UPSC Prelims News of 19 January 2023
Context: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is set to carry out a third round of excavations at Purana Qila.
- Purana Qila is a 16th-century fort complex in Delhi built by Surid ruler Sher Shah Suri and Mughal emperor Humayun.
- It is thought by many to be located on the site of the ancient city of Indraprastha. There was a continuous habitation of 2500 years at the site.
- The latest excavation aims to expose and preserve the trenches that were excavated in the previous years (2013-14 and 2017-18).
- Discoveries made:
- During previous excavation, evidence of layers predating the Mauryan period was found.
- Painted Grey Ware from 900 BCE, an earthen pottery sequence from Maurya to Shunga, Kushana, Gupta, Rajput, Sultanate and Mughal periods were discovered.
- Excavated artefacts such as sickles, parers, terracotta toys, kiln-burnt bricks, beads, terracotta figurines, seal and dealings were found.
- During this season’s excavation, the focus will be to locate the traces of Painted Grey Ware in stratigraphical context.
India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline
Context: The India-Bangladesh Friendship pipeline (IBFPL) is expected to start supplying diesel to Bangladesh on an experimental basis in June 2023.
- The 131.5-kilometre long pipeline has been constructed for importing diesel from India and the project was signed between India and Bangladesh in 2018.
- Out of this, 126.5-kilometre pipeline is in Bangladesh and 5 kilometres is in India.
- The international pipeline will carry diesel from the Siliguri-based marketing terminal of the Numaligarh Refinery Limited to Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
- The pipeline has a capacity of one million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA).
- The project is being built with grant assistance from the government of India.
- India and Bangladesh have also signed the Framework of Understanding (FOU) on Cooperation in the Hydrocarbon Sector.
Etalin Hydroelectric Project
Context: The proposed Etalin hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh has been scrapped in its present form.
About the Project
- Etalin Hydroelectric Project (EHEP) was proposed in 2008, and was to be developed as a joint venture between Jindal Power Ltd and the Hydropower Development Corporation of Arunachal Pradesh Ltd.
- The installed capacity of the project was estimated at 3097 MW and is envisaged as a run of the river scheme on rivers Dri and Tangon in the Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh.
- The opposition to the project includes ecological and environmental concerns that cite the loss of unique and endemic biodiversity, along with natural disaster risk that the project will expose the area to.
Ken-Betwa Link Project
Context: The Third Meeting of the Steering Committee of Ken-Betwa Link Project (SC-KBLP) was held recently by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
About Ken-Betwa Link Project
- The Ken-Betwa Link Project is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers, under which water from the Ken river will be transferred to the Betwa river, both of which are tributaries of river Yamuna.
- The project is expected to provide annual irrigation, drinking water supply and also generate hydropower.
- The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved Bundelkhand region, while also boosting socio-economic prosperity in the backward region, on account of increased agricultural activities and employment, all of which will also help in arresting distress migration from this region.
- Concerns associated with project include the impact on the Panna Tiger Reserve, which is home to many critically endangered wildlife species.
Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA)
Why in News? The World Economic Forum has launched a fund to finance Net-Zero Targets.
- It a global initiative to fund and grow new and existing public, private and philanthropic partnerships (PPPPs) to help unlock the $3 trillion of financing needed each year to reach net zero, reverse nature loss, and restore biodiversity by 2050.
- GAEA’s growing body of philanthropic partners includes organizations such as the African Climate Foundation, Bezos Earth Fund, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
- It also includes the Clean Air Fund, Climate Leadership Initiative, IKEA Foundation etc.
Atomic Hydrogen and GMRT
Why in News? The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), which is located in Pune, has detected a radio signal originating from an extremely distant galaxy.
- Atomic hydrogen is the basic fuel required for star formation in a galaxy.
- When hot ionised gas from the surrounding medium of a galaxy falls onto the universe, the gas cools and forms atomic hydrogen.
- This atomic hydrogen then becomes molecular hydrogen and eventually leads to the formation of stars.
- Atomic hydrogen emits radio waves of 21 cm wavelength, which helps in the direct tracing of the atomic gas content in nearby and distant galaxies.
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)
- It is a low-frequency radio telescope that helps investigate various radio astrophysical problems ranging from nearby solar systems to the edge of the observable universe.
- It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
UNSC 1267 Committee
Why in News? The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 Committee has listed Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist.
- It is one of the most important and active UN subsidiary bodies working on efforts to combat terrorism, particularly in relation to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
- It was first set up in 1999 (updated in 2011 and 2015).
- It is now known as the Da’esh and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
- It comprises all permanent and non-permanent members of the UNSC.
- The 1267 list of terrorists is a global list, with a UNSC stamp. It is full of Pakistani nationals and residents.
- It allows any UN member state to propose adding the name of a terrorist or terror group to a consolidated list, maintained by the Committee.
Why in News? The Supreme Court agreed to modify its 2018 guidelines on “living will”, an advance medical directive on end-of-life treatment.
- A living will is a concept associated with passive euthanasia.
- It is a legal document which allows you to express your wishes to doctors in case you become incapacitated.
- In a living will, you can outline whether or not you want your life to be artificially prolonged in the event of a devastating illness or injury.
Complications with ‘living will’:
- Legal – An earlier verdict from the judiciary has noted that right to life under Article 21 does not include the right to die. Allowing making a living will would contravene this legal stand.
- Rights – Allowing it would also acknowledge the patient’s autonomy and self-determination to the point of legalising a wish to die.
- Social –There are chances of misusing the provision and leading to the abuse and neglect of the elderly.
Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ)
Why in News? Leading financers who pledged Net Zero are still backing fossil fuel expansion, finds report.
- It was launched in April 2021 by UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and UK Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser for COP26 in partnership with the Race to Zero campaign.
- GFANZ is a global coalition of leading financial institutions that claim to be committed to accelerating the decarbonisation of the economy.
- The sectoral alliances of GFANZ have over 550 members. These financial institutions represent managed and owned assets of more than $150 trillion.
- The financial firms have pledged to report annually on the carbon emissions linked to the projects they lend to.
Why in News? Recently, scientists have reported the first evidence of the presence of solitary waves or distinct electric field fluctuations in the Martian magnetosphere.
- Solitary waves are the distinct electric field fluctuations (bipolar or monopolar) that follow constant amplitude-phase relations.
- Their shape and size are less affected during their propagation.
- Solitary waves have been found to play a significant role in the dynamics of various physical systems, such as in the Earth’s magnetosphere and in the Martian magnetosphere.