Today’s Current Affairs: 5th Apr 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Mark 54 Anti-Submarine Torpedo:
India is going to sign a weapons deal with the United States to buy American weapons, including Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedoes.
- Mark 54 Anti-Submarine Torpedo is the primary anti-submarine warfare weapon used by U.S. Navy surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
- It was developed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in collaboration with the US Navy.
- It was previously known as Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT).
- It is used in both deep and shallow waters, as well as in acoustic environments.
- It is capable of tracking, classifying and attacking underwater targets.
- The torpedo has a length of 2.71m, a diameter of 32.3cm and weight of 275.7kg.
- The warhead carried by the weapon is high explosive and weighs 43.9kg.
- It is powered by a reciprocating external combustion engine, which burns Otto II liquid fuel.
- The propulsion system allows the torpedo to cruise at a speed of 74.1km per hour.
- MK 54 torpedoes are equipped with processing algorithms that help them in detecting false targets or countermeasures and then hunt the identified threats.
Black Carbon : Study
A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources recently recommended a detailed study on the impact of atmospheric pollution, including black carbon, on the Himalayan glacier system.
- Black carbon is the sooty black material emitted from gas and diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, and other sources that burn fossil fuel.
- It is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels.
- It comprises a significant portion of particulate matter or PM, which is an air pollutant.
- It is a short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only days to weeks after release in the atmosphere.
- It is an important contributor to warming because it is very effective at absorbing light and heating its surroundings. It contributes to warming by converting incoming solar radiation to heat.
- It has a warming impact on climate that is 460-1,500 times stronger than CO2.
- It also influences cloud formation and impacts regional circulation and rainfall patterns.
- When deposited on ice and snow, black carbon and co-emitted particles reduce surface albedo (the ability to reflect sunlight) and heat the surface.
Exercise SLINEX – 2023
The 10th edition of the maritime Exercise SLINEX – 2023 recently began in Colombo.
- Exercise SLINEX – 2023 is an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Sri Lanka Navy.
- SLINEX – 2023 is the 10th edition of the annual exercise.
- It will aim to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures in multi-faceted Maritime operations between both Navies.
- The exercise is being conducted in two phases, the Harbour Phase followed by the Sea Phase.
- The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Kiltan (Advanced Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette) and INS Savitri (Offshore Patrol Vessel), while the Sri Lanka Navy will have SLNS Gajabahu (Advance Offshore Patrol Vessel) and SLNS Sagara (OPV) in the exercise.
- SLINEX is in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Prime Ministers’ vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’.
Snailfish: Key Facts
Scientists photographed a snailfish swimming 8,336 meters below sea level near Japan, making it the deepest recorded fish ever caught on camera.
- Scientists dropped an autonomous “lander” camera into the Izu-Ogasawara Trench near Japan and filmed the snailfish.
- Izu-Ogasawara Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean, on the boundary between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Pacific Plate.
- It is also called a sea snail and it is a deep-sea fish.
- There are over 400 known species of snailfish, and they range in size from just a few centimetres to nearly a meter in length.
- They are Elongated, soft, tadpole-shaped fish with loose and scaleless, though sometimes prickly, skins.
- They are well adapted to life in the extreme environment of the deep sea
- Snailfish are found in cold water in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, Arctic and Antarctic seas.
Prosopis Chilensis : Alien Invasive Plant
An avian distribution study has revealed that an alien invasive plant Prosopis chilensis is threatening to pulverise native vegetation across 21 islands in the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve (GoMBR)
- The Prosopis chilensis is also known as Chilean mesquite.
- It is a small to medium-sized legume tree that grows up to 12 m in height and 1 m in diameter.
- It is a drought-resistant plant native to the arid regions of four South American countries namely Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.
- The Gulf of Mannar is one of the biologically richest coastal regions of India.
- It is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South and South East Asia.
- In India, the Gulf of Mannar region in Tamil Nadu is one of the four major coral reef areas and the others are the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, Lakhsadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- It is designated as a Biosphere Reserve.
- This Biosphere Reserve encompasses a chain of 21 islands (2 islands already submerged) and adjoining coral reefs off the coasts of the Ramanathapuram and the Tuticorin districts.
Nevado del Ruiz Volcano : Increase Seismic Activity
People living on the upper slopes of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia are being evacuated after an increase in seismic activity.
- Nevado del Ruiz is an ice-clad stratovolcano located in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, South America.
- It is a stratovolcano composed of many layers of lava alternating with hardened volcanic ash and other pyroclastic rocks.
- Volcanic activity at Nevado del Ruiz began about two million years ago
- It is part of the former Ruiz-Tolima volcanic complex as well as the dangerous Pacific Ring of fire.
- The volcano has erupted several times in the past, with the most catastrophic eruption occurring on November 13,
- Since the 1985 eruption, has remained active, with several smaller eruptions occurring in the years following the disaster.
Basholi Paintings : GI Tag
The world-famous Basohli Painting which is popular for its miniature art style from Kathua district of Jammu has obtained the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag.
- Basholi paintings originated in the Basholi region of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It is a reputed school of miniature paintings known for its vivid, evocative colours, bold lines, and deep-set facial patterns.
- It is considered the first school of Pahari paintings
- The Basholi painting style flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries under the patronage of local rulers and wealthy merchants.
- It has peculiar characteristics, they have perfect geometrical patterns, bright colours and glossy enamel.
- Colours used: Ochre yellow, brown, and green grounds predominating.
- The figures in the paintings are shown clad in rich costumes, stylised faces and large bulging eyes lent unique individuality to these paintings.
- Themes: The portraits of local rulers, Radha-Krishna, and Madhava-Malati love themes and themes from the Bhagavata Purana.
- These are painted on paper, cloth, or wood using natural pigments and dyes.
International Conference On Human-Wildlife Conflict And Coexistence:
The International Conference on Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence was held in Oxford, the United Kingdom, which has brought hundreds of activists from 70 countries to discuss solutions to address Human-Wildlife Conflicts.
- The Conference was organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme and several other organizations together.
- Conference Aim :
- Facilitate dialogue and peer-to-peer learning across sectors and actors on the topic for partnerships and collaboration across people and institutions working on human-wildlife conflict.
- Generate interdisciplinary and shared understanding of the latest insights, technologies, methods, ideas, and information from the field of human-wildlife conflict, coexistence and interactions.
- Mainstream human-wildlife conflict as one of the top global priorities in biodiversity conservation and the Sustainable Development Goals for the next decade, catalysing opportunities for working together on national, regional or global policies and initiatives.
- Identify and develop a collective way forward for addressing knowledge and implementation gaps for effective efforts to reduce and manage human-wildlife conflict.
- Human-animal conflict refers to situations where human activities, such as agriculture, infrastructure development, or resource extraction, come into conflict with wild animals, leading to negative outcomes for both humans and animals.
Seed Bank At Asola Bhatti Sanctuary:
A ‘seed bank for native plant species found in the Aravallis region is gradually taking shape at a nursery at the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, after a few years of efforts at collecting seeds from across Delhi and other states.
- The nursery at Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary is growing more than 100 species of native grasses, plants, and trees, and provides saplings for plantation by agencies in the city.
- The aim of the seed bank is to supply native saplings for the city and reintroduce species that have become rare or hard to locate.
- The seed bank also aims to create awareness around the trees that are disappearing in Delhi, have these trees available for people to be able to grow them, and map where they are.
- The plan is to raise production to around 10 lakh saplings every year.
- Seed banks are important repositories of plant genetic resources.
- They store seeds of different plant varieties, which are conserved to maintain their genetic diversity and to preserve their ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
- Seed banks also serve as important resources for research, agriculture, and conservation.
Comprehensive And Progressive Agreement For Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP):
Britain agreed to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
- CPTPP is a free trade agreement (FTA) that was agreed upon in 2018 between 11 countries.
- These include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
- It does not have a single market for goods or services, unlike the European Union.
- The CPTPP incorporates, by reference, the provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, with the exception of a number of provisions pertaining mainly to intellectual property and investor-state dispute settlement, whose application will be suspended once the CPTPP comes into force.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement :
- It was originally concluded by 12 countries.
- These include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
- It was signed in 2016, by all 12 parties.
- In January 2017, the United States notified TPP signatories of its intention to not ratify the TPP, effectively withdrawing from the TPP.
Autism Awareness Day 2023 : Theme
World Autism Month, beginning with the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. This year marks the 16th annual World Autism Awareness Day.
- This year, all are committed ,standing together to make a world of difference for people on the spectrum.
- Autism, also known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a developmental disorder that affects a broad range of people, is typically diagnosed in early childhood and can impact individuals throughout their lives.
- Those with autism may experience social difficulties and display repetitive behavior patterns or speech, as well as other behavioral issues.
- And those with this condition may require different levels of care and support.
- The theme for World Autism Awareness Day 2023 is “Contribution of Autistic Individuals at Home, at Work, in the Arts, and Policymaking.”
Azerbaijan and Tajikistan : Malaria-Free Countries
Azerbaijan and Tajikistan were declared malaria-free by the WHO.
- The governments of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan employed targeted malaria interventions, such as spraying insecticides on the interior walls of homes to prevent the disease, encouraging early diagnosis and treatment and maintenance of skilled healthcare professionals.
- This came as the result of an extensive century-long campaign by the two nations to eradicate the disease.
- Malaria is a serious and life-threatening disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite and transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito.
- The declaration by the WHO that Azerbaijan and Tajikistan are malaria-free is a significant achievement for the two nations.
- 41 countries and one territory, including 21 countries in the European Region, have been declared as malaria-free by the World Health Organization.
- Azerbaijan and Tajikistan’s achievement brings the WHO European Region two steps closer to becoming the first region in the world to be fully malaria-free.
Sagar Setu Mobile App:
The App Version of the National Logistics Portal (Marine), named ‘Sagar-Setu’, has been launched by Ministry for Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
- The app will provide real-time information on vessel-related information, gate, container freight stations, and transactions, enabling digital transactions for payments.
- The app will boost maritime trade, enhance the economy of the country, and increase the visibility of operations and tracking.
- National Logistics Portal (Marine) is a national maritime single window platform encompassing complete end-to-end logistics solutions to help exporters, importers, and service providers exchange documents seamlessly and transact business.
- Maritime India Vision 2030 aims to build ports and digitize maritime infrastructure within the country.