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Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam – 11 July 2020

CONTENTS

  1. 14% excess rain in India so far this monsoon
  2. Impact of Monsoons on Life in India
  3. Quorum not needed for routine standing committee meetings
  4. Carbon enrichment of the Universe
  5. Rabari, Bharvad and Charan Tribes of Gujarat

14% excess rain in India so far this monsoon

Why in news?

Monsoon rainfall since June has been 14% more than what is normal for this time of the year

Legacy IAS, Monsoon,

Onset of Monsoon

  • The four-month southwest monsoon season, which brings as much as 70 per cent of the country’s annual rainfall, officially begins on June 1, with the onset over Kerala, and ends on September 30.
  • It takes about a month and half after onset on the Kerala coast to cover the entire country, and about a month, beginning from the north western parts of the country on Sept. 1 to withdraw completely.

Impact of Monsoons on Life in India

Positive

  • Agricultural prosperity of India depends very much on timely and adequately distributed rainfall. If it fails, agriculture is adversely affected particularly in those regions where means of irrigation are not developed.
  • Regional variations in monsoon climate help in growing various types of crops.
  • Regional monsoon variation in India is reflected in the vast variety of food, clothes and house types.
  • Monsoon rain helps recharge dams and reservoirs, which is further used for the generation of hydro-electric power.
  • Winter rainfall by temperate cyclones in north India is highly beneficial for Rabi crops.

Negative

  • Variability of rainfall brings droughts or floods every year in some parts of the country.
  • Sudden monsoon burst creates a problem of soil erosion over large areas in India.
  • In hilly areas sudden rainfall brings landslide which damages natural and physical infrastructure subsequently disrupting human life economically as well as socially.

Quorum not needed for routine standing committee meetings

The opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha has contradicted the holding the virtual meetings of standing committees to ensure quorum during deliberations.

What is Quorum?

  • A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group.
  • The requirement for a quorum is protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons.
  • Article 100 (3) of the Constitution of India stipulates that at least 10% of the total number of members of the House must be present to constitute the quorum to constitute a meeting of either House of Parliament.
  • Article 189 (3) and (4) provides for similar provisions for State Legislatures.
  • For example, if the House has a total membership of 500, at least 50 members must be present for the House to proceed with its business.

What did RS Secretariat say over the requirement of quorum?

  • Parliamentarian these days are unable to travel to Delhi for obvious COVID reasons.
  • The Rajya Sabha secretariat has said that quorum was essential only when the committees are making decisions or adopting reports and not during routine deliberations.

What are Standing Committees?

  • Standing Committee is a committee consisting of Members of Parliament.
  • It is a permanent and regular committee which is constituted from time to time according to the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.
  • The work done by the Indian Parliament is not only voluminous but also of a complex nature, hence a good deal of its work is carried out in these Parliamentary Committees.
  • Standing Committees are of the following kinds :
    1. Financial Standing Committees (FSC)
    2. Department Related Standing Committees (DRSC)
    3. Others Standing Committees (OSC)

Carbon enrichment of the Universe

Why in news?

A recent study has provided new insights on the origins of the carbon in our galaxy.

Why study Carbon?

  • Carbon is essential for life. It is the building block of all the complex organic molecules that our body need.
  • It is known that all the carbon in the Milky Way came from dying stars that ejected the element into their surroundings.

How does carbon come from stars?

  • Most stars except the most massive ones turn into white dwarfs.
  • When the massive ones die, they go with a spectacular bang known as the supernova.
  • Both low-mass and massive stars eject their ashes into the surroundings before they end their lives.
  • And these ashes contain many different chemical elements, including carbon.

How is it synthesized?

  • Both in low-mass stars and in massive stars carbon is synthesized in their deep and hot interiors through the triple-alpha reaction that is the fusion of three helium nuclei.
  • In low-mass stars, the newly synthesized carbon is transported to the surface [from the interiors] via gigantic bubbles of gas and from there injected into the cosmos through stellar winds.
  • Massive stars enrich the interstellar medium with carbon mostly before the supernova explosion, when they also experience powerful stellar winds.

Findings of the news research

  • The new research suggests that white dwarfs may shed more light on carbon’s origin in the Milky Way.
  • The researchers measured the masses of the white dwarfs, derived their masses at birth, and from there calculated the “initial-final mass relation”.
  • The IFMR is a key astrophysical measure that integrates information of the entire life cycles of stars.
  • They found that the relationship bucked a trend — that the more massive the star at birth, the more massive the white dwarf left at its death.
  • So far, stars born roughly 1.5 billion years ago in our galaxy were thought to have produced white dwarfs about 60-65% the mass of our Sun.

What explains this?

  • From an analysis of the initial-final mass relation around the little kink, the researchers drew their conclusions about the size range for the stars that contributed carbon to the Milky Way.
  • Stars more massive than 2 solar masses, too, contributed to the galactic enrichment of carbon.
  • Stars less massive than 1.65 solar masses did not. In other words 1.65-Msun [1.65 times the mass of the Sun] represents the minimum mass for a star to spread its carbon-rich ashes upon death.

Rabari, Bharvad and Charan Tribes of Gujarat

The Gujarat government will constitute a commission to identify the members of Rabari, Bharvad and Charan communities who are eligible to get the benefits of Schedule Tribe (ST) status.

About the Tribes

Rabari

  • The Rabari, also called the Rewari are an indigenous tribal caste of nomadic cattle and camel herders and shepherds that live throughout northwest India, primarily in the states of Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan.
  • The word “Rabari” translates as “outsiders”, a fair description of their primary occupation and status within Indian society.
  • They speak ‘Bhopa’ which is a mixture of Gujarati, Kachchi, Marwari words and Pharasi (Persian) and use Gujarati script.
  • The Rabari are known for their distinctive art, particularly the mirrored and whitewashed mud sculpture-work that adorns their homes and villages.
  • Rabari women are responsible for this artwork and also traditionally spin the wool from their sheep and goats, and give it to local weavers to make their woollen skirts, veils, blankets and turbans.

Bharvad

  • The Bharwad are tribals primarily engaged in herding livestock.
  • The Bharwad name may derive from the Gujarati word badawad, constructed from bada (sheep) and wada (a compound or enclosure).
  • The Bharwads have numerous subgroups known as ataks or guls (clans) whose main purpose is to determine eligibility for marriage.
  • Constrained exogamy is practised between clans.

Charan

  • The Charan, also called Gadhvi, is a small tribe in Gujarat and the name Charan is derived from the word ‘Char’ which means grazing.
  • Members of the caste are considered to be divine by a large section of society.
  • Women of the caste are adored as mother goddesses by other major communities of this region.

Thank you!

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