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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 10th Jan 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 10th Jan 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Peregrine Lunar Lander:

The Peregrine Lunar Lander was launched aboard the United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket to embark on its pioneering journey to explore the Moon.

  • Peregrine Lander is designed to carry scientific instruments and other payloads to the Moon’s surface, specifically targeting the Sinus Viscositatis region.
  • This area, also known as the Bay of Stickiness, lies adjacent to the Gruitheisen Domes near the Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms.
  • Aim to locate water molecules on the moon, measure radiation and gases around the lander, and evaluate the lunar exosphere (the thin layer of gases on the moon’s surface)”
  • The mission’s scientific goals are ambitious is to analyse the lunar exosphere, assess the thermal properties and hydrogen content of the lunar regolith, study magnetic fields, examine the radiation environment, and test advanced solar arrays.
  • Peregrine Mission 1 will transport approximately ten payloads, with a total mass capacity of 90 kilograms.
  • The scientific payload features cutting-edge instruments such as the Laser Retro-Reflector Array (LRA), Linear Energy Transfer Spectrometer (LETS), Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS), PROSPECT Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer (PITMS), and Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS).

Chandubi Festival : Assam

The Chandubi Festival was celebrated along the Chandubi Lake in the state of Assam.

  • Chandubi Festival is organised every year for five days starting from the first day of the New Year along the Chandubi lake, which is situated in the state of Assam.
  • The main attractions of the Chandubi festival are the local folk culture, ethnic cuisine, local handloom and dresses, boating, etc.
  • The major aim of the Chandubi Festival is to promote eco-tourism in this biodiversity hotspot of Assam.
  • Preserving the waterbody, the water level of which has rapidly been lowering over the years, has been the motive for organising the festival every year.
  • The festival has been providing an opportunity to generate livelihood to different tribes – Rabhas, Garos, Gorkhas and tea tribes – living in the area by selling different food items and homemade beverages, and traditionally woven attire.

Camptothecin : Anti-Cancer Drug

Researchers at the Indian Institutes of Technology Madras and Mandi have metabolically engineered Nothapodytes nimmoniana plant cells to increase production of anti-cancer drug camptothecin (CPT).

  • Camptothecin is an important anti-cancer drug lead molecule for high-value drugs like Topotecan and Irinotecan.
  • It is a potent topoisomerase I inhibitor extracted mainly from – Camptotheca acuminata (native to Eastern Asia) and Nothapodytes nimmoniana (native to India).
  • It is majorly produced in the Southeast Asian region, with the plant being largely found only in China and India.
  • However, the conjunction of climate change and extensive deforestation undertaken for CPT extraction has pushed these plants into the endangered species category.

Israel Recently Deployed Sky Dew:

Israel recently deployed Sky Dew along the Lebanese border as tensions with Hezbollah escalated.

  • Sky Dew is a massive balloon-like structure in the shape of a puffed aircraft.
  • The high-altitude observation balloon acts as a detection radar blip for small unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles.
  • It is one of the largest aerial threat warning systems in the world.
  • The technology has been jointly developed by Israel Defence and US company The project was entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Defence.
  • The Israel Air Force was handed over the Sky Dew in 2022.
  • The system comprises a blimp capable of flying at high altitudes with radar and detection systems to scan a wide range in any direction.
  • The radar on the balloon is capable of observing at 250 km and tracking multiple targets, including low-altitude ones and those in valleys.
  • It can carry 7,000 pounds and has an operational altitude of 10,000 feet.
    It offers a significant advantage in its ability to remain in surveillance for extended periods without needing fuel or crew replacement.

India To Chair World Heritage Committee:

India is set to take the reins as the chair of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee for the very first time.

  • World Heritage Committee is a committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund, and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
  • It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List.
  • It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed.
  • It also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
  • It consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected by their General Assembly.
  • A Committee member’s term of office is six years, but most state parties choose voluntarily to be members of the committee for only four years in order to give other states parties an opportunity to be on the committee.

Lancet Study On Child Marriage In India:

Lancet study on child marriage in India highlighted an overall decrease in child marriage across the country.

  • However, it emphasized that certain states, specifically Bihar (16.7%), West Bengal (15.2%), Uttar Pradesh (12.5%), and Maharashtra (8.2%), collectively contributed to over half of the total headcount burden of child marriages in girls.
  • West Bengal region has experienced a substantial surge of 32.3% in the incidence of child marriages.
  • This increase corresponds to over 500,000 additional girls getting married as children.
  • As West Bengal’s 105 cases under The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006 in 2021 raise concerns.
  • Because comparatively, states with smaller populations reported more cases.
  • The Ministry introduced the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, proposing raising the age of marriage for women to 21, currently under Parliamentary review.
  • The data suggests gaps in law enforcement and highlights the need for comprehensive strategies.

Bureau Of Indian Standards : 77th Foundation Day

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a body under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Government of India, celebrated its 77th Foundation Day on 6th January 2024.

  • BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods.
  • BIS has its headquarters at New Delhi.
  • It operates various schemes like Product Certification (ISI mark), Hallmarking of Gold and Silver Jeweller, ECO Mark Scheme (for labeling of environment friendly products).
  • The BIS Act, 2016, has been implemented since October 2017.
  • The major highlights of the act are:
    • Enables the government to authorize any agency apart from BIS to certify and enforce conformity to a standard.
    • Provides consumer protection measures like recall of non-conforming standard marked products, compensation to the consumer and more stringent penal provisions.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) has been celebrated on 9th January every year since 2003 to honor the Indian diaspora and the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the country’s development.

  • January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, and led India’s freedom struggle.
  • Since 2015, its format has been revised to celebrate the PBD once every two years and to hold theme-based PBD Conferences during the intervening period.
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a celebration that acknowledges the significant contributions of Indians living abroad to India’s progress.
  • The highlight of this celebration is the PBD convention, where themes like “Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat” have been explored in recent years.