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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 12th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 12 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

PM inaugurates elevated stretch of Dwarka Expressway in Haryana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Haryana section of the Dwarka Expressway in Gurugram. The eight-lane high-speed expressway is India’s first elevated highway, and is expected to help improve traffic flow and ease congestion between Delhi and Gurugram.

PM inaugurates elevated stretch of Dwarka Expressway in Haryana

  • The Haryana section includes two packages from the Delhi-Haryana border to Basai ROB (10.2 km) and from Basai ROB to Kherki Daula (Cloverleaf Interchange) (8.7 km). The 19-km-long section has been built at a cost of around Rs 4,100 crore.
  • The expressway is the country’s first elevated urban expressway and the first single-pillar flyover with eight lanes. The entire stretch is being built at a cost of about Rs 9,000 crore. It will have four multi-level interchanges, such as tunnels or underpasses, an at-grade road section, an elevated flyover, and a flyover above flyover.

UGC launches SheRNI for women scientists, faculty members
The University Grants Commission’s (UGC), Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre has launched the She Research Network in India (SheRNI). The initiative aims to ensure that women scientists are represented equally across various research domains.

  • According to the UGC, the SheRNI website would connect 81,818 profiles of Indian women working in the field of science and research.
  • SheRNI is an expert profile network system that links women in India’s diverse professions and makes use of their experience. The aim of this project is to provide an expert platform at the national level for female faculty members and to enable the sharing of knowledge, perspectives, and experiences in a variety of subjects.

Central govt announces implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified the Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024 that would enable the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Parliament in 2019.
Central govt announces implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act

  • Though the legislation facilitates citizenship to undocumented people belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi, Christian and Jain community from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the rules state that the applicants will have to provide six types of documents and specify “date of entry” in India.
  • The Act was passed on December 11, 2019, receiving assent from the President on December 12 the same year. The MHA had earlier notified that the Act will come into force from January 10, 2020. Since the rules were not framed yet, the Act could not be implemented. 

PM Modi virtually inaugurates the Sela Tunnel from Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the important Sela Tunnel project to the nation virtually from Itanagar. The project will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategically significant Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh.PM Modi virtually inaugurates the Sela Tunnel from Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh

  • The Sela tunnel has been constructed at an altitude of 13,000 feet with a total cost of Rs 825 crore. The Sela tunnel project is located in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, and will provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang. The Sela tunnel system consists of two tunnels of lengths 1003 m and 1595 m respectively with 8.6 km approach and link roads.
  • After dedicating the Sela tunnel to the nation, the Prime Minister flagged off the first civilian convoy consisting of two buses from Tawang and felicitated the BRO personnel and casual paid labourers involved in the construction.
  • Earlier, the route to the snow-covered 13,700-ft high Sela top had only single-lane connectivity and treacherous bends due to which heavy vehicles, container trucks and vehicles with trailers could not get to Tawang. 

PM Modi unveils bronze statue of Ahom general in Assam
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 125-foot bronze statue of the legendary Ahom general, Lachit Borphukan, at his burial site in eastern Assam’s Jorhat district. This event marks a significant tribute to Borphukan’s valor and leadership in the history of Assam.PM Modi unveils bronze statue of Ahom general in Assam

  • The 125-foot statue, designed and constructed by renowned sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar, stands on a pedestal of 41 feet, making the total structure 125 feet tall.
  • Lachit Borphukan was a legendary army commander of the Ahom kingdom (1228-1826). Battle of Saraighat: He is celebrated for his pivotal role in the 1671 ‘Battle of Saraighat,’ where he successfully defended Assam against the mighty Mughal forces led by Raja Ramsingh-I, showcasing exemplary leadership and strategic prowess.

Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan : Catch the Rain 2024 Campaign
The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the fifth edition of “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” campaign at the NDMC Convention Centre in New Delhi.Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan : Catch the Rain 2024 Campaign

  • The campaign comes under the National Water Mission, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation in collaboration with Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation.
  • The Union Minister also virtually launched two books namely “Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2019 to 2023- The Journey for Sustainable Water Future” and “101 glimpse of Women Power: Through the prism of Jal Jeevan Mission”.
  • Two short films “Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2019 to 2023 – A public led movement marching towards Water Security” and (ii) “Short films of Jal Jeevan Mission” and documentary of Ladakh were also screened during the event which witnessed participation of women warriors, Sarpanchs, VWSC members, pump operators from the State Governments, Senior Officials of Department of Water Resources, RD & GR, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, NGOs, Officials of State Governments, Officials of partner Ministries/ Departments of Ministry of Jal Shakti, Press/ Media persons etc.

Minority Affairs Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani lays foundation stone for projects approved under Buddhist Development Plan under aegis of PMJVK in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim & Ladakh
Union Minister of Minority Affairs and Women & Child Development, Smt. Smriti Irani, laid the foundation stone via virtual platform for 38 projects with the total estimated cost of Rs. 225 crore approved under Buddhist Development Plan under the aegis of Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and the Union Territory of Ladakh.Minority Affairs Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani lays foundation stone for projects approved under Buddhist Development Plan under aegis of PMJVK in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim & Ladakh

  • Keeping in view the present Government’s concept of ‘विरासत के साथ विकास’ and ‘विरासत का संवर्धन,’ on this occasion Hon’ble Minister of Minority Affairs announced financial assistance of Rs. 30 Crores for strengthening ‘Centre for Advanced Studies in Buddhist Studies of the University of Delhi for academic collaboration, promoting research, preservation of language, translation of transcripts and skill upgradation of Buddhist population.
  • Aligned with the purpose of ‘Viksit Bharat’ the  Minister desired that the Institutes like Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS), Centre for Advanced Studies in Buddhist Studies of the University of Delhi and other prominent institutes should collaborate for integrated development in a circuit so as to conserve the Buddhist cultural heritage and knowledge along with providing them modern education.

North India’s first Govt Homoeopathic College coming up in Kathua, J&K”: Dr Jitendra Singh
North India’s first Government Homoeopathic College, centrally funded at a cost of Rs.80 Crore will come up in Jasrota area of district Kathua in J&K, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said. North India’s first Govt Homoeopathic College coming up in Kathua, J&K”: Dr Jitendra Singh

  • The proposed structure will include a hospital complex, a college, an administrative block and one hostel each for male and female students”, Dr Jitendra Singh informed. 
  • He further informed that the open space will be utilised later on for construction of an auditorium, playground, etc.

PM Modi launches Mahtari Vandan Yojana in Chhattisgarh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched the Mahtari Vandan Yojana of the Chhattisgarh government. He released the first installment worth 655 crore rupees online in the accounts of around 70 lakh women in the first phase of the scheme.PM Modi launches Mahtari Vandan Yojana in Chhattisgarh

  • Under the Mahtari Vandan Yojana of the Chhattisgarh government, about 70 lakh women will be given 1000 rupees every month. The programs were organized in 146  block headquarters of Chhattisgarh, where large number of women joined this program. 
  • It has been envisioned to ensure economic empowerment of women, provide them financial security, promote gender equality and strengthen the decisive role of women in the family.
  • The scheme will provide benefits to all eligible married women of the state who are above 21 years of age as of January 1, 2024. Widows, divorced, and deserted women will also be eligible for this scheme. Around 70 lakh women will benefit from the scheme.

Maharashtra unveils fourth women’s policy focussing on eight key areas
Marking International Women’s Day on March 7, Maharashtra government unveiled the 4th Women Policy of the state after the delay of more than one and half years.

PM Modi launches Mahtari Vandan Yojana in Chhattisgarh

  • The policy focuses on eight principles which are Health, Nutrition and Wellbeing; education and skill; ending sexual and gender-based violence; gender responsive livelihood enhancement; gender inclusive infrastructure; gender responsive governance and political participation; gender sensitive natural resource management – Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management and special sports policy for women and girls.
  • The first women’s policy of the state of Maharashtra was announced in 1994, the second in 2001 and the third in 2014. The 4th Women’s Policy was required, as ten years have passed since the announcement of the third Women’s Policy.

TN govt will not implement CAA, says CM Stalin
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin dismissed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as ‘divisive and bereft of any use’ and asserted that it will not be implemented in the state.

TN govt will not implement CAA, says CM Stalin

  • Hitting out at the BJP regime at the Centre for notifying the rules for implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) ‘in a haste’ when the Lok Sabha polls are round the corner, Stalin said the CAA and its rules went against the basic structure of the Constitution.

Tamil Nadu govt launches Neengalum Nalama scheme 2024 to uplift families in state
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu announced the launch of a new initiative called “Neengal Nalama” (Are you doing well), aims to uplift every family in the state.

  • Under the Neengalum Nalama scheme, the Tamil Nadu government is committed to implementing various measures to improve the well-being of families across the state. This initiative is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to support and elevate every household.
  • The Neengalum Nalama scheme signifies a significant step towards addressing the needs and concerns of families in Tamil Nadu. By launching this program, the government aims to ensure the overall welfare and prosperity of its citizens.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Sea6 Energy launches world’s first large-scale mechanized tropical seaweed farm off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia
Sea6 Energy, a technology pioneer in the Blue Economy, has launched the world’s first large-scale mechanized tropical seaweed farm off Ekas, on the island of Lombok, Indonesia.Sea6 Energy launches world's first large-scale mechanized tropical seaweed farm off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia

  • The one-square-kilometer seaweed farm marks a significant milestone in establishing the scalability of sustainable tropical seaweed cultivation for the production of large industrial applications such as biofertilizers, bioplastics, and the continued research and development of renewable chemicals and fuels.
  • The challenges in harvesting tropical seaweed at- scale have been seen as a significant barrier to growth in the industry, and the key reason for limited research on the seaweed feedstock’s applicability in large industrial applications. 

India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement
India has signed a $100bn free trade agreement with a four-member European bloc and will lift most import tariffs on industrial products from these countries in return for the investment over 15 years.India-EFTA Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement

  • The deal signed with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), after several rounds of negotiations spanning 16 years will see investments across a range of Indian sectors, including pharmaceuticals, machinery and manufacturing.
  • The EFTA comprises Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, all non-European Union nations, that will get access to a fast-growing market of 1.4 billion people. 
  • In the last two years, India has signed trade agreements with Australia and the United Arab Emirates, and officials say a deal with the United Kingdom is in the final stages as Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to hit $1 trillion in annual exports by 2030.

African health ministers commit to end malaria deaths
In a landmark gathering in Yaoundé, Cameroon, health ministers from 11 African nations, along with global malaria partners and stakeholders, convened to address the escalating malaria crisis in Africa. Despite available tools and systems, malaria cases surged globally, with Africa bearing the brunt, accounting for 94% of cases and 95% of deaths in 2022.

African nation end to malaria

  • Globally, the number of malaria cases in 2022 surged significantly compared to the pre-COVID-19 era. The total cases rose from 233 million in 2019 to a staggering 249 million.
  • During this same period, the African region witnessed an alarming increase in cases, soaring from 218 million to 233 million. Africa remains the epicentre of the malaria crisis, bearing an immense burden. It accounts for 94 per cent of all global malaria cases and a staggering 95 per cent of global malaria-related deaths, totaling an estimated 580,000 deaths in 2022.
  • Significantly, the 11 African countries whose health ministers took part in the Yaoundé conference – Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania – bear the highest burden of global malaria infections and deaths.


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI cracking down on P2P credit card transactions
After barring Visa from undertaking certain commercial business-to-business (B2B) credit card transactions, the Reserve Bank of India is now seen cracking down on peer-to-peer (P2P) credit card payments made via third-party service providers. 

RBI cracking down on P2P credit card transactions

  • This comes after the central bank has found instances of retail customers using credit cards to pay rent and tuition fees through third party apps.
  • These third-party players, usually fintechs, allow customers to make a credit card payment to their authorised merchant account. They then instantaneously transfer the money to the bank account of the recipient (for instance a landlord in case of rent payments) in exchange for a commission.

IndusInd Bank launches India’s first all-in-one payment wearables
IndusInd Bank announced the launch of its contactless payments wearables, ‘Indus PayWear,’ India’s first All-in-One tokenizable wearables for both debit and credit cards exclusively on Mastercard, with the offering to be extended to other card networks shortly.IndusInd Bank launches India’s first all-in-one payment wearables

  • Indus PayWear is all set to revolutionize the payment experience by allowing users to effortlessly tokenize their IndusInd Bank credit or debit card onto a chip-enabled wearable device. 
  • This will facilitate swift and secure tap-and-pay transactions at any contactless Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminal across the globe, eliminating the need for a physical card or even a payment app for purchases. The three versatile wearables, i.e. ring, watch clasp, and stickers, cater to diverse preferences of customers, with an affordable price ranging from Rs. 499 to Rs. 2999.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India now stands as the world’s second-largest producer of mobile phones
India is close to achieving the target of Rs 20 lakh crore worth mobile phone production in the last 10 years, while crossing Rs 1.20 lakh crore worth phone exports in the current fiscal year (FY24), a whopping 7,500 per cent increase in exports over a decade, top electronics industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) said. India now stands as the world's second-largest producer of mobile phones

  • The industry had set itself a target of Rs 20 lakh crore worth mobile phone production over the last 10 years (2014-2024).
  • In terms of volume, India produced 2.45 billion units of mobile phones during the last decade, against a goal of 2.5 billion units, according to the ICEA.
  • At the end of the decade (2014-2024), India now stands as the world’s second largest producer of mobile phones, and 30 per cent of production in FY24 will now be meant for exports.

Rajasthan govt signs individual agreements with CIL and NLC India Limited
NLC India Limited signed MOU with the Government of Rajasthan for Formation of Joint Venture to set up 125 MW Lignite Based Power Plant and 1000 MW Solar Power Plant.Rajasthan govt signs individual agreements with CIL and NLC India Limited

  • The MoU between NLC India Limited and RVUNL entails a staggering investment of more than Rs 7000 Crores. Among the notable projects, the MoU outlines the establishment of a 125 MW Lignite Pit-head Thermal Power Plant in Bikaner district and a massive 1000 MW Solar Power Plant, further reinforcing NLCIL’s commitment to renewable energy initiatives.
  • Additionally, a LoI for the setup of an 810 MW solar power plant has already been issued. This is in line with corporate plan of NLC India to become a power major of 17 GW capacity with more than 6 GW renewable capacity by 2030. 
  • Widening further its business diversification portfolio into thermal and renewable power generation, Coal India Limited (CIL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RRVUNL) for exploration and execution of 4,100 MW capacity power projects. The proposed electricity generation would be through a mix of coal fired thermal power plant, solar projects, pump storage plant and wind projects. 


SPORTS

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty win French Open doubles title
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinched the French Open 2024 badminton men’s doubles title with a win over Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan in the final. 

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty win French Open doubles title

  • Playing at the Arena Porte de la Chapelle, the venue for badminton at the Paris 2024 Olympics, the top-ranked Indian badminton pair beat their world No. 16 opponents with a scoreline of 21-11, 21-17 in 36 minutes.
  • This was the first title of the 2024 badminton season for Chirag-Satwik and the duo’s second French Open title. The Indian pair won the French Open in 2022 and were runners-up in 2019.
  • This was Satwik and Chirag’s seventh title on the BWF World Tour. The Indian pair bagged the Swiss Open, the Indonesia Open and the Korea Open last year.


APPOINTMENTS

Rajendra Prasad Goyal takes additional charge of NHPC’s CMD 
Rajendra Prasad Goyal was recently given additional charge as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) by NHPC Limited, effective immediately. This move comes after the position was left vacant following the retirement of Abhay Kumar Singh on August 31, 2022.

Rajendra Prasad Goyal takes additional charge of NHPC's CMD 

  • Currently serving as the Director (Finance) at NHPC, Goyal will hold the additional charge in the company for a period of six months or until a permanent successor is appointed, following the directive from the Ministry of Power issued on February 26.
  • Goyal steps into the role succeeding Rajeev Kumar Vishnoi, the CMD of THDC India Ltd, who had been managing the additional responsibilities as NHPC’s CMD since September 1, 2022. 

Paralympic legend Devendra Jhajharia elected new President of PCI
Two-time Paralympics gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia was elected unopposed as the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) president, succeeding another celebrated para athlete Deepa Malik. Paralympic legend Devendra Jhajharia elected new President of PCI

  • The 42-year-old javelin thrower, who had won a gold medal each in the 2004 Athens and 2016 Rio Paralympics in the F46 disability category, was the only candidate in the fray for the top post.
  • Jayawant Hammanawar, an international coach and referee from Goa, was elected unopposed as the secretary general.
  • R. Chandrashekhar and Satya Prakash Sangwan will be the two vice-presidents, while Sunil Pradhan was the lone candidate for the treasurer’s post. Lalit Thakur and T. Diwakara are the two joint-secretaries.

Haryana: Nayab Singh Saini to succeed Manohar Lal Khattar as new CM following Khattar’s resignation
In a significant development, Nayab Singh Saini is poised to assume the role of Haryana’s Chief Minister, succeeding Manohar Lal Khattar.Haryana: Nayab Singh Saini to succeed Manohar Lal Khattar as new CM following Khattar's resignation

  • Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini, was appointed Haryana BJP state president in October last year. Nayab Singh Saini won the Kurukshetra constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by more than 3.83 lakh votes over his nearest challenger, Nirmal Singh of the Indian National Congress (INC).
  • Saini, who was elected MLA for the first time in 2014 and has since served as a minister, is regarded as Manohar Lal Khattar’s confidante.


AWARDS

Assam’s Majuli Gets GI Tag For Mask Making, Manuscript Painting
It’s a proud moment for India as Majuli in Assam has received the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag, acknowledging its traditional arts of Mukha Xilpo (mask-making) and Manuscript Paintings.

Assam's Majuli Gets GI Tag For Mask Making, Manuscript Painting

  • The GI tag, bestowed by the Centre, recognises the deep cultural heritage and historical significance inherent in these traditional folk crafts. 
  • Majuli is a unique riverine delta located on the Brahmaputra River in Assam. It has been formed due to the dynamics of the vast river system and is primarily rural, home to over 240 villages with a rich mix of tribes and communities. 


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

India to build a 10,000 GPU supercomputer for self-sufficient AI development
The Indian government, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has greenlit a $1.24 billion investment for IndiaAI, aiming to build a homegrown AI ecosystem. This initiative aims to create an all-Indian AI ecosystem from scratch, bolstering India’s technological prowess and fostering innovation in AI.

India to build a 10,000 GPU supercomputer for self-sufficient AI development

  • The IndiaAI Innovation Centre will develop and deploy indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and domain-specific foundational models.These models will cater to India’s diverse linguistic landscape, supporting the country’s 23 official languages and facilitating more inclusive AI applications. 
  • IndiaAI will establish local datasets through the IndiaAI Datasets Platform, providing access to high-quality databases.


 

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