Tuesday, 28th February 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs

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G20: Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet

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Hard Landing vs Soft Landing - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Organ on a chip - Edukemy Current Affairs

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SCIENTISTS DISCOVER NEW LAYER AT EARTH’S INNER CORE

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Bandicoot: Smart manhole cleaning system

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Vulture Survey 2023 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Right to be Forgotten - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Sushi terrorism - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Siang Unying Festival - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Exercise Cobra Warrior - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Fab 4 Alliance - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Mission Shakti - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Bisphenol A - Edukemy Current Affairs

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AFTER Device - AIIMS FACIAL TOOLBOX FOR EMOTION RECOGNITION

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Daily Current Affairs

G20: Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet


In News:

The first G20 meeting of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) under India’s presidency agreed to tackle debt stress in vulnerable nations and manage crypto.

About the News:

The meet under India’s presidency saw:

  • Differences emerge over the wording of the Russia-Ukraine war in Summary.
  • Consensus over addressing debt vulnerabilities of low and middle-income countries.
    • In December 2022, the World Bank said that the world’s poorest countries owe $62 billion in annual debt service, a year-on-year increase of 35%, and warning of a rising risk of defaults. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan have sought a bailout from the IMF over the past year due to a sharp economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • Measures to manage crypto assets with a proposed regulatory framework.
  • The digital payment linkage between India and Singapore attracted much attention at the meeting and can guide the cross-border transfer of money in the future.

Addressing debt vulnerabilities:

Vulnerable nations are looking at G20 nations to relieve the debt stress. G20 welcomed the debt resolution of Chad and is looking to swiftly resolve the debt issue of Ghana, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Ethiopia.

  • FMCBG arrived at a common position for ‘debt language’.
  • Getting both sovereign and private creditors to the table and having them agree to a specific formulation in which there needs to be greater efficiency and coordination among all creditor countries.
    • Strengthening multilateral coordination by official bilateral and private creditors is needed to address the deteriorating debt situation and facilitate coordinated debt treatment for debt-distressed countries.
  • Strengthening Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs):
    • India particularly got support for a proposal to bring in an expert panel for providing a narrative for an updated vision of the MDBs, and that can make them capable of meeting cross border challenges.”

Addressing crypto-asset management:

  • G20 members have agreed to deepen discussions and understand their broader implications.
  • There is a clear understanding that anything outside the central bank is not a currency.
  • However the meet did recognise that the technology is very useful for fintech. The Summary mentioned the ongoing efforts to “ensure that the crypto-assets ecosystem, including so-called stablecoins, is closely monitored and subject to robust regulation, supervision, and oversight to mitigate potential risks to financial stability.
  • It called upon the OECD to conclude the work on the implementation packages concerning the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework and amendments to the common reporting standard.
  • The G20 mentioned the Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) in its Summary.
    • It will continue to explore the macro-financial implications of the potential introduction and widespread adoption of CBDCs and their effects on cross-border payments, as well as on the international monetary and financial system.

 

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/g20-agrees-to-tackle-debt-stress-in-vulnerable-nations-manage-crypto-8466881/

 

Keywords: GS Paper-2: Global groupings, Important International institutions
Daily Current Affairs

Hard Landing vs Soft Landing - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recent economic indicators suggests that inflation has returned after seemingly retreating towards end-2022.

About

  • Continued monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) focused on reining in inflation can lead to a hard landing in both the United States and India.
  • Inflation has returned and is ruling well above the US Federal Reserve’s target of 2% in the United States.
  • Falling unemployment has complicated the Federal Reserve's job, as labour market tightening is putting upward pressure on wages and driving up inflation.
  • Factors such as over-hiring and a shrinking labour force relative to the working population has been identified as reasons for the mass layoffs by tech companies in the United States and other countries.
  • The performance of the economies of both countries in terms of growth, jobs generated, inflation, and real incomes, will matter for the upcoming elections in both countries.

Key economic indications:

  • The overall PCE price index has reached 5.4% higher than its level in the same month of 2022.
  • Core PCE inflation has stood at 4.7% year-on-year.
  • Both ‘general’ and ‘core’ inflation have been ruling well above the US Federal Reserve’s target of 2%.
  • The increase in prices over the prior month was 0.6%, translating into an annualized rate of 7.2%.
  • The total non-farm payroll employment surged by 517,000 against an average monthly gain of 401,000 in 2022.
  • The unemployment rate, at 3.4% has fallen to its lowest since May 1969.
  • The US labor force participation rate has fallen from 63.1% in 2019 to 62.2% in 2022.

Key challenges:

  • Falling unemployment has complicated the Fed’s job, putting upward pressure on wages and driving up inflation.
  • The Fed will have to raise interest rates further to keep inflation under control however, hiking further would risk a “hard landing” or a sharp downturn or
  • The markets are pricing in significant monetary tightening by the Fed in the coming days.
  • The job sector will see mass layoffs more among skilled and better-paid employees, especially in tech companies that probably over-hired earlier.

What can be done?

  • The Federal Reserve must raise interest rates to bring inflation under control in a phased manner.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also needs to focus on reining in inflation, which is higher than the central bank's target range of 2-6%.
  • The RBI has to raise the policy rate to achieve its inflation targets.

Way ahead:

  • Hard landing policies by the central banks of both India and the US can have a bearing on the big elections in both countries next year.
  • The Fed will have to choose between continuing to tighten monetary policy to control inflation and risking a hard landing, or raising rates slowly to achieve a soft landing.
  • The performance of the economies of both countries in terms of growth, jobs generated, inflation, and real incomes will matter for their demography especially in the coming years.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/hard-vs-soft-landing-8468209/

 

Keywords: General Studies - 3 Indian Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Organ on a chip - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The US government has approved computer-based and experimental alternatives to animal testing for new drugs.

About

  • Organ on a chip is the new lab setup scientists are using instead of animals to test new drugs.
  • Researchers have identified a chemical compound that can treat a condition and test them on cells grown on plastic dishes or animals that mimic the disease.
  • Scientists, pharmaceutical companies, and animal activists have been advocating for synthetic setups to test new drugs in addition to using animals for over a decade.
  • In India, a few research groups have been developing organ-on-chip models, such as a skin-on-chip model being tested for studying skin.

Organ-on-chip model:

  • The first human organ-on-chip model was a lung-on-chip developed by Donald E. Ingber and his colleagues at the Wyss Institute in 2010.

  • The model mimics the environment of human organs using human cells and is expected to boost research and development of organ chips.
  • In recent years, Emulate Inc., a start-up launched by members of the Wyss Institute, commercialized their technology and created several different chips.
  • Emulate’s liver chips could successfully predict the ability of drugs to cause liver injury with 87% sensitivity and 100% specificity.
  • These models have the potential to replace animals in drug testing and improve the success rate of new drugs entering the market.
  • With academic research groups joining the forces with tech start-ups to commercialize, the technology is expected to be used as drug test-beds in India within a few years to a decade.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/organ-on-a-chip-the-new-lab-setup-scientists-are-using-instead-of-animals-to-test-new-drugs/article66556008.ece

 

Keywords: General Studies - 3 Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER NEW LAYER AT EARTH’S INNER CORE


About:

  • A new study based on the behaviour of seismic waves from large earthquakes confirms the existence of a distinct structure inside the Earth's inner core.
  • The study reveals that the planet has five distinct inner layers, including an innermost solid ball of iron and nickel about 800 miles (1,350 km) wide.
  • The study's findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Key Points:

  • Anisotropism causes a material to behave differently under impact, depending on the direction of the impact.
  • The study found evidence of an anisotropically-distinctive innermost inner core and its transition to a weakly anisotropic outer shell.

  • This could be a fossilized record of a significant global event from the past.
  • The inner core is buried under 2,900 vertical kilometers of varying molten rock and metal, making it hard to study in detail.
  • It's also difficult to detect inner core activity, as stations need to be almost directly opposite each other on the globe.
  • The team measured seismic activity at multiple earthquake sites at opposite points on Earth to compile its data.
  • Seismic waves passing through the innermost segment of mostly iron and nickel ore behaved slightly differently than they did in the layer just above it.
  • The new evidence for the fifth-core layer builds on a geophysical theory from the 1980s.

Implications:

  • The inner core helps power the Earth's magnetic field, and the study could provide insights into the ancient histories of alien worlds.
  • The study provides a new portrait of the Earth's "innermost inner core," which is different from the conventional wisdom that the planet has four layers: the crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core.
  • The new findings could help us understand why Mars' magnetic field ceased to exist in the past.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/science-this-week-innermost-layer-of-earths-core-detected/article66553004.ece#:~:text=hot%20innermost%20realm-,Researchers%20on%20Tuesday%20said%20an%20intensive%20study%20of%20Earth's%20deep,miles%20(1%2C350%20km)%20wide

 

Keywords: General Studies - 1 Geography
Daily Current Affairs

Bandicoot: Smart manhole cleaning system


In News:

Kerala became the first state in the country to use robotics technology for cleaning all its commissioned manholes by pressing into service the robotic scavenger Bandicoot in the temple town of Guruvayur.

About Bandicoot:

  • Genrobotics: This Smart manhole cleaning system has been developed by Kerala-based Genrobotics.
    • Genrobotics has recently bagged ‘Kerala Pride’ award at the Huddle Global 2022 conclave organised by the Kerala Startup Mission.
    • It has developed the world’s first robotic scavenger.
  • Usage: Bandicoot robots are currently deployed in 17 States and three Union Territories.
  • Working: The robotic Tron Unit, which is the major component of Bandicoot, enters the manhole and removes sewage using robotic hands, similar to a man’s limbs. It has waterproof, HD vision cameras and gas sensors that can identify harmful gases inside the manhole.
  • Benefits:
    • The modernisation of sewerage system will help contain the spread epidemics and serious health challenges caused by them.
    • Bandicoot will eliminate manual scavenging, providing a respite for workers engaged in manhole cleaning.
    • The workers will no longer have to be exposed to dangerous gasses and infections due to their work. This could reduce number of deaths.
    • This could put an end to social discrimination and caste-based inequalities against the stigmatized manhole cleaning community.

 

Source:

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/kerala-to-become-first-state-to-use-robotics-tech-extensively-for-manhole-cleaning/article66549024.ece

 

Keywords: GS Paper-3: Science and Technology - developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
Daily Current Affairs

Vulture Survey 2023 - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News:

Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka to begin the first synchronized vulture survey to avoid duplication of data as the individual surveys were conducted at different time periods.

About:

  • A tripartite coordination meeting in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu led to the decision to organize the first synchronized vulture survey in the Western Ghats to avoid duplications.
  • The survey would simultaneously be organized in the three forest divisions, including
    • The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary,
    • The Wayanad South and North forest divisions.

About the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • The sanctuary, contiguous to the tiger reserves of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu, is the lone region where vultures thrive in the State.
  • The sanctuary harbors White-rumped vultures and Red-headed vultures.
  • The occasional sightings of Long-billed vultures have also been reported in the sanctuary.

About Vultures:

  • They faced a catastrophic population decline during the 2000s when the species was exposed to the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac used as a painkiller for cattle.
  • South Asia had about four crore White-rumped vultures in the 1990s which has come down to fewer than 10,000.
  • The reason for the survival of the Wayanad population is that they have never been exposed to the drug.
  • The IUCN status of these birds:
    • Red-Headed Vultures – Critically Endangered
    • Long-billed Vultures – Critically Endangered
    • White-rumped Vultures – Critically Endangered.

 

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-tamil-nadu-karnataka-first-synchronised-vulture-survey-february-24/article66534731.ece#:~:text=The%20Kerala%20Forest%20and%20Wildlife,February%2024%2C%2025%20and%2026.

 

Keywords: GS Paper-3: Conservation, Government Policies and Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

Right to be Forgotten - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently, a doctor brought up the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ in the Delhi High Court.

About

  • The “Right to be Forgotten” is the right to remove or erase content so that it’s not accessible to the public at large.
  • It empowers an individual to have information in the form of news, video, or photographs deleted from internet records.

Origins of Right to be Forgotten

  • The Right to be Forgotten originates from the 2014 European Court of Justice.
  • Article 17 of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides for the right to erasure and lays down certain conditions when such a right can be restricted.

‘Right to be Forgotten’ in the Indian context:

  • The Right to be Forgotten falls under the purview of an individual’s right to privacy, which is governed by the Personal Data Protection Bill that is yet to be passed by Parliament.
  • In 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right (under Article 21) by the Supreme Court in its landmark verdict (Puttuswamy case).
  • The right to be forgotten is distinct from the right to privacy because the right to privacy constitutes information that is not publicly known, whereas the right to be forgotten involves removing information that was publicly known at a certain time and not allowing third parties to access the information.
  • Section 43A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 says that organizations who possess sensitive personal data and fail to maintain appropriate security to safeguard such data, resulting in wrongful loss or wrongful gain to anyone, may be obligated to pay damages to the affected person. It is not included in the IT Rules, 2021.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-law/right-to-be-forgotten-8466283/

 

Keywords: General Studies –2 Indian Constitution, fundamental rights, Judgements & Cases
Daily Current Affairs

Sushi terrorism - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: Japan’s restaurants fight back against ‘sushi terrorism’.

About

  • Sushi is one of the most popular and celebrated dishes in Japan.
  • Visitors often look forward to dining in Kaitenzushi, which is a convenient and affordable type of sushi restaurant.
  • But these much-loved sushi conveyor belts have horrified the Japanese after a number of viral videos show people violating all food and hygiene norms in these eateries.
  • Recently, the incident first came to light, when footage of the youth was posted on social media showing him touching another customer’s plate of sushi as it passed his table in a “kaiten-sushi” restaurant, where plates of food passed by on a conveyer belt until they are selected.
  • The footage also showed the boy licking a soy sauce bottle and mugs for green tea ready to be used by other diners.
  • The behavior was quickly described as “sushi terrorism.”

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-culture/japan-restaurants-sushi-terrorism-8465239/

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 India and its Neighbourhood
Daily Current Affairs

Siang Unying Festival - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Recently,  Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush attended the colorful Siang Unying Festival.

About

  • It is celebrated to herald the season of cultivation, the beginning of the Adi community’s new year, and the arrival of spring seasons as well as a great way to strengthen the bond among the community.
  • Unying Aran is basically a hunting festival followed by the Adi tribesmen. It is the festival that unites all the members of the community and they all pray for a bumper harvest.
  • In this festival, it is tradition for all male members of a family to go on hunting and stay in the jungles for a week.
  • The majority of Adi traditionally follow the tribal Donyi-Polo religion. Worship of gods and goddesses like Kine Nane, Doying Bote, Gumin Soyin and Pedong Nane, etc.
  • It is traditionally celebrated with ‘Bari’ songs sung by male elders and ‘Yakjong’ dance performed by youths (boys and girls) in villages.

About Adi Tribe

  • The Adi people are one of the most populous groups of indigenous peoples in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • They live in a region of the Southern Himalayas which falls within the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Mainling, Lhunze, Zayu, Medog, and Nyingchi counties in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1902396

 

Keywords: General Studies - 1 Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Exercise Cobra Warrior - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? The Cobra Warrior Exercise is to be held at Waddington Air Force Base in the UK in March 2023.

About

  • The Cobalt Warrior is one of the largest Royal Air Force exercises.
  • During the exercise, the Royal Air Force provides special training to pilots from different countries. The exercise is being conducted for more than a decade.
  • Countries like Singapore,India Finland, the USA, South Africa, and Sweden has participated in the exercise.
  • The IAF sent five Mirage 2000 fighters along with IL-78 mid-air refueller aircraft, and two C-17 Globemaster.

 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-sends-mirages-for-cobra-warrior-exercise-in-uk/articleshow/98256812.cms

 

 

Keywords: General Studies - 3 Science and Technology, Defence exercise
Daily Current Affairs

Fab 4 Alliance - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: The “Chip 4” semiconductor alliance recently held its first meeting of senior officials.

About

  • The “Chip 4” or “Fab 4” alliance was first proposed by the US in March 2022 as part of wider plans aimed at enhancing the "security" and "resilience" of semiconductor supply chains, including by reducing the world's reliance on chips made in China.
  • It includes four of the world’s top producers of semiconductors: the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.
  • It represents more than 70 percent of the value of the global semiconductor industry.
  • It is intended to cooperate on policy implementation that would support sustainable semiconductor manufacturing in the member states’ home countries.
  • Goals:
  • Support industry efforts to diversify their manufacturing base in semiconductor production.
  • Protect the Intellectual Property (IP) of companies in member countries.

 

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/taiwan-says-fab-4-chip-group-held-first-senior-officials-meeting/98245559

 

Keywords: General Studies – 3 IT & Computer, Science & Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Mission Shakti - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Supreme Court has directed Union government to present record on current status of Mission Shakti.

About

  • Mission Shakti is a scheme in mission mode aimed at strengthening interventions for women safety, security and empowerment.
  • Launched for a period of period of 2021-22 to 2025-26 by Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • It has two sub-schemes - Sambal and Samarthya.
  • Sambal is for safety and security of women. It consists of erstwhile schemes of One Stop Centre, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao etc.
  • Samarthya is for empowerment of women. It consists of erstwhile schemes of Ujjwala, Swadhar Greh etc.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lack-of-protection-officers-for-domestic-violence-cases-intrigues-sc-about-mission-shakti/article66557250.ece#:~:text=The%20Supreme%20Court%20has%20sought,deal%20with%20domestic%20violence%20cases.

 

Keywords: General Studies - 2 Social justice, women empowermwent
Daily Current Affairs

Bisphenol A - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recent study has highlighted accelerated breeding in Southern House Mosquito due to presence of Bisphenol A in urban drains.

About

  • Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in production of polycarbonate plastics.
  • It is commonly used in shatterproof windows, eyewear, water bottles, and epoxy resins.
  • It can leach into food and beverages as well, exposing adults to ill effects of it such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • It can disrupt the endocrine system by interfering with the hormones and affects brain and prostate glands of foetus, infants and children

 

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/index.cfm

 

Keywords: General Studies - 3 Environment and Ecology, pollutant
Daily Current Affairs

AFTER Device - AIIMS FACIAL TOOLBOX FOR EMOTION RECOGNITION


Why in news? Recently, AIIMS New delhi has developed AFTER a new tool to detect human emotions.

About

  • AFTER will create an emotional facial expression database collection of images with great social and biological relevance.
  • It will help in treating persons with autism, schizophrenia, and depression.
  • It rates emotions on a -point Likert scale in three dimensions: intensity, clarity, and authenticity.
  • Likert scale is a unidimensional scale that researchers use to collect respondents attitudes and opinions.

 

http://bwhealthcareworld.businessworld.in/article/AIIMS-Delhi-Brings-Up-Facial-Toolbox-For-Emotion-Recognition/27-02-2023-467105/

 

Keywords: General Studies -3 Science and Tech
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