Daily Current Affairs – Nov 15, 2023
GS- I >> Geography >> Lake
Context: Recently, the water levels at Lake Titicaca are now reaching record lows, worsened by the El Nino weather phenomenon, compounding a long dry spell and rare high temperatures.
About Lake Titicaca:
- Highest navigable body of water globally, located at 3,810 meters above sea level.
- On the border of Peru and Bolivia.
- Second-largest Lake in South America.
- Tiquina strait separates it into two bodies of water.
- Averages 140-180 meters in depth and part of Andes Mountain.
- Designated Ramsar Site of International Importance.
- More than 25 rivers drain into it, including the Ramis.
- 41 islands, with Titicaca Island being the largest.
- Lake Titicaca is known for its cultural and ecological significance.
GS- II >> Social Justice >> Government Scheme
Context: Recently, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs launched ‘AAINA Dashboard for Cities’ portal.
About AAINA Dashboard for Cities Portal:
- The primary objectives of the AAINA Dashboard are to help cities to
- see how they are faring vis-à-vis other cities;
- inspire them by pointing to possibilities and areas of improvement and
- providing opportunity to learn and engage with frontrunners.
- The Dashboard will present the data submitted by the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) on the basis of indicators across five broad pillars viz.
- Political & Administrative Structure;
- Citizen Centric Governance and
- Delivery of Basic Services.
- The ULBs will submit their data, including audited accounts, and self-reported performance metrics by logging in to the dashboard’s portal. ULBs would be free to update the information initially provided by them, anytime on the portal as per need.
- The Dashboard has been envisaged as a permanent platform for ULB related data, that would be updated on a regular basis.
- With active cooperation of all ULBs, the ‘AAINA Dashboard for Cities’ aims to create a robust database of the key performance metrics of Urban Local Bodies, which could be accessed by all stakeholders, and subsequently would open for public view once it gets populated.
- The Ministry through Digital India Corporation will provide handholding support to ULBs / States in the data submission process on a need basis.
GS- II >> International Relations >> Europe
Context: Ukraine says it now has a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River near Kherson city.
About Dnieper River:
- Fourth-longest European river, after Volga, Danube, and Ural.
- Known as Dnepr in Russian, Dnipro in Ukrainian, and Dnyapro in Belarusian.
- Located in Eastern Europe, draining Belarus and Ukraine with numerous tributaries.
- Historically, a significant barrier dividing Ukraine into right and left banks.
Course and length of Dnieper River:
- Originates in the low Valday Hills west of Moscow, Russia.
- Flows 1,368 miles through western Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
- Empties into the Black Sea.
- Waterway spans approximately 300 miles in Russia, 430 miles in Belarus, and 680 miles in Ukraine.
Passes via urban centres: Passes through Russian cities like Smolensk and Dorogobuzh, Mogilev in Belarus, and Ukrainian cities Kiev, Cherkasy, Dnipro, and Zaporizhia.
Tributaries: Boasts around 32,000 tributaries, including the Sozh, Desna, Trubizh, Bilozerka, Drut, Berezina, and Prypiat Rivers.
GS- III >> Economy >> Banking
Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has brought under its direct regulation all entities facilitating cross-border payments for import and export of goods and services and termed as PA-CB.
About Payment Aggregator-Cross Border (PA-CB):
- PA-CB facilitates cross-border online payments for the import and export of permissible goods and services. The RBI has set a minimum net worth requirement of Rs 15 crore for these entities, which will be categorised as PA-CB.
- They will be accountable for ensuring that they do not facilitate payment transactions for the import of any restricted or prohibited goods and services.
- If the amount involved exceeds Rs 2.5 lakh, the PA-CB must carry out due diligence on the buyer as well.
About Payment Aggregator (PA):
- A PA (also known as a merchant aggregator) is a third-party service provider that allows merchants to accept payments from customers by integrating it into their websites or apps.
- It facilitates different types of payment transactions, including cash and cheques, online payments through multiple payment sources, or offline touchpoints.
- It allows merchants to accept bank transfers without setting up a bank-based merchant account. It means a merchant need not have a merchant account directly with the bank.
- A PA in India is incorporated under the Companies Act 2013.
- A PA can be a bank or a non-bank entity.
- Since a PA handles funds, it requires a license from the RBI.
- Only non-bank payment aggregators require unique authorization from the RBI, as ‘handling funds’ is considered a part of the normal banking relationships for bank PAs.
- Examples: Amazon (Pay) India, Google India, Razor pay, Pine Labs, etc.
About Payment Gateway:
- It is a software service that connects your bank account to the platform where you need to transfer your money.
- It authorises you to conduct an online transaction through different payment modes like net banking, credit card, debit card, UPI, or other online wallets.
- A Payment gateway plays the role of a third party that securely transfers your money from the bank account to the merchant’s payment portal.
Difference between Payment Aggregator and Payment Gateway:
- A payment gateway is software that allows online transactions to take place, while a payment aggregator is the inclusion of all these payment gateways.
- While a payment gateway is an intermediary, the payment aggregator is the interface where the payment gateway processes the transactions.
- Most payment aggregators own payment gateways to offer various exclusive services to their merchant customers.
GS- III >> Science & Technology >> Defence
Context: Israel’s Arrow 3 has made its 1st-ever interception, downing likely Yemen-fired missile.
About Arrow-3 Missile Defence System:
- An exo-atmospheric anti-ballistic missile defence system designed for long-range threat engagement.
- Jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and the US Missile Defence Agency.
- Deployed in 2017, serving as the top layer of Israel’s advanced air-defence network.
- Targets ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere.
Features of Arrow-3 Missile Defence System:
- Utilizes two-stage solid-fuelled interceptors for engaging short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
- Comprises a launcher, radar, and battle management system.
- Offers a range of 2,400 km and intercepts threats at an altitude of 100 km.
- Equipped with early warning and fire control radar, providing extended-range acquisition and multi-target tracking capabilities.
Functionality of Arrow-3 Missile Defence System:
- Operates on hit-to-kill technology, destroying incoming missiles.
- Launched vertically, with a change in direction toward the estimated interception point.
- High-resolution electro-optical sensor acquires the target for the kill vehicle, hitting and destroying the warhead.