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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 24th August 2022

Today Current Affairs: 24th August 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Cloudburst:

Over 20 people have been killed in the destruction caused by cloudbursts and flash floods in different parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand recently.

  • A cloudburst is a localised but intense rainfall activity. Short spells of very heavy rainfall over a small geographical area can cause widespread destruction, especially in hilly regions where this phenomenon is the most common.
  • A cloudburst has a rainfall of 10 cm or more in an hour over a roughly 10 km x 10-km area is classified as a cloudburst event.
  • Cloudbursts are not uncommon events, particularly during the monsoon months.
  • Most of these happen in the Himalayan states where the local topology, wind systems, and temperature gradients between the lower and upper atmosphere facilitate the occurrence of such events.
  • Specific cloudburst events cannot be forecast.
  • No forecast ever mentions a possibility of a cloudburst.
  • But there are warnings for heavy to very heavy rainfall events, and these are routinely forecast four to five days in advance.

Geothermal Power:

ONGC stated drilling its first well at Puga (Ladakh) to generate electricity using geothermal power to reduce the dependence of Ladakh on diesel-run generators.

  • Puga hot spring area, located at the junction of the Indian and Tibetan plates along the Indus Suture Zone, has the greatest potential for the near-term development of geothermal energy in the Indian subcontinent
  • As per the Geological Survey of India, there are around 340 geothermal hot springs in India (e.g., Chummathang (Ladakh), Cambay (Gujarat), Khammam (Telangana), Tattapani (Chattisgarh), and Ratnagiri (MH)
  • Though India has been one of the earliest countries to begin geothermal projects way back in the 1970s, but at present, there are no operational geothermal plants in India.
  • The top five countries in terms of geothermal power generation are the US, Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico and New Zealand

Who Was Pandurang Khankhoje?

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who is currently in Canada for the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, will travel to Mexico where he will unveil statue of Maharashtra-born freedom fighter and agriculturalist Pandurang Khankhoje (1883-1967).

  • Khankhoje had a close connection with Mexico, the country in which he sought refuge due to his association with the radical pro-Indian independence Ghadar Party.
  • Born in Wardha, Maharashtra, in the late 19th century, Pandurang Khankhoje came in contact with other revolutionaries early on.
  • Khankhoje was one of the founding members of the Ghadar Party, established by Indians living abroad in 1914, mostly belonging to Punjab.
  • Its aim was to lead a revolutionary fight against the British in India.
  • The Mexican Revolution of 1910 had led to the overthrow of the dictatorial regime, and this inspired Khankhoje.

Women Scientists:

As per the Department of Science and Technology data, the number of women scientists has gone up in over the past two decades.

Findings:

  • Women among researchers: Increased from 13. 9% (2015) to 18.7% (2018)
  • Good number of participation of women till post-graduate level and then there is a drop at the post-doctoral level.
  • Women in Engineering (14.5%) < Women in natural Science (22.5%) < Women in Health (24.5%)
  • According to the 2018 Global Gender Gap report, India is ranked 108 out of 149 countries.
  • The 2019 All India Survey on Higher Education shows a significant lag in female participation at doctoral levels.

Matsya Setu App:

The Union Minister for Fisheries launched the Online Market Place feature, Aqua Bazar, in the MatsyaSetu mobile app during the ninth general body meeting of the National Fisheries Development Board.

Matsya Setu App:

  • The app was developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA), Bhubaneswar, with the funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad through the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY).
  • Features:
    • Through this platform, any registered vendor can list their input materials.
    • The listed items will be displayed in the marketplace based on geographical proximity to the app user.
    • The listings are categorized into the following major categories, fish seeds, input materials, services, jobs, and table fish.
    • Every listing will contain detailed information about the product, price, available quantity, supply area, etc. along with the seller’s contact details.
    • The needy farmers/stakeholders can contact the vendors and fulfill their procurements.
    • It also allows the fish farmers to list their grown table-size fish/fish seeds for sale with an option to indicate the date of availability along with the price offer.
    • Interested fish buyers will contact the farmers and offer their prices.

Green Energy Projects:

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) signed an MoU with Mahatma Phule Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Technology Ltd. (MAHAPREIT), a wholly owned subsidiary of MPBCDC (49% owned by Govt. of India and 51% owned by Govt. of Maharashtra).

  • In accordance with the MoU, IREDA will offer financing facilities to MAHAPREIT for the Renewable Energy projects to be implemented for state utilities, local bodies and the infrastructure of Renewable Energy Parks.
  • Under this collaboration, IREDA will also undertake Techno-Financial due diligence of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency & Conservation projects for MAHAPREIT.
  • IREDA established a specialised Business Development and Consultancy division two years ago to meet the growing demand in the RE sector.
  • This is the ninth MoU inked by IREDA in the last two years to provide consultation services for the sustainable development of the country.
  • SJVN, NHPC, TANGEDCO, NEEPCO, BVFCL, THDCIL, GSL, and CIPET have signed MoUs with IREDA to enhance their techno-financial expertise for green energy projects and IREDA has already started work on most of the MoUs.
  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) is formed in 1987 as a statutory and autonomous organisation under Government of India and administratively controlled by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

15th International Olympiad on Astronomy And Astrophysics (IOAA):

India secured the third rank in medal tally at the 15th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA).

  • India held the third position jointly with Singapore with students winning three gold and two silver medals.
  • The 15th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) 2022 was held in Kutaisi, Georgia, from 14 to 21 August, 2022

New Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22:

The New Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which sought to ensure optimum revenue for the State government and confront the sale of spurious or bootlegged liquor ran widespread allegations of “procedural lapses”.

  • This has forced the government to scrap it with effect from August 1, 2022
  • Under the new policy, the number of liquor vends in Delhi would have increased from around 630 to 850 — all privately owned and operated.
  • One person could hold more than one liquor retail licence and the “heavily regulated” excise regime was to be eased for business.
  • The revamped excise policy ran into controversy as private liquor vends were opening up across the capital.
  • Many of these vends were sealed by the MCD for various violations related to non-conforming areas where certain businesses such as liquor retail are not allowed.

Rashtriya Puruskar Portal:

The Union Government has launched Rashtriya Puruskar Portal to bring together all the awards of the various Ministries, Departments and agencies of the government under one platform.

  • This has been done to ensure transparency and public partnership.
  • Home Ministry in a statement said that this common portal facilitates every citizen or organization to nominate individuals or organizations for various awards instituted by the government.
  • It informed that the nominations or recommendations for the Padma Awards are open till 15th of next month, while nominations or recommendations for Jeevan Raksha Padak will be invited till 30th of next month.

Tomato Flu:

A new infection dubbed tomato flu, or tomato fever, has been detected in India mostly among children younger than five, according to a report in the Lancet Respiratory Journal.

  • The infection has been named ‘tomato flu’ because of the red, painful blisters that appear on a patient’s body and gradually enlarge to the size of a tomato.
  • The “non-life-threatening” virus was first identified in Kollam district of Kerala on May 6.
  • The primary symptoms of tomato flu are similar to those of chikungunya, which include high fever, rashes, and intense pain in the joints.
  • As with other viral infections, further symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, swelling of joints, body aches, and common influenza-like symptoms, which are similar to those manifested in dengue.
  • As tomato flu is similar to chikungunya and dengue as well as hand, foot, and mouth disease, the treatment is also similar — isolation, rest, plenty of fluids, and hot water sponge for the relief of irritation and rashes.
  • Supportive therapy of paracetamol for fever and body ache and other symptomatic treatments may be required.
  • Young children are also prone to this infection through the use of nappies, touching unclean surfaces, and putting things directly into the mouth.
  • The ‘tomato flu’ is caused by Coxsackie virus A 16. It belongs to Enterovirus family.

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