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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 1st Mar 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 1st Mar 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Regulatory Sandbox Scheme:


The Reserve Bank tweaked guidelines for Regulatory Sandbox (RS) scheme.

  • Regulatory Sandbox scheme refers to the live testing of new products or services in a controlled regulatory environment.
  • It acts as a “safe space” for business as the regulators may or may not permit certain relaxations for the limited purpose of testing.
  • It can provide a structured avenue for the regulator to engage with the ecosystem and to develop innovation-enabling or innovation-responsive regulations that facilitate the delivery of relevant, low-cost financial products.
  • It is potentially an important tool which enables more dynamic, evidence-based regulatory environments which learn from and evolve with, emerging technologies.
  • The RBI issued the ‘Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox’ in August 2019, after wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders.

SWAYAM Plus Platform:

The Union Minister of Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched the ‘SWAYAM Plus’ platform.

  • SWAYAM Plus platform offers courses developed collaboratively with the industry.
  • This platform aims to enhance the employability of both college students and lifelong learners.
  • It will offer programmes in sectors like Manufacturing, Energy, Computer Science and Engineering/IT/ITES, Management Studies, Healthcare, Hospitality and Tourism besides Indian Knowledge Systems.
  • It primarily focuses on building an ecosystem for all stakeholders in professional and career development, including learners, course providers, industry, academia, and strategic partners.
  • It enables a mechanism that provides credit recognition for high-quality certifications and courses offered by the best industry and academia partners.
  • Reaching a large learner base by catering to learning across the country, with a focus on reaching learners from tiers 2 and 3 towns and rural areas.
  • It features innovative elements such as multilingual content (available in 12 major Indian languages of the country), AI-enabled guidance, credit recognition, and pathways to employment.

Sweden’s NATO Membership:

Hungary’s parliament voted to approve Sweden’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), making it the 32nd nation to join the alliance.

  • NATO, a vital transatlantic military and political alliance, ensures collective security for its member countries. Established in 1949 by 12 founding nations, with a majority from Europe and North America, it remains a cornerstone of international stability.
  • NATO is headquartered at Boulevard Leopold III in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Alliances of NATO:
    • Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)
    • Mediterranean Dialogue fosters security and stability in the Mediterranean by enhancing relations between participating countries and NATO Allies.
    • Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) offers non-NATO countries in the broader Middle East region the opportunity to cooperate with NATO, aiming to enhance regional security.
    • “NATO plus” refers to a security arrangement of NATO and the five treaty allies of the U.S. — Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and South Korea as members — to enhance “global defence cooperation” and win the “strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party”.
    • NATO Plus is not an officially recognised or established concept within NATO.

Mission Utkarsh:

The Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Women and Child Development have partnered to enhance the nutrition of adolescent girls through Ayurveda interventions as a part of Mission Utkarsh.

  • Under Mission Utkarsh, 15 central ministries or departments will work to elevate districts at the bottom, to state and national averages.
  • In the first phase, the focus may be on improving the anaemic status of adolescent girls (14-18 years) in five aspirational districts of five states namely Assam (Dhubri), Chhattisgarh (Bastar), Jharkhand (Paschimi Singhbhum), Maharashtra (Gadchiroli), and Rajasthan (Dhaulpur).
  • The objective is to combat anaemia and work towards achieving an “Anaemia Mukt Bharat” (Anaemia Free India).
  • Anaemia is a medical condition characterised by a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, leading to reduced oxygen-carrying capacity

Women Exporters In The Digital Economy (WEIDE) Fund:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have jointly launched a USD 50 million global fund called the Women Exporters in the Digital Economy (WEIDE) Fund.

  • The aim of this fund is to assist women-led businesses and women entrepreneurs in developing economies and least-developed countries in adopting digital technologies and expanding their online presence.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has allocated USD 5 million as the first donor to the fund.
  • The ITC hosted the SheTrades Summit, bringing together women entrepreneurs, global business leaders, and development partners to discuss solutions to challenges faced by women in accessing new markets in the digital trading system.

Flue-Cured Virginia:

The Government of India has taken several measures to support Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka

  • Flue-cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco is a type of tobacco leaf that is cured by exposing it to heat in a flue, or enclosed space.
  • This process removes moisture from the tobacco leaves while retaining their bright colour and producing a mild, sweet flavour.
  • FCV tobacco is commonly used in cigarette blends, prized for its high sugar content and smooth smoking characteristics.
  • It is grown in various regions around the world, with notable production in countries like the United States, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and India.
  • FCV tobacco is mainly produced in India in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • In Karnataka, the Mysore and Hassan districts produce more than 95% of FCV tobacco

Tawi Festival : Jammu And Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir is set to host the annual ‘Tawi Festival’ from March 1st to 4th, 2024.

  • Centered on the banks of the river Tawi flowing through Jammu city, the event will showcase the region’s vibrant cultural legacy through arts, cuisine, literature and folk traditions.
  • The festival is being jointly organized by the Tourism Department, Jammu Municipal Corporation and prominent cultural institutions of the city.
  • It provides a platform to nurture local talent and enterprises while drawing attention to Jammu’s distinct ethos.
  • “The Tawi Festival aims to bring various slices of Jammu’s culture together on a common platform through immersive experiences centered around art, knowledge and community.”

Obelisks : New Virus-Like Life-Forms

A new genetic entity dubbed ‘obelisks’ has recently been discovered in abundant numbers inside bacteria inhabiting the human gut and mouth.

  • This never-before-seen biological construct displays unique characteristics unlike other known viruses or cell types, prompting researchers to classify obelisks as a third fundamental domain that could help better understand microbial ecology in the human body.
  • In a first-of-its-kind study published in the journal Cell, researchers from San Diego-based biotech company Locanabio analysed RNA sequence datasets from thousands of bacterial samples which are part of the human microbiome – the collection of microbes residing in our gut, skin, organs etc. that regulate various bodily functions.
  • Obelisks comprise of RNA and proteins that allow them to self-replicate inside bacterial cells.
  • While the obelisks function remains unclear, researchers hypothesize they may interact with host immunity to potentially protect bacteria against antibiotics and viruses. Further studies in this area can reveal exciting insights into manipulating microbe-host dynamics.