Daily Current Affairs – Nov 4, 2023
GS- II >> Social Justice >> Health
Context: Zika virus was detected in mosquito samples near Bengaluru (Karnataka).
About Zika Virus:
- Zika virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite mostly during the day.
- Same mosquito transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
- Zika virus infection is associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis particularly in adults and older children
- First identified in Uganda in a Rhesus macaque monkey.
- It is transmitted from mother to foetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood, etc.
- No vaccine is yet available for its prevention.
GS- III >> Environment >> Fuel
Context: Recently, scientists looking for fossil fuels beneath the ground of northeastern France have discovered large reservoirs of white hydrogen.
About White Hydrogen:
- White hydrogen, also known as ‘natural,’ ‘gold,’ or ‘geologic’ hydrogen, is naturally occurring in the Earth’s crust and holds promise as a clean energy source.
- It is usually found combined with other molecules.
- White hydrogen has several advantages, including zero CO2 emissions when used as fuel, compatibility with existing hydrogen infrastructure and technologies, cost-efficiency compared to steam reforming or electrolysis, abundance in nature, and deposits across the world.
Context: Recently, Adaptation Gap Report released by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
About Adaptation Gap Report:
- The Adaptation Gap Report is an annual publication from UNEP, released just ahead of the year ending climate change conference, and presents the global situation of adaptation to climate change.
- This year’s report focuses on adaptation finance, or the availability of money to carry out the adaptation projects.
How gap in the adaptation is assessed:
- The Adaptation Gap Report assessed the current need for adaptation finance in two ways:
- It put together all the requirements put forward by the developing countries and that came to $387 billion every year this decade.
- Separately, it did a modelling exercise of the kind of adaptation that was required, and the money needed for it. That exercise yields a sum of $ 215 billion every year in this decade.
Findings of the report:
- The adaptation finance gap that is the difference between estimated adaptation financing needs and costs (USD 215 billion to USD 387 billion) and existing finance flows (USD 21.3 billion) has grown.
- In 2021, just about $ 21 billion flowed to developing countries for adaptation projects which was down about 15% from the previous years.
- The adaptation gap is likely 10-18 times as great as current international adaptation finance flows-at least 50 % higher than previous range estimates.
- Developed countries had promised in 2009 to mobilize at least USD 100 billion in climate finance every year from 2020 but even three years after the deadline, the amount has not been realized.
- At the Glasgow climate conference in 2021, the developed countries committed themselves to double the money for adaptation. Separately there is also an agreement that a new climate financing goal, over and above USD 100 billion every year, would be set by 2025.
- However, the report says achieving the goal of doubling adaptation fund by 2025 would only reduce the gap by 5% to 10%.
Context: Recently, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) published the State Food Safety Index.
About State Food Safety Index:
- The State Food Safety Index is an annual assessment released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) since 2018-19.
- It aims to improve food safety in India and is based on five key parameters: Human Resources and Institutional Data, Compliance, Food Testing Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building, and Consumer Empowerment.
- In the 2023 index, a new parameter called ‘Improvement in SFSI Rank’ was introduced.
Key findings of the report:
- After adjusting for a new parameter introduced in the 2023 index, 15 out of 20 states showed lower scores in 2023 compared to 2019.
- The most significant decline in scores over a five-year period was observed in Maharashtra, Bihar, and Gujarat.
- The ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’ parameter experienced the most significant drop in scores.
- States like Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh all reported lower scores for the ‘Food Testing Infrastructure’
- Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand recorded reduced scores in the ‘Compliance’ parameter.
- The ‘Human Resources and Institutional Data’ parameter, which had the third-highest weightage at 18% in 2023 (20% in previous years), was a key focus.
- The only parameter that showed significant improvement was ‘Training and Capacity Building,’ despite having the lowest weightage at 8% in 2023 (10% in previous years).
Context: Recently National Medical Commission launches One Nation One Registration Platform
About One Nation One Registration Platform:
- The National Medical Commission plans to launch a patch pilot of the National Medical Register (NMR) within six months, assigning unique identification numbers to doctors.
- Doctors can apply for a license to practice in any state.
- The NMC issued a gazette notification titled ‘Registration of Medical Practitioners and License to Practice Medicine Regulations, 2023.’
- The platform aims to provide masked IDs to undergraduate students, with the option to unmask them upon course completion.
- These IDs can be used to update qualifications and link to state registers for licenses, eliminating duplication and red tape, and providing public access to physician information.
Context: Recently, Hunger Hotspots Report launched by FAO and WEP
About Hunger Hotspots Report:
- The report is launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of UN and the World Food Programme (WFP).
- Hunger hotspots comprise a total of 22 countries or territories including 2 regional clusters.
- These hotspots have populations that are experiencing or are expected to experience critical levels of acute food insecurity.
- For November 2023 to April 2024:
- Burkina Faso, Mali, South Sudan and Sudan remain at the highest concern level.
- Pakistan and Afghanistan are included as Hotspots of very high concern.