Today Current Affairs: 2nd December 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
European researchers have raised concerns of yet another pandemic after resurrecting a 48,500-year-old ‘Zombie Virus’ from a frozen lake in Russia.
- The researchers warned that Climate change-induced thawing of the permanently frozen land (permafrost) in the Arctic could pose a new public health threat.
- 13 new pathogens have been characterized, what are termed ‘Zombie Viruses’, which remained infectious despite spending many millennia trapped in the frozen ground.
- The virus emerged due to the thawing of permafrost as the global temperature is rising.
- The new strain is one of 13 viruses, each of which possesses its own genome.
- The oldest, dubbed Pandoravirus yedoma after the mythological character Pandora, was 48,500 years old, a record age for a frozen virus returning to a state where it has the potential to infect other organisms.
- This has broken the previous record held by a 30,000-year-old virus discovered by the same team in Siberia in 2013.
World AIDS Day 2022:
World AIDS Day is observed on 1st December every year all over the world to spread awareness about the disease and remember all those who lost their lives to it.
- World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and was the first ever global health day with a motto of raising public awareness about Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
- Theme for 2022: ‘Equalize’.
- It encourages people to unite globally to eliminate the disparities and inequities that create barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and access to HIV care.’
- The very day reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away and there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
- It is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide.
Global Water Resources Report 2021: WMO
WMO (World Meteorological Organization) has released its first annual State of Global Water Resources Report 2021.
- The aim of this annual report is to support monitoring and management of global freshwater resources in an era of growing demand and limited supplies.
- The report focuses on three major areas:
- Streamflow, the volume of water flowing through a river channel at any given time.
- Terrestrial water storage (TWS) — all water on the land surface and in the sub-surface.
- The cryosphere (frozen water).
Findings of the Report:
- Between 2001 and 2018, UN-Water reported that a staggering 74% of all natural disasters were water-related.
- The recent UN climate change conference, COP27, in Egypt, urged governments to further integrate water into adaptation efforts, the first-time water has been referenced in a COP outcome document in recognition of its critical importance.
- 3.6 billion people have inadequate access to water at least one month per year and this is expected to increase to more than five billion by 2050.
- Large areas of the globe recorded drier-than-normal conditions in 2021, which was a year in which precipitation patterns were influenced by climate change and a La Niña event.
- The area with below-average streamflow was approximately two times larger than the above-average area, in comparison to the 30-year hydrological average.
Horticulture Cluster Development Programme:
A meeting was held by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP).
- Overall development of horticulture in the country would be focused with the help of the implementation of the CDP.
- Horticulture is the branch of plant agriculture dealing with garden crops, generally fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants.
Horticulture Cluster Development Programme:
- It is a central sector programme aimed at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.
- Horticulture cluster is a regional/geographical concentration of targeted horticulture crops.
- It is implemented by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
- The states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand etc. will also be included in the list of 55 clusters, identified with their focus/main crops.
- Earlier, in pilot phase, it was implemented in 12 clusters covering 11 States/UTs.
- The CDP aims to improve exports of targeted crops by about 20% and create cluster-specific brands to enhance the competitiveness of cluster crops.
- Objective: To address all major issues related to the Indian horticulture sector including pre-production, production, post-harvest management, logistics, marketing and branding.
- To leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
- To converge with other initiatives of the Government such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
- A lot of investment will also come in the horticulture sector through CDP.
Manipur Sangai Festival:
The Prime Minister of India recently addressed the Manipur Sangai Festival.
- Every year the State of Manipur celebrates the “Manipur Sangai Festival” from 21st to 30th November.
- The objective is to showcase Manipur as a world class tourism destination.
- The ‘Festival’ is named after the State animal, Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur.
- It started in the year 2010.
- The theme of this year’s Sangai festival is “Festival of oneness”.
- Every edition of the festival showcases the tourism potential of the state in the field of Arts & Culture, Handloom,
- Handicrafts, Indigenous Sports, Cuisine and Music of the state etc.
- Scientific Name: Rucervus eldii.
- Common Name: Sangai, Brow antlered deer, Dancing Deer.
- Population: About 260 (acc. to a joint census conducted by the Forest Department in 2016).
- Habitat and Distribution: It is found only in Keibul Lamjao National Park – the largest single mass of phumdi is in the Loktak Lake – in Manipur’s Bishnupur district.
- Sangai is a medium-sized deer, with uniquely distinctive antlers, with extremely long brow tine, which form the main beam.
- The forward protruding beam appears to come out from the eyebrow, hence called the brow-antlered deer.
- It has a dark reddish-brown winter coat, which turns paler in summer.
- The deer walks on the hind surface of its pasterns with mincing hops over floating foliage, and is hence also called the Dancing Deer.
- State animal of Manipur.
- Schedule-1 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Endangered on IUCN Red List.
- Conservation Issues:
- Sangai faces threat from steadily degenerating habitat of phumdi as a result of continuous inundation and flooding caused due to artificial reservoir.
- There is also invasion of non-native plants like Paragrass.
- It also faces threats of diseases from the livestock, inbreeding depression and poaching.
The Manthan platform won NSEIT the Best Tech Initiative of the Year at the Dun & Bradstreet Business Excellence Awards 2022.
- The award was presented for building the technology infrastructure to support Manthan.
- Manthan is a platform that promotes collaboration at scale between industry and the scientific research and development ecosystem.
- The development of the platform was conceptualized and implemented by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India.
- It is aimed at promoting collaboration between industry and the scientific research and development ecosystem.
- It was launched on India’s 76th Independence Day.
- Manthan empowers multiple stakeholders to collaborate for co-creating solutions aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our national scientific missions.
- NSEIT Limited is a global technology enterprise focused on delivering excellence in a complex digital environment, primarily in the banking, insurance, and capital market ecosystem.
- It is a 100% subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange of India.
- Their key service pillars are Application Modernization, Business Transformation, Data Analytics, Infrastructure & Cloud Services, Cybersecurity, EdTech, and online examinations solutions.
Project Great Indian Bustard:
The Supreme Court of India recently requested the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change to consider launching ‘Project Great Indian Bustard (GIB)’ like one for tigers.
- The Great Indian Bustard, found mainly in the Indian subcontinent, is the flagship grassland species of India.
- It is one of the largest flying birds in the world, and India’s heaviest flying bird.
- The male bird weighs upto 12-15 kg and female bird up to 5-8 kg.
- Its population of about 150 in Rajasthan accounts for 95% of its total world population.
- They are mainly in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, including the Desert National Park which is the natural habitat of the species.
- Grasslands of Kutch in Gujarat which is home to second-largest bustard population in India.
- Arid regions of Maharashtra (Solapur), Karnataka (Bellary and Haveri) and Andhra Pradesh (Kurnool)
- It is the State bird of Rajasthan.
- Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972,
- Listed in Appendix I of CITES,
- Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
G20 Sherpa Meeting 2022:
The G-20 Sherpa meeting will be held at Udaipur in Rajasthan from December 5 to 7.
- This will be the first G20 Sherpa Meeting in India.
- The meeting is aimed at fostering growth and building bonds amongst the twenty nations.
- The Sherpa Meeting of the G20 Summit is a preliminary meeting of the government representatives before the main G20 Summit.
- Here the representatives of the member nations hold discussions to firm up possible agreements.
- The final decisions are taken at the G20 summit by the Heads of States.
- Ahead of the main G20 Summit, the Sherpas meeting ensures that the time and resources required at the time of negotiations of the larger heads of state at the final summit are minimized.
- The former CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant is the G20 Sherpa from India.
Hornbill Festival 2022:
In Nagaland, the 10-day long Hornbill Festival 2022 will begin on December 1, at Naga heritage village Kisama.
- The first festival was held in 2000.
- It is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima in Nagaland.
- It is organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments of the Government of Nagaland.
- Objective:To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland.
- Festival highlights include the traditional Naga Morungs exhibition and the sale of arts and crafts, food stalls, song and dance shows, indigenous games etc.
- One of the major highlights of this festival is the Hornbill International Rock Festival where local and international rock bands perform.
- The festival is named after the bird “Indian hornbill”, which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes.
- There are 9 hornbill species in India of which Great Hornbill is the most famous.
- It is also called the ‘Festival of Festivals’.
- Scientific name: Buceros bicornis.
- Common name: Great Indian hornbill or great pied hornbill.
- It is found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
- The bulk of the population is found in India, where it is restricted to the Himalayan foothills, hill forests in northeast India and, disjunctly, the wet evergreen forests of west India.
- IUCN Status: Near Threatened.
- It is listed in Appendix I of CITES.
India’s Economic Growth Data:
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released India’s economic growth data for the second quarter of the current financial year (2022-23 or FY23).
- The second quarter or Q2 refers to the months of July, August and September.
- India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.3 per cent in Q2 on a year-on-year basis.
- In other words, it was 6.3% more than the GDP in the same months in 2021.
- MoSPI also reported that India’s Gross Value Added (or GVA) in Q2 grew by. 5.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
- GDP and GVA are the two main ways to ascertain the country’s economic performance.
- Both are measures of national income.
- The GDP measures the monetary measure of all “final” goods and services— those that are bought by the final user— produced in a country in a given period.
- The GDP does this by adding up the total expenditures in the economy; in other words, it looks at who spent how much.
ALH Mk-III Helicopters:
To further strengthening the Coast Guard Region East, 840 Sqn (CG), an Indian Coast Guard Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Mk-III squadron, was commissioned at ICG Air Station, Chennai on November 30, 2022.
- The ALH MK III helicopters have been indigenously manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- They feature state-of-the-art equipment including advanced RADAR as well as Electro optical sensors, Shakti engines, full glass cockpit, high-intensity searchlight, advanced communication systems, automatic identification system as well as search-and-rescue homer.
- The features enable them to undertake maritime reconnaissance as well as carry out SAR at extended ranges even while operating from ships during both day and night.
- The aircraft has the ability to switch roles from an offensive platform with a heavy machine gun to that of a benign one carrying a Medical Intensive Care Unit to facilitate the transfer of critically ill patients.
- A total of 16 ALH Mk-III aircraft have been inducted into the Indian Coast Guard in a phased manner and four of these aircraft are positioned in Chennai.