Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 18 January 2023

Doppler Weather Radars

GS Paper - 3 (Technology)

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Science Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Dr Jitendra Singh jointly inaugurated the X-Band Doppler Weather Radar at Banihal Top during the 148th Foundation Day celebrations of India Meteorological Department.

What is Radar?

  1. RADAR is the expansion for Radio, Detection and Ranging. Its basic components are a transmitterreceiverantennapower supply systemsignal processing and high computing devices.
  2. It works on the principle of electromagnetic waves sent out by the transmitter. The same wave that strikes an object/dense medium is reflected back to the receiver.
  3. The distance up to the object is determined based on the speed of the electromagnetic wave, and the time to travel to the object and back.
  4. There are at least ten types of Radars. The Ground Penetrating Radar studies the Earth’s crust up to 9-metre in depth and is being used by the Defence Geoinformatics Research Establishment (DGRE) at Joshimath.
  5. The InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) that makes high-density measurements over large areas by using radar signals from Earth-orbiting satellites and measures changes in land-surface is also being used in Joshimath and other parts of Uttarakhand.

What is a Doppler radar?

  1. Doppler Radar is a specialised radar that uses the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance.
  2. When the source and the signal are in relative motion to each other, there is a change in the frequency observed by the observer. This is called the Doppler Effect. If they are moving closer, the frequency increases and vice versa. 
  3. Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) works on the Doppler principle. It is designed to improve precision in long-range weather forecasting and surveillance using a parabolic dish antenna and a foam sandwich spherical radome.
  4. DWR has the equipment to measure rainfall intensitywind shear and velocity and locate a storm centre and the direction of a tornado or gust front.

 

The World Employment and Social Outlook

GS Paper -2 (International Organization)

The current global economic slowdown is likely to widen social and economic inequalities as more workers will be forced to accept lower quality, poorly paid jobs which lack job security and social protection, warned the International Labour Organization (ILO). The report said the total working hours per person are still below pre-pandemic levels in the Asia Pacific region.

On employment

  1. The report projected that global employment growth will be only 1% in 2023, less than half the level in 2022.
  2. The global unemployment is slated to rise slightly in 2023, by around three million, to 208 million (corresponding to a global unemployment rate of 5.8%).
  3. The moderate size of this projected increase is largely due to tight labour supply in high-income countries. This would mark a reversal of the decline in global unemployment in between 2020-2022.
  4. The report said, in 2022, around 473 million people were interested in finding a job but did not have one.
  5. This unmet demand for jobs includes the 205 million unemployed people and an additional 268 million who wanted employment but did not qualify as unemployed.

On work

  1. Maintaining that decent Work is fundamental to social justice, the report noted that a decade of progress in poverty reduction faltered during the COVID-19 crisis.
  2. The study said, despite a nascent recovery during 2021, the continuing shortage of better job opportunities is likely to worsen.

On Labour:

  1. The report said, as prices rise faster than nominal labour incomes, the cost-of-living crisis risks pushing more people into poverty. This trend comes on top of significant declines in income seen during the COVID-19 crisis, which in many countries affected low-income groups the worst.
  2. The report added,the labour market deterioration is mainly due to emerging geopolitical tensions and the Ukraine conflict, uneven pandemic recovery, and continuing bottlenecks in global supply chains.

Stagflation and labour force participation:

  1. Due to high inflation and low growth together, these have created the conditions for stagflation, for the first time since the 1970s.
  2. The labour force participation rate of women stood at 47.4 % in 2022, compared with 72.3% for men. This 24.9 percentage point gap means that for every economically inactive man there are two such women.

Cancer in India: A status report

GS Paper -3 (Disease)

According to a report by the American Cancer Society, deaths due to cancer have declined by 33% in the United States since 1991. This has translated into 3.8 million fewer deaths, and attributed the success to early detection, lower rates of smoking, and improvements in cancer treatment.

 

More about the news

  1. This trend is yet to be reflected in India. Even with improvements in treatment, both the incidence of cancer and mortality continue to rise in the country.
  2. The findings in the US, record a steep reduction of 65% in the rates of cervical cancer in women in their early 20s between 2012 and 2019,the first cohort to receive the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) vaccine.
  3. Doctors confirmed that the rates of cervical and smoking-related cancers have gone down in India as well; however, the incidence of lung and breast cancers has increased.

 

What is the incidence of cancer and mortality in India currently?

  1. An estimated 14.6 lakh new cancer cases were detected in 2022, up from 14.2 lakh in 2021 and 13.9 lakh in 2020, as per data from the National Cancer Registry of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) presented in Parliament.
  2. Deaths due to cancer increased to an estimated 8.08 lakh in 2022 from 7.9 lakh in 2021 and 7.7 lakh in 2020. The incidence of all cancers is estimated to increase to 15.7 lakh by 2025.
  3. According to an ICMR studyone innine Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime, using data from population-based cancer registries. One in 68 men will develop lung cancer and one in 29 women will develop breast cancer.
  4. The incidence of cancer is higher among women — 103.6 per 100,000 in 2020 compared to 94.1 among men. Among men, the most common cancers were of the lung, mouth, prostate, tongue, and stomach; for women, they were breast, cervix, ovary, uterus, lung.

Why are some cancers on the decline and others continue to rise?

  1. The incidence of cervical cancer has dropped in India over the last 50 years from 45 to 10 per 100,000 populations “At the same time, there is an increase in rates of breast cancer, especially in urban centres.
  2. Rates of cervical cancer have declined because of later marriages, fewer children, better hygiene, and vaccination. And the incidence of breast cancer has gone up because of the same reasons — later age of marriage, having the first child at a later age, not breastfeeding, and a high protein diet.
  3. The rates of tobacco-related cancers — oral, oesophageal — cancers are also coming down. This is largely due to tobacco laws that have brought down smoking in public places.
  4. Lung cancer is caused not only by smoking. For example, lung cancer rates are high in Arunachal Pradesh because they light fires indoors in winter.

 

Finalize Report on Minority Status: SC

GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The Supreme Court on of revisiting minority status of citizens based on their population in states cannot be postponed further as it asked the Centre to conclude the country-wide consultation in this regard with states and union territories. The list included states of Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Telangana and union territories of Lakshadweep and Jammu and Kashmir

Issue

  1. The order came on as the minority status being extended to only Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains when Hindus are a minority in several states and UTs.
  2. Pointing to J&K, Lakshadweep and Arunachal Pradesh, administered either by Centre or by BJP government.Some of the non-responsive states/UTs are the ones where Hindus are in minority.
  3. Hindus are merely 1% in Ladakh, 2.75% in Mizoram, 2.77% in Lakshadweep, 4% in Jammu & Kashmir, 8.74% in Nagaland, 11.52% in Meghalaya, 29% in Arunachal Pradesh, 38.49% in Punjab and 41.29% in Manipur.
  4. The Union has filed a status report where it is agreed that states should be the unit and not the Union (for identification of minorities).
  5. The petitions even challenged the validity of the two laws - National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992, and the National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions (NCMEI) Act, 2004 for not recognising minorities based on population.

Central Government Stand

  1. The Centre has termed the matter “sensitive” that has far-reaching ramifications and had thought it fit to seek individual views of states and UTs.
  2. The Centre recommended dismissal of the petition terming it “untenable and misconceived in law”.
  3. It went on to state that Parliament and state legislatures have “concurrent powers to enact law to provide for the protection of minorities and their interests”.
  4. Centre came out with a fresh affidavit recalling its earlier stand while proposing a nationwide consultation as the issue has “far-reaching ramifications throughout the country” and any stand taken without detailed deliberations with the stakeholders could result in unintended complication for the country.

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