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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 3rd July 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 3rd July 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Mars Odyssey:

NASA has recently captured an epic view of the largest volcano in our solar system named Olympus Mons using the Mars Odyssey orbiter.

  • Mars Odyssey was an early mission in NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.
  • It was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on April 7, 2001.
  • The Odyssey spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since 2001.
  • Odyssey’s original goals were to search for signs of water, make detailed maps of the planet’s surface materials and determine radiation levels for humans.
  • The spacecraft holds the record for the longest continually active mission in orbit around a planet other than Earth. Its mission is scheduled to last until 2025.
  • It created the first global map of chemical elements and minerals that make up the Martian surface.
  • Odyssey continues to study Mars’s surface to see how the planet changes over time.
  • The spacecraft also serves as a communications relay to Earth for spacecraft on the surface that lack high-powered antennas and cannot beam information to Earth very quickly.
  • Olympus Mons is a shield volcanolocated in Mars’ western hemisphere.
  • It is the highest point on Mars and the largest known volcano in the solar system

Project Nexus:

RBI recently joined Project Nexus, an initiative to enable instant cross-border retail payments by linking domestic Fast Payment Systems.

  • Project Nexus is a multilateral international initiative to enable instant cross-border retail payments by interlinking domestic Fast Payments Systems (FPSs).
  • Rather than requiring FPS operators to establish multiple custom connections for each country, Nexus provides a standardized, single-connection solution that enables seamless transactions across borders.
  • With Nexus, an FPS operator can connect to a single network, enabling instant access to other countries within the network.
  • It was conceptualized by the Innovation Hub of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
  • It aims to connect the FPSs of four ASEAN countries (Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand); and India, who would be the founding members and first mover countries of this platform.
  • The platform, which can be extended to more countries, is expected to go live by 2026.
  • When a new country joins Nexus, existing members are automatically connected to that country and vice versa. This means the network can expand at a near-zero marginal cost for existing members.
  • By simplifying and unifying the payment infrastructure, Project Nexus seeks to enhance efficiency, reduce costs and improve the accessibility of international payments.

Syntrichia caninervis:

Scientists have identified a species of desert moss called ‘Syntrichia caninervis’ that could be a game-changer for future space exploration and colonisation efforts.

  • Syntrichia caninervis is one of the most abundant desert mosses in the world.
  • It possesses remarkable tolerance to multiple environmental stress factors (drought, cold, and radiation).
  • Extreme desiccation tolerance: recover within seconds after >98% water loss.
  • Extraordinary freezing tolerance: withstand −196°C ultra-low temperature.
  • Super resistance to gamma radiation: with half-lethal dose estimated to be 5,000 Gy.
  • It has a widespread global distribution.
  • It is predominant in dryland regions, including the Gurbantunggut and Tengger Deserts in China and the Mojave Desert in the United States.
  • caninervis crusts are also present in mountainous regions of the Pamir, Tibet, Middle East, Antarctica and circumpolar regions.
  • It has a unique adaptation, it uses a tiny hair (awn) on the end of each leaf to collect water, in addition to that collected by the leaves themselves.

LOw-Frequency ARray:

Astronomers recently discovered a new radio galaxy using the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR).

  • LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is a highly innovative, pan-European distributed radio interferometer and the first of its kind.
  • It observes the Universe at low radio frequencies, close to the FM radio band, from 90 to 200 MHz.
  • It was developed by the Dutch Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) with the goal of exploring the early, distant universe, solar activity, and the terrestrial atmosphere.
  • LOFAR can observe in several directions simultaneously, which allows for a multi-user operation.
  • For this reason, LOFAR is novel in its design because it is the first telescope that can look at the entire sky at the same time, unlike other telescopes which you have to point.
  • LOFAR does not have moving parts; steering and tracking across the sky are achieved by treating the signal from the individual antennas in each station with advanced digital beam-forming techniques that make the system agile, allowing for rapid repointing of the telescope as well as giving the potential for multiple simultaneous observations in different directions.
  • The LOFAR main core is based in the north of the Netherlands, with other stations located in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
  • Radio Galaxies, also known as radio-luminous galaxies or radio-loud galaxies, are a particular type of active galaxy that emits more light at radio wavelengths than at visible wavelengths.
  • These happen through the interaction between charged particles and strong magnetic fields related to supermassive black holes at the galaxies’ center.


India has successfully developed and certified SEBEX 2, a new explosive that is 2.01 times more lethal than standard Trinitrotoluene (TNT).

  • SEBEX 2 is said to be among the most powerful non-nuclear explosives in the world.
  • It utilizes a high-melting explosive (HMX) composition.
  • This formulation significantly enhances the lethality of warheads, aerial bombs, artillery shells and other munitions.
  • It is 01 times more deadly than standard TNT (Trinitrotoluene).
  • Explosive performance is gauged by TNT equivalence, with higher values indicating greater lethality.
  • Currently, the most powerful conventional explosive used in India, specifically in the Brahmos warhead, has a TNT equivalence of about 1.50.
  • Most conventional warheads worldwide have a TNT equivalence ranging from 1.25 to 1.30
  • SEBEX 2 was manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), Nagpur, a subsidiary of Solar Industries, under the Make in India initiative.
  • It has been evaluated, tested and certified by the Indian Navy under its Defence Export Promotion Scheme.

Nouka Baich Boat Race:

With the south-west monsoon gradually setting in, nouka baich boat races will soon begin in several rural pockets of West Bengal.

  • Nouka Baich Boat Race is a traditional boat race of West Bengal.
  • The races occur in the month of September across riverine Bengal, when the river waters are swollen during the last weeks of the monsoons.\
  • They continue till September, sometimes till October, even November in some places.
  • These boat races were previously dominated by male but in the recent years one can see participation of women too.
  • These boat races in southern West Bengal are particularly linked with the worship of the Hindu deity Manasa, the goddess of snakes.
  • The worship of Manasa is the worship of snakes.
  • And the local deity most commonly worshipped in rural south Bengal is Manasa, a deity worshipped by agrarian communities.

Deep Brain Stimulation Device:

A UK-based teenager, Oran Knowlson who has become the first person in the world to be fitted with a brain implant to help bring his epileptic seizures under control by using deep brain stimulation (DBS) device

  • Deep Brain Stimulation Device uses DBS, which is also utilised for movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s, and other neurological conditions.
  • The neurostimulator delivers constant electrical impulses to the brain to disrupt or block abnormal seizure-causing signals.
  • A 3.5 cm square, 0.6 cm in thickness, the device was surgically implanted in Knowlson’s skull and anchored using screws.
  • The doctor then inserted two electrodes deep into his brain until they reached the thalamus — a relay station for all the motor and sensory information.
  • The ends of the electrodes were connected to the neurostimulator.
  • The device was switched on after Knowlson recovered from his surgery. It can be recharged by a wireless headphone.
  • Epilepsy a condition that leads to recurring seizures, sees a person experience jerking of arms and legs, temporary confusion, staring spells, or stiff muscles. It is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

New Shepard Spacecraft:

Jeff Bezos-led Blue Origin has partnered with the Space Exploration and Research Agency (SERA) to give common Indian citizens an opportunity to go into space in New Shepard spacecraft.

  • New Shepard Spacecraft is a suborbital space travel vehicle, offering a unique experience for both scientific research and space tourism.
  • It is named after Alan Shepard, the first American in space, New Shepard is a fully reusable rocket system designed for human spaceflight.
  • It consists of two main components: a reusable booster and a pressurized crew capsule.
  • The capsule can accommodate six passengers, providing each with a window seat to witness breathtaking views of Earth.
  • Among its notable features are the largest windows ever flown in space, offering an unparalleled visual experience for astronauts.
  • New Shepard’s 11-minute journey takes passengers beyond the Karman line. During the flight, passengers experience several minutes of weightlessness before making a controlled descent back to Earth aided by parachutes.
  • In addition to its space tourism potential, New Shepard serves as a valuable platform for scientific research.

Foundation Day Of Puducherry:

The 1st July is marked as the foundation day of Puducherry as on this day the Government of Union Territories Act 1963 providing Puducherry with Legislative Assemblies and Council of Ministers came into force.

  • The present UT of Puducherry was formed in 1962 out of the four former colonies of French (Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam) India.
  • The Puducherry and Karaikal regions are surrounded by the state of Tamilnadu while Mahe is surrounded by the state of Kerala and Yanam by the state of Andra Pradesh.
  • To accommodate the diverse culture, due to its multi-state location, Puducherry has been recognized as a Union Territory.
  • Puducherry has a flourishing maritime history and excavations at Arikamedu show that Romans came here to trade in the 1st Century AD.
  • In around the fourth century A.D. Puducherry area was part of the Pallava Kingdom of Kanchipuram after which Chola took over it.
  • After short rule of Muslim rulers of the North, the Vijayanagar Empire took control of almost all the South of India which lasted till 1638, after which Sultan of Bijapur took control.

Araku Coffee : Significance

The Prime Minister praised the unique flavour and significance of Araku Coffee of Andhra Pradesh during his recent episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme.

  • Araku Coffee is grown in the Araku Valley in Alluri SitaRam Raju district of Andhra Pradesh, located in the Eastern Ghats.
  • This coffee has a distinct flavour with notes of chocolate, caramel, and subtle fruity acidity.
  • It is grown in a diverse agroforestry system, primarily cultivated using organic farming methods.
  • It is grown by tribal farmers and cooperatives and helps in promoting sustainable livelihoods and community empowerment.
  • Araku Coffee has received international awards, including the “Best Robusta” at the Café de Colombia Competition.
  • It received a Geographical Indication (GI) Tag in 2019 for unique qualities.
  • Other Indian coffees that received GI Tag include Coorg Arabica, Wayanad Robusta, Chikmagalur Arabica, Bababudangiris Arabica from Karnataka, and Monsooned Malabar Robusta from Kerala.
  • Top 3 Producers of Coffee: Brazil, Vietnam and Columbia. India is the 6th largest producer of Coffee in the World.

Command As The 30th Chief Of The Indian Army:

Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi has assumed command as the 30th Chief of the Indian Army, succeeding General Manoj Pande after his 26-month tenure.

  • General Dwivedi has a deep understanding of modern and emerging technologies, aiming to enhance operational effectiveness by leveraging India’s technology ecosystem.
  • The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) is the professional head of the Indian Army (IA), which is the land forces branch of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The COAS typically serves a three-year term or until reaching the age of 62, whichever comes earlier.
  • Extensions are rare and usually granted only during times of war or national emergency.