19 MAY 2022

. No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.    SCO RATS Meet Prelims & Mains
2.    Buddha Purnima Prelims & Mains
3.    Forest Fires Prelims & Mains
4.    Gaganyaan Mission Prelims Specific Topic
5.    Kanheri Caves Prelims Specific Topic


1 – SCO RATS Meet: 


International Relations

  • Context:
  • India, Pakistan, and other members of the Shanghai Collaboration Organisation (SCO) addressed boosting cooperation in combating different regional security issues at a summit sponsored by New Delhi.
  • The meeting is organised by the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).
  • Background:
  • On October 28 of last year, India took over as head of the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structures of the SCO (RATS SCO) for a one-year term.
  • About RATS:
  • Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is home to the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).
  • It is a permanent organ of the Shanghai Collaboration Organisation (SCO) that promotes member state cooperation in the fight against terrorism, separatism, and extremism.
  • It specifically addresses topics of security and defence.
  • About the SCO:
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental organisation that exists indefinitely.
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded on June 15, 2001. (China).
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Charter was signed in June 2002 during the SCO Heads of State summit in St. Petersburg, and it went into effect on September 19, 2003.
  • The Shanghai Five mechanism came before it.
  • SCO’s founding members included:
  • Kazakhstan
  • China
  • The Republic of Kyrgyzstan,
  • The Russian Federation
  • Tajikistan,
  • Uzbekistan
  • Background:
  • Prior to the establishment of the Shanghai Five in 2001, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five.
  • The Shanghai Five (1996) developed from a series of border delineation and demilitarisation agreements between China and the four former Soviet republics to assure border stability.
  • The Shanghai Five was renamed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation after Uzbekistan joined the organisation in 2001. (SCO).
  • In 2017, India and Pakistan joined the club.
  • Source – The Hindu

2 – Buddha Purnima:


Indian Culture

  • Context:
  • The birth anniversary of Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Gautam Buddha, was observed on May 16th.
  • It is also thought that he gained Nirvana or salvation under the Mahabodhi tree in Bodh Gaya on this day.
  • Vesak is another name for it.
  • It was declared a UN-designated day in 1999 to recognise Buddhism’s contribution to society.
  • Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Lumbini on this occasion. He built a monastery from the ground up.
  • Gautam Buddha’s biography:
  • The dates of Buddha’s birth and death remain uncertain. His birth is generally dated between 563 and 483 BC.
  • According to Vedic literature, he is the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
  • Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini and belonged to the Sakya clan.
  • Locations associated with him include:
  • Gautam obtained Bodhi (enlightenment) in Bodhgaya, Bihar, under a pipal tree.
  • Buddha preached his first sermon in Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, near Varanasi. Dharma Chakra Pravartana is the name given to this occurrence (turning of the wheel of law).
  • In 483 BCE, he died in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, at the age of 80. Mahaparinibban or Mahaparinirvana is the name given to the event.
  • Source – The Hindu

3 – Forest Fires:


Environmental Conservation

  • Context:
  • Thousands of hectares of forest have been burned in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh
  • Himachal Pradesh had roughly 750 forest fires in April, while Uttarakhand had over 1,500.
  • Why are forest fires so common in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh?
  • Except during monsoon and winter rainy seasons, the forests remain prone to wildfires.
  • Forest fires are widespread in the state’s low and intermediate slopes, where Chir Pine forests are common, throughout the summer.
  • Forest fires are also observed in higher places during the post-monsoon season and in the winters, including parts of Shimla, Kullu, Chamba, Kangra, and Mandi districts, where they mainly occur in grasslands.
  • How have other forest fire-prone areas fared thus far?
  • Apart from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, forest fires are reported frequently in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tripura, Mizoram, and Odisha each year.
  • The fire was started by:
  • Natural causes such as lightning or dry bamboos rubbing against each other can cause forest fires, but forest officials claim that human influences are to blame for practically all forest fires.
  • The herdsman and small forest produce gatherer setting up a temporary hearth to prepare food may leave behind a simmering fire, which could turn into a forest fire.
  • In addition, when people burn their fields to clear them of stubble, dried grass, or undergrowth, the fire might spread to the nearby forest.
  • When dry pine needles or leaves fall on an electric pole, they might cause a spark.
  • Other factors include:
  • Soil moisture deficiency.
  • Insufficient rainfall.
  • Lightning, high air temperatures, and low humidity are examples of natural causes.
  • What steps are taken to prevent and manage forest fires?
  • The following can be done to prevent and manage forest fires:
  • Using meteorological data to predict fire-prone days.
  • removing dried biomass from camping sites
  • Dry litter on the forest floor is burned early.
  • Within the forest, create fire-resistant plant strips.
  • Some ways for preventing forest fires include creating fire lines (fire lines are strips in the forest kept clear of vegetation to prevent the fire from spreading).
  • What steps are being made to keep woods safe from fires?
  • The Forest Fire Alert System was established by the FSI in 2004 to track forest fires in real time.
  • MODIS sensors (1km by 1km grid) collect real-time fire data from recognised fire hotspots, which is then electronically transferred to FSI.
  • The National Action Plan on Forest Fires (NAPFF) was developed in 2018 with the goal of reducing forest fires by educating, empowering, and incentivizing forest fringe communities to collaborate with state forest departments.
  • The Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme (FPM) is the only federally financed programme dedicated to supporting states with forest fire prevention and management.
  • Source – The Hindu

4 – Gaganyaan Mission:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • The Indian Space Research Organization recently completed a static test of the Gaganyaan programme’s human-rated solid rocket booster (HS200) (ISRO).
  • What’s important to know about the HS200?
  • The booster engine is part of the GSLV Mk III rocket, which will launch Indian astronauts into space.
  • It’s the world’s second-largest functioning solid-propellant rocket.
  • Gaganyaan’s bio:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially announced the Gaganyaan initiative during his Independence Day address on August 15, 2018.
  • In 2023, the mission is expected to launch.
  • According to the Gaganyaan schedule:
  • Three missions will be launched into space.
  • Two unmanned flights and one human spaceflight are planned.
  • Three Indian astronauts, including a woman, will be aboard the Orbital Module. For 5-7 days, it will orbit Earth in a low-earth-orbit at a distance of 300-400 kilometres.
  • After the United States, Russia, and China, India will become the fourth country in the world to undertake a Human Spaceflight Mission with this launch.
  • Objectives:
  • The Gaganyaan program’s goal is to demonstrate the capacity of sending humans to low earth orbit on an Indian launch vehicle and safely returning them to Earth.
  • Preparation and implementation:
  • As part of the Gaganyaan programme, four Indian astronaut candidates have previously completed general space flight training in Russia.
  • The mission will be carried out by ISRO’s heavy-lift launcher GSLV Mk III.
  • Source – The Hindu

5 – Kanheri Caves

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • On the occasion of Buddha Purnima, various amenities were inaugurated at the ancient Kanheri Caves.
  • About:
  • They’re on the former island of Salsette, on the western fringes of Mumbai, in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park’s forests.
  • They span the second to ninth centuries AD.
  • They are from the Hinayana Buddhist architectural period.
  • When Mahayana Buddhism became popularity, however, additions were introduced. For example, a Buddha image from the fifth century.
  • It hasover 100 caverns.
  • Kanheri was referenced in travelogues written by foreigners. Fa-Hein, who visited India between 399 and 411 CE, is credited with the first mention of Kanheri.
  • Source – The Hindu