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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 22nd Aug 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 22ndtaug 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

15th BRICS Summit:

During his visit to Johannesburg in South Africa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 15th BRICS Summit.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a three-day visit to Johannesburg in South Africa from 22nd to 24th August 2023.
  • BRICS Establishment: 2009.
  • Members: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  • First BRICS Summit: 2009, Russian Federation.
  • Previous BRICS summit/14th BRICS Summit: 2022, China.
  • 15th BRICS Summit: 2023, South Africa.
  • BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. (BRICS)
  • The British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term “BRIC” in 2001 to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
  • Chairmanship rotates annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
  • Together, BRICS accounts for about 40% of the world’s population and about 30% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), 16% of the global trade.

9th India Region Conference Of The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA):

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla inaugurated the 9th India Region Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

  • It was the 9th India Region Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
  • Theme: Strengthening Democracy and Good Governance in the Digital Age.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA):-

  • Founded: 1911.
  • HQ: London, UK.
  • The CPA was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association (EPA).
  • It was registered as a charity on 22 October 1971 under the laws of the United Kingdom.
  • It is an association to serve the Parliamentarians of the Commonwealth Countries.
  • Objective: to promote closer understanding and cooperation for common purposes between those engaged in the Parliamentary form of Countries of the Commonwealth.
  • Mission: to promote knowledge of the constitutional, legislative, economic, social, and cultural aspects of parliamentary democracy, with particular reference to the countries of the Commonwealth.
  • It provides the machinery for regular consultation and exchange of ideas and information among members of Commonwealth Parliaments.

International Olympiad On Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) : India Score

International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) : India Score

  • India secured Second Rank at the 16th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA).
  • The United Kingdom clinched the lead with five Golds.
  • India has secured Second Rank with four medals.

International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA):-

  • Organized by: International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA).
  • Venue: Chorzów, Poland.
  • First IOAA: was held from 30th November to 9th December 2007.
  • Objective: to commemorate the 80th birth anniversary of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand and the 84th birth anniversary of the Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand. (India & Thailand)

Onam Festival : Kerala

Onam festival has started in Kerala, bringing happiness, unity, and a lot of cultural beauty. The festival spans 10 days, commencing on Atham (the first day of Onam) and culminating on Thiruvonam (the final day).

  • It is a major harvest festival in Kerala and is celebrated to honour the home-coming of Asura king Mahabali who brought about peace and prosperity in Kerala.
  • It is also one of the three major festivals of Kerala, celebrated during the month of Chingam, the first month in the Malayalam calendar, Kollavarsham.
  • The other two major festivals of the state are Vishu and Thiruvathira.
  • Onam involves crafting Pookkalam, intricate flower rangolis. Alongside, a variety of rituals enrich the festivities, including Vallam Kali (boat races), Pulikali (tiger dances), Kummattikali (mask dances), and Onathallu (martial arts), among other captivating traditions.

Women FIFA World Cup 2023:

The Women FIFA World Cup 2023 jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, featuring 32 teams concluded recently.

  • The final match was held on 20 August 2023 where Spain defeated England 1-0 to lift their first-ever World Cup trophy.
  • With this win, Spain also became only the second nation to clinch both the men’s and the women’s World Cups after Germany.
  • Spain sealed a thrilling 1-0 win vs England in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 final, at the Accor Stadium in Sydney on Sydney.
  • Spanish captain Olga Carmona’s first-half goal proved to be the difference maker as her side kept hold of the lead.
  • Meanwhile, England came closest in the first-half when Lauren Hemp was denied by the woodwork.
  • The win also helped Spain clinch their maiden WWC title.

Hurricane Hilary:

Hurricane Hilary is a major Category 4 hurricane that formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean on 16th August 2023.

  • Hurricanes are categorized on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on wind speed.
  • Hurricanes that reach category three or higher are classified as major hurricanes.
  • It is the first tropical storm to hit Southern California since 1939.
  • Hurricane Hilary is heading towards California because of a combination of factors, such as a high-pressure system over the western U.S., a low-pressure system over the eastern Pacific, and an El Niño event that warms the ocean water near the equator.
  • These factors create a favorable environment for tropical cyclones to form and move northward along the coast of Mexico and Central America.
  • However, most of these storms weaken or turn westward before reaching California, because of the cold water, cold currents, and unfavorable winds along the U.S. West Coast.
  • Hilary is an exception because it has maintained its strength and followed a more northerly track than usual.

AgniKul Cosmos:

AgniKul Cosmos, a space tech start-up based in Chennai, set to launch their groundbreaking Agnibaan SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator (SOrTeD), the world’s first 3D-printed rocket into space.

  • AgniKul Cosmos’ journey is supported by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe).
  • The Agnibaan SOrTeD is a customisable launch vehicle that could be launched in one or two stages.
  • It is powered by AgniKul’s patented Agnilet engine.
  • Agnilet, is a 3D-printed, 6 kilonewton (kN) semi-cryogenic engine that uses liquid oxygen and kerosene as propellants.
  • Unlike traditional sounding rockets that launch from guide rails, Agnibaan SOrTeD will take off vertically and follow a predetermined trajectory, executing precisely orchestrated maneuvers during its flight.
  • It is capable of carrying payloads up to 100 kg to an altitude of 700 km in five different configurations.
  • Agnibaan SOrTeD will be the first step towards launching the world’s first 3D-printed rocket into space.

INS Trikand:

Indian Naval Ship INS Trikand received a warm welcome upon its arrival at Bandar Abbas, the port city of Iran recently.

  • INS Trikand is a Talwar-class guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy.
  • It is the third and final ship of the second batch of Talwar-class frigates ordered by the Indian Navy.
  • It was built by the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia
  • INS Trikand was commissioned into the Indian Navy on June 29, 2013.
  • The ship is named after the Trikand Fort, which is located near Porbandar, Gujarat.
  • It is part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet and operates under the Western Naval Command headquartered in Mumbai.
  • The ship is equipped with advanced sensors and weapon systems.
  • It features various anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, torpedoes, and a 100mm main gun.
  • It incorporates stealth technology, including reduced radar cross-section, to enhance its survivability in hostile environments.
  • It is equipped with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, including ASW helicopters and torpedo launchers, which make it effective in countering underwater threats.
  • The ship is designed to undertake a wide spectrum of naval operations.

Tomahawk Missile:

Australia recently finalised a deal to buy more than 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the United States.

  • Tomahawk Missile is a US-made long-range cruise missileused for deep land attack warfare.
  • It can be launched from a ship or submarineand can deliver its warhead precisely to a target at a long range.
  • It is used primarily by the U.S. and United Kingdom navies.
  • It is designed to fly at subsonic speed while maintaining a low altitude, making it difficult to detect on radar.
  • It uses tailored guidance systems to manoeuvre while at such low elevations.
  • It has an accuracy of about 5 meters (16 feet).
  • The 6-meter (18.4-foot-) long missile has a range of up to 2,400 km(1,500 miles) and can travel as fast as 885 km (550 miles) per hour.
  • It is powered by a solid propellant during its launch phase. Thereafter it is powered by a turbofan engine that does not emit much heat, which makes infrared detection difficult.
  • It is capable of twisting and turning like a radar-evading fighter plane.
  • It can carry either conventional or nuclear payloads.

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden: Enters World Book of Records

The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar recently entered the World Book of Records (London) as Asia’s largest such park.

  • Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden previously Model Floriculture Centre, is a tulip garden in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is the largest tulip garden in Asia,spread over an area of about 30 hectares.
  • It is situated on the foothills of the Zabarwan Range with an overview of Dal Lake.
  • The garden was opened in 2007 with the aim to boost floriculture and tourism in Kashmir Valley.
  • The garden is built on a sloping ground in a terraced fashion consisting of seven terraces.
  • The garden houses about 48 varieties of tulip flowers. The garden also has several types of other flowers, including daffodils, hyacinths, roses, narcissus, and other ornamental plants.
  • Tulip festival is an annual celebration that aims to showcase the range of flowers in the garden as a part of tourism efforts by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is organized during the onset of the spring season in Kashmir valley.

Death Anniversary Of Madan Lal Dhingra:

On the 114th death anniversary of Madan Lal Dhingra, a massive memorial was inaugurated in Amritsar, where he hailed from.

  • Madan Lal Dhingra was an Indian revolutionary freedom fighter.
  • He was born on 18 February 1883 in Amritsar.
  • He received his early education in Amritsar and later moved to England for further studies. He enrolled at University College, London, where he studied engineering.
  • While in England, Dhingra became deeply involved in the activities of the Indian independence movement.
  • He came in contact with the revolutionaries like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Shyamji Krishna Varma, the founder of Indian House, and several others.
  • On July 1, 1909, Madan Lal Dhingra assassinated Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, a retired British Indian Army officer and a prominent official, during a public meeting in London’s Imperial Institute.
  • During the trial, he claimed that he had murdered Curzon-Wyllie as a patriotic act and in revenge for the inhumane killings of Indians by the British Government in India.
  • He was found guilty and sentenced to death.
  • He was hanged to death on August 17, 1909, at the age of only 24.

Acoustic Side Channel Attack:

A research paper titled “A Practical Deep Learning-Based Acoustic Side Channel Attack on Keyboards”, revealed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to decode passwords by analysing the sound produced by keystrokes.

  • Acoustic Side Channel Attack technique uses the sounds produced by typing on a keyboard to determine what keys are being pressed.
  • By analysing these unique sounds, hackers equipped with the right tools can decode the precise letters and numbers being typed.
  • Researchers investigated the use of audio recordings taken from Zoom video conferencing calls, smartphone microphones, and off-the-shelf equipment and algorithms to launch ASCA attacks.
  • The study found that when trained on keystrokes by a nearby phone, the classifier achieved an accuracy of 95%, the highest accuracy seen without the use of a language model.
  • When a deep learning model was trained on the data with default values, the model was able to acquire a meaningful interpretation of the data.
  • On a MacBook Pro, which features a keyboard identical in switch design to Apple’s models from the last two years, the model was able to achieve state-of-the-art accuracy with minimal training data.
  • Additionally, when the AI model was made to recognise keystrokes using audio captured through a smartphone microphone, it was able to achieve 95% accuracy.
  • This form of hacking could expose sensitive information like passwords and personal messages.

Gene-edited Mustard:

Indian scientists developed the first ever Gene edited low-pungent mustard that is pest and disease-resistant.

  • Gene-edited Mustard is India’s most significant domestically-grown oilseed is rapeseed-mustard.
  • Mustard seeds have high levels of glucosinolates, a group of sulphur and nitrogen-containing compounds contributing to the characteristic pungency of their oil and meal.
  • Rapeseed meal is unpalatable to poultry and pigs, while having to be mixed with fodder grass and water for giving to cattle and buffaloes.
  • Besides reducing their feed intake, high glucosinolates are also known to cause goiter (swelling of neck) and internal organ abnormalities in livestock.
  • The dry seeds from the normal mustard (Brassica juncea) cultivated in India contain 120-130 parts per million (ppm or mg/kg) of glucosinolates.
  • This is as against the sub-30 ppm levels in canola seeds.

Kashmir stag : Increase In Number

The unique Kashmir stag (Hangul) the state animal of Jammu and Kashmir, has again shown a marginal increase in its population.

  • Kashmir stag is also called Hangul which is a subspecies of Central Asian red deer endemic to Kashmir and surrounding areas.
  • It is found in dense riverine forests in the high valleys and mountains of Jammu and Kashmir and northern Himachal Pradesh.
  • In Kashmir, it is found primarily in the Dachigam National Park where it receives protection.
  • A small population has also been witnessed in Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary in south Kashmir.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Critically Endangered
    • CITES : Appendix I

Dachigam National Park:

  • The actual beauty of the park lies in the deep valleys, rocky outcrops, steep wooded slopes and rolling alpine pastures.
  • Being located in a mountainous area, Dachigam National Park faces a huge variation in altitude that ranges from 1600 m to 4200 m above sea level.
  • This variation in altitude categorises Dachigam National Park into two regions- the upper region and the lower region.
  • Flora: It is extremely rich in Wild Cherry, Pear, Plum, Peach, Apple, Apricot, Walnut, Chestnut, Oak and Willow etc.
  • Fauna: Hangul (Kashmir Stag), Musk deer, Brown Bear, Leopards, Jungle Cats, Himalayan black bear, and a few species of wild goats like the markhor and ibex.

Palm cockatoo:

Six Palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus) birds– were rescued from Assam’s Cachar district by the police.

  • Palm cockatoo is also known as the goliath cockatoo or great black cockatoo, is a large smoky-grey or black parrot of the cockatoo family.
  • It has a very large black beak and prominent red cheek patches.
  • It is native to New Guinea, Aru Islands, and Cape York Peninsula.
  • They occur in rainforests, such as gallery forests, forest edges, eucalypt and paperbark woodlands, monsoon woodlands, dense savannas and partly cleared areas.
  • They choose big trees for roosting and nesting.
  • It is under threat by habitat loss through logging and seasonal fires, which each year destroy their nest trees in significant numbers.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Least Concern