Rapid Fire Current Affairs | 02 Aug 2023

Australia's Strategic Cocos Islands

Indian Navy and Indian Air Force aircraft recently visited Australia's Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) in the Southern Indian Ocean, strengthening strategic reach and interoperability between India and Australia's militaries in the Indian Ocean.

  • The cooperation between India and Australia extends to support for India's Gaganyaan mission with a ground station at CKI and the planned upgrade of the CKI runway for use as a forward operating base.
  • Both countries are also focused on enhancing maritime domain awareness and anti-submarine warfare, and they will participate in the upcoming Malabar multilateral naval exercise with Japan and the U.S. in Australia.
  • The military-to-military engagements aim to bolster monitoring and response capabilities in the region, particularly in response to increased Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

Read more: Cocos Island

Seven Unique Indian Crafts Receive Geographical Indication Tags

The Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai has awarded Geographical Indication (GI) tags to seven products from different regions of India, showcasing the country's diverse craftsmanship. New GI Tags for Indian Crafts:

  • 'Jalesar Dhatu Shilp' - a metal craft from Jalesar, Uttar Pradesh, known for decorative metal crafts and brassware.
  • Goa's 'Mankurad Mango', also called 'Malcorada', represents a unique variety of mangoes.
  • 'Goan Bebinca' - the traditional Indo-Portuguese pudding, known as the 'queen of Goan desserts'.
  • Rajasthan's four GI tags:
    • Udaipur Koftgari Metal Craft
    • Bikaner Kashidakari Craft
    • Jodhpur Bandhej Craft
    • Bikaner Usta Kala Craft

Read more: Geographical Indication Tag

WHO Endorses Polypills for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

The World Health Organization has included three fixed-dose combinations of cardiovascular medicines or polypills in its revised Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EML) 2023 for primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.

  • Polypills are fixed-dose combination medications that contain multiple active ingredients in a single pill.
    • Studies conducted by various researchers demonstrated that polypills reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by about 40% to 50%.
  • Polycap, a four-drug combination manufactured by Cadila in India, was included in the EML.

Read more: National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)

Tasteless Boiled Water

  • Naturally occurring water contains various dissolved substances, including gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide, sulphates, carbonates of calcium and magnesium, and elements like iron, influenced by the soil's composition.
  • These constituents contribute to both the taste and hardness of water, with hardness indicating a higher mineral content.
  • Boiling water releases dissolved gases and reduces hardness. The process also forms carbonates and hydroxides, which are insoluble, and they are deposited on the surfaces and the bottom of the vessel holding the water as a scaly coating.
  • The separation of these substances from the water deprives it of its familiar taste.

The Iberian Wolf

A recently released report for the year 2020 by the Program of Actions for the Conservation of the Iberian Wolf in Andalusia, conducted under the Government of Andalusia, stated that there was no indication of Iberian wolf presence in Andalusia (an autonomous territory of Spain).

  • The Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus), the species of gray wolf native to the Iberian Peninsula comprising Spain and Portugal, has been extinct in the historic region of Andalusia, Spain since 2020.
  • Grey Wolf Canis lupus is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Comprehensive report reveals the absence of wolf presence through "control" tours and camera trap data.