Today’s Current Affairs: 12th Jan 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Rock Glaciers : Study
A new study revealed that over 100 active permafrost structures identified in the Jhelum basin, can cause catastrophic disasters in future.
- A rock glacier is a mass of rock, ice, snow, mud, and water that moves slowly down a mountain under the influence of gravity.
- Unlike an ice glacier, rock glaciers usually have very little ice visible at the surface.
- The rock glacier might consist of a mass of ice covered by rock debris, or it might consist of a mass of rock with interstitial ice.
- Rock glaciers typically form in mountainous regions where there is a combination of permafrost, rock debris, and ice.
- One common scenario involves a pre-existing glacier that accumulates debris and rocks as it moves.
- Over time, if the glacier recedes or thaws, the debris-covered ice can transform into a rock glacier.
- These are classified as ‘active’ or ‘relict’ to indicate the status of permafrost within them, identified by the appearance of the rock surfaces.
- It increases the risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).
- It may also make landslides more frequent with the land on the melting ice becoming loose.
Report Fish Disease App : NSPAAD
The National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD) project has introduced a mobile app ‘Report Fish Disease’ to track and monitor fish diseases across the country.
- The mobile application intends to empower fish farmers with a convenient and efficient platform to report diseases on their farms.
- Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) is one of the collaborative partners of the NSPAAD project of which ICAR-NBFGR is the lead institute, under which this app is developed.
- Its intuitive and user-friendly interface enables easy accessibility to fish farmers.
- The app offers an easy disease reporting format, where farmers can easily report disease outbreaks by providing essential information such as location, species affected, symptoms observed, and images.
- The app also serves as an information hub, providing farmers with valuable resources on disease prevention, treatment, and best aquaculture practices.
- It is to provide a comprehensive package to ensure diagnosis, prevention, control, and treatment of aquatic animal diseases, thereby providing solutions for encouraging the aquaculture farmers.
Exercise Sea Dragon-24:
Indian Navy’s P8I aircraft landed at Guam, a US island territory in Western Pacific, to participate in Exercise Sea Dragon – 24.
- Exercise Sea Dragon-24 is an elite multinational maritime exercise that encourages professional exchanges and teamwork among participating navies.
- Participating countries: India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the US.
- The exercise seeks to improve skills in a variety of maritime combat domains through a number of aerial and ground-based tasks, including:
- Anti-submarine warfare (ASW): Locating and neutralising enemy submarines hiding beneath the seas.
- Surface warfare: Coordinated attacks on hostile surface vessels using superior weaponry and tactics.
- Air defence: Putting up an impenetrable air barrier to keep friendly forces safe from aerial threats.
- Search and rescue (SAR): Tracking down and saving maritime personnel in need.
- Communication and coordination: Synchronising activities across several platforms and exchanging information in a seamless manner.
Kateel Yakshagana Mela:
A century-old Yakshagana mela in Dakshina Kannada will resume its all-night performances following approval from the Karnataka High Court.
- Kateel Yakshagana mela is a famous Yakshagana troupe started in the mid-19th century.
- The Yakshagana troupe, Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Yakshagaana Dashavatara Mandali, popularly known as Kateel Mela is an important ‘Harake Seva’ (hosting the Yakshagana show for God fulfilling a wish) troupe.
- It performs on request by devotees who have taken a vow (Harake) to arrange a show of Yakshagana for fulfilment of a desire or as a service.
- Yakshagana is a traditional folk-dance form popular in Coastal Karnataka.
- It is a rare combination of dance, music, song, scholarly dialogues and colourful costumes.
- Traditionally, men portray all roles, including the female ones, though women are now part of Yakshagana troupes.
- A typical troupe consists of 15 to 20 actors and a Bhagawatha,who is the master of ceremonies and the main storyteller.
Einstein Probe : New Astronomical Satellite
China recently sent a new astronomical satellite called the Einstein Probe into space to observe mysterious transient phenomena in the universe that flicker like fireworks.
- Einstein Probe (EP) is a mission of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) dedicated to time-domain high-energy astrophysics.
- The primary scientific goal of the EP is to explore the transient and variable X-ray sky, capturing powerful bursts of high-energy light emanating from objects such as merging neutron stars and black holes.
- It was successfully launched on January 9, 2024, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China with a “Long March-2C” rocket.
- It is equipped with state-of-the-art X-ray mirrors and detectors.
- Unlike conventional X-ray telescopes, Einstein Probe’s unique design allows it to monitor almost a tenth of the sky simultaneously, discovering new sources as they light up in X-rays and enabling in-depth studies of known and new celestial phenomena over extended periods.
- It will also detect light from gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, flares from other stars, and events within the Solar System, such as emissions from comets.
World Employment And Social Outlook : Trends 2024
The International Labour Organization (ILO) projects worldwide joblessness will increase through 2024 as declining economic growth combines with persistent inflation and stagnant wages to spur inequality – though some labor markets have proved resilient.
- The ILO highlighted the sharp macroeconomic deterioration over the past year from cascading global crises.
- Multiple major economies slowed considerably in 2023 amid lingering geopolitical tensions and aggressive central bank interest rates hikes aimed at taming inflation dampening industrial production, trade, and investment flows.
- The global jobless rate dropped below pre-COVID levels to 5.1% with labor force participation also bouncing back close to early 2020 levels. But concerns remain over the quality of work available.
- The ILO warned slowing economies will likely swing global unemployment back upward through 2024 even as structural weaknesses like skills gaps and inadequate social protection linger in many nations.
- More people worldwide are also falling into working poverty subsisting on under $2 daily as real wage growth trails behind consumer prices across most G20 economies except China and India.
- The report found real wages in India showing “positive” improvement in 2022 versus 2021 exceeding the rate across all other G20 countries save Mexico.
- Robust productivity expansion in the country likely helped boost wage growth compared to peers.
- India still faces challenges ensuring broad-based social equality and labour rights.
Global Risks Report 2024 : World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has warned that artificial intelligence (AI) driven misinformation and disinformation will pose great risks globally in 2023 and 2024.
Highlights from the WEF Report:
- Misinformation and disinformation are the biggest short-term risks highlighted in the report.
- Extreme weather events and critical changes to Earth’s systems like biodiversity loss are noted as the greatest long-term concerns.
- Cost-of-living crisis and the interlinked risks of AI-enabled misinformation/disinformation and societal polarization dominate the global risks outlook for 2024.
- With several live conflicts underway, underlying geopolitical tensions and weakening societal resilience risk creating conflict contagion, the report warns.
- The survey for the report covered over 1400 global risk experts, industry heads and policymakers.
- The report highlights the persisting cost-of-living crisis as a major near-term concern.
- Rising prices, debt distress, and disparate social impact of the crisis risk fuelling political instability and unrest.
- Policymakers need to balance measures to control inflation with targeted relief for vulnerable groups to maintain social cohesion, as per the WEF.
Shri Ramlala Darshan Scheme : Chhattisgarh
The cabinet of Chhattisgarh has decided to start the Shri Ramlala Darshan (Ayodhya Dham) Scheme in the state. This decision fulfills another guarantee given by Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to the people of Chhattisgarh.
- The Chhattisgarh government has announced a scheme for the people of the state. Under this scheme, people will get the chance to visit Ayodhya and have darshan of Shri Ramlala.
- The Chhattisgarh Tourism Board will implement the Shri Ramlala Darshan Scheme.
- The Tourism Department will provide the budget for it.
- Every year around 20,000 beneficiaries will be taken on a pilgrimage for Shri Ramlala darshan under this scheme.
- Residents of Chhattisgarh between 18-75 years of age who are declared fit in the health checkup by the District Medical Board will be eligible for the trip.
- Disabled individuals will also be able to avail this scheme and go for darshan with a family member. In the first phase, this facility will be provided to people above 55 years of age.
World Hindi Day 2024:
World Hindi Day, observed annually on January 10, honors the vast contributions of Hindi speakers and the language’s global significance.
- Hindi was first spoken at the United Nations General Assembly in 1949.
- The inaugural World Hindi Diwas took place in 2006 under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh.
- Since then, January 10 has been observed as World Hindi Day everywhere.
- According to Article 343 of the Indian Constitution, Hindi written in Devanagari script is the official language of the union.
Hindi, along with English, are the official languages of India.
- Hindi is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
- Hindi belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language group.
Henley Passport Index 2024:
The average number of visa-free destinations has nearly doubled since 2006, according to the 2024 Henley Passport Index.
Highlights of Henley Passport Index 2024:
- France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain hold the top spot as the world’s most powerful passports, allowing visa-free entry to 194 global destinations.
- The top 10 is largely dominated by European countries.
- The average number of destinations travellers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled, from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024.
- India’s passport ranked 80th in the list, with citizens allowed to travel to 62 countries without a visa.
- Afghanistan occupies the bottom spot on the list, with access to just 28 countries without a visa.
- Syria, with visa-free access to only 29 destinations, holds the second-lowest position, followed by Iraq with 31 and Pakistan with 34.
- The United Arab Emirates was the fastest climber over the past decade, jumping to 11th place and offering access to 183 destinations without a visa.
Sidersaura Marae : New Species Of Dinosaur
Palaeontologists in Argentina recently found fossil fragments of a new species of dinosaur named Sidersaura marae.
- Sidersaura marae is a new species of sauropod dinosaur.
- It lived during the Cenomanian age of the Late Cretaceous epoch, between 96 and 93 million years ago, in today’s Patagonian region.
- It belongs to the Rebbachisauridae, a large family of sauropod dinosaurs known from fragmentary fossil remains from South America, Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia.
- These dinosaurs are distinguished from other sauropods by their distinctive teeth. Some species had tooth batteries similar to those of hadrosaurs and ceratopsian dinosaurs.
- Rebbachisaurids were very important dinosaurs in Cretaceous ecosystems and disappeared in the middle of this period in an extinction event that took place 90 million years ago.
- It is one of the last rebbachisaurids.