Daily Current Affairs for 17th Jan 2022

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Unusual change in the landscape of Kutch region

Why in News

  • A study based on sedimentary samples has revealed that the landscape of Katrol Hill Fault in the Kutch region of Gujarat has undergone extraordinary changes due to high intensity earthquake events in the last 30,000 years.

Key point

  • The recent geological past has created a need for a revised seismic risk assessment and mitigation strategy in the Kutch Basin, due to its proximity to major settlements including the Industrial Corridor and Bhuj City, following astonishing geological facts about the fault’s seismic history.
  • Earthquake is one of many natural hazards and its complex nature is still grappling by geologists. Space and time are thought to be responsible for the complexity of this widespread phenomenon. The seismicity in the Kutch region is highly complex.
  • https://static.pib.gov.in/WriteReadData/userfiles/image/image001Q1SK.jpg It is characterized by a variety of seismic sources in the form of multiple east-west trending fault lines, which continuously accumulate tectonic stresses at earthquake-generating intervals. Real-time monitoring of earthquakes since the devastating Bhuj earthquake of 2001 indicates that most faults in the region, such as the Kutch Mainland Fault (KMF), the South Wagad Fault (SWF), the Gedi Fault (GF) and the Island Belt Fault (IBF) are seismically active.

Geological map of Katrol Hill fault area in Kutch. Red line showing the length of the fault ruptured during three earthquake events over the past 30,000 years

  • Since, seismic activity is not apparent along other faults like the Cutrol Hill Fault (KHF). Because of this, the task of seismic hazard assessment and mitigation in the region becomes a scientifically complex process.

About the study

  • Geologists from the Department of Geology at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, Vadodara, are trying to decode the seismic activity in Kutch using geological methods.
  • This research group estimated the length of the surface rupture of the Cutrol Hill fault, which is not yet well understood, resulting from three major earthquakes of greater magnitude during the past ~30,000 years, about 21 km.
  • The study was carried out using field mapping and sophisticated field instruments such as ground penetrating radar and laboratory equipment such as scanning electron microscope used for analysis of sediment samples.
  • This research has been published in the journals ‘Engineering Geology’ and ‘Earth Surface Processes and Landforms’. This work was made possible primarily through high quality scientific equipment funded under the FIST program of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • At the same time, instruments kept with the Department of Geology of the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, Vadodara, are actively being used for advanced research in geological and allied sciences.
  • A team of geologists from the university conducted a high magnification scanning electron microscope (SEM) study of the surface of sedimentary samples collected from the faultline, which showed features suggestive of a surface fault.
  • Studies based on various fault parameters such as surface break length, displacement and slip rate suggest that the Cutrol Hill Fault (KHF) generated high-intensity seismic events during the past ~30,000 years Is.
  • In view of this, it is a reliable seismic source, capable of creating a risk of surface rupture in the Kutch Basin.
  • In addition, field-based geomorphological studies have shown that these events have led to extraordinary changes in the landscape.
  • This fault is reflected in the disintegration and restructuring of the Gunavari river flow in the region. It is interesting to note that these events produced surface ruptures, but the 2001 Bhuj earthquake (MW 7.7) did not.
  • The surface ruptures in the Cutrol Hill Fault were probably caused by Palaeolithic earthquakes because they originated at relatively shallow depths. However, these events show a longer recurrence interval for the KHF on the scale of thousands of years compared to other seismically active faults in the Kutch Basin.


74th Army Day

Why in News

    • Recently the Indian Army celebrated its 74th Army Day.

Key point

    • On this day Field Marshal K.M. It is celebrated in the memory of Cariappa taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
    • He was made Commander-in-Chief on 15 January 1949, succeeding General Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India.
    • He was appointed the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of independent India.
    • The theme of the Indian Army for the year 2022 on Army Day is “In Stride with the Future – Progressing with the Future”, reflecting the recognition of the increasingly important role played by critical and disruptive technologies in modern-day warfare.
    • The Indian Army faces traditional and non-traditional security challenges.
    • In such a situation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, Robotics and Quantum Technology are being considered to find innovative solutions to deal with these emerging challenges.
    • Army Day celebrations began with the laying of wreaths at the National War Memorial where the Chiefs of the three Services paid homage to the heroes and martyrs.
    • The Chief of the Army Staff inspected the Army Day Parade at Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment and took the salute. He presented 15 Sena Medals (including five posthumously) for gallantry acts and 23 COAS Unit Citations to the units for their commendable performance.
    • This year’s Army Day parade showcased the development of various weapon systems included in the list of Indian Army.
    • New and state-of-the-art weapon systems and platforms were showcased alongside their older counterparts. Arjun was the country’s main battle tank after the Centurion tanks and the BMP-II was deployed in place of the Topas.
    • Similarly, a pair of 75/24 Indian Field Gun and Dhanush, PMP/PMS and Sarvatra Bridges and Tiger Cat and Akash surface-to-air missiles were also on display.


Representation of the People Act, 1951

Why in News

    • As per the extant guidelines, the applicant association has been asked, inter alia, to publish the proposed name of the party in two national dailies and two local dailies for two days so that 30 days from such publication Objections, if any, regarding the proposed registration of the party may be placed before the Commission within days.

Section 29a

    • The registration of political parties takes place under the provisions of section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
    • Any party desirous of registering under this section has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days from the date of its formation.
    • It is done under the guidelines of the Election Commission, which is determined by the Commission in exercise of its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.


    • The Commission has announced elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh on January 8, 2022.
    • It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that in view of restrictions due to COVID-19, there has been chaos and delay in applying for registration, resulting in delay in registering as a political party. During the assembly elections in Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Commission had relaxed the notice period in view of the pandemic.
    • Therefore, after considering all aspects of the matter, the Commission has given exemption to the parties publishing their public notices on or before January 08, 2022 and reduced the notice period from 30 days to 7 days.
    • Any objections, if any, in respect of all parties, including those who have published a public notice in less than 7 days prior to January 08, 2022, shall be made on or before January 21, 2022 at 05.30 PM may be submitted till the expiry of the period of 30 days, whichever is earlier.


14th round of India-China Corps Commander level talks

Why in News

    • The 14th round of India-China Corps Commander level meeting was held on 12 January 2022 at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting site on the Chinese side.

Key point

    • Representatives of the Defense and Foreign Affairs institutions of both the countries participated in the meeting.
    • There was a frank and in-depth exchange of views between the two sides for resolving the related issues along the LAC in the western side.
    • They agreed that both sides should follow the directions under the guidance of the country’s leaders and work at the earliest to resolve the remaining issues.
    • It was felt that this would help in restoring peace and tranquility along the LAC in the western region and would enable progress in bilateral relations.
    • The two sides also agreed to consolidate the past results of the talks and make effective efforts to maintain security and stability in the western region, including during winter.
    • Both sides agreed to remain in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and to work on mutually acceptable resolution of remaining issues at the earliest.
    • It was also agreed in this context that the next round of commanders’ talks should be held at the earliest.


Forest Survey Report 2021

Why in News

    • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released the ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’ prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI). The FSI was entrusted with the task of assessing the country’s forest and tree resources.

Key point

  • The ISFR-2021 provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring, and forest cover in tiger reserve areas, above ground estimates of biomass using SAR data & climate change hotspots in Indian forests.


  • The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectares which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country.
  • As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country. Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 1,540 sq km and that in tree cover is 721 sq km.
  • Increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest. Top three states showing increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km) followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km).
  • Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76.00%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).
  • 17 states/UT have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these states and UT’s, five states/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 percent forest cover while 12 states/UTs namely Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha, have forest cover between 33 percent to 75 percent.
  • Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km. An increase of 17 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2019. Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).
  • Total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes and there an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2019. The annual increase in the carbon stock is 39.7 million tonnes.


  • In tune with the Government of India’s vision of digital India and the need for integration of digital data sets, FSI has adopted using the vector boundary layers of various administrative units upto districts level as provided by Survey of India along with digital open series topo sheets, in order to ensure comprehensive compatibility with the geographical areas as reported in Census, 2011.
  • The biennial assessment of forest cover of the country using mid-resolution Satellite data is based on interpretation of LISS-III data from Indian Remote Sensing satellite data (Resourcesat-II) with a spatial resolution of 23.5 meters with the scale of interpretation 1:50,000 to monitor forest cover and forest cover changes at District, State and National level.
  • This information provides inputs for various global level inventories, reports such as GHG Inventory, Growing Stock, Carbon Stock, Forest Reference Level (FRL) and international reporting to UNFCCC targets under CBD Global Forest Resource Assessment (GFRA) for planning and scientific management of forests.
  • Satellite data for the entire country was procured from NRSC for the period October to December 2019. The satellite data interpretation is followed by rigorous ground truthing. Information from other collateral sources are also used to improve the accuracy of the interpreted image.
  • The accuracy level achieved in the current assessment is the significantly high. The accuracy of forest cover classification has been assessed 92.99%. The accuracy of classification between forest and non-forest classes has been assessed 95.79% against internationally accepted accuracy of classification of more than 85%. A rigorous QC & QA exercise was also carried out.


  • In the present ISFR 2021, FSI has included a new chapter related to the assessment of forest cover in the Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area of India. In this context, the decadal assessment of change in forest cover within Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area helps in assessing the impact of conservation measures and management interventions that have been implemented over the years.
  • For decadal assessment, change in forest cover, during the period between ISFR 2011 (data period 2008 to 2009) and the current cycle (ISFR 2021, data period 2019-2020) within each Tiger Reserves has been analysed.
  • A new initiative of FSI has also been documented in the form of a chapter, where the ‘Above Ground Biomass’ has been estimated. FSI, in collaboration with Space Application Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad, initiated a special study for estimation of Above Ground Biomass (AGB) at pan-India level, using L- band of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The results for the States of Assam and Odisha (as well as AGB maps), were presented earlier in ISFR 2019. The interim results for AGB estimates (and AGB maps) for the entire country is being presented as a new chapter in ISFR 2021. The detailed report will be published after completion of the study.
  • FSI in collaboration of with Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani, Goa Campus has performed a study based on ‘Mapping of Climate Change Hotspots in Indian Forests’. The collaborative study was carried out with the objective to map the climatic hotspots over the forest cover in India, using computer model-based projection of temperature and rainfall data, for the three future time periods i.e. year 2030, 2050 and 2085.
  • The report also contains information on various parameters State/UT wise. Special thematic information on forest cover such as hill, tribal districts, and north eastern region has also been given separately in the report.
  • It is expected that the information given in the report would provide valuable information for policy, planning and sustainable management of forest and tree resources in the country.

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