My Notes - 1-15 Feb 2024

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Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code

  • Uttarakhand has become the first State in independent India to implement a Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
  • The Uniform Civil Code is to formulate and implement personal laws of citizens which apply on all citizens equally regardless of their religion, gender and sexual orientation.
  • The Code applies to residents of the state, but only to those who identify within the binary genders of male and female who are in heterosexual relationships, thus leaving most LGBT persons outside its ambit.

SC strikes down electoral bonds scheme

  • A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court gave its verdict on the legality of the electoral bonds scheme, holding it “unconstitutional” in a unanimous judgement.
  • The electoral bonds scheme violates the right to information under Article 19(1)(a), which guarantees the freedom of speech and expression.

PM-MKSSY approved

  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhi Sah-Yojana (PM-MKSSY) is a Central Sector Sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojan (PMMSY).
  • PMMSY (2020) aims to bring the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India.

Nazool land

  • Violence erupted in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani district after the administration conducted a demolition drive at the site of a mosque and madrasa, allegedly on Nazool land, killing five and injuring many more.
  • Nazool land is owned by the government but most often not directly administered as state property.
  • The state generally allots such land to any entity on lease for a fixed period, generally between 15 and 99 years.

Geo-tagging deadline extended

  • The national capital’s property geotagging deadline has been extended, according to a statement released by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
  • Geotagging is the process of alloting geographic coordinates to media based on the location of a mobile device.
  • Geotags can be applied to photos, videos, websites, text messages, and QR codes, and could also include time stamps or other contextual information.

UPI at the iconic Eiffel Tower

  • India officially launched the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) at the iconic Eiffel Tower in France, marking a significant step towards realising vision of taking UPI global.”
  • Unified Payments Interface is an Indian instant payment system which was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2016.


Genocide in Gaza

  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Israel must “take all measures within its power” to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza, but stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.
  • At this stage, the World Court did not rule on the core of the case brought by South Africa, that is, whether Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.
  • But an overwhelming majority of the 17 judges presiding over the case voted for emergency measures to be implemented.

Three-stage Hamas ceasefire plan

  • Amid mounting deaths and devastation, Hamas had proposed a three-stage plan to halt its ongoing conflict with Israel.
  • In phase 1, Israeli women hostages, boys under 19, and the sick and the elderly will be released, in exchange for Palestinian women and children in Israeli jails.
  • In phase 2, the other male hostages will be released and Israeli troops will withdraw from all of Gaza.
  • In phase 3, bodies and mortal remains of those killed on both sides will be exchanged.

BAPS temple in UAE

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Abu Dhabi, the first Hindu temple in the Gulf nation.
  • The temple has been built by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a denomination of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, a Vaishnav sect of Hinduism.

Operation Dara-e-Bolan

  • The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has launched ‘Operation Dara-e-Bolan’ in the Mach and Bolan regions of Balochistan in alliance with the BLA’s elite units, including the Majeed Brigade, Special Tactical Operations Squad, Fateh Squad, and Intelligence Wing.
  • Baloch Liberation Army demands independence of Balochistan from Pakistan.
  • The people of Balochistan believe that when India and Pakistan were divided, they were forcibly included in Pakistan.


White paper on economy

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented a “white paper” on the Indian economy in Parliament.
  • A white paper typically provides information about a specific issue.
  • Governments present a white paper to make people aware of the nature and scope of the problem and the possible ways to resolve it.

 Blue economy 2.0

  • The Interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1 February 2024 stressed on environment-friendly development through the promotion of ‘blue economy’.
  • For promoting climate resilient activities for blue economy 2.0, a scheme for restoration and adaptation measures, and coastal aquaculture and mariculture with integrated and multi-sectoral approach will be launched.
  • The term blue economy can simply refer to economic activities related to the sea and the coasts, it is generally understood to have an element of sustainability in it.

the gender budget

  • This year, the total allocation under the gender budget stands at three lakh crore, which is almost 6.5% of the total expenditure.
  • This is an increase of almost 40% over the gender budget for the previous year, and the highest increase in the last decade.
  • A separate statement of the Union budget, it provides an estimate of budgetary allocations and expenditure targeted towards women and girls.
  • The practice of issuing an annual gender budgeting statement (GBS) as part of the Union budget began in 2005-06.

Science & Technology

Seafood outside the sea

  • Kochi-headquartered ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has entered into a collaborative research agreement with a private-sector start-up offering cultivated meat technology solutions to grow fish meat in the laboratory.
  • Seafood without the sea is ‘grown’ in the same way as other cultivated meats are grown — without the need to raise and kill an animal.
  • Cultivated fish meat is produced by isolating specific cells from fish and growing them in a laboratory setting using media that is free of animal components.

NASA’s PACE satellite

  • Nasa’s PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) satellite launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex.
  • PACE, Nasa’s newest Earth-observing satellite, will help scientists better understand how climate change is affecting blooms of ocean phytoplankton.
  • Phytoplankton, also known as microalgae, is the foundation of the ocean’s food web.

Test tube rhinos

  • The death of the last male in 2018 made the extinction of the northern white rhino inevitability.
  • Recently, the scientists announced the first-ever rhino pregnancy achieved by transferring a lab-made rhino embryo into a surrogate mother.
  • It took 13 attempts for the breakthrough with a southern white rhino, a closely-related subspecies that branched away from the northern whites about a million years ago.

Nano DAP to be expanded

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting the interim budget on 1 February 2024, announced the expansion of the application of Nano DAP on various crops in all agro climatic zones.
  • DAP, or di-ammonium phosphate, is the second most commonly used fertiliser in India after urea.
  • Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative’s (IFFCO’s) Nano DAP, containing 8% Nitrogen and 16% Phosphorus by volume.
  • Unlike conventional DAP, which comes in granular form, IFFCO’s Nano DAP is in liquid form.


Atmospheric river

  • The atmospheric river systems, also called as “rivers in the sky” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, refer to the long streams of moisture present in the atmosphere.
  • The atmospheric rivers which affecting western US are getting supercharged by the water vapours evaporated off the Pacific Ocean and are being moved from the tropics or subtropics by other weather systems.

first functional 3D-printed brain tissue

  • Researchers have created the first functional 3D-printed brain tissue that can develop and form connections in the same way as real human brain tissue.
  • This remarkable accomplishment by a team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison provides neuroscientists with a new tool for studying communication between brain cells and other parts of the human brain, potentially leading to better ways of treating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

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