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Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 13th March, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 13 March 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi flags off India’s first automobile in-plant Railway siding project
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first automobile in-plant railway siding project of Maruti Suzuki India in Hansalpur, Gujarat. He also laid the foundation stone for railway projects worth ₹85,000 crore, including the launch of 10 new Vande Bharat trains.

PM Modi flags off India's first automobile in-plant Railway siding project

  • As part of Prime Minister’s flagship Gati Shakti programme, this in-plant railway siding aims to reduce carbon footprint in logistics, bring down fossil fuel consumption, and reduce road congestion.
  • The project is a collaboration between Gujarat Rail Infrastructure Development (G-RIDE), a Government of Gujarat and Indian Railways partnership along with Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), and MSIL.

PM inaugurates Kochrab Ashram in Sabarmati, Gujarat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the redevelopment of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and inaugurated the redeveloped Kochrab Ashram on the anniversary of the famous Dandi Yatra, or salt march, taken out by Mahatma Gandhi on March 12, 1930.

PM inaugurates Kochrab Ashram in Sabarmati, Gujarat

 

  • While launching the redevelopment of Sabarmati Ashram, which will be expanded to 55 acres from the current five-acre area at a cost of ₹1,200 crore, the Prime Minister said a country which did not cherish its heritage had a bleak future.
  • He also informed about the development of more than 2 lakh Amrit Vatikas where more than 2 crore saplings were planted, the creation of more than 70,000 Amrit Sarovars towards water conservation, Har Ghar Tiranga campaign which became an expression of national devotion, and Meri Mati Mera Desh campaign where citizens paid tributes to freedom fighters. 
  • The Prime Minister also mentioned the foundation stone laying of more than 2 lakh projects during Amrit Kaal making Sabarmati Ashram a pilgrimage of the resolutions of Viksit Bharat. 

Dr Mansukh Mandaviya launches Credit Assistance Program for Jan Aushadhi Kendras
Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Health & Family Welfare inaugurated a credit assistance program for Jan Aushadhi Kendras. 

Dr Mansukh Mandaviya launches Credit Assistance Program for Jan Aushadhi Kendras

  • The launch ceremony witnessed the exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI), marking a pivotal moment in the endeavor to strengthen the network of Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country.
  • The credit assistance program, facilitated through the MoU, aims to provide project loans for a credit limit of up to Rs 2 lakhs at a competitive and affordable interest rate, catering to the needs of small entrepreneurs operating Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
  • He also launched a website for credit assistance to Jan Aushadhi Kendras: https://jak-prayaasloans.sidbi.in/home.

Tripartite MoU signed among USOF, Prasar Bharati and ONDC: Propelling the mandate for Digital Empowerment for Rural India
Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under Department of Telecommunications (DoT), signed a tripartite MoU with Prasar Bharati (under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (a Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) initiative of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry) to proliferate affordable and accessible digital services across the country.

Tripartite MoU signed among USOF, Prasar Bharati and ONDC: Propelling the mandate for Digital Empowerment for Rural India

  • The objective of the MoU is to bundle broadband services with OTT and e-commerce platform for the rural India riding on BharatNet infrastructure under the USOF.
  • This move aligns with the vision of the Prime Minister, emphasizing digital innovation to empower rural India.
  • With this MoU, USOF will ensure efficient and high-speed broadband services in rural and remote areas, while Prasar Bharati will offer bundled OTT services, including linear channels, Live TV, and on-demand content, to end consumers.

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurates first of its kind ‘National Speed Breeding Crop Facility, “DBT SPEEDY SEEDS” at National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali
Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated the first-of- its-kind “National Speed Breeding Crop Facility” at the premier National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) in Mohali.

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurates first of its kind ‘National Speed Breeding Crop Facility, "DBT SPEEDY SEEDS” at National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali

  • This initiative is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s priority of doubling the farmer`s Income, ensuring their economic empowerment and promoting Agri-StartUps. 
  • DBT institute of NABI has developed technology of ‘Climate- resistant crops’, by harnessing these technologies the farmers will not be restrained to cultivate a crop in a particular season rather they will have the liberty to practise farming irrespective of climate conduciveness.

Govt plans to crack whip against cattle smuggling in JK, launches ‘Operation Kamdhenu’
In Jammu and Kashmir, the police have initiated “Operation Kamdhenu” to curb the rampant issue of cattle smuggling in the Jammu, Samba, and Kathua (JSK) police ranges. This crackdown aims to tackle not only the immediate smuggling activities but also to target the masterminds behind these illicit operations.

Govt plans to crack whip against cattle smuggling in JK, launches ‘Operation Kamdhenu’

  • Under Operation Kamdhenu, a comprehensive strategy has been devised to scrutinize the activities of cattle smugglers. The focus is not just on apprehending the immediate perpetrators but also on identifying and registering the names of the main conspirators in the FIR (First Information Report).
  • SP Rural Jammu, DSP Headquarters Samba, and DSP (Dar) Kathua have been appointed as nodal officers to oversee the effective implementation of Operation Kamdhenu. This marks a significant step towards holding the masterminds accountable for their actions.

Department of Pharmaceuticals announces the Revamped Pharmaceuticals Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme
The Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers announced the Revamped Pharmaceuticals Technology Upgradation Assistance (RPTUAS) Scheme. 

Department of Pharmaceuticals announces the Revamped Pharmaceuticals Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme

  • It is a significant step in government’s efforts to help upgrade the technological capabilities of our pharmaceutical industry and ensure its alignment with the global standards.
  • The approval of the revised Scheme follows a comprehensive review by the Scheme Steering Committee in light of the requirements of the revised Schedule-M of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, 1945 as issued by the Department of Health & Family Welfare on 28/12/2023. The revised guideline aims to support the pharmaceutical industry’s up-gradation to the Revised Schedule-M & WHO-GMP standards, enhancing the quality and safety of pharmaceutical products manufactured in our country.

GSI unveils Stratigraphic Column of Cuddapah Supergroup
The Geological Survey of India, State Unit: Andhra Pradesh has established one representative Stratigraphic Column of the Cuddapah Supergroup in Vajrakarur Diamond Processing Camp, Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. 

GSI unveils Stratigraphic Column of Cuddapah Supergroup

 

  • The Stratigraphic Column, meticulously crafted and curated, stands as a remarkable testament of the geological history and evolution of the Cuddapah Basin, which is the second-largest Proterozoic basin in India. Its unveiling of the representative Stratigraphic Column in Vajrakarur Camp reiterates the commitment of GSI, SU: Andhra Pradesh to make to make Vajrakarur Camp as a vital educational and research hub. 
  • Along with the exhibits of kimberlites and lamproites, this Stratigraphic Column of the Cuddapah Basin will offer valuable insights into the geological past of this segment of Earth’s crust.

Odisha govt’s women employees to get 25 days casual leave a year
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced casual leave of 25 days in a year for women employees working in different departments of the state government. The women employees would now get an additional 10 days of CL taking their total CL in a year to 25 days, an official said.

Odisha govt’s women employees to get 25 days casual leave a year

  • The state government also said that Odisha was the first in the country to take radical steps like reserving 33 per cent of government jobs for women in the 90s.
  • Recently, the Odisha government had also announced 15 days of casual leave in a year for employees in various non-government-aided educational institutions. The women block grant employees of different educational institutions have also been granted paid maternity leave of 180 days for two births. 


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

India world’s top arms importer between 2019-23: SIPRI
India was the world’s top arms importer for the period 2019-23 with imports having gone up by 4.7% compared to the period 2014-18, according to the Swedish think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

India world's top arms importer between 2019-23: SIPRI

  • At the same time, arms imports by European countries increased by 94% between 2014–18 and 2019–23, the report said, which comes in the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
  • Although Russia remained India’s main arms supplier [accounting for 36% of its arms imports], this was the first five-year period since 1960–64 when deliveries from Russia [or the Soviet Union prior to 1991] made up less than half of India’s arms imports, as per new data on international arms transfers from SIPRI released. 
  • Nine of the 10 biggest arms importers in 2019–23, including the top 3 of India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, were in Asia and Oceania or the Middle East. Ukraine became the fourth biggest arms importer globally after it received transfers of major arms from over 30 states in 2022-23.
  • The top 10 arms exporters, in turn, are the US (42%), France (11%), Russia (11%), China (5.8%), Germany (5.6%), Italy (4.3%), UK (3.7%), Spain (2.7%), Israel (2.4%) and South Korea (2%). Significantly, while the US increased its overall share by 17% between 2014-18 and 2019-23, Russia’s fell by 53% allowing France to surge ahead of it.


BANKING & FINANCE

CCI approves merger of fintech Garagepreneurs with North East Small Finance Bank
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of a financial technology company, Garagepreneurs Internet Private Limited with the North East Small Finance Bank. 

CCI approves merger of fintech Garagepreneurs with North East Small Finance Bank

  • The proposed transaction comprises the merger of a financial technology company, Garagepreneurs Internet Private Limited (GIPL) (including Quadrillion Finance Private Limited (QFPL) (an NBFC-SI-ICC) and Intergalactory Foundry Private Limited (IFPL) with North-East Small Finance Bank Limited (NESFB) (including RGVN (North-East) Microfinance Limited (RGVN)), pursuant to the composite scheme of amalgamation to be filed before the jurisdictional National Company Law Tribunal and certain related transactions. 


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Retail Inflation eases to 5.09 per cent in February, 2024
The consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation eased to 5.09 per cent in February. The retail inflation rate had eased to 5.1 per cent in January from 5.69 per cent in December 2023. 

Retail Inflation eases to 5.09 per cent in February, 2024

  • The recent numbers mean the target inflation continues to stay within the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ‘s tolerance level of 2-6 per cent for six consecutive months. However, it is important to note that this is the 53rd consecutive week when the headline number is more than the medium-target rate of 4 per cent.
  • The rural inflation came at 5.34 per cent in February, which is the same as in January and 5.93 per cent in December. The urban inflation for February also eased marginally to 4.78 as against January’s 4.92 per cent.

STPI launches 24th Centre of Entrepreneurship FinGlobe in Gandhinagar to nurture startups in fintech & banking services
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), an autonomous society under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, launched its 24th Center of Entrepreneurship (CoE) – “FinGlobe,” dedicated to fostering innovation and growth in the financial technology sector, at STPI-Gandhinagar, GIFT City. 

STPI launches 24th Centre of Entrepreneurship FinGlobe in Gandhinagar to nurture startups in fintech & banking services

  • The FinGlobe CoE, which has been set up in association with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat, aims to serve as a catalyst for the development and proliferation of cutting-edge technologies within the financial services domain. 
  • By providing state-of-the-art infrastructure, expert mentorship, and a collaborative ecosystem, FinGlobe CoE seeks to empower startups, entrepreneurs, and established players to ideate, innovate, and scale their solutions in the FinTech, TechFin, Banking Industry and allied domains. The CoE provides 50 Plug-n-Play incubation seats.
  • Five MoUs were exchanged by STPINext Initiatives with its CoE partners i.e., (n)Code Solutions (IT Division of GNFC Limited); Centre for Advancing and Launching Enterprises (CrAdLE), a Technology Business Incubator at Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad; Pandit Deendayal Energy University, Gandhinagar; GVFL Limited and TiE- Ahmedabad.

NTPC signs agreement with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (RVUNL) for adding supercritical units and reducing electricity generation cost of Chhabra Thermal Power Plant
NTPC and its renewable energy arm NGEL have each signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RVUNL) in Jaipur. 

NTPC signs agreement with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (RVUNL) for adding supercritical units and reducing electricity generation cost of Chhabra Thermal Power Plant

  • The MoU between NTPC and RVUNL is to explore opportunities for adding supercritical units to the existing Chhabra Thermal Power Plant. Additionally, the parties aim to implement measures to enhance efficiency and reduce the power generation cost of the plant’s existing units. 
  • The MoU also includes the undertaking of 15-year to 20-year annuity-based Renovation and Modernization (R&M) of old thermal units of RVUNL, by NTPC or its affiliates. 

Aditya Birla Capital, Aditya Birla Finance announce a scheme of amalgamation for creation of a large NBFC
Aditya Birla Capital rose 2.89% to Rs 184.85 after the company’s board and the board of its wholly owned subsidiary Aditya Birla Finance (ABFL) approved the scheme of amalgamation for merging ABFL with the company.

Aditya Birla Capital, Aditya Birla Finance announce a scheme of amalgamation for creation of a large NBFC

  • The amalgamation is subject to regulatory and other approvals as may be required. The proposed amalgamation will result in reduction of legal entities and simplification of the group structure of Aditya Birla Capital.
  • The proposed amalgamation will also lead to compliance with the Scale based Regulations of RBI which require mandatory listing of Aditya Birla Finance by 30 September 2025.


SPORTS

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Annabel Sutherland named ICC Player of the Month for February
India batter Yashasvi Jaiswal has been named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for February 2024 while Australia all-rounder Annabel Sutherland won the corresponding ICC Women’s Player of the Month award.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Annabel Sutherland named ICC Player of the Month for February

  • Jaiswal broke several records in the recently-concluded five-Test series against England. He finished as the highest run-scorer and was the Player of the Series. Notably, Jaiswal won the player-of-the-month award ahead of New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Sri Lanka’s Pathum Nissanka.
  • Annabel Sutherland was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Month after her stunning efforts with bat and ball set new records in Australia’s Test victory over South Africa in Perth.


APPOINTMENTS

AS Rajeev appointed as Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission
 A S Rajeev, former Managing Director and CEO, Bank of Maharashtra, was appointed as Vigilance Commissioner by the Hon’ble President of India on February 09, 2024. He joined the Commission on 11.03.2024 as Vigilance Commissioner. 

Former Bank of Maharashtra Chief Executive A S Rajeev appointed as Vigilance

  • A S Rajeev is a career banker with over 38 years of experience in four banks, namely, Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank, Vijaya Bank and Bank of Maharashtra.
  • He has also served as Nominee Director in EXIM Bank, New India Assurance Co Ltd and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). He has also been Vice Chairman of the Indian Banks Association and Member of Core Group constituted by RBI for implementation of Indian Accounting Standards.

Kishor Makwana assumes charge of Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) 
Kishor Makwana assumed the charge of Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) in New Delhi. Luv Kush Kumar also assumed the charge of Member of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) in New Delhi. 

Kishor Makwana assumes charge of Chairman National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) 

  • Makwana served as a joint spokesperson of the Gujarat unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). He is also a journalist and a columnist.  He has been an Author of more than 33 books. 
  • He has written 9 books on Dr. Ambedkar and translated and edited many books and his books have been translated into many languages of the country.


AWARDS

RK Swamy’s Srinivasan Swamy bags IAA Golden Compass Award
Srinivasan K. Swamy, CMD of integrated marketing services company RK Swami Ltd. has been presented with IAA Goden Compass Award at the 45th IAA World Congress held in Penang, Malaysia. Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak presented the award to Mr. Swamy. 

RK Swamy’s Srinivasan Swamy bags IAA Golden Compass Award

  • The award honours those who have significantly contributed to the world stage in the field of marketing, advertising and media. This is the first time this award is being bestowed upon an Indian industry leader. 

President Murmu Conferred with Honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law by University of Mauritius
President Droupadi Murmu was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Mauritius, demonstrating the depth of bilateral ties. Murmu, 65, is on a three-day state visit during which she was the chief guest at the country’s National Day celebrations. 

President Murmu Conferred with Honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law by University of Mauritius

  • President Murmu addressed the assembly during the formal ceremony, which took place at the University of Mauritius, and she had a powerful message for the young people of Mauritius.
  • In a landmark decision, India approved a special provision to grant an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card to the 7th generation of Indian origin people in Mauritius, President Droupadi Murmu said. The decision would allow the younger Mauritians of Indian origin to become overseas citizens of India and to reconnect with the land of their ancestors.

Amitav Ghosh awarded 2024 Erasmus prize for pioneering writings on climate change
Author Amitav Ghosh was awarded the Erasmus Prize 2024 for his writings on the climate crisis and human interactions with nature.

Amitav Ghosh awarded 2024 Erasmus prize for pioneering writings on climate change

  • The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation in the Netherlands awards the prize annually for an organisation or individual’s “exceptional contributions” in the fields of the humanities, social sciences or arts in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • Many of Ghosh’s works including The Great Derangement and The Nutmeg’s Curse dwell on the ongoing planetary crisis and are interlinked with the impacts of climate change.

Riken Yamamoto wins 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize
Riken Yamamoto, a Japanese architect from Yokohama, has been named the winner of the 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize, widely regarded as the highest honour in the field of architecture.

Riken Yamamoto wins 2024 Pritzker Architecture Prize

  • Yamamoto’s work emphasizes the importance of community and shared spaces. He believes in creating architectural spaces that foster harmony and societal relationships while respecting individual freedom.
  • His designs combine public and private realms, aiming to break down traditional notions of privacy and promote interaction among neighbors. Yamamoto draws inspiration from traditional Japanese machiya and Greek oikos housing styles, incorporating elements that encourage community engagement.
  • The Pritzker Architecture Prize is an annual award founded in 1979 by Jay A. Pritzker and his wife, Cindy. It honors a living architect whose built work demonstrates talent, vision, and commitment, contributing significantly to humanity and the built environment.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Mission Divyastra: India’s Agni-V missile makes maiden flight with MIRV
In a major technological leap for India’s nuclear deterrent, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted India’s first successful flight test of the indigenously developed Agni-V missile. The test involved the missile carrying between four to six dummy warheads.

Mission Divyastra: India's Agni-V missile makes maiden flight with MIRV

  • The flight test, named Mission Divyastra, was carried out from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
  • The Agni-5 missile, which uses a three-stage solid fuelled engine, has a range of more than 5,000km. MIRVs can cause more destruction than traditional missiles that carry a single warhead. The other variants of the Agni missiles developed by DRDO include the 700km range Agni-1, the 2,000km Agni-2, the 3,000km Agni-3, and 4,000km range Agni-4.
  • The Agni-5 MIRV system is equipped with indigenous avionics systems and high accuracy sensor packages, which ensured that the re-entry vehicles reached the target points within the desired accuracy. 


ENVIRONMENT

Researchers camping in Thailand discover a new scorpion species
During a wildlife expedition in the Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand, a team of researchers made a remarkable discovery- a previously unknown species of scorpion.

Researchers camping in Thailand discover a new scorpion species

  • This significant finding, detailed in a study published in ZooKeys, was made when the researchers were camping near the Tenasserim Mountain Range and stumbled upon a new type of scorpion species hidden under a rock.
  • As per the study, the new species presents most features exhibited by scorpions of the subgenus Euscorpiops. They are ‘very small in comparison to most other species of the subgenus’. They are brownish in colour; however, females are darker than males. They also have eight eyes and eight legs. Other scorpions of the Scorpiops genus hunt through ‘ambush or sit-and-wait type of foraging,’ the study said.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

Sri Lanka ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa turns author, defends his discredited regime , writes “The Conspiracy
Two years after his dramatic ouster from office by a popular people’s movement, Sri Lanka’s former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has sought to defend his tainted regime, by launching a book that attributes his political downfall to a “conspiracy” involving foreign and local parties.
Sri Lanka ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa turns author, defends his discredited regime , writes “The Conspiracy”

  • Announcing his book ‘The Conspiracy to oust me from the Presidency’, Mr. Gotabaya said in a statement: “From the time I was elected President in November 2019, certain foreign and local parties were intent on removing me from power.”


 

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