Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Exam

To The Point Notes


1.Widal Test (for Typhoid)

Why in News ?

  • Recently in India, clinicians have been widely using the Widal test to diagnose typhoid in both public and private healthcare sectors.

About the Widal Test

  • Named after its inventor, Georges-Fernand Widal.
  • Detects the presence of serum agglutinins or antibodies (H and O) in individuals with typhoid and paratyphoid fever.
  • Point-of-care test, requiring no special skills or infrastructure.
  • Aims to analyze infection caused by contaminated food and beverages.

Issues with the Widal Test

  • Not a reliable test for typhoid.
  • Prone to erroneous results, obfuscating India’s typhoid burden, increasing expenses, and raising the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

Typhoid Fever

  • Life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi.
  • Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans.
  • Also known as enteric fever.
  • Spreads through contaminated food or water.
  • Causes: Lack of access to safe drinking water or sanitation, urbanization and climate change, antibiotic resistance.
  • Symptoms: High fever, stomach pain, weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, and a rash.
  • Threat: Can be fatal if left untreated. World Health Organization estimates 9 million diagnosed cases and 110,000 deaths annually worldwide.
  • Treatment: Treatable with antibiotics, but increasing antibiotic resistance complicates treatment.


Source : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/widal-test-overuse-typhoid-antimicrobial-resistance-health-expenses/article68152863.ece



2.Wilful Defaulter


  • Recent Bombay High Court ruling restricts Public Sector Banks (PSBs) from using Look-out Circulars (LOCs) against wilful defaulters.

Who is a Wilful Defaulter?

  • A borrower who deliberately avoids repaying a loan despite having the financial means to do so (as per RBI guidelines).
  • Minimum outstanding amount for wilful defaulter classification: Rs. 25 lakh.
  • Different from Large Defaulter: A borrower with an outstanding balance of Rs. 1 crore or more classified as doubtful or loss.
  • Classification authority: Commercial lenders like Banks and NBFCs.

RBI’s Role

  • Broadened the definition of wilful default.
  • Mandates banks to review non-performing asset (NPA) accounts within six months for wilful default classification.

Related Laws

  • SARFAESI Act, 2002: Imposes penalties on lenders for not taking action against defaulters who fail to provide asset information.
  • Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018: Legal framework to target economic offenders who flee the country to avoid prosecution.

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/do-we-still-need-the-wilful-defaulter-framework-9316936/



3. 16th Finance Commission

Formation :

  • The Constitution of India, under Article 280, mandates the appointment of a Finance Commission by the President every five years or before.

Members :

  • The President appoints the Chairperson and four members. (Current Chairperson – Arvind Panagariya)

Functions :

  • Determines the method and formula for the distribution of the proceeds of taxes of the Union between the Union and the States, and of the respective shares of the States inter se.

Significance :

The recommendations of the Finance Commission are crucial in determining the financial relationship between the Central and State governments. It aims to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of financial resources.

16th Finance Commission

  • Advance Cell constituted – 2022
  • Chairperson – Arvind Panagariya

Terms of Recommendations

  • The distribution of the net tax proceeds between the Union and the States and the respective shares of such proceeds among the States.
  • The principles governing the grant-in-aid of revenue from the Consolidated Fund to the States.
  • Measures necessary to augment the Consolidated Fund of the State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats and Municipalities in the State in accordance with the recommendations of the State Finance Commission.

Additional Points:

  • The 16th Finance Commission is expected to submit its report by October 31, 2025.
  • Its recommendations will cover the five-year period from April 1, 2026 to March 31, 2031.

Source :https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/16th-finance-commission-seeks-public-opinion-on-terms-of-reference/articleshow/109958228.cms?from=mdr



4.Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM)

Key Points:

  • Plays a vital role in international efforts to safeguard Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem and promote scientific research.
  • Held annually under the Antarctic Treaty System, these meetings bring together Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties (ATCPs) and other stakeholders to address pressing environmental, scientific, and governance issues in Antarctica.

Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP):

  • Established in 1991 under the Madrid Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.
  • Advises the ATCM on environmental protection and conservation in Antarctica.

Antarctic Treaty:

  • Signed in 1959 and entered into force in 1961.
  • Established Antarctica as a region dedicated to peaceful purposes, scientific cooperation, and environmental protection.
  • Currently has 56 member countries (Consultative Parties).

India and the Antarctic Treaty:

  • Consultative Party since 1983.
  • Participates in decision-making with other Consultative Parties.
  • Established its first research station, Dakshin Gangotri, in 1983.
  • Currently operates two year-round stations: Maitri (1989) and Bharati (2012).
  • These stations facilitate annual Indian scientific expeditions to Antarctica since 1981.
  • Enacted the Antarctic Act in 2022, reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty.

Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS):

  • Established in 2004.
  • Serves as the administrative hub for the Antarctic Treaty System.
  • Coordinates ATCM and CEP meetings.
  • Repositories and disseminates information.
  • Facilitates diplomatic communication, exchange, and negotiations related to Antarctic governance and management.

Source :https://indianexpress.com/article/world/climate-change/india-atcm-research-station-antarctica-9316472/


5.Orangutan Diplomacy


  • Malaysia plans to gift orangutans to palm oil-buying countries in an initiative similar to China’s panda diplomacy.


  • Characteristics:
    • Largest arboreal mammal, spending most of their time in trees.
    • Close relatives of humans, sharing 96.4% of human genes and exhibiting high intelligence.
    • Three species: Bornean, Sumatran, and Tapanuli, with slight variations in appearance and behavior.
  • Diet: Primarily fruits (mangoes, lychees, figs) but also consume young leaves, flowers, insects, and even small mammals.
  • Habitat and Distribution:
    • Found up to 1,500 meters above sea level, but most inhabit lowland areas, preferring forests in river valleys or floodplains.
    • These great apes exist in the wild only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
  • IUCN Status: All three orangutan species are critically endangered.

Palm Oil

  • Edible vegetable oil derived from the fruit of oil palm trees (Elaeis guineensis).
  • Native to West and Central Africa, but also extensively grown in Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Palm oil (from fruits) is used in soaps, cosmetics, candles, biofuels, lubricants, tinplate processing, and iron plate coating.
  • Palm kernel oil (from seeds) is used in various food products (margarine, ice cream, chocolates, cookies, bread) and pharmaceuticals.

Source : https://epaper.thehindu.com/ccidist-ws/th/th_international/issues/82476/OPS/GVVCO9IJH.1+GRICPBQJS.1.html



6.Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI) Project

  • Joint Effort: Developed by the US and Japan to counter hypersonic missile threats.
  • Goal: Achieve full operational capability by 2032.
  • Targeting the Glide Phase: Unlike traditional ballistic missiles, hypersonic weapons travel in a “glide phase” at hypersonic speeds (Mach 5+) with a flatter trajectory, making them difficult to track and intercept.
  • Interceptor Strategy: Launching modified missiles from warships to destroy incoming hypersonic missiles during this glide phase.

Source : https://www.news9live.com/knowledge/what-is-the-glide-phase-interceptor-gpi-programme-2529244

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