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05 February 2024 - Daily Current Affairs

Map of the Day for Daily Current Affairs

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1. S N Goenka’s 100th birth anniversary

PM said because of Acharya Goenka's efforts, more than 80 countries of the world have understood the importance of meditation and adopted it.

He was an Indian teacher of Vipassanā meditation. Born in Burma to an Indianbusiness family, he moved to India in 1969 and started teaching meditation. His teaching emphasized that the Buddha's path to liberation was non-sectarian, universal, and scientific in character.

The practice of Vipassana meditation involves following the principles of Dhamma/ Dharma, the universal law of nature. It involves walking on the noble eight fold path, which is broadly categorised into Sila (Morality), Samadhi (concentration) and Pañña (wisdom, insight).

2. About the Half-humanoid Vyommitra : -

  • Vyommitra is a female-looking spacefaring humanoid robot being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation to function on-board the Gaganyaan, a crewed orbital spacecraft.

  • A humanoid is basically a robot with the appearance of a human being.

  • ISRO’s Vyommitra (vyoma = space, mitra = friend) is also being called a half-humanoid since she will only have a head, two hands and a torso, and will not have lower limbs. Like any robot, a humanoid’s functions are determined by the computer systems to which it is connected.

3. What is a fungible vs non-fungible asset?

The concept of fungibility refers to the ability for an asset to be exchanged equivalently with another asset of like kind.

Example of Fungibility: -A practical example of a fungibleasset is the Indian Rupees, where you can trade Rs. 500 note for another Rs 500 note or 5 Rs. 100 notes, knowing the value is exactly the same regardless of anything.

In contrast to fungible assets, non-fungible assets are valued differently based on their unique attributes and scarcity.

One such example of this is diamond, where each individual diamond is assigned a unique value depending on its attributes such as size, , and rarity. Diamonds are not fungible because every diamond is valued differently and thus cannot be exchanged directly for any other diamond.

What are non-fungible tokens?

Non-fungible tokens, often referred to as NFTs, are blockchain-based tokens that each represent a unique asset like a piece of art, digital content, or media.

An NFT can be thought of as an irrevocable digital certificate of ownership and authenticity for a given asset, whether digital or physical. 

What are the key characteristics of a non-fungible token?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are designed to be i) cryptographically verifiable,

ii) unique or scarce and

iii) easily transferable.

Leveraging cryptographic signatures native to the blockchain on which an NFT is issued, one can easily determine the origin and the current owner of the asset in question in seconds.

How is a non-fungible token created?

A non-fungible token is created by an artist, creator, or license-holder through a process called minting.

4. The importance of keeping personally identifiable information safe

What is Personally Identifiable Information?

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is any data or information maintained by an organisation or agency that can potentially be used to identify a specific individual. 

This could include information such as Aadhaar, PAN, voter identity, passport, date of birth, contact number, communication address, and biometric information. 

However, nonPII in tandem with additional information can be used to identify an individual. NonPII information includes photographic images (especially of the face or other identifying characteristics), place of birth, religion, geographic indicators, employment information, educational qualifications, and medical records.

What is the difference between sensitive and nonsensitive PII?

Nonsensitive PII is publicly available information and can be stored and transmitted unencrypted. This includes information such as zip code, race, gender, and religion. They cannot be used to accurately identify an individual.

Sensitive PII, when exposed, can be used to identify individuals and potentially cause harm. Some of the most important components that constitute sensitive PII are stored by employers, government organisations, banks, and other digital accounts used by individuals.

Cyberattacks and weaknesses in digital infrastructure can lead to the exposure of citizens’ PII.

How can one protect PII?

  • Look for HTTPS in URLs when visiting unknown websites. The “S” stands for secure and is used by legitimate websites to secure collected information from unsecured connections.

  • Use a VPN when accessing sensitive information using public networks.

  • Keep a tab on your PII like Aadhaar, passport, PAN, Voter ID, and other important proofs of identity. Avoid sharing or accessing images or details of identity documents through unknown devices. 

  • Avoid sharing personal information on social media platforms.

5. Bill for NFIR almost ready; likely to be introduced in next session

A draft Bill for setting up a National Financial Information Registry (NFIR) is almost ready.

The objective is to build a public infrastructure for credit-related information and the right information can be made available by the NFIR to lending agencies.

A National Financial Information Registry will serve as the central repository of financial and ancillary information. This will facilitate efficient flow of credit, promote financial inclusion, and foster financial stability.

6. Black holes and Ergosphere

Rotating black holes (a.k.a. Kerr black holes) have a unique feature: a region outside their outer event horizon called the ergosphere.

A black hole is formed when a really massive star runs out of fuel to fuse, blows up, leaving its core to implode under its weight to form a black hole.

The centre of a black hole is a gravitational singularity,  A black hole’s great gravitational pull emerges as if from the singularity.

The event horizon describes a sphere around the singularity: when anything enters this sphere, it can’t escape unless it travels faster than light (which is impossible)

Just beyond this sphere, a rotating black hole will also have an ergosphere – a bigger sphere that an object can enter and then leave if it’s moving fast enough, but still less than the speed of light.

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