Today’s Current Affairs: 10th Feb 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Former Prime Minister To Be Conferred With Bharat Ratna:
The government has announced India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna to Former Prime Ministers PV Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, and Father of Green Revolution, Dr. M S Swaminathan.
- The announcement comes days after 96-year-old LK Advani and two-time Bihar chief minister and socialist icon Karpoori Thakur (posthumously) were conferred with the award
Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao:
- He served as the 10th Prime Minister of India from June 21, 1991, to May 16, 1996, for a total of 1,791 days.
- He previously served as a minister in the Andhra Pradesh government and held several portfolios including law, education, and health until 1971, when he took over as CM. He remained the CM till 1973.
Chaudhary Charan Singh:
- He served as the sixth Prime Minister of India, albeit for a brief period. He was sworn in on July 28, 1979, and was compelled to step down just 170 due to no majority.
- He also went on to form the Bharatiya Kranti Dal (BKD), which later merged with the Samyukta (United) Socialist Party to form the Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD).
- Known as the ‘Father of the Green Revolution’, Dr. Swaminathan played a major role in the set of changes introduced in farming in the 1960s and ‘70s that helped India achieve food security.
- He was awarded the first World Food Prize in 1987, following which he set up the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai.
Tribal Affairs Amendment Bills 2024:
Rajya Sabha has passed the Constitution (STs) Order Amendment Bill 2024 and the Constitution (SCs and STs) Order Amendment Bill 2024, presented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
- Among the additions were notably seven Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) (a subset of STs) – four in Odisha and three in Andhra Pradesh.
- The independent names of these PVTGs had been specifically added as synonyms or sub-tribes of communities already on the ST lists of these States.
- In Odisha, the PVTG communities added are – Pauri Bhuyan and Paudi Bhuyan as synonyms of the Bhuyan tribe; The Chuktia Bhunjia as a synonym of the Bhunjia tribe; The Bondo as a sub-tribe of the Bondo Poraja tribe; and The Mankidia as a synonym for the Mankirdia tribe.
- In Andhra Pradesh, the PVTG communities included Bondo Porja and Khond Porja as synonyms of the Porja tribe and the Konda Savaras as a synonym for the Savaras tribe.
- These groups belong to PVTGs and have been included in the scheduled list after 75 years of independence.
RBI Payment Aggregator Approval:
The Reserve Bank of India has granted final authorization for three more companies – Juspay, Decentro, and Zoho – to operate as payment aggregators in India.
- This approval allows these companies to provide payment services to online merchants by accepting payments from customers.
- Juspay, Decentro, and Zoho join Stripe, Zomato, and Tata Pay, who received approval in January 2023. Major fintech players like Razorpay and Cashfree received the license in 2022.
- This makes a total of 8 companies so far that have secured the coveted payments aggregator license from the RBI.
- A payments aggregator license allows companies to offer payment services to online businesses and e-commerce companies.
- As payment aggregators, these companies can accept payments from customers on behalf of merchants and pool the funds before transferring them to merchants after a set period of time.
First Indian To Top ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings:
The Indian cricket team’s fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, became the first Indian pacer to top the ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings after his stupendous bowling performance in the Visakhapatnam Test against England.
- Bumrah surpassed Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, and Ravichandran Ashwin to attain the number one spot, becoming just the fourth Indian to achieve the feat after Bishan Singh Bedi, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin (all spinners).
- Kane Williamson from New Zealand currently tops the ICC Men’s Test Batting Rankings
- Jasprit Bumrah became first bowler in the history of cricket to attain number one ranking across all three formats (ODI, Test, T20Is) of the game.
- Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah are the only Asian players to become number 1 in all three formats.
- Bumrah showcased outstanding bowling performance in first two Tests of the ongoing five-match five-match Test series between India and England.
- The star pacer played a key role in India’s resounding victory in IND vs ENG 2nd Test in Visakhapatnam, securing six wickets in first innings and three wickets in second innings.
DC-8 Flying Laboratory Of NASA:
NASA has begun conducting marathon research flights across Asia in order to improve air pollution forecasting models.
- The flights aim to collect detailed data on air pollution sources and behavior to enhance warning systems for the public. Millions of deaths each year are linked to air pollution.
- The flights involve NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory, the world’s largest aircraft designed for airborne science missions.
- The DC-8 is flying for up to 8 hours at a time, sometimes as low as 15 meters above the ground, to collect air pollution particles for analysis.
- The research flights can “provide direct measurements of how much pollution is coming from different sources.”
- This data is critical for the air quality forecasting models that inform pollution warnings and policies.
- The DC-8 can help fill gaps and improve satellite data interpretation.
- By combining data from air, ground, and space, the project can lead to more accurate forecasting models.
Typbar Typhoid Vaccine:
Phase-3 trial conducted in Malawi, Africa, a region endemic for typhoid fever, has demonstrated the long-term efficacy of Bharat Biotech’s Typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV), Typbar.
- Typbar TCV is the world’s first clinically proven conjugate Typhoid vaccine.
- Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi.
- It is usually spread through contaminated food or water.
- It is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, through ingestion of contaminated food or water.
- Once the bacteria is ingested, it multiplies and spreads into the bloodstream.
- Urbanisation and climate change have the potential to increase the global burden of typhoid
- It encompasses fever, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, headache, and occasionally a rash.
- Severe cases can result in complications or death, confirmed through blood testing.
- Risk Factor and Disease Burden: In 2019, there were an estimated 9.24 million typhoid cases and 1,10,000 deaths across the world.
- It remains a significant health issue, particularly in developing regions.
- The majority of the typhoid cases and deaths in 2019 occurred in South-East Asia and Africa.
- Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment, but increasing resistance to antibiotic treatment is making it easier for typhoid to spread in communities that lack access to safe drinking water or adequate sanitation.
In an attempt to hit a target in Kyiv, Russian forces launched a 3M22 Zircon missile recently.
- The 3M22 Zircon, or SS-N-33, is a scramjet-powered manoeuvring anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile developed in Russia.
- The missile is reportedly capable of flying with speeds up to Mach 9and a range of 1000 km.
- It is a two-stage missile that uses solid fuel in the first stage and a scramjet motor in the second stage.
- Zircon cruise missiles use cooled supersonic combustion ramjet engines, which power combustion by compressing air flowing at supersonic speeds due to the missile’s forward motion.
- Valuable aspect of the missile is its plasma cloud.
- During flight, the missile is completely covered by a plasma cloud that absorbs any rays of radio frequencies and makes the missile invisible to radars.
Flue Gas Desulphurisation:
The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy recently informed about the installation of Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) equipment in thermal power plants.
- Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) is a technology to eliminate sulphur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust emissions.
- Fossil fuels such as coal and oil often contain high amounts of sulphur, and when these fuels are burned, around 95% or more of the sulphur is converted to sulphur dioxide (SO2), which is emitted as flue gas.
- Sulphur dioxide in itself is a major air pollutant which impacts all life.
- It is also a precursor of acid rain, which has significant adverse impacts on forests, freshwaters, and soils, in turn killing insect and aquatic life forms, causing paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and weathering of stone buildings and statues.
- The removal of sulphur dioxide is critical to establishing a safe and clean environment where toxic emissions are kept to a safe level.
Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Model:
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has come up with a list of high-traffic density corridors for private developers to build and operate under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
- Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Model is a type of agreement often used in infrastructure projects, particularly in the construction and operation of public facilities or utilities.
- It is a conventional public-private partnership (PPP) model in which a private entity (usually a company or consortium) is granted the rights and responsibilities to design, finance, construct, operate, and maintain a specific project or facility for a defined period of time.
- The private entity, known as the “concessionaire” or “developer,” bears the financial and operational risks associated with the project during the contract period.
- The private company gains revenue during the concession period, while the government benefits from infrastructure development without upfront investment.
- The specifics of the financial arrangements and incentives vary depending on the individual BOT contract.
- BOT is particularly well-suited for greenfield projects (new projects without prior work) and large-scale, capital-intensive projects.
Nematodes : New Species
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have unveiled a new species of nematode, Steinernema adamsi, a minuscule yet potent ally in the battle against crop pests.
- Nematodes are any worm of the phylum Nematoda.
- Nematodes are among the most abundant animals on Earth.
- They occur as parasites in animals and plants or as free-living forms in soil, fresh water, marine environments, and even such unusual places as vinegar, beer malts, and water-filled cracks deep within Earth’s crust.
- Nematodes are bilaterally symmetrical, elongate, and usually tapered at both ends.
- Some species possess a pseudocoel, a fluid-filled body cavity between the digestive tract and the body wall.
- Nematodes have been reported from every continent on earth and occur in deserts, swamps, the oceans, the tropics and Antarctica.
- Nematode parasites of animals occur in almost all organs of the body, but the most common sites are in the alimentary, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Some of these worms are known by such common names as hookworm, lungworm, pinworm and threadworm
- They can cause a variety of diseases (such as filariasis, ascariasis, and trichinosis) and parasitize many crop plants and domesticated animals.
- Most nematodes feed on bacteria, fungi, or other microscopic creatures. As such, they are a major component of soil and sediment ecosystems.
The Quality Council of India (QCI) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) announced the launch of the DigiReady Certification (DRC) portal.
- DigiReady Certification aims to assess and certify digital readiness of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) entities.
- By leveraging this online self-assessment tool, MSMEs can evaluate their preparedness to seamlessly onboard as sellers on the ONDC platform, thereby expanding their digital capabilities and business potential.
- The portal is meticulously designed to facilitate a streamlined seller journey, ensuring that MSMEs and small retailers can integrate seamlessly into existing digitised workflows.
- The certification process evaluates various aspects of digital readiness, including the presence of necessary documentation for online operations, proficiency in using software and technology, integration with existing digitised workflows, and efficient management of orders and catalogue offerings.
- This initiative presents additional business prospects for sellers, allowing them to become integral to the digital ecosystem.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana:
The Union Cabinet approved the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana (PM-MKSSY), a sub scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.
- It will be implemented as a Central Sector Sub-scheme under the Central Sector Component of the PMMSY.
- Implemented at an estimated outlay of Rs.6,000 crore consisting of 50% i.e. Rs.3,000 crore public finance including the World Bank and the AFD external financing, and rest 50% i.e. Rs.3,000 crore being the anticipated investment from the beneficiaries/private sector leverage.
- It will be implemented for 4 years from FY 2023-24 to FY 2026-27 across all the States and UTs.
- Fishers, Fish (Aquaculture) Farmers, Fish workers, Fish Vendors or such other persons directly engaged in fisheries value chain.
- Micro and Small enterprises in the form of Proprietary Firms, Partnership Firms and Companies registered in India, Societies, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), Cooperatives, Federations, Village Level Organizations like Self Help Groups (SHGs), Fish Farmers Producer Organizations (FFPOs) and Startups engaged in fisheries and aquaculture value chains.
- FFPOs also include Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs).
- Any other beneficiaries that may be included by the Department of Fisheries, Gol as targeted beneficiaries.
Aadi Mahotsav 2024:
The President of India will inaugurate the Aadi Mahotsav 2024, an annual national tribal festival, at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on February 10
- Aadi Mahotsav is organised by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) under the aegis of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, and will showcase the rich diversity of India’s tribal heritage.
- It is not only a platform to exhibit the extraordinary talent and craftsmanship of tribal artisans but also an opportunity to interact, learn, and contribute to the empowerment of tribal communities.
- The festival will feature an expanded showcase with over 300 stalls, offering varied display of Tribal art, handicrafts, natural produce, and delectable tribal cuisine.