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22 March 2024 Daily current Affairs

UPSC PRELIMS PRACTICE QUESTIONS

1.What is the name of the app developed by VSSC to aid Gaganyaan astronauts with technical assistance, health monitoring, and mission management?

STAR

GALAXY

SAKHI

COSMOS


2. According to the World Happiness Report, which country has been named the happiest for the seventh consecutive year?

Denmark

Iceland

Finland

Sweden


3. Which Indian state is home to the Bugun tribe and the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary?

Assam

Meghalaya

Manipur

Arunachal Pradesh



Answers: - C,C,D

1. India Launches Operation Indravati To Evacuate Its Nationals From Haiti To Dominican Republic

India has initiated "Operation Indravati" to evacuate its citizens from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. This operation aims to ensure the safety of Indian nationals amidst challenging circumstances in Haiti.



2. Crackdown on Online Betting Ads Targeting Indian Audience

Ministry Issues Advisory:

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has issued a new directive aimed at social media influencers and online platforms. The advisory discourages any promotion or endorsement of offshore online betting and gambling platforms.

Reasons for the Advisory:

  • The I&B Ministry highlights the negative social and economic impacts of online betting and gambling, particularly on young people.

  • The advisory emphasizes concerns raised by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) regarding the use of celebrities and influencers to promote these platforms.

What the Advisory Calls For:

  • Social media influencers are strictly advised to refrain from promoting or endorsing online betting platforms in any form, including through subtle or indirect methods.

  • Online advertisement platforms are directed not to target Indian users with content related to offshore betting and gambling.

  • Social media platforms are encouraged to educate their users about the advisory and discourage them from posting such content.

Consequences of Non-Compliance:

The Ministry warns that failure to comply with the advisory may result in legal action under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.


3. Sri Lanka Nears Debt Restructuring Deal, IMF Loan Progress

Sri Lanka on Track for Debt Relief

Sri Lanka is close to finalizing a debt restructuring agreement with India and the Paris Club group of creditors. This deal could involve a moratorium on repayments for up to six years and reduced interest rates.

  • Benefits: This agreement is critical for Sri Lanka's economic recovery plan. It will pave the way for the next tranche of a $3 billion IMF loan.

What is the Paris Club?

The Paris Club is an informal group of major creditor countries that work together to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries. The aim is to help debtor nations stabilize their finances and resume economic growth.

  • Membership: The Paris Club consists of 22 member countries, including most of the Western European and Scandinavian nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

  • Function: The Paris Club offers debt relief to debtor countries in the form of rescheduling, which involves extending repayment deadlines or reducing debt service obligations.

Sri Lanka's Debt Situation

Sri Lanka defaulted on its nearly $50 billion external debt in April 2022. Since then, they've been negotiating with various lenders to create a manageable repayment plan.

  • Progress with Bilateral Creditors: Sri Lanka has made significant progress in negotiations with the Paris Club and India, which are considered bilateral creditors.

  • Challenge with Private Creditors: Finalizing deals with private creditors, who hold the majority of Sri Lanka's external debt, remains a challenge.

Positive Developments

  • Sri Lanka has made significant progress in negotiating with bilateral creditors.

  • The country reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF for the next loan tranche of approximately $337 million.

  • IMF commends Sri Lanka's progress on economic reforms, including controlling inflation, building reserves, and strengthening public finances.

While challenges remain, these developments suggest Sri Lanka is moving towards a more stable financial future.


4. U.S. recognises Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory: official

US Backs India on Arunachal Pradesh Dispute

  • The US supports India's claim over Arunachal Pradesh and opposes China's attempts to assert its territorial claims in the region.

  • This comes after China's military reiterated its claim over Arunachal Pradesh following Prime Minister Modi's visit there.

  • China routinely objects to Indian leaders visiting Arunachal Pradesh and refers to it as "South Tibet" or "Zangnan".

  • The recent inauguration of the Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh by PM Modi further heightened tensions. This strategic tunnel improves connectivity to Tawang, an important Indian military base near the border.


New Rules Crack Down on Mislabeled Biodegradable Plastics

India's Environment Ministry has tightened regulations for labeling disposable plastics as "biodegradable."


The new rules require such products to decompose completely without leaving microplastics behind.


This aims to address concerns about misleading labels and potential environmental harm from microplastic pollution.


Challenges with the New Rules:

The definition of "biodegradable" now includes the absence of microplastics, but specific testing methods are not yet defined.

This creates uncertainty for manufacturers and may delay product approvals.


Industry Concerns:

Some companies argue that existing testing standards only recommend, not mandate, microplastic detection.


They believe any future microplastic standards should apply equally to both compostable and biodegradable plastics.


Background:

Biodegradable and compostable plastics are seen as potential solutions to India's plastic waste problem.


However, concerns exist about incomplete biodegradation and the potential for microplastic pollution.


These new regulations aim to ensure biodegradable labels are accurate and environmentally responsible.




Editorial of the Day from The Hindu Newspaper


India Tests Advanced Missile Technology

Agni-V Missile Now Carries Multiple Warheads

India successfully test-fired its Agni-V ballistic missile equipped with MIRV (Multiple Independently Re-entry Vehicle) technology. This marks a significant development in India's nuclear program. The Agni-V, with a range exceeding 5,000 kilometers, can now carry multiple independently targeted nuclear warheads.

Strengthening Second-Strike Capability

This advancement strengthens India's second-strike capability, which is critical for its no-first-use nuclear doctrine. In the event of a nuclear attack, a credible second-strike capability allows retaliation even if initial strikes destroy some launch facilities.

Countering Regional Threats

The MIRV technology is seen as a counter to China's missile defenses and its expanding nuclear arsenal. Pakistan also claims to possess MIRV technology.

Potential for Regional Escalation

This development might lead to increased tensions in the region. It could trigger a "one-upmanship" race in nuclear development between India, China, and Pakistan, making the region more unstable and increasing the risk of a nuclear arms race.


Editorial 02 - Water, an instrument to build world peace


World Water Day: A Call for Water Security in India


Water Crisis: A Global Threat

  • World Water Day, held annually on March 22nd, raises awareness about the importance of freshwater. Started by UN since 1993.

  • This year's theme, "Water for Peace," highlights the link between water scarcity and conflict.

  • Multiple factors contribute to the water crisis, including rapid urbanization, unsustainable practices, and climate change.

India's Water Challenges

  • India faces water stress due to limited availability and quality issues.

  • Overuse, inefficient management, and pollution exacerbate the problem.

  • Groundwater depletion is a major concern, especially in some states.

  • Many rivers and water bodies are drying up, impacting agriculture and ecosystems.

Rainwater Harvesting: A Key Solution

  • Rainwater harvesting is crucial for improving water quantity and quality.

  • It helps recharge groundwater, supports irrigation, and builds drought resilience.

  • Government initiatives like PMKSY and Jal Shakti Abhiyan promote water conservation and rainwater harvesting.

Additional Measures for Water Security

  • Monitoring groundwater levels and water quality is essential.

  • Implementing a circular water economy promotes water reuse.

  • Efficient irrigation techniques like micro-irrigation and IoT-based automation should be adopted. IoT (Internet of Things) allows for real-time monitoring of water usage and soil moisture, enabling more precise irrigation and reducing water waste.

  • Water pricing and metering can discourage water overuse.

  • Community awareness campaigns and public participation are vital.

  • Growing low-water-requirement crops and integrated farming systems are crucial.

  • Building climate resilience and ensuring research-industry-academia collaboration are key.

  • Initiatives like Har Medh Par Ped (Tree on Every Boundary) promote afforestation, which helps conserve soil moisture and improve water infiltration.

Conclusion

By adopting these solutions, India can achieve water security and contribute to a more peaceful world.

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