News Snippet

  1. News 1: Tea exports – (All about tea as it has been asked in UPSC CSE 2022 prelims exam)
  2. News 2: India-USA relations update– (Recent developments with regards to Indo-USA relationship)
  3. News 3: UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) – (Banning of organizations which seeks to disrupt or disturb sovereignty, public order either by direct or indirect attacks)
  4. News 4: Chief of Defense Staff appointment– (2nd appointment of CDS and is important under various security forces and their mandate as part of syllabus in GS Paper III)
  5. News 5: ASI finds Buddhist caves, temples in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in M.P– (Conservation reserves and areas are important as it comes in UPSC prelims frequently)
  6. News 6: BIMSTEC – (Basic Information – BIMSTEC is gaining prominence as SAARC is almost defunct now given Pakistan’s belligerence and Afghanistan under Taliban)
  7. Other important News:
    1. Cryogenics
    2. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince appointed as Prime Minister
    3. World Heart Day: September 29
    4. World Maritime Day
    5. Dada Saheb Phalke Award to Smt Asha Parekh for 2020

News 1: Tea – Exports, Condition and tea producing region of India


Background

  • Tea exports during the January-July period touched 117 million kg compared with 103 million kg a year earlier.
  • Conflict between Russia and Ukraine had caused serious shipment problems.
  • UAE is our single largest export destination (Almost 1/6th is exported to UAE alone)

Conditions for Tea production

  1. Tea grows well under light shade it is a shade loving plant.
  2. It needs temperature 20°C to 27°C (Under Shade).
  3. The tea plants grow well in humid climate and cannot stand long spell of dry weather at any time of the year.
  4. It needs heavy rainfall between 125 cm to 375 cm, but water should be well drained.
  5. Water logging and frost conditions are injurious for the tea plant.

Tea as a Crop

  1. Tea cultivation is an example of plantation agriculture
  2. Introduced in India by British
  3. Tea is a labor-intensive industry. It requires abundant, cheap and skilled labor.

Major Tea producing states of India

  1. Assam, hills of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  2. Apart from these, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura are also tea-producing states in the country

Tea Board of India

  1. Established: 1954
  2. Headquarters: Kolkata
  3. Ministry: Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  4. Type: Statutory board
  5. India is the second largest producer of tea globally after China and is the largest consumer in the world.
  6. India produces some of the world’s finest teas like Darjeeling Tea in West Bengal, Assam Tea in Assam, Nilgiris Tea in Tamil Nadu and Kangra Tea in Himachal Pradesh which are famous for their delicate flavor, strength and brightness.  

UPSC Question on Tea

Consider the following States:

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Kerala
  3. Himachal Pradesh
  4. Tripura

How many of the above are generally known as tea-producing States?

(a) Only one State

(b) Only two States

(b) Only three States

(d) All four States

*Many institutes given C as the option as there was controversy around this. But we have given the screenshot from NCERT, so that resolves the issue here.


News 2: Indo-USA relations update


Background

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and White House National Security Advisor (NSA) Jack Sullivan met and discussed issues related to U.S.-India strategic partnership, the Ukraine war and a free and open Indo-Pacific.

US and India relations

  1. The U.S.-India strategic partnership is founded on shared values including a commitment to democracy and upholding the rules-based international system.
  2. The United States and India have shared interests in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity through trade, investment, and connectivity. 
  3. India and US relationship has evolved from estranged to engaged democracies due to increased convergence of interests on bilateral, regional and global issues.

Current India – US ties

  1. The United States supports India’s emergence as a leading global power and a vital partner in efforts to safeguard the Indo-Pacific as a region of peace, stability, and growing prosperity.
  2. The strong people-to-people ties between our countries, reflected in the four million-strong Indian American diaspora and vibrant educational exchange between the two countries, are a tremendous source of strength for the strategic partnership.
  3. The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is the premier recurring dialogue mechanism between the United States and India.

Areas of cooperation

  1. U.S.-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, which was established in 2000, as well as the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership, Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue, Cyber Dialogue, Civil Space Working Group, the Education and Skills Development Working Group, Trade Policy Forum, Defense Policy Group, and Counter narcotics Working Group.

Economic relations

  • In 2021, overall U.S.-India bilateral trade in goods and services reached a record $157 billion.
  • The United States is India’s largest trading partner and most important export market.
  • Many U.S. companies view India as a critical market and have expanded their operations there.
  • Likewise, Indian companies seek to increase their presence in U.S. markets and at the end of 2020, Indian investment in the United States totaled $13 billion, supporting over 70,000 American jobs.
  • The nearly 200,000 Indian students in the United States contribute $7.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

International Cooperation

  1. The United States welcomed India joining the UN Security Council in 2021 for a two-year term and supports a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.
  2. India is an ASEAN dialogue partner, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development partner, and an observer to the Organization of American States.
  3. Together with Australia and Japan, the United States and India convene as the Quad to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and provide tangible benefits to the region.
  4. India is also one of twelve countries partnering with the United States on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) to make our economies more connected, resilient, clean, and fair.
  5. India is a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), at which the United States is a dialogue partner.
  6. In 2021, the United States joined the International Solar Alliance headquartered in India, and in 2022 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power became Co-chair of the Governing Council of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) where India is a permanent co-chair.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation

  1. The bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement was finalized in July 2007 and signed in October 2008. During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the U.S. in September 2014, the two sides set up a Contact Group for advancing the full and timely implementation of the India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, and to resolve pending issues.
  2. Culminating a decade of partnership on civil nuclear issues, the two sides have started the preparatory work on site in India for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse. Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, and Westinghouse are in talks toward finalizing the contractual arrangements, and addressing related issues

News 3: UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act)


Background

The Union Home Ministry recently declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its front organizations, including its student wing, the Campus Front of India (CFI), an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). 

UAPA law

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) lays down the definitions and rules for designating an organisation as an “unlawful association” if it is engaged in certain types of activities.

The government can then issue a notification designating such an organisation as a terrorist organisation, if it believes that the organisation is part of “terrorist activities.”

Under the Act, ‘unlawful activity’ is not limited to terror activities relating to causing direct violence or attacks, it also includes any activities that disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, disrupts the economic stability of the country or causes disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different reli­gious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communi­ties in the country. Related and ancillary acts, including financing, support or promotion of any such activities are also “unlawful activity”.

In essence, it can ban an organization or arrest an individual if they threaten directy/indirectly sovereignty, integrity of India or intend to bring about any socio-political-communal disruption in India. 

What does the ban mean?

  1. Any person who is a member of these organisations can face arrest and joining membership of these organisations is a criminal offence.
  2. The government can also seize the properties, bank accounts and offices connected to these organisations.

What is a UAPA tribunal?

  1. The UAPA provides for a tribunal under a High Court judge to be constituted by the government for its bans to have long-term legal sanctity.
  2. Orders to declare an organisation as “unlawful” are issued by the Centre under Section 3 of the UAPA. The provision says that “no such notification shall have effect until the tribunal has, by an order made under Section 4, confirmed the declaration made therein and the order is published in the Official Gazette”.
  3. Thus, a government order would not come into effect until the tribunal has confirmed it. However, in exceptional circumstances, the notification can come into effect immediately once the reasons for it are recorded in writing. The tribunal can endorse or reject it.

The procedure

  1. According to Section 4 of the UAPA, after the Centre declares an organisation “unlawful”, its notification must reach the tribunal within 30 days to adjudicate “whether or not there is sufficient cause for the move.
  2. After this, the tribunal calls upon the association, by notice in writing, to show cause within 30 days why it should not be declared unlawful. Once this is done, the tribunal holds an inquiry and decides the matter within six months.

News 4: Chief of Defence Staff appointment


Background

The government recently appointed Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (retd.), former General Office Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Army Commander, as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The post has been vacant since the death of the country’s first CDS, Gen. Bipin Rawat, in a helicopter crash in December 2021.

Chief of Defence Staff

  1. 1st CDS: General Bipin Rawat
  2. The Department of Military Affairs was set up and the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) created. General Bipin Rawat assumed office of CDS on 1st January 2020.
  3. The CDS is made Principal Military Advisor to the Raksha Mantri on all Tri-Services matters.
  4. The CDS will have a key role in ensuring optimum utilisation of allocated budget, usher in more synergy in procurement, training & operations of the Services through joint planning and integration.

The CDS will facilitate indigenization of weapons and equipment to the maximum extent possible while formulating the overall defence acquisition plan for the three Services.


News 5: ASI finds Buddhist caves, temples in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in M.P.


Background

  1. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) earlier this year discovered Buddhist caves and stupas, and Brahmi inscriptions, dating back to the 2nd century, and Hindu temples from the 9th-11th centuries, and possibly the world’s largest Varaha sculpture also dating to the same period, at the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
  2. The Varaha sculpture is among the many monolithic sculptures of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu discovered by the ASI at the national park earlier this year. The exploration took place 84 years after the last such effort in 1938.
  3. The ASI team discovered 26 mostly Buddhist caves dating back to the 2nd and 5th centuries. The caves and some of their remains had Chaitya [rounded] doors and stone beds typical of Mahayana Buddhism sites.

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and National Park

  1. Bandhavgarh National Park is a national park of India, located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. 
  2. Bandhavgarh National Park resides on the extreme northeastern border of Madhya Pradesh and the northern edges of the Satpura mountain ranges.
  3. Due to the tropical monsoon climatic zone, the park has been characterized by well-defined winters summers and rains and the sprouted weather definitely makes the whole environment lusher and more unabridged.
  4. The name Bandhavgarh given to the reserve is due to the presence of an ancient fort in the hillock of the Vindhya ranges of Umaria.
  5. The Bandhavgarh Fort is a great masterpiece of ancient antiquity.

Wildlife

  1. There is a large number of tigers in the core zone. There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds.
  2. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaque represent the primate group. Carnivores include the Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Gray Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard and Tiger.
  3. Frequently sighted are Wild Pigs, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Chausingha, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur. Mammals such as Dhole, the small Indian Civet, Palm Squirrel and Lesser Bandicoot Rat are seen occasionally.

News 6: BIMSTEC


About

  1. Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization of seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations,
  2. BIMSTEC member states – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand
  3. The permanent secretariat is in Dhaka, Bangladesh

 

 


Other important news


Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) at HAL

  1. President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) in Bengaluru.
  2. India successfully flew GSLV-D5 with a cryogenic engine (made by ISRO through private industries) and became the sixth country in developing cryogenic engines.

About Cryogenic

  1. Cryogenics is the study of the production and behavior of materials at extremely low temperatures (below -150 degree centigrade) to lift and place heavier objects in space.
  2. Cryogenic engine makes use of Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) as propellants which liquefy at -183 deg C and -253 deg C respectively.
  3. Prof. Kamerlingh Onnes of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands first used the word in 1894 to describe the art and science of producing much lower temperatures.

Application Cryogenic

  1. Cryogenics is used in a variety of applications. It can be used to produce cryogenic fields for rockets, in MRI machines that use liquid helium and require cryogenic cooling, storing large quantities of food, special effects fog, recycling, freezing blood and tissue samples, and even cooling superconductors.
  2. Cryobiology: Branch of biology involving the study of the effects of low temperatures on organisms
  3. Cryosurgery: Branch of surgery applying very low temperatures (down to -196 °C) to destroy malignant tissue, e.g. cancer cells.
  4. Cryonics: The emerging medical technology of cryopreserving humans and animals with the intention of future revival.
  5. Cryoelectronics: Field of research regarding superconductivity at low temperatures.
  6. Cryotronics: Practical application of cryoelectronics.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince appointed as Prime Minister

Mohammed bin Salman was appointed as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia:

  • Capital: Riyadh
  • Currency: Saudi riyal

It is the second largest in the Arab world, largest in western Asia and 5th largest country in Asia. The country is home to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities in Islam.

World Heart Day: September 29

  1. Theme: Use heart for every heart
  2. According to World Health Organization, 17.9 million people die each year due to cardiovascular diseases ( CVDs) globally. The annual and global event is designed to create awareness about the risk of death from heart-related diseases and highlight the importance of how to prevent heart diseases.

World Maritime Day

  1. World Maritime Day is meant to recognise the importance of the maritime industry. It promotes innovations in the industry to improve maritime security, maritime environment, safety, and shipping. The day is marked every year on the last Thursday of September.
  2. Theme: ‘New Technologies for Greener Shipping

Dada Saheb Phalke Award to Smt Asha Parekh for 2020:

  1. Instituted in 1969 when presented to Devika Rani, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate Dadasaheb Phalke’s contribution to Indian cinema who directed India’s first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913.
  2. Honoured with the highest award in the field of cinema, the recipients are recognized for their ‘outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema’. The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of ₹10 lakh.

 

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