Daily Current Affairs and GK | 4 and 5 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 05 Feb 2024 17:33 PM IST

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

1. London emerged as the most congested city in the world in 2023.

  • As per a report by the Amsterdam-based location technology specialist TomTom, London is the most congested city in the world.
  • During rush hour, London lost 148 hours yearly. Commuters have to spend 37 minutes and 20 seconds in traffic on average to cover a distance of 10 km.
  • Ireland's capital Dublin is the second most congested city. Here people, in 2023, spent 29 minutes 30 seconds on average to travel 10km.
  • However, the average speed of 16 km/hour during rush hours in Dublin.
  • Toronto is on the third spot in terms of congestion. A commuter has to spend 29 minutes on average to cover the distance of 10 km.
  • Due to the average speed of 18 km/hour during rush hour, the commuters in Toronto lost 98 hours yearly.
  • Bengaluru and Pune are in the sixth and seventh positions, respectively.
  • In 2023, the average travel time per 10 km in Bengaluru was 28 minutes 10 seconds while in Pune a commuter has to spend 27 minutes and 50 seconds spent to cover a similar distance.
  • Romania's Bucharest, the Philippines' Manila, and Belgium's Brussels at the eighth, ninth, and tenth spots, respectively.

Topic: Art and Culture

2. India's largest theatre festival 'Bharat Rang Mahotsav' started in Gujarat.

  • Bharat Rang Mahotsav commenced in the Kachchh district of Gujarat.
  • It is a 21-day cultural event in which more than 150 plays will be showcased and workshops, and discussions will be organized.
  • This festival will be organized in 15 cities across India. It will be organized at Mumbai, Pune, Bhuj, Vijayawada, Jodhpur, Dibrugarh, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Ramnagar, and Srinagar.
  • In this festival, participants will gain exposure to a wider audience. It will open doors to potential collaborative ventures and will energize the global theatre landscape.
  • NSD has started Rang Haat this year. It is an innovative initiative to create Asia's first global theatre market.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain of India won awards at Grammy Awards.

  • On 5 February, Indian musicians Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain's fusion band 'Shakti' won the Grammy Award in the category of 'Best Global Music Album'.
  • The award was for his latest album 'This Moment'. The album 'This Moment', which was released on June 30, 2023, has eight songs.
  • Meanwhile, Zakir Hussain also bagged the 'Best Global Music Performance' Grammy for his contribution to 'Pashto' with Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, which featured Rakesh Chaurasia - an excellent flutist.
  • While Hussain won three Grammy Awards in a single night, Chawrasia received two.
  • The 66th Annual Grammy Awards 2024 were held in Los Angeles.
  • The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959.
  • It is an award presented by the Recording Academy to recognize achievement in the music industry.
  • The winners of the 66th Grammy Awards are as follows:

Category

Winners

Record of the Year

“Flowers”- Miley Cyrus

Album of the Year

“Midnights”- Taylor Swift

Song of the Year

“What Was I Made For?” [From “Barbie”]- Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

Best New Artist

Victoria Monét

Best Pop Vocal Album

“Midnights”- Taylor Swift

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Flowers”- Miley Cyrus

Best Rap Album

“Michael,”- Killer Mike

Best Rock Song

“Not Strong Enough,”- Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, songwriters (boygenius)

Best R&B Song

“Snooze”- Kenny B. Edmonds, Blair Ferguson, Khris Riddick-Tynes, Solána Rowe & Leon Thomas, songwriters (SZA)

Best Country Album

“Bell Bottom Country”- Lainey Wilson

Topic: Personality in News

4. The closing ceremony of SN Goenka's 100th birth anniversary addressed by PM Modi.

  • On February 4, PM Narendra Modi addressed the concluding ceremony of the year-long celebrations of the 100th birth anniversary of S N Goenka.
  • S N Goenka was an Indian teacher of Vipassana meditation.
  • Shri Modi said that Vipassana is the path of self-transformation through self-observation.
  • Vipassana has become even more important in today's challenging times when youth have become victims of stress due to work-life balance, lifestyle, and other problems.
  • The Prime Minister said that due to the efforts of Acharya Goenka, more than 80 countries of the world understood the importance of meditation and adopted it.
  • Shri Modi appreciated the efforts of Acharya Goenka to make everyone's life peaceful, happy, and harmonious through his campaigns.
  • Satya Narayan Goenka was born on 30 January 1924 and died on 29 September 2013.
  • he was born in Burma to an Indian business family, then he moved to India in 1969 and began teaching meditation.

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/ Taskforces

5. A committee constituted by the Government of Maharashtra to ensure the effective implementation of the Sickle Cell Disease Control Program.

  • Instructions were issued by the state government to form committees at the state, district, and taluka levels and entrust them with the important task of screening, treatment, and prevention of sickle cell disease.
  • In history, this initiative is being seen for the first time.
  • It has been specially designed to meet the healthcare needs of rural, remote, and tribal areas.
  • The government aims to provide quality health services to sickle cell patients, including antenatal check-up facilities.
  • The committee is tasked with setting standards for the diagnosis of sickle cell disease and providing the necessary technical support.
  • The overarching goal is to complete the eradication of sickle cell disease from the country by 2047.
  • As part of the National Health Campaign since 2008, the state has provided systematic screening, specific diagnosis through HPLC testing, and provision of free diagnosis, necessary treatment, and medicines.
  • Currently, sickle cell patients face challenges due to the unavailability of basic medicines, especially in tribal communities like Nandurbar and Gadchiroli.
  • To control such irregularities, the state health department will submit monthly reports to the Centre.

Topic: State News/ Assam

6. On February 4, development projects totaling Rs 11,600 crore were inaugurated in Assam by PM Narendra Modi.

  • Several infrastructure initiatives jointly funded by the state and central governments were unveiled at a function held at the playground of the Veterinary College in Khanapara, Guwahati.
  • Notable projects included the Kamakhya temple corridor (Rs 498 crore), a six-lane road connecting the new airport terminal in Guwahati (Rs 358 crore).
  • This also includes upgrading the Nehru Stadium to FIFA standards (Rs 831 crore), and a new sports complex at Chandrapur (Rs 300 crore).
  • PM Modi also launched the second phase of 'Asom Mala' roads, which involves upgrading and construction of 43 roads along with 38 concrete bridges, requiring a total investment of Rs 3,444 crore.
  • In addition, the foundation stone of the integrated new building of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, with an estimated cost of Rs 3,250 crore, was laid.
  • The PM also laid the foundation stone for the proposed Karimganj Medical College and Hospital (Rs 578 crore) and Unity Mall in Guwahati (Rs 297 crore).
  • The inauguration of the four-lane road from Biswanath Chariali to Gohpur, developed at a cost of Rs 1,451 crore, and another four-lane road from Dolabari to Jamuguri, constructed at a cost of Rs 592 crore, was also laid by PM.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023
November Monthly Current Affairs 2023 October Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: National Appointments

7. Justice Ritu Bahri took the oath of office as the first female Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court.

  • Governor of Uttarakhand Lieutenant General Gurmeet Singh (Retd) delivered the oath of office.
  • Justice Ritu Bahri is the first female Chief Justice in the Uttarakhand High Court's history.
  • She was a senior judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court before.
  • Uttarakhand High Court was established on 9 November 2000.
  • Justice Ashok Desai served as the first chief justice of the Uttarakhand High Court between 2000 and 2003.

Topic: Important Days

8. World Cancer Day: 04 February

  • World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on 4 February to save millions of preventable deaths through education and raising awareness.
  • It also aims to save millions of preventable deaths by pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the deadly disease.
  • Cancer causes about 1 in every 6 deaths. As of 2022, there were an expected 20 million new instances of cancer worldwide and 9.7 million cancer-related deaths.
  • The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2050, there will be a roughly 77% increase in the cancer burden.
  • The most prevalent cancers worldwide are those of the breast, lung, colon, rectum, and prostate.
  • Lung cancer caused the greatest number of deaths from cancer in 2020, although breast cancer was the most common type worldwide.
  • The National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR-NCRP) estimates that there would be over 3.4 lakh cases of cervical cancer in India in 2023.
  • It has been shown that up to 50% of cancers can be prevented.
  • The most effective behaviours to prevent cancer are refraining from consumption of tobacco and alcohol, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and timely vaccinations.
  • According to WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, between 2022 and 2024, the focus of World Cancer Day is to help “Close the cancer gap.”
  • The 2024 marks the third and final year of the campaign. The theme for 2024 is “Together, we challenge those in power”.
  • World Cancer Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the signing of the ‘Charter of Paris Against Cancer’.
  • World Cancer Day was started at the first ‘World Summit Against Cancer’ held in Paris in 2000.

Topic: National News

9. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) introduced a new medal, Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak.

  • Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak has been created after merging four existing medals – Union Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal, Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation, Asadharan Aasuchana Kushalata Padak and Union Home Minister’s Awards for Meritorious Service in Forensic Science.
  • The Kendriya Grihmantri Dakshata Padak will be conferred to members of the police forces, security organisations, and intelligence wing/branch/special branch of states/Union Territories, etc.
  • The Union Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal was constituted to recognise operations with a high degree of planning and significance for the country's security.
  • For excellence in investigation, the Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation was instituted in 2018.
  • The Asadharan Aasuchana Kushalata Padak was constituted in 2018 for exceptional performance and indomitable and daring intelligence service.
  • The Union Home Minister’s Awards for Meritorious Service in Forensic Science was instituted in 2010.

Topic: National News

10. Guidelines have been issued by the government on the use of green hydrogen in the shipping sector.

  • The 'Scheme Guidelines for Implementation of Pilot Projects for Use of Green Hydrogen in the Shipping Sector’ has been released under the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
  • The guidelines will be implemented with a total budgetary outlay of Rs 115 crore till FY 2025-26.
  • The MNRE will implement pilot projects in the shipping sector to replace fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstock with green hydrogen.
  • Under this scheme, these pilot projects will be implemented through the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and the implementing agencies.
  • Bunkering and refuelling facilities in ports on international shipping lanes for fuels based on green hydrogen will be also developed.
  • The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) will be the Scheme Implementing Agency (SIA) of the existing ships under Component-A of the scheme.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Bharat Ratna will be conferred to Lal Krishna Advani.

  • On 3 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 3 that the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, will be given to BJP stalwart and former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.
  • He said Advani ji's decades-long service in public life has been marked by an unwavering commitment to transparency and integrity, which has set an exemplary standard in political ethics.
  • Shri Advani will be awarded Bharat Ratna within a year of the consecration of Ram temple.
  • It marks a triumphant conclusion for the BJP to the issue that the veteran leader had instilled in the popular consciousness through his 'Ram Rath Yatra' in 1990.
  • Advani has served as Deputy Prime Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, apart from heading several ministries.
  • The veteran BJP leader has been a member of both houses of Parliament between 1970 and 2019.
  • Also, last month the government had nominated socialist stalwart and former Bihar chief minister late Karpoori Thakur for the Bharat Ratna.

Topic: Defence

12. US approved the sale of 31 Predator drones to India.

  • On February 1, the US has approved the sale of 31 MQ-9B armed drones to India, with an estimated cost of US$3.99 billion.
  • During the historic state visit of PM Narendra Modi in June 2023, the proposed mega drone deal was announced.
  • Under the deal, India will get 31 High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAVs.
  • Of this, the Navy will get 15 SeaGuardian drones, while the Army and Indian Air Force will get eight each of the land version – SkyGuardians.
  • In addition, this deal includes 170 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, 310 GBU-39B/B laser small-diameter bombs, and 161 embedded global positioning and inertial navigation systems.
  • The MQ-9B Predator drone is a variant of the MQ-9 "Reaper" developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI).
  • Currently, the Indian Navy is operating two MQ-9 drones leased from the US in November 2020.
  • The MQ-9B drone is classified as a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV, designed for extended flight durations at altitudes over 40,000 feet.
  • They provide a reliable platform for long-term monitoring with a maximum endurance of 40 hours.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

13. 1.41 million new cancer cases have been reported in India in 2022

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) released the latest estimates of the global burden of cancer released on February 1, 2024.
  • Globally, the number of new cancer cases has increased by 20 million.
  • 1,413,316 new cancer cases have been reported in India in 2022. Out of this, 691,178 are men and 722,138 are women.
  • Breast cancer had the highest number (192,020) of new cases in India. It accounts for 13.6 per cent of all patients.
  • Breast cancer was followed by lip and oral cavity (143,759 new cases, 10.2 per cent), cervix and uterine (127,526 new cases, 9 per cent), lung (81,748, 5.8 per cent), and oesophagal cancers (70,637 new cases, 5.5 per cent).
  • Lung cancer with 2.5 million new cases is the most common occurring cancer in the world.
  • Female breast cancer ranked second (2.3 million cases, 11.6 per cent), followed by colorectal cancer (1.9 million cases, 9.6 per cent).
  • 9.7 million people have died around the world due to cancer in 2022. 916,827 cancer deaths were reported in India alone in 2022.
  • Globally, India accounted for 40 per cent of deaths that occurred due to cervical cancer.
  • By 2050, it is anticipated that the nations with the highest HDI will have had additional 4.8 million new cancer cases.

Topic: Sports

14. Abhinav Bindra has been selected as torchbearer for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

  • Abhinav Bindra will be part of the Olympic torch relay to be held from April 16 to July 26.
  • The Olympic torch relay will start from April 16 and then travel from the Peloponnese to Athens.
  • The torch relay will cover 65 territories, including five overseas territories.
  • 10,000 will participate in the Olympic Torch Relay and 1,000 in the Paralympic Torch Relay.
  • He is a member of the Athletes Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
  • Abhinav Bindra is the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games at the individual level.
  • He won the gold medal in the men's 10m air rifle event at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
  • The Paris Olympics is scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.
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