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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 24th June 2023

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

Canary Islands : More Than 30 Migrants Dead

A boat tragedy occurred recently, around the Canary Islands in Spain.

  • More than 30 migrants are feared dead after a small boat headed for Spain’s Canary Islands sank.
  • Neither Spanish nor Moroccan authorities have confirmed about how many people had been on board the vessel or how many might be missing.

Canary Islands:

  • Located in Atlantic Ocean.
  • It is an archipelago which is a group or chain of islands that are closely scattered in a body of water, such as a sea, ocean, lake, or river.
  • It is about 1300 km South of mainland Spain and 115 km West of the African coast (Morocco).
  • The Canaries comprise the Spanish provinces of:-
    • Las Palmas and
    • Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
  • These Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago.
  • They have a subtropical climate.
  • Temperatures are warm and show little seasonal variation.
  • It has rich volcanic soils and mild temperatures that support a wide variety of vegetation.

Gangotri National Park : Transfer Of Land To The Army And Indo-Tibetan Border Police

Gangotri National Park (GNP) in Uttarakhand, has decided to transfer approximately 50 hectares of land to the Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) for the development of new bunkers and border outposts near the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

  • Gangotri National Park was established in 1989 in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.
  • It is located in the upper catchment of the Bhagirathi River and includes Gaumukh at Gangotri Glacier, the source of the river Ganga.
  • The park serves as a connecting link between Govind National Park and Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) ,est. 1962; HQ: New Delhi,is a central paramilitary force responsible for border guarding duties along the Sino-India Border, covering a distance of 3,488 km from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The ITBP is known for its specialization in mountain operations, with its officers and personnel being trained mountaineers and skiers.
  • In November 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs proposed the merger of the Assam Rifles with the ITBP.

New Standards For Food Serving Utensils : Bureau Of Indian Standards

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published new standards for Food Serving Utensils Made from Agri By-Products.

  • Food Serving Utensils made from Agricultural by products is aimed at reducing plastic pollution and promoting sustainability.
  • Using biodegradable agri by-product utensils can contribute towards environmental safety, conserve natural resources, and promote a circular economy.
  • These utensils are free from harmful additives and ensure consumer well-being.
  • The standard also creates economic opportunities for farmers.
  • It supports sustainable agricultural practices, contributing to rural development.
  • In India, numerous large-scale and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises level manufacturers are actively contributing to the production of biodegradable cutlery, they will benefit immensely from this Standard.

Bureau of Indian Standards:-

  • BIS is the National Standard Body of India.
  • It was established in 1986.
  • It was originally enacted under Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
  • A new act to replace the BIS Act of 1986 was introduced in the Lok Sabha, which was subsequently passed by both houses of the Parliament in 2016.
  • Headquarter : New Delhi.

Lab Grown Diamond:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a 7.5-carat lab-grown diamond to U.S. First Lady Jill Biden during his state visit.

  • The diamond was manufactured in a Surat factory in Gujarat, using a process that replicates the formation of natural diamonds beneath the earth’s surface.
  • India is a leading player in growing lab-grown diamonds, with exports reaching over $1.67 billion.
  • Lab-grown diamonds offer a more affordable alternative to natural diamonds and are considered eco-friendly.
  • They are around 20% cheaper than their naturally-formed equivalent
  • India is the largest producer of lab-grown diamonds through CVD technology and contributes to nearly 25% of global LGD production.
  • Overall, India accounts for 5% of the global production of LGD

Star Rating Registration Process For Coal Mines:

The Ministry of Coal has announced the commencement of the Star Rating Registration process of Coal and Lignite Mines for the financial year 2022-23.

  • The Star Rating policy aims to evaluate mines based on various factors across seven key parameters namely,
    • Mining Operations,
    • Environment-related parameters,
    • Adoption of Technologies,
    • Best Mining Practices,
    • Economic performance,
    • Rehabilitation & Resettlement,
    • Worker-related Compliance and Safety & security.
  • Participating mines will undergo a self-evaluation process, and the top 10% performing mines will be further validated through inspections conducted by a committee.
  • While the remaining 90% of the mines will undergo an online review process, all participants can contribute to the evaluation by reviewing other mines.
  • The evaluation will be conducted by the Coal Controller’s Organization.
  • The ratings awarded range from Five Star to NO Star, comprehensively evaluating each mine’s achievements.
  • It aims to foster competitiveness among mines and recognize their outstanding performance based on compliance of statutory provisions, adoption of advanced mining technology and economic achievements.

Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary : Tiger Found Dead

A male tiger was recently found dead inside the Ratapani Sanctuary.

  • Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary stretches across 823 sq. km in the Raisen and Sehore districts of Madhya Pradesh.
  • This rocky forest with an aquatic environment is spread on Vindhya hills.
  • It runs parallel to the northern side of the Narmada River. Kolar River forms the western boundary of the Sanctuary.
  • The sanctuary was first notified in 1976 and then extended in 1983. In the year 2008, it was declared as a Tiger Reserve.
  • The Sanctuary has Bhimbetika, “a group of rock shelters and rock paintings,” which is one of the ” World Heritage Sites” declared by UNESCO.
  • The forest of this Sanctuary is of dry deciduous and moist deciduous types.
  • About 55% of the area is covered by teak.
  • The remaining mixed forests consist of various dry deciduous species.
  • The regal striped cat is the apex predator, and estimates suggest that 40 tigers roam these forests.
  • Chinkara’ an endangered species, is also found in the Sanctuary.

Zircon Missile:

The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy recently announced that all new Russian navy frigate and corvette class vessels would be equipped with hypersonic Zircon missiles

  • The 3M22 Zircon, or the SS-N-33, is a manoeuvring anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile developed in Russia.
  • It can reach speeds of over 9,500 kilometres per hour (6,000 miles per hour), around nine times faster than the speed of sound.
  • It’s a two-stage missile that uses solid fuel in the first stage and a scramjet motor in the second stage.
  • It can accurately pinpoint targets at a range of more than 1,000 kilometres (620 miles).
  • Guidance System: Active and Passive Radar Seeker
  • Hypersonic cruise missile is a type of missile that is designed to travel at extremely high speeds, typically 5 times the speed of sound
  • They are powered by rocket engines and are typically equipped with guidance systems to help them navigate to their targets.

Global Liveability Index 2023:

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) unveiled Global Liveability Index 2023.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Top cities to live: Vienna (Austria), Copenhagen (Denmark), Melbourne and Sydney (Australia)
  • Bottom 3 Liveable cities: Algiers (Algeria), Tripoli (Libya) and Damascus (Syria)
  • From Asia, Japan’s Osaka was ranked number 10 in the rankings.
  • The index rose last year to reach a 15-year high as the world recovered from the pandemic.
  • The average index score is now 76.2 out of 100, up from 73.2 a year ago.
  • Despite overall growth in the index score, stability saw a marginal decline.
  • Those in Western Europe, in particular, have slipped in rankings due to increased instances of workers’ strikes failing to “match gains” made by cities in Asia and the Middle East.
  • The cities which are plagued by ongoing civil unrest and military conflicts, amongst other issues, remained at the bottom of the list.

Global Liveability Index 2023:

  • The index quantifies the challenges presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 173 cities worldwide.
  • It was given considering five metrics: healthcare, culture, environment, education, and stability.
  • This ranking offers insights into the cities that excel in providing an exceptional quality of life.

Rise In The Prices Of Cumin:

There has been an unprecedented rise in the prices of Cumin, commonly known as jeera, in India.

  • Jeera (Cumin) cultivation is an aromatic seed that adds an extra punch of taste to Indian dishes.
  • It is believed that Jeera is native to the Mediterranean region, and it was well-known in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
  • Its oil is reported to have antibacterial activity and is also used in veterinary medicines and various other industries.
  • It grows well in both tropical and sub-tropical climates, and it comes up well in all types of soils, but well-drained sandy loam soils are best suited.
  • It is a highly weather-sensitive crop.
  • It requires a moderately cool and dry climate without any humidity.
  • It is a Rabi crop and is cultivated mainly in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • It is sown from October to November and harvested in February and March.
  • India accounts for some 70% of the world’s production of this seed spice.

Grievance Redressal Assessment And Index (GRAI) 2022:

The Union Minister of Public Grievances, and Pensions, launched the Grievance Redressal Assessment and Index (GRAI) 2022.

  • Grievance Redressal Assessment and Index (GRAI) 2022 was conceptualised and designed by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Govt. of India.
  • Objective is to present an organisation-wise comparative picture and provide valuable insights about strengths and areas of improvement regarding the grievance redressal mechanism.
  • Eighty-nine Central Ministries and Departments were assessed and ranked based on a comprehensive index in the dimensions of (1) Efficiency, (2) Feedback, (3) Domain and (4) Organisational Commitment and corresponding 12 indicators.
  • To compute the index, data between January and December 2022 was used from the Centralised Public Grievance Redressal and Management System (CPGRAMS).
  • CPGRAMS is an online platform available to the citizens 24×7 to lodge their grievances to the public authorities on any subject related to service delivery.