Daily Current Affairs and GK | 5 December 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 05 Dec 2023 17:21 PM IST

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

1. Forbes Asia’s 2023 Heroes of Philanthropy list honors 15 top philanthropists from the Asia-Pacific region.

  • The 17th edition of Forbes Asia’s annual Heroes of Philanthropy list excludes corporate philanthropy.
  • The unranked list includes privately held companies where the individual is a majority owner.
  • The list honors individuals who donate from personal funds.
  • The list includes DLF's KP Singh, Infosys' Nandan Nilekani, and Zerodha's Nikhil Kamath.
  • KP Singh is chairman emeritus of DLF. In August, he sold his remaining stake in the Delhi-based property developer to fund philanthropic causes.
  • Nandan Nilekani is the cofounder and chairman of Infosys. In June, he donated 3.2 billion rupees ($38 million) to his alma mater IIT Bombay to mark his 50-year association with the institute.
  • Nilekani and his wife, Rohini, signed the Giving Pledge in 2017.
  • Newcomers to the list include India’s youngest billionaire Nikhil Kamath.
  • Nikhil Kamath is the cofounder and chief financial officer of Zerodha. He joined the Giving Pledge in June, becoming the country’s fourth signatory.
  • The focus of several philanthropists was on higher education and research, especially in AI. Another focus was on mental health. 
  • The philanthropists included in the list are given below.

Forbes Asia’s 2023 Heroes of Philanthropy list

Philanthropists

Country

Andrew Forrest, Nicola Forrest

Australia

Takemitsu Takizaki

Japan

He Xiangjian

China

Vikrom Kromadit

Thailand

KP Singh

India

Low Tuck Kwong

Indonesia

Kwek Leng Beng

Singapore

Ramon Ang

Philippines

Li Ka-Shing

Hong Kong

Nandan Nilekani

India

James Packer

Australia

Graeme Hart

New Zealand

Eddy Kusnadi Sariaatmadja

Indonesia

Nikhil Kamath

India

Adrian Cheng

Hong Kong

Topic: National News

2. Indian Railways will be installing an AI-based surveillance system to stop elephant deaths on tracks.

  • The implementation of the 'Gajraj System' has been announced in forest areas of Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Kerala, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Indian Railways will be installing this surveillance system on 700 kilometers of route passing through forest areas.
  • The total cost of the implementation on the 700-km track will be ₹181 crore.
  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the technology was implemented on a 150-kilometer section of Assam in 2022. He said it has shown to be quite beneficial.
  • The Railway Minister said this system can alert loco pilots well in time about the presence of elephants on tracks.
  • In December 2022, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) introduced the Intrusion Detection System in 11 elephant corridors.
  • These 11 corridors have not reported any train-elephant collisions.    
  • The system works by generating an alert to the train controller, station master, train drivers and other stakeholders whenever an elephant steps onto the track.
  • An average of 20 elephants die due to train collisions every year in India.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

3. White Lung Syndrome has been increasing child hospitalization cases in Ohio, US.

  • White Lung Syndrome is characterized by white patches all over the lungs.
  • Children affected by White Lung Syndrome experience cough, fever and fatigue.
  • Young children under five years old may experience symptoms such as runny or stuffy noses, watery eyes, wheezing, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
  • According to the health officials in Ohio, the outbreak could be due to Covid, flu, Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or mycoplasma.
  • The term White Lung Syndrome describes a mysterious respiratory illness that was seen among patients in China mainly with pneumonia-like symptoms.
  • It was discovered that a confluence of respiratory ailments, including influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), was the cause in China.
  • A lung infection known as "White Lung Syndrome" can result in pneumonia and is brought on by a variety of bacteria, including mycoplasma and influenza.
  • The primary objectives of treatment are to manage pneumonia symptoms and maintain patients' respiratory health.
  • Medication is administered to treat symptoms such as fever and cough.
  • A mask, good cleanliness, and physical separation can all help reduce the risk of respiratory infections.
  • Experts have recommended vaccinations for youngsters to ward off the outbreak in addition to healthy lifestyle practices including exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep. 

Topic: Sports

4. Chennai's Vaishali Rameshbabu became the 84th Grandmaster of India.

  • On 2 December, Vaishali became Grandmaster after crossing the 2500 Elo rating during the 2023 IV Elllobregat Open in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Vaishali and her younger brother R. Praggnananda are now India's first brother-sister duo to officially become Grandmasters.
  • After Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli, Vaishali is the third female Grandmaster from India.
  • Vaishali crossed the 2500 mark by defeating 37-year-old FIDE Master Tamer Tarik Selbes of Turkey in the second round.
  • Vaishali had earlier achieved three Grandmaster norms in the form of Xtracon Open 2019, Fischer Memorial 2022, and Qatar Open 2023, and needed only 4.5 rating points to go beyond 2500.
  • With a live rating of 2501.5, she is currently the world number 11 in the women’s ranking and is India’s number two.

Topic: Indian Polity

5. On 4 December, Central Universities Amendment Bill 2023 introduced in Lok Sabha.

  • Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan introduced this bill in the House.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009 to establish a Central University to be known as Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University at Mulugu District in Telangana.
  • The proposed university will fulfill the regional aspirations of the region in the coming years.
  • There will be a provision of Rs 889.07 crore for this.
  • The University will also promote advanced education by providing instructional and research facilities in the tribal art, culture, and practices of the country.
  • Under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, it is mandatory to establish a Central Tribal University in the state.

Topic: Space and IT

6. On December 4, South Korea successfully conducted a test flight of a solid-fuel space rocket over the sea near Jeju Island.

  • South Korea launched this space rocket amid a growing space race with neighboring North Korea.
  • It was the third test of its kind in South Korea, following two other tests in December and March of 2022.
  • The launch involved technology developed at the state-run Agency for Defense Development and a space rocket and a satellite produced by South Korea's Hanwha Systems.
  • The successful launch of South Korea will boost the country's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.
  • The test flight came after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried South Korea's first spy satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on December 1.
  • South Korea's satellites will reduce its dependence on American intelligence systems.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

7. Sri Lanka has achieved an “agreement in principle” with India and the Paris Club group of creditors on a debt treatment plan.

  • This will help Sri Lanka enable Sri Lanka to access the next installment of the International Monetary Fund’s almost $3 billion recovery package.
  • Sri Lanka and the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) reached an agreement on the main parameters of debt treatment.
  • These parameters are consistent with those of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement between Sri Lanka and the IMF.
  • Sri Lanka decided to default on its almost $51 billion foreign debt.
  • The OCC was formed by major lenders in May 2023 in response to Sri Lanka’s request for debt treatment.
  • It is co-chaired by India, Japan and France as chairs of the Paris Club.
  • China has opted to stay out of the platform. China has attended the meetings as an observer. It is Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral creditor.

Topic: National Appointments

8. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has appointed Jitesh John as the new Executive Director.

  • Jitesh John took charge of his new role at IBBI on 01 December 2023.
  • He previously served as an Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Power.
  • He is a 2001-batch Indian Economic Service Officer.
  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has given post facto approval to appoint Sandip Garg as a Whole Time Member of IBBI.
  • His appointment is valid for five years since taking the charge or until age 65, whichever is earliest.
  • Five years are effective from October 27, 2023, when Sandip Garg assumed office as IBBI Whole Time Member.
  • Garg had also served as a member of the Indian Revenue Service. He had also served as Executive Director in IBBI.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

9. On 5 December, the India Internet Governance Forum 2023 (IIGF-2023) held in New Delhi.

  • The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multi-stakeholder forum that brings together representatives of diverse groups to discuss public policy issues related to the Internet.
  • After successfully organizing the first two editions of IIGF in 2021 and 2022, the 3rd edition of the IIGF was conducted.
  • The theme of the forum was “Moving Forward – Calibrating Bharat’s Digital Agenda”.
  • The event is an effort to create an in-depth discussion on issues such as creating a secure, trusted, and resilient cyberspace for India, enabling innovation for India's development goals, bridging divides, and global digital governance.
  • India Internet Governance Forum is an initiative related with United Nations Internet Governance Forum (UN IGF).
  • The Indian chapter of the United Nations IGF is called India IGF or IIGF, was formed in the year 2021.
  • It is supported by a 14-member multi-stakeholder committee representing government, civil society, industry, technical community, think tanks, and industry associations.

Topic: International News

10. On 4 December, Kenyan President William Samoyi Ruto arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit to India.

  • He is also accompanied by a high-level official delegation. This is the first visit of President William Samoy to India.
  • On 5 December, President Ruto was formally welcomed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The Kenyan President will also participate in a trade and investment event in New Delhi.
  • This visit is expected to strengthen bilateral relations between both countries.
  • There is a visit by a President from Kenya after a period of more than six years.
  • Former President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a state visit to India from 10-12 January 2017.
  • India and Kenya are maritime neighbors.  
  • An India-Kenya Trade Agreement was signed in 1981, under which both countries accorded Most Favoured Nation status to each other.
  • Kenya:
    • It is a country in East Africa.
    • Capital: Nairobi
    • It is bordered by South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, and Tanzania.
    • Currency: Kenyan Shilling

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

11. India won 3 gold, 5 silver, and 1 bronze medals at the IBA Junior World Boxing Championship.

  • On 4 December, India bagged three gold, five silver, and one bronze medals in Yerevan, Armenia on the last day of the IBA Junior World Boxing Championship 2023.
  • Akansha won the gold medal in the 70 kg weight category, Pari won the gold medal in the 48 kg weight category, and Nisha won the gold medal in the 52 kg weight category.
  • Vini won the silver medal in the 52 kg weight category, while Srishti Sathe won the silver medal in the 63 kg weight category.
  • In the boy’s category, Jatin won a silver medal in the 54 kg category.
  • In addition, Hardik Panwar in the 80 kg weight category, Ameesha Kereta in the 54 kg weight category, and Prachi Tokas in the 80 kg weight category won silver medals.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Soil Day 2023: 5 December

  • Every year on 5 December, World Soil Day is observed.
  • The main aim of this day is to spread awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems.
  • ‘Soil and Water, a source of life’ is the theme of World Soil Day 2023.
  • The first official World Soil Day was celebrated in 2014.
  • In 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 5 December as World Soil Day.
  • It is observed to bring attention to the importance of healthy soil and to advocate the sustainable management of soil resources.
  • Soil supports life on earth by providing essential nutrients to plants. It reduces climate change by increasing soil organic carbon.
  • More than 95% of food is produced from soil and water.
  • Soil water, vital for the absorption of nutrients by plants, binds our ecosystems together.

Topic: Important Days

13. International Volunteer Day 2023: 5 December

  • International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, commonly known as International Volunteer Day (IVD), is observed every year on 5 December.
  • This day is an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985.
  • The theme of this year is "The power of collective action: if everyone did".
  • It offers an opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, and encourage governments to support volunteer efforts.
  • The day also recognizes volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national, and international levels.
  • International Volunteer Day is marked and supported by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program.
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