Today’s Current Affairs: 5th Oct 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
International Coral Reef Initiative:
The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) said it would secure public and private investment to help conserve and restore coral ecosystems.
- International Coral Reef Initiative was launched in 1994 by Australia, France, Japan, Jamaica, the Philippines, Sweden, Britain and the United States.
- Its members now include 45 countries that represent three quarters of the world’s coral reefs.
- India is also a member country of this initiative.
- It is a global partnership between Nations and organizations which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world.
- Its decisions are not binding on its members.
- The work of ICRI is regularly acknowledged in United Nations documents, highlighting the Initiative’s important cooperation, collaboration and advocacy role within the international arena.
- Encourage the adoption of best practice in sustainable management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems
- Build capacity
- Raise awareness at all levels on the plight of coral reefs around the world.
United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime:
The union Minister of State for Home Affairs participated in the two-day UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime Ministerial Conference at Palermo in Italy.
- United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime is a multinational treaty against transnational organized crime that was established by the United Nations in 2000.
- It is often known as the Palermo Convention.
- The UNTOC has a total of 147 signatories and 190 parties to the convention.
- The Convention is further supplemented by three Protocols
- The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children;
- The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and
- The Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition.
- India signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its three Protocols on December 12, 2002.
- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the nodal agency for all dealings with UNTOC.
Researchers have recently identified a previously unknown compartment in mammalian cells named ‘exclusome’
- Exclusome is a newly discovered organelle in mammalian cells.
- It is made up of DNA rings known as plasmids.
- It is located within the cell plasma.
- This is peculiar because eukaryotic cells (cells with nuclei) usually keep most of their DNA in the cell nucleus, where it is organized into chromosomes.
- Instead, in the exclusome, it is organized into plasmids -small, circular DNA strands that can replicate independently of chromosomes and are usually found in bacteria and other microscopic organisms.
Basohli Pashmina : Geographical Indication Tag
Basohli Pashmina, a more than 100-year-old traditional craft from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
- Basohli Pashmina is a hand-spun product known for extreme softness, fineness and light-weight, has insulating properties and extended life.
- Pashmina products include shawls for both men and women, mufflers, blankets and basket.
- Pashmina refers to a fine variant of spun cashmere (the animal-hair fibre), that is derived from the downy undercoat of the Changthangi.
- It is obtained from a breed of mountain goats (Capra hircus) found on the Changthang Plateau in Tibet and parts of Ladakh.
- A traditional producer of pashmina wool in the Ladakh region are a people known as the Changpa (nomadic people inhabit the Changthang plateau of Tibet).
Social Audit Of MGNREGA Scheme:
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), a fundamental component of India’s social welfare initiatives, has been marred by persistent concerns regarding a high incidence of corruption.
- In the ongoing financial year (2023-24), social audit units flagged misappropriation amounting to ₹27.5 crore under MGNREGA.
- After taking corrective actions, this amount reduced to ₹9.5 crore, but only a meager ₹1.31 crore (13.8% of the total) has been recovered.
- The recovery rates in previous financial years show a similar trend of inefficiency:
- In 2022-23, the recoverable amount was ₹86.2 crore, but only ₹18 crore (20.8% of the total) was recovered.
- In 2021-22, ₹171 crore was flagged, yet a mere ₹26 crore (15% of the total) was recovered.
- These consistently low recovery rates raise significant concerns about the scheme’s effectiveness in combating corruption.
- The low recovery rate also jeopardizes the credibility of the entire audit process.
- This threatens to undermine public trust in MGNREGA’s integrity and purpose.
The Indian Army in partnership with the United Service Institution of India (USI), wrapped up a hybrid-panel discussion as part of Project Udbhav.
- The discussion focused on “The Evolution of Indian Military Systems, Warfare, and Strategic Thinking: Current Research and Future Directions.”
- Project Udbhav is an initiative set in motion by the Indian Army to rediscover the profound Indic heritage of statecraft and strategic thoughts derived from ancient Indian texts of statecraft, warcraft, diplomacy and grand strategy.
- It focuses on a broad spectrum including Indigenous Military Systems, Historical Texts, Regional Texts and Kingdoms, Thematic Studies, and intricate Kautilya Studies.
- At its core, Project Udbhav seeks to bridge the historical and the contemporary.
- The project goes beyond rediscovering historical narratives; it aims to develop an indigenous strategic vocabulary deeply rooted in India’s multifaceted philosophical and cultural heritage.
- The ultimate objective is to integrate ancient wisdom into modern military pedagogy, allowing the Indian Army to draw from centuries-old principles in today’s complex strategic landscape.
- In connection with Project Udbhav, the USI will conduct a Military Heritage Festival on 21st and 22nd October, 2023.
World Animal Day 2023:
World Animal Day is observed on 4th October, serving as a global commemoration focused on the promotion of animal welfare and the protection of their rights.
- It serves as a powerful reminder of our responsibility to protect and care for the diverse species that share our planet.
- The theme for World Animal Day 2023 is “Big or small, we love them all,” emphasizing the importance of compassion for animals of all sizes.
- Its origins trace back to the visionary Heinrich Zimmermann, who initiated the event in 1925 and saw its recognition during a 1931 Congress of the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence, Italy.
Green War Room : Delhi Government
The Delhi government has launched a ‘green war room’ to combat air pollution in the city by implementing the Winter Action Plan and monitoring pollution 24×7.
- Delhi faces severe air pollution, particularly during the winter months, due to various sources such as vehicles, industry, construction activities, and stubble burning in neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana.
- The war room will be connected to a mobile application called the Green Delhi app, emphasizing the importance of public participation in addressing the issue.
- The Delhi government will also launch an anti-dust campaign, to address sources of pollution within the city.
- The Green Delhi app allows citizens to report pollution-related complaints, which will be monitored by the green war room.
- According to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), internal sources within Delhi contribute to 31% of the pollution, while external sources from surrounding states contribute 69%.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted a successful operation called “Kachchhap,”.
- This operation resulted in the recovery of the 955 live baby turtles, including species like the Indian Tent Turtle, Indian Flapshell Turtle, Crown River Turtle, Black Spotted/Pond Turtle, and Brown Roofed Turtle.
- The DRI had received intelligence about a syndicate engaged in the illegal trafficking and trading of these turtles, some of which are considered vulnerable or near-threatened species according to the IUCN Red List and are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- This operation is part of the DRI’s ongoing efforts to protect the environment and combat illegal wildlife trafficking.
Hirakund Wetland : Cancer-Causing Heavy Metals Detected
A study has revealed high levels of cancer-causing heavy metals, including lead and chromium, in eight wetlands in Odisha, with Hirakud being one of them.
- These heavy metals, which result from human activities such as urbanization, industrialization, and agriculture, can enter crops through the soil and subsequently be consumed by humans.
- The study also noted that the surrounding community indirectly consumes water from these wetlands by consuming foods like fish, rice, vegetables, and spinach grown in them.
- Hirakud Reservoir (Ramsar Site) is the largest earthen dam in Odisha and started operating in 1957.
- Out of the known 54 species of fish from the reservoir, one has been classed as being endangered, six near threatened and 21 fish species of economic importance.
- It also provides important hydrological services by moderating floods in the Mahanadi Delta, the ecological and socio-economic hub of the east coast of India.
Nobel Prize In Chemistry For 2023:
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2023 has been conferred upon Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus, and Alexei I. Ekimov for their groundbreaking work on quantum dots.
- These tiny nanoparticles have far-reaching applications in various fields, from electronics to medical diagnostics.
- Quantum dots are nanoparticles with unique properties, whose characteristics are governed by quantum effects.
- They emit clear light and are used in television screens, LED lamps, and medical applications.
- Their applications range from catalyzing chemical reactions to illuminating tumor tissue for surgical procedures.
Severe Flood In Sikkim:
The South Lhonak Lake in Sikkim experienced a breach, leading to severe flooding in downstream areas. This caused casualties and displacements in the state.
- Glacial lakes are large bodies of water formed in front of, on top of, or beneath melting glaciers.
- They can become increasingly dangerous as they expand, often dammed by unstable ice or sediment composed of loose rock and debris.
- Rising global temperatures have led to rapid glacier melting in the Sikkim Himalayas, resulting in the formation and expansion of glacier lakes.
- Sikkim Himalayas currently host more than 300 glacial lakes, with 10 identified as vulnerable to outburst floods.
- South Lhonak Lake’s size has significantly increased over the past five decades, rendering it susceptible to GLOF events.
- Earthquakes, such as a magnitude 4.9 quake in 1991 and a magnitude 6.9 event in 2011, have raised concerns about the potential triggering of GLOFs in the region.
Diabetes Global Industry Overview 2023 : Report
A new report titled “Diabetes Global Industry Overview 2023” sheds light on the staggering impact of diabetes on global health and healthcare expenditure.
- With nearly seven million deaths attributed to diabetes in 2021 and healthcare costs reaching $970 billion that year, diabetes poses a significant challenge to healthcare systems worldwide.
- The report identifies over 1,840 medical centers specializing in diabetes treatment, with the United States leading the market, hosting 1,466 of these centers, comprising approximately 78% of the global total.
- Following the US, countries with the highest numbers of diabetes treatment centers include India (58), Canada (51), the UK (42), Japan (29), and Australia (24).
- The report also highlights the diabetes diagnostics market, with over 1,800 medical centers and clinics specializing in diabetes diagnostics.
- The number of clinics in this segment has more than doubled from 567 in 1999 to 1,329 in 2022.
- However, market saturation became evident in 2019.
- The period between 2000 and 2007 witnessed significant growth in diabetes diagnostics, with an average of 38 new clinics per year