Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2023

Dec 29, 2023

Current Affair 1:
Colombo Security Conclave (CSC)

The CSC evolved out of trilateral meetings between NSAs and Deputy NSAs from India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka, starting in 2011. India’s somewhat fraught relationship with then-President Abdulla Yameen of Maldives led to the suspension of meetings between 2014 and 2020.

As China’s influence and presence in the Indian Ocean grows, India has sought to enhance security cooperation with the Indian Ocean Island and littoral nations, through a new ‘minilateral’ group called the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC).

Since its revival and re-branding as the CSC in 2020, Mauritius was added as a member of the grouping, with Bangladesh and the Seychelles as observers.

A secretariat for the group was established in Colombo in 2021.

In March 2022, the group adopted an agenda of five pillars:

  1. maritime safety and security;
  2. countering terrorism and radicalization;
  3. combating trafficking and transnational organized crime;
  4. cybersecurity and protection of critical infrastructure and technology; and
  5. humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Since July 2021, the CSC’s exercises have included on maritime search and rescue; cybersecurity; coastal security; and investigation of terrorism cases. In November 2021, India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives conducted Exercise Dosti XV in Maldives, with Bangladesh and the Seychelles as observers. India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives subsequently conducted their first joint exercise in the Arabian Sea under the aegis of the CSC.

Current Affair 2:
What is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)?

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious and fatal neurodegenerative disease of captive and free-ranging cervids, including deer, elk, moose, and reindeer.

All of these diseases are caused by prions, infectious agents consisting solely of protein that do not use encoding nucleic acid for replication.

The main symptoms of CWD, which occur after a long incubation period up to several years, are significant weight loss, ataxia, and hypersalivation. Affected animals are separated from the herd. There is no curative or prophylactic treatment available.

CWD was first identified as a clinical syndrome in the late 1960s among captive mule deer in Colorado.

Current Affair 3:
What are X-ray bursts?

AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength space-based observatory, has detected bright sub-second X-ray bursts from a new and unique neutron star with ultrahigh magnetic field (magnetar), which can help understand the intriguing extreme astrophysical conditions of magnetars.

X-ray bursts are thermonuclear explosions in the outer atmosphere of accreting neutron stars. The accreted hydrogen and helium-rich material burns through steady fusion processes, heating the neutron star atmosphere toward the ignition point.


The thermonuclear explosion is triggered by a specific nuclear fusion process between the radioactive oxygen isotope 15O and accreted helium 4He. This fusion process is the gateway to rapid conversion of the initial carbon and oxygen material to heavier elements in the nickel to cadmium range.


X-ray bursts are now frequently observed with modern space telescopes and show a recurrence frequency ranging from hours to days.

Magnetars are neutron stars having an ultra-high magnetic field that are much stronger than the terrestrial magnetic field. Simply put, the magnetic field of a magnetar is over one quadrillion time stronger than the magnetic field of Earth. What powers the emission of high-energy electromagnetic radiation in them is the decay of magnetic fields in these objects.

Besides, magnetars display strong temporal variability, typically including a slow rotation, a rapid spin-down, bright but short bursts going on upto months-long outbursts.

One such magnetar was called SGR J1830-0645, was discovered in October 2020 by NASA's Swift spacecraft. It is relatively young (about 24,000 years) and isolated neutron star.


Current Affair 4:
Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) Mission

Recently, Japan’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) spacecraft entered into orbit around the moon after months-long journey.If the attempt succeeds, Japan will become only the fifth country to soft-land a robotic craft on the natural satellite, months after India succeeded with its Chandrayaan 3 mission in August.

The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) is a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission designed to demonstrate accurate lunar landing techniques by a small explorer, with the objective of acceleration of the study of the Moon and planets using lighter exploration systems.

How did SLIM get to the moon?

SLIM is lighter because it carried much less fuel. Of Chandrayaan 3’s 3.9 tonnes, the propulsion module alone weighed 2.1 tonnes. This is why the mission was launched on July 14 and could reach the moon less than a month later, by following a route called the Hohmann transfer orbit.

On the other hand, SLIM took four months because it followed a longer but less fuel route based on weak-stability boundary theory.

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