Today’s Current Affairs: 21st January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Menstrual Leave For Girl Students : Kerala Government
The Kerala Government recently introduced menstrual leave for girl students above the age of 18 years.
- The decision is a part of the gender-sensitive education reforms of the Kerala Government.
- The decision on menstrual and maternity leaves was made by the Higher Education Department.
- In accordance with the decision, a girl of age 18 years and above is eligible to avail of 60 days of menstrual leave in a year.
- The Higher Education Department also availed maternity leave for students pursuing their higher education.
- With this, the attendance percentage of girl students is sealed at 73% as against the usual 75%.
- The concept of menstrual leave was first introduced by the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat).
Literature Festival : Jaipur
The Jaipur Literature Festival is celebrated in the month of January in the city of Jaipur, the Pink city. 16th edition of the festival is to be celebrated in 2023. The festival was introduced in 2006 and is the largest free literary festival in the world.
- Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah addressed the festival, Abdul received the Nobel prize in literature in 2021.
- He was honored for his works on the fate of the refugees and the effects of colonialism in the Gulf.
- The Festival is to focus on varied topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Geopolitics, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, crime fiction, translation, economics, etc.
- Jaipur Literature Festival Celebrated is To bring the literary experts, artists of different fields, and writers to a single platform and to give space for the artists to indulge in a meaningful debate
Exercise Cyclone-I : Indo-Egypt Joint Training Exercise
The Indian and the Egyptian Armies are to conduct the first-ever joint exercise Cyclone-I. It is to be held in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan for 14 days.
- The exercise is the first of its kind as it brings the special forces of the countries to a common platform.
- Cyclone-I would help the armies exchange their culture and ethos.
- The exercise is to honor the professional skills of the armies.
- It will focus on skills necessary to fight in desert terrain undertaking reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, and other special operations.
- The armies will share their experience, professional knowledge, and tactics
- The exercise aims to build trust between the countries
- 30-40 special forces are participating in the exercise
- The armies will engage and get trained in combat free fall, sniping, surveillance, etc
Nature Risk profile : Companies Impacts And Dependencies On Nature
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and S&P Global launched ‘Nature Risk Profile’, a new methodology for analyzing companies’ impacts and dependencies on nature
- It was released at Davos World Economic Forum Summit
- Its methodology is based on Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)
- The Nature Risk Profile is aimed at enabling the financial sector to measure and address nature-related risk by providing scientifically robust and actionable analytics on nature impacts and dependencies.
- With half of the world’s GDP highly dependent on nature, biodiversity loss is a growing concern for global business leaders. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Risks Report
- The United Nations Environment Programme (HQ: Nairobi, Kenya) is responsible for coordinating responses to environmental issues within the United Nations system.
- It was established by Maurice Strong, its first director, after the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in June 1972.
2nd Phase Of Saansad Khel Mahakumbh 2022-23:
The Prime Minister of India recently inaugurated the 2nd phase of Saansad Khel Mahakumbh 2022-23 (18-28 Jan), organised in Basti (UP). The first phase was organised from 10-16 Dec 2022.
- The Khel Mahakumbh is a novel initiative that provides an opportunity and a platform to showcase sporting talent, and motivates people to take sport as a career option.
- Various types of competitions (indoor and outdoor) are organised by Khel Mahakumbh such as – wrestling, kabaddi, kho kho, basketball, football, hockey, volleyball, etc.
- Through these games, performing athletes are being selected for further training under the Sports Authority of India.
What Is Hybrid Immunity?
Study in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases held that “hybrid immunity” provides better protection against severe Covid-19, while all immunity against a re-infection wane within a few months.
- The study is based on a meta-analysis of 11 other studies on the protective effectiveness of previous SARS-CoV-2 (Covid) infection and 15 studies on the protective effectiveness of hybrid immunity.
- Hybrid immunity from an infection is a combination of natural protection along with the immunity provided by the vaccine.
- It appears to result in stronger protection than just infection or vaccination alone.
- In the case of Covid-19, hybrid immunity is when someone recovers from a Covid infection before getting vaccinated.
- A hybrid immunity offers a “higher magnitude and durability” of protection as compared to infection alone, emphasizing the need for vaccination
- However, with the faster-spreading omicron variants leading to more infections and consequently more people developing this hybrid immunity.
- Efficacy of Hybrid Immunity : Protection against severe disease and hospitalisations from a Sars-CoV-2 infection alone was found to be 82.5% at three months after the last shot or infection.
- This protection stood at 74.6% at 12 months and 71.6% at 15 months.
- Protection against reinfection declined faster, standing at 65.2% at three months and dropping to 24.7% at 12 months and 15.5% at 15 months.
- It can be used to tailor guidance on the number and timing of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.
- It said that in regions with high Sars-CoV-2 sero-prevalence, the primary vaccination – focused mainly on those at the highest risk of severe disease such as the old or co-morbid – can offer high protection against severe disease and hospitalisation for at least one year.
8th India-Oman Strategic Dialogue:
The 8th India-Oman strategic dialogue was held in India, where both countries have underlined the need to work collectively to fight the challenge of terrorism, terrorist propaganda, abuse of cyberspace and misuse of new and emerging technologies.
- They agreed to hold the next round of the strategic dialogue in Oman in 2024.
- Both sides highlighted the high priority accorded by the leadership of both countries to further enhance their strategic ties based on trust and mutual respect.
- Discussions were held on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including bilateral strategic and security cooperation, defence and regional security.
- Both sides reiterated the importance of preserving Maritime Safety and Security in the region.
- Both sides reiterated the importance of the strategic dialogue as an important mechanism of bilateral cooperation between India and Oman.
Painted Bat : Key Facts
A rare orange-coloured bat, also known as ‘painted bat’ was spotted at a banana plantation in Parali Bodal village of Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Valley National Park in Bastar.
- Painted bat are often found in unusual roosting sites such as suspended nests of weaver finches and sunbirds, and banana leaves, these bats have been known to roost in pairs.
- It is an aerial hawker, catching insects mid-flight.
- It is generally found in Bangladesh, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Conservation status:
- IUCN: Near Threatened
Kanger Valley/ Ghati National Park:
- This National Park derived its name from the Kangar river, which flows in its length.
- This park is a typically mixed humid deciduous type of forest, in which the Sal, Saugaun, teak and bamboo trees are available in abundance.
- The most popular species in this area is Bastar Maina which emulates everyone with its human voice.
International North–South Transport Corridor:
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, in association with India Ports Global Ltd, conducted a workshop on the ‘Linking Chabahar Port with INSTC’ in Mumbai.
- International North-South Transport Corridor is a multimodal transportation agreement formed with a trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Russia at the Euro-Asian Conference on Transport in 2000.
- It links the Indian Ocean to the Caspian Sea via the Persian Gulf onwards into Russia and Northern Europe.
- The corridor encompasses sea, road and rail routes.
- The main purpose of the corridor was to reduce carriage costs and transit time between India and Russia.
- The transit time is expected to reduce to almost half, once the corridor becomes fully functional.
- The agreement has been ratified by 13 countries namely, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Armenia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Ukraine.
- Chabahar Port is located off the Gulf of Oman in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan & is the only Iranian port with direct access to the ocean.
AH-64E Apache: Ready To be Delivered To The Army
The first fuselage for the Indian Army’s contract for six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters has recently been rolled out of the Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) facility in Hyderabad.
- The first Apache is scheduled to be delivered to the Army in February 2024 and training of Army Aviation pilots and technicians commenced in the U.S. recently.
- AH-64E Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter.
- Country of Origin: United States
- Manufacturer by Boeing
- It is also known as Apache Guardian.
- The AH-64E attack helicopter is the latest version of the AH-64, used by the US Army.
- It is designed and equipped with an open systems architecture to incorporate the latest communications, navigation, sensor, and weapon systems.
- Has greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.
- The AH-64E includes a new integrated infrared laser that allows for easier target designation and enhanced infrared imagery that blends infrared and night vision capabilities.
- The Indian Air Force has a fleet of 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, and in 2020, Boeing signed an agreement with the Government of India for the acquisition of six more Apache helicopters for the Indian Army.
- Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) is a joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
Committee To Save Chamundi Hills:
The citizens’ committee to save Chamundi Hills and its environment has resolved to press for clearance from the heritage committee before the implementation of development works at the hilltop under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD).
- Chamundi Hills is located in the city of Mysore, Karnataka.
- The average elevation is 1,060 meters.
- The famous Sri Chamundeshwari Temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Chamundeshwari is situated on top of Chamundi hills.
- This is the oldest temple on the hills.
- These hills have been mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures such as ‘Skanda Purana’.
- Sri Chamundeshwari Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari (Chamundi), deity of the Mysore Royal Family.
- This temple is about 1000 steps from the foot of the Chamundi hills.
- It is built in the Dravidian style of temple architecture.
- The Government of India launched the PRASHAD scheme in the year 2014-2015 under the Ministry of Tourism.
- Is a Central Sector Scheme with complete financial assistance by the Government of India.
- This scheme focuses on developing and identifying pilgrimage sites across India for enriching the religious tourism experience.