Today’s Current Affairs: 1st Nov 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Candolleomyces albosquamosus : A New Species Of Mushroom
Researchers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) at Palode identified a new mushroom species, which has been named Candolleomyces albosquamosus
- Candolleomyces albosquamosus is a new species belonging to the genus Candolleomyces, which is relatively small genus with just 35 species recognised worldwide.
- It has white woolly scale-like structures on its pileus or cap.
- It grows to a height of just about 58 mm.
- The ‘cap,’ or pileus, of a mature Candolleomyces albosquamosus is 12 mm to 38.5 mm in diameter and bell-shaped.
- The honey-yellow coloured pileus turns brownish-gray or brownish-beige with age.
- The’stipe’ ‘(the stem or stalk) of the mushroom is white in colour and cylindrical.
- Habitats of Candolleomyces albosquamosus include dead logs or bamboo culms in the natural forest.
Vigilance Awareness Week 2023:
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is observing the Vigilance Awareness Week 2023 from 30th October to 5th November, 2023, centered around the theme “Say no to corruption; commit to the Nation.”
- This comprehensive initiative demonstrates a concerted effort towards promoting vigilance and combating corruption within government departments and organizations.
- CVC is an apex governmental body in India that is responsible for promoting integrity, transparency, and accountability in the country’s public administration.
- It was established in 1964 based on recommendations of the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption.
G7 Trade Ministers Meeting:
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry participated in the G7 (Group of Seven) Trade Ministers Meeting in Osaka, Japan.
Highlights of the Meeting:
- India made an important intervention on the topic of Enhancing Supply Chain Resilience and gave several suggestions on the issue.
- India also mentioned that the Covid 19 pandemic and the geo-political events highlighted the vulnerabilities of the existing supply chains leading to increase in commodity prices and global Inflation.
- India urged the governments to collaborate on a regulatory framework to ease the movement of supply chains and facilitate cross border trade.
- India also referenced the Generic Framework for Mapping of Global Value Chains mentioned in the New Delhi Declaration of the G20 to help member countries identify risks and enhance resilience in trade.
- India encouraged Public-Private partnership, investment in critical infrastructure and the need for innovation and digitalisation of the supply chains.
- India and the UK reviewed the progress of negotiations of the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA), talks for which have reached the final stage.
- These negotiations aim to address differences on issues such as Rules of Origin and the services sector.
- India also discussed with ministers from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries – Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein – to discuss the progress of the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA).
16th Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference & Exhibition 2023:
The 16th Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference & Exhibition 2023 concluded.
- The event was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs through the Institute of Urban Transport (India) and with the support of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd from 27th – 29th October, 2023 in New Delhi.
- The importance of the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) as a convenient and efficient payment method for commuters was emphasized.
- The conference explored innovative funding mechanisms and public-private partnerships to meet urban transportation infrastructure demands.
- UMI Conference & Exhibition 2023 underscored the importance of transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce emissions and urged investment in EV infrastructure.
- Awards were presented in various categories for excellence and best practices in urban transport projects.
- Categories included the Best Public Transport System, Most Innovative Financing Mechanism, and Best Green Transport Initiative.
Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Model : Awarded By NHAI
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) recently awarded two highway monetisation projects worth Rs 6,584 in the toll, operate, and transfer (TOT) mode.
- In 2016, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) authorised the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to monetise public-funded national highway projects and approved the ToT model.
- In the TOT model, public-funded projects, operational for two years, are put up for bidding, wherein the right of collection and appropriation of fees is assigned for a predetermined concession period (30 years) to concessionaires (developers or investors) against the upfront payment of a lump sum amount to NHAI.
- Such assignment of rights shall be based on the toll revenue potential of the identified NH projects.
- Operation & Maintenance (O&M) obligations of such projects shall be with the concessionaire till the completion of the concession period.
- The concessionaires for such projects shall be appointed through a transparent and uniform procurement process within the ambit of a pre-defined and approved implementation framework.
- It will help in the utilisation of the corpus (generated from proceeds of such project monetisation) by the Government to meet fund requirements for future development and O&M of highways in the country, including in unviable geographies.
- TOT model has been developed to encourage private participation in Highway sector.
The Indian Army and Indian Air Force contingent, comprising 120 personnel, departed to take part in the Joint Military ‘Exercise KAZIND-2023’ which will be conducted at Otar, Kazakhstan, from October 30th to November 11th, 2023.
- Exercise KAZIND-2023 is the 7th edition of Kazind exercise.
- The Joint Exercise between India and Kazakhstan was instituted as ‘Exercise PRABAL DOSTYK’ in the year 2016.
- After the second edition, the Exercise was upgraded to a company-level exercise and renamed as ‘Exercise KAZIND’.
- The Exercise has been further upgraded as a Bi-service Exercise this year by including the Air Force component.
- In this edition of the Exercise, both sides will practise conduct of Counter Terrorism operations in a sub-conventional environment under United Nations mandate.
- The contingents will jointly rehearse various tactical drills to include Raid, Search and Destroy Operations, Small Team Insertion and Extraction operations, etc.
- The scope of the Exercise also includes conduct of Counter Unmanned Aerial System Operations.
United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon:
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said that one of its members sustained injuries after shelling Houla village near the Israeli-Lebanon border.
- United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon was created by the Security Council in March 1978 after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.
- According to Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) of 19 March 1978, UNIFIL was established to:
- Confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon.
- Restore international peace and security.
- Assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area.
- The mandate had to be adjusted twice, due to the developments in 1982 and 2000.
- It has around 10,500 peacekeepers coming from 48 troop contributing countries.
- The mission maintains an intensive level of operational and other activities amounting to approximately 14,500 activities per month, day and night, in the area of operations.
- Seventeen percent of activities are carried out jointly with the Lebanese Armed Forces. UNIFIL is complemented by a five-vessel Maritime Task Force.
- UNIFIL is funded through a separate account approved on an annual basis by the General Assembly
- It is a part of UN peacekeeping force.
Hostile Activity Watch Kernel (HAWK) System:
The Karnataka Forest Department, along with the Wildlife Trust of India, launched the Hostile Activity Watch Kernel (HAWK) system.
- Hostile Activity Watch Kernel (HAWK) system is Cloud Based Information Management System designed to manage interlinked databases of wildlife crime, wildlife criminals, and wildlife mortality.
- It will help officials analyse the information and develop actionable intelligence to prevent wildlife crimes and curb Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT).
- The system connects the entire state forest department in real-time and the access is restricted through access levels.
- This is a large ERP model cloud based system that uses mobile and desk top interfaces to manage data.
- The entire HAWK system is divided into various modules that are interconnected with individual stand alone functions.
- This enables the system to be scaled up or down as per the needs of the state forest department and ensures customization opportunities for each state to accommodate the changes in procedures and also to accommodate the interface in regional languages.
- All the data managed by the HAWK system is secured with the government and industry standard security measures are applied to ensure data security.
- The development of HAWK started in 2017 in the state of Kerala by a joint team of Kerala Forest Department & Wildlife Trust of India.
- The system was officially launched in 2019 in Kerala, and since then it has been the official system of the state forest department.
- The implementation of a customised version of HAWK was initiated in 2022 in Karnataka in partnership with the ICT cell of Karnataka forest department, and the system is being implemented across the state.
Carbon nanoflorets made by IIT Bombay researchers can convert incident sunlight to heat with 87% efficiency.
- Carbon nanoflorets are like tiny marigold flowers made only of carbon, which are called as the material carbon nanoflorets.
- Researchers heated a special form of silicon dust called DFNS (for dendritic fibrous nanosilica) in a furnace.
- Once heated, she introduced acetylene gas into the chamber.
- The white powder turned black, a sign that carbon had been deposited on the DFNS.
- Then they collected the black powder and treated it with a strong chemical that dissolved the DFNS away, leaving carbon particles behind.
- The structure of the silicon particles – 50-1,200 nanometers in size—resembled spikes arranged around a sphere.
- They reported that these nanoflorets could absorb sunlight at many frequencies and convert it to heat with unprecedented efficiency.
- The nanoflorets also didn’t easily dissipate the heat generated into the environment, making the material a good candidate for heat.
- The nanoflorets converted the light energy they absorbed into thermal energy—a process called solar-thermal conversion—with a remarkable efficiency of 87%.
- The carbon nanoflorets’ high efficiency comes from three properties.
- The nanoflorets absorb three frequencies in sunlight – infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet, while other common materials absorb only visible and ultraviolet light.
Crab plover : Species Of Shorebirds
For the first time, breeding nests of crab-plovers spotted at Great Vedaranyam Swamp near Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu.
- Crab-plover is a long-legged, black and white bird of Indian Ocean coasts, related to plovers and allied species of shorebirds.
- This is the only shorebird that lays white eggs, and chicks remain inside the burrows until the fledging stage.
- The chicks are semi-nidifugous, unlike chicks of other shorebirds that leave the nests shortly after hatching.
- They are residents of the coasts and islands of the Indian Ocean.
- They breed around the Arabian Sea of Pakistan, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Somalia, the Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Madagascar.
- These birds inhabit sandy coastlines, mudflats, estuaries, lagoons, exposed coral reefs, and rocky shorelines.
- During the breeding season, they can also be found in sand dunes.
- Conservation Status
- IUCN: Least Concern
A Delhi-based advocate recently became the latest victim of the SIM-Swap Scam after she received three missed calls from unknown numbers and lost money from her bank account.
- All banking applications are linked to phone numbers, which help in generating OTPs (to authenticate transactions) or receiving important bank-related messages.
- In the SIM swap scam, fraudsters first take personal details such as phone numbers, bank account details, and addresses with the help of phishing or vishing.
- After receiving the personal information, fraudsters visit the mobile operator’s retail outlet, posing as the victim with forged ID proof, and report a fake theft of the victim’s SIM card and/or mobile phone.
- By doing this, they attain a duplicate SIM.
- Notably, scamsters can get a duplicate SIM even when the original is working, as they reported a theft of the original SIM card.
- Unlike other scams, where scamsters trick people into giving OTPs and private information on a phone call, the SIM swap scam doesn’t require direct communication with the victims.
- However, fraudsters do give missed calls to their victims so that the latter leave their phones and ignore the lost network connectivity.
- When the SIM is swapped, the accused gains control of the entire SIM. All calls and messages go through their SIM only.
- Once in control of the SIM card, they are able to obtain passwords and OTPs that allow them to access their targets’ bank accounts.
Bru Refugees : Will Not Participate In Mizoram Election
Bru refugees will not participate in elections in Mizoram as they were given permanent settlement in Tripura under a centrally sponsored rehabilitation arrangement.
- Bru, also known as Reang, is a community indigenous to the Northeast, living mostly in Tripura, Mizoram, and Assam.
- In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group.
- They belong to Indo-Mongoloid racial stock. Their languages have an affinity with Austro-Asiatic groups under the Tibeto-Burman family.
- Ethnically, they are divided into two major clans, namely Meska and Molsoi.
- They speak a language known as “Kaubru,” which has a tonal effect on the Kuki language, though broadly, it is the Kok-Borok dialect.
- They are still a nomadic tribe, and a large number among them maintain their livelihood involving Hilltop Jhum Cultivation and other food gathering activities.
- They believe in spirits and the existence of a soul.
- By religion, they are Hindus, and most of their deities are akin to gods and goddesses of the Hindu faith.
- They are traditionally endogamous and do not marry outside their community.
- In their tradition, the village council chief, known as “RAI,” permits Divorce and Widow marriage.
Rajaji Tiger Reserve:
The Uttarakhand government recently decided to establish Rajaji Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation to accelerate the ecological, economic, social, and cultural development of the landscapes in and around the reserve.
- Rajaji Tiger Reserve (earlier Rajaji National Park) is located in the Shivalik range of the Himalayas and spread over 820 kms.
- It covers a part of over three districts of Uttarakhand: Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal.
- It was named after the famous freedom fighter Rajgopalachari, popularly known as “Rajaji”.
- The park was created in 1983 by the amalgamation of three sanctuaries:
- Rajaji Sanctuary and National park (estd. 1948),
- Motichur Sanctuary (estd. 1964), and
- Chilla sanctuary (estd. 1977).
- On 20 April 2015, its name was changed to Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
- It is famous as an elephant habitat, as there are around 600 elephants in Rajaji.
- It’s location in a transition zone between temperate western Himalaya and central Himalaya enhances the species diversity
- The area is covered with diverse forest types ranging from semi-evergreen to deciduous and from mixed broad-leaved to Terai grassland and has been classified as Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest type.