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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 29th November 2021

Today Current Affairs: 29th November 2021 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Ramappa Temple: Telangana’s First UNESCO World Heritage Site:

Telangana’s Ramappa Temple is receiving massive focus after it received UNESCO tag recently.

About the Temple:

  • Situated in Telangana’s Warangal, the temple stands on a six-feet high star-shaped platform with walls, pillars and ceilings adorned with intricate carvings that attest to the unique skill of the Kakatiyan sculptors.
  • The temple is named after its architect, Ramappa.
  • Constructed in 1213 AD during the reign of the Kakatiya Empire by Recharla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva.
  • The temple’s presiding deity is Ramalingeswara Swamy.

PASIPHAE:

Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) is an international collaborative sky surveying project.

  • Scientists aim to study the polarisation in the light coming from millions of stars.
  • Polarization is a property of light that represents the direction that the light wave oscillates.
  • The survey will use two high-tech optical polarimeters to observe the northern and southern skies, simultaneously.
  • It will focus on capturing starlight polarisation of very faint stars that are so far away that polarisation signals from there have not been systematically studied.
  • The distances to these stars will be obtained from measurements of the GAIA satellite.
  • By combining these data, astronomers will perform a maiden magnetic field tomography mapping of the interstellar medium of very large areas of the sky using a novel polarimeter instrument known as WALOP (Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter).

Significance of the project:

  • The theory is that a small fraction of CMB radiation emitted during the universe’s rapid inflationary phase should have its fingerprints on a specific kind of polarisation, known technically as B-mode signals. These B-modes are theorised to have arisen as a result of powerful gravitational waves seen during inflation.
  • However, these signals have been difficult to isolate because of the enormous amounts of polarised radiation in our own Milky Way, caused by large dust clouds that fill the galaxy.
  • In essence, PASIPHAE endeavours to ascertain the effect of these obstacles, so we can, ultimately, learn how things played out in the early universe.

UP Anti-Conversion Law:

The Uttar Pradesh Police have registered a total of 108 cases under a controversial ordinance that criminalises religious conversion by “force, undue influence, coercion, or allurement”.

  • The Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, which was replaced by an Act earlier this year, completes a year.
  • This law was passed by the UP government to tackle “unlawful religious conversions” and to address “love jihad”, which is described as an alleged conspiracy by Muslim men to convert Hindu women to Islam by wooing and marrying them.
  • It makes religious conversion for marriage a non-bailable offence.
  • The onus will be on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage.
  • The notice period to the district magistrate for the religious conversion is two months.
  • In case of conversion done by a woman for the sole purpose of marriage, the marriage would be declared null and void.
  • Violation of the provisions of the law would invite a jail term of not less than one year extendable to five years with a fine of ₹15,000.
  • If a minor woman or a woman from the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes communities was converted through the said unlawful means, the jail term would be a minimum of three years and could be extended to 10 years with a fine of ₹25,000.
  • The ordinance also lays down strict action, including cancellation of registration of social organisations conducting mass conversions.
  • The ordinance comes days after the Allahabad high court said in a verdict (Salamat Ansari-Priyanka Kharwar case) that the right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty.
  • The verdict also said earlier court rulings that ‘religious conversion for marriage was unacceptable’ was not good in law.
  • The law has come under sharp criticism from several legal scholars who had contended that the concept of ‘love jihad’ did not have any constitutional or legal basis.
  • They have pointed to Article 21 of the constitution which guarantees individuals the right to marry a person of one’s choice.
  • Also, under Article 25, freedom of conscience, the practice and conversion of religion of one’s choice including not following any religion, are also guaranteed.

K-shaped Economic Recovery:

The prospects of a K-shaped recovery from COVID are increasing both in India and across the world.

  • A K-shaped recovery happens when different sections of an economy recover at starkly different rates.
  • Households at the top of the pyramid are likely to have seen their in- comes largely protected, and savings rates forced up during the lockdown, increasing ‘fuel in the tank’ to drive future consumption.
  • Meanwhile, households at the bottom are likely to have witnessed permanent hits to jobs and incomes.

Macro implications of a K-shaped recovery:

  • Upper-income households have benefitted from higher savings for two quarters.
  • Households at the bottom have experienced a permanent loss of income in the forms of jobs and wage cuts; this will be a recurring drag on demand, if the labour market does not heal faster.
  • To the extent that COVID has triggered an effective income transfer from the poor to the rich, this will be demand-impeding because the poor have a higher marginal propensity to consume (i.e. they tend to spend (instead of saving) a much higher proportion of their income.
  • If COVID-19 reduces competition or increases the inequality of incomes and opportunities, it could impinge on trend growth in developing economies by hurting productivity and tightening political economy constraints.

India-Israel Women In STEM Conference:

India-Israel Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) conference was held.

  • The need for introducing flexible work times and gender-neutral pays to enhance women participation in STEM was highlighted.
  • The STEM acronym was introduced in 2001 by scientific administrators at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • The organization previously used the acronym SMET when referring to the career fields in those disciplines or a curriculum that integrated knowledge and skills from those fields.
  • It is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in 4 specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
  • India is one of the countries that produce the highest number of scientists and engineers, the growth of STEM has picked up significantly over the last few years.
  • Under Article 51A of the Constitution of India, it is a duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.

Participation of Women in STEM:

  • About 43% of STEM graduates in India are women, which is the highest in the world, but their share in STEM jobs in India is a mere 14%.
  • In Indian STEM, the primary concern has never been with the number of women graduates, but with the proportion of those who ultimately land STEM jobs.
  • S&T has translated into the economic sphere and institutions are structured so, Science & Technology (S&T) could become a changemaker in society by introducing flexible work times, and gender-neutral pays to enhance women participation in STEM.
  • Greater women’s participation in the tech sector will make women more strong and influential, giving a boost to their socio-economic situation in the society.

National Family Health Survey (NFHS 2019-21) Released:

The latest data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS 2019-21) has been released.

Prevalence of Child Marriage:

  • The share of women aged 20-24 who married before turning 18 has declined from 27% to 23% in the last five years.
  • West Bengal and Bihar, with around 41% such women each, had the highest prevalence of girl child marriage.
  • The maximum reduction in the proportion of underage marriages was observed in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.

Rampant Anaemia:

  • As many as 57% women aged 15-49 were anaemic in 2019-21, compared to 53% in 2015-16, while the same for men rose from 22.7% to 25%.
  • The most formidable increase—8.5% was observed for children aged 6-59 months (67.1%).
  • Among larger states, West Bengal and Kerala reported the highest and lowest prevalence, respectively, of anaemic women.
  • Child anaemia rates worsened the most in Assam, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.

Improving Amenities:

  • All states, except Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam and Jharkhand, had over 90% population with access to improved drinking water sources.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand etc states had almost doubled the access since 2015-16, but most fell below the 75% mark.

Women who own House:

  • The number of women who own a house or land in Delhi, either alone or jointly, has significantly dipped over the past five years.
  • While the percentage of women who had a house or land registered in their name in 2015-16 was around 35%, it dipped to 22.7% in 2020-21.

Women who have a Bank Account:

  • It has gone up 8% and women who have a mobile phone that they use is up by 7%.

Access to Internet:

  • The percentage of women who have ever used the internet was around 64% as compared to 85% men.
  • This data was not available in the previous survey.

Participation in the Household Participation:

  • It has gone up from around 74% in 2015-16 to 92% now. The participation of married women in household decisions includes health care for self, making major household purchases, and visits to her family or relatives, etc.

Out-of-Pocket Expenditure:

  • It went from Rs 8,518 to Rs 2,548 in five years. Average out-of-pocket expenditure has seen a significant improvement in the per delivery in a public health facility.

Rise in Obesity:

  • Obesity among both men and women has risen. While 41.3% of women are now overweight or obese, this figure is 38% for men.
  • The rise in the percentage of men who are overweight or obese, however, has been faster in men than in women.

High Malnutrition:

  • The share of under-five children who were stunted (too short for age), wasted (low weight for height), or underweight has declined.
  • However, every third child still suffers from chronic undernourishment, and every fifth child is acutely malnourished.
  • Stunting: Meghalaya had the prevalence, followed by Bihar while Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand recorded declines of 5-7% since 2015-16.]

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C):

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released fresh guidelines for treating children who developed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) after being exposed to Covid-19 infection.

  • MIS-C is a condition where various organs of the body are affected by inflammation. The patient develops heart problems, the severity of which may determine the line of treatment.
  • It is a rare but severe hyperinflammatory condition in children and adolescents that typically occurs 2-6 weeks after a Covid-19 infection.
  • It is a potentially deadly condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
  • Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal (gut) pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired.

MIS-C with Neurological Complications:

  • In a recent study, young people with the MIS-C syndrome have shown neurological issues which were life-threatening such as strokes or severe encephalopathy (any brain disease that alters brain function or structure).
  • Neurological symptoms include hallucinations, confusion, speech impairments, and problems with balance and coordination.
  • The new findings strengthen the theory that the syndrome is related to a surge of inflammation triggered by an immune response to the virus.

Causes of MIS-C:

  • As the Syndrome is less researched, there are varied theories as to what causes MIS-C.
  • While some researchers believe that MIS-C is a delayed response to the coronavirus which in turn causes massive inflammation in the body and as a result damages organs.
  • Others believe that it can also be a result of the children’s immune response making antibodies against the virus.
  • There may be a genetic component as not every child develops MIS-C and the presenting symptoms are so varied.

Integrated Command And Control Centres:

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has begun work to finalise its recommendation for providing Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) as a service to states and smaller cities.

  • The Smart Cities project, which aims at developing 100 citizen-friendly and self-sustainable urban settlements, includes setting up ICCCs for each city as a vital step.
  • These ICCCs, designed to enable authorities to monitor the status of various amenities in real time.
  • Initially aimed at controlling and monitoring water and power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and Internet infrastructure.
  • However, these centres will now also monitor various other parameters and are also linked to the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems) network under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • The MoHUA aims to finalise the ICCC model and implement a pilot project across six major states — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
  • So far, these ICCCs have been operationalised in 69 cities, with Agartala, Indore and Vadodara ranked the best for a sustainable business model of these centres.

Smart City Mission:

  • It is an innovative initiative under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens.
  • Objective: To promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of Smart Solutions.
  • Focus: On sustainable and inclusive development and to look at compact areas, create a replicable model which will act like a lighthouse to other aspiring cities.
  • Strategy:
    • Pan-city initiative in which at least one Smart Solution is applied city-wide.
  • Develop areas step-by-step with the help of these three models:
    • Retrofitting.
    • Redevelopment.
    • Greenfield.
  • Coverage and Duration: The Mission covers 100 cities for the duration of five years starting from the financial year (FY) 2015-16 to 2019-20.
  • Financing: It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

Tundra Satellite System: Russia

Russia has successfully placed into orbit a military satellite. The satellite is believed to be a Tundra Satellite, part of Russia’s early warning anti-missile system named Kupol or dome.

  • Tundra satellite system is a constellation of Missile Early Warning Satellites established by Russia between 2015 and 2020.
  • It carries a secure emergency communications payload to be used in case of a nuclear war.
  • It is a series of satellites that are the next generation of Russian early warning satellites to replace the early warning satellites of the Oko-1 system.
  • This final Oko (Eye) satellite (missile defence early warning program) reportedly stopped operating in mid 2014, leaving Russia relying on ground-based missile detection systems.
  • They are part of the EKS or Unified Space System (USS-Also sometimes referred as Kupol or dome), which will also include several satellites in geostationary orbit.
  • Unveiled in 2019, Kupol is designed to detect launches of ballistic missiles and track them to their landing site, though its exact configuration is unknown.

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