Today’s Current Affairs: 5th Jan 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
What Is Cyber Kidnapping?
The recent case of a Chinese student found unharmed in the US after his parents paid an $80,000 ransom to alleged ‘kidnappers’ has spotlighted the growing menace of cyber extortion plots globally involving convincing victims to isolate themselves.
- Cyber kidnapping refers to an online extortion crime where scammers persuade an individual to hide somewhere while pretending to their loved ones they are captive.
- The victims also share images seeming to indicate they are bound or gagged, furthering fears of harm if ransom is not paid.
- In reality, the scammers simply monitor the individual remotely while negotiating payments from worried relatives who believe them abducted.
- While comprehensive data remains lacking, law agencies confirm cyber kidnappings are increasing worldwide, especially targeting international students.
- Experts worry advances in AI like human-mimicking voice tech could make schemes more convincing for victims and families.
Indian Cities Nominated For Wetland City Tag:
India has submitted nominations for three cities – Indore, Bhopal and Udaipur – to receive the tag of ‘International Wetland City’ under the Ramsar Convention.
- The wetlands near the three nominated Indian cities sustain local populations. Indore has the Sirpur Ramsar wetland site, Bhopal has the Bhoj Ramsar wetland, and Udaipur has numerous scenic lakes that attract tourists.
- Conserving these vital urban wetlands through appropriate policies and citizen participation makes the cities eligible for the Ramsar tag.
- It demonstrates their commitment to wise use of wetlands for current needs and future sustainable development.
- The wetland city accreditation also provides international recognition for conservation efforts by the municipal authorities.
Similipal Kai Chutney:
The Similipal kai chutney made with red weaver ants by the tribal people of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district (Odisha) received the geographical identity tag.
- Similipal Kai Chutney is popular in Mayurbhanj region for its healing properties and also deemed important for nutritional security of the tribal people.
- Many indigenous people from Mayurbhanj district venture into nearby forest to collect kai pimpudi (red weaver ant).
- Around 500 tribal families have been eking out a living by collecting and selling these insects and a chutney made with them.
- The scientists analysed the red weaver ants and found it contains valuable proteins, calcium, zinc, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, amino acids, among others. Consuming the species can help boost the immune system and prevent diseases.
- The tribal healers also prepare a medicinal oil in which they dip the ants along with pure mustard oil.
- After a month, this concoction is used as body oil for babies and to cure rheumatism, gout, ringworm and other diseases by the tribes.
- The local people also consume this to stay fit and strong.
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2023:
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar((RKPP) 2023.
- Odisha Mining Corporate Limited has been awarded in the category of Encouragement to Sports through Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Jain Deemed to be University, Bengaluru has been awarded for identifying and nurturing budding and young talent.
- RKPP introduced by the government in 2009 is given to corporate entities (both private and public sector), Sports Control Boards, NGOs, including sports bodies at the State and National level, who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.
- The Other five core awards that constitute India’s National Sports Awards are the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award,the Arjuna Award, the Dronacharya Award, the Major Dhyan Chand Award, and the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.
UC-POP-Au : Photocatalyst
IISER Bhopal recently developed a new photocatalyst called UC-POP-Au, which absorbs the entire spectrum of light, making it a potent catalyst for chemical processes.
- Photocatalyst is a combination of two words: photo, related to photon, and catalyst, which is a substance altering the reaction rate in its presence.
- Photocatalysts are materials that change the rate of a chemical reaction upon exposure to light. This phenomenon is known as photocatalysis.
- The illumination of the catalyst causes the generation of free charges (electrons and holes) that can participate in chemical reactions, altering the reaction rate.
- Photocatalysis includes reactions that take place by utilising light and a semiconductor. All the photocatalysts are basically semiconductors.
- There are various materials that show photocatalytic capability, and titanium dioxide (TiO2) is said to be the most effective.
Aspergillus fumigatus : Deadly Fungus
An international team of researchers recently unveiled ground-breaking findings on the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, which can cause deadly disease in humans.
- It is a species of fungus that causes diseases in humans.
- It can be found throughout the environment, including in soil, plant matter, and household dust.
- The fungus can also produce airborne spores called conidia. Most people can inhale many of these spores on a daily basis.
- In a healthy individual, the immune system often clears them from the body without a problem. However, for some people, inhaling A. fumigatus, spores can lead to a potentially severe infection.
- Aspergillus fumigatus is considered an opportunistic organism.
- It has low virulence (ability to cause damage) and causes disease only in some circumstances, like:
- A severely weakened state caused by sickness, poor nutrition, advanced age, etc.
- Immunosuppression by diseases or medicines
- Implants use, such as prosthetic devices
- An infection that’s caused by an Aspergillus species of fungus is referred to as aspergillosis.
- Aspergillus can cause allergic reactions, chronic lung conditions, and an invasive disease that spreads to your brain, kidneys, lungs, or other organs.
The Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education has launched ‘Prerana: An Experiential Learning program’
- PRERANA program aims to offer a meaningful, unique, and inspiring experience to all participants, thereby empowering them with leadership qualities.
- It is driven by a strong commitment to integrate principles of the Indian education system and the philosophy of value-based education which is a cornerstone of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
- It is a week-long residential program for selected students of class IX to XII.
- A batch of 20 selected students (10 boys and 10 girls) will attend the program, every week from various parts of the country.
- It will run from a Vernacular School, established in 1888, in one of the oldest living cities of India, Vadnagar, district Mehsana, Gujarat.
- The curriculum of Prerana School prepared by IIT Gandhi Nagar is rooted in nine value-based themes: Swabhiman and Vinay, Shaurya and Sahas, Parishram and Samarpan, Karuna and Sewa, Vividhta and Ekta, Satyanishtha and Shuchita, Navachar and Jigyasa, Shraddha aur Vishwas, and Swatantrata and Kartavya.
- The day-wise program schedule will feature yoga, mindfulness, and meditation sessions, followed by experiential learning, thematic sessions, and hands-on interesting learning activities.
- Evening activities will include visits to ancient and heritage sites, inspirational film screenings, mission life creative activities, talent shows etc. ensuring a holistic learning approach.
- Apart from this, students will engage in diverse activities, embracing indigenous knowledge systems, latest State-of-Art technologies, and learning from inspirational personalities.
Polygonum Chaturbhujanum : New Plant Species
A new plant species of Polygonum genus has been discovered at Gol Pahadi Island of the Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra during a survey.
- New plant species named Polygonum Chaturbhujanum has been discovered at Gol Pahadi island of PTR.
- It is an herb.
- Six plant species endemic to India have also been found in Pench.
- They are Aegineta indica, Boerhavia crispa, Habenaria gibsonii var foetida, Iphigenia pallida, Petalidium barlerioides and Barleria gibsonii.
- Pench Tiger Reserve is located in the southern reaches of the Satpura hills in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh and continues in Nagpur district in Maharashtra as a separate Sanctuary.