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Current Affairs One - Liner : 21st December 2023

Published on December 21, 2023
  • National:
    • ACG, the world’s largest integrated supplier and service provider to the pharmaceutical industry, has recently celebrated the inclusion of its capsule manufacturing facility in Pithampur, India, into the esteemed Global Lighthouse Network (GLN) by the World Economic Forum.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 21st December 2023
    • The Parliament has indeed passed a bill to raise the age cap of the president and members of the GST Appellate Tribunals (GSTAT). The age limit for the president has been raised to 70 years, and for the members, it has been raised to 67 years. This is an increase from the previous age limits of 67 years for the president and 65 years for the members.
    • The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has indeed approved the proposal to establish the state’s first Advanced Pediatric Center. This center will be set up at PGI in Lucknow. The center is planned to consist of more than 20 departments and 6 units, and it will be equipped with 575 beds.
    • On December 18, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Swarved Mahamandir in Umaraha, Varanasi. The temple, spread across 3 lakh square feet, can accommodate about 20,000 people for meditation. It features teakwood ceilings and doors, 101 fountains, and verses of the Swarveda carved on the walls. The temple promotes the teachings of Swarveda, emphasizing Brahm Vidya.
  • Banking:
    • A repo rate cut may be some distance away as the RBI's Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model for the Indian economy has projected retail inflation to reach 4.8 per cent in FY25, which is above the monetary policy committee's. 4 per cent target.
    • The ruling by the Himachal Pradesh Appellate Authority for Advance Rulings (HPAAAR) stating that companies offering food to their employees are ineligible for Input Tax Credit (ITC) under GST is a complex and nuanced issue .
    • U GRO Capital, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) focused on MSME lending, has raised Rs.250 crore from the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO. The funds were raised through rupee-denominated non-convertible debentures (NCDs). . Prior to this, U GRO Capital had raised Rs.240 crore from Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) in May 2023.
    • HDFC Life, one of India’s leading life insurers, and Karur Vysya Bank (KVB) have indeed entered into a Corporate Agency (CA) arrangement on 19th December 2023. This arrangement will enable customers of Karur Vysya Bank to avail HDFC Life’s wide range of life insurance products, which include solutions for protection, savings and investment, retirement, and critical illness.
    • Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance (ABSLI) Limited and IDFC First Bank entered into a bancassurance arrangement on December 19, 2023. ABSLI Assured Savings Plan: This plan provides life insurance cover with guaranteed savings, ABSLI Nishchit Aayush Plan: This is a non-linked non-participating individual savings life insurance plan that provides life insurance cover with guaranteed regular income and lump sum benefits. This partnership aims to offer insurance solutions to the bank’s customers, enhancing financial protection and inclusion.
    • The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced an investment of up to $40 million in the private equity fund Amicus Capital Partners Fund II. This fund is aimed at supporting investments in Indian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in various economic sectors. The fund seeks to leverage digitalisation and technology to overcome geographic limitations and facilitate deeper market penetration.
  • Economy:
    • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indeed reclassified India’s “de facto” exchange rate regime to a “stabilized arrangement” from “floating” for the period from December 2022 to October 2023. This reclassification was made following an Article IV review of the country’s policies.
    • In November 2023, India’s thermal coal imports from the US reached a two-year high. According to the energy intelligence firm Kpler, India imported a total of 17.51 million tonnes (MT) of thermal coal, with inbound shipments from the US rising to 1.40 MT, its highest in over a year.
    • The share of agriculture in India’s GDP has indeed declined to 15% in the fiscal year 2022-23. This is a significant decrease from 35% in 1990-91. The decline is attributed to the rapid growth in the industrial and service sector. Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda confirmed this in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
    • The unemployment rate among graduates in the age group of 15 years and above has declined to 13.4% in 2022-23 from 14.9% in the previous year. This data is according to the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation.
  • Mous:
    • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Quality Council of India and the Andhra Pradesh government was signed on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at the ‘Gunvatta Sankalp’ event held in Vijayawada. This agreement aims to transform the agriculture sector by providing technical support and enhancing the quality and income of farmers.
  • Defence:
    • The Indian Defence Ministry has indeed signed a deal to procure six next-generation offshore patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard. This deal, worth Rs 1,614 crore, was signed with Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders Ltd on 20th december 2023. Out of the six vessels being procured, four would replace the existing aging offshore patrol vessels and the other two would augment the Coast Guard’s fleet.
  • Sports:
    • The Airport Authority of India (AAI) indeed won the men’s team title at the 75th Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton Championships 2023. The championships were held at the RG Baruah Sports Complex in Guwahati, Assam.
    • The winners of the FIH Hockey Star Awards for the 2023 season were announced on December 19, 2023. This is when Hardik Singh and Savita Punia were recognized for their outstanding performances in the field of hockey. Hardik Singh was named the men’s player of the year. He was part of the gold medal-winning Indian team at the Asian Games and Asian Champions Trophy, Savita Punia won the best women’s goalkeeper of the year award.
  • Reports:
    • According to an EY India report, Generative AI (GenAI) could potentially add a cumulative $1.2-1.5 trillion to India’s GDP by FY2029-30. The report forecasts that by fully capitalizing on GenAI technology and its applications across sectors, India could potentially add $359-438 billion in FY2029-30 alone, reflecting a 5.9% to 7.2% increase over and above the baseline GDP.
  • Important Days:
    • The Judge Advocate General’s Department (JAG) of the Indian Army celebrates its Corps Day on December 21. This day is significant because it’s the day the Bill of the Army Act was laid in Parliament, back in 1949. The JAG Department is the legal branch of the Indian Army, dealing with military-related disciplinary cases, litigation, and providing legal assistance to the army in various matters. So, the 40th Corps Day would have been celebrated in 1989.
  • Awards & Honors:
    • The Sahitya Akademi Award 2023 has been announced. The award is given to writers in 24 Indian languages, including translations. Neelum Saran Gour won the award in the English language category for her novel 'Requiem in Raga Janki’. Noted Tamil writer N Rajasekaran (Devi Bharathi) won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel 'Neervazhi Paduum’.
    • The Israeli film ‘Children of Nobody’ directed by Erez Tadmor won the ‘Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award’ for Best Film at the 29th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). The film, inspired by a true story, is an emotionally charged drama about troubled boys who unite to protect a shelter for at-risk youth. Along with the best film award, the film also received a cash prize worth Rs 51 lakh.
    • INS Shivaji, the premier Training establishment of the Indian Navy, received the original ‘Vir Chakra’ awarded to Late Vice Admiral Benoy Roy Chowdhury, AVSM, VrC (Retd.) at a solemn ceremony at Lonavala on 18 Dec 23. Vice Admiral Dinesh Prabhakar, AVSM, NM, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Chair Marine Engineering, INS Shivaji, received the ’Vir Chakra’ from Mr Padipta Bose & Mrs Gargi Bose, the family members of VAdm Chowdhury on behalf of the Indian Navy.
    • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been awarded the 2023 Leif Erikson Lunar Prize by the Exploration Museum in Husavik, Iceland for its successful Chandrayaan-3 mission.
  • Appointments:
    • Senior IPS officer Maheshwar Dayal officially assumed the role of Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services on Monday, December 18. With a distinguished career marked by various leadership roles across multiple districts and specialized units, Dayal brings a wealth of experience to his new position.

Questions:

Q.1 Who won the men’s team title at the 75th Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton Championships 2023?
a. Karnataka
b. Airport Authority of India (AAI)
c. Badminton Association of India (BAI)
d. RG Baruah Sports Complex
Q.2 What is the area of the Swarved Mahamandir?
a. 1 lakh square feet
b. 2 lakh square feet
c. 3 lakh square feet
d. 4 lakh square feet

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