Today’s Current Affairs: 27th February 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Revised Guidelines For MPLADS:
Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the Revised Guidelines on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)-2023
- The new guidelines broaden the scope of the Scheme so as to enable the parliamentarian to recommend works as per the changing needs of the community
- Entire process of fund flow under the revised guidelines will operate through the web portal
- This will facilitate real-time monitoring, greater transparency and accountability in the system, and improved efficiency and effectiveness of the MPLAD Scheme.
- Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme is a scheme formulated by Government of India on 23 December 1993 that enables the members of parliaments to recommend developmental work in their constituencies with an emphasis on creating durable community assets based on locally felt needs. Wikipedia
- Launch year: 1993 by prime minister P. V. Narasimha Rao
- Ministry: Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
Garcinia Pedunculata : A Medicinal Plant
Garcinia pedunculata, a medicinal plant commonly called ‘Borthekera’ in the Assamese language, traditionally forbidden for raw consumption, has been found to protect from heart diseases.
- The dried pulp of the ripe fruit of the medicinal plant reduced cardiac hypertrophy indicators and oxidative stress and heart inflammation brought on by International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
- Multiple studies have reported that it is a rich source of antioxidants. However, the cardioprotective potential has yet to be explored earlier.
- ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 167 national standards bodies.
- To reduce the cases of cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases, the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM).
18th UIC World Security Congress:
The 18th UIC World Security Congress, organised by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the International Union of Railways (UIC), ended with the adoption of the Jaipur Declaration.
- The declaration highlighted the commitment of UIC to work towards providing a more safe and secure rail network across the globe, by also fully activating the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and African regional assemblies by 2025.
- It called for the adoption of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence 5G, IoT among others to develop comprehensive solutions for Railway Security.
- The UIC (Union International Des Chemins) or International Union of Railways established in 1922 is headquartered in Paris.
- It is the worldwide professional association representing the railway sector for research, development & promotion of rail transport.
Amazon To Join ONDC:
Amazon has announced that it will join the Indian government’s ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) platform.
- In 2022, Microsoft became the first big technology company to join the network with an intention of introducing group buying in the Indian market through social e-commerce.
- ONDC is an open e-commerce protocol set up by the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Under ONDC, it is envisaged that a buyer registered on one participating e-commerce site may purchase goods from a seller on another participating e-commerce site (for example, Flipkart).
- Presently, buyers and sellers have to be on the same app for a transaction which happens through the same platform.
New START : Russia Has Announced To Suspend Its Participation
Russia has announced to suspend its participation in the New START, the last remaining major military agreement with the United States.
- The name START comes from the original “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty”, known as START-I, which was signed between the US and the erstwhile USSR in 1991, and came into force in 1994.
- START-I, which capped the numbers of nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that each side could deploy at 6,000 and 1,600 respectively, lapsed in 2009, and was replaced first by the SORT, also known as the Treaty of Moscow), and then by the New START treaty
- The New START, the “Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms”, entered into force on 5th February 2011, and placed new verifiable limits on intercontinental-range nuclear weapons.
- The two countries had to meet the treaty’s central limits on strategic offensive arms by February 2018, and to then stay within those limits for the period the treaty remained in force.
- The US and Russia Federation subsequently agreed to extend the treaty through February 2026.
Blue Food: Benefits
A new study suggests that blue food sourced from aquatic environments can help reduce nutritional deficiencies and contribute to employment and export revenue in India.
- Blue food is food derived from aquatic animals, plants or algae that are caught or cultivated in freshwater and marine environments.
- Blue foods are important for the economies, livelihoods, nutritional security, and cultures of people in many countries.
- They supply protein to over 3.2 billion people, are a key source of nutrients in many coastal, rural and indigenous communities, and support the livelihoods of over 800 million people, the majority of whom work in small-scale systems.
- They generate lower emissions compared to terrestrial meat.
- Aquatic foods can also be used to address B12 and omega-3 deficiencies in India.
- Over 91% of countries with vitamin B12 deficiencies also show high levels of omega-3 deficiency
- Promoting blue foods over red meat overconsumption could address health and environmental concerns for about 82% of the 22 countries suffering from a high cardiovascular disease risk.
- Blue foods can help improve nutrition, livelihoods or national revenue for the global south and indigenous communities in the global north.
6 Monster Galaxies Discovered:
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has discovered six Monster galaxies, formed roughly 500-700 million years after the Big Bang, according to a Study.
- Researchers spotted the six monster galaxies using the Cosmic Evolution Early 44 Release Science programme of JWST.
- The programme studies the formation of the earliest galaxies when the universe was less than 5% of its current age.
- Researchers turned the telescope to a patch of the sky close to the Big Dipper, which appears to harbor a group of stars that form a pattern in the night sky. The Hubble space telescope first observed this region in the 1990s.
- The Big Dipper is an asterism of stars, in the constellation Ursa Major (also known as the Great Bear).
- It consists of seven bright stars, four forming a rectangular “bowl” shape and three forming a “handle”. It is often used as a navigational tool, a reference point for stargazing, and as a symbol in popular culture.
- Despite having the same mass as the Milky Way, one of the galaxies is 30 times smaller.
- This indicates the presence of large and mature but remarkably compact galaxies teeming with stars far sooner than scientists had considered possible.
- The telescope reveals that six large, mature galaxies are as old as the Milky Way and exist around 540-770 million years after the Big Bang.
- The universe was roughly 3 % of its current age at the time.
- These galaxies challenge our current understanding of galaxy formation as they should not have existed so early in their life.
Singareni Thermal Power Plant : First Public Sector Coal-Based Power Generating Station
Singareni Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in Telangana is set to become the first public sector coal-based power generating station in the South and first among the State PSUs in the country to have a flu gas desulphurization (FGD) plant.
- With 100% utilisation of the fly ash generated, the STPP has won the best fly ash utilisation award twice already
- The FGD plant would process the sulphur and other gases (nitrogen oxides) generated in firing the coal for power generation.
- The FGD plant removes Sulphur Dioxide from the flue gas before it is released into the atmosphere and hence reduces its impact on the environment.
- FGD systems are characterized as either “wet” or “dry” corresponding to the phase in which the flue gas reactions take place.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has set the deadline for installation of FGD plants for coal-based power plants as December-end of 2026 for non-retiring plants and as December-end of 2027 for retiring plants.
- However, it is not made compulsory for the plants that are going to retire by December-end of 2027, provided they seek exemption from the Central Pollution Control Board and Central Electricity Authority.
Chip 4 Alliance:
The “Chip 4” semiconductor alliance recently held its first meeting of senior officials.
- “Chip 4” alliance includes four of the world’s top producers of semiconductors: the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.
- It represents more than 70 percent of the value of the global semiconductor industry.
- It was first proposed by the US in March 2022 as part of wider plans aimed at enhancing the “security” and “resilience” of semiconductor supply chains, including by reducing the world’s reliance on chips made in China.
- It is intended to cooperate on policy implementation that would support sustainable semiconductor manufacturing in the member states’ home countries.
- Goals: Support industry efforts to diversify their manufacturing base in semiconductor production.
- Protect the Intellectual Property (IP) of companies in member countries.
- Develop policies regarding the export of the most advanced semiconductors and equipment.
- Semiconductors are materials that have a conductivity between conductors (generally metals) and nonconductors or insulators (such as most ceramics).
- They can be pure elements, such as silicon or germanium, or compounds like gallium arsenide or cadmium selenide.
Perovskites: New Process To Fabricate
Scientists have recently created a new process to fabricate large perovskite devices that could create the next generation of solar cells.
- A perovskite is a material that has the same crystal structure as the mineral calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3), the first-discovered perovskite crystal.
- The mineral was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia by Gustav Rose in 1839 and is named after Russian mineralogist Lev Perovski.
- Generally, perovskite compounds have a chemical formula ABX3, where ‘A’ and ‘B’ represent cations, and X is an anion that bonds to both.
- A large number of different elements can be combined together to form perovskite
- Due to its compositional flexibility, scientists can design perovskite crystals to have a wide variety of physical, optical, and electrical characteristics from insulating, semiconducting, metallic, and superconducting characteristics.
- They have applications in various fields of optoelectronics, including photovoltaic solar cells, photodetectors, light-emitting devices, etc.
- Solar cells are currently the most prominent perovskite application, as synthetic perovskites are recognized as potential inexpensive base materials for high-efficiency commercial photovoltaics.
Himalayan Griffon : Conservation Status
The Himalayan Griffon was sighted in the Patrampur and Bail Parao ranges of the Terai forest range after nearly 15 years.
- Himalayan Griffon is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae.
- It is one of the two largest Old World vultures and true raptors.
- This species is found along the Himalayas and the adjoining Tibetan
- Himalayan vultures are also susceptible to toxicity induced by diclofenac, a drug whose residues are in domestic animal carcasses.
- But their population have however not shown signs of rapid decline as witnessed in populations of other Gyps vultures across Asia.
- Conservation status : IUCN: Near Threatened
Unying Festival : Arunachal Pradesh
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush attended the colourful Siang Unying Festival in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Unying Festival of Unying is celebrated to herald the season of cultivation, the beginning of the Adi community’s New Year, arrival of spring seasons as well as a great way to strengthen the bond among the community.
- Adi community are believed to have come from southern china in the 16th century.
- The Adi constitute a major group and inhabit the lower part of the Lower Dibang Valley district, especially the Roing and Dambuk areas of Arunachal Pradesh.
- They are experts in making cane and bamboo items.
- The Adis are basically dependent on agriculture. Both wet rice cultivation and shifting cultivation are practised.
- Solung (a harvesting festival where animal sacrifices and rituals are performed) and Aran ( a hunting festival where all the male members of the family go hunting) are two major festivals of the Adi tribes.
Mad Cow Disease:
Brazil has halted its beef exports to China after a case of mad cow disease was confirmed in the northern state of Para.
- Mad Cow disease is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
- It is a transmissible, slowly progressive, degenerative, and fatal disease which affects the central nervous system of adult cattle.
- It is caused by a protein called a prion, which is normally found on cell surfaces, called a prion,
- When this protein gets altered, it destroys the nervous system tissue- the brain and spinal cord.
- Transmission: A cow gets BSE by eating feed contaminated with parts that came from another cow that was sick with BSE.
- A common sign of BSE in cows is incoordination. A sick cow has trouble walking and getting up.
- It usually takes four to six years from the time a cow is infected with the abnormal prion to when it first shows symptoms of BSE.
- There are no vaccines available for this disease.
Exercise Desert Flag VIII:
Indian Air Force is participating in Exercise Desert Flag VIII 110 which is hosted by the United Arab Emirates.
- Exercise Desert Flag VIII is an annual multinational large-force employment warfare exercise hosted by the UAE Air Force.
- The IAF would be participating with five Light Combat Aircraft, LCA Tejas and two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
- Air Forces from UAE, France, Kuwait, Australia, the UK, Bahrain, Morocco, Spain, the Republic of Korea, and the USA would also be participating.
- The exercise is scheduled from the 27th of February to the 17th of March.