Today’s Current Affairs: 10th Nov 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Stable Auroral Arc:
The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Ladakh captured stunning images of a rare red-colored aurora known as a Stable Auroral Arc.
- Stable Auroral Arc is a rare atmospheric phenomenon which was observed during a strong G3-class geomagnetic storm.
- Unlike auroras, which occur when charged particles from space hit the atmosphere causing it to glow, SAR arcs form differently.
- They are an indication of heat energy leaking into the upper atmosphere from Earth’s ring current system, a donut-shaped circuit carrying millions of amps around our planet.
- During the recent geomagnetic storm, the ring current was energised by hours of intense geomagnetic activity, with energy dissipating into these SAR arcs.
- This global event was registered in many parts of the world.
- Aurora form is formed when the sun is ejecting charged particles from its corona, creating solar wind.
- When that wind slams into Earth’s ionosphere, the aurora is born.
National Coal Index:
The National Coal Index (NCI) rose 3.83 points to 143.91 in September amid growing demand for coal.
- National Coal Index is a price index which reflects the change in the price level of coal on a particular month relative to the fixed base year.
- This price index combines the prices of coal from all the sales channels- Notified Prices, Auction Prices and Import Prices.
- It has been rolled out on 4th June 2020 and the aim is to have an index that will truly reflect the market price.
- The base year is FY 2017-18.
- The concept and design of the Index as well as the Representative Prices have been developed by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
- The Index is meant to encompass all transactions of raw coal in the Indian market.
- This includes coking and non-coking of various grades transacted in the regulated (power and fertilizer) and non-regulated sectors.
- The NCI’s upward movement indicates rising demand of coal because of upcoming festive season and winter in the country, which will encourage coal producer to take maximum benefit by further scaling-up domestic coal production to meet the growing energy demands.
Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope : Discovered Five New Pulsars
Using the Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), astronomers from China and Australia have recently discovered five new pulsars.
- Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is a radio telescope in China’s Guizhou Province.
- It is the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, with a receiving area equivalent to 30 football fields.
- It measures 500 meters in diameter.
- Scientific Goals:
- Detect neutral hydrogen at the edge of the universe; reconstruct the images of the early universe;
- Discover pulsars, establish a pulsar timing array, and participate in pulsar navigation and gravitational wave detection in the future;
- Join the International Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry Network to obtain hyperfine structures of celestial bodies;
- Perform high resolution radio spectral survey. Detect weak space signals;
- Participate in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
- FAST uses a data system developed at ICRAR (International Center for Radio Astronomy) in Perth, Australia, and at ESO (European Southern Observatory) to manage the huge amounts of data it generates.
- Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that blast out pulses of radiation at regular intervals ranging from seconds to milliseconds.
- Pulsars have strong magnetic fields that funnel particles along their magnetic poles, accelerating them to relativistic speeds, which produce two powerful beams of light, one from each pole.
Hermes 900 Starliner Drones :
India is set to acquire additional Israeli-made Hermes Starliner 900 drones that will enhance the Indian Army’s surveillance capabilities along its northern borders.
- Hermes 900 Starliner is an Israeli-made medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
- It is the larger variant of the Hermes 900.
- It has a wingspan of 17m and a maximum take-off weight of 1,600kg.
- The aircraft has a service ceiling of 30,000ft and offers a flight endurance of up to 36 hours.
- The aircraft’s automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) capability allows it to take-off and land in near-zero visibility environments.
- An active de-icing system is installed for removing ice from surfaces to ensure safe operation in icing conditions.
- It can carry a range of multi-sensor payloads weighing up to 450kg for multiple applications.
- The onboard imaging sensors capture real-time imagery/video and provide wide-area persistent surveillance during both the day and night.
- It is equipped with a terrain avoidance warning system (TAWS) for terrain prediction and obstacle avoidance.
- It is equipped with synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar, and maritime patrol radar to detect, locate and acquire targets.
- It can also carry electronic warfare payloads to provide airborne electronic attack capability.
Taeniogonalos dhritiae : New Species Of Wasp
Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) recently discovered a new species of wasp named ‘Taeniogonalos dhritiae’ in the Western Ghats of Kerala.
- Taeniogonalos dhritiae is a new species of wasp discovered in the Ranipuram Hills area in the Western Ghats of Kerala.
- It is named after Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, a noted entomologist.
- It is a species in the family Trigonalyidae.
- While there are about 122 described species of Trigonalyidae in 16 genes worldwide, the knowledge of Indian Trigonalyidae is scanty, with only eight described species till date.
- These insects are hyperparasitoids (parasites of parasites) where females lay eggs on other parasitic wasps.
- The Trigonalyidae family is found in abundance in parts of Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia.
Global TB Report 2023:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Tuberculosis (TB) report 2023, highlighting the high burden of TB worldwide in 2022.
- India accounted for the highest number of TB cases in the world in 2022, with 2.8 million TB cases, representing 27% of the global burden.
Key Findings of the Global TB Report 2023:
- It was the world’s second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent in 2022, following Covid-19.
- TB caused almost twice as many deaths as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome stage (AIDS).
- More than 10 million people continue to fall ill with TB every year.
- 30 high burden TB countries collectively accounted for 87% of the world’s TB cases in 2022.
- Among the top eight high burden countries, in addition to India, are Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- In 2022, 7.5 million people were diagnosed with TB, marking the highest figure recorded since WHO began global TB monitoring in 1995.
- Without treatment, the death rate from TB disease is high, at about 50%.
- However, with treatments currently recommended by WHO (a 4–6 months course of anti-TB drugs), about 85% of people with TB can be cured.
- There is a positive global recovery in the number of people diagnosed with TB and treated in 2022, following two years of Covid-19-related disruptions.
- Countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, accounted for over 60% of the global reductions.
- The TB incidence rate, which measures new cases per 100,000 population per year, increased by 3.9% between 2020 and 2022.
- This increase reversed the declining trend of about 2% per year that had been observed for most of the past two decades.
- India reported a case fatality ratio of 12%, indicating that 12% of TB cases in the country resulted in death.
- The report estimates that 3,42,000 TB-related deaths occurred in India in 2022, with 3,31,000 among HIV-negative individuals and 11,000 among those with HIV.
- India recorded 1.1 lakh cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in 2022, highlighting the continued challenge of MDR-TB as a public health crisis.
Stage-IV Of The Graded Response Action Plan:
Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region(NCR) and Adjoining Areas has invoked an eight-point action plan aligning with Stage-IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), aiming to avert any additional decline in the region’s air quality.
Eight Point Action Plan as per Stage-IV of GRAP:
- Prohibiting the entry of truck traffic into Delhi, except for those transporting essential goods and services, along with LNG/CNG/electric trucks.
- Restricting non-Delhi-registered Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) to enter Delhi, unless they are EVs/CNG/BS-VI diesel, except for essential service carriers.
- Banning the operation of Delhi-registered diesel Medium Goods Vehicles (MGVs) and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), except for those transporting essential items.
- Imposing a prohibition on construction and demolition (C&D) activities in linear public projects like highways, roads, flyovers, power transmission, and pipelines.
- Advising NCR State Governments and GNCTD to transition physical classes for grades VI to IX, XI to online mode.
- Directing NCR State Governments/GNCTD to consider allowing 50% capacity in public, municipal, and private offices, with the remainder working remotely.
- Empowering the Central Government to decide on work-from-home protocols for employees in Central Government offices.
- Encouraging State Governments to contemplate additional emergency measures such as the closure of educational institutions, non-essential commercial activities, and implementing an odd-even vehicle registration number scheme.
Uttarakhand State Foundation Day:
9th November is celebrated as Uttarakhand State Foundation Day, as on this day Uttarakhand became India’s 27th state on November 9, 2000, when it was carved out of northern Uttar Pradesh.
- The state was originally named Uttaranchal, but was renamed Uttarakhand in 2007.
- The name Uttarakhand comes from the Sanskrit dialect and means “northern city”
- Uttarakhand is a land of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and religious significance.
- It is home to the Char Dham, the four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
- Uttarakhand is home to two UNESCO Heritage sites, Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park.
LEAP AHEAD Initiative:
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) launched the LEAP AHEAD initiative, a collaborative effort between the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Delhi-NCR, aimed at supporting and accelerating the success of tech startups in India.
- Launchpad for Tech Entrepreneurs towards Accelerated Growth and Pioneering AHEAD (LEAP AHEAD) aims to support tech startups by offering them access to funding (up to ₹1 Crore), mentorship and global connections.
- Start-ups are companies in their early stages of operation, founded by entrepreneurs aiming to meet demand with innovative products or services.
- India has become the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world after the US and China. India is home to as many as 75,000 Startups.
- Global Innovation Index: India has moved up from 81st (2015) to 46thin 2021 among 130 economies of the world.
Pauradhwani Program : Kerala State Literacy Mission
The Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM) is launching the ‘Pauradhwani’ program in Ernakulam and eight other districts to shape informed and independent citizens.
This program aims to instil scientific aptitude, independent thinking, secularism, democratic spirit, constitutional values, and awareness about rights among the population.
- ‘Pauradhwani’ has a six-point motto, emphasizing the
- rights of marginalized sections
- Building an egalitarian society
- The program covers topics such as the independence struggle, forest rights, rules for coastal areas, women-centric rules, and rights and laws governing children, health, and nutrition.