Today’s Current Affairs MCQs/ GK Quiz 12th November 2023 And 13th November 2023

These current affairs today are a part of our daily current affairs. We cover a wide range of topics from state, national, and international news that are relevant and important for competitive exams. Our team prepares today’s current affairs after going through many newspapers, such as The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, PRS, etc.

Scroll down for current affairs for 12th November 2023 and 13th November 2023.

Ayodhya Illuminates Record-Breaking 2.2 Million Oil Lamps (international)

  • Ayodhya’s seventh Deepotsav made history, setting a new world record for the largest gathering of illuminated lamps at one location. 
  • Over 2.2 million earthen lanterns, lit by 25,000 volunteers along the Saryu river, created a mesmerizing spectacle. 
  • The event featured cultural performances from 21 states and international Ramlila presentations, making it a vibrant celebration.

Uttarakhand Leads as First State to Embrace Uniform Civil Code (national)

  • Uttarakhand is poised to create history by becoming the first Indian state to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). 
  • This initiative aims to establish a legal framework ensuring fairness and equal opportunities for all citizens, irrespective of gender, religion, or sexual orientation. 
  • While Goa already has a civil code, Kerala holds a differing viewpoint, showcasing the diverse opinions on this significant legal reform.

World Kindness Day: Embrace Kindness Every Day (Important Days)

  • World Kindness Day, observed annually on November 13, encourages global participation in recognizing and promoting acts of kindness. 
  • This year’s theme, “Be Kind Wherever Possible,” emphasizes carrying the spirit of kindness beyond the designated day. 
  • It underscores the universal power of positivity and compassion, transcending boundaries of race, religion, politics, gender, and geography.

New Delhi Hosts 33rd WOAH Regional Commission Conference (national)

  • India is hosting the 33rd Conference of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Regional Commission for Asia and the Pacific in New Delhi from November 13 to 16, 2023. 
  • The conference facilitates discussions, knowledge exchange, and networking opportunities to enhance animal health and husbandry practices.
  •  It serves as a platform for strategizing a resilient future in these domains.

Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar Takes Command of Eastern Fleet (defense)

  • Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar has assumed command of the Eastern Fleet, a prestigious position in the Eastern Naval Command. 
  • The change of command ceremony, marking the transition from Rear Admiral Gurcharan Singh, occurred at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam. 
  • Rear Admiral Dhankhar, with a naval career dating back to 1990, has received recognition for his valor and dedication, being awarded the Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) in 2015.

ICC Welcomes Cricket Icons to Hall of Fame (sports)

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has added three cricketing maestros to the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. 
  • Virender Sehwag, Diana Edulji, and Aravinda de Silva join this esteemed list, each having left a lasting impact on the game.
  •  The recognition acknowledges their significant contributions to cricket, marking them as deserving recipients of this prestigious honor.

CDC Discovers New Sub-Variant JN.1 of Omicron (science and tech)

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States have identified a new version of the Omicron variant, called JN.1. Limited information is available about this sub-variant and its potential effects.
  • The CDC has found a new sub-variant, JN.1, which comes from the Omicron variant BA.2.86. There are concerns about this discovery, but we don’t know much about it yet.
  • JN.1 has been seen in 11 countries, including the United Kingdom, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands. It was first found in the United States in September 2023. However, it’s only a small percentage (0.1 percent) of SARS-CoV-2 viruses in the US, with most still being part of the XBB group of the Omicron variant.
  • Unlike its parent variant with over 30 mutations, JN.1 has an extra spike mutation called L455S. This mutation might help it avoid immunity, especially from Class 1 neutralizing antibodies.
  • While its predecessor, BA.2.86, didn’t spread quickly, experts are unsure if JN.1 will become more common. It’s being closely watched to understand how easily it spreads and its impact on immunity.
  • Before JN.1, HV.1, a version of EG.5, was widespread in the US, possibly due to specific mutations that enhanced its spread and immune evasion.
  • It’s not clear how well current vaccines work against HV.1. Experts think vaccines might perform similarly against both HV.1 and EG.5, but more data is needed to confirm this.
  • The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are keeping an eye on the changing landscape of COVID-19 variants. New variants are expected, and some may replace the old ones.

Iceland Declares Emergency (international)

  • Iceland has declared a state of emergency in response to a series of powerful earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula, raising concerns of an imminent volcanic eruption.
  • Since October, thousands of tremors have shaken the vicinity of Grindavik village. The most significant quakes occurred on Friday, felt up to 40 km away in the capital, causing damage to infrastructure
  • Authorities have cautioned that these earthquakes might precede a volcanic eruption. As a precaution, Grindavik and the popular Blue Lagoon tourist site have been closed. Evacuation plans are in place in case surface fissures open up.
  • Scientists have identified the accumulation of underground magma approximately 5 km below the surface. They anticipate that if the magma reaches the surface, the likely flow direction would be southeast/west, away from Grindavik.
  • The Reykjanes peninsula witnessed eruptions in 2021, 2022, and 2023, breaking a dormant period of centuries. Experts suggest that heightened volcanic activity may persist for decades or even longer.
  • Iceland, with 33 active volcanoes situated on the boundary between tectonic plates, has a history of volcanic disruptions. The 2010 eruption led to the shutdown of European air travel, affecting 10 million travelers.

Southeast Asia Faces Alarming Decline in Tiger Populations

  • While tiger populations show signs of recovery in certain parts of Asia, Southeast Asia witnesses a disturbing decline, challenging the international objective of doubling the global wild tiger count by 2022.
  • Countries shared tiger population data with the CITES wildlife treaty from 2010-2022 as part of the Global Tiger Recovery Program. The overall tiger count increased by 60% to 5,870, but a significant regional disparity is evident.
  • While South Asia reports positive gains, countries like Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia experience a drastic decline, creating a “grim” situation.
  • The decline in tiger populations in Southeast Asia is attributed to factors like poaching, inadequate monitoring, habitat loss due to development, proximity to wildlife trade hubs, and ineffective law enforcement.
  • Countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and China/Russia have seen increases in tiger numbers, credited to proactive habitat conservation and protection measures. Nepal, in particular, has tripled its tiger population.

Global Initiative to Combat Illegal Trade and Safeguard Jaguars and Big Cats

  • Countries participating in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have united to counter the illicit trade of jaguar parts and derivatives. 
  • This collaborative effort aims to address poaching through coordinated enforcement measures. These significant decisions were reached during the CITES meeting in Cuiaba, Brazil, held in September 2023.
  • At the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP19) to CITES, nations received a directive to urgently implement comprehensive enforcement controls to eliminate jaguar poaching. This emphasizes the gravity of the jaguar threat, calling for prompt action.
  • Parties also resolved to prioritize jaguars for enforcement operations and wildlife crime prevention. This commitment highlights the dedication to safeguarding jaguars and their habitats.
  • During the meeting, parties outlined five objectives for jaguar conservation, including information sharing on illegal trade, reducing habitat loss, preventing human-jaguar conflicts, curbing illegal killing and trade, and strategies to decrease demand for jaguar products.

Israel sells an air defense system to Finland

  • Israel has sold an air defense system to Finland, and this happened while there’s conflict in Gaza.
  •  Israel’s military has been carrying out airstrikes in Gaza for about 38 days, leading to casualties. 
  • Despite this, Israel finalized a deal to sell Finland a jointly developed Israeli-US air defense system for over 300 million euros. 
  • Finland, as a new NATO member, has been upgrading its military capabilities, and this purchase is part of that effort. 
  • Additionally, Israel recently signed a significant arms contract with Germany, selling hypersonic missiles to boost NATO defenses.

India’s Oversight on Imported GM Foods Under Scrutiny

  • Concerns have arisen over India’s oversight of imported genetically modified (GM) foods, revealed through Right to Information requests. 
  • The country’s food safety authority, FSSAI, lacks comprehensive data on whether imported produce contains unauthorized GM varieties. 
  • With only one approved GM food crop (cotton) and pending approval for GM mustard, questions arise about the long-term impacts of GM foods due to insufficient safety data. 
  • Initial strict guidelines by FSSAI were later diluted, allowing 1% GM content and relaxing certificate norms. 
  • Experts highlight deficiencies in monitoring and testing, with limited capabilities to detect GMOs in just 2% of India’s food labs. 
  • Proposed solutions include prioritizing non-GM exporting nations, mandating testing even with non-GM certificates, and enhancing regulatory capacity.

World Bank Allocates $150 Million to Support Sri Lanka Amid Economic Challenges (international)

  • In response to Sri Lanka’s severe economic crisis, the World Bank has approved a significant financial aid package of USD 150 million. 
  • The country faces challenges such as dwindling foreign exchange reserves and public protests due to essential commodity shortages. 
  • Recognizing the urgency, the World Bank aims to strengthen Sri Lanka’s financial and institutional sectors.
  • The financial assistance package addresses critical aspects of Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. It emphasizes the importance of a robust banking sector and focuses on enhancing the Deposit Insurance Scheme. 
  • This measure seeks to protect the savings of smaller depositors, instilling confidence in the financial system.
  • Part of the financial aid is directed towards the Financial Sector Safety Net Project, which aims to reinforce the capacity of the Sri Lanka Deposit Insurance Scheme. Managed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, this scheme plays a pivotal role in ensuring the security of deposits in the country.
  • With a total foreign debt of USD 46.9 billion, Sri Lanka faces the challenge of external debt management. Global financial institutions stress the need for a rapid and comprehensive external debt restructuring. Successfully navigating these challenges is crucial for the country’s economic recovery.

Preserving Nagaland’s Agricultural Heritage: Traditional Wisdom of Naga Tribes

  • In the northeastern state of Nagaland, India, the Naga tribes have safeguarded diverse crop seeds for generations through traditional knowledge. This oral wisdom, vital for survival, is now encountering challenges in the face of modern influences.
  • Naga communities, including the Ao and Sümi tribes, have a tradition of sharing seeds during crises. Researchers studying six Nagaland villages discovered that seed selection and storage play a crucial role in cultivation, with this knowledge passed down through generations.
  • Engaging in shifting “jhum” cultivation in the mountainous terrain, these tribes strategically plant resilient crops such as rice, millet, beans, and vegetables, adapting to different soil types.
  • Seeds from the most abundant and flavorful harvests are preserved for replanting. Various methods, including drying, fireplaces, and granaries equipped with bamboo ventilation tools, are employed to store a variety of seeds like beans, maize, and rice.
  • Insect-resistant baskets, skillfully woven, are traditionally used to store cucurbits, tomatoes, peppers, and more. Sun-drying of pumpkin and mustard seeds takes place in these baskets, contributing to seed protection.

France’s $1 Billion Plan to Combat Melting Poles (International)

  • In response to the urgent threat of Earth’s melting ice caps and glaciers, France is investing $1 billion in polar research over the next ten years. This comprehensive effort aims to address the alarming rate of ice loss and advocate for the protection of polar oceans.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron convened a summit with polar nations and scientists to discuss the pressing issue. Experts highlighted the Arctic’s rapid temperature rise, predicting the potential disappearance of half of all glaciers by 2100. France is advocating for climate action in upcoming UN talks.
  • The ongoing loss of ice poses a threat to millions and has far-reaching consequences as shrinking glaciers impact water resources and reduce reflectivity. Scientists warn of irreversible tipping points as dark seas absorb more heat, replacing the reflective properties of ice.
  • Suggestions to mitigate the ice melt include cleaning up soot deposits darkening ice and addressing methane leaks. While these measures could rapidly slow down melting, many experts emphasize the need for substantial emission cuts. Some research explores the possibility of refreezing the Arctic.
  • As part of France’s extensive plan, a new polar research vessel will contribute to the $1 billion investment in polar science over the next decade. France is also advocating for the protection of polar oceans from seabed exploitation, gaining support from 20 other nations so far.

Antarctic Paradox: Melting Ice and Heavier Snowfall

  • Recent research highlights a fascinating paradox in Antarctica: the decrease in sea ice is connected to an increase in regional snowfall. Although this may temporarily slow the rise in global sea levels, it is unlikely to fully offset the long-term impacts of ice melt.
  • A study published in Geophysical Research Letters reveals that reduced sea ice near the Amundsen Sea leads to more evaporation and precipitation. Jessica Kromer, the lead author, explains that while increased snowfall can counteract some melting effects, it won’t completely offset the consequences of climate change.
  • Understanding the rates of snowfall is crucial for tracking the role of the ice sheet in changes to sea levels. Sea ice plays a vital role in regulating regional evaporation. Its decline intensifies this process, resulting in heavier snowfall.

Budget Crisis Threatens NASA’s Mars Sample Return Mission (international)

  • NASA’s ambitious Mars Sample Return mission, aiming to bring rock samples from Mars to Earth, is in jeopardy due to a budget crisis. 
  • The mission, designed to analyze Mars rock samples for signs of life, faces challenges as costs escalate beyond the initial estimate of $4.4 billion, potentially reaching $8-11 billion. 
  • The soaring costs have led to the postponement of other NASA projects, sparking debate over whether to cancel the mission or prioritize its transformative scientific potential despite substantial overruns.

1. What has Iceland declared in response to recent seismic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula?

  1. National holiday
  2. State of emergency
  3. Voluntary evacuation
  4. Geological research day

Show Answer

Correct Answer: b) State of emergency

Iceland declared a state of emergency due to powerful earthquakes, raising concerns of a volcanic eruption.

2. What precautionary measures have authorities taken in response to the seismic activity in Iceland?

  1. Opening tourist sites
  2. Evacuating the capital
  3. Closing Blue Lagoon and Grindavik
  4. Launching underground shelters

Show Answer

Correct Answer: c) Closing Blue Lagoon and Grindavik

As a precaution, authorities closed Grindavik and the Blue Lagoon tourist site.

3. What is the main cause of the decline in tiger populations in Southeast Asia according to the news?

  1. Climate change
  2. Poaching and habitat loss
  3. Increase in prey species
  4. Human-tiger conflicts

Show Answer

Correct Answer: b) Poaching, inadequate monitoring, and habitat loss

The decline in tiger populations in Southeast Asia is attributed to poaching, inadequate monitoring, and habitat loss.

4. Which organization is leading the global initiative to combat illegal trade and safeguard jaguars and big cats?

  1. Greenpeace
  2. World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  3. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  4. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Show Answer

Correct Answer: c) CITES

Countries in CITES have united to counter the illicit trade of jaguar parts and derivatives.

5. What is the focus of the financial assistance approved by the World Bank for Sri Lanka?

  1. Education reforms
  2. Healthcare improvement
  3. Strengthening the financial sector
  4. Infrastructure development

Show Answer

Correct Answer: c) Strengthening the financial sector

The World Bank approved financial assistance to strengthen Sri Lanka’s financial and institutional sectors.

6. What is the key component of the financial assistance to Sri Lanka mentioned in the news?

  1. Green energy projects
  2. Military infrastructure
  3. Enhancement of the Deposit Insurance Scheme
  4. Space exploration programs

Show Answer

Correct Answer: c) Enhancement of the Deposit Insurance Scheme

The financial assistance includes enhancing the Deposit Insurance Scheme to protect smaller depositors.

7. What paradoxical phenomenon is revealed by recent research in Antarctica?

  1. Increase in sea ice and reduced snowfall
  2. Decrease in sea ice and increased regional snowfall
  3. Stable ice levels and intensified snowfall
  4. Melting ice without any impact on snowfall

Show Answer

Correct Answer: b) Decrease in sea ice and increased regional snowfall

Reduced sea ice in Antarctica is linked to an increase in regional snowfall.

8. What is the potential budget range for NASA’s Mars Sample Return mission according to the news?

  1. $4.4 – $6 billion
  2. $6 – $8 billion
  3. $8 – $11 billion
  4. $11 – $15 billion

Show Answer

Correct Answer: c) $8 – $11 billion

The Mars Sample Return mission’s budget is potentially facing an increase to $8-11 billion.

9. What previous consequences did a volcanic eruption in Iceland have on European travel?

  1. Shutdown of European air travel in 2010
  2. Disruption of train services in Europe
  3. Closure of major European highways
  4. Cancellation of European cruises

Show Answer

Correct Answer: a) Shutdown of European air travel in 2010

The 2010 eruption in Iceland led to the shutdown of European air travel, affecting millions.

10. What is the proposed direction of likely lava flow if a volcanic eruption occurs in Iceland?

  1. North
  2. East
  3. Southeast/West
  4. South

Show Answer

Correct Answer: c) Southeast/West

Scientists anticipate that if magma reaches the surface, the likely lava flow direction would be southeast/west.

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