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Current Affairs One - Liner : 2nd February 2024

Published on February 02, 2024
  • National:
    • On January 30, 2024, Dr. Neeraj Mittal, Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, launched the “Bharat 5G Portal” at the ‘Bharat Telecom 2024’ event. The portal is a one-stop solution for all 5G and 6G-related works and features the Future Tech-Experts registration portal in collaboration with PANIIT USA.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 2nd February 2024
    • The Surajkund Crafts Mela is a vibrant celebration of Indian culture that takes place annually in Faridabad, Haryana. The 2024 edition of the Mela was held from February 2nd to 18th. The Mela showcases the rich traditions, exquisite crafts, and captivating performances that define this iconic event. Over 250 stalls from across India and the Partner Nation exhibit an array of traditional and contemporary crafts.
    • The Rashtriya Arogya Mela was inaugurated by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on 1st February 2024. The event, organized by the Shri Puran Chandra Gupta Smarak Trust and the Ministry of Ayush, showcased India’s traditional healing systems. The ‘Har din Har Ghar Ayush’ campaign was highlighted, and it was announced that more than 9000 Ayush Health and Wellness Centres have been established out of the targeted 12500. The fair took place from 1st to 4th February 2024 at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
    • The Finance Minister announced a scheme for rooftop solarization, enabling one crore households to receive up to 300 units of free electricity each month. This could result in annual savings of ₹15,000-18,000 for households, provide charging for electric vehicles, and create entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. The surplus power can be sold back to the grid, offsetting electricity bills.
    • The Indian government has announced the formation of a high-powered committee to extensively consider the challenges arising from fast population growth and demographic changes. This announcement was made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her Interim Budget speech.
    • The Union Cabinet of India approved the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the UAE on February 1, 2024. This treaty is expected to boost Foreign Investments and Overseas Direct Investment opportunities, and strengthen the economic ties between India and UAE.
  • Economy:
    • India’s manufacturing sector growth hit a four-month high in January 2024, with the PMI rising to 56.5 from 54.9 in December 2023. This was driven by a sharp increase in new orders, boosting output growth. Despite a rise in input cost inflation, the rate of increase was marginal. This growth is a positive sign for the Indian economy.
    • In the Interim Budget 2024, no changes were made to the income tax slabs and rates. This applies to both the new and old tax regimes. The tax rates range from 0% to 30%, depending on income brackets.
    • In the 2024 Union Budget, the Ministry of Defence received the highest allocation of ₹6.2 lakh crore. On the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare received the lowest allocation. This budget reflects the government’s priorities for the fiscal year.
    • The fiscal deficit for the financial year 2024-25 is estimated to be 5.1% of GDP, with total borrowing estimated at Rs 14.13 lakh crore. This was announced in the interim Union Budget before the Lok Sabha elections.
  • Mous:
    • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 31, 2024, in New Delhi. The collaboration aims to develop a robust National Highways network by providing site-specific geotechnical consultancy services, including geological mapping, slope stability studies, and 3D geological logging of tunnels.
    • NTPC Green Energy Limited (NGEL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maharashtra on 29th January, 2024. The agreement includes the development of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives, Pumped Storage Projects, and renewable energy projects. The potential investment is approximately ₹ 80,000 crores. 
  • Reports:
    • The All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2021-2022 report was released by the Ministry of Education, Government of India on 25th January 2024. It shows an increase in total enrolment in higher education to 4.33 crore, including increased enrolment of SC, ST, and female students. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) has also risen to 28.4. Total Ph.D. enrolment has seen an 81.2% increase since 2014-15.
  • Govt. Schemes:
    • The Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) for the export of Apparel/Garments and Made-ups has been extended by the Union Cabinet until 31st March 2026. This decision was made on 1st February 2024. The scheme aims to enhance the export competitiveness of these sectors by rebating taxes and levies.
    • The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) until 2025-26. The scheme, with an outlay of Rs.29,610.25 crore, aims to incentivize investments in areas like dairy processing, meat processing, animal feed plants, and more. It provides a 3% interest subvention for loans up to 90% from certain institutions. The scheme has added significant processing capacity in the dairy, meat, and animal feed sector and is expected to generate employment for 35 lakh people.
  • Appointments:
    • Vice Admiral Lochan Singh Pathania was appointed as the Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India on February 1, 2024. He has over three decades of experience in hydrographic surveys across India and the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Important Days:
    • World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) is a UN initiative celebrated annually during the first week of February, aimed at promoting harmony among people of different faiths. The theme for WIHW 2024 is ‘Uniting for Peace’. It encourages collaboration among diverse religious communities for global peace. The 2024 WIHW is observed from 1-7 February.
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Awareness Day is observed annually on February 2nd. This day aims to raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints. The theme for Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day 2024 is “Living Well with RA: Early Diagnosis, Effective Management, and a Brighter Future”
  • Obituaries:
    • Navarre Scott Momaday, a renowned Kiowa author and poet, passed away at the age of 89 on January 24, 2024. He was a Pulitzer Prize winner for his novel “House Made of Dawn” and a significant figure in Native American literature.

Questions:

Q.1 Which campaign was highlighted during the Rashtriya Arogya Mela?
a. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
b. Har din Har Ghar Ayush
c. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
d. Make in India
Q.2 What is the estimated fiscal deficit for the financial year 2024-25?
a. 5.1% of GDP
b. 4.1% of GDP
c. 6.1% of GDP
d. 7.1% of GDP

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