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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 21st June 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 21st June 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

World Refugee Day 2024:

World Refugee Day is annually celebrated globally on June 20th.

  • World Refugee day is dedicated to the millions of people who have been forced to escape their homes due to war, persecution, or natural catastrophes.
  • The first ever World Refugee Day was celebrated on June 20, 2001, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
  • The day was earlier recognized as Africa Refugee Day, and later in December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially declared it an International Day for Refugees.
  • The theme of World Refugee Day 2024 is ‘For a World Where Refugees Are Welcomed.’
  • According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a person is considered a refugee if they are unable to return to their homeland because they have a legitimate fear of being harmed because of their race, religion, involvement in a social group, or differing political opinions.

Casimir Effect:

Scientists recently discovered how to control the Casimir Effect and supercharge tiny machines.

  • The Casimir effect is a physical phenomenon that occurs in quantum field theory where two uncharged conducting plates, positioned very closely, experience an attractive force known as the Casimir force.
  • This force arises from the quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field between the plates.
  • In quantum field theory, the vacuum is not truly empty but rather filled with fleeting virtual particles and fluctuations in electromagnetic fields.
  • Even though the space between the plates may seem empty, it’s actually filled with virtual particles constantly appearing and disappearing.
  • These particles influence the electromagnetic field, leading to a net attraction between the plates.
  • The effect was first predicted in 1948 by Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir during his research on colloidal solutions.
  • This effect has been experimentally verified and finds applications in various fields, such as nanotechnology and condensed matter physics.
  • It has also contributed to our understanding of fundamental physics, including the nature of vacuum energy.
  • Experimental physicists have recognized its impact on micromachined devices, while advancements in instrumentation have allowed for more accurate measurements of the force

e-Shram Portal : Showcased During International Labour Conference

The Indian delegation to the 112th International Labour Conference (ILC) led by Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment showcased the e-Shram portal and its present integrations and achievements during the sidelines of the ILC at Geneva, Switzerland.

  • It was launched by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2021 for registration and creation of a comprehensive National Database of Unorganized Workers.
  • It allows an unorganised worker to register himself or herself on the portal on self-declaration basis, under 400 occupations in 30 broad occupation sectors.
  • It is a “One-Stop-Solution” for Unorganised Workers of the country.
  • The registration in the portal is fully Aadhaar verified and Aadhaar seeded.
  • Any unorganised worker can register himself or herself on the portal on a self-declaration basis.
  • The Ministry aims to facilitate access to various social security schemes being implemented by various Ministries/ Departments for the benefit of the unorganised workers through the e-Shram portal.
  • The portal is presently integrated with National Career Service (NCS) Portal, Skill India Digital Hub (SIDH), myScheme portal and Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhaan (PMSYM) scheme.

Delos Island:

A remarkable ancient site on the tiny Greek island of Delos is “doomed to disappear” within decades due to rising sea levels and geological processes, an expert has said.

  • Delos Island is one of the most important sanctuaries of the ancient Greek and Roman world.
  • It is a rocky island, part of the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea, was first settled in the 3rd millennium B.C.
  • But in the 1st millennium B.C
  • It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • It is found that increasing temperatures combined with high levels of humidity can significantly affect the chemical composition of certain materials used in cultural heritage monuments.
  • Aegean Sea is located in the East Mediterranian Basin with the Greek peninsula to its west and Anatolia (consisting of the Asian side of Turkey) to its east.
  • The Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits connect the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea respectively.
  • The vast majority of the Aegean Islands belong to Greece.
  • The only sizable possessions of Turkey in the Aegean Sea are Imbros (Gökçeada) and Tenedos (Bozcaada), in the northeastern part of the Sea.

INS Sunayna : Entered Port Victoria

INS Sunayna entered Port Victoria, Seychelles on 15 Jun 24 in the company of Seychelles Coast Guard Ship (SCGS) Zoroaster and aims to strengthening the camaraderie and mutual cooperation between Indian Navy and Seychelles Coast Guard in line with the vision of SAGAR (Security & Growth for All in the Region).

  • INS Sunayna is a Saryu class Offshore Patrol Vessel which was commissioned at Kochi.
  • It is based under Southern Naval Command and is built at Goa Shipyard Limited.
  • The warship is designed to undertake fleet support operations, coastal and offshore patrolling, ocean surveillance and monitoring of Sea Lines of Communications and offshore assets, and escort duties.
  • It can achieve speeds of 25 knots.
  • The ship also has an automatic power management system.
  • It is fitted with the latest Navigation, Communication and Electronic Support Systems.
  • Other Sarayu class includes the INS Sumitra and INS Sumedha.

SAGAR (Security & Growth for All in the Region) initiative:

  • It is an Indian foreign policy doctrine that was introduced in 2015.
  • The aim of SAGAR is to enhance cooperation and mutual trust between India and its neighbouring countries, particularly in the Indian Ocean region.

Energy Transition Index:

India has been ranked 63rd on a global Energy Transition Index released by the World Economic Forum.

  • Energy Transition Index is published by the World Economic Forum.
  • It was developed with the ambitious aim to comprehensively monitor the global energy transition.
  • The heart of the Index is an analytic framework that measures transition as a shift towards an energy system that supports sustainability, security and access, and towards institutions that enable this performance.
  • European countries lead the World Economic Forum Energy Transition Index 2024 rankings; Sweden came top, followed by Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and France.
  • Emerging economies such as Brazil and China made notable progress, although 83% of countries moved backwards from last year in at least one of the three energy system performance dimensions – security, equity and sustainability.
  • India has been ranked 63rd in ETI -2024.
  • The gap in energy transition performance between advanced and developing economies continues to narrow, although disparities in investments and regulation remain.
  • While 107 of the 120 countries benchmarked in the report demonstrated progress on their energy transition journeys in the past decade, the overall pace of the transition has slowed and balancing its different facets remains a key challenge.
  • The WEF also lauded the strides made by India in its clean energy infrastructure, with renewable energy and biomass comprising 42 per cent of its power generation capacity, making it the fourth-largest renewables market globally.

Removal Of Angel Tax:

Amid a sharp decline in funding for startups and consequent job losses, Indian Inc has sought the removal of Angel Tax that has been a subject of heated debate between the industry and the government ever since the scope of the controversial tax was expanded in the Finance Bill 2023.

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in its Union Budget recommendation on Tuesday suggested the removal of Section 56(2)(viib) of the Income-tax Act colloquially known as the ‘Angel Tax’ stating that the step would greatly aid capital formation in the country.
  • Angel Tax was first introduced in 2012 to deter the generation and use of unaccounted money through the subscription of shares of a closely held company at a value that is higher than the fair market value of the firm’s shares.
  • Angel tax – which is income tax at the rate of 30.6 per cent – is levied when an unlisted company issues shares to an investor at a price higher than its fair market value.
  • Earlier, it was imposed only on investments made by a resident investor. However the Finance Act 2023 proposed to extend Angel Tax even to non-resident investors from April 1, 2024, meaning that when a start-up raises funding from a foreign investor, that too will now be counted as income and be taxable.
  • The industry has argued that the government is wrong in citing the difference between valuations and actual performance as a sign of money laundering, adding that investors fund startup based on their future potential.
  • Taxes levied on the difference between issue price of unlisted securities and its fair market value (FMV) has hurt funding, it said.
  • The changes in the Angel Tax provisions came at a time when an estimated 100 Indian startups laid off over 15,000 employees in 2023, as funding winter that began in 2022 persisted.
  • Moreover, Indian startups witnessed over 60 per cent decline in funding in terms of value in 2023.
  • With the latest amendment, the government had proposed to also include foreign investors in the ambit, meaning that when a start-up raises funding from a foreign investor, that too will now be counted as income and be taxable.

Thailand Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage:

The Thai Senate recently approved the Marriage Equality Bill on June 18th, and it has the potential to make Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to permit marriages between people of the same gender.

  • The lower house approved the law in a unanimous vote on March 26, which led to this decisive action.
  • At this point, the Support of King Rama X is anticipated for the Bill.
  • The Bill’s Features to make changes to the rules that are now in place regarding marriage, the Marriage Equality Bill will replace gender-specific terminology such as “men” and “women” with gender-neutral adjectives such as “spouse” and “person.” Individuals are now able to marry regardless of their gender as a result of this modification.
  • Furthermore, the Bill expands rights that were traditionally reserved for heterosexual couples to same-sex couples.
  • These rights include adoption, inheritance, and tax-related benefits.
  • With a favorable reception and the opinion of the public, there is a growing acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights in Thai culture, which is shown in the considerable support that the Bill has received across the country.
  • The Thai population exhibited significant levels of tolerance and acceptance for marriages between people of the same gender, according to a study conducted in 2022.
  • Along with strong media portrayal and lobbying, this shift in society has been a significant contributor to the progress made in the legal rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.

World’s Most Valuable Company : Nvidia

Nvidia is a well-known technology company that makes graphics processing units (GPUs).

  • This new development is a big deal in the tech business.
  • Nvidia has now surpassed tech giants like Microsoft and Apple.
  • Nvidia’s market value reached an all-time high of $3.326 trillion on June 18, when its stock price went up by 3.2% and reached $135.21 per share.
  • This big rise in value happened after Nvidia passed Apple and became the second most valuable company a few days before.
  • Nvidia’s shares have gone up a huge 173% over the year, doing much better than other tech companies like Microsoft.
  • This sudden rise is mostly because of the high demand for Nvidia’s high-end chips, which are currently hard to find.
  • Nvidia’s great market performance is due in large part to its leading position in the artificial intelligence (AI) field.
  • Nvidia’s GPUs are very important for AI technologies, which puts the company in the middle of a race between the biggest tech companies.
  • Big companies like Microsoft, Meta Platforms, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) are all working to improve their AI computer skills so they can lead this new field.