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Current Affairs 12 & 13 Sep 2023

Daily Current Capsules

12 and 13 September 2023

Potential treatment route for Alzheimer’s disease found in natural polyphenol

  • Scientists have found that highly abundant naturally occurring plant-based polyphenols (PPs) like tannic acid found in twigs of trees like Chestnut and Oak can modulate the ferroptosis-AD axis to yield a safe, cost-effective strategy for combating Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and reduce the societal burden of this debilitating neurodegenerative disorder.

Alzheimer’s disease

  • AD is a widely prevalent progressive neurodegenerative disorder marked by memory and cognitive decline
  • There is no therapeutics to completely cure the disease.
  • Ferroptosis, an iron-dependent form of programmed cell death, has emerged as a significant contributor to the development of AD.


Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP)

  • iGOT Karmayogi Bharat, the capacity development ecosystem for government officials, managed by Karmayogi Bharat SPV, in partnership with NITI Aayog, has launched a new curated collection dedicated to the Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP).
  • NITI Aayog has launched the Aspirational Blocks Programme, building on the success of the Aspirational Districts Programme.
  • The collection seeks to build functional, domain and behavioural competencies of 5000 Block-level officials across 500 identified Blocks by acquainting learners with subjects crucial for performing their duties and responsibilities effectively.
  • Through the curated module, the iGOT Platform will strive to enrich and enable Block officials’ contribution to the transformation of the under-served Blocks, thus improving grassroots governance across India.

Know! about iGOT Karmayogi

  • It is a comprehensive online portal to guide government officials in their capacity-building journey.
  • The portal combines 6 functional hubs for online learning, competency management, career management, discussions, events, and networking.
  • More than 22.2 lakh learners from across the government spectrum are currently registered on the iGOT Platform having access to 685+ courses.


World Physiotherapy Day

  • Since 1996, the Eighth of September has been designated as World Physiotherapy Day (World PT Day), a day set aside to honor the establishment of the profession in 1951.
  • This day serves as homage to all the physiotherapists and the services they render, achieving the ultimate goal of a symptom-free movement at basic to complex physical activities in patients and the healthy alike.
  • The focus for this year’s World PT Day on 8 September is arthritis, with an in-depth look at some forms of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis.
  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India is the nodal department to look after all the development agenda of Persons with Disabilities of the country.


Indo Russian Workshop on Eastern Maritime Corridor in Chennai

  • The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways extended an invitation for an Indo-Russian Workshop on Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) in Vladivostok, Russia
  • The Minister was addressing the session aimed at forging possibilities on early operationalisation of EMC as an alternative trade route between Russian port city of Vladivostok and Indian port city of Chennai.
  • The workshop is proposed to take place from 30 October to 1st November, 2023 in Chennai, India.

Know! about EMC

  • The operationalisation of Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) will usher a new era of trade relationship between India and Russia.
  • It may be recalled that a Memorandum of Intent on Development of Maritime Communications between the two Ports of Vladivostok and Chennai was exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President Putin during Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September 2019.
  • Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) is estimated to reduce the time required to transport cargo between Indian and Russian Ports of Far-East Region by up to 16 days, i.e., 24 days in comparison to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia via Europe.
  • Present trade route between Mumbai in India and St Petersburg in Russia covers a distance of 8,675 nautical miles which takes approximately 35 to 40 days.
  • The Chennai-Vladivostok sea route (EMC) will be covering a distance of about 5,600 nautical miles.
  • A large container ship which travels at the normal cruising speed of 20-25 knots (37-46 km/hour), will be able to cover this distance in approximately 10 to 12 days. This corridor holds immense potential to unlock new opportunities for trade and cooperation.


Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for S&T 2022

  • At the inaugural event of ‘One Week One Lab’ programme of CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication & Policy Research (NIScPR), winners of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for the year 2022 were announced
  • The prestigious SSB Prize for the year 2022 has been awarded to twelve leading scientists in the seven disciplines.
  • Two scientists each have been awarded the prize for Biological, Chemical, Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences respectively.

Know! about SSB Prizes

  • The award is named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) India, the late Dr (Sir) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar and is known as the ‘Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (SSB) Prize for Science and Technology’.
  • The Prize is given each year for outstanding contributions to science and technology.
  • SSB Prizes, each of the value of Rs 5,00,000 (Rupees five lakh only), are awarded annually for notable and outstanding research, applied or fundamental, in the following disciplines: (i) Biological Sciences, (ii) Chemical Sciences, (iii) Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, (iv) Engineering Sciences, (v) Mathematical Sciences, (vi) Medical Sciences and (vii) Physical Sciences.
  • The purpose of the award is to recognise outstanding Indian work in science and technology.
  • Any citizen of India engaged in research in any field of science and technology up to the age of 45 years as reckoned on 31st December of the year preceding the year of the Prize.Overseas citizen of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) working in India are also eligible.
  • The Prize is bestowed on a person who, in the opinion of CSIR, has made conspicuously important and outstanding contributions to human knowledge and progress – fundamental and applied – in the particular field of endeavour, which is his/her specialization.
  • The Prize is awarded on the basis of contributions made through work done primarily in India during the five years preceding the year of the Prize.

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World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day

  • World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day is observed on Seventh September each year to raise awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
  • The purpose of the day is to support efforts that will improve the quality of life for those who have dystrophinopathies through education, advocacy, and social inclusion.
  • A rare degenerative illness called Duchenne muscular dystrophy makes muscles weaker over time until it affects the entire body. One in five thousand boys are born with the condition.
  • It results from an X-chromosome mutation. First, walking becomes challenging, then other motor functions follow, and finally, breathing and heart function are affected because the heart is also a muscle.
  • Learning and behavioral problems may potentially be a symptom of the condition because the missing protein also has a purpose in the brain.
  • This year’s World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day theme is Duchenne: Breaking Barriers.

Concerned Ministry  

  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India is the nodal department to look after all the development agenda of Persons with Disabilities of the country.
  • With the vision to create awareness about Duchenne muscular dystrophy among the masses, the Department observed the World Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day on 7th September 2023


International Conference on Dam Safety


  • The Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation (DoWR, RD &GR), Ministry of Jal Shakti is organising an International Conference on Dam Safety (ICDS) at Rajasthan International Centre (RIC) in Jaipur from 14th to 15th September, 2023,
  • The Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar will inaugurate the International Conference on the theme “Safe & Secure Dams Ensure Nation’s Prosperity”.
  • Professionals from across the nation and about fifteen countries are expected to participate in the ground-breaking event dedicated to advancing the cause of dam safety and management.
  • The conference will focus on highlighting the objectives of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase II and III, as well as how the project contributes to the improvement of dam safety in India.
  • ICDS 2023 is the first in a series of Dam Safety Conferences planned under the DRIP Phase II & III.
  • The conference is being organised in collaboration with the Rajasthan Water Resources Department, the Central Water Commission, the National Dam Safety Authority, MNIT Jaipur, WAPCOS Ltd., the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. ICDS 2023 is backed by esteemed organisers, academics, DRIP implementing agencies, sponsors, and media partners

Dams in India: Overview and steps taken by the government

  • Dams are huge symbols of modern India.
  • Dams have been essential to civilization’s development, and have played a multifaceted role in meeting the ever-increasing demand for drinking water, irrigation, hydropower, flood protection, and more.
  • From Kallanai Dam, the first dam built in the 2nd century AD by King Karikala Chola, India boasts of over 6,000 dams in the present times, making it the third globally in terms of large dams and ensuring their safety is of paramount importance.
  • With over 6,000 dams in India, ranked third globally in terms of large dams and approximately 80% of these dams exceeding 25 years of age while 234 surpassing the century mark, ensuring their safety is of paramount importance.
  • In the backdrop of such a rich history, the Dam Safety Act (DSA) 2021 was enacted.
  • This progressive legislation underscores the nation’s dedication to dam surveillance, inspection, and maintenance, setting a benchmark for global dam safety standards.
  • The Act mandates the establishment of the National Committee on Dam Safety, National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) at the Central level and establishment of the State Committee on Dam Safety and State Dam Safety Organisation at the state level.
  • Further, dam owners are now required to have a dedicated Dam Safety Unit, prepare Emergency Action Plans, and conduct Comprehensive Safety Evaluations at regular intervals.
  • The responsibility of ensuring their safety primarily rests with dam owners, a mix of state governments, Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs), and private agencies.
  • To address these concerns, the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) Phase I, launched in 2012, paved the way for addressing dam safety concerns in India.
  • It covered 223 dams across seven states with a budget of R s 2,100 crore, leading to significant safety enhancements.
  • Building upon its success, DRIP Phase II and III, funded by the World Bank and AIIB, continue the efforts to improve dam safety.
  • These phases focus on rehabilitating dam structures, enhancing instrumentation, and establishing dam safety institutions, reflecting India’s commitment to safeguard its water infrastructure.
  • The scheme aims to fully rehabilitate 736 dams in 19 states.
  • The 10-year system is being implemented in two six-year phases, Phase-II and Phase- III, with a two-year overlap.


Pani Ki Rail


  • One of the highlights of the inaugural session will be the flagging off of the Vinyl-Wrapped ‘Pani Ki Rail’ i.e., two prominent trains, namely, the Himsagar Express & the Kamakhya Express
  • This novel initiative led by the National Water Mission under Ministry of Jal Shakti, in collaboration with the Ministry of Railways titled “Rails for Water
  • The primary aim of this initiative is to disseminate the crucial message of water conservation to every corner of India.


Ayushman Bhav campaign

  • The President of India inaugurated the visionary ‘Ayushman Bhav’ campaign on September 13, 2023.
  • This event is a step towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ensuring healthcare for all.

Know! about Ayushman Bhav campaign

  • The ‘Ayushman Bhav’ campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, is a comprehensive nationwide healthcare initiative that aims to provide saturation coverage of healthcare services, reaching every village and town in the country.
  • This ground-breaking initiative builds upon the success of the Ayushman Bharat program and signifies a paradigm shift in healthcare services.
  • The campaign, which will be implemented during the ‘Seva Pakhwada’ from September 17th to October 2nd, 2023, embodies a whole-of-nation and whole-of-society approach.
  • It unites government sectors, civil society organizations and communities under a common mission to ensure that every individual receives essential health services without any disparity or exclusion.
  • The Ayushman Bhav campaign is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Gram Panchayats in coordination with the Department of Health, other government departments, and local elected bodies in the rural and urban areas.
  • Its core objective is to extend comprehensive healthcare coverage to every village and town, transcending geographical barriers and ensuring that no one is left behind.
  • This synergistic approach aims to saturate coverage of health services through its three components Ayushman – Apke Dwar 3.0, Ayushman Melas at Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Ayushman Sabhas in every village and panchayat:
  • Ayushman Apke Dwar 3.0: This initiative aims to provide Ayushman cards to remaining eligible beneficiaries enrolled under the PM-JAY scheme, ensuring that more individuals have access to essential health services.
  • Ayushman Melas at HWCs and CHCs: These Melas at Ayushman Bharat- HWCs and CHCs will facilitate the creation of ABHA IDs (Health IDs) and issuance of Ayushman Bharat Cards. They will also offer early diagnosis, comprehensive primary health care services, teleconsultation with specialists, and appropriate referrals.
  • Ayushman Sabhas: These gatherings in every village and Panchayat will play a pivotal role in distributing Ayushman cards, generating ABHA IDs, and raising awareness about vital health schemes and disease conditions, such as non-communicable diseases, tuberculosis (Nikshay Mitra), sickle cell disease, as well as blood donation and organ donation drives.
  • The Ayushman Bhav campaign is aligned with the vision of creating ‘Healthy Villages’ and ‘Healthy Gram Panchayats,’ laying the foundation for achieving Universal Health Coverage in the country.
  • Panchayats that successfully saturate the health schemes will earn the prestigious title of ‘Ayushman Gram Panchayat’ or ‘Ayushman Urban Ward,’ symbolizing their dedication to equitable healthcare provision.


Maritime Information Sharing Workshop 2023 (MISW 23).

  • Gurugram, India takes centre stage as the regional maritime security community gathers for the Maritime Information Sharing Workshop 2023 (MISW 23).
  • The workshop, hosted by the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), brings together 31 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Djibouti Code of Conduct/ Jeddah Amendment (DCoC/JA), from September 14th to 16th, 2023.

Navigating the Ocean’s Vital Role: –  

  • The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), Gurugram, was inaugurated on December 22, 2018, with a mission to enhance maritime safety and security in the region.
  • IFC-IOR, is a unique Centre where International Liaison Officers (ILOs) from partner nations collaborate to counter challenges to maritime safety and security.
  • Presently, ILOs from twelve countries viz., Australia, France, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, UK and USA are appointed to the Centre.

Setting Sail with MISW

  • To further India’s vision of ‘Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR),’ IFC-IOR conducts a series of workshops and training programs, of which the Maritime Information Sharing Workshop (MISW) is the flagship event.
  • The inaugural edition of MISW was conducted in 2019.
  • The MISW is a dynamic platform for the exchange of best practices amongst working-level professionals in the maritime security domain across the globe.

Know! also about

1.Djibouti Code of Conduct /Jeddah Amendment

The Djibouti Code of Conduct

  • The Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, also referred to as the Djibouti Code of Conduct, was adopted on 29 January 2009 by the representatives of: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen. Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates
  • It was established under the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
  • India joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCOC) as an observer as part of efforts aimed at enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code

  • The Jeddah Amendment calls on the signatory States to cooperate to the fullest possible extent to repress transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and other illegal activities at sea.

2.Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

  • It is an international organisation consisting of 23 states bordering the Indian Ocean.
  • The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
  • It is based on the principles of for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.
  • The Coordinating Secretariat of IORA is located at Ebene, Mauritius.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association is an inter-governmental organisation which was established on 7 March 1997.

  • IORA’s apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) which meets annually.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) assumed the role of Chair since November 2019 – November 2021, followed by the People’s Republic of Bangladesh November 2021 – November 2023.

3.The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)

  • IFC-IOR is a regional maritime security centre hosted by the Indian Navy. Launched in December 2018, the centre works towards enhancing maritime security and safety in the Indian Ocean.
  • Currently, the IFC-IOR has International Liaison Officers (ILO) from 12 partner nations.
  • It also has more than 65 international working-level linkages with nations and multi-national/ maritime security centres.


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