November 2019

Daily Current Affairs (01-11-19)



Why in News?

  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir was officially bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh on October 31, 2019.
  • The day will mark the beginning of the functioning of the two UTs at a bureaucratic level.
  • This is for the first time in the history of India that a state is being converted into two Union Territories.
  • The announcement of abrogation of the state’s special status and its bifurcation was made in Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019.


  • The two UTs will get their own Chief Secretaries and other top bureaucrats, their own police chiefs and key supervisory officers.
  • The total number of states in India became 28, while the total number of UTs became nine.
  • With this, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code will cease to exist.
  • Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will have a term of five years, instead of the state Assembly’s term of six years.
  • The Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir will stand abolished. Jammu and Kashmir was one of the seven states to have a legislative council.
  • The two UTs will have a common high court.

What will change after October 31, 2019?

  • The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh.
  • Both the UTs will be headed by two separate lieutenant governors.
  • The Centre will be in direct control of the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir, while the land will be under the elected government.
  • The UT of Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer the high-altitude region through the Lt Governor.

Newly appointed Lieutenant Governors

  • Girish Chandra Murmu was sworn in as the first Lt Governor of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir following the bifurcation of the state.
  • Radha Krishna Mathur was sworn-in as the first Lt Governor of UT of Ladakh.

[For more details on Abrogation of Article 370 and J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019:]

[Source: The Hindu]




Why in News?

Madhya Pradesh has partnered with Nagaland and Manipur under Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat Yojana to strengthen cultural relations between them.

News in Detail

  • The government of Madhya Pradesh has designated its Higher Education Department as nodal department to execute the scheme.
  • Madhya Pradesh will participate in Sangai Mahotsav, which is being organized in Manipur.
  • Teams from Nagaland and Manipur will take part in Lok Rang and Bal Rang programmes of Madhya Pradesh to present their cultural programmes.
  • The aim of participating in these events is to present their cultural programmes and to apprise people of their culture.
  • The translation work of Nagaland books has also been started in Madhya Pradesh with an aim to introduce people of the state with their activities and cultural heritage.

What is Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat Yojana?

  • It was launched by PM Modi on October 31, 2015, on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel (Ekta Diwas).
  • All States and UTs will be covered under the programme.
  • There will be pairing of States/UTs at national level and these pairings will be in effect for one year, or till the next round of pairings.
  • The State/UT level pairings would be utilized for state level activities. District level pairings would be independent of the State level pairings.
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been designated Nodal Ministry for co-ordination of the programme
  • Rashtriya Ekta Shivir are organised under this programme by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).


  • To celebrate the Unity in Diversity of India
  • To promote the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories
  • To showcase the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity of India.
  • To establish long-term engagements
  • To create an environment that promotes learning between States by sharing best practices and experiences.
[Source: Vikaspedia, India Today]





  • Researchers at the IIIT Hyderabad have created the first ever Indian Brain Atlas (IBA).
  • Construction of the Indian human brain atlas was done in collaboration with the Department of Imaging Sciences and Interventional Radiology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.

What is a Brain Atlas?

  • A brain atlas is composed of serial sections along different anatomical planes of the healthy or diseased developing or adult animal or human brain where each relevant brain structure is assigned a number of coordinates to define its outline or volume.
  • It helps researchers compare findings from different brain imaging methods like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI), or between healthy and diseased brain states, or across individuals.

The Project

  • The first attempt by the IIITH team at creating an Indian-specific brain atlas involved 50 subjects, evenly balanced out across genders.
  • MRI scans of these subjects’ brains were taken at three different hospitals across three different scanners to rule out variations found in scanning machines.
  • Emboldened by the results of the pilot study, the team went on to recruit 100 willing participants in the eventual construction of the Indian Brain Atlas, referred to as IBA 100.

Findings of the Study

  • The constructed altas was validated against the other atlases available for various populations.
  • According to the ‘Indian Brain Atlas’, the average Indian brain is smaller in height, width, and volume as compared to the western (MNI) and eastern population like the Chinese and Korean.
  • These differences are found even at the structure level, such as in the volume of the hippocampus and so on.
  • But overall, the IBA 100 is more comparable to the Chinese and Korean atlases than the distant Caucasian one (MNI).

Need for Indian Brain Atlas

  • Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) had created the world’s first digital human brain atlas in 1993.
  • It had also released other brain atlases, widely used as a standard in neuroscience studies.
  • However, these ‘standard’ brain templates were created using Caucasian brains and are not ideal to analyse brain differences from other ethnicities such as the Indian population.
  • The idea of building Indian brain atlas came from a neuro-radiologist at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute.
  • MNI template is typically loaded in the MRI scanning machines.
  • MRI images taken are compared with the pre-loaded MNI template to arrive at a diagnosis, and are likely to lead to an incorrect diagnosis.
  • While even Chinese and Korean brain templates had been constructed, there was no corresponding template constructed for the Indian-specific population.


  • There are many changes that take place in a brain due to advancing age, with the most typical one being atrophy which means shrinking of structures as it happens in the case of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  • In the case of dementia or Alzheimer’s, they are associated with atrophy of the hippocampus.
  • To understand this better, researchers are collecting MRI scans to create brain atlases for different age groups, like 20-30, 30-40, 40-50 and 50-60.
  • This will be beneficial to track the brain and see how it ages over time and in the long run understand dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc.
[Source: The Hindu, India Today]



  • Noted writer Anand has been selected for the 27th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the highest literary honour of the Kerala State government.
  • He was born at Irinjalakuda in 1936, his real name is Satchidanandan.
  • His Govardhante Yatrakal had won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award, Veedum Thadavum and Jaina Manushyan, Kerala Sahitya Akademi award and Marubhoomikal Undakunnath, Vayalar award.
  • It was in 1970 that he published his first novel, Aalkkoottam (Crowd), which received rave reviews from critics.
  • The Ezhuthachan Puraskaram comprises a cash prize of ₹5 lakh and a citation.
  • Rafael Mariano Grossi of Argentina was elected as the new Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
  • The new Director General will be appointed for a term of four years.
  • He will be the IAEA’s sixth head since it was founded in 1957 and will succeed Yukiya Amano of Japan.
  • IAEA is widely known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organization within the United Nations family.
  • It is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
  • The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
  • Though established as an autonomous organisation, independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
  • It is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.
  • Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has announced that Bamboo Technology Parks would be set up in the two new Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) under North Eastern Council (NEC) will implement the project.
  • The project for setting up three new Bamboo Technology Parks in Jammu, Srinagar and Leh would be in consonance with the National Bamboo Mission (NBM).
  • The model for bamboo cultivation, harvesting and utilisation currently existing in the North Eastern Region shall be replicated in the two new Union Territories to give a fillip to the sector.


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