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PRAVAHINI Weekly Periodical February 2023 Set 3

PRAVAHINI Weekly Periodical February 2023 Set 3

Neelesh Singh 15


It gives us great pleasure to release the monthly edition of the PRAVAHINI – Monthly e- Compendium & Weekly e-Periodicals of Current Affairs. The magazine’s members have shown considerable cooperation as well as devotion. We at success mantra.in working tirelessly to create this magazine and bring it to you with a great sense of gratitude.

The February -2023 eBook covers the current events that happened in the month of October. Current Affairs is a crucial component of any competitive exams including CLAT, AILET, DU-LLB, HM, CAT, IAS, PCS, SSC, CUET, Banking, MBA and various other competitive examinations.

Current Affairs play the bigger role in many competitive and government exams. It holds the power of making or breaking your chance of success. Therefore, the candidates should cover the Current Affairs thoroughly and smartly.

The PRAVAHINI February -2023 eBook is divided into different sections keeping in mind the need of various exams. The sections covered namely International, National, Economy, Ecology and Environment, Science & Technology, Legal Affairs, Sports, States News Makers and few others.

We would also be pleased to receive any suggestion that could assist us with the upcoming editions.

Success Mantra (GTB Nagar, Delhi)


Mail Id: [email protected]

1. NATIONAL AFFAIRS .....................................................
2. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS............................................
3. ECONOMIC AFFAIRS......................................................
4. APPOINTMENTS.............................................................
5. AwARdS ANd hONORS.................................................
6. IMPORTANT dATES.......................................................
7. SCIENCE & TECh............................................................
8. MISCELLANEOUS............................................................
➢ Recently, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered a
1,300-year-old stupa right in the middle of a mining site in Odisha’s
Jajpur district at a Khondalite mining site.
➢ It is the place from where Khondalite stones were supplied for the
beautification project around the 12th Century Shree Jagannath
Temple in Puri.
➢ What are the Findings of the ASI?
➢ The stupa could be 4.5-metre tall and initial assessment showed it may belong to the 7th or
8th century.
➢ It was found at Parabhadi which is situated near Lalitagiri, a major Buddhist complex, has a
large number of stupas and monasteries.
➢ Lalitgiri Buddhist site is believed to be the most sacred among the three sites (Lalitagiri,
Ratnagiri and Udayagiri) as it unearthed a massive stupa where a relic of Buddha was
discovered inside a stone casket.
➢ What are the Khondalite Stones?
➢ Khondalite is a type of metamorphic rock that is found in the Eastern Ghats region of India,
particularly in the state of Odisha. It is named after the Khondalite Group of rocks, which is
believed to have formed around 1.6 billion years ago during the Proterozoic era.
➢ The National Institution for Transforming India is a public policy think tank. It succeeded the
Planning Commission in 2015. The council has all the chief ministers of the state and
Lieutenant Governors of UTs.
➢ Apart from them, there are temporary members such as four ex-officio members, a CEO, and
three part-time members. All the temporary members including the CEO are appointed by the
Prime Minister. Recently, PM Modi appointed BVR Subrahmanyam as the new CEO of NITI
➢ The previous CEO of NITI Aayog, Parameshwaran Iyer has been appointed as the Executive
Director of the World Bank. And so, Mr Subrahmanyam is moving to his place.
➢ About BVR Subrahmanyam
➢ He served as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. He was a 1987 IAS officer from the
Chhattisgarh cadre. He served as the private secretary of Mr Manmohan Singh during his reign
from 2004 to 2008.
➢ The Haryana Governor recently addressed the Budget session of the
state. During the address, he said that the State Government is very
stubborn in implementing the SYL Canal project.
➢ It is a canal between Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. The canal is a river-
sharing mechanism between Punjab and Haryana. After completion,
the states of Punjab and Haryana will share the waters of Ravi and
➢ Powers of Parliament
➢ The central government has the power to make laws on water sharing between the states. The
rivers and the inter-state rivers fall under the union list.
➢ The Vedanta group and the Foxconn of Taiwan have come together
to build the first semiconductor manufacturing unit in Dholera of
➢ The companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the
Gujarat Government. According to the agreement, they will invest Rs
1,54,000 crores in this project.
➢ The semiconductor plant will be built in the Dholera Special
Investment Region in Ahmedabad. It is a greenfield industrial city.
➢ The Dholera Special Investment Region Development Authority handles the land and the
projects. The project was started by PM Modi when he was the CM of Gujarat.
➢ Projects within Dholera Special Investment Region
• Ultra Mega Solar Park: generating 4400 MW of electricity
• An international airport
• Freight transport railway line
• Expressway to connect Ahmedabad. Dholera is 100 km from Ahmedabad
                         INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
➢ The START is a bilateral treaty signed between the US and the
Soviet Union in 1991. It came into force in 1994. Under the treaty, the
countries agreed to bar 6,000 nuclear warheads and 1m600 ICBMs.
➢ More than 80% of the nuclear warheads were removed in 2001
with this treaty. The treaty expired in 2009. THE NEW START Treaty
was signed in 2010. This new treaty applies till 2026. Russia has now
withdrawn from the treaty.
➢ Background
➢ The US and Russia have been at constant war due to the differences in their ideologies. Russia
follows socialism and the US follows capitalism. The differences affect their trade interests.
➢ They fight the cold war, the trade war, the space war, the proxy war, and every other war sadly.
Now, they are fighting against each other, placing Ukraine at the center.
➢ Vivek Ramaswamy is an Indian American. He is a republican (Joe
Biden and Barack Obama are all from the Democratic Political
party) and an anti-environment activist.
➢ Anti-environmentalists are those people who believe that
environmental regulation is unnecessary. He established a company
to ban environmental governance initiatives. He is a biotech
➢ Former President Donald Trump announced his candidacy already. Also, Nikki Hayley, the
Governor of South Carolina has announced her candidacy for the US elections in 2024.
➢ The Republican Party will hold primary elections to choose its nominee. The US constitution
does not provide any rule for these elections. Joe Biden, the current President of the US will
also run for the 2024 US President Election. He was the Vice President of the country during
Obama’s time. In the US, you can contest the presidential elections twice, that is, for two
➢ India has urged the member nations to stay dedicated to the
conservation and preservation of the oceans and its
biodiversity during the ongoing session (Feb-March 2023) Of
Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) i.e., IGC-5 of Biodiversity
Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).
➢ India supported the high ambition coalition for the early
conclusion of the International Legally Binding Instrument of
BBNJ under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
➢ What is the BBNJ Treaty?
➢ The “BBNJ Treaty”, also known as the “Treaty of the High Seas”, is an international agreement
on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national
jurisdiction within the framework of the UNCLOS.
➢ BBNJ encompasses the high seas, beyond the exclusive economic zones or national waters
of countries.
➢ According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), these areas account
for “almost half of the Earth’s surface”.
➢ These areas are hardly regulated and also least understood or explored for its biodiversity -
only 1% of these areas are under protection. Launched at the One Ocean Summit in February
2022, the High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction brings
together many delegations engaged in the BBNJ negotiations on a common and ambitious
outcome at the highest political level.
➢ India and China recently held the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination
meeting. This is the 26th meeting and the first since the Galwan standoff, and the 14th physical
WMCC meeting.
➢ A virtual WMCC meeting was held during the Ladakh standoff in 2020. The countries discussed
the issues along the LAC on the western border. Also, they discussed the disengagement of
troops in the remaining areas. It was a secretary-level meeting.
➢ Why was the meeting held?
• To bring back normalcy in the bilateral relations between India and China
• To restore peace along the Line of Actual Control Future Plans
• The countries have decided to conduct the Senior Commanders meeting soon. This is in
accordance with the bilateral agreements signed between India and China.
➢ China and Japan held a security dialogue for the first time in four
years. It was held in Tokyo. During the meeting, the countries agreed to
strengthen their security relations and communication. They will work
to gain mutual trust. Also, they agreed to bring upon a framework of
maritime and air liaison.
➢ If you notice, China recently held the WMCC meeting with India on
withdrawing troops on the border. China is planning on holding talks
with Australia.
➢ China has been changing its tone of business in recent days, that is, 30-40 days. This is because
the economy of the country is becoming more and more fragile.
➢ And with the dependent population increasing and the working population decreasing in the
country because of its birth control policies, China will face a big setback in its economic
growth in the coming days.
➢ China’s policy change
➢ China was a pro-business market for quite some time in the past. Meaning, the capitalists were
given preference.
➢ But lately, the Chinese Communist Party’s (the ruling government) goals are prioritized
over business interests. The case of Jack Ma is the best example of the Chinese policy shift.
➢ The exercise Desert Flag VIII was held in the UAE air base Al
Dhafra. The Indian Air Force participated in the exercise. The other
countries that participated were the USA, Korea, Spain, Morocco,
Bahrain, the UK, Australia, Kuwait, France, and UAE.
➢ For the first time, LCA Tejas of India is participating in a military
exercise that was held outside the country. India sent two C-17
transport aircraft and five Tejas to the exercise.
➢ Why is exercise important for India?
➢ The UAE Air Force is one of the largest air forces in the world. There are more than 4,000
personnel in the UAE Air Force. In the 1970s-80s, the UAE Air Force was not this strong.
➢ It received training from the Pakistan Air Force during those times. Even today, you can find
many retired Pakistan Air Force officers in the UAE.
➢ UAE started building its Air Force in 2007. Some of the largest procurements began during
these days. 3.4 billion USD worth of Mirage 2000, 6.4 billion Lockheed Martin, etc. was
purchased. Missiles like AIM-120, AGM Mavericks, etc were also purchased.
➢ The foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan fell to 2.9 billion USD.
It is now slowly rising to 4 billion USD. The cash injection was the need
of the moment for Pakistan.
➢ And China stepped in offering 700 million USD to help its “all-
weather” friend. China Development Bank transferred the funds
to Pakistan State Bank.
➢ Pakistan was also asking for help from the IMF. Unfortunately,
the talks ended in failure. The IMF is planning on sending 1.1 billion USD but no decision has
been made yet.
➢ Taxes are increasing in the country; oil prices are shooting up rapidly, the rupee value of
the country is falling, etc. Pakistan is facing an economic crisis because of ill-planned tax reforms.
Another reason is the weak regulatory system.
➢ What should Pakistan do?
➢ The country should introduce structural reforms and economic reforms. Also, Pakistan should
try and bring in investments. When it comes to trade, the country should remove the bias.
➢ Public finances should be strengthened; the energy sector reformation, removing biasing the
non-agricultural sector and strengthening competition law.
➢ The Cobra Warrior Exercise is to be held at Waddington Air Force Base in the UK in March
2023. It is a multinational exercise. Countries like Singapore, Finland, the USA, South Africa, and
Sweden will participate in the exercise.
➢ India is also participating in the exercise. The IAF will send five Mirage 2000 fighters along
with IL-78 mid-air refueling aircraft, and two C-17 Globemaster.
➢ The Cobalt Warrior is one of the largest Royal Air Force exercises. During the exercise, the Royal
Air Force provides special training to pilots from different countries.
➢ The exercise has been conducted for more than a decade. The exercises are considered one
of the most challenging exercises in the world. Therefore, the participating air forces gain good
➢ During the exercise, the Royal British Air Force offers Qualified Space Instructors Courses,
surveillance, Multi-Engine Tactics, Qualified Weapons Instructors, etc.
➢ To qualify for these war strategies the Air Force crew has to seek intense training provided by
the British Royal Air Force.
➢ French President Emmanuel Macron recently unveiled a new
economic and military strategy for Africa. According to the new strategy,
the French Government is to reduce its troops in the African region.
➢ Dropping the military approach, France is to boost its economic
influence in the region. France refers to the change as the beginning of a
“New Era”. France is to bring in a new security partnership. However,
France will not close its military bases. Rather, the bases are to be utilized based on the
needs of the African partners.
➢ Africa is the new “field of competition”. The eyes of developed and developing economies are
on the African region.
➢ The region is of interest to investors for its rich oil resources, mineral deposits, and also
agricultural potential. But France is still in its age-old style of military dominance while China
and the USA have already in the race to capture African markets.
                              ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
➢ Recently, India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow have been
integrated to enable faster Remittances between the two countries.
➢ Singapore has become the first country with which cross-border Person to Person (P2P)
payment facilities have been launched.
➢ The UPI-PayNow partnership marks the world’s first to feature cloud-based
infrastructure and participation by non-bank financial institutions.
➢ What is UPI and PayNow?
➢ UPI: UPI is India’s mobile-based fast payment system, which facilitates customers to make
round-the-clock payments instantly, using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) created by the
➢ PayNow: PayNow is a fast payment system in Singapore. It enables peer-to-peer funds transfer
service, available to retail customers through participating banks and Non-Bank Financial
Institutions (NFIs) in Singapore.
➢ According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India will alone
contribute 15% of the global growth in 2023 and continues to remain
a relative "bright spot" in the world economy.
➢ Which Factors are Most Responsible for India's Economic Rise?
➢ Growth Prospects: India remains a bright spot at a time when the IMF
is projecting 2023 to be difficult with global growth slowing down from 3.4% in 2022 to
2.9% in 2023.
➢ Digitalisation: According to the IMF, India has turned digitalisation into a driver of
overcoming the pandemic and creating job opportunities, while the country's fiscal policy
has been responsive to economic conditions.
➢ Investment in Green Economy: The country's fiscal responsibility has been translated into a
medium-term framework, with a strong anchor to public finances.
➢ Capital Spending: The capital spending has increased, which would amount to 3.3% of gross
domestic product, and will be the biggest such jump after an increase of more than 37%
between 2020-21 and 2021-22.
➢ David Malpass, the former World Bank President resigned
before his term was completed due to climate-related
➢ After his resignation, US President Joe Biden recently
nominated the former MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga as the new
World Bank President. Ajay has expertise in handling
climate change-related economic issues.
➢ He is now serving as the Vice Chairman of General Atlantic, a private firm. His business
experience with the master card is more than 30 years.
➢ He is the first Indian-born nominee to serve at the World Bank. With the recent FBI reports
talking about the hate crimes against Sikhs in the country, the US’s political decision on
choosing Ajay Banga as the head of the key organization is commendable.
➢ Background: David Malpass was nominated by former US President Donald Trump. The duo
was criticized for their anti-environmental policies.
                              AWARDS & HONOURS
➢ The DPIFF (Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards) was started in 2012. It
is an independent corporate film festival. It is not the same
“DADASAHEB PHALKE AWARD '' presented at the National Film
➢ The DADASAHEB PHALKE AWARD is presented in a ceremony
organized by the Government of India (Directorate of Film Festivals).
But the DPIFF is completely a private ceremony organized by the family
members of Dadasaheb Phalke.
➢ 2023 was organized by his grandson. Dadasaheb is the Father of Indian Cinema. The award
presented in his name at the National Film Award ceremony is one of the most prestigious
awards in the country. It is not to be confused with DPIFF.
➢ DPIFF 2023
• Film of the year: RRR
• Best Film: The Kashmir Files
• Best Actress: Alia Bhatt
• Best Actor: Ranbir Kapoor
• Critics-Best Actor: Varun Dhawan
• Critics-Best Actress: Vidya Balan
• Best Director: R Balki
• Best Cinematographer: PS Vinod
• Most Promising Actor: Rishab Shetty (for KANTARA)
• Best Playback singer-Male: Sachet Tandon
• Best Playback Singer-Female: Neeti Mohan
• Best Web Series: RUDRA
• Most versatile Actor: Anupam Kher
• Television Series of the Year: Anupama
• Best Actor in Television series: Zain Imam for Fanaa
• Best Actress in Television Series: Tejasswi Prakash
➢ Recently, Computer scientist Hari Balakrishnan was awarded the 2023 Marconi Prize. Dr.
Balakrishnan has been cited for fundamental contributions to wired and
wireless networking, mobile sensing, and distributed systems.
➢ The Marconi Prize is a top honor for computer scientists and is awarded
by the U.S.-based Marconi Foundation.
➢ It is given to those who have made a significant contribution to increasing digital
inclusivity through advanced information and communications technology.
➢ The Prize recipients are recommended by an independent selection committee and
approved by the Marconi Society Board.
➢ Sergio Ramos Garcia is a Spanish Football player. He is popular
for his aggressive play. He played for Real Madrid for more than
sixteen seasons.
➢ He has won four UEFA championship leagues, two UEFA European
championships, and also the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was one of
the youngest players to reach 100 caps.
➢ Cap is awarded to players appearing in the national team. In simple
terms, it is the number of times a player plays for the national team. Till today, Ramos is the
most capped player.
➢ Real Madrid: It is a football club in Madrid, Spain that was started in 1902. The team is one
of the most internationally recognized teams in the world. It is the most valuable team in the
world and its worth is around 5.1 billion USD.
➢ The annual revenue of the team is 640.7 million Euros and is the second-highest revenue-
earning team in the world. Also, Real Madrid is one of the founders of La Liga.
➢ The 2023 T20 Women’s world cup was held in South Africa. The
final battle was between South Africa and Australia. The Australian
team won the battle.
➢ The Australian women's team is winning the T20 world cup for the
sixth time. India quit losing to the Australian team during the semi-
finals. India was the runner-up in the previous women’s T20 world cup.
➢ Beth Mooney scored 74 runs and topped the match. The name of the women’s T20 cricket team
is Southern stars. The team captain is Meg Lanning.
➢ The name of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team is Women in Blue or sometimes also called
Team India; the captain is Harman Preet Kaur. It was founded in 1976. The team is governed by
the BCCI, that is, the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
➢ The captain of the Argentina football team Lionel Messi recently won the Best FIFA Men’s
player award. It is one of the prestigious awards for sports
personalities, especially for those in the football game. The award is
presented by FIFA.
➢ History of the award
➢ Earlier he was called the FIFA World Player of the Year. Later in 2010,
it was combined with the Ballon d’Or and together it was called the FIFA Ballon d’Or. FIFA
received 13 million pounds to add the tag of Ballon d’Or.
➢ The award was presented in this name for six years, that is, till 2016. All six years, it was
Lionel Messi who won the award. Later in 2016, the Ballon d’Or tag was given up.
➢ And only the FIFA tag was attached. FIFA dropped the Ballon d’Or because its relations with
the England Football Association were deteriorating.
➢ Lionel Messi is an Argentine football player. Currently, he belongs to the “Paris Saint Germain”
➢ India celebrates National Science Day on February 28.
National Science Day is celebrated in the country to mark the
discovery of the Raman Effect. Raman discovered the Raman
Effect on February 28, 1928, and received the Nobel Prize for
his discovery in 1930.
➢ History of National Science Day
➢ The National Council for Science and Technology 1986 proposed to mark National Science
Day on February 28. The Government of India agreed to the proposal.
➢ The objective of National Science Day
➢ National Science Day is celebrated to spread the importance of science in day-to-day life. On
this occasion, the importance of science and achievements in the field are discussed. New
technologies are implemented.
➢ The theme of National Science Day 2023: Global Science for Global well being
➢ Raman Effect
➢ The wavelength of light changes in the air as it is deflected by molecules. This is referred to as
scattering. The sky is blue in color because of the Raman effect.
➢ Smaller wavelengths scatter easily. The wavelength of blue is small and is scattered the
maximum as compared to all the other colors. For this reason, the sky is blue in color.
➢ Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated on March 1. The day is
mainly celebrated by organizations like UNAIDS. The main objective
of the day is to promote equality.
➢ The first Zero Discrimination Day was celebrated in 2014. It was
launched by UNAIDS. The first Zero Discrimination Day
celebrations were conducted in Beijing.
➢ Zero Discrimination Day in India
➢ In India, activists use the day to speak against discrimination faced by the LGBT community.
➢ Section 377 and Zero Discrimination Day
➢ The day is used by Indian activists to raise voices to repeal section 377. The section was
legislated by the Britishers. It penalizes sexual acts that are against nature, that is, homosexual
➢ In 2018, the Supreme Court dismissed the section from the IPC. However, Parliament has not
yet taken any action on this.
➢ So internationally, the code hasn’t been repealed in India. In other former British colonies like
Singapore, the act has been completely repealed.
                             SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
➢ Recently, a team of Researchers have published a study titled- “Dust as a Solar Shield”,
proposing that launching Moon Dust into the stratosphere can slow down Global-Warming.
➢ What was the Proposal?
➢ Solar Radiation Management: They proposed the regular transport of moon dust to a gravity
point (Lagrange Point) between Earth and Sun to temper the ravages of global warming.
➢ Analogy with Volcanic Spew and Moon Dust: Artificially spraying Moon Dust into the
stratosphere has been motivated from the fact that a sufficiently powerful Volcanic Eruption
can spew sulfates and other aerosols into the stratosphere and thus cool the air there.
➢ The Moon, Venus, and Jupiter are to come to the spot in the sky
on February 22, 2024. Moon will pass very close to Jupiter and
Venus immediately after sunset. You can watch this easily even
without a telescope. However, without the telescope, the planets will
appear like a star.
➢ What is a conjunction in astronomy?
➢ The conjunction occurs when two or more planets or two or more
moons pass close by. For instance, the sun and moon are in conjunction during new moon
days. Planetary conjunction occurs when two or more planets come close by.
➢ Magnitudes of Venus and Jupiter during the conjunction
➢ Venus will be at a magnitude of -4.0. Jupiter will be at a magnitude of -2.1. And the moon
will be at a magnitude of -9.8. Magnitude is the measure of brightness.
➢ Venus and Jupiter are the brightest planets in the solar system. Jupiter is the brightest for its size.
And Venus is the brightest for its gasses and thick clouds in the atmosphere that reflects most
of the sunlight back into space.
➢ Venus Jupiter conjunction
➢ The planets have at least one conjunction every year. However, the 2023 conjunction is
special and unique.
➢ Why so? Usually, the Venus-Jupiter conjunction occurs very close to the sun. The bright light
from the sun makes the conjunction invisible. However, this conjunction is a bit far away and
is clearly visible.
➢ The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has discovered six
Monster galaxies, formed roughly 500-700 million years after the
Big Bang, according to a Study.
➢ How were these Galaxies Found?
➢ Researchers spotted the six monster galaxies using the Cosmic
Evolution Early 44 Release Science programme of JWST.
➢ The programme studies the formation of the earliest galaxies when the universe was less
than 5% of its current age.
➢ Researchers turned the telescope to a patch of the sky close to the Big Dipper, which appears
to harbor a group of stars that form a pattern in the night sky. The Hubble space telescope first
observed this region in the 1990s.
➢ The Big Dipper is an asterism of stars, in the constellation Ursa Major (also known as the
Great Bear). It consists of seven bright stars, four forming a rectangular "bowl" shape and three
forming a "handle".
➢ It is often used as a navigational tool, a reference point for stargazing, and as a symbol in popular
➢ Recently, physicists working with the Kamioka Liquid Scintillator
Antineutrino Detector (KamLAND) in Japan reported that after
analyzing two years’ data, they could not find signs that neutrinos
could be their own anti-particles.
➢ What was the Experiment?
➢ KamLAND looks for an event called neutrinoless double beta-decay.
In normal double beta-decay, two neutrons in an atom turn into two protons by emitting
two electrons and two electron antineutrinos.
➢ In neutrinoless double beta-decay, the anti-neutrinos aren’t emitted, which can happen only if
anti-neutrinos are just different kinds of neutrinos.
➢ What are Neutrinos?
➢ Neutrinos are the second most abundant particles in the Universe after photons (light
particles), produced in copious amounts in the cores of stars.
➢ Properties: Because they are so ubiquitous, their properties are windows into the microscopic
structure of the universe.
➢ For example, one open question about neutrinos is whether they are their own antiparticles. If
they were, physicists will have a way to explain why the universe has more matter than
➢ The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council recently launched the Pangong Tso
Marathon. The marathon is the first of its kind in India. It was held on
the frozen Pangong Tso lake.
➢ The marathon was conducted at an altitude of 4,350 meters. With
this, it makes the Guinness record for World’s Highest Frozen
Lake Marathon. It is the first frozen lake marathon in India.
➢ About the Marathon
➢ The marathon included a 21 km long run. It began in Luking village. The marathon was organized
by the Council of Ladakh along with the Adventure Sports Foundation of Ladakh.
➢ Pangong Tso Lake
➢ The lake has saline water and is completely frozen during winter. Researchers believe that the
lake was a part of the Indus river system in early times. Today, however, the lake lies
separated from the Indus river. It is the highest saltwater lake in the world.
➢ Fossils of an extinct species, Dickinsonia, that scientists reported in a discovery from India’s
Bhimbetka Rock Shelters in 2021 have been found to be a false alarm.
➢ Researchers after a closer look at the site revealed the Dickinsonia fossil to really be wax
smeared on a rock by a beehive.
➢ What is Dickinsonia?
➢ Dickinsonia is an extinct primitive animal that inhabited seabeds around Australia, China,
Russia, Ukraine, in the Ediacaran period, 600-500 million years ago.
➢ It was classified as an animal after the discovery of cholesterol molecules in the fossils. It is
believed to be one of the earliest animals to have existed on earth.
➢ Recently, Brazil has halted its beef exports to China after a case
of Mad Cow Disease was confirmed in the northern state of Para.
➢ What is Mad Cow Disease?
➢ Also known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is
degenerative, transmissible, slowly progressive, and a fatal
infection that affects the central nervous system of adult cattle.
➢ Causes: BSE is caused by a protein called a prion normally found on cell surfaces, the normal
prion protein changes into an abnormal prion protein that is harmful.
➢ After getting altered, these proteins destroy the nervous system tissue-the brain and spinal cord.
➢ The body of a sick cow does not even know the abnormal prion is there. Without knowing
it is there, the cow’s body cannot fight off the disease.