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Current Affairs 30th May 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Rudra M Missile

Context: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced a successful trial of the RudraM-II launched from a Su-30 MKI jet off the coast of Odisha.

About RudraM-II

  • Type: An indigenously developed air-to-surface anti-radiation missile (AMR).
  • Developer: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Name Meaning: “Rudram” means “remover of sorrows.”
  • Performance: Validated through extensive flight data captured by various tracking instruments.
  • Launch Capability: Can be launched from various altitudes.
  • Target Detection: Picks up enemy radio frequencies and radar signals from over 100 kilometres.
  • Guidance System: Features internal guidance for self-navigation after launch.
  • Range: 300 kilometres.
  • Speed: Reaches Mach 5.5 (hypersonic).
  • Payload: Can carry a 200-kilogram warhead.
  • Technology: Incorporates various state-of-the-art indigenous technologies.
  • Replacement: Will replace Russia’s Kh-31 missiles currently used in Indian Sukhoi fighter jets.
RudraM- I
  • Type: India’s first indigenous anti-radiation missile (ARM).
  • Developer: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Function: Seeks and destroys enemy defence systems like radar, communication assets, and radio frequency sources.
  • Test Launch: 2020.
  • Accuracy: Demonstrated pin-point accuracy in hitting radiation targets.
  • Timing: Test occurred amid India-China border tensions.
  • Seekers: Equipped with two seekers: passive-homing head and Millimetre Wave (MMW).
  • Range: 100 to 150 kilometres.
  • Speed: Reaches Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound).
  • Launch Altitude: Operational between 1 and 15 kilometres.

Trade Disruptions and Rising Temperatures

Context: Global trade disruptions, particularly in the Red Sea, are forcing ships to take longer routes, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

More In News

  • Red Sea Crisis: Attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on ships in the Suez Canal have caused rerouting of hundreds of vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, adding 10-15 days to voyages and increasing emissions.
  • Suez Canal Traffic Decline: Transits through the Suez Canal have decreased by 42% compared to its peak due to the ongoing crisis.
  • Environmental Impact: A container ship travelling from China to Germany emits 38% more carbon dioxide (4.32 million kilograms) when rerouted around Africa instead of using the Suez Canal.
  • Multiple Disruptions: The world faces simultaneous disruptions in the Red Sea, Black Sea (due to the war in Ukraine), and Panama Canal (due to droughts), with serious implications for inflation and food/energy security.
  • UNCTAD’s Call for Action: UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan highlights the urgent need for more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient global production and distribution networks.

Data and Statistics:

  • Over 600 vessels have been rerouted since Houthi attacks began in October.
  • By February 2024, 586 container vessels had been rerouted, and container tonnage crossing the Suez Canal fell by 82%.
  • The global maritime trade faces simultaneous disruptions in two major waterways for the first time.
About UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)
  • Role: UN’s leading trade and development institution
  • Established: 1964 by the UN General Assembly
  • Body: Permanent Intergovernmental Body
  • Mission: Supports developing countries in benefiting fairly from the globalised economy
  • Membership: 195 Countries
  • Activities:
    • Provides economic & trade analysis
    • Facilitates consensus building
    • Offers technical assistance on using trade, investment, finance & technology for sustainable development
Note: The activities of UNCTAD are advisory in nature.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Key Reports:
    • Trade and Development Report
    • World Investment Report
    • The Least Developed Countries Report
  • UNCTAD Structure:
    • Highest Policy Body: Conference (meets every 4 years to set policy and work program)
    • Executive Body: Trade and Development Board (operates when the Conference is not in session)
    • Secretariat: Performs policy analysis, monitors & implements decisions, and provides technical cooperation & information exchange (part of the UN Secretariat)

Rising Global Temperature

Context: Recent years have seen record-breaking temperatures worldwide.

Rising Temperatures Globally

Current Affairs 30th May 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam_4.1

  • UK (40°C in 2022), China (52°C in 2023), Sicily (48.8°C in 2021).
  • Carbon Brief analysis: 40% of the Earth experienced its highest-ever daily temperature between 2013-2023.
  • Highest ever recorded temperature: 56.7°C in Death Valley, California, in 1913.

Delhi’s Anomaly

  • A reading of 52.9°C was recorded at one station in Delhi on May 15, 2024, potentially an all-time high for India.
  • The reading is under scrutiny due to no other stations recording similar temperatures.
  • Najafgarh station recorded the highest at 49.1°C, while Safdarjung (representative of Delhi) recorded 46.8°C, an 80-year high.
  • Verification of extreme weather events is crucial and takes time, as seen in the UK and Sicily.

Severity of Heatwaves in India

  • While not record-breaking, the current heatwave in Delhi and North India is severe.
  • Temperatures are 5-10°C above normal in most places.
  • Safdarjung station has recorded temperatures above 45°C for four consecutive days.
  • Heatwaves are the biggest threat to India’s well-being, with annual trends showing 5-9°C temperature departures from normal.

Global Warming and India

  • 2024 was predicted to be very warm following the warmest year on record in 2023.
  • April 2024 was the 11th consecutive month with record-breaking global average temperature.
  • The period from May 2023 to April 2024 was 1.61°C warmer than the pre-industrial average.
  • India’s annual mean temperature has risen by 0.7°C compared to 1900, lower than the global land average of 1.59°C.
  • However, Indian heatwaves are more severe, with heatwave conditions occurring even in February 2023.

Future Outlook

  • Temperatures above 45°C may become the new normal in Delhi and North India.
  • A 50°C reading will likely not be as unusual in the future.

Examples, Case Studies and Data

  • Increase in Demand of Natural Gas (GS 3): India’s natural gas demand is projected to rise by 7% in 2024, primarily due to increased consumption in the industrial and fertilizer sectors.
    • Additionally, the ongoing heatwaves are expected to boost demand from the power sector.
    • This growth, however, is slightly lower than the 10% increase seen in 2023.
  • Case Study: Transformation of Sundarbans Through Ecotourism
    • Background:
      • The Sundarbans, a large delta region in West Bengal formed by the confluence of the Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers, is known for its rich biodiversity and tiger population.
    • Transition to Ecotourism:
      • Over the past decade, tigers in the Sundarbans have shifted from being viewed as threats to becoming central to the region’s ecotourism.
      • This shift has provided alternative livelihoods to hundreds of locals who previously relied on traditional and often illegal means like fishing or logging, which were risky due to tiger attacks.
    • Economic Impact:
      • Ecotourism has become a lucrative industry in the area, significantly impacting the local economy.
      • Residents, who once ventured into the forest for crabs or fishing, now engage in tourism-related activities.
      • For example, boat operators and local guides now earn substantial incomes, with operators able to make a profit of at least 15%-20%, and up to 25% if they run additional services like homestays.
    • Cultural Shifts:
      • The introduction of ecotourism has reduced the dependency of locals on the forest for livelihood, decreasing illegal entries and enhancing tiger conservation efforts.
      • The visibility of tiger cubs and increased tiger sightings are taken as indicators of a growing tiger population and successful conservation practices.
    • Government and Political Engagement:
      • Local and national governments advocate for expanding ecotourism.
      • Proposals include opening new routes, creating more entry points to the reserve, and diversifying tourism activities to include bird watching and other nature experiences.
    • Challenges and Management:
      • The region faces challenges such as human-animal conflicts and the need for sustainable management practices to ensure the safety of both wildlife and people. Efforts are underway to improve infrastructure and manage tourist inflow more effectively.
    • Future Outlook:
      • The focus is on strengthening ecotourism as a sustainable development tool that benefits both the conservation of the Sundarbans and the economic welfare of its inhabitants. The strategy includes enhancing tourist experiences while maintaining ecological integrity.

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I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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