Current Affairs 29 January 2024 Test
Major Headings of Todays Current Affairs
Acid rain happens when rain becomes acidic. This occurs when we burn fossil fuels containing sulfur, like in cars or power plants. This process also releases nitrogen oxide. Both sulfur and nitrogen oxides can be produced naturally, but in cities, the main source is fossil fuel use. When these pollutants go into the air, they mix with water and oxygen to create sulfuric acid and nitric acid, which are harmful. When these acids mix with water droplets and fall as rain, snow, or fog, it’s called acid rain. The usual pH of acid rain is around 4.2-4.4. Acid rain can harm water and soil, making them unfriendly to some species and bacteria. This can have a negative impact on forests and ecosystems. To reduce this, some power plants have found ways to decrease sulfur emissions, and governments worldwide are working together to minimize acid rain, like the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET).
Global India grouping
The French President Emmanuel Macron visited India last week because he accepted an invitation after the U.S. President Joe Biden couldn’t make it. This visit was more about symbols and ceremonies than actual important matters. Before this, India and France had already made several agreements in 2023 to celebrate their 25-year partnership. Even though there wasn’t much time to prepare, they managed to organize the visit. People wondered if India should have invited leaders from other countries instead of France.
During the visit, they discussed and signed agreements based on their earlier plans. These included agreements on defense, agriculture, digital health, and science and technology cooperation. They also talked about making civilian helicopters together. Although they didn’t make progress on some big deals, like defense hardware and nuclear cooperation, they did agree on certain international issues. Macron mentioned that their partnership is built on respect for each other’s independence and a shared commitment to tradition and innovation.
Aadhaar-based pay a bad idea for MGNREG
On January 1, the Rural Development Ministry made it necessary to use Aadhaar-Based Payment Systems (ABPS) for paying wages in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). This decision came after the Union government extended the deadline five times, despite workers expressing their concerns through memorandums to the Ministry, urging them not to make ABPS mandatory.
In MGNREGS, there are two ways to receive wages: through a regular bank account or using ABPS. With the first method, wages are transferred using the worker’s name, bank account number, and the bank branch’s IFSC code. However, ABPS requires a few additional steps. First, the worker’s Aadhaar number must be linked to their job card by verifying the details with the Aadhaar database. The verification is successful only when all the information, including spelling and gender, matches between the job card and Aadhaar database. Second, the Aadhaar must be connected to the worker’s bank account. Third, the Aadhaar number must be correctly linked through the worker’s bank branch using a software mapper from the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages ABPS transactions. The Aadhaar number serves as the financial address, and the money is deposited into the last Aadhaar-linked bank account. Any mistakes in these ABPS steps result in the worker being denied work, not receiving wages, or not getting paid in their preferred account. As a consequence, workers have to spend a significant amount of money and lose several days of income to resolve these technical issues. Read the complete article here.