Today’s Current Affairs: 25th January 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Trans Fat And Increasing Heart Disease: WHO Report
According to a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans fat, which is increasing their heart disease and death risk.
- Trans fat, or trans-fatty acids, are unsaturated fatty acids that come from either natural or industrial sources.
- Naturally-occurring trans-fat comes from ruminants (cows and sheep).
- Industrially-produced trans-fat is formed in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil converting the liquid into a solid, resulting in “partially hydrogenated” oil (PHO).
- Partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) are solid at room temperature and prolong the shelf life of products. They are primarily used for deep frying and as an ingredient in baked goods.
Initiatives taken to reduce trans-fat intake:
- National Level: Foods Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a “Trans Fat-Free”logo for voluntary labelling to promote TFA-free products.
- Global Level: World Health Organisation launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018 for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.
G20-Chief Science Advisers Roundtable:
The planning meeting of the G20-Chief Science Advisers Roundtable (G20-CSAR) was held online mode, to discuss the agenda topics and planning for the proposed high-level roundtables.
- G20-Chief Science Advisers Roundtable is a government-to-government level initiative conceptualised through India’s G20-Presidency.
- It will be an effective platform to discuss and achieve solutions to some of the long pending as well as anticipated issues related to scientific research, technology development and deployment.
- Under this initiative, the Chief Science Advisers and their equivalents of G20 member countries, as well as the invited countries will discuss and develop collaborative frameworks for all involved countries.
- This initiative will also help in establishing an effective and coherent global science advice mechanism.
- The two high-level G20-CSAR meetings will be organised : the 1st G20-CSAR during 26-28 March 2023 at Hyderabad and the 2nd G20-CSAR during 27-29 Aug 2023 at Bengaluru.
Integration Of AIP System In Kalvari Class Submarines:
An agreement was signed recently between DRDO’s Naval Materials Research Laboratory and Naval Group France to extend cooperation to enter into the detailed design phase for the integration of the indigenous Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system in the Kalvari class submarines.
- DRDO is using the fuel cells-based AIP System.
- It is unique as the hydrogen is generated onboard.
- The plant was operated in endurance mode and max power mode as per the user requirements. The system is being developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) of DRDO.
- With the emergence of submarines, there was a problem finding satisfactory forms of propulsion underwater.
- AIP is mostly implemented as an auxiliary source, with the traditional diesel engine handling surface propulsion.
- Most of these systems generate electricity, which in turn drives an electric motor for propulsion or recharges the boat’s batteries.
- AIP allows longer submergence than a conventionally propelled submarine. A typical conventional power plant provides 3 megawatts maximum, and an AIP source around 10 per cent of that. A nuclear submarine’s propulsion plant is much greater than 20 megawatts.
- Features of AIP system:
- It allows the submarines to stay for longer hours in water.
- The submarines need to come to the surface of the water to charge their batteries.
- This is reduced by AIP System.
- It decreases the noise levels made by the submarines.
- This makes it hard to detect the submarines.
Eravikulam National Park : Birth Of Two Nilgiri tahr
Eravikulam National Park (ENP), a natural habitat for the endangered Nilgiri tahr, reported two tahr births recently.
- Eravikulam National Park is Located In Kerala
- It was declared as a National Park in 1978.
- This is also the land of “Neelakurinji”, the flower that blooms once in twelve years.
- The highest peak south of the Himalayas – The Anamudi (2695 meters) is situated in this park.
- Important flora includes Actinodaphne bourdilloni, Microtropis ramiflora, Pittosporum tetraspermium, Eupatorium adenophorum, Strobilanthus Kunthianus (Neela Kurinji)
- 29 Species of mammals are found here of which 5 are endemic to the Western Ghats.
- The Nilgiri Tahr, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Nilgiri Langur, Tiger, Leopard, Giant Squirrel and wild dog are common.
- Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr lives here.
- It is a sure-footed ungulate that is endemic to the southern part of Western Ghats.
- Scientific name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius
- It is also the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
- Conservation Status:
- IUCN: “Endangered”
- Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972 : Schedule 1
Target To Eliminate Measles And Rubella (MR) By 2023:
India had set a target to eliminate Measles and Rubella (MR) by 2023, having missed the earlier deadline of 2020, due to a variety of reasons, exacerbated by disruptions due to the pandemic.
- In 2019, India adopted the goal of measles and rubella elimination by 2023, anticipating that the 2020 goal could not be reached.
- Mission Indradhanush was launched in 2014 to ramp up vaccinating the unvaccinated population.
- During 2017–2021, India adopted a national strategic plan for measles and rubella elimination.
- During the same period, the Government introduced rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) into the routine immunisation programme.
- As of December 2021, five countries have been verified and have sustained measles elimination – Bhutan, DPR Korea, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste. In addition, Maldives and Sri Lanka have sustained their rubella elimination status in 2021.
- It is a highly contagious viral disease and is a cause of death among young children globally.
- It is caused by a single-stranded, enveloped RNA virus with 1 serotype. It is classified as a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the Paramyxoviridae family.
- It is particularly dangerous for children from the economically weaker background, as it attacks malnourished children and those with reduced immunity.
- It can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia.
- It is also called German Measles.
- Rubella is a contagious, generally mild viral infection that occurs most often in children and young adults.
- It is caused by the rubella virus which is an enveloped single-stranded RNA virus.
- Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause death or congenital defects known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) which causes irreversible birth defects.
- Rubella isn’t the same as measles, but the two illnesses share some signs and symptoms, such as the red rash.
- Rubella is caused by a different virus than measles, and rubella isn’t as infectious or as severe as measles.
Parakram Diwas 2023:
On the Occasion of Parakram Diwas (23rd January) 2023, 21 unnamed islands of Andaman and Nicobar have been named after Param Veer Chakra awardees.
- Netaji’s Memorial, a National Memorial dedicated to Netaji will be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep.
- Parakram Diwas is celebrated to commemorate the 126th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose.
- The islands named after Param Vir Chakra awardees will be the site of inspiration for generations to come. People are now visiting Andamans to learn India’s history.
- Param Vir Chakra is India’s highest military decoration awarded for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime whether on land, at sea or in the air.
- It aims to pay tribute to Indian heroes, several of whom had made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India.
- The islands have been named after Major Somnath Sharma, Subedar and Hony Captain (then Lance Naik) Karam Singh, Nayak Jadunath Singh, etc.
About Subhas Chandra Bose:
- He was born on 23rd January 1897, in Cuttack
- He was highly influenced by Vivekananda’s teachingsand considered him his spiritual Guru.
- His political mentor was Chittaranjan Das.
- Bose was the first person to address Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the Nation
- He opposed the Motilal Nehru Report (dominion status for India) and wanted complete independence.
- Became congress president at Haripura in 1938.
- He founded a new party, ‘the Forward Bloc’ (to consolidate the political left in Bengal)
- Indian National Army: He announced the formation of the Azad Hind Governmentand the Indian National Army on 21st October 1943.
Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2023:
Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar (SCBAPP) 2023 was announced on 23 January 2023.
- For 2023, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Lunglei Fire Station (LFS), Mizoram, both in the Institutional category, have been selected for their excellent work in Disaster Management.
- The Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has instituted an annual award known as Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar to recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organizations in India in the field of disaster management.
- The award is announced every year on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs. 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.
- Under the guidance of Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah, the country has significantly improved the disaster management practices, preparedness, mitigation and response mechanisms resulting in significant reduction in casualties during natural calamities.
Assam’s Charaideo Moidams: Nominated To UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites
Central government has decided to put forth the name of Assam’s Charaideo moidams burial sites in addition to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites list for 2023-24.
- If selected it will be the only cultural heritage site in the North East to get the coveted status
- Charaideo Moidams is also known as the ‘Pyramids of Assam’ and was the original capital of the Ahom Kings.
- It contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of the ancestral Gods of the Ahoms.
- Che-Rai-Doi: “Che” means city or town, “Rai” means “to shine” and “Doi” means hill. In short, Charaideo means, “a shining town situated on a hilltop.”
- A moidam is a tumulus – a mound of earth raised over a grave
- Built by Chaolung Sukhapa (founder of the Ahom dynasty in about 1253 CE)
- Located at around 30 Km from the historical Sivasagar town in Assam at the foothills of Nagaland
WTO’s New Agreement On Fisheries Subsidies:
Switzerland has become the first WTO member to formally submit its acceptance of the WTO’s new Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, paving the way for the historic agreement for ocean sustainability to enter into force.
- Acceptance of 2/3rd of WTO members is needed for the agreement to come into effect
- The Agreement was adopted at WTO’s conference in Geneva (2022)
- It is the 1st WTO agreement (for the environment) and the 2nd agreement reached at WTO since its inception.
- It will prohibit subsidies from being provided for Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, fishing in high seas and overfished stocks.
- Developing Countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have been allowed a transition period of two years from the date of entry into force of this Agreement.
- Fund for developing and least-developed countries: For technical assistance and capacity building
- Exempted Areas:
- No prohibition if the WTO Member is not carrying out IUU.
- No prohibition on providing subsidies if subsidies are implemented to rebuild the stock to a biologically sustainable level.
Information Database On Municipal Bonds : SEBI
Markets regulator SEBI has launched an information database on municipal bonds.
- Objective is to raise awareness of people; Efforts to develop the bond markets and make the process easy and streamlined.
- The information database contains a wide range of information in the form of statistics and regulations, circulars, guidance notes and Frequently Asked Questions issued by SEBI in respect of municipal debt securities.
- Municipal bonds are debt securities issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to fund day-to-day obligations and to finance capital projects such as building schools, highways or sewer systems.
AMPHEX 2023 : Tri-Service Exercise
All three defense forces of India, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force participated in AMPHEX recently.
- AMPHEX is a tri-service exercise and was held in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.
- Also, it is an amphibious exercise, meaning both land and sea forces will act together simultaneously.
- The 2023 AMPHEX is the largest of all the AMPHEX exercises held so far.
- Several Amphibious ships participated in the exercise.
- INS Jalashwa. INS Airavat, INS Shardul, and INS Gharial are some of the amphibious ships of the Indian Navy.
SCO Film Festival : Mumbai
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is to host a film festival in Mumbai.
- National Film Development Corporation is the Indian representative in organizing the festival along with SCO.
- Indian cinema is gaining international applause and attraction as Bollywood is producing diverse films in different genres.
- The Indian entertainment industry is one of the largest in the world. The total revenue of the industry is more than 90 billion rupees today.
- India produces more than 2000 films per year and is the largest film producer in the world followed by the USA in second position and China in third place.
- The festival will build cultural bonding among the SCO countries.
- Though the origin of the organization purposed defense and military, today the working of the organization has shifted largely towards economic and business benefits.
- It was formed in 1996 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
- Headquarters: Beijing, China
- SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, International security and defence organization
- Other members joined SCO at later stages.
Smart City Conference : Panaji, Goa
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recently conducted a two-day Smart city CEO conference at Panaji, Goa.
- The conference was co-hosted by a private firm Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL).
- CEOs and Municipal commissioners of more than 100 smart cities participated in the conference.
- The main objective of the conference was an idea exchange.
- The CEOs of different smart cities presented their business plans for developing their cities and making them smart.
- The attendees agreed on the fact that today smart city ideas such as electric buses, transport technologies, water management techniques, rain harvesting, and integrated command and control centers have huge revenue generation capabilities.
Smart City Mission:
- It was launched by PM Modi in 2015.
- It aims to rejuvenate urban areas in the country.
- The mission will benefit more than 40% of the Indian population.