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23rd April Current Affairs

Dengue fever

(GS-II: Issues related to health)

In News:

Rajasthan has reported 467 cases of dengue from January 1 to April 12 even before the arrival of the monsoon.

Details:

In 2018, dengue was declared a perennial infection in the state.

It is also a notifiable disease.

Doctors and diagnostic centers have to report each dengue case to the health department.

What’s the concern?

It is a concern for the health department that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are transmitting dengue even in winters and before the rains have started. However, the situation is not alarming.

What is the major reason for the outbreak of dengue in the state?

Inadequate source reduction of mosquito breeding sites and adult control measures.

Measures to control in that area are ignored.

Unprecedented human population growth.

Unplanned and rapid urbanisation.

Inadequate waste management.

Increased distribution and densities of vector mosquitoes due to man-made, ecological and lifestyle changes.

About Dengue:

Dengue virus is transmitted through the bite of a female Aedes (Ae.) mosquito.

Aedes is a day time feeder and can fly up to a limited distance of 400 meters.

Although it usually results in mild illness, severe dengue infections can sometimes prove fatal.

World Health Organization (WHO) estimates suggest an annual incidence of 100-400 million dengue infections every year, with its global incidence growing dramatically “in recent decades”.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

(GS-II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate)

In News:

Rafael Grossi, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will head an assistance mission to the now-defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine aimed at stepping up efforts to help prevent the danger of a nuclear accident in the wake of the ongoing Moscow-Kiev war.

Background:

Since the withdrawal of the Russian military from the Chernobyl plant, Ukraine has taken significant steps for the safe and secure operation of the site of world’s worst nuclear accident, where various radioactive waste management facilities are now located.

But the general situation in the area around the site known as the Exclusion Zone remains difficult, in part due to damaged bridges and de-mining activities.

About IAEA:

Set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family.

Reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Functions:

Works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.

Seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.

Programs:

  • Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).
  • Human Health Program.
  • Water Availability Enhancement Project.
  • International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, 2000.

Draft Protection and Enforcement of Interests in Aircraft Objects Bill, 2022

(GS-II: Government Policies and issues arising out of their implementation)

In News:

Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has sought stakeholders’ comments on the draft Protection and Enforcement of Interests in Aircraft Objects Bill, 2022.

Highlights of the Bill:

The Bill implements the provisions of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and Protocol on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment which was adopted at a conference in Cape Town in 2001.

India acceded to the two instruments in 2008.

These provide default remedies for the creditor and create a legal regime for disputes.

Once passed, the law will help international aircraft leasing companies to repossess and transfer planes out of India incase of a financial dispute with an Indian airline at a time many regional airlines have been refused planes on rent.

The proposed law provides remedies such as repossession of an aircraft object, or its sale or lease or collection of income from its use as well as de-registration and export of planes.

It also suggests remedies pending final adjudication of a claim as well as safeguards a debtor’s claim during insolvency proceedings against its Indian buyer.

Need for:

As per the ministry, the draft legislation is necessary because several Indian laws such as the Companies Act, 2013 and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 are in conflict with the Cape Town Convention and Protocol.

It says that Indian entities have also suffered as international financial institutions demand an implementing legislation.

Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention):

It is an international treaty intended to standardize transactions involving movable property.

83 countries, including India, have signed and ratified the Convention & the Protocol.

The treaty creates international standards for registration of contracts of sale (including dedicated registration agencies), security interests, leases and conditional sales contracts, and various legal remedies for default in financing agreements, including repossession and the effect of particular states’ bankruptcy laws.

Four protocols to the convention are specific to four types of movable equipment:

Aircraft Equipment (aircraft and aircraft engines; signed in 2001).

Railway rolling stock (signed in 2007).

Space assets (signed in 2012).

Mining Agricultural and Construction Equipment (signed in 2019).

Meteor Shower

(GS-III: Awareness in space)

In News:

Lyric Meteor showers peaked in Indian skies on April 22nd and will continuously pass through till April 29 at nearly 10-15 meteors every hour.

Details:

Lyrids are debris of Comet Thatcher, which is currently traveling at a distance of 1,60,00,00,000 kilometers from the planet.

Currently traveling away from the Sun, Comet Thatcher will begin its return trajectory in another 45 years.

Meteor Shower vs Storm:

Every 33 years, a Leonid shower turns into a meteor storm, which is when hundreds to thousands of meteors can be seen every hour.

A meteor storm should have at least 1,000 meteors per hour. In 1966, a Leonid storm offered views of thousands of meteors that fell through the Earth’s atmosphere per minute during a period of 15 minutes.

The last such storm took place in2002.

What are meteor showers?

Meteors are bits of rock and ice that are ejected from comets as they manoeuvre around their orbits around the sun.

Meteor showers are witnessed when Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind by a comet or an asteroid.

What Are the Differences Between An Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite?

Asteroid: A relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun.

Comet: A relatively small, at times active, object whose ices can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas.

Meteoroid: A small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun.

Meteor: The light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes; a shooting star.

Meteorite: A meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and lands upon the Earth’s surface.