonnes of mud and rocks into the river, substantially reducing the flow of water.
  3. The river turned blackish due to very high turbidity resulting in low dissolved oxygen that killed the fish.
  4. Low dissolved oxygen concentrations can arise through natural phenomena that include seasonality, changes in river flow, and both saline and thermal stratification of the water column.
  5. Low dissolved oxygen levels can also indicate an excessive demand on the oxygen in the system.

Kameng River

  1. It originates in Tawang district from the glacial lake below snow-capped Gori Chen mountain on the India-Tibet border.
  2. Kameng is not a transboundary river.
  3. It flows through Bhalukpong circle of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sonitpur District of Assam.
  4. It becomes a braided river in its lower reaches and is one of the major tributaries of the Brahmaputra River.
  5. It joins the Brahmaputra river at Tezpur, just east of the Kolia Bhomora Setu bridge, Assam.
  6. It forms the boundary between East Kameng District and West Kameng Districts.
  7. It also forms the boundary between the Sessa and Eaglenest sanctuaries to its west (Arunachal Pradesh) and the Pakke tiger reserve to the east (Arunachal Pradesh).
  8. The Dafla Hills are east and the Aka Hills are located west of the Kameng River.
  9. Tributaries: Tippi, Tenga, Bichom and Dirang Chu.

7. Committee for Working of ARC

In a bid to streamline the functioning of asset reconstruction companies (ARCs), a Reserve Bank committee has come out with a host of suggestions including the creation of an online platform for the sale of stressed assets and allowing ARCs to act as resolution applicants during the IBC process.

Recommendations of the Committee

  1. The committee was headed by former RBI Executive Director Sudarshan Sen.
  2. It suggested that the scope of Section 5 of the SARFAESI Act be expanded to permit ARCs to acquire financial assets from all regulated entities.
  3. To improve the performance of ARCs, the RBI had appointed the committee to examine the issues and recommend suitable measures.
  4. The committee has recommended that for all accounts above Rs 500 crore, two bank-approved external valuers should carry out a valuation to determine the liquidation value and fair market value.
  5. In the case of accounts between Rs 100 crore and Rs 500 crore, one valuer may be engaged.
  6. The final approval of the reserve price should be given by a high-level committee that has the power to approve the corresponding write-off of the loan.
  7. Reserve price plays a critical role in ensuring true price discovery in auctions conducted for the sale of stressed assets.
  8. The report has also recommended that the minimum net-owned fund (NOF) requirement for ARCs should be increased to Rs 200 crore wherein existing ARCs may be provided a glide path to meet this requirement.
  9. The committee has also recommended that the CBDT may consider clarifying the tax rate applicable to FPIs.
  10. ARCs should be allowed to sponsor a Sebi-registered AIF, to be used as an additional vehicle for facilitating restructuring/ recovery of the debt acquired by the ARC.
  11. If 66 percent of lenders decide to accept an offer by an ARC, the same may be binding on all lenders and must be implemented within 60 days of approval by majority lenders.
  12. Also, 100 percent provisioning on the loan outstanding should be mandated for a dissenting lender who fails to comply with this requirement