Top 11 Current Affairs – 23 October 2021 with FREE PDF

Current Affairs is an important part of preparation for competitive exams like UPSC, IAS, SSC, Bank and CTET. The candidate needs to possess a thorough knowledge of current affairs as that would fetch him high marks. It is vital that he must be updated with the current events happening across the globe especially India somehow related to his/her stream. Current Affairs 23 October 2021 with FREE PDF for UPSC, IAS, SSC, Bank, CTET, Railway exam is given below.

Daily Current Affairs 23 October 2021

Why America is Worried About China’s New Hypersonic Missile?

Why America is Worried About China’s New Hypersonic Missile?

China has tested a new space capability with a hypersonic missile which has the ability to strike targets around the world with a nuclear warhead.

The reported test comes as US-China tensions have mounted and Beijing has stepped up military activity near Taiwan, the self-ruling US-aligned democracy that Beijing considers a province awaiting reunification.

Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles which can deliver nuclear weapons, can fly at more than five times the speed of sound.

But ballistic missiles fly high into space in an arc to reach their target, while a hypersonic flies on a trajectory low in the atmosphere, potentially reaching a target more quickly.

Crucially, a hypersonic missile is maneuverable (like the much slower, often subsonic cruise missile), making it harder to track and defend against.

While countries like the United States have developed systems designed to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles, the ability to track and take down a hypersonic missile remains a question.

US Hypersonic Missile Test Fails

US Hypersonic Missile Test Fails

US military’s hypersonic glide body, designed to carry out precision strikes anywhere in the world within an hour, has failed.

The test was intended to validate aspects of one of the Pentagon’s hypersonic glide vehicles in development.

Hypersonic glide vehicles are launched from a rocket in the upper atmosphere before gliding to a target at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 3,853mph (6,200km/h).

The United States and its global rivals have quickened their pace to build hypersonic weapons – the next generation of arms that rob adversaries of reaction time and traditional defeat mechanisms.

India Administers One Billion Vaccination Doses

India Administers One Billion Vaccination Doses

India scripted history with its COVID-19 vaccine doses administered crossing the one-billion mark — accomplished in just about nine months after the vaccination programme rollout on January 16.

What is even more outstanding is the targeting of adults. Unlike the established universal immunisation programme, for infants and children, India has never undertaken any massive universal adult vaccination programme.

That this exercise involving thousands of health-care workers and others was carried out even while in the midst of a huge number of daily cases in April-May during the second wave makes it even more remarkable.

It became possible only because vaccine manufacturers, the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, were able to ensure uninterrupted vaccine availability even if supply was limited in the beginning.

If over 75% of the eligible adults have already been vaccinated with one dose, the proportion of adults who are fully vaccinated is only 31%.

Since vaccination with two doses is necessary to increase the protection level, efforts should be directed at increasing the pace of second dose vaccination.

China has already administered over 2.2 billion doses and fully vaccinated over 75% of the eligible population even by mid-September.

Genetically Edited Plants Closer to Reality

Genetically Edited Plants Closer to Reality

It is yet to decide on a research proposal from its own scientists which would allow plants to be genetically modified without the need for conventional transgenic technology, even as the Centre investigates allegations that unauthorised genetically modified (GM) rice was exported to Europe.

Scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute are in the process of developing resilient and high-yield rice varieties using such gene editing techniques, which have already been approved by many countries, and they hope to have such rice varieties in the hands of the Indian farmers by 2024.

However, the proposal for Indian regulators to consider this technique as equivalent to conventional breeding methods, since it does not involve inserting any foreign DNA, has been pending with the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee for almost two years.

The IARI has previously worked on golden rice, a traditional GM variety which inserted genes from other organisms into the rice plant, but ended trials over five years ago due to agronomic issues.

The Institute has now moved to newer technologies such as Site Directed Nuclease (SDN) 1 and 2. They aim to bring precision and efficiency into the breeding process using gene editing tools such as CRISPR.

E-Cigarette Use Does Not Help Smokers Quit, So Why Are They Popular?

E-Cigarette Use Does Not Help Smokers Quit

E-cigarettes, considered less harmful than traditional tobacco, are designed to vaporize a liquid that consumers inhale. An analysis by the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, has found that e-cigarette use — even on a daily basis — did not help smokers successfully stay off cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have often been suggested as a potential means to help smokers quit. These are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid made of nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals to make an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.

Prohibition Of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019

In 2020, Parliament of India has passed the bill. Its salient Features are:

The Bill defines e-cigarettes as electronic devices that heat a substance, which may contain nicotine and other chemicals, to create vapour for inhalation. These e-cigarettes include all forms of electronic nicotine delivery systems, heat-not-burn products, e-hookahs, and other similar devices.

The Bill prohibits the production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and advertisement of e-cigarettes in India.

Violation of this provision will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to one lakh rupees, or both.

For any subsequent offence, the person will be punishable with an imprisonment of up to three years, along with a fine of up to five lakh rupees.

AIM Launches Digi-Book ‘Innovations for You’

AIM Launches Digi-Book ‘Innovations for You’

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has launched a Digi-Book – “Innovations for You” an attempt to showcase the success stories of Atal Innovation Mission’s Startups in different domains.

These startups have worked to create new, disruptive and innovative products, services, and solutions that can pave a path for a sustainable future. The first edition of this book is focused on innovations in Health Care and soon other sectors shall follow.

The book is a compilation of 45 health tech startups, incubated at Atal Incubation Centres spread across the country.

These startups are leveraging frontier technologies such as AI, IoT, ICT and others to provide socially relevant solutions to problems like Anemia, Malaria, dental care, mental health, neonatal and child care and monitoring human vitals, among others.

About Atal Innovation Mission of NITI Aayog

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote innovation and entrepreneurship culture in the country.

AIM is mandated to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country and revolutionizing the innovation eco-system – touching upon the entire innovation life cycle through various programs.

Decision on Income Ceiling for NEET UG Quota

Decision on Income Ceiling for NEET UG Quota

The Supreme Court asked the Government if it wants to revisit the limit of ₹8 lakh annual income fixed for determining the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category for reservation in NEET admissions for medical courses under the all-India quota.

The Bench expressed its annoyance at the Government for not filing an affidavit explaining how it reached the ₹8 lakh figure to identify the EWS category for grant of reservation. Was any demographic study or data taken into account in fixing the limit,” the Bench asked.

The court said it might even “stay the Government notification fixing ₹8 lakh for determining the EWS”.

The Supreme Court’s query is significant as the One Hundred and Third Constitutional Amendment of 2019, which introduced the 10% EWS quota, is itself under challenge before a larger Bench.

The Amendment is under question for making economic criterion as the sole ground for grant of reservation benefits.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by NEET aspirants challenging a July 29 notification of the Centre announcing 27% quota to OBCs and 10% reservation to EWS in the All India Quota category.

COVID-19 A Game Changer In Combating Child Sexual Abuse Online

Combating Child Sexual Abuse

The Global Threat Assessment report 2021, launched by WeProtect Global Alliance, said COVID-19 had contributed to a significant spike in child sexual exploitation and abuse online.

WeProtect Global Alliance is a global movement of more than 200 governments, private sector companies and civil society organisations working together to transform the global response to child sexual exploitation and abuse online.

The findings show that in the past two years, the reporting of child sexual exploitation and online abuse has reached its highest level. COVID-19 created a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions that fuelled a rise in child sexual exploitation and abuse across the globe.

The rise in child ‘self-generated’ sexual material is another trend that challenges the existing response, with the Internet Watch Foundation observing a 77% increase in child ‘self-generated’ sexual material from 2019 to 2020.

Respondents who identified as transgender/non-binary, LGBQ+ and/or disabled were more likely to experience online sexual harms during childhood, it said.

The report calls for prioritising prevention activities against abuse, creating safe online environments for children, besides calling on all with a role to protect children to work together to improve the response.

A Blockchain based E-Voting System in India

A Blockchain based E-Voting System in India

Around 55.6% of the total 3,830 persons, who registered their names through the distributed ledger technology based e-voting application, participated in the dummy election (mock e-voting) conducted by the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC).

It was conducted as part of the dry run of the country’s first smartphone-based e-voting solution, on a pilot basis in Khammam.

According to sources, as many as 2128 registered voters in Khammam Municipal Corporation (KMC) limits participated in the mock voting through the “TSEC eVote” Android app.

The TSEC’s digital initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Emerging Technologies Wing of the State IT Department and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to create an e-voting facility for certain sections of the electors including differently abled voters to make elections more inclusive and accessible.

Sources said that 14,804 persons tried to register their names for the mock voting through the mobile app during the stipulated period. However, only 3,830 persons succeeded in enrolling their names through the DLT-based e-Voting application.

Many applicants reportedly faced technical glitches during the registration process due to reasons like failure to link their Aadhaar cards with mobile phone numbers, among other factors, sources added.

In a statement, Khammam Municipal Commissioner Adarsh Surabhi said the mock voting (dry run for e-voting) was conducted successfully.

US Defence Secretary Calls for More Cooperation in Black Sea

US Defence Secretary Calls for More Cooperation in Black Sea

U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin urged more defence cooperation among Black Sea allies ahead of a NATO Ministers summit.

Action was needed by littoral states of the Black Sea amid Russia “militarisation” of the region.

The region is vulnerable to Russian aggression and we’ve seen evidence of that by ongoing actions in eastern Ukraine (and) the occupations of parts of Georgia.

Austin was in Bucharest on the third stop of a tour of the region to build confidence among allies, including Georgia and Ukraine, both of which are hoping to join NATO, and to promote greater cooperation among military forces.

About Black Sea

The Black Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia. It is bordered by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

It is supplied by major rivers, principally the Danube, Dnieper, and Don.

The Black Sea ultimately drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Turkish Straits and the Aegean Sea. The Bosporus Strait connects it to the small Sea of Marmara which in turn is connected to the Aegean Sea via the Strait of the Dardanelles.

To the north, the Black Sea is connected to the Sea of Azov by the Kerch Strait.

The Black Sea covers 436,400 km2 (not including the Sea of Azov), making it the world’s largest inland body of water.

Can the Union Government ‘Continue’ an Outgoing CBI Director?

Can the Union Government ‘Continue’ an Outgoing CBI Director?

The Supreme Court asked the Union Government to respond whether it can, in “exceptional circumstances”, continue with the outgoing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director rather than appointing an “Acting” chief.

It asked the Government that instead of an interim or an ‘Acting’ Director, CBI could continue with the incumbent until the high-powered selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition zeroed in on the next regular appointment.

The suggestion came while hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause, about how the law does not permit the Government to issue executive orders on its own, appointing interim CBI Directors.

The government had done it thrice since 2017. Such manoeuvres would hamper the functional autonomy of the elite probe agency that investigated several sensitive cases in the country.

The government has failed to appoint the Director of the CBI as per Section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946 on the expiry of the term of the last incumbent, Rishi Kumar Shukla, on February 2, 2021

K. Jaiswal is the current CBI Director. The petition had said that an interim appointment through an executive order was not envisaged in the statutory scheme of the 1946 Act.

Download PDF (Top 11 Current Affairs – 23 October 2021)