Daily Current Affairs 18-11-2023

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    Brijinder Nath Goswamy’s Role in Indian Miniature Art

    Syllabus: GS1/Indian Culture/Painting

    In News

    • Shri Brijinder Nath Goswamy, an Indian art historian and expert in miniature paintings, recently passed away.

    About Brijender Nath Goswamy

    • He was renowned for his expertise in the field of Indian miniature painting, particularly the Pahari and Rajput schools of art.
    • He was a prolific writer and has authored numerous books, research papers, and articles on Indian art.
    • His notable books include “The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 101 Great Works 1100-1900,” “Wonders of a Golden Age: Painting at the Court of the Great Mughals,” and “Pahari Masters: Court Painters of Northern India.
    • He was honored with the Padma Shri in 1980 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007.

    Miniature Paintings

    • About: 
      • Miniature painting is a traditional style of art that is very detailed, often referred to as painting or working “in miniature”.
      • It is typically small in size, often no larger than a few inches in height and width (not more than 25 square inches).
      • Artists use fine brushes made from animal hair and natural pigments, often mixed with binders like gum.
    • Styles of miniature paintings:
      • Different styles of miniature painting include Pala school, Mughal miniature art, Rajput style, Deccan miniature art etc.
      • Pahari school: Pahari painting includes several distinct schools or styles, each associated with a particular region or court, such as Guler, Kangra, Chamba, Basohli, and Mandi.
    • It is characterized by the romantic themes, with a focus on the divine love between Radha and Krishna.
    • It shows influences from both Rajput and Mughal painting traditions, resulting in a unique blend of styles.
    • Ragamala paintings, which represent different musical modes (ragas) through images, are considered a significant genre within Pahari art.
    • Rajput school: It encompasses various regional schools, each associated with a specific Rajput kingdom, including Mewar, Marwar, Jaipur, Bundi, Kota, Kishangarh etc.
      • It is known for its bold and intense use of colors, often depicting scenes of valor and heroic events.
      • Rajput miniatures explore themes of love, both human and divine, with depictions of Radha and Krishna being a popular subject.
      • Famous artists like Sahibdin and Manohar were associated with this school.
    • Mughal Miniature Art: It emerged as a significant art form during the reign of Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) and reached its zenith during the reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
      • It is known for their realistic and naturalistic portrayal of subjects. Emphasis was placed on capturing accurate depictions of people, animals, and landscapes.
      • Prominent artists include Basawan, Daswanth, Abdul Hasan and Bishandas etc.
    • Deccan style: It emerged as a result of the rich cultural exchange and artistic interactions between the Deccan sultanates and the Mughal Empire in North India.
      • It features intricate floral motifs and geometric designs in the background, adding decorative richness.
      • Adil Shahi dynasty in Bijapur produced notable Deccan miniature paintings, known for their use of vibrant colors and details.

    Source: TH

    ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting – Plus (ADMM-Plus)

    Syllabus:GS2/International Relations

    News

    • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh attended the 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting – Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

    ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus)

    • The ADMM-Plus is an annual meeting of Defence Ministers of 10 ASEAN countries and its eight Dialogue Partners Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States (collectively referred to as the “Plus Countries”).
    • Establishment: The Inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Ha Noi, Vietnam, in 2010. Since 2017, the ADMM-Plus meets annually.

    Objectives of ADMM-Plus

    • To benefit ASEAN Member States in building capacity to address shared security challenges.
    • To promote mutual trust and confidence between defense establishments through greater dialogue and transparency.

    Key highlights of the meeting

    • India reiterated its commitment to freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in the international waters in accordance with international laws, including United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
    • India committed towards nurturing practical, forward-looking and result-oriented cooperation with ADMM-Plus for enhancing maritime security in the region.
    • Recognising the threat of terrorism India proposed to co-chair the Expert Working Group (EWG) on Counter-Terrorism.

    Steps taken by India for Maritime Security

    • SAGAR Programme (Security and Growth for All in the Region): It is a maritime initiative for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of India in the Indian Ocean region.
    • The Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) Initiative: IPMDA is a technology and training initiative to enhance maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific region and to bring increased transparency to its critical waterways.
    Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

    About: It is a political and economic organization aimed primarily at promoting economic growth and regional stability among its members.
    Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
    History: It was established in 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. 
    Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN in 1984, followed by Vietnam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999.
    ASEAN Summit: It is the highest policy-making body in ASEAN comprising the Head of States or Government of ASEAN Member States.Summit is held twice annually.
    The First ASEAN Summit was held in Bali, Indonesia in 1976.

    Source: PIB

    HC Struck down Haryana’s Reservation in Private Sector Law

    Syllabus: GS2/Government Policies and Interventions

    News

    • The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently quashed a law of Haryana government that provided 75 percent reservation in private jobs to residents of the state in 2020.

    About the Judgement

    • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 is held to be unconstitutional and violative of Part III of the Constitution of India.
    • The High Court underlined that a government cannot discriminate against individuals merely because they do not belong to a particular state, and have a negative discrimination against other citizens of the country.
    • The bench said it is beyond the purview of the State to restrict a private employer from recruiting from the open market for the category of employees who were receiving less than Rs 30,000 per month.
    • Keeping in view the principles laid down by the Supreme Court on the principles of morality, the State cannot direct the private employers to do what has been forbidden to do under the Constitution of India. 
    Related Judicial verdicts

    Dr Pradeep Jain v Union of India, 1984: Legislation for “sons of the soil” was termed unconstitutional but did not expressly rule on it as the case was on different aspects of the right to equality.
    Sunanda Reddy v State of Andhra Pradesh, 1995: Supreme Court affirmed the observation in Pradeep Jain to strike down a state government policy that gave 5% extra weightage to candidates who had studied with Telugu as the medium of instruction.
    – The Supreme Court invalidated the appointment of government teachers in Rajasthan in 2002 in which the state selection board gave preference to “applicants belonging to the district or the rural areas of the district concerned”.
    – In 2019, the Allahabad High Court struck down a recruitment notification by the UP-Subordinate Service Selection Commission which prescribed preference for women who are “original residents” of the UP alone.

    Arguments of the petitioners (Against Reservation)

    • Petitioners had challenged the law saying that it creates an unprecedented intrusion by the state government into the fundamental rights of private employers to carry on their business and trade as provided under Article 19 of the Constitution. 
    • They also argued that the law was an infringement of Article 14of the Constitution of India. 
      • It added that a fundamental wedge is sought to be created between persons domiciled in different States by the statute in question which is contrary to the concept of common citizenship provided in the Constitution of India.

    Arguments of the Haryana government (Favoring Reservation)

    • It contended that the Act did not discriminate regarding employment under the central or state governments or any other organisation owned by them. 
    • It also argued that reservation on the basis of place of birth would violate provisions of the Constitution but employment on the basis of domicile would not offend Article 15(1) of the Constitution. 
    • Constitution Talks about Government Jobs: As per Haryana Government the act is constitutional as it deals with jobs in Private Sector.
    • It said unemployed local youth were a distinct class and reasonable classification could be made of this particular class for the purpose of providing 75 per cent employment in private sectors.

    Way Ahead

    • The State governments should enable the reservation system to serve its original purpose of making India a more just society and not a political tool to serve the interest of political parties. 

    Source: IE

    Voice of Global South Summit

    Syllabus: GS2/International Relations

    Context

    • PM inaugurated a global centre for excellence called DAKSHIN in the Second Voice of Global South Summit.

    About

    • Global Representation: Provide a platform for countries of the Global South to voice their perspectives on international issues and global governance.
    • Technology and Climate Focus: Addressed issues related to technology, climate change, and sustainable development, showcasing a holistic approach to global challenges.
    • Responsible Technology Use: PM Modi highlighted the importance of responsible technology use, especially in the era of artificial intelligence.
    • Humanitarian Aid and Diplomacy: India’s condemnation of the terrorist attack in Israel and the provision of humanitarian aid to Palestine were discussed, emphasizing diplomatic approaches to conflicts.
    • Inclusivity in G20: Efforts were made during India’s G20 presidency to make the G20 more inclusive and human-centric, with a focus on development for the people and by the people.

    DAKSHIN Initiative

    • DAKSHIN stands for the Dakshin Development and Knowledge Sharing Initiative.
    • Knowledge Sharing: Aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices among Global South countries.
    • Focus Areas: Addresses key global challenges such as climate change, technology, and sustainable development.
    • G20 Context: Tied to India’s efforts to integrate Global South priorities into the G20 agenda and decisions.
    • Promotion of Inclusive Growth: Aligns with the broader goal of making global governance more inclusive and representative.
    • Responsibility in Technology: Aligns with the idea that new technologies, especially artificial intelligence, should be used responsibly, without widening the gap between the Global North and the Global South.
    • Part of a Holistic Approach: Complements other initiatives and efforts discussed in the Voice of Global South Summit, contributing to a comprehensive approach to global challenges.

    Source: TH

    Poppy Cultivation

    Syllabus: GS3/ Major crops- cropping patterns in various parts of the country

    Context

    • Opium farmers have been agitated since the Opium sector was opened up to private players through a Union government policy in 2021

    About

    • The farmers increasingly worry that this move will threaten their livelihood, affect their profits and family businesses.
    • It also has a bearing on “national security” by potentially increasing the problem of drug abuse.

    Opium production in India

    • In India, there are about 1 lakh farmers across 22 districts in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh with a licence to cultivate opium. 

    The majority of them are from three districts that border Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan — Mandsaur, Neemuch, and Chittorgarh. Together, these districts produce 80% of India’s opium.

    Do you Know?

    – The poppy plant, Papaver somniferum, produces opium, a powerful narcotic whose derivatives include morphine, codeine, heroin, and oxycodone. 
    – The term “narcotic” refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes.
    • Two types of narcotic raw materials can be produced from opium poppy: opium gum (latex) and the concentrate of poppy straw (CPS)
    • Opium contains morphine, which is known to relieve chronic pain and is used mostly by the pharmaceutical industry to produce medicines. On the flip side, it also produces opioids like heroin.
    • Because it is an addictive substance that can cause mental clouding and hallucinations, opium production is highly regulated in India. 
    • In the Mewar region, farmers collect opium gum and send it to Government Opium Alkaloid Works, Neemuch, a factory that began operations in 1935.
      • The gum is procured solely by the Central Bureau of Narcotics, which functions under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

    Policy change

    • In the 2021-22 crop year, the Union government changed its opium policy, allowing private players to produce CPS from the opium poppy to boost the yield of alkaloids.
    • With a shift to the CPS method, India will be on a par with other nations. As other countries have already shifted to the CPS method, the demand for Indian opium in the global market is reducing. This is evident from the decreasing export of opium. 
    • Also, CPS is less labour-intensive than the lancing method, which is used by farmers as of now. 
    • It will also help in ensuring better drug law enforcement as it will reduce the illicit market for opium gum.

    A question of public health and profits

    • Farmers believe that private companies are likely to pose a threat not just to their profession, but also to national security. Opium can be misused and drug mafia can get access to alkaloids with the entry of private players.
      • Recently, 3000 kg of Heroine was confiscated from a private port (Mundra) in Gujarat and Heroin worth ₹11 crore was seized in Assam.
    • Importantly, life-saving medicines which are made using opium may become costly and poor patients will suffer as private players monopolise the opium trade. 

    Way Ahead

    • Allowing private entry in opium processing should be done with extreme caution, considering various concerns associated with it.

    Source: TH

    Gender Disparity in Organ Transplants in India

    Syllabus: GS2/Health

    In News

    • Four Out of five organ recipients in India between 1995 and 2021 were men, according to data collated by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO).

    Major Findings

    • Trends in Transplants: There has been an overall increase in the number of transplants in the country.
      • Among living donor transplants, where organs from family members are used, Delhi topped the table overtaking Tamil Nadu. 
      • Tamil Nadu topped among the category of deceased donor transplants where organs from brain-dead patients are used.
    • Disparity in Transplants:  Data from 1995 to 2021 shows 36,640 transplantations were carried out, of which over 29,000 were for men and 6,945 were for women.
      • For every woman who received an organ, four men got transplants in the country.
    • Women Donors: On the other hand the number of women donors is higher.
      • While more men are cadaver donors (deceased donors), more women are living donors. 
    • Reasons for Disparity: The primary reasons for more women donors are the socio-economic pressure on them to be caretakers and givers in the family, and the hesitation of men, who are often the breadwinners, to undergo surgery. 

    Laws and Rules Governing Organ Transplantation in India

    • Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994: The primary legislation related to organ donation and transplantation in India, Transplantation of Human Organs Act, was passed in 1994 and is aimed at regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.
    • Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011: allows swapping of organs and widens the donor pool by including grandparents and grandchildren in the list. 
    • Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules (THOT), 2014:  has many provisions to remove the impediments to organ donation while curbing misuse/misinterpretation of the rules. 

    About National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO)

    • It is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    • Functions: National Network division of NOTTO would function as apex centre for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country. 
    Facts Related to Organ Donation

    13th August is observed every year as World Organ Donation Day to raise awareness on Organ Donation. 
    Indian Organ Donation Day was celebrated every year on November 27 but from 2023, the day is being celebrated on August 3 to commemorate the first successful deceased heart transplant in India on 3rd August 1994.
    – NOTTO has declared July as the month of Organ donation.
    – India ranks third in the world only behind USA and China in Organ Transplantation as per the data available on the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation.

    Source: IE

    Seismic Activity in Iceland

    Syllabus:GS1/Geography

    News

    • A state of emergency has been declared in Iceland, after a swarm of 800 earthquakes rocked the island country’s southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in under 14 hours.

    About

    • Seismic swarms are earthquake sequences without a discernible main-shock. Swarms can last weeks and produce many thousands of earthquakes within a relatively small volume. 
    • Swarms are observed in volcanic environments, hydrothermal systems, and other active geothermal areas.

    Earthquake swarms: Precursor for volcanic activity

    • Deep under the Earth’s surface, intense heat melts rocks to form magma, a thick flowing substance lighter than solid rock. This drives it upwards and most of it gets trapped in magma chambers deep underground. 
    • Over time, this viscous liquid cools and solidifies once again. However, a tiny fraction erupts through vents and fissures on the surface, causing volcanic eruptions.
    • The movement of magma close to Earth’s surface exerts force on the surrounding rock, which often causes earthquake swarms. 
    • The underground movement of magma does not necessarily lead to an eruption. But closer it gets to the surface, more likely an eruption is, and more frequent symptomatic earthquake swarms get.

    Reykjanes peninsula 

    • Iceland is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates.It is a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions.
    • The Reykjanes peninsula is in South West Iceland, characterized by immense lava fields, volcanoes, and heightened geothermal activity.

    Volcanic eruption in Iceland

    • Active volcanoes: According to United States Geological Service, active volcanoes are those which have erupted within the Holocene (the current geologic epoch, which began at the end of the most recent ice age about 11,650 years ago), or which have the potential to erupt again in the future.
    • In the region there were no recorded volcanic eruptions for 800 years. However, for the last 2-3 years Fagradalsfjall volcano has witnessed a constant eruption.
    • Other famous volcanoes include Eyjafjallajökull, Hekla, Grímsvötn, Hóluhraun, and Litli-Hrútur (part of the Fagradalsfjall system).

    Source:IE

    Progress Toward Measles Elimination — Worldwide Report

    Syllabus :GS 2/Health 

    In News

    • Progress Toward Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2022  report released by  the World Health Organization and US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    About the report 

    • Globally Scenario: Global coverage with measles-containing vaccine (MCV) declined during the COVID-19 pandemic to the lowest levels since 2008.
      • During 2000–2022, estimated measles vaccination prevented approximately 57 million deaths worldwide.
    • Status in India: An estimated 11 lakh children in India missed their crucial first dose of measles vaccine in 2022.
      • This puts India among 10 countries with the highest number of children who did not receive the first shot.
      • India is also among the 37 countries that witnessed large or disruptive outbreaks, reporting 40,967 measles cases in 2022

    What is Measles?

    • Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. 
    • It can cause severe disease, complications, and even death.
    • It can affect anyone but is most common in children.
    • It infects the respiratory tract and then spreads throughout the body. 
    • Symptoms : a high fever, cough, runny nose and a rash all over the body.
    • Treatment :  Being vaccinated is the best way to prevent getting sick with measles or spreading it to other people. 
    • Initiatives : Accelerated immunisation activities by countries, the Measles & Rubella Partnership (formerly the Measles & Rubella Initiative), and other international partners successfully prevented 56 million deaths between 2000–2021.

    Source:IE

    NEST Initiative

    Syllabus :GS 2/Governance/GS 3/Environment 

    In News

    • The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) of the Confederation of Indian Industry launched a rating and certification initiative NEST .

    About NEST Initiative

    • ‘IGBC Nest’ is a first-of-its-kind eco-friendly, self-developed framework and certification that aims to bring awareness and drive the individual owners to build a sustainable home with no or meagre additional cost.
    • It is launched for the individual housing sector, aimed at controlling and limiting carbon emissions.
      • The move was toward achieving the country’s net zero goal by 2070.
    • Importance : ‘Nest’ would help pave the way for individual house owners and the residential sector to adopt green building features in a big way to help in bringing down electricity consumption, water usage and creating a healthy living space.
    Do you know ?
    – IGBC announced the IGBC Green Building Congress 2023 supported by the World Green Building Council scheduled to be held from November 23 on the theme — “Advancing Net Zero through decarbonization.”
    1. The Tamil Nadu government will be the partner State for the Green Building congress 2023.

    Source:TH

    Gamma-ray Burst

    Syllabus: GS3/Science & Technology

    Context

    • Earth’s ionosphere experienced a significant disturbance due to an intense gamma-ray burst (GRB) from a distant exploding star.

    About

    • Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are intense and extremely energetic flashes of gamma rays, the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation.
    • Cause: GRBs are believed to be associated with catastrophic events such as the collapse of massive stars, supernovae, or the merger of compact objects like neutron stars or black holes.

    Types: There are two main types of GRBs: long-duration bursts, associated with the collapse of massive stars, and short-duration bursts, associated with the merger of compact objects.

    • Intensity: GRBs release an enormous amount of energy in a short period, often outshining the entire galaxies for a brief moment.
    • Impact on Earth: GRBs are typically observed from distant galaxies, and their impact on Earth is minimal due to the vast distances involved. 
    • Ionization of the Atmosphere: The intense gamma-ray radiation from a nearby GRB could ionize the Earth’s upper atmosphere, potentially affecting radio communication and navigation systems.
    • Ozone Depletion: There is a theoretical concern that a close and powerful GRB could lead to the depletion of the ozone layer in Earth’s atmosphere, exposing the surface to harmful solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

    Source: TH

    Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI)

    Syllabus: GS3/ Space

    In News

    • The Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) has organised the International Conference-cum-Exhibition on Aerospace and Aviation.

    Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI)

    • It was founded on December 27, 1948 and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of independent India, became the First Chief Patron of the Society.
    • It is the principal Society in India serving the professions in areas of aeronautics, aerospace and aviation.
    • Objectives: To promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of Aeronautical and Aerospace Sciences / Technologies.
      • To strive for the elevation of the Aeronautical and Aerospace profession.

    Source: News on Air

    World Energy Employment 2023: IEA

    Syllabus: GS 3/Economy 

    In News

    • The International Energy Agency (IEA) released the World Energy Employment 2023 report.

    Key Findings 

    • Global energy employment rose to 67 million people in 2022, an increase of 3.5 million from pre-pandemic levels.
      • More than half of employment growth over this period was in just five sectors: solar PV, wind, electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries, heat pumps, and critical minerals mining
    • China is home to the largest energy workforce today with nearly 30% of the global total.
    • In India, fossil fuel employment rose above pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
      • India and the Middle East were the only major regions to see growth in both clean energy and fossil fuel employment in the 2019-22 period.
      • Overall, India has the third-highest number of workers in the energy space, after China and Asia-Pacific regions.

    Source:LM