Daily News Analysis 17 June 2023

Table of Contents


  1. Railway safety — listen to the voices from below

Facts for Prelims

  1. Human Brain Most Affected By COVID-19
  2. India’s Biggest Natural Arch
  3. Jellyfish galaxy JO206

Railway safety — listen to the voices from below


A major accident in the Indian Railways, like the recent triple train collision in Odisha, draws nationwide attention and prompts various responses. It raises concerns about the railway system\’s direction and sparks calls for accountability, while also inviting comparisons with international railway systems.

Unique Features of the Accident:

  1. Unprecedented Visits: The Railway Minister and even the Prime Minister visited the accident site, showing exceptional involvement.
  2. Assumptions of Guilt: Statements made by the Prime Minister implied human agency as the cause, even before the official inquiry began.
  3. Unusual Inquiries: The investigation was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, raising questions about potential criminal intent.

Need for Objective Analysis:

  1. Emotional Response: Major accidents often lead to emotional reactions, hindering objective analysis.
  2. Safety Statistics: Over the last two decades, derailments, the most common accidents, have significantly decreased.
  3. A Single Accident\’s Impact: Despite overall safety improvements, a single major accident can tarnish the safety record.

Importance of Real-Time Information Flow for Safety:

  1. Railways\’ Geographic Spread: Unlike some industries, Railways cover a wide geographical area with multiple departments.
  2. Standardization of Procedures: Codes and manuals have been developed to ensure compliance and safety across departments.
  3. Top-Down Inspection Approach: The existing system relies on higher authorities detecting deviations, leading to mistrust and window dressing.
  4. Need for Real-Time Reporting: Encouraging staff to report unsafe practices or deviations promptly can prevent accidents.

The Concept of Confidential Incident Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS):

  1. Successful Implementation: CIRAS, developed in the UK, encourages real-time reporting while ensuring confidentiality.
  2. Mindset Change: Implementing such a reporting system requires a shift in management mindset from fault-finding to shared commitment to safety.
  3. Infrastructure and Attitudinal Change: Establishing the reporting system requires both physical infrastructure and a change in management culture.


To sustain safety improvements in the Indian Railways, there is a need for objective analysis and a shift in management mindset. Implementing a real-time reporting system, similar to CIRAS, can encourage staff participation and prevent accidents. Reconsidering recent management schemes and having a dedicated Cabinet Minister for the Railways may also be necessary for effective policy-making and investment decisions.

Human Brain Most Affected By COVID-19


According to a recently conducted study, it has been discovered that the cerebellum, a region of the human brain, exhibits a higher susceptibility to Covid infections compared to other brain regions.

The Cerebellum:

  1. The cerebellum is a structure in the central nervous system, often referred to as the \”little brain.\”
  2. Location: It is situated at the back of the head, just above and behind the point where the spinal cord connects to the brain.
  3. Size and Neurons: Although it accounts for only about 10% of the total brain weight, it contains approximately 80% of all neurons in the brain.

Functions of the Cerebellum:

  1. Maintaining Balance: The cerebellum is equipped with special sensors that detect shifts in balance and movement, allowing it to send signals to adjust the body and maintain balance.
  2. Coordinating Movement: It plays a crucial role in coordinating movements that involve multiple muscle groups, ensuring smooth and synchronized actions.
  3. Vision: The cerebellum helps in coordinating eye movements, contributing to visual functions.
  4. Motor Learning: It aids in the learning and refinement of movements that require practice, such as riding a bicycle or playing a musical instrument.
  5. Other Functions: Researchers believe the cerebellum also plays a role in cognitive processes like language processing, mood regulation, and certain aspects of thinking.

What is the Cerebrum?

  1. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain, encompassing the regions above and in front of the cerebellum.
  2. Function: It receives and interprets information from the sense organs, controlling various body functions. It is vital for memory, reasoning, communication, emotions, and numerous other cognitive processes.
  3. Relationship with the Cerebellum: The cerebellum and brainstem work in conjunction with the cerebrum, assisting in the control of voluntary actions in the body.

India’s Biggest Natural Arch

During their survey of coal in the Kenduadihi block located in Odisha\’s Sundargarh district, the Geological Survey of India team made an exciting discovery. They identified India\’s largest natural arch formation.

Key Highlights

  1. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) state unit has proposed to designate the \’Natural Arch\’ in the Kanika range of Sundargarh forest division as a Geo Heritage Site.
  2. If approved, it will become the largest natural arch in India to receive the Geo Heritage tag.
  3. India currently has two other natural arches with this recognition: one in Tirumala hills, Tirupati, and another in Andaman and Nicobar. However, both of them are smaller compared to the one in Sundargarh.

About India\’s Biggest Natural Arch:

  1. The Sundargarh natural arch is located in the ferruginous sandstone of the Upper Kamthi formation, dating back around 184 to 160 million years in the lower to middle Jurassic age.
  2. It has an oval shape with a base length of 30 meters and a height of 12 meters.
  3. The alcove of the natural arch has a maximum height of 7 meters and a width of 15 meters.
  4. The natural arch and its surrounding area showcase various primary sedimentary structures like planner and cross-bedding, along with occasional current ripples. These features indicate a high-energy fluvial environment during the process of sedimentation.
  5. The formation of the natural arch could be attributed to fault activities and the nature of the lithotype, which have contributed to an extended period of sub-aerial weathering.

What are Geo Heritage Sites (GHSs)?

  1. Geo Heritage Sites are remarkable locations of geological, geomorphological, mineralogical, petrological, and paleontological significance. They may include caves and natural rock sculptures that hold national and international interest.
  2. GSI declares and designates these sites as geo-heritage sites or national geological monuments to ensure their protection and maintenance.

Necessary measures for safeguarding these sites are undertaken by GSI or the respective State governments.

Jellyfish galaxy JO206


Recently, Hubble captured a jellyfish galaxy JO206 lying 700 million light-years away.

About Jellyfish Galaxy JO206:

  1. Location: Jellyfish Galaxy JO206 is situated approximately 700 million light-years away from Earth.
  2. Galaxy: It is a large system consisting of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and other celestial objects that are bound together by gravity.
  3. Appearance: JO206 displays a vibrant star-forming disk surrounded by a pale, luminous cloud of dust.
  4. Constellation: It resides in the Aquarius constellation.
  5. Origin of the Name: Galaxies resembling their marine counterparts are often called \”Jellyfish\” galaxies, and JO206 bears this name due to its similarity in appearance.
  6. Image Details: The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of JO206, revealing the bright star formation trails resembling tentacles extending from the main disk of the galaxy.
  7. Hubble Space Telescope: It is a large space-based observatory operated jointly by NASA and ESA, deployed since 1990.
  8. NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, an independent agency responsible for space and aeronautics research.
  9. ESA: European Space Agency, an independent organization focused on developing Europe\’s space capability.

Aquarius Constellation:

  1. Location: Aquarius is found in the southern hemisphere.
  2. Zodiac Constellation: It is one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac, along with Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, and Pisces.
  3. Name Origin: The name Aquarius comes from Latin, meaning \”the water-bearer\” or \”cup-bearer.\”
  4. Associated with Water: The region of the sky where Aquarius lies is often referred to as the Sea, as it contains several other constellations associated with water, such as Pisces (the fish), Eridanus (the river), and Cetus (the whale).
  5. Size: Aquarius is the 10th largest constellation, covering an area of 980 square degrees.

Prominent Stars: Notable supergiant stars in Aquarius include Sadalsuud (Beta Aquarii) and Sadalmelik (Alpha Aquarii).

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