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Current Affairs One - Liner : 30th December 2023

Published on December 30, 2023
  • National:
    • The 12th Divya Kala Mela-2023, a unique event showcasing the products and craftsmanship of Divyang entrepreneurs/artisans, was inaugurated in Surat, Gujarat. It ran from 29th December 2023 to 7th January 2024. The event, organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, featured around 100 Divyang artisans/artists and entrepreneurs from about 20 states/UTs.
    • On 29th December 2023, Union Home Minister Amit Shah virtually laid the foundation stone of the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) office building in Gandhinagar. This project is due to be completed by December 2024. During the event, Amit Shah also highlighted that milk production in India has increased by about 51% in the last 8 years, which is the fastest growth in the world. He also presided over the NCDFI e-Market Awards.
    • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment, Shri Bhupender Yadav, launched the National Transit Pass System (NTPS) on December 29, 2023. The NTPS is an online system that facilitates the seamless transit of timber, bamboo, and other forest produce across India.
    • Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, was elected as the national president of the Janata Dal (United) after Lalan Singh stepped down from the post. This decision was made during the party’s national executive meeting. The formal announcement will be made after the JDU National Council meeting. This is a significant development ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
  • International:
    • Argentina has formally rejected the invitation to join the BRICS bloc of developing economies. The newly elected far-right President of Argentina, Javier Milei, has sent letters to BRICS leaders to formalize his decision. He stated that the moment was not “opportune” for Argentina to join as a full member. This decision is a significant shift in Argentina’s foreign policy, as the previous administration had endorsed joining the alliance as an opportunity to reach new markets.
    • US President Joe Biden has nominated Deven Parekh, a prominent Indian-American global venture capitalist, as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). Parekh is the managing director at software investment firm Insight Partners. His nomination will be for three years.
  • Banking:
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the timeline for implementing fair lending practices related to penal charges in loan accounts. The circular initially outlined instructions set to take effect from January 1, 2024. However, acknowledging the need for additional time and clarifications, the RBI has decided to extend the implementation timeline by three months.
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has indeed stated that Regulated Entities (REs) should communicate the final decision on customer complaints within 30 days of receiving the complaint. This is part of RBI’s Master Direction on “Internal Ombudsman for Regulated Entities”.
    • The Indian government has increased the interest rates on two small savings schemes for the period of January to March 2024. The schemes that saw an increase are: Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme (SSAS): The interest rate for SSAS has been hiked by 20 basis points to 8.2%. Three-year time deposit: This scheme also saw a 20 basis points increase in the interest rate.
  • Economy:
    • The core sector output growth in India slowed to 7.8% in November 2023 due to a decline in output from crude oil and cement, and a decrease in growth rates for coal, fertilizer, steel, and electricity. Despite this, the overall performance of the core sector industries remained strong during most of 2023 with a robust growth of 8.6% from April to November 2023.
    • India has indeed emerged as the second-largest producer of crude steel in the world, surpassing Japan in 2018. This is a significant achievement for the country’s steel industry. The Union Minister of Steel & Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, announced that India had exported 6.72 MT of finished steel against the import of 6.02 MT in the year 2022-23. This progress reflects the remarkable growth recorded by India’s steel industry.
  • Science & Technology:
    • Russia’s Roscosmos and NASA have extended their agreement on cross-flights to the International Space Station (ISS) through 2025. This ensures the presence of at least one representative from each agency on their respective segments of the ISS. The decision was taken to maintain the reliability of the ISS operation. The space sector remains one of the few areas where Moscow and Washington continue to cooperate. The future of the ISS beyond 2024 is still under discussion, with the US expressing interest to continue until 2030 and Russia till 2028.
  • Defence:
    • On 29th December 2023, The Indian Navy has unveiled a new design for the Admirals’ Epaulettes. The new design includes a golden Navy button, an octagon, and a crossed Indian sword telescope with stars denoting ranks. This initiative aligns with renaming ranks and signifies a break from British nomenclature, symbolizing national pride and a forward-looking vision.
    • The LSAM 10 (Yard 78) is the fourth Missile Cum Ammunition (MCA) Barge of an 8-barge project for the Indian Navy. It was built by MSME Shipyard, M/s SECON Engineering Projects Pvt Ltd, Visakhapatnam. The barge was launched on 20 Nov 2023 at Guttenadeevi, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, and was inducted on 28 Dec 2023 at Naval Dockyards, Mumbai for NAD (Karanja). The Induction Ceremony was presided over by Cmde MV Raj Krishna, CoY (Mbi).
  • Appointments:
    • Dong Jun, a former navy commander, was appointed as China’s Defence Minister on 29th December 2023. He replaced Li Shangfu, who had disappeared from public view in September and was later found to be involved in a fraud case.
    • Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar was appointed as the ex-officio Chancellor of Pondicherry University on December 5, 2023. This came about following a modification to Statute 1(1) of the Pondicherry University Act 1985.
    • Hyundai Motor India appointed the renowned Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone as its brand ambassador in 2023. This strategic partnership was announced in July and aims to leverage Padukone's immense popularity and influence to connect with a wider audience, particularly the younger generation.
    • Anish Dayal Singh, the former chief of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), has been appointed as the Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He is a 1988-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Manipur cadre. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Singh’s appointment as DG, CRPF up to December 31, 2024, i.e., the date of his superannuation.

Questions:

Q.1 Where was the 12th Divya Kala Mela-2023 held?
a. Panipat, Haryana
b. Surat, Gujarat
c. Mumbai, Maharashtra
d. Kolkata, West Bengal
Q.2 Who launched the National Transit Pass System (NTPS)?
a. Shri Narendra Modi
b. Shri Bhupender Yadav
c. Shri Amit Shah
d. Shri Rajnath Singh

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