My Notes - 16-31 oct 2023

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PM Modi flags off RRTS

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first leg of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), India’s first mass rapid system dedicated to regional connectivity.
  • The RRTS is an integrated, mass transit network which aims to ensure “balanced and sustainable urban development” through better connectivity and access across the NCR.

Supreme Court’s verdict on same-sex marriage

  • A five-judge Constitution Bench unanimously declined to recognise same-sex marriages.
  • All five judges also unanimously agreed that it is not possible to tweak the Special Marriage Act, 1954 by using gender neutral language to allow same-sex marriage.
  • It disallows same-sex or unmarried couples from jointly adopting a child.

‘Cash for query’ row

  • The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee pertaining to ‘cash for query’ allegations against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra.
  • The procedure for raising questions is governed by Rules 32 to 54 of the “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha” and Directions 10 to 18 of the “Directions by the Speaker, Lok Sabha‟.
  • There are four different types of questions: starred, unstarred, short-notice questions and questions addressed to private Members.

‘One nation, One Student ID’ initiative

  • Several state governments requested schools to seek parental consent for the creation of a new student identity card known as the Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (APAAR).
  • This is part of the ‘One nation, One Student ID’ initiative of the Union government, stemming from the new National Education Policy of 2020.
  • APAAR is envisioned as a special ID system for all students in India, starting from childhood.
  • Under the initiative, each student would get a lifelong APAAR ID, making it easy for the learners, schools, and governments to track academic progress from pre-primary education to higher education.


Crimes laws apply to the Israel-Palestinian conflict

  • The war between Israel and Palestinian falls under a complex international system of justice that has emerged since World War Two.
  • Internationally accepted rules of armed conflict emerged out of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which have been ratified by all UN member states and supplemented by rulings at international war crimes tribunals.
  • A series of treaties governs the treatment of civilians, soldiers and prisoners of war in a system collectively known as the “Law of Armed Conflict” or “International Humanitarian Law”.
  • It applies to government forces and organised armed groups, including Hamas militants.

Forced displacement and human shields

  • United States President Joe Biden accused Palestinian militant group Hamas of using innocent Palestinians as human shields.
  • The term ‘human shields’ is used in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with respect to civilians or other protected persons, whose presence or movement is aimed, or used to render military targets immune from military operations.
  • Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “ordering the displacement of the civilian population for reasons related to the conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand,” constitutes forcible displacement.

The Bedouin Arabs in the Israeli army

  • The Bedouins are a nomadic Muslim Arab people who live mainly in the Negev desert of southern Israel.
  • They have traditionally been pastoralists with no powerful or exclusive national affiliation, who would, until about a century and a half ago, wander the area between Saudi Arabia and the Sinai with their livestock.
  • In the 1950s, Israel recognised a large number of Bedouin as its citizens, and subsequently helped build settlements for them in the Negev.

Visa Shopping

  • The practice of ‘visa shopping’ has been gaining popularity in several Indian states.
  • Visa shopping refers to obtaining visas for countries that individuals may or may not visit during the granted visa period.
  • This is because such visas can provide a gateway for people to enter their preferred countries, particularly in Europe, even if they have obtained a visa for another European nation.


Jagannath temple’s treasure room

  • The demand to open the Ratna Bhandar (treasure room) of the Puri Jagannath Temple is growing louder again.
  • It is located within the temple and has two chambersBhitarBhandar (inner chamber) and Bahara Bhandar (outer chamber).
  • The outer chamber is opened regularly to fetch ornaments for the deities during the SunaBesha (golden attire). The inner chamber has not opened in the past 38 years.

Science and Technology

Israel using white phosphorus in Gaza

  • White phosphorus is a pyrophoric that ignites when exposed to oxygen, producing thick, light smoke as well as intense 815-degree Celsius heat.
  • Pyrophoric substances are those which ignite spontaneously or very quickly (under five minutes) when in contact with air.

First test on Gaganyaan journey

  • ISRO carried out the first of a series of tests of systems and procedures with the aim to ultimately launch an Indian astronaut into space, perhaps in 2025.
  • The Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) demonstrated the performance of the Crew Escape System of the Gaganyaan project.
  • The flight will be the first of two abort missions to test the safety mechanisms that will allow the Gaganyaan crew to leave the spacecraft in an emergency.

Vikram lander generated ‘ejecta halo’

  • When Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-3 touched down on the Moon’s surface on 23 August 2023, it resulted in a lunar phenomenon called ‘ejecta halo.’
  • Scientists have “estimated that about 06 tonnes of lunar epi regolith were ejected and displaced over an area of 108.4 m² around the landing site”.
  • Epi regolith is nothing but the top layer of the lunar surface, which is made out of lunar rocks and soil, commonly known as moon dust.

World’s largest ‘ghost particle’ detector

  • China is building an enormous telescope in the western Pacific Ocean. Its job will be to detect “ghost particles”, also known as neutrinos.
  • Neutrinos’ weak charge and almost nonexistent mass have made them notoriously difficult for scientists to observe. They can only been“seen” when they interact with other particles.
  • The rarity of interactions with other particles makes them almost impossible to track. That’s why they’re called ghost particles — the vast majority skirt around undetected.

Bluetooth Low Energy

  • Bluetooth Low Energy is a version of Bluetooth technology that uses less power and is designed for connecting Internet-enabled devices and
  • Bluetooth Low Energy works by using a wireless technique called frequency hopping, which allows devices to communicate in the 2.4 GHz radio band without interfering with each other.

Jio SpaceFiber

  • Jio is now set to offer India its first satellite-based giga fiber service called Jio SpaceFiber.
  • Jio SpaceFiber is a satellite broadband service that uses medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite technology to provide high-speed internet access to remote and underserved areas.
  • MEO satellites orbit the Earth closer than traditional geostationary satellites, which results in lower latency and faster speeds.

Space is getting crowded

  • The US government issued the first ever space junk fine. The Federal Communications Commission handed a $150,000 penalty to the DISH Network, a publicly traded company providing satellite TV services.
  • Three types of orbit, plus junk Humans have been launching satellites into space since 1957 and in the past 66 years have become rather good at it. There are currently more than 8,700 active satellites in various orbits around Earth.


Indian Mobile Congress 2023

  • The 7th edition of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023 witnessed the future of digital transformation.
  • India Mobile Congress 2023 also featured two new initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and skill development among young innovators and engineers.
  • Aspire was a start-up program that highlighted the potential of emerging technologies in the telecom and digital domains.
  • Robo Blitz was a robo wars event that challenged participants to showcase their talents in robotics.

NCERT panel suggests replacing ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’

  • The 2022 Social Science committee of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has suggested that ‘India’ should be called as ‘Bharat’ in all Social Science textbooks up to Class 12.
  • The roots of “Bharat”, “Bharata”, or “Bharatvarsha” are traced back to Puranic literature, and to the epic Mahabharata.
  • The Puranas describe Bharata as the land between the “sea in the south and the abode of snow in the north”.
  • Bharata is also the name of the ancient king of legend who was the ancestor of the Rig Vedic tribe of the Bharatas, and by extension, the progenitor of all peoples of the subcontinent.

Nuclear briefcase

  • During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to China, he was seen with officers carrying what is known as the “nuclear briefcase”.
  • Also known as the ‘Cheget’, named after a mountain in Russia, the briefcase is part of a larger system in place for authorising the launch of nuclear strikes.
  • The communication among the forces is done via the ‘Kazbek’ electronic command-and-control network.Kazbek supports another system, known as ‘Kavkaz’.

The death of Agniveer

  • Operator Akshay Laxman Gawte who belonged to Buldhana in Maharashtra, died after complaining of uneasiness.
  • The Agnipath scheme was introduced last year to take in recruits for the Army, Navy, and Indian Air Force (IAF) on four-year contracts, including six months of training.
  • At the end of four years, up to 25% of recruits can apply to join the services on a regular basis, subject to merit and organisational requirements.

Sponge bombs

  • The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used ‘sponge bombs’ as Israel begins its fight through a network of Hamas tunnels under Gaza.
  • ‘Sponge bombs’ contain two liquids in a large plastic bag separated by a metal pole.
  • The pole is extracted before the ‘bomb’ is thrown into its target causing the compounds to mix. The liquid turns into foam which expands and hardens to seal gaps
  • The ‘sponge bomb’ would prevent soldiers being ambushed as they move further into the network, sealing off gaps through which Hamas could attack.

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