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Here are the topics covered for 13th December 2023:
GS-2: Road Safety in India, Revised Criminal Bills
GS-3: Complexity of Turbulence, AMRIT Technology
FACTS FOR PRELIMS: Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
Road Safety in India
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways recently released its \’Road Accidents in India-2022\’ report, shedding light on concerning trends in road accidents and fatalities.
Key notes of the report:
In 2022, India witnessed an 11.9% YoY increase in road accidents, leading to 1,68,491 fatalities and 4,43,366 injuries.
Disturbingly, two-wheelers remained the highest contributors to accidents and fatalities for the second consecutive year.
The report emphasized that 32.9% of accidents occurred on National Highways and Expressways, demanding targeted interventions in these areas.
Young adults in the age group of 18 – 45 years accounted for 66.5% of the victims, emphasizing the vulnerability of this age cohort.
Additionally, people in the working age group of 18 – 60 years constituted 83.4% of total road accident fatalities, underlining the economic impact of such incidents.
About 68% of road accident deaths occurred in rural areas, highlighting the need for tailored safety measures for both urban and rural settings. The report urged a nuanced approach considering the distinctive challenges faced by each environment.
Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of road accidents, while Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of fatalities. Understanding state-specific trends became imperative for effective and targeted interventions.
India topped the list of total persons killed due to road accidents globally, followed by China and the United States. The report also noted Venezuela\’s highest rate of persons killed per 1,00,000 population.
Status of the Indian Road Network:
India\’s road density was higher than that of many developed countries, but surfaced roads constituted only 64.7%, indicating room for improvement in road infrastructure.
The Ministry has adopted a multi-pronged approach involving education, engineering, and enforcement measures.
Awareness campaigns, road safety advocacy, and mandatory provisions such as airbags aim to reduce accidents and fatalities.
The Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019, enhances penalties for traffic violations and introduces a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund for compulsory insurance.
Road Safety Initiatives – Global and National:
Internationally, initiatives like the Brasilia Declaration and the Decade of Action for Road Safety aim to reduce road traffic deaths globally.
Nationally, the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, of 2019, along with acts like The Carriage by Road Act, of 2007, and The Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, of 2000, form part of India\’s comprehensive strategy.
The \’Road Accidents in India-2022\’ report underscores the urgency of addressing road safety issues in the country. While the statistics are alarming, the comprehensive approach taken by the Ministry, coupled with global and national initiatives, provides a roadmap for mitigating road accidents and creating safer road environments. It is imperative for all stakeholders to collaborate and implement effective measures to curb the rising trend of road accidents and ensure the safety of citizens on Indian roads.
Revised Criminal Bills
In a significant legislative development, the Central Government has introduced revised criminal reform bills in the Lok Sabha with the intention of replacing the existing Indian Penal Code (IPC), Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Evidence Act.
About the bill:
The proposed legislative changes seek to replace the foundational legal frameworks of IPC, CrPC, and the Evidence Act, which have been integral to the Indian legal system for decades.
The move comes as part of a broader initiative to address shortcomings, enhance procedural efficiency, and align the legal system with contemporary needs and challenges.
Key Points from the Bills:
The revised criminal reform bills are expected to bring about substantial modifications to the existing criminal justice system. While specific details are available in the bills themselves, the overarching goal is to streamline and improve the legal processes, ensuring a more responsive and effective approach to contemporary issues.
The bills are likely to address various aspects of criminal law, including definitions of offenses, procedural norms, and rules of evidence.
They are expected to incorporate contemporary legal principles, technological advancements, and lessons learned from evolving jurisprudence.
The introduction of these bills reflects the government\’s commitment to reforming and modernizing the legal framework to meet the current demands of society and legal practice.
Implications and Expected Changes:
The proposed replacement of IPC, CrPC, and the Evidence Act suggests a comprehensive reevaluation of the criminal justice system.
This move could have profound implications on legal proceedings, law enforcement, and the protection of individual rights. It signals an attempt to align India\’s legal infrastructure with global standards and emerging legal philosophies.
The introduction of revised criminal reform bills marks a crucial step in the ongoing efforts to reform India\’s legal system. While the specific content of the bills will become clearer upon closer examination, the move itself underscores the government\’s commitment to a modern, efficient, and responsive criminal justice framework. As the legislative process unfolds, it will be interesting to observe the debates and discussions in the Lok Sabha and the potential impact on the legal landscape in the country.
Complexity of Turbulence
In the realm of fluid dynamics, turbulence, characterized by chaotic fluctuations and hard-to-predict variations, conceals a profound level of organization. Unlike the apparent randomness it exhibits, turbulence is a subject of fascination for scientists across disciplines, offering a reminder that nature\’s mysteries extend beyond particle colliders and telescopes.
Turbulence is not a random phenomenon; rather, it is governed by the balance between inertia and viscous friction. When inertia dominates, as seen in the swirling motion of rising smoke or the chaotic patterns created by a ceiling fan, turbulence emerges.
The Navier-Stokes equations, formulated nearly two centuries ago, describe this delicate equilibrium and are crucial for understanding both laminar and turbulent flows.
However, the nonlinearity of these equations introduces complexity, preventing straightforward predictions and posing a significant challenge to scientists.
In turbulent flows, interactions between vortices create a complexity greater than the sum of its parts. For example, the motion of air from a ceiling fan generates a cascade of vortices, each influencing the others until dissipating into heat due to viscosity.
The nonlinearity of the Navier-Stokes equations prevents the application of the principle of superposition, making it difficult to break down complex flows into simpler components for analysis.
Challenges and Chaos:
Despite technological advancements and powerful supercomputers, simulating the Navier-Stokes equations remains challenging due to their nonlinearity.
Chaos theory, discovered by Edward Lorenz in 1961, adds another layer of unpredictability, making long-term predictions in turbulent systems practically impossible.
The sensitivity to initial conditions introduces uncertainty, a characteristic that limits weather predictions to shorter time spans.
Glimmers of Hope:
Amidst the complexity, there are glimmers of hope. Averaging certain properties over time provides well-behaved trends, enabling the study of long-term phenomena like climate change. Andrei Kolmogorov\’s theory introduces order by establishing a relationship between the size and energy of turbulent eddies.
Additionally, coherent structures within turbulent flows, such as Jupiter\’s Great Red Spot, hint at hidden organization, challenging the perception of turbulence as purely chaotic.
Turbulence, often considered a symbol of disorder, conceals a deeper layer of organization and remains a captivating enigma for scientists. While challenges persist in predicting the intricate details of turbulent flows, glimpses of order and patterns offer avenues for further exploration.
The study of turbulence serves as a testament to the complex beauty inherent in the natural world, inviting interdisciplinary collaboration to unravel its mysteries and appreciate the hidden order within chaos.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti recently highlighted the advancements in the Jal Jeevan Mission and the noteworthy Arsenic and Metal Removal by Indian Technology (AMRIT).
AMRIT Technology Overview:
Developing Institution: The technology originated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Madras, showcasing India\’s prowess in technological innovation.
Objective: AMRIT technology is specifically designed for the removal of arsenic and metal ions from water, contributing to the improvement of water quality.
Operational Mechanism: The technology employs nano-scale iron oxy-hydroxide, a specialized material that selectively extracts arsenic when water passes through it. This method ensures an efficient and targeted approach to water purification.
Applicability: AMRIT technology is versatile, and applicable for both domestic and community-level water purification. This adaptability enhances its utility across diverse settings, addressing varying water quality challenges.
Alignment with Jal Jeevan Mission: AMRIT technology is in line with the overarching objectives of the Jal Jeevan Mission. This national initiative is dedicated to providing safe and potable tap water to rural households across India.
Recommendation: The effectiveness of AMRIT technology has earned it a recommendation from the \’Standing Committee\’ of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation. This recognition positions the technology as a viable and valuable solution for addressing water and sanitation challenges.
AMRIT technology stands as a testament to India\’s scientific achievements, offering an innovative approach to tackling water quality issues. As part of the broader Jal Jeevan Mission, this technology reflects the nation\’s commitment to ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water for rural communities.
The recognition and recommendation by authoritative bodies further underscore the potential impact of AMRIT technology in addressing critical water and sanitation challenges across the country.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS:
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a curated assortment of marketable securities that mirrors the performance of an index, commodity, bonds, or a portfolio of assets. Essentially, ETFs function as funds that replicate the movements of indexes such as CNX Nifty or BSE Sensex.
In more straightforward terms, ETFs can be designed to monitor various entities, ranging from the value of a specific commodity to a comprehensive and diverse array of securities. Moreover, ETFs can be structured to follow distinct investment strategies.
Similar to mutual funds in terms of their structure, regulation, and management, ETF funds serve as pooled investment vehicles offering diversified exposure to various asset classes, including stocks, commodities, bonds, currencies, options, or a combination of these.
Diverging from mutual funds, ETFs can be bought or sold on a stock exchange, much like regular stocks.
The trading price of an ETF fluctuates throughout the trading day, influenced by buying and selling activities on the stock exchange. This trading value is linked to the net asset value of the underlying stocks represented by the ETF.
ETFs are known for their heightened daily liquidity and comparatively lower fees compared to mutual fund schemes, rendering them an appealing alternative for individual investors seeking a more flexible and cost-effective investment option.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), operating under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization dedicated to archaeological research and the protection of the nation\’s cultural heritage.
Established in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham, the first Director-General of ASI, and recognized as the \”Father of Indian Archaeology,\” it administers over 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites, and remains of national importance.
ASI\’s core activities encompass conducting surveys of antiquarian remains, exploring and excavating archaeological sites, as well as conserving and maintaining protected monuments.
Its mandate is governed by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958, which empowers ASI to oversee all archaeological endeavors within the nation.
ASI plays a pivotal role in managing and preserving India\’s rich archaeological legacy, making significant contributions to understanding and protecting the country\’s cultural heritage.