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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 13th Nov 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 13th Nov 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Speedy Disposal Of Criminal Cases Against MPs And MLAs:

The Supreme Court issued directions for the speedy disposal of criminal cases against Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs).

  • The SC issued guidelines during a case challenging Section 8(3) of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
  • This section imposes a six-year ban on individuals convicted of offences with a minimum two-year sentence from contesting elections.

SC guidelines:

  • The chief justices from high courts (HC) can now initiate suo motu cases for speedy resolution of pending criminal cases involving lawmakers.
  • Such cases against MPs/MLAs can be heard by a Chief Justice-led special bench.
  •  Designated courts prioritize those criminal cases against MPs/MLAs which are: 1. Punishable with death or life imprisonment 2. Cases punishable with imprisonment for 5 years or more
  • Trial courts are instructed not to adjourn such criminal cases against MPs/MLAs, except for rare and compelling reasons.
  • District judges are tasked with ensuring adequate infrastructure and technological facilities for designated special courts trying lawmakers.
  • HCs should develop effective monitoring measures using powers under Article 227 to monitor such cases
  • Under Article 227 (1), HC exercises superintendence over all courts and tribunals in its jurisdiction.

Status of Criminal cases against MPs/MLAs:

  • In India, post the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, 43% of newly-elected MPs had pending criminal cases, as reported by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
  • By December 2021, the number of pending criminal cases against current and former MLAs and MPs had reached close to 5,000.

Government Eases Rules For Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme And PPF:

The Indian government has introduced revised rules for various small savings schemes, including the Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme and the Public Provident Fund (PPF), with the aim of making them more attractive to investors.

  • These changes include extending the timeframe for opening a Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme account and modifying premature withdrawal rules for the PPF.
  • Under the new norms for the Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme, individuals now have three months to open an account, an increase from the previous one-month timeframe.
  • According to a recent gazette notification, individuals can initiate the process of opening an account within three months from the date of receiving their retirement benefits, provided they can provide proof of the disbursal date of these benefits.
  • The revised scheme allows depositors to extend their accounts multiple times upon maturity.
  • The deposit will accrue interest at the rate applicable on the date of maturity or the date of extended maturity.

QS World University Rankings: Asia 2024

The global higher education think-tank Quacquarelli Symonds has released the QS Asia University Rankings: Asia 2024, including 148 universities from India in the comprehensive list of 856 universities across Asia.

Key Highlights of the QS World University Rankings: Asia 2024

Top Ranking Universities:

  • Peking University (China) topped the list, followed by the University of Hong Kong (Hongkong) and National University of Singapore (NUS) (Singapore).

Indian Universities’ Performance:

  • IIT Bombay retains its top ranking in India and is ranked 40th in Asia.
  • Seven Indian institutions are among the top 100 in Asia, with five of them being Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), along with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Delhi University.
  • The increasing visibility of Indian universities in international rankings reflects the expansion of India’s higher education landscape and its contributions to global research.

Alliance For Transformative Action On Climate And Health (ATACH):

The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced an Operational Framework for constructing climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems.

  • Framework is important to implement the Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH) goal
  • Climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems are designed to withstand the impacts of climate change while minimizing their carbon footprint.
  • ATACH is a WHO initiative, established in 2022, and is an informal voluntary network which works to realize the ambition set at COP26 to build climate-resilient and sustainable health systems.

National Education Day 2023:

National Education Day is celebrated every year on November 11 across India to mark the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam.

  • National Education Day is celebrated on November 11 every year (Since 2008) to mark the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India’s first education minister.
  • The purpose of celebrating National Education Day is to enlighten individuals about the importance of education and its positive impact on the nation’s development and well-being.
  • National Education Day 2023 Theme: Embracing Innovation
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, born on November 11, 1888, was a scholar, educationist, freedom fighter, and senior leader of the Indian National Congress (INC).
  • He became the youngest person to serve as President of INC in 1923, at the age of 35.
  • He was one of the leading supporters of the non-violent civil disobedience movement that was led by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • He was the first Education Minister of independent India. He served in the position from 1947 to 1958.
  • He was instrumental in the establishment of premier educational institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • He was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, in 1992.

Vampire Viruses:


Vampire Viruses have been recently discovered on US soil for the first time.

  • Vampire Viruses are pathogens that latch onto other viruses in order to replicate themselves.
  • They emerge when a bacteriophage attaches to a soil-based virus, utilising its “life” for independent survival.
  • This viral relationship between two pathogens is called a satellite and a helper.
  • The satellite is the infectious strand that relies on the helper for support through its life cycle.
  • Satellites depend on both their host organism and helper virus to complete its life cycle.
  • The satellite virus depends on the helper virus to build the protective shell that covers its genetic material, called a capsid or to help it replicate its DNA.
  • Most satellite viruses contain a gene that allows them to integrate into the host cell’s genetic material after they enter the cell.
  • This enables the satellite to reproduce whenever a helper enters the cell from then on.
  • The host cell also copies the satellite’s DNA and its own when it divides.

Exercise CORPAT And Bongosagar:

Exercise CORPAT and BONGOSAGAR between the Indian Navy and Bangladesh Navy were conducted in the Northern Bay of Bengal from 07 – 09 Nov 2023.

  • Exercise CORPAT and Bongosagar is the 4th edition of the BONGOSAGAR and the 5th edition of Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) exercise. Both are bilateral naval exercise.
  • Indian Navy Ships Kuthar, Kiltan and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) Dornier participated in the exercise along with Bangladesh Navy Ships Abu Bakr and Abu Ubaidah.
  • CORPAT-23 also included the maiden Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) drills conducted between the two navies wherein a Search and Rescue scenario at sea was exercised.
  • INS Kuthar is an indigenously built guided-missile Corvette, whereas INS Kiltan is an indigenously built anti-submarine Corvette

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer:

As per the World Health Organization, about one in every three deaths that take place from nonmelanoma skin cancer is reportedly caused by working outdoors under the sun.

Highlights of the report:

  • In 2019, approximately 6 billion people of working age (15 years and older) were exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation while working outdoors, accounting for 28 per cent of all working-age people.
  • In the same year, nearly 19,000 people in 183 countries died from non-melanoma skin cancer as a result of working outside in the sun. The majority (65 per cent) were men.
  • Governments should establish, implement and enforce policies and regulations that protect outdoor workers from sun-induced skin cancer

Non-melanoma skin cancer:

  • It refers to a group of cancers that develop in the upper layers of the skin.
  • The main types are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
  • The main cause is ultraviolet light, which comes from the sun and is used in sunbeds.
  • It is more common in older people, but younger people can also get it.
  • Symptoms:
    • The main symptom of non-melanoma skin cancer is a growth or unusual patch on the skin, but it’s most common in areas exposed to the sun, such as head, face and ears neck and shoulders etc.
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery is the main treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer. Radiotherapy, targeted medicines, photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy are also sometimes used.

Phreatomagmatic Eruption:

A new island near Japan’s Ogasawara island chain was formed by phreatomagmatic eruption.

  • It is an eruption that involves both magma and water. It typically interacts explosively leading to concurrent ejection of steam and pyroclastic fragments.
  • Phreatomagmatic ash is formed by the same mechanism over a wide range of basic and acidic compositions. A blocky and uniform crust with low vesicle content is formed.
  • Deposits from phreatomagmatic eruptions are thought to be better classified and finer-grained than those from magmatic eruptions.
  • This is the result of higher fragmentation of phreatomagmatic eruptions.

Ogasawara Islands:

  • The Ogasawara Islands are located in the North-Western Pacific Ocean.
  • It is also known as Bonin Islands.
  • It is a volcanic arc comprising more than 30 islands and islets.
  • The landscape is dominated by subtropical forest types and sclerophyllous shrublands surrounded by steep cliffs.
  • It is one of the famous UNESCO World Heritage sites of Japan.