Today’s Current Affairs: 29th aug 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
“State of India’s Birds, 2023″ Report:
The “State of India’s Birds, 2023″ report reveals a widespread decline in most bird species across the country, with some currently declining and others projected to decline in the future.
- Raptors, migratory shorebirds, and ducks have experienced the most significant declines.
- However, several species like the Indian Peafowl, Rock Pigeon, Asian Koel, and House Crow are thriving and increasing in both abundance and distribution.
- The assessments, based on data from around 30,000 birdwatchers, indicate that 60% of the 338 species with identifiable long-term trends have declined, while 36 species have increased.
- Specialist bird species, which inhabit specific habitats like wetlands and rainforests, are facing rapid declines, while generalist species capable of adapting to various habitats are faring better.
- Long-distance migratory birds, such as those from Eurasia and the Arctic, have suffered significant declines, while resident species remain more stable.
- Birds with diets focused on vertebrates and carrion have seen notable declines, potentially due to harmful pollutants present in these food resources.
- The report emphasizes the decline of species endemic to the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspots.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit To Greece:
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Greece, the two nations elevated their bilateral relationship to a “strategic partnership,” focusing on enhancing political, defence, and security cooperation.
- A strategic partnership is a long-term interaction between two countries based on political, economic, social and historical factors.
- This visit marked the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 40 years.
- Greece conferred the Grand Cross of the Order of Honour (Greece’s 2nd highest civilian honour) on Modi, making him the first foreign head of government to receive this honour.
- The two countries also aimed to double bilateral trade by 2030
- Early finalization of the Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreement (MMPA)to facilitate skilled migration between the two countries.
- They reaffirmed their commitment to a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific region and the Mediterranean Sea, advocating for international peace, stability, and security.
Tiranga Point And Shivshakti Point On Moon:
Prime Minister announced that the point where the Chandrayaan-2 lander left its footprint on the Moon would be known as “Tiranga Point”. The point where the Vikram lander touched down on the lunar surface would be named “Shiv Shakti”.
- Shivkshakti Point : on Moon is the location on the lunar South Pole where the ‘Vikram’ lander touched down
- “The ‘Shivkshakti’ point will encourage future generations to take up science seriously and use it for the welfare of people.
- To commemorate the success of the Chandrayaan-3 lander, Prime Minister Modi announced that the spot of the landing of the Vikram lander will be known as ‘Shivshakti’.
- The Prime Minister commended the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s accomplishments while paying a crucial visit to the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru.
- The designation of the Chandrayaan-3 moon lander landing location as the “Shiv Shakti Point” was one of the main attractions of this expedition.
- This name is not just symbolic; it also resonates with the depth of Indian philosophy and stands for resolve, strength, and the enormous connection that connects the Himalayas to Kanyakumari.
National Space Day : 23rd Aug
According to PM Modi, India will observe August 23 as “National Space Day” to commemorate the success of Chandrayaan-3.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended ISRO scientists for inspiring a generation and creating a lasting impression on children’s brains while speaking to a group of ISRO scientists in Bengaluru.
- At the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network Mission Control Complex in Bengaluru, Karnataka, the Prime Minister was speaking to scientists.
- According to experts, India’s space sector would grow to $16 billion in a few years from $8 billion, said PM Modi.
- With the successful landing of the Chandrayaan 3 mission on the moon, all eyes are on the next phase of the Moon mission i.e., the Chandrayaan-4 Mission or Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (Lupex), which will be jointly launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
World Athletics Championships 2023:
Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra has once again etched his name in history, seizing the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. He achieved a remarkable throw of 88.17m.
- Before his recent victory in Budapest, Neeraj Chopra had already claimed the distinction of being the first Indian track and field athlete to clinch gold at the Olympics (Tokyo 2020), secure the Diamond League title (2022), and conquer the junior world championships (2016).
- The 2023 World Athletics Championships, the nineteenth edition of the World Athletics Championships, were held from 19 to 27 August 2023 at the National Athletics Centre, in Budapest, Hungary.
- These are the first World Athletics Championships in Hungary.
- Edition: 19th
- Main venue: National Athletics Centre
- Motto: Witness The Wonder
- Organisers: World Athletics, Hungarian Athletics Association
Smishing : New Scam
The Indian government recently warned against a new scam called ‘Smishing’.
- The term “smishing” is a combination of “SMS” (Short Message Service) and “phishing.”
- A type of phishing attack, smishing, often involves sending fraudulent text messages to individuals with the aim of tricking them into divulging sensitive personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or other confidential data.
- When cybercriminals “phish,” they send fraudulent emails that seek to trick the recipient into clicking on a malicious link.
- Smishing simply uses text messages instead of email.
- Smishing attacks often involve messages that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as banks, government agencies, or well-known companies.
- Smishing messages typically contain urgent or enticing content to persuade recipients to take immediate action, such as clicking on a malicious link, calling a phone number, or providing sensitive information.
- Once the victim opens and clicks on the link or dials the phone number listed in the message, they’re taken to a fraudulent website or a mobile phone line that’s designed to resemble a legitimate source.
- The victim might be asked to enter sensitive information, such as login credentials, social security numbers, credit card information or personal identification numbers (PINs).
- Once the victim’s sensitive information is divulged, the attacker might steal it to commit fraud for personal gain or to compromise the victim’s device by installing malware on it.
XRISM Mission And SLIM Lander: Japan
Japan readies to launch a dual-purpose mission from one rocket, deploying SLIM to showcase precise moon landing techniques and XRISM for enhanced celestial analysis.
- The X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) is a joint mission of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), involving contributions from the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canadian Space Agency as well.
- Objective of the mission aims to observe X-rays coming from deep space and to identify their wavelengths with unprecedented precision.
- It will use state-of-the-art spectroscopy to measure changes in the brightness of celestial objects at different wavelengths.
- It detects X-rays with energies ranging from 400 to 12,000 electron volts. (For comparison, the energy of visible light is 2 to 3 electron volts.)
- This range will provide astrophysicists with new information about some of the universe’s hottest regions, largest structures, and objects with the strongest gravity.
- Instruments onboard: The mission has two instruments, Resolve and Xtend.
- Resolve is an instrument that will collect spectroscopic data with far more resolution than X-ray observatories orbiting the Earth do.
- Xtend will operate simultaneously to photograph the cosmos with a resolution comparable to the way our eyes might perceive it if we were to have X-ray vision.
- While Resolve zooms in, Xtend will zoom out, providing scientists with complementary views of the same X-ray sources over a larger area.
- SLIM, or Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, is a compact robotic moon lander with no astronauts aboard.
- Called ‘Moon Snipper’ in the Japanese language, it has lightweight equipment for advanced observations and adaptable landings on resource-scarce planets, advancing exploration strategies.
26th Meeting Of The Western Zonal Council:
Union Home Minister will chair the 26th meeting of the Western Zonal Council at Gandhinagar.
- The idea of the creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, in 1956.
- In the light of the vision of Pandit Nehru, five Zonal Councils were set up vide Part-III of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956. Hence, they are statutory bodies.
- The act divided the country into five zones (Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern) and provided a zonal council for each zone.
- The Zonal Councils provide an excellent forum where irritants between the Centre and States and amongst States can be resolved through free and frank discussions and consultations.
- The main objectives of setting up Zonal Councils are to-
- Bring out national integration;
- Arrest the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies;
- Enable the Centre and the States to cooperate and exchange ideas and experiences;
- Establish a climate of cooperation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.
- Each Zonal Council is an advisory body and may discuss any matter in which some or all of the States represented in that Council, or the Union and one or more of the States represented in that Council, have a common interest and advise the Central Government and the Government of each State concerned as to the action to be taken on any such matter.
Common Research And Technology Development Hub:
Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Lucknow organised a day-long second “Chintan Shivir on CRTDHs Empowering MSMEs” under Common Research and Technology Development Hub (CRTDH) programme of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
- Common Research and Technology Development Hub is part of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR)-Industrial R&D Programme (IRD).
- This programme aimed at the creation of Common Research and Technology Development Hubs (CRTDHs) to encourage research and technology development activities by Micro and Small enterprises (MSEs).
- Partial financial support would be provided to eligible institutions as grant-in-aid to establish CRTDHs for enabling MSEs to conduct industrial R&D and innovation activities.
- These hubs would facilitate MSEs to undertake new/improved product/process development and skill enhancement activities.
- The collaborating institutions would extend hands-on training, skill development and research information facilities to the MSEs, apart from research and technology development infrastructure.
- Creation of these CRTDHs will enhance productivity, increase the innovative skills of the MSEs, help them become globally competitive, and also generate more employment.
- Public-funded bodies or Institutions having a distinct legal entity, which are willing and capable of setting up these CRTDHs.
Nabhmitra Device : ISRO
The ISRO-Space Applications Centre (Ahmedabad) successfully tested the Nabhmitra device at Neendakara.
- Nabhmitra device is a satellite-based communication system developed for the safety of fishermen.
- It enables two-way messaging services from and to the sea.
- The weather and cyclone warnings will be communicated in the local language, the boats can also send distress messages to the authorities.
- In emergency situations like capsizing and fire, fishers can press a button on the device and get in touch with the control centre.
- While the control centre will receive the alert, including the location of the boat, the crew on the boat will get a response message from the control centre.
- Apart from providing information about shipping channels and maritime boundaries, the device will also help to identify fishing fields.
- It was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The Minister of State for Communications, Government of India, launched the TRINETRA Security system at the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) campus in New Delhi.
- C-DOT’s TRINETRA is a combination of multiple Security systems like Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Security Orchestration and Automated Response (SOAR), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), User Entity and Behaviour Analytics (UEBA), Multi-Source Threat Intelligence and others.
- The solution provides 24×7 near real-time actionable cyber-security status and detection and resolution of cyber-threats (Virus, Malware, Ransomware, Spyware, etc.).
- It also performs security evaluation of the organisation’s IT assets by protecting endpoints, including PCs, laptops, Servers and VMs, by detection, analyses and mitigation of vulnerabilities and giving AI-enabled automated responses to cyber threats, ensuring the protection of sensitive data.
- The solution is capable of protecting the critical digital infrastructure of various Government departments from the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.
- It was established in 1984 as an autonomous Telecom R&D centre of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India.
- It is a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
Chokuwa Rice : GI Tag
Chokuwa rice recently earned a GI (Geographical Indication) tag for its exquisiteness.
- Chokuwa rice is also known as Magic rice cultivated in Assam.
- It is a part of Assam’s culinary heritage; this unique rice has been a staple of the troops of the mighty Ahom dynasty.
- This unique and healthy rice is cultivated around the Brahmaputra River area.(In several parts of Assam like Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, etc.)
- It is basically semi-glutinous winter rice, known as Sali rice.
- The sticky and glutinous variety is categorised as Bora and Chokuwa based on their amylose concentration.
- The low amylase Chokuwa rice variants are used to make soft rice, which is known as Komal Chaul or soft rice.
- This whole grain can be consumed after soaking the rice in cold or lukewarm water. This rice variety is widely consumed for its convenience of preparation and nutritional value.
- This unique rice variety is consumed with curd, sugar, jaggery, and bananas to name a few.
- This rice is also used in making several Assamese delights like Pithe and other local dishes.
Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23:
An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent departed to participate in Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23, scheduled to be held at Cairo (West) Air Base, Egypt, from 27 August to 16 September 2023.
- EXERCISE BRIGHT STAR-23 is a biennial multilateral tri-service exercise.
- This multinational exercise was launched in 1980 as part of the US-brokered peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
- This is the first time that IAF is participating in Ex BRIGHT STAR-23.
- Participating countries: United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Qatar.
- The Indian Air Force contingent will consist of five MiG-29, two IL-78, two C-130 and two C-17 aircraft.
- Personnel from the IAF’s Garud Special Forces, as well as those from the Numbers 28, 77, 78 and 81 Squadrons, will be participating in the exercise.
- Objective is to practice planning and execution of joint operations. Besides leading to the formation of bonding across borders, such interactions also provide a means to further strategic relations between participating nations.
- India and Egypt have had an exceptional relationship and deep cooperation wherein the two jointly undertook the development of aero-engine and aircraft in the 1960s, and training of Egyptian pilots was done by Indian counterparts.
ORON Aircraft : Israel
Israel’s Defense Ministry and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) recently announced they completed two years of outfitting the ORON aircraft with advanced intelligence-gathering technology.
- ORON Aircraft is an Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) mission aircraft.
- It was developed by the Israeli Defence Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), the Israel Air Force and the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Intelligence unit’s naval arm and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
- It is based on the Gulfstream G550 executive jet platform, which has been outfitted with a bevy of sensors and data collection equipment that allows it to rapidly locate targets in all weather conditions.
- The aircraft combines several capabilities, including aerial imaging, control and radar, and maritime intelligence gathering for the Navy.
- It will be equipped with layers of automatic data systems based on advanced algorithms and AI.
- It will enable the IDF to create a real-time comprehensive intelligence picture, including deployment of ground forces, near and far, in routine times and during warfare.