GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World.

Florida (US) Battered As Hurricane Irma Packs Double Punch, Makes 2 Landfalls

Background-

  • Hurricane Irma brought ripping winds, tornadoes and storm-surge flooding to much of Florida’s lower half on 10th September, 2017, as its slow-moving core battered the state’s west coast from Key West to Tampa.
  • The massive storm – which had menaced Florida for days, and triggered evacuation orders covering 5.6 million people – made two official landfalls on Sunday, September 10th.
  • The first, at about 9:10 a.m., was over the Florida Keys, an isolated string of islands that had rarely felt more alone than on Sunday. Irma hit them as a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • After the Keys, Irma crossed over warm waters and hit the U.S. mainland at last, about six hours later, near the beach town of Marco Island. By 5 p.m., the storm was hitting Fort Myers, moving north toward low-lying, vulnerable Tampa as a still-potent Category 2 storm.
  • In the east, the hurricane’s spiraling rainbands were so wide that they caused tornadoes and flooding in Miami, on Florida’s opposite coast. In the west, winds were so powerful that they bent the Gulf of Mexico itself to Irma’s shape. In Naples, and in Tampa Bay, water actually disappeared from Gulf beaches, because Irma’s counterclockwise winds were pulling it out to sea.
  • By the end of the day Sunday, Florida officials said there were 568 shelters open across the state, holding 150,000 people. More than 2.7 million people were without power as of 5:40 p.m., according to the state’s estimate.
  • Irma’s arrival as a Category 4 hurricane – the second-most powerful category, with sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour – made history. Hurricane Harvey also hit Texas as a Category 4 storm, which marked the first time on record that two storms that powerful had made landfall in the U.S. in a single year.
  • Scientists say that climate change is now making such intense hurricanes more likely, since hurricanes draw strength from warmer ocean waters.
  • As the storm headed for Georgia, the city of Atlanta – hundreds of miles from any coast, and more than 600 miles north of the place where Irma first hit the mainland – was placed under its first-ever tropical-storm warning. The storm is forecast to arrive there on Monday, 11th September 2017 with wind gusts predicted at up to 63 miles per hour.

Sources- NDTV

 

GS Paper II- Governance, International Relations.

PM Narendra Modi And Shinzo Abe To Lay Foundation Stone For Bullet Train Project On 14th September, 2017.

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone for the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail Network, commonly known as the bullet train, on September 14, 2017 in the Gujarat city, railway officials reported on 10th September, 2017.
  • The bullet train, which has a capacity to accommodate 750 people, is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities from seven to three hours.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • A sum of around Rs. 1.10 lakh crore will be spent on the project that is being partially funded by Japan.
  • The target for its completion is December 2023, though officials say there are indications that the government may seek an earlier deadline of 2022.
  • The train will stop at each of the 12 railway stations on the route, but only for 165 seconds. A 21-km-long tunnel will be dug between Boisar and Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, of which seven kilometers will be under water.
  • The entire line will be at an elevation of around 20 meters which will reduce land acquisition.
  • After the laying of the foundation stone, an investment summit will also be held between the Indian side and a Japanese delegation comprising representatives from Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Sources- NDTV.

 

GS Paper III- Security, Technology.

SIM Cards Not Linked To Aadhaar Likely To Be Deactivated After February 2018.

Background

  • The government is moving ahead with linking Aadhaar with mobile SIM cards and all unlinked phones will be deactivated after February 2018.
  • The sources said Aadhaar mobile linkage was being done as per orders of the Supreme Court passed in February this year (2017) in the Lokniti Foundation case.
  • All SIM cards have to be verified with Aadhaar within a year from the date of judgement, with all unlinked phones to be deactivated after February next year, so criminals, fraudsters and terrorists cannot use the issued SIMs.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • According to sources biometrics cannot be stored by the mobile operators nor do they have access to any of the other personal data.
  • They said biometrics collected should be encrypted by the telecom company and sent to UIDAI at that moment itself and any storage of biometric by a service provider is a criminal offence punishable with up to three years of imprisonment under the Aadhaar Act 2016.
  • The government had told the Supreme Court in February, 2017 that it would put in place, within a year, an effective mechanism for the verification of prepaid mobile users who constitute 90% of the total subscribers.
  • Asking the government to put in place the mechanism for the verification of existing prepaid mobile connection holders “as early as possible”, the court disposed of the petition by Lokniti Foundation seeking the scrutiny of the subscribers so that those having prepaid mobile connections on fake identities are weeded out.

Sources- Hindustantimes