Today’s Current Affairs: 27th Sep 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve : Protected Habitat For Big Cats
Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve’ became Madhya Pradesh’s 7th protected habitat for big cats.
- Madhya Pradesh, known as the “tiger state” of India due to its substantial tiger population, has officially designated a new protected area for these magnificent creatures called the ‘Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve.’
- This newly established reserve becomes the seventh tiger reserve in the state.
- Madhya Pradesh has consistently held the title of the “tiger state,” with its tiger population increasing from 526 in 2018 to 785 in the 2022 census.
- The Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve incorporates the previously recognized eco-sensitive zone of Nauradehi and Veerangana Durgavati sanctuaries, along with surrounding forest areas, into the buffer zone.
- It will encompass areas within the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary and Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary.
- A green corridor linking Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) with Durgavati will be developed for the natural movement of the tiger to the new reserve.
Unified Registration Portal For GOBARdhan Scheme:
The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has introduced a Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan recently.
- Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan launched in 2023.
- Ministry: Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- Objective is to streamline the registration of Compressed Bio-Gas and biogas plants nationwide.
- The portal is gobardhan.co.in
- This portal acts as a data repository for different activities of Gobardhan.
- It enables monitoring of the progress of the Programme.
- It provides real-time tracking, ensuring transparency & and social accountability of the scheme.
- According to the guidelines, Market Development Assistance of 1500 rupees per metric tonne will be granted for the sale of Fermented Organic Manure or Liquid Fermented Organic Manure, or phosphate-rich organic Manure produced at biogas and compressed biogas plants under the GOBARdhan initiative.
- Anyone who operates or intends to set up a biogas/ CBG/ Bio CNG plant in India can obtain a registration number by registering in this unified registration portal.
- The registration number is required to avail of benefits/ support from other Ministries/ Departments.
- The GOBARdhan initiative will get a boost as these new guidelines will turbocharge the uptake of organic fertilizer produced from the plants.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:
Studies establish a clear link between academic stress and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
- Amid PCOS awareness month, in September, a concerning reality emerges that academic pressure may unknowingly contribute to a silent health crisis among young girls.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that occurs when ovaries create excess hormones.
- PCOS is a “syndrome,” or group of symptoms that affects the ovaries and ovulation.
- Its three main features are:
- cysts in the ovaries
- high levels of male hormones
- irregular or skipped periods
- PCOS affects women during their childbearing years (ages 15 to 44).
- Between 2 and 26.7 percent of women in this age group have PCOS.
- PCOS interrupts the normal menstrual cycle and makes it harder to get pregnant.
- Between 70 and 80 percent of women with PCOS have fertility problems
The State Of The Rhino Report, 2023:
The greater one-horned rhino population in India and Nepal is growing, as highlighted in the State of the Rhino Report, 2023, by the International Rhino Foundation (IRF).
- While poaching and habitat loss remain significant threats to rhinos globally, climate change is also impacting their survival.
- The collaboration among India, Bhutan, and Nepal, along with strict government protection and management, has led to a 20 per cent increase in their population over the past decade. India is estimated to be home to 3,262 rhinos.
- Black rhino populations are increasing despite poaching pressure.
- However, South Africa is grappling with devastating poaching losses of its white rhinos, particularly in certain reserves.
- One concerning aspect highlighted in the report is that the status and whereabouts of 12 of the approximately 76 remaining Javan rhinos are unknown.
- Sumatran rhinos are also increasingly difficult to find, raising uncertainty about their population in the wild.
- The report underscores the need for continued efforts to protect and conserve rhinos and their habitats, address poaching, and mitigate the effects of climate change to ensure the survival of these iconic species.
A NASA space capsule carrying the largest sample ever collected from an asteroid landed on Utah’s Test and Training Range.
- The capsule was released from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which had been in space for seven years and collected the sample from the asteroid Bennu. Scientists will use this sample to learn more about the origins of the solar system.
- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, renamed OSIRIS-APEX (OSIRIS-Apophis Explorer), did not return to Earth’s surface.
- Instead, it separated from the sample return capsule and will continue its mission to study another near-Earth asteroid named Apophis when it comes close to Earth in 2029.
Climate Ambition Summit 2023:
The United Nations Climate Ambition Summit (CAS) held in United Nations Headquarters, New York on 20th September 2023, aimed to accelerate climate action as a prelude to the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC).
- Climate Ambition Summit (CAS) is a prominent international event aimed at addressing the pressing issue of climate change.
- The CAS is designed to showcase “first mover and doer” leaders from government, business, finance, local authorities, and civil society who came with credible actions, policies and plans – and not just pledges – to accelerate the decarbonization of the global economy and deliver climate justice.
- The central aim of the CAS is to uphold the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit, which seeks to prevent severe climate consequences by capping global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
- A total of 34 states and 7 institutions had speaking slots, including India’s neighbouring countries Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as emerging economies like South Africa and Brazil.
- Key players such as the European Union, Germany, France, and Canada also addressed the audience.
- Brazil pledged to reinstate its original 2015 climate goals, emphasizing the need for more ambitious measures and a transition away from fossil fuels.
- Nepal aimed for Net Zero emissions by 2045 instead of 2050, while Thailand targeted Net Zero by 2050, and Portugal set a carbon-neutral goal for 2045.
- All G-20 governments were asked to commit to presenting more ambitious NDCs featuring absolute emissions cuts by 2025.
- The summit emphasized the need to deliver climate justice, particularly to communities on the front lines of the climate crisis who are disproportionately affected.
Psyche Mission : NASA
NASA’s Psyche spacecraft is set to embark on a groundbreaking mission to explore a metal-rich asteroid named Psyche.
- Psyche mission will span nearly six years and cover approximately 3.6 billion kilometers.
- The asteroid orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.
- It is believed to be a remnant core of a planetesimal, composed primarily of iron-nickel metal.
- Studying it from orbit could provide invaluable insights into the composition of Earth’s core.
- In addition to its primary mission, the Psyche spacecraft will also host a pioneering technology demonstration known as NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment.
- This laser communications system aims to test high-bandwidth optical communications back to Earth during the first two years of Psyche’s journey.
- This experiment could revolutionise how data is transmitted across vast distances in space, potentially enhancing our ability to explore the farthest reaches of the solar system.
- NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is responsible for mission management, operations and navigation.
ciTRAN : Circular RNA
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal (IISER Bhopal) identified a specific circular RNA (circRNA) called ‘ciTRAN’, which plays a crucial role in the multiplication of the AIDS-causing HIV-1 virus within the human body.
- Ribonucleic acid is a molecule in living cells that carries genetic information and helps in the production of proteins.
- RNAs are in general straight-chain, free-end structures but these circular RNA (‘circRNA’ ) forms a closed-loop.
- The circRNA plays a pivotal role in regulating gene expression and is essential for various biological processes.
- Its role in HIV-1 replication has remained unclear for a long time.
- Characterizing circular RNA can be tricky because it usually is less abundant, making it further challenging to detect in the native form.
- During viral infections, there’s so much information from the virus that it can make it hard to find the less common ones like circular RNA.
- The researchers developed a novel approach called ‘circDR-Seq’, to successfully capture circRNAs from T-cells (white blood cells) infected with the HIV-1 virus and identified a specific circRNA named ciTRAN, which plays an important role in the multiplication of the virus.
- HIV-1 viral protein R (VpR) is a multifunctional protein that plays specific roles at multiple stages of the HIV-1 viral life cycle and affects anti-HIV functions of the immune cells.
- Further found that HIV-1 infection induces ciTRAN expression in a Vpr-dependent manner and that ciTRAN interacts with serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1), a protein known to repress HIV-1 transcription,”
Just as the earth’s oceans at their shores, the universe’s galaxies also experience tides, but on a much larger scale.
- Galactic tides is a tidal force experienced by objects subject to the gravitational field of a galaxy such as the Milky Way.
- They are caused by gravitational forces within a galaxy, arising in the interactions between celestial objects like stars and gas clouds.
- These tidal forces influence various aspects of a galaxy’s evolution.
- They can reshape a galaxy structure by creating tidal tails and bridges, promoting star formation, and disrupting smaller star systems.
- They also disrupt the orbits of stars, leading to long-term changes in galactic structure.
- Galactic tides also have a say in the ways in which proximate galaxies do and don’t interact.
- Researchers have observed the closest galaxy to the Milky Way, the colossal Andromeda, and found that tidal streams near its edges could be signatures of dwarf galaxies that were later devoured.
Researchers and environmental groups are documenting floral species in the State of Maharashtra and educating people about their existence through nature walks.
- Ephemerals are any short-lived plant, usually one that has one or more generations per year.
- They grow only during favourable periods (as when adequate moisture is available) and passing the unfavourable periods in the form of seeds.
- They are of two types — annual and perennial
- Annual ephemerals form new individuals every year and are seen for a very short period.
- They form seeds at the end of their life cycle, remaining dormant till the next year.
- Perennials have a source like a tuber or a bulb in the soil, so it is the same individual, but the other parts (stem, flowers) are newly formed.”
- Monsoon ephemerals bloom towards the end of May and throughout June, July, August, and September.
- Some other monsoon ephemerals will just form leaves and little branch structures after a few showers.
- These leaves stay for a month or more and then flowering starts, which goes on till July and August.
- The onset of monsoon brings flowers such as ground orchids (Nervilia and Eulophia), lilies (crinum lily, pancratium lily, grass lily, star lily), wild yam (suran), and Indian squill.
Researchers have recently discovered a new deep-sea enzyme that can degrade Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET).
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is the most commonly used thermoplastic polymer in the world.
- It belongs to the family of polyesters.
- PET is produced by the polymerization of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid.
- When heated together under the influence of chemical catalysts, ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid produce PET in the form of a molten, viscous mass that can be spun directly to fibres or solidified for later processing as plastic.
- It is highly flexible, colorless and semi-crystalline resin in its natural state.
- It shows good dimensional stability, resistance to impact, moisture, alcohols and solvents.
- It exhibits excellent electrical insulating properties.
- It is very lightweight, which reduces transportation costs.
- It has good gas (oxygen, carbon dioxide) and moisture barrier properties.
- It can be commercially recycled by thorough washing and re-melting, or by chemically breaking it down to its component materials to make new PET resin.
- It is widely used for packaging foods and beverages, especially convenience-sized soft drinks, juices and water.
- The polymer finds use in fabrics, and the textile industry.
- It is also used in films to mold parts for automotive, electronics, etc.
Sarcophagus: Ancient Graves
Palestinian workers in the Gaza Strip recently found dozens of ancient graves, including two Sarcophagus made of lead, in a cemetery dating back about 2,000 years to the Roman Empire.
- Sarcophagus is an above-ground stone container for a coffin or dead body that often is often decorated with art, inscriptions, and carvings.
- The word sarcophagus comes from the Greek “sarx” meaning “flesh,” and “phagien” meaning “to eat,” so that sarcophagus literally translates as “eater of flesh.”
- First used in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, the sarcophagus gradually became popular throughout the ancient world.
- It carried over through the later years of European society, often used for high status members of the clergy, government, or aristocracy.
- They are almost always made of stone, limestone being the most popular, but sometimes of granite, sandstone, or marble.
- They were usually made by being carved, decorated, or constructed ornately.
- Some were built to be freestanding above ground, as a part of an elaborate tomb or tombs.
- Others were made for burial, or were placed in crypts.
Vizhinjam International Seaport : Docking Of The First Ship
The docking of the first ship at the Vizhinjam International Seaport has been deferred recently
- Vizhinjam International Seaport is located at Vizhinjam, a coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala.
- It is designed primarily to cater to container transhipment besides multi-purpose and break bulk cargo.
- It is developed in a landlord model with a Public Private Partnership component on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer (“DBFOT”) basis.
- The private partner, the Concessionaire M/s Adani Vizhinjam Port Private Limited has, commenced the construction on 5th December 2015.
- The Port is merely a 10 NM diversion from the international east-west shipping route and is also close to the national/regional road and rail network.
- There would be about 30 berths, most of which would be capable of handling Mother Vessels.