Prelim Bits 08-03-2024 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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March 08, 2024

State Specific Disaster

Kerala declares man-animal conflict a state-specific disaster, becoming the 1st state in the country to do so.

  • In Kerala – This announcement is due to Man-Elephant conflict which had claimed lives of many people.

Human – Animal Conflict

  • Definition – According to IUCN Species Specific Commission, it is defined as ‘struggles that emerge when the presence of wildlife poses an actual or perceived, direct and recurring threat to human interests, leading to disagreements between groups of people and negative impacts on people and/or wildlife’.
  • Managing authority in IndiaForest Department, as per the Wild Life Protection Act 1972 unless it is declared as State specific disaster.
  • The chief wildlife warden of the state is the only authority to take a call on a wild animal wreaking havoc in human settlement.
  • State specific Disaster – They are ‘disasters’ within the local context in the State and which are not included in the notified list of disasters of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Announced by – State Government.
  • Funding mechanismState Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
  • A State Government may use up to 10% of the funds available under the SDRF for providing immediate relief to the victims
  • Responsible authorityState disaster management authority (SDMA) as per the Disaster Management Act 2005.
  • At the state level – The Chief Minister is the ex officio chairman of the SDMA.
  •  In the districts – The district disaster management authority (DDMA) is headed by the district collector.
  • Powers – SDMA can take actions overriding other norms, including those under the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Section 71 of the DM ActNo court (except the Supreme Court or a High Court) shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of anything done by relevant authorities in pursuance of any power conferred by this Act.
  • Section 72 of the Act – The provisions of this Act will have an overriding effect on any other law during the specific period.
  • Coverage – It includes natural disasters like Cyclone, drought, earthquake, flood among others and also human-animal conflicts like snakebite.

State specific Disasters

Declared State




Odisha, Kerala & Assam

Coastal Erosion


Soil Piping

Strong Wind

Heat waves, Sunburn and Sunstroke


  1. The Indian Express| Kerala’s declaration of State Specific Disaster
  2. NDM India| Funding during Disaster Management


International Women's Day

Globally, March 8th is celebrated annually as International Women's Day.

  • International Women’s Day – A global day acknowledging the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
  • It also highlights the ongoing struggles for equality and the need for continued action worldwide for accelerating gender parity.
  • History – Women’s day originated from the labour movements in North America and Europe in the early 20th century.
  • Ms. Clara Zetkin proposed the concept in 1910 at International Women’s Conference in Copenhagen.
  • 1st International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911.
  • United Nations
    • It celebrated its 1st official International Women's Day on 8th March during International Women’s Year in 1975.
    • In 1977, UN General Assembly (UNGA) formalizes and proclaimed the UN Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace.
  • Significance of the Day – It lies in its ability to bring attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
  • It provides a platform for collective action and collaboration in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment.

Women’s Day 2024 – UN

  • Theme - ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’ with a focus on addressing economic disempowerment.
  • Campaign theme - ‘Inspire Inclusion.
  • 5 key areas needing joint action
    • Investing in women, a human rights issue
    • Ending poverty
    • Implementing gender-responsive financing
    • Shifting to a green economy and care society
    • Supporting feminist change-makers
  • Significance – It recognises the importance of diversity and empowerment in various spheres of society and underscoring the pivotal role of inclusion in advancing gender equality.


  1. The Indian Express| Celebration of International Women’s Day      
  2. UN| International Women’s Day 2024


IndiaAI Mission

Recently, Indian government announced the national-level IndiaAI Mission, a ‘significant step’ towards bolstering the country's artificial intelligence (AI) system.

  • Aim – To establish a comprehensive ecosystem catalysing AI innovation through strategic programs and partnerships across public and private sectors.
  • Financial outlayRs. 10,371.92 crore, over the next 5 years.
  • Nodal Ministry – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY)
  • Implemented byIndiaAI Independent Business Division under Digital India Corporation.

INDIAai is knowledge portal, research organisation and an ecosystem building initiative.

  • It has 7 key Components.
  • IndiaAI Compute Capacity – To build scalable AI computing infrastructure by deploying more than 10,000 Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) through strategic public-private collaborations.
  • An AI marketplace will be designed to offer AI as a service and pre-trained models to AI innovators.
  • IndiaAI Innovation Centre (IAIC) – To undertake development and deployment of indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and for retention of top research talent.
  • IndiaAI Datasets Platform – To streamline access to quality non-personal datasets to ensure data-driven governance and catalyzing AI-based innovation and research.
  • IndiaAI Application Development Initiative – To promote AI applications in critical sectors for problem statements sourced from Central Ministries, State Departments and other institutions.
  • IndiaAI FutureSkills – To mitigate barriers to entry into AI programs and will increase AI courses undergraduate, masters-level and Ph.D. programs.
  • Further, Data and AI Labs will be set up in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India to impart foundational-level courses.
  • IndiaAI Startup Financing – To support and accelerate deep-tech AI startups.
  • Safe & Trusted AI – To enable implementation of Responsible AI projects with development of indigenous tools, self-assessment checklists, other guidelines and governance frameworks.
  • Significance – It will further the vision of Making AI in India and Making AI Work for India.
  • It will drive forward creativity and enhance internal capabilities, safeguarding India's technological autonomy.
  • Additionally, it aims to generate employment opportunities, tapping into the country's demographic advantage.


Live Mint| Approval of IndiaAI Mission


UNNATI – 2024

The Union Cabinet have approved the new industrial development scheme, Uttar Poorva Transformative Industrialization Scheme, 2024 (UNNATI – 2024).

  • It is Central Sector Scheme.
  • Objectives – To develop industries that will create productive economic activity in the manufacturing and service sectors.
  • To generate gainful employment, which will lead to the area's overall socio-economic development.
  • Focus areasStates of North East Region.
  • Financial OutlayRs.10, 037 crore.
    • Part A – Incentives to the eligible units (Rs. 9737 crores), 60% to 8 NE states and 40% on First-In-First-Out (FIFO) basis.
    • Part B – For implementation and institutional arrangements for the scheme (Rs. 300 Crore).
  • Nodal Agency – Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • Targets – Direct employment opportunities of about 83,000 and a significant number of indirect employment.
  • Scheme period10 years from the date of notification and additional 8 years for committed liabilities.
  • Eligibility – All new Industrial units and Expanding units for the respective incentives.
  • Districts are categorized in 2 zones
    • Zone A (Industrially Advanced Districts)
    • Zone B (Industrially Backward Districts)

 Incentives under UNNATI-2024

Capital Investment Incentive

  • For both new & expanding units.
  • For both GST and non-GST units

Central Capital Interest Subvention

  • For both new & expanding units.
  • For both GST and non-GST units

Manufacturing & Services linked incentive (MSLI)

  • For New Units only
  • For units linked to Net Payment of GST
  • Maximum Eligible benefits to one unit from all components of the scheme is Rs. 250 Cr.


PIB| UNNATI-2024, new Industrial Development Scheme for NE region


Geological Time Scale

The proposal to declare the start of the Anthropocene, a newly created epoch of the geological time scale was rejected.

  • It is a fundamental scale for expressing our Earth’s 4.6-billion-year history.
  • Named & classified by – The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) of International Union of Geological Sciences.
  • International Chronostratigraphic Chart are the basis for the units (periods, epochs and age) of the geological time scale.

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), founded in 1961, with 121 national members, representing over a million geoscientists, is one of the World’s largest scientific organizations.

  • Criteria’s used – It uses rigorous criteria like Earth’s rock layers, or strata, and the fossils found within them to decide when each chapter started and which characteristics defined it.
  • 5 broad categories – Eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages (Larger to smaller).
    • Eon – The broadest category of geological time.
    • Ages – The smallest category.
  • Each of these categories is further divided into sub-categories.
    • Triassic – It was the dawn of the dinosaurs.
    • Paleogene – It saw the rise of mammals.
    • Pleistocene – It included the last ice ages.
  • The present geological time – Phanerozoic eon, Cenozoic era, Quaternary period, Holocene epoch and the Meghalayan age.
  • Holocene began 11,700 years ago with the most recent retreat of the great glaciers.


  • Anthropocene – Human civilizations are leaving unmistakable remnants in the mineral record, particularly since the mid-20th century.
    • Radionuclides from nuclear tests.
    • Plastics and industrial ash.
    • Concrete and metal pollutants.
    • Rapid greenhouse warming. Sharply increased species extinctions.


  1. The Indian Express| Declaration of Anthropocene got rejected
  2. Earth at Home| Geological Time Scale



Other Important Topics

“Sea Defenders-2024”

Sea Defenders-2024 exercise is scheduled to take place off the coast of Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

  • Sea Defenders, 2024 is a bilateral cooperation between the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

Pritzker Architecture Prize

Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto was recently declared as the winner of the 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

  • It is the highest international award in the field of Architecture and referred as the “Architecture Nobel”.
  • It has been awarded every year since its founding in 1979.
  • Instituted by - Jay A Pritzker, the late founder of the Hyatt Hotels chain, and his wife Cindy.

Yamamoto is the 9th laureate from Japan to get this prize in 2024 and Japan holds the highest number of Pritzker Architecture Prize. The only Indian laureate is the late Balkrishna Doshi (2018).

Bengaluru's driverless metro train

  • A Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system enabled driverless metro train is set to commission in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) is a modern system that uses radio communication to transfer timely & accurate train control information.


  • Haiper is a free text-to-video generative AI tool.
  • It helps users to create video content, animated static images, video repainting tools.
  • It is developed by Yishu Miao and Ziyu Wang of Haiper.

Sora is a text-to-video generator created by OpenAI

Sweden in NATO

  • Sweden formally joined NATO as the 32nd member recently.


  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a trans-atlantic military and political alliance of its member countries.
  • NATO was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada & other Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
  • NATO's fundamental goal is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members.

Finland became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Taeniogonalos deepaki

Entomologists of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment have discovered a new species of wasp in the Western Ghat region of Karnataka.

  • The new species, Taeniogonalos deepaki is a parasitoid wasp in the family Trigonalyidae.
  • It is named after the medical doctor and nature enthusiast Deepak Deshpande who collected the specimen.
  • Parasitoids are small insects that develop inside or on the outside of other insects, called hosts and they eventually kill their hosts.

Dege Hydropower Dam Project

  • The Dege hydropower dam project is part of China's 1 reservoir, 13 hydropower-station complex project on the Drichu River in Tibet.
  • The Drichu River, also known as Yangtse River, is the longest river in China and the 3rd longest river in the world.

Assam’s Tourist Police

Assam state's tourism department has devised a plan to implement a ‘tourist police’ initiative recently.

  • Aim - To ensure the safety and security of visitors in Assam
  • Tourist Police Scheme - Introduced in 2022 when the Union Ministry of Tourism directed all states and Union territories to establish dedicated tourist police units.
  • This collaborative effort involved the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in developing a framework, including standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Implemented states - Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, and Uttar Pradesh have already introduced tourist police.

Artificial reef

For the first time in Maharashtra, Mumbai is set to witness the installation of 210 artificial reefs in the Arabian Sea, near Worli Koliwada.

  • It is the 2nd artificial reef deployment in India after Puducherry.
  • Artificial Reefs - An artificial reef is a manmade structure that may mimic some of the characteristics of a natural reef.
  • Artificial reefs are one of the tool used by marine conservationists to restore coral reefs around the globe.

Voyager 1

  • Voyager 1 is a NASA space probe launched in 1977 to study the outer solar system and interstellar space over a period of 5 years.
  • It is the farthest (24 billion kilometres away) man-made object from Earth and the 1st spacecraft to cross the heliosphere, the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space.
  • Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are the twin spacecrafts that made discoveries like the intricacies of Saturn’s rings and the presence of active volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io


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