Daily Current Affairs – 11 January 2024

These current affairs today are a part of our daily current affairs series. 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 11th January, 2024.

The Indian Institute of Science (IISC) is actively working on a Covid-19 vaccine resistant to heat.

  • Progress Update: The scientific team has successfully completed pre-clinical trials, marking a crucial step before human testing.
  • Significance: This vaccine aims to address the evolving nature of the COVID-19 virus, considering uncertainties about the effectiveness of existing vaccines.
  • Research Leadership: Professor Raghavan Varadarajan, in collaboration with Mynvax, has been leading this research initiative since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Targeted Approach: Researchers are focusing on specific virus proteins – the S2 subunit and the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) – to enhance immune response.
  • Innovation: A hybrid protein named RS2 has been created by combining these two components, as disclosed by IISc.

All states and union territories will have an equal chance to showcase their tableaux during the Republic Day parade.

  • Equal Opportunity for States and UTs: All states and union territories will have an equal chance to showcase their tableaux during the Republic Day parade at Kartavya Path for the next three years, as per a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Defence and the respective governments.
  • Increased Women Participation: The upcoming Republic Day parade will witness the participation of up to 75% women in the marching contingents of the three defense services and other uniformed forces.
  • Selection Process Clarification: The announcement addresses concerns over the tableau selection process, facing criticism from states with opposition in power. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann raised objections to the rejection of their tableaux.
  • Transparent and Consultative Process: Officials emphasize that the selection of tableaux for the Republic Day celebrations underwent a transparent and consultative process. Last year, an expert committee, including reputed artists recommended by cultural institutions, selected the tableaux for 16 states and union territories.
  • Rotational Basis Display: The three-year rolling plan ensures that each state and union territory, on a rotational basis, gets an opportunity to showcase its tableau during the Republic Day parade.
  • Bharat Parv Participation: States like Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Goa, Assam, and Uttarakhand will participate in Bharat Parv at Red Fort from January 23 to 31.

ILO Job Outlook Report 2024

  • International Labour Organization (ILO) predicts a global rise in unemployment by 2024.
  • Economic decline, persistent inflation, and stagnant wages contribute to increasing inequality.
  • Macroeconomic Deterioration:
  • ILO’s annual report highlights severe macroeconomic deterioration due to global crises in the past year.
  • Major economies slowed in 2023 amidst geopolitical tensions and central bank interest rate hikes to control inflation.
  • Despite global economic challenges, some countries experienced better-than-expected job growth and reduced unemployment.
  • Global jobless rate dropped to 5.1%, but concerns persist regarding the quality of available work.
  • ILO warns of potential global unemployment increase in 2024. 
  • Structural weaknesses, including skills gaps and insufficient social protection, remain in many nations.
  • Working poverty rises worldwide, especially in G20 economies except China and India.
  • Report notes positive real wage improvement in India in 2022, outperforming other G20 countries except Mexico.
  • Robust productivity expansion contributes to India’s wage growth, but challenges in social equality and labor rights persist.
  • Governments urged to focus on quality job creation and strengthening social safety nets. 
  • Investments needed in workforce training, job matching programs, and unemployment schemes.
  • Proactive reforms in worker protections essential to mitigate future joblessness amid technological and climate-driven disruptions.

2023 Hottest Year on Record

  • 2023 declared the hottest globally since 1850, based on initial climate data.
  • Average temperatures rose 1.48°C over pre-industrial levels, surpassing 2016.
  • Every day in 2023 exceeded 1°C above mid-19th century, with around half surpassing 1.5°C, as per Paris Agreement thresholds.
  • 2023 witnessed severe consequences, including heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires, like Canada’s destructive season.
  • Greenhouse gases, CO2, and methane hit record concentrations, fueling global warming.
  • El Niño played a role, but human fossil fuel emissions are the main contributor to the extreme heat in 2023.
  • The last eight years rank as the hottest due to increased greenhouse gases trapping solar energy.
  • Some predict 2024 may surpass 2023’s heat marks with the ongoing El Niño.
  • A two-thirds chance that global temperatures will breach the Paris 1.5°C limit within five years, leading to more severe climate impacts.
  • Urgent need for deep emissions cuts to reverse the current trajectory.
  • Diminishing hopes to prevent escalating temperatures, with 2023’s record dry season signaling unprecedented atmospheric change in human history.

Polar bear death from bird flu

  • First documented death of a polar bear due to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in northernmost Alaska.
  • Likely caused by the bear scavenging infected bird carcasses in Arctic ecosystems.
  • H5N1 bird flu strain, emerging in 2021, has spread to over 70 countries, affecting wild birds, foxes, bears, seals, and skunks.
  • Infections previously detected in Antarctic fur seals and marine life.
  • Remote polar ecosystems face increased risk due to their unique wildlife, immunologically naive and vulnerable.
  • Migratory birds introduce the virus to ice-free summer breeding grounds, affecting Antarctic seals, penguins, and skuas.
  • Polar regions, already experiencing faster warming, face a dual threat from HPAI and environmental transformation.
  • Starved polar bear in Alaska serves as an ominous warning for potential undiscovered mortality events in the Arctic.
  • Scientists emphasize the need for enhanced biosecurity to keep Antarctic stations virus-free.
  • Calls for restricting tourism access to protect vulnerable breeding grounds and prevent the outbreak’s march towards the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Outbreaks could cripple food chains, particularly endangering vulnerable penguin populations.
  • Climate impacts facilitate virus transmission, exceeding early predictions of HPAI reaching Antarctica.
  • Growing urgency for global coordination to control HPAI, reduce emissions, and fund conservation science.
  • The lone Alaskan bear’s death highlights the need to act before more iconic species face similar threats.

New Indian Assault Rifle ‘Ugram’

  • Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for Indian Armed Forces.
  • Replaces aging INSAS rifles as a standard-issue weapon.
  • 7.62mm caliber assault rifle, designed for reliability, accuracy, and lightweight ruggedness.
  • Fires the same large-caliber cartridge as NATO forces for ammunition compatibility.
  • Weighs less than 4 kg fully-loaded, ensuring durability with steel components.
  • Effective range of 500 meters, suitable for various infantry combat scenarios.
  • Improved accuracy and stopping power compared to the older 5.56mm INSAS rifle.
  • Gas-operated short stroke piston system with a rotating bolt for enhanced reliability.
  • Demonstrated to Indian Army and Ministry of Home Affairs officials for initial batch production and field trials.
  • Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) to conduct comprehensive tests before full induction approval.
  • Marks India’s increasing self-reliance in small arms, reducing dependence on imports.
  • Provides upgraded lethality and accuracy for soldiers, boosting confidence in their equipment.
  • Showcases Indian R&D capabilities in weapon miniaturization and military-industrial advancement.
  • DRDO aims to lead in infantry arms advancement, focusing on adaptability, precision, and integrated technologies.
  • India positioned to achieve this vision with an expanding defense industrial base and engineering talent pool.
  • Ugram assault rifle symbolizes India’s potential in the future of firearms.

Dr Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated ‘Prasadam,’ India’s first hygienic food street 

  • In a significant development, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated ‘Prasadam,’ India’s pioneering hygienic food street, at Neelkanth Van, Mahakal Lok in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. 
  • This marks a substantial step towards holistic development, covering an expansive 939 square meters.
  • Situated near the Mahakaleshwar Temple, “Prasadam” goes beyond being a mere food street; it serves as a comprehensive destination contributing to various facets of community life. 
  • The food street boasts 17 shops, each offering a distinctive culinary experience.
  • Apart from culinary delights, “Prasadam” provides an array of amenities, including a dedicated kids’ play area, drinking water facility, CCTV surveillance, ample parking, public conveniences, and spacious seating areas. These facilities aim to enhance the overall experience for both visitors and locals.

USA lists China, India in religious freedom violations

  • The United States, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, identifies nations for severe religious freedom violations.
  • Decision follows the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, showing commitment to global religious freedom.
  • ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ include China, North Korea, Pakistan, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar.
  • ‘Special Watch List’ includes Algeria, Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Comoros, and Vietnam.
  • Aim is to address and highlight concerns about religious freedom violations globally.

Indian Navy joins the defense exercise – Ex Sea Dragon 2024

  • The Indian Navy made its presence felt in the Pacific as of January 9th, 2024, with the arrival of a P-8I aircraft in Guam, USA.
  • This deployment signifies the navy’s involvement in the fourth edition of Ex Sea Dragon 24, an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise led by the US Navy.
  • Ex Sea Dragon 24 promotes cooperation and interoperability among the navies of the US, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and India.
  • The exercise focuses on enhancing coordination and communication through professional interactions, both on the ground and in the air, according to the official statement from the Indian Navy.

IndusInd Bank introduces the Samman RuPay Credit Card

  • IndusInd Bank has collaborated with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce the ‘Samman RuPay Credit Card’ exclusively for government employees.
  • This credit card combines the benefits of traditional credit cards with advanced UPI features, making financial transactions more efficient.
  • Users of the Samman RuPay Credit Card enjoy perks such as cashback on various expenses, complimentary movie tickets, no cash advance charges, and waivers for surcharges on IRCTC and fuel transactions.
  • Beyond financial incentives, the card aims to simplify and enhance the day-to-day transactional experience for government employees.
  • Users can link RuPay credit cards to UPI IDs, ensuring secure and convenient payment transactions.

LIC’s Stake Acquisition

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) board approves acquiring up to 10% stake in a new company promoted by the National Housing Bank (NHB).
  • Investment targets residential mortgage-backed securities through equity contributions in tranches.
  • Specific details about the company are undisclosed, but signals LIC’s strategic entry into the residential mortgage sector.
  • Aligns with LIC’s broader financial portfolio strategy and commitment to diversify investments.

PFC’s IFSC Finance Company Approval

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approves Power Finance Corporation (PFC) to establish a finance company in Gujarat’s GIFT City, an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).
  • RBI issued a no objection letter on January 9, allowing PFC’s venture in setting up a finance company at GIFT City.
  • Move anticipated to enhance PFC’s position in the financial sector.
  • PFC had previously entered into an agreement with the Gujarat government, focusing on comprehensive financial support for state projects in power generation, transmission, and distribution.

India’s UNESCO World Heritage Committee Leadership

  • India to chair UNESCO World Heritage Committee and host the 46th session in New Delhi from July 21 to 31, 2024.
  • Vishal V Sharma, India’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, announces the historic milestone on January 9.
  • Highlights India’s growing influence and commitment to global cultural and natural heritage conservation.
  • Decision confirmed during the 19th extraordinary session of the World Heritage Committee in 2023.
  • Reflects collaborative efforts between India and UNESCO in promoting global cooperation in education, arts, science, and culture.

Indus Food 2024 Inauguration by Piyush Goyal

  • Union Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurates ‘Indus Food 2024’ at India Exposition Mart, Greater Noida.
  • Emphasizes India’s diverse food industry and its global potential.
  • Stresses the need for technological innovation in the culinary landscape.
  • Highlights India’s diverse agro-climatic zones, 158 food and agri Geographical Indications, and 708 unique food items under the One District One Product initiative.
  • Commends government initiatives like ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ ensuring food security, free food grains to 81 Crore people, and zero starvation deaths.

Gensol Engineering’s Investment in Gujarat EV Plant

  • Gensol Engineering partners with the Government of Gujarat for a strategic venture.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalized during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024.
  • Gensol Engineering commits Rs 2,000 crore investment for an Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in Gujarat.
  • Anticipated catalyst for economic growth, estimated to generate around 1,500 jobs in the region.
  • Signifies dedication to sustainable growth and aligns with the themes of the Vibrant Gujarat summit.

Today’s Current Affairs MCQs/ GK Quiz 11th January 2024

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