(GS-I: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones etc)
Asani is a cyclonic storm originating in the Bay of Bengal which would hit the Easter Coastal Plains of India, mainly the regions of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Cyclone Asani – Facts:
Who named it? Sri Lanka. asani means wrath in sinhalese.
Formed in Bay of Bengal.
Asani will be the first cyclonic storm of the season.
What would be the name of the next cyclone? The cyclone that will form after Asani will be called Sitrang, a name given by Thailand.
Naming of Cyclones:
Cyclones are named by the regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) in every ocean basin across the world.
There are six RSMCs in the world that also includes the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and a total of five TCWCs.
As an RSMC, the IMD names the cyclones which develop over the north Indian Ocean, including the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, after following a standard procedure.
The IMD is also mandated to issue advisories to 12 other countries in the region on the development of cyclones and storms.
These include Bangladesh, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
Significance of naming:
It helps the scientific community, the media and disaster managers to create awareness of the development, for rapidly disseminating warnings to increase community preparedness and remove confusion where there are multiple cyclonic systems over a region.
Most recent list:
The most recent list released in 2020 has 169 names, including 13 names each from 13 countries. Earlier, eight countries had given 64 names.
Names from India that have been used include Gati (speed), Megh (cloud), Akash (sky).
Low wheat procurement – causes and effects
(GS-III: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country)
Wheat procurement by government agencies is set to dip to a 15-year low in the current marketing season, from an all-time high scale last year.
Likely procurement this time: The 18.5 million tonnes (mt).
This would be the first time that wheat procured from the new crop (18.5 mt) is less than the public stocks at the start of the marketing season (19 mt).
This is also a 15-year-low. This is the lowest since the 11.1 mt bought in 2007-08.
Why is there low wheat procurement this year?
Rise in export demand: Mainly fuelled by Russia – Ukraine war. The war has led to skyrocketing prices and a further increase in demand for Indian grain. Farmers find it more profitable to export now.
Lower production: The sudden spike in temperatures from the second half of March — when the crop was in the grain-filling stage, with the kernels still accumulating starch, protein and other dry matter — has taken a toll on yields.
Impact on availability:
This would affect the minimum operational stock-cum-strategic reserve of government agencies.
This would also affect the public distribution system, midday meals and other regular welfare schemes.
Will farmers benefit?
Farmers will certainly benefit from the scenario as they are being offered a price above the MSP. Amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis, new markets in countries like Israel, Egypt, Tanzania and Mozambique have opened up for India.
However, on the other hand, if private traders continue to buy above MSP, eventually that could stoke inflation.
This is the second most important cereal crop in India after rice.
Wheat is a rabi crop that requires a cool growing season and bright sunshine at the time of ripening.
Temperature: Between 10-15°C (Sowing time) and 21-26°C (Ripening & Harvesting) with bright sunlight.
Rainfall: Around 75-100 cm.
Soil Type: Well-drained fertile loamy and clayey loamy (Ganga-Satluj plains and black soil region of the Deccan).
Factors leading to increase in Wheat cultivation in India:
Success of the Green Revolution contributed to the growth of Rabi crops, especially wheat.
Macro Management Mode of Agriculture, National Food Security Mission and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are few government initiatives to support wheat cultivation.
(GS-I: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society)
Every year, Russia celebrates Victory Day on May 9 to commemorate the Soviet Union’s victory over Germany’s Nazi forces in World War II.
What is Victory Day?
Victory Day marks the end of World War II and the victory of the Allied Forces in 1945.
Adolf Hitler had shot himself on April 30. On May 7, German troops surrendered, which was formally accepted the next day, and came into effect on May 9.
In most European countries, it is celebrated on May 8, and is called the Victory in Europe Day.
Why does Russia not celebrate Victory Day on the same date?
This is because the instrument of surrender signed on May 7 stipulated that all hostilities would cease at 23:01 Berlin Time on May 8 and, as time in Moscow was an hour ahead, this would push the ceasefire into May 9.
An initial document was signed in Reims, France on May 7.
But, Russia argued that some German troops considered the Reims instrument a surrender to the Western allies only and that fighting continued in eastern Europe, especially in Prague.
Therefore, Soviet Union demanded another signing.
A second surrender ceremony then took place in a manor on the outskirts of Berlin late on May 8, when it was already May 9 in Moscow.
Both texts stipulated that forces under German control were to cease operations at 11:01pm Berlin Time.
Therefore, in the eyes of the Soviet Union, the head of Germany’s armed forces surrendered personally to Joseph Stalin’s representative on May 9 and the instrument of surrender was signed in the early hours of that day.
Relevance of the day this year:
In this year’s speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the “denazification” of Ukraine as one of the main aims of his “special military operation” in the country.
The choice of words followed by the Kremlin is similar to USSR’s stand against Nazism in World War II.
The parallels drawn with the Second World War are one of the major reasons why speculations around Russia’s actions on Victory Day 2022 keep growing.
Delhi’s new startup policy
(GS-II: Government policies and issues arising out of their implementation)
Delhi Cabinet has passed an ambitious Delhi Startup Policy.
Highlights and components of the policy:
Entrepreneurship classes and a “Business Blasters Program” would be introduced at the college level, and the Delhi Government would support college students working on business ideas in every possible way.
Delhi government will help startups get collateral-free loans which will be interest-free for a year.
Delhi government will empanel CAs, lawyers and experts to aid startups for free; their service charges will be borne by the government.
Students building startups while studying in Delhi government colleges will be able to seek 1-2 years of leave.
Three committees will be set up for the implementation and governance of the policy:
The Startup Policy Monitoring Committee: It will be headed by the Finance Minister of the Delhi Government. It will have members from educational institutions and the private sector.
Startup Task Force.
A Nodal Agency.
Idea behind the startup policy:
The state government intends to encourage, facilitate and support 15,000 startups by 2030 under the Delhi Startup Policy.
The project aims at creating entrepreneurs and business leaders out of the Delhi youth.
Delhi as a startup hub:
Delhi, in 2022, overtook Bengaluru to become the startup capital of India.
According to Economic Survey 2021-22, over 5,000 recognised startups were added in Delhi between April 2019 and December 2021, while 4,514 startups were added in Bengaluru.