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Current Affairs 26 December 2019 for UPSC Exam

Contents

  1. MASSIVE LOCUST INVASION IN GUJRAT
  2. RAILWAYS START VISTA DOME TRAIN ON KALKA-SHIMLA ROUTE
  3. EARLIEST SANKSRIT INSCRIPTION IN SOUTH INDIA FOUND IN A.P
  4. GROWING CANCER BURDEN ACROSS INDIA
  5. NON PERFORMING ASSETS
  6. TYPHOON PHANFONE BATTERS PHILLIPINES

MASSIVE LOCUST INVASION IN GUJRAT

Why in News?

Gujarat shares borders with Pakistan and is under attack from hoppers that have flown in across the international border. As the swarms mature, they have ravaged farms in north Gujarat and three border districts of Gujarat.

About Locusts

The locusts, known as tiddis locally, have wreaked havoc on standing crops including castor, cumin, jatropha and cotton, and fodder grass in around 20 talukas.

The Locust Warning Organization (LWO) in Jodhpur had noticed the swarms and predicted their trajectory across the international border. However, preventive measures by the authorities were insufficient.

Aerial pests 
At their prime, locust swarms, which are usually found in 
the Horn of Africa, West Asia and the Indian subcontinent, 
have the potential to damage the livelihood Of a tenth 
of the world's population. The current locust invasion in 
Gujarat is the highest in recent times 
A farmer from Tharad Village, 
Gujarat, holding up locusts. 
• Locust invasions usually 
occur in areas that receive 
less than 200 mm of rain 
annually. This is an area 
Of about 16 million 
sq km, consisting of 
about 30 countries 
• Locusts travel at 16-19 
kmph, and swarms can 
cover 130 km or more in a 
day. usually, there are 40 
million, and sometimes as 
many as 80 million locust 
adults in each sq km Of 
a swarm 
• The last major upsurge 
in India occurred in 1993, 
Which saw the incursion 
of 172 locust swarms. 
India has only one locust 
breeding season — from 
July to October 
• The primary method of 
controlling locust swarms 
is by spraying small 
amounts of concentrated 
insecticide using vehicle- 
mounted and aerial 
sprayers. A total of 
3,10,584 hectares have 
been treated up to the 
December 15, 2019

RAILWAYS START VISTA DOME TRAIN ON KALKA-SHIMLA ROUTE

Why in News?

  • The Railways on Wednesday started a seven ­coach glass enclosed vista dome train on the heritage Kalka ­Shimla route.
  • The red ­colored train, which was decorated with balloons, chugged off from the Kalka railway station in Haryana around 7 a.m.

Details

The ‘Him Darshan’ train has a seating capacity of over 100 passengers and the bookings are full over the next few days in view of the peak tourist season and New Year.


EARLIEST SANKSRIT INSCRIPTION IN SOUTH INDIA FOUND IN A.P

Why in News?

  • Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult.
  • The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters and was issued by Satavahana king Vijaya in 207 A.D
  • It is also the earliest Sanskrit inscription to have been discovered in South India as on date.


Who are Saptamatrikas?

Saptamatrikas are a group of seven female deities worshipped in Hinduism as personifying the energy of their respective consorts.

Earlier findings

So far the  Nagarjunakonda inscription of Ikshavaku king Ehavala Chantamula issued in his 11th regnal year corresponding to the 4th century A.D. was considered the earliest Sanskrit inscription in South India


GROWING CANCER BURDEN ACROSS INDIA

Why in News?

A study tracing the growing burden of cancer in India has been released

  • It states that most of the increase in cancer incidences are attributable to its epidemiological transition .
  • Cancer is primarily a disease of older people, hence, as life expectancy goes up, cancer incidences too goes up, according to a senior consultant of Digestive Oncology. Maximum increases will occur in the most populous and least developed States, where the facilities for cancer diagnostics and treatment are inadequate.

Example of Kerala vs UP

Direct comparison of the demographic and social variables, available health care facilities and leading causes of mortality in these two States shows how the low incidences of infectious diseases in Kerala has given rise to more cancer compared to U.P., which is still battling high mortality from communicable diseases.

Epidemiological change

The types of cancers in India are also undergoing a transition, similar to a report from Japan five decades ago.

  • A decline of cancers caused by infections, such as cervical, stomach, and penile cancer,
  • An increase in cancers associated with energy intake, physical activity imbalance and ageing, such as breast, colorectal and prostate cancers

Cancer in ancient India

Evidence of cancer in early humans were found in a review of 154 paleopathological studies dating back to 1.8 million years in historic Egyptian and German sites. But there was no evidence of cancer in Indus valley sites.


NON PERFORMING ASSETS

The Non-performing Assets (loans overdue for days) ratio for all 
Present perfect, 
commercial banks declined in FY19 after rising for seven consecutive 
years. However. in the first half Of "{20. stressed assets (potential 
but future tense 
NPAs) inched up. Morecwer. the NPA ratio of Indian banks is the 
poorest among emerging economies. By Vignesh Radhakrishnan 
10 10. 
l. Bad down. _ The Share of Grass 
Assets (GNPAS) among total loans declined to 9.1% in 
after having risen for seven consecutive years. The 
slippage ratio (indicating fresh accretion of NPAs in a 
year) also declined. Graph depicts GNPA Ratio 
pub/k sector 
All Scheduled Private 
the Insolvency and Bankruptcy classification of I DBI 
compared to t4.g26cr. in F',ng. This bank (NPA ratio: 2943) 
a part in GNPA's decline 
asa bank 
2. up While GNPAS are down, Stress 
in Large accounts (exposure of cr.) in 
the first half of FY20. Special Mention Accounts-I (loans 
cwerdue between 30 and 60 days) 8 Special Mention 
Accounts-2 (loans overdue between 60 and 90 day5) rose 
in HIE Y 20. Simply put, SMA accounts are flags which, 
3.4 
2.4 
2.2 
2.7 
SMA-I 
2.0 
1.7 
1.8 
3.2 
3.6 
2.6 
SMA-2 
SMA-I 
SMA-2 
3. Worst among emerging economies 
India'S Non-performing loans ratio is 
the worst among emerging economies. 
Table lists the ratio between 2011 and 
2019. In recent years, the ratio improved 
for Brazil while it deteriorated in Russia. 
South Africa and Turkey India'S NPA 
ratio saw a surge in 2016 after the RBI 
carried out an expansive Asset Quality 
Review in the before. review 
in identifcamon of many large 
ban accounts which had gone bad 
resulting in a huge jump in NPAS in India 
Bruit 
Indonesia 
Phili ines 
Russia 
so uth Africa 
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psgs 
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pugs 
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1.8 
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in Rg

TYPHOON PHANFONE BATTERS PHILLIPINES

Why in News?

Typhoon Phanfone pummeled the central Philippines In December 2019

More than 25,000 people remained stranded at ports on Christmas Day as the ferry services were shut down.

Background

  • Typhoon is the regional names for Tropical Cyclones that occurs in Western Pacific and South China Sea i.e. in Philippines islands, eastern China and Japan the tropical cyclones are called typhoons.
  • A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° (or 180th meridian or anti-meridian is meridian 180° both East and West of Prime Meridian) and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • This region is referred to as North-western Pacific Basin which is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth.
  • This region accounts for almost one-third (33%) of the world’s annual tropical cyclones.
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