Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Feb 10, 2021

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List of Today’s Factly Articles

  1. Social media is giving a boost to the “Kinnal craft”
  2. Denmark to build world’s ‘first energy island’ in North Sea
  3. What is “Einsteinium”?
  4. Bengaluru scientists develop “Arka Shubha variety of Marigold”
  5. No evidence of any gender or religious bias in the district courts, finds study
  6. “Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary”- Migratory water birds arrived
  7. Landslip likely triggered Flash Flood: experts

Social media is giving a boost to the “Kinnal craft”

What is the news?
Social Media has given a boost to the artisans of the Kinnal Craft and their wooden dolls. It allowed them to advertise their products online and sell them.

Kinnal Craft:

  1. Kinnal Craft or Kinhal Craft is a traditional wooden craft local to the town of Kinhal or Kinnal in Koppal District, Karnataka. The craft was awarded the Geographical Indication tag in 2012.
  2. Artisans: The traditional artisans of the craft are known as chitragars. They use a local variety of wood called Polki Marran which grows in and around Jabbalgudda village (near Koppal).
  3. Origin: The craft dates back to the 15th or 16th century. It is thought to have gained prominence and patronage under the Vijayanagara Empire, and later, the Nawabs of Koppal. The intricate carvings on the famous Hampi chariot are believed to be the handiwork of the Kinnal artisans.
  4. Colours Used: The craft is painted using water-colours or enamel, the signature colours of Kinnal are red, green, yellow and black.
  5. Themes: The themes are mainly mythological — idols of deities including Hanuman, Garuda, Gowri and Durga are among Kinnal’s signature creations.
    • Many of the artisans are also involved in making larger idols for the local village festivals, or ooru habba, along with paraphernalia such as palanquins, cradles and chowkis.
  6. Significance: Kinhal toys also have a signature gold and silver colour which is done using a special technique called “Lajawara” method. It is prepared by hand-beating sheets of tin which results in a powder that when processed further yields silver and then gold paint. It is a very expensive and tedious process.

Source: The Hindu

Denmark to build world’s ‘first energy island’ in North Sea

What is the News?

Denmark’s government has approved a plan to build an artificial island in the North Sea. It is a part of its effort to switch to green energy.

What is Energy Island?

  • An energy island is based on a platform that serves as a hub for electricity generation from surrounding offshore wind farms.

 About the Artificial Island Project:

  • Purpose: Its primary purpose is to provide large-scale offshore wind power. It also aims to connect and distribute power between Denmark and neighbouring countries.
  • Location: The artificial island will be located about 80 km into the North Sea. The majority of it will be owned by the Denmark government.
  • Significance: The project is being called the largest construction project to be undertaken in Denmark’s history. It is estimated to be as big as 18 football pitches.

Source: Indian Express

What is “Einsteinium”?

What is the News?

A team of scientists at the Berkeley Lab has reported some properties of the element “Einsteinium”.

About Einsteinium

  • Einsteinium, named after Albert Einstein is a synthetic element with the symbol Es and atomic number 99.
  • It was discovered in 1952 in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb (the detonation of a thermonuclear device called “Ivy Mike” in the Pacific Ocean).

Properties of Einsteinium and key research findings:

  1. Einsteinium is difficult to create and is highly radioactive. Therefore, very little is known about this element.
  2. Einsteinium-254 is one of the more stable isotopes of the element that has a half-life of 276 days. The most common isotope of the element, einsteinium 253 has a half-life of 20 days.
  3. The element was present on earth during its formation. However, because of its high radioactivity and short half-life of all einsteinium isotopes, it has most certainly decayed.
  4. The element is not visible to the naked eye. After it was discovered, it took over nine years to manufacture enough of it so that it could be seen with the naked eye.
  5. The usage of the element is also limited except for the purposes of scientific research.

Source: Indian Express

Bengaluru scientists develop “Arka Shubha variety of Marigold”

What is the News?

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research(IIHR) has come out with a new variety of Marigold flower called “Arka Shubha variety of Marigold”.

Marigold Flower:

  • It is mostly herbaceous plants belonging to the sunflower family Asteraceae.
  • The flowers are native to the Americas, growing naturally from the southwestern United States into South America. However, some species have become naturalized around the world.

Significance of Arka Shubha variety of Marigold:

  1. Generally, flowers lose their value if they get spoiled either due to rain or delay in harvest. However, from this variety, crude carotene can be extracted, even if flowers are spoilt.
  2. The Arka Shubha variety of marigold has a carotene content of 2.8%. It is more than other marigold varieties(1.4%) and is also the highest carotene content from a plant source.
  3. Carotene is mainly used in the pharmaceutical sector. Presently, India imports most of its carotene from China and other countries.

Other Uses:

  • Ornamental Purposes: These flowers can be sold for ornamental purposes too.
  • Poultry Sector: This variety is of use in the poultry sector as well. Its petals could be used as feed to get quality yolk. It can also be used as feed for sheep too.

Source: The Hindu

No evidence of any gender or religious bias in the district courts, finds study

What is the News?

A study by the Development Data Lab has found no evidence of any systemic gender or religious bias in the district and subordinate courts across India.

The lab works with governments, firms, and civil society organizations. It generates policy-relevant knowledge using data.

About the study:

  • Data used: The study looked at 2010 to 2018 records of all district and subordinate courts available on the government eCourt platform. This is the first such study of judicial data in India.
  • Classification: The study classified judges and defendants according to gender and religion (Muslim and non-Muslim).  It was to examine in-group bias or whether existing structural inequalities led to worse judicial outcomes for women and Muslims.

Key Findings:

Women and Muslims Judges in Lower Courts:

  • Women represent 48% of our population, but they constitute only 28% of district court judges.
  • Similarly, Muslims represent 14% of India’s population but only 7% of lower court judges.

Outcomes of Cases:

  • Male defendants did not get better outcomes in conviction or acquittal when their cases were assigned to men judges. Similarly, women defendants did not get better outcomes before women judges.
  • Equally, the judicial outcomes of Muslims were virtually identical whether their cases were assigned to Muslim or to non-Muslim judges.
  • However, the lack of bias in Indian lower courts in cases involving Muslims and women does not rule out judicial bias in its entirety.

Drawbacks of the study:

  • The study examined bias by religion. But leaves outcaste which is a crucial variable in India.
  • The study examines systemic bias during conviction and acquittal. But it leaves out significant markers of the judicial processes such as framing of charges, granting bail, and determining the quantum of punishment.

Other key Studies:

 A study by Delhi-based Project 39A:

  • In 2016, there were 385 death row convicts in India. Among them, two-thirds belonged to the backward classes or were religious minorities. All the 12 women death row convicts at that time belonged to backward classes or castes or were religious minorities.

Study by National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB)

  • In 2019, Muslims and Dalits constitute the biggest set of undertrials in the country, disproportionate to their share in the population.
  • The share of Scheduled Castes among undertrials stood at 21% while their share in the population is at 16.6%(2011 Census).
  • Scheduled Tribes and Muslims make up for 10.5% and 18.7% of all undertrials respectively. While their respective share in population is 8.6% and 14.2%.

Source: Indian Express

Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary”- Migratory water birds arrived

What is the News?
Over a lakh migratory water birds arrived at the Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh in Winter 2020-21.

Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Pong Dam Sanctuary is also known as Pong Dam Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake. It is located in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The dam was created in 1975 and was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1983. The lake was declared as a Ramsar Site in 2002.
  • Vegetation: The sanctuary area is covered with tropical and subtropical forests. It shelters a great number of Indian Wildlife animals.
  • Rivers: The lake is fed by the Beas River. Its numerous perennial tributaries are Gaj, Neogal, Binwa, Uhl, Bangana, and Baner.
  • Fauna: The sanctuary is a host to around 220 species of birds belonging to 54 families. Migratory birds from all over Hindukush Himalayas and also as far as Siberia come here during winter.
    • The flagship species of the lake are Bar Headed Geese. Other species having a high population at the sanctuary include Eurasian Coot, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Great Cormorant, GreyLag Goose, etc.
  • Concerns: The total population of birds as well as the number of species counted this year is marginally less as compared to last year, probably due to the impact of the avian influenza

Source: Indian Express

Landslip likely triggered Flash Flood: experts

What is the News?

According to glaciologists and experts, the cause of flash floods in Uttarakhand Chamoli district was most probably a landslip(Landslide) and not a glacial lake burst.

Why are experts calling it a Landslide and not a glacial lake burst?

  • The glacial lake outburst flood(GLOF) occurs when a natural lake is formed from a glacial ice melt and the glacial lake is breached. However, available satellite images do not show the presence of a glacial lake before the flooding event.
  • Moreover, the Central Water Commission(CWC) monitors and prepares monthly reports on the state of glacial lakes and waterbodies measuring 10 hectares and above via satellite. Nothing out of the ordinary was observed by CWC.

Then, what might have caused the flooding?

  • There was a hanging glacier and on top of the glacier was a huge rock mass.
  • The rock mass became loosened due to freezing, thawing, and temperature variation. It came crashing down, creating pressure on the hanging part of the glacier. The fresh snowfall had also added to the weight over the hanging glacier.
  • This hanging glacier broke off due to gravitational pull, slid down with the entire rock mass. It slowed down near the base of the valley, where the Raunthi Gadhera stream flows.
  • As the huge mass slowed a bit, then stopped, it blocked the water of the stream and the water quantum kept increasing. This damming up of the stream increased to such an extent that it breached the whole accumulated mass.
  • Hence, this whole mass of water, boulders, and rock mass came crashing down with force towards the Rishi Ganga dam site. It caused massive damage to the under-construction Tapovan hydel project and caused floods.

Source: The Hindu

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