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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 30th Aug 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 30th aug 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

White-Tailed Deer : Reservoir For SARS-CoV2 Virus

According to the study published, scientists have discovered white-tailed deer in Ohio, USA, acting as a reservoir for SARS-CoV2 virus where it is mutating fast.

  • White-tailed deer are the smallest members of the North American deer family.
  • They are found in North America from southern Canada through Central America.
  • Includes areas along streams and rivers, mixed woodlands, farms, forests, and burned shrub fields.
  • Open areas are used only when thick shrubs or forests are nearby.
  • It is tan or brown in the summerand greyish brown in winter.
  • It has white on its throat, around its eyes and nose, on its stomach, and on the underside of its tail.
  • Only male deer grow antlers, which are shed each year.
  • They are excellent runners.
  • They can run at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.
  • Conservation status:
    • IUCN Status: Least Concern

Retail Inflation : Report

July 2023 witnessed a notable increase in Retail Inflation, reaching 7.44%, creating Goldilocks scenario for India, making investors and savers uncertain about the economic situation.

  • A Goldilocks Scenario describes an ideal state for an economy whereby the economy is not expanding or contracting by too much.
  • A Goldilocks economy has steady economic growth, preventing a recession, but not so much growth that inflation rises by too much.
  • The projected GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth for 2023-24 is 6.5%, while the benchmark Sensex index stands currently at 65,000 points.
  • Gold and bank deposit rates, on the other hand, are expected to remain stable in the coming months.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) anticipates inflation to stay above 5% until the first quarter of 2024-25, potentially reaching 6.2% in the current quarter (July-Sept) 2023, exceeding the RBI’s comfort level of 4%.
  • Food prices are expected to remain elevated for a few more months. July’s data reveals a surge in vegetable prices (37.3%), along with inflation in cereals, pulses (both 13%), spices (21.6%), and milk (8.3%).
  • It is expected that government interventions and fresh crop arrivals will eventually ease this pressure.
  • Due to the higher inflation projections, the possibility of a rate cut has been postponed to the next Fiscal Year (2024-25).
  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is likely to maintain policy rates in the upcoming meeting, with the first rate cut potentially occurring in the following fiscal year.
  • Despite inflation and high interest rates, India’s market has performed well.
  • Supported by strong earnings prospects and stable macro conditions, India has outperformed other markets.

Aditya-L1 Solar Mission:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the Aditya-L1 solar mission on September 2, 2023.

  • The spacecraft will be launched from the Sriharikota spaceport on the PSLV rocket.
  • Aditya-L1 aims to study the Sun from a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth systems, about 5 million km away from Earth.
  • Mission Objective is to study the Sun, its upper atmospheric dynamics (chromosphere and corona), and understand the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism for the five-year time period.
  • Launch Vehicle : Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
  • Purpose of Studying the Sun To gain a deeper understanding of the Sun’s radiation, heat, flow of particles, and magnetic fields; provide clues about the high temperature of the solar corona; understand space weather dynamics; and offer early warnings for solar events.
  • Importance of L1 Point  provides an unobstructed view of the Sun, even during phenomena like an eclipse; allows payloads to directly observe the Sun; makes the mission fuel-efficient.
  • Benefits of Studying the Sun from Space Provides more detailed information due to the absence of Earth’s atmosphere; helps understand solar phenomena; enables monitoring of solar events and their potential impacts on Earth.

Kampala Declaration On Climate Change:

A significant step has been taken by 48 African countries to adopt the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change (KDMECC) to address the interconnection between human mobility and climate change on the continent.

  • The decision was discussed at a Conference of States co-hosted by Kenya and Uganda.
  • The initiative was supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • IOM was born in 1951 out of the chaos and displacement of Western Europe following the Second World War.
  • Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change’s impacts, leading to increased migration due to extreme weather events.
  • KDMECC Originally signed by 15 African states in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2022.
  • The KDMECC-AFRICA is expected to be signed by Member States during the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi on September 4, 2023.
  • The Declaration is the first comprehensive, action-oriented framework led by Member States to address climate-induced mobility in a practical and effective manner.
  • The KDMECC-AFRICA will ensure that all voices, including those of youth, women, and persons in vulnerable situations are the priority of the expanded declaration.

Dholpur-Karauli Tiger Reserve : National Tiger Conservation Authority Approval

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given its approval for the establishment of the Dholpur-Karauli Tiger Reserve in the state of Rajasthan.

  • It has secured its position as the fifth tiger reserve in the state of Rajasthan following Mukundra Hills, Ramgarh Vishdhari, Ranthambore, and Sariska.
  • Tiger Reserves is a protected area designated for the conservation of the striped big cats (tigers) is referred to as Tiger Reserve. However, a tiger reserve may also be a national park or wildlife sanctuary.
  • The Sariska Tiger Reserve is also a national park.
  • It is so because the place was originally created as a national park and later dedicated to tiger conservation.
  • Tiger Reserves are notified by State Governments as per provisions of Section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 on advice of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
  • Presently, India accommodates a total of 54 Tiger Reserves (with the most recent addition being the Dholpur-Karauli Tiger Reserve).

National Tiger Conservation Authority:

  • The NTCA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation.
  • Objectives:
    • Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives becomes legal.
    • Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.
    • Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.

Fast Track Special Courts:

Fast track courts (FTCs) were first recommended by the Eleventh Finance Commission in 2000 “to substantially bring down, if not eliminate, pendency in the district and subordinate courts over the next five years”.

  • Following the report, the Centre created 1,734 additional courts in different states for a period of five years. In 2011, the central government stopped funding fast-track courts.
  • Following the December 2012 Gangrape and murder case, the Union Government set up a ‘Nirbhaya Fund’, amended the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and set up fast-track Mahila Courts (a Special Court).
  • Some other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar etc. also set up FTCs for rape cases thereafter.
  • Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) are dedicated courts expected to ensure swift dispensation of justice.
  • They have a better clearance rate as compared to the regular courts and hold speedy trials.
  • In 2019, the government approved a scheme for setting up 1,023 FTSCs across the country for expeditious disposal of pending rape cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and crimes under the POCSO Act.
  • It also strengthens the deterrence framework for sexual offenders.
  • As of June 2023, the FTSCs have successfully disposed of more than 1.74 lakh cases related to rape and POCSO Act.
  • This reflects the significant impact of these specialized courts in providing speedy justice to the victims of sexual offences.
  • 763 FTSCs are currently functional across 29 States and Union Territories.

6th Census Report On Minor Irrigation (MI) Schemes:

The Ministry of Jal Shakti has released the 6th census report on minor irrigation (MI) schemes, providing crucial data for effective planning and policy-making in this sector.

  • The census reveals that there are a total of 23.14 million minor irrigation schemes in India, with 94.8% (21.93 million) being Ground Water (GW) schemes and 5.2% (1.21 million) being Surface Water (SW) schemes.
  • Uttar Pradesh holds the highest number of MI schemes, followed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
  • The report indicates a growth of 1.42 million MI schemes compared to the previous census, with a 6.9% increase in GW schemes and a 1.2% increase in SW schemes.
  • The ownership of MI schemes is primarily private (96.6%), with a notable finding that 18.1% of individually owned schemes are owned by women.