Daily Current Affairs – 10 January 2024

These current affairs today are a part of our daily current affairs. We cover a wide range of topics from state, national, and international news that are relevant and important for competitive exams. Our team prepares today’s current affairs after going through many newspapers, such as The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, PRS, etc.

Scroll down for current affairs of 10th January, 2024.

Uttar Pradesh (UP) ranks among the top three states contributing to India’s MSME sector with a 9% share.

  • CBRE South Asia Private Limited, a leading real estate consulting firm, released a report highlighting UP’s significant role in the MSME landscape.
  • Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and UP collectively constitute around 40% of India’s total registered MSMEs.
  • UP’s policy initiatives, including interest subsidies and stamp duty exemptions, have supported the MSME ecosystem.
  • The Udyam scheme, a government initiative, plays a pivotal role in promoting MSME growth, especially in UP.
  • UP’s cities, such as Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Meerut, and Ghaziabad, have emerged as MSME clusters.
  • The state government’s proactive incentives and strategic measures contribute to the expansion of India’s MSME sector.
  • The MSME sector’s strong presence in rural areas positions it to meet the demands of rural markets and cater to low-income consumers.
  • This strategic alignment helps alleviate regional disparities and promotes more equitable income distribution.

Indian government’s efforts to improve air quality in polluted cities show challenges.

  • Data from 49 cities over five years indicates that 27 cities witnessed a decline in PM 2.5, a dangerous pollutant.
  • Majority of cities are still far from achieving significant progress in air quality.

Bilateral meeting in London between the defense ministers.

  • India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, held talks with UK Defence Minister, Grant Shapps, in London on January 9, 2024.
  • Fruitful exchange of ideas on defence, security, and cooperation matters, emphasizing enhanced defence industrial collaboration.

UK-India Relationship:

  • Grant Shapps highlighted the strong and non-transactional nature of the relationship, considering both countries as natural partners with commonalities and shared goals.
  • Growing strategic convergence, especially in the Indo-Pacific, was appreciated by Rajnath Singh.

Agreements Signed:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked for a bilateral international cadet exchange program between India and the UK.
  • Letter of Arrangement signed between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) for defence collaboration in research and development.

People-to-People Exchanges:

  • The agreements aim to boost people-to-people exchanges, particularly among the youth, fostering closer ties between the two nations.

London Engagements:

  • Rajnath Singh paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Tavistock Square, where Gandhi studied law at University College London.
  • The date, January 9th, is symbolic, marking Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa to Mumbai in 1915.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:

  • The date is commemorated as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in India, acknowledging the significant contribution of the Overseas Indian community to the country’s development.

Ceremonial Guard of Honour:

  • Rajnath Singh received a ceremonial Guard of Honour at the Horse Guards Parade Ground before the bilateral meeting with the UK counterpart.

A state of emergency declared in Ecuador

  • Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency for 60 days in response to the escape of notorious crime lord Jose Adolfo Macias, also known as “Fito,” triggering a nationwide manhunt.
  • Fito, leader of the Los Choneros gang, escaped from a Guayaquil jail where he was serving a 34-year sentence for crimes like murder and drug trafficking.
  • The prison break led to violence in at least six facilities across Ecuador, with Fito’s associates kidnapping four police officers in retaliation.
  • In an effort to contain the crisis, President Noboa invoked executive powers, allowing the military to take control of streets and penitentiaries for 60 days, along with a nightly curfew from 10 pm to 5 am.
  • President Noboa vowed not to negotiate with terrorists and promised that security forces would successfully recapture Fito, emphasizing the collective responsibility in the fight against crime.
  • Fito, previously in prison for over a decade, led Los Choneros in drug trafficking and assassinations even behind bars.
  • His escape has made him Ecuador’s most wanted fugitive, prompting a nationwide manhunt involving military and police forces.

Natural fungus that could be a safe and affordable solution against the destructive eucalyptus snout beetle.

  • The eucalyptus snout beetle is a big problem for eucalyptus trees, as it eats their leaves and can harm their growth. In the past, outbreaks have led to massive losses in forests.
  • Chemical insecticides are only a temporary fix and can harm the environment. Introducing small wasps as natural predators works, but it’s expensive.
  • Researchers turned to fungi that naturally attack insects. They found two types – Beauveria and Metarhizium – that could be used as a biopesticide.
  • Choosing the Beauveria pseudobassiana strain, scientists created a product called Bpbm Eco-Vida. In tests, it showed 100% effectiveness in killing beetles and had good traits like a long shelf life.
  • With over 20 million hectares of eucalyptus globally, a sustainable solution is crucial. Bpbm Eco-Vida offers a natural and long-lasting way to protect eucalyptus crops from beetles.
  • When used alongside monitoring, sanitation, and trap trees, this fungus becomes an affordable and effective tool for managing pests in eucalyptus forests.

Advanced microscopy found high levels of micro and nanoplastic particles in popular bottled water brands.

  • On average, each liter of bottled water contained over 200,000 plastic fragments, with 90% being in the nanoscale range, posing potential health risks.
  • The tiny plastic pieces likely come from bottle materials, filters, and water treatment processes, raising concerns about the safety of packaged drinking water.
  • Traditional methods underestimated nanoplastic abundance, but the new technique identified billions of plastic nanoparticles in bottled water, surpassing previous estimates.
  • About 10% of these particles were linked to common consumer plastics, but the origin of the remaining 90% is unknown.
  • The study suggests potential exposure pathways, indicating that nanoplastics in bottled water can quickly enter the bloodstream, posing toxicological threats.
  • The study implicates various sources, including plastic filtration membranes, bottle degradation, and purification processes, as likely contamination sources.
  • Purification-derived particles outnumbered plasticizer chemicals from bottle materials, raising concerns about the safety of bottled water.
  • Consumers concerned about nanoplastics may consider safer alternatives, such as tap water filtered at the point of use, to avoid plastic while still receiving essential minerals.
  • The findings emphasize the urgent need to understand the dissemination and biological impacts of nanoplastics, especially in frequently consumed products.

French President Emmanuel Macron appointed Gabriel Attal, the Minister of Education, as the new Prime Minister.

  • At 43, Attal becomes the youngest head of government in modern French history, taking on the role to revitalize Macron’s administration facing challenges.
  • Macron’s declining approval, opposition from the far-right, and criticism over policies led to the cabinet shakeup, with Attal seen as a fresh governing partner.
  • Attal, a former government spokesperson, is France’s most liked minister and aims to reconnect with disaffected voters before critical European Parliament elections.
  • Similar to Macron, Attal rose quickly in politics, leaving the Socialist Party in 2016 to support Macron’s presidential bid and holding key positions in the cabinet.
  • As Prime Minister, Attal will work to ease tensions within Macron’s coalition, unite moderate supporters against nationalist rivals, but faces challenges due to his inexperience.
  • Questions arise about his understanding of provincial economic concerns, and some senior ministers may resist taking direction from a relatively inexperienced leader.
  • Despite uncertainties about his impact, Attal’s appointment signals a fresh start with new vision and energy in Macron’s administration.

Pran Pratishtha for Ayodhya Temple scheduled on January 22.

  • The consecration ritual, known as pran pratishtha, for Ayodhya’s Ram temple is scheduled for January 22, with preparations starting on January 16.
  • Pran pratishtha is a Vedic ceremony that transforms a statue into a living deity, capable of receiving worship and blessings.
  • The Sanskrit term means “establishing the life breath” and involves rituals to vivify a sacred image or temple, turning it into a conduit for prayers and divine grace.
  • The belief is that the divine presence exists within both the worshippers and the object of devotion, emphasizing the importance of faith in the transformation process.
  • Key stages of the ritual include a festive public procession (Shobha Yatra), purification baths (Adhivas), consecrating wash (Abhishek), and opening the eyes using a gold needle dipped in anjan (Netronmeelan).
  • The pran pratishtha methodology is based on ancient Hindu texts like the Vedas and Puranas, using specific mantras, materials, and symbolic steps aligned with each deity’s mythology.
  • Temples perform pran pratishtha for new permanent murtis before completing construction, and it is also conducted when replacing damaged idols or relocating household shrine idols.
  • The ritual signifies the transformation of a physical form into a divine embodiment, enabling the murti to receive direct worship, prayers, and channel blessings.

Researchers at IIT Delhi have created Work4Food, an algorithm to ensure fair minimum incomes for food delivery workers.

  • The gig-economy jobs in food delivery often lack wage protections or benefits, leading to concerns for workers’ livelihoods.
  • Work4Food uses optimization algorithms and demand forecasting to ensure every delivery agent earns a localized minimum income based on assigned orders.
  • The system allows platforms like Zomato and Swiggy to optimize operations, reducing overstaffing costs during slow periods and improving worker scheduling.
  • By studying historical order data, platforms can make dynamic scheduling decisions, ensuring enough delivery personnel without downtime between orders.
  • Work4Food aims to protect gig jobs, representing a step towards fairness in one of India’s rapidly growing industries.
  • The algorithm creates shared value by reconciling platform and worker interests, demonstrating the potential of tech-based solutions for flexible labor in the app economy.
  • If adopted, Work4Food could impact millions of delivery workers in India’s cities and potentially serve as a template for the broader gig economy.

Microsoft launches AI Odyssey to train 100,000 Indian developers in artificial intelligence (AI) tools and technologies.

  • The month-long free online program focuses on building expertise in applying Microsoft Azure cloud services for creating AI solutions.
  • AI Odyssey aims to empower India’s tech talent to lead innovation in the emerging field of AI.
  • The structured learning track includes two levels covering Azure cloud tools, machine learning, computer vision, conversational AI, and interactive lab challenges.
  • Successful participants can earn a Microsoft certificate and be eligible for a sponsored visit to the Microsoft AI Tour technology conference in Bangalore.
  • The program encourages responsible development of AI by providing accessible training for developers of all backgrounds.
  • Microsoft aims to democratize expertise in AI and contribute to India’s AI revolution by empowering professionals to build innovative applications.
  • The initiative aligns with the country’s potential to become an AI powerhouse, utilizing its skilled developer base across various sectors.

Canada introduces FluxJet, a magnetically-levitating train concept by startup TransPod.

  • Canada introduces FluxJet, a magnetically-levitating train concept by startup TransPod, designed to connect Edmonton and Calgary at speeds exceeding 1,000 km/h.
  • The FluxJet combines magnetic levitation and electromagnetic propulsion, allowing the pod to float above the track, eliminating friction and reaching aviation-like speeds.
  • Linear electric motors along the route accelerate the vehicles using magnetic fields, reducing the need for massive onboard engines and fuel.
  • The system aims to cut travel times between Edmonton and Calgary to under 30 minutes, providing a competitive alternative to air travel.
  • TransPod estimates a 44% discount for FluxJet trips compared to equivalent airfares.
  • The electric transit network expects to eliminate 636,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by operating on renewable energy sources.
  • Challenges include achieving safety certifications, surpassing 600 km/h in real-world use, and addressing the hefty construction cost for precision guideways.
  • Despite challenges, recent feasibility studies and technology demonstrations position FluxJet to advance mass transportation, reflecting a global interest in cutting-edge mobility projects.

World Hindi Day – 10 Jan

  • World Hindi Day: Celebrated annually on January 10th, dedicated to promoting the Hindi language and its cultural significance.
  • Promotion of Hindi: A day to recognize and celebrate the importance of Hindi as one of the most widely spoken languages globally, fostering linguistic diversity.
  • Theme For 2024: Hindi – Bridging Traditional Knowledge and Artificial Intelligence
  • Cultural Heritage: Highlights the rich cultural heritage associated with the Hindi language, including literature, poetry, music, and films.
  • Official Language: Hindi is one of the official languages of India and holds special significance as it is spoken by a substantial portion of the population.
  • Global Reach: Acknowledges the global diaspora of Hindi speakers, contributing to the dissemination of Indian culture worldwide.
  • Preservation of Language: Emphasizes the need to preserve and protect the Hindi language, ensuring its continuity for future generations.
  • Language of Unity: Hindi serves as a common language that bridges diverse communities and regions within India, fostering national unity.
  • Educational Initiatives: World Hindi Day often involves educational programs and events to promote Hindi learning, both within India and internationally.

Today’s Current Affairs MCQs/ GK Quiz 10th January 2024

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