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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 8th September 2022

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

 

Legionellosis Disease:

Argentina’s mystery pneumonia outbreak, where 11 people have been infected has finally been identified as Legionellosis by the country’s health ministry.

  • Legionellosis is a “pneumonia-like illness that varies in severity from mild febrile illness to a serious and sometimes fatal form of pneumonia,” according to the WHO.
  • The disease typically spreads via inhalation of contaminated aerosols from contaminated water, which could come from — air conditioning cooling towers, evaporative condensers associated with air conditioning and industrial cooling, hot and cold water systems, humidifiers and whirlpool spas.
  • Direct human-to-human transmission of this disease has not yet been reported, according to the WHO.
  • There is concern that it could contribute to the spread of these highly disease-causing strains by linking modern man-made water systems through human transmission.”

India’s External Debt:

As per the External Debt management Unit.India’s external debt rose to US$ 620.7 bnas on March 2022 (an increase of over 8% compared to the previous year)

  • A country’s gross external debt is the liabilities that are borrowed from outside the country and have to be paid back in the same currency.
  • The debtors can be governments, corporations or citizens.
  • External debt may be denominated in domestic or foreign currency. (Most of India’s external debt is linked to the U.S. dollar).

External debt is classified as:

  • External Commercial Borrowing
  • Currency Convertible Bonds
  • Government Borrowings (sovereign debt)
  • NRI deposits

Global Alliance For Industry Decarbonization (GAID):

IRENA along with major companies have launched GAID with the aim to accelerate net-zero ambitions and decarbonization of the industrial value chains.

  • The term decarbonization literally means the reduction of carbon.
  • It will Allow dialogue and coordinated action
  • 1st meeting will be held at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (Nov 2022)

About IRENA:

  • The International Renewable Energy Agency is an intergovernmental organization mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
  • India is the 77th Founding Member of IRENA.
  • IRENA also coordinates Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Lighthouse Initiative for supporting the energy transition efforts of Small Island countries.

WEST: A New I-STEM Initiative

A new Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM) initiative called “Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST)” was launched.

  • The WEST programme will cater to women with a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) background and empower them to contribute to the science, technology, and innovation ecosystem.
  • Through the WEST initiative, I-STEM shall provide a separate platform to scientifically inclined women researchers, scientists, and technologists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences in frontier areas of science and engineering.
  • Women may join the WEST program and explore opportunities to become stakeholders in various domains and pursue careers in R&D at various levels: technicians, technologists, scientists, and entrepreneurs.
  • Opportunities range from operating scientific equipments and maintaining them, to designing and manufacturing them.
  • The Skill Development programmes under the WEST initiative will provide training for women with S&T backgrounds to brush up on their abilities and become engaged “in the field” as lab technicians and maintenance engineers.
  • The access to R&D facilities and R&D software platforms (COMSOL, MATLAB, LABVIEW, AUTOCAD) will be available through the I-STEM portal.
  • In addition, a digital consortium “Connect Quickly” for online discussion and immediate support has also been established through the I-STEM WhatsApp and Telegram platforms.
  • A dedicated team of women will ensure the successful implementation of the WEST initiative.

I-STEM:

  • I-STEM is a National Web portal for sharing R&D (Research and Development) facilities.
  • The portal facilitates researchers to access slots for the use of equipment, as well as to share the details of the outcomes, such as patents, publications and technologies.
  • Launched in January 2020. It is an initiative of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India under the aegis of Prime Minister Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) mission.

Rear Seat Belt:

Union road transport ministry will soon make rear seat belt alarm mandatory, in a bid to nudge all occupants of a four-wheeler to buckle up for their safety.

  • The three-point seat belt is a low-cost restraint system that prevents occupants of a vehicle from being thrown forward in a crash.
  • Seat belt: slows the occupant at the same rate as the vehicle, distributing the physical force in a crash across the stronger parts of the body such as the pelvis and chest.
  • The Road Transport Ministry said that during 2017, a shocking 26,896 people lost their lives due to the non-use of seat belts with 16,876 of them being passengers.

India-Bangladesh Relation:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held bilateral talks in New Delhi to review and further strengthen the all-encompassing India-Bangladesh partnership.

  • The India-Bangladesh delegation level talks were led by both leaders. Issues related to connectivity, energy, water resources, trade and investment, border management and security, development partnership and regional and multilateral matters were on the agenda.
  • Two leaders jointly unveiled Unit-I of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Project following bilateral and delegation level talks in Delhi.
  • The project is being constructed under India’s concessional financing scheme. It will add 1320 MW to Bangladesh’s National Grid.
  • Seven MoUs, including on water resources, railways, science and technology, space technology were exchanged following the talks.
  • This includes an MoU between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh Television on cooperation in the field of broadcasting.
  • Prime Minister Modi announced that an important agreement on water sharing from the Kushiyara River has been signed.
  • This will benefit Southern Assam in India and Sylhet region in Bangladesh.

Climate Reparation:

Facing the worst flooding disaster in its history, Pakistan has begun demanding reparations, or compensation, from the rich countries that are mainly responsible for causing climate change.

  • Climate reparations refer to a call for money to be paid by the developed countries to the developing countries as a means of addressing the historical contributions that the Developed countries have made (and continue to make) toward climate change.
  • The demand for compensation for loss and damage from climate disasters is an extension of the universally acknowledged “Polluter Pays” principle that makes the polluter liable for paying not just for the cost of remedial action, but also for compensating the victims of environmental damage caused by their actions.
  • In the climate change framework, the burden of responsibility falls on those rich countries that have contributed most of the greenhouse gas emissions since 1850, generally considered to be the beginning of the industrial age.
  • Historical responsibility is important because carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and it is the cumulative accumulation of this carbon dioxide that causes global warming.
  • A country like India, currently the third largest emitter, accounts for only 3% of historical emissions.
  • China, which is the world’s biggest emitter for over 15 years now, has contributed about 11% to total emissions since 1850.
  • The Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damages, set up in 2013, was the first formal acknowledgment of the need to compensate developing countries struck by climate disasters.

Nasal Covid Vaccine:

Bharat Biotech’s ChAd36-SARS-CoV-S COVID-19 (Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectored) recombinant nasal vaccine has been approved by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for primary immunization against COVID-19 in 18+ age group for restricted use in emergencies.

  • This is India’s first intranasal vaccine for COVID-19.
  • The product – iNCOVACC – is stable at 2-8°C for easy storage and distribution.
  • iNCOVACC has the double benefit of enabling faster development of variant-specific vaccines and easy nasal delivery that enables mass immunisation to protect from emerging variants of concern. It promises to become an important tool in mass vaccinations during pandemics and endemics.
  • iNCOVACC was developed in partnership with Washington University St. Louis, which had designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral vectored constructs and evaluated them in preclinical studies for efficacy.

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