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Published: 11th May, 2023

Polity & Governance

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi celebrated its Diamond Jubilee on its 60th Foundation Day on 2nd May 2023.

About IIFT

  • The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was established in 1963 as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to contribute in the skill building for the external trade sector of India.
  • The Institute was granted “Deemed to be University” status in 2002.
  • The Institute was granted the prestigious AACSB accreditation on 17th November, 2021. 
  • With this the IIFT figures amongst 900+ Business School of the world which have earned this accreditation.
  • The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has recognized IIFT as Grade ‘A’ Institution in 2005 as well as in 2015.

 

Polity & Governance (GS-II)

River Cities Alliance (RCA)

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in association with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) organized the ‘River-Cities Alliance (RCA) Global Seminar.

About RCA

  • Started in: 2021
  • The Alliance is open to all river cities of India. Any river city can join the Alliance at any time.
  • Objective: to provide the member cities with a platform to discuss and exchange information on aspects that are vital for sustainable management of urban rivers, sharing best practices and supporting innovation. 
  • It is a joint initiative of the Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation under the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) & the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
  • Coverage: Beginning with 30 member cities, the Alliance has expanded to 109 river cities across India and one international member city from Denmark.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

GSK’s Arexvy, world’s first RSV  vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Arexvy from GSK, making the British pharma giant’s product the first U.S.-cleared shot for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

About respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

  • RSV is a highly contagious virus that causes infections of the lungs and breathing passages in individuals of all age groups.
  • RSV is a common cause of lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD), which affects the lungs and can cause life-threatening pneumonia and bronchiolitis (swelling of the small airway passages in the lungs).
  • Older adults are at high risk for severe disease due in part to age-related decline in immunity.
  • Arexvy is indicated for those aged 60 years and older to prevent lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

IBM unveils Watsonx Platform

 

IBM has unveiled the ‘Watsonx Platform’ to power next-generation foundation models for Business.

About

  • Watsonx is a new platform to be released for foundation models and generative AI, offering a studio, data store, and governance toolkit.

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio and synthetic data.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

Dhruv Helicopters Grounded

A government regulatory body has called for a design review of a "safety-critical system" on the Dhruv advanced light helicopter.

About

  • Built by: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
  • The Dhruv ALH is a multi-mission helicopter in the 5.5-tonne class.
  • Advanced Light Helicopter or ALH-DHRUV is an indigenously developed utility aircraft with a twin-engine.
  • It has a multi-role, multi-mission dimension to it.  

Science & Technology (GS-III)

India’s 1st Supersonic Fighter set to ‘Hang Its Boots’

An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 recently crashed in Rajasthan's Hamumangarh district.

  • The incident, the latest in a long list of MiG-21 tragedies, brought back questions that have been haunting the Indian Air Force for years now.

About MiG-21

  • The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is India’s longest-serving fighter plane.
  • India got its first single-engine MiG-21 in 1963, since then, the country has sourced 874 MiG-21s.
  • The aircraft was originally designed for high-speed and high-altitude air defence operations.
  • Variants: After the first MiG-21s, six MiG-21PFs (Type 76) were inducted in 1965.
  • o   Another 250 machines of the MiG-21 FL (Type 77) variant were added
  • o   The plane saw another variants called MiG-21M/MFs (Type 96).
  • o   The most recent variants is MiG-21 Bis (Type 75).
  • It has earned the aircraft grim epithets like 'flying coffin' and 'widowmaker'.
  • 874 MiG-21s sourced since 1963
  • 657 of these licence-produced by HAL
  • 491 jets involved in accidents or crashes
  • 170 pilots killed
  • 50 MiG-21s continue to be in service

 

Economy (GS-III)

RBI launches G20 TechSprint

 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched G20 TechSprint, a global technology competition for developing innovative solutions to improve cross-border payments. 

About

  • It is jointly launched by the RBI and the BIS Innovation Hub (BISIH). 
  • Focus area: The 2023 TechSprint will focus on solutions for three challenges cross-border payments face. 
  • o    Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions technology solutions to reduce illicit finance risk
  • o    Foreign exchange and liquidity technology solutions to enable settlement in emerging market and developing economy (EMDE) currencies.
  • o    Technology solutions for multilateral cross-border Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) platforms

Economy (GS-III)

Transition bond

To facilitate transparency and informed decision-making among the investors, markets regulator SEBI mandated additional requirements for the issuance and listing of transition bonds.

About

  • Transition bond is one of the sub-categories of 'green debt security'.
  • These bonds are generally used for raising funds for transitioning to a more sustainable form of operations in line with India's intended nationally determined contributions.

Economy (GS-III)

Front-running

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has barred five entities, including an employee of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), in a case pertaining to front-running the trades of the insurer.

About Front-running

  • Front-running is when a broker or an investor joins a trade because they have foreknowledge of a large confidential deal which will impact the asset's price.
  • Front-running is also known as forward-trading or tailgating. 
  • Front-running is illegal in India.

Economy (GS-III)

Financial stability and development council (FSDC)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to hold a meeting of the financial stability and development council (FSDC) to review the status of the economy.

About FSDC

  • Set-up in: 2010
  • FSDC is an autonomous body constituted by the Government of India. It is not a statutory body.
  • It is headed by the Finance Minister and is an organisation of financial sector regulators.
  • The Council deals, inter-alia, with issues relating to financial stability, financial sector development, inter–regulatory coordination, financial literacy, financial inclusion and macro prudential supervision of the economy including the functioning of large financial conglomerates.

Environment (GS-III)

World Environment Day 2023 to focus on Mission LiFE

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is planning to celebrate this year's World Environment Day with a thrust on the Mission LiFE.

About Mission LiFE

  • The concept of LiFE or Lifestyle for Environment was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the world leaders' summit in Glasgow at the 2021 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP26).
  • Mission LiFE is designed with the objective to mobilise at least one billion Indians and other global citizens to take individual and collective action for protecting and preserving the environment in the period 2022 to 2027.
  • Within India, at least 80% of all villages and urban local bodies are aimed to become environment-friendly by 2028.

World Environment Day

  • World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June.
  • The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day. The first celebration took place in 1973.

Environment

Rare Black Tiger in Similipal Tiger Reserve

Recently, the death of a Rare Black Tiger was reported in the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha.

About

  • Tigers bear a distinctive dark stripe on a light background — either golden or white.
  • A rare variation in pattern, distinguished by broad stripes fused together, has also been observed among both captive and wild tiger populations. 

Pseudo-melanism

  • This pseudo-melanism, unlike true melanism, is characterised by unusually high melanin deposition.
  • Pseudo-melanism is linked to only one mutation in Transmembrane Aminopeptidase Q (Taqpep).
  • This is the same gene that is responsible for similar traits in other cat species.
  • Pseudo-melanism is caused by a hidden or recessive gene.
  • A cub gets from both parents two copies of each gene — the recessive gene manifests itself only if the dominant one is absent.
  • This means two tigers with normal patterns carrying the recessive gene will have to breed for a one-in-four probability of birthing a black cub.
  • Recessive genes are, however, rare. As a result, it is unlikely that two unrelated tigers will carry the same gene and then pass it on to a cub together.
  • A black tiger may succeed in a small founding population forced for generations to inbreed in isolation, offering the recessive gene a far higher chance to show up. 

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