- Scientists have for the first time detected gravitational waves-ripples in the fabric of space-time – produced by the collision of a neutron star and a black hole.
- Previous gravitational wave detections have spotted black holes colliding (in 2015), and neutron stars merging but not one of each.
- This finding confirms that there are neutron star-black hole systems and will help answer many questions about the cosmos, from star formation to the expansion rate of our universe.
- Gravitational waves are produced when celestial objects collide and the ensuing energy creates ripples in the fabric of space-time which carry all the way to detectors on Earth.
- They are extremely weak so are very difficult to detect.
- They travel at the speed of light and can pass through any intervening matter without being scattered significantly.
- Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity.
- LIGO-India: a planned advanced gravitational-wave observatory to be located in Hingoli District of Maharashtra in India as part of the worldwide network. It is expected to be completed by 2024.
- It is being built with an international collaboration betweenthe LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the LIGO-India consortium:
- Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar;
- IUCAA, Pune; and
- Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore.
- It is one of the three gravitational-wave (GW) detectors in the world. Other two are situated at–
- At Hanford in the State of Washington, north-western USA, and
- At Livingston in Louisiana, south-eastern USA.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution
- A recent Greenpeace India study revealed that NO2 pollution increased in all eight most populous State capitals
- Among Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Lucknow, Delhi saw the most dramatic increase between April 2020 and April 2021.
- NO2 is a dangerous air pollutant that is released when fuel is burned, including in most motor vehicles, power generation, and industrial processes.
- Impacts of the NO2:
- Health impacts: Exposure is known to severely impact people’s health at all ages, including the respiratory and circulatory systems and the brain, leading to increases in hospital admissions and mortality.
- Environmental impact:
- Acid rain: formed when NO2 and other NOx interact with water, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere.
- The nitrate particles make the air hazy and create visibility challenges.
- NOx in the atmosphere contributes to nutrient pollution in coastal waters.
- Suggestion: Governments, local administration and city planners must initiate the transition from privately owned vehicles to an efficient, clean and safe public transport system that is run on clean energy.
- Greenpeace International:It is a non-governmental environmental organization founded in 1971, with offices in over 55 countries and an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
White Flag campaign
- In Malasia, residents of low-income families are waving white flags as a part of the “white-flag campaign”, or the benderaputi (white flag) movement.
- The waving of the white flag is a sign of financial distress, which the people are facing amid the lockdowns due to the pandemic.
- People, either wave the flag, or put a white cloth outside their homes to send a SOS kind message and wait for neighbors and good Samaritans to help them.
- Similar to this movement, black flag movement is also underway to show against the government’s management of the pandemic.
- Also, a red flag movement has also been started to feed the animals, who has been abandoned by the pet owners due to financial stress.
- White flag is a symbol of surrender or truce.
- Malaysia is an East Asian country and is a foundational member of ASEAN
- Important geographical locations: Malay Peninsula, Strait of Malacca
Ministry of Co-operation
- The union government, in the recent cabinet reshuffle, has created a Ministry of Co-operation to strengthen the co-operative movement in the country.
- It is created to realize the vision of ‘sahakar se samriddhi’ (through co-operative to prosperity).
- It will provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework to strengthen the co-operative sector in the country.
- It will help streamline the processes for ‘ease of doing business’ and will enable development of multi-state cooperatives (MSCS).
- Cooperatives are a group of people, who run and control an enterprise to realize their common economic and social needs.
- The 97th Constitution Amendment Act made following provisions for co-operatives
- Inserted a new part-IXB regarding working of co-operatives
- Added a word co-operative in the Article 19(1)(a), which deals with “unions and associations”.
- Inserted a new Article 43B for the promotion of co-operative societies.