geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 13th April 2021

    1.   INFLATION AND STAGFLATION

    • News: India’s retail inflation accelerated to 5.52% in March 2021 from 5.03% in February, with urban areas recording a high 6.52% inflation. The Consumer Food Price Index hardened to 4.94% from 3.87% in February, with urban India seeing a much higher surge of 6.64% in food inflation.
    • About Inflation:
      • Inflation is the decline of purchasing power of a given currency over time.
      • A quantitative estimate of the rate at which the decline in purchasing power occurs can be reflected in the increase of an average price level of a basket of selected goods and services in an economy over some period of time.
      • The rise in the general level of prices, often expressed as a percentage, means that a unit of currency effectively buys less than it did in prior periods.
      • Inflation is the rate at which the the value of a currency is falling and consequently the general level of prices for goods and services is rising.
      • Inflation is sometimes classified into three types: Demand-Pull inflation, Cost-Push inflation, and Built-In inflation.
      • Most commonly used inflation indexes are the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).
      • Inflation can be viewed positively or negatively depending on the individual viewpoint and rate of change.
      • Those with tangible assets, like property or stocked commodities, may like to see some inflation as that raises the value of their assets.
      • People holding cash may not like inflation, as it erodes the value of their cash holdings.
      • Ideally, an optimum level of inflation is required to promote spending to a certain extent instead of saving, thereby nurturing economic growth.
    • About Stagflation:
      • Stagflation is characterized by slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment—or economic stagnation—which is at the same time accompanied by rising prices (i.e. inflation).
      • Stagflation can also be alternatively defined as a period of inflation combined with a decline in gross domestic product (GDP).
      • Stagflation refers to an economy that is experiencing a simultaneous increase in inflation and stagnation of economic output.
      • Stagflation was first recognized during the 1970’s, where many developed economies experienced rapid inflation and high unemployment as a result of an oil shock.
      • Prevailing economic theory at the time could not easily explain how stagflation could occur.
      • Since the 1970’s, rising price levels during periods of slow or negative economic growth have become somewhat of the norm rather than an exceptional situation.

    2.   KUMBH MELA

    • News: Photo of ‘Shahi Snan’ at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar
    • About Kumbh Mela:
      • Kumbh Mela or Kumbha Mela is a major pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism.
      • It is celebrated in a cycle of approximately 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites: the Allahabad (Ganges-Yamuna Sarasvati rivers confluence), Haridwar (Ganges), Nashik (Godavari), and Ujjain (Shipra).
      • The festival is marked by a ritual dip in the waters, but it is also a celebration of community commerce with numerous fairs, education, religious discourses by saints, mass feedings of monks or the poor, and entertainment spectacle.
      • The seekers believe that bathing in these rivers is a means to prāyaścitta (atonement, penance) for past mistakes, and that it cleanses them of their sins.
      • The festival is traditionally credited to the 8th-century Hindu philosopher and saint Adi Shankara, as a part of his efforts to start major Hindu gatherings for philosophical discussions and debates along with Hindu monasteries across the Indian subcontinent.
      • The weeks over which the festival is observed cycles at each site approximately once every 12 years based on the Hindu luni-solar calendar and the relative astrological positions of Jupiter, sun and moon.

    3.   BUREAU OF INDIAN STANDARDS

    • News: The Delhi High Court on Monday noted that it was essential for the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to strictly monitor the manufacture and sale of helmets as it concerns the safety and security of the consumers.
    • About Bureau of Indian Standards:
      • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.
      • It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986.
      • The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
      • As a corporate body, it has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations.
      • Its headquarters are in New Delhi, with regional offices in Eastern Region at Kolkata, southern Region at Chennai, Western Region at Mumbai, Northern Region at Chandigarh and Central Region at Delhi and 20 branch offices.
      • It also works as WTO-TBT enquiry point for India.
      • For Indian manufacturers: Product Certifications are to be obtained voluntarily. For, some of the products like Milk powder, Drinking Water, LPG Cylinders, etc., certification is mandatory. Because these products are concerned with health and safety.
      • For Foreign manufacturers: Products they intend to export to India also may obtain a BIS product certification license. For some products various Indian government ministries/departments/agencies makes its compulsory to have BIS certification.

    4.   VAISAKHI

    • News: Photo of Girls wearing traditional attire dance on the eve of Baisakhi in Amritsar on Monday.
    • About Vaisakhi:
      • Vaisakhi also pronounced as Baisakhi is observed by Sikhs and Hindu .It also marks the beginning of Sikh and Hindu solar New year.
      • Vaisakhi marks the first day of the month of Vaisakha, is usually celebrated on 13 or 14 April every year and is a historical and religious festival for Sikhs as on this day the Khalsa was formed by Sikh guru Shri Guru Gobind Singh.
      • This holiday is also known as Vaisakha Sankranti and celebrates the Solar new year, based on the Hindu Vikram Samvat and Sikh Khalsa Sajna Diwas.
      • Ranjit Singh was proclaimed as Maharaja of the Sikh Empire on 12 April 1801 (to coincide with Vaisakhi), creating a unified political state.
      • Vaisakhi was also the day when the British colonial empire official, General Reginald Dyer, committed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on a gathering, an event influential to the Indian movement against colonial rule.

    5.   SHANTIR OGROSENA

    • News: Multinational military exercise Shantir Ogrosena, under way in Bangladesh for the past 10 days, concluded on Monday.
    • Details:
      • The exercise culminated with a validation phase and closing ceremony organised on the theme of robust peace keeping operations jointly undertaken by contingents of Indian Army, Royal Bhutanese Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army, preceded by an Army Chiefs Conclave.
      • The exercise, which started on April 4 at Bangabandhu Senanibas, saw participation by four countries, along with observers from the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore.
      • The aim of the exercise was to strengthen defence ties and enhance interoperability among neighbourhood countries to ensure effective peace keeping operations.

    6.   TELE MEDICINE

    • News: Online healthcare platform, Practo, has introduced vernacular language options for its tele-consultation service on both its app and website. The platform will offer consultation in 15 languages, including Marathi, Tamil, Kannada and Bengali, with more to be added soon, the company said in a blog post. Earlier this year, the firm piloted the language options by offering Hindi as the alternate option to users.
    • About Telemedicine:
      • Telemedicine refers to the practice of caring for patients remotely when the provider and patient are not physically present with each other. Modern technology has enabled doctors to consult patients by using  video-conferencing tools.
      • Physicians and patients can share information in real time from one computer screen to another. And they can even see and capture readings from medical devices at a faraway location. Using telemedicine software, patients can see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment without having to wait for an appointment. Patients can consult a physician at the comfort of their home.
      • The concept of telemedicine and telehealth could be still new to providers and physicians given the especially slow adoption of technology in healthcare.
      • However, the continue advances in technology and healthcare innovation has greatly expands its usability. Moreover, the demand from new generation of tech savvy population has pushed for its rapid adoption due to convenience, cost saving and intelligent features it brings.

    7.   SATELLITE SERVICES TO COME UNDER GOVERNMENT NORMS

    • News: Companies providing satellite connectivity via gateway set-up in India will have to install network equipment as recommended by the government, according to new norms issued by the Department of Telecom.
    • Details:
      • At present, only BSNL has a gateway through which it provides satellite-based communication services to agencies like security forces.