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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 22nd March 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 22nd March 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

World Happiness Report 2024:

Finland has once again claimed the title of the world’s happiest country for the seventh consecutive year, according to the annual UN-sponsored World Happiness Report.

Highlights of World Happiness Report 2024:

  • The Nordic nations continue to dominate the top rankings. Finland topped the list for the seventh year in a row.
  • The other top 10 countries are Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Australia.
  • Out of the 143 countries surveyed, Afghanistan remained at the bottom of the list.
  • For the first time in over a decade, the United States and Germany have slipped out of the top 20 happiest nations, landing at 23rd and 24th place, respectively.
  • The report underscores a change wherein the happiest countries no longer include any of the world’s most populous nations. Only the Netherlands and Australia, both with populations exceeding 15 million, are present in the top 10.
  • India is ranked 126th on the list, the same as last year, in the happiness index.
  • Older age is associated with higher life satisfaction in India.
  • The report said that older Indian men, particularly those in higher age brackets, presently married and those with an education, tend to report greater life satisfaction compared to their counterparts

Earth Hour : March 23

The power discoms in the national capital are gearing up to make the ‘Earth Hour’ a success by encouraging their consumers to switch off non-essential lights and electric appliances for one hour on March 23 night.

  • Earth Hour is a global grassroots movement uniting people to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet. It is organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  • It started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 as a symbolic lights-out event and has since grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 190 countries and territories. It takes place towards the end of March every year.
  • “Earth Hour” encourages people to switch off all lights for an hour, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, to promote awareness of climate change challenges and energy conservation.
  • Governments and companies also participate by turning off non-essential lights in their buildings, monuments and landmarks to raise awareness about the impact of energy consumption on our planet.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF):

  • It is an international non-governmental organization (NGO)founded in 1961 in Morges, Switzerland, to protect endangered species of wildlife and preserve natural habitats.

Subduction Zone : Study

A recent study by scientists in Portugal predicts the ‘Ring of Fire’ subduction zone beneath the Gibraltar Strait may lead to the Atlantic Ocean’s closure in 20 million years.

  • Subduction Zone is a spot where two of the planet’s tectonic plates collide and one dives, or subducts, beneath the other.
  • Tectonic plates are pieces of the Earth’s rigid outer layer that slowly move across the planet’s surface over millions of years.
  • This is the main tenet of plate tectonics, the theory that portions of Earth’s shell glide over the lower mantle, taking continents with them.
  • That outer layer, known as the lithosphere, consists of the Earth’s crust and the upper section of the mantle, a dense, hot layer beneath the crust.
  • When two tectonic plates meet at a subduction zone and one slide underneath the other, this lithosphere material curves down into the hot mantle.

Brucethoa isro : New Species Of Deep-Sea Isopod

Researchers recently named a new species of deep-sea isopod discovered off the Kerala coast after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

  • Brucethoa isro is a new species of deep-sea isopod discovered off the Kollam coast, Kerala.
  • The tiny fish-parasitic crustacean, belonging to the genus Brucethoa, was recovered from the base of the gill cavity of the Spinyjaw greeneye, a marine fish.
  • It is the second species within this genus to be documented in India.
  • It has been named Brucethoa isro in honour of the Indian space agency’s successful space missions.
  • Females of the species tend to be larger than males. Females grow to about 19 mm in length and 6 mm in width, while males are smaller at around half the size.
  • Isopods are an order of invertebrates (animals without backbones) that belong to the greater crustacean group of animals, which includes crabs and shrimp.
  • They also live in many different types of habitats, from mountains and deserts to the deep sea and they are distributed worldwide.

World Forest Day 2024:

World Forest Day, also known as International Day of Forests, is celebrated on March 21 each year.

  • World Forest Day is celebrated every year to remind people of the significance of forests and trees in our lives.
  • Countries are encouraged to take part in regional, global, and local drives to set up a scope of forest and tree-related campaigns, like planting campaigns.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Forum on Forests are the coordinators of the International Day of Forests.
  • It is observed on March 21 every year.
  • The theme for this year is – Forests and Innovation: New Solutions for a Better World.

Project GR00T:

AI chip leader Nvidia announced Project GR00T which promises to revolutionise the evolution of humanoid robots.

  • Project GR00T stands for Generalist Robot 00 Technology.
  • It is a multimodal AI system that acts as the mind for humanoid robots, allowing them to learn new skills and interact with the real world.
  • Robots built on this platform are designed to understand natural language and emulate movements by observing human actions, such as instantly learning coordination, dexterity, and other skills.
  • The project aims to empower humanoid robots with human-like understanding and movement using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • The humanoids learn from human demonstrations with imitation learning and from the robotics platform NVIDIA Isaac Lab for reinforcement learning.
  • While imitation learning involves observing an expert performing a task and learning to imitate those actions, reinforcement learning is a machine learning method that trains software to make decisions to achieve the most optimal results.

Mahakumbh 2024:

The Start-up Mahakumbh, a major event focused on promoting and celebrating India’s startup ecosystem, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi.

  • The Start-up Mahakumbh event showcased innovations and startups from across the country, with participants displaying their products and services with great pride.
  • India’s startup ecosystem has seen remarkable growth in recent years, with the country now having the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world
  • Prime Minister Modi highlighted that the startup revolution is being led by small cities across a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, textiles, medicine, transport, space, yoga, and ayurveda.
  • He mentioned the work of Indian startups in more than 50 areas within the space sector, including the launch of space shuttles.
  • The Prime Minister underlined the impetus provided by the Digital India initiative to startups, suggesting that colleges take it up as a case study.
  • He specifically mentioned the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) becoming a pillar of support for fintech startups, leading to the development of innovative products and services that have expanded digital services in the country.

Papikonda National Park : Bird Species Recorded

More than 200 bird species have been recorded in the Papikonda National Park (PNP) in a recent survey.

  • The three-day survey was carried out under the aegis of the Andhra Pradesh Forest department in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER-Tirupati).
  • Papikonda National Park (PNP) is located in the East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The park spans over 1012.86 square kilometers.
  • The park lies on both banks of the River Godavari and cuts through the Papikonda hill range of Eastern Ghats.
  • The majority of the park is covered with moist deciduous forest.
  • It is home to various animal species such as tigers, mouse deer, gaur, and others.
  • The park also has a unique dwarf breed of goat known locally as the “kanchu mekha”.
  • The park has experienced varying levels of protection, beginning as a reserved forest in 1882, a wildlife sanctuary in 1978, and as a national park from 2008.
  • The park has been recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.