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Current Affairs One - Liner : 14th & 15th January 2024

Published on January 15, 2024
  • National:
    • The Indian Army declared 2024 as the “Year of Technology Absorption” on January 11, 2024. This initiative aims to leverage technology for transformative change, enhance cyberspace capability, and modernize the force. Key projects include Project SAMBHAV for secure communication and the induction of drones and counter-drones systems across various battalions.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 14th & 15th January 2024
    • The Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra became India’s first Dark Sky Park on January 12, 2024. This designation helps protect the night sky from light pollution, benefiting both the local ecosystem and astronomical research.
    • Narayana Health, one of the largest hospital chains in India, received approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to launch a health insurance business on December 28, 2023. The official announcement was made on January 5, 2024. This approval allows Narayana Health Insurance Limited to carry out health insurance business in India after a hiatus of 5 years.
    • A pilot project was launched by Union Minister Amit Shah on January 15, 2024, to strengthen inter-cooperation within the cooperative entities at Diodar in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat. The objective of this project is to persuade cooperative institutions to have their bank accounts only in cooperative banks. This is one of the 20 new initiatives in the cooperative sector announced by Amit Shah in the past 20 months.
    • The Himalayan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco) is classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List. The population is estimated to be between 2,275-3,792 mature individuals, with a suspected continuous decline due to threats and lack of conservation action. Major threats include habitat modification, depletion of wild prey populations, and hybridisation with dogs.
    • Operation Amrith is an initiative by the Kerala Drug Control Department to prevent the overuse of antibiotics. Launched on January 13, 2024, it involves conducting surprise raids on pharmacies to detect over-the-counter sale of antibiotics. Strict action is taken against those selling antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription.
  • International:
    • Crown Prince Frederik X (Frederik André Henrik Christian) became the King of Denmark on 14 January 2024. He succeeded to the throne following the abdication of his mother, Queen Margrethe II. Frederik is the elder son of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik. He was born on 26 May 1968.
    • The UK-Ukraine Agreement on Security Cooperation was signed by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This agreement, published on 12 January 2024, is aimed at strengthening the security cooperation between the United Kingdom and Ukraine. The agreement provides for intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training, and defense industrial cooperation.
  • Banking:
    • Indian Bank, in collaboration with FPL Technologies, NPCI, and Visa, launched a co-branded credit card called ‘Indian Bank One’ on January 12, 2024. The card offers international validity, curated offers, and is lifetime free. It also provides comprehensive digital control over the credit card experience through the OneCard mobile app.
    • On January 9, 2024, the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to establish a wholly-owned finance subsidiary in Gujarat’s GIFT City.
    • The net direct tax collections for the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) have reached nearly 81% of the total Budget estimates. As per the latest official government data, the net direct tax collection has witnessed a significant rise of 19% to reach Rs 14.70 lakh crore. The government had budgeted to collect Rs 18.23 lakh crore from direct taxes, which is 9.75% higher than Rs 16.61 lakh crore collected last fiscal.
  • Economy:
    • The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation in India increased to 0.73% in December 2023. This surge in inflation is primarily attributed to a significant increase in food prices. The WPI inflation had been in the negative zone from April to October and had turned positive in November at 0.26%. This is the highest level of WPI inflation since March 2023, when it was 1.41%.
    • The retail inflation in India surged to a four-month high of 5.69% in December 2023. This increase was driven by higher prices of food items such as pulses, spices, fruits, and vegetables. The food inflation for December stood at 9.53%. On the other hand, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) fell to an eight-month low of 2.4% in November 2023.
  • Mous:
    • The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and the State Bank of India (SBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 13, 2024, at the corporate branch of SBI in Mumbai. The purpose of this MoU is to provide loans up to Rs 5 lakh to rural Self-Help Groups (SHGs), particularly women entrepreneurs, through a hassle-free application process.
  • Govt. Schemes:
    • The Group (Term) Insurance Scheme for Casual Paid Labourers (CPLs) engaged by the Border Roads Organisation was approved and launched by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on January 13, 2024. The scheme provides an insured value of Rs 10 lakh as insurance in any kind of death to the CPL’s family or next of kin. This initiative is seen as a social security and welfare measure for the CPLs working in remote and far-flung areas of the nation.
  • Science & Technology:
    • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched an H-IIA rocket carrying Japan’s Information-Gathering Satellite “Optical-8” on January 11, 2024. The satellite will monitor military activities and natural disasters from a Sun-synchronous orbit.
    • The Conjoined Silverline (Cigaritis conjuncta), a new butterfly species, was discovered in the Bramhagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Kodagu, Karnataka. The discovery was announced on January 11, 2024. The butterfly is endemic to the mid-elevation evergreen forests of the Western Ghats and is about the size of a one-rupee coin. The discovery was made by researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).
  • Reports:
    • The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) report, released on January 10, 2024, predicts that India’s GDP will surpass USD 4 trillion in the financial year 2024-25. This report was released by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI). The report also anticipates a reduction in the RBI repo rate by 100 basis points by the end of 2024 to support economic expansion.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • The National Institute of Construction Management and Research (NICMAR) Hyderabad achieved the Platinum Certification under the IGBC Green Campus Rating on January 12, 2024. This recognition highlights their commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness.
  • Appointments:
    • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the re-appointment of Michael Patra as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for one year, effective from January 15, 2024. This marks his second extension, as he had received a one-year extension in January 2023 after his initial three-year term ended.
  • Obituaries:
    • Renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2024, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. He was 71 years old and had been battling with a prolonged illness for several months.

Questions:

Q.1 Where is India’s first Dark Sky Park located?
a. The Sundarbans National Park
b. The Jim Corbett National Park
c. The Pench Tiger Reserve
d. The Kaziranga National Park
Q.2 Who has been re-appointed as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India?
a. Michael Patra
b. Raghuram Rajan
c. Urjit Patel
d. Shaktikanta Das

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