Today’s Current Affairs: 16th Dec 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus Subtypes:
Study of endotheliotropic herpesvirus subtypes (EEHV) might help in the development of diagnostics & therapeutics.
- The research the study of the determinants, occurrence, and distribution of the disease can help develop sero-diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics against the disease.
- The study by ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI), Izatnagar, Bareilly, supported by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), an attached institution of Department of Science and Technology, has found the exact status of EEHV and its subtypes circulating among Asian elephant population in India.
- Endotheliotropic herpesvirus subtypes (EEHV) is a type of herpesvirus that can cause a highly fatal haemorrhagic disease in young Asian elephants.
- When EEHV is triggered, the elephant dies of massive internal bleeding and symptoms which are hardly visible.
- EEHV belongs to the Herpesviridae family and specifically affects elephants.
- It comprises several subtypes, with EEHV1A being the most common and associated with severe disease in young Asian elephants.
- EEHV1B and EEHV2 are also identified but with varying prevalence and impact.
- Each subtype may exhibit genetic diversity, contributing to differences in virulence and disease manifestation.
- EEHV spreads primarily through contact with infected bodily fluids like saliva, blood, or urine.
- Diagnosis involves various methods, including PCR testing to detect the virus in bodily fluids, serology to identify antibodies, and biopsies for microscopic examination.
- There’s no specific antiviral treatment for EEHV-HD.
Organization Of Islamic Cooperation : India Rejected Verdict On Article 370
India rejected a statement by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the Supreme Court verdict on Article 370.
- The OIC had expressed concern over the apex court order, which on Monday, ruled that Article 370 was a temporary provision.
- The OIC General Secretariat reiterated its call to reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken by India ever since, seeking to change the internationally-recognised disputed status of the territory.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC):-
- Established at: 1969 summit in Rabat (Morocco).
- HQ: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
- Official languages: Arabic, English, and French.
- It has a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.
- It endeavours to establish solidarity among member states, support restoration of complete sovereignty and territorial integrity of any member state under occupation; protect, defend and combat defamation of Islam, prevent growing dissention in Muslim societies and work to ensure that member states take a united stand on the international stage.
- The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states.
- It is the collective voice of the Muslim world.
- It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.
- The OIC has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other inter-governmental organisations to protect the interest of Muslims.
Stonehenge is at risk of being ‘de-listed’ as a UNESCO World Heritage site if the A303 tunnel goes ahead.
- The efforts to stop the construction of a two-mile road tunnel close to the Great Circle of Stonehenge in the United Kingdom were seen.
- Stonehenge located in Salisbury Plain in England.
- It is not clear who built Stonehenge.
- The site has been used for ceremonial purposes and modified by many different groups of people at different times.
- Archaeological evidence suggests that the first modification of the site was made by early Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.
- The monument called Stonehenge was built in six stages between 3000 and 1520 BCE.
- The site was used for ceremonial purposes beginning about 8000–7000 BCE.
- Stonehenge is constructed from sarsen stones, a type of silicified sandstone found in England, and bluestones, a dolomite variation extracted from western Wales.
- There is debate surrounding the original purpose of Stonehenge.
- Stonehenge may instead be, according to researchers and others, a burial monument, a meeting place between chiefdoms, or even an astronomical “computer.”
Mosasaur : Fossil Of Massive Marine Reptile
In Japan, a fossil of the extinct and apex predator Mosasaur, a massive marine reptile from the Late Cretaceous period, was recently discovered.
- Mosasaurs were a group of large predatory marine reptiles that inhabited all of the world’s oceans during the Late Cretaceous epoch, between 90 and 66 million years ago.
- They are related to snakes and monitor lizards and were some of the largest marine organisms of the time and some of the largest predatory reptiles.
- These creatures were contemporaries of Tyrannosaurus rex and other Cretaceous dinosaurs that ruled the Earth.
- They lived near the surface of the water since it breathed air, much as whales do.
- They died out, along with dinosaurs and many other animals, during the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 66 million years ago.
Channapatna Toys : Afganishtan
Channapatna toys have now become part of children’s academic activities in Afghanistan.
- Channapatna Toys are a particular form of wooden toys and dolls that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka.
- Channapatna is also known as Gombegala Ooru (toy-town).
- The history of Channapatna toys can be traced back to Tipu Sultan’s reign as the former ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in the 18th century.
- Tipu Sultan was so impressed with the craftsmanship of Persian artisans that he invited them to train local craftsmen in toy-making.
- This marked the beginning of the Channapatna toy industry, which has ever since flourished.
- Most of these toys are handmade using traditional techniques passed down from generation to generation, ensuring that each piece is unique.
- They are mostly made of Ivory Wood sourced from nearby forests. However, nowadays, sandalwood and mango wood are also used.
- They are also painted in organic colours extracted from vegetables and plants and natural dyes, making the Channapatna Toys 100% chemical-free.
- Their shapes are mostly round and cubes with blunt edges, so they are completely safe for kids.
- They received the geographical indication (GI) tag in 2005.
PACE Mission : NASA
NASA is gearing up to enhance our understanding of Earth’s atmosphere with the upcoming Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission, scheduled for launch in early 2024.
- PACE Mission will employ advanced polarimeters to study the interplay of light, aerosols, and clouds, contributing to a deeper comprehension of their impact on air quality and climate.
- The PACE mission will not only analyse aerosols but also delve into studying the colour of the ocean.
- The primary science instrument for PACE is the Ocean Colour Instrument (OCI) which is designed to measure the ocean’s colour across a spectrum from ultraviolet to shortwave infrared.
- It will feature two polarimeters the Spectro-polarimeter for Planetary Exploration (SPEXone) and the Hyper Angular Research Polarimeter (HARP2).
- These two working together will offer complementary spectral and angular sampling, polarimetric accuracy, and spatial coverage.
- This combination aims to provide improved atmospheric correction and a comprehensive range of aerosol and cloud science data beyond what the OCI alone could achieve.
- The synergistic payload of OCI, SPEXone and HARP2 is poised to make significant breakthroughs in aerosol-cloud-ocean research.
- Aerosols include tiny particles like smoke, dust, and pollutants may seem inconspicuous, but they play a crucial role in influencing our climate.
Mumps : Cases Rise In The States Of Maharashtra
Mumps cases in children are on rise in the states of Maharashtra and Telangana which has become a cause of concern for parents.
- Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a paramyxovirus.
- It can cause the parotid glands, the ones on each side of the face to swell and they may also be tender or painful.
- It is an acute disease which infects children and young adults.
- Humans are the only known host for mumps virus, which is spread via direct contact or by airborne droplets from the upper respiratory tract of infected individuals.
- After an incubation period of some 2 to 4 weeks mumps begins with non-specific symptoms such as myalgia, headache, malaise and low-grade fever.
- Within days, these symptoms are followed by unilateral or bilateral swelling of the parotid salivary glands, with other salivary glands affected in 10% of cases.
- Normally mumps is a mild, self-limiting disease and disappears without sequelae.
- Complications may occur such as encephalitis or sensorineural deafness.
- Orchitis (a painful inflammation of the testes) occurs in 20% of young adult males who develop mumps.
- There is no specific treatment for mumps.
- The various symptoms may be relieved with medicines.
Unnati Foundation : First Entity To List On The Social Stock Exchanges
The Unnati Foundation became the first entity to list on the social stock exchanges (SSE).
- Social Stock Exchange functions as a separate segment within the existing stock exchange and help social enterprises raise funds from the public through its mechanism.
- It would serve as a medium for enterprises to seek finance for their social initiatives, acquire visibility and provide increased transparency about fund mobilisation and utilisation.
- Retail investors can only invest in securities offered by for-profit Social Enterprises(SEs) under the main Board.
- In all other cases, only institutional investors and non-institutional investors can invest in securities issued by SEs.
- Any social enterprise, Non-Profit Organisation (NOPs) or For-Profit Social Enterprises (FPEs), that establishes its primacy of social intent can get registered or listed on the Social Stock Exchange segment.
Bills For Women’s Quota In J&K And Puducherry : Passed
The Lok Sabha passed two Bills to extend the provisions of the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act, 2023 that grants 33% reservation for women in Parliament and State legislatures to the Union Territories of Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Government of Union Territories (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha.
- The two Bills seek to enable greater representation and participation of women as public representatives in law-making processes in the legislative assemblies of Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir.
- Parliament needs to amend the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963, to establish reservations for women in the Puducherry Legislative Assembly.
The Indian Navy recently commissioned INS Tarmugli, a fast attack craft (FAC), showcasing maritime diplomacy and strength.
- The ship was commissioned in the Indian Navy as INS Tillanchang, a Trinkat Class ship, was in active service till 2006, and thereafter gifted to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) government of India in 2006 as part of diplomatic outreach in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- The ship was returned to the Indian Navy in May 2023, the warship is fitted with MTU engines, the latest communication equipment, and an advanced Radar system and will be extensively used for coastal surveillance and protection along the east coast of India.
- The ship is named after Tarmugli Island, a small island in the Andaman group.
Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023:
The Rajya Sabha recently approved the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, which outlines the procedures for appointing the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (EC).
Key Provisions of the Bill:
- The Bill replaces the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991.
- It addresses the appointment, salary, and removal of the CEC and ECs.
- The CEC and ECs will be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
- The Selection Committee will consist of the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister, and the Leader of Opposition/leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha.
- Recommendations of the Selection Committee will be valid even when there is a vacancy in this Committee.
- A Search Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary will propose a panel of names to the Selection Committee.
- Eligibility for the posts includes holding (or having held) a post equivalent to the Secretary to the central government.
Changes in Salary and Conditions:
- The salary and conditions of service of the CEC and ECs will be equivalent to that of the Cabinet Secretary.
- Under the 1991 Act, it was equivalent to the salary of a Supreme Court Judge.
- The Bill retains the constitutional provision (Article 324(5)) that allows the CEC to be removed like a Supreme Court Judge, while ECs can only be removed on the recommendation of the CEC.
- Bill safeguards CEC and ECs from legal proceedings related to actions taken during their tenure, provided such actions were carried out in the discharge of official duties.
- The amendment aimed to shield these officials from civil or criminal proceedings related to their official functions.