GS PAPER: III
Nipah Virus: Resurfacing in the Kerala
Why in the news?
Recently, two “unnatural deaths” reported from Kerala’s Kozhikode district were caused by the Nipah virus.
What is the Nipah Virus?
- It is a zoonotic virus that can spread from animals to humans.
- It is an RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus.
- It was first identified in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.
- Saliva, urine, or other bodily fluids of infected animals, such as fruit bats.
- Contaminated food or water.
- Human-to-human transmission is rare.
- Fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and potentially death.
- There are no vaccines available for both humans and animals.
- Avoid contact with infected animals and their bodily fluids.
- People who work with animals should wear gloves and protective clothing.
- Boil food and water before consumption.
GS PAPER – II
What is the idea of fraternity in India?
Why in news?
There is a recent spate of incidents of caste-based violence in India. These incidents have highlighted the challenges that India faces in achieving true fraternity.
What is the Concept of Fraternity?
- The concept of fraternity has its roots in ancient Greece, where it was seen as the foundation of a just and equitable society.
- The idea of fraternity was revived during the French Revolution, when it was seen as a way to unite people from different social classes and create a more egalitarian society. The French revolutionary motto of “liberty, equality, fraternity” captured the essence of this ideal.
Fraternity in Context of India:
- In India, the idea of fraternity was incorporated into the Preamble of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to equality and fraternity to all citizens.
- However, the reality is that fraternity in India is often limited by the country’s deep-rooted caste system. Another challenge is to address the issue of inequality. The gap between the rich and the poor in India is widening, and this can make it difficult for people from different social backgrounds to feel a sense of common purpose.
GS PAPER – II
Novak Djokovic Wins Record 24th Grand Slam Title
Why in news?
- Novak Djokovic of Serbia has won his 24th Grand Slam title, defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the US Open final.
- Djokovic moved ahead of Serena Williams to claim the record for the most major singles titles won in the Open era.
Grand Slam tournaments
- Grand Slam tournaments, also called majors, are the four most important annual tennis events.
- The Grand Slam itinerary consists of the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
- The Australian and United States tournaments are played on hard courts, the French on clay, and Wimbledon on grass.
- Djokovic is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
- It was Djokovic’s third US Open title, and his first since 2018.
- Djokovic is now the first man to win 24 Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era.
- He has won 82 ATP Tour titles, including 24 Grand Slams.
Nyoma airfield near the LAC in eastern Ladakh
Why in news?
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh virtually laid the foundation stone for the Nyoma airfield in eastern Ladakh near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and also inaugurated the crucial Nechiphu tunnel on the axis to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
About the projects
- In all, he inaugurated 90 infrastructure projects built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at a cost of over ₹2,900 crore, across 11 States and Union Territories, which include two revamped airfields in Bagdogra and Barrackpore in West Bengal, two helipads, 22 roads and 63 bridges.
- Of these 90 projects, 36 are in Arunachal Pradesh; 26 in Ladakh; 11 in Jammu & Kashmir; five in Mizoram; three in Himachal Pradesh; two each in Sikkim, Uttarakhand and West Bengal; and one each in Nagaland, Rajasthan and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
About the airfield
- The Nyoma airfield, to be developed at a cost of approximately ₹200 crore, will boost air infrastructure in Ladakh and augment the IAF’s capability along the northern border.
- The Defence Minister exuded confidence that the airfield, which will be one of the world’s highest, would prove to be a game-changer for the armed forces.
- Once completed, in about two years, the runway will be able to accommodate all fighter jets of the IAF.
GS PAPER – II &III
Russian companies said to cease offering discounts on fertiliser supplies to India
Why in news?
- Russian companies have ceased offering fertiliser such as di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) to India at discounted prices due to tightening global supplies after becoming the biggest suppliers to the country last year, three industry sources told Reuters.
Effects of the move
- The move by Russian companies to offer fertilisers at market prices could increase India’s import costs and subsidy burden amid a rally in global prices, as top exporter, China, tries to curtail overseas sales.
- Global fertiliser prices have been surging over the past two months, making it challenging for Indian companies to accumulate stocks for the upcoming winter season when demand for DAP rises for the wheat crop.
Indian dependence on Russia
- India’s fertiliser imports from Russia more than tripled to a record 4.35 million tons in the 2022-23 financial year as suppliers gave discounts to the global market price for DAP, urea and NPK fertilisers.
- Russia’s aggressive selling last year eroded the Indian market share of other fertiliser exporters including China, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- Russian companies were offering DAP at discounts of as high as $80 (per ton). However, now they are not offering discounts of even $5.
- The current price of Russian DAP is approximately $570 per ton on a cost and freight (CFR) basis for Indian buyers, which is the same price offered to other Asian buyers.
- In July, global suppliers were offering urea at approximately $300 per ton on a CFR basis, but are now quoting $400 per ton. DAP prices were about $440 per ton in July.
GS PAPER – III
No motorised boats in wetlands, NGT tells Madhya Pradesh govt.
Why in news?
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the Madhya Pradesh government over the “very drastic” damage to water bodies and ordered it to stop the operation of cruise vessels as well as other motor-propelled boats in the Bhoj wetland.
About NGT’s order
- The order by the green court’s Central Zone Bench came on an application filed last year by a Bhopal resident, Subhash C. Pandey, who complained about the damage to the wetland, which comprises the Upper Lake and Lower Lake.
- Running of cruise ships/boats in various water bodies of Madhya Pradesh, including Bhoj wetland, is illegal and cannot be allowed to continue.
- Authorities are directed to stop operation of cruise and other motor-propelled boats in Bhoj wetland being a Ramsar site and other wetlands.
About Bhoj wetland
- Also known as Bhopal Lake, the Bhoj wetland is a designated Ramsar site, making it a wetland of international importance according to the Convention of Wetlands signed in 1971.