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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 24th Aug 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 24th aug 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

New Prime Minister Of Thailand : Srettha Thavisin

Srettha Thavisin, formerly the chief of a prominent real estate development firm in Thailand, has become the country’s prime minister amidst a political deadlock following recent elections

  • Thavisin’s win was backed by pro-military members of parliament, forming a tactical alliance that sidelined the progressive Move Forward Party.
  • He co-founded Sansiri, a major property development company, and his election led to a stock surge for the company. Thavisin’s political inexperience presents both opportunities and challenges in his new role.
  • Thavisin’s ascension followed a parliamentary vote amidst a political deadlock following recent elections.
  • His unexpected rise coincided with the return of Thaksin Shinawatra, founder of the Pheu Thai Party, after years of exile.

MeitY-NSF Research Collaboration:

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has introduced its inaugural Joint Call for proposals in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF) (USA) as part of its research partnership.

  • The initiative is based on areas of shared interest highlighted in a Joint Statement made by the governments of India and the United States.
  • The first Joint Call solicits proposals in the fields of semiconductor research, next-generation communication technologies/networks/systems, cybersecurity, sustainability and green technologies, and Intelligent Transportation Systems.
  • This collaborative effort aims to advance technology through various stages such as prototype development, pilot-scale demonstrations, field deployment, and technology transfer acceleration.
  • The National Science Foundation is an independent agency of the United States federal government that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health.

Market Coupling:

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has released a staff paper on implementing market coupling in India’s power sector.

  • Market coupling is a process in the energy sector where bids from various power exchanges are matched to determine a uniform market clearing price for electricity trading.
  • It aims to optimize transmission infrastructure use, maximize economic surplus, and create simultaneous benefits for both buyers and sellers.
  • This process helps in efficient price discovery and integration of different electricity markets or geographies, promoting transparency and competition in the energy trading sector.
  • The CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) has introduced provisions for market coupling among power exchanges in the country under its CERC Power Market Regulations (PRC) 2021.
  • However, these provisions are yet to be officially implemented.

The Debt-Fossil Fuel Trap : Report

Debt-Fossil Fuel Trap report HIGHLIGHTS Poor countries burdened with heavy debts are compelled to rely on fossil fuels to generate revenue for repaying loans from richer nations.

  • The Debt-Fossil Fuel Trap report has been released by the anti-debt campaigner’s Debt Justice and partners in affected countries.

Findings of the Report “The Debt-Fossil Fuel Trap”:

  • Fossil fuel extraction is seen as a means to generate revenue and alleviate debt for countries in the global south
  • Creditors are entitled to 30% of oil revenue until 2050, incentivizing continued oil exploitation.
  • Argentina supports fracking in Vaca Muerta (Northern Patagonia) to ease the debt crisis.
  • Revenues from fossil fuel projects often fall short of expectations, leading to further debt.
  • External debt payments for global south countries have risen by 150% between 2011 and 2023, reaching a 25-year high
    54 countries in a debt crisis, cutting public spending during the pandemic to repay loans
  • Extreme weather events force countries to borrow more money for adaptation and mitigation efforts.
  • Dominica’s debt as a percentage of GDP rose from 68% to 78% after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017.

Black Eagle : Spotted

A rare black eagle was spotted for the first time in the lush Chail wildlife sanctuary located in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district.

  • Black Eagle belongs to the family Accipitridae and is the only member of the genus Ictinaetus.
  • These are large and distinctive dark eagles of forested mountains and hills.
  • The distinguishing feature of the majestic bird is its striking yellow beak, a vibrant contrast to its black feathers.
  • They soar over forests in the hilly regions of tropical and subtropical South and Southeast Asia, as well as southeastern China.
  • They are found in the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, forests of the Eastern and Western Ghats in peninsular India.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Least concern

Chail wildlife sanctuary:

  • It is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • It comprises part of the catchment area of a tributary of the Giri River.
  • It is densely covered by Oak and Pine, apart from grassland.
  • It includes animal species of wild boar, goral, sambar, spotted deer, Himalayan black bear, common langur, Indian porcupine, flying squirrel, etc.

Mylara cult : Discovery Of Two Sculptures

The recent discovery of two sculptures at Basrur in the Udupi district of Karnataka has proved that the ancient Mylara cult existed in the coastal region.

Key findings:

  • The two sculptures resemble one belonging to the 15th century A.D. and another to the 17th century A.D.
  • It shows a royal hero sitting on the horse, holding a sword and a bowl in his right and left hands, respectively.
  • But there is no Mylaladevi on the back of the horse. The horse shown holding swords in their right hand was found in another water body.
  • Basrur was a historic trading city of the Medieval period.
  • Trading guilds like Uhayadesi, Nanadesi and others actively participated in the trade.

Mylara cult:

  • Mylara is a folk deity identified as a manifestation of Lord Shiva.
  • This deity, commonly known as Mailara in Karnataka and as Khandoba in Maharashtra, has a plethora of other names as well, such as Khanderao and Khandnatha.
  • This cult is prevalent in the southern part of India, including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) : India And Japan

In a joint effort, the space agencies of India and Japan are embarking on the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX).

  • Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) is a collaborative venture between Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The mission is scheduled to launch in 2025.
  • LUPEX will use a rover and lander to study the possibility of establishing a base on the Moon, the availability of water ice, and surface exploration technologies.
  • JAXA and ISRO are developing the rover and lander, respectively.
  • The rover will carry not only the instruments of ISRO and JAXA but also those of the US space agency NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • Proposed instruments onboard LUPEX:
    • Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), an autonomous unit of the Department of Space, has proposed multiple instruments in the LUPEX mission mainly to carry out measurements on the surface and subsurface near the permanently shadowed polar region of the Moon.

Maitri Setu : India-Bangladesh

India-Bangladesh friendship bridge, the Maitri Setu, is all set to be functional soon.

  • Maitri Setu has been built over the Feni River, which flows between the Indian boundary in Tripura and Bangladesh.
  • It spans 1.9 kilometres joining Sabroom (in Tripura) with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.
  • The name ‘Maitri Setu’ symbolises growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh.
  • The construction of the bridge has been overseen by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd.
  • It is a pre-stressed concrete bridge.
  • It has a single-span structure that allows for the smooth flow of traffic and cargo.

Feni River:

  • It forms part of the India-Bangladesh border.
  • It originates in the South Tripura district, passes through Sabroom town on the Indian side, and meets the Bay of Bengal after it flows into Bangladesh.
  • It is 116 kilometres in length from its source to the Bay of Bengal.
  • Some of the notable tributaries of the Feni River include the Muhuri River, Raidak River, Chandkhira River, Ryang River and Kushiyara River.

Methanotrophs : Recent Study

The recent study revealed that the Methylotuvimicrobium buryatense 5GB1C a Methanotroph could potentially remove methane from major emission sites.

  • Methanotrophs are a diverse group of gram-negative bacteria that are related to other members of the Proteobacteria.
  • Methanotrophic microorganisms oxidise methane to harness energy under oxic and anoxic conditions.
  • They grow best when the methane concentration is around 5,000-10,000 parts per million (ppm).
  • Methylotuvimicrobium buryatense 5GB1C bacterial strain consumes methane, which is over 85 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • This bacteria performed the best at 500 ppm. Further tests also showed that this strain grew well even at 200 ppm.
  • It can grow at low methane concentrations ranging from 200-1,000 ppm. These features make this strain a promising candidate for methane removal technology.
  • Bacteria produce biomass after consuming methane. This biomass can be used as feed in aquaculture.
  • For every tonne of methane consumed, the bacteria can generate 0.78 tonne biomass dry-weight methane.


Meta, the technology company formerly known as Facebook, recently unveiled an advanced multilingual multimodal AI translation and transcription model named ‘SeamlessM4T.’

  • SeamlessM4T, which stands for Massively Multilingual and Multimodal Machine Translation, is an advanced multilingual multimodal AI translation and transcription model.
  • It was developed by Meta, the technology company formerly known as Facebook.
  • SeamlessM4T is capable of performing various tasks including speech-to-text, speech-to-speech, text-to-speech, and text-to-text translations.
  • SeamlessM4T supports:
    • Speech recognition for nearly 100 languages;
    • Speech-to-text translation for nearly 100 input and output languages;
    • Speech-to-speech translation, supporting nearly 100 input languages and 36 (including English) output languages;
    • Text-to-text translation for nearly 100 languages;
    • Text-to-speech translation, supporting nearly 100 input languages and 35 (including English) output languages;