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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 4th Mar 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 4th Mar 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Paytm Cuts Ties With Payments Bank Arm:

Fintech leader Paytm announced steps to sever certain operating agreements between its parent entity One97 Communications and the group’s payments bank arm Paytm Payments Bank (PPBL).

  • As part of governance changes, the two firms will function with greater independence going forward.
  • One 97 Communications Limited (OCL) and its services that include the Paytm app, Paytm QR, Paytm soundbox, and Paytm Card machines will continue to work uninterrupted.
  • Paytm shares informed stock exchanges that after mutual evaluation, the company boards decided to terminate previous arrangements between One97 and PPBL across technology services, software licensing and brand sharing.
  • Earlier, One97 provided managed services and infrastructure support to PPBL besides licensing its payment processing platform and the Paytm brand for usage by the payments bank.
  • These agreements had attracted some regulatory concerns about conflict of interest between the promoter group entities.
  • Hence, both companies agreed to advance an arm’s length relationship by stopping the inter-company arrangements.

GROW Report:

The Greening and Restoration of Wasteland with Agroforestry (GROW) report and portal was launched by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India).

Highlights of the GROW Report:

  • The GROW report aims to facilitate restoration projects for achieving national commitments of Land Degradation Neutrality and restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, as well as creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
  • The report highlights that India possesses approximately 55.76 million hectares of wastelands, comprising 16.96% of the total geographical area (TGA) of the country.
  • These degraded lands have suffered from reduced productivity and biodiversity due to various natural and human-induced factors.
  • The report suggests greening and restoring these wastelands through agroforestry.
  • The report also underscores the potential benefits of converting underutilised areas, especially wastelands, for agroforestry.
  • Currently, agroforestry covers 8.65% of India’s total geographical area, totalling about 28.42 million hectares and about 6.18% and 4.91% of India’s land are highly and moderately suitable for agroforestry, respectively.
  • As per Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana are the top large-sized states for agroforestry suitability, while Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, and Nagaland ranked highest among the medium-sized states.
  • The report identifies the policy and institutional support required for scaling up agroforestry interventions in wastelands.
  • The report emphasises India’s National Agroforestry Policy of 2014, which aims to enhance productivity, profitability, and sustainability through this agro ecological land use system.

Press And Registration Of Periodicals Act (PRP Act), 2023: Update

The registration of newspapers and other periodicals will be governed by the provisions of the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023, and its Rules, which came into effect recently.

Press and Registration of Periodicals Act (PRP Act), 2023:

  • It has replaced the colonial era Press and Registration of Books Act dating back to 1867.
  • The office of Press Registrar General of India – PRGI (erstwhile Registrar of Newspapers for India – RNI) shall be carrying out the purposes of the new Act.
  • It provides for an online system for facilitating the registration of newspapers and other periodicals in the country.
  • The new system replaces the existing manual, cumbersome processes involving multiple steps and approvals at various stages, which were causing unnecessary hardships to the publishers.
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting launched the Press Sewa Portal (, the online portal of the Press Registrar General, for receiving various applications as mandated by the new Act.
  • All applications, including the intimation by the printer of a periodical, application for registration of a facsimile edition of a foreign periodical, the application by a publisher for obtaining a certificate of registration of a periodical, application for revision of certificate of registration, application for transfer of ownership of periodicals, furnishing annual statement by the publisher of a periodical, and procedure for desk audit for verification of circulation of a periodical will be online through the Press Sewa Portal.
  • Accordingly, publishers intending to bring out periodicals need to register their titles before publishing them.

World Wildlife Day : March 3

World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3 to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation.

  • World Wildlife Day is celebrated to promote sustainable practices that can help conserve biodiversity and raise public awareness of the need to protect and care for animals.
  • It aims to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of all living things on our planet and to promote peaceful coexistence between humans and animals through activism, campaigning and education.
  • It was first proposed by Thailand to the UN General Assembly in 2013.
  • The idea was to set aside a day to promote awareness of wild animals and plants around the world.
  • The General Assembly adopted a resolution on 20 December 2013, designating March 3 as World Wildlife Day in 2014.
  • Theme of WWD 2024: “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation,” highlights the potential of technology to advance conservation efforts.

Obesity : The Lancet Report

The global rate of obesity has quadrupled in children and doubled in adults since 1990, according to a new analysis published in The Lancet, a medical journal, recently.

  • Obesity is defined by excess body fat (adipose tissue) that may impair health.
  • It is a long-term (chronic) health condition that progresses over time.
  • Obesity is the result of an imbalance between daily energy intake and energy expenditure, resulting in excessive weight gain.
  • It is a multifactorial disease caused by a myriad of genetic, cultural, and societal factors.
  • Various genetic studies have shown that obesity is extremely heritable, with numerous genes identified with adiposity and weight gain.
  • Other causes of obesity include reduced physical activity, insomnia, endocrine disorders, medications, the accessibility and consumption of excess carbohydrates and high-sugar foods, and decreased energy metabolism.
  • Healthcare providers commonly use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to define obesity in the general population.
  • A BMI over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.
  • Obesity is associated with cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance, causing diabetes, stroke, gallstones, fatty liver, hypoventilation syndrome, sleep apnea, and cancers.
  • It is the second-most common cause of preventable death after smoking.
  • Obesity needs multiprong treatment strategies and may require lifelong treatment.

International Energy Agency : Study

The International Energy Agency said that strong GDP growth and a weak monsoon drove up India’s energy-related carbon emissions by around 190 million tonnes in 2023, though the country’s per capita emissions remain far below the global average.

  • International Energy Agency is an autonomous inter-governmental organisation within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) framework.
  • It works with governments and industry to shape a secure and sustainable energy future for all.
  • It was created in response to the 1973-1974 oil crisis when an oil embargo by major producers pushed prices to historic levels and exposed the vulnerability of industrialised countries to dependency on oil imports.
  • It was founded in 1974 to ensure the security of oil supplies.
  • It is made up of 31 member countries, 13 association countries, and 5 accession countries.

INS Jatayu:

Indian Navy will commission Naval Detachment Minicoy as INS Jatayu in the presence of the Chief of the Naval Staff on 06 Mar 2024.

  • INS Jatayu is the second Naval base in Lakshadweep after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti.
  • With the commissioning of INS Jatayu, the Indian Navy will strengthen its foothold in the Lakshadweep islands and along with extending operational surveillance, reach and sustenance.
  • It will usher in a new era of capacity building and comprehensive development of the island territories.
  • The event marks an important milestone in the Navy’s resolve to incrementally augment security infrastructure at the strategically important Lakshadweep Islands.