UPSC Prelims News of 17 February 2023
Context: The 4th edition of joint military exercise, Exercise Dharma Guardian, between India and Japan is being conducted at Camp Imazu in Japan.
About Dharma Guardian
- The Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN, an annual training event with Japan, is crucial and significant in terms of security challenges faced by both nations in the backdrop of current global situation.
- Participants: Troops of the Garhwal Rifles Regiment of the Indian Army, along with the Japanese army are participating in the exercise.
- Scope: The scope of this exercise covers platoon level joint training on operations in jungle and semi urban/urban terrain.
- Significance: The joint exercise will enable the two armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures of conducting tactical operations under a UN Mandate, in addition to developing inter-operability, bonhomie, camaraderie and friendship between the two armies.
- Further, the exercise is expected to enhance the level of defence co-operation between Indian Army and Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces, furthering the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Kuno National Park
Context: The Environment Ministry has announced the translocation of twelve Cheetahs from South Africa to Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
Facts about Kuno National Park
- Kuno National Park is located in the Sheopur district of MP. It was established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary. In 2018, it was given the status of a national park.
- It is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests.
- Kuno River a tributary of the Chambal River flows through the National Park.
- Wildlife Institute of India and Wildlife Trust of India had shortlisted Palpur-Kuno Park as a habitat for Cheetahs and Asiatic lions.
- Fauna: Kuno National Park is currently home to Indian wolves, jackals, leopards, langur monkeys, blue-bull, chinkara, and spotted deer.
Why Kuno is suitable for Cheetah Introduction?
- It has diverse habitats conducive to lions and cheetahs constituted by open woodlands, savannah, dry deciduous forests, and evergreen riverine forests.
Context: Biogas digestate, a high-value by-product of biogas plants, deserves more attention.
About Biogas Digestate
- Production: During the production of biogas, two products are mainly obtained: biogas and digestate.
- Biogas mainly comprises gases like 50-65 percent of methane, 35-44 percent carbon dioxide, 1-2.5 percent hydrogen sulfides, and traces of moisture.
- Digestate amounts to approximately 20 percent by weight of the initial input feedstock.
- Usage: The digestate can be used as a bio-fertilizer as it is rich in organic content and revitalizes the soil.
- Benefits: The digestate is rich in micro- and macro-nutrients required by the plants and can replace the synthetic fertilizers that deteriorate the soil quality over time.
- Reasons for non-usage: Digestate is underutilized due to a lack of regulatory guidelines, the absence of fixed procurement prices, and poor marketability by fertilizer companies.
- Potential in India: India has the potential to generate 62 million metric tonnes of compressed biogas (CBG) and 370 million metric tonnes of bio manure per year from various feed-stocks.
Parhaiyas of Jharkhand
Context: The Parhaiyas of Jharkhand share a history of exploitation and alienation from mainstream society despite having a rich culture and heritage.
The Parhaiya Community of Jharkhand
- The Parhaiya community of Jharkhand is one of the 75 communities listed under the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the country.
- PVTGs constitute the most vulnerable section among tribals and inhabit isolated, remote and difficult areas in small and scattered hamlets/ habitats.
- In Jharkhand, there are nine PVTGs: Asur, Birhor, Birjia, Hill Kharia, Korwa, Mal Paharia, Parhaiya, Sauria Paharia and Sabar.
- Traditionally, their main source of living for Parhaiya community came from shifting agriculture and hunting-gathering.
- The tribes of Jharkhand consist of 32 tribes inhabiting the Jharkhand state in India. They are classified as:
- Hunter – Gatherer type – Birhor, Korwa, Hill Kharia
- Shifting Agriculture – Sauria Paharia
- Simple Artisans – Mahli, Lohra, Karmali, Chik Baraik
- Settled Agriculturists – Santhal, Munda, Oraon, Ho, Bhumij, etc.
Lavani Folk Art
Context: A politician from Maharashtra has directed members of his party to not organise raunchy public shows in the name of Lavani.
About Lavani Folk Art Form
- Word Lavani is derived from ‘lavanya’ or beauty.
- Lavani is a traditional folk art form in which women dancers wearing nine-yard-long sarees in bright colours, make-up, and ghunghroos perform on dholak beats on a stage before a live audience.
- Lavani is a combination of song and dance that is most commonly associated with the state of Maharashtra as well as the surrounding areas in the Konkan or Coastal Region.
- As an indigenous art form, Lavani has a history going back several centuries, and it attained particular popularity in the Peshwa era in the 18th century.
- Lavani aims to take various aspects of social life such as politics, religion, romance, etc. and present them in an entertaining form.
- The Lavani dance is generally performed by Dhangars or shepherds living in the Sholapur district of Maharashtra.
- They are inspired by nature and the dance form contains tales of the birth of Biruba, their deity.
Category of Lavani
- Nirguni Lavani: It deals with philosophy.
- Shringarik (erotic) kind: In this, lyrics are often teasing, with sensuous dance steps and delicate gestures employed to convey erotic meaning.
Context: Union Health Ministry has devised a strategic road map for achieving zero cases of leprosy by 2030.
- Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s Disease and is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection.
- Pathogen: The disease is caused by bacteria named ‘bacterium Mycobacterium leprae’.
- Affected areas: Skin, Peripheral nerves, Upper respiratory tract and Lining of the nose are affected areas.
- Transmission: Spread through airborne droplets from the affected individuals. It can be contacted at any age.
- Symptoms: Red patches on the skin, skin lesions, numbness in arms, hands, and legs, ulcers on the soles of feet, muscle Weakness and excessive weight loss.
- Diagnosis: It usually takes about 3-5 years for symptoms to appear after coming after initial infection. This makes it difficult for doctors to determine when and where the person got infected.
- Effect: Without timely treatment, Leprosy can lead to significant disability, disfigurement, permanent nerve damage in arms and legs and even loss of sensation in the body.
- Treatment: Leprosy is curable with the combination of drugs known as Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT).
About the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP)
- The program was launched in 1983 with the aim of providing early diagnosis and treatment of leprosy cases, as well as creating awareness about the disease and reducing its stigma.
- The program provides free diagnosis and treatment for leprosy, including multidrug therapy (MDT), which is the most effective treatment for the disease.
- The NLEP also provides rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy and vocational training, for patients who have developed disabilities as a result of the disease.
Context: Tipu Sultan and his rule has been found to have a lot of significance in the current administration.
About Tipu Sultan (1750-1799)
- Tipu Sultan was born on November 10, 1750, in Devanahalli, present-day Bangalore.
- His father was Hyder Ali, who rose through the ranks of the army of the Wodeyars, the Hindu rulers of Mysore.
- Hyder Ali seized power from the Wodeyars in 1761 and ruled for 20 years, a period in which the kingdom of Mysore had slowly expanded by capturing disputed areas at its borders.
- After his father’s death in 1782, Tipu consolidated the territories of Malabar, Kodagu, and Bednur which were crucial to Mysore’s strategic and economic interests.
- The rebels during his reign were punished by either forced conversion or transfer of people from their home territories to Mysore.
- He introduced iron-cased rockets in warfare which were used in Anglo-Mysore Wars.
- He is credited with introducing a number of administrative and economic reforms in Mysore, including the introduction of a new coinage system and the establishment of a government monopoly on the sale of salt.
- Upon hearing of the plight of the so called lower caste women who were not allowed to wear blouses, Tipu personally supplied them with cloth.
- He died while defending his fortress of Srirangaptna against British armies in 1799.
Context: The government is all set to reintroduce the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) (Amendment) Bill in the forthcoming second half of the Budget session.
About the Amendment Bill
- The Bill amends the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958.
- The amendment bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2017. Then it was referred to a select committee in the Rajya Sabha, which subsequently submitted its report in 2018.
About the AMASR Act, 1958
- The AMASR Act regulates the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites.
- It provides for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for protection of sculptures, carvings and other such objects.
- The Archaeological Survey of India functions under the provisions of this Act.
Key Provisions of the Amendment Bill
- Construction in ‘prohibited areas’: The bill allows the government to take up infrastructure projects within prohibited areas around protected monuments.
- The Act defines a ‘prohibited area’ as an area of 100 meters around a protected monument or area.
- Definition of ‘public works’: The Bill introduces a definition for ‘public works’, which includes the construction of any infrastructure that is financed and carried out by the central government for public purposes.
- If there is any question related to whether a construction project qualifies as ‘public works’, it will be referred to the National Monuments Authority.
- Impact assessment of proposed public works: The Bill empowers the National Monuments Authority to consider an impact assessment of the proposed public works in a prohibited area, including its (i) archaeological impact; (ii) visual impact; and (iii) heritage impact.