Current Affairs 14,15& 16 OCT 2023
Daily Current Capsules
14,15 and 16 October 2023
Super Power Retailer Program
- To empower the retailer community in the states of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), working under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), announced a partnership with Coca-Cola India today to launch the Super Power Retailer Program under the Skill India Mission. The program is being piloted in the state of Odisha.
- The launch of the Super Power Retailer will empower retailers and provide them with training to expand their businesses and enhance consumer experiences.
- The initiative will play a pivotal role in strengthening India’s economy by skilling, reskilling, and upskilling the retailers
World Health Summit 2023
- The World Health Summit is a unique international strategic forum for global health.
- Held annually in Berlin
- The event takes place in Berlin, Germany, and online from 15–17 October under the theme “A Defining Year for Global Health Action”.
- It brings together stakeholders from politics, science, the private sector, and civil society from around the world to set the agenda for a healthier future by inspiring innovative solutions for better health and well-being for all.
- The World Health Summit was founded in 2009 on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
- It is traditionally held under the patronage of the German Chancellor, the French President, the President of the European Commission, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
India’s Participation and Speech Highlights
- India has launched the 75/25 initiative, aimed at screening and providing a standard of care for 75 million individuals with hypertension and diabetes by 2025.
- The Govt of India had launched the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NP-NCD) under the National Health Mission (NHM) in 2010 with the aim of strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral.
- The Ayushman Bharat initiative is translating the policy intent to budgetary commitment, to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
- The Union Health Ministry has implemented Population-Based Screening (PBS) under the umbrella of Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) across Ayushman Bharat- Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC).
- The individuals in the age groups of 30 years and above are targeted for risk assessment and screening of common NCDs (hypertension, diabetes, oral cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer).
Ferry services between India – Sri Lanka
- India and Sri Lanka launched a ferry service across the Palk Strait under a new roadmap for greater connectivity, nearly four decades after the link between Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Kankesanthurai in Jaffna was disrupted by the civil war in the island nation.
- The ferry service is expected to boost travel and trade with Kankesanthurai, the Sri Lankan port located closest to ports on India’s west coast.
- The service, operated by the government-owned Shipping Corporation of India, runs between Nagapattinam in India and Kankesanthurai in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka.
- The high-speed craft, Cheriyapani, can carry up to 150 passengers and will make the 60 nautical mile journey in three to four hours
- During the civil war in Sri Lanka, Jaffna was a key stronghold of the former Tamil Tiger rebels. The port at Kankesanturai was closed by the Sri Lankan Navy after it was targeted by the rebels, and this disrupted the ferry service to India in the 1980s.
- The service is part of the economic partnership vision, a roadmap for maritime, air and energy connectivity, that was finalised during Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India in July.
Know! about Palk Strait
- It lies between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the island nation of Sri Lanka.
- It is bounded on the south by Pamban Island (India), Adam’s Bridge,the Gulf of Mannar, and Mannar Island (Sri Lanka).
- It connects the Bay of Bengal in the northeast with the Gulf of Mannar in the southwest.
- The southwestern portion of the strait is also called Palk Bay.
- The strait is 40 to 85 miles (64 to 137 km) wide, 85 miles long, and less than 330 feet (100 metres) deep.
- Several rivers flow into it, including the Vaigai River of Tamil Nadu.
- The port of Jaffna, the commercial centre for northern Sri Lanka, lies on the strait.
Key about Adam’s Bridge
- Adam’s Bridge, also known as Rama’s Bridge or Rama Setu, is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.
- Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.
- The bridge is 50 km long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (south-west) from the Palk Strait (northeast).
- Scientists believe Ram Setu is a natural structure formed due to tectonic movements and sand getting trapped in corals.
- The structure has significance in both Hindu and Muslim mythology. While the Hindus believe this is the bridge built by Lord Ram and his army to cross to Lanka and fight Ravan, as per Islamic legend, Adam used this bridge to reach Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka, where he stood on one foot for 1,000 years in repentance.
Exercise Sagar Kavach
- A two-day comprehensive Coastal Security Exercise Sagar Kavach 02/23 involving all maritime security agencies was conducted by the Indian Navy in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and the UT of Puducherry from 11-12 Oct 2023.
- About 2500 personnel from the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, State and U/T Administration, Marine Police, Fisheries, Customs, Intelligence Agencies, Light Houses, Ports Forest etc were engaged in the exercise.
- The exercise aimed to assess the efficacy and robustness of the coastal security mechanism while dealing with asymmetric threat emanating from the sea.
- Indian Naval Ships along with assets of the Coast Guard and other coastal security agencies were deployed to augment surveillance in the area.
- The exercise was closely monitored at Joint Operations Centre (East) at Visakhapatnam which is the nodal hub for all coastal security operations and exercises in the area of operations.
- The exercise witnessed close coordination and synergy among all coastal security stakeholders. Lessons learnt from the exercise would be incorporated to strengthen the coastal security architecture.
India’s self-declaration of freedom from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
- In a significant development for India’s poultry industry, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has approved India’s self-declaration of freedom from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in specific poultry compartments.
Background on Zoning and Compartmentalization
- Zoning and compartmentalization are strategic tools used to establish and maintain groups of animals with specific health statuses for the purposes of international trade and disease prevention or control.
- Compartmentalization involves defining a sub-population of animals with a specified health status within the national territory.
- The maintenance of this status relies on stringent management and husbandry practices that adhere to the standards outlined in the WOAH Terrestrial Code
Avian Influenza in India
- Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), commonly known as Bird Flu, was first detected in India in the state of Maharashtra in February 2006.
- The disease has been reported in 24 states and union territories, resulting in the culling of over 9 million birds to control its spread.
- India’s approach to controlling HPAI follows a “detect and cull” policy as outlined in the National Action Plan for Prevention, Control, and Containment of Avian Influenza (revised – 2021).
Compartmentalization: A Key Control Measure
- Despite these challenges, India has taken a proactive approach to mitigate the risks associated with HPAI by adopting the concept of poultry compartmentalization.
- Compartmentalization is a crucial tool that enhances animal health, reduces the risk of disease outbreaks within and outside the compartment, and facilitates the trade of poultry and poultry-related products.
Approval of Self-Declaration by WOAH
- The Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, has submitted a self-declaration of freedom from High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in 26 poultry compartments to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).
- On October 13, 2023, the self-declaration was approved by WOAH, coinciding with World Egg Day.
- These poultry compartments are located in four states of India, namely Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
- This recognition by WOAH signifies India’s commitment to international biosecurity standards and will contribute to enhancing the export potential of Indian poultry and poultry products, including meat and eggs.
- India, as the third-largest producer of eggs (129.60 billion) and the fifth-largest producer of poultry meat (4.47 million tonnes) globally, is poised to capitalize on this achievement.
Seven working groups of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) submitted the first edition of IndiaAI report today.
- This report is set to serve as India’s guiding roadmap for the development of its AI ecosystem.
- IndiaAI has a mission-centric approach which ensures a precise and cohesive strategy to bridge the gaps in existing AI ecosystem viz-a-viz Compute infrastructure, Data, AI financing, Research and Innovation, targeted Skilling and institutional capacity for Data to maximize the potential of AI for advancing India’s progress.
- IndiaAI will not only catalyse and support the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem but also other areas like that of India datasets program and India AI Compute Platform.
India Datasets Platform
- The India AI program will comprise several key components. One crucial component will be that of India Datasets Platform, which will be one of the largest collections of anonymized datasets that will be used by Indian researchers to train their multi parameter models.
- Then there will be the India AI Compute Platform, a public-private partnership project that will create substantial GPU (Graphics processing unit) capacity for our startups and researchers.
- In addition to skilling, India AI will also support the development of AI chips in partnership with the Semicon India program
141st Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 141stSession of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Mumbai.
- The 141st session of the IOC will be held in Mumbai from October 15 to 17.
- During the opening ceremony, he announced that India aspires to host the 2036 Summer
Know! about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- IOC is the authority responsible for organising the modern (Summer, Winter, and Youth) Olympic Games. It is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Olympic Capital
- The International Olympic Committee is the guardian of the Olympic Games and the leader of the Olympic Movement.
- It is the governing body of the National Olympic Committee (NOCs).
- In 1892, Pierre de Coubertin of France declared his intention to spearhead a movement to revive the ancient Greek Olympics.
- His efforts led to the establishment of IOC in June 1894 as a not-for-profit independent international organisation.
- An IOC session is the annual meeting of the members of the IOC. It comprises 101 voting members and 45 honorary members.
- India is conducting the IOC session for the first time in 40 years. The country hosted its previous IOC session in New Delhi in 1983.
- The Prime Minister of India announced that India is eager to host the Olympics in the country and it will leave no stone unturned in the preparation for the successful organisation of the Olympics in 2036.
- 2036 is the earliest available slot to host the Summer Olympic Games.
- The next edition will be held in Paris in 2024 followed by Los Angeles in 2028 and Brisbane in 2032.
IOC Session approves ’s proposal for 5 additional sports
- Baseball/softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash have been officially included as additional sports on the programme for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.
- The Ministry of Defence signed a contract for Mid Life Upgrade and Re-Powering of “INS Beas” with Kochi-based M/S Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) at an overall cost of Rs. 313.42 Cr.
Know! about INS Beas
- INS Beas is the first of Brahmaputra Class Frigate to be re-powered from Steam to Diesel Propulsion.
- It was built at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
- It was commissioned on 11th July 2005.
- It is the second ship in the Indian Navy to bear the name. The first was a Leopard-class frigate commissioned in 1960 and scrapped in 1992.
- It is a versatile warship capable of a range of missions, including anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-ship warfare.
- It is also used for patrolling, surveillance, and providing security to India’s maritime interests.
- After completion of Mid Life Upgrade and Re- Powering in 2026, INS Beas will join the active fleet of the Indian Navy with a modernized weapon suite and upgraded combat capability.
- The transformative maiden re-powering project marks a significant stride in the maintenance philosophy of the Indian Navy and repair capabilities of M/s CSL.
- The Jaderi namakatti was given the GI tag by the Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai recently.
- Jaderi namakatti are clay sticks that are white in colour, usually available in finger-like shape with a smooth texture.
- The application seeking tag for this product was filed by Jaderi Tiruman (Namakatti) Producers Society.
- Jaderi is a small village in Tiruvannamalai district. There are around 120 families in Cheyyar taluk whose primary occupation has been making namakatti for more than hundreds of years now.
- Namakatti is made up of the rich deposit of hydrous silicate mineralsthat form fine grain particles of clay.
- The production of namakatti depends on the climatic condition as it needs a lot of sunlight to dry.
- It is used to adorn the foreheads of idols, men, and temple elephants as well as traditionally to treat stretch marks caused by by childbirth.
Know! about Geographical Indication
- It is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
- This is typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts and industrial products.
- 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.
- This GI tag is valid for 10 years following which it can be renewed.
- In a significant joint operation, a team comprising Assam Rifles and the Excise & Narcotics Department successfully seized a staggering 40,400 Methamphetamine tablets valued at a whopping Rs 12.12 crore. The operation took place in the Zote Area of Champhai district, Mizoram.
- Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “Meth” or “Crystal Meth,” is a potent and highly addictive stimulant.
- The drug is known for its severe health risks and has been a target for law enforcement agencies worldwide due to its harmful effects on individuals and communitie
- The meth trade’s epicentre is South Asia, with Afghanistan emerging as a huge source. Recently, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted the surge in meth trafficking in Afghanistan, which was earlier a big source of heroin supply.
- India dubbed its exercise to target maritime trafficking of drugs originating in Afghanistan as Operation Samudragupt. In 2018 it destroyed 4.2 kg of seized meth and by 2022, the number increased to 357 kg.
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