Daily Current Affairs and GK | 6 April 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 06 Apr 2024 17:38 PM IST

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Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

1. In 2021, COVID-19 became the second leading cause of death globally, according to a Lancet study.

  • An international research published in The Lancet journal has found that COVID-19 (coronavirus) has become the second leading cause of death globally in 2021, replacing stroke.
  • This resulted in 94 deaths per 1 lakh population and reduced life expectancy by 1.6 years.
  • In 2020, deaths worldwide increased by 10.8% compared to 2019, and in 2021, they increased by 7.5% compared to 2020.
  • “A similar trend was seen in the death rate, increasing by 8.1% in 2020 and an additional 5.2% in 2021,” the study estimates.
  • The study showed, "India lost 1.9 years in life expectancy due to COVID-19, resulting in a net gain of 7.9 years in life expectancy between 1990 and 2021."
  • Ischemic heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide in 2021, as it was in 2019 and 1990.
  • This disease is caused by decreased blood flow to a certain part of the body due to clotting or narrowing of blood vessels.
  • Stroke ranked third among the top five causes of death, followed by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at fourth and other pandemic-related mortality at fifth.

Topic: International News

2. India abstained from voting in the UN Human Rights Council on calls for a Gaza ceasefire, and arms embargo against Israel.

  • On 5 April, India abstained on a resolution in the Human Rights Council calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza from Israel and calling on states to enforce the arms embargo.
  • This resolution was adopted by the 47-member Human Rights Council.
  • While India's abstention is believed to be in line with previous votes on any HRC resolution that demands "accountability".
  • India had voted in favor of three other resolutions criticizing Israel for human rights violations against Palestinians, Israel's occupation of the Syrian Golan, and calling for the Palestinian right to self-determination.
  • All four resolutions were presented by Pakistan at the HRC in Geneva on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
  • The vote on April 5 was significant as it came after Israeli air strikes in Gaza killed seven international aid workers and a military attack by Israel on the Iranian embassy in Damascus, about which India had expressed "concerns".
  • The United States, Germany, and four other countries voted against the resolution titled "The human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice."
  • India, France and Japan were among the 13 countries that abstained from voting.
  • However, a significant majority, 28 members of the HRC, including Bangladesh, China, Maldives, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Brazil, and South Africa, voted in favor of the resolution.
  • Earlier, India had voted in favor of three other resolutions which were also adopted with an overwhelming majority.

Topic: Geography

3. Scientists finally found out why the Southern Ocean has the earth’s cleanest air.

  • The Southern Ocean is famous for having the cleanest air on Earth. But its exact reasons still remain a mystery.
  • The lack of human activity contributes to the cleanliness of the air in the Southern Ocean, but natural sources of aerosols like sea spray and dust are also present.
  • Recent research has shown that clouds and rain play an important role in keeping the atmosphere clean.
  • The Southern Ocean is also the cloudiest place on Earth. Short-term, sporadic rainfall is experienced here, which does not happen anywhere else.
  • Rainfall is important, especially rain from these clear, open honeycomb cell-type clouds.
  • These honeycomb-like clouds are of great interest because they play a major role in controlling climate.
  • Researchers first discovered that they are actually responsible for cleaning all the air flowing over the Southern Ocean.
  • When the honeycomb cell is filled with clouds or "closed," it becomes whiter and brighter, reflecting more sunlight into space. Therefore, these clouds help in keeping the earth cool.
  • The researchers' results showed that days with the cleanest air were associated with the presence of an open honeycomb cloud.
  • This is because these clouds produce sporadic but intense rain showers, which "wash" the aerosol particles out of the air.
  • During winter, these honeycomb patterns are also found in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific.
  • Rain cleans aerosols from the sky in the same way a washing machine cleans clothes.

Topic: Science and Technology

4. A voice cloning tool ‘Voice Engine’ unveiled by OpenAI.

  • Renowned artificial intelligence company OpenAI has stepped into the field of voice assistants by launching its latest innovation known as "Voice Engine".
  • This cutting-edge technology is designed to replicate a person's voice with remarkable accuracy.
  • It requires only 15 seconds of recorded speech from the person.
  • The company unveiled the voice engine shortly after filing a trademark application for the name, which suggests its plans to pursue voice-related technologies.
  • Citing concerns over potential misuse and associated risks, OpenAI has opted to limit the release of the voice engine to a select group of early testers for the time being.
  • OpenAI emphasizes the importance of responsible deployment of such technology, recognizing the significant threats posed by the ability to mimic individuals' voices, particularly in sensitive contexts such as elections.
  • Early testers of the voice engine have agreed to strict guidelines, including obtaining consent before impersonating individuals and disclosing the use of AI-generated voices.

Topic: India and Its Neighbors

5. The highest-ever export quota for essential commodities to the Maldives approved by India.

  • Under a unique bilateral mechanism, the highest-ever export quota for essential commodities to the Maldives for 2024-25 approved by India.
  • On the request of the Government of Maldives, India has allowed the export of certain quantities of essential commodities and the quota has been revised upward.
  • Since the arrangement came into force in 1981, this is the highest quantity of goods approved so far.
  • To promote the construction industry in Maldives, the export of essential goods like river sand and road gravel has been increased by 25% to one million tonnes.
  • Exports of eggs, potatoes, onions, sugar, rice, wheat flour, and pulses have been increased by five percent.
  • Last year also, India had sent these goods to the Maldives despite the global ban on the export of rice, sugar, and onion.
  • Indian High Commission in Maldives said that as part of the Neighborhood First policy, India is committed to human-centric development in Maldives.

Topic: Important Days

6. National Handmade Day 2024: 6 April

  • Every year, National Handmade Day is celebrated on the first Saturday in April. This year, it was celebrated on 6 April.
  • The day is celebrated to honor and recognize the skill and dedication of people who make handmade goods.
  • The day also serves as a reminder of the importance of small businesses and their contribution to the economy.
  • The theme of National Handmade Day 2024 is 'Buy a Handmade Product'.
  • This day is dedicated to encouraging people to buy handmade products and promote their local businesses.
  • Created by Amy Bierstadt in 2017, this day was officially declared by the government in 2018.
  • It honors the artistry and craftsmanship behind handmade creations, from baking and pottery to knitting and beyond.
Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
February Monthly Current Affairs 2024 January Monthly Current Affairs 2024
December Monthly Current Affairs 2023 November Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

7. One of the "Experimental Licence module for 100 5G Labs" has been launched by Telecom Secretary during a 5G workshop at IIT Madras.

  • It is an initiative that aims to simplify the experimental licence requirements of the 100 5G Lab institutions.
  • ‘100 5G Use Case Labs' has been awarded by the Department of Telecommunications to educational institutions across the country.
  • This initiative aims to cultivate competencies and engagement in 5G technologies among students and start-up communities.
  • 5G frequency bands will be used by these labs for carrying out experiments and testing use cases.
  • So, they need to get Experimental (Non-Radiating) category of license from the Department of Telecommunication to make sure interference-free operations to licensed TSPs.
  • As of now, the license is being issued on “Self-declaration Mode” from the Saralsanchar portal of DoT through National Single Window System (NSWS).
  • Now, a simplified mechanism has been introduced for issuance of this license through a specific Approval Type, 'Experimental License for 100 5G Labs' on the NSWS Portal.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. SJVN Limited has won two awards at the 15th CIDC Vishwakarma Awards 2024.

  • SJVN has been conferred with ‘Achievement Award for Creating Social Development & Impact’ and ‘CIDC Partners in Progress Trophy’.
  • SJVN Limited has secured these awards for the third consecutive year.
  • SJVN has been honoured for its Corporate Social Responsibility contribution.
  • CIDC Vishwakarma Awards were instituted by the Construction Industry Development Council.
  • Construction Industry Development Council was jointly set up the Planning Commission, NITI Aayog with the Indian construction industry.
  • SJVN Limited:
    • It was earlier called Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam. It is a public sector undertaking.
    • It is involved in hydroelectric power generation and transmission.
    • It is a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh.

Topic: Miscellaneous

9. Ninety-nine change-makers have been added to the Young Global Leaders Community Class of 2024 by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

  • They are all under 40 years old and come from a variety of social backgrounds.
  • The World Economic Forum has released its most recent list of "Young Global Leaders," which includes four Indians chosen from the corporate sector.
  • Among them is Shashwat Goenka, Vice Chairman of the RP Sanjiv Goenka group.
  • The following list provides the other three Indians who were named Young Global Leaders by WEF in 2024.  
    • FSN E-Commerce Ventures CEO and Nykaa brand owner Adwaita Nayar
    • Jubilant Group Director Arjun Bhartia
    • Vedanta Ltd Non-Executive Director Priya Agarwal Hebbar
  • Seven Indians in all have received recognition for their contributions to various fields.
  • Remaining three Indians are Bhumi Pednekar, Sharad Vivek Sagar and Richa Bajpai.
  • The Young Global Leaders initiative of the WEF was introduced in 2005.
  • Its goal is to find the next generation of leaders who can help tackle the most important issues facing the world.

Topic: International Appointments

10. Rakesh Mohan has been made a member of World Bank economic advisory panel.

  • He is presently a president emeritus at Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP).
  • He is also serving as part-time member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.
  • He is former Reserve Bank of India deputy governor. He earlier served as executive director on the board of the International Monetary Fund.
  • He also served as economic affairs secretary and chief economic adviser in the Finance Ministry.
  • Lord Nicholas Stern will chair the World Bank panel.
  • World Bank Group Chief Economist Indermit Gill will co-chair the panel. Each panel member will serve for two years.

Topic: Indian Polity

11. Allahabad High Court judgment declaring Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Education Act, unconstitutional, has been stayed by the Supreme Court.

  • In its judgment of 22 March, Allahabad HC declared the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, 2004 unconstitutional as well as a violation of secularism.
  • The Supreme Court bench was headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud.
  • It said the HC direction to accommodate Madrasa students in regular schools was unwarranted.
  • The number of State-recognised madrasas in Uttar Pradesh is more than 16,000.
  • The Supreme Court scheduled the case for further hearing in the second week of July.
  • Under Article 136 of the Constitution, Supreme Court is authorized to grant special leave to appeal from any tribunal or court in the territory of India. It is a discretionary power of the Supreme Court.

Topic: Indian Polity

12. SC dismissed a plea requesting the transfer of Sufi Saint Hazrat Shah Muhammad Abdul Muqtadir Shah Masood Ahmad's mortal remains from Bangladesh to India.

  • The Supreme Court ruled that because the Sufi saint was a citizen of Pakistan, there was no legally enforceable right to request the transportation of his mortal remains.
  • The petitioner, Dargah Hazrat Mulla Syed, was represented by counsel, who stated that the saint was the spiritual leader, or Sajjada-nasheen, of the dargah in Uttar Pradesh.
  • He was born in Prayagraj (Allahabad). He migrated to Pakistan and got Pakistani citizenship in 1992.
  • He was chosen as Sajjada Nasheen of the shrine, Dargah Hazrat Mulla Syed Mohammad Shah in 2008 in Prayagraj.
  • The three-judge Bench was headed by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud.
  • It also comprised Justices J. B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

Topic: Science and Technology

13. A Romania research center activated the world’s most powerful laser.

  • Engineer Antonia Toma activated the world's most powerful laser in the control room of a research center in Romania.
  • As part of the EU's Infrastructure ELI project, the world's most powerful laser could lead to revolutionary advances in everything from health to space.
  • Near the Romanian capital Bucharest, the laser at the center is being operated by the French company Thales, using Nobel Prize-winning inventions.
  • The 2018 Nobel Physics Prize was won by Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada for harnessing the power of lasers for advanced precision instruments.
  • Bright rays of laser light offer new opportunities to deepen knowledge about the world and shape it.
  • Its potential applications include treating nuclear waste by reducing its radioactivity duration or cleaning up debris that accumulates in space.

Topic: International News

14. The reopening of the Erez crossing approved by Israel's Security Cabinet for the first time to allow the flow of more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

  • Also known as Beit Hanoun, the Erez Crossing is a border crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip.
  • After the terrorist attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7 last year, it is being reopened for the first time.
  • The use of the Israeli port of Ashdod to help transfer more aid to Gaza has also been approved by the cabinet.
  • Israel has strictly controlled land crossings and bans all travel by air and sea to and from Gaza.
  • Before the beginning of the conflict, there were two functional crossings within the enclave: Erez for the movement of people and Kerem Shalom for goods.
  • After the 7th of October attack by the Palestinian group Hamas, The conflict in Gaza escalated, where about 2,500 terrorists breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, causing casualties and the capture of hostages.
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Evolution and History of the Indian Constitution Preamble of the Indian Constitution
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