Ojaank IAS Academy




12 August 2022 – Current Affairs

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Indigenous Vaccine for Lumpy Skin disease

Paper 3 – Science & Technology
Why Should You Know?
Recently Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar launched indigenous vaccine for Lumpy Skin disease.
In details –
  • Providing a big relief to the livestock of the country, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, launched the indigenous vaccine Lumpi-ProVacInd to protect livestock from Lumpy Skin disease.
  • The vaccine has been developed by the National Equine Research Center, Hisar (Haryana) in collaboration with the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izzatnagar (Bareilly).
  • Describing this vaccine as a milestone for eradicating the Lumpy disease, Shri Tomar said that livestock, along with human resource, is the biggest asset of our country, which we have a big responsibility to preserve and prosper.
  • Shri Tomar said that yet another new dimension has been set by developing this vaccine under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). He congratulated the scientists of the Equine Research Center and the Veterinary Research Institute for developing the Lumpi disease vaccine. Ever since the disease came to India in 2019, research institutes have been engaged in developing the vaccine.
What is Lumpy skin disease?
  • of the family Poxviridae, also known as Neethling virus.
  • Originally found in Africa, but now it has also spread to countries in the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe.
  • The disease is characterized by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules (measuring 2–5 centimetres (1–2 in) in diameter) on the skin and mucous membranes (including those of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts).
  • Infected cattle also may develop edematous swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness.
  • The virus has important economic implications since affected animals tend to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide.
  • Additionally, the disease often results in chronic debility, reduced milk production, poor growth, infertility, abortion, and sometimes death.

SMILE-75 Initiative

Paper 2 – Social Issues
Why Should You Know?
Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar to launch “SMILE-75 Initiative” on 12 August 2022.
In details –
  • In the spirit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, has identified 75 Municipal Corporations to implement comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of begging under “SMILE: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”named as “SMILE-75 Initiative”.
  • The “SMILE-75 Initiative” will be launched by Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumarin presence of Shri A. Narayanaswamy, Hon’ble Minister of State (SJ&E) on 12.08.2022 at 02:00 PM at a Shelter Home (Rain Basera) near Nizammudin Metro Station in New Delhi.
  • The identified 75 Municipal Corporations, experts from the field of beggary and eminent NGOs will participate in this nationwide launch through online and offline mode.
  • Under the SMILE-75 initiative, seventy five (75) Municipal Corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other Government welfare programmes etc.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has allocated a total budget of Rs.100 crore for the SMILE project for coming years till 2025-26.
  • Through this project, the Ministry envisions to develop a support mechanism for holistic rehabilitation of those engaged in the act of begging and build an India where no person is forced to beg in order to survive and fulfill their basic needs.
  • The objective of SMILE- 75 is to make our cities/town and municipal areas begging-free and make a strategy for comprehensive rehabilitation of the persons engaged in the act of begging through the coordinated action of various stakeholders.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment understands the important role of Local Urban Bodies, Civil Society Organisations/Non-Government Organisations to address this persisting social issue with concerted efforts.
  • The Government of India has recognised the persisting problemof destitution and beggary and formulated a comprehensive scheme of SMILE (Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) which includes a sub-scheme ofcomprehensive rehabilitation for persons engaged in begging which covers identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, and education, skill development for decent job and self-employment / entrepreneurship.

Chief Justice of India

Paper 2 – Polity
Why Should You Know?
Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit appointed as 49th Chief Justice of India.
In details –
  • In exercise of the power conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President has appointed Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of India.
  • Justice Uday Umesh Lalit will take over as the 49th Chief Justice of India on 27th August 2022.
  • Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on August 2014 from the Bar. Justice Lalit will become the second Chief Justice of India to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court from the Bar, after Justice S.M. Sikri, who served as the 13 th CJI in 1971. Justice Lalit has served as a Member of Supreme Court Legal Services Committee for two terms.
  • Justice U.U. Lalit has to his credit several landmark judgments.
  • Born on 9th November, 1957 at Solapur, Maharashtra, Justice Lalit was enrolled as an Advocate by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa in June, 1983. He practised in the High Court of Bombay till December, 1985 before shifting his practice to Delhi in January, 1986.
  • He worked in the chambers of Shri Soli J. Sorabjee from October 1986 till 1992 and was on the panel of lawyers for Union of India during the period Shri Soli J. Sorabjee was Attomey General for India.
  • From 1992 till 2002 he practised as Advocate on Record and was designated as Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court in April 2004.
  • He was also appointed Amicus Curiae in many important issues, including Forest matters, Vehicular Pollution, Pollution of Yamuna etc. He was appointed as Special Public Prosecutor for CBI under the orders of the Supreme Court to conduct trial in all 2G matters.

How is the Chief Justice of India appointed?
  • It is noteworthy that the Constitution of India does not give details of how the Chief Justice of the country should be appointed. Article 124(1) says that there shall be a Supreme Court of India, consisting of a Chief Justice of India. But this article does not discuss in detail the qualifications of the Chief Justice and what will be his appointment.
  • At the same time, article 126 definitely mentions about the appointment of an acting chief justice.
  • Due to the absence of constitutional provisions regarding the appointment of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), the previous traditions are still being resorted to for the appointment of the highest post.  Under which when the current CJI retires,  he will be replaced as the chief justice of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court.
Selection Process –
  • Just as the Central Government has asked the Chief Justice about his successor,  every time the Union Ministry of Law, Justice and Corporate Affairs seeks the opinion of the Chief Justice.
  • The CJI then recommends the name of the senior-most judge in which he has no doubt about the fitness of the Chief Justice. Not only this, the CJI also talks to the collegium for the upcoming CJI and seeks opinion.
  • After the CJI’s recommendation, the Law Ministry takes it forward and it goes to the Prime Minister and from there this information is conveyed to the President.
  • After this entire process, the name of the CJI is stamped and then the President administers the oath to him.
  • The collegium also has an important role to play in the process of selection of the Chief Justice with the participation of the Law Minister and the Prime Minister. The government is likely to send back the collegium’s decision for reconsideration. And if the collegium sends the same name again, the government is not able to oppose it again.
  • From 1950  to 1973, it was in practice that the senior-most judge in the Supreme Court was appointed as the Chief Justice. This system  was violated in 1973 when A.N. Ray was appointed chief justice of India above three senior-most judges.
  • Again  in 1975, Justice M.H. Baig was appointed, surpassing Justice H.R. Khanna. However, the independence of this decision of the government was reduced by the Supreme Court in the Second Judge case (1993), in which the Supreme Court ruled that only the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court should be appointed as the Chief Justice of India.
  • For the post of Chief Justice, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court and the fittest judge for this work is selected.  The Union Ministry of Law, Justice and Corporate Affairs seeks the proposal of a new Chief Justice from the Chief Justice of India, who is retiring at the right time.
  • If there is any doubt about the fitness of such senior-most judge, then according to Article 124(2) of the Constitution, the next Chief Justice is again consulted in the collegium. After the recommendation from the Chief Justice of India, the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Corporate Affairs makes a proposal to the Prime Minister of the country and after that the file is forwarded to the President.

Qualifications of judges-

  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He has served as a Judge of a High Court or two or more Courts for at least 5 consecutive years.
  • Or, has been an advocate in a High Court or Courts  for 10  consecutive years.
  • Have a high quality knowledge of law in the eyes of the President.

Meeting Of The Tiger Range Countries (TRCs)

Paper 3- Environment
Why Should You Know?
Recently Pre-Summit Meeting Of The Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) Organized at New Delhi.
In details –
  • Pre-summit meeting of the Tiger Range Countries as a prelude to the Tiger Range Countries Summit scheduled to be held at Valadivostak, Russia, is currently in progress in New Delhi.
  • In his Ministerial address session, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, welcomed the senior officials of TRCs and said that India is happy to host the pre-summit meeting at New Delhi.
  • The meeting was attended by 12 tiger range countries except for China and Indonesia. As per officials, delegates from these two countries could not attend the meeting due to travel restrictions.
  • The meeting aims to finalise the declaration on tiger conservation to be adopted at the Summit.
  • India is home to 52 Tiger Reserves covering approximately 75,000 Sq Km area in 18 States with   approximately 75% population of the wild tiger at global level. India achieved the goal of doubling the tiger numbers in 2018 itself, four years in advance from the targeted year 2022.  Also, so far 17 Tiger Reserves in the country have got CA|TS international accreditation and two Tiger Reserves have got International Tx2 Award.

About iDWhat is Tiger Range Countries (TRCs)EX –
  • A century ago, perhaps 100,000 wild tigers roamed the Earth. By the start of the 21st century, that number had plummeted by an estimated 95% due to rampant poaching and habitat destruction.
  • Historically, tigers once ranged widely across Asia, but in recent decades, populations have been restricted to 13 countries, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia (locally extinct), China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR (locally extinct), Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Viet Nam (locally extinct).
  • These 13 countries are known as tiger range countries.
  • Back in 2010, Global Tiger Day was founded to be celebrated on July 29th every year, in an effort to raise awareness around these magnificent big cats.
conservation status of Tiger –
  • Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972
  • Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.
  • Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Cheetah in India

Paper 3- Biodiversity
Why Should You Know?World Lion Day
An action plan is being started for the launch of Cheetah in India, let’s know about it.
In details –
  • India plans to restore the only large carnivore, the Cheetah, that has become extinct in independent India.
  • This endeavor will achieve the following goals and objectives:
Goal –

Establish viable cheetah metapopulation in India that allows the cheetah to perform its functional role as a top predator and provide space for the expansion of the cheetah within its historical range thereby contributing to its global conservation efforts.

Objectives –

Objectives of the project are-

  • To establish breeding cheetah populations in safe habitats across its historical range and manage them as a metapopulation.
  • To use the cheetah as a charismatic flagship and umbrella species to garner resources for restoring open forest and savanna systems that will benefit biodiversity and ecosystem services from these ecosystems.
  • To enhance India’s capacity to sequester carbon through ecosystem restoration activities in cheetah conservation areas and thereby contribute towards the global climate change mitigation goals.
  • To use the ensuing opportunity for eco-development and eco-tourism to enhance local community livelihoods.
  • To manage any conflict by cheetah or other wildlife with local communities within cheetah conservation areas expediently through compensation, awareness, and management actions to win community support.
  • The introduction of the cheetah is not only a species recovery program but an effort to restore ecosystems with a lost element that has played a significant role in their evolutionary history, allow ecosystems to provide services to their full potential, and use the cheetah as an umbrella species for conserving the biodiversity of grasslands, savanna and open forest systems.
About Cheetah –
  • The cheetah is a large cat native to Africa and central Iran. It is the fastest land animal.
  • The cheetah occurs in a variety of habitats such as savannahs in the Serengeti, arid mountain ranges in the Sahara and hilly desert terrain in Iran.
  • The cheetah is threatened by several factors such as habitat loss, conflict with humans, poaching and high susceptibility to diseases.
  • Historically ranging throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa and extending eastward into the Middle East and to central India, the cheetah is now distributed mainly in small, fragmented populations in central Iran and southern, eastern and northwestern Africa.
  • In 2016, the global cheetah population was estimated at around 7,100 individuals in the wild; it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • The word Cheetah is of Sanskrit origin and the cheetah finds mention in the ancient texts such as the Vedas and Puranas; it is indeed ironical that the species is currently extinct in India. The original threats that resulted in the extinction of the cheetah have been abated and India now has the technical and financial ability to bring back its lost Natural Heritage for ethical, ecological, and economic considerations.
  • Successful conservation introductions are a blend of best science, technology, sociological aspects and commitment of financial resources. These aspects are integrated in this Action Plan based on the modern scientific approach recommended by the latest International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines for reintroduction and other conservation translocations, provides the framework for bringing back the charismatic cheetah to India.

Tactical leadership programme

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
In the month of July 2022, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a one-month long engagement with the Egyptian Air Force (EAF)
In details –
  • In the month of July 2022, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a one-month long engagement with the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) at the Egyptian Fighter Weapon School, located in Cairo West Air Force Base.
  • This was a first of its kind interaction for both the air forces as it was conducted between their respective Fighter Weapon Schools.
  • On behalf of the IAF, Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) participated in the programme with three Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft and six Combat Instructor Pilots.
  • The interaction between the two air forces, under the aegis of the Tactical Leadership Program of EAF, saw a fruitful exchange of ideas in the domain of Large Force Engagements involving complex, multi-aircraft missions. During the interaction, IAF pilots flew alongside those of the EAF in missions of multiple complexities with the participants also sharing their experiences in the art and science of air combat, while also discussing their best practices.
  • The induction and de-induction involved flights of over six hours with mid air refueling support from the IAF and UAE Air to Air refuellers.
  • This programme, involving synergistic air operations, has illustrated a high degree of professional trust that has developed between the two Air Forces.
  • The bond between the two Air Forces dates back to the 1960s when Gp Capt Kapil Bhargava, an IAF Test Pilot, test flew the Egyptian prototype of the Helwan HA-300 with Test Pilots from the EAF.
  • This was followed by Indian Qualified Flying Instructors training young Egyptian pilots – a programme that continued into the 1980s.

World Lion Day

Paper 3- Biodiversity
Why Should You Know?
World Lion Day is celebrated every year on 10 August and the purpose behind celebrating this day is to make people aware of lions.
In details –
  • World Lion Day is celebrated every year on August 10. On this day, emphasis is laid on increasing awareness in the minds of people about lions and on the decreasing population and conservation of lions.
  • The celebration of World Lion Day was started  in the year 2013, to make people aware about the plight of lions and these issues and to educate those who live near wild lions. Since 2013, this day is celebrated every year on  August 10.
  • Most lions in Asia are found in India. Asiatic lion is the largest species found in India. Apart from this, the other four are Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Clouded Leopard and Snow Leopard.
  • India is home to Asiatic lions, talking about Asiatic lions found in India, they are now found only in the restricted Gir Forest and National Park and its surrounding areas. However, talking about the past, decades ago, they roamed freely in the Indo-Gangetic plains extending from Sindh in the west to Bihar in the east.
  • According to the census conducted by the Gujarat government in June last year, the lion population saw an increase.
  • The lion population  in India has increased  from 523 in 2015 to  674 in 2020. That is  , an  increase of 29 percent has been recorded in 5 years. The census report also said that their distribution has increased from  22,000 sq km  in 2015 to 30,000 sq km in 2020.
  • Talking about the history of lions, about three million years ago,  lions roamed freely in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. But in the last 100 years, lions have disappeared from 80 percent  of their historical border  . Lions are currently present in  more than 25 African countries and one Asian country. A recent survey has revealed that the number of lions has  come down from 30,000 to around 20,000.
About the Lion –
  • The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats of the Panthera lineage and is a member of the Felidae family. It is the second largest live cat after the tiger, some of whose males weight more than 250 kg.
  • Wild lions are currently found in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Its rapidly extinct population is found in northwestern India, which was destroyed in historical times from North Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia.
  • IUCN has placed it in the vulnerable list.

75th National MonuIndia-Bangladesh Tri-services Staff Talksment

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
Recently 2nd India-Bangladesh Tri-services Staff Talks held in New Delhi.
In details –
  • The 2nd India-Bangladesh Tri-services Staff Talks (TSST) were held in New Delhi on August 10, 2022.
  • The meeting was co-chaired from the Indian side by Deputy Assistant Chief of Integrated Staff, IDC(A), HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) Brigadier Vivek Narang and Director General Operation and Plan Directorate Armed Force Division from the Bangladesh side Brigadier General Husain Muhammad Rahaman.
  • The meeting was conducted in a friendly, warm and cordial atmosphere. The discussions focused on the ongoing and new initiatives taken under the ambit of existing bilateral defence cooperation mechanism of all three services and further strengthening the bilateral defence engagements.
  • The TSST is a forum established to boost defence cooperation between both the nations through regular talks at the strategic and operational levels between HQ IDS and Bangladesh Armed Forces Division.
India and Bangladesh agree to enhance travelIndia and Bangladesh agree to enhance travel
  • New Delhi and Dhaka held the second Tri-services Staff Talks weeks after both sides agreed to implement the Revised Travel Arrangements of 2018 while liberalising visa procedures to enhance ease of travel.
  • During the third India-Bangladesh consular dialogue in Dhaka, the two sides “agreed that more intensive implementation of provisions under the Revised Travel Arrangements (2018), relating to tourist, student and business visas, and further liberalisation of visa procedures and entry and exit norms would further enhance ease of travel”, according to Ministry of External Affairs.

The dialogue mechanism between both sides was started in 2017 to improve the joint consular, visa and mutual legal assistance. The discussions were wide-ranging and they were held to elevate bilateral cooperation. At the time, India and Bangladesh reiterated their commitment to continue working towards “citizen-centric consular mechanisms”, said MEA.

Asian Regional Forum Meeting of the Election Commission

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
ECI to host virtual Asian Regional Forum meet on “Making our Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative”.
In details –
  • The Election Commission of India will be hosting a virtual meet of the ‘Asian Regional Forum’ on the theme “Making our Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative” at Nirvachan Sadan on August 11, 2022.
  • This Regional Forum meet is precursor to the “Global Summit for Democracy” to be hosted by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico in the coming month. The Global Summit and Regional Forum meets aims to generate synergy amongst international organizations, electoral bodies from the world and to promote intellectual and institutional mobilization to strengthen electoral democracy in the world.
  • Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Rajiv Kumar, and Election Commissioner, Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, will preside over the Asian Regional Forum meet.
  • The meet will have participation from Election Management Bodies of Mexico, Mauritius, Philippines, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Maldives and Representatives from International IDEA, Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).        
  • This Asian Regional Forum (ARF) meet has two sessions. The first session is on ‘Inclusive Elections: Enhancing Participation of Youth, Gender and Citizens in Remote Areas’ which will be co-chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner from Mauritius and Nepal.  The session will have representation from COMELEC Philippines and representatives from International IDEA and A-WEB.
  • The second session on ‘Accessible Elections: Enhancing Participation of  Persons with Disabilities & Senior Citizens’ will be chaired by the Commissioner, COMELEC, Philippines and CEC of Uzbekistan and will have representation from Election Commission of Nepal & Maldives and IFES (Asia Pacific).
  • As part of this ‘Global Summit for Democracy’, five Regional Forums namely Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and countries of the Arab States have been created.
  • India is hosting the Asian Regional Forum meet of the EMBs not only to institutionalize and mobilize the EMBs as a precursor to “Global Summit for Democracy” but also to reflect upon the changing geo-politics, emerging technologies and their use in election management in view of the challenges presented by COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Outcomes from the Regional Forum Meets is aimed at generating an action plan and agenda to strengthen democracy around the world, particularly through robust election processes. So far, three Regional Forum meets for Europe, America and Africa have been held in the months of June and July, 2022.
About Election Commission of India-
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional body. It was established by the Constitution of India to conduct and regulate elections in the country.
  • Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of the president of India, and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
  • Thus, the Election Commission is an all-India body in the sense that it is common to both the Central government and the state governments.
  • The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, State Legislative Councils and the offices of the President and Vice President of the country.
Structure –
  • The commission was established in 1950 and originally only had one Chief Election Commissioner.
  • Two additional Commissioners were appointed to the commission for the first time on 16 October 1989 (on the eve of the 1989 General Election), but they had a very short tenure, ending on 1 January 1990.
  • “The Election Commissioner Amendment Act, 1989” was adopted on 1 January 1990 which turned the commission into a multi-member body: a 3-member Commission has been in operation since then and the decisions by the commission are made by a majority vote.

India-UK Free Trade Agreement

Paper 2 – International Relations
Why Should You Know?
India and UK conclude fifth round of talks for India-UK Free Trade Agreement.
In details –
  • On 29 July 2022, the Republic of India and the United Kingdom concluded the fifth round of talks for an India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
  • Negotiation officials undertook these technical talks in a hybrid fashion – with some of the teams meeting in New Delhi, India, and the majority of officials joining virtually.  
  • For this round of negotiations, technical experts from both sides came together for detailed draft treaty text discussions in 85 separate sessions covering 15 policy areas.
  • Indian and UK officials will continue to work intensively throughout the summer towards our target to conclude the majority of talks on a comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement by the end of October 2022.
  • According to official data, the bilateral trade in goods between India and the UK stood at $16 billion in 2021-22 as compared with $13.11 billion in 2020-21, a jump of 22.17 per cent.
  • Exports worth $9.43 billion were shipped in 2021-22, while imports worth $6.59 billion were received in the same year. This gives a trade balance of $2.84 billion in the financial year 2021-22.
  • The trade between the two countries had stood at $15.45 billion in 2019-20, $16.87 billion in 2018-19, and $14.49 billion in 2017-18.
  • and the UK is India’s 18th largest trading partner with manufacturing exports accounting for over 90 percent of India’s export to the UK, consisting of clothing, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, metal manufacturers, organic chemicals, and precious stones.
  • India has signed 13 regional trade agreements (RTAs)/ FTAs with various countries/ regions namely, Japan, South Korea, countries of ASEAN region and countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Mauritius, United Arab Emirates and Australia. India’s merchandise exports to all these countries/regions have registered a growth in last 10 years.
  • In addition, India has also signed 6 preferential trade agreements (PTAs), including Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). All of India’s RTAs, as listed in the table above, have exit clauses.

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