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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 13th Jan 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 13th Jan 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023:

Surat and Indore were jointly adjudged India’s cleanest cities as per the Centre’s annual Swachh Survekshan city cleanliness rankings for 2023.

  • Navi Mumbai secured third place.
  • The Union Housing Ministry confers the Swachh Sarvekshan cleanliness awards, initiated under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Key ranking parameters include:
    • Citizen feedback evaluations
    • Field assessments of sanitation indicators
    • The state governments provide updated data, validated via household surveys and on-ground visits. Additional factors like safety gear for waste workers also get incorporated.
  • The yearly surveying initiative started with assessing 73 major cities in 2016. Currently over 4,400 towns participate.
  • Around 12 crore citizen feedbacks were incorporated this round.
  • The 2023 updated list of top ten cleanest cities above 1 lakh population also features Visakhapatnam, Bhopal, Vijayawada, Delhi, Tirupati, Hyderabad and Pune.

Statewise and Category Winners:

  • Maharashtra topped the state ranks, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Smaller cities Sasvad, Lonavala and Patan secured the top three cleanliness positions.
  • Mhow Cantonment Board was rated the cleanest cantonment.
  • Varanasi and Prayagraj won top Ganga town awards.
  • Chandigarh was honored as the safest city for sanitation staff. West Bengal municipalities ranked last across all zones.

Thylakoid Membranes : Study

Researchers at the University of Liège, Belgium have identified thylakoid microstructures in fossil cells that are 1.75 billion years old.

  • Thylakoids are little pouches located in the chloroplasts of plants.
  • They store chlorophyll, the substance in plants that reacts to sunlight and triggers photosynthesis.
  • These membranes are dense, mostly galactolipid, protein-containing bilayers in which photosynthesis occurs in photosynthetic organisms.
  • They are found in ancient, light-sensitive bacteria called cyanobacteria.
  • The cyanobacteria multiplied in the oceans billions of years ago, and are believed to be responsible for the vast stores of oxygen that are found in the atmosphere and thus, a precursor to life.
  • It is now believed that thylakoid membranes in cyanobacteria were what made them capable of using sunlight to create energy and release oxygen.


  • These are also called blue-green algae, microscopic organisms found naturally in all types of water.
  • These single-celled organisms live in fresh, brackish and marine water.
  • These organisms use sunlight to make their own food.

International Classification Of Diseases (ICD) – 11:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the ICD-11 Traditional Medicine Module 2, incorporating data and terminology related to Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani Medicine.

  • The Ministry of AYUSH collaborated with WHO in preparing this classification, aiming to strengthen India’s healthcare system, research, development, and policy-making in the traditional medicine sector.
  • The inclusion of traditional medical terminologies in ICD-11 aims to establish a connection between traditional medicine and international standards, fostering a unified global tradition in healthcare.


  • ICD is the international standard for systematic recording, reporting, analysis, interpretation, and comparison of mortality and morbidity data.

National Youth Day 2024:

India celebrates the National Youth Day, on 12th January every year on the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary.

  • Since 1984, the nation has marked the day by urging the youth to live up to the values, principles and beliefs that Vivekananda embraced.
  • As a part of National Youth Day celebrations, India organizes an annual National Youth Festival from January 12 to 16.
  • The theme of this year’s festival is “Viksit Bharat@ 2047: Yuva ke liye, yuva ke dwara”.
  • Swami Vivekananda is considered one of the great Indian monks who enlightened the Western world about Hinduism.
  • As a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, he pushed for national integration in colonial India and is credited with reviving Hinduism in the nation.

Bharat Tex 2024:

Union Minister for Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal, reviewed the progress of the upcoming mega textiles event, Bharat Tex 2024, during a meeting with textile Export Promotion Councils and ministry officials.

  • Bharat Tex 2024 is a global textile mega-event organized by 11 Textile Export Promotion Councils in collaboration with the Ministry of Textiles.
  • It showcases India’s entire textile value chain, emphasizing fashion, traditional crafts, and sustainability.
  • Aligned with India’s 5F vision, it covers the journey from Farm to Fibre to Factory to Fashion to Foreign, representing the textile production process from raw resources to global markets.

Atal Setu Nhava Sheva Sea Link:

The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) officially known as Atal Setu Nhava Sheva Sea Link, a monumental 22 km sea bridge.

  • This mega-infrastructure project aims to revolutionize travel between Sewri and Chirle, promising a significant reduction in travel time.

Key Highlights of MTHL:

  • Atal Setu is the longest bridge in India and also the longest sea bridge in the country.
  • The bridge is about 21.8 km long six-lane bridge having about 16.5 km length over sea and about 5.5 km on the land.
  • The bridge has been named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • The bridge originates from Sewri in Mumbai and ends at Nhava Sheva in Uran taluka in Raigad district.
  • The project is financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), covering 80% of the total project cost, while the remaining portion is shared between the state and central governments.

Udupi Station Selected For Redevelopment Under Amrit Bharat Station Scheme:

The Udupi station under the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL) network was recently included in the Railway Ministry’s Amrit Bharat Station Scheme (ABSS) for redevelopment.

  • Amrit Bharat Station Scheme (ABSS) is an ongoing Indian Railways mission launched in February 2023 by the Ministry of Railways to redevelop 1,309 stations nationwide.
  • The scheme aims to transform railway stations into modern, well-equipped hubs with improved passenger amenities, better traffic circulation, inter-modal integration, and enhanced signage.
  • It is based on Master Planning for the long termand the implementation of the elements of the Master Plan as per the needs and patronage of the station.
  • The scheme shall cater for the introduction of new amenities as well as the upgradation and replacement of existing amenities.
  • The ultimate goal is to transform these stations into vibrant city centres over the long term.

National Sports And Adventure Awards 2023:

The President of India presented the National Sports and Adventure Awards 2023 at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

  • National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports.

Categories of National Sports Award:

  • Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award:
    • 2023: Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (badminton).
    • It is considered India’s highest sporting honour; the Khel Ratna was established in 1991-92. The award is named after the Indian hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand.
    • The award is given for outstanding performances in sports spanning over a period of four years and the Khel Ratna winners receive a medallion, certificate and a cash prize.
  • Arjuna Award:
    • 2023: Aditi Gopichand Swami (archery), Mohammed Shami (cricket), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (shooting)
    • It is awarded for consistent good performance over a period of four years. The winners of the Arjuna Award receive a statuette of Arjuna, a certificate and a cash prize.
  • Dronacharya Award:
    • 2023: Regular Category: Lalit Kumar (wrestling), RB Ramesh (chess) among others.
    • Lifetime Category:Jaskirat Singh Grewal (golf), Bhaskaran E (kabaddi) among others.
    • It was instituted in 1985, is India’s highest sports honour for coaches. It is awarded to individuals for producing medal winners at prestigious international events. Awardees receive a bronze statue of Dronacharya, a certificate and a cash prize.
  • Major Dhyan Chand Award: 
    • 2023: Manjusha Kanwar (badminton), Vineet Kumar Sharma (hockey), Kavitha Selvaraj (kabaddi)
    • This award represents India’s highest honour for lifetime achievements in sports. Presented for good performance and contributing towards the promotion of sports in an individual capacity since 2002, the winners get a Dhyan Chand statuette, a certificate and a cash prize.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy (MAKA):
    • 2023: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (overall winner university); Lovely Professional University, Punjab (first runner -up); Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (second runner-up)
    • It was instituted in 1956–1957. It is given to an institution or university for top performance in inter-university tournaments over the last one year.
  • Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar:
    • 2023: JAIN (Deemed-to-be-University), Odisha Mining Corporation Limited.
    • Awarded to organisations or corporates (both private and public) and individuals for playing a role in the area of sports promotion and development over the last three years.

Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) Scheme:

Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) scheme by the MSME Ministry has achieved the 1 lakh certification milestone, the ministry said recently.

  • Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) launched in October 2016 and revamped in April 2022, the ZED scheme offers certification for environmentally conscious manufacturing under three certification levels (gold, silver, and bronze) classified according to 20 performance-based parameters such as quality management, timely delivery, process control, waste management, etc.
  • The major objectives of the ZED Scheme are:
    • To create proper awareness in MSMEs about ZED manufacturing and motivate them for the assessment of their enterprise for a ZED rating.
    • To drive manufacturing with the adoption of Zero-Defect production processes without impacting the environment (Zero Effect).
    • To encourage MSMEs to constantly upgrade their quality standards in products and processes.
    • To support the “Make in India” campaign.
  • Currently, the scheme is applicable for manufacturing MSMEs only.

Phytocannabinoids : Antibiotic Properties

Scientists at CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu, have found that tetrahydrocannabidiol (THCBD) which is phytocannabinoids, a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant, possess some hitherto unexplored antibiotic properties.

  • Cannabinoids are a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant.
  • The prefix ‘phyto’ in phytocannabinoid means it comes from a plant.
  • Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the bodies of animals to produce a variety of neurological effects.
  • The researchers extracted cannabidiol from a cannabis plant and made it react with hydrogen, using palladium as a catalyst.
  • This process yielded a mixture of molecules with the same composition and order of atoms but different structures. One of them was THCBD.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR):

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top global public health and development threats.
  • It is estimated that bacterial AMR was directly responsible for 1.27 million global deaths in 2019 and contributed to 4.95 million deaths.

VIPER Rover:

NASA has invited people to send their names to the surface of the Moon aboard the agency’s first robotic lunar rover VIPER – short for Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover.

  • The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER will get a close-up view of the location and concentration of ice and other resources at the Moon’s South Pole.
  • It is NASA’s first mobile robotic mission to the Moon.
  • It will directly analyse ice on the surface and subsurface of the Moon at varying depths and temperature conditions within four main soil environments.
  • The data VIPER transmits back to Earth will be used to create resource maps, helping scientists determine the location and concentration of ice on the Moon and the forms it’s in, such as ice crystals or molecules chemically bound to other materials.
  • It navigates across the rugged terrain of the lunar South Pole and gathers valuable data that will help us better understand the history of the Moon and the environment where NASA is planning to send Artemis astronauts.
  • Mission duration:100 Earth days, covering 3 cycles of lunar day and night.
  • It will land at the South Pole of the Moon in late 2024.