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Current Affairs One - Liner : 31st March & 1st April 2024

Published on April 01, 2024
  • National:
    • India renewed its agreement to export electricity to Nepal on March 29, 2024. The agreement, which allows Nepal to import up to 554 MW of electricity from India, was extended for three months. This is crucial for Nepal as it faces a power crisis, with a demand of 1,800-2,000 MW exceeding its domestic production of 1,200 MW.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 31st March & 1st April 2024
    • Starting April 1, 2024, the PFRDA has mandated two-factor Aadhaar authentication for accessing the CRA system for NPS tasks. This includes an Aadhaar OTP along with the usual User ID and Password. This change is expected to notably impact the Government NPS sector.
    • From April 1, 2024, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has mandated all new insurance policies to be issued in electronic form. This move aims to streamline processes, enhance security, and reduce paperwork. The e-Insurance policies will be stored in an e-Insurance Account (eIA). However, policyholders can still opt for physical documents if preferred.
    • An anti-dumping investigation has been initiated on imports of PVC Resin from seven countries: China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. This action was taken in response to a petition filed by three domestic producers in India. They claim that the volume of imports surged by 65% in 2022-23 after the previous anti-dumping duty expired.
    • The Ministry of Home Affairs has extended the FCRA registration validity for NGOs till June 30. This applies to those with pending renewal applications and those expiring between April 1 and June 30, provided they’ve applied for renewal before expiry.
    • Kutch Copper Limited, a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, began the first phase of its operations at its copper refinery in Mundra on March 28, 2024. The $1.2 billion project will help reduce India’s import dependence and create numerous job opportunities. The facility is expected to reach full capacity by FY29.
    • The Government of India has approved a simple reversionary bonus for the Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) schemes for the fiscal year 2024-25. The rates vary based on the type of policy and range from ₹45 to ₹76 per thousand of sum assured. There is also a terminal bonus for policies with a term of 20 years or more. These rates will be applicable from April 1, 2024.
    • AMPIN Energy Transition, a renewable energy company in India, received funding of 25 million euros from OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria, on April 1, 2024. The funds will be used to expand the company’s renewable energy portfolio and to establish a solar cell and module production facility in Orissa, India.
    • On March 29, 2024, a joint venture of RVNL and Salasar Techno Engineering secured a transmission project in Rwanda worth Rs 60 crore. The project involves the design, supply, and installation of 45.8 km, 110 KV double circuit Rukarara-Huye-Gisagara transmission lines and is expected to be executed in 18 months.
  • International:
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global network of laboratories called CoViNet on 27th March 2024. This network aims to facilitate the detection, monitoring, and assessment of SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, and other coronaviruses of public health importance.
  • Banking:
    • In February 2024, India’s credit card count crossed 100 million, with an addition of 1.1 million cards from the previous month. However, credit card spending saw a drop due to a decline in point of sale and e-commerce payments.
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is setting up a Digital India Trust Agency (DIGITA) to combat cyber fraud and illegal lending apps. The decision was considered on March 31, 2024. DIGITA will verify digital lending apps and maintain a public register of verified ones. Unverified apps may be considered unauthorized. This initiative aims to protect borrowers and create a safer digital lending ecosystem.
    • On March 28, 2024, Reliance Industries (RIL) announced the acquisition of a 26% stake in Adani Power’s Madhya Pradesh power project. The deal involves the allocation of 50 million equity shares of Mahan Energen Ltd (MEL), a subsidiary of Adani Power, to RIL. The total deal is worth Rs 50 crore. RIL will use 500 MW of electricity from the plant for its requirements.
    • Private equity firm Warburg Pincus, through its affiliate Cloverdell Investment, sold its entire 2.25% stake in IDFC First Bank. The transaction involved more than 15.88 crore shares, sold at an average price of Rs 75.24 per share, totaling Rs 1,195 crore. The stock ended 3% lower on the BSE at Rs 75.39. The transaction took place on 28th March 2024.
    • Karnataka Bank has raised Rs 600 crore via a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP). The QIP issued 2,64,31,718 equity shares at Rs 227 per share. Institutions like HSBC Mutual Fund, Morgan Stanley Asia Singapore PTE, and SBI Life Insurance Company participated in the QIP.
    • L&T Finance Holdings was renamed to L&T Finance Ltd, effective March 28, 2024. This is part of a rebranding initiative following the merger of its subsidiaries into a single lending entity. The company offers a range of financial products and services.
    • City Union Bank, in its 120th year of operations, achieved a significant milestone on March 30, 2024. The bank’s total business crossed the ₹1 lakh crore mark for the first time, doubling its total business from ₹50,000 crore in FY17 in just seven years.
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a cumulative fine of ₹74.1 crore on 64 banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) on April 1, 2024. The fines were for non-compliance with various regulatory directions.
    • On March 27, 2024, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) granted the Payment Aggregator (PA) licence to Innoviti Payments and Vegaah. This licence allows these companies to settle e-commerce transactions, bringing them directly under RBI regulations. This is a significant step for both companies in the fintech space.
  • Economy:
    • The Government e-Marketplace (GeM) doubled its Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to ₹4 lakh crore at the end of the fiscal year on March 29, 2024. This was achieved with contributions from central entities, states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi, and through initiatives like ‘Vocal for Local’, ‘One District, One Product’, ‘Startup Runway’, ‘Womaniya’ etc.
    • In the fiscal year 2023/24, the Indian government raised Rs 16,500 crore by selling stakes in state-run companies. This was 9% lower than its target. However, higher dividends from these companies partly offset this shortfall.
    • In March 2024, India experienced a significant influx of foreign funds. Foreign institutional investors (FII) made gross purchases amounting to a record high of Rs 4.06 lakh crore ($49 billion). This resulted in a net inflow of Rs 35,098 crore ($4.2 billion) in equities for India, pushing the 12-month cumulative equity inflow to a 32-month high of Rs 2.08 lakh crore ($25 billion).
    • The Centre’s dividend receipts from Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) for the fiscal year 2023-24 surpassed the revised estimate on March 2, 2024. By the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2024, the actual dividend collections were about 26% higher at Rs 62,929.27 crore.
  • Mous:
    • Tejas Networks, an Indian telecom company, and Telecom Egypt announced a strategic partnership on March 26, 2024, in Bengaluru, India. The partnership was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties. The partnership aims to implement telecom projects in Egypt, build local capacity, establish manufacturing and R&D facilities for FTTH products, and set up technical support services.
  • Sports:
    • Anupama Upadhyaya, an Indian badminton player, won the Women’s Singles title at the Orlen Polish Open 2024 on Sunday, March 26, 2024. The tournament was held at Hala Centrum Sportu Wilanów in Warsaw, Poland. She defeated Tanya Hemanth, another Indian player, with a score of 21-15, 11-21, 21-10.
    • Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden won the Miami Open on March 31, 2024 Men’s Doubles Title. The match took place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. They defeated Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek with a score of 6-7 (3), 6-3, 10-6.
  • Defence:
    • On March 29, 2024, the Indian Navy successfully conducted a rescue operation. They intercepted the hijacked Iranian vessel ‘AI Kambar 786’ and rescued its crew of 23 Pakistani nationals. The operation, which forced the pirates to surrender, lasted 12 hours.
    • The METOC Seminar ‘Meghayan-24’ was held at the Southern Naval Command on 28 March 2024. The theme was ‘At the Frontline of Climate Action’. The seminar included presentations by guest speakers and panel discussions on the effect of weather and climate change on naval operations.
  • Important Days:
    • Eiffel Tower Day is celebrated on March 31st to commemorate the opening of the Eiffel Tower in 1889. The tower, a symbol of Paris, stands at 324 meters tall and was the tallest man-made structure until 1930. On this day, people share photos, memories, and facts about the tower on social media. It’s a day to appreciate this architectural marvel and its significance.
    • International Transgender Day of Visibility (often referred to as TDOV or Trans Day of Visibility) is an annual event occurring every March 31. The specific theme for the International Transgender Day of Visibility in 2024 was "Trans Love Letters". 
    • Utkal Diwas, or Odisha Day, is celebrated on April 1st every year to commemorate the formation of the state of Odisha. It’s a tribute to the state’s rich heritage and culture, marked by various cultural programs and festivities. The state was formed on a linguistic basis on April 1, 1936, and as of April 1, 2019, it has 30 districts.
  • Appointments:
    • Moushumi Basu, a professor at the School of International Studies, has been appointed as the new president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA). The appointment was made on March 28, 2024. The new team also includes Meenakshi Sundriyal and Pradeep K Shinde as vice presidents.
    • Atul Mehra, a veteran dealmaker, was appointed as the MD and CEO of Axis Capital on April 1, 2024. He will oversee the Investment Banking and Institutional Equities businesses. Alongside, Parag Gude and Dhaval Desai were appointed as COO – Institutional Equities and Head – Cash Equities respectively.
    • Joyshree Das Verma became the 41st National President of the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) on March 29, 2024. She is also the Honorary Consul for Northeast India appointed by Israel and the Director of Kaapro Management Solutions Pvt Ltd. Her vision for FLO includes building a strong inclusive community for sustainable progress.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • The Hockey India Awards 2023 took place on March 31, 2024. Hardik Singh and Salima Tete were honored with the Player of the Year awards. Other awardees included Ashok Kumar and PR Sreejesh.
    • Professor Meena Charanda, Principal of Kalindi College, Delhi University, was honored with the ‘International Culture Award’ 2024 for her significant contributions in education and social service. The award was presented on March 30, 2024, at the India International Center.
    • On March 30, 2024, President Droupadi Murmu presented the Bharat Ratna Awards to P V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh, M S Swaminathan, and Karpoori Thakur at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
    • Vineet Jain, the Managing Director of The Times Group, was awarded the ENBA Lifetime Achievement Award 2023 on March 30, 2023, for his significant contributions to the Indian television news landscape.
  • Obituaries:
    • Louis Gossett Jr., the American actor best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film “An Officer and a Gentleman”, has recently passed away. He was the first Black man to win a supporting actor Oscar and an Emmy winner for his role in the seminal TV miniseries “Roots”.

Questions:

Q.1 Who won the Women’s Singles title at the Orlen Polish Open 2024?
a. Tanya Hemanth
b. Anupama Upadhyaya
c. P. V. Sindhu
d. Saina Nehwal
Q.2 Who became the 41st National President of the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) on March 29, 2024?
a. Joyshree Das Verma
b. Kaapro Management Solutions
c. Honorary Consul for Northeast India
d. Israel
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