Daily Current Affairs and GK | 25 June 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 25 Jun 2024 17:03 PM IST

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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

1. Government increased allocation for fertilizer sector under the SIGHT Programme.

  • The government has increased allocation for the fertilizer sector from 5.5 lakh tonnes per annum to 7.5 lakh tonnes per annum of Green Ammonia under the SIGHT Programme of the National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM).
  • MNRE has amended the Scheme Guidelines dated January 16, 2024, by increasing allocation under the Mode 2A Scheme for the fertilizer sector by 2 lakh tonnes per year.
  • Under the Mission, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued Scheme Guidelines for Site Programme – Component II of NGHM on 16.01.2024.
  • National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM) has set a target to achieve a production capacity of 5 million tonnes per year of Green Hydrogen in India by 2030.
  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission was launched on January 4, 2023, with an outlay of Rs. 19,744 crores.
  • The main objective of the mission is to decarbonize the economy and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports.

Topic: Sports

2. Sreeja Akula became the first Indian paddler to win the WTT Contender singles title.

  • Sreeja Akula made history by winning the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender singles title in Lagos.
  • She is the first Indian to win the WTT Contender singles title.
  • Sreeja Akula defeated Ding Yijie of China with a score of 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, and 11-6.
  • In the semi-finals, Sreeja played a close match against compatriot Sutirtha Mukherjee.
  • Sreeja and Archana won the women's doubles, while Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar clinched the men's doubles gold.
  • The Indian contingent at WTT Contender Lagos secured 9 medals, including 3 golds.
  • The WTT Contender Lagos was held from June 19 to 23 in Nigeria.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. The Government has launched a nationwide campaign on Tobacco Free Educational Institutions (TOFEI).

  • A comprehensive plan to create tobacco-free educational institutions across the country was unveiled by the Ministry of Education.
  • India, the second largest consumer and producer of tobacco in the world, faces a serious public health challenge, with approximately 1.35 million deaths each year due to tobacco use.
  • The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2019 revealed that 8.5% of school students aged 13 to 15 use tobacco in various forms.
  • The “ToFEI Implementation Manual” was launched by the Department of School Education and Literacy on World No Tobacco Day, observed on May 31, 2024.
  • Developed under the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP), this manual aims to provide guidance to schools in complying with the Tobacco Free Educational Institution (TOFEI) guidelines.
  • The initiative outlines several key measures to be implemented in schools across the country.
  • This includes displaying “Tobacco Free Zone” signs on school premises, banning tobacco use on campus, conducting regular tobacco control activities, and designating “Tobacco Monitors” among the staff.

Tobacco Free Educational Institutions

(Source: DD News)

Topic: State News/ Uttar Pradesh

4. UP will establish the World’s First Asian King Vulture Conservation & Breeding Centre.

  • The world's first Asian King Vulture (red-headed vultures) conservation and breeding centre will be set up by Uttar Pradesh in Maharajganj.
  • It will improve the population of the critically endangered species listed on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2007.
  • The Asian King Vulture is threatened due to loss of habitat and excessive use of diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) in domestic animals, which is toxic to vultures.
  • Red-headed vultures are rarely seen in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The aim of this centre is to ensure the good health of vultures and provide them with a pair.
  • The centre has been named Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre, where vultures are being monitored round the clock.

Topic: National Appointment

5. A one-year extension has been given to Intelligence Bureau chief Tapan Kumar Deka and NHRC secretary general Bharat Lal.

  • Tapan Kumar Deka has been given a one-year extension till June next year or until further orders, whichever is earlier, in relaxation of the provisions of FR 56 (d) and Rule 16 (1A) of All India Services (Death cum Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958.
  • The extension of Shri Deka's service approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet as Director, Intelligence Bureau.
  • On June 24, 2022, Mr Deka was appointed as the chief of the country's domestic intelligence agency, a few months before his retirement in February 2023. He assumed charge on July 1, 2022.
  • Beyond June 30 of this year, Bharat Lal's term as Secretary General of the National Human Rights Commission has also been extended by one year.
  • Mr. Lal is serving in the NHRC in the rank and pay of Secretary to the Government of India on a contract basis from 2023.

Topic: State News / Jharkhand

6. India's first pilot project for underground coal gasification launched in Jharkhand.

  • India's first pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) was launched by the Ministry of Coal in Kasta coal block in Jamtara district of Jharkhand.
  • Under the aegis of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), the aim of this initiative is to revolutionize the coal industry by converting coal into valuable gases like methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide through in-situ gasification.
  • These gases have wide industrial applications, including the production of chemical feedstock for synthetic natural gas, fuels, fertilizers, and explosives.
  • Underground coal gasification (UCG) offers significant benefits by unlocking coal reserves that are not economically viable to extract using conventional mining techniques.
  • A comprehensive policy framework for UCG in coal and lignite rich areas was approved by the Ministry of Coal in December 2015.
  • The project will be managed by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) in partnership with Ranchi-based Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and Canada's Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc. (EETI).
  • This ambitious R&D project is funded by CIL R&D Board.
  • The project will last two years and is divided into two phases.
  • The initial phase began on June 22, 2024, and involved preparing a technical feasibility report through borehole drilling and testing of core samples.
  • The 2nd phase will focus on coal gasification on a pilot scale.
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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

7. 64th ISO council meeting is being hosted by India from 25 June to 27 June in New Delhi.

  • It is a significant global event in the sugar sector. Delegates from more than 30 countries are taking part in the meeting.
  • They will discuss critical issues related to the sugar and biofuel sectors.
  • India is the world’s largest consumer and the second-largest producer of sugar.
  • ISO Council has nominated India to chair the organization for 2024.
  • On 24 June, an industrial tour for international delegates was held at a grain-based distillery in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The purpose of this tour is to demonstrate how India is using latest technology to produce biofuels and other byproducts.
  • On June 25, a workshop titled ‘Sugar and Biofuels – Emerging Vistas’ was held at Bharat Mandapam.
  • The workshop was inaugurated by Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and New & Renewable Energy.
  • The International Sugar Organisation (ISO) is a UN-affiliated body.
  • It is headquartered in London. It has about 85 member countries, which cover about 90% of global sugar production.
  • The ISO seeks to promote understanding amongst major sugar-producing, consuming, and trading nations.
  • It also seeks to promote progressive approaches to challenges pertaining to the sugar industry.
  • It also focuses on biofuels, especially ethanol. The second most common feedstock used to produce ethanol worldwide is sugarcane.

Topic: National News

8. New safety standards for electric vehicles have been introduced by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to enhance safety.

  • New safety standards have been introduced in the L, M, and N categories to improve the safety of electric vehicles.
  • L, M and N category refer to two-wheelers, four-wheelers and goods trucks, respectively.
  • The new standards, IS 18590: 2024 and IS 18606:2024, focus on the powertrain, a critical component of electric vehicles.
  • As per BIS, these two new standards are to make sure that EV powertrains in India meet stringent safety requirements.
  • These standards lay emphasis on safety and performance of batteries.
  • The new standards cover different aspects from construction to functionality.
  • The BIS has 30 different standards, which are dedicated to electric vehicles and their accessories.

Topic: State News/Jammu and Kashmir

9. Srinagar gets ‘World Craft City’ tag from the World Crafts Council (WCC).

  • Srinagar has received the World Craft City (WCC) tag from the World Crafts Council (WCC).
  • This tag will enhance the handloom and handicraft sector, benefiting tourism and infrastructure development in the Jammu and Kashmir region.
  • It will open new markets and opportunities for the artisans of Srinagar.
  • This recognition will attract more investment and funding, which will enhance infrastructure development and the introduction of modern techniques while preserving traditional methods.
  • After this recognition, artisans will gain access to training programs and workshops.
  • The World Crafts Council AISBL (WCC-International) is an international non-profit organization for the preservation, promotion, and advancement of global craftsmanship and traditional crafts.
  • It was founded in 1964 and has been affiliated with UNESCO under ‘consultative status (official partnership)’.

Topic: State News/ Kerala

10. Kerala Assembly passed a resolution to change state's name to 'Keralam'.

  • The Kerala Assembly unanimously passed a second resolution to officially change the name of ‘Kerala’ to 'Keralam'.
  • The Kerala government urged the union government to change the state's name in all the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • The resolution will be sent to the Union government for approval.
  • The state was called Keralam' in Malayalam, and the demand to form a united Kerala for the Malayalam-speaking communities had strongly emerged since the national freedom struggle.
  • Under Article 3 of the Constitution, Parliament has the authority to create new boundaries of states or can change the names of existing states.
  • The change in the name of the official language would require a constitutional amendment.

Topic: State News/ Haryana

11. Haryana government increased reservation for OBCs and announced increase in income limit for creamy layer.

  • On the lines of the Central Government, Haryana Chief Minister Naib Singh Saini on June 23 announced to increase the annual income limit for the creamy layer from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.
  • Apart from this, like the Central Government, income from salary and agricultural sources will also not be included in this limit.
  • According to the central government policy, reservation for backward classes in Group-A and Group-B jobs, which is currently 15%, will be increased to 27%.
  • This increased limit will be implemented in state government jobs after consideration of Haryana State Backward Classes Commission.
  • The pending work of vacant posts of backward classes in Group A and B will be completed on priority basis, and special recruitment drives are being planned.
  • Apart from this, the Haryana government is supporting the education of OBC children by providing scholarships ranging from Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 to ensure quality education.

Topic: State News/ Kerala

12. Kozhikode in Kerala became India's first UNESCO 'City of Literature'.

  • On June 23, Kozhikode in northern Kerala, famous for its rich cultural heritage, was officially declared India's first UNESCO 'City of Literature'.
  • In October 2023, Kozhikode was ranked in the 'Literature' category of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
  • The efficient functioning of the Kozhikode City Corporation played a major role in it bagging the 'City of Literature' tag from UNESCO, beating cities with rich cultural history like Kolkata.
  • Gwalior and Kozhikode from India are among the 55 new cities that have joined UCCN.
  • Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh has made it to the prestigious list in the 'Music' category, while Kozhikode has found a place in the 'Literature' category.
  • The state government also announced that from next year, June 23 will be celebrated as 'City of Literature' day for Kozhikode, known for great literary figures like late S K Pottakkad and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.
  • Special awards in six categories will be announced on this day.
  • Under the theme ‘Bringing Youth to the Table for the Next Decade’, the newly-designated creative cities are invited to participate in the 2024 UCCN Annual Conference (July 1-5, 2024) in Braga, Portugal.

Topic: Science and Technology

13. IISC designed a device to make infrared light visible.

  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers have developed a device to increase or up-convert the frequency of short infrared light to the visible range.
  • The up-conversion of light will have many applications, especially in defence and optical communications.
  • The human eye can only see light in the visible spectrum, it cannot see infrared light.
  • The IISC’s team used a 2D material to design a non-linear optical mirror stack for the up-conversion.
  • The IISC’s team used a method that involves feeding an input infrared signal along with a pump beam onto the mirror stack.
  • With this method, they have been able to up-convert infrared light of a wavelength of around 1,550 nm to 622 nm visible light.
  • The researchers are planning to extend their work to up-converting light of longer wavelengths.

Topic: Economy/Banking/Finance

14. India has become third-largest domestic airline market in the world.

  • India’s position has changed from fifth to third in terms of domestic airline market.
  • India has surpassed Brazil and Indonesia and become third largest market with airline capacity of 15.6 million seats.
  • Currently, the US and China have the top 2 largest domestic aviation markets.
  • About 10 years ago, India had the smallest domestic airline market with 8 million seats.
  • India’s capacity growth rate of seats has grown by 6.9 per cent annually.
  • In India, low-cost carrier (LCC) are around 78.4 per cent of the total domestic airline capacity.
  • As per the government, the number of airports in India has increased from 74 to 157 in the last 10 years.
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