Daily Current Affairs and GK | 28 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 17:53 PM IST

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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

1. 10,000 genome sequencing of the Indian population has been performed to create a database.

  • To create a database for gene-based remedies, Scientists have sequenced genomes of 10,000 Indians from diverse communities.
  • Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that genome study or sequencing will help in creating healthcare strategies.
  • The Indian population of 1.3 billion has more than 4,600 population groups.
  • The UK, China and the US have sequenced around 1 lakh of their genomes.
  • A database of Indian genomes will help researchers to learn about genetic variants that are unique to India's population groups.
  • The genome is the entire set of DNA instructions found in a cell. A genome contains all the information needed for an individual to develop and function.
  • Genome India Project (GIP):
    • It is an initiative funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to sequence at least 10,000 Indian genomes in phase 1.
    • The main goal of the project is to develop predictive diagnostic indicators for several high-priority diseases and genetic disorders.

Topic: Personality in News

2. Shafiqur Rahman Barq passed away at the age of 94.

  • He was India's oldest MP in Parliament and Samajwadi Party leader.
  • Barq was a four-time MLA. He was elected MP from Sambhal in 2019.
  • He was elected from Moradabad to the Lok Sabha on several occasions.
  • He was elected 5 times as Lok Sabha MP. He died after suffering from a prolonged illness.

Topic: State News/Jharkhand

3. The Jharkhand government presented a budget of Rs 1.28 lakh crore for the 2024–25 fiscal year.

  • It declared raising the limit for the farm loan waiver programme from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
  • In addition, it declared that the state food security scheme will now cover five lakh more people.
  • By 2029–2030, the government is targeting Jharkhand's economy to reach Rs 10 lakh crore.
  • The fiscal year 2024–2025 budgetary estimates increased by 10.7% over the preceding budget.
  • When compared to the 2019–20 estimates, they were 51% higher.
  • This was the Champai Soren government's inaugural budget, which was newly formed.
  • For the fiscal year 2024–2025, State Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon presented a budget of Rs 1,28,900 crore.
  • A distinct 'Bal' budget has been introduced by the government to support students' inclusive growth.
  • The whole estimates include an allocation of Rs 8,866 crore for this distinct budget.
  • The budget proposes 'Abua Awas (Housing) Scheme' in which the government will build 3.50 lakh houses between 2024 and 2025.
  • Government proposed to increase the number of beneficiaries under the state food security scheme from the 20 lakh to 25 lakh.
  • The state and central food security programmes in Jharkhand will include Soybean chunks along with pulses and rice.
  • In 2024–2025, the government plans to open 325 block-level leader schools.
  • The proposal is to create 19 institutions in the state, four of which would be exclusively for women.
  • The budget has proposed to set up a State Technology Park at BIT Sindri in Dhanbad.
  • The State’s Minister of Finance proposed creating Medico City and a medical college in Ranchi.
  • The government plans to bring an investment of Rs 20,710 crore.
  • State Finance Minister said fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 9,500 crore, which is 2.02 per cent of the gross state domestic product.
  • He said the revenue earnings (tax and non-tax revenue) of the state have shown a steady increase.
  • For the current fiscal year 2023–24, the coalition government led by former chief minister Hemant Soren had proposed a budget of Rs 1.16 lakh crore.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

4. Government is organising 'Mera Pehla Vote Desh Ke Liye' initiative.

  • Government is organising it in Higher Educational institutions across the country from 28 February 2024.
  • Government is organising this initiative to ensure universal enlightened participation of youth in elections.
  • This initiative’s key objective is to engage and encourage young voters to come out and vote.
  • The initiative will be continued till 6th of March, 2024.
  • The initiative symbolizes the importance of Elections in the largest democracy in the world.
  • It also symbolizes the pride of voting in the largest democracy in the world.
  • Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had directed all Higher Educational institutions in India to carry out comprehensive voter awareness activities at their campuses.

Topic: International News

5. The world's first law banning tobacco sales for future generations will be repealed by New Zealand.

  • On 27 February, the new coalition government elected in October 2023 confirmed that law repeal would take place as a matter of urgency.
  • This would enable the government to end the law without seeking public comment, in line with previously announced plans.
  • The new government is moving forward with its decision despite researchers and campaigners warning about the danger tobacco is causing to people's lives.
  • New Zealand's Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has said she will soon take a package of measures to Cabinet to increase the tools available to help people quit smoking.
  • The rule, set to take effect in July, would have banned sales to those born after January 1, 2009, the strictest anti-tobacco rule in the world.
  • It would have cut the nicotine content in smoked tobacco products and reduced the number of tobacco retailers by more than 90%.

Topic: Important Days

6. National Science Day 2024: 28 February

  • Every year on 28 February, National Science Day or Rashtriya Vigyan Divas is celebrated in India.
  • The day is celebrated to remember the discovery of the Raman Effect by Sir C V Raman on 28 February 1928.
  • The theme of National Science Day 2024 is “Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat."
  • In 1930, Sir C V Raman won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the Raman Effect.
  • In 1954, he also received Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
  • In 1986, the Government of India declared 28 February as National Science Day.
  • The first National Science Day was celebrated on 28 February 1987.
  • The National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) of the Department of Science and Technology is the nodal agency for the coordination of National Science Day celebrations.
  • National Awards for the Popularization of Science are given every year on National Science Day.
  • In February 1987, DST instituted these awards.
  • Raman Effect: When light passes through a transparent material, the wavelength and amplitude of some deflected light change. This is called Raman scattering and is a consequence of the Raman Effect.

National Science Day 2024

(Source: News on AIR)

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Topic: Indian Polity

7. The BJP secured eight seats in Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha elections.

  • The Samajwadi Party won two seats in Uttar Pradesh the Rajya Sabha elections.
  • Eight of the state's ten seats were won by the BJP.
  • The Samajwadi Party, which was hoping to win three, only secured two seats.
  • With the support of Samajwadi Party dissidents and Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary, the BJP was able to get an additional seat from Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha.
  • The names of the eight winning BJP candidates are given below:

Former Union Minister RPN Singh

Former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh

Amarpal Maurya

Sangeeta Balwant

BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi

Former MLA Sadhna Singh

Naveen Jain

Sanjay Seth

  • The other winners were Jaya Bachchan and Ramji Lal Suman of the Samajwadi Party.
  • The Samajwadi Party's third candidate, Alok Ranjan, was defeated by the BJP.
  • In Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh, the BJP secured a second bonus seat by cross-voting by six Congress MLAs. 
  • In the state, Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi lost to BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan.
  • The Congress secured three seats in Karnataka, while the BJP secured the fourth seat.
  • The BJP's Narayansa Bhandage and Congress’s Ajay Maken, GC Chandrashekhar, and Syed Nasir Hussain won in Rajya Sabha elections.

Topic: National Appointments

8. Justice AM Khanwilkar has been appointed as the new Lokpal by President Droupadi Murmu.

  • He will take over as new Lokpal. Six other members have also been appointed along with him.
  • The three judges who will serve as judicial members of the Lokpal are Justice Lingappa Narayana Swamy, Justice Sanjay Yadav, and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi.
  • Ajay Tirkey, Pankaj Kumar, and Sushil Chandra are the other members of Lokpal.
  • These appointments will be effective from the date they assume charge of their respective offices.
  • For two years, the Lokpal position remained unfilled.
  • The Lokpal is running without its regular chief after Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose completed his tenure.
  • He completed his tenure on May 27, 2022.
  • Justice Pradeep Kumar Mohanty, the judicial member of the Lokpal, is currently the acting chairperson.
  • The Chairperson and members of the Lokpal are appointed by the President.
  • President appoints them after receiving recommendations from a selection committee, which is headed by the Prime Minister.
  • Apart from a Chairman, the Lokpal can have eight members – four judicial and four non-judicial.
  • Lokpal Chairperson and members have a tenure of five years or till the age of 70 years.

Topic: India and its Neighbours

9. Mauritius government has amended the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with India.

  • For OCED’s proposal on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, the Mauritius government has decided to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with India.
  • These amendments will create more challenging norms for multinationals investing in India.
  • The Mauritius Cabinet has decided to amend the agreement to comply with the minimum standards of multilateral instruments (MLI) under Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) rules.
  • The main aim of this amendment is to forestall opportunities for tax avoidance or minimisation through exploitative tactics.
  • This will elevate the India-Mauritius tax treaty to a covered tax agreement under the BEPS Multilateral Instrument.
  • The Cumulative FDI from Mauritius to India between 2000 – 2022 was $161 billion.
  • Mauritius was initially the preferred channel for foreign portfolios and foreign direct investors due to the tax advantage that accrued to them due to the DTAA between both countries.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. 21st edition of BioAsia started in Hyderabad.

  • Asia's premier biotechnology and life sciences convention, BioAsia 2024, started in Hyderabad on 27th February.
  • In the last two years, the life sciences sector has grown rapidly in Telangana.
  • This convention has been inaugurated by Chief Minister Revanth Reddy.
  • ‘Data & AI: Redefining Possibilities’ is the theme of the conclave.
  • Biotech & biopharma companies, research institutions, academia, investors, service providers, and policymakers are participating in the summit.

Topic: State News/ Assam

11. Before implementing UCC, the Assam government decided to repeal the Muslim Marriage Act.

  • Before introducing a bill like Uttarakhand on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), the Assam government decided to repeal the Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act, 1935.
  • On February 23, the state Cabinet approved the Assam Repeal Ordinance, 2024, to repeal the British-era Marriage and Divorce Act specific to Muslims.
  • Under this Act, Muslim marriages and divorces will no longer be registered.
  • After the repeal of the law, District Commissioners and District Registrars will be authorized to maintain registration records, which are currently held by 94 Muslim marriage registrars.
  • Under this, overall supervision, guidance, and control will be with the Inspector General of Registration of the state.
  • After the Act is repealed, a lump sum compensation of ₹2 lakh will be provided to each Muslim marriage registrar for their rehabilitation.
  • The Muslim Marriage Act 1935, "provides scope for registering marriages of intended persons below the age of 21 years (for males) and 18 years (for females).

Topic: Art and Culture

12. The day-long 'Purple Fest' inaugurated by President Draupadi Murmu in the Amrit Udyan of Rashtrapati Bhavan on 26 February.

  • It was organized after the successful organization of the 'International Purple Festival, 2024' in Goa from January 8 to 13, 2024.
  • A one-day 'Purple Utsav' organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • More than 10 thousand disabled people, along with their escorts, participated in the program at this grand venue.
  • The nodal agency of this festival is Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay National Institute for Physically Disabled.
  • The major activities of ‘Purple Utsav’ were Amrit Udyan Yatra, Know Your Disabilities, Purple Café, Purple Kaleidoscope, Purple Live Experience Zone, Purple Sports, etc.
  • The objective of the festival is to raise awareness about various disabilities and their impact on people to challenge misconceptions, stigma, and stereotypes of disability, and to promote understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of persons with disabilities in society.

Topic: Space and IT

13. Four astronauts have been named for India's first manned space mission.

  • The four astronauts- Prashanth Nair, Angad Prathap, Ajit Krishnan, and Shubhanshu Shukla have been named for India's first manned space mission.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed the name of the four astronauts for the Gaganyaan Mission.
  • The astronauts have undergone a year-long training course in Russia’s Zvyozdny Gorodok city.
  • The Gaganyaan Mission is India's first human space flight program.
  • Under the Gaganyaan project, crew members will sent into an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission.
  • ISRO has set up an Astronaut Training Facility in Bengaluru to train astronauts for the manned mission.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) completed the final round of ground qualification tests on February 13, 2024.
  • ISRO completed the acceptance tests of the flight engine identified for the first unmanned Gaganyaan (G1) mission.

India's first manned space mission

(Source: Indian Air Force)

Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh

14. World's first Vedic clock to be inaugurated in Ujjain.

  • On March 1, PM Modi will virtually inaugurate the Vedic clock installed on an 85-foot high tower constructed at Jantar Mantar in Ujjain.
  • This clock will display information about Vedic Hindu Panchang, planetary positions, Muhurat, and astrological calculations.
  • It will also show time the Indian Standard Time (IST) and the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
  • In this clock, period between the two sunrises has been divided into 30 parts whose one hour consists of 48 minutes according to ISD.
  • Mohan Yadav laid the foundation stone of the Vedic clock on November 6, 2022.
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