Key facts about Turkey
A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake recently hit southern Turkey and northern Syria, leaving thousands dead and injured.
- Turkey, also called Türkiye, lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe.
- It is surrounded on three sides by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea.
- The main portion of the Turkish state is located on the Anatolia peninsula, also known as Asia Minor, the westernmost part of Asia.
- Turkey covers an area of 783,562 km² and has a population of 83.2 million people.
- There are two narrow straits in northwestern Turkey, the Bosporus, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which connect the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean Sea with the Sea of Marmara.
- Capital: Ankara
- Largest city: Istanbul
- Bordering countries: It is bordered by Bulgaria and Greece to the west; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Georgia to the northeast; Syria to the south; and Iraq to the southeast.
- Religion: More than 99 percent of the population is Muslim, mostly Sunni.
- Spoken Languages: Turkish (official), Kurdish, and Arabic.
What is the Moment Magnitude Scale?
An extremely large earthquake with a magnitude 7.8 out of 10 on the moment magnitude scale occurred in the southeast of Turkey, near the border with Syria.
About Moment Magnitude Scale:
- It is a logarithmic scale that measures the total amount of energy released by an earthquake.
- It is the only scale capable of reliably measuring the magnitudes of the largest, most destructive earthquakes (that is, greater than magnitude 8).
- It was developed in the 1970s by Japanese seismologist Hiroo Kanamoriand American seismologist Thomas C. Hanks.
- How is it calculated?
- The moment magnitude scale is based on the total moment release of the earthquake.
- Moment is a product of the distance a fault moved and the force required to move it.
- It is derived from modeling recordings of the earthquake at multiple stations.
- Moment magnitude estimates are about the same as Richter magnitudes for small to large earthquakes. But only the moment magnitude scale is capable of measuring M8 (read “magnitude 8”) and greater events accurately.
What is the Richter scale?
- It was invented in 1935 by Charles F. Richteras a mathematical device to compare the size of earthquakes.
- The Richter scale is used to rate the magnitude of an earthquake, that is, the amount of energy released during an earthquake.
- The Richter scale is a base-10 logarithmic scale, meaning each order of magnitude is 10 times more intensive than the last one.
- It is most effective for regional earthquakes no greater than magnitude 5.
- How is it calculated?
- The Richter scale involves measuring the amplitude (height) of the largest recorded wave at a specific distance from the seismic source.
- Adjustments are included for the variation in the distance between the various seismographs and the epicenter of the earthquakes.
- The Richter scale doesn’t measure quake damage.
What is Core Inflation?
S&P Global Ratings recently said core inflation in India has been declining sequentially, and an elevated 6.25 percent policy rate limits the need for further rate hikes.
About Core Inflation:
- What is it? Core inflation is the change in the costs of goods and services but does not include those from the food and energy sectors.
- Food and energy prices are exempt from this calculation because their prices can be too volatile or fluctuate wildly.
- Why is it important?
- Core inflation is used to determine the impact of rising prices on consumer income.
- If the increase in the price index is due to temporary shocks that could soon reverse themselves, it may not require any monetary policy action.
- To deal with such situations, many central banks use measures of core inflation that are designed to filter the transitory price movements.
- Core inflation by eliminating the volatile components from the headline helps in identifying the underlying trend in headline inflation and is believed to predict future inflation better.
- Core inflation is a convenient guide to help the central bank achieve its objective of controlling total inflation.
What is Headline Inflation?
- It is the raw inflation figure reported through the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
- The CPI determines inflation by calculating the prices of a fixed basket of goods.
- Core inflation removes the CPI components that can exhibit large amounts of volatility from month to month.
What is the Sarna Religious code?
West Bengal Government said that it will table two motions in the Assembly — one against “attempts to divide West Bengal” and the other to “recognize Sarna religion of the tribals”.
Why in News?
- Tribal communities of five states, including Jharkhand, Odisha, and Assam, demanded that the Central Government recognize their religion as ‘Sarna’ and ensure their enumeration under this category during the upcoming census.
About Sarna Religion:
- Followers of the Sarna faith are nature worshippers.
- The holy grail of the Sarna faith is “Jal (water), Jungle (forest), Zameen (land).”
- Its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.
- Believers of the Sarna faith do not practice idol worship, nor do they adhere to the concept of the Varna system, heaven-hell, etc.
- They are concentrated mainly in the tribal belt states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam.
- Several surveys and reports have indicated that over 50 lakh tribal people in the entire country put their religion as ‘Sarna’ in the 2011 census, although it was not a code.
Recently, scientists have discovered a third natural source of quasicrystals.
- Quasicrystal, also called quasi-periodic crystal, matter formed atomically in a manner somewhere between the amorphous solids of glasses and the precise pattern of crystals.
- In quasicrystals, the atoms are arranged in a pattern that repeats itself at irregular, yet predictable, intervals.
- The American-Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman discovered quasicrystals in the lab in 1982.
- The first natural quasicrystal found was as microscopic grains in a fragment of the Khatyrka meteorite lying in the Koryak mountains of Russia.
- The second time scientists found natural quasicrystals in the remains of the Trinity test of the Manhattan Project.
- Recently in the Sand Hills dunes in northern Nebraska, where scientists found silicate glass which is a dodecagonal quasicrystal, rare even for quasicrystals.
Applications of Quasicrystals
- They are used in surgical instruments, LED lights and nonstick frying pans.
- They have poor heat conductivity, which makes them good insulators.
Primary Agricultural Credit Societies
The Union Budget has recently announced Rs 2,516 crore for the computerisation of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) over the next five years
About Primary Agricultural Credit Societies:
- These are village-level cooperative credit societies that serve as the last link in a three-tier cooperative credit structure.
- These are headed by the State Cooperative Banks (SCB) at the state level.
- Credit from the SCBs is transferred to the district central cooperative banks, or DCCBs, that operate at the district level.
- These district central cooperative banks work with PACS, which deals directly with farmers.
- Individual farmers are members of the PACS, and office-bearers are elected from within them. A village can have multiple PACS.
- PACS are involved in short-term lending — or what is known as crop loans.
- At the start of the cropping cycle, farmers avail credit to finance their requirement of seeds, fertilisers etc.
- Banks extend this credit at 7 per cent interest, of which 3 per cent is subsidised by the Centre, and 2 per cent by the state government. Effectively, farmers avail the crop loans at 2 per cent interest only.
What are Vermins?
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is working to develop immuno-contraceptive measures for population management of species that have become problematic for humans in many parts of the country.
- Vermin are usually considered problem or nuisance animals that attack humans, crops, livestock or property.
- Species which are classified as Vermin are placed under Schedule Vof the Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972.
Key facts about the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
There are Six Schedules in this act. These Schedules give a different standard of protection.
- The Listed breeds and types of animals in Schedule I and part II of Schedule II get supreme protection. Offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
- For example Himalayan Brown Bear, Indian Elephant etc.
- The Listed breeds and types of animals in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also secured, but the penalties are comparatively much lower.
- For example, Barking Deer, Falcons, Kingfisher, Tortoise etc.
- Schedule V includes the animals which can be hunted.
- For example, Common Crow, Mice, Rats, Fruit Bats etc.
- The plants, trees and crops mentioned in Schedule VI are banned from Cultivation and Planting. For example, Kuth, Red Vanda, Pitcher Plant etc.