Gangotri Current Affairs - 2020

Black Carbon Levels in Himalayan Glaciers and Biomethanation

The Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) conducted study near Gangotri Glacier in 2016. According to the study, the black carbon concentration in the region has increased by 400 times.

Highlights

The increase in carbon concentration in the region is mainly because of agricultural burning and forest fire. The concentration of black carbon was found to be minimum in August and maximum in May.

What is Black Carbon?

Black Carbon are fine particles of carbon that are formed due to incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. These particles are capable of absorbing energy from the sun (light) a million times more than that of carbon dioxide. However, black carbon are short lived unlike carbon dioxide.

They increase current level of global warming mainly due to their light absorbing characteristics.

Biomethanation

The Government of India has taken the technology of Biomethanation as a solution for stubble burning. Quality manure and biogas are obtained from bio-methanation process. Six biomethanation plants are to be constructed in Punjab that will convert paddy straw into bio-gas.

Biomethanation is a process by which organic materials are microbiologically converted into biogas in anaerobic conditions. Anaerobic condition is an environment without oxygen.

World renowned Chardham Yatra begins in Uttarakhand

The world renowned and much awaited chardham yatra  began in Uttrakhand. The Gangotri and Yamunotri dhams were opened for pilgrims on auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritya (also called ‘Teej’, is an annual spring time festival of Jains and Hindus).

About Chardham

  • It literally means four sacred pilgrimage centres.
  • The four pilgrim-destinations are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath which are collectively called Chardham.
  • It is located in the great Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
  • Route Followed: As per traditions, this pilgrimage tour should begin from West and end in East. Therefore, Char Dham Yatra starts from Yamunotri, then proceeds to Gangotri and finally end towards Kedarnath and Badrinath.
  • Religious Deities: Each sites is devoted to a specific deity.
  • Yamunotri dedicated to Goddess ‘Yamuna’. It stands high up in deep left on western face of Bandarpunch Peak.
  • Gangotri dedicated to Goddess ‘Ganga’. The shrine overlooks River Bhagirathi.
  • Kedarnath dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also a part of Panch Kedar. It is northern-most Jyotirlinga and is close to source of holy River Mandakini.
  • Badrinath dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated on the bank of River Alaknanda (it is one of the two headstreams of Ganges other is Bhagirathi).
  • Importance: In accordance with Hindu conventions, devotees take up this pious tour of Char Dham yatra in hope to experience bliss (heaven) and successfully remove their souls of all worldly demons.