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 – 29th March 2022

    1.    BIOMETRICS OF DETAINEES

    • News: The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022, that would allow the police and prison authorities to collect, store and analyse physical and biological samples, including retina and iris scans, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday amid strong protests from Opposition members, who forced a vote on the issue and termed the Bill “unconstitutional”.
    • Details:
      • The Bill also seeks to apply these provisions to persons held under any preventive detention law.
      • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will be the repository of physical and biological samples, signature and handwriting data that can be preserved for at least 75 years.
      • Opposition members argued that the Bill was beyond the legislative competence of Parliament as it violated fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to privacy.
    • About Right to Privacy:
      • Right to privacy includes the right to be forgotten and the right to be left alone.
      • About the Right to Privacy:In Puttaswamy v. Union of India case, 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court.
        • Right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.
      • About Right to be Forgotten (RTBF):It is the right to have publicly available personal information removed from the internet, search, databases, websites or any other public platforms, once the personal information in question is no longer necessary, or relevant.
        • The RTBF gained importance after the 2014 decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in the Google Spain case.
        • In the Indian context, the Supreme Court in Puttaswamy v. Union of India, 2017 noted that the RTBF was a part of the broader right of privacy.
        • The RTBF emerges from the right to privacy under Article 21 and partly from the right to dignity under Article 14.
      • About Biometric:
        • Biometrics are body measurements and calculations related to human characteristics.
        • Biometric authentication (or realistic authentication) is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control. It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance.
        • Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals.
        • Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological characteristics, which are related to the shape of the body.
        • Examples include, but are not limited to mouse movement, fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odor/scent.
        • Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to typing rhythm, gait, signature, behavioral profiling, and voice.
        • Some researchers have coined the term ‘behaviometrics’ to describe the latter class of biometrics.

    2.    CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

    • News: The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved its order on a plea challenging the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order dismissing an RTI appeal seeking the agenda of the Supreme Court Collegium meeting on December 12, 2018.
    • About Central Information Commission:
      • The Central Information Commission is a statutory body, set up under the Right to Information Act in 2005 under the Government of India to act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer due to either the officer not have been appointed, or because the respective Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer refused to receive the application for information under the Right to Information Act.
      • The commission includes one chief information commissioner and not more than ten information commissioners who are appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

    3.    MALABAR REBELLION

    • News: The Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) has deferred its decision on a recommendation to remove the 1921 Malabar Rebellion martyrs, including Variamkunnaathu Kunhahamad Haji and Ali Musliyar, from the list of India’s freedom fighters.
    • About Malabar Rebellion:
      • The Malabar rebellion, Moplah massacre, Moplah riots or Mappila riots occured between August 1921 and 1922 in the southern part of the Malabar district of the Madras Presidency (now part of the Indian state of Kerala).
      • Muslims in large scale, fearing the failure of Khilafat in Turkey started attacking hindus leading to the death of 2000+ Hindu deaths and 10000+ were forced to flee.
      • During the uprising, the rebels also attacked various 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.

    4.    CORAL BLEACHING

    • News: Corals are marine invertebrates or animals not possessing a spine.
    • About Coral Bleaching:
      • Corals are marine invertebrates or animals not possessing a spine. Each coral is called a polyp and thousands of such polyps live together to form a colony, which grows when polyps multiply to make copies of themselves.
      • Corals are of two types — hard coral and soft coral. Hard corals, also called hermatypic or ‘reef building’ corals extract calcium carbonate (also found in limestone) from the seawater to build hard, white coral exoskeletons.
      • Soft coral polyps, however, borrow their appearance from plants, attach themselves to such skeletons and older skeletons built by their ancestors.
      • Soft corals also add their own skeletons to the hard structure over the years and these growing multiplying structures gradually form coral reefs.
      • They are the largest living structures on the planet.
      • Corals share a symbiotic relationship with single-celled algae called zooxanthellae.
      • The algae provides the coral with food and nutrients, which they make through photosynthesis, using the sun’s light. In turn, the corals give the algae a home and key nutrients. The zooxanthellae also give corals their bright colour.
      • Bleaching happens when corals experience stress in their environment due to changes in temperature, pollution or high levels of ocean acidity.
      • Under stressed conditions, the zooxanthellae or food-producing algae living inside coral polyps start producing reactive oxygen species, which are not beneficial to the corals.
      • So, the corals expel the colour-giving zooxanthellae from their polyps, which exposes their pale white exoskeleton, giving the corals a bleached appearance.
      • This also ends the symbiotic relationship that helps the corals to survive and grow.
      • Bleached corals can survive depending on the levels of bleaching and the recovery of sea temperatures to normal levels.
      • If heat-pollutions subside in time, over a few weeks, the zooxanthellae can come back to the corals and restart the partnership but severe bleaching and prolonged stress in the external environment can lead to coral death.
      • Over the last couple of decades, climate change and increased global warming owing to rising carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases have made seas warmer than usual.
      • Under all positive outlooks and projections in terms of cutting greenhouse gases, sea temperatures are predicted to increase by 1.5°C to 2°C by the time the century nears its end.
      • The first mass bleaching event had occurred in 1998 when the El Niño weather pattern caused sea surfaces in the pacific ocean to heat up; this event caused 8% of the world’s coral to die.
      • The second event took place in 2002. In the past decade, however, mass bleaching occurrences have become more closely spaced in time, with the longest and most damaging bleaching event taking place from 2014 to 2017.
      • Dead reefs can revive over time if there are enough fish species that can graze off the weeds that settle on dead corals, but it takes almost a decade for the reef to start setting up again. The reefs which were severely damaged in 1998 did recover over time.

    5.    MICROPLASTICS

    • News: Microplastics are tiny bits of plastic found in the environment in various places — the oceans, the environment, and now as per recent studies in human blood as well.
    • Details:
      • Microplastics are tiny bits of various types of plastic found in the environment. The name is used to differentiate them from “macroplastics” such as bottles and bags made of plastic.
      • There is no universal agreement on the size that fits this bill — the U.S. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the European Chemical Agency define microplastic as less than 5mm in length.
      • The study looked at the most commonly used plastic polymers. These were polyethylene tetraphthalate (PET), polyethylene (used in making plastic carry bags), polymers of styrene (used in food packaging), poly (methyl methylacrylate) and poly propylene.

    6.    ZOJILA PASS

    • News: With the military confrontation with China in Ladakh putting extra pressure on mobilisation of men and machinery in the past two years, around 1,000 workers stayed put in snow-bound Sonamarg in central Kashmir this winter to advance the deadline by two years for all-weather connectivity with Ladakh through 18-km-long multiple tunnels to cross the treacherous Zojila mountain pass.
    • Map: