The Election Commission of India has permitted journalists to vote through postal ballot.
Any absentee voter seeking 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 people may also vote by postal ballot:
Voters in the service sector (armed forces, the armed police force of a state and government servants posted abroad),
Election duty voters,
Voters above the age of 80 or those with disabilities (PwD),
Voters under preventive detention
How does postal voting work?
Postal voting is available to a limited number of voters. A voter may use this service to vote remotely by noting her preferences on the ballot paper and returning it to the election officer prior to counting.
1951 Act on Representation of the People:
This statute establishes the procedures for conducting elections in India. It addresses the following issues:
Specific information about the qualifications and disqualification of members of both Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures.
Election administration machinery.
Political parties must be registered.
Corruption and Electoral Offenses
National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT 3.0)
Why in News:
The Ministry of Education has announced the formation of a new National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT 3.0) to improve learning outcomes in higher education via the use of technology.
The National Education Alliance for Technology (NEAT) is a model of Public-Private Partnership between the Government of India and Indian educational technology enterprises.
The programme was launched after a study by the Ministry of Education that concluded that learning aids provided by EdTech platforms to support classroom instruction should be made more accessible.
NEAT’s mission is to serve as a link between educational technology businesses, academic institutions, and students.
NEAT’s objectives are to bring together the finest technology innovations in education pedagogy on a single platform for the benefit of economically and socially disadvantaged segments of society.
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) serves as the implementing agency.
Why in News?
People from Jammu and Kashmir are helping to make “Start-ups India” better because of the Purple Revolution, says a Union Minister.
India is experiencing a “Purple Revolution” as a consequence of the Aroma Mission, which was established by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology via the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
In the Kashmir Himalayas, the ‘Purple Revolution’ includes the growth of lavender as a new scent crop.
Through its Jammu-based laboratory, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicines, the CSIR developed a high-value essential oil-producing lavender cultivar for cultivation in numerous areas. [Districts like as Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Ramban, and Pulwama]
Farmers who were new to lavender cultivation were given free lavender seedlings, whereas those who had previously farmed lavender were paid Rs. 5-6 per sapling.
The fragrant oil derived from the blooms may get upwards of Rs 10,000 per kilogram.
IIIM-Jammu will assist farmers in selling their crops.
While large-scale lavender production is now restricted to Jammu and Kashmir, the governments of Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are encouraging farmers to grow lavender.
Tonga Volcano Eruption
Why in News:
A dramatic eruption of an undersea volcano in the Kingdom of Tonga has sent shock waves over half the globe.
The volcano is comprised of two deserted tiny islands known as Hunga-Ha’apai and Hunga-Tonga.
Beneath the seas is a gigantic volcano, about 1800m high and 20 kilometres broad.
Over the last several decades, the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano has erupted on a regular basis – 2009, 2014/15, and so on.
However, these eruptions were minor in comparison to the January 2022
When magma slowly rises into seawater, a thin layer of steam emerges between the magma and the water. This acts as an insulator, allowing the magma’s outer surface to cool.
However, this process fails when magma is blasted out of the earth accompanied by volcanic gas.
When magma rapidly joins the ocean, it disrupts any steam layers, bringing hot magma into direct contact with cold water. This is referred to as ‘fuel-coolant interaction,’ and it is comparable to chemical weapons explosions.
Extremely strong explosions shatter the magma.
A chain reaction ensues, with newly formed magma pieces exposing newly formed hot interior surfaces to water, and the explosions continue.
This eventually ejects volcanic particles and generates supersonic explosions.
The 2014/15 eruption formed a volcanic cone, fusing the two former Hunga islands into a single, about 5-kilometre-long island.
While mapping the sea bottom, it was revealed that a ‘caldera’ 150m under the waves existed.
The caldera is a roughly 5-kilometre-wide depression resembling a crater.
Small eruptions (as in 2009 and 2014/15) occur mostly on the crater’s rim, while large ones originate inside the caldera.
Because these massive eruptions are so powerful, the erupting magma’s top slides inward, enlarging the caldera.
Large caldera eruptions occur about every 1000 years, with the most recent one occurring in AD1100.
With this information, the eruption on January 15 seems to be on track to be a ‘big one.’
Sixth Mass extinction event
Why in News:
According to a recent study, the current sixth mass extinction may be one of the most significant environmental dangers to the survival of civilization.
Once upon a time, Earth was home to almost two million recognised species. According to the research, however, between 7.5 and 13% of these species may have been lost since 1500. This group has between 150,000 to 260,000 distinct species.
What is species extinction on a massive scale?
Mass extinction occurs when the degree of extinction significantly increases or when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically brief period of time.
There have been five mass extinctions in the Earth’s history.
Reasons and consequences:
Five major extinctions during the past 450 million years have resulted in the annihilation of between 70% and 95% of previously existing plant, animal, and microbe species.
These extinctions occurred as a result of “catastrophic modifications” to the environment, such as enormous volcanic eruptions, oceanic oxygen depletion, or impact with an asteroid.
Following each of these extinctions, it took millions of years for species similar to those that lived before the catastrophe to reappear.
What is the sixth mass extinction event?
The sixth, which is still occurring, is dubbed the Anthropocene extinction.
According to researchers, it is the “most catastrophic environmental catastrophe” since the extinction of species would be irreversible.
Why is it ascribed to humans?
One of the reasons mankind poses an “unprecedented danger” to a large number of living species is their expanding population.
Since our ancestors started agriculture over 11,000 years ago, species have been disappearing. The human population has expanded from 1 million to 7.7 billion since then.
Changes have happened and continue to occur:
In the previous century, over 400 vertebrate species were extinct, extinctions that would have taken over 10,000 years in the normal path of evolution.
In a sample of 177 big mammalian species, the majority have lost more than 80% of their geographic range during the previous century, and 32% of over 27,000 vertebrate species have diminishing populations.
Numerous species that are threatened with extinction or are on the verge of extinction are being devastated by legal and illicit wildlife commerce.
Several species of animals that were considered reasonably safe only a few decades ago, like cheetahs, lions, and giraffes, are now endangered.
There are as few as 20,000 wild lions, less than 7,000 wild cheetahs, 500–1,000 wild giant pandas, and around 250 Sumatran rhinoceros.
Regions at risk:
Tropical areas have experienced the greatest loss of species. Large-bodied mammalian species have lost more than four-fifths of their historical ranges in South and Southeast Asia.
While fewer species are vanishing in temperate zones, the proportion is comparable to or greater. As many as half of the species that formerly occupied our planet have vanished, a loss characterised as “the biggest loss of biological variety in Earth’s history.”
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is tasked with the responsibility of preserving the Commonwealth’s war graves.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in the United Kingdom has identified five sites with exceptional characteristics. These locations are connected to World Wars I and II.
Among these is the Kohima War Cemetery in Nagaland.
The Kohima War Cemetery is a monument to the troops of the Allied Forces’ 2nd British Division who perished in World War II in April 1944 in Kohima. The troops were killed on Garrison Hill, in the area around the Deputy Commissioner’s residence’s tennis court.
Among the other unique places identified by the CWGC are two World War I “crater cemeteries” in France’s Pas de Calais area – Zivy Crater and Litchfield Crater. The craters were formed as a result of mine detonation.
Another location on the list is the Nicosia (Waynes Keep) Cemetery in Cyprus, which requires the presence of armed guards. This is because the cemetery is located on the disputed line between the island’s southern and northern halves since the 1970s.
The CWGC is an international organisation comprised of six member nations dedicated to ensuring that the men and women who perished in conflicts are never forgotten.
The commission was formed by Sir Fabian Ware and established as the Imperial War Graves Commission by Royal Charter in 1917.
Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are all members.