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Prelim Bits 21-10-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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October 21, 2023

Best Tourism Village 2023

Dhordo village in Gujarat made it to the UN World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTOs) best villages list for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Best Tourism Village Initiative

Launched In

2021

Nodal Agency

UN WTO

Umbrella Program

UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Programme.

  • A global initiative to highlight those villages where tourism preserves cultures and traditions, celebrates diversity, provides opportunities and safeguards biodiversity.

UNWTO is a United Nations agency working to promote tourism for sustainable development.

  • Recognition to – Outstanding rural tourism destinations with accredited cultural and natural assets based on 9 key evaluation criterias.
  • Objectives
    • Reduce regional inequalities in income and development.
    • Fight rural depopulation.
    • Progress gender equality and women’s and youth empowerment.
    • Enhance education and skills development.
  • Best Tourism Village 2023 – It is the 3rd edition where 54 villages from all regions were selected.
  • A further 20 villages have joined the Upgrade Programme.
  • All 74 villages are part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Network.

Dhordo village is nestled in the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat which hosts the annual cultural festival Rann Utsav that showcases the region’s traditional art, music, and crafts. It also hosted the 1st Tourism Working Group Meeting of the G-20 held under India’s presidency in 2023.

UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Programme

  • Objectives
    • Foster development and inclusion in rural areas.
    • Combat depopulation.
    • Advance innovation and value chain integration through tourism.
    • Encourage sustainable practices.
  • 3 Pillars
    • Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO
    • Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Upgrade Programme
    • The Best Tourism Villages Network

References

  1. The Hindu| Best Tourism Village 2023
  2. UNWTO| Best Tourism Village Initiative

 

Question Hour and Procedure for Questionnaire

Members of Parliament (MPs) raise questions during Question Hour to hold the government accountable for its policies and actions.

  • Question Hour – It is the 1st hour of every parliamentary sitting.
  • Duration - 1 hour
  • MPs ask questions to ministers and also to the private members (MPs who are not ministers).

 

Starred

Questions

Unstarred Questions

Short Notice Questions

Questions to Private members

Colour of notice

Green

White

Light pink

Yellow

Number of questions/ day

20 (Each MP is allowed to ask 1 starred question per day)

230

 

 

Notices in advance

At least 15 days

At least 15 days

Less than 10 days

 

Reply

Oral

Written

Oral

 

Supplementary Question

Allowed

Not allowed

Allowed

 

Procedure for Questionnaire

  • Governed by
    • Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha
    • Directions by the Speaker, Lok Sabha

questionnaire

  • Prior notice – Addressed to the lower house’s Secretary-General.
  • Submission of notices – Either through Member’s Portal or through the printed forms as in the Parliamentary Notice Office.
  • It should not be more than 5 notices/ day
  • Admissibility of question – Decided by Lok Sabha Speaker
  • Conditions for admissibility – It shouldn’t allow questions containing
    • More than 150 words and on matters which may weaken the unity and integrity of the country
    • Arguments, defamatory statements or referring to the character of any person except in their official capacity
    • Queries raising larger issues of policy
    • Any subject pending judgment before any court/tribunal/body or under Parliamentary Committee

References

Indian Express| Procedure for Questionnaire in Parliament

 

Jet Stream in Jupiter

Researchers using James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) have discovered a high-speed jet stream sitting over Jupiter’s equator, above the main cloud decks

  • Jet stream in Jupiter – It is located about 40 kilometres above the clouds in Jupiter’s lower stratosphere.
  • It is more than 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) wide
  • Speed515 kilometers per hour (kmph)

Hurricane Patricia, the most powerful tropical cyclone in record, could only sustain wind speeds of up to 345 kmph

  • Significance – To understand planet's turbulent atmosphere
  • To understand how different layers of the planet’s atmosphere interact with each other

Jet Streams in Earth

  • They are relatively narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
  • It typically occurs around 30,000 feet in elevation that blows from west to east.
  • It keeps moving from north to south and then north again.

jetstreams

  • James Webb Space Telescope is infrared telescope, an international partnership between NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
  • Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and the gas giant’s atmosphere is one of the most turbulent regions in our planet’s vicinity.
  • Juice (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) which was launched in 2023 by ESA will make detailed observations of its atmosphere and its 3 large ocean-bearing moons namely Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

Reference

Indian Express| Jest Stream in Jupiter

 

Civil Union

Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriages raises divided opinions on adoption rights and civil unions.

  • Civil Union is the legal status that grants same-sex couples certain rights and responsibilities which are normally given to married couples.
  • Civil Union resembles a marriage and brings with it employment, inheritance, property and parental rights.

Civil Union vs Marriage

  • Civil Union is similar to a marriage like legal sanction given to two individuals of same sex.
  • Marriage is a religious institution recognized by law that allow two individuals (generally from opposite sex) to marry each other.
  • Same sex marriage is outside the scope of religion-based definition of marriage.
  • Civil Union is the tool devised to grant such similar legal protection to the couples of same sex marriage.

Civil Union in other countries

  • USA – The Supreme Court of the United Status legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.
  • Sweden – It legalized same sex marriages in 2009.
  • Other countries – Brazil, Uruguay, Chile had also recognized the right of same sex couples to enter into civil unions.

References

  1. The Print – What next for LGBTQ community?
  2. The Hindu – Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriages

 

INS Imphal

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) delivered to the Indian Navy INS Imphal, the third ship of the Project 15B Class of stealth guided missile destroyers, four months ahead of schedule.

  • Imphal is the first naval warship commissioned with accommodation for women officers and sailors.
  • It can accommodate a crew of 312 persons, has an endurance of 4,000 nautical miles.
  • It can carry out a 42-day mission with extended mission time in an out-of-area operation.
  • The ship is equipped with two helicopters onboard to further extend its reach.
  • The ship was constructed using indigenous steel DMR 249A and is among the largest destroyers built in India, with an overall length of 164 metres and a displacement of over 7,500 tonnes.
  • It is a potent platform capable of undertaking a variety of tasks and missions, spanning the full spectrum of maritime warfare.
  • It is armed with supersonic Surface-to-Surface Brahmos missiles and Barak-8 Medium Range Surface-to-Air missiles.
  • The destroyer is fitted with indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons and sensors, prominently the hull-mounted Sonar Humsa NG, heavyweight torpedo tube launchers, and ASW rocket launchers.
  • The ship is propelled by a powerful Combined Gas and Gas Propulsion Plant (COGAG), consisting of four reversible gas turbines, which enables her to achieve a speed of over 30 knots.

Project 15B

  • Project 15B is a significant contract signed in January 2011 for manufacturing four guided missile destroyers that are more advanced than the Kolkata class.
  • The first ship of P15B Class, INS Visakhapatnam, was commissioned on November 21, 2021, while the second ship INS Mormugao was commissioned on December 18, 2022.
  • The fourth, INS Surat, was launched on May 17 last year.

Kolkata Class

  • The Kolkata class ship was manufactured under Project 15-A.
  • The Indian Navy has commissioned three guided missile destroyers of the Kolkata class, namely, INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, and INS Chennai.
  • These ships were a significant upgrade from their predecessor, the Delhi class of ships, INS Delhi, INS Mysore, and INS Mumbai.

References

  1. The Hindu – INS Imphal
  2. Hindustan Times – Navy gets delivery of INS Imphal

 

Other important topics

Fast Radio Bursts (FRB)

  • Researchers have recently discovered the most distant FRB ever detected, titled as FRB 20220610A, which travelled 8 billion years to reach Earth.
  • FRB 20220610A is also one of the most energetic FRBs ever observed (in a fraction of a second, it released the equivalent of 30 years of emissions from the Sun).
  • Fast Radio Bursts are brief (few millisecond) bursts of radio waves coming from far beyond our Milky Way galaxy.
  • Their origins are unknown, and their appearance is unpredictable.

Operation Chakra - II

  • It is an operation executed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the organized cyber-enabled financial crimes.
  • For this Operation, CBI has partnered with Microsoft and Amazon to combat and dismantle infrastructure of illegal call centres used for online financial crimes.
  • Chakra-1 was conducted in 2022 by the CBI in coordination with the Interpol, the FBI and police forces of multiple countries.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)

  • It was established by UN General Assembly in 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees.
  • UNRWA is funded by Voluntary contributions from UN Member States.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) does not have a mandate over Palestine refugees within the UNRWA fields of operations (Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip).

Measures to keep wild elephants off human settlements in Assam

  • LED lights - Solar-powered LEDs were installed in Assam’s Baksa district to prevent elephants from foraging crop fields and getting close to human settlements as the elephants were known to avoid these lights.
  • Alternative Crops - Shift from conventional paddy to commercially viable crops that wild elephants find less palatable.
  • Watch towers - Construction of permanent watchtowers to facilitate community crop guarding for raising an alarm when elephants approach paddy fields.
  • Assam is home to more than 5,700 elephants, the second-highest after Karnataka.

Special Campaign 3.0

  • The Government has announced to conduct Special Campaign 3.0 from October 2-31, 2023 with a focus on Swachhata and reducing pendency in Government Offices with a saturation approach.
  • Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is the nodal department for the implementation of this Campaign.
  • Under this Special Campaign, the target has been set to undertake a cleanliness campaign at 1.5 lakh sites, freeing up 100 lakh square feet of space which is occupied by dump and junk items and generating revenue to the tune of 400 crore rupees from scrap disposal.

Cyclone Tej

  • The Cyclone Tej in the Arabian Sea is turning into a cyclonic storm.
  • It is expected to turn into a severe cyclonic storm and move towards the south coasts of Oman and adjoining Yemen.
  • Cyclone Tej was named by India.

Kibbutz

  • Kibbutz refers to the intentional communities of Jews in Israel, which began by combining utopian ideals of socialism and Zionism.
  • While traditionally established by Jewish settlers in Palestine as agricultural communities, the economy of the Kibbutzim today is highly diversified, and includes industrial and tertiary occupations.

Haemoglobinopathies

  • Hemoglobinopathies are inherited structural disorders of hemoglobin caused by a genetic change (mutation) in the haemoglobin.
  • This group of disorders includes sickle cell anemia and thalassemia.
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