UPSC Prelims News of 25 January 2023
Aravalli Safari Park Project
Context: The Aravalli safari park project has come under opposition from a network of environmentalists and activists.
About the Project
- The state of Haryana proposed the largest jungle safari park in the Aravalli Mountain range of the Gurugram and Nuh districts.
- The rationale behind it is to boost tourism in the state and provide ample employment opportunities to the locals.
- The project is being conceived and designed as a zoo safari and not a natural jungle safari to see native Aravalli wildlife in their natural habitat.
- When developed, the project will sprawl across a whopping area of 10,000 hectares, making it the largest of its kind in the world.
- Objections to the proposal include:
- Fragmentation of natural habitats, increasing waste generation and destruction of the region’s fragile ecosystem.
- It would disturb the aquifers under the Aravalli hills which are critical reserves for the water-starved districts.
- The location falls under the category of ‘forest’ and is protected under the Forest Conservation Act 1972. Commercial activities are prohibited.
UPSC Prelims News 24 January 2023
Context: Recently, Indian Navy commissioned the fifth diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine INS Vagir.
- INS Vagir gets its name from the erstwhile Vagir, a submarine which served the Navy between 1973 and 2001.
- Vagir has been named after a Sand Fish, a predatory marine species.
- It is among the six submarines being built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai, in collaboration with the French M/s Naval Group under Project 75.
- Project-75: Under this $3 billion Project-75 (P-75) programme, six submarines of Scorpene design were to be indigenously built.
- Four of these submarines have already been commissioned into the Navy and a sixth will be commissioned next year.
- Significance of INS Vagir: It will boost the Indian Navy’s capability to further India’s maritime interests and is capable of undertaking diverse missions including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and surveillance missions
- It can be deployed both closer to the shore as well as mid-ocean.
Context: Kerala has witnessed two cases of gastrointestinal infection norovirus.
- Norovirus is one of the primary causes of gastroenteritis. The majority of the victims are below five years and above 65 years.
- The virus is capable of surviving low temperatures, and outbreaks tend to be more common during the winter and in colder countries.
- Hence, it is sometimes referred to as “winter vomiting disease”.
- Spread: The infection occurs through contaminated food and water. It can spread between humans due to contact.
- Symptoms: Major symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. It is associated with dehydration.
- Treatment: There is no particular medication to treat norovirus illness. To avoid dehydration, liquids have to be consumed.
- Following hygienic practices, including washing hands with soap.
- Using disinfectants to wash areas inhabited by an infected person.
- Food items must be washed and cooked at high temperatures.
Context: A newly discovered green comet is set to appear near Earth in the next week. The green comet is appearing near Earth after nearly 50,000 years.
- The comet has been named C/2022 E3 (ZTF), after those who first spotted it at the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF).
- The green light in this comet arises from the presence of diatomic carbon in the head of the comet. The molecule emits green light when excited by the ultraviolet rays in solar radiation.
- Origin: The orbit of the comet indicates it comes from the edge of our solar system, a distant reservoir of comets called the Oort cloud.
- The Oort cloud is a big, spherical region of outer space enveloping our sun, consisting of innumerable small objects, such as comets and asteroids.
- Comets are frozen rocky or gas-filled objects that are remnants of the formation of the solar system.
- As comets orbit near the Sun, they heat up and spew gases and dust into a glowing head. The remains of dust following this burning up appear as a bright tail.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Why in News? New insights into polycystic ovary syndrome are revealing more about the causes of this common but misunderstood whole-body condition, and these could lead to new treatments.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a multifactorial endocrine disorder which is characterized by chronic anovulation.
- Irregular periods, hirsutism, and weight gain are the common symptoms of PCOS.
- It is the most prevailing female endocrine disorder and the pre-eminent cause of infertility.
- Risk factors that contribute to the development of PCOS include genetics, neuroendocrine system, sedentary lifestyle, diet, and obesity.
- Though there are synthetic drugs such as metformin and oral contraceptive pills are available for treatment, their side effects cause concern.
Why in News? Mission LiFE Pavilion to be set up at Bharat Parv event to encourage people to become Pro Planet.
- Prime Minister launched Mission LiFE in October 2022, with the message that Mission LiFE makes the fight against climate change democratic.
- Mission LiFE is a sustainable lifestyle initiative that places small individual actions at the centre of the measures to tackle the climate change challenge.
- Mission LiFE is a global initiative by India to help the world lead a sustainable way of life and achieve the sustainable development goals set by the UN.
- The mission functions on the basic principles of ‘Lifestyle of the planet, for the planet and by the planet’.
- The LiFE actions enshrined in Mission LiFE are showcased through various interactive media platforms such as LED screen, Motion Sensor wall, Interactive wall, Live AR wall etc.
Yellow Band Disease
Why in News? A rapidly spreading disease, commonly known as yellow band disease, is killing coral over vast stretches of the sea floor in the beautiful Samsae San Island in eastern Thailand.
- Yellow-band disease is a coral disease that attacks colonies of coral at a time when coral is already under stress from pollution, overfishing, and climate change.
- It is a bacterial disease which disturbs the symbiotic relations of corals causing them to die.
- The disease spreads over coral, causing discoloured bands of pale-yellow or white lesions along the surface of an infected coral colony.
- There is no known cure for the disease and is non-reversible unlike coral bleaching.
Buddhist Monastery Bharatpur
Why in News? Recent excavations at Bharatpur in West Bengal’s Paschim Bardhaman district have revealed the presence of a Buddhist monastery.
- A monastery is a community of men or women (monks or nuns), who have chosen to withdraw from society, forming a new community devoted to religious practice.
- The site was initially excavated almost fifty years ago between 1972 and 1975.
- Findings from the previous excavations
- A large Buddhist stupa was found.
- Black and red ware pottery from the Chalcolithic Age.
- Five beautiful seated sculptures of the Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra — with all five fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground — were found.
- It symbolizes Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree, when he summoned the earth goddess, Sthavara, to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment.
Why in News? Mahabali Frog, which buries itself all through the year and surfaces only one day to lay eggs, is waiting to be elevated as the State Frog of Kerala.
- The Mahabali frog or purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) is one of the rare frog species of the Western Ghats. It is named after the mythological king Mahabali.
- It is dark purple to greyish in colour.
- It is also called pig nose frog. It is as old as the dinosaurs.
- Its head is very small in proportion to the body.
- It is listed as endangered in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Why in News? Recently, the biennial Tri-Services Amphibious Exercise, AMPHEX 2023 was conducted at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.
- AMPHEX 2023 included complex activities in all domains that demonstrated and validated the high level of preparedness and excellent coordination between the three Services to undertake the full spectrum of amphibious operations.
- It is an amphibious exercise, meaning both land and sea forces will act together simultaneously.
- The 2023 AMPHEX is the largest of all the AMPHEX exercises held so far.
- Several Amphibious ships participated in the exercise. INS Jalashwa. INS Airavat, INS Shardul, and INS Gharial are some of the amphibious ships of the Indian Navy.