Himalai Celebrating 20th-year celebration, on this eve Himalai extending helping hands to the UPSC-IAS Aspirants of June 2018.

Most important exam oriented Current Affairs Concepts:

1. The walled city of Ahmadabad

The walled city of Ahmadabad, founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods. The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses (pols) in gated traditional streets (puras) with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions. The city continued to flourish as the capital of the State of Gujarat for six centuries, up to the present. UNESCO declared the 606-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad a World Heritage City


TRAPPIST-1 is a planetary system, located 12 parsecs away from the Solar system (39 light years), near the ecliptic, within the constellation of Aquarius. Around a star which is 12 times less massive than the Sun and only slightly larger than Jupiter, there are at least seven planets in orbit. The initial discovery was made All the plan189.eTRAPPIST-1 star systemts in the TRAPPIST-1 system transit their star, meaning that they pass in front of it. The planets were discovered from the regular and repeated shadows that are cast during transit. Thanks to the transit signals we could measure the orbital periods of the planets and could calculate the sizes of the planets The TRAPPIST-1 star system is home to seven Earth-size planets, and a new study suggests that 3 of those planets’ atmospheres look similar to atmospheres found on rocky planets such as Venus or Mars.

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers targeted the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system that lie in the star’s “habitable zone,” or the region where temperatures could be right to host liquid water on a planet’s surface — a critical ingredient for life as we know it.

The researchers used Hubble to search for hydrogen and didn’t find a large abundance of the gas in three of the roughly Earth-size exoplanets: TRAPPIST-1d, TRAPPIST-1e and TRAPPIST-1f. (A fourth planet in the habitable zone, TRAPPIST-1g, will require more observations to estimate its hydrogen composition, according to a statement from NASA

Hydrogen acts as a greenhouse gas, which traps heat inside a planet’s atmosphere. For planets in the habitable zone, a hydrogen-rich atmosphere would render the surface extremely hot and unfriendly for life. Hydrogen is more abundant in gas-giant planets in Earth’s solar system, compared to rocky planets. Neptune, for example, has a very “puffy,” hydrogen-rich atmosphere, according to the statement. A lack of hydrogen means it’s possible that the TRAPPIST-1 planets have atmospheres that are “shallow and rich in heavier gases like those found in Earth’s atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, methane and oxygen.

3. Locky Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid. More modern ransomware families, collectively categorized as crypto-ransomware, encrypt certain file types on infected systems and forces users to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods to get a decrypt key.

Locky” ransomware is new strain of ransomware, so-called because it renames all your important files so that they have the extension

4. SAUNI Project

Saurastra Narmada Avataran Irrigation project acts as a ‘linking’ project where the water will be filled in irrigation dams that are already equipped with canal network. The key features include
 115 dams in the Saurashtra region will be filled with excess water
 Around 10 dams and reservoirs of Rajkot, Jamnagar and Morbi districts will be filled with water
 Making pipe canals instead of the conventional open canals
 1,125-km network of pipelines that will help to channel water into farms

Saruashtra region of Gujarat which includes 11 districts which faces drought-like situation often and has been reeling under severe water scarcity due to scanty rainfall. Sardar Sarovar reservoir has 4.75 million acre feet (MAFT) storage capacity which is further distributed to states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. A lot of floodwater still overflows the dam especially in the monsoon season and ends up going to the sea route. Gujarat’s share is around 3 MAFT in that floodwater. With the new scheme, the water will be distributed to all the big reservoirs

It acts as a link project and aims to fill irrigation dams which includes canal networks to channelise water to the farmland. It will also have pipe canals instead of open canals and this makes the project unique because pipelines will be underground under private land while pumping stations will be built on government land. The project also has a potential to create about 8,800 jobs each year.

5. Article 370 and 35 A

On August 15, 1947, when India and Pakistan became independent states, the kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir did not cede to either dominion. Instead, its maharaja proposed a “Standstill Agreement” with both countries. In 1946, when Mohammed Ali Jinnah requested Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir to become a part of Pakistan, the Muslim masses rejected this argument and shouted “Go back Jinnah”. Pakistan entered into a Standstill Agreement with Jammu and Kashmir, but India did not. It wanted to hold further negotiations. And on October 26, 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession whereby Jammu and Kashmir agreed to accede to the Union of India.

The first India-Pakistan war over the accession of Jammu and Kashmir led to a delay in the integration of the state with the Union. Since the Constitution of India was being drafted during the tussle over Kashmir, it was felt that a transitional provision had to be included in it regarding the relationship between India and the state. This was to be an interim arrangement till the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir had been elected to determine the status of the relationship with India. This took shape in the form of Article 370, which bestowed “special status” on Jammu and Kashmir.

The special status arose out of the peculiar manner in which the state had acceded to India and not because of the demographic component of its people, as often misrepresented by various sections. Sheikh Abdullah, the unmatched leader of the Kashmiri masses, also sought a special status in light of these circumstances. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his deputy, Sardar Patel, held various meetings on this matter in 1949. In Nehru’s letter to Sheikh Abdullah on May 18, 1949, he stated that Sardar Patel and he had agreed that except for subjects conceded to the Union in the Instrument of Accession, it was for the state Constituent Assembly to determine the status of the other subjects. In 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect and in it, Article 370 was the guiding light for the relationship with Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 370(1)(b)(ii) and Article 370(1)(d) of the Constitution state that the concurrence of the state government is needed when making decisions under the Union List (comprising items on which the Centre has exclusive power to legislate) and the Concurrent List (made up of items on which both the Centre and states have jurisdiction) apart from the subjects under the Instrument of Accession. Such concurrence is also needed for the extension of Articles of the Constitution of India to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The power of extending laws to the state of Jammu and Kashmir was to be exercised through orders issued by the president of India.

Article 370(2) states that when the Constituent Assembly is convened, the concurrence given by the state government shall be placed before it and it can make decisions regarding the same. This indicates that this was an interim measure to determine legislative and executive relations with the state till the Constituent Assembly had been formed. Article 370(3) states that the president can declare Article 370 to be inoperative, but only with the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly. The Supreme Court in Prem Nath Kaul versus State of Jammu and Kashmir had clarified that the framers of the Constitution wanted the Constituent Assembly to finally determine the relationship between India and the state.

In 1951, the Constituent Assembly was constituted based on an election that was swept by Sheikh Abdullah’s National Conference. In 1952, Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah entered into the Delhi Agreement whereby it was agreed that Jammu and Kashmir would have full power over subjects other than those acceded under the Instrument of Accession. On February 6, 1954, the Constituent Assembly ratified the accession to India and reiterated its special relationship with the Union of India.

The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir came into force in 1957, with Article 147(c) stating that no amendment can be made to the Constitution in relation to the provisions of the Constitution of India as applicable to the state; this would, for all purposes, include the relationship enshrined under Article 370. It is important to note that Article 370 cannot be made inoperative without the consent of the Constituent Assembly, but the tampering of the special relationship between India and Jammu and Kashmir as enshrined in the Article is specifically barred by this provision of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, thereby bringing permanency to the state’s special status.

Article 35A
Article 35A of the Constitution of India enables Jammu and Kashmir to make a distinction between permanent and non-permanent residents in relation to acquisition of immovable property, settlement in the state and employment, among others. The historical background to the need to make a distinction between permanent and non-permanent residents can be traced back to an agitation by Kashmiri Pandits against the hiring of Punjabis in the state administration, which eventually led to a 1927 law promulgated by Maharaja Hari Singh that sought to provide certain privileges to permanent residents, especially in the purchase of land. Because of the special circumstances surrounding the accession to India and the guarantee of special status, representatives of Jammu and Kashmir felt the law regarding permanent residents needed to continue to preserve their special rights vis-a-vis the rest of the Union of India.

Article 35A was a product of the Delhi Agreement. It enables the state legislature to define “permanent residents” and provide them with special privileges. It also protects such laws from being held as void on the ground that they are inconsistent with or restrict or abridge any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of Part III of the Constitution.

6. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. Compared with other diseases caused by a single infectious agent, tuberculosis is the second biggest killer, globally.

TB Burden in India
India accounts for about a quarter of the global TB burden. Worldwide India is the country with the highest burden of both TB and MDR TB. There are an estimated 79,000 multi-drug resistant TB patients among the notified cases of pulmonary TB each year. India is also the country with the second highest number (after South Africa) of estimated HIV associated TB cases. For more see TB & HIV in South Africa.

India also has more than a million “missing” cases every year that are not notified and most remain either undiagnosed or unaccountably and inadequately diagnosed and treated in the private sector. There are some more TB statistics for India.

7. MSME Samadhaan

The Portal will give information about the pending payment of MSEs with individual CPSEs / Central Ministries, State Governments, etc. The CEO of PSEs and the Secretary of the Ministries concerned will also be able to monitor the cases of delayed payment under their jurisdiction and issue necessary instructions to resolve the issues. The portal will greatly facilitate the monitoring of the delayed payment in a more effective manner. The information on the portal will be available in public domain, thus exerting moral pressure on the defaulting organisations. The MSEs will also be empowered to access the portal and monitor their cases.

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 contains provisions to deal with cases of delayed payment to Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). As per the provisions, the buyer is liable to pay compound interest with monthly rests to the supplier on the amount at three times of the bank rate notified by Reserve Bank in case he does not make payment to the supplier for the supplies of goods or services within 45 days of the day of acceptance of the goods/service or the deemed day of acceptance.

8. The Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

The slogan is “Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife & People”, links to the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the world’s governments in 2015 to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, combat climate change and protect oceans and forests. The CMS COP will place particular emphasis on the fact that migratory animals provide vital services that satisfy people’s everyday needs – as a source of food and medicine, as pollinators and seed dispersers, and as a means of pest control. Migratory species can also fire our imagination with their majestic presence and beauty and inspire us with their intrepid journeys across deserts and oceans. COP12 presents an opportunity to place the cause of nature conservation centre stage in the wider debate about the future of the planet and the fate of its residents – human and animal. Delegates will be able to highlight the fact that global efforts to reach SDG will and must be beneficial for people and wildlife

9. Offshore Patrol Vessels- Vikram

Vikram, the first of a series of seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The long-range ship was built by Larsen and Toubro.
OPVs are long-range surface ships capable of coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones, control & surveillance, anti-smuggling & anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.

10. Redefining the kilogram in terms of Planck’s constant

The Planck constant is 6.626069934 x 10-34 kg∙m2/s, with an uncertainty of 13 parts per billion. If that number makes your eyes glaze over, the important part is the end: 13 parts per billion is incredibly precise.

To measure the Planck constant, the researchers used a Kibble balance, a device that suspends a 1-kg weight with electromagnetic forces. They can calculate the constant according to the amount of electromagnetic energy it takes to balance the mass.

The team says the more precise figure comes courtesy of having 16 months’ worth of measurements to draw from, as well as adjustments they’d made in how the electromagnetic field was created and measured.

These experiments join several other projects that were attempting to find the most precise value of the Planck constant, and while everyone’s answers were different, they have low enough levels of uncertainty to make a case for redefining the kilogram in terms of the Planck constant.

Since 1879, the kilogram has been defined as the exact mass of the International Prototype of the Kilogram (IPK), a small cylinder made of platinum and iridium. But there are a few problems with defining a base unit in terms of a physical artifact.

The pound, ton or milligram are defined in terms of their relationship to the kilo, as are non-mass units like the ampere (for electric current) or the candela (luminous intensity).

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