Today’s Current Affairs: 24th January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
JUICE Space Mission : Europe
The European Union is to launch the JUICE Spacecraft in April 2023.
- The spacecraft is to explore the moons of Jupiter.
- Specifically, the mission is to study the three major moons of Jupiter namely Ganymede, Europe, and Callisto.
- Out of the 80 moons of the planet, these three were selected for their large oceans.
- The satellite is to be launched from French Guiana.
- JUICE is the first satellite from the earth to enter the orbit of Ganymede.
- JUICE stands for Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer.
- The main objective of the mission is to study the microbial life on the icy moons of the planet
- It will also study the polar regions and the magnetosphere of the planet
- NASA is to launch this mission in 2024.
- And the satellite will enter the giant planet orbit by 2030.
Ops Alert Exercise : Border Security Force
India is to celebrate its 74th republic day on January 26, 2023.
- Several anti–national elements try to cause trouble in the country during such nationwide celebrations.
- To put them under control and to increase security at the border, the BSF is conducting a seven-day long exercise called the “OPS ALERT”.
- During the exercise, the security personnel will hold drills in the India – Pakistan border that extends between Rann of Kutch and Sir Creek and also in the Barmer district of Rajasthan.
OPS ALERT exercise:
- The BSF will conduct reconciliation programs with the Indian residents in the border
- Various verifications and validities will be held
- Regions such as Harami Nala and Entire creek will be focused
- Sir Creek is a disputed maritime boundary.
- The creek is a narrow waterway,marshland along the shore.
Business 20 Inception Meeting:
The B20 Inception Meeting was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on the sidelines of G20.
- The meeting was attended by G20 Sherpa, business delegates, CEO, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, etc.
- The meeting was headed by Mr Chandrasekaran, Head of TATA sons.
- During the meeting, the bigshots formed two action groups and seven task forces.
- These groups will work and discuss on digital transformation, climate change, financial inclusion, and sustainability.
- For the first time, Africa will receive a special task force.
- The Sherpas meet prior to the summit and prepare agendas. They report about the negotiations being made among countries and other happenings to their country head.
Swami Sahajanand Saraswati:
The Union Home Minister will take part in a celebration commemorating farmer leader Swami Sahajanand Saraswati’s birth anniversary in Patna, Bihar.
- Swami Sahajanand Saraswati was an ascetic, a nationalist and a peasant leader of India.
- Although born in present-day UP, his social and political activities focussed mostly on Bihar in the initial days, and gradually spread to the rest of India.
- The Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS) was founded by Saraswati in 1929 to address peasants’ complaints about zamindari attacks on their occupancy rights, and served as the foundation for the farmers’ movements in India.
- The All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) was established at the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress in April 1936, with Saraswati chosen as its first President.
- Subhash Chandra Bose and the All India Forward Bloc decided to observe April 28 as All-India Swami Sahajanand Day in protest of his arrest by the British Raj during the Quit India Movement.
Chargesheets : Not Public Documents
The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that chargesheets are not ‘public documents’ and enabling their free public access violates the provisions of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC) as it compromises the rights of the accused, victim, and the investigation agencies.
- According to the Court, a chargesheet cannot be made publicly available as it’s not a ‘public document’ under Sections 74 and 76 of the Evidence Act, 1872.
- Section 74 defines public documents as those which form the acts or records of sovereign authority, official bodies, tribunals, and of public offices either legislative, judicial or executive in any part of India, Commonwealth or a foreign country.
- It also includes public records “kept in any State of private documents”.
- Documents mentioned in this section are only public documents, and certified copies of them must be provided by the public authority having custody of them.
- Copy of chargesheets along with necessary public documents cannot be said to be public documents under this section.
- Section 76: Any public officer having custody of such documents must provide a copy upon demand and payment of a legal fee, along with a certificate of attestation that states the date, seal, name, and designation of the officer.
- As per Section 75 of the Evidence Act, all documents other than those listed under Section 74 are private documents.
- A chargesheet, as defined under Section 173 CrPC, is the final report prepared by a police officer or investigative agency after completing their investigation of a case.
- In the K Veeraswami vs Union of India & Others (1991) case, the SC ruled that the chargesheet is a final report of the police officer under section 173(2) of the CrPC.
- A chargesheet must be filed against the accused within a prescribed period of 60-90 days, otherwise, the arrest is illegal, and the accused is entitled to bail.
Aravali Safari Park Project : Environment Concerns
Some Environmental Activists have raised concerns over the 10,000-acre Aravali safari park Project proposed in Haryana.
- This project will be the largest such project in the world.
- It aims to boost tourism and employment opportunities for the local people.
- The Aravalli safari project is being conceived and designed as a zoo safari and not a natural jungle safari to see native Aravalli wildlife in their natural habitat.
- Conservation of the Aravallis does not even get a mention in the aims of the project mentioned in the Proposition.
- Vehicular traffic and construction in the area, the proposed safari park will also disturb the aquifers under the Aravalli hills that are critical reserves for the water-starved districts.
- These aquifers are interconnected and any disturbance or alterations in the pattern can significantly alter the groundwater table.
- The group has especially objected to the ‘underwater zone’ envisioned in the park since the site is a “water-scarce region”.
- In Nuh district, the groundwater table is already below 1,000 feet at many places; the tube wells, borewells and ponds are running dry; Gurugram district has many areas in the ‘red zone’.
- The location falls under the category of ‘forest’, according to many orders by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal, and is protected under the Forest Conservation Act 1972.
- As such, cutting of trees, clearing of land, construction and real estate development is prohibited on this land.
- The group also highlighted that the construction proposed by the Haryana tourism department in May 2022 would be illegal and further damage the already damaged Aravalli ecosystem.
China Builds New Dam In Tibet:
China is constructing a new dam on the Mabja Zangbo river in Tibet, close to the tri-junction of India, Nepal and Tibet, raising concerns since China has ramped up creation of military and dual use infrastructure and in the eastern and western sectors of the LAC (Line of Actual Control).
- The development comes in the wake of China unveiling plans in 2021 to build a massive dam on the lower reaches of Yarlung Zangbo to generate up to 70 GW of power, three times that of the country’s Three Gorges dam, which is the world’s largest hydropower plant in terms of installed capacity.
- The Brahmaputra, known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China, is a 2,880 km long transborder river that originates in the Mansarovar lake and flows 1,700 km within Tibet, 920 km in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and 260 km in Bangladesh.
- It accounts for nearly 30% of freshwater resources and 40% of India’s hydropower potential.
- The new dam is located around 16 km north of the tri-junction and is opposite the Kalapani area of Uttarakhand.
- The dam is on the Mabja Zangbo river, a tributary of the Ganga.
- Construction activity on the dam has been observed on the northern side of the river in Burang county, Tibet since May 2021.
- The Mabja Zangbo River flows into Nepal’s Ghaghara or the Karnali River before it joins the Ganga River in India.
13th Amendment To The Constitution Of Sri Lanka:
India’s External Affairs minister during a recent visit to Sri Lanka expressed India’s “considered view” with the Sri Lankan President that the full implementation of the 13th Amendment was “critical” for power devolution.
- 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is an outcome of the India-Sri Lanka Peace Accord of July 1987, signed by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayawardene.
- It was an attempt to resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict that had aggravated into a full-fledged civil war, between the armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
- The 13th Amendment, led to the creation of Provincial Councils.
- It assured a power sharing arrangement to enable all nine provinces in the country, including Sinhala majority areas, to self-govern.
- Subjects such as education, health, agriculture, housing, land and police are devolved to the provincial administrations.
- It made Tamil one of Sri Lanka’s official languages and English, a link language.
- The amendment has never been fully implemented because of the overriding powers given to the President.
Bimodal Nuclear Propulsion : NASA
As part of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program for 2023, NASA selected a bimodal nuclear propulsion concept for Phase I development which could reduce transit times to Mars to just 45 days.
- Bimodal nuclear propulsion is a two-part system that includes; Nuclear Thermal and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NTP /NEP).
- It uses a wave rotor topping cycle.
- The Nuclear Thermal system includes a nuclear reactor that will heat liquid hydrogen (LH2) propellant and turn it into ionised hydrogen gas (plasma) that will then be channelled through a nozzle to generate thrust.
- Nuclear Electric Propulsion depends on a nuclear reactor to provide electricity to a Hall-Effect thruster (ion engine), which will generate an electromagnetic field that will ionise and accelerate an inert gas to create thrust.
What Is Planet Parade?
Over the past few nights, Venus and Saturn have been gradually coming together in the sky which was visible through the naked eye.
- Planet Parade is the phenomenon wherein the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were visible to the naked eye from Earth.
- This planetary meet-up, also known as a conjunction, makes the two planets appear close together or even touch in the Earth’s night sky.
- Despite being millions of kilometres apart, the planets seem to occupy the same space in the night sky because of their alignment.
- Just after sunset in the west, a conjunction of Venus and Saturn were 0.4 degrees apart as seen from earth.
Yellow Band Disease : Destroying Corals
Scientists found that corals of eastern Thailand are getting affected by Yellow band Disease which is killing corals over vast stretches of the sea floor.
- Yellow-band disease named for the colour it turns corals before destroying them was first spotted decades ago and has caused widespread damage to reefs in the
- There is no known cure for this disease and unlike coral, bleaching corals will not be restored once they get infected by this disease.
- Scientists believe overfishing, pollution and rising water temperatures because of climate change may be making the reefs more vulnerable to yellow-band disease.