[Newsbits] 31.07.2023

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Wajid Ali Shah

  • The 201st birth anniversary of Wajid Ali Shah was marked on July 30th, 2023.


  • Wajid Ali Shah was the 11th Nawab of Awadh.
  • He was a noted poet, dancer, and playwright.

Known for

  • Wajid Ali Shah was known for nurturing the Lucknow Gharana of Kathak dance and providing patronage for thumri music.
  • He is also linked to the development of Galouti kebab, a popular dish containing 160 different kinds of spices.
  • Among his notable works is Ishqnama, a composition focusing on music and women.


  • He was the last Nawab of Awadh.
  • His deposition by the British contributed to the 1857 Revolt, as he showed no inclination to fight the British and was eventually deposed by them on charges of misgovernance and debauchery. However, in reality, he tried to reform the administration and even wrote a detailed book on administration.


  • Wajid Ali Shah lived from 1822 to 1887.
  • He reigned as the Nawab of Awadh from 1847 to 1856.


  • He lived in the region that is now known as Lucknow, India.


  • After his deposition, Wajid Ali Shah was imprisoned for two years at Fort William.
  • Upon his release, he was given a pension of Rs 1 lakh per month and established himself at Garden Reach, on the outskirts of then-Calcutta.
  • His residence at Garden Reach was named 'Sultan Khana', and he created a 'court' there.

Wajid Ali Shah was not only a Nawab but also a prolific artist and cultural patron, contributing significantly to the arts and music of his time. His reign and deposition hold historical importance, especially in the context of the 1857 Revolt against British rule.

Railway Protection Force

  • An RPF constable has been held for allegedly killing four people on board the Mumbai-bound 12956 Jaipur-Mumbai Superfast Express.


  • The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is an armed force tasked with the protection of railway property, passenger areas, and passengers.
  • It was set up under the 1957 Railway Protection Force Act, which was enacted to establish and regulate an armed force of the Union for better protection and security of railway property and related matters.
  • The force has been modified through the Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Act, 1985.
  • The RPF's current size comprises more than 74,000 personnel.


  • The RPF operates under the Railways Ministry and is led by a Director-General.


  • The origins of the RPF can be traced back to the "Watch and Ward" system, which was used by private railway companies during the colonial period.
  • Inadequacies in controlling theft of railway assets and consignments were identified in the 1940s, leading to the formation of a committee in 1954 under the Director of the Intelligence Bureau.
  • The committee recommended the reorganization of the "Watch and Ward" into a statutory body, which resulted in the enactment of the 1957 RPF Act, later modified in 1985 and 2003.
  • The Government Railway Police (GRP), on the other hand, is part of the district police force and reports to the state government.
  • While the GRP works alongside the RPF, its responsibility primarily lies in the prevention and detection of crime on railways, and its remit does not extend to protecting railway property.
  • The GRP is also tasked with maintaining "order" at railway stations and in trains within their jurisdiction. This refers to controlling passenger traffic, maintaining order on platforms, at booking offices, entrance and exit gates, managing vehicular and other traffic in station precincts, preventing overcrowding in carriages, arresting those committing nuisances, and providing assistance to railway officers and the traveling public.

The RPF and GRP ideally complement and strengthen each other's operations in ensuring the safety and security of passengers and railway infrastructure.

Climate Change’s Impact on Ocean Colour

  • A study titled "Global climate-change trends detected in indicators of ocean ecology" has been published in the journal Nature.


  • The ocean's colour has undergone significant change over the last 20 years due to human-induced climate change.
  • More than 56% of the world's oceans have experienced a shift in colour, surpassing the total land area on Earth.
  • Tropical oceans near the Equator have been most affected, with their waters turning greener.

Areas with Colour Shift

  • The colour shift is observed in areas experiencing ocean stratification. Ocean stratification is the natural separation of the ocean's water into horizontal layers based on density.
  • The features of ocean stratification include a warmer, lighter, and less salty nutrient-poor water layer on top of a heavier, colder, and saltier nutrient-rich water layer.
  • Normally, ocean ecosystems, currents, wind, and tides mix these layers, creating smoothed temperature and salinity transitions.
  • However, due to climate change, increased stratification has made it harder for these layers to mix, leading to several consequences:
    • Decreased ability to absorb atmospheric CO2.
    • Improper mixing of absorbed oxygen with cooler layers below, leading to depleted oxygen levels and threatening marine life's survival.
    • Hampered movement of nutrients from lower layers to the surface.
    • Low nutrient conditions, favoring smaller plankton and altering the composition of the plankton community.


  • The change in ocean colour may not directly impact marine life but serves as an important indicator of the marine ecosystem's state.
  • It reflects the state of flux in marine ecosystems and the potential risk of going completely out of balance in the future.

How Ocean Colour is Normally Determined

  • Oceans generally appear blue or navy blue due to the absorption and scattering of light.
  • When sunlight falls on deep and clear water, longer wavelength parts of the spectrum, such as red, yellow, and green, are absorbed by the water, while shorter wavelength parts, such as blue and violet, are reflected back, leading to the blue colour.
  • Different colours are observed when water is not clean or deep. For example, dead leaves and sediments can make Atlantic Ocean waters along Argentina's coastline brownish, while the presence of phytoplankton in the upper surface of water makes it appear green in other parts.


  • The study's data on ocean colour has been collected using the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) imaging equipment onboard the Aqua satellite of NASA since 2002.

Merger of Project Tiger and Project Elephant

  • The two projects, Project Tiger and Project Elephant, have been officially merged.


  • The merger creates a new division called Project Tiger and Elephant Division, which will operate under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • Project Tiger had completed its 50th anniversary after being launched in 1973.
  • Project Elephant had completed 30 years in 2022 and has been a division under the Environment Ministry since its creation.

Common Allocation

  • Both projects will be funded jointly under the new division.

Staff and Divisional Heads

  • Project Elephant (PE) will now report to the Additional Director General of Forests (ADGF).
  • Project Tiger (PT) will be designated as ADGF under the new Project Tiger and Elephant (PT&E) division.
  • The Inspector General Forests will now hold the position of Project Director, Project Elephant, serving as the divisional head of the PT&E division.
  • The Project Director, Project Elephant, will report to ADGF (PT&E) and also act as the Member Secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).


  • The merger appears to be an effort to optimize funds and resources.


  • The merger is expected to result in improved administrative efficiency.


  • The decision to merge the projects without any discussion has triggered concerns in wildlife conservation circles.

Eagle Bluff

The Eagle Bluff Wildfire, which initially started near Oroville town in Okanogan County, Washington, USA, has been making headlines as it crossed into Canada, affecting both sides of the border.


  • Wildfire: The Eagle Bluff is a wildfire that has been spreading rapidly in the region.
  • Initial Name: The fire was initially named "Lone Pine Creek."


The Eagle Bluff wildfire was caused by a combination of several factors:

  • Unusual Heat: Unusually high temperatures in the region contributed to the fire's rapid spread.
  • Dry Lightning: Lightning strikes in the area occurred without accompanying rainfall, igniting the dry vegetation.
  • Drought: The region experienced a period of drought, leading to increased dryness of the landscape, making it more susceptible to fires.



  • The wildfire started near Oroville town in Okanogan County, Washington, USA.

Coverage on US Side:

  • The wildfire covered an extensive area of 2,000 hectares on the US side.

Crossed into Canada:

  • The fire crossed the 49th Parallel, entering Canadian territory.
  • On the Canadian side, it affected an area of 200 hectares.


The Eagle Bluff Wildfire, originally named "Lone Pine Creek," is a devastating cross-border disaster that started in Washington, USA, and spread into Canada. It was fueled by a combination of unusual heat, dry lightning, and drought conditions. The fire's impact was significant, covering large areas on both the US and Canadian sides, raising concerns about the increasing threat of wildfires in the region.

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