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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 8th June 2022

Today Current Affairs:8th June 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Two Cases Of Norovirus Have Been Found In Thiruvananthapuram:

At least two cases of norovirus have been found in Thiruvananthapuram among lower primary school students.

  • Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is also sometimes referred to as the ‘stomach flu’ or the ‘ winter vomiting bug’.
    It can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces.
  • The primary route is oral-faecal.
  • It is similar to diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus and infects people across age groups.
  • One may get infected multiple times as the virus has different strains.
  • Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.
  • According to WHO, an estimated 685 million cases of norovirus are seen annually, including 200 million cases amongst children under 5
  • The initial symptoms of norovirus are vomiting and/or diarrhoea, which show up one or two days after exposure to the virus.Patients also feel nauseous, and suffer from abdominal pain, fever, headaches and body aches.
  • In extreme cases, loss of fluids could lead to dehydration.
  • Norovirus infection is associated with intestinal inflammation, malnutrition and may cause long-term morbidity.
  • Diagnosis is done by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
  • No vaccines are available for the disease.
  • The basic precaution is repeatedly washing hands with soap after using the lavatory or changing diapers.
  • It is important to wash hands carefully before eating or preparing food.
  • During outbreaks, surfaces must be disinfected with a solution of hypochlorite at 5,000 parts per million.
  • Those infected should avoid contact with others and avoid preparing food for others while sick and for two days after symptoms stop.
  • Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can withstand heat up to 60°C.
  • Therefore, merely steaming food or chlorinating water does not kill the virus.
  • The virus can also survive many common hand sanitisers.
  • The disease is self-limiting.
  • The infection normally lasts only two or three days, and most individuals who are not very young, very old, or malnourished can ride it out with sufficient rest and hydration.
  • It is important to maintain hydration in the acute phase.
  • In extreme cases, patients have to be administered rehydration fluids intravenously.

Agni-IV Ballistic Missile:

India conducted a test of the nuclear capable Agni-IV ballistic missile, which has a strike range of 4,000 km, as part of a “night user trial in operational configuration” by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).

  • The two-stage Agni-IV surface-to-surface missile was flight-tested for its “entire range” from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast, at about 7.30pm.
  • The tri-Service SFC already has the Prithvi-II (350-km), Agni-I (700-km), Agni-II (2,000-km), Agni-III (3,000-km) and Agni-IV missile units, while the induction of the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile Agni-V (over 5,000-km) is currently in an advanced stage.
  • The road-mobile Agni-IV and Agni-V are primarily meant for deterrence against China, which can target any Indian city with its formidable inventory of long-range missiles.
  • The Agni-V brings the northernmost part of China within its strike envelope.
  • The shorter range Agni missiles, in turn, are designed for Pakistan

Sant Kabir Academy And Research Centre : Maghar,Uttar Pradesh

President Ram Nath Kovind recently inaugurated the Sant Kabir Academy and Research Centre under Swadesh Darshan Yojana at Maghar (Uttar Pradesh).

  • Sant Kabir Das was a very renowned saint, poet and social reformer of India who lived during the 15th century.
  • His esteemed works and poems describe the greatness and oneness of the Supreme Being.
  • He was a proponent of the Bhakti Movement.
  • He did not believe in any religious discrimination and readily accepted all the religions.
  • A religious community known as ‘Kabir Panth’ was founded by him and the members of this forum are referred to as ‘Kabir Panthis’.
  • Swami Ramananda influence: Kabir Das’ ideologies were greatly influenced by Vaishnava saint Swami Ramananda who accepted Kabir as his disciple.
  • His famous literary works:
    • Bijak, Sakhi Granth, Kabir Granthawali and Anurag Sagar.
    • His verses are found in Sikhism’s scripture Guru Granth Sahib.
    • The major part of his work was collected by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
    • The hallmark of Sant Kabirdas’ work consists of his two line couplets, popularly known as ‘Kabir Ke Dohe’.

Surrogacy:

Petitioners in the Delhi High Court questioned why marital status, age, or gender were the criteria for being allowed to commission or not commission surrogacy in India.

  • As per the Surrogacy Act that kicked in from January this year, a married couple can opt for surrogacy only on medical grounds.
  • The law defines a couple as a married Indian “man and woman” and also prescribes an age-criteria with the woman being in the age group of 23 to 50 years and the man between 26 to 55 years.
  • Additionally, the couple should not have a child of their own.
  • Though the law allows single women to resort to surrogacy, she should either be a widow or a divorcee, between the age of 35 to 45 years. Single men are however, not eligible.

Overview of the Surrogacy Act, 2021:

  • It came into effect in January this year.
  • It allows ‘altruistic surrogacy’ — wherein only the medical expenses and insurance coverage is provided by the couple to the surrogate mother during pregnancy.
  • Creates a national board to lay down and implement a code of conduct for people working at IVF clinics.
  • It intends to make genetic testing of the embryo mandatory before implantation for the benefit of the child born through ART.
  • It also seeks to streamline the cryo-preservation processes for sperm, oocytes and embryos.
  • It also proposes to constitute a national registry and registration authority to maintain a central database and assist the national board in its functioning.

Eligibility conditions to make use of the services of a surrogate mother:

  • Any couple that has ‘proven infertility’.
  • The couple should be Indian citizens who have been married for at least five years.
  • The female must be between 23 to 50 years and the male, 26 to 55 years.
  • They cannot have any surviving children (biological, adopted or surrogate); However, this would not include a ‘child who is mentally or physically challenged or suffers from life threatening disorder or fatal illness.’

Only a close relative of the couple can be a surrogate mother, one who is able to provide a medical fitness certificate. She should have been married, with a child of her own, and must be between 25 and 35 years, but can be a surrogate mother only once.

India’s Response to Organisation Of Islamic Cooperation:

India has responded at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) after it condemned the derogatory comments made by two BJP leaders on Prophet Muhammed and Islam.

  • India’s strong response came while several countries, including India’s crucial Gulf partner, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and security partners Oman and Jordan condemned the remarks.
  • OIC is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states.
  • It is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.
  • The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony “.
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • Permanent Secretariat is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • OIC’s growing economic and energy interdependence with India has become important in recent times.
  • Individually, India has good relations with almost all member nations. Ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, especially, have improved significantly in recent years.
  • The OIC includes two of India’s close neighbours, Bangladesh and Maldives.

Sambandar : Sculpture Retrieved From Australia And the United States

Ten antiquities (sculptures) retrieved from Australia and the United States were handed over to the Government of Tamil Nadu in Delhi last week. This included the sculpture of Dancing child-saint Sambandar.

  • Sambandar of the 12th century belongs to the Chola dynasty.
  • He was a contemporary of Appar, another Saiva poet-saint.
  • He is one of the Muvar, the three principal saints of South India.
  • He composed an oeuvre of 16,000 hymns in complex meters.
  • Sambandar was one of the nayanmars, a group of sixty-three saints active in South India from the sixth to the ninth century who were instrumental in popularizing the worship of Shiva through devotional poetry and song.

Permission To Sell Products On The Government-e-Marketplace Platform:

The Union Cabinet has cleared up a proposal allowing cooperatives to sell products on the Government-e-Marketplace (GeM) platform.

  • The cooperatives may however be charged a transaction fee to cover the incremental costs.
  • The validated list of cooperatives to be onboarded on the GeM – for pilot as well as subsequent scale up – will be decided by the Ministry of Cooperation in consultation with the GeM SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle).
  • GeM is a one-stop National Public Procurement Portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Central and State Government Departments/Organisations/Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
  • The procurement of goods and services by Ministries and the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) is mandatory for goods and services available on GeM.
  • It also provides the tools of e-bidding and reverse e-auction to facilitate the government users achieve the best value for their money.
  • At present, GeM has more than 30 lakh products, over Rs. 10 lakh crores worth of transactions have happened so far at the portal.
  • It was launched in 2016 to bring transparency and efficiency in the government buying process.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Country of Origin Mandatory: GeM has made it mandatory for sellers to enter the Country of Origin while registering all new products on GeM.
  • This has been enabled on the portal so that the buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50% local content criteria.

Rivers Of India Facing Metal Pollution : Center For Science And Environment Report

The Center for Science and Environment has reported that rivers of India are facing severe metal pollution.

  • Three out of every four river monitoring stations in India have observed alarming levels of heavy toxic metals such as lead, iron, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, chromium and copper.

Heavy Metals:

  • Heavy metals may be defined as elements with an atomic number larger than 20 and an atomic density greater than 5 g cm-3 that must possess metal-like characteristics. Example: arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, uranium etc.
  • Heavy metal pollution has been caused in our rivers, soils, and environment as a result of rapidly growing agriculture and metal industries, improper waste management, heavy use of fertilizers, and pesticides.
  • Agricultural and industrial operations, landfilling, mining, and transportation are the primary sources of heavy metals in groundwater.
  • Through the agricultural water runoff heavy metals reach upto river.
  • Discharge of wastewater from industries (like the tannery industry which is a big source of chromium heavy metals) directly into river bodies intensified the severity of the heavy metal pollution.
  • Heavy metals have the property of long persistent in plants, animals and environment.

World Food Safety Day 2022 : Theme

Every Year, 7th June is observed as World Food Safety Day.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) jointly facilitate the observance of World Food Safety Day, in collaboration with Member States and other relevant organizations.
  • It was first celebrated in 2019, to strengthen the commitment to scale up food safety made by the Addis Ababa Conference and the Geneva Forum in 2019 under the umbrella of “The Future of Food Safety”.
  • Aim: To draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
  • 2022 Theme: Safer Food, Better Health
  • With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants.
  • An estimated 420000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated food and children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year.

World Summit Of Information Society 2022:

The Minister of Communications attended the opening ceremony of the World Summit of Information Society (WSIS) 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, where India showcased its telecom prowess during multilateral & bilateral engagements.

  • The participation comes with India contesting the re-election to the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) Council, for the term 2023-2026.
  • India has been a member of ITU, since 1869 and has been continuously participating, actively in the works, and activities of the Union.
  • The World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2022 represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.
  • The Forum provides structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation.
  • The Agenda and Programme of the Forum will be built on the basis of the submissions received during the Open Consultation Process.
  • Furthermore, the 2022 WSIS Forum will provide an opportunity to serve as a platform to track the achievements of WSIS Action Lines in collaboration with the UN Agencies involved and provide information and analyses of the implementation of WSIS Action Lines since 2005.

 Highlights:

  • India has developed the Low mobility Large Coverage Standard, earlier called 5Gi using a new waveform that enables 5G towers to cover wider areas in rural and remote areas.
  • These standards were among the first 5G standards, which have been approved by the ITU and have also become part of Globally harmonized 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) Release 17 standards.
  • These will be immensely helpful for countries with similar geographical spread.
  • Over six hundred villages are being connected on Optical Fibre cable, with nearly 175,000 already connected.
  • Villages left out of 4G connectivity are being covered through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  • India focuses on the use of technologies that can accelerate development and bridge this divide, like using E band wireless carriers, LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and MEO (Middle earth Orbit) satellite connectivity among others.
  • India has issued the first service license for LEO or MEO connectivity and hopes to harness the technology to enable digital inclusion in remote areas.
  • Developing 5G test bed, indigenous 4G and 5G stack, development of Indian 5G standards and setting up of 6G innovation forum are the initiatives to reduce cost, facilitate faster 5G spread in rural areas and eliminate dependency on specific vendors.

Ex Khaan Quest 2022:

A multinational peacekeeping exercise-Ex Khaan Quest 2022 featuring participation from military contingents from 16 countries including India commenced in Mongolia.

  • President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh inaugurated the exercise.
  • The Indian Army is represented by a contingent from the LADAKH SCOUTS.
  • The 14-day exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, building military to military relationships, and developing peace support operations and military readiness among participating nations.

‘Sital Sasthi’ festival : Odisha

Week-long ‘Sital Sasthi’ festival is being celebrated in Odisha.

  • Sital Sasthi is a sacred Hindu festival is being celebrated in Odisha. This week-long special festival highlights the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
  • According to the Hindu calendar, Sital Sasthi is observed on the sixth day of the Jyestha month during the Shukla Paksha.
  • People observing this festival believe that Lord Shiva represents the scorching heat of summer while Goddess Parvati signifies the first rain. So, this holy and lavish wedding is observed for a good monsoon.
  • Sital Sasthi is a celebration wherein Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are adopted by two families, and their wedding is solemnised with the involvement of rituals. After the marriage is performed, the God and Goddess are then carried around the city via a procession
    During the week-long festival, devotees in large numbers take part in the most famous Sitala Sasthi Yatra that is conducted at Sambalpur in Western Odisha.

Arignar Anna Zoological Park : Chennai

The Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai has introduced a novel method to check the littering of plastic bottles inside its premises.

  • Coinciding with the World Environment Day yesterday, the authorities of the state’s biggest zoo have begun collecting a deposit of ten rupees each for every bottle of water from the visitors.
  • The money is refunded if they return the empty bottle. The officials say the initiative has begun yielding good results.
  • Meanwhile, the state environment minister Siva. V. Meyyanathan and health minister Ma. Subramanian in Chennai distributed the traditional cloth bags called “Manchappai,” which means ‘yellow bags,’ to promote use of environmentally friendly carry bags instead of the harmful plastic bags.

Leaders In Climate Change Management Program:

In conjunction with the World Environment Day that was observed on June 5, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and World Resources Institute (WRI) India, jointly announced ‘Leaders in Climate Change Management’ (LCCM), a practice-based learning program.

  • To facilitate this face-to-face learning program, the Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Mysuru, also singed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NIUA and WRI India, becoming the first delivery partner of the LCCM program.
  • LCCM envisions capacitating 5,000 professionals, including mid to junior-level government officials and frontline workers, and preparing them to champion climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions towards a coordinated effort to achieve India’s climate commitments.
  • At COP26 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a five-fold strategy – Panch Amrit – to global leaders, extending India’s co-operation to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius targets.
  • The LCCM program, designed and implemented in partnership with the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and Indian School of Business (ISB), aims to strengthen India’s workforce to achieve this goal.

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