2 May | UPSC Current Affairs | Earth’s Rotation to IMF & Exercises

GS Paper 1

Earth’s Rotation

  • News:  A recent study published in Nature suggests that global warming-induced melting of polar ice is causing a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation. 
  • “Rotation” refers to an object’s spinning motion about its own axis. “Revolution” refers the object’s orbital motion around another object.
    • Earth rotates on its own axis, producing the 24-hour day. 
    • Earth revolves about the Sun, producing the 365-day year.
  • Earth’s Rotation
    • Earth rotates along its axis from west to east.
    • It takes approximately 24 hrs to complete on rotation.
    • Days and nights occur due to rotation of the earth.
    • The circle that divides the day from night on the globe is called the circle of illumination.
    • Earth rotates on a tilted axis.
    •  Earth’s rotational axis makes an angle of 23.5° with the normal i.e. it makes an angle of 66.5° with the orbital plane. 
    • Orbital plane is the plane of earth’s orbit around the Sun.

Earth’s Rotation

  • Factors Affecting Earth’s Rotation:
    • Tidal Forces: Gravitational pull from the Moon and the Sun causes tidal bulges, slowing Earth’s rotation due to friction between ocean water and the sea floor.
    • Core-Mantle Coupling: Variances in rotation rates between Earth’s inner and outer core impact the magnetic field.
    • Glacial Melt: Global warming-induced melting of glaciers and ice sheets redistributes mass, altering Earth’s shape and decelerating its rotation.
Coriolis Force

  • The rotation of the earth about its axis affects the direction of the wind. This force is called the Coriolis force.
  • It deflects the wind to the right direction in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
  •  The deflection is more when the wind velocity is high.
  •  The Coriolis force is directly proportional to the angle of latitude. It is maximum at the poles and is absent at the equator. 
  • Earth’s Rotation and Leap Seconds:
    • Atomic Clocks and UTC: Official time, defined by atomic clocks, is known as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
    • Variability in Earth’s Rotation: Earth’s rotation isn’t constant, occasionally slowing due to factors like melting ice caps.
    • Leap Second Adjustment: To reconcile discrepancies between atomic time and Earth’s rotation, leap seconds are added or subtracted from UTC.

Climate Engineering and Solar Geoengineering: Types, Techniques and Challenges

GS Paper 2

Sierra Madre

  • News: Sierra Madre, an old Philippine ship, is fuelling China-Philippine tensions.
  • Definition:  It is a 100ft-long landing ship commissioned by the US in 1944 during World War II.
  • Landing Ship: Landing ship is specially designed to transport and deploy troops, vehicles, and supplies onto foreign shores for the conduct of offensive military operations.
  • Utilization in Conflict:
    • It was deployed by the US during the Vietnam War (1954-75).
    • It was transferred to the Philippines in 1976.
  • Strategic Placement:
    • In 1999, this landing ship was left on the Second Thomas Shoal by the Philippines . This move was an attempt at halting further Chinese assertions.
    •  Second Thomas Shoal is a part of the mostly uninhabited Spratly islands.
  • Ongoing Tensions:
    • China Demands Removal: China continuously demands the removal of the ship.
    • Philippine Resistance: Philippines resists removal to maintain territorial claims and counter Chinese presence in the South China Sea.
  • Spratly Islands:
    • The Spratly Islands consist of more than 100 small islands or reefs in the South China Sea.

Spratly Islands

  • They are located north of insular Malaysia and are roughly midway between Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • These islands are rich in oil and gas reserves along with fishing waters and hence claimed by several countries in the region.

Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance

  • News: Recently, the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and the Global Leaders Group (GLG) on AMR jointly organised a high-level event, ‘Forging partnerships between science and policy’, in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Definition
    • The Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR Leaders) consists of world leaders and experts from across sectors working together to accelerate political action on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
    • It was established in November 2020.
  • Functions:
    • Independent Advisory Role: Performs global advisory and advocacy functions independently.
    • Promoting Urgency: Maintains urgency, public support, political momentum, and visibility of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenge on the global health and development agenda.
  • Approach and Focus: 
    • One Health Approach: Addresses the AMR challenge by acknowledging the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.
  • Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance:
    • Definition: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial medicines.
    • Public Health Threat: AMR poses a growing threat to public health, as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites develop resistance to drugs intended to combat them.
    • Consequences: Resistance renders traditional medicines ineffective, complicating the treatment of even common illnesses.

Coral Reefs: Types, Formation, Threats and Significance | UPSC

UN Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals

  • News:  The United Nations has formed a new panel on “Critical Energy Transition Minerals.”
  • Panel’s Aim:
    • Development of Global Principles: The panel aims to develop a set of global common and voluntary principles to guide the transition and accelerate the adoption of renewable energies.
  • Objectives Aligned with Global Agreements:
    • 2030 Agenda and Climate Change Framework: The panel’s objective aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN’s Framework Agreement on Climate Change, and its Paris Agreement.
  • Twofold Objective:
      • Just and Equitable Transition: Supporting a fair transition to renewable energies.
      • Economic and Social Benefits: Ensuring that countries and local communities benefit economically while upholding social and environmental safeguards.
  • Composition:
      •  Presently, the panel comprises 23 countries alongside the African Union, with 14 non-governmental organizations representing diverse entities.
  • Key Members: Both China and the United States are key members of the panel.
  • Significance of Critical Energy Transition Minerals:
    • Vital Components for Clean Energy: Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, and rare earth elements are essential for clean energy technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and battery storage.
    • Increased Demand: The global transition towards renewable energy to combat carbon emissions has led to a surge in demand for critical minerals, with projections indicating a threefold increase by 2030.

GS Paper 3

Inflation Expectations Survey of Households & Consumer Confidence Survey

  • News: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently introduced two new surveys, the ‘Inflation Expectations Survey of Households’ and the ‘Consumer Confidence Survey’. 
      • These surveys are aimed at providing crucial insights for the upcoming bi-monthly monetary policy.
  • Inflation Expectations Survey of Households:
      • This survey will gather subjective evaluations on price movements and inflation based on individual consumption patterns. 
      • This survey spans 19 cities, including Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Thiruvananthapuram.
      • It will gather qualitative responses from households regarding price changes, including general prices and specific product groups, over the next 3 months and one year.
  • Consumer Confidence Survey: 
    • Aims to gather qualitative responses from households regarding their views on:
      •  The General Economic Situation,
      •  Employment Scenario, 
      • Price Levels, 
      • Household Income, And 
      • Spending.
    •  This survey will also be conducted in 19 cities, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, and Delhi.


  • News: The US has rejected 1/3rd of MDH exports since October over salmonella. 
  • Definition: Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever called salmonellosis.
  • Transmission and Contamination:
    • Salmonella naturally lives in the intestines of animals and can be found in their feces (poop). 
    • It can contaminate meat and poultry during slaughter.
    •  Spread to humans occurs through contact with salmonella-contaminated items in the environment.
  • Survival and Resilience:
    • Ubiquitous Nature: Salmonella is widespread and resilient.
    • Environmental Longevity: Can survive for several weeks in dry environments and several months in water.

What is Salmonella

  • Symptoms of Salmonellosis:
    • Onset and Manifestations: Symptoms typically appear 6 to 72 hours post-infection and include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.

Ethylene (C2H4)

  • News:  It is being used for artificial ripening of mangoes.
  • Nature and Properties: Colourless, flammable gas with a sweet taste and odor.
  • Environmental Impact: Acts as a greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming.
  • Industrial Importance:
    • Chemical Production: Crucial starting material for manufacturing various chemicals, including plastics like polyethylene, polyester fibers, and antifreeze.
  • Biological Functions:
    • Plant Hormone: Naturally occurring plant hormone involved in physiological processes such as promoting root growth and root hair formation.
    • Role in Fruit Ripening: Highly influential in fruit ripening processes, affecting respiration rates and enzymatic activities.
  • Effects on Fruit Ripening:
    • Color Changes: Influences the synthesis of pigments such as carotenoids (red, orange, and yellow colors ) and anthocyanins (blue or purple colour), leading to color changes during ripening.
    • Flavor and Aroma: Stimulates the production of volatile compounds responsible for the flavor and aroma of ripe fruits.
  • Regulatory Guidelines:
    • FSSAI Directions: Allows the use of ethylene for artificial ripening with a concentration limit of 100 ppm.
    • Prohibited Contact: Direct contact of ethylene gas sources with fruits is not permitted according to FSSAI regulations.

IMF’s Stand-by Arrangement (SBA)

    • News: The IMF Executive Board completed the second review under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Pakistan. 
    • Stand-by Arrangement (SBA): The IMF Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) is an economic program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 
    • Purpose: It provides short-term financial aid to nations grappling with balance of payments issues.
    • Eligibility Criteria: 
      • Open to all member countries facing actual or potential external financing requirements, primarily utilized by advanced and emerging market economies. 
      • Low-income countries may also access the SBA alongside the Standby Credit Facility (SCF).
  • Conditionality:
    • Economic Policy Alignment: Countries seeking SBA funding must align their economic policies to address the underlying issues causing the need for financial assistance.
    • Disbursement Criteria: Disbursements are contingent upon the fulfillment of performance targets related to the implementation of suggested structural measures.
  • Duration of the Assistance: Typically covers a period of 12–24 months, but not more than 36 months.

Facts for Prelims

Exercise Poorvi  Leher

  • News: Indian Navy has recently conducted ‘Poorvi Leher’ exercise along east coast to test preparedness
  • Recent Conduct: The Indian Navy executed a Military Exercise called “Poorvi Lehar” along the Eastern Coast of India.
  • Objective: The primary goal of the exercise was to evaluate the readiness of the Indian Navy in addressing Maritime Security challenges within the region.


  • News:   As per a recent ruling of the Supreme Court, a husband has no control over wife’s ‘stridhan’. 
  • Stridhan:
    •  Properties gifted to a woman before marriage, at the time of marriage, or upon bidding farewell, and even thereafter constitute her stridhan properties.
    •  These properties are solely owned by the woman, granting her the full right to dispose of them as she pleases.
  • Husband’s Role:
  • Lack of Control: The husband holds no authority or control over his wife’s stridhan property.
  • Usage in Distress: He may utilize the stridhan property during times of personal distress, but he retains a moral obligation to restore either the property itself or its equivalent value to his wife.
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