Prelim Snippets – 29.04.2020

1.Chakmas and Hajongs

Why in News?
  • Recently, the Rights and Risks Analysis Group has sought Indian Prime Minister’s intervention in ensuring food for the Chakma and Hajong communities in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Both Chakmas and Hajongs have allegedly not been included in the Covid-19 Economic Relief Package as part of the PM Gareeb Kalyan Ann Yojana announced by the central government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Package includes, each person who is covered under the National Food Security Act gets an additional five kg wheat or rice for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS). One kg of pulse per household is also provided for free, according to regional preferences.
About Chakmas and Hajongs:
  • The Chakmas are predominantly Buddhists, while Hajongs are Hindus. They are found in northeast India, West Bengal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • They fled erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1964-65 and came to India and settled in Arunachal Pradesh.They lost their land to the development of the Kaptai Dam on the Karnaphuli River, Bangladesh.
  • The Hajongs faced religious persecution as they were non-Muslims and did not speak Bengali.
  • In 2015, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajongs. The order was passed while hearing a plea by the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas.
  • Currently, Chakmas and Hajongs are citizens by birth as per Section 3(1) of the Citizenship Act and the eligible portion of their population exercise the right to vote as citizens of India (they were given voting rights in 2004).

2.Lunar Map

  • It is the first ever Digital, Unified, Global, Geological Map of the Moon.
  • It is called the Unified Geologic Map of the Moon.
  • It is released virtually by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) and the Lunar Planetary Institute on April 22, 2020.
  • It is a ‘seamless, globally consistent, 1: 5,000,000-scale geologic map’.
  • It will serve as a Blueprint For future Human Missions and a source of research and analysis for the educators and the general public interested in Lunar Geology.

3.Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Why in News?
  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan gears up for monsoon.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan:
  • The scheme was launched in 2019 and it covered 256 water stressed districts across the country.
  • This ‘Abhiyan’ is a mass movement to bring all the stakeholders under one ambit of water Conservation Drive.
  • Under this Abhiyan, more than six and a half crore people became part comprising of State Govts, Central Govt, Civil Society Organisations, Panchayati Raj Institutions and Communities.
  • More than seventy-five lakh traditional and other water bodies and tanks were renovated and around a crore water conservation & rainwater harvesting structures were created.
Focus areas of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan:
  1. 1.Water conservation and rainwater harvesting
  2. 2.Renovation of traditional and other water bodies
  3. 3.Reuse of water and recharging of structures
  4. 4.Watershed development
  5. 5.Intensive afforestation

4.Petersberg Climate Dialogue

Why in News?
  • India, along with 30 countries, deliberates on issues of Climate Change in the first ever virtual Petersberg Climate Dialogue.
Petersberg Climate Dialogue:
  • The first virtual Climate Dialogue, was the eleventh session of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue.
  • This has been hosted by Germany since 2010 to provide a forum for informal high-level political discussions, focusing both on international climate negotiations and the advancement of climate action.
  • The virtual XI Petersberg Climate Dialogue was co-chaired by Germany and the United Kingdom, the incoming Presidency of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP 26) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • The dialogue saw participation from ministers and representatives of about 30 countries.
  • The Climate Dialogue was originally an initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • It is hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

5.China Builds Asia’s Largest Steerable Telescope

Why in News?
  • China is constructing the largest steerable radio telescope in Asia with a 70-meterdiameter antenna to receive data from its first Mars exploration mission which is expectedto be launched this year.
  • The telescope, with an antenna the size of nine basketball courts, was built by the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuqing District of northern China’s Tianjin.
  • China aims to complete orbiting, landing and roving on the red planet in one mission, which has been named Tianwen-1.
  • It will be a key facility to receive scientific data sent back by the Mars probe, which can be up to 400 million km from Earth, and the signals will be very weak.
  • The construction of the telescope began in October 2018 and is expected to be completed this year. Many new technologies have been utilized to improve efficiency and reduce interference noises.The exploration of Mars will not only investigate whether there is or was life on Mars but also help bring to light the history of evolution and future development trends of Earth, as well as search for potential living space for human beings.
  • After completion, the telescope will greatly improve China’s ability to receive deep space exploration data and will lay a foundation for China’s future asteroid and comet probing and other planetary Exploration Missions.

6.South Asia Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF)

Why in News?
  • The spatial forecast which shows wide variations in rainfall across India has been provided by the South Asia Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum.
Key Points:
  • SASCOF is a consortium of meteorologists and hydrological experts from South Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Myanmar.
  • They work collectively to issue regional forecasts and the team releases forecasts for the Southwest and Northeast monsoon seasons, every year.
  • South Asian nations, supported by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), have been conducting the SASCOF since 2010.
  • The experts usually meet ahead of preparing the forecasts, but it was called off in 2020 in the wake of Covid-19.
About World Meteorological Organization:
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories.
  • Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
  • India is a member.
  • It is Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
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