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Rapid Fire Current Affairs

  • 30 May 2023
  • 5 min read

CAG Chief Re-elected as WHO External Auditor

Girish Chandra Murmu, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), has been re-elected as the External Auditor of the World Health Organization (WHO) for a four-year term from 2024 to 2027. The re-election took place during the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva. This marks his second major international audit assignment this year, following his selection as the External Auditor for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in March 2023. Additionally, the CAG of India holds the position of External Auditor for several other international organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The CAG's re-election as the WHO External Auditor highlights India's strong presence and influence in international audit and governance bodies.

The function of the External Auditor of the WHO is to conduct independent audits and provide assurance on the financial statements, compliance with regulations, effectiveness of operations, and risk management within the organization.

Read more: Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), World Health Organization (WHO)

China Sends First Civilian into Space

China's space program achieved a significant milestone by successfully launching the Shenzhou 16 spacecraft, carrying 3 astronauts using a Long March 2F rocket. This marks the country's first-ever mission involving a civilian astronaut. With ambitions to catch up with the United States and Russia, China has invested billions of dollars into its military-run space program. This milestone marks a departure from the previous practice of only sending astronauts from the People's Liberation Army. The civilian astronaut, Gui Haichao, a payload expert from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will be responsible for space science experimental payloads. China's space dream includes plans for a lunar base and a crewed lunar mission by 2029, while the Tiangong space station will facilitate scientific experiments and the testing of new technologies.

Read more: China’s Tiangong Space Station

Boosting Unani Medicine

The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has allocated Rs 45.34 crore to bolster the research and development of Unani medicine, a traditional healing system. The Central Council of Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) and the National Institute of Unani Medicine (NIUM) Bengaluru have received Rs 35.52 crore and Rs 9.81 crore respectively to enhance Unani facilities in Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Silchar, and Bengaluru.

The grants have been disbursed under the centrally sponsored scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram, aiming to promote the advancement of Unani medicine and its accessibility to the public.

Unani medicine, based on the principle of boosting the body's inherent self-healing power, is one of India's popular alternative treatments, alongside Ayurveda and homoeopathy.

Read more: Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram

Increased Bird Migration to Chilika Lake Despite High Temperatures

Chilika Lake in Odisha, Asia's largest brackish water lagoon, saw a higher influx of migratory birds this summer compared to previous years, defying the scorching temperatures ranging from 39 to 41 degrees Celsius.

The Tangi range recorded the highest number of bird sightings, followed by Balugaon, Satapada, Chilika and Rambha. Notably, the grey-headed swamphen or purple swamphen was the most commonly sighted species, followed by the Asian Openbilled-stork, whiskered tern, little cormorant, and little egret.

Factors such as habitat improvement, food availability, and the removal of prawn enclosures in the lake contribute to the increased bird migration. The birds, mostly from beyond the Himalayas in northern Eurasia, the Caspian region, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Baikal Lake and the remote areas of Russia and neighbouring countries, visit the Chilika every winter and start their homeward journey before the onset of summer.

Some of the migratory birds preferred to remain in the lake instead of going to their native places despite the heat. The flamingos and pelicans generally come to Chilika in delay. While pelicans start their journey with the onset of monsoon, some flamingos choose to stay in the lake over the years.

Read more: Chilika Lake

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