Argutes

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 22 October 2021

1. La Nina system

  1. A La Nina system has been formed for the second year in a row, according to the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  2. The latest La Nina is expected to last through the early spring of 2022 (February).
  3. Previous La Ninas occurred during the winter of 2020-2021 and 2017-2018.
  4. An El Nino was developed in 2018-2019.
  5. Two La Ninas happening one after the other is not uncommon. It is usually referred to as a ‘double-dip’.

El Nino and La Nina

  1. El Nino and La Nina are complex weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Region.
  2. They are opposite phases of what is known as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.
  3. The ENSO cycle describes the fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific.
  4. El Nino and La Nina episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some prolonged events may last for years.
  5. El Nino is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
  6. It is the “warm phase” of a larger phenomenon called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
  7. It occurs more frequently than La Nina.
  8. La Nina, the “cool phase” of ENSO, is a pattern that describes the unusual cooling of the tropical eastern Pacific.
  9. La Nina events may last between one and three years, unlike El Nino, which usually lasts no more than a year.
  10. Both phenomena tend to peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter.

2. New Micro Nail Species

  1. A new micro snail species were found from deep inside a limestone cave at Mawsmai village in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district.
  2. The snails having the scientific name ‘Georissa mawsmaiensis’ are so small in size that an adult measures less than 2 millimeters in length.
  3. A member of the same group, ‘Georissa saritta’, was discovered 170 years ago in the same area.
  4. The new species is different in shell size compared to the earlier one.
  5. Besides, it has four very prominent spiral striations on the body whorls of the shell compared to seven in Georissa sarrita.
  6. Until now, five snail species have been found from the caves of Meghalaya and there could be more.
  7. Meghalaya caves have a very unique environment that can harbor unique faunal diversity.
  8. These caves are very sensitive to change in environmental conditions resulting from anthropogenic activities such as mining and cave tourism, causing negative impacts on animals living inside them.

3. Kushinagar international airport

  1. Kushinagar international airport was recently inaugurated
  2. The airport is the third international airport that will mainly service the Buddhist tourism circuit.
  3. The Sri Lankan Airlines flight carrying monks and dignitaries was the first to land at the airport.

 Kushinagar

  1.  Kushinagar was where The Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana in c. 483 BC.
  2. Kushinara was the capital of the ancient Malla republic, which was one of the 16 mahajanapadas of the 6th-4th centuries BC.
  3. The area was once a part of the kingdoms of  Mauryas, Shungas, Kushanas, Guptas, Harshavardhana, and the Palas.
  4. Kushinagar is among the very few places in India where The Buddha is depicted in reclining form.
  5. The first excavations in Kushinagar were carried out by Alexander Cunningham and ACL Carlleyle, who unearthed the main stupa and the 6-metre-long statue of the Reclining Buddha in 1876.

Buddhist Circuit:

    • Ministry of Tourism announced the Buddhist Circuit in 2016 as the country’s first transnational tourism circuit
    • It covers the in Nepal and Sri Lanka alongside those in India.
    • The ministry’s map of the Buddhist Circuit includes Bodh Gaya, Vaishali, and Rajgir in Bihar, Kushinagar, Sarnath, and Shravasti in UP, and Lumbini in Nepal.

Click here to know more

4. Mount Manipur

The Centre has renamed Mount Harriet, a historical tourist spot in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, as ‘Mount Manipur’.

Mount Harriet is the third highest peak in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and served as the summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj.

It is believed to be named after British artist and photographer, Harriet Christina Tytler, who was the wife of Robert Christopher Tytler, a soldier who served in the British Indian Army.

Manipur Mount Harriet connection

After the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891, several Manipuris who had fought the British in the war, including Maharaja Kulachandra Dhwaja Singh, were exiled to the British penal colony in the Andaman Islands.

Since the cellular jail (Kalapani) was yet to be built, Kulachandra and the prisoners were kept on Mount Harriet which was a hillock.

Anglo-Manipuri War 1891

  1.  Lack of unity among the ruling princes and the British interference in the internal affairs of the state were the key factors of the war.
  2. The killing of five British officers including Mr. James Wallace Quinton, the chief commissioner of Assam was the immediate cause of the war.
  3. When the news of the execution of the five British officers was confirmed, the British Indian government constituted a Manipur field force.
  4. They sent three columns to Manipur from three sides.
  5. Manipur built three defensive places to fight against the invader; the first one was at Palel, the second, at Kakching and the third was at Khongjom.
  6. The Manipuri forces were outnumbered and the enemy was superior in arms too. Manipuris’ were defeated.
  7. The fall of Khongjom is the turning point in the history of Manipur. After the battle, the Manipur field force entered Imphal and occupied the palace.
  8. The union jack flag was hoisted over the palace of Manipur.
  9. Thus, Manipur lost her sovereign and independence status and marked the integration into the British Indian Empire.

5. New Quad

  1. The first virtual summit of the foreign ministers of the US, India, Israel, and UAE was recently held.
  2. At the end of the meet, the four nations agreed to form a new international economic forum to utilize the unique array of capabilities, knowledge, and experience that each offer.
  3. Earlier partnerships between these states on the back of the Abraham Accords, signed in December 2020, normalizing relations between Israel and a grouping of Arab states led by the UAE.
  4. Trade, climate change, energy, maritime security were highlighted as the core points of debate by the US
  5. India highlighted an “expeditious follow up” to this new ‘minilateral’, possibly hinting towards institutionalization of this dialogue process.

Indo-Abrahamic construct

It is a term coined by scholar Mohammed Soliman, has great potential for expansive economic cooperation for all four members involved despite the challenges the region brings with itself, but perhaps more than anything else, solidifies a rapidly expanding India-US collaboration that today stretches from the Indo-Pacific to the Mediterranean and beyond.

6. James Webb Space Telescope

Engineers removed the James Webb Space Telescope from its intercontinental shipping container in South America and kicked off a final pre-launch comprehensive electrical systems test ahead of blastoff in December on an Ariane 5 rocket.

About JWST

  1. JWST is the largest-ever space telescope
  2. It is expected to be launched in 2018 following the in-depth testing.
  3. It is bigger and more powerful than NASA’s operational Hubble Space Telescope
  4. It is an infrared telescope
  5. It is the formal successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. After its launch, it will be the premier observatory of the next decade.
  6. It is an international collaboration between about 17 countries including NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

Applications:

  1. It will help in a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology.
  2. It will help to understand the origins of the universe, the evolution of our own Solar System, search for signs of life on faraway planets.
  3. It can also analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets that pass in front of their stars.
  4. It will look at a large number of things in the universe including icy moons, distant exoplanets and galaxy clusters.