Arctic Region and Arctic Council

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

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 18th August 2021


    • News: The Taliban vowed on Tuesday to respect women’s rights, forgive those who resisted them and ensure a secure Afghanistan as part of a publicity blitz aimed at convincing world powers and a fearful population that they have changed.
    • About the Status of Women in the World:
      • Gender inequality is a major cause and effect of hunger and poverty: it is estimated that 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls. (Source: WFP Gender Policy and Strategy.)
      • On average, women make up about 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. Evidence indicates that if these women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 percent, raising total agricultural output in these countries by 2.5 to 4 percent. This would reduce the number of hungry people in the world by around 12 to 17 percent.
      • Almost 70 percent of employed women in South Asia work in agriculture, as do more than 60 percent of employed women in sub-Saharan Africa. This highlights the importance of developing policies and programmes that address their needs, interests and constraints.
      • Less than 20 percent of the world’s landholders are women. Women represent fewer than 5 percent of all agricultural landholders in North Africa and West Asia, while in sub-Saharan Africa they make up an average of 15 percent.
      • Women in sub-Saharan Africa collectively spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water. Per week, women in Guinea collect water for 5.7 hours, compared to 2.3 hours for men; in Sierra Leone women spend 7.3 compared to 4.5 hours for men; and in Malawi this figure is 9.1 compared to 1.1 hours. This significantly impacts women’s employment opportunities.
      • Research indicates that when more income is put into the hands of women, child nutrition, health and education improves. In South and Central America, rural children are about 1.8 times more likely to be underweight than their urban counterparts. Other regions do not fare much better.
      • Education
        • Women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate people.
        • According to global statistics, just 39 percent of rural girls attend secondary school. This is far fewer than rural boys (45 percent), urban girls (59 percent) and urban boys (60 percent).
        • Every additional year of primary school increases girls’ eventual wages by 10-20 percent. It also encourages them to marry later and have fewer children, and leaves them less vulnerable to violence.
        • While progress has been made in reducing the gender gap in urban primary school enrolment, data from 42 countries shows that rural girls are twice as likely as urban girls to be out of school.
        • In Pakistan a half-kilometre increase in the distance to school will decrease girls’ enrolment by 20 percent. In Egypt, Indonesia and several African countries, building local schools in rural communities increased girls’ enrolment.
        • In Cambodia, 48 percent of rural women are illiterate compared to 14 percent of rural men.
        • Rural women’s deficits in education have long-term implications for family well-being and poverty reduction. Vast improvements have been seen in the mortality rates of children less than 5 years old since 1990, but rural rates are usually much higher than urban ones.
        • Data from 68 countries indicates that a woman’s education is a key factor in determining a child’s survival.
        • Children of mothers with no education in the Latin American and Caribbean region are 3.1 times more likely to die than those with mothers who have secondary or tertiary education, and 1.6 more likely to die that those whose mothers have primary-level education.
      • Employment
        • In most countries, women in rural areas who work for wages are more likely than men to hold seasonal, part-time and low-wage jobs. Women also receive lower wages for the same work. (Source: FAO, 2011. “The State of Food and Agriculture: Women in Agriculture, Closing the Gender Gap for Development.)
        • Men’s average wages are higher than women’s in both rural and urban areas. Rural women typically work longer hours than men, due to additional reproductive, domestic and care responsibilities.
        • In Benin and Tanzania, women work 17.4 and 14 hours more than men per week, respectively.
      • Decision-Making
        • A large gender gap remains in women’s access to decision-making and leadership.
        • Women make up fewer elected representatives in most rural councils. In Asia, this ranges between 1.6 percent in Sri Lanka and 31 percent in Pakistan.
        • Women’s participation as chairs or heads in rural councils is also much lower than men’s, as seen in Bangladesh (0.2 percent) and Cambodia (7 percent).
        • Educated women are more likely to have greater decision-making power within their households.
      • Maternal Health
        • Between 1990 and 2008, the proportion of rural women receiving prenatal care at least once during pregnancy grew from 55 to 66 percent.

    2.   MUHARRAM

    • News: Several Shia mourners were detained and journalists allegedly thrashed by the police, as the Jammu and Kashmir administration barred the Muharram procession in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk
    • About Muharram:
      • Muḥarram is the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the four sacred months of the year when warfare is forbidden. It is held to be the second holiest month after Ramadan.
      • The tenth day of Muharram is known as Ashura. Better known as part of the Mourning of Muharram, Shiʿi Muslims mourn the tragedy of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī’s family, and Sunni Muslims practice fasting on Ashura.

    3.   HAL TEJAS

    • News: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Tuesday signed a $716-mn deal with GE Aviation of the U.S. for 99 F404 aircraft engines and support services that will power the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk-1A.
    • About Tejas:
      • The HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
      • It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.
      • In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.
      • Tejas has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration with a single vertical stabilizer.
      • This provides better high-alpha performance characteristics than conventional wing designs.
      • Its wing root leading edge has a sweep of 50 degrees, the outer wing leading edge has a sweep of 62.5 degrees, and trailing edge has a forward sweep of four degrees.
      • It integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, multi-mode radar, integrated digital avionics system and composite material structures.
      • It is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat aircraft.


    • News: After the rain A pair of one-horned rhinos enjoying the first wave of floodwater in the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district of Assam.
    • About Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary:
      • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Morigaon district in Assam, India.
      • It was declared in 1987 and covers 38.85 km2 (15.00 sq mi), providing grassland and wetland habitat for the Indian rhinoceros.
      • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary holds one of the largest Indian rhinoceros populations in Assam.
      • Other mammals occurring in the sanctuary are golden jackal, wild boar and feral water buffalo. Barking deer, Indian leopard and rhesus macaque live foremost in the hilly parts.
      • Pobitora has exceeded its rhino-bearing capacity and is overpopulated.

    5.   HIRAKUD DAM

    • News: There’s every chance of visitors to the Hirakud reservoir in western Odisha bumping into the large numbers of cattle growing in the wild there for over 60 years.
    • About Hirakud Dam:
      • Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha in India. It is the longest dam in the world.
      • Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km (34 mi) long.
      • It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects started after India’s independence.
      • The Hirakud Dam is a composite structure of earth, concrete and masonry.