International Relations (GS-II)
The global aviation body International Air Transport Association (IATA) has assigned the code of ‘DXN’ to the greenfield airport which is coming up at Jewar in the Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.
- DXN was one among three options shared by Noida International Airport for its IATA code.
- The global aviation body finally approved DXN as the airport code for the airport which is slated for a launch by the end of 2024.
What is an IATA code?
- The need for unique identifiers for locations arose among pilots in the 1930s.
- While this started as a two-letter practice for airports, the restricted number of possible options soon resulted in a three-letter practice for identifying airports and other locations related to aviation connectivity in the world.
- These are unique codes assigned by IATA to each individual airport across the world.
- The International Air Transport Association is a Montreal-based trade association of the world's airlines founded in 1945.
- These codes act as essential identifiers for airports globally in order to prevent any ambiguity between countries and cities.
- These are the codes which are featured on passengers' travel documents.
- They also perform a crucial link when it comes to communication with respect to air travel on a daily basis.
How the codes do are applied?
According to the IATA Provisions of the Passenger Services Conference Resolution 763, in order to apply for a Location Code, a potential airport candidate must provide an online application form, visual proof of pictures of the structure of the location and signage.
Polity and Governance (GS-II)
Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav and Technology & Bharatiya Bhasha Summit
The Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship recently launched a two-day Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav and Technology & Bharatiya Bhasha Summit, at New Delhi.
About the event:
- The Government of India has proposed to celebrate the birthday of renowned Tamil poet and freedom fighter Mahakavi Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati as Bharatiya Bhasha Divas (11 December).
- It is about to set the course for a technologically enriched future for Bharatiya languages in education.
- The summit, organized as part of the Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav, will encompass three pivotal thematic sessions:
- Technology FOR Bharatiya Languages,
- Technology IN Bharatiya Languages, and
- Technology THROUGH Bharatiya Languages.
- These themes will emphasize the integration of technology in promoting Bharatiya Bhasha, including its role in teaching, training, examination, and translating educational materials.
- The summit aims to facilitate a seamless transition from the current education ecosystem to one rooted in Bharatiya Languages, in line with the NEP-2020 vision.
North Koel Reservoir Project
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to a proposal of Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti to complete the balance works of North Koel Reservoir Project.
- The Construction of dam and ancillary activities started in the year 1972 by Govt. of Bihar from its own resources.
- The work continued till 1993 and was stopped in that year by the Forest Department, Govt. of Bihar.
- Due to apprehension that water accumulated in the dam would threaten the Betla National Park and Palamu Tiger Reserve, the work on dam was at a standstill.
About the Project:
- North Koel Reservoir Project is an inter-State major irrigation project with command area lying in the two States of Bihar and Jharkhand.
- The project comprises a dam on North Koel river near Kutku village (District Latehar, Jharkhand), a barrage 96 km downstream of the dam (at Mohammadganj, District Palamu, Jharkhand), Right Main Canal (RMC) and Left Main Canal (LMC) taking off from the barrage.
- The project subsequent to stoppage of work was providing annual irrigation to 71,720 hectares.
Science and Technology (GS-III)
Taiwan Unveils Indigenous Submarine “Narwhal”
The government of Taiwan has launched its first indigenous built submarine.
- The new submarine, given the codename ‘Narwhal’, was shown to the public in a ceremony in the port city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.
- The Narwhal, measures 230 feet in length and has a displacement of approximately 3,000 tonnes, is the first submarine to be built as part of Taiwan’s Indigenous Defence Submarine programme.
- The class will consist of eight submarines, each of which will be able to carry anti-ship torpedoes as well as sea mines.
- Diesel-electric engines propel the submarine and were partly made with technology purchased from the United States and the United Kingdom.
This is the most recent development in the island’s efforts to expand its naval forces.
Taiwan currently possesses four operational submarines, two of which are of the Tench class, built by the United States in the late 1940s, and two of which are of the Zwaardvis class, built by the Netherlands in the 1980s.
Science and Technology (GS-III)
A new MicroRNA Therapy for cancer developed by Purdue University researchers, attacks tumors by tricking cancer cells into absorbing a snippet of RNA that naturally blocks cell division.
- It combines a delivery system that targets cancer cells with a specially modified version of microRNA-34a, a molecule that acts “like the brakes on a car,” slowing or stopping cell division.
- In addition to slowing or reversing tumor growth, the targeted microRNA-34a strongly suppressed the activity of at least three genes – MET, CD44 and AXL – known to drive cancer and resistance to other cancer therapies, for at least 120 hours.
MicroRNA-34a is a short double strand of ribonucleic acid – a string of ribonucleic acids attached like the teeth of a zipper along the length of a sugar-phosphate chain.
The two strings of the microRNA are unevenly zipped together, with one string acting to guide a protein complex to the worksite in the cell while the other string is destroyed.
Science and Technology (GS-III)
Earthquake alert service in India for Android smartphones
Google is going to roll out an earthquake alert service in India that works using sensors in Android smartphones to detect and estimate the intensity of earthquakes.
- It has introduced named “Android Earthquake Alerts System” in India in consultation with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Centre (NSC).
- The alert service will be available in Android 5 and later versions of the operating system.
- The system takes the help of tiny accelerometers present in Android smartphones that can act as mini seismometers.
Science and Technology (GS-III)
The R21/Matrix-M?malaria vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India, leveraging Novavax’s adjuvant technology, has been recommended for use by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards.
- The R21 vaccine is the second malaria vaccine recommended by WHO, following the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine, which received a WHO recommendation in 2021.
- Both vaccines are shown to be safe and effective in preventing malaria in children and, when implemented broadly, are expected to have high public health impact.
- Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, places a particularly high burden on children in the African Region, where nearly half a million children die from the disease each year.
Global Innovation Index 2022
Recently, India was ranked 40th position out of 132 in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022 rankings released by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Ranking of the Countries:
- Most Innovative Economy:
- Switzerland is the most innovative economy in the world in 2022 - for the 12th year in a row - followed by the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
- China is nearing the top 10 while Türkiye and India enter the top 40 for the first time.
- Performance of India:
- India is the innovation leader in the lower middle-income group.
- It continues to lead the world in ICT services exports and holds top rankings in other indicators, including venture capital receipt value, finance for startups and scale-ups, graduates in science and engineering, labor productivity growth and domestic industry diversification.
- Increase in R & D Expenditure:
- The top global corporate R&D spenders increased their R&D expenditure by almost 10% to over USD 900 billion in 2021, higher than in 2019 before the pandemic.
- Venture Capital (VC) Growth:
- It exploded by 46% in 2021, recording levels comparable to the internet boom years of the late 1990s.
- Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa regions are witnessing the strongest VC growth.
Global Terrorism Index (GTI)
As per the index released recently, India has made good progress in strengthening security measures in the past few years but scaling it further would save USD 159 billion from laundering through illicit trade.
- The annual Global Terrorism Index is developed by leading international think tank the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) and provides the most comprehensive resource on global terrorism trends.
- The GTI uses a number of factors to calculate its score, including:
- The Number of incidences, fatalities, injuries and hostages,
- And combines it with conflict and socio-economic data to provide a holistic picture of terrorism.
National Service Scheme Awards
In a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, President Droupadi Murmu, presented the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the year 2021-2022.
- This recognition, instituted by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, applauds individuals and institutions for their exceptional voluntary service in the NSS program.
- The recipients include three from Assam, one from Mizoram, and two from Tripura.
- Dr. Mitali Kathkatia, Assam Sajish Ali and Banashri Kakati, Joseph Vanlalhruaia Sailo and Ali Debnath got the award.
Personality in News
Recently, the 81st Death anniversary of Matangini Hazra was observed, who fought and lead the Quit Indian Movement against Britishers.
- Matangini was born in a village named Hogla, near Tamluk, in 1869.
- She was the daughter of a poor farmer who could not afford to provide her a formal education or raise a decent dowry.
- By the time she turned 18, Matangini Hazra was widowed.
- However, following her husband’s death, she began devoting herself to social causes, gaining the trust and adulation of poor villagers.
- At the age of 61, she was arrested for taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930.
- It was during this time that she became an active member of the Indian National Congress, and started spinning her own khadi in Gandhi’s footsteps.
- Her involvement with the freedom struggle intensified during the Quit India Movement launched by Gandhi in August 1942.
- In September that year, a 73-year-old Hazra led a large procession of around 6,000 protesters, mostly women.
- The procession marched with the aim to take over the Tamluk police station from British authorities.
- In 1977, the first statue in the Kolkata Maidan dedicated to a woman revolutionary was that of Matangini Hazra.
Location in News
As many as 55 Chinese sailors are feared dead after a nuclear-powered submarine caught itself in a ‘chain and anchor’ trap in the Yellow Sea, located between mainland China and Korean peninsula.
About Yellow sea:
- It is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean.
- The Yellow Sea is situated between mainland China to the west and north, the Korean Peninsula to the east, and the Shandong Peninsula and Liaodong Peninsula to the south.
- It connects with the Bohai Sea to the northwest.
- Also referred to in China as Huang Hai and in North and South Korea as the West Sea, the Yellow Sea is 870 kilometres long and 556 kilometres wide.
- Depth: It is one of the largest shallow areas of continental shelf in the world with an average depth of 44 metres and a maximum depth of 152 metres.
- Several major rivers, including the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, discharge into the Yellow Sea, carrying significant amounts of sediment and nutrients.
- The Yellow Sea is dotted with numerous islands, the largest of which include Jeju Island (South Korea), Shandong Peninsula islands (China), and Ganghwa Island (South Korea).
- The warm current of the Yellow Sea is a part of the Tsushima Current, which diverges near the western part of the Japanese island of Kyushu and flows at less than 0.5 mile (0.8 km) per hour northward into the middle of the sea.
Species in News
A new damselfly species has been discovered in Kerala’s southern Western Ghats.
- In a recent discovery that sheds light on the critical state of the planet’s ecosystems, MIT-World Peace University researchers in Pune have found a damselfly of the ‘Armageddon Reedtail – Protosticta Armageddonia’ species.
- The insect named ‘Armageddon reedtail’ or protosticta armageddonia, has drawn attention due to their habitat loss.
- The newly-found species exhibits a captivating dark brown to black body with vibrant greenish-blue eyes and it features delicate pale blue markings on half of its eight abdominal segments.
- Its exclusive habitat choice is primary montane streams, where it thrives beneath a dense canopy cover.
The name, Armageddon Reedtail, is a direct reference to the concept of “Ecological Armageddon”, a term used to describe the devastating decline of insect populations around the world.
Species in News
Adding to the eight known species of pangolins, scientists recently discovered a ninth variety, tentatively named “Manis mysteria”.
- It is a newly discovered Pangolin species.
- The newly identified pangolin species emerged from a detailed study of scales seized in China’s Yunnan province in 2015 and 2019.
- This new species is believed to have diverged from its Philippine and Malayan relatives approximately five million years ago.
What are Pangolins?
- They are mammals known for their distinctive appearance and protective scales.
- They are often referred to as "scaly anteaters" due to their characteristic scales and their diet, which primarily consists of ants and termites.
- Pangolins are found in parts of Africa and Asia and are known for their elusive nature and status as the most trafficked mammals in the world.
Species in News
Scientists have recently discovered a new fish species named Badis limaakumi, from the Milak river, Nagaland.
- It is a new badis fish species discovered in Nagaland.
- It is locally known by many names, like “Tepdang” or “Akngashi (Chungli)” or “Aokngatsü (Mongsen)” or “Sempi” etc.
- It appears black in its natural habitat but undergoes a remarkable color change when placed in an aquarium or different environments.
- It has a comparatively large and slender body.
- Absence of blotches on the sides and fins, as well as on the cleithrum.
- Large number of lateral-line scales.
- Apart from channels of rivers, the edible fish are found in ditches and stagnant water bodies across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Myanmar.
- There are 26 recognised fish species in this family.