Daily Current Affairs for 11th August 2021

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Kakori Conspiracy as Kakori Train Action

Why in News

Recently, Uttar Pradesh government has renamed the landmark freedom movement event “Kakori Train Conspiracy” as “Kakori Train Action”.

Reason behind replacing name

  • This incident was renamed in a tribute to the revolutionaries who were hanged for robbing a train at Kakori to buy weapons in 1925.
  • According to the state government, the revolutionaries were a bunch of passionate people, and their single goal was the independence of the country from the British.
  • They didn’t commit any ‘kand’ (conspiracy), while fighting to gain freedom from the British.
  • Their act was a glorious one, and using the derogatory word ‘kand’ would only malign their image.
  • Hence, a decision was taken to replace ‘kand’ with ‘action’.”

Kakori Train Robbery

  • The Kakori Train Action was a train robbery that took place on 9th August, 1925 in Kakori, a village near Lucknow.
  • It was planned by Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan who belonged to the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), and executed by Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sachindra Bakshi, Keshab Chakravarty, Manmathnath Gupta, Mukundi Lal, Murari Lal Gupta and Banwari Lal.
  • Objective behind these revolutionary activities was to help India against British empire to gain independence.
  • The train robbery was planned as the organisation needed money for the purchase of weaponry.
  • Hence, Bismil and his party decided to plunder a train of the Northern Railway lines.
  • For this activity, as a result, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan and Roshan Singh were hanged to death for their involvement in the robbery on December 19, 1927.


127th Constitutional Amendment Bill

Why in News

The government recently passed the ‘Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021’ in Lok Sabha.

Key Points

  • The Bill that aims at restoring powers of states to notify backward classes.
  • The Amendment Bill seeks to restore the powers to states to notify backward classes, bypassing a May 2021 verdict of the Supreme Court which allowed only the Centre to notify socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs).
  • Following the amendment in Articles 366 (26C) and 338B (9), states will be able to directly notify OBC and SEBCs without having to refer to the NCBC, and the OBC lists prepared by states will be taken out of the domain of the President and notified by the Assembly.
  • The Amendment is found necessary to restore the powers of the state governments to maintain state list of OBCs which was taken away by a Supreme Court interpretation

127th Constitutional Amendment bill

  • The Bill seeks to clarify some provisions in the 102nd Constitutional amendment Bill to restore the power of the states and union territories to prepare their own list of socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC).
  • It amends Articles 342 A (clauses 1 and 2) and will introduce a new clause – 342 A (3) specifically authorising states to maintain their state list.
  • There will be a consequential amendment in Articles 366(26c) and 338B (9). The states will thus be able to directly notify SEBCs without having to refer to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

Need of the amendment

  • The need of the amendment after the Supreme Court, in its Maratha reservation ruling in May, upheld the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • The Apex Court said the President, based on the recommendations of the NCBC, would determine which communities would be included on the State OBC list.
  • The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018 gave constitutional status to the NCBC, and empowered the President to notify the list SEBCs for any state or union territory.
  • The 2021 Bill, however, amends this to provide that the President may notify the list of socially and educationally backward classes only of the central government.
  • Thus, the amendment Bill bypasses the SC ruling and restores the powers of the state governments to maintain a state list of OBCs.

102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018

  • The 102nd Amendment Act came into effect in August 2018 with the objective to grant the constitutional status to ‘National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC)’ at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  • It also inserted Articles 338B and 342A into the Indian Constitution.
  • The amendment also brings about changes in Article 366.
  • This amendment gave the NCBC a constitutional status. The Commission was originally set up in 1993.

Article 338B

  • Article 338B deals with the structure, duties and powers of the ‘National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)’.
  • As per the article, the commission shall consist of the following members who would be appointed by the President: Chairperson, Vice-chairperson and three other members.
  • The article provides the duties of the commission as given below:
  • Investigating and monitoring matters related to the safeguards provided for the socially and educationally backward classes under the Indian Constitution or under any other law or order of the Government and assessing the working of such safeguards.
  • Inquiring into specific complaints regarding the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the socially & educationally backward classes.
  • Participating and advising on the socio-economic development of the socially and educationally backward classes and appraising the progress of their development.
  • Presenting to the President annually or whenever required reports about the working of those safeguards.
  • Making recommendations of measures that should be taken by the central or state governments for the effective implementation of the safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the socially and educationally backward classes.
  • Discharging any other functions with regards to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the socially and educationally backward classes as decided by the Parliament.
  • The article also gives the Commission all the powers of a civil court while enquiring into specific complaints regarding the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the socially & educationally backward classes.

Article 342A

  • Article 342A deals with the power of the President of India to notify a particular caste as a Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) and the power of the Parliament to change the list.
  • The article makes it mandatory to get parliamentary approval for adding to or deleting a community from the Backward List of communities.

National Commission for Backward Classes

  • The NCBC was established under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
  • It has the power to examine complaints regarding inclusion or exclusion of groups within the list of backward classes, and advise the central government in this regard.


Air Traffic Control Towers

Why in News

Recently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has constructed one of the world’s highest mobile Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers at the Advanced Landing Ground in the Ladakh region.

Recent Development n Ladakh

  • The objective of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers is to aid in control operations of the fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters operating in the eastern Ladakh region.
  • India is also deliberating into multiple options to develop airfields in eastern Ladakh, including Nyoma, Fukche, and Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO).
  • IAF has already deployed the Igla man-portable air defence missiles to counter any aerial attack by any opponent aircraft.
  • IAF has also been deploying fighter aircraft including MiG-29s and Rafale in eastern Ladakh.
  • The Indian Air Force is also continuing to maintain its assets in Leh along with a massive upgrade of capabilities in the area.


Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)

Why in news

A recent study stated that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is losing its stability.

Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)

  • The AMOC is a large system of ocean currents. It is the Atlantic branch of the ocean conveyor belt or Thermohaline circulation (THC), and distributes heat and nutrients throughout the world’s ocean basins.
  • It carries warm surface waters from the tropics towards the Northern Hemisphere, where it cools and sinks.
  • It then returns to the tropics and then to the South Atlantic as a bottom current. From there it is distributed to all ocean basins via the Antarctic circumpolar current.

Impact of collapsing AMOC

  • Gulf Stream: It is a warm current and a part of the AMOC which is responsible for mild climate at the Eastern coast of North America as well as Europe. Without a proper AMOC and Gulf Stream, Europe will be very cold.
  • According to the Modelling studies, a collapsing AMOC would cool the northern hemisphere and decrease rainfall over Europe.
  • It can also have an effect on the El Nino.
  • A 2016 paper in Science Advances noted that AMOC collapse brings about large, markedly different climate responses:
  • A prominent cooling over the northern North Atlantic and neighbouring areas,
  • Sea ice increases over the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian seas and to the south of Greenland, and
  • A significant southward rain-belt migration over the tropical Atlantic.
  • Freshwater from melting Greenland ice sheets and the Arctic region can make circulation weaker as it is not as dense as saltwater and doesn’t sink to the bottom.

Reason behind slowing down of AMOC

  • Global Warming:
  • Climate models have long predicted that global warming can cause a weakening of the major ocean systems of the world.
  • According to the researchers, a part of the Arctic’s ice called “Last Ice Area” has also melted.
  • The freshwater from the melting ice reduces the salinity and density of the water. Now, the water is unable to sink as it used to and weakens the AMOC flow.
  • Indian Ocean:
  • A 2019 study suggested that the Indian Ocean may also be helping the slowing down of AMOC.
  • As the Indian Ocean warms faster and faster, it generates additional precipitation.
  • With so much precipitation in the Indian Ocean, there will be less precipitation in the Atlantic Ocean, leading to higher salinity in the waters of the tropical portion of the Atlantic.
  • This saltier water in the Atlantic, as it comes north via AMOC, will get cold much quicker than usual and sink faster.


  • This would act as a jump start for AMOC, intensifying the circulation. If other tropical oceans’ warming, especially the Pacific, catches up with the Indian Ocean, the advantage for AMOC will stop.
  • If we continue to drive global warming, the Gulf Stream System will weaken further: by 34 to 45% by 2100. This could bring dangerously close to the tipping point at which the flow becomes unstable.
  • We urgently need to reconcile our models with the presented observational evidence to assess how far or how close the AMOC really is to its critical threshold.


Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Why in News

Recently, Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces its first part of 6th assessment reports on ‘Climate Change’.

Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces assessment reports in every few years that are the most comprehensive scientific evaluations of the state of earth’s climate.
  • It was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the IPCC does not itself engage in scientific research.
  • Instead, it asks scientists from around the world to go through all the relevant scientific literature related to climate change and draw up the logical conclusions.
  • So far, five assessment reports have been produced, the first one being released in 1990. The fifth assessment report had come out in 2014 in the run up to the climate change conference in Paris.
  • Recently, the IPCC released the first part of its sixth assessment report (AR6). The two remaining parts would be released in 2022.
  • The IPCC reports are created by three working groups of scientists:
  • Working Group-I, whose report has been released, deals with the scientific basis for climate change.
  • Working Group-II: impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation issues,
  • Working Group-III deals with actions that can be taken to combat climate change.
  • The assessment reports are the most widely-accepted scientific opinion about climate change.

Global Scenario

  • According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Indian Ocean is warming at a higher rate than other oceans, that would lead to a rise in sea levels, leading to frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-level areas.
  • The current overall global warming trends are likely to lead to an increase in annual mean precipitation over India, with more severe rain expected over southern India in the coming decades.
  • With a 7,517 km coastline, India would face significant threats from the rising seas.
  • Across the port cities of Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Surat and Visakhapatnam, 28.6 million people would be exposed to coastal flooding if sea levels rise by 50 cm.
  • Monsoon extremes are likely to increase over India and South Asia, while the frequency of short intense rainy days is expected to rise.
  • Models also indicate a lengthening of the monsoon over India by the end of the 21st century, with the South Asian monsoon precipitation projected to increase.
  • According to the report, the planet was irrevocably headed towards warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre­industrial times in the next two decades.
  • Keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius of pre­industrial levels by the turn of century and endeavouring to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius was at the heart of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Unless extremely deep emission cuts are undertaken by all countries immediately, these goals are unlikely to be met.
  • The report recommended that countries strive to achieve net zero emissions, no additional greenhouse gases are emitted, by 2050.

India in IPCC Report

  • According to the report, India will witness increased heatwaves and flooding, which will be the irreversible effects of climate change.
  • In India, heat waves and humid heat stress will be more intense and frequent in the 21st century.
  • Changes in monsoon precipitation are also expected, with both annual and summer monsoon precipitation projected to increase.
  • For India, increase in heat waves is marked by other emissions like aerosol emissions. If there is a reduction in aerosols, India will witness for further increase in heat waves.

Way Forward

  • India is the third largest emitter in the world that has been holding out, arguing that it was already doing much more than it was required to do, performing better, in relative terms, than other countries, and that any further burden would jeopardise its continuing efforts to pull its millions out of poverty.
  • A global net-zero by 2050 was the minimum required to keep the temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius. Without India, this would not be possible.
  • Even China, the world’s biggest emitter, has a net-zero goal for 2060.
  • For the purposes of global warming and its impacts, the pathways are as important as the destination.
  • Immediate emission cuts and a steady pathway to net-zero is the need of the hour to bring better benefits than a business-as-usual scenario and a sudden drop in emissions towards the end to meet the target.


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