The HINDU Notes – 22nd January



💡CM to flag off jallikattu in Madurai, but stir continues


The Tamil Nadu government will conduct jallikattu in Madurai and other parts of the State on Sunday morning following the Governor’s approval for the ordinance proposing amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960).

  • The Ordinance:
    • The ordinance, which envisages State-specific amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, is meant for “ensuring survival and well being of native breeds of bull and preserving cultural traditions” of Tamil Nadu.
    • It will amend Section 11 (treating animals cruelly) of the 1960 Act. Later a bill will be moved in the session of the Assembly that is beginning on January 23 (Monday) and adopted during the session.
    • The sentiments of Tamils and to protect their cultural right and having regard to the grave and volatile situation prevailing in the State and in the best interest of maintaining law and order, it had been decided to promulgate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.

💡After jallikattu, it is kambala’s turn


  • The demand for lifting the ban on kambala (traditional kambala was over 1,000 years old) — buffalo racing — is gaining momentum in coastal Karnataka after an Ordinance promulgated to lift the ban on jallikattu (bull-taming) in Tamil Nadu is out.
  • On PIL petition filed by PETA the state govt. informed the High Court that it had withdrawn the permission given to hold kambala based on the Supreme Court’s order on jallikattu. The hearing on the petition is scheduled for January 30.
  • The State government could also promulgate an Ordinance to allow kambala, provided a demand for it built up.


💡Erdogan strengthens grip as presidential system is approved


  • The Turkish Parliament has backed a plan to strengthen the powers of the presidency, paving the way for a referendum on the issue in spring which, if passed, could allow President Tayyip Erdogan to stay in office until 2029.
  • The constitutional reform bill was approved overnight with339 votes in the 550-member assembly. The legislation needed at least 330 deputies to support it in order to go to a public vote.
  • The reform would enable the President to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and top state officials and dissolve Parliament — powers that the two main Opposition parties say strip away balances to Mr. Erdogan’s power.
  • Erdogan says the reform will provide stability in the European Union candidate country at a time of turmoil and prevent a return to the fragile coalitions of the past.
  • Mr. Erdogan assumed the presidency, a largely ceremonial position, in 2014 after over a decade as prime minister with the ruling AK Party.


💡A sunspot with centre twice the size of Earth


  • A contorted centre of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth, along with other invisible details of our Sun, has been unveiled by scientists.
  • The results are an important expansion of the range of observations that can be used to probe the physics of our nearest star.
  • About ALMA:
    • The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) antennas designed so that they could image the Sun in exquisite detail using the technique of radio inter-ferometry.
    • It is used to image the millimetre-wavelength light emitted by the Sun’s chromosphere.
    • The images demonstrate ALMA’s ability to study solar activity at longer wavelengths of light than are typically available to solar observatories.

💡New technique for faster diagnosis of HIV


  • Scientists have developed a new method for medical testing that may lead to faster diagnosis of HIV, Lyme disease, syphilis and rotavirus infections.
  • It is developed by combining cutting-edge nanoscience with a magnetic phenomenon discovered more than 170 years ago to create the method for speedy medical tests.
  • The Technique:
    • Nanoparticles are coated with the antibody to BSA, or bovine serum albumin, which is commonly used as the basis of a variety of diagnostic tests.
    • By mixing the nanoparticles in a test solution, the BSA proteins preferentially bind with the antibodies that coat the nanoparticles.
    • Nanoparticles with an iron core and applied a magnetic field to the solution, causing the particles to align in a particular formation.
    • As proteins bind to the antibody-coated particles, the rotation of the particles becomes sluggish, which is easy to detect with laser optics.

💡How ISRO plans to launch 103 satellites on a single rocket


  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set a record when it launches 103 satellites in one go on a single rocket PSLV (C37) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in the first week of February.
  • Explanation:
    • The satellites will be separated from the launch vehicle in different directions. The separation angle and time of separation will be such that one satellite will not collide with another.
    • The satellite separated from the launch vehicle will have a relative velocity of one metre per second. So after 1,000 seconds the distance between a satellite and the rocket will be 1,000 metres.
    • The satellite that gets launched first will move at a relatively faster velocity than the next satellite that is launched. Due to different relative velocities, the distance between the satellites will increases continuously but the orbit will be the same.
    • At an orbital altitude of around 500 km, it would take the vehicle 90 minutes to complete one orbit. The satellites will be injected into orbit at different locations at different angles, at different times and different orientations.
  • Facts:
    • In June last year, ISRO launched 20 satellites in one go. It took about 26 minutes to launch all the 20 satellites. In 2008, ISRO launched 10 satellites in a single mission.
    • The highest number of satellites launched in a single mission so far has been 37 by Russia in 2014; NASA launched 29 satellites in one go in 2013.

💡‘Massive Antarctic ice shelf ready to break’


  • A massive ice shelf is breaking away from West Antarctica is now attached to its parent ice shelf just by a thread.
  • Covering 5,000 sq km and nearly 100 storeys-deep the formation is poised to snap off from Larsen C ice shelf, creating “one of the largest icebergs ever recorded”.
  • A widening rift running the length of the finger-shaped, 350 metre-thick ice block grew 10 km longer some time during the last three weeks, satellite images revealed.
  • In late December, the rupture had already extended by 18 km, leaving the future iceberg connected along only a small fraction of its length.
  • If the glaciers held in check by Larsen C spilt into the Antarctic Ocean, it would lift the global water mark by about 10 cm. The nearby Larsen A ice shelf collapsed in 1995, and Larsen B broke up in 2012.

💡Misleading ads for traditional medicine under Centre’s scanner


  • ASCI has been given a self-monitoring mandate by the Ministry of AYUSH to identify potentially misleading advertisements in the AYUSH sector deals with and process complaints through its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC)
  • Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) scans the advertisements based on complaints it receives.
  • The advertisements based on ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy medicines, treatment and related services.
  • The Agreement:
    • A MoU with ASCI to ensure that any advertisement making claims for diseases and disorders, in violation of the notification issued by our ministry for indications that have been prohibited from claiming, are immediately brought to attention of Ministry of AYUSH.
    • The MoU also requires ASCI to report to the Ministry of AYUSH, advertisements in potential violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules there under as well as non-compliance of ASCI’s CCC recommendations for the Ministry of AYUSH to take further action.
    • The arrangement would help consumers which protect them from unscrupulous manufacturers selling products making false claims.

💡Japan threatens to drag India to WTO on steel as Trump era heralds trade tensions


  • Japan is threatening to take India to the WTO over restrictions that nearly halved its steel exports to the South Asian nation over the past year, a step that could trigger more trade spats as global tensions over steel and other commodities run high.
  • Japan is worried about the more rough and tumble climate for global trade being engendered by incoming U.S. President Donald Trump, and feels it must make a strong stand for open and fair international markets.
  • The matter of Duty:
    • Japan request for WTO dispute consultations with India over steel safeguard duties and a minimum import price for iron and steel products.
    • India imposed duties of up to 20% on some hot-rolled flat steel products in September 2015, and set a floor price in February 2016 for steel product imports to deter countries such as China, Japan and South Korea from undercutting local mills.
    • Japan world’s second-biggest steel producer argue that India’s actions are inconsistent with WTO rules and contributed to the plunge in its steel exports to India, which dropped to 11th-largest on Japan’s buyer list in 2016 through November, down from sixth-largest in 2015.


  • Growing trade disputes:
    • There has been a series of trade disputes over the past few years amid massive exports of cheap steel products from China, the world’s top producer, with Vietnam, Malaysia and South Africa taking or planning measures to block incoming shipments.
    • Japan is also monitoring its small volume of imports for signs of dumping, fearing that steel products with nowhere to turn because of import restrictions may head to its own market.

💡Rescue plan for the vaquita


  • International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) recommended an emergency plan to help save the vaquita, a rare species of porpoise, from extinction in the northern Gulf of California.
  • The plan involves relocating some of the remaining vaquitas to a temporary sanctuary, while crucial efforts aimed at eliminating illegal fishing and removing gill nets from their environment continue.
  • The emergency action plan will be led by the Mexican government and supported by a consortium of marine mammal experts from more than a dozen organisations around the world.
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