Daily Current Affairs 1 March 2024- Top News Of The Day

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Daily Current Affairs 1 March 2024- Top News Of The Day

1. India Bolsters Strategic Presence in Indian Ocean: Deploys Technical Personnel in Maldives, Inaugurates Infrastructure in Mauritius

Topic: GS2 – International Relations
In light of India’s strategic and diplomatic endeavours in the Indian Ocean region, this topic is pertinent to both the Prelims and Mains exams.

– India sent its first group of “technical personnel” to take over one of the three aviation platforms stationed in the Maldives earlier this week.
– The Indian military forces, who must leave the islands by March 10th, will be replaced by these troops.

More about the news:

Joint Inauguration in Mauritius:

  • Together, Prime Ministers Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius and Narendra Modi of India opened an airstrip and jetty on Agaléga, a Mauritian dependency that is roughly 2,500 km southwest of Malé, the capital of the Maldives, and 1,100 km north of Port Louis.

Strategic Significance of Mauritius and Maldives:

  • In terms of maritime security and strategic interests in the Indian Ocean, India places a great deal of importance on both Mauritius and the Maldives.
    China’s growing influence and involvement in the area have highlighted India’s need for maritime security.

Developments in the Maldives:

  • After President Mohamed Muizzu was elected, the Maldives asked India to remove its military personnel from the nation since he is thought to be pro-China.
  • As part of an agreement to replace Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives, the first team of Indian civilians has since arrived to operate a helicopter in Addu, the southernmost atoll of the Maldives.

Enhancement of Infrastructure in Mauritius:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of air and sea transportation facilities on Agaléga island was signed in Mauritius in 2015.
  • The airstrip and jetty were recently inaugurated, demonstrating India’s dedication to helping Mauritius achieve its development objectives and strengthen the capacity of its armed forces.

China’s Presence in the Indian Ocean:

  • India and other regional players face strategic challenges as a result of China’s expanding influence in the Indian Ocean region.
  • China’s ambitions for greater influence and control in the Indian Ocean are demonstrated by its extensive engagements in the region, which include diplomatic, trade, and military initiatives.

View from New Delhi:

  • India understands how critical it is to manage diplomatic ties with island nations in the Indian Ocean region while advancing its strategic objectives.
  • Although the Mauritian government has handled domestic criticism of India’s presence rather well, there are still concerns about the situation in the Maldives, particularly in light of President Muizzu’s remarks regarding Indian military personnel.


  • India’s efforts to strengthen its strategic presence and partnerships in the Indian Ocean region are reflected in the deployment of Indian technical personnel in the Maldives and the opening of infrastructure in Mauritius.
  • India’s strategic imperatives demand close engagement with island nations in order to protect its interests and preserve regional stability as China’s influence in the region grows.

Maldives’ Significance for India
Strategic Location:
– The Maldives, which are situated south of India and serve as a gateway to the Arabian Sea and other regions, are strategically significant islands in the Indian Ocean.
– India is able to improve regional security and monitor marine traffic as a result.

Cultural Link:
– India and the Maldives have a long history and rich culture that dates back many centuries.
– The predominant religion of the Maldivian islands was Buddhism, up until the initial part of the 12th century.
– Vajrayana Buddhism, which was practiced in the Maldives in the past, is mentioned in an inscription.

Regional Stability:
In line with India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy, a stable and prosperous Maldives would advance security and peace in the Indian Ocean region.

PYQ: Talk about the Maldives’ political changes over the past two years. Does India have any reason to be concerned about them?(two hundred words, ten seconds) (2013, UPSSC CSE (M) GS-2)
Practice Question: How are China’s growing presence, joint efforts with Mauritius, and the transfer of military personnel in the Maldives affecting India’s strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region, and how is India handling these challenges strategically and diplomatically?(15 m/250 words)

2. Launching India’s First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry, Prime Minister Modi Opens the Door for Sustainable Maritime Transportation

Topic: GS3 – Science & Technology – Achievements of Indian S&T; Indigenization of technology 
The introduction of hydrogen fuel cell technology in maritime transportation illustrates India’s progress in adopting cleaner and more efficient energy sources, making this topic relevant for both Prelims and Mains.

– India’s first hydrogen fuel cell ferry was practically inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking an important development for the nation’s maritime industry.
– The ship, built by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), is intended for use in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, and is a significant step towards ecologically friendly transportation options.

More about the news:Features and Advantages of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vessel:

  • With cutting-edge features, the Rs 18 crore hydrogen fuel cell ferry is partially funded by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.
  • The catamaran-style ship has a 24 m length and can hold up to 50 passengers in its air-conditioned cabin.
  • Its robust construction, akin to that of metro train coaches, is ensured by the use of premium fibreglass reinforced plastic.
  • With five 40kg hydrogen cylinders and a 3-kW solar panel for power, the ferry produces no emissions, is quiet, and is more energy-efficient than traditional combustion vessels. It also requires less maintenance.

Functionality and Technology of Hydrogen Fuel Cells:

  • Utilising the chemical energy that hydrogen holds, hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity while only releasing clean, pure water into the atmosphere.
  • The hydrogen and oxygen in the air react in the fuel cell’s mechanism to produce electricity, which powers the propulsion system of the ship.
  • This ferry’s 50-kW PEM fuel cell and lithium-ion phosphate batteries enable quick adjustments in power output to satisfy changing demands.
  • These fuel cells represent a significant technological advancement for maritime applications because of their efficiency and compact design.

Development and Significance of the Ferry:

  • Modern systems, like power management and vessel automation, were created in partnership with KPIT Technologies, Pune, and scientific research labs under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. CSL built the entire vessel.
  • India has enormous potential for the use of green fuels in marine transportation due to its early adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology, which puts it in a favourable position on the international scene.
  • The shipping ministry’s “Harit Nauka” initiative highlights the government’s resolve to move inland vessels to more ecologically friendly fuels in line with the country’s sustainable development objectives.

Working Principle of the Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vessel
– The green hydrogen vessel works by reacting hydrogen with oxygen to transform its chemical energy into electrical energy.
– The vessel’s fuel cell uses Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology, which is specifically made for transportation, to produce electricity by pushing hydrogen fuel through stacks of PEM cells.
– As a result, the ship produces no emissions at all—just warm air and water.
– PEM Fuel Cell Technology: Proton-conducting polymer membranes are used as the electrolyte in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, also known as proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
– The fuel of choice is usually hydrogen. These cells can swiftly adjust their output to match changing power requirements and function at comparatively low temperatures.

Practice Question: Talk about the significance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of India’s first hydrogen fuel cell ferry in light of the nation’s technological advancements, environmental sustainability objectives, and growth of its transportation infrastructure. (15 m/250 words)

3. Historical Finding: For the First Time, Same-Sex Mating by Humpback Whales

Topic: GS3 – Environment 
The observation of same-sex behaviour in humpback whales adds to our understanding of species diversity and the intricate interactions within marine ecosystems, underscoring the significance of conservation efforts to protect vulnerable species and their habitats. As such, this topic is pertinent for both Prelims and Mains.

– It’s the first time that same-sex mating among these magnificent animals has been observed by researchers, and their discovery is ground-breaking.
– Seeing same-sex sexual behaviour (SSB) in humpback whales is unprecedented and contributes to our understanding of natural behaviours, even though it is not uncommon in many animal species—over 1500 cases have been documented in both the wild and in captivity.

More about the news:Darwinian Paradox: Contradictions in Evolutionary Theory:

  • Given that reproduction is emphasised as the ultimate goal of all organisms, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is contradicted by the prevalence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom, posing a Darwinian paradox.
  • SSB appears to be detrimental to the success of evolution because it takes time and resources away from reproduction.
  • However, SSB is widespread among species, which calls into question accepted evolutionary theories.

‘Indiscriminate Mating’ Hypothesis: Explaining Same-Sex Behavior:

  • As a theory to explain SSB, the “indiscriminate mating” hypothesis has gained popularity.
  • This theory holds that sex was irrelevant in the mating habits of extinct animal species because mate recognition can be expensive for the body and the mind.
  • Overly selective mate selection may lead to missed opportunities for reproduction, which would explain why SSB persists as an adaptive behaviour.

Social Bonds and Evolution: Insights from Recent Studies:

  • Bailey and Zuk, two evolutionary biologists, hypothesised that SSB plays a role in the formation and maintenance of healthy social bonds, especially in social animals.
  • Evidence for this theory has been discovered in recent research, pointing to a relationship between species sociality and the prevalence of SSB.
  • By strengthening ties and coalitions within the group, this conduct may lessen intrasexual hostility and conflict.

Survival Benefits of Same-Sex Behavior: Adaptive Evolution:

  • Mammal same-sex sexual behaviour does not seem to be maladaptive or aberrant, but rather a convergent adaptation with unique survival advantages.
  • It lessens intrasexual aggression, especially male adulticide, which may help to establish hierarchies of dominance and lessen conflict within social groups.
  • SSB is not a break from evolutionary conventions, but rather a tactical adaptation that offers real benefits to the survival of the species.


  • The discovery of same-sex mating among humpback whales expands on the increasing amount of data indicating that homosexuality is common and adaptive throughout the animal kingdom.
  • The intricate dynamics underlying social-bonding behaviour (SSB) are illuminated by evolutionary theory and recent research, emphasising the function of SSB in social bonding, conflict resolution, and ultimately, species survival.

About Humpback whales
– The humpback whale is one of the four species of baleen whales.
– These enormous, toothless whales can distinguish between saltwater and their prey with the use of their baleen plates.
– Their svelte bodies can weigh over 30,000 kilogrammes and reach lengths of up to 33 metres.
– The world’s great oceans are home to humpback whales. Despite their usual preference for regions of the continental shelf, they have been known to travel across deep offshore waters and spend time over and around seamounts in the open ocean.

IUCN Status: Least Concern. Migration
– The longest yearly migration of any whale species, humpback whales cover up to 10,000 kilometres, with the exception of the population in the Arabian Sea.
– Because their breeding and feeding grounds are so different, they have to travel.
– During the summer, humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere feed on Antarctic krill, which are microscopic crustaceans that resemble prawns and have a hard outer shell made up of numerous sections, such as crabs, prawns and barnacles.
– These animals live in massive clusters, or swarms.
– In winter, humpbacks migrate northward to find warmer, subtropical waters where they can breed and build their nests.
– The humpback whales of the Arabian Sea are the only stationary whales in the world to feed and breed in the same area.

Practice Question: Examine the consequences for conservation of biodiversity and evolutionary theory arising from the discovery of same-sex mating among humpback whales. (10 m / 150 words)

4. India Is Seeing a Growing Epidemic of Obesity, Especially in Youth: Lancet Study

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Health 
Knowing the facts about public health issues, such as non-communicable diseases like obesity, and comprehending the implications for healthcare policies and interventions make this topic pertinent for both the Prelims and Mains exams.

– India may be experiencing an obesity pandemic, especially among its youth, according to a global analysis that The Lancet published.
– According to the report, millions of people in the nation are overweight or obese, reflecting a sharp rise in the prevalence of obesity among children and adults since 1990.

More about the news:Rising Prevalence of Obesity: Statistics and Rankings:

  • According to the analysis, there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents since 1990, with over three percent of them affected.
  • The prevalence of obesity in adults has also significantly increased, particularly in women.
  • India is ranked low in the world for obesity, with concerning statistics for both sexes.

Health Implications and Risk Factors:

  • Being obese increases the risk of developing serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
  • Experts blame sedentary lifestyles, a rise in energy-dense but nutrient-poor diets, and a move away from traditional foods for India’s obesity epidemic.

Double Burden of Malnutrition: Underweight and Obesity:

  • The study draws attention to the dual burden of malnutrition in India, which is caused by both rising obesity rates and severe undernutrition.
  • India has the highest underweight girl ranking in the world and the second-highest boy ranking, suggesting a complicated health issue involving both obesity and thinness across a range of age groups.

Challenges and Interventions: Addressing Obesity:

  • In order to address both types of malnutrition, experts stress the necessity of focused interventions.
  • Improving the accessibility and cost of wholesome foods, encouraging physical exercise, banning the marketing and sale of unhealthy food and beverages to minors, and strengthening nutritional education and labelling are some of the tactics used to fight obesity.

Multi-faceted Approach and Policy Recommendations:

  • To effectively combat teenage obesity, experts recommend a multifaceted strategy that includes community initiatives, governmental policies, and individual actions.
  • Combating the obesity epidemic requires actions like encouraging healthier food options, banning junk food advertisements, providing clear nutritional labelling, and expanding access to reasonably priced and nutrient-dense foods.


  • The increasing incidence of obesity in India highlights the pressing necessity for all-encompassing measures to tackle this public health emergency.
  • Reversing these worrying trends and encouraging healthier lifestyles across the board for all age groups will require effective strategies that focus on dietary practices, physical activity, and cultural norms.

World Obesity Atlas 2023
– A report titled “World Obesity Atlas 2023” was published by the World Obesity Federation.
– According to this report, there will be a noticeable rise in obesity rates in Africa by 2035, rising from 18% among adult women to 31% among children, and from 5% among children to 14% among children.
– Additionally, the report issued a warning, estimating that by 2035, over half of the world’s population may be overweight or obese, with childhood obesity expected to more than double.

Practice Question: Examine the obstacles that India’s obesity epidemic presents and assess the success of governmental initiatives and policies in combating this public health emergency. (10 m / 150 words)

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