Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 30th June 2024

 National News 

1. MicrobioTx launches India’s first Hyper-Personalised Probiotic 

  • MicrobioTx, a Bengaluru-based gut health startup, introduced Personal Probiotics, India’s first prebiotic and probiotic blend handcrafted based on individual gut profile, and GutChat, a free gut health-focused chatbot for gut health enthusiasts. 
  • Personal probiotics are hand-crafted based on the results of a unique, patent-protected and clinically proven gut microbiome test. 
  • It is estimated that 1 out of every four individuals in urban India suffers from gut-related issues. The key factors causing the conditions include inadequate fiber intake, irregular eating habits, low water intake, stress, and consumption of processed, fatty and oily food. 
  • World Microbiome Day – 27 June 

2.RPF launches Sangyaan App to educate and empower RPF Personnel 

  • The Director General of Railway Protection Force (RPF) Manoj Yadava has launched the mobile application-Sangyaan App. 
  • It is designed and developed by the Tech Team of RPF to provide in-depth information on three new Criminal Acts: The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) 2023, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) 2023, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA) 2023. 
  • Sangyaan App aims to educate and empower RPF Personnel by providing comprehensive information to understand the provisions of both new and old criminal laws, while highlighting the relevance of these new acts in the context of RPF operations. 
  • The app features user-friendly navigation, a searchable database and offline access, making it a practical tool for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest legal developments in India. 

3.Bioplastic Park to be set up in UP Lakhimpur Kheri district 

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to set up a bioplastic park in the state to deal with the problem of environmental pollution caused by the pertoleum derivative based plastic products in the state. 
  • The bioplastic park to be developed on 1000 hectares of land will be constructed in Kumbhi village, Gola Gokarnnath tehsil, Lakhimpur Kheri district. 
  • The project will be developed with an estimated cost of Rs 2000 crore. 
  • The state government has made the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) the nodal agency for the development of the bioplastic park. 

4.Central Railway installs first-ever Floating Solar Plant in Nashik Lake 

  •  In a first for the Indian Railways, the Central Railway (CR) has installed a floating solar power plant of 10MWp capacity in the Igatpuri Lake in Nashik, Maharashtra. 
  •  Stepping towards its ultimate goal of zero carbon emission by 2030, the CR has already commissioned 12.05 MWp (MegaWatt peak) solar plants on railway stations’ rooftops and buildings, adding 4 MWp last year. 
  •  This has resulted in a saving of ₹4.62 crore in 2023-2024, plus saving carbon footprints of around 6.95 tons. We plan to install additional 7 MWp solar power plants in the current year. 
  •  Besides 61 MW solar energy, the CR is already tapping 56.4 MW wind energy, and it has signed PPA’s to utilize 325 MW solar and wind energy on a 24-hour basis. 
  •  The CR’s current monthly power consumption is 236.92 million units for traction work and 9.7 million units for other non-traction works. After the commissioning of the above sources of renewables, the CR expects that 70 per cent of its traction energy will be green. 

International News 

5.S Jaishankar to represent India at SCO summit in Kazakhstan 

  •  External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will represent India at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Astana. 
  •  The SCO summit to be held on July 3 and 4 is expected to focus on the regional security situation and ways to boost connectivity and trade. 
  •  The SCO, comprising India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is an influential economic and security bloc that has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. 
  •  India’s association with the SCO began in 2005 as an observer country. It became a full member state of the SCO at the Astana summit in 2017. 
  •  The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan became its permanent member along with India in 2017. 


6.Dr. Usha Thakur awarded 12th Vishwa Hindi Samman 

  •  Usha Thakur was awarded the 12th Vishwa Hindi Samman (World Hindi Conference) at a Hindi Samvad event organized by the Embassy of India in Nepal. 
  •  She has translated more than 40 literatures in Hindi and Nepali and strengthened Hindi language. This award is given by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. 
  •  12th World Hindi Conference was held in Fiji in 2023. As Dr Thakur could not attend the event in Fiji, she was given the award in an event organized in Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. 

Recent Award 

  •  UK Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2024 – Sanjana Thakur (For Aishwarya Rai) 
  • Pen Pinter Prize 2024 – Arundhati Roy (for Unflinching and unswerving) 
  • PSU Leadership & Excellence Award 2024 – THDC India Limited (category of ‘Leadership in Digital Transformation). 
  •  National award for APY implementation – Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank 
  •  Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award – Vinod Ganatra 


7.NASA picks SpaceX to destroy International Space Station 

  •  NASA had picked SpaceX to build a vessel to carry the International Space Station back through Earth’s atmosphere and on to a final resting place in the Pacific Ocean after it is retired in 2030. 
  • Elon Musk’s company has been awarded a contract with a potential value of US$843 million to develop and deliver the spaceship, dubbed the US Deorbit Vehicle. 
  •  Selecting a US Deorbit Vehicle for the International Space Station will help NASA and its international partners ensure a safe and responsible transition in low Earth orbit at the end of station operations. 
  • Weighing 430,000 kilograms (950,000) pounds, the ISS is by far the largest single structure ever built in space. 
  • The first segment of the ISS was launched in 1998, and it has been continuously inhabited by an international crew since 2001.


8.India beat South Africa by 7 runs to win ICC T20 World Cup 2024 

  •  India ended their 13-year wait for an ICC Cricket World Cup trophy when they beat South Africa by seven runs to lift the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in a thrilling final at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. 
  •  India also became the first team to win the men’s T20 World Cup without losing a game all tournament. India won all eight matches they played in the tournament, and had one washout: the first-round game against Canada. 
  •  With 281 runs from Eight games, Rahmanullah Gurbsaz of Afghanistan is the top scorer in the T20 World Cup 2024. While Rohit Sharma was second in the list with 257 runs at a strike rate of 156.70. 
  •  Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi was the joint highest wicket-taker with along with India’s Arshdeep Singh – 17 wickets. 
  •  Player of the match – Virat Kohli (India) 
  •  Player of the tournament – Jasprit Bumrah (India)

 Important day 

9. 28 June – National Insurance Awareness Day 

  •  National Insurance Awareness Day is observed every year on June 28. 
  •  This day is dedicated to promoting the importance of insurance and ensuring that people understand the benefits of having adequate insurance coverage. 
  •  The day also serves as a reminder to review insurance plans regularly and to make sure that they are up-to-date and reflect the changing needs of the individual. 
  • The history of insurance dates back to the Great Fire of London in 1886. The devastation caused by the fires led to the development of new forms of insurance that could protect individuals and families from the financial risks of major events. 

10.27 June – International Pineapple Day 

  • International Pineapple Day is celebrated every year on 27 June. 
  • This day is dedicated to the tropical fruit pineapple and its nutritional, economic, and cultural benefits. 
  • The day dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries when pineapples were used as a symbol of warmth and welcome.
  •   In Asia, pineapples symbolize prosperity and good fortune, while in the Caribbean, they symbolize friendship. 

11. 29 June – National Statistics Day 

  • National Statistics Day is observed every year on June 29 to honour the late scientist Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. 
  • The day highlights his contributions to the field of statistics and economic planning in the post-independent era. 
  •  The day is not to be confused with the United Nations’ World Statistics Day, which is celebrated every five years on October 20. 
  • It also aims to raise public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning. It encourages the use of statistical tools and techniques in addressing real-world challenges. Schemes and committees 

12.NCPCR to felicitate 30 district officials for containing drug abuse among school children 

 The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will facilitate 30 top performing districts in the country for the successful implementation of a Joint Action Plan to contain substance abuse among school children. 

The recognition will be awarded here on Sunday to the respective District Ma- gistrates and Collectors by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai. The event will be held on the si- delines of a national review and consultation organised jointly by the NCPCR and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on the 'Joint Action Plan on Prevention of Drugs and Substance Abuse and Illicit Trafficking'. 

The Joint Action Plan (JAP) was developed by the NCPCR and the NCB based on deliberations with the Ministries concerned in 2021. It streamlines efforts made by different agencies to bring paradigm shifts in prevention.Representatives of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights of States and Union Territories, as well the Departments of Women and Child Welfare, Health, Education, Police, Drugs Controller, Excise, Pharmacy Councils, and State AIDS Control Socie- ties will participate in the consultation. 

New portal. A new portal called 'Prahari' (sentry) will also be launched by Mr. Rai. "Through this portal, quarterly activities for aware- ness on drugs and sub- stance abuse in schools will be conducted by children and teachers nominated by special 'Prahari' clubs," a senior official said. 'Prahari' clubs are as- sociations managed and run by children to achieve common goals. 


Ranks and Reports 

13. Dengue may have helped stem COVID-19 wave severity 

  • Can the dengue virus beat the coronavirus and is it why the early wave of the pandemic in 2020 resulted in fewer COVID deaths or severe infections in India than in Europe or North America where dengue is not endemic? Research from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata hints at these intriguing possibilities following an analysis of antibodies from people infected with dengue and testing them against a kind of coronavirus called murine hepatitis virus (mouse coronavirus). 
  • In research settings, this virus being part of the same family of human co- ronaviruses is considered a good surrogate to study the behaviour of the coronavirus strains that infected people during the pandemic. 
  • Their results, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Virology this week, suggest that the antibodies following a dengue infection were able to 'neutralise this coronavirus. 
  • For their analysis, the scientists relied on a combination of computer-modelling studies as well as cell-culture studies, the latter demonstrating how antibodies from dengue were able to engulf and bind the coronavirus proteins. 
  • These latest studies build on the lab’s work from 2020 that blood tests specic to check for dengue sometimes led to a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. “We experimentally demonstrated that serum samples from dengue patients have the potential to bind to and ‘mask’ the surface of several coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. 
  •  We performed ‘virus neutralisation’ tests in cell cultures and showed that such ‘masking’ by dengue antibodies can indeed, block coronavirus entry into susceptible cells,” Subhajit Biswas, Principal Scientist and the main author of the study, told The Hindu. 
  • The dengue family of viruses are different from the coronavirus family and hence infection from one, in normal circumstances, is not expected to protect against the other. 
  •  What is known about dengue is that there are four major serotypes, or strains, that cause dengue infections. Strains Denv-1 and Denv-2 are the most common in India. However, being infected with one does not protect against the other and, in fact, a re-infection involving a dierent strain can be more dangerous — a phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) in dengue. 
  •  Whether the prevalence of dengue in dengue-pendemic countries of Southeast Asia may be triggering newer mutations in the coronavirus is a factor that needs to be investigated more extensively, the authors suggest. 
  •  That the early stages of the pandemic saw a decline in dengue in India has been independently reported. The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme of India reported a sharp decline of 75% (39,419 versus 1,57,315) in dengue incidence during 2020 as compared with 2019.
  •   “The possible reasons for this reduction could be lower transmission of the vector, less exposure due to lockdown, and, potentially, a disparity in the reported data possibly due to underdiagnosis or underreporting because of increased attention to the pandemic,” said a 2021 study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygeine.

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