Home   »   UPSC Current Affairs 2024   »   Current Affairs 19th December 2023

Current Affairs 19th December 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB)

Context: Recently, India has been chosen as the Partner Administration for the Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) programme and will provide Tax Experts for this.

About Tax Inspector without Borders

  • A joint effort by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) + OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
  • Launched in 2015
  • Aims to bolster developing countries’ auditing capabilities + enhance multinational compliance with reporting standards globally. It does so by utilising automatic information exchange under the Common Reporting Standard Framework

We’re now on WhatsApp. Click to Join

Dare to Dream (D2D) Scheme

Context: Recently Minister of State for Defence has filed a reply in Parliament regarding the successful implementation of the Dare to Dream (D2D) scheme.

About D2D Scheme

  • The Dare to Dream Contest is an annual initiative (In honour of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam)
  • Launched by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in 2019.
  • Best-awarded ideas getting Funding under the Technology Development Fund to realize them into a prototype.
  • Individual (Indian citizen above 18 yrs) + Start-ups (Registered with Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade + Indian Founder).

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) Therapeutics

Context: A significant breakthrough with the approval of CRISPR-based therapies for sickle-cell disease and β-thalassemia was witnessed in the medical field in the U.K. and the US.

About CRISPR Therapeutics

  • CRISPR-Cas9 is a groundbreaking gene-editing technology.
  • Two key components:
    • Cas9 is an enzyme acting as ‘molecular scissors’ to cut DNA at specific locations.
    • Guide RNA (gRNA), is designed to direct Cas9 to a precise genome spot.
      • The gRNA binds to a matching DNA sequence, guiding Cas9 to make strategic cuts.
    • Cells then attempt to repair this DNA break, allowing scientists to manipulate genes by adding, removing, or altering DNA segments.

Zero Trust Authentication (ZTA)

Context: The Centre has implemented a secure email system for 10,000 users across critical ministries and departments.

What is Zero Trust Authentication (ZTA)?

  • Zero trust architecture is a security strategy where every system, network, and user is considered untrusted, demanding constant verification of devices, users, and applications.
  • This approach includes two-factor authentication, facial recognition or biometrics + password.
  • It further meticulously tracks and records the times of user log-ins and log-outs.

Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary

Context: In the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary in Sikkim, a tiger has been sighted at an altitude of 3,640 metres, setting a new record for the highest elevation in India where tigers have been found.

About the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Location: Sikkim, Situated at the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bengal and Bhutan.
  • Largest Wildlife Sanctuary of Sikkim
  • Linked to Neora Valley National Park of West Bengal, forests of Samtse and Haa district in Bhutan.
  • Vegetation: Alpine – Temperate – Sub Tropical
  • Consists of high-altitude lakes like Lake Tsongmo, a biodiversity hotspot for migratory birds.
  • Rivers Rangpo and Jaldhaka originate from lakes within the sanctuary.
  • Flora includes Juniper, moss-covered oaks, R​​rhododendrons, silver fir
  • The Main Fauna found in the sanctuary includes Red Panda (Sikkim’s state animal), Himalayan Black Bear, Musk Deer etc.
  • Various eco-regions like the Terai-Duar savanna, Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests, and Himalayan subtropical pine forests are found in the sanctuary.

Sierra Leone

Context: Sierra Leone faces political unrest, economic crisis, and police aggression amid recent coup attempts, raising concerns about potential ECOWAS intervention.

Facts About Sierra Leone

  • Location: Between Liberia and Guinea, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean in West Africa.
  • Capital: Freetown.
  • Languages: English and Krio.
  • Highest Peak: Mount Bintumani (also known as Loma Mansa).
  • Climate:
  • Terrain: Includes mountains in the east, an upland plateau, wooded hills, and coastal mangrove swamps.
  • International/ Regional Affiliation: Member of the International Solar Alliance + ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)
  • India’s Contribution: Provided a 4,000-strong military contingent to the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).

Sharing is caring!

About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *