Daily Current Affairs : 1st & 2nd May 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Tea Fortification Study
  2. Greenify Steelmaking
  3. Stray dogs and Waste Management
  4. Ballast-less Slab Track system  
  5. ASEAN – India – Maritime Exercise
  6. Laundromat Report
  7. Hill Area Committee
  8. Facts for Prelims

        1 . Tea Fortification Study 

        Context: A small study carried out in Sangli, Maharashtra on 43 women participants to evaluate the effectiveness of tea fortification with folate and vitamin B12 to address anaemia and prevent neural-tube defects in children is riddled with problems. 

        Fortification of Tea 

        • The majority of Indian women have a poor dietary folate and vitamin B12 intake resulting in their chronically low vitamin status, which contributes to anaemia and the high incidence of folate-responsive neural-tube defects (NTDs) in India. Although many countries have successfully deployed centrally-processed folate-fortified flour for prevention of NTDs, inherent logistical problems preclude widespread implementation of this strategy in India. Because tea-the second most common beverage worldwide (after water)-is consumed by most Indians every day, and appeared an ideal vehicle for fortification with folate and vitamin B12. 

        About the Tea fortification study 

        • A small study carried out in Sangli, Maharashtra on 43 women participants to evaluate the effectiveness of tea fortification with folate and vitamin B12 to address anaemia and prevent neural-tube defects in children. 
        • The findings of the study published in the online journal ‘BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health’.  
        • To test this out, they divided 43 young women (average age 20) from Sangli in the state of Maharashtra into three groups. The women were asked to use teabags laced with therapeutic doses of 1 mg folate plus either 0.1 mg vitamin B12 (group 1; 19 women) or 0.5 mg vitamin B12 (group 2, 19 women), or to use unfortified teabags (group 0, 5 women) in a daily cup of tea for 2 months. 
        • Their serum vitamin and haemoglobin levels were compared at the beginning and end of the study period. 
        • Most women had anaemia with low to normal serum folate and below-normal serum vitamin B12 levels at the start of the study. 
        • After 2 months, there were significant average increases in serum folate levels of 8.37 ng/ml and 6.69 ng/ml in groups 1 and 2, respectively, compared with a rise of 1.26 ng/ml among the women in group 0. 
        • Serum vitamin B12 levels rose to more than 300 pg/ml in more than half of the women in group 1 and in two-thirds of those in group 2. Average haemoglobin levels also rose by 1.45 g/dl in group 1 and by 0.79 g/dl in group 2 
        • Thus the study suggested that fortifying tea with folate and vitamin B12 may help counter the high levels of anaemia and neural tube defects associated with these widespread nutritional deficiencies in Indian women. 

        Major flaws in the study 

        • Statistical power– Usually, the number of participants is decided based on the statistical power of the comparison, which in turn is dependent on the expected difference and its variability. None of these are defined.  
        • Pre- and post-interventions values- Since the number of participants in the control arm is less, the authors used pre- and post-intervention values to measure the efficacy of folate and vitamin B12 intervention. Pre- and post-interventions are subject to any number of confounders that could have caused the observed changes. Having a control group eliminates the known and unknown confounders, and participants should be randomised to any of the groups. None of these conditions were fulfilled. 
        • Whether the participants were given folate or folic acid is not clear as references to both are made in the paper. 
        • Haemoglobin levels– A bigger problem is about measuring haemoglobin levels after intervention. While the study claims that haemoglobin counts increased post-intervention, the fact is that haemoglobin level was not measured for all participants. So, it is not certain that elevated levels of folate and vitamin B12 post-intervention have necessarily led to increased haemoglobin levels in all participants.   
        • Another shortcoming of the study has been the focus on folate and vitamin B12 fortification of tea without taking iron into consideration. Anaemia can be caused due to deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 and/or folic acid. So fortification using only folate and vitamin B12 may not be sufficient to address the problem of anaemia in women. 
        • Iron deficiency- There are no national level surveys of Indian women that have measured haemoglobin along with markers of iron status (like ferritin). 
        • To prevent neural-tube defects, the requirement during pregnancy is 0.48 mg per day of dietary folate (or about 50% of that as folic acid). However, a specific ‘periconceptional folate’ requirement has not been defined in India. 

        About Vitamin B12  

        • Vitamin B12- Vitamin B₁₂, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin involved in metabolism. It is one of eight B vitamins.  
        • Function– It is required by animals, which use it as a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism 
        • Vitamin B12 deficiency– The effects of vitamin B12 deficiency can include the hallmark megaloblastic anemia (characterized by large, abnormally nucleated red blood cells) as well as low counts of white and red blood cells, platelets, or a combination; glossitis of the tongue; fatigue; palpitations; pale skin; dementia; weight loss; and infertility.  
        • Neurological changes, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. In pregnant and breastfeeding women, vitamin B12 deficiency might cause neural tube defects, developmental delays, failure to thrive, and anemia in offspring. 

        Folic acid/ Folate- Vitamin B9 

        • Folate, also known as vitamin B₉ and folacin, is one of the B vitamins. Manufactured folic acid, which is converted into folate by the body, is used as a dietary supplement and in food fortification as it is more stable during processing and storage 
        • Function- Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic material, and is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, such as in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy. 
        • Deficiency- Folate deficiency during pregnancy can cause severe complications. Folate is important for the growth of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord. Folate deficiency can cause severe birth defects called neural tube defects. Neural tube defects include spina bifida and anencephaly. Folate deficiency can also lead to folate deficiency anemia.   

        2 . Greenify Steelmaking 

        Context: Hydrogen is a crucial part of the world’s plans to greenify its manufacturing and automobile industries as a fuel whose production and use needn’t emit carbon. But in the steelmaking industry, hydrogen can also be used instead of carbon in an important chemical reaction that contributes to 5-7% of the global greenhouse-gas emissions and 11% of carbon dioxide emissions. That is, if scientists can surmount an old roadblock. 

        A study about the Greenify Steelmaking by using Hydrogen 

        • Researchers in Germany have reported that they may have figured out why using hydrogen as a reactant in a reaction with iron oxide proceeds more slowly than expected, a fact that currently renders the element infeasible as a substitute for carbon. The researchers’ paper was published in Physical Review Letters.  
        • Steel Production – India is the world’s second-largest steelmaker, having produced 118.2 million tonnes in 2021. Making one tonne of steel releases 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide, making the sector’s decarbonisation plans an integral part of the country’s ability to achieve its climate commitments. 
        • Strong steel consists of a tiny amount – less than 1% – of carbon. To achieve this mix, iron oxide is heated with coke (a form of coal with high carbon content) at 1,700 C inside a blast furnace. The carbon reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, leaving iron with around 4% carbon behind. This iron is re- melted and oxygen is blown through it, producing more carbon dioxide and reducing the amount of carbon in the iron to a desirable level. 
        • The blast furnace ironmaking process is the predominant primary metal production process, with the carbon emissions accounting for approximately 90% of the total value of the entire steelmaking route. “Therefore, it is under severe pressure to reduce carbon emissions. 

        What is the barrier? 

        • In the first step, when oxygen leaves the iron oxide, scientists know that it leaves behind minuscule pores in the iron. 
        • The German team used phase-field models – a mathematical technique that uses partial differential equations to simulate reactions at interfaces – and electron microscopy to find that when hydrogen is the reactant, the departing oxygen combines with it to form water that becomes trapped inside these pores. From here, the water reoxidises the iron and considerably slows the oxygen-removal process. 
        • The researchers suggested a solution. Some pores on the iron oxide surface were connected by narrow channels, and they found that the water content in these channels was “almost always” lower than in the pores. 
        • They hypothesised that the trapped water drained through these channels, allowing hydrogen to replace it and continue the oxygen-removal reaction. 

        How can the barrier be overcome? 

        • To encourage such channels to be created when the iron oxide is processed, they proposed that a “microfracture structure” should be created on the feedstock to “increase reduction kinetics and improve metallization. 
        • Creating channels can be achieved by adjusting reduction pressure, temperature, gas composition, and chemical composition or by introducing mechanical deformation to the oxides. 
        • There are several challenges to the widespread application of hydrogen direct reduction production, such as reduction kinetics and the high cost of hydrogen reactants. 
        • Currently, multiple hydrogen-based steelmaking technologies are under development. A promising one is shaft furnace hydrogen direct reduction, which uses clean hydrogen as the oxygen-removal agent. With some fine-tuning, it is expected to be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 91%. 

        3 . Stray dogs and Waste Management 

        Context:  A 65-year-old woman in Srinagar was attacked by street dogs outside her home. Also sitting in front of her house is a garbage collection point — a mound of food and poultry waste that becomes food for free-roaming dogs in the area, as per reports. Frequent reports of dogs chasing people down the road, attacking and even “mauling” people to death have made the management of stray dogs an administrative and legal issue. 

        What do dog bites have to do with poor waste management? 

        • The incident of dog bites spotlighted the link between urban solid waste management and stray dog attacks in Indian cities.   
        • According to the experts, unless cities learn to manage solid waste better, rabies vaccines and dog sterilization will have little effect. 
        • The “carrying capacity” — the ability of a city to support a species — is determined by the availability of food and shelter. Free-ranging dogs, in the absence of these facilities, are scavengers that forage around for food, eventually gravitating towards exposed garbage dumping sites.  
        • A population boom in Indian cities has contributed to a staggering rise in solid waste. Indian cities generate more than 1,50,000 metric tonnes of urban solid waste every day. Indian homes on average also generated 50 kg of food waste per person.  
        • This food often serves as a source of food for hunger-stricken, free-roaming dogs that move towards densely populated areas in cities, such as urban slums which are usually located next to garbage dumping sites and landfills. A 2021 Bengaluru-based study found garbage from bakeries, restaurants, and houses was the primary food source for free-roaming dogs. 
        • Urban dogs are believed to have a distinct set of traits as compared to rural dogs, as they have “learned to develop survival techniques in fast-paced, often hostile motorized urban environments”, a 2014 study argues. This means they may be submissive in relation to humans, independent, friendly, and alert. 
        • The study goes on to add: “…dogs do not usually pose a threat to human well-being, and proper management of refuse [solid waste] and a tolerant, if not friendly attitude towards dogs can ensure their peace co-existence with humans.” 

        What role do urbanisation and urban planning play?   

        • Cities have witnessed a sharp increase in the stray dog population, which as per the official 2019 livestock census stood at 1.5 crore. However, independent estimates peg the number to be around 6.2 crore. The number of dog bites has simultaneously doubled between 2012 and 2020. India also shoulders the highest rabies burden in the world, accounting for a third of global deaths caused due to the disease. 
        • Experts agree that there may be a correlation between urbanisation and solid waste production, made visible due to the mismanagement of waste disposal.  
        • Tepid animal birth control programmes and insufficient rescue centres, in conjunction with poor waste management, result in a proliferation of street animals in India, research argues. 
        • The existing systems for solid waste collection and disposal are chequered, with poor implementation and underfunding. The proximity of residential areas to dumping sites and the rise in dog attacks speak to “core issues of unplanned and unregulated urban development, the lack of serviced affordable urban housing for all, lack of safe livelihood options and improper solid waste management” 

        How has India managed human dog population so far? 

        • India’s response to the “stray dog menace” has relied upon the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme, through which municipal bodies trap, sterilise and release dogs to slow down the dog population.  
        • The second anchor is rabies control measures, including vaccination drives. But implementation suffers from low awareness around the health implications of dog bites, irregular supply of vaccines, delay in seeking treatments, and a lack of national policy. 
        • Other informal, albeit popular, measures include mass culling of dogs in States like Kerala or imposing bans on the entry of stray dogs in colonies or feeding them in public

        4 . Ballast Less Slab Track system

        Context: Up to 1,000 Indian engineers will be trained by Japanese experts before starting work on the High-Speed Rail Track system for Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor (MAHSR).

        Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor (MAHSR)

        • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation for the country’s first high-speed train project — Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train.

        Key features of bullet train

        • Length: 508-km double line. Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail will be passing through two States, Maharashtra 155.642 km and Gujarat 350.530 km and one Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli 2 km.
        • Longest 21 km tunnel with 7 km under sea at Thane Creek.
        • 12 stations: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, Sabarmati. Except Mumbai, all other stations will be elevated.
        • Maximum Design Speed: 350 kmph
        • Maximum Operating speed: 320 kmph.
        • Journey time: – 2.07 hrs (limited stops), 2.58 hrs (stopping at all stations).
        • Maintenance of Trains: Sabarmati (Depot & Workshop) and Thane Depot.
        • Operations Control Centre (OCC) at Sabarmati. High Speed Railway training Centre which was earlier planned at Gandhinagar will now be located at Vadodara.
        • Ballast-less Slab Track system– The bullet train being built between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will use the ballast-less Slab Track system (popularly known as J Slab track system) as used in Japanese Shinkansen high speed railways. This Japanese track system is unique in the world and technicians require a very high level of skill to lay it.
          • Up to 20 Japanese experts will impart intensive training to the Indian engineers, supervisors and technicians and certify their skills. This will also help in ‘Transfer of Technology’ of Japanese HSR track system

        Types of Track Technology-

        Ballasted Track Technology

        • Ballasted track is a type of traditional railway tracks. Ballasted track is commonly composed of steel rail, railroad tie, railway fasteners and ballast bed.
        • Generally, laying ballast under the railway sleepers to reduce the stress on the ground. A layer of gravel was laid between ground and railway sleeper to form the track bed.
        • Track bed (ballast bed) can improve the flexibility and drainage performance of railway track. Ballasted track also make track easy to repair.  

        Ballast- less Slab Track Technology

        • Slab track, also called ballast- less track, is a modern form of track construction which has been used successfully throughout the world for high -speed lines, heavy rail, light rail and tram systems.
        • Ballastless track, is the railway track whose bed is composed of concrete and bituminous mixture, etc.
        • Generally, the non-ballasted track is made up of steel rail, railway fasteners and slab.
        • Non-ballasted track’s railway sleeper is formed by concrete casting.  Instead of ballast bed, steel rail and railway sleeper are laid on the concrete track.  
        • In a ballastless track, the rails are directly fastened to the concrete slab using elastic fastenings.


        • Slab Track structure is a unique feature of Japanese High- Speed Railway, popularly known as Shinkansen.
        • Slab Track was invented and has evolved in Japan and now the term is synonymous with High-Speed Track.
        • The first HSR in Japan i.e. Tokaido Shinkansen began operational in 1964 between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka.

        Ballastless track system designs

        • The design of a ballastless track is generally made up of the following components:
          • rail
          • rail fastening
          • sleeper
          • concrete or asphalt base layer
          • hydraulically bound base layer
          • frost protection layer
          • subsoil

        Embedded design

        • In the embedded design a friction locked joint is created between the track grid and the track bed layer. In a first step, the track grid is fitted either in the classic manner over the individual sleepers or by prefabricated components. After the geometric alignment (often by spindles) and a possible pre-tensioning of the rail fastening systems, the background is filled with in-situ concrete.

        Directly supported design

        • In the directly supported design there is no force-locking connection between the track grid and the track-bed layer. The vertical reference position of the track is produced through the track-bed layer. Here an elaborate spindle can thus be omitted. Directly supported designs are generally constructed with asphalt track bed layers, on which the sleepers covered with the geotextile are laid.  The ballast placed on the sleeper ends and in the sleeper cribs protects the track-bed layer against UV rays and heat and stabilises the horizontal track geometry.

        Support point bearings without sleepers

        • In this type of bearing there is no sleeper, and the rail is directly connected with the track bed layer made of concrete.


        • The advantages of a ballast- less track over a traditional superstructure are its highly consistent track geometry, its longer life span, and the reduced need for maintenance.
        • A ballast-less track’s track geometry is achieved mainly due its relative inelasticity in comparison to a traditional superstructure that results in far fewer deformations and generally smoother running.
        • Measurements conducted in Switzerland in 2003 and 2004 showed a standard deviation of the gauge of less than 1.2 millimetres (0.047 in). This in turn increases the track’s life span and reduces the need for maintenance.
        • Further advantages of ballast- less tracks include
          • Better and controlled drainage,
          • Elimination of flying-ballast damage on rolling stock and civil engineering structures,
          • Shallower superstructure, an
          • Possibility of run-over sections such as crossings over which pneumatic vehicles can be driven.
          • When used in stations, ballast- less tracks are easier to clean.


        • The primary disadvantage of a ballast- less track is its significantly higher cost of initial construction.  
        • Further disadvantages of ballast- less tracks are the impossibility of adjusting or correcting track geometry once concrete has been set, the necessity of a stable infrastructure (since no adjustments can be made to the superstructure),
        • Higher noise emissions, and
        • Longer repair times when the concrete slab is damaged (e.g. due to construction faults or wear and tear).  

        5 . ASEAN- India Maritime Exercise

        Context: In a further step, in the expanding India-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) military cooperation, the maiden ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise (AIME) is set to begin with war games in South China.

        About the exercise

        • AIME 2023 is the maritime exercise co-hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Indian Navy (IN). The exercise comprises a shore phase at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base (CNB), followed by a sea phase in international waters along the transit route to the Philippines, where participants will take part in the ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise subsequently.
        • The maiden exercise will be conducted off the coast of Singapore and will feature harbour and at-sea events off the coast of Singapore.
        • Objectives The week-long drills aimed at “enhancing interoperability and exchange of best practices among participating navies.
        • This exercise allows navies of ASEAN Member States and India to strengthen collaboration, enhance understanding, and build confidence to address common maritime security challenges at sea.
        • Significance– With AIME-2023 India becomes the 4th ASEAN dialogue partner, after Russia, China and the US to hold the ASEAN+1 maritime exercise in which navies of the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Brunei, will be participating.
        • AIME 2023 will provide an opportunity for the Indian Navy and ASEAN navies to conduct seamless operations in the maritime domain and to work closely.

        More about the participating ships

        • INS Satpura and INS Delhi with RAdm Gurcharan Singh, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet embarked onboard has reached Singapore to take part in the inaugural AIME-2023.
        • INS Delhi is India’s first indigenously-built guided missile destroyer and INS Satpura, is also indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate and are fitted with state-of-the art weapons and sensors.
        • During their port call at Singapore the ships of the Indian Navy will participate in the International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC) and also International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX-23). These two events being hosted by Singapore will provide a platform for the maritime and defence sectors to showcase latest innovations and further foster engagements.
        • For the inaugural Asean-India Maritime Exercise, the Philippine Navy has deployed its missile frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) with a 140-man contingent of Naval Task Group 80.5 onboard.

        About ASEAN

        • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional grouping that aims to promote economic and security cooperation among its ten members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 
        • The group has played a central role in Asian economic integration, joining negotiations to form the world’s largest free trade agreement and signing six free trade deals with other regional economies.
        • ASEAN was preceded by an organisation formed on 31 July 1961 called the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA), a group consisting of Thailand, the Philippines, and the Federation of Malaya.
        • ASEAN itself was created on 8 August 1967, when the foreign ministers of five countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, signed the Bangkok Declaration.

        6 . Laundromat Report

        Context: India leads five countries named as the “Laundromat” countries that buy Russian oil and sell processed products to European countries, thus sidestepping European sanctions against Russia, says a Helsinki-based group that cited the latest figures for the first quarter of 2023.  

        Findings of the report

        • Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) report titled Laundromat: How the price cap coalition whitewashes Russian oil in third countries said that India is among the top five countries, including China, that is purchasing cheap Russian crude oil and converting it into refined petroleum products, which are “laundered” in Europe and G7 countries. These five countries that have increased purchases of Russian oil and ‘launder’ it into products shipped to countries having sanctioned Russian oil the ‘laundromat’ countries.
        • The ‘laundromat countries’ are China, India, Turkey, the UAE and Singapore. The price-cap coalition countries include the European Union, G7 countries, Australia and Japan.
        • The report explained that Russia is forced to offer discounted oil to ensure it is able to find buyers, the laundromat countries are refining larger volumes of imported Russian crude to then export refined products to sanction imposing countries. This is currently a legal way of exporting oil products to countries that are imposing sanctions on Russia as the product origin has been changed.
        • Price cap coalition countries have increased imports of refined oil products from countries that have become the largest importers of Russian crude. This is a major loophole that can undermine the impact of the sanctions on Russia,” said the report.
        • European countries are simply substituting oil products they previously bought directly from Russia, with the same products now “whitewashed” in third countries and bought from them at a premium.

        India’s position

        • Of the so-called “laundromat” countries, India, which in April remained the highest global consumer of seaborne Russian crude for a fifth month, is ahead of all others in the export of crude products to the coalition countries.
        • The CREA report said the most oil products were being exported from two ports in Gujarat: Sikka port that services the Reliance-owned Jamnagar refinery, and the Vadinar port that ships oil products from Nayara energies, which is partly owned (49.13%) by Rosneft.
        • The report concluded, recommending that “place of origin” certification should accompany oil products sold to Europe.

        7 . Hill Area Committee

        Context: Some members of the Meitei community in Manipur, which has been seeking Scheduled Tribe status for decades, have now said that they intend to file contempt proceedings against the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, which recently passed a resolution opposing their inclusion.

        What is Hill Areas Committee?

        • Hill Areas Committee means the Standing Committee referred to in section 52 of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 (20 of 1963).

        Hill area committee of the Manipur Assembly

        • It is a constitutional body setup under section 371C of the constitution of India.
        • Composition– The Hill areas Committee comprises of all M. L. As elected from the hill areas of the State as its members. The members then elect Chairman and Vice Chairman and other functionaries through nomination/consensus.
        • Power – Hill Area Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly to provide legislative protection to the interest of the hill areas.
        • The Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of Manipur Legislative Assembly is empowered to monitor legislation and administration for the hill areas.
        • Functions– This is the highest body in the State at the legislative level to oversee the planning, implementation and monitoring of all development activities in the hill areas of the State.  

        About Meitei Community

        • Meitei People are the predominant ethnic group of Manipur in Northeast India.
        • They speak Meitei language (officially called Manipuri), one of the 22 official languages of the Indian Republic and the sole official language of Manipur.
        • The Meitei people primarily settled in the Imphal Valley region in modern-day Manipur. However, a sizable population has settled in the other Indian states of Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. There is also a notable presence of Meitei in the neighboring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Meitei ethnic group represents about 53% of Manipur’s population

        8 . Facts for prelims 

        Rabies Vaccine 

        • Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease which infects domestic and wild animals. It is transmitted to other animals and humans through close contact with saliva from infected animals (i.e. bites, scratches, licks on broken skin and mucous membranes). Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal to both animals and humans. 
        • The Rabies vaccine is an active immunizing agent used to prevent infection caused by the rabies virus. The vaccine works by causing body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the rabies virus. 
        • Rabies vaccine is used in two ways-  
        • Post-exposure prophylaxis– Rabies vaccine is given to persons who have been exposed (eg, by a bite, scratch, or lick) to an animal that is known, or thought, to have rabies. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis.  
        • Pre-exposure prophylaxis- Rabies vaccine may also be given ahead of time to persons who have a high risk of getting infected with rabies virus. These persons include veterinarians and animal handlers. This is called pre-exposure prophylaxis. 
        • Doses are usually given by injection into the skin or muscle. After exposure, the vaccination is typically used along with rabies immunoglobulin. 
        • Types of Rabies Vaccine- Two types of vaccines to protect against rabies in humans exist – nerve tissue and cell culture vaccines.   
        • The human diploid cell rabies vaccine (HDCV) was started in 1967. Human diploid cell rabies vaccines are inactivated vaccines made using the attenuated Pitman-Moore L503 strain of the virus. 
        • In addition to these developments, newer and less expensive purified chicken embryo cell vaccines (CCEEV) and purified Vero cell rabies vaccines are now available and are recommended for use by the WHO. 
        • Oral rabies vaccines in pellet form are intended to be given to wild animals to produce a herd immunity effect.  

        Golden Globe Race 

        • India’s Abhilash Tomy made history by securing the second spot in the 2022 Golden Globe (GGR) race. 
        • Golden Globe Race was a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. It is the longest and slowest race in the world. 
        • The event expects the participants to use technology that existed before 1968 and none of the modern 
        • Entrants are limited to sailing similar yachts and equipment to what was available to Sir Robin in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or the benefit of satellite-based navigation aids. 
        • Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 – 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 that have a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts are heavily built, strong and sturdy, similar in concept to Sir Robin’s 32ft vessel Suhaili. 
        • Route- The race started on 4 September 2022 in Les Sables-d’Olonne and leads around the world eastward, leaving Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn to port. There were four “film gates” along the route – Lanzarote, Cape Town, Hobart and Punta del Este   
        • The Golden Globe trophy was offered to the first person to complete an unassisted, non-stop single-handed circumnavigation of the world via the great capes, and a separate £5,000 prize was offered for the fastest single-handed circumnavigation. 

        Painted Stork 

        • The painted stork is a large wader in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia.   
        • Scientific NameMycteria leucocephala 
        • Appearance– Their distinctive pink flight feathers of the adults give them their name. These beautifully colored birds have a heavy yellow beak with a down-curved tip that gives them a resemblance to an ibis. Males and females appear alike but the males of a pair are usually larger than the female. 
        • Distribution- Painted storks are absent from very dry or desert regions, dense forests, and the higher hill regions. The painted storks are usually seen in the freshwater wetlands and occasionally in the coastal regions. They are found in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. They prefer freshwater wetlands in all seasons, but also use irrigation canals and crop fields, particularly flooded rice fields during the monsoon. 
        • Habits and Lifestyle– Painted storks are not migratory and only make short-distance movements in some parts of their range in response to changes in weather or food availability or for breeding. These birds are highly gregarious and feed in groups in shallow wetlands, crop fields, and irrigation canals. Painted storks are carnivores (piscivores). Their diet consists mainly of small fish, but also crustaceans, amphibians, insects, and reptiles. They also take frogs and occasionally snakes. 
        • Population Threats- The main threats to Painted storks include habitat loss and agricultural pollution, disturbance from human activities, hunting of adult birds, and collection of eggs and newly hatched chicks. 
        • Conservation Status- Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List 

        Hydrogen Sulphide 

        • Hydrogen sulphide (also known as H2S, sewer gas, swamp gas, stink damp, and sour damp) is a colorless gas known for its pungent “rotten egg” odor at low concentrations. It is extremely flammable and highly toxic. 
        • Hydrogen sulphide is used or produced in a number of industries, such as  :
          • Oil and gas refining 
          • Mining 
          • Tanning 
          • Pulp and paper processing 
          • Rayon manufacturing 
        • Hydrogen sulphide also occurs naturally in sewers, manure pits, well water, oil and gas wells, and volcanoes. Because it is heavier than air, hydrogen sulfide can collect in low-lying and enclosed spaces, such as manholes, sewers, and underground telephone vaults. Its presence makes work in confined spaces potentially very dangerous. 
        • The health effects of hydrogen sulfide depend on how much H2S a worker breathes and for how long. However, many effects are seen even at low concentrations. Effects range from mild, headaches or eye irritation, to very serious, unconsciousness and death. 


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