My Notes - 01-15 Jan 2024

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Mumbai Trans Harbour Link inaugurated

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country’s longest bridge over the sea, the 22 km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, officially the Atal Setu Nhava Sheva Sea Link.
  • The objective of the project is to improve connectivity in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region which comprises the districts of Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, and Raigad, and promote the region’s economic development.

SC Legal Services Committee

  • Supreme Court judge Justice BR Gavai has been nominated as the Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC)
  • The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee was constituted under Section 3A of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, to provide “free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of society”, in cases falling under the top court’s jurisdiction.

SC overturns remission given to Bilkis Bano’s Case

  • The Supreme Court has struck down the remission granted to 11 men convicted in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case of 2002.
  • The court has ruled that the Gujarat government’s decision to remit their sentences and set them free was illegal.
  • The court ruled that the competent government in this matter would be the Maharashtra government.

Individual terrorist under UAPA

  • Gangster Goldy Brar, the mastermind behind the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, was declared a designated terrorist by the Centre under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
  • Amendments introduced in 2019 brought in provisions by which the Centre can declare individuals — not only organisations — as designated terrorists. Here is how this works.


Op Prosperity Guardian

  • The recent attacks on ships passing the Red Sea, a crucial trade route that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, have prompted many businesses to pause the movement of cargo through the region.
  • The United States Secretary of State Lloyd Austin announced a joint maritime security initiative called Operation Prosperity Guardian to aid the safe movement of ships.

The Shia Houthis

  • The United States and the United Kingdom launched strikes aimed at Houthi groups in Yemen, in response to the persistent Houthi attacks on ships passing through the Red Sea.
  • The Houthis have attacked ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden to protest the Israeli military’s continuing bombardment of Gaza.
  • The Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah (supporters of God), are an armed group that control most parts of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa, and some of the western and northern areas close to Saudi Arabia.


Indians escape Multidimensional Poverty

  • 82 crore people escaped multidimensional poverty in last nine years. Findings of NITI Aayog’s Discussion Paper ‘Multidimensional Poverty in India since 2005-06’ give credit for this remarkable achievement to significant initiatives of the government to address all dimensions of the poverty between 2013-14 to 2022-23.
  • The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is a globally recognized comprehensive measure that captures poverty in multiple dimensions beyond monetary aspects.

Individual income inequality has significantly declined

  • Individual income inequality has significantly declined during FY14-FY22 because of a “great migration” at the bottom of the pyramid, even as individual’s weighted mean income has risen from 1 lakh to 11.6 lakh during FY14-FY21, according to SBI’s economic research department (ERD).
  • Gini coefficient estimated using ITR (Income Tax Return) data of taxable income of individuals show that individual income inequality has significantly declined from 0.472 to 0.402 during FY14-FY22.

World Economic Forum

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is holding its Annual Meeting from 15 to 19 January 2024 in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Klaus Schwab founded WEF in 1971, originally known as the European Management Forum.
  • The WEF is largely funded by its partnering corporations. These are generally global enterprises with annual turnover greater than $5 billion.

Science & Technology

First X-ray Polarimeter Satellite

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched of its first X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XpoSat)
  • It is a space-based observatory to study X-ray polarisation and its cosmic sourcescelestial bodies including black holes, neutron stars and magnetars.
  • XpoSat is only the world’s second such mission. In 2021, NASA had launched Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) to operate and perform X-ray polarisation measurements within the soft X-ray band, whereas XPoSat will operate within the medium X-ray band.

Aditya at L1

  • Aditya-L1 arrives at its destination, L1 or the first Sun-Earth Lagrangian point.
  • Aditya-L1 was launched by ISRO on 2 September 2023 with the mission of observing, and helping us better understand the Sun.

The Square Kilometer Array project

  • India had decided to formally join the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project, an international scientific collaboration working to build the world’s largest radio telescope.
  • The decision to join SKA as a full member ensures India’s participation in yet another international mega science project in the most advanced areas of scientific research.
    • The Square Kilometer Array will not be a single large telescope, but a collection of thousands of dish antennas operating as a single unit.

    UAV ‘Drishti 10 Starliner’

    • Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar unveiled the first indigenously manufactured Drishti 10 Starliner Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in a ceremony held in Adani Aerospace Park at Hyderabad.
    • Drishti 10 Starliner Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is an advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform, developed by Adani Defence and Aerospace, and represents a significant leap forward in India’s defence technology.

    Cyber kidnapping

    • A Chinese student who was a victim of ‘cyber kidnapping’ has been found in rural Utah, unharmed.
    • Cyber kidnapping refers to a crime where the ‘kidnappers’ convince their victim to hide, and then contact their loved ones for ransom.
    • The victim is also made to send pictures that make it look like they are being held captive — showing them bound or gagged.

    First set of Starlink satellites

    • Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with the first set of Starlink satellites that can beam phone signals from spacedirectly to smartphones.
    • Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell capability have an advanced eNodeB modem onboard that acts like a cellphone tower in space, allowing network integration similar to a standard roaming partner.

    GM mustard

    • The Supreme Court questioned the Centre on why reports of the court-appointed Technical Experts Committee (TEC) on the biosafety of genetically modified (GM) crops were not looked into by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).
    • The GEAC functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and has been tasked with the appraisal of proposals relating to the “release” of GM organisms and products (ordinarily considered hazardous) into the environment.


New law for hit-and-run

  • The Nationwid strike was launched by truck, bus and tanker drivers to protest against the stringent jail and fine regulations under the newly implemented Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS) for hit-and-run cases.
  • Under the new law, which replaced the colonial era Indian Penal Code, drivers who cause a serious road accident by negligent driving and run away without informing the police or any official from the administration can face punishment of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs 7 lakh.

AI can help detect cancer

  • Given the escalating cases of cancer, the shortage of specialists poses a significant challenge in curbing fatalities. To address this gap, Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), the biggest cancer hospital in India, is turning to artificial intelligence (AI).
    • By established a ‘Bio-Imaging Bank’ for cancer, the hospital is utilising deep learning to craft a cancer-specific tailored algorithm that aids in early-stage cancer detection.

    Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri

    • Cultural celebrations are held across many states of India under different namesMakar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, etc. on 14 January 2024.
    • The day is a marker for a change of seasonwarmer months are close and we are moving away from winter, which is seen as a period of inactivity in many ways.
    • It is said that the northward journey of the sun (Uttarayan) begins on this day.

    Vulture restaurant

    • A ‘Vulture restaurant’ has been set up in Jharkhand in a bid to conserve the fast dwindling population of the bird speciesdue to rampant use of drugsin livestock.
    • The restaurant has been set up in Koderma district and will begin functioning once the protocol for goshalas (cow shelter) and municipalitiesfor providing diclofenac-free animal carcassesis ready.
    • The first ‘vulture restaurant’ came up in 2015 at Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary in Raigad district of Maharashtra in response to videos of white-rumped vulture chicks starving to deathin the western ghats.


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