Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 April 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 18 Apr 2024 16:51 PM IST

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Topic: Personality in News

1. Gopi Thotakura to become the first Indian space tourist.

  • Entrepreneur and pilot Gopi Thotakura is set to become first Indian to venture into space as a tourist.
  • He will be part of the NS-25 mission of Blue Origin — a company founded by Jeff Bezos.
  • He has been selected as one of the six crew members for the mission.
  • Thotakura would be the second Indian to go into space. Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to go into space in 1984.
  • As per media reports, in 2023, the space tourism market was valued at $848.28 million. It is likely to grow to $27,861.99 million by 2032.
  • Gopi Thotakura is a graduate of the US-based Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
  • Space tourism is an important section of the aviation sector. The NS-25 mission is a sub-orbital mission.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. In FY24, CBDT signed a record number of 125 Advance Pricing Agreements.

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed a record 125 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers in 2023-24.
  • The 125 Advance Pricing Agreements includes 86 Unilateral APAs (UAPAs) and 39 Bilateral APAs (BAPAs).
  • The number of APAs signed in 2023-24 has increased by 31% as compared to previous year. 95 APAs were signed during the preceding financial year.
  • In 2023-24, CBDT also signed the maximum number of BAPAs in any financial year.
  • The BAPAs were signed as a consequence of entering into mutual agreements with India's treaty partners namely Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US.
  • The signing of bilateral APAs additionally provides the taxpayers with protection from any anticipated or actual double taxation.

Topic: Defence

3. A state-of-the-art IT lab inaugurated by General Manoj Pandey to boost India-Uzbekistan defense cooperation.

  • In an important step towards strengthening bilateral relations between India and Uzbekistan, a high-tech IT laboratory was inaugurated at the Uzbek Armed Forces Academy by Army Chief General Manoj Pandey.
  • The Army Chief was on a visit to Uzbekistan from 15-18 April.
  • After the commitment made during the Defense Ministers' meeting in September 2018, this development marks a milestone in defense cooperation between the two countries.
  • The request to set up an IT Lab was initially made during this high-level discussion, and thereafter, the project, funded through the 'C' initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs, gained momentum with approval in 2019.
  • It was revealed that the bids were more than the envisaged budget of Rs 6.5 crore. Therefore, a sum of Rs 8.5 crore was allocated for the project.
  • An Indian firm won the contract, making the laboratory fully operational on time.
  • The IT laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, consisting of nine rooms, which include two lecture halls, and a state-of-the-art cyber security lab.
  • It also includes a hardware programming lab, an object-oriented programming lab, a web programming lab, a server room, a multimedia room, and a virtual reality room.
  • With the establishment of the IT Lab, it is expected to enrich the training resources available to the Uzbek Armed Forces in the coming years and promote a deeper understanding and cooperation between India and Uzbekistan.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

4. Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award will be presented to Amitabh Bachchan.

  • The prestigious third Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award will be given to Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan for his remarkable dedication towards the nation, its people, and society.
  • Previous recipients of this prestigious award include Prime Minister Narendra Modi and popular singer Asha Bhosle.
  • Mohan Wagh Award will be awarded to Marathi play Ghalib for Best Play.
  • On February 6, 2022, the Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award was instituted by the Deenanath Mangeshkar Smriti Pratisthan in the memory of late Bharat Ratna winner and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar.
  • Deepstambh Foundation's Manobal Project, which provides residential training to disabled persons, orphans, and economically disadvantaged students, will be recognized for its excellent social service.
  • On April 24, the award recipients will be honored at Dinanath Mangeshkar Natyagruha in Vile Parle.

Other recipients of the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Award:

Recipient

Category

AR Rahman

Music

Ashok Saraf

Music

Padmini Kolhapure

Films

Roopkumar Rathod

Indian Music

Atul Parchure

Marathi Theatre

Manjiri Phadke

Literature

Randeep Hooda (Special)

Contributions to Cinema

Topic: National News

5. The studies show that only 13.5% of India's STEM faculty are women.

  • Indian women have an influential presence in science from botanist Janaki Ammal developing sugarcane hybrids in the 1930s to Tessie Thomas, leading the first test launch of the Agni-IV missile in 2011.
  • However, according to a study by BiasWatchIndia, only 13.5 percent of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) faculty members across 98 universities and institutes in the country are women.
  • BiasWatchIndia tracks women’s representation in science.
  • On March 30, researchers published the study in the peer-reviewed journal Communications Biology: Nature.
  • The study said that countries like America and Britain have also seen a trend of under-representation of women in STEM, but this number is not as low as India.
  • The paper notes that not only are women under-represented in STEM streams, but the percentage of women in top-ranked institutes such as the IITs, the IISc, and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research has dropped even further.
  • For the study, the authors collected faculty data between June 2020 and December 2021 from the websites of 98 universities and institutes.
  • Women's representation in engineering faculties was lowest, at 9.2%, according to the authors' survey. The faculty of biology had the largest representation (25.5%).
  • After engineering, the proportion of women in chemistry, computer science, and physics faculties is extremely low, at 11.5%, 12.2% and 13% respectively.
  • In comparison, the Earth Sciences and Mathematics faculty have more women, at 14.4% and 15.8% respectively.
  • According to the study, women in the US are "16% in physics, 16.5% in engineering, and 25% in mathematics, while biology and chemistry saw better female representation at 46% and 40%, respectively."

Topic: Important Days

6. World Heritage Day 2024: 18 April

  • Every year on 18 April, World Heritage Day is celebrated
  • It is celebrated to spread awareness about the protection and conservation of rich cultural heritage.
  • It is also celebrated to mark the efforts of organizations involved in the conservation of heritage.
  • The theme of World Heritage Day 2024 is "Discover and experience diversity."
  • World Heritage Day was suggested by the International Council of Mountains and Sights in 1982 and it was adopted at the 22nd session of the UNESCO Conference in 1983.
  • World Heritage Sites are the places/monuments/areas that are included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
  • Until April 18, 2024, there are a total of 1,199 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world and 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
March Monthly Current Affairs 2024 February Monthly Current Affairs 2024
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Indian Economy

7. According to a UNCTAD report, India’s economy will grow at 6.5% in 2024.

  • This projection comes after India’s growth of 6.7% in 2023.
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report highlights India as the fastest-growing major economy globally.
  • Multinational corporations are growing their manufacturing operations in India in order to improve the diversification of their supply chains, as per the UNCTAD report.
  • It is anticipated that this action will increase Indian exports and promote economic expansion.
  • The rise of the service sector and significant public capital investment were credited for the growth seen in 2023.
  • RBI has projected 7% growth rate for the current financial year 2024-25.
  • ‘2024 Financing for Sustainable Development Report: Financing for Development at a Crossroads’ was launched last week.
  • Global growth is projected to be 2.6% in 2024. This is projected to be slightly slower than the 2.7% in 2023.

Topic: International News

8. The United Arab Emirates has had the highest rainfall on record, exceeding all data collected since 1949.

  • Over the previous 24 hours, the rain fell in a number of areas of the United Arab Emirates.
  • The extraordinary character of this weather occurrence was confirmed by the National Centre of Meteorology.
  • It is predicted to rain more in the upcoming hours.
  • The Khatm Al Shakla region of Al Ain has received the most rainfall to date, with 254 millimetres (almost 10 inches) falling in less than a day.
  • This rainfall has caused major disruptions as well as is predicted increases in the UAE's annual average and groundwater reserves.
  • Passengers are advised by Dubai International Airport to avoid visiting the airport unless absolutely necessary.
  • One death has been reported so far from the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

Topic: Defence News

9. Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterisation and Evaluation (SPACE) has been inaugurated in Kerala.

  • Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterisation and Evaluation (SPACE) is a premier testing & evaluation hub for sonar systems for the Indian Navy, has been set up by DRDO.
  • It was inaugurated at Underwater Acoustic Research Facility, Kulamavu in Idukki, Kerala on April 17, 2024.
  • It has been designed as a premier testing and evaluation hub for sonar systems onboarding various platforms including ships, submarines and helicopters.
  • It will be used for survey, sampling, and data collection of air, surface, mid-water, and reservoir floor parameters.
  • It will fulfil the needs of data processing and sample analyses in modern and equipped scientific laboratories for Anti-Submarine Warfare research capabilities.
  • The space consist of two different combinations – a platform that floats on the surface of the water, and a submersible platform that can be lowered to any depth up to 100 meters using a winch system.

Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterisation and Evaluation

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Personality in News

10. World Economic Forum names Nykaa's Adwaita Nayar as a 2024 Young Global Leader.

  • Adwaita Nayar, the co-founder of Nykaa and CEO of Nykaa Fashion, has been included in the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders Community.
  • Nayar joined a group of 90 individuals from across the world for her work as a change-maker and entrepreneur.
  • She is one of the world’s most powerful political and business leaders.
  • She played a pivotal role in the inception of the company and in shaping it into a business.
  • She led at Nykaa in dealing with the complexities of fundraising, marketing and operations.
  • The World Economic Forum’s Forum of Young Global Leaders aims to celebrate change-makers under 40 years old and help to devise solutions to the world’s problems.

Topic: Banking System

11. Bank of Baroda World App has been banned by RBI.

  • Strict measures have reportedly been proposed by the Finance Ministry to protect citizens from cyber fraud.
  • These measures came after a rise in incidents including the recent Bank of Baroda World App scam.
  • These measures are considered part of a broader national effort to combat cybercrime.
  • Only in 2023, more than 1.1 million cyber fraud cases amounting to Rs 7,488.63 crore ($8.9 billion) were recorded by India's National Crime Records Bureau.
  • To deal with this growing threat, the Home Ministry established the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center (I4C).
  • To combat all types of cybercrime, this central agency coordinates efforts across the country.
  • The ministry has called for stricter Know Your Customer (KYC) processes and more thorough due diligence by banks and financial institutions while onboarding new merchants.
  • The proposal emphasizes the need for better data security and data protection practices at the merchant and BC levels.
  • In October 2023, state-owned Bank of Baroda was barred from onboarding new customers on its mobile app 'BoB World' following material supervisory concerns by the RBI.

Topic: Important Days

12. World Hemophilia Day 2024: 17 April

  • Every year on 17 April, World Hemophilia Day is observed.
  • World Hemophilia Day was started by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WHF) and.
  • The day was first celebrated in 1989 and 17th April was selected to mark the birth anniversary of Frank Schnabel, the founder of WHF.
  • The day aims at raising awareness about hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.
  • The theme of World Hemophilia Day 2024 is 'Equitable access for all: recognizing all bleeding disorders'.
  • Hemophilia:
    • It is a genetic bleeding disorder in which clotting of blood does not occur properly which can lead to spontaneous bleeding.
    • The gene for hemophilia is carried on the X chromosome.
    • There are two main types of Hemophilia- Hemophilia A (occurs due to low amounts of clotting factor VIII) and Hemophilia B (occurs due to low levels of clotting factor IX).

World Hemophilia Day 2024

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

13. Nigeria has rolled out the world's first vaccine against meningitis.

  • Nigeria has become the first country to introduce a novel vaccine, Men5CV. It is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • This vaccine will provide protection against five strains (A, C, W, Y, and X) of meningococcus bacteria.
  • Meningitis is caused due to the meningococcus bacteria. It is a significant threat in Africa.
  • Meningitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. It can impact brain and can cause hearing loss and learning disabilities.
  • Fever, Headache, Neck stiffness, and Sensitivity to light are the Symptoms of meningitis.
  • As per the World Health Organization (WHO), reported cases of meningitis across Africa increased by 50 percent last year.
  • Nigeria encountered a meningitis outbreak between October 1, 2023, and March 11, 2024.

Topic: Space and IT

14. India aims to achieve debris-free space missions by 2030.

  • ISRO chairman S Somanath announced that the country aims to achieve debris-free space missions by 2030.
  • ISRO has a clearly laid-out plan for space exploration. The main aim of the initiative is to achieve debris-free space missions by 2030.
  • Presently, India has 54 spacecraft in orbit, and many non-functional objects.
  • Isro had brought several old satellites and fourth stage of PSLV rockets back to the Earth through the deorbiting process as part of its zero orbital debris mission.
  • India is also planning to set up its own space station 'Bharatiya Antriksh Station' by 2035.
Related Study Material
Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
Major sources of Indian Constitution President of India
Ramsar sites of India 2022 Classification of Rocks
Interior of the Earth Tax system in India
 
 

 

 

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