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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 30th May 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 30th May 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Caterpillars : Electroreception

British scientists have found something very interesting about caterpillars: they have a sixth sense that most land animals don’t have.

  • Through special hairs on their bodies called setae, they can pick up on electric fields with this sense, called electroreception.
  • The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at four types of caterpillars: the cinnabar moth, the rare vapourer moth, the European peacock butterfly, and the common wasp.
  • Animals that live in water or on land often have electroreception, which helps them avoid being eaten or protected.
  • Recently, research before 2013 uncovered that certain arthropods, including bumblebees, hoverflies, and spiders, also demonstrated this capability.
  • However, unlike the caterpillars that were studied, these land-based arthropods do not use electroreception as a defense against predators.
  • Researchers did a study where they used a live electrode with a fluctuating voltage of 180 Hz to simulate how a wasp would approach a prey animal.
  • Caterpillars’ reactions included flailing and coiling, which are signs of stress that were not seen when they were in settings that were not electrified.
  • The results showed that the setae on caterpillars reacted most strongly to frequencies around 220.3 Hz.
  • This is very close to the frequencies of many predatory insects’ wings, which suggests that the caterpillars may have evolved to protect themselves.

India’s First Quantum Diamond Microchip Imager:

IIT Bombay and TCS, India’s biggest IT services company, are working together to make the country’s first quantum diamond computer imager.

  • A quantum diamond computer imager works in a way that is similar to how MRIs work in hospitals.
  • It makes image magnetic fields possible so that semiconductor chips can be mapped without damaging or removing them.
  • As semiconductor technology gets smaller, this ability is becoming more and more important as traditional sensing methods fight to keep up.
  • Semiconductor chips are used in many fields, such as clean energy, communications, computing, healthcare, defence systems, and transportation.
  • Over the next two years, TCS and IIT Bombay will work together to make these gadgets safer, more reliable, and better at using energy.

What Is Carbon Fiber?

Vice President recently visited National Aerospace Limited (NAL) facilities and laid the foundation stone of the Centre for Carbon Fiber and Prepregs in Bengaluru.

  • Carbon fiber can have higher cost than other materials which has been one of the limiting factors of adoption.
  • Carbon fiber, also known as graphite fiber or carbon graphite, is a material consisting of thin, strong crystalline filaments of carbon.
  • These fibers are about 5 to 10 micrometers in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms.
  • The properties of carbon fibers include:
    • High stiffness
    • High tensile strength
    • High strength-to-weight ratio
    • High chemical resistance
    • High-temperature tolerance
    • Low thermal expansion
  • These properties make carbon fiber popular in various fields such as aerospace, civil engineering, military, motorsports, and other competition sports.
  • However, they are relatively expensive compared to similar fibers, such as glass fibers, basalt fibers, or plastic fibers.
  • Carbon fibers are usually combined with other materials to form a composite.
  • For example, when permeated with a plastic resin and baked, it forms carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer which has a very high strength-to-weight ratio and is extremely rigid although somewhat brittle.
  • Carbon fibers are also composited with other materials, such as graphite, to form reinforced carbon-carbon composites, which have a very high heat tolerance.
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced materials are used to make aircraft and spacecraft parts, racing car bodies, golf club shafts, bicycle frames, fishing rods, automobile springs, sailboat masts, and many other components where light weight and high strength are needed.


The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) has launched a groundbreaking initiative called “PRAGATI-2024” (Pharma Research in AyurGyan And Techno Innovation) to foster collaborative research and innovation in the field of Ayurveda.

  • PRAGATI-2024 aims to explore research opportunities and foster collaboration between CCRAS and the Ayurveda drug industry.
  • The CCRAS is an autonomous body of the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.
  • It is an apex body in India for the formulation, coordination, development and promotion of research on scientific lines in the Ayurveda and Sowa-Rigpa systems of medicine.

Himalayan serow : Spotted

A Himalayan serow was spotted in the central part of Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve.

  • Himalayan serow resembles as a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig.
  • There are several species of serows, and all of them are found in Asia.
  • The Himalayan serow, or Capricornis sumatraensis thar, is restricted to the Himalayan region. Taxonomically, it is a subspecies of the mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis).
  • These are herbivores species.
  • These are typically found at altitudes between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres (6,500 to 13,000 feet). They are known to be found in eastern, central, and western Himalayas, but not in the Trans Himalayan region.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
    • CITES: Appendix I
    • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I

Nameri Tiger Reserve:

  • It is situated in the northern part of the Sonitpur district of Assam, along the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh.

15th Annual Day Celebrations Of The Competition Commission Of India:

At the 15th annual day celebrations of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the Chairperson stressed upon the tendencies of digital markets towards market concentration leading to monopolistic tendencies.

Highlights of the Event:

  • According to the CCI Chairperson,the control of digital platforms over large datasets can create barriers to entry for new players, compromise platform neutrality, and lead to algorithmic collusion.
  • Attorney-General for India also highlighted that the monopoly of e-commerce platforms over user data “can be an area for scrutiny” and the need for new ideas to balance the free market and social benefit, requiring legal innovation.
  • For the future, the digital economy offers immense opportunities for innovation, growth, and consumer benefit but has challenged traditional competition law frameworks worldwide.
  • In the context of digital markets, the importance of tools like behavioural economics to understand human preferences was also highlighted.

Minor Forest Produce:

Tribal people in Odisha are struggling for approvals from the forest department to sell Kendu leaf which is a minor forest produce

  • The Scheduled Tribe and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, or Forest Rights Act (FRA), defines ‘minor forest produce’ as any non-timber forest product of plant origin.
  • This includes various items such as bamboo, brush wood, stumps, cane, tussar, cocoons, honey, wax, lac, kendu leaves, medicinal plants, herbs, roots, tubers and similar items.
  • In simple terms, it encompasses all other forest products, excluding timber.
  • Kendu Leaf is called the green gold of Odisha.
  • It is a nationalized product like Bamboo and Sal seed.
  • It is one of the most important non-wood forest products of Odisha.
  • It is also referred to as tendu leaf in some parts of the country and is used to roll tobacco into bidis (local cigarettes).

RBI New Initiatives:

RBI Governor recently unveiled three major initiatives of the Reserve Bank, namely the Pravaah portal, the Retail Direct Mobile App and a FinTech Repository.

Pravaah Portal:

  • Pravaah (Platform for Regulatory Application, Validation, and AutHorisation) is a secure and centralised web-based portal for any individual or entity to seek authorisation, license, or regulatory approval on any reference
    made by it to the RBI.
  • The following are some of the key features available in the portal:
    • Submit the application online on the portal.
    • Track and monitor the status of the application/reference.
    • Respond to any clarification/query sought by the RBI in connection with the application/reference; and
    • Receive a decision from the RBI in a time-bound manner
    • This portal will also enhance the efficiency of various processes related to the granting of regulatory approvals and clearances by the RBI.

Retail Direct Mobile App:

  • The retail direct portal was launched in November 2021 to facilitate retail investors to open their Retail Direct Gilt accounts with the RBI ( under the Retail Direct Scheme.
  • The scheme allows retail investors to buy G-Secs in the primary auctions as well as buy and sell G-Secs in the secondary market.
  • With the launch of the retail direct mobile app, retail investors can now transact in G-Secs using the mobile app on their smartphones.

FinTech Repository:

  • It aims to capture essential information about FinTech entities, their activities, technology uses, etc. FinTechs, both regulated and unregulated.
  • It will contain information on rich repository of data on Indian FinTech firms for a better understanding of the sector that would be useful for both policymakers and participating industry members.
  • Simultaneously, a related repository for only RBI-regulated entities (banks and NBFCs) on their adoption of emerging technologies (like AI, ML, Cloud Computing, DLT, Quantum, etc.), called EmTech Repository is also being launched.
  • The FinTech and EmTech Repositories are secure web-based applications and are managed by the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), a wholly owned subsidiary of RBI.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial:

The Prime Minister will be visiting the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari to meditate for 48 hours and mark the culmination of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

  • Vivekananda Rock Memorial is located on a small island off Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.
  • The memorial stands on one of the two rocks located about 500 meters off the mainland of Vavathurai.
  • The rock is surrounded by the Laccadive Sea, where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea form a confluence.
  • It was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda, who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock.
  • It comprises of the ‘Shripada Mandapam’ and the ‘Vivekananda Mandapam’.
  • There is also a life-sized bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda on the premises.
  • It is also a memorial for which all State Governments and the Central Government contributed.

Sharavathi River : Illegal Sand Mining

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently directed the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and mines and geology department to stop any unlawful/illegal sand mining in Sharavathi river coastal zone.

  • Sharavathi River is a river in westernKarnataka state.
  • It is one of the few westward-flowing rivers in India and a major part of the river basin lies in the Western Ghats.
  • Rising in the Western Ghats, it flows in a northwesterly direction to the Arabian Seaat Honavar in Uttara Kannada District
  • The length of the river is 128 km, and the river basin covers 2,985 sq km.
  • On its way, the Sharavathi forms the Jog Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in India, where the river falls from a height of 253 m.
  • Major Tributaries: Nandihole, Haridravathi, Mavinahole, Hilkunji, Yennehole, Hurlihole, and Nagodihole.
  • It is a vital source of hydroelectric power in Karnataka. Currently, the river generates a significant portion (40 percent or 1,469.2 megawatts) of the state’s hydropower using seven existing dams and five tunnels.

Magellan Mission : NASA

After analyzing the archived data from NASA’s Magellan mission, scientists say they observed new lava flows on Venus, suggesting that the planet was volcanically active between 1990 and 1992.

  • Magellan Mission was a deep space mission launched by NASA on May 4, 1989, to explore the planet Venus.
  • It was launched from Cape Canaveral aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.
  • It was the first interplanetary mission launched from the Space Shuttle and the first spacecraft to use the Inertial Upper Stage booster.
  • It was named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was the first to circumnavigate the earth.
  • The primary goal of the Magellan mission was to map the surface of Venus using radar imaging, as the thick atmosphere of the planet made visual observation difficult.
  • The Magellan spacecraft, which arrived at Venus in 1990, made the first global map of the surface of Venus as well as global maps of the planet’s gravity field.
  • The mission produced surprising findings about Venus, including a relatively young planetary surface possibly formed by lava flows from planet-wide volcanic eruptions.
  • In October 1994, the Magellan spacecraft intentionally plunged to the surface of Venus to gather data on the planet’s atmosphere before it ceased operations.
  • It marked the first time an operating planetary spacecraft had been intentionally crashed.