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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 5th Feb 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 5th Feb 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

C- CARES : Web Page For Coal Mines Provident Fund Organization

The Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs launched a web portal of Coal Mines Provident Fund Organization (CMPFO) namely C- CARES.

  • C- CARES Portal is developed and designed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
  • The portal, will allow CMPF subscribers and coal companies to login and perform various functions tailored to their needs.
  • While the subscribers can access and view their individual details and subscription status, the coal management can submit contribution details, subscribers’ particulars and claims for online settlement and payment through the portal.
  • It will also ensure paperless working, timely and accurate settlement of claims, reduction in processing time and grievance redressal.
  • The portal being a public service platform is intended to benefit the CMPF subscribers who are working in the coal sector as well as its pensioners.

Coal Mines Provident Fund Organization:

  • It is an autonomous organization under the aegis of Ministry of Coal established in the year 1948.

Cygnus X-1:

Astro Sat, India’s first, dedicated multi-wavelength astronomy mission, accomplished the difficult task of measuring the X-ray polarisation of the Cygnus X-1 black hole system

  • Cygnus X-1 was discovered over four decades ago.
  • It is one of the first confirmed black hole systems in our galaxy.
  • The black hole in Cygnus X-1 is 20 times heavier than the Sun, and has a companion  a heavy supergiant star (40 times more massive than the Sun) in a binary system.
  • It is located at a distance that is about 400 times more than the distance between Earth and Sun.
  • Due to the gravitational pull of the black hole, material from the supergiant falls and spirals in towards the black hole.
  • This process leads to the formation of a thin accretion disk which is responsible for soft X-rays.

Wheat Blast:

Researchers who have modeled for the first time how wheat blast will spread in the future found the fungal disease could reduce global wheat production by 13% until 2050.

  • Wheat blast, caused by the plant fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, is a fast-acting, severe disease of wheat that causes bleaching of the heads.
  • Magnaporthe oryzae can infect many grasses, including barley, lolium, rice, and wheat, but specific isolates of this pathogen generally infect limited species; that is, wheat isolates infect preferably wheat plants but can use several more cereal and grass species as alternate hosts.
  • It spreads through infected seeds, crop residues, and spores that can travel long distances in the air.
  • It thrives in warm and humid conditions, making regions with such climates particularly susceptible.
  • The pathogen is also resistant to fungicides.
  • The seriousness of the disease is indicated by the fact that crops are burned to avoid this disease.
  • It causes progressive bleaching of the heads, lower yields, and poor seed quality.
  • Stems and leaves are discoloured, with dark brown, eye-shaped lesions on leaves.
  • Sometimes dark grey spores can be seen.
  • It can shrivel and deform the grain in less than a week from the first symptoms.

Millipedes : New Genus Discovered

Researchers recently discovered a new genus and five new species of millipedes in remote African jungles.

  • Millipedes are any member of the arthropod class Diplopoda i.e Arthropods are animals with hard exoskeletons and jointed limbs
  • They are cylindrical or slightly flattened invertebrates.
  • The word millipede translates to a thousand feet but while millipedes have many feet, none of them quite have a thousand.
  • They’re not insects.
  • They are actually more closely related to lobsters, crayfish, and shrimp.
  • There are approximately 12,000 species distributed worldwide.
  • They are typically found in areas of high moisture and decaying vegetation, such as under trash, in piles of grass and leaves, etc.
  • They are usually blackish or brownish in color, but some are also red, orange, or have mottled patterns.
  • Their bodies are split into a number of segments, and each segment has two sets of legs that attach to the body’s underside, except for the first (head) segment, which is legless, and the next three segments, which each contain one pair of legs.
  • Most millipedes are nocturnal and are primarily scavengers, feeding on decaying plants and occasionally dead insects. , although some species attack the roots of living plants.

Inclusive Education For Disabled At Secondary Stage (IEDSS) Scheme:

The Karnataka government recently suspended five officers for dereliction of duty in the implementation of the Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) scheme.

  • IEDSS has been launched from the year 2009-10. This Scheme replaces the earlier scheme of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC).
  • The aim of this scheme is to enable all students with disabilities to pursue four years of secondary education in an inclusive and enabling environment, after completing eight years of elementary schooling.
  • It provides assistance for the inclusive education of disabled children in classes IX-XII.
  • The scheme covers all children studying at the secondary stage in Government, local body and Government-aided schools, with one or more disabilities as defined under the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) and the National Trust Act (1999) in the class IX to XII, namely blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impairment, locomotory disabilities, mental retardation, mental illness, autism, and cerebral palsy, and may eventually cover speech impairment, learning disabilities, etc.
  • Girls with the disabilities receive special focus to help them gain access to secondary schools, as also to information and guidance for developing their potential.
  • Setting up of Model inclusive schools in every State is envisaged under the scheme.
  • The School Education Department of the State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations are the implementing agencies.
  • They may involve NGOs having experience in the field of education of the disabled in the implementation of the scheme.

GHAR (GO Home and Re-Unite) Portal:

GHAR – GO Home and Re-Unite Portal have been developed and launched by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

  • GHAR Portal is to digitally monitor and track the restoration and repatriation of children according to the protocols under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and Rules thereof.
  • It has been developed and launched by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
  • Features of the portal:
    • Digital tracking and monitoring of children who are in the Juvenile Justice system and have to be repatriated to another Country/State/District.
    • Digital transfer of cases of children to the concerned Juvenile Justice Board/Child Welfare Committee of the State. It will help in the speedy repatriation of children.
    • Where there is a requirement of a translator/interpreter/expert, request will be made to the concerned State Government.
    • Child Welfare Committees and District Child Protection Officers can ensure proper restoration and rehabilitation of children by digitally monitoring the progress of the case.
    • A checklist format will be provided in the forms so that the children who are being hard to repatriate or children who are not getting their entitled compensation or other monetary benefits can be identified.
    • List of Government implemented schemes will be provided, so that at the time of restoration, the Child Welfare Committees can link the child with the schemes to strengthen the family and ensure that the child remains with his/her family.

Trichoglossum : New Fungal Species

Researchers recently discovered a new fungus species in Kerala named Trichoglossum syamviswanathii.

  • Trichoglossum is a genus of fungus classified within the family Geoglossaceae (Ascomycota), commonly known as “hairy earth tongues” fungus due to their numerous filaments resembling mushrooms.
  • They are black, dark, or brown in colour.
  • They exhibit saprotrophic behavior but can also be found as endophytes in plant roots.
  • 55 Trichoglossum genera have been identified globally. Of these, 21 are recognized species.
  • They are globally distributed in tropical and temperate forests at least five out of seven continents of the world.
  • They play a critical role in the decomposition of organic matter.

Obelisks : Virus-Like Entities

Scientists recently uncovered a never-before-seen class of virus-like entities named obelisks in the human body.

  • Obelisks is a newly discovered class of virus-like entities present in the human body.
  • It comprises a class of diverse RNAs that have colonized and gone unnoticed in human and global microbiomes
  • Named after the highly symmetrical, rod-like structures formed by their twisted lengths of RNA, the Obelisks’ genetic sequences are only around 1,000 characters (nucleotides) in size.
  • These mysterious bits of genetic material have no detectable sequences or even structural similarities known to any other biological agents.
  • They’re also significantly larger than other genetic molecules that coexist inside cells, from plants to bacteria, called plasmids, which are more commonly composed of DNA.
  • Obelisks represent their own class of organism. They lie somewhere between viruses and viroids.
  • Although the hosts of other obelisks remain unknown, there is a possibility that some of them may be found in bacteria.
  • Different types of Obelisks appear to be present in different areas of our bodies.

7th Session Of The Codex Committee On Spices And Culinary Herbs:

The 7th session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) was held from 29th January 2024 to 2nd February 2024 at Kochi.

  • Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs was established as one of the Commodity Committees under the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in 2013.
  • India hosts this prestigious Committee since the beginning and Spices Board India serves as the secretariat organization which organizes the Committee’s sessions.
  • In CCSCH 7th session quality standards for 5 spices, namely small cardamom, turmeric, juniper berry, allpice and star anise were finalised.
  • Codex Alimentarius Commission was jointly established by FAO and WHO.
  • It is an international, intergovernmental body which is based in Rome.
  • It consists of 189 member countries.
  • Membership of the Commission is open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO which are interested in international food standards.
  • The Commission meets in regular sessions once a year, alternating between Geneva and Rome.
  • The programme of work of the Commission is funded through the regular budgets of WHO and FAO, with all work subject to the approval of the two governing bodies of the parent organisations.
  • The Commission works in the six official languages of the UN.
  • The standards of CAC are recognized by the WTO as international reference points for the resolution of trade disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection.

Stingless Bees:

To protect Amazon, conservators try to save pollinator Stingless bees.

  • A stingless bee is a bee that appears very similar to a honeybee, but is incapable of stinging.
  • These bees are eusocial, which means that they live together in hives and produce honey.
  • These are native to the Amazon.
  • Their honey, which is runny enough to be drunk like a liquid and is said to have a citrusy aftertaste.
  • It is used by many Indigenous Peruvians as a natural medicine.
  • Stingless bees can be found in most tropical and subtropical regions.
  • These bees cannot sting but nature has made sure to give them other ways of defending themselves.
  • These bees do possess stingers, but they are too small to be useful in defense. Instead of stinging, stingless bees use their mandibles to bite their attackers.
  • The Amazon is home to hundreds of species of stingless bee, but as deforestation converts the tropical landscape into farms and ranches, these and other native pollinators are in danger of disappearing.