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Current Affairs One - Liner : 21st & 22nd January 2024

Published on January 22, 2024
  • National:
    • On January 19, 2024, the Indian Government formed a high-level committee chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba to safeguard the interests of Scheduled Castes. The committee aims to ensure the even distribution of benefits among all Scheduled Caste communities.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 21st & 22nd January 2024
    • India has been elected as the first Vice Chair of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI) Sub-Committee on Fisheries Management on 19th January 2024. This is a significant achievement as it marks the first time in 57 years that India will serve as a member of the FAO Fisheries Bureau on Capture Fisheries.
    • Indian Immunologicals Ltd launched India’s first indigenously developed Hepatitis A vaccine, Havisure, on January 20, 2024. It’s a two-dose vaccine, safe and efficacious for all ages, priced at Rs 2,150 per dose.
    • On January 18, 2024, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved an equity investment of ₹5,607 crore for setting up two thermal power plants. The first project, with an equity capital of ₹823 crore, involves South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) setting up a 660 MW thermal power plant. The second project, with an equity capital of ₹4,784 crore, is by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) for setting up a 1,600 MW thermal power plant. The total generation capacity of these projects will be 2,260 MW.
    • The ‘My School-My Pride’ campaign was launched by the Himachal Pradesh government under the ‘Apna Vidyalay’ programme on 15th January 2024. This initiative aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 and aims to revolutionize the quality of education in government schools. The campaign encourages active participation from individuals and organizations to adopt schools and contribute to various aspects of students’ growth.
    • The Wild Life (Protection) Licensing (Additional Matters for Consideration) Rules, 2024 came into effect on 16th January 2024. They are the first major revision since 1983. The new rules change the licensing process for wildlife trade, including lifting restrictions on Schedule II species. The implications of these changes on wildlife conservation efforts are yet to be seen.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi released Commemorative Postage Stamps on Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir and a book of stamps issued on Lord Ram around the world. The stamp book aims to showcase the international appeal of Lord Ram and covers stamps issued by more than 20 countries.
  • International:
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) has indeed certified Cabo Verde as a malaria-free country. This is a significant achievement in global health and marks a historic milestone in the fight against malaria. Cabo Verde is the third country to be certified in the WHO African region, joining Mauritius and Algeria which were certified in 1973 and 2019 respectively.
  • Banking:
    • The Jeevan Dhara-II policy is a non-linked, non-participating, individual savings deferred annuity plan launched by LIC on January 22, 2024. It offers 11 annuity options, guarantees annuity from the beginning, and has a deferment period of 1-15 years. The age limit depends on the chosen annuity option. It also provides higher annuity rates, life cover, and a Liquidity Plan.
    • Unity Small Finance Bank Limited (Unity Bank), a new-age, digital-first bank, has partnered with Uncia Technologies to implement Uncia Chain, a state-of-the-art Supply Chain Finance (SCF) platform. Unity Bank, which commenced operations in November 2021, offers digital first banking solutions and services over 15 lakh customers PAN India. It has built a sizeable loan book of over Rs. 7,000 crores and a Deposit base of approx. Rs 5,000 crores.
    • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has indeed invested approximately Rs. 486 Crore (USD 73 million) in the Sustainable Energy Infra Trust (SEIT) for Project Meridian. Project Meridian is a significant initiative aimed at supporting the development of Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) as an infrastructure asset class in India. The project is focused on financing the InvIT’s acquisition of renewable energy assets.
  • Economy:
    • India’s agri-product exports, monitored by APEDA, fell by 9.73% during April-November 2023-24, mainly due to a decline in cereal shipments. However, exports of basmati rice, livestock products, fruits and vegetables, and processed foods saw an increase. The news was reported on January 20, 2024.
    • After four consecutive years of inflows, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have pulled out nearly $1 billion (₹8,089 crore) from the debt VRR segment. This comes amid a lack of opportunities to invest in stressed or structured credit, a dearth of auctions, and the end of withholding tax benefits.
    • The Finance Ministry has deferred its plan to spend ₹5,000 crore in FY24 to refill strategic petroleum reserves. This decision was taken considering the emerging trends in oil markets. The government had initially outlined a plan to purchase crude oil worth ₹5,000 crore for caverns in the southern cities of Mangalore and Visakhapatnam.
  • Mous:
    • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Airbus and the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP) was signed on 19th January 2024 in Hyderabad, India to develop new technology pathways as well as test and qualify indigenous Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in India. The collaboration aims to support SAF production and commercialization, using a new HEFA technology pathway and locally sourced feedstocks.
    • The National Farmers’ Welfare Programme Implementation Society (NFWPIS), IndiaAI, and Wadhwani Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 17th January 2024 in New Delhi. The aim is to leverage AI in the agricultural sector to enhance productivity, sustainability, and efficiency. Key initiatives include “Kisan e-Mitra”, an AI-powered chatbot, and the National Pest Surveillance System for early pest detection.
  • Defence:
    • North Korea recently tested an underwater nuclear weapon system known as ‘Haeil-5-23’. This test was carried out in response to joint military drills by South Korea, the United States, and Japan. The underwater drone, which supposedly can carry a nuclear weapon, was tested off the east coast.
  • Sports:
    • Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya won a bronze medal at the Grand Prix De France Henri Deglane 2024 wrestling tournament in Nice, France on 20th January 2024. This was his first international tournament since the 2022 World Championships. Dahiya was competing in the men’s 61kg freestyle category and won his bronze medal bout 10-4 against Kairat Amirtayev of Kazakhstan.
  • Important Days:
    • Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti, celebrated on January 17, 2024, marks the 357th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru of Sikhism. This significant day is observed by the Sikh community worldwide.
    • The states of Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya in India celebrate their Statehood Day on 21st January. On this day in 1972, these states became full-fledged states under the North Eastern Region (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. This day is celebrated with various cultural and traditional festivities in these states.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • Kachchhi Kharek, an indigenous variety of dates from the Kutch region in Gujarat, has indeed been awarded a Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT) of India. This makes it the second fruit from Gujarat to receive such recognition.
  • Appointments:
    • Lockton, the world’s largest independent insurance brokerage, has announced its entry into the Indian market. They have appointed Dr. Sandeep Dadia as the Chief Executive Officer for India, subject to regulatory approval. Dr. Dadia is also a member of the Lockton Asia leadership team.

Questions:

Q.1 What is the percentage decrease in India’s agri-product exports during April-November 2023-24?
a. 5.73%
b. 9.73%
c. 7.93%
d. 10.73%
Q.2 Who won a bronze medal at the Grand Prix De France Henri Deglane 2024 wrestling tournament?
a. Ravi Kumar Dahiya
b. Kairat Amirtayev
c. John Doe
d. Jane Doe

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