My Notes - 16 -31 Aug 2023

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First traditional medicine summit

  • First summit on global traditional medicine was held in Gujarat and co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Ayush.
  • This summit is designed to foster political commitment and evidence-based action in the field of traditional medicine.
  • The UN health agency defines traditional medicine as the knowledge, skills and practices used over time to maintain health and prevent, diagnose and treat physical and mental illness.

Digital India projects extended

  • The programme is now extended to a period of five years starting from 2021-2022 to 2025-2026.
  • The Digital India programme was launched in July 2015 to enable the digital delivery of services to citizens.

Validity of ‘self-respect’ marriages

  • The Supreme Court on 28 August 2023 observed that there is no blanket ban on advocates solemnising “self-respect” marriages under Section 7(A) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
  • The amendment modified the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, by inserting Section 7-A into it. However, it extended only to the state of Tamil Nadu.
  • Section 7-A deals with the special provision on “self-respect and secular marriages


BRICS currency in BRICS Summit

  • Brazil's President called for the BRICS nations to create a common currency for trade and investment between each other, as a means of reducing their vulnerability to dollar exchange rate fluctuations.

BRICS gets six new members

  • The five-member BRICS invited six more countries to join the alliance, in a move which can strengthen its claim of being a ‘voice of the Global South’ on one hand, while raising concerns about China’s increasing dominance on the other.
  • BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In its ongoing summit at Johannesburg, South Africa, it has invited Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Their membership will begin in January.

Net zero carbon emission country

  • Bhutan has emerged as a country with net zero emissions and not only curbed its carbon footprints, but has also transformed into a carbon sink, absorbing more carbon dioxide (CO2) than releasing.
  • Bhutan is one among the 196 nations that committed to the Paris Agreement during the UN Climate Change Conference focused to restrict global temperature increases to 5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


RBI's pilot project for facilitating frictionless credit

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched a pilot project in the form of a "Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit".
  • The move seeks to give digital information to lenders to expedite access to credit or loans.
  • It is an end-to-end digital platform that will have an open architecture, open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and standards to which all banks can connect in a "plug and play"

EU’s new Digital Services Act

  • The new Digital Services Act (DSA) is a landmark legislation that aims to regulate the online activities of tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more, and to create a safer and more transparent internet for everyone.
  • It applies to online platforms that offer goods, services, or content to EU citizens, such as social media, e-commerce, or cloud services.

Science And Technology

Chandrayaan-3 creates history

  • The Chandrayaan-3 lander made a successful soft landing on the surface of the Moon, making India the first country to reach close to the lunar South Pole.
  • India has also become the fourth nation in history to land on the lunar surface, after the United States, the erstwhile Soviet Union, and China.
  • India was also the first Asian nation to put a craft into orbit around Mars in 2014.

National Space Day

  • To mark Chandrayaan-3 success, India will celebrate 23 August as ‘National Space Day’.
  • To commemorate the success of Chandrayaan-3 lander, the spot of landing of Vikram lander will be known as ‘Shivshakti’.
  • The name of the crash landing site of Chandrayaan-2 as ‘Tiranga point’

First ever Quantum superchemistry observed

  • Researchers have achieved a groundbreaking milestone as they observe "quantum superchemistry" for the first time within a laboratory setting.
  • Quantum superchemistry refers to the application of quantum mechanics to the study of chemical reactions and processes at the molecular level.

India’s first 3D-printed post office inaugurated

  • India’s first 3D-printed post office was inaugurated by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Bengaluru’s Cambridge Layout.
  • Multinational company Larsen & Toubro Limited built the post office with technological support from IIT Madras.
  • 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process that uses computer-created design to make three-dimensional objects layer by layer.

Indigenous ASTRA missile tested

  • LIGHT COMBAT Aircraft (LCA) Tejas on 24 August 2023 successfully fired the ASTRA indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile off the coast of Goa.
  • ASTRA is a state-of-the-art BVR air-to-air missile to engage and destroy highly maneuvering supersonic aerial targets.
  • It is designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and other laboratories of DRDO.

Crew-7 mission to space station

  • Four astronauts from four countries, including the US, Denmark, Japan, and Russia, launched aboard a SpaceX rocket towards the International Space Station (ISS) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • The International Space Station Program involves the US, Russia, Canada, Japan, and the participating countries of the European Space Agency, and is one of the most ambitious international collaborations ever attempted.

World's first 100% ethanol-run vehicle

  • Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari unveiled a 100 per cent ethanol-fueled variant of Toyota's Innova HyCross car.
  • This car is said to be the world's first BS-VI (Stage-II), electrified flex-fuel vehicle.
  • Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) have an internal combustion engine and are capable of operating on petrol and any blend of petrol and ethanol.

Russia’s Luna-25 crashes

  • Russia’s Moon mission ended in failure after its spacecraft Luna-25 spun out of control and crashed into the moon.
  • Luna-25 was supposed to land on the Moon on 21 August 2023, days ahead of India’s Chandrayaan-3. Its intended landing site was close to Chandrayaan-3’s, near the lunar south pole.

JWST discovered Earendel

  • The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) discovered a most distant star ever observed - Earendel.
  • This celestial entity came into the scientific spotlight after its discovery by the Hubble Space Telescope in the previous year.
  • Earendel is a distant star that holds the distinction of being the most distant star ever detected.

IITG produces pluripotent stem cells

  • Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) in collaboration with scientists from Christian Medical College, Vellore, have reported a method to convert regular human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells (called Induced pluripotent stem cells, iPSCs).
  • The researchers have used a safe, integration-free method, and have introduced genes such as OCT3/4, SOX2, KLF4, L-MYC, LIN28 and a p53 shRNA into skin cells to transform them into iPSCs.

'PM-eBus Sewa' approved

  • The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister approved PM-eBus Sewa initiatives to augment the use of electric buses in 169 cities.
  • These include all the capital cities of Union Territories (UTs), north eastern and hill states. The e-buses will be provided under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode for 10 years.


Maternal vaccine to prevent RSV in infants

  • The United States became the first country to approve a vaccine for pregnant women that prevents severe disease caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in their
  • RSV is a common cause of illness in children and infants are among those at highest risk for severe disease, which can lead to hospitalization.

Poor nations forced to rely on fossil fuels

  • Poor countries with heavy debts have been forced to continue to rely on fossil fuels for generating revenue to return the loans taken from richer countries and private lenders to meet various economic exigencies like the pandemic three years ago.
  • The report, ‘The Debt-Fossil Fuel Trap’, published by the anti-debt campaigners Debt Justice and partners in affected countries.

Indore named best city in Smart Cities Mission

  • The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry named Indore the best city and Madhya Pradesh the best state in the Smart Cities Mission in its India Smart Cities Awards 2022.
  • The cities were selected based on their ranking in terms of progress of projects, project outcomes and presentations submitted for the awards.

First indigenous electric tractor

  • India has launched the country's first indigenous fully-electric tractor, named CSIR-PRIMA ET11.
  • The tractor was developed by India's state-owned Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Central Mechanical Research Engineering Institute (CSIR-CMERI).
  • The CSIR-PRIMA E11 is designed to cater to small and marginal farmers with around two hectares or less of farmland.

Bird species plummeting in India

  • A large number of bird species in India are either currently declining or projected to decline in the long term, according to a report based on data from about 30,000 birdwatchers that was released.
  • Out of the 942 bird species that were assessed, 142 are diminishing and only 28 are increasing, the State of India’s Birds (SoIB) report

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