Syllabus: GS1/ Physical Geography
Why in News ?
- Cyclonic storm “Biporjoy” formed over east-central and southeast Arabian Sea, intensifying from depression to deep depression.
- The name “Biparjoy” meaning ‘disaster’ or ‘calamity’ in Bengali was suggested by Bangladesh.
- Arabian Sea experiences cyclones, though fewer than Bay of Bengal. Strongest cyclone was Gonu in June 2007.
- June is a favorable month for cyclone formation in the Arabian Sea.
How are Cyclones named?
- Cyclones are named by countries on a rotational basis following guidelines.
- There are six Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers (RSMCs) and five Regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centers (TCWCs) worldwide.
- IMD is one of the RSMCs providing cyclone advisories to 13 member countries under the WMO/ESCAP Panel, including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Importance for naming tropical cyclones
- Naming cyclones helps in identification, disaster risk management, and reducing confusion in regions with multiple cyclonic systems.
- It also draws media attention to the cyclone.
- Tropical storms are given different names around the world:
- hurricanes in the US and the Caribbean
- cyclones in South Asia
- typhoons in East Asia
- willy-willies in Australia
- They all develop in the same way, have the same characteristics and are all tropical storms.
What is a Cyclone?
- Cyclones are low-pressure areas with inward-spiraling winds caused by atmospheric disturbances.
- They form over tropical oceans and bring destruction to coastal areas due to violent winds.
- Wind direction is counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The pressure drop and outward increase determine cyclone intensity and wind strength.
- The center of a cyclone is the calm eye, usually 10 to 30 km in diameter, surrounded by a cloud region with high-speed winds (150-250 km/h) and heavy rain.
- A cyclone is a large, rotating mass of air in the atmosphere, reaching heights of 10 to 15 km.
- The criteria followed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to classify the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and in the Arabian Sean are given in the following Table:
Formation of Cyclone
- Tropical storms form between 5° and 30° latitude when ocean surface waters reach at least 27°C, causing low pressure.
- Rising warm air creates strong winds and forms cumulonimbus clouds.
- Storms weaken over land due to lack of heat energy and moisture from the ocean.
Classifications of Cyclones
- Cyclones are classified as extra-tropical (temperate) and tropical cyclones.
- Tropical cyclones are fueled by heat from the sea and driven by easterly trades, westerlies, planetary winds, and their own energy.
- In India, cyclones are classified by:
- Strength of associated winds,
- Storm surges
- Exceptional rainfall occurrences.
Major Factors Influencing Cyclone Formation
- Cyclones form due to low-pressure systems over warm waters.
- Bay of Bengal is warmer, and Arabian Sea is also warming due to climate change, leading to increased cyclones.
- Coriolis Effect influences the anticlockwise airflow in the northern hemisphere.
Tropical storms and climate change
- Climate change could result in tropical storms occurring in new locations and extending further from the equator.
- Southwesterly winds from cyclones over the Arabian Sea enhance monsoon rainfall.
- Climate change may increase cyclone frequency and intensity, while rising sea levels worsen coastal flooding.
- Bay of Bengal cyclones can disrupt the northward progression of monsoon winds.
Gauhati HC quashed Nagaland govt’s notification banning dog meat’s sale
Syllabus: GS2/ Government Policies & Interventions
Why in News ?
- Gauhati High Court overturns Nagaland’s ban on dog meat trade and sale, lifting the restrictions imposed by a 2020 government notification.
- Nagaland government banned dog markets, commercial dog trading, and sale of dog meat in 2020.
- The ban followed a 2014 circular by FSSAI prohibiting slaughter of species not listed in food safety regulations.
- Nagaland’s order aimed to ensure food safety for human consumption.
HC Observation on Meat Regulation
- The High Court acknowledged that dog meat consumption is a traditional practice among Nagas and is supported by historical texts.
- It highlighted the broad definition of “food” in the Food Safety and Standards Act, suggesting that it can include dog meat.
- The court suggested implementing measures to enforce animal cruelty laws and the Indian Penal Code.
Consumption of Dog Meat
- Dog meat is considered a delicacy and has medicinal properties according to certain communities in Nagaland and other parts of Northeast India.
- It has been consumed as a traditional food for decades in the region.
Har Ghar Jal Programme
Syllabus: GS2/ Government policies & intervention
Why in News ?
- WHO report highlights benefits of India’s ‘Har Ghar Jal’ program.
‘Har Ghar Jal’ programme:
- Har Ghar Jal Programme, launched in 2019 under Jal Jeevan Mission, aims to provide functional tap water connections to every rural household in India by 2024.
- It aligns with SDG indicators for safe drinking water usage and reducing mortality related to unsafe water and sanitation.
Achievements under programme
- Five States – Goa, Telangana and Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab and three Union Territories — Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman Diu & Dadra Nagar Haveli and Puducherry have reported 100% coverage.
- Burhanpur district in Madhya Pradesh has become the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified district in the country.
Findings of WHO report
- The ‘Har Ghar Jal’ report highlights the importance of addressing diarrheal diseases related to water, sanitation, and hygiene.
- Currently, 62% of rural households have piped water connections, reducing disease burden.
- Safe drinking water for all could prevent 400,000 deaths and save $101 billion while benefiting women and providing economic returns.
|DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years)
- Diarrhea is the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day, often caused by infections.
- Common causes include bacteria (E.coli, Salmonella), viruses (Rotavirus), and parasites (Giardia, Cryptosporidium).
- Transmission occurs through contaminated food, water, or poor hygiene.
- Types of diarrhea: acute watery, acute bloody (dysentery), and persistent.
- Prevention includes safe drinking-water, improved sanitation, and hand hygiene.
- Treatment involves oral rehydration solution (ORS), zinc tablets, and nutrient-rich foods.
Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight
- The campaign was launched in 2014 to achieve ‘zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhea’.
- Health workers visit households to raise awareness about using ORS and Zinc for treating diarrhea in children under five.
EU’s Asylum Policy
Why in News ?
- European Union (EU) ministers agree on asylum procedure overhaul.
What is the European Union (EU)?
- EU is an alliance of 27 European countries.
- Promotes democratic values and economic integration.
- Aims for economic, social, and security welfare.
- Effort to unite Europe after World War II.
- An asylum seeker seeks protection in another country.
- They haven’t been recognized as a refugee yet.
- Waiting for a decision on their asylum claim.
- Large influx of asylum seekers in 2015 due to conflicts in the Middle East.
- EU tightened borders and asylum laws, and focused on external cooperation.
- Challenges in harmonizing asylum policy with diverse member states.
Need of the Asylum Procedure Regulation (APR)
- Common procedure and standards for asylum seekers in the EU.
- Obligations for applicants to cooperate and prevent abuse of the system.
- Mandatory border procedures at external borders to assess applications quickly.
- Measures to prevent abuse and discourage secondary movements by asylum seekers.
Asylum Procedure Regulation (APR)
- APR applies at border crossings, after apprehension or disembarkation from search and rescue operations.
- Mandatory if applicant poses a security threat, provided false information, or from a low-recognition nationality.
- Procedure duration should not exceed 6 months.
- Applies to dangerous, uncooperative, and low-recognition nationality applicants.
- Each EU country assigned a share of 30,000 people based on factors like GDP, population, and border crossings.
- Cash, equipment, or personnel can be provided instead of accepting people.
- Responsibility duration: 2 years for first entry, 3 years if absconded, 15 months if rejected.
Modification of Dublin rules
- APR (Asylum and Migration Management Regulation) proposed to replace the Dublin regulation.
- Aims to streamline rules and reduce time limits in asylum application examination.
- Simplifies the take back procedure for transferring applicants to responsible member states.
- Concerns raised by Italy and Greece about feasibility and states’ refusal to host migrants.
- Challenges in monitoring movement within Europe’s free travel zone.
- Criticism from Poland and Hungary against immigration.
- Risk of overcrowded camps and prolonged detention of minors.
- Criticized for focusing on keeping people away instead of providing assistance.
First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG)
Syllabus: GS3/ Economy
Why in News ?
- RBI allows the use of First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG) arrangements in digital lending with strict guidelines.
- FLDG provides compensation in case of borrower defaults.
- Aim is to regulate and mitigate risks in the digital lending space.
What is an FLDG arrangement?
- FLDG model involves a lending arrangement between banks/NBFCs and fintech/LSP.
- LSP provides credit enhancement features, compensating the lender in case of borrower defaults.
- RBI examined the model due to digital lending guidelines issued in August.
What does an LSP do?
- Lending service providers (LSPs) operate in the lending space using technology platforms.
- They act as agents of banks or Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC), performing various lender functions as per RBI guidelines.
Why did the RBI Struck down the model?
- RBI expressed concerns about FLDG posing systemic risks.
- Fintechs engaged in balance-sheet lending without meeting regulatory criteria.
- Lack of clear directions led to banks halting arrangements, impacting fintech industry.
- LSP must be incorporated as a company.
- Default cover up to 5% of loan portfolio within 120 days.
- Implicit guarantees linked to loan performance covered.
- Lenders must publish guarantee arrangement details.
- DLG in digital lending allowed with specific forms of guarantee.
- Well-defined structure for effective and transparent participation in digital lending.
- Entry of small and medium fintechs in partnership with banks or NBFCs.
- Orderly development of digital lending ecosystem and increased credit penetration in the economy.
World Food Programme
Syllabus: GS2/ Important International Institutions, Poverty, GS3/ Economy
Why in News ?
- United Nations World Food Programme (WFO) temporarily suspended food aid to Ethiopia.
- Supplies were being diverted to the Ethiopian military.
- Status: World Food Programme (WFP) is a UN organization, part of the UN General Assembly.
- Mandate: Largest humanitarian organization, providing food assistance worldwide, aiming for SDG 2 by 2030.
- Background: Established in 1961, first development program in Sudan in 1963.
- Headquarters: Rome, Italy.
- Award: Nobel Peace Prize 2020 for efforts in conflict areas.
- Hunger Hotspots: Joint report by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP).
- Executive Board: Governing body of WFP with 36 UN or FAO Member Nations.
- Executive Directors: Appointed jointly by UN Secretary-General and FAO director-general. Sushil Dev was acting director in 1968.
Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman.
Syllabus: GS 2/Health
Why in News ?
- Ministry of I&B announced 2nd edition of Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman.
- Recognizes media’s contribution in popularizing yoga.
About Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman
- Ministry of I&B instituted the first Antarashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman (AYDMS) in 2019.
- Reviving the Samman for the second edition in 2023.
- Awards in three categories: Print, Television, and Radio.
- Independent Jury to recommend recipients.
- Includes special media/plaque/trophy and citation.
- International Day of Yoga celebrated on 21 June since 2015.
- Proposed by PM Narendra Modi at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.