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01 April 2024 Daily Current Affairs

Practice Questions

Consider the following statements about Treasury Bills

  1. Treasury bills or T-bills re short term debt instruments issued by the Government of India

2. These are zero coupon securities and pay no interest.

Choose the correct statement:

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Consider the following statements about Lokpal

  1. The selection committee is composed of the Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Chairman of Rajya Sabha and Chief Justice of India.

  2. The term of office for Lokpal Chairman and Members is 6 years or till the age of 70 years.

  3. The Inquiry Wing of the Lokpal has been vested with the powers of a civil court.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  • a) Only one

  • b) Only two

  • c) All three

  • d) None of the above

Which of the following is not true about Mekong river

a) It flows through six Asian countries including Myanmar and China

b) The river drains into the South China Sea

c) The capital of Laos and Cambodia are located on Mekong river banks

d) None of the above

About Mekong River: -

It is a trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia.

·       It is the world’s twelfth-longest river and the third-longest in Asia.

·       It originates from the Sanjianyuang in the Tibetan Plateau in China.

·       The river drains into the South China Sea

·       It flows through six Asian countries: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It covers a total length of 2700 km.

·       Capitals cities on its banks – Vientiane– the capital of Laos;  Phnom Penh-the capital of Cambodia

List of All Bharat Ratna Award Winners

Sure, here's the list of Bharat Ratna winners in table format:

| Year | Recipients | About |


| 1954 | C. Rajagopalachari | Activist, statesman, and lawyer |

| | Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan| India’s first Vice-President and second President |

| | C. V. Raman | Physicist, mathematician, and scientist |

| 1955 | Bhagwan Das | Activist, philosopher, and educationist |

| | M. Visvesvaraya | Civil engineer, statesman, and Diwan of Mysore |

| | Jawaharlal Nehru | Activist and author served as the Prime Minister of India |

| 1957 | Govind Ballabh Pant | Activist and first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh |

| 1958 | Dhondo Keshav Karve | Social reformer and educator |

| 1961 | Bidhan Chandra Roy | Physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker |

| | Purushottam Das Tandon | Activist and speaker of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly |

| 1962 | Rajendra Prasad | Activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar |

| 1963 | Zakir Husain | Activist, economist, and education philosopher served as Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and the Governor of Bihar |

| | Pandurang Vaman Kane | Indologist and Sanskrit scholar, known for his five-volume literary work |

| 1966 | Lal Bahadur Shastri | Activist and served as the second Prime Minister of India |

| 1971 | Indira Gandhi | First woman Prime Minister of India |

| 1975 | V. V. Giri | Trade Unionist |

| 1976 | K. Kamaraj | Independence activist and statesman, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu |

| 1980 | Mother Teresa | Catholic nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity |

| | Vinoba Bhave | Activist, social reformer, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi |

| 1987 | Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan | First noncitizen, independence activist |

| 1988 | M. G. Ramachandran | Actor turned politician, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu |

| 1990 | B.R. Ambedkar | Social reformer and leader of the Dalits |

| | Nelson Mandela | Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, President of South Africa |

| 1991 | Rajiv Gandhi | Ninth Prime Minister of India |

| | Vallabhbhai Patel | Activist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India |

| | Morarji Desai | Activist and Prime Minister of India |

| 1992 | Abul Kalam Azad | Activist and first Minister of education |

| | J. R. D. Tata | Industrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer |

| | Satyajit Ray | Director, filmmaker, writer, novelist |

| 1997 | Gulzarilal Nanda | Activist and interim Prime Minister of India |

| | Aruna Asaf Ali | Activist |

| | A.P.J Abdul Kalam | Aerospace and defense scientist |

| 1998 | M. S. Subbulakshmi | Carnatic classical vocalist |

| | Chidambaram Subramaniam | Activist and former Minister of Agriculture of India |

| 1999 | Jayaprakash Narayan | Activist and social reformer |

| | Amartya Sen | Economist |

| | Gopinath Bordoloi | Activist |

| | Ravi Shankar | Musician, sitar player |

| 2001 | Lata Mangeshkar | Singer |

| | Bismillah Khan | Hindustani classical shehnai player |

| 2009 | Bhimsen Joshi | Hindustani classical vocalist |

| 2014 | C. N. R. Rao | Chemist and professor, author |

| | Sachin Tendulkar | Cricketer |

| 2015 | Madan Mohan Malaviya | Scholar and educational reformer |

| | Atal Bihari Bajpayee | Elected nine times to the Lok Sabha, twice to the Rajya Sabha, and served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms. |

| 2019 | Pranab Mukherjee | Indian politician, and senior leader in the Indian National Congress. |

| | Nanaji Deshmukh | Social activist from India, education, health, and rural self-reliance. |

| | Bhupen Hazarika | Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet, and filmmaker from Assam. |

| 2024 | Karpoori Thakur | Renowned socialist leader and former Chief Minister of Bihar |

| | Lal Krishna Advani | Veteran Bhartiya Janta Party Leader |

| | PV Narsimha Rao | Former Prime Minister |

| | Chaudhary Charan Singh | Former Prime Minister who supported the agricultural sector and upheld the rights of the farmers. |

| | MS Swaminathan | Father of Green Revolution |

Geographical Indication (GI) Tags in India:

  • Over 60 products from across India have received the GI tag in a single instance, indicating a significant recognition of traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage.

  • More states are actively seeking GI tags for their traditional products, reflecting a growing awareness of the economic and cultural value of geographical indications.

GI Tags in Assam:

  • Asharikandi terracotta craft

  • Pani Meteka craft

  • Sarthebari metal craft

  • Jaapi (bamboo headgear)

  • Mishing handloom products

  • Bihudhol

  • Bodo Dokhona (traditional attire)

  • Bodo Eri silk

  • Bodo Jwmgra (traditional scarf)

  • Bodo Gamsa (traditional dress)

  • Bodo Thorkha (musical instrument)

  • Bodo Sifung (long flute)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma celebrates the recognition, emphasizing the significance of these products in supporting local heritage and livelihoods.

GI Tags in Varanasi (Banaras):

  • Banaras Thandai (traditional drink)

  • Banaras Tabla

  • Banaras Shehnai

  • Banaras Lal Bharwamirch

  • Banaras Lal Peda

Banaras Thandai, a traditional beverage with historical and cultural significance, receives the GI tag, acknowledging its centuries-old tradition and popularity during religious festivals.

GI Tags in Tripura:

  • Pachra-Rignai (traditional dress)

  • Matabari Peda (sweet preparation)

The Tripura region earns recognition for its traditional attire and culinary heritage with the awarding of GI tags to these products.

GI Tags in Meghalaya:

  • Garo Textile weaving

  • Lyrnai Pottery

  • Chubitchi

Meghalaya's traditional textile weaving, pottery, and culinary practices receive GI tags, highlighting their importance in the state's socio-cultural fabric and religious rituals.

Punnett Squares: Predicting Genetic Traits in Offspring

  • A Punnett Square is a grid used to predict the possible genetic combinations in offspring.

  • It is named after Reginald Punnett, a British geneticist.

  • Each square represents a possible combination of traits inherited from parents.

  • Punnett Squares are helpful for visualizing dominant and recessive genes.

  • They are used to study inheritance patterns in plants, animals, and humans.

  • Researchers use Punnett Squares alongside Mendelian inheritance, a core concept in genetics.

Punett Square

In this Punnett square, the colour green in unripe pods is determined by the dominant allele ‘G’ and the colour yellow in unripe pods is determined by a recessive allele ‘g’.

An allele is a variant of a gene. It's like a different version of the instructions for a particular trait. Here's a breakdown:

  • Genes: These are the basic units of heredity that are found on chromosomes. They contain the instructions for building proteins, which determine many of our traits (like eye color, height, etc.).

  • Alleles: Each gene has one or more alleles. These alleles are different versions of the instructions for that particular trait. For example, the gene for eye color might have a brown allele, a blue allele, and a green allele.

Imagine a gene is like a recipe for a cake. There can be many variations of this recipe (different types of flour, sugar, etc.), and these variations would be like the alleles. Each variation (allele) will influence how the cake (trait) turns out.

Neuroscience in India: Applications and Concerns

Neuroscience for Business Solutions

  • Traditional market research methods like questionnaires are limited due to filtering and biases.

  • Neuroscience offers objective data on brain-behavior to understand consumer responses.

  • Applications include:

  • Ad design to maximize effectiveness (e.g., using eye-tracking to see where attention goes).

  • Product design based on emotional responses.

  • Pricing strategies considering factors like "friction" (hassle) in the buying process.

  • Examples:

  • Identifying subconscious biases through Implicit Association Tests.

  • Using EEG to measure arousal levels in response to ads.

Neuroscience Tools

  • Advancements in bio instruments make neuroscience research more accessible:

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) - expensive but powerful.

  • Electroencephalography (EEG) - measures brainwaves to gauge emotions.

  • Eye-tracking devices - show where attention goes on webpages or ads.

  • Skin conductance measurement - detects emotional arousal.

  • Choosing the right tool depends on complexity and budget.

Indian Consumer Behavior Through Neuroscience

  • Understanding Indian consumer behavior:

  • Ads with "jugaad" (frugal innovation) themes resonate more.

  • Price sensitivity coexists with a dislike for "functional friction" (hassle).

  • Family plays a significant role in Tier 2/3 city decision-making.

Ethical Concerns

  • Elon Musk's Neuralink raises concerns about data misuse and manipulation.

  • Informed consent and participant protection are crucial in neuromarketing research.

  • Neuromarketing Science and Business Association (NMSBA) has a code of ethics.

  • Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) does not have specific guidelines yet.

Editorial Analysis

Workers, not tech, should be state’s priority

Aadhaar-Based Payment System (ABPS) for MGNREGS: Challenges and Concerns

Problems with ABPS

  • Linking rural employment with Aadhaar-based digital payments faces challenges:

  • Lack of internet connectivity in rural areas.

  • Fingerprint recognition issues.

  • Difficulties for differently abled workers.

  • Unrecorded working days, name issues, and lack of awareness.

  • Millions of workers have been deleted from the database or are ineligible for ABPS.

  • Faulty technology creates problems for those enrolled in ABPS.

Workers Sidelined by Technology

  • ABPS prioritizes technology over worker well-being.

  • The program makes workers dependent on technology, not beneficiaries.

  • Complexities of the system echo past issues with government projects.

Focus on Technology vs. Worker Needs

  • The question arises: Is technology being used for its own sake?

  • The program should prioritize worker security and economic empowerment, not just technological solutions.

  • MGNREGS aims to reduce poverty and inequality, not be a testing ground for technology.

Potential of Technology, Rethinking Implementation

  • Technology can support development goals but should not overshadow them.

  • Lessons from the pandemic highlight the need for technology that works for marginalized communities.

  • Technological advancements and government ideology need to be reevaluated.

  • Workers, not technology, should be the primary focus of MGNREGS.

MGNREGS plays a vital role in social security and reducing inequality. Technological interventions must prioritize these goals and serve the needs of the workers.

Editorial 02: -

The ART of India’s HIV/AIDS response

20 Years of Free Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS in India

A Success Story

  • India launched free ART in 2004, a game-changer in HIV/AIDS fight.

  • It addressed affordability and accessibility issues, making treatment widely available.

  • HIV prevalence has significantly declined, and mortality rates have dropped.

  • India's free ART program is a model for other public health initiatives.

Key Achievements

  • Over 1.8 million people living with HIV are on free ART.

  • HIV prevalence has fallen from 0.4% in 2004 to 0.20% in 2023.

  • Annual new HIV infections are down 48% compared to the global average.

  • AIDS-related deaths have declined by 82% compared to the global average.

Program Innovations

  • Early ART initiation regardless of CD4 count (immune system cells).

  • Patient-centered approach with longer medication supplies to reduce visits.

  • Adoption of new, more effective drugs as they become available.

  • Focus on viral load testing to monitor treatment success.

Challenges Remaining

  • Delayed enrollment in ART programs.

  • Loss to follow-up due to non-adherence to medication.

  • Ensuring consistent drug supply in remote areas.

  • Engaging the private sector in HIV/AIDS care.

  • Addressing co-morbidities like hepatitis and mental health.

Factors for Success

  • Strong political will and sustained government support.

  • Adequate funding, program monitoring, and community engagement.

  • Adapting services to patient needs and bridging implementation gaps.

Looking Ahead

  • India's free ART program serves as a model for future public health initiatives.

  • Lessons learned can be applied to launch similar programs for other diseases like Hepatitis C.

This is a significant public health achievement demonstrating the effectiveness of government-run programs with proper funding and implementation strategies.

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