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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 2nd Nov 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 2nd Nov 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Minuteman III Missile:

The Pentagon (the USA’s Department of Defence) announced the latest test of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile to “showcase” its nuclear capability.

  • The launch of this missile will take place today at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California.
  • The silo-launched missile will be tested without a warhead attached.
  • The announcement comes amid rising geopolitical tensions as the Russia-Ukraine conflict drags on, the Israel-Hamas war escalates, and US-China relations continue to deteriorate.
  • Minuteman III missile is a strategic weapon system using a ballistic missile of intercontinental range and first became operational in the early 1970s.
  • Originally, it was only supposed to be kept in service for about ten years, but instead, it has been modernized as its replacement, the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), is due to become available for use in 2029.
  • It is a three-stage, solid-fuel missile.
  • Its length is 18.2 metres, and its diameter is 1.85 metres.
  • Its range is 6,000-plus miles, and its maximum range is about 8,000 miles.
  • Boeing Corporation designed and manufactured this missile.
  • The current ICBM force consists of 400 Minuteman III missiles.
  • It is currently the only land-based ICBM in the US nuclear arsenal, which also includes Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons carried by strategic bomber aircraft.

Light Combat Helicopter Prachand:

The Indian Army’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand successfully carried out the inaugural firing of 70 mm rockets and 20 mm turret guns both day and night.

  • Light Combat Helicopter Prachand is India’s first indigenous multi-role combat helicopter, developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • It is designed to meet the needs of the Indian armed forces operating in deserts and mountainous areas.
  • The helicopter is fitted with Shakti Engine, which is co-developed by HAL and France’s Safran.
  • The helicopter received operational clearance in 2017.
  • It can fly at a maximum speed of 288 kmph and has a combat radius of 500 km, which can go up to a service ceiling of 21,000 feet.
  • The helicopter can carry out activities such as Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), operations against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), high-altitude bunker busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments, and provide support to ground forces.
  • The helicopter will be equipped with Helina missiles, the air force version of which is called Dhruvastra.

Scabies : Infectious Skin Disease

Malawi has seen a resurgence of the infectious skin disease scabies in an outbreak that is being linked to the climate crisis.

  • Scabies is a parasitic infestation caused by a mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei.
  • This causes an itchy rash to form on the skin.
  • Untreated, these microscopic mites can live on the skin for months.
  • They reproduce on the surface of the skin and then burrow into it to lay eggs.
  • Scabies is often found in the skin folds. But scabies can appear on many parts of the body.
  • It is contagious and can spread quickly from person-to-person through close skin contact (e.g. living in the same residence) with an infested individual.
  • Symptoms: Scabies symptoms include
    • severe itch, often worse at night;
    • itchy lines (linear burrows) and bumps (papules) on the fingers, wrists, arms, legs, and belt area;
    • larger rash in infants and small children, including on the palms, soles of the feet, ankles, and scalp.
    • A more severe type of scabies, called crusted scabies, makes the skin crusty and scaly and affects large areas of the body.
  • Treatment: Scabies is easily treated. Medicated skin creams or pills kill the mites that cause scabies and their eggs. However, the itching may not stop for many weeks after treatment.

Lewis Model And China:

The Lewis Model has proved successful for China, India grapples with its implementation, encountering challenges in the transition from agriculture to industrialization.

  • Also, as manufacturing trends towards higher capital intensity, India contemplates shifting to a ‘farm-as-factory’ labor model in response.
  • In 1954, economist William Arthur Lewis put forth the “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labor”.
  • For this work Lewis won Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979.
  • The model suggested that surplus labor in agriculture could be redirected to the manufacturing sector by offering wages just high enough to attract workers away from the farm.
  • This shift, in theory, would stimulate industrial growth, enhance productivity, and lead to economic development.
  • The model’s application in China was successful. Leveraging surplus rural labor and demographic advantages, China employed a dual-track system merging market forces with state planning.
  • This strategy attracted foreign investment, boosted exports, and nurtured domestic industries.
  • Extensive investments in infrastructure, education, and research and development enhanced China’s productivity and competitiveness, resulting in rapid industrialization, poverty reduction, and a substantial transformation of the economy.

Goa Maritime Conclave 2023:

The 4th edition of Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) – 2023 has been held by the Indian Navy under the aegis of Naval War College, Goa.

  • The conclave was attended by delegates from twelve Indian Ocean nations, including Comoros, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
  • Theme 2023: Theme 2023: “Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean Region: Converting Common Maritime Priorities into Collaborative Mitigating Frameworks”.

Highlights of Goa Maritime Conclave:

  • The GMC is a high-level gathering of naval and defense officials from various Indian Ocean Region (IOR) nations to discuss common maritime challenges and enhance regional cooperation.
  • It is the Indian Navy’s outreach Initiative providing a multinational platform to harness the collective wisdom of practitioners of maritime security and the academia towards garnering outcome oriented maritime thought.
  • It provides a forum for exchange of views by the Chiefs of Navy/ Heads of Maritime Agencies on dealing with contemporary and future maritime challenges, as well as presenting cooperative strategies for enhancing interoperability amongst partner maritime agencies.
  • During the Conclave Defence Minister of India referred to the concept of “Prisoner’s Dilemma” to underscore the need for countries to collaborate with each other instead of working at cross purposes.
  • The concept of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, when applied in the domain of international relations, can explain and analyze various situations where countries face strategic decision-making challenges.
  • The Indian Defense Minister stressed the need for multinational collaborative mitigation frameworks in the IOR to address common maritime challenges.
  • He emphasized the importance of self-reliance in the defense sector to enhance regional security and prosperity.
  • Also emhasized that a free, open and rule-based maritime order is a priority for all of us.‘Might is right’ has no place in such a maritime order. Adherence to international maritime laws, as enunciated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, must be our lodestar.

Ballon d’Or 2023:

Lionel Messi secured his eighth Ballon d’Or, a record in football history, and Aitana Bonmati claimed the Ballon d’Or Féminin Award for her exceptional contributions to Spain’s Women’s World Cup win and Barcelona’s success.

  • The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football since 1956.
  • The Ballon d’Or awards are based on a player’s individual performance in the previous season.
  • This is a change from previous criteria, which were based on player performance during the calendar year.
  • The award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year from 2010 to 2015 and is known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or. However, in 2016, this partnership concluded.

World Cities Day 2023:

World Cities Day, designated by the United Nations General Assembly, is celebrated annually on 31st October and was first celebrated in 2014.

  • The Day serves as an opportunity to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in addressing challenges of urbanization and contribute to sustainable urban development around the world.
  • Theme for 2023: “Financing sustainable urban future for all.”
  • The UN-Habitat programme promotes the development of sustainable cities in line with sustainable development goal 11.
  • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development

Kerala’s Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary : Maoists Attack

Suspected Maoists launched an attack on forest watchers in Kerala’s Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, near the Chavachi area.

  • These Maoists have been increasingly active in and around the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, even infiltrating local houses and engaging in activities like distributing propaganda materials.
  • The Kerala government deployed Kerela Thunderbolts force and helicopters to locate those responsible.
  • Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is the northernmost wildlife sanctuary of Kerala (in the Kannur District).
  • It is 55 km² in area and located on the western slope of the Western Ghats.
  • It was established in 1984 with its headquarters near Iritty.
  • The sanctuary borders Wayanad-Brahmagiri, Wayanad’s north slopes, Karnataka’s Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, and Coorg’s forests, with Katti Betta as its highest peak.