Daily Current Affairs 29 February 2024- Top News Of The Day

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Daily Current Affairs 29 February 2024- Top News Of The Day

1. The Genome India Initiative: Charting the Country’s Genetic Terrain

Topic: GS3 – Science & Technology – Developing New Technology; Biotechnology 
This topic is pertinent to both Prelims and Mains since it highlights developments in genomic research and biotechnology through the Genome India initiative.

– 10,000 complete genomes of healthy people throughout India have been successfully sequenced, according to a major accomplishment recently announced by the Genome India initiative.
– Researchers from 20 science institutes across the country collaborated to create a comprehensive genetic map of the Indian population.
– At the Indian Biological Data Centre in Faridabad, these researchers gathered blood samples, sequenced the genomes, created protocols, and kept the enormous dataset—each sequence requiring 80GB of storage space—stored.

More about the news:Utilization as a “Digital Public Good”:

  • Researchers will have access to the massive 8 petabyte dataset created by this project as a “digital public good.”
  • The identification of rare diseases, the development of targeted therapies, the treatment of current diseases, and other uses for this data are all extremely promising.

Understanding the Genome India Project:

  • Approved by the government in 2020, the Genome India project sought to create an exhaustive list of genetic variants found in the Indian population.
  • Understanding the country’s evolutionary history, figuring out the genetic underpinnings of various diseases, and creating novel treatments all depend on this endeavour.
  • Given the distinct genetic makeup of the Indian population, the project recognised the need for a unique genetic map customised for this population.

Significance of Genetic Diversity:

  • After examining a portion of the genome sequences, scientists discovered 135 million genetic variations unique to India.
  • With over 4,600 distinct groups in the country’s population, the country’s vast population is responsible for its diverse genetic landscape.
  • Comparative research on the effects of genetic variations on physical health is made possible by the fact that these groups have maintained their genetic distinctiveness due to the high frequency of endogamous marriages.

Genome Sequencing Process:

  • With billions of base pairs, the human genome functions as a biological instruction manual passed down from parents.
  • In order to sequence the genome, scientists take the genetic material out of blood samples, split it up into manageable chunks, label each segment, sequence it, and then put the entire genome together.

Implications and Applications:

  • Researching the population’s genetic composition helps identify genetic risk factors for a variety of illnesses and advances targeted treatment approaches, especially for uncommon diseases.
  • By influencing the creation of novel treatments and personalised medicine based on each patient’s unique genetic profile, this project has the potential to completely transform the healthcare industry.

Project Duration and Milestones:

  • An important turning point in the field of genomic research was the Genome India initiative.
  • Although it took 13 years and $3 billion to finish the first human genome sequencing project, technological advancements have greatly sped up the process.
  • India has made significant strides in genomic research, as evidenced by its ability to sequence 10,000 genomes in a few months.
  • Notwithstanding the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was able to obtain samples from a variety of national population groups.


  • An innovative attempt to map the genetic diversity of the Indian population is represented by the Genome India initiative, which provides important new information on health, illness, and personalised medicine.

What is Genome Sequencing?
Deciphering the entire set of genetic instructions found in an organism’s DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is known as genome sequencing.
The four nucleotide bases—
adenine (A),
cytosine (C),
guanine (G),
thymine (T)—need to be sequenced.

– Over 3 billion of these genetic letters make up the human genome, but the DNA sequencing techniques available today can only read large chunks of the genome at a time.
– Viruses can have genomes made of either DNA or RNA (ribonucleic acid), whereas human genomes are made of DNA.
– Notably, viruses with RNA genomes include the coronavirus.
– Since every organism has a distinct genome sequence, genome sequencing is an essential method for deciphering genetic information contained in DNA or RNA.

PYQ: How might the “genome sequencing” method—which is frequently featured in the news—be applied to Indian agriculture going forward?(2017) 
1. Genetic markers for drought and disease resistance in a variety of crop plants can be found through genome sequencing.
2. This method aids in shortening the time needed to create new crop plant varieties.
3. It can be applied to interpret the host-pathogen dynamics in agricultural systems.

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3 

Ans: (d)
Practice Question: Talk about how important it is to map the genetic landscape of the Indian population using the Genome India initiative. Examine the initiative’s possible effects on genetic research, healthcare, and the general well-being of Indian society. (15 m/250 words)

2. Changes to the Karnataka Temple Tax Bill are causing controversy.

Topic: GS2 – Governance – Government policies – Interventions for development in various sectors GS2– Polity
Knowing the facts about the financial management of religious institutions by the state government and the governance issues surrounding them makes this topic pertinent for both the Prelims and Mains exams.

The Karnataka government attempted to amend the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997, but the majority-holding Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposed the move in the Legislative Council.

More about the news:Proposed Amendments:

  • The bill sought to amend a number of sections of the 1997 Act. The most controversial modification was the transfer of 10% of gross income—rather than net income—from temples earning more than Rs 1 crore annually to a common fund for temple upkeep.
  • It also suggested adding 5% of temple earnings to the same pool for those making between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.


  • The BJP attacked the action, claiming that other religious institutions were not subjected to the same treatment by the government, which was allegedly targeting Hindu temples for financial gain.
  • They expressed doubts about the government’s motivations as well as the fairness and transparency of the suggested changes.

Government’s Justification:

  • In response, the Congress government made it clear that ever since the Act was passed in 1997, the establishment of a common pool for temple revenue had been required.
  • They made it clear that the money would be utilised for religious purposes within the Hindu community, including supporting sick priests, helping out lower-income temples, and giving scholarships to kids from families of priests.

Other Proposed Changes:

  • The bill also proposed to include members of temple management committees who are knowledgeable in the architecture and sculpture of Vishwakarma Hindu temples.
  • It allowed the Rajya Dharmika Parishat to designate committee chairpersons and required oversight committees to be established for infrastructure projects in temples with yearly incomes exceeding Rs 25 lakh.

Comparison with Other States:

  • Karnataka’s strategy for managing temple revenue is similar to Telangana’s in that both states use the money received from temples to establish a Common Good Fund for upkeep and improvements.
  • Kerala, on the other hand, is governed by the state through Devaswom Boards, which are run by government appointed nominees and receive funding from the state.


  • The Karnataka Temple Tax Bill controversy sheds light on the differing approaches adopted by various Indian states and the intricate dynamics surrounding the management of temple revenue.
  • It emphasises how policies governing religious institutions must be fair and transparent while also honouring the various religious customs and practices.

What is the need for government regulation?
1. Recommendation: The Dr. C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Commission was established by the Indian government in 1960 to look into matters pertaining to Hindu public religious endowments.
2. Constitutional authority – By way of Article 25(2), the framers of our Constitution gave states some degree of autonomy over religious matters.

– Note: In order to maintain public order, morality, and health, the state may control or prohibit any economic, financial, political, or other secular activity connected to religious practices, according to Article 25(2) of the Indian Constitution.

Practice Question: Talk about the recent controversy surrounding the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2024, and examine how it affects the state of Karnataka’s sociopolitical environment, religious freedom, and temple governance. (15 m/250 words)

3. Examining History: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Investigates the Supposed Submerged Kingdom of Dwarka

Topic: GS1 – History – Indian Culture 
Knowing India’s rich cultural legacy and religious traditions makes this topic pertinent for both Prelims and Mains.

– On February 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went scuba diving off the coast of Panchkui, which is close to Dwarka in Gujarat.
– His dive was intended to investigate what is thought to be the underwater Dwarka Nagari, the Mahabharata-mentioned kingdom of Lord Krishna.
– Modi shared his deep spiritual experience, saying that during his dive, he felt the eternal presence of Lord Krishna and the fusion of spirituality and history.

More about the news:Historical Significance of Dwarka:

  • In Hindu mythology, Dwarka is very important because it is closely related to Lord Krishna and the Mahabharata.
  • Legend has it that Krishna, along with his Yadava clan, moved from Mathura to found the kingdom of Dwarka.
  • Dwarka is described as a magnificent city with gardens, moats, and palaces in the Vishnu Purana.
  • Situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Kutch, the 13th-century Dwarkadheesh temple honours Lord Krishna and is located in modern-day Dwarka.

Views of Early Experts and Archaeological Excavations:

  • The existence and location of the Dwarka mentioned in ancient texts have long been a topic of discussion among academics and archaeologists.
  • A.S. Altekar and F.E. Pargiter were among the early specialists who put forth different theories about the historical location of Dwarka.
  • The ancient settlement of Dwarka has been revealed through both onshore and underwater archaeological excavations carried out since the 20th century.
  • The evidence of human habitation discovered during these excavations dates back thousands of years, suggesting the possibility of a submerged city off the coast of Dwarka.

Underwater Exploration and Discoveries:

  • Off the coast of Dwarka, marine archaeologists from organisations such as the National Institute of Oceanography carried out extensive underwater investigations.
  • Important discoveries from these investigations included metal objects, sculptures, pottery, and stone anchors that suggested the existence of a submerged settlement.
  • Relative to the Mahabharata’s chronology, artefacts from the Late Harappan period were unearthed during excavations on neighbouring islands such as Beyt Dwarka.


  • Underwater excavations have yielded some discoveries, but conclusive dating and identification of the submerged structures remain a challenge.
  • It is challenging to determine precise dates from underwater remains due to the shifting nature of the seabed and ocean currents.
  • Even though these investigations have illuminated Dwarka’s prehistoric past, more investigation and multidisciplinary research are required to fully understand the mysteries surrounding this mythical city.

About Dwarkadhish Temple Gujarat
– In Gujarat, the magnificent Dwarkadhish Temple is located at the confluence of the Gomti River and the Arabian Sea.
– Among the Char Dham, Dwarkadhish Temple is a significant Hindu pilgrimage site for Vaishnavites, particularly those who are followers of Lord Krishna.
– The temple is significant both religiously and architecturally, and it is one of the nation’s main destinations for religious tourism.
– The Archaeological Survey of India protects Dwarkadhish Temple, also referred to as Jagat Mandir (universal shrine) or Trilok Sundar (the most beautiful in all three worlds).
– The main temple in Gujarat’s Devbhoomi Dwarka district is located in Dwarka city and appears to be rising from the Arabian Sea.

Practice Question: Talk about Dwarka’s cultural and historical significance, emphasising its connection to the Mahabharata and Hindu mythology. Examine the consequences for India’s archaeological research and heritage preservation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent scuba diving excursion near Dwarka. (15 m/250 words)

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