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UPSC and APSC Current Affairs 10/08/2023

A LANCET study links the rise of antibacterial resistance to rising air pollution.



  • This is the first in-depth global analysis to demonstrate that inhaling PM2.5 exposes humans to antibiotic-resistant elements (see image).

  • Antibiotic resistance, also known as Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve and no longer respond to antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat infections and increasing the risk of disease transmission, severe illness, and mortality.

Major conclusions

  • Depending on the pathogen, there is a 0.5 to 1.9 percent increase in antibiotic resistance for every one percent increase in PM 2.5 pollution.

  • In 2018, PM2.5 caused 18•2 million years of life to be lost, resulting in a monetary burden.

  • Changes in PM 2.5 have the greatest effect on the premature mortality rate in China and India.

  • Efforts to combat AMR include the National Action Plan on AMR in 2017, the Red Line Campaign on Antibiotics in 2016, and the AMR Surveillance Network in 2013.

THESTANDING COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EMPOWERMENT OF PARLIAMENT HAS SUBMITTED A REPORT ON "DRUG ABUSE AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE - PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS"



Observations of Note

  • In states such as Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Maharashtra, there are approximately 37 crore drug and alcohol users between the ages of 10 to 17 (children) and 18 to 75 (adults).

  • Inadequate District De-Addiction Center (DDAC) penetration.

  • Reducing funding for the program of preventive education and awareness generation.

  • India is surrounded by some of the world's largest producers of illicit drugs (Golden Crescent, comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, and Golden Triangle, comprising Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos).

  • Delay in providing Master Trainer training as part of the Navchetna Program (Life Skills and Drug Education for School Children).

Advisory Opinions

  • Apex Committee of Narcotics Coordination Centre (established in 2016 by the Ministry of Home Affairs) holds regular meetings and evaluations.

  • Establish an evaluation mechanism for the National Action Plan for the Reduction of Drug Demand (NAPDDR).

  • Inclusion of chapters on substance addiction, its consequences, and de-addiction measures in the curriculum generates awareness.

  • Coordination between departments to address both supply and demand issues.

  • National Drug Dependency Treatment Centres (NDDTC) conduct periodic drug misuse surveys to remain current.

The COASTAL AQUACULTURE AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) CAA BILL OF 2023 is passed by the Lok Sabha.



  1. The CAA Act of 2005 is changed by this bill. The CAA Act of 2005 sets up a CAA to regulate actions related to coastal aquaculture in coastal areas.

  2. Coastal Aquaculture was not banned by the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) Notification 1991 because of the CAA Act of 2005.

  3. The National Green Tribunal ruled in 2022 that the CAA Act of 2005 does not remove coastal aquaculture from the 2011 and 2019 CRZ notifications.

  4. In coastal aquaculture, shrimp, prawns, fish, or other marine animals are raised in salty or brackish water.

What is Important?

  • Under CRZ, aquaculture along the coast and other businesses like it are allowed. So, it will still only be controlled by the CAA Act.

  • It lets nuclei breed in no-development zones and grows seaweed in creeks and backwaters inside the CRZ.

  • CAA also does the following:

  • Set rules for what can be put into aquaculture units and what can be taken out of them.

  • Prohibit things like pharmacologically active chemicals, antimicrobial agents, and other things that could hurt human health.

  • Member of the Authority's Secretariat: To be chosen by the Central Government to be the CAA's Chief Executive Officer.

  • Decriminalizes violations of the act and lowers the fines by up to 1 lakh.

INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION (ISRO) ROCKET DEBRIS FOUND ON AUSTRALIAN SHORE



  • Natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particulates comprise space debris. Meteoroids orbit the sun, while the majority of artificial debris orbits the Earth.

  • Russia, followed by the United States, China, and France, is the leading source of space debris.

  • In 2021, a 25-tonne Chinese rocket fragment plummeted into the Indian Ocean.

  • Effects of Space junk

  • A threat to marine life and a pollutant source.

  • Thousands of defunct launch vehicles float through space, endangering satellites and the space station.

Governing rules for space detritus

  1. Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects, 1972 (Liability Convention) addresses damage caused by space objects to other space assets as well as by descending objects on earth.

  2. The convention stipulates procedures for the settlement of damage claims. 98 states, including India, have ratified it as of January 1, 2023.

  3. It was adopted to reinforce the Outer Space Treaty (OST) 1967 framework.

  4. The OST governs the peaceful exploration of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, by states.




400 PER CENT RISE IN BORDER INFRA BUDGET, 80 PER CENT SPENT ON INDIA-CHINA BORDER: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTERS



Improved border infrastructure will

  1. Rapid deployment of emergency security forces

  2. limit transnational organized crime

  3. Reduce development gaps in frontier regions and enhance connectivity with neighboring nations.

Difficulties in Border Infrastructure Construction

  1. Lack of clearly defined borders.

  2. Rough terrain and prone to natural disasters (landslides, earthquakes).

  3. Extreme weather conditions (such as those in Siachen Glacier)

  4. High construction and maintenance costs.

Strategic initiatives

  • BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) on border regions between India and Bangladesh and Pakistan.

  • Comprehensive integrated border management system with technological border surveillance.

  • All-weather roads and tunnels, such as the Atal tunnel (which connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti) and the Shinku-La tunnel (which provides an all-weather road to Ladakh).

  • The vibrant villages program and transnational connectivity initiatives such as the Myanmar Trilateral highway.

The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act of 2023 exempts land within 100 kilometers of the national borders.

It will facilitate the development of linear initiatives of national significance or security.


INDIA SURPASSED BRAZIL TO BECOME THE LARGEST SUGAR PRODUCER IN THE WORLD IN 2021-2022



  • In 2021-2022, India produced 35.9 million tons of sugar, compared to 32 million tons in Brazil.

  • Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are India's leading sugar-producing provinces.

  • To support sugarcane growers, the Center is instituting a fair and remunerative price (FRP) scheme, and state governments are issuing State Advised Prices.

Advantage of increasing output:

  1. Creates employment prospects

  2. Sugar exports generated approximately Rs. 40,000 crores in foreign currency. Beneficial to achieving 20% ethanol-blended gasoline by 2025.

  3. In 2003, the Ethanol-blended gasoline (EBP) Programme was initiated.

Problematic Aspects of Increasing Production:

  1. Groundwater extraction, especially in drought-prone regions (such as Maharashtra's Marathwada).

  2. 100 kilograms of sugar requires approximately 2 million liters of groundwater for irrigation alone.

  3. Acidification of the soil, contamination of freshwater ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, etc.

The measures taken Required: Diversify crop cultivation, promote drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and effluent treatment, etc.


NEWS IN SHORT




Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) (Amendment) Bill, 2023


Parliament has passedGNCTD (Amendment) Bill 2023.

Key features

Establishes National CapitalCivil Services Authority (NCCSA), which consists of CM, Chief Secretary of Delhi, Principal Home Secretary of Delhi.

Empower Central Government to make rulesin connection with the affairsof GNCTD

including the functions, terms and other conditions of service of officers and employees.



North East Venture Fund(NEVF)


NorthEastern Development FinanceCorporation Ltd. (NEDFi)under Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has set up NEVF for North EastRegion (NER).

It is the only dedicated Venture Fund forNER with an initial corpusof Rs. 100crores. Venture fund is money invested in startups or small businesses with high-growth potential.

It is registered under SEBIAlternative Investment Funds(AIF) Regulations, 2012. Investment size:Minimum Rs. 25.00 lakhs;Maximum Rs.10.00 crore.

Nature of financial instrument includes Equity,Convertible preference shares,and Debentures.



Swathi Weapon Locationg Radar Mountains (WLR-M)


Indian Army has inducted Swathi WLR-Mto locate hostileartillery and enhancecombat potential.

It is advanced electronically scanned phased arrayradar, specifically designed for operations in mountainous andhigh-altitude areas.

It was developed by Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL) in Bengaluru. Swathi radaralso comes in WLR-Plains version.

WLR uses advanced signalprocessing techniques to detect and track mortars, rocket launchers and fire trajectories for more accurate artillery strikes.

Itshallmark is high mobilityand swift deployment capabilities, allowing it to adapt to changing operational requirements efficiently.



New dinosaur species ’Tharosaurus Indicus’


Itis a long-necked, plant-eating dicraeosaurid dinosaur found in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan by India Scientists.

It is 167 million years old and belongs to a newspecies, unknown to scientists thus far.

Theories so far had suggested that the oldest dicraeosaurid was from China (about 166-164million years old).

Also, fossils of dicraeosaurid dinosaurs have been found previously in North and SouthAmericas, Africa andChina.

It is named after the’Thar desert’ of Rajasthan where it was found.



International Whaling Commission (IWC)

IWC issued its first’extinction alert’ forthe Vaquita Porpoise whales.

These whales areCritically Endangered and found onlyin northern Gulf of California.


HQ:

Darwinian Paradox


Recently scientist decodedDarwinian paradox and suggested homosexuality in genetics.

Darwinian Paradoxargued that if reproduction is critical to evolution, then same-sexsexual behaviour (SSB),which is non-reproductive, should haveceased to exist.

It is impossible to maintain geneswhichdo not promote reproduction, as in the case of homosexuality.

Since homosexuals reproduce significantly less than heterosexuals, the genes promoting this trait should rapidly go extinct.

Scientists have reported SSB in pigeons, lions, bats, elephants, monkeys, lizards etc.



Havana Syndrome


Central government has informed the Karnataka High Court that it willlook into the matterof the Havana Syndrome in India.

Havana Syndrome refers to a set of mental health symptoms that are experienced by United Statesintelligence and embassyofficials in variouscountries.

It tracesits roots to Cuba in late2016 when US intelligence officials and members of the staff at the embassy suffered from it.

It results in persistent headaches, feelings of disorientation and insomnia.





Personalities in news


Abanindranath Tagore(1871-1951)

The nationcelebrated 152nd birth anniversary ofAbanindranath tagore.Tagore is knownfor infusing the spiritof swadeshi inthe art of paintings. HeEstablished ’IndianSociety of Oriental Art’ and ’Bengal schoolof art’ He modernized the Mughal and Rajput styles.

His paintings reflected a medley of the influences of the Japanese ’wash’ style and Chinese ink painting, Englishpre-Raphaelite and Art-Nouveau trends.

Famous painting: ’Arabian Nights’ Ganesh Janani, Bharat Mata , The Victoryof Buddha Books: ‘BudoAngla’, ‘KhirerPutul’ and ‘Rajkahini’

Ethical values: Nationalist, Spiritual, empathy, etc.


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