Daily Current Affairs and GK | 5 April 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 17:26 PM IST

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Topic: Sports

1. Singapore has refused to host the Commonwealth Games.

  • On April 2, Singapore reportedly ruled out hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games, putting the future of the multi-sport event in doubt.
  • The feasibility of hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games has been studied by Commonwealth Games Singapore and Sport Singapore, and has decided not to place any bid to host the Games.
  • The Commonwealth Games Federation is struggling to find a new host after the Australian state of Victoria pulled out last year due to rising costs.
  • Last month, despite a £100 million ($126 million) sweetener offer from the CGF, Malaysia declined to host due to cost.
  • Victoria's sudden move and the lack of an obvious alternative has cast doubt on the future of the Games, which take place every four years.
  • The Games were last hosted by the city of Birmingham, England in 2022.

Topic: National News

2. The center will record the religion of the parents separately during the birth registration of the child.

  • According to the model rules prepared by the Union Home Ministry, now parents will have to enter the religion of both the father and mother of the child separately while registering the birth of the child.
  • These rules have to be adopted and notified by the state governments before they can be implemented.
  • Previously, only the religion of the family was recorded in the birth register.
  • The column requiring tick mark selection for “Religion” of the child in the proposed “Form No. 1-Birth Report” will be expanded to now also state “Religion of Father” and “Religion of Mother”.
  • Similar changes have been made for parents of an adopted child.
  • The births and deaths database will be maintained at the national level, as per the Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Act, 2023, passed by Parliament on August 11, 2023.
  • It can be used to update the National Population Register (NPR), voter list, Aadhaar numbers, ration cards, passports, driving licenses, property registration, and such other databases that may be notified.
  • According to the law, which came into effect on October 1, 2023, all reported births and deaths in the country are to be registered digitally through the Centre's Civil Registration System (crsorgi.gov.in) portal.
  • Under this system, the digital birth certificate issued will become a single document to prove the date of birth for various services including admission to educational institutions.

Topic: Geography

3. An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 occurred off the coast of eastern Taiwan.

  • Southeast of Hualien was the location of the epicenter.
  • Several of Hualien's buildings have been damaged by the earthquake.
  • It was the strongest earthquake to occur in Taiwan in twenty-five years.
  • In Taiwan, a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 occurred on September 21, 1999.
  • Between 1980 and the present, Taiwan and nearby region had seen about 2,000 earthquakes of magnitude four or higher.
  • Out of these, almost 100 had magnitudes greater than 5.5.
  • In 2016, an earthquake occurred in Tainan on the Taiwan’s southwestern coast.
  • Three of the nine individuals who have been officially declared dead were killed in rockslides in Hualien County's Taroko National Park.
  • Taiwan is situated near the Pacific Ring of Fire. The majority of earthquakes that happen worldwide happen in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • Because of the stress created by the collision of two tectonic plates, the area is especially prone to earthquakes.
  • These two tectonic plates are the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate.
  • Due to its location at the entry point to Taroko Gorge, Hualien City is famous among foreign visitors.

Topic: National News

4. Delhi HC ruled that Haldiram is a well-known trademark.

  • Delhi High Court ruled that Haldiram is a well-known trademark with respect to eateriesm, restaurants and food items.
  • According to Delhi High Court, it is a well-known trademark both in India and globally.
  • Delhi High Court mentioned that Haldiram’s mark and logo have been in use in the food industry since 1960s.
  • Delhi High Court further mentioned that Haldiram’s mark and logo have achieved the status of a well-known mark.
  • The ruling follows a case filed by Haldiram India seeking protection of its mark, Haldiram.
  • It sought that Haldiram and its variations such as ‘Haldiram Bhujiawala’ are ‘well-known’ in terms of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.
  • Haldiram requested the court to permanently ban an imitator from Ambala City, Haryana.
  • This imitator was selling products under the mark ‘Haldiram Bhujiawala’.
  • The High Court put a fine of ₹50 lakhs as damages. It put a fine of another ₹2 lakh as cost to be paid to Haldiram India.
  • A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator that a business organisation uses.
  • It is used to differentiate the products or services of a business organisation from those of other entities.

Topic: Science and Technology

5. World Health Organization has launched S.A.R.A.H.

  • It is a digital health promoter prototype. It has enhanced empathetic response, which is powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI).
  • S.A.R.A.H. is a Smart AI Resource Assistant for Health. It is also known as Sarah. 
  • It engages users 24 hours a day in 8 languages on many health topics, on any device.
  • It is trained to offer information on major health topics, which include mental health and healthy habits.
  • It is an additional tool for people to realize their right to health.
  • It can help people in having better understanding of risk factors for some leading causes of death in the world.
  • These include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.
  • It has the ability to support people in having access to latest information on eating a healthy diet, quitting tobacco, and being active.
  • During the COVID-19 epidemic, earlier versions of S.A.R.A.H. were utilized to spread important public health information under the name Florence. 
  • S.A.R.A.H. has been launched ahead of World Health Day 2024 (7 April). The theme of World Health Day 2024 is ‘My Health, My Right’.

Topic: Space and IT

6. Astronomers are considering placing high-resolution telescopes on the moon and in orbit around it.

  • Astronomers from all over the world have made many proposals to achieve this.
  • One of these proposals is from India and is named PRATUSH.
  • Radio telescopes and optical telescopes must see through layers of the planet's atmosphere in order to observe Earth.
  • Radio and TV signals and communications channels used by radar systems, aircraft, and satellites interfere with radio telescopes.
  • Optical instruments are finding it more and more difficult to see through the polluted skies.
  • Astronomers are considering placing optical and radio telescopes on the far side of the moon.
  • This side of the moon constantly faces away from Earth.
  • This makes it ideal for optical telescopes to see well during the long lunar night.
  • A 3,475-km-thick, the moon (whose diameter is 3,476 km), will shield radio telescopes on the other side of the moon from electrically charged plasma winds from the Sun and radio signals from Earth.
  • Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is the oldest light in the universe. It can be captured by radio telescopes.
  • The Dark Ages is the term given to the period of time between formation of the first stars and the scattering of CMB radiation.
  • Moon-based instruments are best to detect signal from the Dark Ages.
  • Lunar Surface Electromagnetic Experiment (LuSEE Night) is a joint NASA-Berkeley Lab project. It is scheduled for launch in December 2025.
  • NASA’s Long-Baseline Optical Imaging Interferometer is scheduled to be launched.
  • It will study magnetic activity on stars. It will also study the centres of active galaxies in visible and ultraviolet wavelengths.
  • Using its lunar lander, "Argonaut," the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to send a radio telescope on the moon's far side by 2030.
  • The launch of China's radio telescope into orbit around the moon is scheduled for 2026.
  • China’s satellite, Queqiao-2 probably entered into orbit around the moon on March 24.
  • PRATUSH (Probing ReionizATion of the Universe using Signal from Hydrogen) is being built by the Raman Research Institute (RRI) in Bengaluru.
  • It is being built with active collaboration from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Topic: Agriculture

7. Odisha is using rice fallow initiative to promote climate-resilient agriculture.

  • During the Rabi season of 2022–2023, the Odisha government for the first time launched a comprehensive project on rice fallow management.
  • The initiative has been expanded to 382,000 hectares during the Rabi season of 2023–24, compared to the aim of 400,000 hectares.
  • Every one of Odisha's thirty districts is participating in the programme. Eight crops are the focus of the programme.
  • Green gram, black gram, field pea, Bengal gram, grass pea, lentil, mustard and sesamum are these crops.
  • The field used to be fallow after rice was harvested. However, Bengal gram is now sown.
  • Environmentally friendly agri-inputs such as bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides as well as integrated pest control strategies including light traps, pheromone traps, and blue and yellow sticky traps are used in the rice fallow programme.
  • Farmers can get time-bound, crop-specific advising services from Ama Krushi, a call centre.
  • In 17 districts, Acid Soil Management has been implemented on approximately 160,000 hectares.
  • Farmers receive dolomitic limestone to help with acid soil remediation.
  • The main demonstration activity of regenerative crop in India is rice fallow management.
  • Following rice harvest, uncultivated land is known as rice fallow. It is a significant problem for agriculture in eastern India.
  • In Odisha, over 60% of the total land cultivated during the Kharif season is planted with rice crops.
  • Approximately half of the land is planted with pulse crops during the Rabi season.
  • Odisha's coastal regions have long used the Paira farming technique.
  • In this technique, pulse crops were sown in standing paddy fields before harvest.
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Topic: Personality in News

8. On April 3, former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

  • His 33 years long parliamentary innings in the Upper House came to an end.
  • The beginning of this development was started by the Rajya Sabha's admission of former Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
  • To take Dr. Singh's place in the Upper House of Parliament, Sonia Gandhi will enter from Rajasthan.
  • Manmohan Singh joined the Rajya Sabha for the first time in October 1991.
  • Manmohan Singh is known for bringing about the landmark economic reforms of 1991 of liberalization, privatization, and globalization along with former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna PV Narasimha Rao.
  • In the Narasimha Rao government, Singh was the finance minister from 1991 to 96 and the Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 14. 
  • Under the two terms as PM, Manmohan Singh is credited with introducing social welfare initiatives such as guaranteed job schemes—the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) and the Right to Education for Every Child.
  • During Manmohan Singh’s term as PM, reforms, including Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and the national identification number, Aadhaar, were also introduced.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

9. Forbes released its 38th annual World Billionaires list.

  • Forbes has released its annual list of the world's billionaires for 2024, revealing that the list includes more people than ever before and that they are richer than ever.
  • In this, there are 141 more billionaires in the world than last year, whose total number is 2,781.
  • Their combined wealth is worth $14.2 trillion, up by more than $2 trillion in 2023.
  • The list of 2024 has also broken records set in 2021, adding 26 more billionaires to the list and increasing their combined net worth by $1.1 trillion.
  • On the list, the top 20 gained the most, with their combined wealth increasing by $700 billion since 2023.
  • The US has a record 813 billionaires, the most of any country.
  • There are 473 billionaires in China and 200 in India, which is a record for that country.
  • Forbes used stock prices and exchange rates from March 8, 2024, to tally their wealth.
  • List of Top 10 Billionaires Ranked by Forbes:

Rank

Name

Net Worth (USD Billion)

Company

1

Bernard Arnault & family

$233 Billion

LVMH

2

Elon Musk

$195 Billion

Tesla, SpaceX

3

Jeff Bezos

$194 Billion

Amazon

4

Mark Zuckerberg

$177 Billion

Facebook

5

Larry Ellison

$141 Billion

Oracle

6

Warren Buffett

$133 Billion

Berkshire Hathaway

7

Bill Gates

$128 Billion

Microsoft

8

Steve Ballmer

$121 Billion

Microsoft

9

Mukesh Ambani

$116 Billion

Diversified

10

Larry Page

$114 Billion

Google

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

10. India's first home-grown gene therapy for cancer treatment launched by the President.

  • On April 4, 2024, India's first home-grown gene therapy for cancer treatment launched by President Smt. Draupadi Murmu at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.
  • This series of treatments is named “CAR-T cell therapy”, which is a cancer immunotherapy treatment.
  • 'NexCAR19 CAR T-cell therapy' is the country's first 'Made in India' CAR T-cell therapy which is expected to significantly reduce the cost of treatment.
  • It is accessible and affordable, hence providing a new ray of hope for the entire mankind. This therapy will be successful in giving new life to countless patients.
  • It has been available in developed countries for some time, but it is extremely expensive and out of reach for most patients around the world.
  • The cost of treatment abroad is around Rs 4 crore while in India it will be Rs 30 lakh.
  • India's first CAR-T cell therapy has been developed in coordination with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Tata Memorial Hospital in collaboration with industry partner ImmunoACT.
  • Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a way to get immune cells called T cells (a type of white blood cell) to fight cancer by altering them in a laboratory so that they can find and destroy cancer cells.
  • Additionally, CAR T-cell therapy is a type of cell-based gene therapy, as it involves changing genes inside T cells to help them attack cancer.

Topic: Important Days

11. On 3 April 2024, the Army Medical Corps celebrated its 260th Raising Day.

  • Established in the year 1764, the Army Medical Corps has rendered selfless service to the nation through progress, development, dedication, and sacrifice over the centuries, both in times of war and peace.
  • It lives up to the Corps' motto 'Sarve Santu Niramaya' which means 'May all be free from disease'.
  • Army Chief General Manoj Pandey and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari attended an event organized in New Delhi.
  • It was organized to mark the Raising Day, honor the achievements, and celebrate the esprit-d-core of AMC.
  • During the event, a video celebrating the distinguished achievements of the Armed Forces Medical Services was also screened.
  • It was participated by AFMS and more than 700 ex-servicemen and dignitaries from civil and army.
  • AMC Raising Day celebrates the contribution of thousands of officers, JCOs, and other ranks of the Army Medical Corps who have been successful in impacting the lives of Armed Forces personnel, families, and ex-servicemen.
  • As part of United Nations Peace Corps missions and HADR activities on foreign soil, the Corps has excelled in every area of medical care.

Topic: Indian Polity

12. Supreme Court declined any interim relief to Kerala to borrow additional funds during current fiscal year.

  • SC also refused to stay the operation of two letters issued by the Finance Ministry in 2023 and certain changes made to FRBM Act 2003 in 2018 that impose borrowing restrictions on States.
  • Kerala had filed a suit in the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution which empowers the Supreme Court to settle disputes between a State Government and the Union Government in India.
  • Kerala accused the central government of arbitrarily imposing a Net Borrowing Ceiling (NBC) on the State which led to the financial crisis.
  • What is Net Borrowing Ceiling (NBC)?
    • It imposes a limitation on the borrowing of a State from various sources including open market borrowings.
    • On the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission, the NBC for States is fixed at 3% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) or ₹8,59,988 crore in absolute terms for the Financial Year (FY) 2023-24.
    • The Union government decided to deduct liabilities arising from the public account of the States to reach such a limit.
    • Additionally, borrowings by State-owned enterprises, where the principal and/or interest are paid from the Budget or through assignment of taxes, cess or any other State revenue, are also deducted from the NBC.
    • NBC has been imposed by invoking the powers of Centre under Article 293(3).
  • What does the Constitution says about Fiscal autonomy of States?
    • Article 293 permits States to borrow only from within the territory of India on a guarantee from the consolidated fund of the State and within such limits as outlined by the legislatures of each State.
    • The subject “Public Debt of the State” is mentioned in Entry 43 of the State List in the Seventh Schedule which means that the Parliament cannot legislate or administer upon such matters.
    • If a state needs to borrow from the Centre, then such a transaction will be regulated under FRBM Act 2003.
    • Under Article 293(3), the State has to seek consent of the Centre to raise any loan, if any part of the previous loan extended by the Centre is outstanding.
    • Article 266(2) says that the money collected by the Central or State government which does not pertain to the consolidated fund can be brought under the head of ‘public accounts.’ All activities pertaining to such public accounts fall squarely within the domain of the State legislature.

Topic: Indian Economy

13. As per latest RBI Monetary Policy, repo rate remains unchanged at 6.5%.

  • On 5 April 2024, the Monetary Policy Committee of the RBI decided to keep the repo rate unchanged.
  • The Standing Deposit Facility rate remains at 6.25% and the Marginal Standing Facility rate and Bank Rate remain at 6.75%.
  • For the last six consecutive MPC meetings, the RBI has kept the repo rate unchanged.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that India’s foreign exchange reserves reached an all-time high of $645.6 billion as of March 29, 2024.
  • According to him, the headline inflation has eased to 5.1% both in January and February.
  • CPI Inflation for FY25 has been projected at 4.5%. In February, CPI inflation was projected at 5.4% for 2023-24.
  • The Committee has projected the real GDP growth for FY25 at 7%.
  • What is Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)?
    • Monetary Policy Committee was constituted under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
    • MPC is a six-member committee comprising three members from RBI including Governor Shaktikanta Das and three members appointed by the Central government.

Topic: Defence

14. Philippines to conduct joint naval exercise with US, Australia and Japan.

  • Philippines, US, Japan and Australia will strengthen military ties to counter the expanding influence of China in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • On 7 April, the exercise will be held in South China Sea, which is almost entirely claimed by China. Philippines, Japan and Taiwan also claim over waters.
  • The drills have not been officially announced.
  • Last week the Australian warship HMAS Warramunga arrived at the Philippine island province of Palawan to strengthen military relations with partner nations.
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