Daily Current Affairs for 25th July 2022

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Anushilan Samiti

GS Paper 1: Modern India
Important For:
Prelims exam: Anushilan Samiti and related personalities

Why in News

Union Education and Skill Development Minister has urged NCERT and the Education fraternity to include enough information about Anushilan Samiti, especially in the upcoming National Curriculum Framework
Anushilan Samiti
• Anushilan Samiti was an Indian fitness club, which was actually used as an underground society for anti-British revolutionaries.
• It was founded by Satish Chandra Basu, Pramatha Mitra, Aurobindo Ghosh and Sarala Devi.
• Barindra Kumar Ghosh, who was the brother of Aurobindo Ghosh, was the chief of this organisation.
• The organisation arose from a conglomeration of local youth groups and gyms (akhara) in Bengal in 1902.
• It had two prominent, somewhat independent, arms in East and West Bengal, Dhaka Anushilan Samiti (centred in Dhaka), and the Jugantar group (centred in Calcutta).
• It challenged British rule in India by engaging in militant nationalism, including bombings, assassinations, and politically motivated violence.

Revolutionary activities

• The Samiti collaborated with other revolutionary organisations in India and abroad.
• It was led by the nationalists Aurobindo Ghosh and his brother Barindra Kumar Ghosh.
• The Samiti was involved in a number of noted incidents of revolutionary attacks against British interests and administration in India, including early attempts to assassinate British Raj officials.
• These were followed by the 1912 attempt on the life of the Viceroy of India, and the Seditious conspiracy during World War I, led by Rash Behari Bose and Jatindranath Mukherjee respectively.

Defiance from militant nationalism

• The organisation moved away from its philosophy of violence in the 1920s due to the influence of the Indian National Congress and the Gandhian non-violent movement.
• A section of the group, notably those associated with Sachindranath Sanyal, remained active in the revolutionary movement, founding the Hindustan Republican Association in north India.
• A number of Congress leaders from Bengal, especially Subhash Chandra Bose, were accused by the British Government of having links with the organisation during this time.
• The Samiti’s violent philosophy revived in the 1930s, when it was involved in the Kakori conspiracy, the Chittagong armoury raid, and other actions against the administration in British-occupied India.

Other personalities associated with Anushilan Samiti

• Sri Aurobindo, Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das, Surendranath Tagore, Jatindranath Banerjee, Bagha Jatin, Bhupendra Natha Datta, Barindra Kumar Ghosh, Rash Behari Bose and Sachindra Nath Sanyal were some other members of the Anushilan Samiti.
• After Aurobindo’s retirement, the western Anushilan Samiti found a more prominent leader in Bagha Jatin and emerged as the Jugantar.
• Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was also an alumnus of the Anushilan Samiti.

Indian Antarctic Bill

GS Paper 3: Science and Technology
Important For:
Prelims exam: Provisions of the Bill
Mains exam: Need of Antarctic bill and its significance on India’s development in Antarctic region.

What is the Antarctica Bill?

• The draft bill is the first domestic legislation with regard to Antarctica in India.
• Twenty-seven countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russian Federation, South Africa, UK, USA etc already have domestic legislations on Antarctica.
• While India has been sending expeditions to Antarctica for the past 40 years, these expeditions have been circumscribed by international law.
• The Bill now puts into place a comprehensive list of regulations related to Antarctica, for such scientific expeditions, as well as for individuals, companies and tourists.

The Antarctica Treaty

• The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by 12 countries — Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, French Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Union of South Africa, USSR, the UK and Northern Ireland and the US of America, and came into force in 1961.
• The Treaty covers the area south of 60°S latitude.
• The objectives of the treaty are to demilitarize Antarctica and establish it as a zone used for peaceful research activities and to set aside any disputes regarding territorial sovereignty, thereby ensuring international cooperation.
• Currently, 54 nations are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty, but only 29 nations have a right to vote at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings – this includes India.
• India signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and received consultative status the same year.
• The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) was set up in 1980 for the protection and preservation of the Antarctic environment and, in particular, for the preservation and conservation of marine living resources in Antarctica.
• The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1991. It designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”.

Main provisions of the Bill

• The bill extends Indian courts’ jurisdiction to Antarctica, and the investigation and trial for crimes committed on the Arctic continent.
• The Bill is a comprehensive document of regulations, particularly keeping in mind environmental protection and the fragile nature of the region.
• The Bill introduces an elaborate permit system for any expedition or individual who wishes to visit the continent.
o These permits will be issued by a committee that will be set up by the government.
o The Committee will comprise:
 Secretary Earth Sciences ministry
 Officials from Defence ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, Finance, Fisheries, Legal Affairs, Science and Technology, Shipping, Tourism, Environment, Communication and Space ministries.
 A member from the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research and National Security Council Secretariat and experts on Antarctica.
• While India does not carry out commercial fishing in the area, since every country has an allotted quota, the Bill now provides for this activity.
• India does not carry out any tourism activity in the region. The Bill now enables Indian tour operators to operate in Antarctica.
o Very few Indian tourists visit Antarctica, when they do, they do so through foreign tour operators.
o Antarctica receives a number of tourists from foreign countries.
• The Bill further enlists elaborate standards for environmental protection as well as waste management.

Why was this Bill necessary?

• India had been a signatory to the Antarctic Treaty since 1983, which obliged it to specify a set of laws governing portions of the continent where it had its research bases.
o The Treaty made it mandatory for the 54 signatory countries to specify laws governing territories on which their stations are located.
• Antarctica is a no man’s land…It isn’t that India is making a law for a territory that doesn’t belong to it…. India has introduced the bill to check if some unlawful activity happens in the territory involving India’s research stations.
• In the future, the private ship and aviation industry will also start operations and promote tourism and fishing in Antarctica, which needs to be regulated.
• The continuing and growing presence of Indian scientists in Antarctica warrants a domestic legislation on Antarctica consistent with its obligations as a member of the Antarctic Treaty.
• This is also in sync with the emergence of India as a global leader on important international fronts.

What are the challenges of fiberisation ahead of India’s 5G deployment?

GS Paper 3: Science and Technology
Important For:
Prelims exam: Fiberisation
Mains exam: 5G technology: Challenges and way ahead
The story so far: India is preparing to auction off about 72 Ghz of airwaves to rollout 5G services in the country. However, the infrastructure needed for such a rollout requires existing radio towers to be connected via optical-fibre cables. The work of connecting the towers could prove to be a huge challenge for the country.

What is fiberisation?

• The process of connecting radio towers with each other via optical fibre cables is called fiberisation.
• It helps provide full utilisation of network capacity, and carry large amounts of data once 5G services are rolled out.
• It will also aid in providing additional bandwidth and stronger backhaul support.
o The backhaul is a component of the larger transport that is responsible for carrying data across the network.

Where does India stand with respect to tower fiberisation?

• To transition into 5G, India needs at least 16 times more fibre, according to estimates by STL (Sterlite Technologies Ltd)
• In India, currently only 33% of the towers are fiberised, compared to the 65%-70% in South Korea and 80%-90% in the U.S., Japan and China.
• The fibre kilometre (fkm) per capita in India is lower than other key markets. Ideally, a country needs 1.3 km of fibre per capita to ensure good fiberisation.
• There is also a need to increase data capacity in the fiberised towers.

What are the challenges?

• To reach the targeted level of fiberisation, India requires about ₹2.2 lakh crore of investment to help fiberise 70% towers. About ₹2.5 lakh crore will be needed to set up 15 lakh towers in the next four years.
• Government programmes like BharatNet and Smart Cities will further add to the demand of fibre deployment, necessitating a complete tower fiberisation.
• The Prime Minister, in his 2020 Independence Day speech, laid out the vision to connect every village in the country with optical fiber cable (OFC) in 1,000 days. To achieve that vision, cables must be laid at a speed of 1,251 km a day, around 3.6 times the current average speed of 350 km a day.
• One of the biggest issues in the way of fiberisation remains the Right of Way (RoW) rules.
o The rules aim to incorporate nominal one-time compensation and uniform procedure for establishment of Overground Telegraph Line (OTL) anywhere in the country.
o All States/UTs are required to implement these rules, they are not in complete alignment and still require certain amendments to align.
o Other central Ministries like the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, National Highway Authority of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests etc. have not yet adopted these rules.

Can satellite communication help in 5G deployment and improve network backhaul?

• Processing power needs to be distributed from centralised data centres to edge servers closer to users.
• Satellite communication can provide high-capacity backhaul connectivity to large numbers of edge servers over wide areas.
• Satellite communication can facilitate 5G broadband connectivity to underserved areas where it is not feasible to deploy terrestrial infrastructure like remote villages, islands or mountainous regions.

Marburg virus disease

GS Paper 3 : General Science
Important For:
Prelims exam: Marburg Virus
Why in News
Ghana announced the country’s first outbreak of Marburg virus disease. Word of a new outbreak of a lethal disease caused by viral infections added to the concerns of a public weary from battling the coronavirus pandemic and recently alarmed by the spread of monkeypox and a new case of polio.
What is Marburg virus disease?
• Marburg was first detected in 1967.
• The Marburg virus is the pathogen that causes Marburg virus disease in humans, health experts said.
• There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for the disease.
• Although it is caused by a different virus, the disease is clinically similar to Ebola in its spread, symptoms and progression, according to WHO.
• In Marburg’s case, fruit bats are considered to be the hosts of the virus, although researchers say it does not cause them illness.
How it spreads
• Marburg virus can spread through direct contact with blood, secretions or other bodily fluids from infected people, according to WHO.
• It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and materials like bedding or clothing.

Places in News

Jim Corbett National Park
• Jim Corbett National Park is a national park in India located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state.
• The first national park in India was established during the British Raj and named Hailey National Park after William Malcolm Hailey, a governor of the United Provinces in which it was then located.
• In 1956, it was renamed Corbett National Park after the hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett, who had played a leading role in its establishment and had died the year before.
• The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
• The area of the park is mountainous and falls in the Shivalik and Outer Himalaya geological provinces.
• Dense moist deciduous forest mainly consists of sal, haldu, peepal, rohini and mango trees.
• Ramganga, Sonanadi, Mandal, Palain and Kosi are the major rivers flowing through the park.
According to the botanical survey of India, Corbett has 600 species of plants – trees, shrubs, ferns, grass, climbers, herbs and bamboos. Sal, Khair and Sissoo are the most visible trees found in Corbett.
Apart from tigers, Corbett also has leopards. Other mammals such as jungle cats, barking deer, spotted deer, sambar deer, sloth etc. are also found there.

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