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Today Current Affairs 17 January 2022

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Use a Postal Ballot to cast your Vote

Why is it in the news?

  • The Election Commission of India has allowed journalists to vote by postal ballot. 
  • Any absentee voter wishing to vote by postal ballot must submit an application to the returning officer on Form-12D, including all relevant information, and have the application confirmed by the organization’s nodal officer. 
  • Any voter who chooses the postal ballot option will be unable to vote at the polling location.

Currently, the following individuals are eligible to vote by mail ballot:

  • Service sector voters (military forces, a state’s armed police force, and government employees stationed overseas), • Election duty voters
  • Voters over the age of 80 or with impairments (PwD); 
  • Voters held in a preventive detention facility

What is the procedure for voting by mail?

  • Only a small proportion of voters have access to postal voting. A voter can vote remotely using this service by writing her preferences on the ballot paper and submitting it to the election officer before the vote is counted.

People’s Representation Act of 1951:

The procedures for conducting elections in India are outlined in this Act. It deals with the following topics:

  • Specific information on members of both Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures’ qualifications and disqualifications.
  • The election administration apparatus.
  • Political parties must be registered with the government.
  • Procedures for Elections.
  • Disputes Concerning Elections.
  • Electoral Offenses and Corruption
  • By-elections.

National Alliance for Technology (NEAT 3.0)

Why is it in the news?

  • The Ministry of Education has announced the development of a new National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT 3.0), which will leverage technology to improve learning outcomes in higher education.
  • The National Education Alliance for Technology (NEAT) is a public-private partnership arrangement between the Indian government and Indian educational technology companies.
  • The programme was started following a Ministry of Education research that indicated that EdTech platforms’ learning aids for classroom instruction should be made more accessible.
  • The objective of NEAT is to connect educational technology companies, academic institutions, and students.
  • The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) serves as the implementing agency for NEAT, which aims to bring together the best technology advancements in education pedagogy on a single platform for the benefit of economically and socially disadvantaged parts of society.

Purple Revolution

According to a Union Minister, people from Jammu and Kashmir are working to improve “Start-ups India” as a result of the Purple Revolution.



As a result of the Aroma Mission, which was founded by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India is experiencing a “Purple Revolution” (CSIR).


Lavender is being grown as a new aroma crop in the Kashmir Himalayas as part of the ‘Purple Revolution.


The CSIR created a high-value essential oil-producing lavender cultivar for growth in a variety of regions through its Jammu-based Indian Institute of Integrative Medicines laboratory. Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Ramban, and Pulwama are among the districts.

Farmers who were new to lavender farming received free seedlings, while those who had previously farmed lavender were paid Rs. 5-6 per sapling.


The fragrant oil extracted from the flowers might fetch up to Rs 10,000 per kilogramme.


Farmers will be assisted in selling their crops by the IIIM-Jammu.

While lavender cultivation on a big scale is now restricted to Jammu and Kashmir, the governments of Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are encouraging farmers to produce the plant.

Tongo Volcano Eruption

Why is it in the New?

A stunning undersea volcano eruption in the Kingdom of Tonga has sent shockwaves around the world.

  • The volcano is made up of two uninhabited little islands known as Hunga-Ha’apai and Hunga-Tonga. • Beneath the oceans is a massive volcano, about 1800 metres high and 20 kilometres wide, that has erupted on a regular basis over the last several decades – 2009, 2014/15, and so on.
  • These eruptions, however, were small in comparison to the ones that occurred in January 2022.
  • A thin layer of steam forms between the magma and the water as it slowly rises into seawater. This functions as an insulator, allowing the lava’s outer surface to cool; but, when magma is blasted out of the earth together with volcanic gas, this process fails.
  • When magma rushes into the ocean, any steam layers are disrupted, bringing hot magma into close contact with cold water. This is known as “fuel-coolant interaction,” and it’s similar to chemical weapons explosions.
  • The magma is shattered by extremely powerful explosions.
  • The explosions continue when newly generated magma pieces expose newly produced hot inner surfaces to water, causing a chain reaction.
  • As a result, volcanic particles are ejected and supersonic explosions occur.


  • A volcanic cone was produced during the 2014/15 eruption, uniting the two old Hunga islands into a single, 5-kilometer-long island.

A ‘caldera’ 150 metres beneath the waves was discovered while studying the seabed.

  • The caldera is a 5-kilometer-wide depression that looks like a crater.

Smaller eruptions (as in 2009 and 2014/15) occur largely on the crater’s rim, whilst larger eruptions occur inside the caldera.

Because of the magnitude of these huge eruptions, the erupting magma’s top pushes inward, widening the caldera.


Large caldera eruptions happen every 1000 years or so, with the most recent one taking place in AD1100.
Based on this information, the January 15 eruption appears to be on pace to be a ‘big one.’


Sixth Mass Extinction event

Why is it in the news?

  • According to a new study, the present sixth mass extinction may be one of the most serious environmental threats to civilization’s existence.


Earth used to be home to about two million recognised species. However, according to the study, between 7.5 and 13% of these species may have perished since 1500. There are between 150,000 and 260,000 species in this category.

What exactly is mass extinction of species?

  • A mass extinction happens when the rate of extinction increases dramatically or the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short span of time.
  • In the history of the planet, there have been five mass extinctions.

Reasons and ramifications:

  • Between 70 and 95 percent of previously extant plant, animal, and microbial species have been wiped out in five major extinctions over the last 450 million years.
  • These extinctions occurred as a result of “catastrophic modifications” to the environment, such as massive volcanic eruptions, oceanic oxygen depletion, or asteroid impact. • It took millions of years for species similar to those that lived before the catastrophe to reappear after each of these extinctions.

What is the name of the sixth mass extinction?

  • The Anthropocene extinction, which is currently happening, is the sixth.
  • It is the “most catastrophic environmental calamity,” according to researchers, because species extinction would be irrevocable.

Why is it that people are blamed for it?

  • One of the reasons that humanity offers a “unprecedented threat” to a huge number of living species is its growing population.

Species have been vanishing since our forefathers began farming almost 11,000 years ago. Since then, the human population has grown from 1 million to 7.7 billion.

There have been and will continue to be changes:

  • Over 400 vertebrate species went extinct in the previous century, extinctions that would have taken 10,000 years in the normal course of evolution. • The majority of 177 big mammalian species lost more than 80% of their geographic range in the previous century, and 32% of over 27,000 vertebrate species have declining populations.
  • Wildlife trade, both legal and illegal, is wreaking havoc on a number of species that are endangered or on the edge of extinction.
  • Several animal species that were once thought to be relatively safe, such as cheetahs, lions, and giraffes, are now endangered.
  • There are roughly 250 Sumatran rhinoceros, 20,000 wild lions, less than 7,000 wild cheetahs, 500–1,000 wild giant pandas, and less than 7,000 wild cheetahs.

At-risk areas include:

  • Species extinction has been greatest in tropical places. In South and Southeast Asia, large-bodied mammalian species have lost more than four-fifths of their historical ranges. While temperate zones have fewer species disappearing, the fraction is comparable to or greater. Half of the species that formerly inhabited our planet have perished, resulting in “the greatest loss of biological variety in Earth’s history.”


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is responsible for the preservation of Commonwealth war graves. Five sites with special characteristics have been identified by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in the United Kingdom. These sites are associated with World Wars I and II.
  • The Kohima War Cemetery in Nagaland is one of them.

The Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial to the servicemen of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in Kohima during World War II in April 1944. The troops were slain on Garrison Hill, near the tennis court of the Deputy Commissioner’s apartment. Two World War I “crater cemeteries” in France’s Pas de Calais area, Zivy Crater and Litchfield Crater, are among the other unusual locales recognised by the CWGC. Mine detonation resulted in the formation of the craters. The Nicosia (Waynes Keep) Cemetery in Cyprus is another location on the list that necessitates the presence of armed guards. This is due to the cemetery’s location, which has been a point of contention between the island’s southern and northern portions since the 1970s. The CWGC is a six-member international organisation dedicated to ensuring that the men and women who have died in conflicts are never forgotten.


• Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are all members of the Imperial War Graves Commission, which was founded by Sir Fabian Ware and established as the Imperial War Graves Commission by Royal Charter in 1917.

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