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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 29-12-2020

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December 29, 2020

Street Hawker Culture

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Singapore’s vibrant street hawker culture as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • Street hawker stalls are a part of the city-state’s local life and it attracts tourists for dishes like nasi lemak, chilli crab, kaya toast, etc.
  • They represent Singapore’s multiculturalism, with stalls selling cheap, delicious food of Chinese, Malay, Indian origins, among others.
  • To know more about UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, click here.

Green National Highway Corridors Project

  • The World Bank and Indian Government have signed an agreement to build safe and green National Highway (NH) corridors.
  • Around 783 km of highways will be developed in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh by integrating eco-friendly and safe technology designs.
  • This project will support analytics to map the freight volume and movement pattern on the NH network, point out constraints, and offer innovative logistics solutions.
  • It will generate job opportunities for women by training women-led micro-enterprises and collectives to implement green technologies in the corridors of national highways.
  • Under the project, disaster risk assessment of about 5,000 km of the NH network will be undertaken as well.

Iceberg A68

  • This giant iceberg is the biggest block of free-floating ice that split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf in 2017.
  • US National Ice Center (USNIC) said that two icebergs that calved from A68a were large enough to be named and tracked - A68E and A68F.
  • [USNIC is responsible for naming icebergs, which are named according to the Antarctic quadrant in which they are spotted.]
  • Icebergs travel with ocean currents and either get caught up in shallow waters or ground themselves.
  • The fear is that if the iceberg grounds itself near an island, it could cause disruption to the local wildlife that forages in the ocean.
  • On the other hand, there are some positives of an iceberg being stuck in the open ocean, since icebergs carry dust which fertilises ocean plankton, which draws up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


  • It is India’s first indigenously created vaccine against pneumococcal disease, developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
  • It was developed through collaboration with the health organisation PATH, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • This pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) will be available in the market at an affordable price in single and multi dose presentations.
  • It targets the pneumococcal bacterium, which causes pneumonia and other serious life-threatening diseases such as meningitis and sepsis.
  • The vaccine also makes SII the world’s third supplier of PCVs under the pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment.
  • Pneumococcal disease is a significant contributor under-five mortality rate worldwide.
  • In view of its widespread fatality, the World Health Organization (2018) recommended the inclusion of PCV in routine childhood immunisation programmes in all countries.


Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu, Business Line, Down To Earth, Business Standard

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