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23 March 2024 Daily Current Affairs

Map of the Day - IRAN

Iran map

Prelims Specific Questions

Which Indian state has become the first to have a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Act?





Which country was identified as the world's top arms importer between 2019-23 according to the SIPRI Report?



United States


The Venetian traveler who travelled with his wife and reached Vijayanagar around 1420 was

Athanasius Nikitin

Nicolo de Conti

Ibn Batuta


CSAT Practice Question

Statement: "You are hereby appointed as a programmer with a probation period of one year and your performance will be reviewed at the end of the period for confirmation." - A line in an appointment letter.


  1. The performance of an individual generally is not known at the time of appointment offer.

2. Generally an individual tries to prove his worth in the probation period.

Only assumption I is implicit

Only assumption II is implicit

Either I or II is implicit

Neither I nor II is implicit

Both I and II are implicit

Some key details about Baha'is:

  • Religious Minority: They are Iran's biggest non-Muslim religious minority.

  • Independent Faith: Their faith isn't recognized by Iran's government, suggesting it's an independent religion.

  • Global Community: They have a spiritual center in Haifa, Israel, implying an international presence

Why in News :- Persecution of Baha'is in Iran

  • Grave Desecration: Iranian authorities destroy Baha'i cemetery near Tehran.

  • Systematic Discrimination: Baha'is face limitations on education, harassment, and imprisonment.

  • International Condemnation: US and UN officials criticize the destruction and ongoing persecution.

2. Finland's Coastal Waters Face Biodiversity Loss

  • Unique Ecosystem at Risk: Finnish experts warn of declining biodiversity in the Baltic Sea's shallow coastal waters.

  • Keystone Species Vanishing: The report highlights a concerning decrease in bladder wrack, eelgrass, and blue mussels, crucial for the ecosystem's health.

  • Fragile Food Web: Researchers point out the limited number of invertebrate species, making the ecosystem vulnerable as species disappear.

  • Multiple Threats: Eutrophication (excess nutrients) and climate change are identified as the main drivers of biodiversity loss.

  • Widespread Damage: The study finds 45 different forms of biodiversity loss, including local extinctions and population declines.

  • Coastal Importance: These ecosystems play a vital role in carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, oxygen production, and supporting fish stocks.

  • Urgent Action Needed: The report suggests Finland's coastal waters are in poor condition regarding eutrophication, highlighting the need for action.

3. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees.

Here's a summary of UNRWA:

  • Established: 1949, by the UN General Assembly [UNRWA Wikipedia]

  • Mission: Supports the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees.

  • Who it helps: Palestinian refugees who fled or were displaced during the 1948 Palestine War and subsequent conflicts, and their descendants [UNRWA Wikipedia]. This includes over 5.6 million people [UNRWA Wikipedia].

  • Services provided: UNRWA offers various services including primary and vocational education, primary healthcare, relief and social services, infrastructure and camp improvement, microfinance, and emergency response [UNRWA website].

  • Funding: UNRWA is funded by voluntary contributions from UN member states [UNRWA Wikipedia]. There has been recent controversy about potential cuts to UNRWA funding [Al Jazeera news].

UNRWA is a complex and important organization in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If you'd like to learn more about a specific aspect of UNRWA, let me know.

4. Critical Minerals of India: -

Government has released a list of 30 critical minerals for India

These minerals are: -

Antimony, Beryllium, Bismuth, Cobalt, Copper, Gallium, Germanium, Graphite, Hafnium, Indium, Lithium, Molybdenum, Niobium, Nickel, PGE, Phosphorous, Potash, REE,Rhenium, Silicon, Strontium, Tantalum, Tellurium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Vanadium,Zirconium, Selenium and Cadmium.

Ministry of Mines has increased focus on exploration of these minerals in the country through Geological Survey of India (GSI) and other agencies.

Why in News: - India is looking at Africa for minerals, including cobalt, and other critical minerals.. The country is still engaging with Australia for lithium blocks.

Critical minerals, including lithium are crucial for electric vehicle batteries and for India’s decarbonisation mission.

5. Allahabad High Court Finds Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Education Act Unconstitutional


The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act, passed in 2004, established a board to oversee madrasas, Islamic institutions that traditionally focus on religious education.

This Act sparked controversy as some argued it violated India's secular principles.


The Allahabad High Court challenged the Act on these grounds:

  • Secularism: The court ruled that the Act violated the principle of secularism enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The state cannot create a board specifically for religious education or discriminate by offering different education systems based on religion.

  • Right to Education: The court emphasized the state's responsibility to provide secular education, particularly for minors. Education should be modern, universal, and prepare students for the future, not limited to religious instruction.

Court's Decision:

The Allahabad High Court declared the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education Act unconstitutional.


The court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to integrate students currently enrolled in madrasas into the regular school system, overseen by the Primary Education Board and High School and Intermediate Education Board.

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