Today’s Current Affairs: 15th Jan 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
India is set to become the world’s largest producer of lentil (masoor) during the 2023-24 crop years on account of higher acreage.
- In India, it’s mostly consumed as ‘Dal’ by removal of outer skin and separation of cotyledons.
- Lentil is also called as Masur and Malka (bold seeded).rld’s largest producer of lentil (masoor) during the 2023-24 crop years on account of higher acreage.
- It is widely cultivated throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
- The Lentil growing states in India are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, etc
- It is easy to cook and easily digestible with high biological value. Dry leaves, stems, empty and broken pods are used as valuable cattle feed.
- According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world top lentil growers in 2022 were Canada, India, Australia, Turkey and Russia.
- Despite being the second largest producer of lentil, India has so far been importing mainly from Australia, Canada, Russia, Singapore, and Turkey.
- During the current year, it also imported some quantities of lentil from UAE, USA, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Himalayan Wolf : IUCN Status
Himalayan Wolf has been assessed for the first time in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List and categorised as ‘Vulnerable’.
- The Himalayan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco), a prominent lupine predator found across the Himalayas.
- It is also called as Tibetan wolves, which live at more than 4,000 metres altitudes are genetically distinct from grey wolves.
- Living at such high altitudes, these wolves have genetically adapted themselves to live in low oxygen (hypoxic) conditions.
- In China, the Himalayan wolf lives on the Tibetan Plateau in the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Tibet, and western Sichuan.
- In northern India, it occurs in the Union Territory of Ladakh and in the Lahaul and Spiti region in northeastern Himachal Pradesh.
- Conservation status
- IUCN: Vulnerbale
- CITES: Appendix I
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
Cabo Verde : Malaria Free City
The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified Cabo Verde (also known as Cape Verde) as a malaria-free country.
- Cabo Verde has become the third country to acquire the status in the global health organisation’s African region.
- The country has now joined Mauritius and Algeria, who were certified in 1973 and 2019, respectively.
- Cabo Verde is also known as Cape Verde which comprises a group of islands that lie off the west coast of Africa.
- It is located nearby Senegal and is the nearest point on the continent.
- This volcanic archipelago includes ten islands and five islets, divided into the windward (Barlavento) and leeward (Sotavento) groups.
- Generally moderate, the climate is characterized by stable temperatures with extreme aridity.
- The terrain of the Cabo Verde islands varies from the geologically older, flatter islands in the east and the newer, more mountainous islands in the west.
- It is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
- There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, pose the greatest threat.
- It is common in tropical areas where it’s hot and humid.
- Children under 5 years of age are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria.
India’s First Dark Sky Park:
The Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has been designated as India’s first Dark Sky Park and the fifth in Asia, protecting the night sky and preventing light pollution.
- The Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra is India’s first Dark Sky Park within a tiger reserve for earmarking areas around the park that restrict light pollution for stargazers to access pristine dark skies.
- Dark Sky Place certification focuses on lighting policy, dark sky-friendly retrofits, outreach and education, and monitoring the night sky.
- This designation positions PTR as a sanctuary where tourists can witness celestial spectacles, shielded from the intrusion of artificial light pollution.
- PTR became the fifth such park in Asia.
- The certification was given by the International Dark-Sky Association, a global dark-sky movement to promote astronomy.
Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR):
- The Reserve is located in the southern reaches of the Satpura hills in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh and continues in Nagpur district in Maharashtra as a separate Sanctuary.
- It is named after the Pench River, which flows from north to south through the Reserve.
LiDAR Survey : City By Amazon Rainforest Discovered
A huge city hidden by the luxuriant vegetation of the Amazon rainforest was recently discovered in Ecuador by a LiDAR survey.
- Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.
- These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system — generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
- A lidar instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver.
- Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring lidar data over broad areas.
- Lidar systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and man-made environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.
- It is used in a wide range of land management and planning efforts, including hazard assessment (including lava flows, landslides, tsunamis, and floods), forestry, agriculture, geologic mapping, and watershed and river surveys.
Three-Phase Vaccination Drive For Cervical Drive:
The Indian Government intends to initiate a three-phase vaccination drive against human papillomavirus (HPV) for girls aged 9-14, aiming to mitigate the risk of cervical cancer.
- The vaccine also offers protection against the HPV strains that cause cancer of the anus, vagina and oropharynx.
- Additionally, it also protects against the HPV strains that are responsible for genital warts.
- Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix. It is the 4th most common type of cancer among women, globally and 2nd most common among women in India.
- Almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) , an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact.
- Effective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary prevention approaches (screening for and treating precancerous lesions) will prevent most cervical cancer cases.
- When diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.
- India accounts for about a fifth of the global burden for cervical cancer, recording about 1.25 lakh cases and about 75,000 deaths each year.
Green Fuels Alliance India : Denmark Collaboration With India
Denmark has introduced the Green Fuels Alliance India (GFAI) to enhance collaboration with India in the sustainable energy sector, aligning with both nations’ goals of achieving carbon neutrality.
- It aims to advance the green fuels sector, including green hydrogen, through innovation and partnerships.
- GFAI’s objective is to foster an ecosystem promoting sustainable energy growth in India, involving businesses, government entities, and research institutions.
- The initiative is part of the Green Strategic Partnership signed in 2020 between India and Denmark.
- The announcement coincides with India’s push for carbon neutrality by 2070 and Denmark’s top ranking in the 2024 Climate Performance Ranking.
Gangireddu Melam : Traditional Folk
Gangireddu Melam, a traditional folk performance associated with the Sankranti harvest festival in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
- The bulls, adorned with colorful flowers and garments is the central motif of the dance.
- The performance also incorporates elements of local folklore and storytelling, showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage.
- The harvest festival of ‘Sankranti’ is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for three days as Bhogi, Sankranti, and Kanuma.
- Sankranti marks the first day of the sun’s transit into the Makara, marking the end of the winter solstice and the start of longer days.
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL):
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), also named Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu, India’s longest sea bridge covering 21.8 km (16.5 km over the sea), has been inaugurated and is open for public commute.
- The bridge is expected to witness over 70,000 vehicles daily, improving connectivity between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
- It is the longest sea bridge in India (World’s 10th longest sea bridge)
- It is expected to alleviate traffic congestion, promote economic development, and reduce travel time between Sewri and Chirle to just 15 to 20 minutes.
- Fuel, transportation costs & 1 hour travel time will be saved
- 1st project in Indiawith an open road tolling system.
- For the first time in India, Orthotropic steel deck technology used
ANUBHAV Awards Scheme 2024:
The Government has notified the ANUBHAV Awards Scheme 2024.
- The Last Date for submissions on the ANUBHAV portal will be 31 March 2024, all Line Ministries/ Departments will reach out to Pensioners to make submissions on the ANUBHAV Portal.
- ANUBHAV Awards Scheme, 2024 was launched in 2015 under Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.
- Objective is to incentivize and encourage more retiring employees to submit their write-ups.
- It recognises the contribution made by Retired Officials to nation-building while working in Government and to document the administrative history of India through written narratives.
- To date 54 ANUBHAV Awards conferred by the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare.
- It is envisaged that this culture of leaving notes by retirees will become the foundation stone of good governance and administrative reforms in future.
- To participate in the scheme, retiring Central Government employees/pensioners are required to submit their Anubhav write-ups, 8 months prior to retirement and up to 1 year after their retirement.
- Thereafter, the write-ups will be published after assessment by concerned Ministries/Departments.
- The published write-ups will be shortlisted for Anubhav Awards and Jury Certificates.
- To encourage broader participation in the Anubhav Awards Scheme, 2024, the DOPPW has undertaken an Outreach Campaign to reach out to every pensioner to submit his ANUBHAV experience.