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Current Affairs One - Liner : 25th & 26th February 2024

Published on February 26, 2024
  • National:
    • The iMPEL-AI programme, launched on February 21, 2024, is a collaboration between Microsoft, iCreate, and India’s Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY). The initiative aims to empower 1100 AI innovators across India, focusing on sectors like Healthcare, Financial Inclusion, Sustainability, Education, Agriculture, and Smart Cities.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 25th & 26th February 2024
    • The Interest Equalisation Scheme, which aids exporters from identified sectors and all MSME manufacturer exporters, has been extended until 30th June 2024 with an additional allocation of Rs 2500 Cr. The scheme offers pre and post shipment Rupee export credit at competitive rates. The additional outlay is to bridge the funding gap to continue the Scheme up to 30.06.2024. The scheme has been beneficial for the exports growth of the country.
    • NTPC Green Energy Limited (NGEL) has signed an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) to develop an “Integrated Green Hydrogen Hub” in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The hub will be built on 1,200 acres of land and will include India’s largest green hydrogen production facility. The project is part of the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
    • Union Minister Arjun Munda, along with Union Minister of Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal, launched a health initiative on February 21, 2024. The initiative aims to improve the health of children in Eklavya Model Residential Schools through Ayurvedic interventions and includes the creation of medicinal plant gardens.
    • Uber partnered with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) on February 22, 2024. This collaboration aims to expand Uber’s mobility offerings in India, aligning with ONDC’s objective of democratizing digital commerce.
    • The Odisha Budget for 2024-25, presented on February 24, 2024, has an outlay of Rs 2.55 lakh crore, an 11% increase from the previous year. The highest allocation is for the school and mass education department at Rs 33,865 crore. The fiscal deficit is kept within the prescribed limit of 3% of GSDP.
    • The Taj Mahotsav is a vibrant 14-day festival that showcases India’s rich arts, crafts, cultures, cuisine, dance, and music. In 2024, it took place from 17th February to 27th February. The festival is held at Shilpgram, near the Eastern gate of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Sudarshan Setu,’ a 2.32 km-long cable-stayed bridge connecting Okha and Beyt Dwarka in Gujarat on 25th February 2024. This bridge, built at a cost of ₹978 crore, aims to ease access for pilgrims visiting the Dwarkadhish Temple. The bridge’s lighting is powered by solar panels integrated into its structure. PM Modi was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel during the bridge’s inauguration.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Bharat Tex 2024, a major global textile event, at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on 26th February 2024. The event showcased India’s rich textile traditions and aimed to boost the sector’s contribution to India’s development by 2047. It saw participation from global CEOs, policymakers, exhibitors, buyers, and textile workers.
    • The first-ever ‘Maharashtra MSME Defence Expo’ was inaugurated in Pune on 23rd February 2024. The event was organized by the Maharashtra Government and aimed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship within the Defence Production sector. It brought together over 500 MSMEs, start-ups, and 20,000 engineering students, providing a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange.
    • The first solar project of NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd. (NTPC-REL) at Chhattargarh in Rajasthan started commercial operations on 21st February 2024 with a capacity of 70 MW. The full capacity of the project is 150 MW, expected to be fully commissioned by March 2024. The project is designed to generate 370 million units of energy per year, sufficient for 60,000 households.
  • Banking:
    • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of up to 8.79% of the share capital of Pricol Limited by Minda Corporation Limited. Both companies are engaged in the manufacturing of auto-component parts.
  • Economy:
    • According to the NITI Aayog CEO, BVR Subrahmanyam, poverty in India has reduced to 5% of the total population. This is based on the latest consumer expenditure survey by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), which showed a significant rise in household consumption expenditure and a narrowing gap between rural and urban areas.
  • Mous:
    • On February 21, 2024, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi. The MoU, signed by Shri Prabhulla Chandran VK of ADA and Air Vice Marshal KN Santosh VSM of IAF, aims to integrate futuristic weapons and sensors into the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to enhance its operational capabilities.
  • Science & Technology:
    • The Aditya-L1 mission’s PAPA payload has detected the impact of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on solar wind. This includes events that occurred on February 10-11, 2024. The data shows an abrupt increase in particle counts, indicating the detection of a CME event. These observations demonstrate PAPA’s capabilities in space weather monitoring and analysis of solar phenomena.
  • Apps & Portals:
    • The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) launched an “Automated Search Portal” on February 23, 2024. This portal will help public sector banks in India to quickly access information for timely decisions regarding credit sanction. It aims to streamline the intelligence clearance process for loan disbursement.
  • Sports:
    • The Army team clinched the title at the Khelo India Winter Games 2024. They secured the top spot with 10 gold, 5 silver, and 6 bronze medals. The first runner up was Karnataka, which earned 9 gold and 2 silver medals, while the second runner up, Maharashtra, had 7 gold, 8 silver, and 7 bronze medals. The Khelo India Winter Games 2024 was a significant event held at Leh & Gulmarg.
  • Important Days:
    • The Defence Security Corps (DSC) celebrated its 77th Raising Day on 25th February 2024. The Corps, raised in 1947, provides security to various sensitive defence and civil installations across India. On this occasion, the Army Staff General and the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff conveyed their best wishes and highlighted the Corps’ exemplary role and its adoption of the latest technology.
    • February 26th marks the death anniversary of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, commonly known as Veer Savarkar. He was a key figure in India’s independence movement, advocating for Hindutva and national unity. Savarkar passed away on February 26, 1966, in Mumbai.
  • Appointments:
    • Viswas Raghavan, former head of global investment banking at JPMorgan, was appointed as the new Head of Banking and Executive Vice Chair of Citigroup on February 26, 2024.
    • Geeta Batra, a distinguished Indian economist, has been appointed as the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility (GEF). This is a significant milestone as Batra becomes the first woman from a developing country to assume this prestigious role.
    • Maryam Nawaz, a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has become the first woman Chief Minister of Punjab, Pakistan. She won the chief ministerial elections amidst a walkout by lawmakers of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), backed by former prime minister Imran Khan’s party.
  • Obituaries:
    • Renowned Indian filmmaker Kumar Shahani has passed away at the age of 83. He was a significant contributor to India’s parallel cinema movement and is known for films like Maya Darpan (1972) and Tarang (1984).
    • Legendary ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas passed away due to a prolonged illness. He was known for his soulful ghazals and significant contributions to Hindi cinema and Indian pop music.

Questions:

Q.1 What is the length of the ‘Sudarshan Setu’?
a. 1.32 km
b. 2.32 km
c. 3.32 km
d. 4.32 km
Q.2 Who has been appointed as the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility (GEF)?
a. Sunita Narain
b. Amartya Sen
c. Raghuram Rajan
d. Geeta Batra
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