Mount-Everest

The Mount Everest has reached a new height! Here’s how.

Mount Everest’s height is now officially 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet) above sea level. Although this seems unusual it isn’t extraordinary. A mountain’s height can change frequently due to the movement of tectonic plates which lifts it gradually and earthquakes that can bring it down swiftly.

Dang Yamin, a member of a Chinese team that surveyed Everest’s height earlier this year, stated that the countervailing forces may help maintain a degree of stability over time. “Nature tends to strike a balance,” he told the official Xinhua News Agency. Dang also cited, as an example, the massive 1934 earthquake that wiped out 150 years of steady height increase in a few moments.

The world’s highest mountain spans the border of China and Nepal, enforcing them to present a new official height of the mountain together. The subject, however, isn’t settled for good. There are lots of factors for determining the height of a mountain like geological changes, methods, and varying criteria for scaling the world’s highest peak which further complicates the process.

There are various ways to measure a mountain; a Nepalese team in 2019, set up a satellite navigation marker on Everest’s peak to gauge its exact position via GPS satellites with modern, laser-equipped versions of instruments called theodolites to a Chinese team this spring, undertaking a similar mission with the Chinese-made Beidou constellation of navigation satellites, along with other types of equipment.

Standing a little taller than Everest is Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo which is the world’s highest mountain, and more than 2,072 meters (6,800 feet) above Everest, as measured from the Earth’s core. This is because mountains along the equator are farther from the core, as the Earth bulges in the middle. Mount Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the tallest of them all, measuring 10,211 meters (33,500 feet) from the foot of the mountain to the peak. However, most of it is under the sea level.

World war

Is a Third World War lurking around the corner?

A video surfaced on November 18th, with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), having done an all-out assault at the Taiwan Strait. This may lead to a full-blown war between Taiwan and China. The Chinese state media claimed that the Chinese president Xi Jinping is preparing for war at multiple points. This comes when China and India are at logger’s heads with each other at Pangong Tso. Troops have been deployed at both the sides and dialogues are going on to deescalate the tensions. There is also a trade war going on between the US and China. For instance, India, America, Japan and Australia have signed a pact to not let Chinese company Huawei operate in these countries due to privacy concerns. This may irk China even more against India and the US. There are tensions in Kashmir with Pakistan as well which has been going since the partition.  There is also escalated tensions between China and Japan in the South China Sea over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu Islands. China has over the years, has been increasing its presence in the South China Sea.

As China prepares to go to war, in the West the outgoing US president had asked the White House officials for “options” to solve the Iran nuclear problem. His advisors, as per reports have been talking him out of it for now. Tensions have been escalating between Iran and the US after the top general of Iran Qassem Soleimani was killed in the US airstrikes in January.

With a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia, fighting may have stopped for now. But the peace brokered by Russia has tilted power towards Azerbaijan. As other countries also have their stakes in this geopolitical conflict, tensions may escalate again in this region. Turkey, Pakistan and China strongly supported Azerbaijan, while Russia had its stakes on Armenia.

In the middle east with the Syrian Civil war raging for over 9 years now, more countries have got involved. With Russia and Iran backing the Syrian government, the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are supporting the rebels. France, the UK and some other western countries are supporting what they call ‘moderate rebels.’  This tension in the middle east has caused a deterioration in the relationship between other countries like the tensions between the US and Turkey and even Iran and Israel.

With a stalemate between the US and North Korea over North Korea’s constant tests of nuclear missiles despite strict warnings from the US, maybe a cause for worry for another brimming war. In 2018, Trump was the first US president to visit North Korea but despite the Trump administrations offering a peace deal with North Korea, the country has shown little interest in peace negotiations. Earlier this year, North Korea said it will give the US a “Christmas present”, which has many worried as it may be a nuclear missile test, however unlikely it may seem.

In August 2020, Russia said that it will perceive any ballistic missile attack on its territory as a nuclear attack and will retaliate with a nuclear weapon. This harsh warning was in the official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) and may have been directed at the US which has developed long-range non-nuclear weapons. Russia may give a nuclear response to a conventional attack on its government or military. Russian interference in the 2016, and 2020 US elections and its annexation of Crimea and war with South-Eastern Ukraine has made the relationship between US and Russia very toxic. The war between Ukraine and Russia has entered its seventh year and there is no end in sight. Even though there are regular ceasefire treaties the war may not be over very soon.

Almost every major country in the world seems to be involved in some form of conflict, escalated tensions or war which is becoming worse as the days pass. A world war seems inevitable if the tensions keep escalating as time passes. With nuclear missiles, modern ammunition and bioweapons, if this war happens, it would be more devastating than the first two World Wars. We can only hope that a peace treaty and other adequate measures are taken by countries before it reaches the threshold.

Despite being the only country in the South Asian region with e-waste legislation, India only recycles about 1.5% of the total e-waste that it generates every year.

The E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 define e-waste as electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer as well as rejects from manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes. Some examples of e-waste include discarded computer monitors, motherboards, mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, television sets, air conditioners, refrigerators, radio sets, kitchen appliances, etc.
According to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019. This was up by 21% in just five years. Another worrying statistic was that out of the total waste, only 17.4% was being recycled.
This meant that gold, platinum and other high-value recoverable critical raw materials (cobalt,
palladium, indium, germanium, bismuth, and antimony), worth US $57 billion, would be dumped or burned. The scenario in India was that, out of the 3.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste generated every year, only about 1.5% is recycled.
Satish Sinha, domain expert and associate director at Delhi-based policy advocacy group, Toxics Link says, “India needs to view e-waste as a precious and strategic resource since it contains 69 elements from the periodic table and some of these are highly precious and strategic in nature.”
On e-waste management in India, he cited implementation and compliance deficits as the major issues. He also raised concerns over several inadequacies in regulatory mechanism and the ground realities which need to be plugged.
A UN report on e-waste management in India also said that enforcing rules remains a challenge, along with other aspects, the lack of proper collection and logistics infrastructure, limited awareness of consumers on the hazards of improper disposal of e-waste, the lack of standards for collection, dismantling of e-waste and treatment of it, and an inefficient and tedious reporting process being some of them.

Capture 10

India is ready for a Two-Front war, warns Air Chief Marshal Bhaudauria

Air Chief Marshal has recently said in a statement that ‘With Indian Air Force’s strong deployment in Eastern Ladakh, India is ready to face a two-front war.’ The statement comes days before the commencement of Air Force Day celebrations on October 8.

The Indian Air Force prior to this declaration has already placed several of its fighter jets i.e – Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircrafts, along the line of actual control.

 

Indian till date, has never faced China in an all out airstrike, as it has done with Pakistan during last year Balakot air strikes, where a terrorist camp was allegedly demolished, as claimed by the Indian government.

 

Recent conflicts have risen due to the 5 months long standoff in Ladakh between India and China. Border standoff in Galwan valley during the month of June with Chinese troops, has resulted in the martyrdom of 20 soldiers on Indian side.

 

 To assuage the situation, Commander level talks based on a five point principle has been proposed, but despite that a concrete solution to solve the situation has not been agreed upon yet. Also, in the diplomatic meeting between External Affairs minister S.Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow, the indian side has demanded strict obedience to the agreements on both sides. 

Due to the inconclusiveness of Diplomatic and Commander level talks between the two countries, the situation could take a turn for the worse.

 

With rapid technological transformations in the defence sector, there is a growing tension of an all out conflict now, more than ever. The recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan army at Line of Control (LoC) has aggravated the border situation.

 

In view of the recent Chinese Aggressions, India has already toned up a higher level of security in the conflicted regions of Ladakh for damage control and preventing the worsening of the situation. 

 

The tensions have been rising between both the countries for a long time, if an immediate resolution is not reached on time – the situation could become fatal for both the sides.

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Brucellosis – Another outbreak in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.

Several thousand people in Lanzhou city in China have tested positive for a bacterial disease called brucellosis. A leak in a biopharmaceutical company last year caused the outbreak of the disease. Health authorities have said that there has been no person-to-person transmission so far.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that mainly affects cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs. Humans can get infected if they come in direct contact with an infected animal.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache and muscle pain. It can also leave men infertile. While these may subside, some symptoms could become chronic or never go away, like arthritis or swelling of certain organs, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Brucellosis also goes by the name of Malta fever or Mediterranean fever.