UPSC Prelims News of 31 December 2022
Kalasa Banduri Project
Context: The Union Government has approved the disputed Kalasa Banduri project.
About Kalasa Banduri:
- Aim: To construct 11 dams on the tributaries of river Mahadayi/Mandovi
- Diversion of water from Kalasa and Banduri nalas
- The final objective is to divert water from the Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha river in Karnataka.
- The Kalasa Nala dam is planned near Kanakumbi village for lifting 1.72 tmcft water for drinking, while the Banduri Nala dam was to be constructed at Nerse village for lifting 2.18 tmcft of water for drinking purposes.
- The dispute: The Kalasa-Banduri project was planned in 1989 before Goa objected the plan. The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up in 2010 and Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are parties to the tribunal.
- Objection: The government of Goa had raised objections to the project claiming that the project would harm Goa’s flora and fauna.
- Potential benefits: Once completed, it will improve drinking water supply to Belagavi, Dharwad, and Gadag districts of Karnataka.
- The Mandovi river originates in Karnataka before flowing into Goa and joining Arabian Sea near Panjim.
- It originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belagavi district of Karnataka. The river has catchment area in Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
- The river forms the famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls.
James Webb Space Telescope
Context: Recently, on Dec. 25, 2022, James Webb Space Telescope completed one year in space.
About James Webb Space Telescope
- Also called JWST or Webb – is NASA’s largest and most powerful space science telescope.
- It is an infrared observatory orbiting the Sun about 1 million miles from Earth to find the first galaxies that formed in the early universe and to see stars forming planetary systems.
- It will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity.
- Unlike Hubble, which observes in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared (0.1–1.7 μm) spectra, JWST observes in a lower frequency range, from long-wavelength visible light through mid-infrared (0.6–28.3 μm).
- It is currently at a point in space known as the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, approximately 1.5 million km beyond Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
- Lagrange Point 2 is one of the five points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system.
- The points are in any revolving two-body system like Earth and Sun, marking where the gravitational forces of the two large bodies cancel each other out.
- Objects placed at these positions are relatively stable and require minimal external energy or fuel to keep themselves there, and so many instruments are positioned here.
- L2 is a position directly behind Earth in the line joining the Sun and the Earth. It would be shielded from the Sun by the Earth as it goes around the Sun, in sync with the Earth.
Science Goals for the Webb
- To look back around 13.5 billion years to see the first stars and galaxies forming out of the darkness of the early universe.
- To compare the faintest, earliest galaxies to today’s grand spirals and understand how galaxies assemble over billions of years.
- To see where stars and planetary systems are being born.
- To observe the atmospheres of extrasolar planets (beyond our solar system), and perhaps find the building blocks of life elsewhere in the universe. The telescope will also study objects within our own Solar System.
Context: Recently Union Home Minister launched ‘Prahari’ app for Border Security Force (BSF) Jawans.
About ‘Prahari’ App
- The Prahari App will enable jawans to access personal information and information related to accommodation, Ayushmann-CAPF, and leaves on their mobile.
- Other features include:
- Availability of Bio Data
- Grievance redressal on “Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System” (CP-GRAMS) information on various welfare schemes.
- The app will also connect the BSF Jawans with the portal of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The app is a great example of Proactive Governance.
About the Border Security Force (BSF)
- BSF is India’s border guarding organization on its border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
- Motto: जीवन पर्यन्त कर्तव्य (Duty until death)
- It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) of India, and was raised in the wake of the 1965 war on 1 December 1965.
- It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- It is the only CAPF to have a Water Wing, Air Wing and an Artillery Regiment.
- The BSF contributes every year a number of personnel for services for UN Mission.