Today’s Current Affairs: 3rd Nov 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
British Academy Book Prize:
India-born author Nandini Das was named the winner of the 2023 British Academy Book Prize.
- British Academy Book Prize was formerly known as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize.
- It was established in 2013.
- It was established to reward and celebrate the best works of non-fiction that demonstrate rigour and originality and have contributed to public understanding of other world cultures and their interactions.
- The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for humanities and social sciences.
- The eligible books come from the subjects that fall within those disciplines, from archaeology, history, and psychology to philosophy, languages, and cultural studies.
- Nandini Das who is a Professor in the English faculty at the University of Oxford, won the award for her book ‘Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire’
- The winner gets the £25,000 prize cash award, and each of the shortlisted works will receive £1,000 each.
UN Office For The Coordination Of Humanitarian Affairs:
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA), Israeli settler violence has increased significantly, from an already high average of three incidents per day in 2023 to seven a day now.
- UN-OHCA was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1991.
- It is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.
- It also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.
- It replaced the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator(UNDRO).
- On-Site Operations Coordination Centres (OSOCC), an OCHA tool, provide a platform for the coordination of international response activities immediately following a sudden-onset emergency or a rapid change in a complex emergency.
- It has two headquarters locations, Geneva and New York, which act as centres of global operations.
State Food Safety Index:
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) published the State Food Safety Index.
Key findings of the report:
- After adjusting for a new parameter included in the 2023 index, 15 out of 20 states recorded lower 2023 scores compared to 2019.
- The steepest fall in scores over five years was seen in Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat,
- The worst drop has been recorded in the ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ parameter.
- States including Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh all recorded lower scores for this parameter.
- Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand, meanwhile, recorded lower scores for the ‘Compliance’ parameter.
- The ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’ parameter, was given the third highest weightage of 18 per cent in 2023 (20 per cent in previous years).
- The only parameter that recorded significant improvement was ‘Training and Capacity Building’, which was given the least weightage of 8 per cent in 2023 (10 per cent in previous years).
Awaous Motla : Edible Freshwater Fish
A group of scientists discovered an edible freshwater fish available in the markets of western Odisha.
- Awaous Motla is a fish with a vibrant yellow-coloured body and a fleshy upper lip.
- It was collected from the Mahanadi River.
- The discovery was made during the ongoing research project funded by the Department of Science and Technology of the Odisha government.
- The species belongs to the family ‘Awaous’ (Oxudercidae) and is thus named ‘Awaous motla.
Future Leaders Scholarship Programme:
Imperial College London announced its biggest-ever scholarship programme for Indian students.
- Future Leaders Scholarship Programme will support 30 of the country’s most talented Master’s scholars over the next three years.
- The scholarship will cover the full cost of tuition and living expenses.
- It will be for students studying Master’s programmes in engineering, natural sciences, business, and medical research.
- In this programme, half of the scholarships are reserved for female scholars.
- It will build a pathway for the most talented students in India to deepen their studies and expand their experiences at one of the world’s top universities.
- Alongside the new scholarship programme, the university also signed a new partnership with the UK government’s Chevening Scholarships programme.
- It will provide funding for an additional three Master’s scholars from India over the next three years.
Scientists looking for fossil fuels beneath the ground in northeastern France have discovered a large reservoir of white hydrogen.
- White Hydrogen is also referred to as “natural,” “gold” or “geologic” hydrogen.
- It is naturally produced in the Earth’s crust and is considered a potential source of clean energy.
- It generally exists combined with other molecules.
- White hydrogen has several advantages over other types of hydrogen
- It causes no CO2 emissions when used as a fuel.
- It is compatible with existing infrastructure and technologies for hydrogen production and utilisation.
- It is cheaper and more efficient than steam reforming or electrolysis.
- It is abundant and renewable.
- Its deposits have been found across the world, including in the US, Eastern Europe, Russia, Australia, France, and other countries.
- It is estimated that globally, there could be tens of billions of tonnes of white hydrogen.
INFUSE Mission : NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched a sounding rocket as part of its INFUSE mission.
- The Integral Field Ultraviolet Spectroscope Experiment (INFUSE) was launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
- It was launched to study the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant.
- The INFUSE mission is expected to collect information about the remnant for a few minutes from a height of 150 miles (240 km).
- Specifically, the instrument will gather light streaming from the Cygnus Loop in far-ultraviolet wavelengths.
- It will observe how the supernova dumps energy into the Milky Way by catching light given off just as the blast wave crashes into pockets of cold gas floating around the galaxy.
- It will study the Cygnus Loop and try to understand the life cycle of stars.
UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network:
Kozhikode in Kerala and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh have been added to the prestigious creative cities list of UNESCO for contributions in the fields of literature and music, respectively
- UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network was created in 2004.
- It is To promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
- Almost 300 cities around the world currently make up this network.
- Objective is Placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
- UNESCO designates the creative cities in seven fields: craft, folk art, media arts, film design, gastronomy, literature, and music.
- Every year, UNESCO seeks applications from various cities across the globe to put them under its UCCN project.
- The applications in India are routed through the Ministry of Culture.
- Kozhikode is a permanent venue for the annual Kerala Literature Festival and hosts several other book festivals.
- Gwalior has a rich and diverse musical heritage encompassing classical Hindustani music, folk music, and devotional music.
- The city also has some prestigious music institutes and hosts popular festivals.
Indigenous Charging Standards : BIS
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has approved an indigenous AC and DC combined charging connector standard, known as IS17017 (Part 2/Sec 7): 2023, for light electric vehicles (LEVs).
- This standard is the world’s first of its kind and has been developed in India.
- This initiative allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in India to move away from relying solely on international standards and protocols.
- The new standard addresses the need for a standardized connector for combined AC and DC charging systems for two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and microcars, offering a hybrid and cost-efficient infrastructure for all forms of charging.
- It enables interoperable networks for both fast and slow charging, making it convenient for customers to charge their EVs without carrying bulky chargers.
- This development is seen as a significant step towards driving faster EV adoption in India and potentially worldwide, contributing to the growth of electric mobility
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) :
- It is India’s national standards body. It’s part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, which is under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
- The BIS was established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, which came into effect on October 12, 2017.
Chennai’s Collage is hosting an art exhibition showcasing Pichwai paintings, some of which date back 350 years.
- Pichwai art originated in Nathdwara, near Udaipur, and is traditionally created on cloth, typically khadi.
- The paintings use stone pigments for gold and silver tones and vegetable dyes for vibrant colours like orange, red, chrome yellow, and kesari.
- The detailed work is meticulous and time-consuming, taking several months to complete a single piece.
- The art form has evolved over time, with modern themes and influences incorporated by artist
- .In recent years, there has been a resurgence in Pichwai art, attracting younger buyers and encouraging artists to return to their hometowns in Rajasthan to learn and continue the traditional techniques.
Wildlife Justice Commission : Report
The Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating organized crime, has released a new report titled Convergence of Wildlife Crime with Other Forms of Organised Crime: A 2023 Review.
- It is a follow-up to the first report published in 2021, which mentioned 12 case studies linking wildlife trafficking with human trafficking, fraud, migrant smuggling, illicit drugs, corruption and money laundering.
- The report also reveals the environmental crime of illegal sand mining for the first time.
Highlights of the Report:
- The report uncovers strong connections between wildlife trafficking and various forms of organized crime.
- These connections include protection rackets, extortion, murder, money laundering, illicit drugs, tax evasion, and corruption.
- For the first time, the report identifies illegal sand mining as an environmental crime.
- Sand, a raw material and second-most-used resource in the world is used to make concrete, asphalt and glass.
- About 40-50 billion tonnes of sand resources are exploited each year, but their extraction is managed and governed poorly in many countries,
- The Report sheds light on the adverse impacts of unregulated sand extraction, which is a crucial raw material globally.
- Indiscriminate sand mining leads to erosion, negatively affecting communities and their livelihoods.
- It has dire consequences for aquifers, storm surge protection, deltas, freshwater and marine fisheries, land use, and biodiversity.
- The report emphasizes that illegal sand-mining operations are often organized and operated by violent sand mafias.
- The report recognizes instances of individuals, including journalists, activists, and government officials, who were killed for opposing illegal sand mining.
- These incidents were reported not only in India but also in other countries, including Indonesia, Kenya, Gambia, South Africa, and Mexico.