Daily Current Affairs – Nov 14, 2023
GS- II >> International Relations >> West Asia
Context: Israel is exploring a new pathway to bypass its reliance on the Egyptian-controlled Suez Canal.
About Ben Gurion Canal Project:
- It connects Gulf of Aqaba to Mediterranean Sea.
- It was first envisioned in 1960’s to transform global maritime commerce by taking away Egypt’s monopoly over Suez Canal.
- It was proposed by the State of Israel.
About Suez Canal:
- It is a man-made canal which connects Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, creating a shortest route for shipping between Europe and Asia.
- It is world’s biggest shipping bottleneck situated in Egypt.
- It begins from Port Said and ends at Suez Port.
- It is operated and maintained by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt.
- It is critical for the global economy as it accounts for 13% of the global shipping.
GS- III >> Economy >> Investment
Context: During the July-September quarter (Q2), active equity funds witnessed net inflows of about Rs 74,000 crore. On the other hand, passive equity funds saw Rs 9,000 crore of inflows and arbitrage funds got Rs 29,000 crore.
About Active Funds:
- In an active fund, the fund manager is ‘Active’ in deciding whether to buy, hold, or sell the underlying securities and in stock selection.
- This fund relies on professional fund managers who manage investments.
- Active funds adopt different strategies and styles to create and manage the portfolio.
- They are expected to generate better returns (alpha) than the benchmark index.
About Passive Funds:
- Passive funds are index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) which hold a portfolio that replicates a stated index or benchmark.
- In a passive fund, the fund manager has a passive role in the stock selection.
- Buy, hold or sell decisions are driven by the benchmark index and the fund manager/dealer merely needs to replicate the same with minimal tracking error.
GS- III >> Science & Technology >> Virus
Context: ‘Vampire Viruses’ have been recently discovered on US soil for the first time.
About Vampire Viruses and Bacteriophages:
- Vampire viruses are pathogens that attach themselves to other viruses for the purpose of replication.
- They originate when a bacteriophage connects with a soil-based virus, utilizing the latter’s resources for independent survival.
- The symbiotic relationship between these two pathogens is termed a satellite and a helper.
- The satellite virus relies on the helper virus for constructing a protective shell, called a capsid, covering its genetic material and aiding in DNA replication.
- Bacteriophages (BPs) are viruses that infect and eliminate bacteria without harming human or animal cells.
- Thousands of phage varieties exist, each capable of infecting specific types of bacteria or archaea.