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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Rare tarantula / Gravitational lensing

Kerala, TN, Himachal top India’s child well-being index :

Why in News?  Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry topped the charts in the child well-being index, a tool designed to measure and tracks children’s well-being comprehensively.

Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh featured at the bottom, as per a report released by the non government organisation World Vision India and research institute IFMR LEAD recently.

About :

  • The India child well-being index is a crucial report that can be mined both by the Government and civil organisations to achieve the goal of child well-being and we will use this report effectively.
  • This report provides insights on health, nutrition, education, sanitation and child protection.
  • The dimensions of the index include healthy individual development, positive relationships and protective contexts.


24 indicators:

  • Focusing on the three key dimensions, 24 indicators were selected to develop the computation of the child well-being index.
  • The report highlights the multi-dimensional approach towards measuring child well-being — going beyond mere income poverty. Children have the potential to transform the country, but if neglected, they will exacerbate the burden of poverty and inequality.
  • It is imperative that all stakeholders prioritise and invest in the well-being of our children,” added Cherian Thomas, CEO, World Vision India.

Kerala, TN, Himachal top India’s child well-being index,

  • The report, meanwhile, calls for States to look at their respective scores on the dimensions of child well-being, and to prepare for priority areas of intervention with specific plans of action.
  • It also hopes to trigger policy level changes, seek better budgetary allocations and initiate discussions with all stakeholders, which can help in enhancing the quality of life of all children in the country.


‘Compelling insights’

  • The research has brought to the fore compelling insights on child well-being in India. One of the primary objectives of this index is to garner attention to the under-researched theme of child well-being in India, and inspire further academic and policy conversations on related issues.
  • Some of the key indicators that need to be studied in the future include mobile usage, digital access, financial literacy, mental health and quality of relationships per se, between parents/peers and children.


Topic: For Prelims

Gravitational lensing :

About :

  • Using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope researchers plan to investigate how new stars are born.
  • For this, a natural phenomenon called “Gravitational lensing” is to be used.
  • The gravitational field of a massive object will extend far into space, and cause light rays passing close to that object to be bent and refocused somewhere else.
  • This phenomenon is ‘Gravitational lensing’, simply put, ‘mass bends light’.
  • The effect is analogous to that produced by a lens.
  • The more massive the object, the stronger its gravitational field and hence the greater the bending of light rays.
  • It is just like using denser materials to make optical lenses results in a greater amount of refraction.
  • In effect, these are natural, cosmic telescopes, called gravitational lenses.
  • These large celestial objects will magnify the light from distant galaxies that are at or near the peak of star formation.
  • The effect allows researchers to study the details of early galaxies too far away.

Gravitational lensing happens on all scales,

  1. The gravitational field of galaxies and clusters of galaxies can lens light.
  2. On smaller objects such as stars and planets.
  3. Even the mass of our own bodies will lens light passing near us a tiny bit, although the effect is too small to ever measure.
  • The Milky Way today forms the equivalent of one Sun every year, but in the past, that rate was up to 100 times greater.
  • NASA now plans to look billions of years into the past in order to understand how our Sun formed.
  • The programme is called ‘Targeting Extremely Magnified Panchromatic Lensed Arcs and Their Extended Star Formation’, or TEMPLATES.             


Facts for Prelims:

  • Rare tarantula :
  • Researchers have sighted a critically endangered species of tarantula for the first time beyond its known habitat in the Eastern Ghats.
  • The spider belonging to the genus Poecilotheria, commonly known as the Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula was spotted by a team of researchers of the Puducherry-based Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF) in the Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee in Villupuram district.


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