CrackitToday App

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 23rd May 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 23rd May 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

International Booker Prize 2024:

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Michael Hofmann, has won the International Booker Prize 2024.

  • International Booker Prizeis awarded annually for the finest single work of fiction from around the world which has been translated into English.
  • This prize began life in 2005 as the Man Booker International Prize.
  • It was initially a biennial prize for a body of work and there was no stipulation that the work should be written in a language other than English.
  • This prize aims to encourage more reading of quality fiction from all over the world and has already had an impact on those statistics in the UK.
  • Eligible work of long-form fiction, written originally in English by an author of any nationality and published in the UK and/or Ireland.
  • The prize celebrates the vital work of translators, with the £50,000 prize money divided equally between the author and the translator.
  • In addition, the shortlisted authors and translators each receive £2,500.

Global Tourism Index 2024:

India moved up to the 39th spot on the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) 2024, as the number of tourists around the world returned to levels seen before the pandemic. First on the list was the United States. The next five countries in order were Spain, Japan, France, and Australia.

  • According to the current WEF report, India is now the best lower-middle-income economy in South Asia and the 54th-best economy in the world in 2021. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that changes to the index’s parameters have made it harder to directly compare it to past years
  • The index, developed in collaboration with the University of Surrey, highlights India’s strengths in several key areas:
    • Price Competitiveness: India is ranked 18th, making it highly affordable for travelers.
    • Air Transport Infrastructure: Positioned at 26th, indicating robust air transportation facilities.
    • Ground/Port Infrastructure: Ranked 25th, showcasing strong ground and port transportation systems.
    • Natural Resources: India holds a strong 6th position, emphasizing its rich natural attractions.
    • Cultural Resources: Ranked 9th, highlighting India’s vast cultural heritage.
    • Non-Leisure Resources: Also ranked 9th, underlining its diverse attractions

ATD BEST Awards 2024:

India’s biggest energy company, NTPC Limited, won third place at the ATD BEST Awards 2024, making it the best-performing Indian company in this prestigious foreign event. Ms. Rachana Singh Bhal, CGM (Strategic HR & Talent Management), got the award on May 21, 2024, at a ceremony in New Orleans, USA.

  • The Association for Talent Development (ATD), which is based in the USA, gives out the ATD BEST Awards.
  • These awards are known all over the world for recognizing outstanding work in the area of Learning and Development (L&D).
  • They talk about companies that get big business results by carefully developing their employees.
  • NTPC has been honored with the ATD BEST Awards seven times in the last eight years, showing that it consistently does a great job and is dedicated to HR best practices.
  • This award is their best ranking ever, and they were the only Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) from India to receive it.

Shaw Prize : Astronomy

Shrinivas R. Kulkarni, an astronomy professor with Indian roots who now lives in the US, has been given the prestigious Shaw Prize in Astronomy for 2024.

  • He is known for being one of the first people to study millisecond pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, and other changing celestial events.
  • In 2002, the Hong Kong philanthropist Run Run Shaw set up the Shaw Prize, an international award.
  • People who have made important achievements in Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences are honored with this award.
  • All three of these prizes are given out every year and each one is worth USD 1.2 million.

Venus : New Study

A new study suggests that Venus is losing water much faster than previously thought, with researchers identifying a mechanism in the Venusian ionosphere responsible for this accelerated water loss.

  • Venus may have once had oceans, but now only 0.002% of its atmosphere is water vapor.
  • The process of non-thermal hydrogen escape, where solar radiation splits water molecules and hydrogen escapes into space, is a key factor.
  • Venus, the second planet from the Sun and the closest to Earth, is renowned as the brightest planet in the night sky.
  • It lacks a satellite and its atmosphere is primarily composed of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulfuric acid droplets.
  • Notably, Venus rotates in the opposite direction to most planets, from east to west.
  • Alongside Mercury, Earth, and Mars, Venus is classified as a terrestrial planet.

International Day Of Biodiversity 2024:

The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB), celebrated on 22nd May 2024, raises awareness about the importance of biodiversity for sustaining life on Earth.

  • The theme for 2024: “Be Part of the Plan,”
  • Theme highlights the importance of a united effort to combat biodiversity loss and implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
  • International Day for Biodiversity (IDB): In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially proclaimed 22nd May as IDB.
  • On 22nd May 1992, the initial text of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) was adopted.
    UNCBD is a legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity.
    India is a party to the convention and enacted the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  • Biodiversity as a concept, first coined by Walter G. Rosen in 1985, encompasses the diversity of all life forms, including plants, bacteria, animals, and humans.
  • The UNGA designated the years 2011-2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, aiming to advance the implementation of a strategic plan for biodiversity.

Manipur Thangjing Hills Dispute:

The Manipur police have registered a zero First Information Report (FIR) based on a complaint from the Land Resources Department of the Manipur government, alleging that the name of the hills was changed from “Thangjing Ching” to “Thangting” without government approval.

  • The Thangjing Hill is of historical importance and has been declared a protected site by the Government of Manipur.
  • It is located in the buffer zone between Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts and is contested by Kukis and Meiteis for religious and cultural significance.
  • The Kuki-Zo people have always called it Thangting Hills and the Meitei people have always referred to it as Thangjing Ching or Thangjing Hills.
  • The conflict over the right to pray and worship on the hill range has escalated since the ethnic conflict between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities began in 2023.

Manipuri Pony:

Recognising the urgent need to save the Manipuri Pony, also known as the Meitei Sagol, the Government of Manipur has joined hands with various organisations and associations to take a host of decisions aimed at preventing it from vanishing into history.

  • The Meitei Sagol is one of the seven recognised horse and pony breeds of India.
  • The others include the Marwari Horse, the Kathiawari Horse, the Zanskari Pony, the Spiti Pony, the Bhutia Pony and the Kachhi-Sindhi Horse.
  • It is regarded as the original polo pony, as the traditional Sagol Kangjei sport of Manipur gave rise to modern polo.
  • The Manipuri Pony Conservation and Development Policy (MPCDP) was framed in 2016 to conserve the breed.
  • The population of the Manipuri Pony has been rapidly declining, from 1,898 animals in 2003 to only 1,089 in 2019, leading to the breed being declared endangered by the Manipur government in 2013.
  • The Manipuri Pony is known for its unique characteristics, such as stamina, agility, intelligence, speed, manoeuvrability, and adaptability to harsh climatic conditions.
  • The ponies are deeply embedded in the Manipuri way of life, being used in traditional events, and sports, and even serving as mounts for the Manipur Kingdom’s cavalry in the past.

Emblica Chakrabartyi : New Plant Species

Scientists have reported the discovery of a new plant species Emblica chakrabartyi from Adichilthotti within the Edamalayar forest range of Kerala.

  • Emblica chakrabartyi species belonging to the gooseberry (Phyllanthaceae) family has been named after Tapas Chakrabarty, former scientist at the Botanical Survey of India, for his contribution to the study on Phyllanthaceae.
  • The plant attains a height of approximately 2 metres.
  • The leaves are large with a shiny elongated oval shape of up to 13 cm.
  • The flowering and fruiting occur during December to June.
  • Male flowers are found in inflorescence whereas females ones are in single, on the leaf axils.
  • Each flower bears yellowish green coloured six petals.
  • The fruits are brown to black when they ripen and the seeds are black about 8-9 mm diameter.
  • Generally growing as shrubs in tropical rain forests, 55 species of the genus Emblica have been recorded all around the world.
  • The new plant is the eleventh from India.

Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) Scheme : Report

Public wifi hotspots under the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme are nearing the 2-lakh mark in the country.

  • PM-WANI Scheme was launched by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) in December 2020 to provide affordable and high-speed internet connectivity to the public in rural and remote areas of the country.
  • The scheme aims to establish a public Wi-Fi network across the country through the creation of Wi-Fi Access Points (WAPs) set up by public data offices (PDOs).
  • The WAPs will operate on an open-architecture system, allowing multiple service providers to offer their services to the public through a single platform.
  • PM-WANI ecosystem consists of four parts: Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA), App Provider, and Central Registry.
  • PDO establishes the Wi-Fi hotspots and provides internet access to users.
  • There shall be no license required by PDOs from the DoT for providing broadband internet through these public Wi-Fi networks.
  • To access public hotspots under the PM-WANI scheme, one needs to download a relevant app which shows the available networks.
  • The user can then choose from a list of available connections and make a payment to use the network.
  • The user can access the network till his/her balance is exhausted.

X-Chromosome : Recent Study

Scientists have found a molecular link between altered X-chromosome inactivation and autoimmune diseases.

  • X-Chromosome is one of the two sex chromosomes in humans (the other is the Y chromosome).
  • There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human body.
  • This includes 22 pairs of autosomal or somatic chromosomes that are common to both men and women and one chromosome that differs according to what gender a person is (sex chromosomes).
  • Each person usually has one pair of sex chromosomes in each cell. Females typically have two X chromosomes, while males typically have one X and one Y chromosome.
  • Men inherit the X chromosome they have from their mother and the Y chromosome from their father, while women inherit one X chromosome from the mother and the other from the father.
  • In women, the X chromosome represents almost 5% of the total DNA, and in men, who have only one X chromosome, it represents about 2.5% of the total DNA.
  • Early in the embryonic development of people with two X chromosomes, one of the X chromosomes is randomly and permanently inactivated in cells other than egg cells. This phenomenon is called X-inactivation or lyonization.
  • X-inactivation ensures that people with two X chromosomes have only one functional copy of the X chromosome in each cell.
  • Because X-inactivation is random, normally, the X chromosome inherited from one parent is active in some cells, and the X chromosome inherited from the other parent is active in other cells.
  • The X chromosome likely contains 900 to 1,400 genes that provide instructions for making proteins.
  • Genetic disorders that arise from missing, additional, or malformed copies of the X chromosome are termed numerical disorders.
  • Examples include Klinefelter’s syndrome, where a male has one or more extra copies; Triple X syndrome, where a female has one extra copy and Turner syndrome, where a female has one normal X chromosome and one missing or abnormal one.

International Criminal Court : Seeking Arrest Warrants

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders for war crimes.

  • International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent judicial body established by the Rome Statute (1998) to investigate, prosecute and try individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression and to impose prison sentences upon individuals who are found guilty of such crimes.
  • The court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, was adopted in July 1998, and the court began work in 2003.
  • HQ: Hague, Netherlands
  • Members: 123 nations are States Parties to the Rome Statute and recognize the ICC’s authority. The notable exceptions are the US, China, Russia, and India.
  • Funding: The Court is funded by contributions from the States Parties and by voluntary contributionsfrom Governments, international organizations, individuals, corporations, and other entities.
  • Judges: The Court has eighteen judges, each from a different member country, elected to nonrenewable nine-year terms.
  • The Presidency: Consists of three judges (the President and two Vice-Presidents) elected from among the judges. It represents the Court to the outside world and helps with the organization of the work of the judges.
  • Judicial Divisions: 18 judges in 3 divisions, the Pre-Trial Division, the Trial Division, and the Appeals Division.
  • Office of the Prosecutor (OTP):OTP is responsible for receiving referrals and any substantiated information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court. OTP examines these referrals and information, conducts investigations, and conducts prosecutions before the Court.
  • Registry: The core function of the Registry is to provide administrative and operational support to the Chambers and the OTP.