• Ricky Kej, an Indian composer, won his third Grammy Award. He is the only Indian to have won three Grammy Awards.
• He won his first Grammy in 2015 for the album “Winds of Samsara,” which was named the Best New Age Album. The album debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard New Age Albums Chart, which had never happened before for anyone of Indian descent.
• In 2022, Kej won a second Grammy for his work with Copeland in the same category.
• The Grammy Award was originally called the Gramophone Award. It is given every year in the United States by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), which is also known as the Recording Academy, to honour musicians for their outstanding work over the past year.
• It began in 1959 as a way to honour the performers of 1958. As a tribute to Emile Berliner’s gramophone, the committee decided to call it Grammy once it was made.
- The “General Field” are four awards that are not restricted by genre:
- Recording of the Year
- Album of the Year
- Most Popular Song
- Best New Artiste
• Winners are chosen from more than 25 categories, including pop, rock, rap, R&B, country, reggae, classical, gospel, and jazz, as well as production and post-production work like packaging and album notes. The people who win get a statue of a gramophone made of gold.
Earthquake in Turkey
• Recently, three quakes with magnitudes of 7.8, 7.6, and 6.0 on the Richter scale hit large parts of Turkey and the country next door, Syria.
More about the news
- The centre of the quake was about 18 km deep and 26 km east of the Turkish city of Nurdagi. It was on the East Anatolian Fault.
- The earthquake was felt all the way to the northeast and caused a lot of damage in central Turkey and Syria.
- This is the strongest earthquake to shake the region in more than 100 years.
- It has killed at least 3,800 people across Turkey and Syria.
- Vulnerability of the region:
- The area has many buildings constructed of brittle concrete (which makes them prone to cracking, spalling, loss of strength, or steel corrosion), making them “extremely vulnerable to earthquake shaking.
Plate Tectonic Theory/Plate Tectonic
Reasons of Turkey’s Earthquakes
- Turkey’s proneness to earthquakes:
- There are a lot of earthquakes in Turkey.
- Disaster and Emergency Management Authority says that in 2020 alone, there were almost 33,000 earthquakes in the area (AFAD).
- Out of these, 332 were at least 4.0 on the Richter scale.
- Turkey has a lot of earthquakes because it is on a plate boundary.
- One estimate says that almost 95% of the land mass of the country is prone to earthquakes.
- About a third of the country is at high risk, including the areas around the big cities of Istanbul and Izmir and the area of East Anatolia.
- Significance of location:
- Anatolian tectonic plate:
- The Anatolian tectonic plate is where Turkey is. It is stuck between the Eurasian and African plates.
- On the north side, the small Arabian plate makes it even harder to move.
- North Anatolian fault (NAF) line:
- The North Anatolian fault (NAF) line, where the Eurasian and Anatolian tectonic plates meet, is known to be “especially destructive.”
- The NAF is one of the best-understood fault systems in the world. It runs from the south of Istanbul to the northeastern part of Turkey and has been responsible for some of the worst earthquakes in history.
- East Anatolian fault line:
- Then there is the East Anatolian fault line, the tectonic boundary between the Anatolian Plate and the northward-moving Arabian Plate.
- It runs 650 kilometers from eastern Turkey and into the Mediterranean.
- Aegean Sea Plate:
- In addition to this, the Aegean Sea Plate, located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea under southern Greece and western Turkey, is also a source of seismic activity in the region.
|Damage to the ancient historical sites
• UNESCO will soon give Visva-Bharati University the “heritage” label, making it the first university in the world to be called a “living heritage.”
- Founded by:
- Rabindranath Tagore set up the university in 1921.
- In May 1922, Visva-Bharati Society was registered as a group.
- Rabindranath Tagore also gave the society some of his property, like land and a bungalow.
- In 1951, an Act of Parliament made Visva-Bharati a Central University and an institution of national importance.
- Rathindranath Tagore, son of Rabindranath Tagore, was its first vice-chancellor.
- Rabindranath believed in learning outside, so he set up a system at the university that is still used today.
- It will be the first university in the world to focus on history.
- Usually, a heritage tag is given to a monument that has already died. UNESCO is going to give the heritage label to a working university for the first time in the world.
- Their educational programmes are based on the founding principles of excellence in culture and culture studies.
- The President of India is the Paridarsaka (Visitor) of the University, the Governor of West Bengal is the Pradhana (Rector), and the Prime Minister of India acts as the Acharya (Chancellor).
- The President of India appoints the Upacharya (Vice-chancellor) of the University.
|World Heritage Sites
Parliament: The North Star of Democracy
• The head of the Rajya Sabha, Jagdeep Dhankhar, recently called Parliament the “North Star of democracy.”
• Both houses of Parliament had to be put on hold recently because the opposition was making a lot of noise and wanted to talk about the Hindenburg report on the Adani conglomerate.
• In its report, the US-based investment firm Hindenburg Research accused the Adani Group of “stock manipulation and accounting fraud,” which caused the share prices of group companies to drop sharply.
• Before, the Chief Justice of India, D. Y. Chandrachud, called the basic structure of the Constitution, as set out by the Supreme Court in the 1973 Kesavananda Bharati judgement, the “North Star.”
• The Doctrine of Basic Structure is a type of judicial review that is used to check whether or not a law passed by the government is legal. It also tells those who interpret and carry out the Constitution how to do their jobs.
What is North Star?
- The North Star, also known as Polaris, is a bright star located in the constellation Ursa Minor.
- It is less than one degree from the north celestial pole and right in the middle of the Earth’s axis of rotation.
- Its location and brightness have helped people find their way since the late Bronze Age.
- The Roman mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy was the first person to make a map of Polaris. During the Age of Exploration, Polaris became an important part of human history.
- The North Star has been used in literature as a metaphor for something that shows the way. “Constant as the Northern Star” from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a well-known example of this.
- As the Earth’s axis of rotation wobbles like a spinning top, the celestial pole “wanders in a slow circle,” giving different stars the name “North Star.”
- Polaris is about 323 light years away from Earth and is about 2,500 times brighter than the Sun.
- The Indian Parliament is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India.
- It is responsible for making laws and policies that govern the country and serves as a platform for representatives of the people to voice their opinions and concerns.
- • The Indian Parliament has been around since the colonial era and has a long and interesting history. In 1885, the Indian National Congress was formed, and in the years after that, the calls for independence and self-government got louder.
- The Government of India Act 1935 established a federal structure of government and provided for a bicameral legislature.
- India achieved independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, and the Constituent Assembly was established to draft the country’s constitution.
- The Indian Constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950, and the Parliament of India was constituted under its provisions.
Structure of Indian Parliament
- The Parliament of India is a bicameral system, consisting of two houses: the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.
- The Rajya Sabha is the upper house, composed of members appointed by the President and elected by the state and territorial legislatures.
- It has a maximum strength of 250 members, with 238 members being elected and 12 members appointed by the President.
- The Lok Sabha is the lower house, composed of directly elected members, with a maximum strength of 552 members.
Organs of Indian Parliament
The Parliament of India has several organs, including:
- The President: The Constitution of India says that the President is the head of state, and an Electoral College made up of members of both houses of Parliament and the legislative assemblies of the states chooses the President.
- Vice-President: The Vice-President of India is elected by members of both houses of Parliament and serves as the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- Speaker and Deputy Speaker: The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha are elected from among its members and preside over its proceedings.
- Chairman and Deputy Chairman: The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha are elected from among its members and preside over its proceedings.
Importance of Parliament
- The Indian Parliament is the supreme legislative body of the country and is responsible for making laws and policies that govern India.
- It serves as a platform for representatives of the people to voice their opinions and concerns and to hold the government accountable for its actions.
- The Parliament is also responsible for controlling the nation’s finances, including the imposition of taxes, the management of public funds, and the preparation of the national budget.
Key challenges of Parliament:
- Political polarization: The political polarization between different parties in the Parliament has lead to gridlock and prevent meaningful legislation from being passed. This can result in a lack of progress on important issues and a failure to address the needs of the people.
- Lack of attendance and participation: Many members of Parliament fail to attend sessions regularly, leading to a lack of participation in the legislative process. This can result in a lack of accountability and a failure to represent the views and interests of the people.
- Disruptive behavior: Unparliamentary behavior by members of Parliament often disrupts the functioning of the House and prevent meaningful debates and discussions from taking place. This can result in a lack of progress on important issues and a failure to address the needs of the people.
- Corruption:It remains a major challenge for the Indian Parliament, as some members may be influenced by money or other incentives to vote in a certain way resulting in legislation that benefits a select few rather than the general public.
- Lack of representation: The current system of representation in the Parliament may not accurately reflect the diverse views and interests of the people resulting in a lack of representation for marginalized groups and a failure to address their needs and concerns.
- Bridging the gap: In a democratic government, the relationship between the judiciary and parliament is very important because both play important roles in making sure the rule of law and protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens.
- Strengthening attendance and participation: It can improve the functioning of the House and can be achieved through measures such as fines for absentees or incentives for regular attendance.
- Encouraging constructive debate: It can improve the functioning of the House and can be achieved through measures such as allowing members to freely express their views and opinions, and creating a culture of respectful disagreement.
- Addressing corruption: Corruption must be dealt with for the system to work well. This can be done through measures like more transparency, accountability, and punishments for corrupt behaviour.
- Increasing representation: Increasing representation for marginalized groups through measures such as reserving seats for underrepresented groups, or implementing a more proportional representation system.
- Enhancing transparency and accountability: This can be achieved through measures such as regular reporting on the activities of the Parliament and increased public access to information about the legislative process.
• Deep fakes of celebrities were made using speech synthesis on a social media platform.
- Racist, rude, and violent comments were made in these deep fake audios.
- Deep fake is a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is used to make fake pictures, sounds, and videos that look and sound real.
- Deepfakes uses deep learning AI to change the look of a person in a video or other digital media to look like someone else.
- The most common way is to use deep neural networks with autoencoders that use a face-swapping method.
- Deepfakes could be used for good, like in art, expression, accessibility, and business, but most of the time they are used to do harm.
- Deepfakes can hurt people, businesses, society, and democracy, and they can make people even less trusting of the media than they already are.
- Deepfake voice, also called a synthetic voice, uses AI to make a copy of a person’s voice. The voice can sound just like the tone and accent of the person being imitated.
- Synthetic voices are used in business, entertainment, and other fields to get ahead. Deepfake voices, on the other hand, are usually made by copying human voices to trick someone.
- To make a “deep fake,” you need high-end computers with powerful graphics cards and to use the power of the cloud.
- Deepfakes can also be used to spy on other people. Blackmailing government and defence officials with fake videos can get them to reveal state secrets.
- Deepfake voice:
Concerns about using Deepfake voice
- Lack of Regulations: Laws pertaining to their use do not exist in many countries. Law enforcement agencies in many countries are busy establishing proper regulations for producing and using artificially synthesized voices.
- Ethical Concerns: It can lead to pretending to be someone else, identity theft, and slander.
- Deepfakes are often used in politics to trick voters, change facts, and spread false information.
- Breach of Public trust: Erosion of public trust will promote a culture of factual relativism, unraveling the increasingly strained fabric of democracy and civil society.
- Easy Availability: It’s getting easier to get clear recordings of people’s voices. Recorders, online interviews, and press conferences can all be used to do this.
- Voice capture technology is also getting better, which makes the data fed to AI models more accurate and makes deepfake voices sound more real.
- Ways to detect Deepfake voice
- Research labs use watermarks and blockchain technologies to detect deepfake technology, but the tech designed to outsmart deepfake detectors is constantly evolving.
- Multifactor authentication (MFA) and anti-fraud solutions can also reduce deepfake risks.
- Callback functions of call centres can end suspicious calls and request an outbound call to the account owner for direct confirmation.
Legislations to deal with Deepfakes
• Right now, there aren’t many parts of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act, 2000 that could be used to stop bad people from using deepfakes.
• Defamation is a crime that can be punished under Section 500 of the IPC.
• The Information Technology Act’s Sections 67 and 67A make it illegal to show sexually explicit material in a clear way.
• Parts of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 make it illegal to make or spread false or misleading information about candidates or political parties during an election.
- In India, the legal framework related to AI is insufficient to adequately address the various issues that have arisen due to AI algorithms. The Union government should introduce separate legislation regulating the nefarious use of deepfakes and the broader subject of AI.
Source: The Hindu
LCA lands on INS Vikrant
The first landing of the Naval version of the country’s own Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) on the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), INS Vikrant, was a big deal.
• It shows that India is able to design, develop, build, and run its own fighter planes for the IAC.
History of Aircraft Carriers in India:
Right from its Independence, India was well aware of the need for aircraft carriers to establish itself as a blue water navy.
- INS Vikrant (R11)- India’s First Aircraft Carrier: The INS Vikrant was launched in 1945 as Hercules.
- It was bought from Britain by India in 1957.
- It was the first airline for a country in Asia and stayed the first for a long time.
- During the Goa Liberation Operation in 1961, the INS Vikrant was used.
- It was very important in the 1971 war because its planes wiped out the enemy.
- Its new ability led to the creation of the INS Vikramaditya and plans for its rebirth.
- The ship was taken out of service in 1997.
- After the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of 1986 broke down, the INS Viraat’s first major operation was “Operation Jupiter,” which took place in Sri Lanka in 1989.
- It was also a key part of Operation Parakram, which was done after the 2013 attack on the Indian Parliament by terrorists.
- The INS Viraat was a key part of Operation Vijay because it cut off Pakistan’s access to the sea during the Kargil War in 1999.
- The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier was named in honour of India’s first aircraft carrier, which was an important part of the 1971 war.
- It was built with the most up-to-date automation technology and is the biggest ship India has ever made.
- The carrier is 262 metres long and can carry close to 45,000 tonnes. It is much bigger and more advanced than her predecessor.
- The ship has four gas turbines that add up to 88 MW of power and can go as fast as 28 Knots.
- Overall, 76% of it is made up of native people.
- INS Viraat- Over 30 Years of Service to the Nation: INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes in 1959.
- It was commissioned by the Indian Navy in 1987.
- INS Vikramaditya- Indian Navy’s Biggest Ship: The remodelled Admiral Gorshkov was given to the Indian Navy in 2013 at Severodvinsk, Russia, where it was given the name INS Vikramaditya.
- It is a state-of-the-art ship, capable of operating a versatile range of high-performance aircraft, such as the MiG 29K fighters, KM 31 AEW helicopters, multi-role Seakings, and utility Chetaks.
- INS Vikrant (IAC-1): The Self-Reliant Rebirth: Designed by Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways.
- The ship is capable of operating air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising of MIG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy).
- Relevance: It would provide India with two operational aircraft carriers, which will greatly improve the country’s maritime security.
- It serves as a shining example of the country’s pursuit of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and gives the Government’s “Make in India” initiative further momentum.
- With the IAC Vikrant, India has joined an elite group of countries with the specialised capacity to design and construct an aircraft carrier domestically, including the U.S.A., U.K., France, Russia, and China.
|Do you Know?
Ladakh’s fragile ecology & demand of Sixth Schedule
• Sonam Wangchuk, an inventor and engineer from Ladakh, just finished his five-day “climate fast.”
More about the news
- Mr. Wangchuk went on a fast to get Indian leaders to pay attention to the area’s fragile ecosystem and protect it under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- About Sonam Wangchuk:
- Mr. Wangchuk is an education reformer and an engineer. He is known for taking on many challenges to improve the lives of the people of Ladakh and to protect the ecosystems in the area.
- He has won a number of awards, including the highly regarded Ramon Magsaysay award.
- He also started the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives and was its first director (HIAL).
Issue of Ladakh’s fragile Ecology
- Ladakh and the Himalayas make up the world’s “third pole” and are one of the few places where frozen fresh water can be found.
- The Himalayas, with all their glaciers and river basins, are also called the “water tower of Asia.”
- People in the area get all the water they need from glaciers.
- Since Ladakh is even more fragile than Chamoli district, it could also cause the land to sink, as we just saw in Joshimath.
- Melting glaciers of Ladakh:
- Ladakh is a very cold desert that is very sensitive to changes in the weather.
- Glaciers in Ladakh are melting at a very fast rate, which is scary.
- A study from 2021 says that glaciers in the Pangong area moved back about 6.7% between 1990 and 2019.
- The melting of glaciers has the following effects on the lives of Ladakh’s people:
- Water scarcity:
- They lose water that can be used;
- Agriculture practises that are unique to the area are in danger; and
- Sustainable ways of living in the area, like getting by with a small amount of water, are slowly being lost.
- Loss of livelihood and culture:
- If people lose their sustainable ways of living because there isn’t enough water, it could hurt their jobs and their culture and force them to move.
- Loss of biodiversity:
- If the ecological balance of Ladakh changes, it will also have an effect on the area’s biodiversity.
- Ladakh’s plants and animals are very well adapted to live in harsh climates, but they will be in danger if the local ecosystems change.
- Collapsing ecosystem:
- Even the slightest disturbances in an ecosystem as fragile as Ladakh can lead to the collapse of the whole ecosystem
- Potential challenges:
- Excessive rainfall:
- Experts say that it is possible that Ladakh will get too much rain because of climate change around the year 2045.
- When the temperature goes up, it has a direct effect on how much rain falls in an area, which changes how farming is done. This will affect food security in the long run.
- Uncontrolled development:
- Unabated development in sensitive areas like Ladakh, without keeping in mind the sustainable practices that have supported life under extreme conditions, will eventually lead to disruption of the area’s ecology.
Ladakh’s demand of Sixth Schedule
- Since its special status was taken away, several political groups in Ladakh have been asking that the Sixth Schedule protect land, jobs, and Ladakh’s cultural identity.
- Issues faced by Ladakh:
- No decentralization of power:
- There had been four MLAs from the region in the erstwhile J&K Assembly; the administration of the region is now completely in the hands of bureaucrats.
- To many in Ladakh, the government now looks even more distant than Srinagar.
- Changed domicile policy in Jammu and Kashmir:
- Also, the changed domicile policy in Jammu and Kashmir has raised fears in the region about its own land, employment, demography, and cultural identity.
- Limited Finances:
- The UT has two Hill councils in Leh and Kargil, but neither is under the Sixth Schedule.
- Their powers are limited to collection of some local taxes such as parking fees and allotment and use of land vested by the Centre.
- Recommendation of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes:
- The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes said in September 2019 that Ladakh should be added to the Sixth Schedule.
- The Commission took note of the fact that most of the people in the newly formed Union Territory of Ladakh are from tribal groups.
- Report highlights of the Parliamentary Standing Committee:
- A report was recently put on the table in the Rajya Sabha by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.
- According to the 2011 Census, there are 2,18,355 tribal people living in the Union Territory of Ladakh. This is 79.61% of the total population of 2,74,289 people.
- Special Status:
- The committee recommended that special status may be granted to the Union Territory of Ladakh considering the developmental requirements of the tribal population.
- Examining the possibility of fifth or sixth Schedule:
- The Committee further recommends that the possibility of including Ladakh in fifth or sixth Schedule may be examined.
- Recommendation of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes:
- No decentralization of power:
|More about the Sixth Schedule
• Recently, a group of scientists from University College London and the University of Cambridge made Medium-Density Amorphous Ice, a rare new type of ice.
- To make amorphous ice, they used a process called “ball-milling,” in which metal balls in a steel jar are used to break up crystalline ice into small pieces.
- Ball milling is a common way for businesses to grind and mix materials into powders.
- The study team used liquid nitrogen to cool a grinding jar to -200°C and then vigorously shook crystalline ice with steel ball bearings.
- The new form of ice more closely resembles liquid water.
- It has the same density as that of liquid water, while being in solid state.
Crystalline vs. Amorphous Ice:
• Almost all of the ice we see in nature, such as in snow, your freezer, and the polar caps, is crystalline ice.
• Amorphous ice is made up of water molecules that are all over the place and don’t line up with each other on a large scale.
Projects Inaurgated by PM in Tumakuru
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited helicopter factory in the Tumakuru district of Karnataka. It is the largest helicopter factory in the country.
About the Projects
- Over the next 20 years, HAL, which is based in Bengaluru, plans to make more than 1,000 helicopters that weigh between 3 and 15 tonnes and do business worth more than?4 lakh crore.
- The factory will be expanded to make Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) and Indian Multirole Helicopters (IMHs) (IMRHs).
- In the future, it will also be used to repair, maintain, and overhaul LCH, LUH, Civil Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), and IMRH.
- It’s a brand-new, greenfield helicopter factory that will help India build more helicopters and improve its ecosystem for doing so.
- The Prime Minister (PM) also showed off the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), which has been tested in the air.
- The LUH is being made to replace the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which are used by the Indian Armed Forces.
- LUH is a new generation helicopter in the 3-Ton class. It has state-of-the-art technology like a Glass cockpit with Multi-Function Displays (MFD) and is powered by a single Turbo Shaft engine with enough power margin to handle demanding high-altitude missions.
- The factory’s closeness to the HAL facilities in Bengaluru will improve the aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in the area and help develop skills and infrastructure like schools, colleges, and housing.
- India will be able to meet all of its helicopter needs without buying any from other countries. This will give the Prime Minister’s vision of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” in helicopter design, development, and production a much-needed boost.