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UPSC Prelims News 6 January 2023

 

UPSC Prelims News of 6 January 2023

Eco-Sensitive Zones

Context: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)  has received grievances about the faulty implementation of provisions of the notification of the Eco-Sensitive Zone of Parasnath Wildlife Sanctuary by Govt of Jharkhand.

  • As per the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016), issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, land within 10 km of the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are to be notified as eco-fragile zones or Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ).
  • Areas beyond 10 km can also be notified by the Union government as ESZs if they hold larger ecologically important “sensitive corridors.”
  • They are created as “shock absorbers” for the protected areas, to minimise the negative impact on the “fragile ecosystems” by certain human activities taking place nearby.
  • They act as transition zone from areas requiring higher protection to those requiring lesser protection.
  • The activities prohibited in an ESZ, include commercial mining, sawmills, and commercial use of wood.
  • The permitted activities include ongoing agricultural or horticultural practices, rainwater harvesting, and organic farming.
Eco-Sensitive Zones
Eco-Sensitive Zones

UPSC Prelims News 5 January 2023

 

New Electrolyte for Better Ammonia Synthesis

Context: A new aqueous electrolyte that can help make electrochemical ammonia synthesis more efficient, has been introduced by Scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) Mohali.

  • An electrolyte is a substance that dissociates in water into charged particles called ions, and further conducts electricity when dissolved in water.
  • The electrochemical ammonia synthesis is largely limited by the poor solubility of nitrogen (N2) in the aqueous electrolyte environment as well as the competitive hydrogen evolution reaction. Here, the obstacle faced was that reduction of N2 had to actually occur in an aqueous medium.
  • The new electrolyte called (NaBF4) introduced, not only acts as an N2-carrier in the medium but also works as a full-fledged “co-catalyst” to deliver a high yield of ammonia (NH3) at absolutely ambient experimental conditions.
  • The new electrolyte is a novel approach to get through the long-standing issues about the solubility of N2 in an aqueous medium and to achieve an industrial-scale production rate of ammonia by Nitrogen reduction reaction at ambient conditions.
Ammonia Synthesis
Ammonia Synthesis

 

Dark Sky Reserve

In news: Talacauvery in Karnataka’s Kodagu district has emerged as a popular destination for astronomical observations due to less light pollution.

  • Talacauvery is the source of Cauvery river and is located on Brahmagiri hills near Bhagamandala.
  • A designation of Dark Sky Reserve is given to a place that has policies in place to ensure minimal artificial light interference.
  • The Bortle scale measures the night sky’s brightness of a location on a nine level numerical scale. The lesser the numerical scale it qualifies for a better dark sky location.
  • Majority of dark sky locations in South India are in the Western Ghats or some hill ranges nearby.
  • Currently, Hanle in Ladakh is India’s first Dark Sky Reserve.
Dark Sky Reserve
Dark Sky Reserve

 

Mural Art

Context: The Wall of Peace, a great work of modern mural art on the 700-feet long compound wall of a Government School at Cherpulassery (Kerala), was inaugurated recently.

  • Indian Mural Paintings are paintings made on the walls of caves and palaces.
  • The earliest evidence of the murals is the beautiful frescoes painted on the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, the Bagh caves and the Sittanvasal cave.
  • In the old scripts and literature, there were evidences of mural paintings.
  • The technique and process of making Indian wall paintings have been discussed in the Vishnudharamotaram, a Sanskrit text of the 5th/6th century CE.
  • The process of these paintings is the same as in all other places that had similar painting with the only exception in the Rajarajeshwara temple at Tanjore which is supposed to be done in a true fresco method over the surface of the rock.
  • Most of the colours were locally available and the brushes were made up of the hair of animals, such as goats, camel, mongooses, etc.
  • The ground was coated with an exceedingly thin layer of lime plaster over which paintings were drawn in watercolours.
  • In the true fresco method, the paintings are done when the surface wall is still wet so that the pigments go deep inside the wall surface.
  • The other method of painting which was followed in most of the cases of Indian painting is known as tempora.
Mural Art
Mural Art

 

BIND Scheme

Why in News? Recently, The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the “Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND)” scheme.

About:

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme which provides financial support for the infrastructure development of Prasar Bharati i.e. All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).
  • This scheme will enable the public broadcaster to undertake a major upgradation of its facilities with better infrastructure which will widen its reach, including in the LWE, border and strategic areas and provide high-quality content to the viewers.
  • The Scheme will increase the coverage of AIR FM transmitters in the country to 66% by geographical area.
  • It also envisages free distribution of over 8 lakh DD Free Dish STBs to people living in remote, tribal, LWE and border areas.
BIND Scheme
BIND Scheme

 

Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI) Scheme

Why in News? Recently, 165k schools applied for PM-SHRI upgrade.

About:

  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme for the upgradation and development of more than 14500 Schools across the country.
  • It aims at strengthening the selected existing schools from amongst schools managed by Central Government/ State/ UT Government/ local bodies.
  • It will showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020 and act as an exemplary school and also offer mentorship to other schools in their vicinity.
  • The focus will be on achieving proficiency in the learning outcomes of every child in every grade.
PM-SHRI
PM-SHRI

 

Gangasagar Mela

Why in News? Recently, West Bengal Chief Minister urged the Central government to declare Gangasagar Mela as a ‘national mela’ (national festival)

About:

  • The Ganga Sagar Mela is a religious festival celebrated on Sagardwip (Sagar Island) in the West Bengal state of India.
  • The Ganga Sagar Mela is the second biggest fair in India after the Kumbha Mela of India.
  • The Ganga Sagar Mela is a six-day fair held in the month of January and on the day of Makar Sankranti.
  • It is a ritual of pilgrims taking bath in holy water and visiting the nearby famous Kapil Muni Temple is performed.
Gangasagar Mela
Gangasagar Mela

 

Zeliangrong Naga Community

Why in News? Recently, Zeliangrong Nagas celebrated Gaan-Ngai in Manipur.

About:

  • The Gaan Ngai festival is a major event in the state of Manipur, celebrated by the Zeliangrong community every year after the harvest season
  • Zeliangrong people are one of the major indigenous Naga communities living in the tri-junction of Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland in India.
  • They are the descendants of Nguiba. The term “Zeliangrong” refers to the Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei Naga tribes combined.
  •  Zeliangrong belong to the larger Southern Mongoloid population and their language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family of languages

 

Zeliangrong Naga Community
Zeliangrong Naga Community

 

World Braille Day

Why in News? Recently, World Braille Day on January 4 is celebrated to honour the birth of Braille’s inventor, Louis Braille.

About:

  • World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of human rights for blind and partially sighted people.
  • Braille is a system that enables blind and visually impaired people to read and write.
  • The Braille Script consists of raised dots arranged in “cells.”
    • A cell is made up of six dots that fit under the fingertips, arranged in two columns of three dots each. Each cell represents a letter, a word, a combination of letters, a numeral or a punctuation mark.
World Braille Day
World Braille Day

 

Corporate Tax/Tax to GDP Ratio

Why in News? Recently, Corporate tax collections exceeded 3 per cent of the GDP after a gap of two years in 2021-22.

About:

  • Corporation tax is payable by both public and private companies registered in India under the Companies Act 1956.
  • A corporation tax is a direct tax placed on a company’s net income or profit from its operations.

Tax to GDP Ratio

  • The tax-to-GDP ratio measures the size of a country’s tax revenue compared to its GDP.
  • The higher the tax-to-GDP ratio, the better the country’s financial position. The ratio denotes the government’s ability to fund its expenditures.
  • India consists of one direct taxpayer for every 16 voters present.
  • India’s Gross tax to GDP which was 11% in FY19, fell to 9.9% in FY20 and marginally improved to 10.2% in FY21 (partly due to a decline in GDP) and is envisaged to be 10.8% in FY22, this is much lower than the emerging market economy average of 21 per cent and OECD average of 34 per cent.
World Braille Day
World Braille Day

 

 

 

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