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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 5th Mar 2024

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

Drugs And Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954:

The Supreme Court has prohibited a company from disseminating advertisements that claim to treat medical conditions such as BP, diabetes, fevers, epilepsy.

Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954:

  • It is a legislative framework to control the advertisement of drugs and prohibit claims of magical qualities in remedies.
  • It encompasses various forms of advertisements, including written, oral, and visual mediums.
  • Under the Act, the term “drug” refers to medicines intended for human or animal use, substances for diagnosis or treatment of diseases, and articles affecting the body’s functions.
  • Other than articles meant for consumption, the definition for “magic remedy” under this Act also extends to talismans, mantras, and charms that allegedly possess miraculous powers for healing or influencing bodily functions.
  • It prohibits advertisements that give false impressions, make false claims, or are otherwise misleading.
  • The term “advertisement,” under the Act, extends to all notices, labels, wrappers, and oral announcements.

Global Resource Outlook 2024:

Global Resource Outlook 2024 was launched on the final day of the Sixth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6) at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Global Resource Outlook is the flagship report of the International Resource Panel of United Nations Environment Programme.
  • This year’s report sheds light on how resources are essential to the effective implementation of the Agenda 2030 and multilateral environmental agreements to tackle the triple planetary crisis.
  • It brings together the best available data, modelling and assessments from 180 countries, seven world regions and four income groups, to analyse trends, impacts and distributional effects of resource use.

Highlights of the report:

  • It presents a stark picture of global inequality, where low-income countries consume six times less materials compared to wealthy countries, despite generating 10 times less climate impacts.
  • Global production and consumption of material resources has grown more than three times over the last 50 years, growing at an average of more than 2.3 per cent a year, despite the increase being the main driver of the triple planetary crisis.
  • The consumption and use of resources is largely driven by demand in upper income countries.
  • The extraction and processing of material resources — including fossil fuels, minerals, non-metallic minerals and biomass accounts for over 55 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 40 per cent of particulate matter poisoning the environment.
  • The extraction and processing of agricultural crops and forestry products accounts for 90 per cent of land-related biodiversity loss and water stress and a third of GHG emissions.
  • The extraction and processing of fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals including sand, gravel and clay account for 35 per cent of global emissions.
  • Despite this, resource exploitation could increase by almost 60 per cent from 2020 levels by 2060 — from 100 to 160 billion tonnes.

Protoplanetary Disk:

Observations by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) show that a protoplanetary disk around a young star in the Orion Nebula is losing massive amounts of hydrogen each year.

  • Protoplanetary is a disk of gas (99% by mass) and dust (1%), orbiting a newly formed star, from which planets may eventually form or be in the process of forming.
  • Disks are common by-products of star formation, and range in different mass and size.
  • Stars form from cold interstellar molecular clouds. A molecular cloud is an interstellar cloud of gas and dust in which molecules can form, the most common of which is hydrogen (H2).
  • As they collapse into protostars under the force of gravity, the remaining matter forms a spinning disk.
  • Eventually, the star stops accreting matter, leaving the disk in orbit around it.
  • The leftover gas and dust inside that protoplanetary disk become the ingredients for planet formation.
  • Organic molecules present in the original molecular cloud become part of the protoplanetary disk and the planets that form from it.

Grey Zone Warfare:

The phrase ‘grey zone warfare’ crops up in descriptions of Chinese actions around an island that it claims as its own.

  • Grey Zone Warfare generally means a middle, unclear space that exists between direct conflict and peace in international relations.
  • It can be broadly defined as the exploitation of operational space between peace and war to change the status quo through the use of coercive actions which remain below a threshold that, in most cases, would prompt a conventional military response.
  • Activities characterised as grey zone warfare methods range from the use of proxies for kinetic action or change of territorial status quo through coercion to non-kinetic subversive actions such as cyberattacks, economic coercion, disinformation campaign, election meddling, and more recently, weaponisation of migrants.

Status Of Leopards In India 2022:

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released a report on the Status of Leopards in India 2022. The survey covered 20 States of India, and focussed on about 70% of the animals’ expected habitat.

  • The Union Government, while commemorating the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger, has approved the establishment of the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) with headquarters in India with a one-time budgetary support of Rs.150 crore for a period of five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28.

Highlights of the Report on the Status of Leopards in India 2022:

  • India’s leopard population rose by 8% from 12,852 in 2018 to 13,874 in 2022.
  • About 65% of the leopard population is present outside protected areas in the Shivalik landscape. Only about a third of the leopards are within protected areas.
  • The Shivalik landscape refers to the outermost range of the Himalayas, known as the Shivalik Hills or the Shivalik Range.
  • This range extends across several states in northern India, including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Central India shows a stable or slightly growing population of leopards (2018: 8071, 2022: 8820), Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains experienced decline (2018: 1253, 2022: 1109).
  • In Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains, there is a 3.4% decline per annum, while the largest growth rate was in Central India and Eastern Ghats of 1.5%.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of leopards (3,907), followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
  • In Odisha the number of leopards dropped from 760 in 2018 to 562 in 2022, and in Uttarakhand, the population declined from 839 in 2018 to 652 in 2022.
  • Kerala, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Goa too reported population declines.

Yars Missile:

Russia recently announced a successful test fire of Yars intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile.

  • Yars Missile is a Russian-made intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with multiple independently targetable warheads, each capable of targeting different objectives.
  • It is a three-stage, solid propellant, MIRV-capable (Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles) ICBM.
  • The Yars is a modified version of the Topol-M missile system.
  • The missile can be launched from a silo or mobile launcher.
  • It has a range of 10,500 km.
  • The missile can be armed with up to 10 MIRVs, each containing a thermonuclear warhead weighing 300 kilotons.
  • It has the capability to manoeuvre during flight and deploy both active and passive decoys.

Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM):

  • An ICBM is a guided missile that is designed to deliver nuclear warheads, although it could also deliver other payloads.
  • According to the Federation of American Scientists, ICBMs have a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles), with maximum ranges varying from 7,000 to 16,000 kilometres.

6th United Nations Environmental Assembly:

India had committed to phase out Single-Use Plastics (SUP) by 2022, three years later, while some progress has been made with the ban on selected SUP items, challenges persist.

  • According to a report launched during the 6th United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6), the thriving street food sector across India depends heavily on single-use plastics.

 Key Highlights of the Report Released at UNEA-6 Regarding SUP:

  • Single-use plastics such as plates, bowls, cups, and containers are extensively used in India’s street food sector. Despite their affordability, these items contribute significantly to the country’s waste management challenge.
  • The findings reveal the reuse system offers a compelling business case with various benefits:
  • Both vendors and customers experience cost savings.
  • The system significantly reduces the amount of packaging material needed.
  • The report highlights a potential 21% return on investment with a payback period of 2-3 years.
  • Material choice, retention time, return rate, deposit amounts, and government incentives are crucial factors for optimizing the system’s effectiveness.

Single-Use plastic:

  • It refers to a “plastic item intended to be used once for the same purpose before being disposed of or recycled.”
  • Single-use plastic has among the highest shares of plastic manufactured and used from packaging of items to bottles (shampoo, detergents, cosmetics), polythene bags, face masks, coffee cups, cling film, trash bags, food packaging etc.
  • On the current trajectory of production, it has been projected that single-use plastic could account for 5-10% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Gene Therapy For Hemophilia A:

The Union Minister of Science & Technology addressing the National Science Day 2024 programme stated that India conducted its first human clinical trial of gene therapy for hemophilia A (FVIII deficiency) at Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore.

  • Hemophilia is a group of rare bleeding disorders caused by a congenital deficiency in specific clotting factors.
  • The most prevalent form is Hemophilia A.
  • Hemophilia A results from a deficiency in a crucial blood clotting protein known as factor VIII.
  • Due to this deficiency, individuals experience prolonged bleeding after injuries, as their blood takes longer to clot than usual.
  • It is primarily inherited (genetic) and follows an X-linked recessive pattern, meaning the gene responsible for factor VIII production is located on the X chromosome.
  • Males have one X and one Y chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes.
  • If a male inherits an X chromosome with the defective gene from his mother, he will have hemophilia A.
  • Females with one defective copy typically do not experience symptoms because the other X chromosome usually provides enough factor VIII.
  • However, females can have hemophilia A if they inherit two defective copies, one from each parent (much less common).
  • Symptoms: The severity of hemophilia A varies depending on the level of factor VIII activity in the blood
  • The treatment involves replacing the missing blood clotting factor so that the blood can clot properly.
  • This is typically done by injecting treatment products, called clotting factor concentrates, into a person’s vein.
  • The two main types of clotting factor concentrates available are:
    • Plasma-derived Factor Concentrates: Derived from human plasma, which is the liquid component of blood containing various proteins, including clotting factors.
    • Recombinant Factor Concentrates: Introduced in 1992, recombinant factor concentrates are genetically engineered using DNA technology and do not rely on human plasma.
    • They are free from plasma or albumin, eliminating the risk of transmitting bloodborne viruses.

Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions And Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2024:

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly passed the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2024, after it was previously defeated in the Legislative Council by the BJP-JD(S) alliance.

  • The bill proposes the creation of a Common Pool Fund under the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Department to support religious activities in the state.
  • The amendment requires temples with incomes above Rs one crore to contribute 10%, those with incomes between Rs 10 lakh to one crore to contribute five per cent, and temples with incomes below Rs 10 lakh are exempt from contributions.
  • According to Article 197 of the constitution, if a bill is rejected by the Legislative Council for the first time, the Legislative Assembly has the option to pass the bill again, with or without the amendments suggested by the Legislative Council.
  • Once the bill is passed for the second time by the Legislative Assembly, it is sent back to the Legislative Council.
  • The bill is considered to have been passed by both houses if the Legislative Council either rejects the bill, takes no action on it for more than one month, or passes the bill with amendments to which the Legislative Assembly does not agree.