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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 31st May 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 31st May 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Spear Phishing : Report

According to a recent report, as many as 53 per cent of organisations studied in India were victims of spear phishing in 2022.

  • Spear Phishing is an email or electronic communications scam targeted towards a specific individual, organization or business.
  • It is a targeted attempt to steal sensitive information such as account credentials or financial information from a specific victim, often for malicious reasons.
  • This is achieved by acquiring personal details on the victim such as their friends, hometown, employer, locations they frequent, and what they have recently bought online.
  • A spear phishing email uses social engineering techniques to urge the victim to click on a malicious link or attachment.
  • Additionally, the email will blatantly ask the recipient to respond urgently, such as transferring a specific sum of money or sending personal data such as a banking password.
  • Because the emails are written in a highly familiar tone and refer to personal information about the recipient, victims mistakenly believe they know and trust the sender and respond to the request.
  • Once the victim completes the intended action, the attacker can steal the credentials of a targeted legitimate user and enter a network undetected.

Senkakau Islands:

Amid the rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, Japan Coast Guard (JCG) source recently revealed that a China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel has been navigating in Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands.

  • Senkaku Islands are an uninhabited group of islands situated in the East China Sea.
  • It is approximately 90 nautical miles north from the Yaeyama Islands in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture and 120 nautical miles northeast of the island of Taiwan.
  • They are also known as the Diaoyu Islands in Mainland China, the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan and the Pinnacle Islands by other observers.
  • The islands comprise Uotsuri Island, Kuba Island, Taisho Island (also called Kumeakashima Island), Kitakojima Island, Minamikojima Island, Tobise Island, Okinokitaiwa Island, and Okinominamiiwa Island.
  • The islands are the focus of a territorial dispute between Japan and China and between Japan and Taiwan.

IPEF Ministerial Meeting:

The second Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Ministerial Meeting concluded with successful negotiations under the Supply Chains (Pillar II) and good progress in the other pillars.

  • IPEF is a US-led framework for 14 participating countries to solidify their relationships and engage in crucial economic and trade matters that concern the region.
  • Launched by US President Joe Biden in May 2022
  • 14 participating founding member nations in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Other : The United States, India, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • IPEF members represent 40% of the global GDP and 28% of the world’s trade
  • Pillars of IPEF:
    • Pillar I (Trade) Enhancing economic engagement, trade agreements, and market access among IPEF member countries.
    • Pillar II (Supply Chains) Making supply chains more resilient, robust, and well-integrated through crisis response measures, cooperation, logistics and connectivity, and promotion of investments.
    • Pillar III (Clean Economy) Advancing cooperation on research, development, commercialization, availability, and deployment of clean energy, regional hydrogen initiatives, and climate-friendly technologies.
    • Pillar IV (Fair Economy) Strengthening implementation of effective anti-corruption and tax measures to boost commerce, trade, and investment among IPEF economies.
  • India’s Participation Joined Pillars II to IV; Undecided on joining the trade pillar

National Rare Diseases Committee:

Delhi High Court has taken a proactive step to address the challenges faced by patients with rare diseases by establishing a five-member panel to implement the Centre’s rare diseases policy effectively.

  • The panel, known as the National Rare Diseases Committee, aims to ensure that patients enrolled with the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, receive timely treatment and benefit from the policy.
  • The mandate of the Committee would broadly be to take all steps needed for implementation of the National Rare Disease Policy, 2021.
  • The National Rare Diseases Committee is a five-member panel who will work together to address the challenges faced by patients with rare diseases established by the Delhi High Court to implement the rare diseases policy and ensure efficient treatment for patients.
  • The committee consists of experts from relevant fields, including medical professionals, policymakers, and representatives from healthcare institutions.

National Rare Disease Policy 2021:

  • Increase focus on indigenous research and local production of medicines.
  • Lower the cost of treatment of rare diseases.
  • Screen and detect rare diseases early for prevention.
  • Major Provisions of the Policy:
    • Group 1: Disorders amenable to one-time curative treatment.
    • Group 2: Diseases requiring long-term or lifelong treatment.
    • Group 3: Diseases with available treatment but challenges in patient selection, high cost, and lifelong therapy.

Foucault Pendulum : New Parliament

A Foucault pendulum has been installed inside the new Parliament which is designed by the National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata.

  • Invented by French physicist Léon Foucault in the mid-19th Century, the pendulum provided the first laboratory demonstration in history to show that the Earth spins on its axis.
  • The pendulum in the new Parliament is meant to symbolise the ‘integration of the idea of India with that of the universe’.
  • The pendulum consists of a heavy bob suspended at the end of a long, strong wire from a fixed point in the ceiling.
  • As the pendulum swings, the imaginary surface across which the wire and the bob swipe is called the plane of the swing.
  • It helped us understand that the Earth is rotating or spinning. As it swings back and forth, it seems to change its direction over time.
  • This happens because while the pendulum swings, the Earth is spinning beneath making it look like the pendulum is changing its direction.
  • This effect is called the Coriolis effect. Depending on where you are on Earth, the pendulum will appear to rotate in different ways.
  • By observing this rotation, scientists like Foucault were able to prove that the Earth is spinning on its axis.

Volt Typhoon : Cyber Hack

Microsoft has uncovered stealthy and targeted malicious activity, focused on post-compromise credential access and network system discovery aimed at critical infrastructure organizations in the United States.

  • The Volt Typhoon is an alleged hacking group that mainly specializes in espionage and information gathering.
  • It is believed that the group is backed by China.
  • Volt Typhoon so far appears to be focused on stealing information from “organizations that hold data that relates to the military or government in the United States.
  • Microsoft and other researchers pointed out that Volt Typhoon was a quiet operator that hid its traffic by routing it through hacked network equipment like home routers and expunged evidence of intrusions from victim’s logs.
  • Microsoft assesses with moderate confidence that this Volt Typhoon campaign is pursuing development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and Asia region during future crises.
  • Volt Typhoon has been active since mid-2021 and has targeted critical infrastructure organizations in Guam and elsewhere in the United States.
  • Volt Typhoon tries to blend into normal network activity by routing traffic through compromised small office and home office (SOHO) network equipment, including routers, firewalls, and VPN hardware.

Divya Kala Shakti Program:

The ‘Divya Kala Shakti’ Program was inaugurated at the Rudraksha Convention & Cultural Centre in Varanasi.

  • Divya Kala Shakti is a Cultural Program by Children &Youth with Disabilities.
  • Divya Kala Shakti’ programme was organized in various parts of the country since 2019, at the national level and in other regions of the country.
  • Divya Kala Shakti aims at developing confidence among the persons with disabilities and appreciated the efforts of their hard work of parents and teachers.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, is entrusted with organizing the Divya Kala Shakti.
  • This time, the sixth DIVYA KALA SHAKTI program was organized in the city of Varanasi, where approximately 100 artists from six states, namely West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, performed in the program.