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 – 23rd September 2021

    1.     WORLD RHINO DAY

    • News: The “world’s largest stockpile” of rhino horns was consigned to flames in eastern Assam’s Bokakhat, the headquarters of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, amid Vedic rituals.
    • About World Rhino Day:
      • World Rhino Day was first announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010.
      • The following year, World Rhino Day grew into an international success, encompassing both African and Asian rhino species.
    • About Kaziranga National Park:
      • Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India.
      • The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.
      • According to the census held in March 2018 which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,413.
      • In 2015, the rhino population stood at 2401.
      • Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 (now the highest tiger density is in Orang National Park, Assam).
      • The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
      • Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species.
      • Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
      • Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra.

    2.     GLOBAL AIR QUALITY NORMS

    • News: The World Health Organization (WHO), in its first-ever update since 2005, has tightened global air pollution standards in recognition of the emerging science that the impact of air pollution on health is much more serious than earlier envisaged.
    • Details:
      • The move does not have an immediate effect in India as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards do not meet the WHO’s existing norms.
      • Experts say the move sets the stage for shifts in policy towards evolving stricter standards.
      • WHO’s new guidelines recommend air quality levels for 6 pollutants, where evidence has advanced the most on health effects from exposure.
      • When action is taken on these so-called classical pollutants – particulate matter (PM), ozone (O₃), nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) sulfur dioxide (SO₂) and carbon monoxide (CO), it also has an impact on other damaging pollutants.
      • The health risks associated with particulate matter equal or smaller than 10 and 2.5 microns (µm) in diameter (PM₁₀ and PM₂.₅, respectively) are of particular public health relevance.
      • Both PM₂.₅ and PM₁₀ are capable of penetrating deep into the lungs but PM₂.₅ can even enter the bloodstream, primarily resulting in cardiovascular and respiratory impacts, and also affecting other organs.
      • PM is primarily generated by fuel combustion in different sectors, including transport, energy, households, industry, and from agriculture. In 2013, outdoor air pollution and particulate matter were classified as carcinogenic by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
      • Disparities in air pollution exposure are increasing worldwide, particularly as low- and middle-income countries are experiencing growing levels of air pollution because of large-scale urbanization and economic development that has largely relied on the burning of fossil fuels.
    • About Air Quality Index:
      • The National Air Quality Index (AQI) was launched in New Delhi on September 17, 2014, under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
      • The Central Pollution Control Board along with State Pollution Control Boards has been operating National Air Monitoring Program (NAMP) covering 240 cities of the country having more than 342 monitoring stations.
      • An Expert Group comprising medical professionals, air quality experts, academia, advocacy groups, and SPCBs was constituted and a technical study was awarded to IIT Kanpur.
      • IIT Kanpur and the Expert Group recommended an AQI scheme in 2014. While the earlier measuring index was limited to three indicators, the new index measures eight parameters.
      • The continuous monitoring systems that provide data on near real-time basis are installed in New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.
      • There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. The proposed AQI will consider eight pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term (up to 24-hourly averaging period) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.
      • Based on the measured ambient concentrations, corresponding standards and likely health impact, a sub-index is calculated for each of these pollutants.
      • The worst sub-index reflects overall AQI.
      • Likely health impacts for different AQI categories and pollutants have also been suggested, with primary inputs from the medical experts in the group.
    AQI Associated Health Impacts
    Good (0–50) Minimal impact
    Satisfactory (51–100) May cause minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people.
    Moderately polluted (101–200) May cause breathing discomfort to people with lung disease such as asthma, and discomfort to people with heart disease, children and older adults.
    Poor (201–300) May cause breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure, and discomfort to people with heart disease.
    Very poor (301–400) May cause respiratory illness to the people on prolonged exposure. Effect may be more pronounced in people with lung and heart diseases.
    Severe (401–500) May cause respiratory impact even on healthy people, and serious health impacts on people with lung/heart disease. The health impacts may be experienced even during light physical activity.

     

    AQI Category (Range) PM10 (24hr) PM2.5 (24hr) NO2 (24hr) O3 (8hr) CO (8hr) SO2 (24hr) NH3 (24hr) Pb (24hr)
    Good (0–50) 0–50 0–30 0–40 0–50 0–1.0 0–40 0–200 0–0.5
    Satisfactory (51–100) 51–100 31–60 41–80 51–100 1.1–2.0 41–80 201–400 0.5–1.0
    Moderately polluted (101–200) 101–250 61–90 81–180 101–168 2.1–10 81–380 401–800 1.1–2.0
    Poor (201–300) 251–350 91–120 181–280 169–208 10–17 381–800 801–1200 2.1–3.0
    Very poor (301–400) 351–430 121–250 281–400 209–748 17–34 801–1600 1200–1800 3.1–3.5
    Severe (401–500) 430+ 250+ 400+ 748+ 34+ 1600+ 1800+ 3.5+

     

    3.     SREE PADMANABHA SWAMY TEMPLE

    • News: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea by Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust (SPSTT) to exempt it from a special audit of accounts spanning 25 years.
    • About Padmanabhaswamy Temple:
      • The Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple located in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital of Kerala, India.
      • It is considered the richest place of worship in the world.
      • The name of the city of Thiruvananthapuram in Tamil translates to “The City of Lord Ananta”, (The City Of Lord Vishnu) referring to the deity of the Padmanabhaswamy temple.
      • The temple is built in an intricate fusion of the Chera style and the Dravidian style of architecture, featuring high walls, and a 16th-century gopura.
      • While the Ananthapura temple at Kumbla in Kasaragod is considered the original seat of the deity (“Moolasthanam”), architecturally to some extent, the temple is a replica of the Adikesava Perumal temple in Thiruvattar.

    4.     MOPLAH REBELLION

    • News: Prajna Pravah, an organisation associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has demanded that the 1921 Moplah Rebellion be termed a “genocide” and a memorial be set up in memory of those who lost their lives in that set of events.
    • About Moplah Rebellion:
      • The Malabar rebellion happened from August 20, 1921 to 1922 in the Malabar region of Kerala, India.
      • The Malabar rebellion of 1921 (also known by the names Moplah massacre, Moplah riots, Mappila riots) started as a resistance against the British colonial rule in Malabar region of Kerala.
      • The popular uprising was also against the prevailing feudal system controlled by elite Hindus.
      • The British had appointed high caste Hindus in positions of authority to get their support, this led to the protest turning against the Hindus.
      • During the uprising, the rebels also attacked various symbols and institutions of the colonial state, such as telegraph lines, train stations, courts and post offices.
      • The main leaders of the rebellion were Ali Musliyar, Variankunnath Kunjahammad Haji, Sithi Koya Thangal, M. P. Narayana Menon, Chembrasery Thangal, K. Moideenkutti Haji, Kappad Krishnan Nair, Konnara Thangal, Pandiyatt Narayanan Nambeesan, and Mozhikunnath Brahmadathan Nambudiripad.