Thursday, 15th June 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day

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Technology: Future of disabled friendly urban centres

2   Daily Current Affairs

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Hiroshima AI Process (HAP) - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Heat wave Condition and Different type of Alerts

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U.S and UNESCO - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Global DPI Summit - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Great Indian Bustards and Asiatic Lions

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Hamari Bhasha, Hamari Virasat - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Kari Ishad mango - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Default loss guarantee (DLG) - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Cholederm - Edukemy Current Affairs

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SIPRI - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Anak Krakatau volcano (Indonesia)

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Editorial of the day

Technology: Future of disabled friendly urban centres


Exam View: Case study of Manasi Joshi; Innovative technology and ICT transforming accessibility; India’s strides in accessibility.

Context: Creating a fully inclusive and accessible India will require behavioural changes, capacity building, investments in accessible infrastructure and inclusive and accessible innovations.

Decoding the editorial: Innovative technology and ICT transforming accessibility

  • These are key to ensuring an inclusive urban transformation and essential for improving and increasing the quality of life of all citizens.
  • However, innovations that promote inclusivity are often perceived as unprofitable by investors.
    • Here, the role of the state becomes critical for promoting an ecosystem for transformative technologies, especially where the return on investment may be difficult to measure.

India’s strides in accessibility

This spirit of solidarity and inclusivity of India’s world-class digital governance system and dynamic tech sector is reflected in India’s G20 presidency theme of One Earth, One Family and One Future.

  • Start-up 20 Engagement Group
    • As part of its G20 Presidency, India has initiated this grouping to provide a global platform to enable the start-up ecosystem across the member nations.
  • G20 Digital Innovation Alliance’ (G20-DIA)
    • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has also launched this to showcase innovative solutions and create an alliance of players in the innovation ecosystem.
  • ‘Catalysing Digital Urban Futures’
    • It is one of the priority themes for the Urban-20 Engagement Group under G20. It seeks to discuss how data and technology can be best utilised for making city management more effective and inclusive.
  • Smart Solutions Challenge and Inclusive Cities Awards in 2022
    • The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in partnership with the UN in India hosted its first edition.
    • It helped in crowd-sourcing tech-based solutions and innovations for addressing city-level accessibility and inclusion challenges.
  • Smart cities like Bhubaneswar have deployed innovative transport and mobility solutions, showcasing how technology is being leveraged by cities to improve the lives of vulnerable communities.
  • Several solutions and assistive technologies such as Fifth Sense, IncluMaps, AxcessAble and myUDAAN are supporting independent living for persons with disabilities.
    • Many of these solutions have utilised frontier technologies like AI and machine learning extensively to contextualise solutions.

The Amrit Kaal envisions an inclusive, accessible, safe, resilient, and sustainable India@2047 and technology can help achieve this.

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/urban-centres-must-be-disabled-friendly-inclusivity-is-a-theme-in-indias-g20-presidency-8657607/

Keywords: GS Paper-2: Government schemes and interventions, Issues related to disability.
Daily Current Affairs

Hiroshima AI Process (HAP) - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The G7 summit in Japan discussed pressing issues from economic security to nuclear disarmament – and the problem of regulating generative AI.

What is the HAP?

  • The G7 Hiroshima AI Process (HAP) is an initiative by the Group of Seven (G7) to determine a way forward to regulate artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The HAP will focus on promoting human-centric and trustworthy AI, and fostering collaboration to maximize the benefits of AI technologies for all.
  • The HAP is expected to be launched in 2023.

Why is the HAP important?

  • The HAP is a response to the growing concerns about the potential risks of AI, such as:
    • The misuse of AI for malicious purposes
    • The potential for AI to exacerbate social and economic inequalities
    • The potential for AI to lead to job losses
  • The HAP aims to address these concerns by developing international norms and standards for the development and use of AI.

How will the HAP work?

  • The HAP will be led by a group of experts from the G7 countries.
  • The experts will develop a set of principles for the development and use of AI.
  • The principles will be based on the following values:
    • Human-centricity
    • Trustworthiness
    • Transparency
    • Accountability
  • The principles will be open for adoption by other countries and organizations.

What are the benefits of HAP?

  • The HAP has the potential to:
    • Mitigate the risks of AI
    • Promote the responsible development and use of AI
    • Maximize the benefits of AI for all
  • The HAP is a significant step forward in the global effort to regulate AI.

The G7 Hiroshima AI Process is a significant step forward in the global effort to regulate AI. The HAP has the potential to help ensure that AI is developed and used in a way that is beneficial to all.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/hiroshima-ai-process-g7-explained/article66959829.ece

 

Keywords: GS-2 International Organisation
Daily Current Affairs

Heat wave Condition and Different type of Alerts


In News: Odisha has been reeling under intense heatwave conditions since April 2023, which has become more intense since the first week of June. The temperature has been soaring above 40º C in most of the districts, with some places even recording 46º C.

About Heat Waves:

  • Heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western parts of India. Heat Waves typically occur between March and June. The extreme temperatures have an adverse impact on the people living in these regions causing physical and physiological stress.
  • According to IMD heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions
  • Other criteria for declaration of Heat waves are:
  1. Normal temperature ≤ 40º C
    • Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 5°C to 6°C.
    • Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >7°C
  2. Normal temperature > 40º C
    • Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4°C to 5°C.
    • Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6°C
  • Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45ºC
  1. Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47°C

Reasons for increased intensity and frequency of heatwaves:

  • Global warming has caused an increase in global average temperature and delay in onset of monsoons. There has also been a reduction in the intensity of pre-monsoon showers in several parts of India, therefore exacerbating the heat wave conditions.
  • Rapid Urbanisation: This has led to concretization of lands and cutting of trees. Such constructions have caused trapping of hot air between buildings and increased emission of CO2, resulting in Urban heat island effects.
  • High pressure: Heat waves occur when a high pressure trough moves into an area and minimises heat circulation. This also reduces the chance of precipitation thereby causing the heat to build-up.
  • High peak temperature: Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
  • El Nino effect: Intensification of El Nino increases temperature in Asia and changes in temperature, rainfall, and wind patterns.

Impacts of Heatwave:

  1. Environmental impacts:
  • Heat waves are responsible for initiating a vicious cycle of forest fires-GHG emission-global warming-extreme weather events.
  • Heat waves are responsible for loss of vegetation, leading to land degradation, disturbance in food chain, desertification etc.
  • Heat waves may lead to drying of urban water bodies, seasonal rivulets etc., and impacting water ecology of the region.
  • Heat waves have adverse physiological impact upon the wild-animals and birds. E.g., loss of avian diversity.
  1. Economic impacts:
  • Heat waves directly affect the productivity of the workforce, especially those working in the open such as casual labourers. E.g., as per a report heat wave will cause a labour productivity loss equivalent to $4.2 trillion by 2030.
  • Heat waves will lead to a reduction of the standard of living of the people, and the government's efforts to pull people out from poverty.
  • Heat waves will cause an increased demand upon electricity and water resources from households, affecting their supply towards business establishments, industries etc.
  • Heat waves will have a detrimental effect upon agricultural productivity and the livestock This can fuel inflation. E.g.; high price of vegetables and fruits in May-June 2022.

Heat Wave Alerts issued by IMD:

Color Code

Alert

Warning

Impact

Suggested Actions

Green(No action)

Normal Day

Maximum temperatures are near normal 

Comfortable temperature. No cautionary action required.

Nil 

Yellow Alert  (Be updated)

Heat Alert

Heat wave conditions at isolated pockets  persists on 2 days

Moderate temperature.  Heat is tolerable for the general public but moderate health concern for vulnerable people e.g. infants, elderly, people with chronic diseases.

a.  Avoid heat exposure.

b. Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, cotton clothes.

c.  Cover your head: Use a cloth, hat or umbrella 

Orange Alert  (Be prepared) 

Severe Heat Alert for the day

  i.    Severe heat wave conditions persists for 2 days

ii.    Through not severe, but  heat wave  persists for 4 days or more

High temperature. Increased likelihood of heat illness symptoms in people who are either exposed to sun for a prolonged period or doing heavy work. High health concern for vulnerable people e.g. infants, elderly, people with chronic diseases.

a.  Avoid heat exposure– keep cool. Avoid dehydration.

b. Drink sufficient water- even if not thirsty.

c.  Use ORS, homemade drinks like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, buttermilk, etc. to keep yourself hydrated

Red Alert  (Take Action)

Extreme Heat Alert for the day

  i.    Severe heat waves persist for more than 2 days.

ii.    Total number of heat/severe heat wave days exceeding 6 days.

Very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages.

Extreme care needed for vulnerable people.

 

Source:

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/odisha-reels-under-intense-heatwave-conditions-imd-issues-orange-alert-90002

Keywords: GS-1 Important Geophysical Phenomena
Daily Current Affairs

U.S and UNESCO - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: U.S. Re-joins UNESCO and pays back dues in an attempt to Counter Chinese Influence on the international body

About US and UNESCO:

  • The United States has decided to re-join the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) after a decade-long dispute.
  • The U.S. had previously stopped funding UNESCO in 2011 when it included Palestine as a member state, leading to the loss of voting rights for both the U.S. and Israel in 2013.
  • This step has been motivated by concerns over Chinese influence in UNESCO policy-making, especially in areas such as artificial intelligence and technology education,
  • The return of the U.S., once the largest funder of UNESCO, is expected to face a vote by the organization's 193 member states next month.
  • The decision to re-join UNESCO will also provide a welcome financial boost to the organization, known for its World Heritage program.
  • The renewed relationship between the U.S. and UNESCO is anticipated to promote a free world, address issues such as artificial intelligence, slavery and girl’s education.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-decides-to-rejoin-unesco-and-pay-back-dues-to-counter-chinese-influence/article66960485.ece

 

Keywords: GS-2: IR: International Bodies
Daily Current Affairs

Global DPI Summit - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Union government of India inaugurates Global DPI Summit and Exhibition

About Global DPI Summit:

  • Ministry of Electronics & IT has recently inaugurated Global DPI Summit which witnessed participation from around 50 countries and welcomed 150 foreign delegates.
  • The focus of the summit was on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and its role in driving digital transformation and inclusive development.
  • The summit witnessed discussions on key topics such as DPI overview, digital identities, digital payments and financial inclusion, and DPI for judicial systems and regulations.
  • The discussions explored the principles and design of DPI, including open standards, partnerships, interoperability, and low-cost solutions.
  • The summit also highlighted successful digital solutions implemented at a population scale, with India signing MoUs with Armenia, Sierra Leone, and Suriname to share its INDIA STACK experiences.
  • The Global DPI Exhibition was a significant part of the summit, showcasing 14 experience zones on digital identity, fast payment, e-governance, agriculture, healthcare, and
  • Overall, the summit's success highlights the increasing recognition and importance of DPI in driving digital empowerment and inclusive growth on a global scale.

Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)

  • It refers to the foundational digital infrastructure and services that are essential for enabling digital transformation and promoting inclusive digital development in society.
  • It encompasses the technological, policy, and governance frameworks necessary to build and operate a robust digital ecosystem.
  • Its major components include: Digital Identity, connectivity and broadband Infrastructure, high-speed internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure and data exchange platforms etc.,

 

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1931731

Keywords: GS-3: Government Policies
Daily Current Affairs

Great Indian Bustards and Asiatic Lions


In News: Conservationists raises concern over the potential impact of the cyclone Biporjoy on the Great Indian Bustards (GIB) and Asiatic lions of the Gir forest.

About Great Indian Bustards:

  • Great Indian Bustards (GIB) are critically endangered large birds found manly in the grassland habitats of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • These are large terrestrial birds known for their impressive size and unique appearance. Males can reach a height of up to one meter and weigh around 15 kilograms.
  • In Gujarat, Naliya is home to the last remaining population of GIB in the state which currently has only four female
  • The remaining GIB population in India is estimated to be less than 200 individuals, making urgent conservation efforts crucial for their survival.
  • These majestic birds are characterized by their brownish upper body, long bare legs, and a distinctive black crest on their head.
  • The species has seen significant decline in population primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation by human activities, including agriculture, infrastructure development, and grazing pressure.
  • The impact of Cyclone Biporjoy on the GIB population in Naliya is a cause for concern as its grassland habitats, like the one in Naliya, can be prone to severe damage.

About Asiatic Lions:

  • The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is a subspecies of lion that is native to the Indian
  • It is found primarily in Gujarat’s Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary which is the last stronghold of Asiatic lions in the world.
  • Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than their African counterparts but still possess immense power and grace.
  • Male lions can weigh up to 200 kilograms and have a distinctive mane, which varies in colour and length while lionesses play a vital role in the pride's hunting activities.
  • The lion population in Gir is estimated to be around 500 individuals, a remarkable recovery from a mere 20 lions in the early 20th century.
  • The Asiatic lion's habitat primarily consists of dry deciduous forests, savannahs, and grasslands, where they can find an abundant supply of prey.
  • Previously attempts have been made to translocate some lions to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh but was unsuccessful.
  • The potential impact of recent Cyclone Biporjoy on the lion population and their habitat is a matter of concern for conservationists.

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/biporjoy-as-cyclone-nears-kutch-saurashtra-concern-grows-over-gir-lions-naliya-bustards-90011

 

Keywords: GS-3: Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Hamari Bhasha, Hamari Virasat - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Minister of State for Culture inaugurated an exhibition under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) titled “Hamari Bhasha, Hamari Virasat” to celebrate the 75th International Archives.

About:

  • The exhibition aims to celebrate India’s linguistic diversity, highlighting its status as one of the most linguistically diverse countries globally, with approximately 788 languages spoken.
  • India is thus one of the four most linguistically diversified countries in the world, along with Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
  • The exhibition features a variety of original manuscripts, including the ancient Gilgit Manuscripts written between the 5th -6th centuries CE, which is the oldest surviving manuscript collection in India, Tattvartha Sutra (Ancient Jain Text), Ramayana, and Srimad Bhagwad Gita, among others.
  • The National Archives of India has made over 72,000 manuscripts available, both physically and through digitization, ensuring their accessibility to people worldwide.

Gilgit Manuscripts:

  • The birch bark folios documents written on pieces of the inner layer of the bark of birch trees were found in the Kashmir region and contain both canonical and non-canonical Jain and Buddhist works that throw light on the evolution of many religious-philosophical literatures.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1931043

 

Keywords: General Studies –2 Government Policies & Iterventions
Daily Current Affairs

Kari Ishad mango - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Kari Ishad mango prominently grown in Ankola taluk of Uttara Kannada has bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Geographical Indications Registry under the Union Government.

About:

  • Ishad mango is grown predominantly around Ankola, is tasty and contains a lot of pulp.
  • It is said that the mango variety has been cultivated for the last 400 years.
  • It has two variants — Kari Ishad, which has thin skin, more pulp and is sweeter, and Bili Ishad, which has thick skin and less pulp and sweetness.
  • The Kari Ishad is accepted as one of the finest quality mangoes due to its unique aroma, luscious taste, high amount of pulp, shape, and size.

GI tag:

  • A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 seeks to provide for the registration and better protection of geographical indications relating to goods in India.
  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/kari-ishad-mango-of-ankola-in-uttar-karnataka-gets-gi-tag/article66899782.ece

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Default loss guarantee (DLG) - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed the Default loss guarantee (DLG) (also called First Loss Default Guarantee -FLDG) system in the digital lending space.

About:

  • FLDG is a lending model between a fintech and a regulated entity.
  • It is a new technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.
  • It is a safety-net arrangement among banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFC), and lending service providers (LSPs), (popularly known as fintech players) in the digital lending space.
  • Under this, a third party such as a financial technology (fintech) player (LSP) guarantees to compensate up to a certain percentage of default.
  • The fintech originates a loan and promises to compensate the partners up to a pre-decided percentage in case customers fail to repay.

New guidelines:

  • The RBI permitted FLDG arrangements between banks and fintech or between two regulated entities (REs).
  • The LSP-providing DLG must be incorporated as a company under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • Banks and NBFCs should ensure that the total amount of DLG cover on any outstanding portfolio does not exceed 5% of the amount of that loan portfolio.

 

https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/economy/story/rbi-issues-guidelines-on-default-loss-guarantee-in-digital-lending-384839-2023-06-08#

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Cholederm - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, the first indigenously developed tissue engineering scaffold from mammalian organs, called Cholederm, has received approval from the Indian Drugs Controller.

About:

  • Cholederm is a Class D medical device made from the extracellular matrix of a pig’s gall bladder, tissue-engineered into membrane forms of the scaffold.
  • Advantages:
    • It has demonstrated faster healing of various skin wounds, including burns and diabetic wounds, in animal tests with minimal scarring.
    • The scaffold modulated or mitigated the scarring reactions in subcutaneous, skeletal muscle, and cardiac tissues.
    • Cholederm is expected to reduce treatment costs and make advanced wound care more affordable.

More Information:

  • The Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), became the first institution in the country to develop Class D medical devices (Cholederm).

 

 

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1931904

Keywords: General Studies –3 Health, Government Policies & Interventions
Daily Current Affairs

SIPRI - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its annual assessment, highlighting the increase in nuclear weapons as countries pursue force modernization and expansion plans.

About:

  • SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.
  • HQ: Stockholm, Sweden

Key Findings:

  • The nine nuclear-armed states —the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and Israel—continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals and several deployed new nuclear-armed in 2022.
  • Russia and the U.S. together possess almost 90% of all nuclear weapons.
  • Countries with Deployed Nuclear Warheads are USA (Largest number), Russia, France and UK (USA>Russia>France>US).
  • Countries with No Deployed Nuclear Warheads are India, China, Pakistan, North Korea and Isreal.
  • Total Inventory of Nuclear Warheads: Russia (Highest total inventory)> USA> China
  • The nuclear arsenals of India grew from 160 in 2022 to 164 in 2023 and that of Pakistan from 165 to 170.
  • While China is modernizing and expanding its arsenal, India and Pakistan are increasing the size of their inventories.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/china-could-potentially-have-as-many-icbms-as-us-or-russia-by-turn-of-decade-sipri/article66961196.ece

 

Keywords: General Studies –3 Security, Nuclear Technology
Daily Current Affairs

Anak Krakatau volcano (Indonesia)


Why in news? Recently, Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano has erupted.

About:

  • The volcano island located in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait between the main Java and Sumatra islands.
  • Anak Krakatau, which means “child of Kratakau,” is the offspring of the famous Krakatau, whose monumental eruption in 1883 triggered a period of global cooling.
  • It was the longest eruption since the explosive collapse of the mountain caused a deadly tsunami in 2018.
  • Indonesia is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region known for its intense seismic and volcanic activity.

 

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/indonesia-anak-krakatau-volcano-eruption-8655907/

Keywords: General Studies –1 Geography
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