Shenzhou-16 (Tiangong Space Station)
Syllabus: Science & tech.
Why in News?
- China launched spacecraft to Tiangong with first civilian astronaut.
- Three astronauts, including first civilian, sent to China’s space station.
- Chinese mission includes historic first civilian astronaut to Tiangong station.
- China breaks tradition, includes civilian astronaut in space mission.
- China joins USA and Russia as third country to send humans to orbit.
- Shenzhou-16 spacecraft launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gobi Desert.
Tiangong space station
- Tiangong: China’s manned space station, operated by China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).
- Orbit: Low Earth orbit, 340-450 km above surface.
- Modules: First launched in 2021, two more added later.
- Future: Expected to be primary research outpost after ISS operations end in 2030.
Why in News?
- Union Cabinet approves City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain 2.0 (CITIIS 2.0) for city investments and sustainability.
- Objective: CITIIS 2.0 supports circular economy, waste management, climate reforms.
- Funding:1760 crore loan from AFD and KfW (EUR 100 million each), Rs.106 crore grant from EU.
- Agencies: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) , AFD, KfW, EU, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) collaborate for CITIIS 2.0.
- Duration: Program spans 2023-2027, four-year initiative promoting sustainable cities.
CITIIS 2.0 has three major components:
- Component 1: Support for climate resilience projects in 18 smart cities.
- Component 2: State support for climate centers, data observatories, planning, and capacity building.
- Component 3: Strengthening climate governance at Centre, State, and City levels.
- CITIIS 2.0 complements existing national programs on sustainable habitat, urban development, and cleanliness.
- CITIIS 2.0 aligns with India’s INDCs and COP26 commitments for climate action.
Lightweight Payments System
Syllabus: GS3/Indian Economy & Related Issues
Why in News ?
- RBI introduces lightweight payment system as a “bunker” equivalent for digital payments.
About the Lightweight Payments System
- Portable system can be operated with minimal staff during emergencies.
- Infrastructure independent of existing payment systems like UPI, NEFT, RTGS.
- Launch timeline for the new system not yet specified by the central bank.
How it is different from UPI
- Conventional payment systems (RTGS, NEFT, UPI) rely on wired networks and advanced IT infrastructure.
- Lightweight payment system operates on minimalistic hardware and software, activated as needed.
|UPI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
- Lightweight, portable payment system minimizes downtime, ensures liquidity in the economy.
- Processes critical transactions for stability, including government and market-related transactions.
- Resilient system boosts public confidence in digital payments, even during extreme conditions.
Syllabus: GS 3/Defence
Why in News ?
- Russia claims destruction of Ukrainian warship ‘Yuri Olefirenko’ in Odesa.
- Last major warship of Ukrainian navy allegedly targeted and destroyed by Russia.
- Yuri Olefirenko: Medium-sized landing ship for troops and vehicles.
- Originally named “Kirovograd,” renamed in 2016 to honor fallen Ukrainian marine.
- Crew of Yuri Olefirenko decorated by President Zelensky in June 2022.
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)
Syllabus: GS 2/3/International /Defence
Why in News ?
- The United Arab Emirates has withdrawn from the Combined Maritime Forces.
About Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)
- CMF: Multinational maritime partnership upholding the International Rules-Based Order (IRBO).
- Established in 2001 with 12 nations, headquartered in Bahrain.
- Focus areas: Counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling, piracy suppression, regional cooperation, and response to environmental and humanitarian crises.
Syllabus: GS 1/2/Social Issues/Governance
Why in News ?
- Karnataka High Court rules that raping a dead woman does not fall under rape or unnatural offences as per Sections 377 and 376 of IPC.
- Necrophilia: Sexual attraction or relations with corpses and dead bodies.
- Not defined as illegal by law in many countries, but considered unnatural and psychologically disordered.
- Necrophilia is an offence in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
- In India, no specific legislation or provision in IPC addresses necrophilia.
- High Court of Karnataka recommends adding necrophilia as an offence in IPC.
- Directs State government to install CCTV cameras, maintain mortuaries, sensitize staff within six months to prevent offences against the dead, especially women.
Mandatory Tobacco related Warning for OTT Platforms
Syllabus: GS2/ Health
Why in News ?
- Union Health Ministry: Mandated OTT platforms to display tobacco-related health warnings.
- Amendment: Made under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2004.
- Announced: On World No Tobacco Day (May 31).
What are the new rules?
- OTT platforms: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, etc., must include anti-tobacco health spots and audio-visual disclaimers about tobacco’s ill-effects at the beginning and middle of programs.
- Prohibited content: Online content should not feature cigarette or tobacco product brands.
- Non-compliance: Violators may face action from an inter-ministerial committee authorized to enforce the guidelines.
|World No Tobacco Day
Tobacco Production & Consumption in India
- Tobacco production in India: Major producer and exporter, with Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as key cultivation states. Supports livelihoods of 36 million people.
- Tobacco consumption in India: Over 120 million smokers, accounting for a fifth of global smokers. Approximately 1.4 million tobacco-related deaths in India annually.
Consequences of Tobacco Consumption
- Health effects: Increased risk of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Vulnerability to severe COVID-19. Harmful to non-smokers.
- Environmental effects: Deforestation, CO2 emissions, water consumption. Hazardous substances in cigarette butts.
- Negative social consequences: Impacts social interactions and relationships.
- Financial burden: Personal costs and medical expenses.
- Child labor and farmer exploitation: Risks to farmers’ health and involvement of child labor.
Efforts Taken in this regard
- WHO FCTC: Global response to tobacco epidemic, supported by MPOWER technical package for implementation.
- Director General’s Special Recognition Awards: Recognizes achievements in tobacco control, Meghalaya and Jharkhand awarded in 2023 and 2022 respectively.
- Smoke-free UN Premises: UN Resolution in 2008 for smoke-free environments.
- System-wide coherence: UN Economic and Social Council calls for consistency in tobacco control measures.
Efforts by India:
- Cigarettes Act, 1975: Mandates health warnings on tobacco packaging and advertisements.
- COTPA 2003: Prohibits smoking in public places, advertising tobacco products, sale to minors, and restricts sales near educational institutions.
- National Health Policy 2017: Aims to reduce tobacco use by 30% by 2025 to combat non-communicable diseases.
- NTCP: Ministry of Health’s program for tobacco awareness and control, covering all states and UTs.
- Tax on Tobacco: Attracts the highest GST slab and additional cess.
- Crop diversification: Encourages farmers to replace tobacco crops with water-saving alternatives for environmental conservation.
Pre- Mauryan Era Finds in Purana Qila
Why in News?
- Fresh excavations at Purana Qila.
- Uncovered evidence of continuous history.
- Dates back to pre-Mauryan era.
Excavations of new site
- Third round of excavations: Conducted from January.
- Nine cultural levels: Representing various historical periods from pre-Mauryan to Mughal, including Mauryan, Gupta, Rajput, Sultanate, and more.
- Earlier excavations: Carried out in 2013-14 and 2017-18.
The Findings of new excavations include:
- Painted Gray Ware pottery shards: Dating back to 1200 BC to 600 BC.
- Vaikuntha Vishnu remains: 900-year-old sculpture from the Rajput period.
- Terracotta plaque of Goddess Gaja Lakshmi: Gupta period artifact.
- Terracotta ring well: 2,500-year-old structure from the Mauryan period.
- Four-room complex: Sunga-Kushan period complex dating back 2,300 years.
- Purana Qila (Old Fort): One of the oldest forts in Delhi.
- Traces from 3rd century BC: Believed to be the site of Indraprastha.
- Rebuilt under Humayun and Sher Shah Suri: Present fort built during their reigns.
- Inner citadel of Din Panah: Used during Humayun’s rule.
- Sher Shah Suri’s additions: Renamed as Shergarh, added structures during his reign.