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[Newsbits] 3+4.01.2024: Chameleon Trojan, SMART 2.0, Free Movement Regime & more

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Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) mind map
Recent News
SMART 2.0 program launch
Collaboration
With National Commission for Indian System of Medicine
Ayurveda academic institutions
Hospitals
Objectives
Promote robust clinical studies
Generate evidence for Ayurveda efficacy and safety
When
Established
Advisory body in 1962
Evolved to current form
Why
Promote research in Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy
What
Autonomous body
Under Ministry of AYUSH
Objectives
Formulate research on scientific lines
Undertake research programs
Where
India
Who
Government of India
Ministry of AYUSH
National Commission for Indian System of Medicine
How
Collaborative efforts
Academic and hospital partnerships
Programs
SMART 2.0
Focus on clinical studies in Ayurveda
SPARK
Support for Ayurveda students
Features
Expert guidance
Financial support
Achievements
Clinical research
Validate classical Ayurveda drugs
Develop new formulations
Based on
Classical texts
Scientific research
Pharmacological leads
Folklore

The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) is an autonomous body under India’s Ministry of AYUSH, established to promote research in Ayurveda and Homoeopathy. It aims to develop research on scientific lines in Ayurvedic Sciences and recently launched the ‘SMART 2.0’ program to foster clinical studies in Ayurveda. CCRAS also supports young researchers through its SPARK program, focusing on validating classical Ayurveda drugs and developing new formulations based on traditional and scientific knowledge.

J-31 Stealth Fighter Aircraft mind map
Recent News
January 2024
Pakistan's Acquisition Intent
From China
To Enhance Air Force Capabilities
Deployment
On China's Fujian Aircraft Carrier
As Second Carrier-Borne Strike Fighter
Production Status
Still Years From Entering Production
When
First Flight
31 October 2012
Public Reveal
12 November 2014
At Zhuhai Airshow
Carrier Variant Maiden Flight
29 October 2021
Why
Developed
By Shenyang Aircraft Corporation
Independent Private Venture
Export-Oriented
Alternative for Countries
Unable to Purchase F-35
What
Stealth Characteristics
Forward-Swept Intake Ramps
Diverterless Supersonic Inlet
Airframe
Twin-Wheel Nose Landing Gear
Possibly Carrier-Based Design
Engines
Initially RD-93s
Upgraded to WS-19
Payload
8,000 kg Total
2,000 kg Internally
Armaments
PL-10 Short-Range Missile
PL-12 Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile
Avionics
KLJ-7A AESA Radar
Electro-Optical Targeting System
Where
Origin
China
Operational Deployment
On Aircraft Carriers
Who
Manufacturer
Shenyang Aircraft Corporation
Design Group
601 Institute
How
Additive Manufacturing
Reduced Components by 50%
Engine Development
Transition to Domestic Engines
Significance
Enhanced Stealth Capabilities
Competitive with Fourth-Generation Fighters
Export Potential
To Countries like Pakistan
Challenges
Developmental Delays
Not Yet in Full Production
Alleged Espionage
Controversy Over Stolen Design Elements
Way Forward
Continued Testing and Development
Potential Export Deals
Further Strengthening International Relations

The J-31 Stealth Fighter Aircraft, developed by China’s Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, is a fifth-generation, mid-sized, twinjet fighter. First flown in 2012, it remains in the prototype stage as of 2024. Designed independently as a private venture, it aims at the international market, offering an alternative to countries unable to purchase the F-35. Notable features include advanced stealth capabilities, a payload capacity of 8,000 kg, and the use of RD-93 engines initially, later upgraded to the WS-19. It has undergone several modifications for potential carrier-based operations. Despite its promising specifications, the J-31 faces challenges such as developmental delays and controversy over alleged espionage in its design process. The aircraft’s future involves further testing, potential exports, and a role in strengthening international relations for China.

National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) mind map
Recent News
Ethics and Registration Regulations
Standards for Unani Colleges
‘SMART 2.0’ Program
Collaboration
With CCRAS
Promote Ayurveda Research
Action Against Absentee Teachers
Medical Research Regulations
Standards
Research Misconduct
Legal Compliance
Established
Year
2020
Under
NCISM Act, 2020
Functions and Responsibilities
Frame Policies
For ISM Institutions
For Medical Professionals
Assess Healthcare Infrastructure
Human Resources
Regulations Adherence
By State Medical Councils
Coordinate
With Autonomous Bodies
Indian System of Medicine
Includes
Ayurveda
Unani
Siddha
Sowa-Rigpa
Levels
Undergraduate
Postgraduate

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), established in 2020, is a statutory and regulatory body in India responsible for framing policies and overseeing the Indian System of Medicine, including Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa. Recent activities involve setting ethical and registration standards, enhancing Unani medical education, launching the ‘SMART 2.0’ program for Ayurveda research, and standardizing medical research in ISM. NCISM’s role is crucial in ensuring quality and compliance in the field of traditional Indian medicine.

SMART 2.0 mind map
Recent News
Launched on January 3, 2024
By CCRAS and NCISM
When
January 3, 2024
Why
Mainstream Ayurveda research
What
Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research among Teaching professionals
Promotes clinical studies in priority Ayurveda areas
Objectives
Generate evidence for Ayurveda efficacy and safety
Interdisciplinary research methods
Translate into public healthcare
Study Areas
Bal Kasa, Malnutrition, Insufficient lactation
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Osteoporosis, Diabetes Mellitus II
Eligibility
Ayurveda academic institutions
Application deadline January 10, 2023
Where
Across India
Ayurveda academic institutions/hospitals
Who
CCRAS
Autonomous body
Under Ministry of AYUSH
Apex organization for Ayurveda research
NCISM
Statutory body
Under NCISM Act, 2020
29 members
Functions
Regulate medical institutions, professionals
Assess healthcare human resources, infrastructure needs
Ensure compliance, coordination
How
Collaborative research
Expression of Interest from institutions
Significance
Evidence-based clinical research
Addresses healthcare challenges
Integrates Ayurveda into public healthcare
Challenges
Evidence gaps in Ayurveda
Limitation in integration into public healthcare
Way Forward
Expand clinical research
Popularize Ayush systems
Wider academic participation

SMART 2.0, initiated by CCRAS and NCISM, aims to integrate Ayurveda into mainstream healthcare through evidence-based research. Launched in January 2024, it encourages collaboration among Ayurveda academic institutions to undertake studies in key health areas. The program seeks to close the evidence gaps in Ayurveda, enhancing its role in public health care and fostering a balance between traditional knowledge and scientific methods.

Chameleon Trojan mind map
Recent News
New variant discovered
When
First detected early 2023
Why
To steal credentials
What
Mimics legitimate apps
Bypasses biometric security
Disables biometric authentication
Collects sensitive information
Tracks app usage habits
Uses Accessibility service
Where
Initially Australia, Poland
Expanded to UK, Italy
Who
ThreatFabric
Online fraud detection firm
How
Embeds in Android apps
Operates in background
Shows HTML page for Accessibility service
Employs stolen PIN
Steals credit card details, login credentials
Challenges
High risk for Android users
Way Forward
Avoid unofficial app sources
Do not enable Accessibility service for unknown apps
Run regular security scans
Keep Google Play Protect enabled

The Chameleon Trojan is a newly identified variant of Android banking malware first detected in early 2023. It’s known for its ability to mimic legitimate apps, thereby bypassing biometric security measures like fingerprint and face unlock to steal phone PINs and other sensitive information. Initially targeting Australia and Poland, its reach has expanded to the UK and Italy. ThreatFabric, an online fraud detection firm, has been closely monitoring this evolving threat. The Trojan operates by embedding itself in legitimate Android apps like Google Chrome, running undetected in the background. It employs various tactics such as using the Accessibility service to gain unauthorized access and employing stolen PINs to unlock devices and steal data like credit card details and login credentials. To protect against this malware, users are advised to avoid unofficial app sources, refrain from enabling the Accessibility service for unknown apps, run regular security scans, and keep Google Play Protect enabled.

/ Black Money
Hindenburg Research report on Adani Group mind map
Recent News
Jan 2024
Supreme Court rejects transfer of probe
SEBI directed to complete investigation
When
Report published Jan 2023
Subsequent events till Jan 2024
Why
Alleged stock manipulation
Accounting fraud scheme
What
2-year investigation
Evidence presented
Brazen stock manipulation
Accounting fraud over decades
Gautam Adani's net worth increase
Key companies' financials
Substantial debt
Pledged shares for loans
Liquidity pressure
Family control in group
Top ranks and key leaders
Previous government fraud investigations
Money laundering
Theft of taxpayer funds
Corruption
Offshore shell entities
Mauritius, UAE, Caribbean Islands
Forged import/export documentation
Alleged schemes
Diamond trading import/export
Artificial turnover generation
Key figures accused
Rajesh Adani, Samir Vora, Vinod Adani
Stock parking/manipulation
Offshore shells and funds
Laundering money to listed companies
Where
India
Offshore entities in multiple countries
Who
Gautam Adani, Founder and Chairman
Adani family members
Hindenburg Research
How
Research methodology
Interviews with former executives
Document reviews
Site visits in various countries
Alleged stock manipulation
Offshore entities involved
Wash trading indications
Government investigations
Significance
Uncovering potential financial irregularities
Investigating corporate governance issues
Challenges
Potential impact on investor confidence
Legal and regulatory complexities
Way Forward
Completion of SEBI investigation
Addressing the concerns raised

The Hindenburg Research report on Adani Group, published in January 2023, alleges a decades-long scheme of stock manipulation and accounting fraud involving the Adani Group. The report claims that Gautam Adani, the founder and chairman, amassed significant wealth largely through the appreciation of his group’s stock prices. The investigation by Hindenburg Research, which spanned two years, involved interviews, document reviews, and site visits across several countries. It suggests the involvement of various Adani family members in fraudulent activities and raises concerns about the group’s financial stability and transparency.

The report’s aftermath saw legal developments, including the Supreme Court of India’s directive for the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to complete its investigation. The Adani Group’s response was to dismiss the allegations as baseless and a calculated attack on India’s integrity and growth story. They questioned Hindenburg Research’s motives and transparency, particularly regarding the details of its short positions and the profit it has made.

The case brings to the forefront issues related to corporate governance, market manipulation, and the impact of such allegations on investor confidence. It highlights the challenges and complexities in addressing legal and regulatory concerns in such high-profile cases. The way forward includes the completion of the SEBI investigation and addressing the concerns raised by the report to restore confidence in the financial markets.

Free Movement Regime mind map
Recent News
Scrapping Plan
Announced January 2, 2024
Along Myanmar Border
Requires Visas for Residents
When
Initiated 1970s
Last Revised 2016
Suspended in Manipur 2020
Why
Security Concerns
Illegal Immigration
Drug Trafficking
Insurgency
Post-Coup Refugee Influx
Over 40,000 in Mizoram
Around 4,000 in Manipur
Local Government Stance
Manipur Chief Minister's Request
What
16 km Travel Without Visa
India-Myanmar Border
Length 1,643 km
States Covered
Arunachal Pradesh
Nagaland
Manipur
Mizoram
Hill Tribes
Border Pass
Two Weeks Stay Per Visit
Where
India-Myanmar Border
Arunachal Pradesh 520 km
Nagaland 215 km
Manipur 398 km
Mizoram 510 km
Who
Residents Near Border
Tribal Communities
Government Bodies
Indian Government
Ministry of Home Affairs
How
Visa Requirement
Border Fencing
Planned for 300 km
Pros
Recognizes Ethnic Ties
Facilitates Cross-Border Access
Cons
Aiding Illegal Activities
Immigration
Drug Trafficking
Ethnic Violence Concerns
Way Forward
Balancing Security and Community Needs
Diplomatic Engagement
With Myanmar
Future Challenges
Securing Borders
Respecting Socio-Economic Realities

The Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar, initiated in the 1970s, allows residents within 16 km of the border to travel up to 16 km into the other country without a visa. This regime, covering the 1,643 km border across Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram, was designed to recognize the close ethnic and familial ties between communities on either side. However, due to security concerns like illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and insurgency, the Indian government announced plans to scrap the FMR in January 2024. The scrapping of FMR is expected to impact the daily lives and cultural connections of the border residents and poses challenges in balancing security needs with the socio-economic realities of these communities.

/ Space
Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) mind map
Recent News
India Joins SKAO
When
January 3, 2024
Significance
Multinational initiative
World's largest radio telescope
When
Construction begins
When
5 Dec 2022
Where
Africa
Australia
What
Largest radio-astronomy observatory
Two phases
SKA1
Current phase
SKA2
Future enlarged phase
Technology
Thousands of antennas
Aperture synthesis technique
Array Types
SKA-low array
Frequency 50 to 350 MHz
SKA-mid array
Frequency 350 MHz to 14 GHz
SKA-survey array
Medium-frequency range
Who
Founding Countries
Australia
China
Italy
Netherlands
Portugal
South Africa
United Kingdom
Involved Countries
16 as of December 2022
Organizations
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) India
UK Research and Innovation
How
Combining signals
From thousands of antennas
Spread over several thousand kilometers
Simulate single giant radio telescope
Significance
Unparalleled sensitivity
Map sky hundreds of times faster
Detect signals billions of light-years away
Investigate
Gravitational waves
Pulsars
Dark matter
Dark energy
Epoch of Reionization
Cost
Around A$3 billion
Challenges
Delays and rising costs
Initial estimate €1.8 billion
Data challenges
Large bandwidth and processing power
High power consumption
Way Forward
Operational in 2024
Continuous development

The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) represents an ambitious multinational project aimed at constructing the world’s largest radio telescope. With construction commencing in December 2022 across sites in Africa and Australia, this groundbreaking facility will utilize thousands of antennas to simulate a singular, massive radio telescope. SKAO will provide unprecedented sensitivity and the ability to rapidly map the sky, significantly advancing our understanding of the universe. Key focus areas include studying gravitational waves, pulsars, dark matter, and dark energy, and investigating the Epoch of Reionization. Despite challenges like delays and rising costs, the SKAO, once operational in 2024, promises to revolutionize our perception of the cosmos.

Desert Cyclone Exercise mind map

The “Desert Cyclone” is a joint military exercise between India and the UAE, aimed at strengthening defense ties and enhancing interoperability, especially in urban warfare. Conducted in Rajasthan from January 2-15, 2024, it involves 45 personnel from both nations’ armies. This exercise marks a significant step in the defense relationship between the two countries, reflecting their commitment to regional security and stability. The collaboration also extends to other areas such as defense equipment production and sharing strategic information, showcasing the deep-rooted historical friendship between India and the UAE.

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