Daily Current Affairs

To The Point Notes

Economy

1.Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)

What is ONDC?

  • An open protocol network for local e-commerce across various sectors (mobility, groceries, food delivery, travel, etc.).
  • Aims to democratize and revolutionize India’s e-commerce landscape.
  • Targets to increase e-retail penetration beyond the current 4.3%.
  • Boosts startup growth in the e-commerce sector.

Key Components of ONDC:

  • Buyer-Side Apps:Initiate transactions (e.g., mobile apps for shopping, booking services).
  • Seller-Side Apps:Manage product catalogs and fulfill orders.
  • Adaptor Interfaces:Open APIs for seamless integration between buyer and seller apps.
  • Gateway:Ensures discoverability of sellers by broadcasting buyer search requests.
  • Open Registries:Maintain lists of participants and network policies.

Impact of ONDC:

  • Creates growth opportunities for all e-commerce players.
  • Over 4.27 lakh sellers and 10 domains already live on the network.
  • Facilitates faster product/service adoption and market reach.

Source :  https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=2020896

 

Environment

2.Iberian lynx

The Iberian lynx is a medium-sized, nocturnal wild cat native to the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Once widely distributed throughout the region, its numbers have declined dramatically in recent decades due to habitat loss, road accidents, and illegal hunting.

Scientific Designation: Lynx pardinus

Characteristics:

  • Medium-sized nocturnal cat
  • Short tail, short body, long legs
  • Tufted ears, relatively small head
  • Bright yellowish to tawny colored spotted fur

Distribution: Sparsely distributed in Spain and Portugal

Threats: Habitat loss, road accidents, illegal hunting

Conservation Status: Endangered (IUCN)

Protections: Appendix II of CITES

Source :  https://epaper.thehindu.com/ccidist-ws/th/th_international/issues/83667/OPS/G5VCPHBTG.1+GA9CQHEUA.1.html

 

Geography

3.Nor’westers (Kalbaisakhi):

India’s New Research Testbed:

  • A collaborative effort by IMD, IITM, and NCMRWF to study Nor’westers.
  • Covers a large area near West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand.
  • Control center in Chandbali, Odisha.
  • Equipped with drones, mobile vans, and advanced instruments.
  • Aims to improve thunderstorm prediction and issue timely warnings.

About Nor’westers (Kalbaisakhi):

  • Severe thunderstorms originating in eastern India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh during pre-monsoon.
  • Travel northwest to southeast (sometimes southwest to northeast).
  • Locally known as Kalbaisakhi.
  • Caused by daytime landmass heating leading to convection over Bihar, Jharkhand, etc.

Impacts and Effects:

  • Heavy rain, lightning, thunder, hailstorms, dust storms, squalls, downbursts, and occasional tornadoes.
  • Beneficial for pre-monsoon Kharif crops like tea, jute, and rice.
  • Known as ‘Bardoli Chheerha’ in Assam.

Other Notable Hot Weather Season Storms:

  • Mango Showers (Kerala, Karnataka):Pre-monsoon showers aiding early mango ripening.
  • Blossom Showers (Kerala):Showers triggering coffee blossom.
  • Loo:Hot, dry winds blowing across North Indian plains (Punjab to Bihar).

Source :  https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/india-first-research-testbed-study-norwesters-9332848/

 

Science and Technology

4.Synuclein Alpha (SNCA) and Parkinson’s Disease: A Complex Relationship

What is Parkinson’s disease ?

is a brain disorder affecting movement. It disrupts Parkinson’s disease dopamine production in the brain, leading to tremors, stiffness, slowness, and balance problems. While the cause is unknown, it’s linked to abnormal protein clumps in the brain.

The Mystery of SNCA:

  • Present in healthy cells but linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
  • Abundant in neurons, especially those involved in dopamine production.
  • Can fold in various ways, unlike most proteins. Misfolded forms malfunction.

SNCA’s Dual Nature:

  • Forms two types of aggregates within cells:
    • Filamentous structures (Lewy body-like):Associated with Parkinson’s disease.
    • Aggresomes (smaller clumps):Help cells manage misfolded proteins in healthy cells.

The Focus of Research:

  • Many researchers aim to reduce the presence of Lewy body-like SNCA aggregates as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s.

Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/balancing-two-forms-of-snca-protein-could-help-manage-parkinsons-study-finds/article68192998.ece

 

Health

5.WHO’s Updated Bacterial Priority Pathogens List (BPPL) 2024: Combating Antibiotic Resistance

What is the BPPL?

  • A crucial tool in the global fight against antibiotic resistance (AMR).
  • Categorizes antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens into critical, high, and medium priority groups.
  • Informs research and development (R&D) efforts and public health interventions.

2024 Updates:

  • Expands coverage to 24 pathogens across 15 bacterial families.
  • Replaces the 2017 list with a more comprehensive approach.

Significance:

  • Guides R&D investments in new antibiotics.
  • Emphasizes the need for regional strategies to combat resistance effectively.
  • Targets developers, researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders involved in AMR.

Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) :

  • Occurs when microbes become resistant to medicines, making infections harder to treat.
  • Driven by misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/critical-priority-pathogens-continue-to-present-major-global-threat-who-updates-bacterial-pathogens-priority-list/article68193373.ece

 

Geography

6.The Nile River and the Mystery of Pyramid Density

Recent Discovery and Ancient Pyramids :

  • The discovery of a “long-lost” Nile tributary aligns with prior theories about the high concentration of pyramids between Giza and Lisht in Egypt.

The Mighty Nile:

  • The world’s longest river, a historical lifeline for civilizations.
  • Flows north through East Africa, originating near Lake Victoria (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya) and emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Major tributaries: White Nile (longest), Blue Nile (most water volume), Atbara.
    • Blue Nile (Ethiopian Highlands) contributes a staggering 85% of the Nile’s flow.

Nile and Pyramid Construction:

  • Most Egyptian pyramids reside in a 50 km desert stretch between Giza and Lisht.
  • The high pyramid density in this area is linked to the Ahramat Branch.
    • Ahramat Branch: An extinct Nile tributary, possibly used to transport massive building materials for the pyramids.

Connecting the Dots:

  • The Ahramat Branch’s discovery strengthens the theory that the Nile played a crucial role in transporting materials for pyramid construction.

Source :  https://indianexpress.com/article/world/lost-river-near-egypts-pyramids-ahramat-9335558/

 

Health

7.FSSAI Warning on Calcium Carbide Use for Fruit Ripening

FSSAI Alert : Warns traders and food businesses against using calcium carbide for artificial fruit ripening, especially during mango season.

Health Risks of Calcium Carbide:

  • Releases acetylene gas containing harmful arsenic and phosphorus.
  • Causes dizziness, thirst, irritation, weakness, swallowing difficulties, vomiting, and skin ulcers (also known as “Masala” poisoning).
  • Hazardous for handlers due to acetylene gas.
  • Regulation:Banned under Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011.
  • Safer Alternative:Ethylene gas (up to 100 ppm) is permitted.

Ethylene Benefits:

  • Naturally occurring fruit hormone.
  • Initiates and controls natural ripening process.
  • Treatment triggers fruit’s own ethylene production.

Source :  https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=2021025

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