Prelim Bits 03-01-2023| UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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January 03, 2023

Vibrant Village Programme

Union Home Minister urged the border guarding forces to make use of the Vibrant Village Programme for permanent security in border villages.

  • Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) was announced in the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech 2022.
  • The programme envisages coverage of border villages on the Northern border in states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • These villages along India's border with China have a sparse population, limited connectivity and infrastructure.
  • The programme is meant to improve infrastructure in villages which often get left out of the development gains.
  • Advantages - It could increase tourism in border villages.
  • It can make villages self-sufficient and equipped with all facilities.
  • This could help to stem the trend of out-migration from border areas on the Indian side and possibly reverse it in the future.
  • The borders can be permanently secured with patriotic citizens populated border villages.

Since 2017, China has undertaken large-scale construction activity along the border with India, building hundreds of border villages in Tibet to strengthen their presence along the frontier.


  1. The Hindu - Border guarding forces to use the Vibrant Village Programme
  2. PIB - Vibrant Villages Programme

Tidal Disruption Event

NASA operated Telescopes observed a massive black hole devouring a star.

  • A tidal force is the difference in the strength of gravity between two points.
  • If the tidal force exerted on a body is greater than the intermolecular force that keeps it together, the body will get disrupted.
  • The astronomical phenomenon of the destruction of a star by a black hole is formally called a tidal disruption event (TDE).


Tidal Disruption Event

  • Tidal disruption occurs when a passing star gets too close to a black hole and is torn apart into a stream of gas.
  • Some of the gas eventually settles into a structure around the black hole called an accretion disk.
  • The gradual growth of this material bound to the black hole produces a short-lived flare of emission, known as a tidal disruption event.
  • TDE helps astronomers to study the impact of black hole’s gravity on materials around it.


  1. The Hindu - What is a tidal disruption event?
  2. NASA - Glimpse of Black Hole Snacking on Star


Summer 2022 saw 20-year freak fires in Europe’s regions historically immune, close to normal in fire prone areas.

  • The concept of ‘pyroregions’ classifies land beyond political classifications, covering areas with specific fire regimes.
  • Pyroregions share similar characteristics, such as fire size, frequency, seasonality and intensity, which ultimately determine fire impacts.
  • It provides a better lens through which to apprehend fire’s spatial heterogeneity.
  • These pyroregions do not follow administrative, ecological or climate borders, and can be seen as a practical and straightforward way of describing fire patterns across Europe.
  • In a recent study, presented a pan-European pyrogeography featuring four distinctive pyroregions across the continent.


Distribution of ‘pyro-regions’ representing different fire characteristics across the continent.

Significance of Pyroregions

  • Understanding similarities and differences among fire regimes are important to inform fire management and prevention.
  • Global warming has been shown to increase the frequency and magnitude of fire weather conditions as observed during 2022.
  • Pyroregions also help simulate future changes of fire patterns as the planet warms.


  1. Down To Earth - Europe’s ‘Pyroregions’
  2. The Conversation - Europe’s ‘Pyroregions’

Sir Creek

For the first time, India is constructing ‘permanent vertical bunkers’ to station BSF troops right at the strategically significant Sir Creek and Harami Nala.

  • Sir Creek is a 98-km uninhabited tidal estuary between in the Rann of Kutch marshlands, which opens up into the Arabian Sea.
  • Originally named Ban Ganga, Sir Creek is named after a British representative.
  • It divides the Kutch region of Gujarat and the Sindh province of Pakistan.
  • It is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan along the International border.
  • The dispute lies in the interpretation of the maritime boundary line between Kutch and Sindh.
  • Sir Creek area, a 4,050 sq.km marshy area which has very inhospitable weather and terrain.
  • The marshes are home to poisonous snakes and scorpions.
  • Harami Nala (22 km) is part of Sir Creek channel.


  • Security - The Border Security Force (BSF) which guards Indo-Pakistan international border patrols Sir Creek area.
  • Significance - Strategic location between India and Pakistan.
  • Starting point of Maritime boundary between India and Pakistan.
  • Sir Creek is considered to be one of the largest fishing grounds in Asia.


  1. The Hindu - India building permanent bunkers for BSF
  2. Times Now - In first, permanent bunkers for BSF at Sir Creek

Sammed Sikharji

The Jharkhand government’s decision to turn Parasnath hills into eco-tourism spots was protested by the Jain community.

  • Sammed Shikharji is located on the Parasnath hill in the Giridih district of Jharkhand.
  • The hill is named after Parasnath, the 23rd Tirthankara who attained moksha here.

Parasnath hill is the highest mountain in the state of Jharkhand.

  • Sammed Sikharji, or just Sikharji, stands 1,350 metres tall and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for the Jains.
  • The word ‘Shikharji’ in itself means a ‘venerable peak’.
  • It is considered to be the biggest pilgrimage site by both the Digambaras and the Svetambaras sects of Jainism.
  • Every year thousands of Jain pilgrims from across the world undertake a 27-km-long trek to reach the summit.
  • Svetambara Pancha Tirth - According to beliefs of the Jain community, Shikharji is ranked as the ‘Svetambara Pancha Tirth’ or the five principal pilgrimage shrines.
  • The Svetambara Pancha Tirth are Ashtapad, Girnar, Dilwara Temples of Mount Abu, Shatrunjaya and Shikharji.


  1. The Hindu - Faith vs tourism: Sammed Sikharji
  2. Indian Express - Sammed Shikharji: The Jain pilgrimage site
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