24 th Nov, 2018-IAS Current Affairs
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‘Jallianwalla Bagh massacre’ (GS1: Indian History)
Issue: Government of India has decided to mark the remembrance of 100 years of the historical Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre next year. The Government is planning to renovate the historical site by creating suitable infrastructure for providing basic amenities for the tourists
About Jallianwalla Bagh massacre
- The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919 when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer fired rifles into a crowd of Indians, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab
- The civilians had assembled for a peaceful protest to condemn the arrest and deportation of two national leaders, Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew.
- Some argue that the Proclamation was ineffective, the crowd formed in deliberate defiance and the event signals a beginning of Indian nationalism.
- On the day of Baisakhi, the main Sikh festival, and many villagers had gathered in the Bagh. On hearing that a meeting had assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, Dyer went with Sikh, Gurkha, Baluchi, Rajput troops from 2-9th Gurkhas, the 54th Sikhs and the 59th Sind Rifles they entered the garden, blocking the main entrance after them, took up position on a raised bank, and on Dyer’s orders fired on the crowd for about ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to flee, until the ammunition supply was almost exhausted
- The ineffective inquiry and the initial accolades for Dyer by the House of Lords fuelled widespread anger, later leading to the Non-cooperation Movement of 1920–22.
- Rabindranath Tagore received the news of the massacre by 22 May 1919. He tried to arrange a protest meeting in Calcutta and finally decided to renounce his British knighthood as “a symbolic act of protest”.
- The Government of India announced the formation of a committee of inquiry into the events in Punjab. Referred to as the Disorders Inquiry Committee, it was later more widely known as the Hunter Commission. It was named after the chairman, William, Lord Hunter
- On 8 March 1920, the committee unanimously condemned Dyer’s actions
- Noted Hindi poet Subhadra Kumari Chauhan wrote a poem (1932), “Jallianwalla Bagh Mein Basant”, (Spring in the Jallianwalla Bagh) in memory of the slain in her anthology Bikhre Moti (Scattered Pearls).
‘Mary Kom’(GS3: Achievements of Indians in the field of sports)
Issue: Mary Kom registered a 5-0 win in the 48-kg category over Hanna Okhota of Ukraine to tie with Cuban legend Felix Savon’s haul — he won all his six medals in the men’s heavyweight division.
About Mary Kom
She is an Indian Olympic boxer hailing from Manipur. She is the only woman to become World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the seven world championships. Nicknamed Magnificent Mary, she is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. She has also been ranked as No. 1 AIBA World Women’s Ranking Light Flyweight category. She became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea and is the first Indian Woman Boxer to win Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She is currently world champion in 48kg. Mary Kom was also nominated by the President of India as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament
‘Immunity and pollution’ (GS3: Environmental pollution)
Issue: Environmental exposures – such as obstetric factors, farm dust and air pollution – early in life can modify immune responses in adolescents.
What the study says?
1. There is strong evidence that different exposures early in life can alter the risk of allergic diseases. One of these exposures is farming. Exposure to the farm environment in childhood, and even prenatally, has been shown to decrease the risk of allergic diseases.
2. Being born by caesarean section is recognised as a risk factor.
3. Harmful exposure to air pollution, and especially exposure to particulate matter, which has been shown to increase asthma prevalence and exacerbations in children
4. Lack of natural birth processes during delivery and neonatal intensive care treatment seemed to lead to long-lasting alterations of immune responses.
‘Chandrayaan-2’ (GS3: Science)
Issue: The Chandrayaan-2 lunar lander’s sensors are set to undergo a crucial test in the next few days as the mission races towards a planned take-off in around two months.
About the experiment
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to fly the sensors on an aircraft over its artificial lunar site to see how they will function and guide the Chandrayaan-2 landing craft when it starts descending on the lunar terrain
The highly autonomous or pre-programmed mission uses a large number of sensors. Among them are those that help the lander to precisely assess its height from the landing spot; decide its speed and help it to steer clear of any boulders or uneven surface.
About Chandrayaan 2 mission
Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the Moon is a totally indigenous mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover. After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. After a controlled descent, the Lander will soft land on the lunar surface at a specified site and deploy a Rover.
The mission will carry a six-wheeled Rover which will move around the landing site in semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands. The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.
The Chandrayaan-2 weighing around 3290 kg and would orbit around the moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing the moon. The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice.
‘Marijuana’ (GS2: Issues related to Health)
Issue: The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Indian Council for Medical Research and the Department of Biotechnology — are getting together to promote research in herbal drugs, some of which involve deriving new drugs from marijuana.
What is the objective of research?
Researchers will test whether strains of marijuana grown could be effective in the treatment of breast cancer, sickle-cell anaemia as well as be “bio-equivalent” (similar in make-up and effect) to marijuana-derived drugs already approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA)
The studies into the therapeutic potential of marijuana is part of a larger governmental thrust to making new drugs derived from herbs and plants that find mention in Ayurvedic and other traditional-medicine knowledge systems.
Marijuana (or hemp), more formally parts of the cannabis super-family, is illegal for commercial cultivation though it grows as weed in several parts of the country. Uttarakhand, Jammu and Uttar Pradesh — have allowed restricted cultivation of the plant for medical research
‘Constitution Day’ (GS2: Polity)
Issue: The Constitution will be made available in Braille for the first time ahead of the Constitution Day on November 26.
In a joint project undertaken by ‘The Buddhist Association for the blind along with Saavi Foundation
About Constitution Day
Constitution Day (National Law Day), also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of Constitution of India. On 26 November 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, and it came into effect on 26 January 1950
‘Capital infusion’ (GS3: Indian Economy)
Issue: The Finance Ministry would not curtail its capital infusion plan for this financial year even as state-owned banks would need lesser funds following the Reserve Bank’s decision to defer the deadline to meet Basel III norms by a year
Objective of capital infusion
The infusion would help improve banks’ financial health, that some banks would get necessary regulatory capital while others would get it for fuelling growth.
About Basel III norms
Basel III is an international regulatory accord that introduced a set of reforms designed to improve the regulation, supervision and risk management within the banking sector. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published the first version of Basel III in late 2009, giving banks approximately three years to satisfy all requirements. Largely in response to the credit crisis, banks are required to maintain proper leverage ratios and meet certain minimum capital requirements.
Objective of Basel 3 norms
Basel III is part of the continuous effort to enhance the banking regulatory framework. It builds on the Basel I and Basel II documents, and seeks to improve the banking sector’s ability to deal with financial stress, improve risk management, and strengthen the banks’ transparency. A focus of Basel III is to foster greater resilience at the individual bank level in order to reduce the risk of system-wide shocks.
About Bank of International Settlements (BIS)
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international financial institution owned by central banks which “fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks”. The BIS carries out its work through its meetings, programmes and through the Basel Process – hosting international groups pursuing global financial stability and facilitating their interaction. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland
The BIS was established in 1930 by an intergovernmental agreement between Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, the United States, and Switzerland. It opened its doors in Basel, Switzerland, on 17 May 1930
The stated mission of the BIS is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks. The BIS pursues its mission by:
- fostering discussion and facilitating collaboration among central banks;
- supporting dialogue with other authorities that are responsible for promoting financial stability;
- carrying out research and policy analysis on issues of relevance for monetary and financial stability;
- acting as a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions; and
- serving as an agent or trustee in connection with international financial operations.