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Current Affairs One - Liner : 20th March 2024

Published on March 20, 2024
  • National:
    • On March 13, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 'India’s Techade: Chips for Viksit Bharat’ program and laid the foundation stone for three semiconductor projects. These projects, worth about Rs 1.25 lakh crores, include a semiconductor fabrication facility at Dholera, Gujarat, and two Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) facilities at Morigaon, Assam, and Sanand, Gujarat.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 20th March 2024
    • On 7th March 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice 2024’ initiative and announced various tourism sector projects worth over Rs 6,400 cr in Kashmir. The initiative aims to foster growth and development of tourism destinations responsibly and sustainably.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Marathwada Rail Coach Factory in Latur, Maharashtra, which will manufacture Vande Bharat train sets. He also launched various railway projects across the country, inaugurated five Jan Aushadi Kendras, and four rail coach restaurants. The factory is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to over 11,000 people.
    • The Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024 were introduced by the Indian government on March 14, 2024. These rules aim to facilitate the transfer of captive elephants within or between states under certain conditions, such as better care or well-being of the elephant. Health certification by veterinarians is required for all transfers. The rules also provide guidelines for the transportation of elephants to ensure their welfare.
    • Srinagar hosted its first-ever Formula-4 car racing event on March 17 to promote tourism and provide multi-career choices for local youth. The race took place from 10 am to 2 pm along a 1.7 km track from Lalit Ghat to Nehru Park. The event was hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for its potential to showcase Kashmir’s beauty and promote motorsports nationwide.
    • The Election Commission launched the ‘Mission 414’ campaign in Himachal Pradesh on March 18, 2024. The campaign aims to increase voter turnout in 414 polling stations that registered less than 60% voting in the last Lok Sabha polls. The initiative is part of the preparations for the upcoming by-polls for six assembly seats and elections for four Lok Sabha seats, slated for June 1, 2024.
  • Banking:
    • Perfios, a B2B SaaS fintech firm, became India’s second unicorn of 2024 on March 13, 2024. This was after they raised $80 million in funding from Teachers’ Venture Growth, leading to a valuation of over $1 billion.
    • India’s net direct tax collection has seen a significant growth of 19.88%, amounting to over Rs 18.90 lakh crore till March 17, 2024. This includes Corporation Tax (CIT) at Rs 9,14,469 crore and Personal Income Tax (PIT) at Rs 9,72,224 crore. Refunds of about Rs 3.37 lakh crore have been issued in the current fiscal till March 17.
  • Mous:
    • The Department of Food & Public Distribution (DoF&PD) and the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) signed an MoU on 14th March 2024 in New Delhi. The aim is to address skill development challenges faced by FPS dealers in digital literacy, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial skills. The MoU was signed by Shri Ravi Shankar, Director, DoFPD, and Dr. Poonam Sinha, Director, NIESBUD, in the presence of Union Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, and Secretaries Shri Sanjeev Chopra (DoF&PD) and Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari (MSDE).
    • On March 15, 2024, an MoU was signed between the Department of Food & Public Distribution (DoF&PD) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi. The agreement, signed by officials from both organizations, allows SIDBI to provide working capital assistance to Fair Price Shops (FPSs) through its GST Sahay application. This initiative will enable FPSs to operate on a credit model for selling non-PDS commodities.
    • REC Limited, a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Rajasthan. Under this MoU, REC will provide loans of up to Rs 20,000 crores annually for the next six years for various power and non-power infrastructure projects in Rajasthan. The MoU was signed on 10th March, 2024.
  • Science & Technology:
    • A new genus and species of parasitoid wasp, Indopria Angulata, was discovered by researchers at the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata. This wasp is unique due to its specialized wing morphology suggesting an adaptation to aquatic habitats. It plays a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance by laying eggs in the larva or pupa of different flies, leading to their death.
  • Govt. Schemes:
    • On 15th March 2024, the Department of Fisheries launched the integration of the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Fisheries scheme onto the JanSamarth Portal. This digital platform aims to streamline loan management services for fishers and fish farmers, enhancing accessibility and transparency.
  • Apps & Portals:
    • A first-of-its-kind portal providing real-time information on water levels in dams, reservoirs, and canals was launched in Jaipur, Rajasthan on March 19, 2024. The portal aims to aid in efficient water management and facilitate the prediction of floods and droughts. It’s expected to benefit farmers by providing real-time information about water availability.
  • Defence:
    • On March 15, 2024, the Indian Army marked a significant milestone in its aerial defense capabilities by raising its first squadron of Apache AH-64E attack helicopters. This event took place in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The Apache AH-64E is a state-of-the-art attack helicopter equipped with advanced communication, navigation, sensor, and weapon systems.
  • Reports:
    • The report released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 19th March 2024 is titled “Profits and Poverty: The economics of forced labour”. It states that there were 27.6 million people engaged in forced labour, which translates to 3.5 people for every thousand globally. The report also highlighted that traffickers and criminals are generating close to US$10,000 per victim.
  • Important Days:
    • World Oral Health Day is celebrated every year on March 20th to raise global awareness about the importance of oral health and hygiene. The day emphasizes the role of oral health in maintaining overall health and well-being. The theme for the 2024-2026 campaign is “A HAPPY MOUTH IS… A HAPPY BODY,” focusing on the link between oral health and general health.
    • World Sparrow Day is celebrated on March 20th to raise awareness about the house sparrow and other common birds in urban environments. The day was started by the Nature Forever Society of India in 2010 due to the declining population of sparrows in urban areas. The theme for World Sparrow Day 2024 is “I Love Sparrows”.
  • Appointments:
    • Mr. Ashwani Kumar, a partner at Victor Forgings in Jalandhar, has been elected as the new President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) on March 11, 2024. He has held several key positions in different organizations and has a deep understanding of international trade.
    • Vinay Kumar, an officer of the Indian Foreign Service from the 1992 batch, was appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation on March 19, 2024. Prior to this, he was serving as India’s ambassador to Myanmar and has also served as ambassador to Afghanistan.
    • Kumar Venkatasubramanian, a veteran with nearly 24 years of experience at Procter & Gamble (P&G), has been appointed as the new CEO for P&G India, effective from May 1, 2024. In his new role, Kumar plans to focus on a portfolio of daily use products where performance drives brand choice.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • Renowned Malayalam poet Prabha Varma was awarded the 33rd Saraswati Samman on March 19, 2024, for his novel ‘Roudra Sathwikam’. The novel, written in poetic verse, explores the conflict between power and politics, individual and state, and art and power.
    • The Raksha Mantri Trophy for the Best and Second Best Command Hospitals of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) for the year 2022 was awarded on 19 Mar 2024. The Command Hospital (Southern Command), Pune and the Command Hospital (Central Command), Lucknow were judged as the Best and Second Best Command Hospital for the year 2022 respectively.

Questions:

Q.1 According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) report, how many people were engaged in forced labour?
a. 3.5 million
b. 27.6 million
c. 10,000
d. 19 million
Q.2 What is the title of the novel for which Prabha Varma was awarded the 33rd Saraswati Samman?
a. The God of Small Things
b. Interpreter of Maladies
c. Roudra Sathwikam
d. Gitanjali
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