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Current Affairs One - Liner : 18th & 19th February 2024

Published on February 19, 2024
  • National:
    • The Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Bill, 2024, assented by President Droupadi Murmu, aims to prevent malpractices in public exams like UPSC, SSC, NEET, JEE, and CUET. It proposes 3-5 years of imprisonment for cheating, and 5-10 years for organized cheating, with a minimum fine of Rs 1 crore. The Act will be enforced on a date decided by the Central Government.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 18th & 19th February 2024
    • The 2023 Burgundy Private Hurun India 500 list has ranked Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) as the most valuable Indian company for the third consecutive year, with a value of Rs 15,64,663 crore. Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) and HDFC Bank followed in second and third places respectively. The list, released by Axis Bank’s Burgundy Private and Hurun India, represents a cumulative value of Rs. 231 lakh crore (USD 2.8 trillion) across 500 companies.
    • A statue of U Tirot Sing, a freedom fighter from the Khasi Hills who rebelled against British colonialism 200 years ago, was unveiled at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre in Dhaka on 16th February 2024. The statue was unveiled by the Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Sniawbhalang Dhar, and Pranay Verma, the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh.
    • The 11th International Puppet Festival was inaugurated at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh by the Governor of Punjab and UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit. The festival ran from February 17th to February 21st and featured performances from various international puppet troupes, including the Novosibirsk Regional Puppet Theatre from Russia. The event also included a Puppet Exhibition showcasing the art of puppet making.
    • The Indian government raised the authorised capital of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) from ₹10,000 crore to ₹21,000 crore on February 17, 2024. This move is expected to enhance FCI’s operational capabilities and reduce the economic cost.
    • The 16th World Social Forum (WSF) 2024 took place in Kathmandu, Nepal from February 15 to 19, 2024. The event saw participation from over 50,000 participants from more than 1400 organizations spanning 98 countries. The discussions ranged from economic inequality, social justice, climate justice, to gender equality, peace, and sustainable development. The event concluded with 60 declarations from organizations worldwide.
  • International:
    • The “Strengthening the Quad Act” (H.R.5375) was passed by the US Congress to enhance cooperation between the US, Australia, India, and Japan. It establishes a Quad Intra-Parliamentary Working Group for closer cooperation on shared interests. The bill addresses cooperation on pandemic preparedness, technology innovation, economic engagement, and promotes a free and open Indo-Pacific.
  • Banking:
    • The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has brought pension funds under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This move is part of a regulatory overhaul aimed at strengthening oversight on pension funds. It introduces ‘fit and proper’ criteria for Principal Officers and mandates the setting up of a nomination and remuneration committee as part of the board of pension fund.
  • Economy:
    • India’s outward foreign direct investment (FDI) rose by 25.7% to $2.09 billion in January 2024, compared to the same month in the previous year. This data was released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on February 16, 2024.
    • India’s crude oil imports hit a 20-month high of 21.4 million tonnes in January due to increased domestic consumption and export demand. Despite the rise in volume, the import value declined due to lower international prices. India also increased its imports of discounted Russian crude.
  • Science & Technology:
    • Large deposits of iron ore, over 840 million tonnes, were discovered in Karauli, Rajasthan on February 12, 2024. The deposits include both magnetite and hematite iron ore and are spread across Khoda, Dadaroli, Todupura, and Liloti near Hindon. This discovery is expected to boost industrial investment in the state.
    • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched its H3 rocket on February 17, 2024. The rocket carried a dummy payload and two smaller satellites. This launch marked a significant milestone for JAXA and the H3 rocket is expected to be more cost-effective than its predecessor.
    • A new species of damselfly, named Cliffside Bambootail (Phylloneura rupestris), has been discovered in the Ponmudi hills in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala on 16th February 2024. The discovery is significant because, for over 160 years, the genus Phylloneura was considered monotypic, with a single described species, the Myristica Bambootail.
  • Sports:
    • Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the legendary Indian cricketer, has been named the captain of the all-time greatest IPL team. This team was chosen by a panel of former cricketers and journalists. The team includes top players like Virat Kohli, David Warner, Chris Gayle, Suresh Raina, AB de Villiers, and others. This recognition highlights Dhoni’s leadership skills and his significant contributions to the IPL.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • The 77th BAFTA Awards were held on 18th February 2024. The film ‘Oppenheimer’ won Best Film, with its director Christopher Nolan winning Best Director and actor Cillian Murphy winning Best Leading Actor. The Best Documentary was ‘20 Days in Mariupol’.
  • Appointments:
    • Justice Nilay V Anjaria, a former judge of the Gujarat High Court, has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He will assume charge after the current Chief Justice P S Dinesh Kumar retires on February 24, 2024. His appointment was cleared by the Union government. Before his elevation, Justice Anjaria had a notable practice in various legal areas in the Gujarat High Court.
    • Pradeep Kumar Sinha, the former Cabinet Secretary, has been appointed as the Non-Executive Part-time Chairman of ICICI Bank. He will take over from G. C. Chaturvedi after his term ends on June 30, 2024. Sinha’s appointment will be effective from July 1, 2024.
  • Books:
    • “Dabbling in Diplomacy: Authorised & Otherwise, Recollections of a Non-Career Diplomat” is a book by Professor S.D. Muni. This book provides an insider’s view of the diplomatic efforts that shaped the course of nations, particularly focusing on India’s role in bringing democracy to Nepal.
  • Obituaries:
    • Renowned Jain monk Acharya Vidyasagar Maharaj passed away at the age of 77. He died at Chandragiri Teerth in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district after undertaking ‘sallekhana’, a Jain religious practice involving voluntary fasting unto death for spiritual purification.

Questions:

Q.1 Which types of iron ore were included in the deposits discovered in Karauli, Rajasthan?
a. Magnetite and Hematite
b. Goethite and Limonite
c. Siderite and Pyrite
d. Chalcopyrite and Galena
Q.2 Who is the author of the book “Dabbling in Diplomacy: Authorised & Otherwise, Recollections of a Non-Career Diplomat”?
a. Professor A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
b. Professor J.K. Rowling
c. Professor R.K. Narayan
d. Professor S.D. Muni
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