UPSC Prelims News of 18 October 2022
Wolf Warrior Diplomacy
Context: Chinese President Xi Jinping has endorsed the “wolf warrior” style of Chinese diplomacy to handle issues both domestically and internationally.
What is wolf warrior diplomacy?
- The “wolf warrior diplomacy” is a tactic employed by the Chinese government to extend its ideology beyond China and counter the West and defend itself.
- It is an unofficial term for aggressive and confrontational style of communication that Chinese diplomats have followed in the last decade.
- Inspiration: The Chinese movie titled ‘Wolf Warrior’, and its sequel has served as the inspiration for the term.
- Objective: Safeguarding the interests of the country and the people, thereby upholding China’s sovereignty.
- Need for wolf warrior diplomacy:
- The change in strategy is attributed to reasons, such as authoritarian method of President Xi, deteriorating US-China relations under former US President Trump, the coronavirus origin accusations on China, etc.
- Chinese officials state that the diplomacy is a way to stand up to what they believe is Western interference.
Instances of use of wolf warrior diplomacy:
- Whenever there is an allegation on the internet against China, officials are quick to counter them and proactively launch attacks.
- They also actively spread propaganda, sometimes resorting to lies. Chinese government spokesperson even tweeted a digitally modified photo of an Australian soldier killing a child.
- Despite Australian Prime Minister seeking an official apology, China did not budge.
Infrastructure Status For Data Centres
Context: Data centres with more than 5 megawatt capacity of IT load will be accorded infrastructure status.
More on the News
- Data centre has been included in the Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure sub-sectors by inserting a new item in the category of ‘Communication’.
- Eligibility: Data centres situated in a dedicated/centralised building for storage and processing of digital data applications with a minimum capacity of 5 MW of IT load will be eligible for infrastructure status.
- The capacity of data centres is measured based on the power they consume which reflects on the scale of the server they are hosting in their facilities.
- Significance: The move will help data centre companies to get easier access to institutional credit at lower rates, attract foreign investments, etc.
- Growth of data centres: India’s data centre market has seen an investment of Rs 1.15 lakh crore in the last five years, and the cumulative funding could cross Rs 1.64 lakh crore by 2025 as investors want assets with stable income.
- Data centre is a dedicated space for storing and sharing applications and data. It includes switches, storage systems, servers, routers etc.
- They hold an organization’s most critical and proprietary assets. Data centers are critical to the continuity of daily operations.
Context: The Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) have decided to jointly counter the threats posed by international terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan.
More on the News
- The decision was taken at a meeting of the council of RATS in New Delhi. It was also decided to organize a military exercise called Solidarity 2023 in China.
- About SCO-RATS:
- It is a permanent organ of SCO that aims to ensure security of the SCO member states from transnational crimes associated with terrorism, illegal migration and trafficking of drugs, weapons, explosives, etc.
- It facilitates coordination between the SCO member states in the fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):
- SCO is multilateral organization that aims to ensure security and maintain stability across the Eurasian region.
- The SCO came into existence in 2001. Prior to that, the group was known as the Shanghai Five consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
- India and Pakistan were made member states in 2017. Iran is set to be a full-time member in 2023.
Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs)
Context: NASA detected an unusually bright and long-lasting pulse of radiation that came from a “gamma-ray burst (GRB)”.
What is Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs)?
- GRBs are immensely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies.
- They are the most energetic and luminous electromagnetic events since the Big Bang.
- They can release more energy in 10 seconds than our Sun will emit in its entire 10-billion-year expected lifetime
- GRBs were first detected in 1967 by the Vela satellites, which had been designed to detect covert nuclear weapons tests.
- One explanation proposes that they are the result of colliding neutron stars – corpses of massive stars (5 to 10 times the mass of our Sun) that have blown up as supernovae.
- A second theory proposes that gamma-ray bursts are the result of a merging between a neutron star and a black hole or between two black holes.
- A subclass of GRBs (the “short” bursts) appear to originate from the merger of binary neutron stars.
- Bursts can last from ten milliseconds to several hours.
- After an initial flash of gamma rays, a longer-lived “afterglow” is usually emitted at longer wavelengths (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, microwave and radio).
What are Gamma Rays?
- About: Gamma rays have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any wave in the electromagnetic spectrum.
- They are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe, such as neutron stars and pulsars, supernova explosions, and regions around black holes.
- On Earth, gamma waves are generated by nuclear explosions, lightning, and the less dramatic activity of radioactive decay.
- They are detected through a process called Compton scattering wherein a gamma ray strikes an electron and loses energy, like what happens when a cue ball strikes an eight ball.
- These collisions create charged particles that can be detected by the sensor.
Context: A first-of-its-kind meeting of Pasmanda Muslims in Lucknow has been organized by a political party to reach out to this community in India.
Who are the Pasmanda Muslims?
- Pasmanda is a Persian word that means the ‘ones left behind’. The word is used to describe the depressed classes among Muslims who have been deliberately or consciously excluded from the fruits of power and privilege.
- Backward, Dalit, and tribal Muslims use the word Pasmanda as an umbrella identity to flag caste-based discrimination within the community.
- The term ‘Pasmanda Muslims’ was first used in 1998 by Ali Anwar Ansari when he founded the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz.
- This community has its stronghold in Uttar Pradesh where the Pasmandas account for around 75% of the total Muslim population.
How many Indian Muslims are Pasmanda?
- The Sachar Committee said OBC and SC/ST Muslims were 40% of India’s overall Muslim population in 2004-05.
- But Pasmanda activists and scholars say they make up 80-85% of India’s Muslim population.
G20 Culture Track
Context: As Part of India’s G20 Presidency, the Government is planning to host five key meetings focusing on the “culture track” at Khajuraho, Bhubaneswar, Hampi and Agra.
More on the G20 Culture Track
- The cities have been chosen mainly for well-known monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Taj Mahal and Agra Fort (UP), the Hindu and Jain temples of Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), the Konark Sun Temple around 65 km from Bhubaneswar (Odisha), and the sites at Hampi (Karnataka).
- For the culture track, a G20 Secretariat has been set up in the Ministry of Culture, which will hire a professional agency “for research, documentation and coordination work for the G20 work-stream of culture
Group of Monuments at Hampi
- It was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986.
- This site was the last capital of the kingdom of Vijaynagara Kingdom.
- These Dravidian temples and palaces were built by rulers of Vijaynagara between the 14th and 16th centuries.
- In 1565, the city was captured by Deccan Muslim Confederacy and pillaged for a period of 6 months, before being abandoned.
Khajuraho Group of Monuments
- It was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986.
- These temples were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached at its pinnacle between 950 and 1050.
- Only 20 temples remain, belonging to two different religions namely-Hinduism and Jainism, including the famous Temple of Kandariya decorated with intricately and beautifully carved sculptures.
Konark Sun Temple in Odisha
- It was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1984.
- Built in the 13th century, the Konark temple was conceived as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, with 12 pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses.
- It was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of Ganga dynasty.
- The temple is perfect blend of Kalinga architecture, heritage, exotic beach and salient natural beauty.