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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 28th June 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 28th June 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Bannerghatta Biological Park : Largest Leopard Safari

South India’s first and the country’s largest leopard safari was recently inaugurated at the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP).

  • Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) has been an integral part of Bannerghatta National Park and emerged as an independent establishment in 2002.
  • In order to meet the growing demand for eco-recreation, eco-tourism, and conservation, an area of 545.00ha of forest from the National Park was set aside to constitute a biological park originally and later extended to 731.88ha.
  • It is located about 22 kms south of Bengaluru city, Karnataka.
  • It has different units such as Zoo, Safari, Butterfly Park, and Rescue Centre (Conservation of Captive animals).
  • It is the first biological park in Indiato have a fenced, forested elephant sanctuary.

Crime And Criminal Tracking Networks And Systems

Ahead of the implementation of the new criminal laws, at least 23 modifications have been made to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network Systems (CCTNS).

  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS) was conceptualized by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the National e-governance plan of India and is being implemented as a “Mission Mode Project (MMP)” since 2009.
  • It is an ambitious project that aims to put in place a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the police station level throughout the country.
  • It aimed to interlink all police stations under a common application software for the purposes of investigation, data analytics, research, policymaking and providing Citizen Services such as reporting and tracking of complaints, requests for antecedent verifications by Police, etc.
  • The records of crimes and criminals available at one police station will be accessible to any other police office
  • Objective is to Make the Police functioning citizen-friendly and more transparent by automating the functioning of Police Stations.
  • The project is being implemented with close collaboration between the States and the Union Government.
  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is the central nodal agency that would manage CCTNS.

Kalibr Missile:

The Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) recently attacked Ukrainian infrastructure, using its sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles.

  • Kalibr Missile is a family of Russian cruise missiles that can be launched from ships, submarines, containers, airplanes, or transport erector launchers.
  • It has variants designed for anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack purposes.
  • They were developed and produced by Russia’s Almaz-Antey corporation.
  • Depending on the variant, the Kalibr missile varies in mass and length, ranging from 1,300 kg to 2,300 kg and from 6.2 m to 8.9 m, respectively.
  • It has a diameter of 0.533 m and can carry a warhead weighing between 400-500 kg of high explosive or thermonuclear material.
  • The missile utilizes a multi-stage solid-fuel rocket engine, with some versions incorporating a turbojet engine or a solid-fuel rocket.
  • These missiles use inertial guidance with satellite navigation update.
  • They can accelerate in the terminal stage to supersonic speed to avoid enemy defenses.
  • It varies between 200 km and 2500 km, depending on the type.

Star Clusters : Recently Discovered

Astronomers recently discovered five young star clusters, and possibly the oldest star clusters ever, born from the time when the Universe was an infant.

  • A Star cluster is either of two general types of stellar assemblages held together by the mutual gravitational attraction of its members, which are physically related through common origin.
  • They are particularly useful to astronomers as they provide a way to study and model stellar evolution and ages.
  • The two basic categories of stellar clusters are open clusters, also known as galactic clusters and globular clusters.
  • Open clusters are so named due to the fact that the individual component stars are easily resolved through a telescope.
  • They are sometimes called galactic clusters due to their location on the dusty spiral arms on the plane of spiral galaxies.
  • Stars in an open cluster have a common origin: they formed from the same initial giant molecular cloud.
  • Open clusters contain from a dozen to many hundreds of stars, usually in an unsymmetrical arrangement.
  • Globular clusters contain several thousand to one million stars in a spherical, gravitationally-bound system.
  • Located mostly in the halo surrounding the galactic plane, they comprise the oldest stars in the galaxy.
  • There is little free dust or gas found in globular clusters, so no new star formation is taking place in them.
  • Stellar densities within the inner regions of a globular cluster are very high compared with regions such as those around the Sun.

Exercise HOPEX:

The Indian Air Force and Egyptian Air Force participated in the Exercise HOPEX 2024.

  • Exercise HOPEX is the fourth joint exercise of IAF (Indian Air Force) and EAF (Egyptian Air Force) which was held in Egypt from 21 to 26 June.
  • The aim of this exercise is to promote bilateral and regional cooperation, which is a symbol of the long-standing relations between the two countries.
  • The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Rafale fighter jets are currently in Egypt for Ex- HOPEX. The C-17 Globemaster and IL-78 tankers are also participating in the weeklong exercise.

100th Member Of International Solar World : Paraguay

Paraguay is the 100th country to become a full member of the International Solar Alliance.

  • A formal ceremony was held in New Delhi to mark this important step in the growth of ISA. Fleming Raul Duarte, Paraguay’s ambassador to India, gave the Instrument of Ratification.
  • The event shows that Paraguay is serious about promoting clean energy.
  • India and France helped to start the International Solar Alliance at the COP21 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015.
  • The ISA’s main goal is to make it easier for many people to use solar energy and to support healthy growth around the world.
  • Its main goal is to work together with countries that get a lot of sun to make energy more accessible, improve energy security, and help the world move to a low-carbon economy.
  • 119 countries have signed the ISA’s Framework Agreement, showing that it has grown a lot since it began.
  • Since Paraguay became a full member, there are now 100 of them.

External Debt To GDP Ratio:

The external debt to GDP ratio declined to 18.7% at the end of March 2024 from 19.0% at the end of March 2023.

  • India’s external debt reached $663.8 billion by the end of March 2024, marking a 6% increase (approximately $39.7 billion) compared to March 2023.
  • The external debt-to-GDP ratio is a crucial economic metric that compares a country’s external debt to its gross domestic product (GDP).
  • External debt refers to the total amount of money a country owes to external creditors, including foreign governments, international organizations, and private entities outside the country.
  • It includes both short-term and long-term debt obligations.
  • External debt is a type of public debt. Public debt refers to the total amount of money that a government owes to external creditors and domestic lenders.
  • GDP represents the total value of all goods and services produced within a country’s borders during a specific period (usually a year).
  • It reflects the economic output and productivity of a nation.
  • The external debt-to-GDP ratio is calculated by dividing the total external debt by the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

ULLAS-Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram:

Ladakh has become the first administrative unit to achieve full functional literacy under the ULLAS-Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram (New India Literacy Program).

  • The Understanding Lifelong Learning for All in Society (ULLAS) is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented from 2022-2027.
  • The scheme aligns with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
  • It aims to empower those adults aged 15 years and above from all backgrounds who could not get due schooling and mainstream them with society to be able to contribute more to the growth story of the country.
  • The scheme consists of five components
    • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy,
    • Critical Life Skills,
    • Basic Education,
    • Vocational Skills, and
    • Continuing Education.
  • The ULLAS app can be used for registration of learners and volunteers either through self-registration or by surveyors.
  • It will serve as a digital gateway for learners to engage in diverse learning resources through the DIKSHA portal of NCERT.

Space MAITRI Mission:

The Australian government entered into an $18 million memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the space MAITRI mission.

  • Space MAITRI (Mission for Australia-India’s Technology, Research and Innovation), represents a major step forward in the strategic partnership between the two nations in the space domain.
  • It aims to foster closer ties between commercial, institutional and governmental space organizations from India and Australia.
  • It focuses on debris management and sustainability, aligning with both nations’ core values and objectives in promoting responsible space operations and mitigating the growing threat of space debris.
  • Under this agreement, NewSpace India Limited will launch Australia’s Space Machines Company’s second Optimus spacecraft in 2026.
  • The 450kg Optimus spacecraft, the largest Australian-designed and built spacecraft to date, will be launched on ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

NewSpace India Limited:

  • It is a commercial arm under Department of Space(DoS), Government of India.
  • It was incorporated in March 2019 and was set up to take high technology space-related activities in India.
  • Under the new space policy reforms announced by the Government of India in June 2020, NSIL is to undertake operational satellite missions on a “demand-driven” model.
  • They are responsible to build, launch, own and operate the satellite and provide services to customers.
  • It is headquartered in Bengaluru.

eSakshya (evidence) App:

Days ahead of the implementation of the three criminal laws, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is testing eSakshya (e-evidence) app.

  • eSakhsya App is a mobile-based application to help police record the scene of crime, search and seizure in a criminal case and upload the file on the cloud-based platform.
  • The police official will have to upload a selfie after the procedure is complete.
  • Each recording could be a maximum four minutes long and several such files could be uploaded for each First Information Report (FIR).
  • This mobile application developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) will be available to all police stations which register and download the App.
  • National Informatics Centre is the premier information technology organization of the Government of India.
  • Established in 1976, it operates under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • The NIC’s primary focus is to provide e-Government solutions and support to various government departments.
  • NIC, through its ICT Network, “NICNET”, has institutional linkages with all the Ministries /Departments of the Central Government, 36 State Governments/ Union Territories across India.

India Africa Postal Leaders Meet:

With the aim of strengthening ties among the administrations of African countries and India in the postal sector, the ‘India Africa Postal Leaders Meet’ was organised in India.

  • It is an initiative under the “South- South and Triangular Cooperation” programme of the Universal Postal Union and is organised with the support of India Post and the United States Postal Service.
  • The key theme of the meet is capacity building, through study visits.
  • During the study visits India Post demonstrated the delivery of services through India Post, including e-commerce parcels, Dak Niryat Kendras, postal financial services by the India Post Payments Bank, Aadhaar enabled services, Passport services and Digital Life Certificate.
  • The meet is also significant in the backdrop of Indian led farsighted initiatives like ‘Voice of Global South Summit’, the India-Africa forum, and inclusion of the African Union in the G20 during India’s Presidency in 2023.
  • 42 heads of postal administrations and other senior management personnel as delegates from the postal organisations of 22 African countries in the Global South attended the meet.

Biomass briquettes:

In recent times biomass briquettes are being used as a fuel alternative for the power and electricity generation sector.

  • Biomass briquettes: are made up of compact blocks of organic materials, such as agricultural residues, forestry wastes, or industrial by-products.
  • These are used for heating, cooking fuel and electricity generation usually in developing countries that do not have access to more traditional fuel source.
  • Bio-briquettes can be created from easily available biomass waste often found in rural settings.
  • These can be made by hand from any freely available organic matter, including invasive species and agro-waste.
  • Biomass briquettes are carbon-neutral, meaning they release no additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned.
  • By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, the adoption of biomass briquettes helps mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to climate change mitigation efforts.
  • By diverting residues towards productive use, biomass briquettes play a crucial role in waste management and carbon sequestration, further enhancing their environmental credentials.