13-14 May 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

13-14 May 2023

Social Issues

Centre finalizes comprehensive ‘Model Prisons Act, 2023

MHA prepares new 'Model Prisons Act' to replace pre-independence era law |  Deccan Herald

What’s the NEWS

  • The comprehensive ‘Model Prisons Act, 2023’ has been finalized under the guidance of the Home Minister
  • The government had earlier decided to review and revise the colonial-era outdated Prison Act in tune with contemporary modern-day needs and correctional ideology.
  • The Model Prison Act, 2023 may serve as a guiding document for the States, and for adoption in their jurisdiction.
  • Union Home Ministry had assigned the task of revision of the Prisons Act, of 1894 to the Bureau of Police Research and Development.
  • The Bureau prepared a draft after holding wide-ranging discussions with State Prison authorities, correctional experts, and others.
  • It has been prepared with the objective of holistically providing guidance and addressing the gaps in the existing Prisons Act.

Some salient features of the new Model Prisons Act

  • It includes provision for security assessment and segregation of prisoners and individual sentence planning.
  • Grievance redressal, prison development board, attitudinal change towards prisoners, and provision of separate accommodation for women prisoners, and transgender are some of the other features.
  • There is also a provision for the use of technology in prison administration with a view to bring transparency in prison administration.
  • The new Act will focus on vocational training and skill development of prisoners and their reintegration into the society.

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D)

  • It was set up on 28 August 1970 in furtherance of the objective of the Government of India for the modernisation of police forces.
  • It has evolved as a multifaceted, consultancy organisation.
  • At present it has 4 divisions – Research, Development, Training and Correctional Administration.

International Organisations

6th Indian Ocean Conference (IOC)

Bangladesh will host the 6th Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) scheduled to be  held between May 12-13 in Dhaka.

What’s the NEWS

  • The 6th edition of the Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) is being held by India Foundation in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
  • The two-day Indian Ocean Conference — with the theme “Peace Prosperity and Partnership for a Resilient Future” — is being held in Dhaka.
  • IOR is a geographical region that encompasses the Indian Ocean and its surrounding areas, including the littoral states and islands.
  • The Indian Ocean is the world’s third-largest ocean, covering an area of approximately 70.6 million square kilometres.

Know! about Indian Ocean Conference (IOC)

  • IOC is an annual international conference that focuses on the geopolitical, economic, and strategic importance of the Indian Ocean region.
  • The conference brings together policymakers, scholars, business leaders, and civil society representatives to discuss issues related to security, trade, and cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The first edition of the Conference was held in Singapore in 2016. The fifth edition of IOC was held in 2021 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Defence Indigenisation

Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach

Performance Based Navigation, RNAV & RNP

What’s the NEWS

  • INS Hansa in Goa has become the very first Joint-User International Aerodrome in the South-Asia Pacific region to be augmented with the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach. 

Know! about RNP approach

  • The RNP approach will reduce dependency for navigation on ground-based equipment such as Very-High Frequency Omni Directional Radio (VOR) and Instrument Landing System (ILS).
  • This RNP approach will provide near Category-I ILS accuracies, thereby aiding unhindered flying operations even when the aforementioned equipment is unserviceable or under maintenance.

Know! about INS Hansa

  • It is an Indian naval air station located near Dabolim in Goa.
  • It is India’s biggest naval airbase and is home to the Indian Navy’s premier air squadrons. 
  • The base has a civil enclave that operates as Dabolim Airport.
  • This naval air station has grown to become a full-fledged airfield that handles domestic and international flights around the clock.

Art and Culture

Satavahana Dynasty

Satavahana dynasty - Wikipedia

What’s the NEWS

  • Telangana’s researchers and history enthusiasts have made praiseworthy discovery of relics and artefacts which they suggest belongs to the Satavahana period from 1st Century BC to 3rd Century AD.

Know! about Satavahana Dynasty

  • Founder – Simuka was the founder of the Satavahana Dynasty
  • Satavahana Dynasty was established in the 1st century BC in the western Deccan Plateau.
  • Satavahana Rulers had emerged from the Andhra region or the delta areas of the Krishna River and Godavari River. 
  • The dynasty was built upon the ruins of the Maurya Empire.
  • Satavahana Dynasty ruled from Pune in Maharashtra to Coastal Andhra Pradesh. This dynasty played the most significant role in Indian history in the period between the fall of the Mauryas and the rise of the Gupta Empire.
  • The dynasty reached its zenith under the rule of Gautamiputra Satakarni and his successor Vasisthiputra Pulamavi. 
  • Gautamiputra Satakarni received wide recognition because of his policy of military expansion.
  • The Satavahanas Dynasty collapsed when Abhiras seized Maharashtra,and Ikshwakus and Pallavas appropriated the eastern province.
  • Their greatest competitors were the Sakas, who had established their power in upper Deccan and Western India. 

Science and Technology

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT)

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy - IAS4Sure

What’s the NEWS

  • Eight years after the U.K. became the first country in the world to approve a reproductive technique known as mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT), “less than five” children have been born using the procedure, as of April 2023.

Mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT)

  • In 2015, the United Kingdom became the first country to regulate mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT).
  • MRT is a new form of reproductive in-vitro fertilization (IVF) which works on the principle of replacing a women’s abnormal mitochondrial DNA (mt-DNA) with the donor’s healthy one. 
  • People have two types of DNA in their cells, nuclear DNA, which is inherited from both parents and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is inherited only from the mother.
  • MRT is designed to prevent women who are carriers of mitochondrial diseases from passing on these heritable genetic diseases to their children.

Know! about In-vitro fertilization (IVF)

  • It is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) where sperm and an egg are fertilized outside of the human body.
  • IVF is a complex process that involves retrieving eggs from ovaries and manually combining them with sperm in a lab for fertilization.
  • Several days after fertilization, the fertilized egg (now called an embryo) is placed inside a uterus. Pregnancy occurs when this embryo implants itself into the uterine wall.

Know! about Mitochondria

  • Mitochondria are membrane-bound cell organelles that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions. 
  • Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell.
  • Chemical energy produced by the mitochondria is stored in a small molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the chemical energy “currency” of the cell that powers the cell’s metabolic activities. 
  • Generally, mitochondria, and therefore mitochondrial DNA, are inherited only from the mother.

Prelims Factoids

Kawal Tiger Reserve

What’s the NEWS

  • The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) recently granted clearance to divert 21 hectares of forest land in the crucial tiger corridor connecting the Kawal Tiger Reserve in the Kagaznagar Division of Telangana. 

About Kawal Tiger Reserve:

  • It is located in North Eastern part of Telangana with the Godavari River on one side and the Maharashtra border on the other. It forms part of the Deccan peninsula-central highlands.
  • The reserve is the catchment for the rivers Godavari and Kadam, which flow towards the south of the sanctuary.
  • It has connectivity to the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra in the North and to the Indravati tiger reserve of Chhattisgarh towards its North-Eastern side.

International Organisation

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Startup Forum 2023

What’s the NEWS

  • After two successful editions in virtual mode, Startup India, Department of Promotion for Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce organized the third edition in the form of first-ever physical Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Startup Forum in New Delhi recently.

SCO Startup Forum Highlights

  • The engagement aimed at expanding the startup interactions amongst the SCO Member States, nurturing the spirit of innovation, generating more employment and encouraging young talent to build innovative solutions. 
  • The forum witnessed physical participation from SCO Member States including a delegation of government officials, private industry players, incubators and startups.
  • This engagement focused on the spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurship.
  • It aimed at promoting innovation development, particularly through the creation of common platforms and the facilitation of ideas and best practices among the SCO Member States.

Previously, Startup India had organized various initiatives for SCO Member states including:

  1. SCO Startup Forum 2020: The SCO Startup Forum laid the foundation for multilateral cooperation and engagement for startups among the SCO Member States.
  2. SCO Startup Forum 2021: The two-day Forum was held virtually through a customized platform representing the Indian culture in augmented reality. SCO Startup Hub, a single point of contact for the SCO startup ecosystem, was launched in this forum.
  3. Focused Mentorship Program: A 3-month long virtual mentorship series ‘Starting-Up’ was organized for the nominated startups, to build capacity among the SCO Startup founders.

 Know! about SCO

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent international intergovernmental organization.
  • The creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was announced in June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Uzbekistan, The Russian Federation,  and the Republic of Tajikistan.
  • In the historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the SCO held in June 2017 in Astana, the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Members countries of SCO

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Kazakhstan
  4. Kyrgyzstan
  5. Russia
  6. Pakistan
  7. Tajikistan
  8. Uzbekistan
  9. Iran (recently added to the permanent member countries in the 2022 Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, held in Uzbekistan.)

Observer States 

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Belarus
  3. Mongolia

Carbon Dating

Radiocarbon Dating, Also Known As C-14 Dating or Carbon Dating Stock Vector  - Illustration of radiocarbon, model: 252683532

What’s the NEWS

  • The Allahabad High Court has directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to appear before the Varanasi District Judge on May 22 and to do the needful for carrying out the “scientific investigation” of a ‘shivling’, said to have been found at the Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi.
  • The scientific survey includes carbon dating, of a “Shivling”

Know! about Carbon dating

  • Carbon dating is a widely-used method to establish the age of organic materials, things that were once living.
  • Living things have carbon in them in various forms. The dating method is based on the fact that Carbon-14 (C-14), an isotope of carbon with an atomic mass of 14, is radioactive, and decays at a well-known rate.
  • The most abundant isotope of carbon in the atmosphere is C-12. The ratio of C-12 to C-14 in the atmosphere is almost static, and is known.
  • Plants and animals acquire C-12 and C-14 in roughly the same proportion as is available in the atmosphere.
  • When they die, their interactions with the atmosphere stops. While C-12 is stable, the radioactive C-14 reduces to one half of itself in about 5,730 years — known as its ‘half-life’.
  • The changing ratio of C-12 to C-14 in the remains of a plant or animal after it dies can be measured, and can be used to deduce the approximate time when the organism died.
  • Carbon dating cannot be used to determine the age of non-living things like rocks. Also, the age of things that are more than 40,000-50,000 years old cannot be arrived at through carbon dating.

Know! about Radiometric dating methods

  • These are used to calculate the age of inanimate things. Instead of carbon, decays of other radioactive elements that might be present in the material become the basis for the dating method. Two commonly employed methods for dating rocks are
  • Potassium-argon dating: The radioactive isotope of potassium decays into argon, and their ratios can give a clue about the age of rocks.
  • Uranium-thorium-lead dating: Uranium and thorium have several radioactive isotopes, and all of them decay into the stable lead atom. The ratios of these elements present in the material can be measured and used to make estimates about age.
  • Cosmogenic nuclide dating: It is used to determine how long an object has remained exposed to sunlight. It is regularly applied to study the age of ice cores in polar regions.

Bannerghatta National Park

Bengaluru: After Three Months, Bannerghatta National Park Is Open From  Today - MetroSaga

What’s the NEWS

  • A Bengaluru-based NGO recently sought Prime Minister’s intervention against unauthorised constructions around Bannerghatta National Park. 

Know! about Bannerghatta National Park

It is located near Bangalore, Karnataka, in the hills of the Anekal range.

  • It was declared as a National Park in 1974. 
  • In 2002 a portion of the park became a biological reserve, the Bannerghatta Biological Park. It is the first biological park in India to have a fenced forested elephant sanctuary. 
  • In 2006, India’s first butterfly enclosure was inaugurated at the park.
  • Suvarnamukhi stream, the main source of water for the animals of the park, runs through the centre of the park.

There are three types of vegetation that can be found: Dry Deciduous Scrub Forests, Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests and Southern Tropical Moist Mixed Forests.

Allegator Gar

Kashmir: Alligator Gar Fish found in Dal Lake rings alarm bells among  scientists

What’s the NEWS

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) recently discovered a rare type of fish known as a “Alligator Gar” for the first time in Srinagar’s Dal Lake. 

Know! about Allegator Gar

  • It is a  ray-finned euryhaline fish and is one of the largest of all freshwater fishes.
  • It is the largest species in the Gar family.
  • The fossil record traces its group’s existence back to the Early Cretaceous over 100 million years ago.
  • Gars are often referred to as “primitive fishes”, or “living fossils” because they have retained some morphological characteristics of their early ancestors.
  • It is distinguished by its crocodile-like head and razor-sharp teeth.
  • Conservation Status – IUCN: Least Concerned

Know! about euryhaline organisms

  • They are a type of mostly marine organisms with the ability to adapt to a wide range of water salinities. 
  • They can survive either in freshwater, saltwater or brackish water.
  • Some euryhaline organisms migrate between freshwater and saltwater habitats during their life cycle.
  • Some examples of such organisms are salmon, eels, etc.

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