Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 26 Feb 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

26 Feb 2022-Saturday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Russia and Ukraine's History

Why in News?

Russia recently recognised two independent republics in Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk – Donbass region), triggering the inevitable war.

In his declaration of war, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Ukraine as having no history or identity and being entirely and completely created by the former Soviet Union (USSR).

Ukraine and Russia have a long history of cultural, linguistic, and familial ties.

What is Ukraine’s Early History?

What is now Ukraine was once the heart of the Kyivan Rus’ (Rus’ land) millennium ago.

Kyivan Rus was a federation of eastern and northern European East Slavic, Baltic, and Finnic peoples, with its capital in Kyiv.

The Kyivan Rus’ is the cultural ancestor of modern Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.

The Kyivan Rus’ reached its peak in size and power in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

The Kyivan Rus’, weakened by the decline of trade as the Byzantine Empire crumbled, fell apart in the mid-13th century under the onslaught of the Mongol Golden Horde, which sacked Kyiv in 1240.

The Byzantine Empire, also known as Byzantium, was the eastern half of the Roman Empire, based in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), that survived after the western half of the empire fell.

From the 1240s to 1502 the Golden Horde was a group of settled Mongols who ruled over Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and the Caucasus.

Large parts of the former Kyivan Rus’ were absorbed into the multi-ethnic Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the early 15th century.

The Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania joined forces in 1569 to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was one of Europe’s largest countries at the time.

The modern Ukrainian national identity can be traced back to around a century after this event.

What are some of Ukraine’s other notable characteristics?

Ukraine is located in eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the northeast, east, and southeast, and the Black Sea to the south. Ukraine shares anticlockwise borders with Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Belarus in the southwest, west, and north.

It is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia, with an area of 6,03,550 square kilometres, or about 6% of the continent.

Demography: The population of Ukraine was estimated to be 43.7 million in July 2021. Ukrainians made up 77.8 percent of the population, while Russians made up 17.3 percent. Ukrainian and Russian speakers made up 67.5 percent and 29.6 percent of the population, respectively.

When did Ukraine become a part of Russia?

Empress Catherine the Great (1762-96) of Russia absorbed the entire ethnic Ukrainian territory into the Russian Empire in the 18th century.

Russification was a Tsarist policy that resulted in the suppression of ethnic identities and languages, including those of Ukrainians.

However, many Ukrainians rose to positions of prosperity and importance within the Russian Empire, and a significant number migrated to settle in other parts of Russia.

More than 3.5 million Ukrainians fought for the Russian Empire in World War I, but a smaller number fought against the Tsar’s army with the Austro-Hungarians.

Ukraine Becoming a part of the USSR: World War I resulted in the demise of both the Tsarist and Ottoman empires.

Several small Ukrainian states sprang up as a primarily communist-led Ukrainian national movement emerged.

An independent Ukrainian People’s Republic was declared months after the Bolsheviks took power in the October Revolution of 1917, but a civil war continued between various claimants to power, including Ukrainian factions, anarchists, Tsarists, and Poland.

Ukraine joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. (USSR).

The Soviet Union arose from the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government that had succeeded Tsar Nicholas II.

What exactly was the Ottoman Empire?

An empire founded by Turkish tribes in Anatolia (Asia Minor) that grew to become one of the world’s most powerful states in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The Ottoman Empire lasted more than 600 years and was replaced by the Turkish Republic and various successor states in southeastern Europe and the Middle East in 1922.

At its peak, the empire included most of southeastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, including modern-day Hungary, the Balkan region, Greece, and parts of Ukraine; portions of the Middle East now occupied by Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Egypt; North Africa as far west as Algeria; and large portions of the Arabian Peninsula.

What Was Ukraine’s Status After the Fall of the USSR?

The Soviet Union was demolished in 1991.

Demands for independence had been growing in Ukraine for a few years, and in 1990, more than 300,000 Ukrainians formed a human chain in support of freedom.

This was followed by the Granite Revolution, in which students attempted to prevent a new agreement with the USSR from being signed.

On August 24, 1991, following the failure of the coup attempt to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev and restore the communists to power, Ukraine’s parliament passed the country’s Act of Independence.

Following that, Leonid Kravchuk, the head of parliament, was elected Ukraine’s first President.

The leaders of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine formally disbanded the Soviet Union in December 1991, establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

However, because Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, never ratified the accession, the country was never legally a member of the CIS.

What is the most recent history of the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

Following a hastily called referendum in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, sparking fighting between Russia-backed separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine recently urged the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to expedite his country’s accession to the alliance.

Russia declared such a move a “red line,” concerned about the consequences of US-led military alliances expanding all the way to its doorstep.

This has resulted in the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP)

Why in News?

The Maharashtra government recently issued a government resolution allowing sugar mills to pay the basic Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) in two instalments.

What changes have been made to the government resolution?

The first instalment would be due within 14 days of cane delivery and would be calculated based on the district’s average recovery.

Farmers would receive the second instalment within 15 days of the mill’s closure, following the calculation of the final recovery, which would include the sugar produced as well as the ethanol produced from ‘B heavy’ or ‘C’ molasses.

Rather than relying on the FRP from the previous season, farmers would be paid based on the current season’s recovery.

Rather than relying on the FRP from the previous season, farmers would be paid based on the current season’s recovery.

Why are Maharashtra farmers protesting?

Farmers argue that this method will have an impact on their income. They emphasise that, while FRP will be paid in instalments and will be determined by an unknown variable, their bank loans and other expenses will be paid as usual.

Furthermore, farmers typically require a lump sum at the start of the season (October-November) because their next crop cycle is dependent on it.

What exactly is the FRP?

The FRP is the government-mandated price that mills must pay to farmers for cane purchased from them.

Mills have the option of entering into an agreement with farmers to pay the FRP in instalments.

Delays in payment can result in interest charges of up to 15% per year, and the sugar commissioner can recover unpaid FRP as revenue recovery dues by attaching mill properties.

The Sugarcane Control Order, 1966, issued under the Essential Commodities Act (ECA), 1955, governs the payment of FRP across the country, mandating payment within 14 days of the date of cane delivery.

It was decided based on the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices’ (CACP) recommendation and announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

CACP is a branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. It is a non-binding advisory body whose recommendations do not bind the government.

The Prime Minister of India chairs the CCEA.

The FRP is based on the Rangarajan Committee’s report on sugarcane industry re organisation.

Which factors are taken into account when announcing the FRP?

Sugarcane production costs Return to growers from alternative crops, as well as the general trend of agricultural commodity prices Sugar is available to consumers at a reasonable price. Sugar producers’ selling price for sugarcane-derived sugar.

The profit made from the sale of by-products such as molasses, bagasse, and press mud, or the value assigned to them.

Sugarcane growers should have reasonable profit and risk margins.

How is FRP compensated?

The FRP is based on the extraction of sugar from cane.

For the sugar season 2021-22, FRP has been set at Rs 2,900/tonne with a base recovery of 10%.

Sugar recovery is expressed as a percentage of the sugar produced versus cane crushed.

The greater the recovery, the greater the FRP and the greater the sugar produced.

What exactly is sugarcane?

Temperatures range from 21°C to 27°C, with a hot and humid climate.

75-100 cm of rain is expected.

Soil Type: Deep, rich loamy soil

Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar are the top sugarcane producing states.

After Brazil, India is the world’s second largest producer of sugarcane.

It can be grown in a wide range of soil types, from sandy loam to clay loam, as long as they are well drained. From sowing to harvesting, manual labour is required.

It is a major producer of sugar, gur (jaggery), khandsari, and molasses.

Two government initiatives to support sugarcane production and the sugar industry are the Scheme for Extending Financial Assistance to Sugar Undertakings (SEFASU) and the National Policy on Bio fuels.

Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Maharishi

Why in News?

Every year, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.

This year, the day will be observed on February 26th.

Dayanand Saraswati was born on the Dashami Tithi of Phalguna Krishna Paksha, according to the traditional Hindu calendar.

What was the identity of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati?

Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born in a Brahmin family on February 12, 1824, in Tankara, Gujarat. Lalji Tiwari and Yashodhabai, his parents, were orthodox Brahmins.

He was previously known as Mool Shankar Tiwari because he was born during the Mool Nakshatra.

For fifteen years (1845-60), he wandered as an ascetic in search of truth.

Dayananda’s ideas were published in his well-known book, Satyarth Prakash (The True Exposition).

Contribution to Society: He was a philosopher, social leader, and the founder of the Arya Samaj in India.

Arya Samaj is a Vedic dharma reform movement, and he was the first to call for Swaraj as “India for Indians” in 1876.

He was a self-taught man and a great Indian leader who left a lasting impression on Indian society. Throughout his life, he made a name for himself and was well-known among a diverse range of Prices and the general public.

He formally established the first Arya Samaj unit in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1875, and the Samaj’s headquarters were later established in Lahore.

He was inspired by the Vedas, which he saw as ‘India’s Rock of Ages,’ the infallible and true original seed of Hinduism. He coined the phrase “Back to the Vedas.”

He believed in the Vedic concept of chaturvarna, which stated that a person was not born into a caste but was classified as a brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya, or shudra based on their occupation.

Contribution to the Education System: He overhauled the education system and is widely regarded as one of modern India’s visionaries.

The DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vedic) schools were founded in 1886 to carry out Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s vision.

What exactly is Arya Samaj?

Its goal is to restore the Vedas, the earliest Hindu scriptures, as revealed truth. He rejected all later additions to the Vedas as degenerate, but included much post-Vedic thought in his own interpretation.

Several issues heightened tensions in the 1920s and early 1930s. Muslims were outraged by “music-before-mosque,” the cow protection movement, and the Arya Samaj’s efforts to reintroduce those who had recently converted to Islam into the Hindu fold (shuddhi).

The Arya Samaj has always had the most supporters in western and northern India.

The Samaj opposes murtis (images), animal sacrifice, shraddha (ancestor rituals), establishing caste based on birth rather than merit, untouchability, child marriage, pilgrimages, priestly craft, and temple offerings.

It upholds the Vedas’ infallibility, the doctrines of karma (the accumulated effect of past deeds) and samsara (the process of death and rebirth), the sanctity of the cow, the significance of the samskaras (individual sacraments), the efficacy of Vedic oblations to the fire, and social reform programmes.

It has worked to promote female education and intercaste marriage, has constructed missions, orphanages, and widows’ homes, has established a network of schools and colleges, and has provided famine relief and medical care.

Other’s News

Sloth Bear

According to a new study, the sloth bear, dhole, and tiger are the most threatened apex predators globally due to road development.

A Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) is an omnivorous mammal with a lifespan of up to 40 years.

The only bears that routinely carry their young on their backs are sloth bears.

Sloth bears live in a variety of dry and moist forests, as well as some tall grasslands with boulders, scattered shrubs, and trees for shelter.

This sloth bear has a shaggy coat and is native to India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

They are currently thought to be extinct, or no longer exist, in Bangladesh, and may also be extinct in Bhutan.

Diet – Termites and ants are the main sources of food for sloth bears.

Social Structure – Sloth bears are thought to be solitary, though they may be seen in groups when resources are plentiful.

Poaching and habitat loss are two major threats.

Forest degradation and loss (due to fire, overgrazing, and over-extraction of forest resources) are thought to have resulted in a 40% decline in sloth bear population over the last 30 years.


Marine biologists applauded the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to proceed with the establishment of a dugong conservation reserve in the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, which connects India and Sri Lanka.

The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a sirenian herbivorous mammal native to the Indian littoral.

Manatees and dugongs are cousins. However, unlike manatees, which live in freshwater, the dugong is a marine mammal.

Dugongs, also known as “sea cows,” peacefully graze on sea grasses in the shallow coastal waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans.

Human activities such as habitat destruction and modification, pollution, rampant illegal fishing, vessel strikes, unsustainable hunting or poaching, and unplanned tourism pose threats.

The most important factor contributing to dwindling dugong populations in many parts of the world was the loss of seagrass beds due to ocean floor trawling.

They are also frequently caught as bycatch, or accidental entanglement in fishing nets.

According to the Zoological Survey of India’s 2013 survey, there were only 250 dugongs in the Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu), the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Gulf of Kutch (Gujarat).

Dugongs that lived off the coasts of Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh two centuries ago are now extinct.

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