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Jul 22, 2024 IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs

Archives (PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)   HARAPPAN CIVILISATION AND SARASVATI RIVER Syllabus Prelims & Mains – ART & CULTURE, GEOGRAPHY Context: The new NCERT Class 6 Social Science textbook includes several new elements, such as referring to the Harappan civilisation as the ‘Sindhu-Sarasvati’ and ‘Indus-Sarasvati’ civilisation and multiple mentions of the ‘Sarasvati’ river, including noting its desiccation as a reason for the decline of Harappan society. Background:- ‘Exploring Society: India and Beyond’ is the first Social Science textbook released by the NDA government in alignment with the National Curriculum Framework for School Education 2023. Focus on Sarasvati river The new textbook makes multiple references to the ‘Sarasvati’ river in the chapter on the beginnings of Indian civilisation. The Harappan civilisation is referred to as the ‘Indus-Sarasvati’ or ‘Sindhu-Sarasvati’ civilisation, and the river is given a prominent place. According to new text, ‘Sarasvati’ basin included major cities of the harappan civilisation — Rakhigarhi and Ganweriwala — along with smaller cities and towns. The river today goes by the name of ‘Ghaggar’ in India and ‘Hakra’ in Pakistan (hence the name ‘Ghaggar-Hakra River’), and is now seasonal. The river also plays a key role in a section on how the Harappan civilisation declined. It states that two factors are agreed upon: one is “climate change,” which led to reduced rainfall, and the other is that the “Sarasvati river dried up in its central basin; as a result, cities like Kalibangan and Banawali were suddenly abandoned.” Content in the Old textbook The old History textbook, ‘Our Past I’, mentioned the river only once in a section on the Rig Veda, where it is included among the rivers named in the hymns in the Vedas. The old one does not cite the drying up of the river as a reason for the decline of Harappan cities. Instead, it mentions that some scholars suggest river desiccation, while others point to deforestation and floods in certain areas. “But none of these reasons can explain the end of all the cities. Flooding, or a river drying up, would have had an effect in only some areas. It appears as if the rulers lost control,” the old book stated. Source: The Indian Express CYPRUS Syllabus Prelims – GEOGRAPHY Context: Turkey’s president recently dampened hopes for quick talks to resolve Cyprus’s ethnic division, reaffirming his support for a two-state deal that Greek Cypriots reject. Background: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out a peace deal based on a United Nations-endorsed plan for federation, speaking ahead of a military parade to mark the 50th anniversary of a Turkish invasion that split the island along ethnic lines. About Cyprus Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, north of the Sinai Peninsula, south of the Anatolian Peninsula, and west of the Levant. It is geographically a part of West Asia, but its cultural ties and geopolitics are overwhelmingly Southeast European. Cyprus is the third largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is east of Greece, north of Egypt, south of Turkey, and west of Lebanon and Syria. Its capital and largest city is Nicosia. The northeast portion of the island is de facto governed by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.   Cyprus was formally annexed by the UK in 1914. The future of the island became a matter of disagreement between the two prominent ethnic communities, GreekCypriots, who made up 77% of the population and Turkish Cypriots, who made up 18% of the population. From the 19th century onwards, the Greek Cypriot population pursued enosis, union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s. The Turkish Cypriot population initially advocated the continuation of the British rule, then demanded the annexation of the island to Turkey, and in the 1950s, together with Turkey, established a policy of taksim, the partition of Cyprus and the creation of a Turkish polity in the north. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence from UK in 1960 . On 15 July 1974, a coup was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognising the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Source: The Hindu ARTICLE 361 OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION Syllabus Mains & Mains – POLITY Context: The Supreme Court recently agreed to examine the question of immunity to Governors from any kind of criminal prosecution, granted under Article 361 of the Constitution. Background: The Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, was hearing a plea filed by a contractual woman employee of West Bengal Raj Bhavan, who has alleged sexual harassment by Governor C V Ananda Bose. A 361: Protection to President and Governors 361(1) The President, or the Governor of a State, shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purporting to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties : Provided that the conduct of the President may be brought under review by any court, tribunal or body appointed or designated by either House of Parliament for the investigation of a charge under article 61 : Provided further that nothing in this clause shall be construed as restricting the right of any person to bring appropriate proceedings against the Government of India or the Government of a State. 361 (2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President, or the Governor, in any court during his term of office. 361 (3) No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President, or the Governor of a State, shall issue from any court during hi s term of office. 361 (4) No civil proceedings seeking relief against the President or a State Governor can be initiated during their term for acts done in their personal capacity, either before or after assuming office, until two months after written notice detailing the nature of the proceedings, cause of action, and the claimant’s details has been delivered to them or left at their office. Note: Articles presented above are concise form of constitutional language. Present Case In a complaint to the Kolkata Police, a woman had alleged that she was sexually harassed by West Bengal Governor when he called her to Raj Bhavan under the pretext of offering her a job on April 24 and May 2. She stated that she was left “remediless” due to the Governor’s immunity under Article 361(2) and urged the court to set guidelines and qualifications for exercising this immunity. Source: Indian Express   URANIUM CONTAMINATION Syllabus Prelims – SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Context: A new study by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has concluded that concentration of uranium up to 60 micrograms per litre (millionth of a gram per litre or µg/l) in drinking water was entirely safe, suggesting that the recently formulated “more stringent” national standard of 30 µg/l could be counterproductive. Background: For years, the acceptable level of uranium concentration in drinking water in India was 60 µg/l. In 2021, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the custodian of standards and quality in India announced a new limit of 30 µg/l, in line with recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). About Uranium : Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons. Uranium has the highest atomic weight of all naturally occurring elements. Uranium occurs naturally in low concentrations in soil, rock and water, and is commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite. Uranium ore can be mined from open pits or underground excavations. The ore can then be crushed and treated at a mill to separate the valuable uranium from the ore. Uranium may also be dissolved directly from the ore deposits in the ground (in-situ leaching) and pumped to the surface. Uranium mined from the earth is stored, handled, and sold as uranium oxide concentrate (U3O8). Uranium was discovered in 1789 by Martin Klaproth, a German chemist. He named his discovery “uran” after the planet Uranus. For many years, uranium was used primarily as a colorant for ceramic glazes and for tinting in early photography. Its radioactive properties were not recognized until 1866, and its potential for use as an energy source was not manifested until the mid-20th century. About the new standards The BARC study cited several medical researches to argue that small concentrations of uranium in drinking water pose no threat. According to the researchers, the WHO’s standards of uranium concentration in drinking water — 30 µg/l — were mere guidelines, and not a recommended safety limit. Finland and Slovakia — two nations with considerable amounts of uranium consumption — have prescribed safety limits of 100 and 350 µg/l respectively; another uranium-rich country, South Africa, has a limit of 70 µg/l. The limits in countries like Canada and Australia that have the largest deposits of uranium among others, however, are 20 and 15 µg/l, respectively. Germany, which does not have uranium, has even lower limits. According to the BARC study, in the absence of any evidence of adverse health impacts at such small concentrations, considerations like geological (prevalence of uranium) and socio-economic conditions, and population dynamics must also be taken into account while deciding on national standards on uranium contamination. Source: Indian Express   RATAPANI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY Syllabus Prelims – ENVIRONMENT Context: The Madhya Pradesh State Wildlife Board has accorded approval to declare Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, on the outskirts of Bhopal, as the eighth tiger reserve of MP. Background: Ratapani’s diverse ecosystem make it a valuable addition to India’s tiger conservation efforts. About Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary : Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Madhya Pradesh. Ratapani was first notified in 1976 and later extended in 1983. The proposal to declare Ratapani wildlife sanctuary as tiger reserve has been in discussion since 2008. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has accorded in principle approval to notify Ratapani wildlife sanctuary as the tiger reserve in 2011. It is situated in the Vindhya ranges and spans an area of 824 square kilometers. Ratapani tiger reserve, when notified, will be the first tiger reserve in the country to have proximity to a state capital. The proposed tiger reserve will be the eighth one in Madhya Pradesh. The seven other existing tiger reserves are Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Pench, Sanjay-Dubri, Satpura and Veerangana Durgavati. Flora: The sanctuary features a diverse landscape with teak forests, hills, plateaus, valleys, and plains. Two major reservoirs, Barna Reservoir and Ratapani Dam (Barrusot lake), enhance its ecological significance. Fauna: Ratapani hosts over 150 species of birds, including the paradise flycatcher, which is the state bird of Madhya Pradesh. The wildlife includes tigers, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, jackals, foxes, spotted deer, blue bulls, sambhar, barking deer, chinkara, black bucks, and monkeys. Historical and Cultural Significance: The Bhimbetka rock shelters, adorned with ancient rock paintings, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the sanctuary. The Chinkara, an endangered species, also finds refuge here. Other inhabitants include the Panther, Hyena, Jackal, Indian Fox, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Small Indian Civet, Blue Bull, Chinkara, Black Buck, Chausingha, Spotted Deer, and Barking Deer. Historical Connection: Ratapani is home to the Bhimbetka rock shelters, adorned with ancient rock paintings dating back over 30,000 years. UNESCO has recognized Bhimbetka as a World Heritage Site. Source: Deccan Chronicle   THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR AUDIT OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE (iCAL) Syllabus Prelims – POLITY Context: The International Centre for Audit of Local Governance (iCAL) was inaugurated by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. Background: By establishing iCAL, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) aims to create a cooperative ecosystem, elevate auditing standards, and enhance financial accountability at the grassroots level in India. About The International Centre for Audit of Local Governance (iCAL): The International Centre for Audit of Local Governance (iCAL), a pioneering initiative by supreme audit institutions (SAIs) India, was officially inaugurated in Rajkot, Gujarat on 18th July 2024. iCAL’s primary objectives are to develop and enhance standards for Local Government Audits, strengthen data collection and reporting, and empower auditors, executives, and elected representatives through comprehensive training programs and leadership development initiatives. It aims to improve financial performance assessment and service delivery by providing Technical Guidance and Support to Local Government auditors. iCAL would assist Local Governments in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, fostering community engagement, and addressing global challenges, like climate change and the blue economy, as they play a crucial role in effective policy implementation and economic growth at the grassroots level. Need for iCAL: Increased Funding: With significant funds flowing to local bodies, proper auditing is essential to ensure efficient utilization. Global Practices: The CAG highlighted the need to adopt global best practices in local government auditing, noting that 40 countries have supreme audit institutions (SAIs) for this purpose. Capacity Building: Building the capacity of auditors and local government employees is essential to improve financial management practices and internal controls. Source: PIB   Practice MCQs Daily Practice MCQs Q1.) Consider the following statements about Cyprus It is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, north of the Sinai Peninsula, south of the Anatolian Peninsula, and west of the Levant. The northeast portion of the island is de facto governed by the self-declared Greek Republic of Northern Cyprus. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? One only Two only Both 1 & 2 Neither 1 nor 2 Q2.) Consider the following statements: The International Centre for Audit of Local Governance (iCAL), a pioneering initiative by supreme audit institutions (SAIs) India. iCAL’s main objectives are to improve Local Government Audit standards, strengthen data collection and reporting, and empower auditors, executives, and elected representatives with training programs and leadership development initiatives. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 1 only 2 only Both 1 & 2 Neither 1 nor 2 Q3.)Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, recently seen in news is located in Karnataka Mizoram Madhya Pradesh Odisha Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!! ANSWERS FOR ’  22nd July 2024 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs ANSWERS FOR  20th July – Daily Practice MCQs Answers- Daily Practice MCQs Q.1) –  d Q.2) – d Q.3) – b For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Jul 20, 2024 IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs

Archives (PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)   ROLE OF THE FINANCE COMMISSION Syllabus Prelims & Mains – POLITY Context: The sixteenth Finance Commission headed by former Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya has begun its work by inviting suggestions from the public on the mandate set for it by the Centre. Background:- The most recent Finance Commission, composed of five members including the chairman, was established in December last year. It is anticipated to present its recommendations by October 2025, which will be applicable for five years starting April 1, 2026. About Finance Commission The Finance Commission is a constitutional body that recommends how tax revenues collected by the Central government should be distributed among the Centre and various States in the country. Article 280 states that : The President shall, within two years from the commencement of this Constitution and thereafter at the expiration of every fifth year or at such earlier, time as the President considers necessary, by order constitute a Finance Commission which shall consist of a Chairman and four other members to be appointed by the President. The Commission is reconstituted typically every five years and usually takes a couple of years to make its recommendations to the Centre. The Centre is not legally bound to implement the suggestions made by the Finance Commission. How does the Commission decide? The Finance Commission decides what proportion of the Centre’s net tax revenue goes to the States overall (vertical devolution) and how this share for the States is distributed among various States (horizontal devolution). The horizontal devolution of funds between States is usually decided based on a formula created by the Commission that takes into account a State’s population, fertility level, income level, geography, etc. The vertical devolution of funds, however, is not based on any such objective formula. The last few Finance Commissions have recommended greater vertical devolution of tax revenues to States. The 13th, 14th and 15th Finance Commissions recommended that the Centre share 32%, 42% and 41% of funds, respectively, from the divisible pool with States. The 16th Financial Commission is also expected to recommend ways to augment the revenues of local bodies such as panchayats and municipalities. It should be noted that, as of 2015, only about 3% of public spending in India happened at the local body level, as compared to other countries such as China where over half of public spending happened at the level of the local bodies. What are the disagreements between centre and states? States argue that the Centre does not allocate even the recommended funds from the Finance Commissions, which they believe are already insufficient. Analysts point out that, under the Fifteenth Finance Commission, the Centre has devolved an average of only 38% of the funds from the divisible pool to the States, compared to the Commission’s recommendation of 41%. States have complaints about what portion of the Centre’s overall tax revenues should be considered as part of the divisible pool out of which the States are funded. Cesses and surcharges, which do not come under the divisible pool and hence not shared with the States, can constitute as much as 28% of the Centre’s overall tax revenue. The increased devolution of funds from the divisible pool, as recommended by successive Finance Commissions, may be offset by rising cess and surcharge collections. In fact, it is estimated that if cesses and surcharges that go to the Centre are also taken into account, the share of States in the Centre’s overall tax revenues may fall to as low as 32% under the 15th Finance Commission. More developed States such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have also complained that they receive less money from the Centre than what they contribute as taxes. Tamil Nadu, for example, received only 29 paise for each rupee that the State contributed to the Centre’s exchequer while Bihar gets more than ₹7 for each rupee it contributes. In other words, it is argued that more developed States with better governance are being penalised by the Centre to help States with poor governance. Critics also believe that the Finance Commission, whose members are appointed by the Centre, may not be fully independent and immune from political influence. Source: Hindu RWANDA Syllabus Prelims – GEOGRAPHY Context: Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has been re-elected with 99.18% of the vote, the National Electoral Commission said, extending his near quarter-century in office. Background: Rights groups says that election was marred by crack-down on journalists, the opposition and civil society groups , a criticism which government has rejected. About Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is highly elevated, giving it the soubriquet “land of a thousand hills”), with its geography dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the southeast, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. It is the most densely populated mainland African country; among countries larger than 10,000 km2, it is the fifth-most densely populated country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kigali. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops that it exports. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country’s leading foreign exchange earner. The country is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, COMESA, OIF and the East African Community. Although Rwanda has low levels of corruption compared with neighbouring countries, it ranks among the lowest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties and quality of life. The population is young and predominantly rural; Rwanda has one of the youngest populations in the world. Source: Reuters SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GULF REGION IN INDIA’S ENERGY SECURITY Syllabus Mains – GS 2 Context: Today, India is the world’s third-largest energy consumer after China and the United States. Given the enormous import dependence for energy needs, relations with Gulf states are crucial. Background: A seamless energy supply is crucial to ensure energy security, which means meeting domestic demands and protecting energy infrastructure from threats. Energy consumption According to Energy Statistics India, 2024, prepared by the National Statistical Office under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, India’s total primary energy production in 2022-23 was 19.55 exajoules and total consumption during the same period was 35.16 exajoule. This means that about 68 per cent of the demands were met through domestic production, underlining significant external dependence. Coal is India’s largest source of primary energy supply, comprising 58.12 per cent of the total in 2023. Despite significant domestic coal production, India has to source part of its coal demands externally, given the huge consumption. Oil and gas External dependence becomes starker when it comes to oil and gas, which is the second largest source of primary energy supply in India. India’s total oil consumption was 5.44 million barrels per day in 2023, while total oil production was 0.73 million barrels per day. Similarly, natural gas consumption was 62.6 billion cubic metres, while natural gas production was only 31.6 billion cubic metres. This meant that most oil and gas are sourced externally, underlining India’s dependence on imports for its energy security, especially in meeting the oil and gas demands. Gulf countries, the most dependable suppliers Historically, the Persian Gulf states, namely the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE)—and Iran and Iraq have been the primary oil and gas suppliers to India contributing nearly 55-60 per cent of total oil and gas imports. According to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics of the Ministry of Commerce, in 2023-24, five of the Gulf countries, namely Iraq (second), Saudi Arabia (third), UAE (fourth), Qatar (seventh) and Kuwait (ninth), were among top ten petroleum suppliers to India while Russia (first), United States (fifth), Australia (sixth), Indonesia (eight) and Nigeria (tenth) were other five. Notably, the Gulf countries have been among India’s top petroleum suppliers since the 1980s and have remained the most dependable suppliers despite the fluctuations in the international oil and gas market and supply chains. Continued significance of the Gulf  In recent years, India has made deliberate efforts to diversify its sources of energy consumption and petroleum imports. This has meant that the focus on clean and renewable sources has increased, and simultaneously, countries such as Russia, the United States, Australia and Nigeria have emerged as important sources. Nonetheless, several factors contribute to the continued significance of the Gulf region, remaining critical to India’s energy security. The most important factors are: its geographical proximity to India established buyer-seller networks. the capacity and commitment of the Gulf states to supply oil and gas at special prices. Trade and investment The attraction of the Indian market as one of the biggest global consumers has worked in India’s favour, given it provides Gulf suppliers with a stable and large market for crude oil and natural gas. This has made India an attractive destination for Gulf investments in the energy sector, with mega Gulf energy corporations such as Saudi Aramco and Emirati ADNOC committing big long-term investments. In 2023-24, of the total US$1.11 trillion foreign trade, US$208.48 billion came from the Gulf and West Asia region, comprising 18.17 percent of India’s foreign trade. Notably, 14.28 percent of this came from the six GCC countries. The region’s economic importance has accorded the Gulf region a special place in India’s Look West policy. Besides commodity and petroleum trade, the flow of Indian expatriates to the GCC countries, the remittances they send and the two-way flow of investments are important components of economic relations. According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, the total FDI from the GCC countries into India between April 2000 and March 2024 was US$24.09 billion. Bilateral ties Indian investments and participation in the GCC market have witnessed a sharp rise, with companies such as Larsen & Toubro, Shapoorji-Pallonji and Tata increasing their presence while Indian businesses, such as Lulu hypermarket chain, making their mark in the GCC market. Besides the strong economic relations, the strengthening of bilateral political and strategic ties, especially since the early 2000s, has played a crucial role in making the Gulf a dependable partner. The bilateral ties, especially with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have further flourished under Modi, and this has helped India overcome challenges due to sanctions on major global oil and gas suppliers such as Iran and Venezuela, impact of regional conflicts during and after the Arab Spring (2010-12), as well as during the global COVID-19 pandemic (2020-22). Source: Indian Express ENEMY PROPERTIES Syllabus Prelims – CURRENT EVENT Context: The Indian government has recently taken a significant step to auction properties classified as “enemy properties.” Background: Over 9,400 ‘enemy’ properties, worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore, are set to be auctioned with the home ministry starting the process of identifying all such estates. About Enemy properties : Enemy properties are those that were once owned by individuals who took Chinese or Pakistani citizenship after India fought wars with these countries. Enemy properties include both immovable (real estate) and movable (such as bank accounts, shares, and gold) properties left behind by those who migrated to Pakistan and China. These properties are vested with the Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI), an authority created under the Enemy Property Act, 1968. The Enemy Property Act, 1968 governs the allocation and management of these properties. It was enacted in the aftermath of the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war. The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act 2017: In 2017, the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act clarified that Successors of those who migrated to Pakistan or China no longer have a claim over these properties. The law of succession does not apply to enemy properties. Transfers of such properties by enemies, enemy subjects, or enemy firms are prohibited. The custodian preserves these properties until they are disposed of according to the Act’s provisions. CEPI currently manages 13,252 enemy properties across India. Their total value exceeds Rs 1 lakh crore. Most of these properties belong to individuals who migrated to Pakistan, while a smaller number are associated with those who migrated to China. State-wise Distribution: Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of enemy properties (5,982). West Bengal follows closely with 4,354 properties. Source: Hindu INDIA AI MISSION Syllabus Prelims & Mains – CURRENT EVENT Context: Artificial intelligence is all over news as companies try to come up with AI loaded products and services. Governments across the globe are trying to enter the race for an AI powered future. Background: It was Vladimir Putin who famously put AI on every country’s priority list when he declared back in 2017 that the nation that leads in AI “will be the ruler of the world”. Every world leader has echoed this in some way. About India AI mission : The Cabinet approved the IndiaAI Mission with an allocation of Rs 10,300 crore in march, 2024. The Mission will be implemented by ‘IndiaAI’ Independent Business Division (IBD) under Digital India Corporation (DIC) and has the following components: IndiaAI Compute Capacity: The IndiaAI compute pillar will build a high-end scalable AI computing ecosystem to cater to the increasing demands from India’s AI start-ups and research ecosystem. The ecosystem will comprise AI compute infrastructure of 10,000 or more Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), built through public-private partnership. IndiaAI Innovation Centre: It will undertake the development and deployment of indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and domain-specific foundational models in critical sectors. IndiaAI Datasets Platform – The IndiaAI Datasets Platform will streamline access to quality non-personal datasets for AI Innovation. IndiaAI Application Development Initiative – It will promote the AI applications in critical sectors for the problem statements sourced from Central Ministries, State Departments, and other institutions. IndiaAI FutureSkills – It is conceptualized to mitigate barriers to entry into AI programs and will increase AI courses in undergraduate, masters-level, and Ph.D. programs. Further, Data and AI Labs will be set-up in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India to impart foundational level courses. IndiaAI Startup Financing: It is conceptualized to support and accelerate deep-tech AI startups and provide them streamlined access to funding to enable futuristic AI Projects. Safe & Trusted AI – Recognizing the need for adequate safeguards to advance the responsible development, deployment, and adoption of AI, the Safe & Trusted AI pillar will enable the implementation of Responsible AI projects including the development of indigenous tools and frameworks, self-assessment checklists for innovators, and other guidelines and governance frameworks. Source: Indian Express SQUALUS HIMA Syllabus Prelims – ENVIRONMENT Context: Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) recently discovered a new species named Squalus Hima.. Background: The discovery of this new species is crucial for conservation efforts, as dogfish sharks are exploited for their fins, liver oil, and meat. About SQUALUS HIMA : Squalus belongs to the genus of dogfish sharks (commonly known as spurdogs) in the family Squalidae. These sharks are characterized by their smooth dorsal fin spines. Squalus hima was discovered off the coast of Kerala, specifically at the Sakthikulangara fishing harbor along the Arabian Sea. In the Indian coast, two species of Squalus are found from the southwest coast of India and the new species, Squalus hima n.sp. very similar to Squalus lalannei, but differs in many characteristics. Squalus hima sp.nov differs from other species by the number of precaudal vertebrae, total vertebrae, teeth count, trunk & head heights, fin structure and fin colour. Importance and Conservation: The shark species belonging to the genus Squalus and Centrophorus are exploited for their liver oil, which contains high levels of squalene (or squalane when processed for products). This oil is in demand for pharmaceutical industries, especially for high-end cosmetic and anti-cancer products. The discovery of the new species is important to conserve such varieties of shark Source: Hindu Practice MCQs Daily Practice MCQs Q1.) Consider the following countries Rwanda Botswana Chad Zambia How many of the countries given above are landlocked? One only Two only Three only All four Q2.) Squalus Hima, recently found in news is a green pit viper wolf snake burrowing frog dogfish shark Q3.)With reference to the Enemy properties in India, consider the following statements: Enemy properties are those that were once owned by individuals who took Chinese or Pakistani citizenship after India fought wars with these countries. Enemy properties include immovable properties only. The law of succession does not apply to enemy properties. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 1 and 2 only 1 and 3 only 2 and 3 only 1,2 and 3 Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!! ANSWERS FOR ’  20th July 2024 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st ANSWERS FOR  19th July – Daily Practice MCQs Answers- Daily Practice MCQs Q.1) –  a Q.2) – b Q.3) – d

Jul 20, 2024 Daily Prelims CA Quiz

The Current Affairs questions are based on sources like ‘The Hindu’, ‘Indian Express’ and ‘PIB’, which are very important sources for UPSC Prelims Exam. The questions are focused on both the concepts and facts. The topics covered here are generally different from what is being covered under ‘Daily Current Affairs/Daily News Analysis (DNA) and Daily Static Quiz’ to avoid duplication. The questions would be published from Monday to Saturday before 2 PM. One should not spend more than 10 minutes on this initiative. Gear up and Make the Best Use of this initiative. Do remember that, “the difference between Ordinary and EXTRA-Ordinary is PRACTICE!!” Important Note: Don’t forget to post your marks in the comment section. Also, let us know if you enjoyed today’s test 🙂 After completing the 5 questions, click on ‘View Questions’ to check your score, time taken, and solutions. To take the Test Click Here