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 – 15th November 2021

    1.   ORDINANCE MAKING POWER OF THE PRESIDENT

    • News: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday promulgated two ordinances that would allow the Union Government to extend the tenures of the directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from two years to up to five years.
    • About Ordinance making power of the President:
    • An ordinance is any law promulgated by the President in those circumstances when the Indian parliament is not in session.
    • The ordinance making powers of the President are listed in Article 123 of the Constitution.
    • The President has certain law-making powers that aid him to promulgate ordinances when either of both the Houses of Parliament is not in session which makes enacting laws in the parliament out of question.
    • An Ordinance can be issued on any subject that the Parliament has the power to legislate on. In that way, the president’s powers are limited in the same way as the Parliament is.
    • The ordinance making power of the executive is limited through the following:
    • The legislature is not in session:The President can only promulgate an Ordinance when either of the two Houses of Parliament is not in session.
    • Immediate action is required:The President cannot promulgate an Ordinance unless he is satisfied that there are circumstances that require taking ‘immediate action’.
    • Parliamentary approval during the session: Ordinances must be approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembling or they shall cease to operate.  They would also cease to operate in case resolutions disapproving the Ordinance are passed by both the Houses.
    • Features and Properties of the Ordinance:
    • An ordinance can be retrospective, that is it can be legislated from before the time it is approved.
    • An ordinance promulgated when Parliament is in session is considered null and void.
    • The Ordinance in order to stay a law must be approved by the Parliament within six weeks from its reassembly. Its existence ceases in case the parliament takes no action within six weeks from its reassembly.
    • Acts and laws and happenings that took place under the ordinance remain active till the time it lapses.
    • Indian President is one of the rarest ones among the world leaders to have the power of making ordinances.
    • The power of ordinance promulgation cannot be considered a substitute for the President’s legislative power.
    • President’s power to roll out ordinance is justiciable in case intentions are proved mala fide.
    • Ordinances can only be made on the subjects where the Indian Parliament is allowed to make laws.
    • Fundamental Rights of the citizens guaranteed by the Indian Constitution cannot be taken away through an ordinance.
    • The ordinance would also be considered void in case both the houses pass a resolution disapproving it.

    2.   COAL

    • News: A day after the 26th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) in Glasgow ended on Saturday, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, in a personal blog, dwelt on India’s last-minute intervention that played a key role in the final text of the agreement that called for coal to be “phased down” rather than “phased out”.
    • About Coal:
      • Also called black gold.
      • Found in sedimentary strata [layers of soil].
      • Contains carbon, volatile matter, moisture and ash [in some cases Sulphur and phosphorous]
      • Mostly used for power generation and metallurgy.
      • Coal reserves are six times greater than oil and petroleum reserves.
      • Amount of oxygen, nitrogen and moisture content decreases with time while the proportion of carbon increases [The quantity of carbon doesn’t increase, only its proportion increases due to the loss of other elements].
      • Capacity of coal to give energy depends upon the percentage or carbon content [Older the coal, much more is its carbon content].
      • Percentage of carbon in coal depends upon the duration and intensity of heat and pressure on wood. [carbon content also depends on depth of formation. More depth == more pressure and heat == better carbon content].
    • Formation of Coal:
      • Coal formed millions of years ago when the earth was covered with huge swampy [marshy] forests where plants – giant ferns and mosses – grew.
      • As the plants grew, some died and fell into the swamp waters. New plants grew up to take their places and when these died still more grew.
      • In time, there was thick layer of dead plants rotting in the swamp. The surface of the earth changed and water and dirt washed in, stopping the decaying process.
      • More plants grew up, but they too died and fell, forming separate layers. After millions of years many layers had formed, one on top of the other.
      • The weight of the top layers and the water and dirt packed down the lower layers of plant matter.
      • Heat and pressure produced chemical and physical changes in the plant layers which forced out oxygen and left rich carbon deposits. In time, material that had been plants became coal.
      • Coals are classified into three main ranks, or types: lignite, bituminous coal, and anthracite.
      • These classifications are based on the amount of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen present in the coal.
      • Coals other constituents include hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, ash, and sulfur.
      • Some of the undesirable chemical constituents include chlorine and sodium.
      • In the process of transformation (coalification), peat is altered to lignite, lignite is altered to sub-bituminous, sub-bituminous coal is altered to bituminous coal, and bituminous coal is altered to anthracite.
    • Types of Coal
      • Peat, Lignite, Bituminous & Anthracite Coal.
      • This division is  based on carbon, ash and moisture content.
      • Peat
        • First stage of transformation.
        • Contains less than 40 to 55 per cent carbon == more impurities.
        • Contains sufficient volatile matter and lot of moisture [more smoke and more pollution].
        • Left to itself, it burns like wood, gives less heat, emits more smoke and leaves a lot of ash.
      • Lignite
        • Brown coal.
        • Lower grade coal.
        • 40 to 55 per cent carbon.
        • Intermediate stage.
        • Dark to black brown.
        • Moisture content is high (over 35 per cent).
        • It undergoes SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION [Bad. Creates fire accidents in mines]
      • Bituminous Coal
        • Soft coal; most widely available and used coal.
        • Derives its name after a liquid called bitumen.
        • 40 to 80 per cent carbon.
        • Moisture and volatile content (15 to 40 per cent)
        • Dense, compact, and is usually of black colour.
        • Does not have traces of original vegetable material.
        • Calorific value is very high due to high proportion of carbon and low moisture.
        • Used in production of coke and gas.
      • Anthracite Coal
        • Best quality; hard coal.
        • 80 to 95 per cent carbon.
        • Very little volatile matter.
        • Negligibly small proportion of moisture.
        • Semi-metallic lustre.
        • Ignites slowly == less loss of heat == highly efficient.
        • Ignites slowly and burns with a nice short blue flame. [Complete combustion == Flame is BLUE == little or no pollutants. Example: LPG]
        • In India, it is found only in Jammu and Kashmir and that too in small quantity.

    3.   AMRABAD TIGER RESERVE

    • News: Safari ride into the Amrabad Tiger Reserve, which had been a minor sojourn for the pilgrims bound for the Srisailam temple, will be part of the ‘Tiger Stay Package’ which is set to begin from November 17.
    • About Amrabad Tiger Reserve:
      • Amrabad Tiger Reserve lies in Nallamala hills of Telangana.
      • It is India’s second-largest tiger reserve, next only to Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana).
      • It has a large presence of the Chenchu tribe.
      • It harbours great biodiversity, consisting of around 70 species of mammals, more than 300 hundred avian varieties, 60 species of reptiles and thousands of insects, all supported and nourished by more than 600 different plant species.
    • About Chenchu Tribe:
      • The Chenchus are Scheduled Tribe in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Odisha. Many Chenchus live in the dense Nallamala forest of Andhra Pradesh.
      • They are an aboriginal tribe whose traditional way of life has been based on hunting and gathering.
      • The Chenchus speak the Chenchu language, a member of the Dravidian language family.
      • Chenchu’s relationship with non-tribal people has been largely symbiotic.

    4.   KAISER – I – HIND BUTTERFLY

    • News: An elusive swallowtail butterfly carrying ‘India’ in its name and found in next-door China will become the State butterfly of Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Details:
      • The State Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday approved the large, brightly coloured Kaiser-i-Hind as the State butterfly. The Cabinet meeting was for the first time held outside State capital Itanagar at an unusual location — Pakke Tiger Reserve.
      • The Cabinet also adopted the Pakke Tiger Reserve 2047 declaration on climate change-resilient and responsive Arunachal Pradesh aimed at lowering emissions and sustainable development.
      • Kaiser-i-Hind (Teinopalpus imperialis) literally means Emperor of India. This butterfly with a 90-120 mm wingspan is found in six States along the eastern Himalayas at elevations from 6,000-10,000 feet in well-wooded terrain.
      • The butterfly also flutters in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and southern China.
      • The State Wildlife Board had in January 2020 accepted the proposal from Koj Rinya, the divisional forest officer of Hapoli Forest Division in the Lower Subansiri district to accept the Kaiser-i-Hind as the State butterfly. The proposal was made with a view to boosting butterfly tourism and saving the species from extinction in the State.
      • Protected areas under the Hapoli Forest Division are popular with butterfly enthusiasts.
      • Although the Kaiser-i-Hind is protected under Schedule II of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, it is hunted for supply to butterfly collectors.
    • About Pakke Tiger Reserve:
      • Pakke Tiger Reserve, also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve, is a Project Tiger reserve in the Pakke Kessang district of Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India.
      • The 862 km2 (333 sq mi) reserve is protected by the Department of Environment and Forest of Arunachal Pradesh.
      • This Tiger Reserve has won India Biodiversity Award 2016 in the category of ‘Conservation of threatened species’ for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.
      • Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the undulating and hilly foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh’s Pakke Kessang District at elevations ranging from 150 to 2,000 m (490 to 6,560 ft).
      • It is bounded by Bhareli or Kameng River in the west and north, and by Pakke River in the east.
      • The sanctuary slopes southwards towards the river valley of the Brahmaputra River.