Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 15 November 2021

1. Brisa Munda Birth Anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 15 paid tributes to revered tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda on the occasion of  Munda’s birth anniversary in 2000.

Insights

  1. He was born on 15th November 1875, belonged to the Munda tribe in the Chotanagpur Plateau area.
  2. He was known as Dharti Aaba (Father of Earth), Birsa Munda is known to have mobilized the tribal community against the British and had also forced the colonial officials to introduce laws protecting the land rights of the tribals.
  3. Having gained awareness of the British colonial ruler and the efforts of the missionaries to convert tribals to Christianity, Birsa started the faith of ‘Birsait’.
  4. Members of the Munda and Oraon community joined the Birsait sect and it turned into a challenge to British conversion activities.
  5. Further, he urged the Mundas to give up drinking liquor, clean their village, and stop believing in witchcraft and sorcery.

Munda Rebellion:

  1. It is one of the most important tribal movements which was led by Birsa Munda in the south of Ranchi in 1899-1900.
  2. The land policies of the British were destroying their traditional land system.
  3. Hindu landlords and moneylenders were taking over their land.
  4. Missionaries were criticizing their traditional culture.
  5. The ‘Ulgulan’ or the ‘Great Tumult’ as the movement came to be called, aimed at establishing Munda Raj by driving out the British.
  6. Munda used traditional symbols and language to rouse people, urging them to destroy “Ravana” (dikus/outsiders and the Europeans) and establish a kingdom under his leadership.
  7. Birsa’s followers began targeting the symbols of diku and European power.
  8. They attacked police stations and churches and raided the property of moneylenders and zamindars. They raised the white flag as a symbol of Birsa Raj.
  9. On 3rd March 1900, Birsa Munda was arrested by the British police while he was sleeping with his tribal guerilla army at Jamkopai forest in Chakradharpur (Jharkhand).
  10. Birsa died of cholera in the jail and the movement faded out.

Significance

  1. It forced the colonial government to introduce laws so that the land of the tribals could not be easily taken over by dikus (Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908).
  2. It showed that the tribal people had the capacity to protest against injustice and express their anger against colonial rule.

2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor project

  1. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor project is launched, alongside families of those who had been displaced due to the project.
  2. Over the years, there were buildings, housing, and another construction that came up around the temple, and that entire vista was obscured. The project has restored it.

Insights

  1. The project connects the temple with the ghats of the Ganga, with a paved walkway around 320 meters long and 20 meters wide.
  2. It will also have facilities for a museum, library, a facilitation center for pilgrims, and a Mumuksha Bhawan (salvation house).
  3. There would be a presence of the main ‘archakas’ of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’, with water from all major rivers of the country being brought in for the ‘abhishek’ of the main deity Baba Vishwanath.
  4. A sound and laser show on the history of the temple, and its repeated reconstruction from destruction will be part of the event, and the Ganga ghats will be lit up as in the manner of ‘Dev Dipawali’,

3. Rice Blast in Wayanad

Rice blast, a fungal disease affecting paddy, is haunting farmers who had raised “Manuvarna”, a new rice variety released by the Kerala Agricultural University recently, on more than 250 acres in Wayanad district.

Insights

  1. The blast disease is caused by the fungus Pyricularia oryzae which is non-systemic in action.
  2. The spores of the fungus could have been released from hosts like Purple nutsedge and Echinochloa crusgalli
  3. It is abundantly present in the paddy fields, bunds, and on the sides of the irrigation channel of the affected area.
  4. This would have resulted in an increased concentration of spores in the air.
  5. Relative humidity of more than 93% and rainfall below 5 mm per day are the major predisposing factors especially during the mid tillering stage of the crop for the incidence of the blast.
  6. The ‘Manuvarna’ variety of paddy was released for the low lands of Kerala, especially for the Kole lands, wetland ecosystem.

4. SpaceX launches

  1. SpaceX just launched its second rocket this week, this time carrying a stack of Starlink satellites into orbit in a foggy flight, before sticking a booster landing at sea.
  2. The previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 40 here at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, marking the company’s 25th launch of the year.
  3. It also marked this particular booster’s ninth flight.
  4. The successful liftoff marked the first SpaceX Starlink launch from Florida on one of its 229-foot-tall workhorse Falcon 9 rockets in six months. 

Starlink Mega Constellation

  1. SpaceX’s Starlink mega constellation is designed to provide high-speed internet coverage to users around the world below, particularly those in remote and rural areas that do not have access to traditional internet connections.
  2. SpaceX has delivered more than 100,000 Starlink internet terminals and the service has been approved to operate in at least 14 different countries, with applications pending in several others.
  3. In September, the company launched its first full set of satellites into a polar orbit, which will help the company provide access to people in higher latitudes.

Click here to know about other missions

5. Tribal Nation summit

President Joe Biden will announce steps to improve public safety and justice for Native Americans during the first tribal nations summit since 2016.

Insights

  1. Leaders from more than 570 tribes in the United States are expected to join the two-day event, with nearly three dozen addressing the gathering.
  2. The summit is being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected Native Americans and Alaska Natives at disproportionate rates.
  3. The summit coincides with National Native American Heritage Month and is being hosted by the White House for the first time.
  4. The summit was not held during the previous Trump administration. Past conferences were held at the Interior Department.
  5. Mr. Biden will use the summit to announce steps to improve public safety and justice for Native Americans and to protect private lands, treaty rights and sacred places.
  6. American Indians and Alaska Natives are more than twice as likely to be victims of a violent crime, and at least two times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted compared to other races.
  7. Mr. Biden also recently became the first President to issue a proclamation designating October 11 as Indigenous People’s Day, giving a boost to longstanding efforts to refocus the federal holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus toward an appreciation of Native peoples.

6. COP26 World Leaders’ Summit

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 1, 2021, addressed the COP26 World Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where he highlighted that adaptation has not gained much importance in the global climate debate as much as mitigation of climate crisis.
  2. During India’s national statement at COP26, he elaborated on India’s vision and efforts.
  3. He said India will achieve its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2070.
  4. Meanwhile, the COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began on October 31, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland.
  5. Under the Presidency of the UK partnering with Italy in Glasgow, COP26 is being held from October 31 to November 12, 2021.

Indias Stand

  1. India has highlighted that adaptation has not gained much importance in the global climate debate as much as mitigation of climate crisis.
  2. India stressed the need to include climate change adaptation policies in all development policies and projects.
  3. Lack of climate adaptation policies is an injustice to developing countries that are more susceptible to climate change.
  4. In most developing countries including India, the climate is a big challenge for farmers.
  5. Untimely rains and floods, changing cropping patterns, frequent storms destroying crops are a few of many challenges.
  6. India presented 3 perspectives in this regard.
    • First, India urged world leaders to make adaptation a core part of our development policies and projects.
    • Second, India emphasized that traditional practices should be given significant importance in our adaptation policies
    • Third, India shared a vision of global support for local methods of adaptation.

National Statement at Climate Summit in Glasgow

India presented 5 goals of India at the COP26 Climate Summit to deal with the climate crisis.

    • •India will achieve its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2070.
    • •India will bring its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
    • •India will achieve 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
    • •India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now to 2030.
    • •India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45 per cent by 2030.

India proposed a One-Word Movement in the context of climate called LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment) and urged for collective participation to take LIFE forward as a campaign.

Click here to know more

7. Reservoir in Syria Dries up

  1. A key reservoir in northwestern Syria is almost completely dry for the first time in its 27-year history.
  2. The emptying of the reservoir is attributed to low rainfall, structural damage, and extraction by struggling farmers.
  3. In 2021, Syria has been experiencing one of its driest and hottest years on record.
  4. This has caused drought and a series of wildfires.
  5. Along with climate change, the region receiving historically low rainfall last winter has led to the reservoir drying out.
  6. The reservoir formed by Al-Duwaysat Dam in Idlib province is a key irrigation source for thousands of farmers.
  7. Around 800 families depended on the reservoir to irrigate 150 hectares of farmland.
  8. According to the World Bank, the reservoir has a capacity of 3.6 million cubic meters. Over the years, it has mainly been used for irrigation and water supply.
  9. The low rainfall last winter left the reservoir half-full and the remaining water was used for irrigation by farmers who were trying to save their crops
  10. Damage to the main pipeline that feeds water from the reservoir to irrigation networks had led to significant leakages, further reducing the volume that reaches the fields.