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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 14th July 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 14th Jul 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

United Nations Human Rights Council : Acts Of Desecration Of The Holy Quran

India voted in favour of a draft resolution tabled in the UN Human Rights Council that condemns and strongly rejects recent “public and premeditated” acts of desecration of the Holy Quran.

  • UN Human Rights Council adopted the draft resolution ‘Countering religious hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence’, with 28 members voting in favour, seven abstentions and 12 nations voting against.

United Nations Human Rights Council:

  • It is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.
  • It was created by the General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by replacing the Commission on Human Rights.
  • It has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis.
  • The members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
  • The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution.
  • It investigates allegations of breaches of human rights in UN member states, and addresses important thematic human rights issues such as freedom of association and assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of belief and religion, women’s rights, LGBTI rights, and the rights of racial and ethnic minorities.

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer:

scientists’ have analyzed data generated from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and said that climate change has altered the colour of 56 per cent of the world’s oceans.

  • The waters in the tropics have turned green and the southern Indian Ocean, in particular, has seen a significant colour change.
  • Changes in the ocean colour indicate alterations to the phytoplankton communities – since phytoplankton are essential for most life in the ocean as the base of the marine food web.
  • Human eyes are not sensitive enough to differentiate subtle colour changes.
  • The oceans appear blue, but the true colour may contain a mix of subtler wavelengths, from blue to green and even red.
  • The green hue comes from chlorophyll, a pigment that helps phytoplankton make food.
  • A change in colour due to an increase or decline in the population will impact organisms that feed on plankton.
  • Though the southern Indian Ocean is seeing a significant change, the waters near India are not following the same trend.

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS):

  • It is a key instrument aboard the Terra(originally known as EOS AM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) satellites.
  • Terra’s orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon.
  • Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth’s surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths.
  • These data will improve our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere.

SAGAR SAMPARK : Inaugurated The Indigenous Differential Global Navigation Satellite System

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways inaugurated the indigenous Differential Global Navigation Satellite System (DGNSS) ‘SAGAR SAMPARK.

  • SAGAR SAMPARK is an indigenous Differential Global Navigation Satellite System (DGNSS).
  • The Differential Global Navigation Satellite System is a terrestrial based enhancement system which corrects the errors and inaccuracies in the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) allowing for more accurate positioning information.
  • It is now able to transmit corrections of GPS and GLONASS.
  • Sagar Sampark at six locations will assist the Director General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) to provide radio aids to ships for marine navigation.
  • The system will provide accurate information to the ships for safe navigation and will reduce the risk of collisions, groundings, and accidents in the port and harbour areas.
  • This will lead to the safe and efficient movement of vessels.
  • It will significantly improve the accuracy of GPS positioning and reduces errors caused by atmospheric inferences, satellite clock drift, and other factors.
  • The error correction accuracy has been improved from 5 to 10 meters to less than 5 meters for 100 Nautical Miles (NM) from Indian coastlines.

Beginning Of Anthropocene epoch : Evidence

Geologists recently said sediments at Crawford Lake in Canada’s Ontario have provided evidence of the beginning of the Anthropocene epoch.

  • Anthropocene epoch is a proposed epoch that denotes the present geological time interval, in which the Earth’s ecosystem has gone through radical changes due to human impact.
  • The word Anthropocene is derived from the Greek words anthropo, for “man,” and cene for “new,” coined and made popular by biologist Eugene Stormer and chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000.
  • There are numerous phenomena associated with this proposed epoch, such as global warming, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, mass-scale soil erosion, the advent of deadly heat waves, deterioration of the biosphere and other detrimental changes in the environment.

Geological Time Scale:

  • Earth’s history is divided into a hierarchical series of smaller chunks of time, referred to as the geologic time scale.
  • These divisions, in descending length of time, are called eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages.
  • These units are classified based on Earth’s rock layers, or strata, and the fossils found within them.
  • From examining these fossils, scientists know that certain organisms are characteristic of certain parts of the geologic record.
  • The study of this correlation is called stratigraphy.
  • Current Epoch: Officially, the current epoch is called the Holocene, which began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age.

Floating Gold : Found In The Belly Of a Dead Whale

A massive chunk of “floating gold” was recently found in the belly of a dead whale beached on the Spanish island of La Palma.

  • Floating Gold or Ambergris (commonly identified as a lump of vomit), is a substance extracted from the bile duct in the intestines of sperm whales.
  • It is a waxy, solid and inflammable substance.
  • It is produced by about one in every hundred sperm whales.
  • The scientific theory surrounding ambergris suggests that sperm whales consume significant quantities of cephalopods, including squid and cuttlefish.
  • Normally, indigestible elements like beaks and pens are expelled through vomiting before digestion.
  • However, in rare cases, these parts bypass that process and bind together within the whale’s intestines, gradually forming a solid mass of ambergris over the course of several years.
  • It is hypothesized that ambergris acts as a protective mechanism, safeguarding the whale’s internal organs from the sharp squid beaks.
  • When newly formed, ambergris emits a distinctive odor reminiscent of the sea and faeces.
  • However, as it matures, it develops a pleasant, earthy aroma often compared to the fragrance of isopropyl alcohol, but without the sharp chemical undertones.
  • It has predominantly been employed in the creation of perfumes and fragrances.
  • Ambergris has a woody scent like sandalwood but also contains ambrein, an odorless alcohol that can fix and extend the life of scents, hence its popularity among perfumers.

Solar Maximum : Expected To Reach In The Next Two Years

It has been recently reported that the sun is expected to reach “solar maximum” in the next two years.

  • Solar Maximum is when the sun goes through a natural solar cycle approximately every 11 years.
  • The cycle is marked by the increase and decrease of sunspots — visible as dark blemishes on the sun’s surface, or photosphere.
  • The greatest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as “solar maximum.” The lowest number is “solar minimum.”
  • This increased solar activity can cause extreme space weather events, including solar flares and eruptions.
  • It can also disrupt radio communications and the power grid and have serious health consequences for astronauts.

2nd Edition Of The Social Trailblazer Program:

The Union Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, while addressing a Social Enterprise Conclave organized by Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) in partnership with LIC Housing Finance Limited has launched the 2nd edition of the Social Trailblazer Program, aiming to boost the Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in India.

  • Social Trailblazer is a programme for Social Enterprises and Entrepreneurs Development, which nurtures early-stage rural, social, and collective enterprises.
  • The program aims to nurture the evolving ecosystem of Indian Social Enterprises.
  • The goal is to promote the Social Enterprise programme so as to promote the development of social enterprise and social investment to help address entrenched social and environmental problems.
  • Social Entrepreneurship is the practice of using business models to address social and environmental problems.
  • Social entrepreneurs, also known as social innovators, bring about positive change through innovative ideas.
  • They aim to create social impact while also generating revenue and profits.
  • They identify problems and create solutions to make a difference. Social entrepreneurship aligns with trends like Socially Responsible Investment and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investing.

50th Meeting Of GST Council:


At its 50th meeting, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council made changes to tax rates on various items and resolved the tax treatment for online gaming, casinos, and horse racing.

  • The Council decided to levy a uniform 28% tax on the full face value of bets placed for online gaming, casinos and horse-racing.

Highlights of the Meet:

The GST Council made the following revisions to the tax rates:

  • Uncooked or Unfried Snack pellets and Fish Soluble Paste: The tax rate was reduced from 18% to 5%.
  • Imitation Zari Threads or Yarn: The tax rate was reduced from 12% to 5%.
  • Food and Beverages Consumed Inside Cinema Halls: The tax rate was set at 5% without input tax credits, as opposed to the previous 18% on cinema services.
  • Tax Treatment of Online Gaming, Casinos, and Horse Racing:
  • Regardless of whether they involve skill, chance, or a combination thereof (or neither), bets and wagers made on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing activities will now attract a 28% GST levy.
  • The GST laws will be amended to explicitly include online gaming within the tax framework.

Exemption from GST:

  • GST Council exempts cancer-related drugs, medicines for rare diseases, and food products for special medical purposes from GST

Establishment of GST Appellate Tribunals:

  • The Council examined proposals from states to establish 50 Benches of the GST Appellate Tribunals in the country.
  • The initial Benches will be set up in state capitals and locations where High Courts have Benches.

GST Council:

  • The GST Council is a constitutional body responsible for making recommendations on issues related to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India.
  • As per Article 279A (1) of the amended Constitution, the GST Council was constituted by the President.
  • The members of the Council include the Union Finance Minister (chairperson), the Union Minister of State (Finance) from the Centre.
  • Each state can nominate a minister in-charge of finance or taxation or any other minister as a member.

11th Meeting Of The Executive Board Of The Association Of World Election Bodies:

Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar led a delegation from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to attend the 11th meeting of the Executive Board of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) in Cartagena, Colombia.

  • The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) (founded 2012; HQ: Seoul, South Korea) is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide and aims to foster efficiency and effectiveness in conducting free, fair, transparent and participative elections worldwide.
  • Membership currently consists of 118 EMBs as members and 20 Regional associations as associate members.
  • India has been closely associated with A-WEB since its inception and has actively participated in capacity-building programs and knowledge-sharing initiatives.
  • The India A-WEB Centre has been established in New Delhi to document and research best practices and provide training and capacity building for A-WEB members.

Muslim World League : Meeting

President Droupadi Murmu had a meeting with the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

  • President Droupadi Murmu said that India appreciates the role and objectives of the Muslim World League in promoting tolerant values, moderation of consciousness and inter-faith dialogue.
  • India is the country with the second-largest population of Muslims in the world
  • Muslim World League (MWL) is an international Non-governmental organization (NGO).
  • Established: 1962.
  • It was founded in accordance with a resolution adopted during the meeting of the General Islamic Conference, which was held in Holy Makkah on the 14th to the 18th May 1962.
  • Headquarter: Makkah, Saudi Arabia.