Today’s Current Affairs: 4th Oct 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
As part of the AUKUS initiative with Australia and the US, the UK has given three UK businesses a 4 billion pound ($4.9 billion) contract to design and build an attack submarine powered by nuclear energy.
- AUKUS established in 2021, the AUKUS is intended to be a strategic partnership among Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States to bolster their allied deterrence and defense capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
- The trilateral partnership, which builds on their decades-long security cooperation, has two pillars.
- Pillar I revolves around the acquisition and development of conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy;
- Pillar II calls for collaboration on advanced capabilities that will involve technology and information sharing;
- It is designed to equip Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs).
- In total, Australia will end up with eight of the new nuclear submarines, called SSN-AUKUS.
- Those submarines will be based on a British design but have American technology or an American combat system.
- The deal marks the first time the US has shared nuclear propulsion technology with an ally other than the UK.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently recommended a new vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, for the prevention of malaria in children.
- The R21 vaccine is the second malaria vaccine recommended by the WHO, following the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine, which received a WHO recommendation in 2021.
- WHO is now reviewing the vaccine for prequalification, which is the WHO stamp of approval, and will enable GAVI (a global vaccine alliance) and UNICEF to buy the vaccine from manufacturers.
- R21/Matrix-M Vaccine is a new vaccine approved for the prevention of malaria in children.
- It was developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India with support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (‘EDCTP’), the Wellcome Trust, and the European Investment Bank (‘EIB’).
- It is the first malaria vaccine to reach the WHO’s target of 75% efficacy.
- It has already been approved for use in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Nigeria.
- The vaccine will be rolled out in those African countries in early 2024 and will be available in mid-2024 in other countries.
- It is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
- There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, pose the greatest threat.
- Malaria is common in tropical areas where it’s hot and humid.
Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary : Bihar Second Tiger Reserve
Bihar is set to get a second tiger reserve in Kaimur district (Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary) by the end of the year or early 2024.
- Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest sanctuarylocated in the Kaimur District of Bihar.
- It is nestled in the Vindhayachal hill ranges.
- The sanctuary forms a very important catchment for theKav, Sone, and Durgawati river systems, with important tributaries.
- It is connected with Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary of UP, which again has links with Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve and Panna landscape in Madhya Pradesh through stepping stone forests of Marihan, Sukrit, Chunar ranges and wildlife sanctuaries of Ranipur (UP).
- This region has a thick covering of mosaic prairie, tropical dry deciduous backwoods, and swampy bogs.
- The main animals found are Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, Indian boars, sloth bears, sambar deers, chitals, four-horned antelope and nilgais.
- The plants found here include Salai (BoswelliaSerrata), Siddha, Indian Rosewood (Sheesham), Jamun, Teak, Koraiya,Saal, and Jheengarare some species of plant life.
National Service Scheme Awards:
The President of India presented the National Service Scheme Awards for the year 2021-2022 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- These awards were instituted in the years 1993-1994. Since then, these awards are given away every year at various levels.
- Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Department of Youth Affairs, confers every year the National Service Scheme Award.
- Objectives :
- To recognize outstanding contribution by NSS student volunteers, NSS Programme Officers and the Programme Coordinators in community service.
- To encourage young NSS student volunteers to develop their personality through community service.
- To encourage the Programme Officers and the Programme Coordinators of NSS for catering the needs of National Service Scheme through the NSS volunteers.
- To motivate NSS Volunteers for continuing their selfless service towards community work.
Project Mariana, a collaborative effort involving the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the central banks of France, Singapore, and Switzerland, has successfully completed its mission.
- The project focused on testing the cross-border trading and settlement of wholesale central bank digital currencies (wCBDCs) among financial institutions, utilizing decentralized finance (DeFi) technology concepts on a public blockchain.
- Project Mariana demonstrated the successful cross-border trading and settlement of hypothetical euro, Singapore dollar, and Swiss franc wCBDCs among simulated financial institutions.
- The project relied on several key elements, including a common technical token standard provided by a public blockchain, bridges for seamless wCBDC transfers between different networks, and an Automated Market Maker (AMM) to facilitate automated spot FX transactions and settlements.
- The AMM’s innovative algorithms pooled liquidity from various wCBDCs, enabling automatic pricing and execution of spot FX transactions, and suggesting potential applications for the next generation of financial market infrastructures supporting cross-border trading and settlement.
NASA has announced the conclusion of its CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) mission, which analysed climate, weather, and air quality for 17 years.
- CALIPSO, launched jointly by NASA and France’s CNES, used LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to record over 10 billion measurements and generate thousands of scientific reports.
- The mission involved two satellites, CALIPSO and CloudSat, which were launched in 2003 and orbited the Earth in a Sun-synchronous orbit.
- They measured cloud altitudes and various atmospheric particles’ properties, such as dust, sea salt, ash, and soot.
- These observations contributed to sophisticated models to understand complex atmospheric processes, including cloud formation, atmospheric convection, precipitation, and particle transport.
Matangini Hazra was remembered on the 81st anniversary of her martyrdom.
- Matangini Hazra Birth: 1869.
- Birth place Tamluk, West Bengal.
- Matangini Hazra was 73 when she fell to British bullets, leading a protest march in 1942 in Tamluk, Bengal.
- Her death made her a martyr for many, inciting revolutionaries to establish their own parallel government in Medinipur, which functioned till 1944.
- She was married at a young age and became widowed at 18.
- After her husband’s death, she dedicated herself to social causes.
- She supported Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals.
- People fondly called her Gandhi Buri (Old Lady Gandhi) for her dedication to Gandhian principles
India and Bangladesh have kicked off the 11th edition of their annual joint military exercise, SAMPRITI, on October 3, 2023, in Umroi, Meghalaya.
- This exercise, which alternates between the two nations, highlights the strong bilateral defense cooperation between them. SAMPRITI, initiated in 2009, aims to boost interoperability, share tactical expertise, and promote best practices between the Indian and Bangladeshi armies.
- The exercise focuses on enhancing cooperation and interoperability while conducting Sub-Conventional Operations as per Chapter VII of the UN mandate.
- It consists of a Command Post Exercise (CPX), a Field Training Exercise (FTX), and a Validation Exercise
2023 Nobel Prize In Physics:
The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2023 has been awarded to Ferenc Krausz, Pierre Agostini, and Anne L’Huillier for their groundbreaking experiments that have led to the creation of attosecond pulses of light.
- The three Nobel Laureates in Physics 2023 are being recognised for their experiments, which have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules.
- Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier have demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy.
Social Security Agreement : India-Argentina
India and Argentina have signed a significant Social Security Agreement (SSA) aimed at protecting the rights of professionals and workers from both countries regarding social security contributions.
- The SSA covers areas related to old-age benefits, survivor’s pensions, and permanent, total disability pensions for employed individuals in India.
- In Argentina, it applies to contributory benefits provided by the Social Security System.
- The agreement ensures that detached workers and their family members, who temporarily work in another country, retain their rights to contributory benefits under local legislation without reduction, modification, suspension, suppression, or retention.
- The SSA establishes a legal framework for regulating the insurance period (period of services with contributions) and contributory benefits for detached workers, including crew members of airlines and ships.
- It ensures the smooth export of these benefits to the home country of the worker.
Multi-Agency Centre Meeting:
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in India recently convened a meeting of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), a collaborative counter-terrorism grid.
- During this meeting, the MHA sought specific information on various counter-terrorism aspects, including radicalization, fundraising, safe houses, and terrorist outfits in
- The MAC meeting focused on gathering information regarding radicalization in mosques and madrasas in Pakistan.
- The MHA aimed to identify instances of religious institutions being misused for extremist purposes.
- The MHA sought insights into the misuse of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations to raise funds for terrorist activities in Pakistan.
- Investigating these financial links is crucial for countering terrorism effectively.
Statue Of Equality: America
Statue of Equality as the largest statue of Dr. B R Ambedkar outside India, is set to be unveiled in Maryland on October 14.
- Crafted by the renowned artist and sculptor Ram Sutar, known for the Sardar Patel statue in Ahmedabad, this 19-foot statue pays tribute to Dr. Ambedkar, the visionary architect of India’s Constitution.
- It forms an integral part of the Ambedkar International Center (AIC), situated on 13 acres of land in Accokeek, Maryland.
- The “Statue of Equality” stands as a testament to the ideals of justice, equality, and human rights championed by Dr. B R Ambedkar.
- The statue’s colossal size, combined with its significance, makes it a unique tribute to the legacy of the iconic leader.
- The statue is a vital component of the ongoing construction of the Ambedkar International Center in Accokeek, Maryland.
- The AIC aims to be a hub for promoting and disseminating the teachings and messages of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.
- The AIC and the “Statue of Equality” stand as symbols of the principles of equality and human rights championed by Dr. Ambedkar.