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June 16, 2021
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June 18, 2021
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17th June Current Affairs

Ram Prasad Bismil

In News:

Ram Prasad Bismil was born on June 11, 1897, in a nondescript village in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district.

Details:

He was among the most notable Indian revolutionaries who fought British colonialism and made it possible for the nation to breathe the air of freedom after centuries of struggle against the imperial forces.

Important organizations/works he was associated with:

He was associated with the Arya Samaj from an early age.

Bismil along with Genda Lal Dixit, a school teacher from Auraiya, organised youth from Etahwah, Mainpuri, Agra and Shahjahanpur districts to strengthen their organisations, ‘Matrivedi’ and ‘Shivaji Samiti’.

He published a pamphlet titled ‘Deshwasiyon ke Naam’ and distributed it along with his poem ‘Mainpuri ki Pratigya’ on January 28, 1918. To collect funds for the parties, they looted government coffers.

After conflicting views and growing resentment with the Congress party, he formed the Hindustan Republic Association which soon had leaders like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.

Events he was associated with:

He participated in the Mainpuri conspiracy of 1918.

On August 9, 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil along with companions Ashfaqulla Khan and others executed the plan of looting the train at Kakori near Lucknow.

Ideology:

His ideals of freedom struggle stood in stark contrast to that of Mahatma Gandhi and he would reportedly say “independence would not be achieved by means of non-violence”.

Raj Ghat:

He was hanged in the Gorakhpur jail on December 19, 1927 and cremated on the banks of Rapti river. The site later came to be known as Raj Ghat.

Supreme Court closes criminal case against Italian Marines

In News:

The Supreme Court has closed a criminal case initiated against two Italian marines who killed two fishermen off the Kerala coast, setting the stage for the Italian government to try them in their own country as per an international tribunal award.

It has also accepted the additional compensation of Rupees 10 crores offered by the Republic of Italy to the victims of the 2012 sea-firing incident which took place near Kerala coast.

Article 142:

The Government of India urged the Court to invoke the extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to quash the criminal cases against Marines, as the international tribunal under the United Nations Convention on Law of Seas had ruled that India lacks the jurisdiction to criminally prosecute them.

What had the tribunal held?

In a close 3:2 vote, the tribunal ruled that the Italian marines enjoyed diplomatic immunity as Italian state officials under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea.

Taking note of the “commitment expressed by Italy” to resume its criminal investigation into the incident, the tribunal said India must cease to exercise its jurisdiction.

Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Conference

In News:

The 42nd session of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Conference was held recently.

For the first time ever, the FAO Conference is held in virtual mode.

About the Conference:

The Conference takes place every two years and is FAO’s supreme governing body.

It determines the policies of the Organization, approves the budget, and makes recommendations to Members on food and agriculture issues.

FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031:

In this year’s Conference, FAO Members will adopt the Strategic Framework 2022-2031.

The Framework aims to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems for Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment, and a Better Life, leaving no one behind.

The “Four Betters” represent an organizing principle for how FAO intends to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities).

About FAO:

It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.

Headquarters: Rome, Italy.

Founded: 16 October 1945.

Goal of FAO: Their goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Important reports and Programmes (Have a brief overview):

Global Report on Food Crises.

Every two years, FAO publishes the State of the World’s Forests.

FAO and the World Health Organization created the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1961 to develop food standards, guidelines and texts.

In 1996, FAO organized the World Food Summit. The Summit concluded with the signing of the Rome Declaration, which established the goal of halving the number of people who suffer from hunger by the year 2015.

In 1997, FAO launched TeleFood, a campaign of concerts, sporting events and other activities to harness the power of media, celebrities and concerned citizens to help fight hunger.

The FAO Goodwill Ambassadors Programme was initiated in 1999. The main purpose of the programme is to attract public and media attention to the unacceptable situation that some 1 billion people continue to suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in a time of unprecedented plenty.

In 2004 the Right to Food Guidelines were adopted, offering guidance to states on how to implement their obligations on the right to food.

FAO created the International Plant Protection Convention or IPPC in 1952.

FAO is depositary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, also called Plant Treaty, Seed Treaty or ITPGRFA, entered into force on 29 June 2004.

The Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Partnership Initiative was conceptualized in 2002 during World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What is PASIPHAE, and why is it important?

In News:

Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) is an international collaborative sky surveying project.

Details:

Scientists aim to study the polarisation in the light coming from millions of stars.

Background:

Polarization is a property of light that represents the direction that the light wave oscillates.

How will the survey be carried out?

The survey will use two high-tech optical polarimeters to observe the northern and southern skies, simultaneously.

It will focus on capturing starlight polarisation of very faint stars that are so far away that polarisation signals from there have not been systematically studied.

The distances to these stars will be obtained from measurements of the GAIA satellite.

By combining these data, astronomers will perform a maiden magnetic field tomography mapping of the interstellar medium of very large areas of the sky using a novel polarimeter instrument known as WALOP (Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter).

Significance of the project:

The theory is that a small fraction of CMB radiation emitted during the universe’s rapid inflationary phase should have its fingerprints on a specific kind of polarisation, known technically as B-mode signals. These B-modes are theorised to have arisen as a result of powerful gravitational waves seen during inflation.

However, these signals have been difficult to isolate because of the enormous amounts of polarised radiation in our own Milky Way, caused by large dust clouds that fill the galaxy.

In essence, PASIPHAE endeavours to ascertain the effect of these obstacles, so we can, ultimately, learn how things played out in the early universe.