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Prelim Bits 22-06-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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June 22, 2023

Guinness World Record

PM Narendra Modi-led yoga session at United Nations headquarters, on the occasion of 9th International Yoga Day, created a Guinness World Record for participation of people of most nationalities in a yoga event.

  • Guinness World Records originally known as the Guinness Book of Records documents record-breaking achievements of all kinds, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.
  • It is a reference book published every year in different languages around the world.
  • It was formed on 1955 by Sir Hugh Beaver, Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery.
  • He invited 2 researchers, twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, to start working on the book.
  • It has become the primary international source for cataloguing and verification of a huge number of world records.
  • It has sold over 150 million books globally in 40 languages.

A world record is defined as the best performance recorded in the world in any sphere of art or profession.

  • Criteria - A record must satisfy all of the following criteria to count.
    • It should be objectively measurable.
    • It should be breakable it cannot be something so unique that only one person can do it.
    • It should also be standardisable with a possibility to create a set of parameters and conditions that all challengers can follow.
    • It should be verifiable.
    • It should be based on only one variable.
    • It should be the best in the world.
    • For any new record, GWR sets a minimum standard that has to be met for the record to be broken.
  • Exceptions - It states several types of records it will not accept for ethical reasons, such as those related to the killing or harming of animals.
  • Environmentally unfriendly records (such as the releasing of sky lanterns and party balloons) are no longer accepted or monitored.
  • In addition to records relating to tobacco or cannabis consumption or preparation are not accepted.

Reference

The Indian Express | pm-modi-yoga-guinness-world-record

 

BepiColombo Spacecraft

Recently, BepiColombo spacecraft flew close to Mercury to take pictures of the planet.

  • Launched on 2018.
  • Launch Vehicle - Ariane 5.
  • Aim – It will study and understand the composition, geophysics, atmosphere, magnetosphere and history of Mercury, the least explored planet in the inner Solar System.
  • Agency – It is a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
  • The BepiColombo mission is based on two scientific spacecraft and one transfer module:
    • Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO)
    • Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO)
    • Mercury Transfer Module (MTM)
  • It will chart the planet's mineralogy and elemental composition, determine whether the interior of the planet is molten or not, and investigate the extent and origin of Mercury’s magnetic field.
  • It made its first flyby of Mercury on 2021 and sent back several images.

These are the first Mercury missions for the ESA and Japan.

https://www.iasparliament.com/uploads/files/bepicolombo.jpg

Other Mercury Missions

Countries

Launch

Mariner 10

NASA

1973

MESSENGER

NASA

2004

Reference

The Indian Express | bepicolombo-mercury-close-flyby

 

Global Gender Gap Report, 2023   

WEF report says India climbs 8 places from 135 to 127 in global gender index.

  • Aim - It annually benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across 4 key dimensions.
    • Economic Participation and Opportunity,
    • Educational Attainment,
    • Health and Survival,
    • Political Empowerment.
  • It benchmarks gender parity across 146 countries.
  • Released by - World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • Adoption - Adopted in 2006.
  • It measures scores on a 0 to 100 scale and scores can be interpreted as the distance covered towards parity (i.e. the percentage of the gender gap that has been closed).
  • Global Scenario - Overall, the Southern Asian region has achieved 63.4% gender parity.

global gender gap

  • According to 2023 report no country has yet achieved full gender parity.
  • Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world for the 14th consecutive year and the only one to have closed more than 90% of its gender gap.

global gender gap 2

  • Scenario in India - India had attained parity in enrolment across all levels of education.

global gender gap india

  • It had closed 64.3% of the overall gender gap but had reached only 36.7% parity in economic participation.
  • There was an increase in parity in wages and income but the shares of women in senior and technical roles dropped slightly compare to 2022.
  • On political empowerment, India has registered 25.3% parity, with women representing 15.1% of parliamentarians, the highest for the country since the inaugural report in 2006.
  • In sex rate at birth it is increased by 1.9% points compared to the 2022, index.
  • Neighbouring Countries that ranks behind of India is Pakistan and ahead of the India were Nepal, Srilanka, China, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

References

The Hindu | India-climbs-8-places- in-global-gender-index-says-wef-report

Times of India | India-moves-up-8-placesin-wef-global-gender-gap-report

 

Disposal of Medical Waste using Clay

Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) scientists proposes the use of compost natural clay to neutralise pathogens in waste.

  • Bio-medical waste –It means any waste, which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities.
  • Top Producer - Canada is the topmost producer of biomedical waste.
  • Biomedical Waste Management Rules 2016, was notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • It categorises the bio-medical waste generated from the health care facility into 4 categories based on the segregation pathway and colour code.
  • Various types of bio medical waste are further assigned to each one of the categories, as Yellow Category, Red Category, White Category, Blue Category.
  • Issues - The waste from hospitals and residences of COVID-19 patients was treated in the same way as municipal solid waste (MSW) during the pandemic.
  • This could lead to the escape of infectious viral pathogen waste, potentially causing secondary infections in humans.
  • Clay - Bentonite and kaolin clays in powder form can prevent the viral contamination from entering into the environment.
  • Newcastle disease virus (NDV) - It was earlier observed that the removal efficiency of the NDV depended on the quality of bentonite and multilayer sorption of the virus on clay surfaces.
  • NDV is an infectious and contagious viral infection that affects more than 250 different bird species worldwide.

References

Down to Earth | Clay-the-solution-for-safe-disposal-of-biomedical-waste

India Today | IIT-guwahati-researchers-discover-solution-for-safe-disposal-of-waste

 

NATO Plus

American Senator has said that the plans to introduce a bill to make India part of the NATO Plus grouping.

  • It is a security arrangement that brings together the grouping of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and 5 countries - Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Israel.
  • It was formalized in 2019.
  • Aim - To boost defence and intelligence ties.
  • Benefits if India is added
    • It would facilitate seamless intelligence sharing between these countries and India.
    • It would access the latest military technology without much of a time lag.
    • It would enhance the ties between U.S. and India.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

nato

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, is a 31-member alliance, with 29 European nations, and two American nations (United States and Canada).
  • It was set up in 1949 by the US, Canada and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
  • Aim - To protect peace and to guarantee the territorial integrity, political independence and security of the member states.
  • It was the US’s first peacetime military alliance outside the western hemisphere.
  • Headquarters - Brussels, Belgium.
  • Collective defence is laid out in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in which members of NATO are committed to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
  • India is not a part of NATO because it is a firmly non-aligned country and stakes its international reputation on remaining non-aligned.
  • Membership is open to any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.
  • Finland has become the 31st member of the alliance.

Reference

The Hindustan Times | US-congressional-committee-recommends-nato-plus-with-india

The Hindu | Senate-to-introduce-bill-to-add-india-to-nato-plus-bloc

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