Daily Current Affairs 

Prelims Exam 

1.Padma Awards 2024

  • Presented by: President Droupadi Murmu
  • About:
    • One of India’s highest civilian honors (after Bharat Ratna)
    • Announced annually on Republic Day eve
    • Recognizes achievements in various fields with public service element
    • Not a title; cannot be used as prefix/suffix
  • Categories:
    • Padma Vibhushan: Exceptional & distinguished service
    • Padma Bhushan: Distinguished service of high order
    • Padma Shri: Distinguished service
  • 2024 Awards:
    • 132 conferred (including 2 duo cases counted as one)
    • Breakdown:
      • 5 Padma Vibhushan
      • 17 Padma Bhushan
      • 110 Padma Shri

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cine-stars-vyjayanthimala-chiranjeevi-late-vijayakant-late-justice-m-fathima-beevi-conferred-padma-awards/article68158452.ece


2.Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)


  • Studied in Caribbean (Dominica)
  • Clicks like a loud underwater zipper
  • Scientists believe these clicks may form a basic language

About Sperm Whale:

  • Largest toothed whale
  • Lifespan: ~70 years (similar to humans)
  • Distribution: Worldwide oceans & Mediterranean Sea
  • Appearance: Large, dark, toothed whale with massive head (1/3 of body length)


  • Deep-sea oil & gas exploration:
    • Hearing loss
    • Water pollution (hydrocarbons)
    • Increased ship collision risk

Conservation Status:

  • Vulnerable (IUCN)
  • Protected under Schedule 2 of India’s Wildlife Protection Act (possession/trade of any part illegal, including ambergris)
  • Listed in Appendix I of CITES (international trade ban)


  • Waxy substance from sperm whale digestive system
  • Nicknamed “floating gold” or “treasure of the sea” due to high value
  • Rare substance, leading to high demand and price

Source : https://www.hindustantimes.com/trending/how-do-sperm-whales-talk-to-each-other-mit-scientists-decode-basic-elements-of-communication-system-101715158351469.html


3.Constructed Wetlands

Nature’s solution for wastewater treatment in India

Constructed wetlands are engineered structures designed to replicate the functions of natural wetlands. They are composed of meticulously chosen vegetation, soil and water, orchestrated to facilitate a seamless process of purification.

Two categories:

  • Subsurface flow (SSF): wastewater through gravel/media for microbial degradation.
  • Surface flow (SF): visually appealing with flowing streams and vegetation.


  • Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary (Delhi) – sewage treatment & biodiversity conservation.
  • Kolkata East Wetlands (West Bengal) – Ramsar site with natural & constructed wetlands.

Source : https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/constructed-wetlands-are-nature-s-ingenious-solution-for-wastewater-treatment-in-india-96014


4.Hindon River Pollution and the National Green Tribunal (NGT)

Hindon River:

  • Tributary of Yamuna River
  • Rain-fed river originating in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh
  • Flows 400 km through industrial belt before meeting Yamuna in Noida
  • Major tributaries: Kali (West) and Krishni Rivers


  • Untreated urban, agricultural, and industrial waste
  • One of the most polluted stretches in the Ganga basin
  • Declared a “dead river” unfit for bathing in 2015 (CPCB)

National Green Tribunal (NGT):

  • Established by National Green Tribunal Act 2010
  • Mandates:
    • Expeditious disposal of environmental cases
    • Forest & natural resource conservation
    • Decisions within 6 months of filing
  • Composition: Chairperson, Judicial Members, Expert Members
  • Locations:
    • Principal: New Delhi
    • Others: Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai
  • Procedures: Not bound by Civil Procedure Code (1908) but guided by natural justice principles
  • Jurisdiction: Appellate court to hear environmental appeals

Recent Action:

  • NGT asked Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) for a report on pollution and actions taken against polluters.


Source : https://theprint.in/india/river-hindon-pollution-ngt-allows-uppcb-2-weeks-to-file-additional-report/2077876/


5.Basmati Rice Foot Rot Disease: New Biocontrol Solution


  • Foot rot disease harms Basmati rice, especially seedlings.
  • Caused by soil-borne fungus Fusarium verticillioides.
  • Symptoms: yellowing, elongation, drying, and death of seedlings.

Current Treatments:

  • Chemical:
    • Trichoderma harzianum (before sowing/transplantation)
    • Fungicides (e.g., Sprint 75 WS) – harmful to soil and consumers
    • Carbendazim (fungicide) – banned in Punjab due to high residue

New Solution:

  • Biocontrol agent: Trichoderma asperellum (developed by Punjab Agricultural University)
  • Advantages:
    • Non-chemical alternative
    • Effective disease management
    • Minimizes environmental harm


  • Reduces reliance on harmful chemicals in Basmati rice production.
  • Safer for consumers and the environment.


Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-economics/biocontrol-agent-to-manage-foot-rot-disease-in-basmati-crop-9318082/


6.Vietnam’s Push for “Market Economy” Status

Vietnam’s Request:

  • Wants the US to change its designation from “non-market economy” to “market economy.”

Non-Market Economy Status (US):

  • Assigned based on factors like:
    • Currency convertibility
    • Wage determination (free bargaining?)
    • Joint ventures/foreign investment allowance
    • State ownership of production means
    • State control over resource allocation, price & output decisions
    • Human rights (also considered)
  • Allows US to impose anti-dumping duties on imports from these countries.

Anti-Dumping Duty:

  • Tariff on imported goods:
    • Priced below fair market value of similar domestic goods
  • Protects domestic businesses from unfair competition.

Market Economy:

  • Production and price decisions based on:
    • Consumer-business interactions (supply & demand)
  • Central government doesn’t control availability or price.
  • Entrepreneurs:
    • Freedom to pursue profits through new products
    • Freedom to fail if they misread the market

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/vietnam-us-non-market-economy-9316314/


7.Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) Focuses on Biofuel Development

Launched by India at 2023 G20 Summit

  • Multi-stakeholder alliance: Governments, International Organizations, Industries
  • Aims to position biofuels as key to energy transition and economic growth

Work Plan:

  • Assess country biofuel landscapes
  • Draft biofuel policy frameworks
  • Conduct biofuel workshops


  • Strengthen biofuel markets & trade
  • Share best practices & provide technical support
  • Facilitate capacity building & technology advancements
  • Develop & implement biofuel standards & regulations

Knowledge Repository & Expert Hub:

  • 24 countries & 12 international organizations on board


  • Fuel produced from biomass (short lifespan)
  • Different generations:
    • First generation (conventional): bioalcohols, biodiesel, vegetable oil, bioethers, biogas (sugar, starch, vegetable oil, animal fats)
    • Second generation (non-food crops): cellulosic biofuels, waste biomass (advanced biofuels like biohydrogen, biomethanol)
    • Third generation: micro-organisms (algae)
    • Fourth generation: sustainable energy with CO2 capture & storage

Source :  https://www.business-standard.com/economy/news/global-biofuel-alliance-sets-up-three-pronged-work-plan-says-govt-124050500378_1.html


8.Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Pollution:

  • Recent Study: Raised concerns about gas/propane stoves increasing indoor NO2 by an estimated 4 ppb annually.
  • Properties: Reddish-brown, pungent, acidic gas; corrosive and oxidizing.
  • Sources:
    • Anthropogenic:
      • Fossil fuel combustion (cars, main source)
      • Nitric acid production, welding, explosives
      • Refining (petrol, metals), manufacturing (commercial, food)
    • Natural: Volcanoes, bacteria
  • Effects:
    • Health:
      • Weakens lung defenses against infections
      • Worsens asthma
    • Ecosystem (short-term concentrations of 120 µg/m3):
      • Toxic to plants, reduces growth
      • Contributes to acid rain (with sulfur dioxide)
      • Forms secondary particles (nitrates) causing haze and reduced visibility


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