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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 13th Feb 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 13th Feb 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary : Great Indian Bustard Spotted

The Great Indian Bustard (GIB) has not been spotted at the Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary in Nandyal district of Andhra Pradesh and its surrounding areas for the last couple of years, which is an indication that the bird is at risk of local extinction.

  • Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • It lies between the Nallamala and Yerramalla hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats.
  • It was declared a sanctuary in 1988 to protect the dwindling populations of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard.
  • It is the only GIB Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It owes its genesis to the discovery of the endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB).
  • About 32 species of grassed like Aristida funiculata, Chrysopogon fulvus, Heteropogon contortus, like Cassia fistula (Golden shower tree), Butea monosperma (Flame of the forest), Acacia spp, Ziziphus mauritiana, etc.

Sangeet Natak Akademi:

Former Vice-president of India and Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of the Northeast Region will be inaugurating the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s ‘Dakshin Bharat Sanskritik Kendra’ in Hyderabad.

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi is India’s national academy of music, dance and drama.
  • It was created by a resolution of the Ministry of Education, with P.V. Rajamannar as its first Chairman.
  • It was set up in 1953 for the preservation and promotion of the vast intangible heritage of India’s diverse culture expressed in forms of music, dance and drama.
  • Presently, it is an Autonomous Body of the Ministry of Culture.
  • The Chairman of the Akademi is appointed by the President of India for a term of five years.
  • It is fully funded by the Government for the implementation of its schemes and programmes.
  • Aims and objectives:
    • To coordinate the activities of regional or State Academies of dance, drama and music;
    • To promote research in the fields of Indian dance, drama and music and for this purpose, to establish a library and museum, etc.;
    • To co-operate with such similar academies as there may be and other institutions and associations for the furtherance of its objectives and for the enrichment of Indian culture as a whole;
    • To encourage the exchange of ideas and enrichment of techniques between the different regions in regard to the arts of dance, drama and music;
    • To encourage, where necessary, the establishment of theatre centres, on the basis of regional languages, and cooperation among different theatre centres;
    • The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards are the highest national recognition conferred on practising artists.
    • The Akademi also confers Fellowships on eminent artists and scholars of music, dance and drama; and has in 2006 instituted annual awards to young artists – the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar.

SWATI Portal:

Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India launched “Science for Women-A Technology & Innovation (SWATI)” Portal.

  • SWATI Portal is aimed at creating a single online portal representing Indian Women and Girls in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medicine).
  • The database of the SWATI Portal will serve in policy-making to address the challenges of Gender-gap.
  • The Portal is a complete interactive database; and the first of its kind in India which is developed, hosted and maintained by the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi.
  • Objectives is To scale up the effort exponentially to include each and every Indian woman in science (WiS), across all career stages and subjects, spanning both Academia and the Industry enabling reliable and statistically significant long-term research on the issues of equality, diversity and inclusivity in India;
  • Inclusion of each and every Indian WiS, career stages, and subjects, spanning both Academia and the Industry; Enabling reliable and statistically significant long-term research on the issues of equality, diversity and inclusivity in India, developing active search engine and searchable database (Name, Affiliation, Area of Interest).

National Creators Award:

The Prime Minister Of India hailed the initiative of the National Creators Award, saying it was a great opportunity for the creator community, putting the spotlight on the extraordinary talent across India.

  • National Creators Award is the first-of-its-kind award that will be targeted at “Gen Z”, a reference to the young generation hooked to the internet and social media.
  • The award aims to achieve:
    • Putting change-makers on centre stage recognizing and boosting digital creators that are making an impact
    • It wants to elevate the influence of digital media on social impact, creating a buzz that can’t be ignored
    • It brings a community of creators, leaders & government on one platform to spur a social revolution, a national movement during ‘Amrit Kaal’
  • It’s a launchpad for using creativity to drive positive change.

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha : Inaugrated

The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha BAPS Mandir, the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

  • BAPS is a socio-spiritual Hindu faith with its roots in the Vedas.
  • It is based on the Vedic teachings propagated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830 CE).
  • It was formally established in 1907 CE by Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj.
  • Founded on the pillars of practical spirituality, the BAPS reaches out far and wide to address spiritual, moral and social challenges and issues.
  • No Alcohol, No Addictions, No Adultery, No Meat, No Impurity of body and mind are the five-lifetime vows of BAPS followers.
  • Its global network of mandirs and centres hosts many moral, social, cultural, and spiritual activities.
  • Education and women development are other focus areas, with many schools, hostels, and community development activities targeted at women being managed by BAPS.
  • It is also engaged in a variety of humanitarian activities that include services in times of natural calamities, primary schools, students’ hostels, hospitals, diagnostic camps, anti-addiction drives, environment-awareness programs, tribal uplift, and literacy campaigns.
  • BAPS is an NGO with a Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Alaskapox : Orthopox Virus

An elderly man from Alaska recently became the first person to die after contracting Alaskapox.

  • Alaskapox is an orthopox virus that was first discovered in Alaska, USA, in 2015.
  • It is a double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the same genus (Orthopoxvirus) as smallpox, monkeypox, and cowpox.
  • Orthopoxviruses are zoonotic viruses that can infect various mammals, including humans.
  • Current evidence indicates that the Alaskapox virus primarily occurs in small mammals.
  • The virus has been most commonly identified in red-backed voles and shrews.
  • Symptoms of Alaskapox include one or more skin lesions (bumps or pustules) and other symptoms like swollen lymph nodes and joint and/or muscle pain.
  • Nearly all patients had mild illnesses that resolved on their own after a few weeks.
  • Immunocompromised people might be at increased risk for more severe illness.

Building An Inclusive Society Through SMILE:

The Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE) scheme, aimed at advancing the vision of Viksit Bharat was initiated. This included the launch of the Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for the Welfare of Transgender Persons.

  • SMILE Scheme is a new Scheme after the merger of existing Schemes for Beggars and Transgenders.
  • The two sub-schemes of SMILE – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of engaged in the act of Begging’ – provide comprehensive welfare and rehabilitation measures to the Transgender community and the people engaged in the act of begging.
  • Scheme provides for the use of the existing shelter homes available with the State/UT Governments and Urban local bodies for rehabilitation of the transgender persons.
  • In case of non-availability of existing shelter homes, new dedicated shelter homes are to be set up by the implementing agencies.
  • Scheme is extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages and so on.
  • It is estimated that an approximate 60,000 poorest persons would be benefited under this scheme for leading a life of dignity.

Focus On Inflation Control : RBI

The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) maintains its focus on curbing inflation by keeping the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% in February 2024 to align inflation with the 4% target.

  • The MPC aims to achieve a medium-term target of 4% inflation within a band of +/- 2%.
  • The MPC aims to withdraw accommodation gradually to align inflation with the target while supporting growth.
  • An accommodative stance means the central bank is prepared to expand the money supply to boost economic growth.
  • Withdrawal of accommodation will mean reducing the money supply in the system which will rein in inflation further.
  • A recent RBI Bulletin states that Headline inflation rose to 5.7% in December 2023, primarily driven by food inflation, emphasising the need for continued vigilance.
  • The MPC determines the policy interest rate required to achieve the inflation target.
  • The RBI controls inflation and deflation by employing a variety of monetary policy tools such as:
  • Repo rate, Reverse repo rate, Bank rate, Open market operations, Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), Cash reserve ratio (CRR), Liquidity adjustment facility (LAF), and Market stabilization scheme.

Ultracold Atoms:

This technique eliminates 50% of unwanted interference fringes in images, crucial for understanding the quantum mechanics properties of cold atoms.

  • Traditional imaging techniques suffer from interference fringes, reducing result quality and accuracy in parameters like atom number and temperature.
  • The new algorithm, detailed in a recent paper in Applied Optics, significantly reduces interference fringes and improves temperature uncertainty in cold Rubidium atoms by 50%.
  • This technique holds promise for the widespread application of absorption imaging in the study of ultracold atoms
  • An ultracold atom is an atom with a temperature close to absolute zero.
  • At these temperatures, an atom’s quantum-mechanical properties become important.
  • Ultracold gases are ensembles of atoms held at a temperature close to absolute zero.
  • Such systems enable the creation of exotic phenomena such as Bose–Einstein condensation.