Today’s Current Affairs: 22nd Jun 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Lake Victoria : Report
A new scientific report published in the journal Nature shows that significant precipitation changes and increasing extreme climate events affecting the large human populations as well as endemic biodiversity of Lake Victoria Basin
Key findings of the report:
- Heavy rains, wind storms, and floods threaten the survival and water access of the communities living in the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB), East Africa.
- Nearly 40 million inhabitants are strongly affected by extreme weather events such as regular flooding.
- The resultant massive flooding in lake-adjacent areas displaced over 200,000 people in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
- Lake Victoria and its surrounding wetlands and forests have faced extreme pressure and degradation due to rapid population growth, agricultural expansion, urbanisation and industrialisation.
- Lake Victoria is the world’s second-largest freshwater lake.
- It is located in East Africa, bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
- It is also called Victoria Nyanza in Kenya, Nalubaale in Uganda, and Ukerewe in Tanzania.
- It is a source of the White Nile River which flows northward and eventually joins the Blue Nile in Sudan to form the Nile River.
Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 : Amendment
The Punjab Assembly has amended the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 to allow the broadcast of Gurbani (sacred hymns) from Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) to be accessible to all media outlets free of cost.
- This move aims to break the alleged monopoly of PTC, a television channel associated with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party.
- The decision has sparked controversy, with the opposition party questioning the Punjab Assembly’s authority to amend the Gurdwaras Act without the consent of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
- The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee est. 1920; HQ: Amritsar is an organization in India responsible for the management of Gurdwaras, Sikh places of worship in the states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and the union territory of Chandigarh.
- SGPC also administers Darbar Sahib in Amritsar.
International Day Of Yoga 2023:
The 9th International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated on June 21st with various events and initiatives taking place across the country. The Prime Minister will lead yoga at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, demonstrating a global commitment to yoga.
- The Ministry of Ayush encourages “Har Aangan Yoga” which means Yoga in the courtyard of every house, by enabling yoga observation at the village level.
- This year theme, “Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which highlights India’s socio-cultural heritage and promotes unity.
Highlights of IDY 2023:
- Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED) collaborated with the Ministry of Ayush to supply yoga mats exclusively made by tribal artisans.
- These mats represent the diverse cultural heritage of India’s tribes, showcasing their stories, folklore, and artistic traditions.
- TRIFED will highlight products and communities such as Madur mats or Madhurkathi from Medinipur, Sabai Grass Yoga Mats from Mayurbhanj, and Gondha Grass mats from Jharkhand.
- Indian Navy and Merchant ships will organize yoga demonstrations at ports and vessels of friendly countries, fostering global participation.
- Coordination between the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Ayush to organize yoga events in countries along the Prime Meridian line and UN member countries.
- Yoga sessions to be held at Himadri in the Arctic and Bharati in Antarctica, showcasing yoga’s reach to extreme regions.
- Indian armed forces, including Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Border Security Force (BSF), and Border Roads Organization (BRO), will form a chain of yoga demonstrations.
- Yoga Sagarmala will feature yoga along the Indian coastline along with yoga demonstrations on the flight deck of INS Vikrant.
World Hydrography Day 2023:
Union Defence Minister recently visited the hydrography ship South Jetty, Indian Naval station Kochi on the eve of World Hydrography Day to support the sustainable use of the oceans.
- World Hydrography Day is marked annually on June 21.
- It is officially recognised and implemented by the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).
- It serves as a platform to highlight the crucial work carried out by hydrographers worldwide and to promote the significance of hydrography itself.
- It aims to increase public awareness and understanding of hydrography’s role in ensuring safe and efficient navigation, sustainable marine resource management, and coastal zone development.
- 2023 Theme: “Hydrography – underpinning the digital twin of the ocean.”
- It is the branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their change over time.
- This is done mainly with specialised ships and boats operating echo sounders and sonars, but also using survey aircraft fitted with lasers.
- Useful information can also be derived sometimes from satellite observations.
- Hydrography also involves measuring the tide and the currents.
- Unlike oceanography, hydrography will include shore features, natural and manmade, lights and towers that will aid in fixing a ship’s position, as well as the physical aspects of the sea and seabed.
- The most well-known application of hydrographic information is for making the nautical charts that all mariners use for navigation.
- Hydrographic information is required for the safe, efficient and sustainable conduct of every human activity that takes place in, on or under the sea.
GEMCOVAC –OM Vaccine : Approved
India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine for the Omicron variant, GEMCOVAC-OM was approved under emergency use guidelines by the Drug Controller General of India.
- GEMCOVAC –OM Vaccine was developed using the indigenous platform technology by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. and supported under the Mission COVID Suraksha, implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
- It is a thermo-stable vaccine, which does not require ultra-cold chain infrastructure used for other approved mRNA-based vaccines, making it easy for deployment pan India.
- It is delivered intra-dermally using a needle-free injection device system.
- When administered intradermally in participants as a booster, it generated significantly higher immune responses.
- The clinical outcome demonstrates the need for variant-specific vaccines for desired immune response.
- mRNA vaccine contains messenger RNA (mRNA), a single-stranded RNA molecule that complements DNA.
- It is created in the nucleus when DNA is transcribed by RNA polymerase to create pre-mRNA.
Asia Pacific Plant Protection Commission:
The Asia Pacific Plant Protection Commission unanimously elected India as chair of the Standing Committee on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for the biennium 2023-24 during the 32nd Session held in Bangkok.
- Asia Pacific Plant Protection Commission is an intergovernmental organization that promotes cooperation among countries in the Asia-Pacific region to enhance plant health and plant protection.
- It was established in 1956 as a regional body approved by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
- The commission consists of 25 member countries, including India.
- The Commission consists of representatives of all member countries and elects amongst them a Chairperson who serves for a period of two years.
- The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization appoints and provides the secretariat that coordinates, organizes and follows up the work of the Commission.
- The Commission, according to its provisions convenes at least once every two years and opens for participation to all member countries.
One Nation One Helpline Initiative : For Childline Services
The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoW&CD) in India has undertaken a significant step by merging the successful Childline emergency counselling and distress helpline for children with the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number 112.
- The move aims to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of child helpline services by integrating them with other emergency services such as the police, fire, and ambulance departments.
- This decision is part of the ‘One Nation One Helpline’ initiative introduced by the MoW&CD.
- Initially, the merger will be implemented in nine states and UTs, including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Goa, Mizoram, Ladakh, Puducherry, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, with other regions to follow in a phased manner.
- The Childline India Foundation (CIF) and its partner NGOs were responsible for operating the 24×7 helpline under the Child Protection Services scheme.
- However, the existing system lacked interoperability with other emergency services, resulting in delays during distress situations.
- Also, childline services were available in only 568 districts, leaving approximately 200 districts without coverage.
- To automate and integrate the Childline 1098 service with ERSS 112, the Ministry has appointed the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) based in Kerala as the “total solution provider.”
- This integration will enable the classification of incoming 1098 calls into emergency, non-emergency, and information categories.
The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023:
The report has been released by Startup Genome, a policy advisory and research organization.
- The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 (GSER 2023) is an in-depth analysis of startup ecosystems worldwide.
- It provides insights into leading ecosystems, emerging trends, and challenges faced by entrepreneurs.
- GSER 2023 offers actionable recommendations for entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and stakeholders.
- Silicon Valley, New York City, and London maintain their top positions in the global startup ecosystem rankings.
- Chinese ecosystems have experienced a decline in rankings, with Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai dropping in the overall standings.
- Indian ecosystems, particularly Mumbai, Bengaluru-Karnataka, and Delhi, have shown positive growth in the rankings.
- Mumbai move 5 places up while Bengaluru was ranked 20th in terms of Startups
- India has become the 3rd largest start-up ecosystemin the world after the US and China.
- India is home to as many as 75,000 Startups.
- India has moved up from 81st (2015) to 46th in 2021 among 130 economies of the world.
- Globally ranked 3rd (2021) from 6th in 2013 based on the National Science Foundation database.
- Globally ranked 9th (2021) in terms of resident patent filing.