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Current Affairs One - Liner : 17th & 18th March 2024

Published on March 18, 2024
  • National:
    • The 2024 Lok Sabha elections in India are scheduled to be held in seven phases, starting from April 19. This multi-phase polling process will continue until June 1. The results of these elections, which are a significant part of India’s democratic process, will be declared on June 4.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 17th & 18th March 2024
    • The Startup Mahakumbh 2024 is a 3-day event that started on 18th March 2024 in New Delhi. It’s a significant platform for startups, investors, and other stakeholders to network and shape the future of startups in India. The event is expected to host more than 1,000 startups, numerous investors, and thousands of delegates from various countries.
    • The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in Kerala added over one lakh new ventures for the second consecutive year in 2023-24. This was part of the Year of Enterprises 2.0 initiative, which aimed to launch one lakh new enterprises in the financial year 2023-24. Despite financial constraints, Kerala’s economy experienced steady growth in 2022-23.
    • On March 15, 2024, the Indian Government approved a new Electric Vehicle (EV) policy. This policy allows companies that commit to invest at least $500 million and start domestic manufacturing within three years to import up to 8,000 EVs costing $35,000 or more a year at a lower tax rate of 15% for a maximum of five years.
  • International:
    • Vladimir Putin has won a fifth term as Russia’s President in the elections held from 15 to 17 March 2024. Despite criticisms regarding the fairness of the election, Putin’s fifth term is now underway.
    • The latest volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland occurred on March 17, 2024. The eruption opened a fissure almost 2 miles long and the lava spread across more than two square miles. Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Blue Lagoon thermal spa. No flight disruptions were reported at nearby Keflavik, Iceland’s main airport.
  • Economy:
    • An 11.86% year-over-year increase indicates a strong growth in the country’s export sector. This could be due to various factors such as increased production, improved quality of goods, favorable international market conditions, or effective trade policies. The export value of $41.4 billion itself is quite substantial, contributing positively to the country’s economy.
    • The Finance Ministry of India has imposed an anti-dumping duty on imports of Cast Aluminium Alloy Wheels or Alloy Road Wheels (ARW) from China. This duty is valid for five years and ranges from $0.23 per kg to $1.71 per kg. The decision was made to protect domestic industries from unfair trade practices.
  • Mous:
    • On March 13, 2024, the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi. This collaboration aims to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) and an Industry Accelerator at IIT Roorkee. The goal of this partnership is to foster innovation and advancement in the automotive and electric vehicle (EV) sector.
    • India and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the sphere of Law & Dispute Resolution on 14th March 2024. The MoU was signed in a virtual meeting. It aims to enhance cooperation in areas like international commercial dispute resolution and promotion of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. The MoU also establishes a Joint Consultative Committee to oversee its implementation.
  • Science & Technology:
    • ‘Begonia Narahari’ is a new flowering plant species discovered in the Mishmi Hills of Arunachal Pradesh’s Lohit district on March 6, 2024. The plant is known for its vivid blue iridescence when viewed in direct light. The species was named after G. Narahari Sastry, a scientist from Hyderabad.
  • Index & Ranking:
    • The Grievance Redressal Assessment Index (GRAI) for 2023-24, released by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, ranked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) among the top 10 ministries. The MHA redressed 48,837 public grievances in an average of eight days, with only 10% resulting in appeals and a citizen satisfaction rate of 40%. However, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare topped the index.
  • Reports:
    • According to the ‘Unicorn 2.0: Adding the Next Trillion’ report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Indian startups, including unicorns, are projected to contribute $1 trillion to the Indian economy by 2030. These startups could also create over 50 million new jobs. The report suggests that the size of the Indian economy is likely to be $7 trillion by 2030, and between 2024 and 2035, the country may see 300 new unicorns.
  • Sports:
    • Rachin Ravindra, at 24, became the youngest to win the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal on March 13, 2024. He excelled in all formats, scored 578 runs in the ODI World Cup, won the ICC’s Emerging Player of the Year 2023, secured a USD 350,000 IPL contract with Chennai Super Kings, and made a record maiden Test century.
    • The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) women’s team won their first Women’s Premier League title by defeating Delhi Capitals in the final. Delhi Capitals scored 113 runs, and RCB chased the target with three balls to spare, thanks to Ellyse Perry’s unbeaten 35. This marked RCB’s first title win in 16 years.
  • Defence:
    • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) of India has signed two contracts with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for Rs 8073.17 crore. These contracts are for the acquisition of 34 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv Mk III. The Indian Army will receive 25 ALHs and the Indian Coast Guard will get 9 ALHs.
  • Appointments & Resignation:
    • Arvind Kapil, former group head of the mortgage banking business at HDFC Bank, has been appointed as the new CEO of Poonawalla Fincorp, starting from June 24, 2024. The current CEO, Abhay Bhutada, will take up a strategic position at the Cyrus Poonawalla Group.
    • The Election Commission of India (ECI) declared Ms. Sheetal Devi, a Para-archer and Arjuna Awardee, as the National Disability Icon on March 16, 2024. This was announced during an exhibition cricket match organized by the ECI and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
    • Navneet Kumar Sehgal, a retired IAS officer, was appointed as the Chairman of Prasar Bharati on March 15, 2024. He has served in various capacities in the Uttar Pradesh government and has been closely associated with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
    • Jaideep Hansraj, former CEO of Kotak Securities, has been appointed as the Group President of ‘One Kotak’ by Kotak Mahindra Bank, effective from April 1, 2024. Shripal Shah will succeed Hansraj as the head of Kotak Securities.
    • Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan has resigned as the Governor of Telangana and the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. Her resignation has been accepted by President Droupadi Murmu. C P Radhakrishnan, the Governor of Jharkhand, will fulfill her responsibilities until permanent arrangements are made.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna received the Sangita Kalanidhi award on March 18, 2024. He will preside over the academic sessions of the 98th Annual Conference and Concerts of The Music Academy and receive his award on January 1, 2025. Mohiniyattam exponent Dr. Neena Prasad will receive the Nritya Kalanidhi award on January 3, 2025.
    • Uday Bhatia and Manasi Gupta, two Indian youths, were awarded the ‘Diana Memorial Award’ on 14 March 2024. Bhatia’s invention, Uday Electric, has provided continuous electricity to 950 families. Gupta’s ‘Huesofthemind Foundation’ has impacted over 50,000 lives through its mental health services. The award is given biennially to exceptional youth for their humanitarian services.
    • Rakhi Kapoor won the 2024 Golden Book Award for her book “Breaking Free Embracing Me: Healing from Childhood Abuse and Toxic Conditioning”. This is her second win at the Golden Book Awards. The book discusses healing from childhood abuse and toxic conditioning.
  • Obituaries:
    • Lama Lobzang, a prominent tribal leader and Buddhist monk from Ladakh, passed away at the age of 94. He served the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for 19 years and was appointed as its member for two terms from 1995 to 2001.

Questions:

Q.1 Who has been appointed as the Group President of ‘One Kotak’ by Kotak Mahindra Bank?
a. Shripal Shah
b. Jaideep Hansraj
c. Ratan Tata
d. Mukesh Ambani
Q.2 Who is the author of the book “Breaking Free Embracing Me: Healing from Childhood Abuse and Toxic Conditioning”?
a. J.K. Rowling
b. Dan Brown
c. Stephen King
d. Rakhi Kapoor
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