Prelim Bits 01-08-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 01, 2023

Kuril Islands

The Ukraine war has given some hope to Japanese that the Kuril Islands can be wrestled out of Russia's control.

  • The Kuril Islands are strategically located islands stretching between the north of Japan's Hokkaido island and the southern tip of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.
  • These are a set of 4 islands situated between the Sea of Okhotsk and the North Pacific Ocean.
  • They are - Iturup (Etorofu in Japanese), Kunashir (Kunashiri), Shikotan and Habomai Islets.
  • These islands are a point of contention between Russia and Japan.
  • Japan claims - The islands have been part of it since the early 19th century.
  • Russia - These islands were seized by Soviet forces in the closing days of WWII.
  • Japan, Russia and South Korea calls them in 3 different names.
    • Japan - Northern territories
    • Russia - the Kuril Islands
    • South Korea - Dokdo islands



  1. IE - Could China take Kuril Islands claimed by Japan and Russia?

Paddari Tribe

The government has brought a Bill to include 4 communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Jammu and Kashmir: ‘Gadda Brahmin’, ‘Koli’, ‘Paddari Tribe’, and ‘Pahari Ethnic Group’ which has triggered unrest among the Gujjar-Bakerwal.   

  • Paddari tribes live in the remote Paddar area of the hilly Kishtwar district.
  • Area - The Paddari homeland borders Zanskar (Ladakh) in the north and the east, Pangi in Himachal Pradesh in the south, and the rest of J&K in the west.
  • Paddari population - 21,548 (As per 2011 census), comprising 83.6% Hindus, 9.5% Buddhists, and 6.8% Muslims.
  • Language - The people of the area speak the Paddari language.
  • Click here to know about - Pahari Tribes

Other Tribes in J&K

  • The Gujjars and Bakerwals are the dominant ST communities in J&K.
  • They are the third largest group after Kashmiris and Dogras in J&K.
  • They live in the districts of Rajouri, Poonch, Reasi, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Bandipora, Ganderbal, and Kupwara.
  • They are nomadic tribes.
  • ST status in in J&K - Gujjars, Bakerwals, Gaddis and Sippis.


  1. IE - Who are the Paddaris proposed for ST status in J&K?

Hathnikund Barrage

The over release of water from the Hathnikund barrage is causing flooding in the national capital, New Delhi.

  • The Hathnikund is a barrage on the river Yamuna.
  • The Hathnikund barrage’s main function is to divert Yamuna’s water to the canals.
  • Location - The Hathnikund barrage is located on the UP-Haryana border with the left side maintained by the UP government and the right by Haryana.
  • The water management is, however, managed entirely by Haryana.
  • The water from Hathnikund barrage is supplied to three channel.


  • Regulating authority - Water regulation through Hathinikund barrage is regulated by the Upper Yamuna River Board.
  • The board has representatives of all riparian stakeholders of the river - Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
  • Every state gets the share of the water as agreed upon the agreement signed on May 12, 1994 between the states.
  • Dam Vs Barrage
    • A barrage regulates the diversion of river water as per demands in canals.
    • A dam collects water, especially to make a reservoir.


  1. The Hindu - Hathnikund a barrage, not dam
  2. TOI - Hathnikund engineers say barrage of charges baseless
  3. Hindustan Times - Delhi flood puts Hathnikund barrage in eye of storm

Trans Lunar Injection

ISRO successfully conducts Trans Lunar Injection (TLI) of Chandrayaan-3 from ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru.

  • The Trans Lunar Injection (TLI) manoeuvre is a vital space travel technique used to launch a spacecraft from Earth's orbit and place it on a track beyond the Moon.
  • Chandrayaan-3 has completed 5 orbit-raising manoeuvres around Earth and has achieved an orbit of 127,603 km x 236 km, forming an elliptical path with the farthest and closest points.
  • The TLI is performed when the spacecraft is at the perigeeor the closest point to Earth.
  • During this manoeuvre, its thrusters will be activated to propel the spacecraft to obtain the velocity necessary to break away from the gravitational pull of the Earth.
  • The engines on the spacecraft's propulsion module will be fired to go towards the Moon.
  • Lunar-Orbit Insertion (LOI) happens later once the spacecraft enter into the lunar orbit.
  • The spacecraft's altitude and position is lowered into a 100 km circular orbit.
  • At this point, the propulsion module will be separated from the landing module.


ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC)

  • ISTRAC is located in Bengaluru.
  • ISTRAC holds major responsibility to provide tracking support for all the satellite and launch vehicle missions of ISRO.
  • ISTRAC has a network of ground stations at Bengaluru, Lucknow, Mauritius, Sriharikota, Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Brunei, Biak (Indonesia) and the Deep Space Network Stations.


  1. The Hindu - ISRO successfully conducts Trans Lunar Injection of Chandrayaan-3
  2. CNBC - ISRO to initiate Trans Lunar Injection for moon mission spacecraft

GI Tags from Tamil Nadu

Three famous products from Tamil Nadu - Jaderi namakatti, Kanniyakumari Matti banana, Chedibutta saree - were given the GI tag.

Jaderi namakatti

  • Jaderi namakatti are white clay sticks.
  • They are used to adorn the foreheads of idols, men and temple elephants.
  • Composition - Rich deposit of hydrous silicate minerals that form fine grain particles of clay.
  • The clay is processed and shaped in a finger like structure.
  • Process - The rocks are placed in a circular pit and crushed.
  • The powder is then gathered and left to soak in water in a pit for 5 days.
  • It is dried, rolled into clay sticks and packed to send to temples.
  • The production of namakatti depends on the climatic condition as it needs a lot of sunlight to dry.
  • Place - The rock pieces are extracted at Thenpoondipatti in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu.
  • Jaderi is a small village in Cheyyar taluk in Tiruvannamalai district where around 120 families are involved in making namakatti for more than hundreds of years now.

Kanniyakumari Matti banana

  • Matti banana is a traditional table banana cultivar of medicinal value.
  • It is mostly grow in the Agatheeswaram, Thovalai and Thiruvattar taluks of Kanniyakumari district (Kanyakumari).
  • The fruit is highly fragrant, sweet with sub-acid flavour, firm texture and powdery nature.
  • The Matti banana fruit looks like mouth of a crocodile hence it is also called as ‘Crocodile Finger Banana’.

Chedibutta Saree

  • The Chedibutta saree is a handloom saree which depicts the Chedibutta design in art silk and cotton mix fabric.
  • The name ‘Chedibutta’ is a combination of two Tamil words- ‘Chedi’ (plant) and ‘Butta’ (repeated motif or design).
  • The iconic ‘plant and flower’ motif woven on the border and pallu (edge of the saree).
  • Intrinsic character - The saree is woven using art silk thread while the Chedibutta designs are made using brightly coloured cotton threads.
  • Weavers - The Sowrashtra community are the primary weavers.
  • Location - These sarees are woven by skilled weavers of the Veeravanallur town in the Tirunelveli.

Other GI Tags

Seven other products from across India were also given GI tags.

  1. Agra leather footwear
  2. Rajasthan’s Nathdwara Pichhwai Painting
  3. Kashmir’s Mushqbudji rice
  4. Bihar’s Marcha Rice
  5. Jammu Kashmir’s Rajouri Chikri Wood Craft
  6. Agsechi Vayingim (Agassaim Brinjal) of Goa
  7. Sat Shiro Bheno (Sat Shirancho Bhendo) also known as Okra, vegetable crop of Goa


  1. The Hindu - Jaderi ‘namakatti’, chedibutta saree and Matti banana get GI tag
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