The week in 5 charts | Y.S. Sharmila joins Congress, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake rocks central Japan, and more

Here are five charts that will help you understand some of the key stories from last week

January 07, 2024 07:23 pm | Updated 07:41 pm IST

(1) Cracks are seen on the ground in Wajima, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan on January 1, 2024, following an earthquake, (2) Y.S. Sharmila joins the Congress party on January 4, 2024, (3) People gather at the scene of explosions in Kerman, Iran on January 3, 2024, (4) India’s maiden solar mission Aditya-L1 reached the L1 point on January 6, 2024.

(1) Cracks are seen on the ground in Wajima, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan on January 1, 2024, following an earthquake, (2) Y.S. Sharmila joins the Congress party on January 4, 2024, (3) People gather at the scene of explosions in Kerman, Iran on January 3, 2024, (4) India’s maiden solar mission Aditya-L1 reached the L1 point on January 6, 2024.

(1) Y.S. Sharmila joins Congress

Thirteen years after the Congress lost loyal voters, leaders and a significant organisational structure in Andhra Pradesh due to a split engineered by the current Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, the party is making a bid to recoup its losses by inducting his sister Y.S. Sharmila, daughter of the late legendary Congress CM Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

After months of speculation, Ms. Sharmila, founder of the YSR Telangana Party, joined the Congress on Thursday in the presence of party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former party president Rahul Gandhi. She later met Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence. She also announced the merger of her fledgling party with the Congress.

It has been a roller coaster political journey for her in Telangana in the last two and half years after she launched the YSRTP to create some political space for her cashing in on the goodwill of her father Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy, who continues to be popular in Telangana 14 years after he died in a helicopter crash in the most tragic circumstances when he was still the Chief Minister of the combined Andhra Pradesh. His popularity has not diminished much in Telangana despite his strong opposition to the State bifurcation.

Here is a timeline of Y.S. Sharmila’s political journey:

(2) 7.5 magnitude earthquake in central Japan on New Years day

On January 1, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Ishikawa prefecture on the Sea of Japan side of the main island of Honshu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Meter-high waves hit the coast, and according to Japanese authorities, this was just one of more than 50 quakes of 3.2 magnitude or more to rock the region over several hours.

The death toll from the devastating earthquake has now crossed 100, and as of Friday, January 5, there were 242 people were still missing. Thousands of rescuers from all over Japan have been battling aftershocks and roads littered with gaping holes and blocked by frequent landslides in the Ishikawa region to reach hundreds of people in stranded communities. The series of quakes and aftershocks have injured at least 330 people, caused hundreds to seek refuge in government shelters, and has disrupted power supply to at least 30,000 households in Ishikawa. The graphic below shows the earthquakes on January 1, and 2, of the Ishikawa’s coast in central Japan.

(3) Anganwadi Workers across Maharashtra stage a rally in Mumbai

Maharashtra’s anganwadi workers have been on strike since December 4, 2023 due to a list of their demands - pertaining to various issues ranging from better quality of food to adequate monetary support - being unmet. On January 4, 2024, workers from across the state held a rally at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan against the State government.

In anganwadi centers at Dharavi in Mumbai, The Hindu found that apart from low-quality meals being provided to the children, the anganwadi centers are congested, and are often spaces that are shared with resident families. The president of the Anganwadi Karmachari Sangathana, Shubha Shamim, mentioned that in some villages, some AWWs ‘beg door-to-door for pulses and cereals to feed the children’. 

However, the workers had to wind up their protest after their meetings with the officials were not fruitful. On day 1 of the protest, they had a meeting with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for 45 minutes till 10pm. On day 2, the women in pink saris, staged a massive protest at the venue, shouting slogans on which the police had restricted their movement by placing barricade, not allowing them to step outside Azad Maidan. Girish Mahajan, Minister of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj of Maharashtra came to the venue for 25 minutes to assure every worker that the government is positive about gratuity, pension and honorarium demands. However, this is not yet confirmed in writing.

“The reason we have called off the protest at Azad Maidan is because our workers cannot afford to stay here, buy food thrice a day. The two days expense mounted to Rs 2.65k on tent, stage, stickers and banners, we cannot afford another days so we decided to go back to our homes. The protest and strike will be on in our respective districts,” added Ms Shamim. In the charts below, we can see where Maharashtra stands when it comes to the load, quality, and performance at each center.

In the map below, state-wise utilisation of funds is provided, showing whether a state has utilised more than the allotted funds during a particular year or lesser.

(4) Twin explosions in Iran kill 84

Two explosions killed over 80 people during an event commemorating the slaying of a well-known general in Iran on Wednesday. The general was Qasem Soleimani. He led Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRCG) force that the United States has branded a terrorist organisation. Later, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blasts. 

This is said to be the deadliest attack in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was installed as Iran’s leader in place of the previous monarchy. Iran has seen targeted killings in the past, which the country has blamed on Israel. However, an attack of this scale has not been seen in recent times. The timeline below shows the recent attacks carried out by the pro-Sunni Islamic State in Shia-majority Iran.

The timing of this attack comes at a precariousmoment. Since Hamas launched an attack in the Gaza strip in October last year, the war has played out in different areas of West Asia. Countries like Iran are in support of Hamas whereas Israel is supported by the United States. The map below shows how the war is playing out in the region.

How the Isarel-Hamas is impacting the region around it in countries like Iran and Yemen.

How the Isarel-Hamas is impacting the region around it in countries like Iran and Yemen.

This situation can become an advantage for jihadist forces. To avoid that, a de-escalation of conflict in the region is needed.

Also read |Terror in Iran: On the blasts in Iran’s Kerman and the impact 

(5) ISRO’s Aditya-L1 successfully placed in a halo orbit around L1 point

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has placed the Aditya-L1 spacecraft in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point (L1) on January 6. India’s maiden solar mission reached the L1 point 127 days after it was launched on September 2, 2023.

After a 1.5-million km journey the spacecraft was placed in a halo orbit around L1 following a firing manoeuvre which was carried out by ISRO scientists and engineers at the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru. The distance of L1 from Earth is approximately 1% of the Earth-Sun distance.

According to NASA, Lagrange points are positions in space where objects sent there tend to stay put. At these points, the gravitational pull of two large masses precisely equals the centripetal force required for a small object to move with them. These points in space can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.

A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the sun without any occultation/eclipse. This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities continuously.

Also Read: What are the Lagrange points and why is Aditya-L1 headed to one? | Explained 

Aditya-L1 carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layer of the sun (corona) using electromagnetic and particle detectors.

The spacecraft has a mission life of five years during which its payloads are expected to provide the most crucial information to understand the problem of coronal heating; coronal mass ejection; pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics; dynamics of space weather; and propagation of particles and fields.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.