11 May | UPSC Current Affairs | Jiadhal River, Batagay Crater, and More

GS Paper 1

Jiadhal River

  • News: The increased precipitation in Assam is dynamically altering the course of the Jiadhal River.
  • About – Jiadhal River
Origin Arunachal Pradesh
Altitude 1247 meters
Tributary to Brahmaputra River
Route Flows through a narrow gorge in Arunachal Pradesh; emerges into the plains of Assam
Nickname “Sorrow of Dhemaji” (due to annual floods in Dhemaji district)
Renamed As Kumotiya River downstream
Confluence: Merges with the Subansiri River near the endpoint

Batagay Crater

  • News: Batagay crater is growing by 35 million cubic feet every year.
  • Location: Batagay Crater is situated within the East Siberian taiga of Russia.
  • Type: It is categorized as a thermokarst depression, a formation resulting from the thawing (melting) of permafrost.
  • Formation: The crater’s development began to manifest notably in the 1960s subsequent to deforestation activities in the surrounding region, which stripped away shading and insulation, consequently triggering permafrost thaw.
  • Expansion: Over time, it has expanded significantly due to ongoing permafrost thawing.
  • Significance: 
  • Size and Scientific Resource: Batagay Crater holds the distinction of being the largest permafrost crater worldwide. 
  • Moreover, it is an invaluable scientific asset, as its exposed layers unveil permafrost dating back up to 650,000 years, providing insights into past climates.
  •  Additionally, it preserves mummified remains of extinct animals.
  • Warning Sign of Climate Change: The crater stands as a stark warning sign of the repercussions of climate change. 
      • Its thawing permafrost releases potent greenhouse gases such as methane, thereby exacerbating global warming.
  • Permafrost: 
    •  Permafrost is any ground that remains completely frozen—32°F (0°C) or colder—for at least two years straight.
    •  These permanently frozen grounds are most common in regions with high mountains and in Earth’s higher latitudes, near the North and South Poles.

GS Paper 2

U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund

  • News: India has contributed $5,00,000 to U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund. 
  • Establishment and Transfer:The U.N. Counter-Terrorism Trust Fund was founded in 2009 by the UN Secretary-General with the specific aim of supporting counter-terrorism activities.
      •  In 2017, it was transferred to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT).
  • Creation of UNOCT: UNOCT was established in 2017 as a result of a General Assembly resolution. 
  • Aim: Its primary objective is to improve coordination and coherence across the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
  • Donor Diversity:
      • The Fund accepts contributions from various entities, including governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, private institutions, and individuals, ensuring a broad base of support.
  • Utilization of Funds:
    • Funds received are utilized for coordination efforts, capacity-building initiatives, and the provision of technical assistance. 
    • These activities aim to enhance both national and regional counter-terrorism capabilities.

Key Events, Initiatives, and Movements Against British Rule in India

GS Paper 3

Non-Market Economy Classification

  • News: Vietnam has been lobbying the USA to change its classification from “non-market economy” to “market economy” to evade high taxes imposed on Vietnamese goods.
  • Criteria for Market Economy Designation: The US assesses various factors to designate a country as a market economy:
      • Currency convertibility 
      • Wage Determination through Free bargaining 
      • Allowance of Foreign Investment 
      • Ownership of Means of Production 
      • State control over resource allocation and pricing decision 
      • Human rights protection 
  • Consequences of Non-Market Economy Label: Countries labeled as non-market economies face the imposition of “anti-dumping” duties by the US on their imported goods.
  • Anti-Dumping Duties: Dumping, the practice of selling products at a price lower than domestic market prices or production costs, is considered unfair by the WTO.
      •  To counteract the effects of dumping, the US imposes anti-dumping duties on imported goods.



  • News:  Researchers at Google DeepMind have developed AlphaFold 3. 
  • Definition: AlphaFold3 represents a state-of-the-art AI model jointly developed by Google DeepMind and Isomorphic Labs.
  • Predictive Capabilities:
    • The model excels in predicting the three-dimensional structures of proteins, DNA, RNA, and other molecules. 
    • This predictive ability is fundamental for comprehending the functionalities of these molecules within living organisms.
  • Applications:  AlphaFold3 finds application in several domains:
    • Biological Insights: It aids in understanding intricate biological processes at the molecular level.
    • Drug Design: By providing insights into how molecules interact with target compounds, it facilitates the design of novel drugs.
    • Material Development: AlphaFold3 contributes to the development of new materials with tailored properties, leveraging its understanding of molecular structures.

Earth Observation (EO)

  • News: World Economic Forum (WEF) report, titled “Amplifying the Global Value of Earth Observation (EO),” estimated that EO data could generate over $3 trillion benefits globally by 2030.
  • Context:  
      • Several organisations globally are trying to contain rise in global warming by developing and evolving technologies. 
      • Artificial intelligence is also playing an active role in combatting the issue.
      •  For instance, WEF talked about how the economic and environmental value of EO data can generate over $3 trillion in cumulative economic benefits globally by 2030. 
  • Definition: EO refers to collecting information about activities and characteristics on Earth, including physical, chemical, biological and human systems.
  • EO includes:
    • Remotely-sensed data which is collected from satellites, piloted aircraft, etc.
    • In-situ data is gathered from GPS-enabled devices, sensors, etc. 
  • Applications: The collected EO data is used for a wide range of applications, including:
    • Monitoring environmental changes like deforestation, land degradation, and ocean pollution.
    • Tracking weather patterns and predicting natural disasters.
    • Managing resources like water, forests, and agriculture.
    • Mapping and surveying land cover and infrastructure.
    • Urban planning and development

Constructed Wetlands

  • News:  Constructed wetlands are nature’s ingenious solution for wastewater treatment in India.
  • Definition: Constructed wetlands mimic natural wetland functions and are composed of carefully selected vegetation, soil, and water to purify wastewater effectively.

  • A wetland is an area of land that is either covered with water or saturated with water. Unique plants, called hydrophytes, define wetland ecosystems.
  • Wetlands are neither totally dry land nor totally underwater; they have characteristics of both.
  • Wetlands are the planet’s natural waste-water treatment facilities and carbon-storing champions. 
  • They’re crucial  for food security. Between 300 million and 400 million people live close to and depend on wetlands. 
  • They support the cultivation of rice, a staple in the diet of half the world’s population. 
  • They also provide flood control, clean water, shoreline and storm protection, materials, medicines, and vital habitat.
  • Wetlands trap pollutants such as phosphorus and heavy metals in their soils, transform nitrogen into a form that’s easier for plants to take in, and physically and chemically break down bacteria.
  • The world’s largest protected wetland is Llanos de Moxos, located in Bolivia. 
  • Natural wetlands are ecosystems that are either permanently or seasonally saturated in water, creating habitats for aquatic plants and conditions that promote the development of hydric (wetland) soils.
  • Types of Constructed Wetlands: They are categorized into:
  •  Subsurface Flow (SSF): SSF wetlands direct wastewater through gravel beds or porous media, promoting microbial activity that degrades organic matter.
    •  Surface Flow (SF) :SF wetlands demonstrate their aesthetic appeal above the water’s surface, with gently flowing streams and lush vegetation.
  • Process of Waste Water Treatment in Constructed Wetlands: 
    • Plant species like cattails, bulrushes, and sedges play a crucial role in nutrient absorption and act as living filters, enhancing the purification process.
    • Constructed wetlands function as natural wastewater treatment systems by utilizing wetland vegetation, such as cattails, bulrushes, and sedges, to absorb nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. 
    • These plants create shallow basins where a diverse microbial community breaks down complex molecules into simpler compounds. 
    • Beneath the water’s surface, bacteria, archaea, and fungi collaborate to transform toxic substances like ammonia into harmless nitrate and stabilize phosphorus molecules.
    • The intricate root systems of wetland plants oxygenate the soil, creating an aerobic environment that supports beneficial bacteria
    •  As water flows through these roots, nutrients are absorbed, and contaminants are trapped. 
    • In return, plants receive nourishment from the organic matter processed by microbes.
    • Through a series of physical, chemical, and biological processes, constructed wetlands effectively remove contaminants from wastewater, improving water quality without the need for external intervention.
  • Benefits: 
    • Cost-Effectiveness: Constructed wetlands offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional treatment facilities due to minimal energy consumption and lower operational expenses.
    • Versatility in Wastewater Treatment: These wetlands can be customized to address various forms of industrial wastewater, effectively managing pollutants and contaminants.
    • Environmental Benefits: Constructed wetlands promote biodiversity conservation and offer additional environmental advantages such as flood control and carbon sequestration.
    • Scalability and Adaptability: Constructed wetlands are flexible and adaptable, catering to different industrial operations and spatial limitations, accommodating both centralized and decentralized treatment methods.
      • Example: Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in Delhi serves as an exemplary location where constructed wetlands aid in wastewater treatment while contributing to regional biodiversity conservation.


  • News: Pakistan’s inaugural lunar orbiter, iCUBE-Q, has successfully captured and transmitted the first images of the Moon and Sun from the lunar orbit.
  • iCube-Q: Pakistan’s Lunar Mission: 
    • iCube-Q marks Pakistan’s inaugural lunar mission, a collaborative effort with China aimed at exploring the moon.
    •  It is a compact lunar cube remote sensing satellite, weighing 7 kilograms, deployed as part of Beijing’s Chang’e-6 mission. 
    • Equipped with optical cameras, iCube-Q is designed to capture diverse images of the moon’s surface, providing Pakistan with its satellite-based research imagery of the moon.
  • CubeSats: Nanosatellites
    • CubeSats represent a category of nanosatellites standardized in size and form factor. 
    • They come in various sizes, starting from the “one unit” or “1U,” measuring 10x10x10 centimeters, and can be scaled up to larger sizes, including 1.5U, 2U, 3U, 6U, and even 12U. 
    • Their compact dimensions contribute to reduced development and launch costs compared to traditional satellites.
    • CubeSats serve a multitude of purposes in space exploration, including Earth observation, imaging, communication, technology testing, and atmospheric studies. 
    • Their versatility makes them valuable tools for advancing space research and exploration endeavors.


  • News: Provisioning term has been in news. 
  • Definition:  In banking, provisioning is the practice of earmarking funds to anticipate and cover potential losses on loans. Essentially, it’s a method for banks to ready themselves for potential defaults and bad debts.
  • Benefits of Provisioning in Banking
    • Risk Mitigation: Provisioning helps to mitigate credit risk by preparing for potential defaults by borrowers on their loans. 
    • Enhanced Risk Assessment: By setting aside provisions, banks gain a clearer understanding of their risk profile, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding lending practices. 
    • Financial Stability: Provisioning contributes to maintaining financial stability within the banking sector by ensuring that banks have adequate capital reserves to absorb losses, thus minimizing the impact of defaults on their overall operations.
  • Types of Provisions: 
    • Classification-based Provisions: Banks may implement various types of provisions based on the classification of loans, such as standard, sub-standard, doubtful, and loss. 
    • The amount of provision allocated increases accordingly as the likelihood of default rises, reflecting the level of risk associated with each loan category.
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