UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 06-May-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Darbar move

  2. Qutub Minar

  3. Instagram Chat case

  4. China launches new rocket, spacecraft

  5. Iran changes currency

  6. Operation Samudra Setu & Vande Bharat


DARBAR MOVE

Why in news?

  • In a historic decision, the J&K High Court today directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to take a call on the biannual practice of ‘Darbar move’ in the Union Territory.


Highlights:

  • Observing that the practice — started in 1872 by the then ruler — had lost all relevance, a Division Bench recorded 22 findings on the futility of shifting capital between Srinagar and Jammu.

  • Noting down its limitations in terms of jurisdiction, the HC stopped short of making a declaration on the permissibility or continuation of the practice.

  • The court, however, directed that the judgment along with observations and findings be served upon the MHA and J&K Government for its placement before the competent authorities for examination and taking a considered decision.

  • It costs around 200 crore every year for changing the capital in the UT of J&K.


Source : Tribune India ( https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/j-k/mha-to-decide-on-darbar-move-hc-80925 )


Qutub Minar

Why in news?

  • A portion of wall in the Qutub Minar Complex got damaged, due to the negligence of a drunk man driving his car.


Highlights

  • Qutub Minar Complex is a Centrally-protected monument under the ASI, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1993).

  • Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings.

  • The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.

  • Its construction was started by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1199. He completed first storey.

  • Aibak’s successor and son-in-law Iltutmish completed further 3 storeys.

  • The minaret was named after the Qutb-ud-din Aibak or Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a Sufi saint.

Lal Kot

  • The ground storey was built over the ruins of Lal Kot, the citadel of Dhillika.

  • Qila Rai Pithora (literally "Rai Pithora's Fort") is a fortified complex in present-day Delhi, including the Qutb Minar complex. The term was first used by the 16th century historian Abu'l-Fazl in his Ain-i-Akbari, who presents Delhi as the Chahamana capital.

  • In the popular tradition, the construction of the fort is attributed to the 12th-century Chahamana king Prithviraj Chauhan (called "Rai Pithora" in Persian-language chronicles).

  • In the mid-19th century, archaeologist Alexander Cunningham made a distinction between the ruins at the site, classifying them among them to older "Lal Kot" fortification built by the Tomaras and the newer "Qila Rai Pithora" built by the Chahamans.


INSTAGRAM CHAT CASE

Why in news?

  • A 15-year-old boy has been apprehended after he was allegedly found to be a member of an Instagram chat group called ‘Bois Locker Room’ where the members used obscene language for minor girls, shared their pictures and talked about rape.


Highlights:

  • The boys allegedly shared morphed photos of underage girls, body shaming and slut shaming them on the group chat.

  • In a separate incident, another screenshot that has gone viral claimed that underage boys were ‘planning gang rape’ and had made other such crude statements.

  • Messages promoting rape culture, like “We can rape her easily” and “I will come whenever you say. We will gang rape her”, were allegedly discussed on the Snapchat group. 

  • Morphing photos and sharing images of people’s private parts would be a violation of Section 66E of the IT Act, as well as Section 354C (voyeurism) of the Indian Penal Code.

  • According to The Mumbai Mirror, the transcripts of the chat – which ran over a 100 pages – revealed that the boys were body shaming the girls and used words like 'gang bang' and ‘rape.’

  • Homosexuality was ridiculed – and the classmates were poked fun of as ‘gays and lesbians’.


Source : Quint ( https://www.thequint.com/neon/gender/boys-locker-room-south-delhi-teenage-boys-discuss-gangraping-women )



CHINA LAUNCHES NEW ROCKET, SPACECRAFT

Why in news?

  • China on Tuesday successfully launched a new rocket and prototype spacecraft, state media said, in a major test of the country’s ambitions to operate a permanent space station and send astronauts to the Moon.


Highlights:

  • ‘The Long March 5B’ rocket took off from the Wenchang launch site in the southern island of Hainan and eight minutes later an unmanned prototype spaceship successfully separated and entered its planned orbit, according to the Xinhua news agency.

  • A test version of a cargo return capsule also separated from the rocket, Xinhua added.

  • The spaceship will one day transport astronauts to a space station that China plans to complete by 2022 — and eventually to the Moon. It will have capacity for a crew of six. 

  • The spaceship and capsule are slated to return to a landing site by Friday after completing their test flights.

  • The United States is so far the only country to have successfully sent humans to the Moon. But Beijing has made huge strides in its effort to catch up, sending astronauts into space, satellites into orbit and a rover to the far side of the Moon.

  • The new spaceship will give China an advantage in the area of human spaceflight over Japan and Europe.


Source : The Verge ( https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/5/21247776/china-long-march-5b-rocket-launch-deep-space-prototype )



IRAN CHANGES CURRENCY

Why in news?

  • The rial unit of currency, which has lost much of its value against the dollar, will be replaced by the toman, which the government says will be worth 10,000 rials.

Highlights:

  • For many years, Iran’s government debated changing the national currency, the rial, by basically slashing four zeros off its face value — an acknowledgment of how American sanctions and economic mismanagement have contributed to inflation in the country.

  • On Monday, the Iranian Parliament essentially took that step, authorizing the replacement of the rial with another basic unit of currency called the toman. Each toman will be worth 10,000 rials under the new system.

  • Eliminating the four zeros is a necessary action to simplify financial transactions

  • The Guardian Council, a body of conservative clerics that supervises the Parliament, is expected to ratify the law, and then the Central Bank will have two years to implement the change — removing rials from circulation and issuing tomans instead.

  • The rial has depreciated 3500 times since 1971.


Source: New York Times ( https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/04/world/middleeast/iran-currency-inflation-rial-toman.html )


OPERATION SAMUDRA SETU & VANDE BHARAT

Why in news?

  • Indian Navy has launched Operation “Samudra Setu” - meaning “Sea Bridge”, as a part of national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas.


Highlights:

  • The ships have been suitably provisioned for the evacuation operation. The evacuated personnel would be provided the basic amenities and medical facilities during the sea-passage.

  • In view of the unique challenges associated with COVID-19 stringent protocols have also been stipulated. 

  • The evacuated personnel will be disembarked at Kochi, Kerala and entrusted to the care of State authorities.

  • This operation is being progressed in close coordination with Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments.

  • Similarly Operation Vande Bharat will be done by Air India for evacuation of Indians from abroad.


Source : PIB (https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1621260 )


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