Current Affairs 29th August 2022

1.    ARTEMIS PROGRAM

  • News: NASA’S Artemis i mission will take off on Monday for a 42-day return voyage beyond the far side of the moon. The uncrewed mission will see the debut of NASA’s next-generation megarocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion capsule, from the Kennedy space centre in Florida. In addition to carrying Orion for its journey around the moon, the SLS will also carry 10 small satellites. SLS is being touted as the most powerful rocket ever built.
  • About Artemis Program:
    • The Artemis program is a human and robotic Moon exploration program led by the United States space agency, NASA.
    • If successful, the Artemis program will reestablish a human presence on the Moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
    • The major components of the program are the Space Launch System (SLS), Orion spacecraft, Lunar Gateway space station and the commercial Human Landing Systems, including Starship HLS.
    • The long-term vision of the program is to establish a permanent base camp on the Moon and facilitate human missions to Mars..
    • The Artemis program is a collaboration of space agencies and companies around the world, bound together via the Artemis Accords and supporting contracts.
    • As of July 2022, twenty-one countries have signed the accords, including both traditional U.S. space partners (such as Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom) and emerging space powers such as Brazil, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

2.    CYBERSECURITY INSURANCE

  • News: India Inc. is increasingly looking at dedicated cybersecurity insurance covers to address pervasive cyber threats, including malware attacks, compromised emails, cryptojacking, or instances of disgruntled staff or adversaries attacking software systems and machinery.
  • About Cybersecurity Insurance:
    • Cybersecurity insurance, also called cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is a contract that an entity can purchase to help reduce the financial risks associated with doing business online.
    • In exchange for a monthly or quarterly fee, the insurance policy transfers some of the risk to the insurer.
    • Cybersecurity insurance is a new and emerging industry.
    • Companies that purchase cybersecurity insurance today are considered early adopters.
    • Cybersecurity policies can change from one month to the next, given the dynamic and fluctuating nature of the associated cyber-risks.
    • Unlike well-established insurance plans, underwriters of cybersecurity insurance policies have limited data to formulate risk models to determine insurance policy coverages, rates and premiums.
    • Such expenditures typically include costs associated with the following:
      • meeting extortion demands from a ransomware attack;
      • notifying customers when a security breach has occurred;
      • paying legal fees levied as a result of privacy violations;
      • hiring computer forensics experts to recover compromised data;
      • restoring identities of customers whose PII was compromised;
      • recovering data that has been altered or stolen; and
      • repairing or replacing damaged or compromised computer systems.

3.    INDIAN COMPUTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM

  • News: Akasa Air, which started operations less than a month ago, has suffered data breach resulting in certain customer information being accessed by unauthorized individuals.
  • About Indian Computer Emergency Response Team:
    • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN or ICERT) is an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India.
    • It is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing. It strengthens security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain.
    • CERT-IN was formed in 2004 by the Government of India under Information Technology Act, 2000 Section (70B) under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
    • CERT-IN has overlapping on responsibilities with other agencies such as National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) which is under the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) that comes under Prime Minister’s Office and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) which is under Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in May, 2016 between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and Ministry of Cabinet Office, UK.
    • Earlier CERT-In signed MoUs with similar organisations in about seven countries – Korea, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Uzbekistan.
    • Ministry of External Affairs has also signed MoU with Cyber Security as one of the areas of cooperation with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
    • With the MoUs, participating countries can exchange technical information on Cyber attacks, response to cyber security incidents and find solutions to counter the cyber attacks.
    • They can also exchange information on prevalent cyber security policies and best practices. The MoUs helps to strengthen cyber space of signing countries, capacity building and improving relationship between them.

4.    GARBA NOMINATED FOR UNESCO INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE LIST

  • News: Gujarat’s famed traditional dance form Garba has been nominated by India for inclusion in the UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list. The latest nomination will be considered for the next year cycle.
  • Details:
    • The Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention on Safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage had added Durga Puja in Kolkata to its representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity last December.
    • The latest nomination will be considered for the next year cycle.
    • The nomination files will be examined by the evaluation body mid-2023 and the inscription will be decided at the 2023 session of the committee by the end of next year.
  • About UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists:
    • UNESCO established its Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage with the aim of ensuring better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance.
    • This list is published by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the members of which are elected by State Parties meeting in a General Assembly.
    • Through a compendium of the different oral and intangible treasures of humankind worldwide, the programme aims to draw attention to the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage, which UNESCO has identified as an essential component and as a repository of cultural diversity and of creative expression.
    • The list was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.

5.    COASTAL EROSION

  • News: The protest against the Vizhinjam international seaport in Thiruvananthapuram by fishermen and their families has reached a feverish pitch with the agitating fishers trying to lay siege to the under-construction port at sea and on land.
  • About Coastal Erosion:
    • Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or the long-term removal of sediment and rocks along the coastline due to the action of waves, currents, tides, wind-driven water, waterborne ice, or other impacts of storms.
    • The landward retreat of the shoreline can be measured and described over a temporal scale of tides, seasons, and other short-term cyclic processes.
    • Coastal erosion may be caused by hydraulic action, abrasion, impact and corrosion by wind and water, and other forces, natural or unnatural.
    • On non-rocky coasts, coastal erosion results in rock formations in areas where the coastline contains rock layers or fracture zones with varying resistance to erosion.
    • Softer areas become eroded much faster than harder ones, which typically result in landforms such as tunnels, bridges, columns, and pillars. Over time the coast generally evens out.
    • The softer areas fill up with sediment eroded from hard areas, and rock formations are eroded away.
    • Also erosion commonly happens in areas where there are strong winds, loose sand, and soft rocks.
    • According to the IPCC, sea level rise caused by climate change will increase coastal erosion worldwide, significantly changing the coasts and low-lying coastal areas.

6.    SMALL CELLS FOR 5G

  • News: To expedite the roll-out of 5G, telecom operators in the country will leverage street furniture such as poles, advertisement hoardings and bus shelters for deploying low-power base stations called ‘small cells’ that will help bring the network closer to the consumers.
  • Details:
    • Small cells are needed for deploying 5G as opposed to earlier generations such as 4G, because of the frequency. The higher the frequency, the lower the wavelength, which means that the distance they travel is less.
    • He added that for higher frequencies in the range of 3.3-3.6 GHz, which are expected to be used for offering 5G services, the waves will travel 100-150 metres.
    • At present, telecom towers, which are about 30 metres high, are placed at a distance of about 5 km apart.
    • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also issued a consultation paper on the “Use of street furniture for small cell and aerial fibre deployment”, wherein it states that small cells will play a critical role in the success of 5G as these are needed to exploit features of 5G such as support low latency, ultra-high speeds, and massive connection densities.
    • Small cells are low-powered radio access nodes or base stations that have a coverage range from a few metres up to a few hundred metres. They are portable, easy to deploy and help provide localised coverage.
    • As per the TRAI paper, small cells provide coverage for very short distances and therefore they are installed in a large number — even more than 200 per square kilometre — for good geographical coverage to provide highly reliable and high-capacity broadband.

7.    PHLOEM

  • News: The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has confirmed that the mysterious disease resulting in “dwarfing” of rice plants, reported mainly from Punjab and Haryana, has been caused by the Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV). The virus is spread by the white-backed plant hopper, an insect pest, which injects it while sucking the sap from mostly young plants.
  • About Phloem:
    • Phloem is the living tissue in vascular plants that transports the soluble organic compounds made during photosynthesis and known as photosynthates, in particular the sugar sucrose, to the rest of the plant.
    • This transport process is called translocation.
    • In trees, the phloem is the innermost layer of the bark, hence the name, derived from the Ancient Greek word φλοιός (phloiós), meaning “bark”.
    • The term was introduced by Carl Nägeli in 1858.
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