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Current Affairs September 20, 2023: Jainism, Samvatsari, India-Middle East-Europe Corridor, Khalistan Movement, Bureau of Indian Standards, Women’s Reservation Bill, Bima Sugam platform, Operation Sajag, Vibhav Anti-Tank Munition, MOXIE, Tharosaurus Indicus

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Table of contents

{GS1 – A&C – Religion – 2023/09/20} Samvatsari

  • Context (PIB | TOI): PM greets people on the occasion of Samvatsari.
  • Samvatsari is an auspicious day for the Jain community.
  • It is celebrated as the last day of the Paryushan festival.
  • During this day, people say “Michami Dukkadam” and seek forgiveness from others.
  • Paryushan festival is a festival for Jains during which they reflect on their lives and seek forgiveness from those they have wronged.
    • Shwetambars celebrate it for eight days and Digambars for ten.
    • It emphasises the protection of all living beings and encourages self-realisation and self-control.
  • Pratikraman: It is a process during which Jains repent for their sins during their daily life and remind themselves not to repeat them.
    • The five types of Pratikaman include Devasi, Rayi, Pakhi, Chaumasi, and Samvatsari.

Jainism (GS1, His, AIH)

  • Jainism is an ancient religion based on the teachings of 24 Tirthankaras (or great teachers).
  • Rishabnath (or Adinath) was the first Tirthankara and was the founder of Jainism.
  • Jainism came into prominence in the 6th century B.C. when Lord Mahavira propagated the religion.
  • Lord Mahavira was the 24th and the last Tirthankara.
  • The word ‘Jain’ is derived from jina or jaina, meaning the ‘conqueror.

Vardhamana Mahavira

  • Vardhamana was born in 540 B.C. in a village called Kundagram near Vaishali (Bihar).
  • He was a Kshatriya prince, and his father, Siddhartha, was the head of Jnatrika clan.
  • His mother, Trishala, was Lichchhavi princess. She was the sister of Chetaka, the king of Vaishali.
  • At the age of 30 years, he renounced his home and became an ascetic.
  • After 12 years of austerity, he attained Kaivalya (perfect knowledge) at the age of 42 years on the banks of Rijupalika River.
  • He passed away at the age of 72 years in 468 B.C. at Pavapuri in Bihar.
  • Titles of Vardhamana:
    • Mahavira, meaning the great hero
    • Jaina or Jitendriya, meaning one who conquers all his senses
    • Nirgrantha, meaning one who is free from all bonds

Jain Philosophy

Three Jewels or Triratna

  • Jainism believes that salvation can be attained by following the three-fold path:
    1. Right Faith (Samyakdarshana)
    2. Right Knowledge (Samyakjnana)
    3. Right Action (Samyakcharita)
  • One of the three cannot exist exclusive of the others, and all are required for spiritual liberation.

Five Doctrines of Jainism

  • To attain salvation, Jains must follow five doctrines:
    1. Ahimsa (non-violence)
    2. Satya (truthfulness)
    3. Asteya (not stealing)
    4. Aparigraha (non-acquisition)
    5. Brahmacharya (chaste living) — propounded by Mahavira.

Anekantavada and Syadvada

Anekantavada
  • It is the doctrine that the ultimate truth and reality are complex and have multiple aspects.
  • It believes in non-absolutism or pluralism, which means no single, specific statement can describe the nature of existence and the absolute truth.
Syadvada
  • It is the doctrine that all judgments are conditional, holding good only in certain conditions, circumstances, or senses.
  • According to it, ways of looking at a thing (called naya) are infinite in number, so there will be infinite judgments. Hence, all judgments are relative.

Sects of Jainism

  • There are two major sects in Jainism: Digambaras (sky-clad) and Svetambaras (white-clad).
Digambaras Svetambaras
Believes in complete nudity, and males do not wear clothes. Female monks wear unstitched plain white sarees and are called Aryikas. Monks wear simple white clothing and carry a begging bowl, a brush to remove insects from their path, books and writing materials with them.
Follow the preachings of Mahavira, i.e., they believe in all five constraints (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Aparigraha and Brahmacharya). Follow the preachings of Parshvanatha, i.e., they believe in only four constraints (except Brahmacharya).
Bhadrabahu was an exponent of the Digambara sect, and he moved to Karnataka along with his disciples after predicting a long famine. Sthulabhadra was an exponent of the Svetambara sect, and he and his disciples stayed in Magadha.
Believe that women cannot be Tirthankaras and say that Malli was a man. Believe Tirthankaras can be men or women, and say that Malli began her life as a princess.
Believe that Tirthankaras did not marry. Believe that the 23rd & 24th Tirthankara did marry.
Monasticism rules are more rigid. Monasticism rules are less rigid.
Sub-sects: Mula Sangh, Terapanthi, Taranpathi, and Bispanthi Sub-sects: Sthanakavasi and Murtipujaka

{GS2 – IR – Groupings – 2023/09/20} India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC)

  • Context (IE): IMEC has immense potential to put India, the Middle East and Europe on the collective path to growth, triggering regional and global cooperation.

India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC)

  • IMEC is a network of transport corridors (railway lines and sea lanes).
  • It consists of two separate corridors:
    1. East Corridor, which connects India to West Asia.
    2. North Corridor that connects West Asia to Europe.
  • It is part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment.

India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment

  • It is a joint initiative to fund infrastructure projects in developing countries.
  • It was launched by G7 countries in 2022.
  • It aims to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The infrastructure plan was first announced in June 2021 during the G7 Summit in the UK.
  • US President Joe Biden had called it the Build Back Better World (B3W) framework.

Significance of IMEC

  • Ancient Trade Route Revival: IMEC resurrects historic trade routes, notably the Red Sea, fostering cultural and economic exchange.
  • India’s Reaffirmed Role: IMEC underscores India’s historical significance in global trade networks.
  • Geopolitical Influence: IMEC’s establishment elevates the geopolitical importance of connected regions, including India, the Middle East, and Europe.

Challenges of IMEC

  • Infrastructure Development: IMEC faces complexities in building essential infrastructure at major Gulf and Mediterranean ports.
  • Cross-Border Connectivity: Achieving seamless cross-border connectivity demands international cooperation, particularly in the Middle East.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Addressing environmental considerations, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is crucial for IMEC’s long-term viability.
  • Coordination and Financing: Effective coordination among participating nations and securing financing are pivotal challenges for the corridor’s sustainability.

{GS2 – IR – India-Canada – 2023/09/20} India-Canada and Khalistan Movement

  • Context (TH): Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged a potential link between the GoI and the killing of pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
  • Canada expelled a diplomat from the Indian High Commission in Ottawa.
  • In response, India also expelled a Canadian diplomat.

India-Canada Bilateral Relations

  • India-Canada bilateral relations elevated to a strategic partnership in 2015.

People-to-People Relations

  • Canada hosts one of the largest Indian Diasporas in the world.
  • Seven lakh NRIs & 1.6 million people of Indian origin live in Canada (total population 38.8 million).
  • The present House of Commons (total strength of 338) has 19 MPs of Indian origin.

Economic Relations

  • India’s total trade with Canada (goods and services) in 2021-22 was US$11.68 billion.
  • Canadian Pension Funds have substantial investments in India.
  • India became the 10th largest trading partner of Canada in 2022.

Agriculture

  • The bilateral MoU on agriculture cooperation was signed in 2009.
  • A Joint Working Group has been set up under the MoU.
  • A Joint Working Group for Pulses has been set up separately.
  • Canada is one of India’s largest sources of pulses (in 2021, almost 30% of our total pulses imports were from Canada).

India-Canada strained ties

  • India criticised the Canadian government for:
    • Proximity to individuals sympathetic to Khalistan activities.
    • Incitement of violence against Indian diplomats
    • Damage to diplomatic premises
    • Threats to the Indian community and places of worship
    • Extremist elements in Canada and their nexus with:
      • Organised crime
      • Drug syndicates
      • Human trafficking
  • In response to India’s concerns, Justin Trudeau stated that Canada would defend:
    • Freedom of expression
    • Peaceful protest and Conscience
  • The defence of Khalistanis under the aspect of “free speech” is selective and hypocritical.

Domestic Politics Impacting Relations

  • Trudeau’s domestic political considerations have negatively impacted Canada’s relations with India.
  • Trudeau’s Liberal Party relies on the support of Jagmeet Singh’s New Democratic Party.
  • Singh’s party includes members with ties to Khalistani extremism.

Effect of strained relations

  • India and Canada paused their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations.
  • Canada cancelled a trade mission to India scheduled to arrive in Mumbai in October.

India-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

  • It is a proposed bilateral trade agreement between India and Canada in 2008.
  • The negotiations for the India-Canada CEPA were formally launched in 2010.
  • The primary objective of the CEPA is to promote trade and economic relations.

Benefits

  • Provide Indian businesses better access to the Canadian market and vice versa.
  • Reducing or eliminating tariffs on goods and services can increase trade flows.

Current Status

  • The CEPA has been under negotiation for several years but has not been finalised yet.
  • In March 2022, both sides agreed to re-launch the CEPA negotiations.

Khalistan Movement

  • The Khalistan movement is a fight for a separate, sovereign Sikh state in present-day Punjab (both India and Pakistan).
  • The movement was crushed in India following Operation Blue Star (1984).
  • It continues to evoke sympathy and support among sections of the Sikh population, especially in the Sikh diaspora in countries such as Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Timeline of the Khalistan Movement

India’s Independence and Partition
  • The movement’s origins have been traced back to India’s independence and subsequent partition along religious lines.
  • The Punjab province saw some of the worst communal violence.
  • After the partition, the following cities went to Pakistan:
    • Lahore (capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s great Sikh Empire)
    • Nankana Sahib (birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism)
Demand for Autonomous Punjabi Suba
  • At the time of Independence, the Punjabi Suba Movement demanded the creation of a Punjabi-speaking state. In 1966, Punjab was reorganised to reflect the Punjabi Suba demand.
  • The erstwhile Punjab state was trifurcated into:
    • Hindi-speaking, Hindu-majority states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana
    • Punjabi-speaking, Sikh-majority Punjab.
Anandpur Sahib Resolution
  • In 1973, Akali Dal in Punjab presented the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.
  • It asked Punjab to have more control over its affairs, decide its own borders, and make its own rules.
  • The Akalis repeatedly said they were not demanding secession from India.
Rise of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
  • Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale emerged and positioned himself as the authentic voice of the Sikhs.
Dharam Yudh Morcha
  • In 1982, Bhindranwale launched a civil disobedience movement (Dharam Yudh Morcha) with support from the Akali Dal’s leadership.
  • The movement was geared towards the demands articulated in the Anandpur Sahib Resolution.
  • He took up residence inside the Golden Temple, directing demonstrations and clashes with the police.
  • GoI declared the movement tantamount to secession.
Operation Bluestar
  • Operation Blue Star began on June 1, 1984, to flush out militants from the Golden Temple and neutralise Bhindranwale.
  • Bhindranwale was killed, and the Golden Temple was freed of militants.
  • It gravely wounded the Sikh community worldwide and galvanised the demand for Khalistan.

Current Status

  • Punjab has been peaceful for a long time, but the Khalistan movement still exists in some Sikh communities abroad. Many in the Sikh diaspora still support Khalistan.
  • Some still support Khalistan due to memories of the troubled 1980s.

{GS2 – MoCAFPD – Initiatives – 2023/09/20} Standard Clubs

  • Context (PIB): The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has established 6,467 Standard Clubs in educational institutions across India.
  • The Standard Clubs initiative was launched in 2021 under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (MoCAFPD).
  • It sensitises young members of society to the importance of standards in improving quality of life.

Eligibility

  • Students of class IX and above and studying science subjects are eligible to be part of the Clubs.
  • Standards Clubs can be formed in any educational institution in India comprising teachers (mentors) and students (members) from:
    • High and Higher Secondary schools
    • Engineering colleges
    • Science colleges
    • Polytechnics
    • Professional institutions
  • A minimum of fifteen student members shall be required to form a Standards Club.

Objectives

  • Youth Sensitization: Instil an appreciation for quality, standards, and scientific temperament among young individuals.
  • Quality Consciousness: Promote quality-consciousness rooted in standardisation principles as a driver of economic development.

Features

  • Diverse Activities: Students participate in standards writing competitions, quizzes, debates, essay writing, and industrial visits.
  • Financial Support: The financial support for Standards Clubs in:
    • Engineering Institutions: limited to a maximum of Rs 1,00,000/- per year.
    • Other than Engineering Institutions: limited to a maximum of Rs 10,000/- per year.
  • Laboratory Grants: High and higher secondary Government Schools with Standard Clubs can receive up to Rs. 50,000 for upgrading Science Labs.
  • ‘Manak Kaksha’ Initiative: Provides up to Rs. 1,00,000 to establish innovative learning spaces in government institutions.
    • Under it, one room in the school shall be renovated by providing basic amenities like smart TVs, audio video systems, proper illumination, etc.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)

  • It is the National Standards Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016.
  • It works under the MoCAFPD.
  • It has been providing the following benefits through standardisation, certification, and testing:
    • Safe, reliable, and quality goods
    • Minimize health hazards to consumers
    • Promote exports.
    • Control over the proliferation of varieties
  • It is involved in various activities such as:
    • Standards Formulation
    • Hall Marking Scheme
    • Laboratory Services and Recognition Scheme
    • Consumer Affairs Activities

{GS2 – Vulnerable Sections – Women – 2023/09/20} Women’s Reservation Bill

  • Context (TH): The Women’s Reservation Bill was introduced in LS.

128th Constitution Amendment Bill (Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam)

  • It proposes to introduce three new articles:
    1. Article 330A of IC
    2. Article 332A of IC
    3. Article 334A of IC
  • It provides the reservation of one-third of seats in the LS and state Assemblies for women for fifteen years.
  • There will be a quota for SC/STs within the reserved seats for women.
  • The seats reserved for women will be rotated after every delimitation exercise.
  • It will be implemented after the delimitation exercise is completed based on the figures of the first census after this constitutional amendment.
  • The provisions of this amendment also apply to the legislative assembly of the NCT of Delhi.
  • There is no separate quota for women from other backward classes (OBCs).

Article 330: Reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the LS

  • In any state, seats shall be reserved for SCs and STs in LS in proportion to their population.

Article 330A: Reservation of one-third of seats in the LS for women

  • In any state, one-third of seats shall be reserved for women in LS.
  • In any state, one-third of seats reserved for SCs and STs shall be reserved for women in LS.

Article 332: Reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the legislative assemblies

  • Seats shall be reserved for SCs and STs in the legislative assembly of every state.

Article 332A: Reservation of seats for women in the legislative assemblies of the states

  • One-third of seats shall be reserved for women in the legislative assembly of every state.
  • One-third of seats within seats reserved for SCs and STs shall be reserved for women in the legislative assembly of every state.

Article 334: Reservation of seats to cease after seventy years

  • The reservation of seats for the SCs and the STs in the LS and legislative assemblies of the state will no longer be valid after seventy years from the commencement of this Constitution.

Article 334A: Reservation of seats to cease after fifteen years

  • The reservation of seats for the women will no longer be valid after fifteen years from the commencement of this bill in the:
    • LS
    • Legislative assemblies of the state
    • Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi

Timeline

  1. In 1987, Rajiv Gandhi’s government constituted a 14-member committee under Margaret Alva.
    • The committee presented the National Perspective Plan for Women, 1988-2000.
    • The committee recommended the reservation of seats for women in elected bodies.
    • These recommendations paved the way for the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts (P V Narasimha Rao government).
    • The amendments mandated the reservation of one-third of seats for women in
      • Panchayati Raj institutions
      • Urban local bodies.
  2. Deve Gowda’s government brought the first women’s reservation Bill in 1996.
  3. In 2008 the UPA government introduced the Constitution (108th Amendment) Bill in RS.
    • The Bill sought to reserve one-third of all seats for women in LS and the state legislative Assemblies.
    • The RS passed the Bill on March 9. However, it was never brought to LS, and it lapsed with the dissolution of the LS.
  4. In May 2013, the Ministry of Women and Child Development constituted a committee on the status of women.
    • The committee recommended at least 50 per cent reservation of seats for women in:
      • Local bodies
      • State Legislative Assemblies
      • Parliament
      • Ministerial levels
      • All government decision-making bodies.

Women’s representation in Parliament

  • Currently, Women MPs constitute less than 15% of LS members (78/545) as against the global average of 25.8%.
  • According to the 2011 census, women constitute 48.46% of the population of India.

Women’s representation in Panchayat

  • Article 243D of IC mandates a reservation of a minimum of one-third of seats to women.
  • In 2006, Bihar became the first state to provide 50% reservation to women at the Panchayat level.
  • Currently, at least 20 Indian states have given 50% reservation to women at the Panchayat.
  • Many studies show that female representation on village councils increased female participation and responsiveness to concerns such as drinking water, infrastructure, sanitation, roads, etc.

Benefits of feminisation of political governance

  • Diverse Perspectives: Women bring more diversity to decision-making.
  • Gender-Specific Issues: Women-related issues (safety of women, nutrition) will come to the forefront.
  • Equality and Inclusivity: It promotes gender equality and inclusivity in governance.
  • Enhanced Social Services: Female representation often leads to improved education, healthcare, and social services as these issues are given higher priority.
  • Reducing Stereotypes: Women in politics help to break down gender stereotypes and biases.
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution: Women’s involvement in politics contributes to peacebuilding and conflict resolution efforts.

National women legislators’ conference (2022)

  • It was the first national women legislators’ conference.
  • It was hosted by the Kerala Legislative Assembly.
  • It was attended by a host of women parliamentarians and legislators nationwide.

Thiruvananthapuram Declaration

  • The conference adopted resolutions demanding 33% reservation for women in the parliament and state legislature.

Effects of dissolution of LS

  • On the dissolution of LS,
    1. A bill originated in LS and is still pending in LS lapses.
    2. A Bill originated and passed by LS and is pending in RS lapses.
    3. A bill that originated in RS and is still pending in RS does not lapse.
    4. A bill originated and passed by RS and is pending in LS lapses.
    5. A bill originated in RS and was returned to it by LS and is still pending in RS lapses.
    6. A bill passed by the two Houses and sent to the President for assent does not lapse.
    7. A bill on which the Houses have disagreed, and the President has notified his intention (before dissolution) to summon a Joint Sitting of the Houses to consider the bill does not lapse.
    8. A bill returned by the President to RS for reconsideration of the Houses does not lapse if the LS dissolves before both houses consider the bill.

M S Gill formula

  • It was the proposal of the ECI to make it mandatory for recognised political parties to give quota to women in ticket distribution in elections to state Assemblies and Parliament.

{GS3 – Agri – Crops – 2023/09/20} Basmati Reaping the Rewards of Research

  • Context (IE): Annual exports of basmati rice from India have soared by nearly $5 billion due to the contribution of scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
  • Significance: India’s basmati rice export success is a testimony to what good public sector breeding and collaboration with industry can achieve.

India's basmati rice exports.

Progress of Basmati Rice in India

First Revolution

  • Till the late 1980s, Indian farmers grew traditional basmati varieties having tall plants, prone to lodging and low yielding. E.g., Taraori (or Karnal Local) and Dehraduni (Type-3).
  • In 1989, IARI scientists released the Pusa Basmati-1 (PB-1) variety, which has short plants that did not lodge, yielded high, and matured in fewer days.
  • Result: Basmati rice export fetched $400-450 million annually, with PB-1’s share at roughly 60%.
  • Lodging: Bending over when heavy with well-filled grains.

Second Revolution

  • In 2003, IARI released Pusa Basmati-1121 (PB-1121), whose unique selling point was grain quality.
  • It was billed as the world’s longest rice grain, and more volume of rice is obtained from a few kernels.
  • KRBL Ltd realised its true potential by creating the India Gate Classic brand for export.
  • Result: Basmati rice export fetched $4.9 billion annually, with PB-1121’s share at roughly 70%.
  • KRBL did for PB-1121 what United Riceland had for the traditional Taraori variety, which it had been exporting since the 1980s under the ‘Tilda’ brand.

Third Revolution

  • In 2013, released Pusa Basmati-1509 (PB-1509) which was high-yielding like PB-1 and had good grain quality like PB-1121. Moreover, PB-1509’s maturing time was much less (115-120 days).
  • Result: This early-maturing high-yielding enables farmers to take up an extra crop now.

Breeding for Disease Resistance

  • The improved basmati varieties have also become susceptible to diseases.
  • So, in the last few years, IARI scientists have focused on preserving the yield gains from their improved basmati varieties by incorporating genes for disease resistance.
  • To control it, scientists have sought to transfer genes from landrace cultivars and wild relatives of paddy that are resistant to diseases.
  • Recently, five new varieties of seeds of Basmati rice were developed by the IARI.
    • Three varieties resist bacterial leaf blight (BLB) and fungal blast (leaf and collar).
    • Two varieties resist herbicides and save water using the Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) method.
  • Landrace cultivar: It is a variety of plants or animals developed and maintained by farmers over many generations through traditional breeding practices. They are typically well-adapted to the local environment and are often genetically diverse.
IARI New Varieties Features
Pusa Basmati 1847
  • They have genes to resist Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) and fungal Blast (leaf and collar) diseases.
  • No need to use pesticides.
Pusa Basmati 1885
Pusa Basmati 1886
Pusa Basmati 1979
  • They can be cultivated using the Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) method, so they save water. Also, they are herbicide-resistant.
Pusa Basmati 1985

Concerns with Basmati Rice Cultivation in India

No Minimum Support Price (MSP)

  • There is no minimum support price (MSP) for basmati paddy. Though the basmati cultivators earn more by selling it at market price, they are also exposed to the vagaries of the market and climate. So, without MSP, these farmers are more vulnerable to adverse situations.

Limited Domestic Market

  • Most Indian basmati rice is exported, and its domestic market is limited.
  • Government policies and international situations control the export of basmati rice. Recently, GoI has restricted the export of basmati shipments priced below $1,200 per tonne.
  • Such policies without domestic demand will adversely affect the farmers.

Adulteration

  • Adulteration of basmati includes undeclared blending of non-basmati varieties of rice.
  • Such practices will lower the reputation of Indian basmati in the market.

Basmati Rice

  • Basmati rice is a premium variety of rice cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of the Indian sub-continent. It India, it is grown in specific parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • It is known for its long grain size, fluffy texture and unique inherent aroma and flavour.
  • Agro-climatic conditions of the specific geographical areas where Basmati rice is grown, the method of harvesting, processing, and ageing of the rice contributes to the uniqueness of Basmati rice.
  • It is a widely consumed variety of rice both domestically and globally.
  • India accounts for 2/3rd of the global supply of Basmati. It is an export commodity of India and earns a huge foreign exchange every year.
  • In 2020, India’s application for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its basmati rice was put on hold after Pakistan opposed the move.

Diseases of Basmati Rice

Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) Disease
  • Bacterial leaf blight (BLB) disease is one of Asia’s most damaging rice diseases.
  • It is a bacterial disease (caused by Xanthomonas oryzae).
  • Symptoms: wilting and yellowing of leaves and finally drying up.
  • It is more common when strong winds and continuous heavy rains occur.
Blast (Leaf and Collar) Disease
  • Blast (leaf and collar) disease is a fungal disease (caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae).
  • Symptoms: lesions in leaf and collar areas of rice plant.
  • It occurs in areas with frequent and prolonged periods of rain showers and cool temperature

Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI)

  • The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) (also known as the Pusa Institute) is India’s national institute for agricultural research, education, and extension.
  • It was established in 1905 in Pusa, Bihar. It was relocated to Delhi in 1936.
  • It was financed and administered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

{GS3 – IE – Insurance – 2023/09/20} Bima Sugam platform

  • Context (IE I IE): The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) claims that the proposed Bima Sugam is a “game changer” and a “UPI moment” for the insurance segment.
  • Bima Sugam is an online platform where customers can choose a suitable scheme from multiple options given by various companies.
  • All insurance requirements, including those for life, health, and general insurance (including motor and travel), will be met by Bima Sugam.
  • This platform will help in the settlement of claims, whether it’s health coverage or death claims, in a paperless manner based on policy numbers.
  • Life insurance and general insurance companies will own a 47.5 per cent stake each, while brokers and agent bodies will own 2.5 per cent each in the Bima Sugam Platform.

Bima Sugam platform – Role and Utility

  • Single window for policyholders to manage insurance coverage.
  • End-to-end solutions for purchase, service, and settlement.
  • Real-time access to validated data for insurance companies.
  • Intermediary interface to sell policies and reduce paperwork.

{GS3 – IS – Security Forces – 2023/09/20} Operation Sajag

  • Context (PIB I TP): The Indian Coast Guard recently conducted ‘Operation Sajag‘ a Coastal Security Drill along the Western Coast.
  • This operation involves all stakeholders of the Indian coastal security construction, including 118 ships from Customs, Marine Police, Ports, and the Indian Navy.
  • It revalidates the coastal security mechanism, raises awareness among fishermen, and involves extensive document verification of sea vessels. Biometric card readers are used for this purpose.

Indian Coast Guard

  • It is an armed force that protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
  • History: it was established in 1978 by the Coast Guard Act 1978 as an independent armed force.
  • Parent ministry: It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • Administration: The organisation is headed by the Director General of the Indian Coast Guard.

{GS3 – S&T – Defence – 2023/09/20} Vibhav Anti-Tank Munition

  • Context (TOI): Vibhav Anti-Tank Munition is a self-neutralising anti-tank mine designed and developed indigenously in a joint venture with the DRDO in India.
  • It is a point-attack anti-tank munition designed to immobilise all enemy armoured vehicles.
  • The Kalyani Group produces the munition for the Indian Army.

Vibhav Anti Tank Munition

Key Features of Vibhav Anti-Tank Munition

  • Laid manually or mechanically.
  • Safety mechanisms for handling, lethality, and reliability.
  • Integrated safety measures for operator protection.
  • Self-neutralizing with mechanical timers after 120 days.
  • 10-year storage life without special requirements.

{GS3 – S&T – Space – 2023/09/20} MOXIE Generates Oxygen in Mars

  • Context (NDTV): NASA’s MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilisation Experiment) has successfully converted Martian CO2 into oxygen.
  • Oxygen produced is of 98% purity or better, making it suitable for both fuel and breathing purposes.
  • MOXIE is aboard the NASA’s Perseverance Rover.

Perseverance rover

  • It is a part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission and has landed on Mars in 2021.
  • The rover is exploring Jezero Crater on Mars in search of signs of ancient life on Mars.

{Prelims – In News – 2023/09/20} Tharosaurus Indicus

  • Context (IE | TH): The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has discovered the fossils of a sauropod in Jaisalmer. A dinosaur egg fossil is also found in Jethwai-Gajroop Sagar hills in Jaisalmer.
  • The sauropod dinosaur is namedTharosaurus indicus with Tharo deriving from the Thar desert, saurus from the Greek ‘sauros, or lizard, and indicus from its Indian origin.
  • Significance of the discovery:
    1. This is the first diplodocoid sauropod fossil to have been found in India.
    2. This is the oldest fossil of diplodocoid sauropod found to date (167 million years old).
  • Diplodocoid sauropod: It is a family of sauropod dinosaurs.
  • Sauropod: They are a group of long-necked, long-tailed, herbivorous dinosaurs.
  • These reptiles were the largest of all dinosaurs and the largest land animals ever lived.

Tharosaurus Indicus

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