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 – 8th November 2021

    1.     POBITORA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

    • News: Photos: Of all seasons Migratory birds flocking to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon, Assam, on Sunday.
    • 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.
      • The grasslands provide habitat and food resource for the Indian rhinoceros, hosting Assam’s second largest population.
      • 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.
      • It is an Important Bird Area and home for more than 2000 migratory birds and various reptiles.

    2.     AMMONIA

    • News: Due to the increase in ammonia levels in the Yamuna near Wazirabad, water supply in the Capital was hit on Sunday but was restored by evening.
    • About Ammonia:
      • Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3.
      • Ammonia is a colourless gas with a distinct pungent smell.
      • It is a common nitrogenous waste, particularly among aquatic organisms, and it contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to 45 percent of the world’s food and fertilizers.
      • Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceutical products and is used in many commercial cleaning products.
      • It is mainly collected by downward displacement of both air and water.
      • Although common in nature – both terrestrially and in the outer planets of the Solar System – and in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous in its concentrated form.

    3.     NAGULA CHAVITHI

    • News: Festival time A man clearing the leaves around snake pits on the eve of Nagula Chavithi, a festival to worship Nag Devatas (serpent gods).
    • About Nagula Chavithi:
      • Nagula Chavithi is an auspicious day to observe Naga Puja.
      • Nagula Chavithi is observed on the fourth day (Chaturthi) after Deepavali Amavasya during Karthika masam.
      • Nag Panchami and Nagasashti are observed after Naga Chaturthi. In some parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu it is also celebrated in the month of Sravana masam.
      • Nagula Chavithi, a festival to worship Nag Devatas (Serpent Gods), is mainly a women’s festival.
      • Nagula Chavithi is observed by married women for their wellbeing of their children. During the Chavithi festival, women keep fast and observe Naga Puja.
      • Devotees offer milk and dry fruits to Sarpa Devata at the Valmeekam or Putta (snake pits). On Nag Chaturthi day, Ashtanag (seven hooded cobra) is worshipped.

    4.     CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT

    • News: Sudanese security forces on Sunday fired tear gas at multiple anti-coup rallies, with protesters in several cities joining a call for two-days of civil disobedience against last month’s military takeover.
    • About Civil Disobedience Movement:
      • The Salt March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, Dandi March and the Dandi Satyagraha, was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by Mahatma Gandhi.
      • The twenty-four day march lasted from 12 March 1930 to 5 April 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.
      • Another reason for this march was that the Civil Disobedience Movement needed a strong inauguration that would inspire more people to follow Gandhi’s example. Gandhi started this march with 78 of his trusted volunteers.
      • The march spanned 240 miles (390 km), from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, which was called Navsari at that time (now in the state of Gujarat).
      • Growing numbers of Indians joined them along the way. When Gandhi broke the British Raj salt laws at 8:30 am on 6 April 1930, it sparked large scale acts of civil disobedience against the salt laws by millions of Indians.
      • The satyagraha against the salt tax continued for almost a year, ending with Gandhi’s release from jail and negotiations with Viceroy Lord Irwin at the Second Round Table Conference.
      • Gandhi chose the 1882 British Salt Act as the first target of satyagraha.
      • The Salt March to Dandi, and the beating by British police of hundreds of nonviolent protesters in Dharasana, which received worldwide news coverage, demonstrated the effective use of civil disobedience as a technique for fighting social and political injustice.

    5.     MOLNUPIRAVIR

    • News: Molnupiravir is the first antiviral medicine that can be taken as a pill rather than being injected or administered intravenously According to interim results published on the Merck website, Molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalisation by approximately 50% Willyard has flagged an issue expressed by some researchers that “the compound’s mutagenic potential in human cells” does raise safety concerns
    • Details:
      • It was originally developed to treat influenza and works by inhibiting the replication of certain RNA viruses.
      • It was invented at Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), LLC, a non-profit company of the Emory University, and is being developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, in the U.S. The drug reportedly needs to be given within five days after the onset of symptoms in order to be useful in the patient.
      • Molnupiravir, like remdesivir, is a nucleoside analogue, which means it mimics some of the building blocks of RNA. But the compounds work in entirely different ways.
      • When SARS-CoV-2 enters a cell, the virus needs to duplicate its RNA genome to form new viruses. Remdesivir is a ‘chain terminator’.
      • It stops the enzyme that builds these RNA ‘chains’ from adding further links.
      • Molnupiravir, on the other hand, gets incorporated into burgeoning RNA strands and, once inside, wreaks havoc.
      • Those RNA strands become faulty blueprints for the next round of viral genomes and when enough mutations occur, the viral population collapses.

    6.     BIG DATA

    • News: With traditional relational databases, one can “query” and obtain answers using Structured Query Language (SQL), which has an intuitive, easy-to-understand syntax. NoSQL breaks the constraints of storing data in a table and having all columns in one row.
    • About Big Data:
      • Big data is a field that treats ways to analyze, systematically extract information from, or otherwise deal with data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software.
      • Data with many fields (columns) offer greater statistical power, while data with higher complexity (more attributes or columns) may lead to a higher false discovery rate.
      • Big data analysis challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating, information privacy, and data source. Big data was originally associated with three key concepts: volume, variety, and velocity.

    7.     WORLD HERITAGE SITES

    • News: World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance.
    • About World Heritage Sites:
      • A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
      • World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance.
      • The sites are judged to contain “cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity”.
      • To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be a somehow unique landmark which is geographically and historically identifiable and has special cultural or physical significance.
      • Up to 2004, there were six criteria for cultural heritage and four for natural heritage. In 2005, this was modified so that now there is only one set of ten criteria. Nominated sites must be of “outstanding universal value” and meet at least one of the ten criteria.
      • These criteria have been modified or amended several times since their creation.
      • Cultural
        • “To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius”
        • “To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design”
        • “To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared”
        • “To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history”
        • “To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change”
        • “To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance”
      • Natural
        • “to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance”
        • “to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features”
        • “to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals”
        • “to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation”
      • About India in World Heritage Sites:
        • The first four Indian sites were inscribed in 1983 and included the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
        • 2 Of the 40 inscribed sites located in India, only one of them is a ‘Mixed World Heritage Site’ having fulfilled the nomination criteria under both natural and cultural heritage.