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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-3rd October 2023

Bihar Caste Census Reveals Demographic Insights

The Bihar government recently released the results of its caste survey, shedding light on the state’s demographic composition. While it is important to note that no detailed analysis has been conducted yet, the survey provides valuable data on caste distribution in Bihar.

Bihar Caste Census: Key Demographic Breakdowns

Here are the key findings from the Bihar caste survey:

1.OBCs and EBCs Dominate

  • Extremely Backward Class (EBC) comprises 36.01% of the population.

  • Other Backward Class (OBC) constitutes 27.13% of the population.

2. Scheduled Castes and Tribes:

  • Scheduled Caste (SC) population stands at 19.65%.

  • Scheduled Tribe (ST) population is 1.68%.

3. General Caste and Yadavs:

  • General Caste population is 15.52%.

  • Yadavs represent 14% of the population.

4. Religious Composition:

  • Hindus make up 82% of the population.

  • Muslims account for 17.71%.

Additional Insights:

The survey also provides insights into specific caste groups:

6. Yadavs, Kushwahas, and Kurmis:

  • Among OBCs, Yadavs constitute 14.26%.

  • Kushwaha and Kurmi castes make up 4.27% and 2.87%, respectively.

7. Large-Scale Data Collection:

  • The caste survey encompassed 17 socio-economic indicators, including caste.

  • It was conducted in three phases, involving approximately 2.64 lakh enumerators documenting data from 29 million registered households.

  • A total of 214 castes were identified and assigned individual codes.

8. Implications for Reservations:

  • The survey’s findings may open the door to challenging the 50% ceiling on reservations in the state.

9. Government Initiatives:

  • The Bihar government launched the two-phase caste survey in January, recording both economic status and caste data for around 12.70 crore people in the state.

10. Comparison with Previous Data:

  • The Union Government had conducted a caste survey in 2011 (SECC-2011), but the data was never made public.

Nobel Prize 2023 In Medicine or Physiology Announced, Check All The Details

Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman “for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19”. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The discoveries by the two Nobel Laureates were critical for developing effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 during the pandemic that began in early 2020. Through their groundbreaking findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times.

mRNA vaccines: A promising idea

In our cells, genetic information encoded in DNA is transferred to messenger RNA (mRNA), which is used as a template for protein production. During the 1980s, efficient methods for producing mRNA without cell culture were introduced, called in vitro transcription. This decisive step accelerated the development of molecular biology applications in several fields. Ideas of using mRNA technologies for vaccine and therapeutic purposes also took off, but roadblocks lay ahead. In vitro transcribed mRNA was considered unstable and challenging to deliver, requiring the development of sophisticated carrier lipid systems to encapsulate the mRNA. Moreover, in vitro-produced mRNA gave rise to inflammatory reactions. Enthusiasm for developing the mRNA technology for clinical purposes was, therefore, initially limited.

These obstacles did not discourage the Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó, who was devoted to developing methods to use mRNA for therapy. During the early 1990s, when she was an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, she remained true to her vision of realizing mRNA as a therapeutic despite encountering difficulties in convincing research funders of the significance of her project. A new colleague of Karikó at her university was the immunologist Drew Weissman. He was interested in dendritic cells, which have important functions in immune surveillance and the activation of vaccine-induced immune responses. Spurred by new ideas, a fruitful collaboration between the two soon began, focusing on how different RNA types interact with the immune system.

About the Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman

Katalin Karikó was born in 1955 in Szolnok, Hungary. She received her PhD from Szeged’s University in 1982 and performed postdoctoral research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged until 1985. She then conducted postdoctoral research at Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of Health Science, Bethesda. In 1989, she was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she remained until 2013. After that, she became vice president and later senior vice president at BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals. Since 2021, she has been a Professor at Szeged University and an Adjunct Professor at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Drew Weissman was born in 1959 in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA. He received his MD, PhD degrees from Boston University in 1987. He did his clinical training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health. In 1997, Weissman established his research group at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research and Director of the Penn Institute for RNA Innovations.

Important Facts on the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes, the Nobel Prizes. As described in Nobel’s will, one part was dedicated to “the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine”. Learn more about the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine from 1901 to 2022.

Number of Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine

113 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on nine occasions: in 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1925, 1940, 1941 and 1942.

Number of Nobel Prize laureates in physiology or medicine

225 individuals have been awarded 1901-2022.

Youngest medicine laureate

To date, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate in physiology or medicine is Frederick G. Banting, who was 32 years old when he was awarded the medicine prize in 1923.

Oldest medicine laureate

The oldest Nobel Prize laureate in physiology or medicine to date is Peyton Rous, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the medicine prize in 1966.

Pakistan’s Inflation Soars to 31.4%: A Deep Dive into the Economic Crisis

Pakistan’s inflation rate surged to 31.4% year-on-year in September, driven by soaring fuel and energy prices. This alarming increase followed a high of 27.4% in August, highlighting the severe economic challenges faced by the nation.

IMF Bailout and Complex Conditions

The International Monetary Fund’s approval of a $3 billion loan in July prevented a sovereign debt default but imposed stringent conditions. Reforms, such as easing import restrictions and removing subsidies, fueled annual inflation, reaching a record 38.0% in May.

Monetary Measures and Exchange Rate Volatility

To curb inflation, Pakistan increased interest rates to a staggering 22%. The country’s currency, the rupee, hit all-time lows in August but rebounded in September, becoming the best-performing currency due to authorities’ crackdown on unregulated FX trade.

Government Response and Short-term Predictions

The Ministry of Finance anticipates inflation to remain high at 29-31% in the coming months. Despite this, the government recently reduced petrol and diesel prices after consecutive hikes, citing international petroleum prices and an improved exchange rate.

Projections and Market Sentiment

Analysts, including Tahir Abbas from Arif Habib Limited and Fahad Rauf from Ismail Iqbal Securities, suggest that inflation may have peaked for the fiscal year. They expect a gradual easing, projecting inflation to decrease to around 26-27% in the next few months.

Pro-China Leader Mohamed Muizzu Wins Maldives Presidential Election

In a closely-watched election in the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, the candidate from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), emerged victorious in the presidential polls after a runoff vote. This victory came after a first round of polling failed to produce a clear winner. Muizzu secured more than 53 percent of the vote in the runoff, defeating the incumbent president, Ibrahim Solih. Here, we provide a breakdown of the election results, Muizzu’s political background, and the implications of this election.

Election Results:

  • In the first round of voting, Muizzu led with approximately 46 percent of the votes, while Ibrahim Solih trailed with 39 percent.

  • The runoff election saw Muizzu consolidating his lead with over 53 percent of the votes, as reported by local media sources after tallying results from all 586 ballot boxes.

  • President Ibrahim Solih gracefully conceded defeat and congratulated Muizzu on his victory.

Muizzu’s Pro-China Stance:

  • Mohamed Muizzu is known for his ‘pro-China’ stance, which stems from significant Chinese loans received by the Maldives during the previous PPM government’s tenure.

  • These loans have led to closer economic ties between the Maldives and China, including infrastructure projects and investments in the country.

Muizzu’s Background:

  • Muizzu, currently serving as the mayor of the capital city, Male, is a well-educated leader with a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

  • He previously held the position of Minister of Housing in former President Abdulla Yameen’s cabinet.

Call for Former President’s Release:

  • In his post-election statement at his party’s headquarters, President-elect Muizzu expressed gratitude to his supporters and called on the government to release former President Abdulla Yameen.

  • Abdulla Yameen is currently serving an 11-year jail sentence on a corruption conviction.

Historical Significance:

  • Notably, Muizzu’s victory marks the first time since the country’s first multi-party elections in 2008 that Maldivians have voted out a liberal democratic government in favor of an authoritarian challenger.

  • This outcome signifies a significant shift in the country’s political landscape and its foreign policy orientation, particularly in relation to China.

Reversal of Fortunes:

  • The election result is a stark reversal of fortunes for President Ibrahim Solih, who won the previous election in 2018 by a landslide.

  • Solih’s 2018 victory was driven by public anger over human rights abuses and corruption under his predecessor’s administration.

World Nature Day 2023, Date, Significance and Celebrations

World Nature Day, established by the World Nature Organization (WNO) on October 3, 2010, serves as a crucial platform to raise awareness about the challenges our environment faces, particularly due to climate change. This annual celebration unites individuals, groups, and organizations worldwide in their commitment to spreading information about climate change and advocating for its mitigation. In this article, we delve into the significance, celebration, and key facts about World Nature Day, highlighting its vital role in addressing the environmental issues that affect us all.

Significance of World Nature Day 2023

World Nature Day holds significant importance in the global calendar as it addresses some of the most pressing environmental issues facing our planet. Its primary objectives include:

  • Raising Climate Change Awareness: The initiative aims to combat ignorance about climate change, ensuring that people across the globe understand the urgency of the situation.

  • Promoting Eco-Friendly Practices: World Nature Day encourages eco-friendly practices such as recycling, reducing plastic usage, and adopting sustainable lifestyles.

  • Contribution to Saving the Planet: By fostering a sense of responsibility for the environment, this day seeks to inspire collective action to protect and preserve the Earth for future generations.

Celebrating World Nature Day 2023

World Nature Day is celebrated in various ways, involving people of all ages and backgrounds. Here are some common activities associated with its celebration:

  • Tree Planting: Communities often come together to plant trees, contributing to reforestation efforts and combating deforestation, a major contributor to climate change.

  • Awareness Campaigns: Organizations and individuals organize awareness campaigns, seminars, and workshops to educate people about climate change, its impacts, and potential solutions.

  • Rallies and Demonstrations: Peaceful rallies and demonstrations take place in cities worldwide, drawing attention to environmental concerns and demanding action from governments and businesses.

  • Social Media Engagement: Social media platforms play a significant role in the celebration of World Nature Day. The use of hashtags like #WorldNatureDay allows individuals to share their involvement, spreading the message globally.

Key Facts About World Nature Day 2023

Understanding the current state of our environment is essential for addressing climate change effectively. Here are some key facts about the state of our planet:

  • Carbon Dioxide Levels: The atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration has reached 408 parts per million, the highest level in 3 million years, contributing to global warming.

  • Recorded Temperatures: The warmest recorded year was 2016, with an average temperature 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in the mid-20th century, signaling the ongoing impact of climate change.

  • Deforestation’s Role: Human-induced deforestation is responsible for approximately 11% of global carbon emissions, making reforestation efforts critical.

  • Amazon Rainforest: The Amazon rainforest stores 50% of the region’s carbon, making it a vital carbon powerhouse and emphasizing the importance of its preservation.

  • Climate Vulnerability: Approximately 800 million people, or 11% of the world’s population, are vulnerable to climate change’s adverse effects, including droughts, heat waves, floods, and extreme weather events.

  • Coastal Ecosystems: Coastal ecosystems store ten times more carbon than tropical forests, but many coastal forests, especially mangroves, are severely depleted due to human activities.

  • Deforestation Impact: The world has lost approximately 1 million hectares of forests due to deforestation, contributing to habitat loss and carbon emissions.

Indonesia Launches ‘Whoosh,’ Southeast Asia’s First High-Speed Railway

Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially inaugurated Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway on Monday, marking a significant milestone for the nation’s infrastructure development. The ambitious project, known as the “Whoosh” high-speed railway, is a key component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and is poised to dramatically reduce travel times between two vital Indonesian cities.

A Multibillion-Dollar Project with Chinese Funding

With an estimated cost of $7.3 billion, this monumental infrastructure project was predominantly funded by China. It was brought to fruition through the joint efforts of PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China (PT KCIC), a collaboration between an Indonesian consortium comprising four state-owned companies and China Railway International Co. Ltd.

Revolutionizing Transportation Between Jakarta and Bandung

The high-speed railway connects the sprawling metropolis of Jakarta with Bandung, the bustling capital of West Java province. This transformational rail link is set to reduce the arduous three-hour commute between these cities to a mere 40 minutes, greatly enhancing regional connectivity and facilitating economic growth.

An Environmentally Friendly Innovation

One of the notable features of this high-speed railway is its commitment to environmental sustainability. By utilizing electrical energy, it is anticipated that the railway will contribute to a significant reduction in carbon emissions, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change.

Decoding “Whoosh”: A Commitment to Efficiency and Reliability

“Whoosh”,’ which stands for ‘Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Handal‘ in the Indonesian language, translates to ‘timesaving, optimal operation, reliable system.’ This name reflects the project’s commitment to efficiency and reliability.

A Milestone in Indonesian Transportation

President Widodo emphasized the importance of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train, describing it as a symbol of modernization in mass transportation that is both efficient and eco-friendly. He noted that embracing innovative endeavors provides opportunities for learning, enhances human resources, and promotes national independence.

Overcoming Challenges

Indonesia embarked on this ambitious project in 2016, originally expecting it to begin operations in 2019. However, a series of challenges, including disputes over land acquisition, environmental concerns, and the global COVID-19 pandemic, caused significant delays. Additionally, the initial estimated cost of 66.7 trillion rupiah ($4.3 billion) ultimately swelled to 113 trillion rupiah ($7.3 billion).

Ticket Prices and Feeder Train

As of the inauguration date, ticket prices for the high-speed train had not been finalized, but PT KCIC estimated one-way fares ranging from 250,000 rupiah ($16) for second-class seats to 350,000 rupiah ($22.60) for VIP seats. Passengers heading to downtown Bandung will need to take a feeder train from the Padalarang station, adding an extra 20 minutes to their journey at an estimated cost of about 50,000 rupiah ($3.20).

A Part of a Larger Vision

The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway is part of a broader plan to develop a 750-kilometer (466-mile) high-speed train line across four provinces on Java, Indonesia’s main island. This network is envisioned to extend to Surabaya, the country’s second-largest city.

KVIC Inaugurated A New Khadi India Outlet At IIT Delhi

In a bid to bridge the generational gap and ignite a renewed interest in the age-old fabric, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) inaugurated a revamped Khadi India outlet at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Campus in Delhi on October 2. The timing couldn’t have been more appropriate, as it marked the celebration of Gandhi Jayanti, a day dedicated to the memory of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who championed the cause of Khadi as a symbol of self-reliance and national pride.

Khadi’s Renaissance at IIT Campus

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has repeatedly urged the youth of India to embrace Khadi as a preferred fabric for fashion, supporting the ‘swadeshi‘ (indigenous) and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) initiatives. In line with these visionary ideals, the launch of a Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan within the IIT Campus in Delhi is a significant step toward making Khadi’s youthful designs readily accessible to college students.

A Collaboration of Excellence

In addition to the outlet’s inauguration, Shri Manoj Kumar, Chairman of KVIC and Shri Nagendra Raghuvanshi, Member, Commission KVIC, also unveiled an exciting new collection of apparel designed by the Centre of Excellence for Khadi (CoEK) in collaboration with various Khadi Institutions.

CoEK, conceptualized by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), seeks to bolster the Khadi and Village Industries Commission’s efforts in partnership with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). The primary aim of CoEK is to engage with younger audiences and expand Khadi’s global reach.

Khadi’s Unique Qualities

Khadi is more than just a fabric; it is a symbol of sustainability and cultural heritage. Crafted through the painstaking process of hand spinning and hand weaving, Khadi stands out as a breathable, sustainable, and eco-friendly textile. It keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, making it an ideal choice for all seasons. What sets it apart is its sustainability, as the production process is energy-neutral, aligning perfectly with the global push for eco-conscious living.

A Vibrant and Youthful Khadi

Recognizing the need to adapt to contemporary fashion preferences, a new range of Khadi apparel has been crafted. This collection is designed to appeal to young audiences with vibrant colors and contemporary silhouettes. Khadi Institutions, under the guidance of the (Centre of Excellence for Khadi) CoEK team, have standardized the production of nine distinct styles of Khadi apparel. The IIT outlet will serve as a trailblazer, setting the stage for a fresh narrative around Khadi fashion.

Empowering Rural India

The growing acceptance and global recognition of Khadi, propelled by the efforts of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, hold the promise of brighter futures for countless families in rural areas. The resurgence of Khadi not only preserves traditional craftsmanship but also empowers local artisans and revives rural economies.

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