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Published: 10th Nov, 2023

Short News

Art and Culture (GS-I)
The Khoja Community

Mumbai's Khoja Community is going to conduct a Census to Assess Economic And Educational Status For Welfare Programmes.

About the information: 

  • The census will collect information on the number of rooms in houses owned by the community, which is formally called the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri sect.
  • This will help the Jamaat estimate the number of families that may need larger homes or help in educating their children.

Who are Khojas?

  • The Khoja or Khuwaja are a mainly Nizari Isma'ili Shia community of people originating in Gujarat, India.
  • The word Khoja is derived from the Persian word Khwaja, a term of honor, the word Khoja is used to refer to members of Baniya caste groups (traders), who converted to Islam from Hinduism under Muslim pirs (saints).
  • In India, most Khojas live in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and the city of Hyderabad.
  • Many Khojas have also migrated and settled over the centuries in East Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and North America.

Art and Culture (GS-I)
54th International Film Festival of India

The 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), one of the biggest film and cultural event of the world is scheduled to begin in Goa from November 20, 2023.

About the event:

  • The event will showcase over 270 films over a period of 10 days.
  • In the International section will feature 198 films, 18 more than the 53rd edition of the festival.
  • It will have 13 World premieres, 18 International premiers, 62 Asia premiers and 89 India premiers.
  • As the OTT industry has seen a boom in India and original content created in India is employing thousands of people.
  • In response to the dynamic landscape of this sector, growth of which stands at 28 per cent annually, the Ministry has introduced this award celebrating the outstanding content creators on OTT platforms.

Significance:

India's media and entertainment industry is a force to be reckoned with ranking as the fifth largest market globally and growing every year with an average annual growth of 20 per cent in the last three years.

Polity and Governance (GS-II)
Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program

The Election Commission has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the ministry of education to groom school and college students to be informed, enlightened and responsible voters in the future via

Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program.

About:

  • Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program, better known as SVEEP, is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India.
  • SVEEP’s primary goal is to build a truly participative democracy in India by encouraging all eligible citizens to vote and make an informed decision during the elections.
  • The programme is based on multiple general as well as targeted interventions which are designed according to the socio-economic, cultural and demographic profile of the state as well as the history of electoral participation in previous rounds of elections and learning thereof.

Economy (GS-III)
Electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt


During the event, a film on scientific storage and pest control for WDRA-registered warehouses was launched, part of WDRA's training efforts for farmers' awareness programs.

  • The event has highlighted the 'Role of Financial Institutions in promoting e-Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (e-NWR) based Pledge Finance.'

About:

  • Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (NWR) system in the country enables farmers to store their produce for safe and scientific storage and preservation in warehouses near their farms and to seek pledge loan from banks against the NWRs issued against deposit of their stock.
  • Hence, the NWR help the farmers to avoid distress sales of agricultural produce during the peak marketing season and to avoid the post-harvest storage loss.

Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA), Government of India ensures implementation of the NWR as per the provisions of the Warehousing (Development & Regulation) Act, 2007.

Economy (GS-III)
Household Debt

According to the RBI, household debt surged to 5.8 per cent of the GDP in FY23; marking the second-highest annual increase since Independence (the highest growth was at 6.7 per cent of GDP in FY07).

What is Household Debt?

  • Household liabilities or household debt includes the combined debt of all people in a household, including consumer debt and mortgage loans.
  • Household debt can be a useful tool for achieving specific financial goals, such as homeownership or education.
  • However, excessive or mismanaged household debt can lead to financial stress and difficulties in making repayments, potentially resulting in financial instability.
  • Monitoring and managing household debt is essential for maintaining financial well-being.

Economy (GS-III)
World Food India 2023

Addressing the three-day event, the Prime Minister (PM) has mentioned that how the food processing industry has emerged as the “sunrise sector” in India.

Background:

  • The first edition of the event was held in 2017, but could not be organised till this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

About:

  • The second edition of the “World Food India 2023” has been launched at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi.
  • The event aims to showcase India as the “food basket of the world” and celebrate 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
  • Participants: More than 80 countries, 200 speakers and 12 partner ministries, departments and commodity boards are scheduled to take part in the three-day event.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
The Global Onchocerciasis Network for Elimination (GONE)

Recently, the first meeting of the new Global Onchocerciasis Elimination Network (GONE) has been concluded aiming to strengthen collaboration among countries and partners.

About GONE:

  • GONE was launched in January 2023 by WHO, its Member States and partners whose goal is to empower countries to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the road map targets for onchocerciasis elimination.

About the disease:

  • Onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness) is the second leading infectious cause of blindness after trachoma.
  • It is classified as a neglected tropical disease (NTD).
  • It can cause intense itching, rashes, skin discoloration, visual impairment and eye disease leading to permanent blindness.
  • The parasite is spread by the bites of infected black flies that breed in rapidly flowing rivers.

The Disease Burden:

  • Africa is home to 99% of the people at risk of onchocerciasis; the remaining 1% live on the border between Brazil and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).

Four countries have been verified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating transmission of the disease: Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
Wi-Fi 7

Qualcomm announced that fiber and fixed wireless access are central to India’s broadband expansion as it expects 10 Gbps to be the average speed by 2028.

  • The U.S. based company also told that Wi-Fi 7 is about three to four months away from a commercial availability point.

What is Wi Fi 7?

  • WiFi 7 is the upcoming WiFi standard, also known as IEEE 802.11 be Extremely High Throughput (EHT).
  • It works across all three bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz) to fully utilize spectrum resources.
  • While WiFi 6 was built in response to the growing number of devices in the world, WiFi 7's goal is to deliver astounding speeds for every device with greater efficiency.
  • WiFi 7 introduces 320 MHz ultra-wide bandwidth, 4096-QAM, Multi-RU, and Multi-Link Operation to provide speeds 4.8× faster than WiFi 6 and 13× faster than WiFi 5.

International Relations (GS-II)
US Navy deploys guided nuclear submarine to West Asia amid Israel-Hamas war

The United States has announced that a guided nuclear missile submarine had arrived in West Asia.

About the information:

  • An Ohio-class submarine has arrived in the US Central Command area in West Asia.
  • The submarine joins a number of other US Navy assets already in the area.

The Technology:

  • The US Navy has four Ohio-class guided missile submarines (SSGNs) that are former ballistic missile submarines converted to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles rather than nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
  • Each SSGN can carry 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
  • Each Tomahawk can carry up to a 1,000-pound high-explosive warhead.

Environment (GS-III)
50 acres of farmland washed away in landslips in Idukki

Recently, near Munnar, in Idukki, Kerala witnessed a series of landslips following an extremely heavy rainfall in the region

What is Land Slippage?

  • Land slippage is used to describe continuous, slow, movement over a long period of time, whereas landslide is used to describe an instant event.
  • Landslides, also known as landslips are several forms of mass wasting that may include a wide range of ground movements, such as rockfalls, mudflows, shallow or deep-seated slope failures and debris flows.

Landslide vs. Landslip:

Landslide is the downward sliding of a relatively dry mass of earth and rock, whereas slippage is the sliding of a mass of land down a slope or cliff.

Science and Technology (GS-III)
Environmental DNA (e-DNA)

Recently, a new method developed by the researchers at the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES).

  • LaCONES is a CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) laboratory headquartered in Hyderabad.

About the novel method:

  • The method follows a molecular approach to extract and read the genetic information encoded in free-floating environmental DNA (eDNA).
  • eDNA is DNA shed by all organisms into their surroundings through natural processes during their lifetime or after death.
  • The new non-invasive method can assess the total biodiversity of any ecosystem by sequencing the DNA fragments found in the environmental samples such as water, soil or air.
  • This method can detect all kinds of organisms, including viruses, bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes such as fungi, plants, insects, birds, fish and other animals from just a few litres of water sample without any direct capture or counting of species.

Science and Technology GS III
Namo Bharat Trains

  • India’s first semi-high speed Regional Rail service ‘Namo Bharat’ has been well received from commuters across the spectrum.
  • The train was flagged off in October by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide a faster, safer and reliable efficient urban transit system.
  • It is the 17-kms-long Priority Section of Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor marks the world debut of the Level 3 ETCS.
  • The train has been designed by Alstom India at its engineering center in Hyderabad and manufactured at Gujarat’s Savli.

ECTS (European Train Control System)

  • It aims at facilitating safety, interoperability, reduction in wait time and enabling efficiency.
  • The ETCS is equipped with Automatic Train Operation (ATO) over Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the future to further increase in network performance and capacity.

Species in News
Lysionotus namchoomii

Scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered a new species of epiphytic plant Lysionotus namchoomii from Pakke-Kessang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Epiphytic means relating to a plant that grows on another plant but does not feed from it like epiphytic orchids.

About the Species:

  • The native range of the genus Lysionotus is the Himalayas to Japan and Indo-China, and about 50% of the species found are endemic.
  • Species of the genus are mostly epiphytic, lithophytic, or terrestrial evergreen erect or climbing subshrubs.
  • The new species bears thick leaves and attractive purple flowers.

The species is named in honour of the late Chau Phunkyoo Nomchoon, a well-known social reformer from Arunachal Pradesh’s Khapti community.

Economy
‘Tourist Village’ in Kangra

A ‘tourist village’ will be established in Kangra to promote local art and culture and create employment opportunities for the youth.

What is a Tourist Village?

  • A Tourist Village is a designated area providing accommodation, dining, entertainment, and local culture for visitors, often reflecting a region's unique heritage and offering a distinct travel experience.

Prospects-

  • Permanent employment opportunities
  • Increase the revenue of the state
  • Eco Tourism
  • Showcase of unique heritage and culture

Miscellaneous
Indian Firm wins Earthshot Prize

An Indian solar-powered tech venture (S4S Solutions) that is combating food waste in the country and a global soil carbon marketplace are among this year's five winners of the prestigious Earthshot Prize.

About the ‘Earthshot Prize’-

  • The Earthshot Prize, initiated by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, is a prestigious global environmental award.
  • Also known as ‘Eco Oscars.’
  • It aims to incentivize innovative solutions to critical environmental challenges across five key areas:
    • protecting and restoring nature,
    • cleaning our air,
    • reviving our oceans, building a waste-free world, and
    • fixing our climate.

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