Current Affairs

28 April 2020 Current Affairs for UPSC

Digital Map of Moon

  • The first ever digital, unified, global, geological map of the moon was released virtually by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and the Lunar Planetary Institute.
  • The map is a ‘seamless, globally consistent, 1:5,000,000-scale geologic map’.
  • Unified Geologic Map of the Moon’ 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.
  • Surface features of the moon which included crater rim crests, buried crater rim crests, fissures, grabens, scarps, mare wrinkle ridges, faults, troughs, rilles, and lineaments can be found in the map.
  • The final map consists of 43 geologic units across the entire lunar surface, broken down into groups based on characteristics like materials of craters, basins, terra, plains and volcanic units.
  • The present and future moon mission’s success can be further helped by the digital map of the moon.

Lunar South Pole

  • The moon’s South Pole is especially interesting because the area is much larger than the North Pole and there could be possibility of presence of water in these permanently shadowed areas.
  • Further, the South Pole region also contains the fossil record of the early Solar System.
  • ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2, is an active mission that targets the Lunar South Pole for exploration.
  • Like Chandrayan, other moon missions like the Artemis (human spaceflight programme), that is a crewed exploration programme of NASA, plan to send humans to the Lunar South Pole by 2024 and in due course of time, establish a permanent presence on the moon.

Banking under Public Utility Service

  • Union government has declared banking industry as a public utility service for six months till October 21 under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act.
  • Bringing banking services under the provisions of this Act means that the banking sector would not see any strikes by employees or officers during the operation of the law starting from April 21.
  • The notification was issued by the labour ministry on April 17 against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic which has significantly impacted economic activities.

Indian Banks’ Association (IBA)

  • Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is formed in 1946 as a representative body of management of banking in India operating in India – an association of Indian banks and financial institutions based in Mumbai.
  • With an initial membership representing 22 banks in India in 1946, IBA currently represents 237 banking companies operating in India.
  • IBA was formed for development, coordination and strengthening of Indian banking, and assist the member banks in various ways including implementation of new systems and adoption of standards among the members.
  • Indian Banks’ Association is managed by a managing committee, and the current managing committee consists of one chairman, 3 deputy chairmen, 1 honorary secretary and 26 members.
  • There are over a dozen employees and officers unions in the banking sector, these unions enjoy a considerable say in wage negotiations, which the IBA deals with every three years.
  • All public sector banks, old generation private sector banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Federal Bank are members of IBA.
  • Some of the oldest foreign banks HSBC, StanChart and Citibank are also part of it.
  • All of them come under wage settlements and other employee issues that are taken up by IBA.
  • New generation private sector lenders like Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank and Yes Bank are outside the purview of IBA norms.

SIPRI Report

  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an international institute based in Sweden, dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.
  • SIPRI has released its annual report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2019’.
  • Recent report of SIPRI showcases an increase of 5.5 per cent in the volume of international arms transfers during 2015–19, compared with the previous five-year period.
  • The global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019 with India and China emerging among the top three spenders.
  • The report highlights the strength of key strategic partnerships such as Russia-India, US-Japan and China-Pakistan, reinforced by arms trade.
  • While Russia accounted for 56 per cent of India’s arms imports, 96 per cent of Japan’s arms imports came from the US and Chinese equipment made up 73 per cent of Pakistan’s arms imports.
  • The United States, Russia, France, Germany and China continue to be the world’s largest arms exporters.
  • Stating that India’s expenditure in 2019 was 6.8% more than that in 2018, the report says the country’s military expenditure has risen significantly over the past few decades.
  • It grew by 259% over the 30-year period of 1990–2019, and by 37% over the decade of 2010–19.
  • India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military spending.

Basava Jayanti

  • Recently Basava Jayanti was celebrated in India, it marks the birth anniversary of Lord Basavanna, the 12th-century poet-philosopher, and the founding saint of the Lingayat faith.
  • He is a social reformer during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka,
  • Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as Vachanaas.
  • Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals, he presided over the Sharana movement.
  • He introduced new public institutions such as the Anubhava Mantapa (or, the “hall of spiritual experience”), which welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life, in open.
  • Basava championed devotional worship that rejected temple worship and rituals led by Brahmins, and replaced it with personalized direct worship of Shiva through practices such as individually worn icons and symbols like a small linga.
  • He then developed and inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, or “ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva”.
  • This movement shared its roots in the ongoing Tamil Bhakti movement, particularly the Shaiva Nayanars traditions, over the 7th- to 11th-century.
  • In November 2015, Indian PM inaugurated the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of the river Thames at Lambeth in London.

Patachitra Painting

  • Pattachitra or Patachitra is a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting, based in the eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal.
  • Pattachitra artform is known for its intricate details as well as mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it.
  • Patachitra paintings are made over a piece of cloth known as ‘Pata’ or a dried palm leaf, which is first painted with a mixture of chalk and gum.
  • Over the prepared surface, colourful and intricate pictures of various gods, goddesses, and mythological scenes with ornamentation of flowers, trees and animals are then painted.
  • Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village, known for its master Patachitra painters, palm-leaf engravings, stone and wood carvings and masks.
  • It is the only village in India where each family is engaged in one craft or another.

Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Down to Earth

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