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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 13th June 2022

Today Current Affairs:13th June 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

UN Funds Insufficient For Climate Disasters: Oxfam

Oxfam International released a report, which says the UN (United Nations) requires eight times more Climate Finance than 20 years ago to be able to provide humanitarian aid to Low-Income Countries during Climate-Related Disasters (Droughts, Floods or Wildfires).

  • The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s sixth assessment reports made it evident that more climate-related disasters are in the offing and therefore climate change will escalate the loss and damage suffered by these marginalized communities.

Findings:

  • In 2000-02, UN appealed for USD 1.6 billion as humanitarian aid. The appealed amount rose to an average of USD 15.5 billion in 2019-2021 — an unprecedented 819% increase.
  • Rich countries have been able to deliver 54% of the UN’s appeals in the last five years, leaving a massive deficit of USD 28-USD 33 billion.
  • People in low-income countries are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate-related disasters, be it droughts, floods or wildfires, as these disasters further exacerbate poverty and death affecting them disproportionately.
  • Besides the huge financial burden, loss and damage due to climate crisis encompass health, biodiversity and loss of indigenous knowledge, among gender issues and other related factors.
  • For every USD 2 needed for the UN’s humanitarian aid, rich donor countries provide USD 1.
  • This is despite the fact that the richest 1% people on Earth are emitting twice as much carbon pollution as the poorest half of humanity.
  • Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe are among the ten countries most in need of Climate Finance.
  • Richer people are less exposed to climate risks and better able to weather disasters. They live in more secure places and have more assets to draw on. Poorer people have less protection and therefore experience greater loss and damage, which accumulates over time.
  • The economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 will rise to the range of USD 290-USD 580billiont.

Oxfam International:

  • Oxfam International is a group of independent non-governmental organisations formed in 1995.
  • The name “Oxfam” comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942.
  • The group campaigned for food supplies to starving women and children in enemy-occupied Greece during the Second World War.
  • It aims to maximize efficiency and achieve greater impact to reduce global poverty and injustice.
  • The Oxfam International Secretariat is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

QS World University Rankings, 2023:

The Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (IISc) is the new national leader in the QS World University Rankings, 2023 released, which also shows that all Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) improved their standing.

  • The latest edition of QS World University Rankings features 41 Indian universities, of which 12 improved their positions, 12 remained stable, 10 declined and seven are new entries.
  • The IISc ranks 155th globally, and is the global leader in the citations per faculty (CpF) indicator, which QS uses to evaluate the impact of the research produced by universities.
  • The IISc is the fastest rising South Asian university among the top-200 universities in the QS rankings, having climbed 31 places year on year. The IISc is the world’s top research university, achieving a perfect score of 100/100 for CpF.
  • The IIT Bombay, which was the top Indian university in QS World University Rankings of the previous edition, is the second best Indian institution this time and climbed five places globally to reach the 172 rank.
  • The third best Indian university is the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD), followed by IIT Madras and IIT Kanpur.
  • P. Jindal Global University is the top-ranked private institute in India, and moved up from the 701-750 ranking band to 651-700, followed by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Amity University.

Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022:

The newly released Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022, measured by Yale and Columbia universities, ranks India at the bottom position among 180 countries.

  • The EPI is an international ranking system of countries based on their environmental health.
  • It is a biennial index, first started in 2002 as the Environment Sustainability Index by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia University Center for International Earth Information Network.
  • EPI 2022 uses 40 performance indicators to assess and rank 180 countries.
  • The 40 indicators are under the broad categories of climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality.
  • With a rank of 180 and a score of 18.9, India has fallen from rank 168 and a score of 27.6 in 2020. India comes after Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar, the poorest performers. Denmark tops the list with a score of 77.9.
  • The Environment Ministry of India has issued a rebuttal saying the indicators used in the assessment are based on “unfounded assumptions”.

Ancovax : Covid-19 Vaccine For Animals

The Agriculture Ministry unveiled India’s first Covid-19 vaccine for animals.

  • Developed by the Hisar-based National Research Centre on Equines, the vaccine, called Ancovax, can protect animals against the Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Ancovax can be used in dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and rabbits.
  • It is an inactivated vaccine developed using an infectious part of the Delta variant. In addition, it uses Alhydrogel as an adjuvant to boost the immune response.
  • This is the first Covid-19 vaccine for animals developed in India.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome:

Pop sensation Justin Bieber revealed that a viral disease called the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome has temporarily paralysed one side of his face.

  • Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is neurological disease in which a virus – Varicella Zoster – causes inflammation of the nerves involved in facial movements. The Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) is the same virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.
  • When the nerves get inflamed, they lose their ability to function, leading to temporary facial palsy or paralysis.
  • Facial muscles in the infected person cannot receive necessary signals to function properly.
  • There are 12 cranial nerves in the body. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is the viral infection impacting the 7th cranial nerve that is involved in facial movements.
  • The symptoms include painful, red rash and blisters in and around the ear, and facial paralysis on the same side.
  • Patients also report hearing loss in the ear that has been impacted apart from Tinnitus or ringing sounds. Inability to close the eye causes dryness.
  • The disease is not contagious but can lead to chickenpox in those not vaccinated for the disease.
  • It is treated using anti-viral drugs, steroids and physiotherapy. Steroids and anti-viral drugs are the cornerstone of the treatment.

Dharohar : The National Museum Of Customs And GST In Panaji Goa

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman dedicated to the nation, Dharohar – the National Museum of Customs and GST in Panaji Goa.

  • The two-storey ‘Blue building’, which was earlier known as Alfandega, during the period of Portuguese rule in Goa, has been standing on the banks of the Mandovi River in Panaji for more than 400 years.
  • Dharohar is one of its kind museums in the country that showcases not only the artifacts seized by Indian Customs but also depicts various aspects of work performed by the Customs Department.
  • ‘Dharohar’ has eight galleries. GST Gallery is a brand new addition to the Dharohar Museum.
  • A first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, this GST Gallery takes one through the long and arduous journey of GST spanning two decades.

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC):

To mark the completion of ten years of setting up of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Biotech Startup Expo – 2022 was launched with the theme ‘Biotech Startup Innovations: Towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat.’

  • BIRAC is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • Objective: To strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
  • Functions:
    • Providing access to risk capital through targeted funding.
    • Technology transfer.
    • IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to the biotech firms and make them globally competitive.

Nanhi Pari Programme:

The ‘Nanhi Pari’ Programme was by the Northwest Delhi district administration.

  • ‘Nanhi Pari’ is a scheme to provide a one-stop solution to parents, eliminating their need to visit various offices to obtain documents.
  • The basic aim of most of these schemes is to protect the birth of the girl child, and to facilitate a safe and secure environment and education for her.
  • The programme aims to complete essential services such as provision of a birth certificate, Aadhaar card registration, and opening a bank account for girls delivered in government hospitals in the district before mother and baby are discharged.
  • It aims to get registration for schemes for girl children and mothers such as the Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme, the Ladli scheme, and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana done at the hospital itself.
  • Apart from ensuring that schemes reach target beneficiaries and protecting the interests of girl children, the programme also aims to promote Institutional Deliveries.
  • It makes the processes for schemes as simple as possible for all children and mothers.
  • Parents would not have to go from here to there, trying to avail themselves of essential schemes.

Transfer Of 10 In-Orbit Communication Satellites To NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL):

The government has approved the transfer of 10 in-orbit communication satellites from the Government of India to NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL).

  • The entire GSAT series, except GSAT-7 and 7A, will go to NSIL, and thereby to companies intending to develop downstream satcom businesses. The new CMS (communication satellite) series is already operated by NSIL.
  • Increasing the authorised share capital of NSIL from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 7,500 crore was also approved.
  • NSIL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise of the Government of India.
  • It was established in 2019 under the administrative control of the Department of Space.
  • NSIL is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the primary responsibility of enabling Indian industries to take up high technology space related activities.
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • Mission:
    • Owning satellites for Earth Observation and Communication applications and providing space-based services
    • Building satellites and launching them as per demand
    • Providing Launch Services for satellite belonging to customer
    • Building launch vehicles through Indian Industry and launch as per satellite customer requirement
    • Space based Services related to Earth Observation and Communication satellites on commercial basis
    • Satellite building through Indian Industry
    • Technology Transfer to Indian Industry

Marijuana Legal In Thailand:

Thailand has legalized cultivating and possessing Marijuana but recreational use (Such as smoking) is still banned, even though advocates say the easing effectively decriminalises Marijuana.

  • The nation is the first to advance such a move in South-East Asia, a region known for its stringent drug laws.
  • Thailand, with its year-round tropical climate, has long had a history with Cannabis which many locals commonly used in traditional medicines.

Key Highlights:

  • The goal is to get a head start on its neighbours in winning a large slice of the lucrative market for health treatments using cannabis derivatives, in particular the milder compound CBD (Cannabidiol). But there is another motive, to reducing overcrowding in some of the world’s most overcrowded jails.
  • Which means, in theory, with cultivation of the plant in any quantities now completely legalised, that the police are now unlikely to arrest people just for possession of marijuana.
  • The government is hoping that developing a local cannabis trade will boost agriculture and tourism.
  • It is an opportunity for people and the state to earn income from marijuana and hemp.

Marijuana:

  • Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical, recreational & religious purposes.
    Cannabis can be used for smoking, vaporization, within food, or as an extract.
  • It creates mental and physical effects, such as a “high” or “stoned” feeling, a general change in perception, and an increase in appetite.
  • Short term side effects may include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, red eyes, and feelings of paranoia or anxiety.
  • Long term side effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability and behavioural problems in children whose mothers’ used cannabis during pregnancy.

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