Current Affairs for IAS Exams -16 February 2023

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 February 2023


Delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir seats affirmed by SC

  • The decision of the court came on a petition filed by two Srinagar residents who had challenged the March 6, 2020 order without challenging the Presidential order bifurcating the state into two union territories or the J&K Reorganisation Act.

Petitioners had raised arguments that:

  • Only Election Commission of India was empowered to conduct delimitationexercise.
  • Article 170 freezes delimitation exercise till the first census after 2026.
  • SC, while dismissing the challenges, stated that:
  • J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 which created two new UTs, assigns role ofreadjustment of constituencies to Delimitation Commission (DC) underDelimitation Act, 2002.
  • Article 4 permits Parliament to incorporate such provisions made inaccordance with Article 3 for formation of new States and UTs.
  • Article 239A and not Article 170 was applicable to UTs.

About Delimitation Process:

  • Delimitation is process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a state with a legislative body.
  • Under Article 82, Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census establishing a DC.
  • Under Article 170, States get divided into territorial constituencies.
  • It provides equal representation for equal population segments, and fair division of geographical areas, so that no political party has an advantage.
  • DC have been constituted in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002.
  • It is appointed by President and its orders have force of law and cannot be challenged before any court.


Draft Bill vests powers entirely in Geological Survey of India

  • A draft Bill, aimed at protecting India’s geological heritage that includes fossils, sedimentary rocks, natural structures, has raised alarm in India’s geo-sciences and palaeontology community.
  • The draft Geo-heritage Sites and Geo-relics (Preservation and Maintenance) Bill, 2022, while deemed necessary by several researchers, vests powers entirely in the Geological Survey of India (GSI), a 170-year-old organisation that comes under the Ministry of Mines.

Key highlights:

  • Geo-heritage sites are sites of rare and unique geological andgeomorphologic significance having geomorphological,mineralogical, petrological, paleontological, and stratigraphic
  • significance including caves, natural rock-sculptures etc.
  • Geo-relics are any relic or material of geological significance orinterest like sediments, rocks, minerals, meteorites or fossils.
  • GSI has declared 32 geo-heritage sites, including Fossil Parks (e.g., Siwalik Fossil Park, Himachal Pradesh); Geological Marvels (e.g.Lonar Lake, Maharashtra), Rock Monuments (e.g. Peninsular Gneiss, Karnataka) etc.
  • GSI is an attached office under Ministry of Mines.

Key Highlights of the Draft Bill:

  • Authorising Central Government to:Declare a geo-heritage site to be of national importance.
  • Acquire area under a geo-heritage site under provisions of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
  • Declare area around each geo-heritage site as prohibited area and regulated area.
  • Penalties for destruction, removal, defacement, misuse of geo-heritage sites and geo relics.

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Gaziantep castle

  • 2,000-year-old Roman-era Gaziantep Castle, a historic site and tourist attraction in Turkey, has suffered damages in the massive earthquake that left a trail of destruction in the country.
  • Due to the powerful earthquake, the castle broke into two parts and walls and the iron railing also fell.


  • Gaziantep castle is located on a hilltop in southern Turkey’s city of Gaziantep.
  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Built by the Hittite Empire as an observation point and later built into a main castle by the Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd century AD.
  • The castle underwent further expansion and renovation under the Byzantine emperor Justinianus (called the “Architect of Castles”) between 527 and 565 AD. 
  • The Ottomans repaired the castle over time, but it got a second full overhaul by Egyptian Sultan Qaitbay in 1481.
  • The castle took its final shape in 2000 and has been renovated many times. 


  • The castle has the shape of an irregular circle.
  • It has 12 towers that house living quarters for soldiers and various other chambers such as stables, prison cells, storerooms for treasure troves, or barracks for troops.
  • The walls are made from stone and span 1200 meters in circumference.


Aubrite meteorite

  • Researchers have confirmed that a meteorite that crashed in two villages of Gujarat is a rare aubrite that originated from an extremely reduced differentiated parent body in our solar system.


  • Analysis has revealed that Diyodar meteorite of 2022 (fell in Gujarat) was India’s first aubrite in 170 years.
  • Aubrites, a type of meteorite, are coarse-grained igneous rocks formed in oxygen-poor conditions; 
  • It containing a variety of exotic minerals that are not found on Earth. (For example, mineral heideite was first described in Basti meteorite.
  • Around 90% of Diyodar meteorite was composed of orthopyroxene.
  • Pyroxenes are silicates consisting of single chains of silica tetrahedra. 
  • Orthopyroxenes are pyroxenes with a certain structure.
  • Pyroxenes such as diopside and jadeite have been used as gems.


Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority

  • The Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA), under the aegis of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, will organise a State Level Conference on Financial Literacy in Amrit Kaal - Empowering Investors in association with the Department of Tourism in Aizawl, Mizoram.

About IEPF Authority:

  • IEPF Authority has been established under sub-section (5) of section 125 of Companies Act, 2013 with the objective of promoting Investor Education, Awareness and Protection and for administration of the IEPF fund.
  • It has undertaken a wide gamut of activities to accelerate the pace of investor education among the masses at large.
  • It comes under Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  • Investor Education Protection Fund (IEPF).
  • It has been established under Section 205C of the Companies Act, 1956 by way of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1999.



Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

  • Scientists from the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology said that fluorescent carbon nanomaterial-based immunosensor from natural sources can help in the detection of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor.


  • An immunosensor developed with fluorescent nanomaterial can help detect the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), a signalling protein that promotes the growth of new blood vessels and is considered cancerous if found in elevated levels in the blood.
  • VEGF is a factor that promotes angiogenesis or formation of new blood vessels, which involves migration, growth, and differentiation of endothelial cells that line the inside wall of blood vessels.
  • It is upregulated in many tumors and hence gives indications of the probability of cancers. 
  • The dynamic interplay of nanotechnology and immunoassay has unlocked an arena for developing next-generation techniques for detecting such biomarkers, which can simplify the identification of cancer patients, especially breast cancer. 
  • Such technique will ensure rapid point-of-care testing for the early detection of cancer.


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