Daily Current Affairs – 12 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 12th January, 2024.

Maldives And China Sign Several MOUs.

  • President Mohamed Muizzu, elected in September, pledged to strengthen ties with China and remove Indian troops.
  • His recent visit to China marks a significant diplomatic move.
  • China pledged to safeguard Maldives’ sovereignty amid the competition for influence with India.
  • President Xi Jinping and Muizzu elevated bilateral ties, emphasizing respect for Maldives’ development choices.
  • Muizzu expressed gratitude for China’s contribution to the Maldives’ economic success and infrastructure development.
  • The Belt and Road initiative provided funds, leading to significant debt owed to Beijing.
  • New agreements cover climate, agriculture, and infrastructure.
  • Maldives’ strategic location in global shipping lanes adds geopolitical importance.
  • Muizzu promised to remove Indian security personnel, causing tensions with India..
  • Diplomatic disputes led to calls for boycotting the Maldives by Bollywood actors and Indian cricket stars.
  • Tourism, a significant economic contributor, faces a threat due to the boycott calls.

Henley Passport Index Ranking

  • India’s passport secures the 80th spot globally.
  • Indians enjoy visa-free access to 62 countries.
  • India’s growing global influence contributes to greater international travel opportunities.
  • Indian passport holders can explore various destinations without complex visa procedures.
  • The index utilizes International Air Transport Association (IATA) data for rankings.
  • The list includes countries where Indians can travel without obtaining a visa.
  • List of Countries Indians Can Visit Visa-Free: Angola to Zimbabwe, the list comprises 62 countries, including Jamaica and Maldives. Other countries on the list include Indonesia, Iran, Thailand, and more.
  • Six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain) hold the title for the world’s most powerful passport. Citizens of these nations can travel to 194 countries without a visa.
  • Afghanistan ranks lowest with only 28 accessible countries without a visa.
  • Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan follow with 29, 31, and 34 countries, respectively.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) Inauguration:

  • Scheduled for January 12, the MTHL will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Positioned as a transformative project for India’s infrastructure.
  • Links Sewri in Mumbai to Nhava Sheva in Raigad, reducing travel time from 2 hours to 15-20 minutes.
  • Also known as Atal Setu, the bridge serves as a tribute to the late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Key Features:

  • Introduces Open Road Tolling (ORT) system, enabling vehicles to pass toll booths at speeds up to 100 kmph without stopping.
  • Spans 16.50 kilometers over the sea and 5.50 kilometers on land, showcasing remarkable engineering.

Economic Impact Beyond Transportation:

  • Emphasized as more than just a bridge; seen as an economic engine facilitating smoother movement of materials, products, and labor.
  • Creates a new supply chain between Mumbai and the mainland.
  • Built at a cost of approximately ₹18,000 crore.
  • Expected to accommodate around 70,000 vehicles, addressing regional traffic congestion.

Speed Limits and Connectivity:

  • Allows motorists to travel at a maximum speed of 100 kmph, seamlessly connecting with the Mumbai Pune Expressway.
  • Enhances connectivity between Mumbai and Pune.

Ascension of Crown Princess Mary In Denmark

  • Former Australian advertising executive, Crown Princess Mary, set to ascend to the throne as Queen of Denmark alongside husband Crown Prince Frederik.
  • Crown Princess Mary, born Mary Donaldson in Tasmania, has played a pivotal role in modernizing the Danish monarchy.
  • Mary met Crown Prince Frederik in 2000 during the summer Olympics in Sydney while working as an advertising executive.
  • Mary seamlessly adapted to Danish culture, impressing locals with her quick grasp of the Danish language.
  • Mary is Often compared to Britain’s Princess Catherine for her style and advocacy work.
  • Anticipation in Denmark for a new era under Queen Mary, symbolizing a carefully managed transition embracing changing times while respecting monarchy traditions.

UN Security Council Urges Houthi Rebels to Halt Red Sea Attacks

  • UN Security Council Resolution calls for an “immediate” end to Houthi rebel attacks on ships in the Red Sea.
  • Emphasizes the impact on global commerce and infringement of navigational rights.
  • Russia, China, Mozambique, and Algeria abstained from voting.
  • The United States formed an international coalition in December to safeguard maritime traffic in the Red Sea.
  • Emphasizes the need for member states to adhere to obligations, condemning the provision of arms to Houthi rebels.

Addressing Root Causes:

  • Calls for addressing the root causes, including conflicts contributing to regional tensions.
  • Russia proposed amendments, including adding the “conflict in the Gaza Strip” to factors contributing to tensions.

Houthi Claims and Background:

  • Houthi rebels claim to act in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.
  • Intensified attacks followed the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel and the subsequent conflict in Gaza.
  • Experts report significant strengthening of Houthi military capabilities on land and at sea.

UK Unveils Ambitious Nuclear Power Expansion

  • The UK government unveils plans for its most significant nuclear power expansion in seven decades.
  • Outlines construction of a major power station, a £300 million investment in advanced uranium fuel production, and implementation of “smarter regulation.”
  • Aims to quadruple UK nuclear power to 24 gigawatts by 2050, providing a quarter of the nation’s electricity.
  • Government exploring construction of a substantial new power station, potentially equivalent in scale to Sizewell and Hinkley.
  • Investment in Advanced Uranium Fuel: £300 million investment to facilitate the production of advanced uranium fuel.
  • Aims to lead global production, reducing dependence on sources like Russia.
  • Emphasizes the importance of “smarter regulation” to ensure effectiveness, safety, and sustainability of the nuclear power expansion.
  • Energy Minister Claire Coutinho emphasizes plans to prevent vulnerability to energy disruptions by external forces.
  • Aims to reduce electricity bills, create jobs, and fortify the country’s energy independence.
  • Government also commits to investing in High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) fuel production, a key component for advanced reactors.
  • Aiming to become a global leader in HALEU fuel production, starting operations in the next decade.

Unprecedented Antarctic Heatwave

  • Unprecedented event with temperatures up to 40°C (72°F) above normal in East Antarctica.
  • Global Research Initiative: Led by Swiss climatologist Jonathan Wille, involving 54 researchers from 14 countries.
  • Climate Factors: La Niña conditions, tropical heat near Indonesia, and weather troughs from southern Africa contributed.
  • Twelve tropical storms, five turning into cyclones, formed an atmospheric river to carry heat and moisture.


  • Collapse of the Conger Ice Shelf.
  • Overall impacts are less severe due to the heatwave occurring in March during Antarctica’s transition to winter.

Future Considerations:

  • Anticipate more frequent temperature anomalies under climate change.
  • Emphasizes the need for proactive planning to address potential impacts.

Taiwan’s Cybersecurity Challenges Amidst Rising Tensions

  • As tensions rise between China and Taiwan, the island nation grapples with significant cybersecurity challenges in addition to the looming threat of a physical invasion.
  • In the hypothetical scenario of a Chinese invasion, Taiwanese officials and cybersecurity experts are bracing for a wave of cyberattacks that extend well beyond military targets. The primary objective is to effectively disconnect Taiwan from the global network, potentially impacting critical sectors such as telecommunications, energy, and finance.
  • Taiwan is experiencing a dramatic surge in cyber threats, with government agencies reportedly facing an onslaught of approximately five million cyberattacks on a daily basis. 
  • The semiconductor industry, a linchpin of Taiwan’s economy, has emerged as a prime target for cyberattacks. 
  • Recognizing the potential risk of disruptions to undersea cables, Taiwan is actively exploring the implementation of satellite-based communication systems. Safeguarding Government Stability and Amidst the escalating cyber threats, Taiwan places a critical emphasis on maintaining government stability and ensuring the accurate dissemination of information to its civilians.
  • Adopting a proactive stance, Taiwan is actively preparing for worst-case scenarios by rigorously testing alternative communication systems.

Joint US-Indian Satellite NISAR to study Earth’s frozen regions

  • The collaborative effort between ISRO and NASA is bringing forth the NISAR radar satellite, scheduled for launch in January 2024.
  • NISAR aims to measure essential Earth signs related to frozen regions, including monitoring wetland health, ground deformation caused by volcanoes, and the dynamics of land and sea ice.
  • Named NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR), the satellite will provide an unprecedented view of motion and deformation in Earth’s ice- and snow-covered environments, collectively known as the cryosphere.
  • ISRO has set the target launch readiness date for NISAR in January 2024, with expectations to observe nearly all of the planet’s land and ice surfaces twice every 12 days.
  • NISAR features dual radar systems, including an L-band system with a 10-inch wavelength and an S-band system with a 4-inch wavelength. This enables researchers to study ice dynamics in various regions, including Antarctica’s far interior.
  • NISAR’s observations will contribute to understanding changes in ice flow, especially in critical areas like where ice meets the ocean.

Annual ‘Swachh Survekshan Awards’ 2023 Announced

  • Indore secures the prestigious title of India’s cleanest city for the seventh consecutive year.
  • The city’s cleanliness sets a benchmark, testifying to unparalleled standards of immaculateness.
  • Maharashtra emerges as the leader in the ‘best-performing states’ category, surpassing counterparts Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2023.
  • Maharashtra’s Sasvad earns acclaim as the cleanest city among those with a population of less than 1 lakh, highlighting the state’s unwavering commitment to cleanliness.
  • Varanasi emerges as the best and cleanest Ganga town, closely followed by Prayagraj, symbolizing a resolute dedication to cleanliness along the sacred river.
  • Mhow Cantonment Board in Madhya Pradesh secures the top rank in the category of the cleanest cantonment boards, emphasizing the significance of cleanliness in various regions.
  • The Swachh Survekshan 2023 attains global recognition as the world’s largest cleanliness survey, with participation from 4,447 urban local bodies and a significant 12-core citizen responses.

Privatization of Moon Landings: 2024 Missions Unveiled

  • Two new trips to the Moon are happening in early 2024, and what’s special is that private companies, not the government, are running them. It could start a new time for businesses exploring the Moon.
  • NASA started a program called CLPS in 2018, inviting companies to join. Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines are part of it and will launch the first private missions to land on the Moon.
  • Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander will launch around January 8, 2024. It’s like a small shed carrying experiments. They want to check the Moon’s radiation and find signs of water.
  • The Peregrine lander will study Moon radiation to understand if it’s safe for humans. They’re looking at solar energetic particles and cosmic rays, which can be harmful.
  • Intuitive Machines will launch its Nova-C lander in mid-February 2024. It’s similar to Peregrine but with cameras to take 3D pictures. Scientists want to see how the landing affects the Moon’s surface.

OpenAI in Talks with Major News Outlets for Content Licensing

  • OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, is negotiating with CNN, Fox, and Time to license their content, aiming to enhance its artificial intelligence products. These talks come amid concerns about copyright infringement allegations against OpenAI.
  • Talks include plans to license articles from CNN, enabling OpenAI to train ChatGPT and feature CNN’s content in its products. Negotiations involve not only text but also video and image content. Time’s CEO expressed optimism about reaching a fair agreement with OpenAI.
  • OpenAI’s goal is to display real-time content with attribution, emphasizing the significance of referrals to media outlets.
  • OpenAI emphasizes the necessity of using copyrighted materials to train leading AI models. The company argues that limiting training data to public domain content would not meet the needs of today’s citizens. 

Today’s Current Affairs MCQs/ GK Quiz 12th January 2024

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