Today Current Affairs: 26th May 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
4th Quad Leaders Summit:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has concluded his official visit to Japan for the 4th Quad leaders summit in Tokyo. This was the second in-person summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad.
- They announced the formation of the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), which will build a “faster, wider, and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters.”
- It will allow tracking of “dark shipping” and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea, as well as improve partners’ ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and to protect their fisheries.
- The grouping would enhance the sharing of data as a part of the “Quad Satellite Data Portal” that would enhance cooperation among the satellites of the member countries.
- The summit welcomed the progress made regarding the J&J vaccine production at the Biological E labs in India under the Quad Vaccine Partnership.
- The Quad is an informal multilateral grouping of India, the U.S., Australia, and Japan aimed at cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Qutub Minar Not a Place Of worship: ASI
The Qutub Minar complex is not a place of worship when it was first notified as a protected monument in 1914 and its character cannot be changed now, the Archaeological Survey of India submitted in a Delhi court.
- It said this while opposing a plea challenging the dismissal of a civil suit seeking “restoration” of Hindu and Jain temples on the premises.
- The original suit, which claimed that 27 temples were demolished to build the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque at the Qutub Minar complex, was dismissed last year under the provisions of Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
- The Qutub Minar complex are monuments and buildings from the Delhi Sultanate at Mehrauli in Delhi. Construction of the Qutub Minar “victory tower” in the complex, named after the religious figure Sufi Saint Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, was begun by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who later became the first Sultan of Delhi of the Mamluk dynasty.
- It was continued by his successor Iltutmish, and finally completed much later by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, a Sultan of Delhi from the Tughlaq dynasty (1320-1412) in 1368 AD.
- Apart from the Qutb Minar and the Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque, other structures in the complex include the Alai Darwaza gate, the Alai Minar and the Iron pillar. Inside the complex lie the tombs of Iltutmish, Alauddin Khalji and Imam Zamin.
- The iron pillar of Delhi was constructed by Chandragupta II (reigned c. 375–415 CE). It is famous for the rust-resistant composition of the metals used in its construction.
New Study On Monkeypox : The Lancet
A new study on monkeypox published in The Lancet suggests that some antiviral medications might have the potential to shorten symptoms and reduce the amount of time a patient is contagious.
- The study documents patients’ response to two antiviral medications – brincidofovir and tecovirimat.
- These were developed to treat smallpox, and have previously demonstrated some efficacy against monkeypox in animals.
- The study found little evidence that brincidofovir was of clinical benefit, but concluded that further research into the potential of tecovirimat would be warranted.
- Monkeypox, a rare disease, is caused by a virus that is a close relative of the smallpox virus. There are currently no licensed treatments.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that Monkeypox can be contained in countries outside of Africa where the virus is not usually detected.
- According to media reports, more than 100 cases of the virus, which causes a rash and a fever have been confirmed in Europe, Americas, and Australia.
- The virus is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa.
Eighth Edition Of Swachh Survekshan (SS) – SS 2023:
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the eighth edition of Swachh Survekshan (SS) – SS 2023 under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0. The theme of SS 2023 is ‘Waste to Wealth’.
- In SS 2023, additional weightage has been given to source segregation of waste, enhancement of waste processing capacity of cities to match the waste generation and reduction of waste going to the dumpsites.
- Indicators have been introduced with additional weightage on emphasizing the need for phased reduction of plastic, plastic waste processing, encourage waste to wonder parks and zero waste events.
- Ranking of Wards within the cities is also being promoted through Swachh Survekshan 2023.
- The cities would also be assessed on dedicated indicators on the issues of ‘open urination’ (Yellow Spots) and ‘open spitting’ (Red Spots), being faced by the cities.
- Further, this year MoHUA is also promoting cleaning of back lanes of the residential and commercial areas.
- Swachh Survekshan was introduced by MoHUA in 2016 as a competitive framework to encourage cities to improve the status of urban sanitation while encouraging large scale citizen participation.
The Inter-State Council(ISC) has been reconstituted with the Prime Minister as Chairman and Chief Ministers of all States and six Union Ministers as members.
- Ten union ministers will be the permanent invitees to the Inter-State Council.
- The government has also reconstituted the standing committee of the Inter-State Council with Union Home as Chairman.
- The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are also members of the standing committee of the Inter-State Council.
- As part of the process of reviewing the working of the existing arrangements between the Union and the States, the Government constituted a commission in 1988 under the Chairmanship of Justice R.S. Sarkaria.
- One of the important recommendations of Sarkaria Commission was for establishing a permanent Inter-State Council as an independent national forum for consultation with a mandate well defined in accordance with Article 263 of the Constitution of India.
- The inter-state council is a recommendatory body that has been empowered to investigate and discuss subjects of common interest between the Union and state(s), or among states.
- It also makes recommendations for better coordination of policy and action on these subjects, and deliberations on matters of general interest to the states, which may be referred to it by its chairman.
- It also deliberates on other matters of general interest to the states as may be referred by the chairman to the council.
- The Council may meet at least thrice in a year.
- There is also a Standing Committee of the Council.
- Prime Minister Chairman
- Chief Ministers of all States Members
- Chief Ministers of Union Territories having a Legislative Assembly and Administrators of UTs not having a Legislative Assembly and Governors of States under President’s Rule (Governor’s Rule in the case of J&K) Members.
- Six Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister Members.
75th Session Of World Health Assembly:
World Health Assembly’s 75th session is being held at World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters (HQ), Geneva from 22nd to 28th May, 2022.
- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare emphasized upon India’s commitment towards building a more resilient global health security architecture.
- Health for peace, peace for health is the theme of the World Health Assembly, 2022.
- India’s six Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers were awarded the Global Health Leaders Award at the ongoing 75th World Health Assembly to recognize their “outstanding contributions to advancing global health, demonstrated leadership, and commitment to regional health issues.”
Key Features of the Union Minister’s address at the 75th Session:
- Streamlining of the WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics is needed to have a more resilient global health security architecture.
- An equitable access to vaccines and medicines should be allowed including the intellectual property aspects.
- Cost-effective research, technology transfer and regional manufacturing capacities must be on the priority list.
- As per WHO, 4.7 million Covid deaths (10 times the official figure) have been reported in India.
- Therefore, concern over WHO’s recent exercise on all cause excess mortality on account of Covid-19 was expressed.
- India urged WHO to consider the country-specific authentic data published through the Civil Registration System (CRS) by the Registrar General of India (RGI).
- The use of mathematical models of data prediction shouldn’t be relied upon. Consequently, the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (set up under Article 263 of the Constitution) passed a unanimous resolution condemning WHO’s approach in this regard.
World Health Assembly:
- World Health Assembly (WHA) is WHO’s decision-making body attended by delegations from all of WHO’s member states.
- It is held yearly at the HQ of WHO, i.e., Geneva, Switzerland.
- Specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board remains the focus of this assembly.
- Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022’s assembly is the first in-person assembly.
- Functions of WHA:
- Deciding on Organization’s policies.
- Appointment of the Director-General of WHO.
- Administration of financial policies.
- Review and approval of the proposed programme budget.
Nikhat Zareen : World Women’s Boxing Championships Winner
Nikhat Zareen became the fifth Indian woman to win a World title at World Women’s Boxing Championships 2022 in Istanbul by defeating Thai Olympian Jutamas Jitpong at 5-0 in the 52 kg category.
- Manisha Moun and Parveen Hooda also won bronze medals in separate categories 57kg and 63kg respectively.
- India last won a World title when Mary Kom had become a six-time champion in Delhi in 2018.
- Overall, India’s medal tally has reached 39 including 10 gold, eight silver and 21 bronze medals in the 12th editions of the World championships and become the third-highest after Russia (60) and China (50).
- Six-time champion M.C. Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), R.L. Jenny (2006) and K.C. Lekha (2006) are the other Indian women who have won the World title.
World Boxing Championship:
- World Boxing Championships are amateur boxing competitions organized by the International Boxing Association (IBA), which is the sport’s governing body.
- The mission of IBA is to promote, support and govern the sport of boxing worldwide in accordance with the requirements and spirit of the Olympic Charter.
Jagannath Temple Heritage Corridor Project Controversy:
The ArchaeologicalSurvey of India (ASI) on May 17 said that a sculpture of a lion, which possibly dates back to the Ganga dynasty, was found during excavation for the controversial heritage corridor project around the 12thcentury Jagannath Temple in Puri,Odisha.
- This is the third such lion sculpture found during the excavation work.
- Jagannath temple was constructed in the 12th century by King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
- Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
- It was called the “White Pagoda” and is a part of Char Dham pilgrimages (Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, Rameswaram).
- There are four gates to the temple
- Eastern ‘Singhadwara’(main gate with two crouching lions)
- Southern ‘Ashwadwara
- Western ‘Vyaghra Dwara
- Northern ‘Hastidwara’.
- There is a carving of each form at each gate.
- In front of the entrance stands the Aruna stambha or sun pillar, which was originally at the Sun Temple in Konark.
Jagannath temple Heritage Corridor Project:
- The project includes redeveloping major portions of the holy town and in the vicinity of the Jagannath temple for visitors and tourists.
- The project will include:
- Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) building redevelopment
- a 600-capacity Srimandir reception center
- Jagannath cultural center
- Badadanda heritage streetscape
- beachfront development
- Puri lake
- Musa river revival plan, etc.
60% e-Waste Recycling Likely By 2023:
The Environment Ministry released the draft notification for electronic waste management for public feedback.
- India has a formal set of rules for electronic waste management, first announced these rules in 2016 and amended them in 2018.
- The latest rules are expected to come into effect by August.
- According to it, Consumer goods companies and makers of electronics goods have to ensure at least 60% of their electronic waste is collected and recycled by 2023 with targets to increase them to 70% and 80% in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
- The rules bring into effect a system of trading in certificates, akin to carbon credits, that will allow companies to temporarily bridge shortfalls.
- Draft notification says companies will have to pay ‘environmental compensation’ for missed targets.
- Along with specifying targets, the rules lay out a system of companies securing extended producer responsibility (EPR) certificates.
- The chief entity that will coordinate the trade of EPR certificates and monitor if companies are meeting their targets is the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).