January 2020

Daily Current Affairs (10-01-20)

HISTORY

ASHFAQULLAH KHAN

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

History [Paper-I]: Modern Indian History (from the 18th century upto the present) significant events, personalities and issues

News

Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved a proposal to set aside Rs 234 crore for a zoological garden spread across 121 acres in Gorakhpur, to be named after the freedom fighter and revolutionary Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan.

Who was Ashfaqullah Khan?

  • Khan was born on October 22, 1900, in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • He grew up at a time when Mahatma Gandhi had launched the non-cooperation movement and urged Indians not to pay taxes to the government or co-operate with the British.
  • Within about 1.5 years of the movement’s launch, in February 1922, the Chauri Chaura incident took place in Gorakhpur — a large number of non-cooperation protestors clashed with the police and set the police station on fire, killing roughly 22 policemen.
  • Opposed to violence, Gandhi called off the movement.
  • Khan was one among these youths, who were greatly disappointed and disillusioned with this. Subsequently, he joined the revolutionaries and became acquainted with Bismil.

Hindustan Republican Association (HRA)

  • HRA was a revolutionary organization of India established in 1924 at village named Bholachang in East Bengal.
  • It was started as an offshoot of Anushilan Samiti by Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Narendra Mohan Sen and Pratul Ganguly.
  • HRA published its manifesto titled “The Revolutionary” in 1925, which, among other things, said, “The immediate object of the revolutionary party in the domain of politics is to establish a federal Republic of United State of India by an organized and armed revolution.”

Kakori Conspiracy

  • Kakori Train Conspiracy also known as Kakori Train Robbery was an armed robbery which took place on 9th August 1925 in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In this planned robbery, carried out to fund the activities of the HRA, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan and over 10 other revolutionaries stopped the train and fled with the cash they found in it. Within a month of the robbery, many members were arrested.
  • The trial for the case went on for about 1.5 years. It ended in April 1927, with Bismil, Khan, Rajendra Lahiri and Roshan Singh sentenced to death, and the others given life sentences.

[Source: Indian Express]

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

TOI 700 d

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Technology in Space and Defence

News

  • NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered an Earth-size planet in its star’s habitable zone.
  • Scientists confirmed the find, called TOI 700 d, using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and have modeled the planet’s potential environments to help inform future observations.

What is Goldilocks zone?

A habitable zone, also called the “Goldilocks zone”, is the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets.

About TOI 700 d

  • TOI 700 d measures 20% larger than Earth. It orbits its star once every 37 days and receives an amount of energy that is equivalent to 86% of the energy that the Sun provides to Earth.
  • The star, TOI 700, is an “M dwarf” located just over 100 light-years away in the southern constellation Dorado, is roughly 40% of our Sun’s mass and size, and has about half its surface temperature.
  • Two other planets orbit the star — TOI 700 b, which is almost exactly Earth-size, probably rocky, and which completes an orbit every 10 days, and TOI 700 c, the middle planet, which is 2.6 times larger than Earth, is probably gas-dominated, and orbits every 16 days.
  • TOI 700 d is the outermost planet, and the only one in the star’s habitable zone.

Significance

  • Because TOI 700 is bright, nearby, and shows no sign of stellar flares, the system is a prime candidate for precise mass measurements by current ground-based observatories.
  • These measurements could confirm scientists’ estimates that the inner and outer planets are rocky and the middle planet is made of gas.
  • Future missions may be able to identify whether the planets have atmospheres and, if so, even determine their compositions.
  • Scientists can use current information, like the planet’s size and the type of star it orbits, to generate computer models and make predictions.
[Source: Indian Express, nasa.gov]

 

SCIENTIFIC SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (SSR) POLICY

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Nature and scope of Science and Technology, National policy on S&T and Innovations

Context

Central government is in advanced stages of preparing a policy on implementing scientific social responsibility (SSR).

What is Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR)?

  • It is the confluence of scientific knowledge with visionary leadership and social conscience.
  • It is about building synergies among all stakeholders in our scientific knowledge community and also about developing linkages between science and society.
  • An important justification for SSR is the ethical obligation of “giving back” to less endowed stakeholders of science, technology and innovation as well as society at large, some of the benefits that science derives from it.
  • SSR is not only about scientific impact upon society but also about the social impact upon science.
  • It aims to harness latent potential of the scientific community for strengthening linkages between science and society, and for making S&T ecosystem vibrant.
  • It is aimed at developing a mechanism for ensuring access to scientific knowledge, transferring benefits of science to meet societal needs, promoting collaborations to identify problems and develop solutions.

Draft Policy

  • A draft of the new policy has been made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on its website.
  • This draft policy builds upon traditions of earlier policies (Scientific Policy Resolution 1958, Technology Policy Statement 1983, Science and Technology Policy 2003 and Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2013) while proposing more pragmatic provisions to make institutions and individual scientists socially responsible.
  • Under the proposed policy, individual scientists or knowledge workers will be required to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society.
  • It also recognises the need to provide incentives for outreach activities with necessary budgetary support.
  • It has also been proposed to give credit to knowledge workers/scientists for individual SSR activities in their annual performance appraisal and evaluation.
  • No institution would be allowed to outsource or sub-contract their SSR activities and projects.
  • The draft defines SSR as “the ethical obligation of knowledge workers in all fields of science and technology to voluntarily contribute their knowledge and resources to the widest spectrum of stakeholders in society, in a spirit of service and conscious reciprocity”.
  • A central agency will be established at DST to implement the SSR. Other ministries would also be encouraged to make their own plans to implement SSR as per their mandate.
  • For implementation of the policy, a national portal will be developed up to capture societal needs requiring scientific interventions and as a platform for implementers and for reporting SSR activities.
[Source: Down To Earth, dst.gov.in]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

5th Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC5)
  • The fifth Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference was held at Pune from January 6-10, 2020.
  • The conference is being organised in the country for the first time by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune.
  • The last four editions of this conference took place in Taipei, Seoul, Beijing and Osaka.
  • It is a biennial event that aims to promote the interaction of Drosophila Researchers in the Asia-Pacific region with their peers in the rest of the world.
  • Two Nobel laureates, Eric Wieschaus and Michael Rosbash, renowned for their work in development biology and chronobiology respectively, were among the participants in the five-day conference.
  • Drosophila is a genus of flies, belonging to the family Drosophilidae, whose members are often called “small fruit flies” or (less frequently) pomace flies, vinegar flies, or wine flies.
  • It has been one of the most widely-used model organisms in the world for research in life sciences over the last 100 years because its genome has been entirely sequenced and there is enormous information available about its biochemistry, physiology and behaviour.
  • One species of Drosophila in particular, melanogaster has been heavily used for research purposes because it can be readily reared in the laboratory and has only four pairs of chromosomes.
  • The entire process of development from a cell to a full-fledged organism has been studied in Drosophila.
  • Scientists have found that many similarities exist between Drosophila and higher organisms and therefore this research is very useful.
  • The main reason for the fly being used as model in genome researches is that the relationship between fruit fly and humans are undeniably similar.
ACCESS TO INTERNET IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT
  • In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court said that access to the Internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution.
  • A five-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana also directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to restore Internet services in institutions providing essential services like hospitals and educational places.
  • The verdict came on a batch of pleas which challenged curbs imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre’s abrogation of provisions of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
EPIPHANY FESTIVAL
  • Epiphany festival was celebrated in parts of India, such as Goa and Kerala.
  • In Goa, the celebration is known by its Portuguese name ‘Festa dos Reis’, and in parts of Kerala by its Syriac name ‘Denha’.
  • In Kerala, the Denha Perunnal of St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathredal at Piravam is much famous. A big congregation takes part in the celebration.
  • Epiphany is among the three oldest and major festival days in Christianity, the two others being Christmas and Easter.
  • It is celebrated on January 6 by a number of Christian sects, including Roman Catholics, and on January 19 by some Eastern Orthodox churches.
  • In the West, the duration between December 25 and January 6 is known as the Twelve Days of Christmas.
  • Epiphany is a feast day, or a day of commemoration, which in Christianity marks the visit of the Magi (meaning the Three Wise Men or Three Kings) to the Infant Jesus (Christ from his nativity until age 12).
  • The day also commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.
PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS
  • Indian embassies in different countries celebrated Pravasi Bhartiya Divas on January 9, 2020.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.
  • This day was first celebrated in 2003.
  • January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
2019 COSTA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD
  • India-born author Jasbinder Bilan has bagged the coveted UK Costa Book Award 2019 in children’s book category for her debut novel ‘Asha and the Spirit Bird’.
  • Bilan will receive 5,000 pounds as the winner of the award.
  • Her winning debut work follows eleven-year-old Asha, who is empowered with spiritual connections to her grandmother as she journeys through the wild and dangerous Himalayas with her best friend Jeevan.
AMMA VODI SCHEME
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the Amma Vodi scheme.
  • The objective of the scheme is to arrest the school dropout rate and at the same time to lend a helping hand to mothers hailing from poor families to send their children to school without facing any financial burden.
  • Under the flagship programme, the state government will extend financial assistance to the tune of 15000 per year to the mothers/guardians who send their children/wards to state run schools.
  • The scheme will benefit nearly 43 lakh mothers/guardians every year and the state would be disbursing Rs. 6455.80 crore towards the Amma Vodi scheme this year.

 

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