Daily Current Affairs : 7th February 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Earthquake
  2. India – Canada Relationship
  3. ST Commission
  4. Facts for Prelims

1 . Earthquakes

Context: Turkey has been getting hammered by a series of powerful earthquakes since the early hours of Monday, with the first one, a quake of magnitude 7.8, being described as the strongest the country has experienced in over a century.

What is earthquake?

  • An earthquake in simple words is shaking of the earth. It is a natural event.
  •  It is caused due to release of energy, which generates waves that travel in all directions.

What are tectonic plates?

  • Tectonic plates are gigantic pieces of the Earth’s crust and uppermost mantle. Large rock slabs called tectonic plates, which separate the Earth’s crust, are continuously moving and changing the planet’s topography.
  •  The theory of plate tectonics contends that the lithosphere, the planet’s outer shell, is divided into a number of plates that move across the rocky interior of the planet and on top of its softcore (mantle).
  •  The movement and friction between different tectonic plates cause massive earthquakes.

How do earthquakes happen?

  • According to the theory of plate tectonics, the Earth’s crust and upper mantle are made of large rigid plates that can move relative to one another.
  • They are constantly moving, slowly, often getting stuck at their edges due to friction.
  • When the stress on the edge overcomes the friction, there is an earthquake that releases energy in waves that travel through the earth’s crust, resulting in the vibration felt
  • The point inside the Earth where the earthquake rupture starts is called the focus or hypocentre. The point directly above it on the surface of the Earth is the epicentre.

Earthquake waves

  • Earthquake waves are basically of two types — body waves and surface waves.
  • Body waves are generated due to the release of energy at the focus and move in all directions travelling through the body of the earth.
  • The body waves interact with the surface rocks and generate new set of waves called surface waves. These waves move along the surface.
  • The velocity of waves changes as they travel through materials with different densities. The denser the material, the higher is the velocity. Their direction also changes as they reflect or refract when coming across materials with different densities.
  • There are two types of body waves. They are called P and S-waves.
  • P-waves move faster and are the first to arrive at the surface. These are also called ‘primary waves’. The P-waves are similar to sound waves. They travel through gaseous, liquid and solid materials.
  • S-waves arrive at the surface with some time lag. These are called secondary waves. An important fact about S-waves is that they can travel only through solid materials. This characteristic of the S-waves is quite important.
  • Reflection causes waves to rebound whereas refraction makes waves move in
  • different directions.
  • The variations in the direction of waves are inferred with the help of their record on seismograph. The surface waves are the last to report on seismograph.
  • These waves are more destructive. They cause displacement of rocks, and hence, the collapse of structures occurs.

Propagation of Earthquake Waves

  • Different types of earthquake waves travel in different manners. As they move or propagate, they cause vibration in the body of the rocks through which they pass.
    •  P-waves vibrate parallel to the direction of the wave. This exerts pressure on the material in the direction of the propagation. As a result, it creates density differences in the material leading to stretching and squeezing of the material.
    • Other three waves vibrate perpendicular to the direction of propagation.
    • The direction of vibrations of S-waves is perpendicular to the wave direction in the vertical plane.
    • Hence, they create troughs and crests in the material through which they pass.
    • Surface waves are considered to be the most damaging waves.

Types of Earthquakes

  • The most common ones are the tectonic earthquakes. These are generated due to sliding of rocks along a fault plane.
  • A special class of tectonic earthquake is sometimes recognised as volcanic earthquake. However, these are confined to areas of active volcanoes.
  • In the areas of intense mining activity, sometimes the roofs of underground mines collapse causing minor tremors. These are called collapse earthquakes.
  • Ground shaking may also occur due to the explosion of chemical or nuclear devices. Such tremors are called explosion earthquakes.
  • The earthquakes that occur in the areas of large reservoirs are referred to as reservoir induced earthquakes

What are seismic waves?

  • Any elastic material when subjected to stress, stretches in a proportional way, until the elastic limit is reached. When the elastic limit is crossed, it breaks. Similarly, the Earth also has an elastic limit and when the stress is higher than this limit, it breaks. Then there is a generation of heat, and energy is released. Since the material is elastic, the energy is released in the form of elastic waves. These propagate to a distance determined by the extent of the impact. These are known as seismic waves.

How are earthquakes measured?

  • Earthquakes are measured by seismographic networks, which are made of seismic stations, each of which measures the shaking of the ground beneath it.
  • In India, the National Seismological Network does this work. It has a history of about 120 years and its sensors can now detect an earthquake within five to ten minutes. The wave parameters are measured, not the total energy released. He explains that there is a relationship between the quantum of energy released and the wave amplitude. The amplitude of the wave is a function of the time period of the wave. It is possible to convert the measured wave amplitude into the energy released for that earthquake. This is what seismologists call the magnitude of the earthquake.

What is the Richter magnitude scale?

  • This is a measure of the magnitude of an earthquake and was first defined by Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology, U.S., in 1935. The magnitude of an earthquake is the logarithm of the amplitude of the waves measured by the seismographs.
  • Richter scale magnitudes are expressed as a whole number and a decimal part, for example 6.3 or 5.2. Since it is a logarithmic scale, an increase of the whole number by one unit signifies a tenfold increase in the amplitude of the wave and a 31-times increase of the energy released.

Measurement of Earthquakes

  • The earthquake events are scaled either according to the magnitude or intensity of the shock.
  • The magnitude scale is known as the Richter scale. The magnitude relates to the energy released during the quake. The magnitude is expressed in numbers, 0-10.
  • The intensity scale is named after Mercalli, an Italian seismologist. The intensity scale takes into account the visible damage caused by the event. The range of intensity scale is from 1-12.

Effects Of Earthquake

  • Earthquake is a natural hazard. The following are the immediate hazardous effects of earthquake:
    •  Ground Shaking, Differential ground settlement, Land and mud slides, Soil liquefaction, Ground lurching, Avalanches, Ground displacement, Floods from dam and levee failure, Fires, Structural collapse, Falling objects, Tsunami.

Why turkey is prone to earthquake?

  • One major reason behind Turkey’s vulnerability to deadly and earth-shattering earthquakes is the tectonic plates and fault lines it sits upon.
  • Due to its location at the intersection of two significant tectonic plates, Turkey is one of the most seismically active nations in the world.
  • The Arabian tectonic plates are clashing with the Eurasian plate, as they move northward.
  • Turkey is essentially forced out sideways as a result. Two large plates or large portions of plates are moving in the same direction and Turkey is essentially stuck in the middle.  

What is a fault line?

  • A fault line is a substantial break in the earth’s surface. Along fault lines, earthquakes frequently happen.
    Turkey is located on the Anatolian plate, which was created by the intersection of the East and North Anatolian faults.
  • The bulk of earthquakes in Turkey are often caused by the North Anatolian fault, which runs across the country’s northern shore.
  •  It extends 932 miles from a point where it intersects the East Anatolian fault to the Aegean Sea.
  • It is comparable in size to the 745-mile-long San Andreas fault that runs through California.

2 . India – Canada Relationship

Context: Indo-Pacific cooperation and trade were at the top of the agenda as Canadian Foreign Minister met with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for the India-Canada Strategic Dialogue in Delhi.

India- Canada Strategic dialogue

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held wide-ranging talks with his visiting Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly focusing on boosting cooperation in a range of areas, including trade, security, and mobility of students.
  • In this strategic dialogue, the two sides also looked forward to the proposed Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA)
  • The aim of the visit is to deepen bilateral ties and foster stronger partnerships,” and “create opportunities for growth and prosperity for the two countries.”

What is Early progress trade agreements?

  • Early progress trade agreements are the agreement that are easier to negotiate as they focus on areas of convergence between two partners before they move to a fully-fledged free trade agreement (FTA),

Canada’s Indo- pacific strategy

  • Recently Canada released the Indo- pacific strategy document.
  • The Indo-Pacific Strategy is a document that outlines Canada’s plan to engage with countries in the region, with a goal to pivot away from this nation’s over-reliance on China amid increasing tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.
  • India welcomed the announcement of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, given the shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
  • The Strategy outlines five interconnected strategic objectives:
    • Promote peace, resilience and security
    • Expand trade, investment and supply chain resilience
    • Invest in and connect people
    • Build a sustainable and green future
    • Canada as an active and engaged partner to the Indo-Pacific
  • According to the strategy, Canada aims to grow economic ties with India through “deeper trade and investment, as well as cooperating on building resilient supply chains.”
  • Other plans with India include supporting academic, educational, cultural, youth and research exchanges between the two countries; bolstering Canada’s visa-processing capacity in New Delhi and Chandigarh; assisting in the fight against climate change and working on a trade agreement

Significance of Indo- Pacific region

  • The Indo-Pacific comprises 40 countries and economies: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, the Pacific Island Countries (14), Pakistan, People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Philippines, Republic of Korea (ROK), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.
    • 50% of world GDP by 2040
    • 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions
    • 65% of world’s population
    • 67% of world’s Indigenous peoples
    • 37% of the world’s poor
    • 1 in 5 Canadians have family ties to the region
    • PRC, Japan, India, ROK, Australia: 5 of the region’s largest economies
    • US$29.3T combined GDP of top 5 compared to US$17.2T for whole EU-27

India – Canada Relationship

Bilateral relations

  • India established diplomatic relations with Canada in 1947.
  • India and Canada have longstanding bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values, the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multireligious nature of two societies and strong people-to-people contacts.
  • There are 1.8 million Canadians of Indian origin in this country, and India is also the primary source of new immigrants to Canada, according to the statement.

Trade and economy

  • India accounts for only 1.95% of Canada’s global trade.
  • In 2021, India was Canada’s 13th-largest merchandise trade partner and 14th-largest export market
  • Exports: Major items of India exports to Canada include gems, jewellary and precious stones, pharmaceutical products, readymade garments, textiles, organic chemicals, light engineering goods, iron & steel articles, etc.
  • Imports: India’s import from Canada include pulses, newsprint, wood pulp, asbestos, potash, iron scrap, copper, minerals and industrial chemicals, etc
  • Foreign direct investment between Canada and India added up to $4.6 billion in 2021, with Canadian direct investment standing at $2.9 billion. Further, Canadian portfolio and institutional investment in India reached $70 billion

Economic relations

  • India and Canada have also established institutionalized mechanisms to promote bilateral economic ties including
    • Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment; Trade Policy Consultations at the level of Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce; and the Economic and Financial Sector Policy.
  • The India- Canada CEO Forum was constituted in 2013 to improve bilateral trade and investment flows.
  • The Forum identified natural resources, infrastructure, education, information and communication technology and financial services as priority sectors.

Cooperation in Energy sectors:

  • Nuclear Energy: The Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA), which was signed in June 2010, came into force in September 2013.
  • The Appropriate Arrangement (AA) for the NCA was signed in March 2013, under which a Joint Committee on Civil Nuclear Cooperation was constituted.


  • IC-IMPACTS (the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability), which is a Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence dedicated to the development of research collaborations between Canada and India, seeks to bring together researchers, industry innovators, community leaders, government agencies, and community organizations from across India and Canada to work together to find solutions to the key challenges facing the communities.
  •  IC-IMPACTS is working with the National Mission for Clean Ganga to find innovative technological solutions to clean the river Ganga;

Science and Technology and Space

  • India and Canada have been cooperating since 1990s in the areas of space science, earth observation, satellite launch services and ground support for space missions.
  • ANTRIX, the Commercial arm of ISRO, has launched several nanosatellites from Canada
  • ISRO and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) have signed MOUs for cooperation in the field of exploration and utilization of outer space and two Implementation Arrangements specifically addressing satellite tracking and space astronomy.

3 . National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)

Context:  Data presented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) on Monday in the Lok Sabha revealed that the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) is currently functioning with less than 50% of its sanctioned strength which is becoming increasingly difficult to undertake its function without the requisite staffers.

About the News

  • According to data from the commission, rules provide for the ST panel to have one Chairperson, one Vice-Chairperson, and three Members (two out of V-C and Members should be from ST community).
  • Currently, it just has a Chairperson (Harsh Chouhan) and one Member (Ananta Nayak) with all the other positions, including that of the mandatory ST Member, vacant for the past three years.

National commission for Scheduled Tribes

  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
  • By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely- (i) the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), and (ii) the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) w.e.f. 19 February 2004


  • The commission consists of a chairperson and a vice- chairperson and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the President by Warrant under his hand and seal.
  • Their condition of service and tenure of office are also determined by the president.

Functions of the Commission

(Under Clause (5)of Art. 338A)

  • To investigate & monitor matters relating to safeguards provided for STs under the Constitution or under other laws or under Govt. order, to evaluate the working of such Safeguards.
  • To inquire into specific complaints relating to Rights & Safeguards of STs;
  • To participate and Advise in the Planning Process relating to Socio-economic development of STs, and to Evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;
  • To submit report to the President annually and  at such other times as the Commission may  deem  fit, upon/ working of Safeguards, Measures required for effective implementation of Programmers/ Schemes relating to Welfare and Socio-economic development of STs
  • To discharge such other functions in relation to STs as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify;
  • The Commission would also discharge the following other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development & advancement of the Scheduled Tribes, namely:-
    • Measures that need to be taken over conferring ownership rights in respect of minor forest produce to the Scheduled Tribes living in forest areas.
    • Measures to be taken to safeguard rights to the Tribal Communities over mineral resources, water resources etc. as per law.
    • Measures to be taken for the development of tribals and to work for move viable livelihood strategies.
    • Measures to be taken to improve the efficacy of relief and rehabilitation measures for tribal groups displaced by development projects.
    • Measures to be taken to prevent alienation of tribal people from land and to effectively rehabilitate such people in whose case alienation has already taken place.
    • Measures to be taken to elicit maximum cooperation and involvement of Tribal Communities for protecting forests and undertaking social afforestation.
    • Measures to be taken to ensure full implementation of the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (40 of 1996).
    • Measures to be taken to reduce and ultimately eliminate the practice of shifting cultivation by Tribals that lead to their continuous disempowerment and degradation of land and the environment.

Powers of the Commission

Under Clause (8) of Art. 338A)

1.For Investigation and Inquiry, the Commission is vested with powers of a civil court having authority to:

  • Summon and enforce attendance of any person and examine on oath;
  • Discovery & production of any documents;
  • Receive evidence on affidavits;
  • Requisition any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
  • Issue Commissions for examination of witnesses and documents;

4 . Facts for Prelims

India Energy Week

  • India Energy Week 2023 is the first major event of G20 under India’s presidency
  • India Energy Week is being organized with aims to showcase India’s rising prowess as an energy transition powerhouse.
  • The event will focus on the adoption of renewable energy resources, promoting the use of green hydrogen and natural gas consumption.
  • It is a comprehensive energy event covering the entire value chain in its year of G20 presidency, is designed to ensure secure, affordable and accessible energy
  • The event will bring together leaders from the traditional and non-traditional energy industry, governments, and academia to discuss the challenges and opportunities that a responsible energy transition presents.
  • This event is conducted by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India
  • The inaugural India Energy Week comes at a critical time, with the challenges of energy security and environmental sustainability impacting long-term energy transition and paths towards decarbonisation.

Grammy Awards

  • The Grammy Awards are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize “outstanding” achievements in the music industry.
  • They are regarded as the most prestigious, significant awards in the music industry worldwide.  
  • The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honour the musical accomplishments of performers for the year 1958
  • In the 65th Grammy awards ceremony, Indian musician Ricky Kej won Grammy Award for the album ‘Divine Tides’ with rock legend Stewart Copeland.

North star

  • Polaris, known as the North Star or Pole Star, is a very bright star — around 2,500 times more luminous than the Sun.
  • It is part of the constellation Ursa Minor, and is around 323 light years away from the Earth
  • Since Polaris is less than 1° away from the north celestial pole, almost in direct line with the Earth’s rotational axis, it appears to sit motionless in the northern sky, with all the other stars appearing to rotate around it.
  • Its position and brightness have allowed humans to use it for navigation since late antiquity.
  • Simply the elevation of the star above the horizon gives the approximate latitude of the observer.
  •  In the northern hemisphere, with the help of Polaris, one can tell the north — and by extension, the other three directions as well.
  • Upon crossing the equator to the south, however, the North Star is lost over the horizon, and hence stops being a useful navigational aid.
  • Polaris seems to have been first charted by the Roman mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy, who lived from about 85 to 165 BC.
  • While there is some evidence that the star was used for navigation in late antiquity, it was during the ‘Age of Exploration’ that it became a central part of human history.

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